Thursday, January 31, 2019

Sweep: The Story of Girl and Her Monster - an audiobook review

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
By Jonathan Auxier
Read by Sarah Coomes
Brilliance Audio, 2018
8 hours, 14 minutes

Enter the world of Nan Sparrow, an indentured child laborer in the soot-filled chimneys of Victorian London.

Coomes's voice and Auxier's prose combine to create an immersive experience. 

 Read my complete review of Sweep for AudioFile Magazine and hear a sample of the book here.

Sweep swept the journals, receiving starred reviews in Horn Book, SLJ, PW, Booklist, Kirkus, and School Library Connection

In addition to AudioFile Magazine's Earphones Award for "truly exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text," Sweep recently won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Older Readers category. award honors "outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience."

This Publishers Weekly article has a #booktalk for Sweep by the author, Jonathan Auxier.

My copy of Sweep was provided by AudioFile Magazine.

Monday, January 28, 2019

ALA Youth Media Awards are today!

Today's the big day!  Be sure to tune in at 11:00 am EST to watch the announcements for the ALA Youth Media Awards!

Here's the link to the live webcast:  or follow #ALAyma on social media platforms for live updates.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Struttin' with Some Barbecue - a review

Struttin' with Some Barbecue: Lil Hardin Armstrong becomes the First Lady of Jazz 
by Patricia Hruby Powell
Illustrated by Rachel Himes 
Charlesbridge, 2018

Almost everyone has heard of jazz trumpet player Louis Armstrong, but what of his wife, Lil Hardin? In this illustrated,  novel-in-verse, Patricia Hruby Powell introduces us to the the talented piano player and composer, Lil Hardin. She was Louis Armstrong's wife, his early manager, and the composer of several famous jazz hits of the day, including "Struttin' with Some Barbecue." With or without her famous husband, Lil Hardin was destined to be a star.

Short chapters in chronological order start with Liz's upbringing with her strict mother—a staunch foe of "race music," as jazz was called at the time.  However, Liz's talent, drive, and ability to make money, finally won over her disapproving mother.  Lil began dating the shy Louis Armstrong in 1922. Together they played music, married, and rose to the top,

Lil and Louis
were struttin' high on the hog
right there in Chicago,
up from the South,
raw and raucous
rompin', rollickin'

Dang, they were musical royalty—
a new kind of sound—
After reading Struttin' with Some Barbecue, you won't be able to look up a recording of Lil's music fast enough.  I've saved you the trouble.  Listen to "Struttin' with Some Barbecue" below.

In addition to a glossary, bibliography, index, etc., back matter includes additional information on Lil, jazz, and racial conditions of the era.

My copy of Struttin' with Some Barbecue was provided by the publisher.

See more posts at Nonfiction Monday

Monday, January 7, 2019

CYBILS Awards Elementary/Middle-Grade Nonfiction

I hope your new year is off to a great start!  I can't comment on any of these books while we are judging them, but below is a slide show of the 2018 CYBILS Awards finalists in the Elementary/Middle-Grade Nonfiction category.  I'm reading as fast as I can.
Winners will be announced on February 14, 2019.

If you have trouble viewing the slideshow, you can find it on Riffle

Beneath the Waves - a review

As we read disturbing news accounts of dying manatees , environmental disasters caused by toxic waste, and ocean pollution on the scale of ...