This Week’s Tweets

Here are some cool links from my Twitter feed this week:

CHILDREN’S LIT

13 new titles for emergent readers.

2019 Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery Suggestions to Date – March to August

Enchanting offerings for your fairy-tale fans

Writing and Illustrating Muslim Characters in Children’s Literature – https://t.co/HGIMtJsH7E

LIBRARIES

The Crack Squad of Librarians Who Track Down Half-Forgotten Books

LGBTQ Displays not allowed in any Washington County Libraries, says Library Director

Need accessories for a formal event like a job interview, wedding, audition, or graduation? ‘s new NYPL Grow Up program can help! – https://t.co/xsGfZ0WSHm

Not Just Teachers, School Librarians Spend Their Own Money on Supplies

Review: Pass Go and Collect $200 by Tanya Lee Stone

Pass Go and Collect 200 by Tanya Lee Stone

Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Steven Salerno (9781627791687)

Explore the story of how the popular board game Monopoly was invented in this nonfiction picture book. Lizzie Magie was a talented woman, someone who was very concerned with fairness in the late 1800s. During that time, wealthy people bought up property in cities and charged high rents for them. Maggie invented the Landlord’s Game, an early version of what would become Monopoly, with two ways to play. One was buying up and owning lots of land and the other was working together and demonstrating how fairness worked better. The game was complicated but popular with different versions being created across the country. When Charles Darrow, a man down on his luck during the Great Depression, was introduced to the game, he worked to improve it. Then he started selling it rather than sharing it the way it had been done. Soon Parker Brothers was interested in selling it. But what of Lizzie?

Stone tells the poignant story of a woman with a real concern for society and the way it was headed. She created a complex game, shared it with others and was taken advantage of by the system that she was working against. Paid a nominal fee to give up her claim to the game, Darrow went on to become a millionaire in contrast. Make sure to read the author’s note at the end that shows how this book was originally about Darrow until Lizzie’s story emerged.

The illustrations have a wonderful vintage quality to them, suiting the period of setting of the book. It is very interesting to see close ups of the different boards of the Landlord’s Game and eventually the very familiar Monopoly board. Even those who don’t enjoy Monopoly, like me, will be fascinated by the complex tale behind the game.

A very intriguing tale that is a mix of women’s rights, ingenuity and economics. Appropriate for ages 8-12.

Reviewed from library copy.

Teen’s Top Ten Voting Open

teens' top ten

The nominees for the Teen’s Top Ten have been announced by YALSA. Voting is open today through Teen Read Week, October 7-13. Here are the nominees:

All Rights Reserved (Word$, #1) The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles, #1)

All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

Book of Lies Caraval (Caraval, #1)

Book of Lies by Teri Terry

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1) The Disappearances

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

How to Make a Wish I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life Invictus

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1) Long Way Down

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows #1) Moxie

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Once and for All One of Us Is Lying

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Paper Hearts (The Heartbreaker Chronicles, #2) Remember Me Always

Paper Hearts by Ali Novak

Remember Me Always by Renee Collins

Rosemarked (Rosemarked #1) Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Turtles All the Way Down Warcross (Warcross, #1)

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Warcross by Marie Lu

Waste of Space Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

Waste of Space by Gina Damico

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Words in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

 

Or watch the video:

Review: What Do They Do with All That Poo? By Jane Kurtz

What Do They Do with All That Poo By Jane Kurtz

What Do They Do with All That Poo? By Jane Kurtz, illustrated by Allison Black (9781481479868)

Anyone working with children and books knows that the rather naughty subjects of poop, peeing and farting are some of the most popular. In this book, science is mixed in as well, showing what zoos do with all of the animal poop they have. First the book explains what poo is, then moves into showing different types of animal poop like giraffe, panda, hippo and elephant. The book then goes on to explain that most of the poop heads to landfills after being loaded into trucks. Some poop goes to labs for scientists to examine. Some is made into compost for gardens. And interestingly, sometimes paper is made from elephant poo!

Kurtz explains in a matter-of-fact way the various animals and how they poo and then handle their poop. The hippo splattering its poop around is gross but interesting, something that basically sums up this book. Kurtz doesn’t shy away from the grosser parts, but also keeps her focus on facts and science in the book. The illustrations are bright and friendly, despite all of the poop on the pages. Animals are shown in their zoo habitats and then their poop is also shown with them.

An interesting and scientific look at poos in zoos. Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy provided by Beach Lane Books.

 

Review: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

We Don_t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins (9781368003551)

Penelope Rex is starting school. As a dinosaur, she was very surprised when her classmates turned out to children! Delicious children! Immediately, Penelope ate all of the children. She did spit them out when her teacher told her to though, but it was not a good start to the school year. Penelope noticed that the other children were make friends with one another but not with her. Her father offered the advice that children and dinosaurs are just the same on the inside, but Penelope could still not control her eating. It wasn’t until Walter, the class goldfish, took a bite of Penelope that she realized what it was like to be someone’s snack. Penelope got a lot better after that, though barbecue sauce incidents were still far too tempting to pass up.

Higgins, the author of the Mother Bruce series, has brought his signature humor to new characters in this picture book. The text moves along briskly with splashes of humor, saliva and sauce adding to the zing. The illustrations will work well with a group. They show a class of human children who are very diverse too. Penelope is a dinosaur who is charming, if at times a little chompy. Readers will adore her and her attempts to fix what she has done and make new friends.

A great pick for a new school year. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from ARC provided by Disney Hyperion.

Review: Illegal by Eoin Colfer

Illegal by Eoin Colfer

Illegal by Eoin Colfer (9781492662143)

An honest and profound look at the refugee crisis through the eyes of one young boy, this graphic novel is heartbreaking. Ebo has been left alone by his older brother who is following his older sister to Europe. But Ebo refuses to be left behind, managing to get a ride on a bus to a nearby city. There he must find his brother, something he manages to do only by luck. Together, they work hard labor to get enough money to cross the Sahara Desert to Tripoli. The journey is hazardous and many people die. But the most dangerous part of it lies ahead as they board a small boat to cross the sea to Europe, placing their dreams in the hands of men who lie and cheat for profit.

Colfer works with the same team that created the Artemis Fowl graphic novel series, but this time on a much more harrowing story of humanity and resilience. Colfer does not shy away from depicting the hazards and risks of the journey, including deaths along the way. There is an unrelenting pressure throughout the novel to move forward, make enough money to leave, and then do it all again at the next point. It is daunting, frightening and shows the spirit of the people who are willing to risk their lives for freedom.

This graphic novel puts a face on the refugee crisis. Ebo is a young boy with a singing voice that can soothe babies and make money. His face is that of an angel as well, his eyes shining bright with hope and at times dimmed with illness or grief. Throughout the story, characters come and go as they enter Ebo’s journey along with him. Readers will hope for Ebo to survive but can only watch helplessly.

Smartly written, deftly drawn and plotted to perfection, this graphic novel is a powerhouse. Appropriate for ages 12-14.

Reviewed from ARC provided by Sourcebooks.

Review: Vernon Is on His Way by Philip C. Stead

Vernon Is on His Way by Philip C. Stead

Vernon Is on His Way: Small Stories by Philip C. Stead (9781626726550)

Vernon has returned for a second book following A Home for Bird, along with his friends Skunk and Porcupine. In three short stories, readers get to delight in even more time with these characters. The first story is told almost entirely in images since it’s about waiting. Vernon waits and waits until he suddenly realizes that he’s under way already! In the second story, the three of them head out to go fishing. Porcupine though worries that he is ruining the trip for everyone because he’s never been fishing before. As the story goes on it becomes apparent that none of them know what fishing trips actually are, but their version is a huge success for all of them anyway. In the last story, Vernon creates a special garden for himself filled with things he loves and that remind him of Bird. Porcupine and Skunk want to help Vernon feel better about missing Bird, but they struggle to find the right thing to bring him. Along the way they accidentally find exactly what he needs.

As always, Stead hits just the right notes with this book. The three characters are each unique and interesting. Vernon stays as the focal point of the stories but shares the limelight particularly with the worrying Porcupine this time. These books feel like instant classics, the characters will remind readers of Pooh and Eeyore. They are characters you want to spend more time with as they head out on their small adventures together. The illustrations are classic Stead where he uses the white space on the pages very effectively to create space and sometimes longing.

Another winner from Stead that belongs in every library. Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from copy provided by Roaring Brook Press.

Review: A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker

A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker

A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker (9780763665968)

A wordless picture book, this tells the story of a girl’s first summer without her beloved dog at her side. As the family heads off on their camping trip, she finds herself on the lake shore alone. She starts skipping stones and as one sinks, the story turns to one of a crashing meteor and dinosaurs. From that meteor comes a rock that moves through time, starting as a large rough chunk of stone and becoming smaller and smaller as it is redesigned. It is the heart of a large statue, the keystone in an arch for a bridge, an elaborate treasure box, and then it sinks beneath the waves when a ship goes down. It is still there until the girl finds it, yellow and bright in her hand, timelessness and connection in a single stone.

This picture book shines with its strong message about the passage of time, the deep feeling of loss and the resilience to recover. It is a book filled with beauty, one that really comes alive with the turning of time deep into the past. That twist at its center is brave, surprising and is what really makes the book ring so true. As always with Becker, the art is exceptional. He captures emotions so clearly on the page and imbues his images with wonder.

An exceptional read by a master storyteller. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: Someone New by Anne Sibley O’Brien

Someone New by Anne Sibley O_Brien

Someone New by Anne Sibley O’Brien (9781580898317)

There are three new children in classes. Maria is from Guatemala and can’t speak English, so she stays quiet all the time. Jin is from Korea, he loves stories but can’t read or write enough English yet to share. Fatima is from Somalia; she dresses differently than the others in the class. The children in the different classes want to reach out, but they don’t know how. As time goes by, the children learn more English. Soon Maria is playing soccer with everyone. Jin starts to share his stories and also how to write in Korean. Fatimah connects through pictures she draws and shares. Maybe making friends isn’t so hard?

The author focuses on what all children whether new and learning or already comfortable in the class can do to bridge the divide when someone who is learning English joins them. The book follows her previous one, I’m New Here. With very simple text, the book is accessible for learning readers and offers clear ways to make connections with one another that don’t involve words. The illustrations show the isolation of the new children and the dismay of the others at not being able to be as welcoming as they’d like to be. Even in the early illustrations though, the distance is bridgeable and children will be able to see clearly the hope depicted.

An important book for all communities that celebrates immigrants entering communities and schools. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy provided by Charlesbridge.