About Sam Bloom

Sam Bloom is a former elementary and middle school teacher. He is currently senior children's librarian at the Blue Ash branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in Ohio.

Review of Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom

lowery_turning 15 on the road to freedom

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley; illus. by PJ Loughran Middle School, High School   Dial   128 pp. 1/15   978-0-8037-4123-2   $19.99   g Lowery offers a revealing look at a childhood spent in the midst […]

Firebird: A Guest Post by Sam Bloom


Is it possible for a guy who has won three BGHB Honors, four Coretta Scott King Honors, and one Caldecott Honor (in 1998, for Harlem) to be underrated? Why yes, yes it is. Christopher Myers continues to fly under the radar every year when it comes to Caldecott buzz, but I’m guessing the real committee will […]

Review of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole


Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 10/14    978-0-7636-6229-5    $16.99 This adventure starts innocently enough: “On Monday Sam and Dave dug a hole.” The boys (indistinguishable save the color of their hats and Sam’s ever-present backpack) are fueled by chocolate milk, animal cookies, and a […]

Review of 100 Sideways Miles

smith_100 sideways miles

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith High School    Simon    277 pp. 9/14    978-1-4424-4495-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-4497-3    $10.99 High schooler Finn Easton has unusual scars on his back. Finn’s “emoticons” — so-called because they look like a colon, vertical slash, colon — are the result of a freak accident in which a dead horse […]

Review of The Little Bear Book

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The Little Bear Book by Anthony Browne; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Candlewick    24 pp. 5/14    978-0-7636-7007-8    $15.99 Bear sets out on a walk through the forest, pencil in hand. Like Harold’s purple crayon and the girl’s red marker in Becker’s Journey (rev. 9/13), Bear’s writing utensil is a magical one. The lushly illustrated woods […]

Review of Tesla’s Attic

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Tesla’s Attic [Accelerati Trilogy] by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman Intermediate, Middle School    Disney-Hyperion    246 pp. 2/14    978-1-4231-4803-6    $16.99    g After his mother dies in a house fire, fourteen-year-old Nick, his younger brother Danny, and their father move into Great-aunt Greta’s old house. Finding the attic full of junk, Nick spearheads a garage sale where, […]

Review of March: Book One

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March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School   Top Shelf Productions   128 pp. 8/13   978-1-60309-300-2   $14.95 Congressman John Lewis — the last surviving member of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders — recounts his formative years in this first volume of a planned trilogy. The book […]

Gene Luen Yang on Boxers & Saints

boxers & saints

In the September/October 2013 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Sam Bloom asked Gene Luen Yang about the process of creating the two volumes of Boxers & Saints. Read the starred review here. Sam Bloom: Did you write both volumes at the same time, or did one come before the other? How did you decide to split […]

Review of Boxers & Saints

boxers & saints

Boxers & Saints Boxers by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     328 pp. 10/13     978-1-59643-359-5     $18.99 Saints by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     172 pp. 10/13     978-1-59643-689-3     $15.99 Boxed set […]

Review of Locomotive


Locomotive by Brian Floca; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate   Jackson/Atheneum   64 pp. 9/13     978-1-4169-9415-2   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8522-8   $12.99 Talk about a youth librarian’s dream come true: a big new book about those ever-popular trains from a bona fide picture-book-nonfiction all-star. Striking cinematic endpapers lay the groundwork, describing the creation of the Transcontinental […]