Children’s Literature

Nine Read-alikes for To Kill a Mockingbird

Nine Read-alikes for To Kill a Mockingbird

With July just around the corner—well, maybe a corner and then another corner—the publishing date of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman is drawing closer. As Bill Ott wrote in the Booklist Reader back in February, news that was initially greeted with giddy anticipation took a darker turn when questions began to arise about the manuscript’s […]

Take a Bite Out of Crime with Spencer Quinn’s Woof

Take a Bite Out of Crime with Spencer Quinn’s Woof

Lynn:  You’ve heard of hard-bitten detectives, but how about a detective that bites? Meet Bowser, one member of a detective partnership featured in Spencer Quinn’s new series opener Woof (2015). Bowser is the canine birthday gift that 11-year-old Birdie picks out from the pound and takes home. A bit dim and distractible, but lovable, loyal, and […]

Hard-Boiled Crime, Picture Book Style

Hard-Boiled Crime, Picture Book Style

Lynn: What REALLY happened to Humpty Dumpty? His brother, Joe Dumpty, thinks he was pushed off that wall! I am sad to say that we missed What Really Happened to Humpty? (2009) by Jeanie Franz Ransom when it first came out. But after reading a new case report this spring, we scrambled to read the original. […]

Publishing U: How to Ace School Visits

Publishing U: How to Ace School Visits

Make an Impression with Young Audiences by Optimizing for the Q&A Our readers are often curious about the process of writing and publishing books, and we’re happy to provide access to the experts. In this entry in our Publishing U series, author of middle-grade novels Kate Milford offers tips on connecting with young audiences and getting discussions rolling during […]

The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Lynn:  “There are all kinds of wars,” 10-year-old Ada confides at the start of The War That Saved My Life (2015), by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. The story opens in London during the summer of 1939. A war with Hitler seemed imminent but for Ada, the more dangerous war had been going on as long as […]

The 100 Best Children’s and YA Mysteries of the Past 10 Years

The 100 Best Children’s and YA Mysteries of the Past 10 Years

As we did with the 101 Best Crime Novels of the Past Decade list for adults, we have collected Booklist‘s top 100 mysteries for youth reviewed over the past decade, from 2006–2015. Given the variety across genres and age groups, there’s sure to be something for every sleuth-in-training, from junior private eyes to the most hard-boiled teen detectives. Older […]

With the Tribute Edition, Bone Finally Falls Off This Shelf of Shame

With the Tribute Edition, Bone Finally Falls Off This Shelf of Shame

Cindy: This qualifies as a Mystery Month post. The primary mystery is: Why haven’t I read Jeff Smith’ Bone before? It certainly doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce the answer. This graphic novel series is so popular in my middle school libraries that it doesn’t need my promotion and it’s hard getting a copy wrenched from the […]

A Few Words Go a Long Way in These Picture Books

A Few Words Go a Long Way in These Picture Books

Lynn: Sometimes a few words go a long way. This is especially true in these new picture books where the author/illustrators use just a few simple words of text to tell the story along with their terrific, expressive illustrations. Don’t imagine this choice limits the stories though, because these are a real delight to read with […]

Girl Scientists in Middle-Grade Fiction

Girl Scientists in Middle-Grade Fiction

Middle-grade literature is full of great girl scientists with inquisitive minds. Their relentless curiosity about the world around them makes for some unforgettable stories about discovery and science, while providing important role models for women in STEM. The Case of the Missing Moonstone, by Jordan Stratford In this parallel-universe 1826, girl scientists who will grow up to be Ada Lovelace […]

This Middle-Grade Mystery Is Bad Manners, but Great Reading!

This Middle-Grade Mystery Is Bad Manners, but Great Reading!

Lynn: Turn Sherlock Holmes into a 12-year-old, blond-haired girl and Watson into a slightly chubby girl from Hong Kong, set them into a 1930’s British boarding school, and you have Robin Stevens’ debut mystery, Murder Is Bad Manners (2015). Stevens doffs her writer’s hat to both Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous mysteries and the much-loved boarding-school […]