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2015 Rainbow List

The Rainbow Project is a joint project of the ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table and Social Responsibilities Round Table.  Each year they select The Rainbow List, books with “significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender content, and which are aimed at youth, birth through age 18.” 

Here is their Top Ten list:

Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World Far From You

Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World by Janet E. Cameron

Far from You by Tess Sharpe

Grasshopper Jungle I'll Give You the Sun

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Not Every Princess Secret City

Not Every Princess by Jeffrey Bone and Lisa Bone

Secret City by Julia Watts

Sweet Tooth Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel

Sweet Tooth by Tim Anderson

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

This Day in June We Are The Youth

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten

We Are the Youth: Sharing the Stories of LGBT Youth in the United States by Laurel Golio and Diana Scholl

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi have announced the winners of the 2015 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award.  The award celebrates a new writer and a new illustrator of children’s books each year. 


Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

Chieri Uegaki for Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin



Shh! We Have a Plan

Chris Haughton for Shh! We Have a Plan

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:

The truth


Five questions for Lucy Cousins – The Horn Book #kidlit

Interview: Matt De La Peña And Christian Robinson, Creators Of ‘Last Stop On Market Street’ : NPR #kidlit

The Nature and Nurture of Genius | Brain Pickings #kidlit

Q & A with Pam Muñoz Ryan #kidlit

Small But Mighty Presses Prevail at ALA Awards #kidlit

Ten Books for Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Gigi McAllister | Nerdy Book Club #kidlit

Trust the Process! – EarlyWord: The Publisher | Librarian Connection #kidlit

Watch. Connect. Read.: Newbery Honor Author Cece Bell #kidlit

Why everyone should read this graphic memoir – The Washington Post #kidlit

Why Slowing Down Stimuli to Real Time Helps a Child’s Brain | MindShift


Attendance skyrockets at an innovative library in the Netherlands » MobyLives #libraries

R. David Lankes, "Awesome Librarians." – YouTube #libraries

What It's Like to Read a Good Book


Emily Lockhart: If I had a crystal clear message I would put it on a billboard | The Guardian #yalit

Meg Wolitzer: Catnip For ‘A Certain Kind Of Reader’ : NPR #yalit

Here are the 20 books on the longlist for The Carnegie Medal, a British award for exceptional writing for youth.  The shortlist will be announced on March 17.Apple and Rain Buffalo Soldier

Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

Buffalo Soldier by Tanya Landman

Close Your Pretty Eyes The Company of Ghosts

Close Your Pretty Eyes by Sally Nicholls

The Company of Ghosts by Berlie Doherty

Cuckoo Song The Fastest Boy in the World

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

The Fastest Boy in the World by Elizabeth Laird

Grasshopper Jungle Hello Darkness

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Hello Darkness by Anthony McGowan

The Middle of Nowhere Monkey and Me

The Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean

Monkey and Me by David Gilman

More Than This My Brother's Shadow

More Than This by Patrick Ness

My Brother’s Shadow by Tom Avery

Picture Me Gone Scarlet Ibis

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis

Smart Tinder

Smart by Kim Slater

Tinder by Sally Gardner, illustrated by David Roberts

Trouble Us Minus Mum

Trouble by Non Pratt

Us Minus Mum by Heather Butler

When Mr. Dog Bites The Year of the Rat

When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan

The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

2015 Kate Greenaway Medal Longlist

Here are the 20 longlisted titles for the 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal, a British award for best illustration.  The shortlist will be announced on March 17.

Dark Satanic Mills Fortunately, the Milk Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Goth Girl, #1)

Dark Satanic Mills by Marcus and Julian Sedgwick, illustrated by John Higgins and Marc Olivent

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

The Great War: An Anthology Inspired by Objects from the First World War Hermelin: The Detective Mouse

The Great War: An Anthology of Stories Inspired by Objects from the First World War by various authors, illustrated by Jim Kay

Hermelin: the Detective Mouse by Mini Grey

Jim's Lion Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

Jim’s Lion by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Alexis Deacon

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

17165875 On Sudden Hill

Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner

On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah, illustrated by Benji Davies

The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Promise

The Pilot and the Little Prince by Peter Sis

The Promise by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin

Rules of Summer Shackleton's Journey

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill

Shh! We Have a Plan Smelly Louie

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

Smelly Louise by Catherine Rayner

The Something Tinder Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes

The Something by Rebecca Cobb

Tinder by Sally Gardner, illustrated by David Roberts

Tiny: the Invisible World of Microbes by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton

Wayland What If...?

Wayland by Tony Mitton, illustrated by John Lawrence

What If…? by Anthony Browne

Notable seal image

The Association for Library Service to Children have announced their list of the 2015 Notable Children’s Books.  The books are selected by committee and are defined as “Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.”

The list covers preschool through grade 8.  Lots of great reads!

The Terrible Two – The Movie

terrible two

Universal has optioned the film rights for The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John.  The two authors will adapt the screenplay for the film, which is wonderful news!  The book is the first in a four-book series.  You can see my review of it here.

The 2015 Amelia Bloomer Project List has been announced.  It is part of the Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association’s Social Responsibility Round Table.  There are over 40 titles on the main list and then the list also has a Top Ten.  Here are the titles in the Top Ten:

Because I Am a Girl 18854750

Because I Am a Girl: I Can Change the World by Rosemary McCarney

Every Day Is Malala Day by Rosemary McCarney

Hidden I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Hidden by Donna Jo Napoli

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal My Notorious Life

Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson

My Notorious Life by Kate Manning

A Pair of Twins Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space

A Pair of Twins by Kavitha Mandana, illustrated by Nayantara Surendranath

Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr

Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country

Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince

A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country by Ilene Cooper, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley


Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen

Sarah’s family moves all of the time, away from the cold that her mother despises.  But when her mother walks out one day, Sarah’s father falls apart.  He barely eats and never grocery shops.  It all falls to Sarah to keep them both alive.  Her father seems to be becoming less human by the day, descending into an animal with scruffy hair and yellowed teeth.  Unable to care for Sarah, he takes her to her grandparents’ home, grandparents she had been told were dead.  Left in a moldering castle in a deep woods, Sarah begins to figure out the deep curse that keeps her entire family prisoner.  Her grandmother treats her coldly, putting her to work in the gardens.  Her grandfather is trapped in a cage, fully transformed into a beast yet still able to speak to Sarah at times.  Sarah doesn’t believe in the magic at work at first but soon is forced to admit that something is happening as she witnesses it for herself.  Yet there are twists to the curse that bind her to witches, boys in the wood, and the beasts of her family, including the beast inside herself.

Hellisen beautifully converts the story of Beauty and the Beast into something quite different and extraordinary.  Her writing is as lush as the forest itself and she weaves amazing descriptions onto the pages that bring the entire book to life.  She uses this technique for both characters and the setting.  Here is her description of the castle when Sarah first sees it on page 48:

It was a single squat turret, like a jabbing finger or a lone tooth, made of mottled stone, dribbled and spattered with lichen in yellows and reds.  Furry clumps of moss clung velvety and green at the base.  Ivy grew wild, so thick in some places it distorted the shape of the tower, and sprays of leaves crowned with little blue-black berries rose over the low walls around the outskirts.  Tumbled boulders marked the faint outlines of rooms that had long since fallen.

Talk about showing and not telling!  She is a master at that, creating mood with details that linger in your mind.  This castle is no fairy tale one, or is it?

Hellisen does not set her protagonist on a simple quest either.  Sarah slowly reveals the twists and turns of the curse, binding herself closer and closer to disaster with each revelation.  Disaster waits on the other side of each breath and at times it seems to have already won.  Sarah though is up to the challenge, willing to sacrifice herself to try to prevent the curse from continuing onward in her family. 

This is a gorgeously written tale of love, betrayal, revenge and family.  Fans of retellings of classic fairy tales will find so much to adore in this fantasy novel.  Appropriate for ages 12-15.

Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt & Co.

2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults

The 2015 list of Best Fiction for Young Adults has been announced by YALSA.  From the larger list, they select a Top Ten:

The Carnival at Bray The Crossover The Gospel of Winter

The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely

I'll Give You the Sun Jackaby Noggin

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Jackaby by William Ritter

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

The Story of Owen (Dragon Slayer of Trondheim, #1) Vango: Between Sky and Earth

The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E. K. Johnston

Vango by Timothee de Fombelle

We Were Liars The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

The Young Elites by Marie Lu


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