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star    It’s that time of year. No, not Halloween or Thanksgiving. It’s time for the book review journals to announce the best children’s books of the year for 2014.

These are the first to announce.

Looks like it’s going to be an exciting awards year.

The movie based on the young adult book The Maze Runner by James Dashner comes to theaters on September 19.

maze runnerThe Maze Runner by James Dashner  Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.
Delacorte Press, 2009
Grade 7+
2011 ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Fiction
VOYA 2009 Best Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

 

Here’s some free teaching resources to get book discussions started.

The movie based on the young adult book If I Stay by Gayle Forman comes to theaters on August 22. When you head back to school, you might want to add this exceptional book on this year’s reading list.

Here’s some free teaching resources to get book discussions started.

 

If I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.
Dutton Books, 2009
Grade 9+

 

 

New BooksThese are the latest books for children and teens as of August that have received three or more starred reviews in professional journals.

You can find all of the starred books for the current year on my Pinterest board – 2014 Best Books/Children/Teens.

 

 

 

 

 

Blue on BlueBlue on Blue by Dianne White
Illustrated by Beth Krommes
Discover the joys of a wild rainstorm in this poetic picture book.
S&S/Beach    PreS-Gr. 1     Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

Brown Girl DreamingBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
In vivid poems, the author shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
Penguin/Paulsen   Gr. 4-7   Autobiography/Poetry
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

Bow-Wow's Nightmare NeighborsBow-Wow’s Nightmare Neighbors by Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash
As Bow-Wow naps, his neighbors creep in and steal his cozy green bed. When the expressive pup tries to get it back, colorful chaos ensues as the house next door might not be exactly what he thought.
Roaring Brook/Porter    Gr. K-4    Wordless Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

DrawDraw! by Raúl Colón
Based on his own childhood, beloved and award-winning artist Raúl Colón’s wordless book is about the limitless nature of creativity and imagination.
S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks    PreS-Gr.3    Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Elizabeth, Queen of the SeasElizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox
Illustrated by Brian Floca
Tells the inspiring story of an elephant seal who knew exactly where she belonged.
Random/Schwartz & Wade    PreS-Gr. 4    Nonfiction Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

Family RomanovFamily Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia, The by Candace Fleming
Offers a portrait of the lives of the Romanovs and the plight of Russia’s peasants.
Random/Schwartz & Wade    Gr. 9+    Biography
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Horn Book, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Fly AwayFly Away by Patricia MacLachlan
While in North Dakota helping her Aunt Frankie prepare for a possible flood, Lucy finds her voice as a poet with the help of her two-year-old brother Teddy, the rest of their family, and a few cows.
S&S   Gr. 3-6    Fiction
Starred Reviews from Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

Frida  Diego Art, Love, LifeFrida & Diego: Art, Love, Life by Catherine Reef
Tells the story of the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
Clarion      Gr. 7+     Nonfiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Girls Like UsGirls Like Us by Gail Giles
Graduating from their school’s special education program, Quincy and Biddy are placed together in their first independent apartment and discover unexpected things they have in common in the face of past challenges and a harrowing trauma.
Candlewick         Gr. 8-12     Fiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

Hermelin the detective mouseHermelin the Detective Mouse by Mini Grey
A mouse with typewriting skills secretly helps the people of Offley Street find lost items, and eventually saves the day.
Knopf   PreS-Gr. 3   Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus

 

 

 

Jim CuriousJim Curious: A Voyage to the Heart of the Sea in 3-D Vision by Matthias Picard – Presents a three-dimensional story about a young boy named Jim Curious who makes a thrilling trip to the bottom of ocean all by himself .        Abrams      Gr. K-3    Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Lion and the Bird, TheLion and the Bird, The by Marianne Dubuc, trans. from the French by Claudia Z. Bedrick
A lion finds a wounded bird in his garden and decides to care for it through the winter. When spring arrives, the bird’s flock returns. The bird goes off with its flock. Lion is sad. But autumn brings a wonderful surprise.
Enchanted Lion      PreS-Gr. 3     Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Publishers Weekly

 

 

Little Melba and Her Big TromboneLittle Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown
Illustrated by Frank Morrison
A picture-book biography of Melba Liston, child prodigy and virtuoso trombonist who collaborated with most 20th century jazz greats.
Lee & Low    Gr. 2-5     Picture Book Biography
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

mix it upMix It Up! by Hervé Tullet
Follow the artist’s simple instructions, and suddenly colors appear, mix, splatter, and vanish in a world powered only by the reader’s imagination.
Chronicle    PreS-Gr. 1     Informational Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not)My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not) by Peter BrownBobby thinks his teacher, Ms. Kirby, is horrible, but when he sees her outside of school and they spend a day in the park together, he discovers she might not be so bad after all.
Little, Brown       PreS-Gr. 2     Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

Nuts to YouNuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins
Two squirrels go very far indeed to save a friend who has been snatched up by a hawk.
Greenwillow       Gr. 3-6     Fiction/Fantasy
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

otherboundOtherbound by Corinne Duyvis
A seventeen-year-old boy finds that every time he closes his eyes, he is drawn into the body of a mute servant girl from another world–a world that is growing increasingly more dangerous, and where many things are not as they seem.
Abrams/Amulet    Gr. 9+    Fiction
Starred Reviews from Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

Pilot and the Little PrincePilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery by Peter Sis
Text and illustrations look at the life of French aviator and writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
FSG     Gr. 1-5       Picture Book Biography
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Kirkus, School Library Journal

 

 

 

QuestQuest by Aaron Becker
A king emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness.
Candlewick    K-Gr. 3     Wordless Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

Rain ReignRain Reign by Ann M. Martin
Rose, a fifth-grader who has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, is often teased at school about her obsession with homonyms and her steadfast conviction that everyone should follow the rules at all times.
Feiwel and Friends        Gr. 4-6       Fiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, School Library Journal

 

 

RevolutionRevolution (Sixties Trilogy) by Deborah Wiles
It’s 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Sunny’s town is being invaded by people from up north who are coming to help people register to vote. Her personal life isn’t much better, as a new stepmother, brother, and sister are crowding into her life, giving her little room to breathe.
Scholastic     Gr. 6-9    Fiction/Historical Fiction
Starred Reviews from Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

Right Word, The: Roget and His ThesaurusRight Word by Jen Bryant
Illustrated. by Melissa Sweet
A picture-book biography of Peter Mark Roget.
Eerdman’s     K-Gr. 3    Picture Book/Nonfiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

SSistersisters by Raina Telgemeier
Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be.
Scholastic/Graphix    Gr. 5-8     Graphic Novel
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Tiny CreaturesTiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies
Illustrated by Emily Sutton
Find out how the smallest things on the planet do some of the biggest jobs in this intriguing introduction to the world of microbes.
Candlewick Press     PreS-Gr.3    Informational Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, School Library Journal

 

 

Winter Is ComingWinter Is Coming by Tony Johnston
Illustrated by Jim LaMarche
Witness the changing of a season through a watchful child’s eyes in this story of nature and discovery. S&S/Wiseman     K-Gr. 3     Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

sun-flower-111706_150Sorry to be gone for so long. More stuff going on…surgeries, vacations, major appliance failures and storms.

Not to worry. I’ll be back next week with the latest books for children and teens that have received multiple positive reviews.

I’ll be uploading the new titles to Pinterest first, so check the 2014 Best Books for Children and Teens board about mid-week.

StickyI haven’t posted for a while…just lots of things going on.
So today I decided to post info about the latest books for children and teens that have received three or more starred reviews in professional journals.

Find all of the starred books on my Pinterest board – 2014 Best Books/Children/Teens.

Teaching resources, if available, have also been added.

 

 

Absolutely AlmostAbsolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, best at gym, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself.
Philomel Gr. 4-6 Fiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

All Different NowAll Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
In 1865, members of a family start their day as slaves, working in a Texas cotton field, and end it celebrating their freedom on what came to be known as Juneteenth.
Simon & Schuster Gr. 1-4 Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

Baby Tree, TheThe Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall
After learning that his parents are expecting a baby, a young boy asks several people where babies come from and gets a different answer from each before his parents have a chance to give the right answer. Penguin/Paulsen PreS-Gr. 3 Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Horn Book, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

boundlessThe Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
Aboard “The Boundless,” the greatest train ever built, on its maiden voyage across Canada, teenaged Will enlists the aid of a traveling circus to save the train from villains.
Simon & Schuster Gr. 4-7 Fiction
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

children of the kingThe Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
Cecily and Jeremy have been sent to live with their uncle Peregrine in the English countryside, safe from the war, along with a young refugee named May. But when Cecily and May find two mysterious boys hiding in the ruins of a nearby castle, an extraordinary adventure begins.
Candlewick Gr. 5-8 Fiction/Historical Fiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Horn Book, Kirkus
Teaching Resource:
Activities New South Wales Government Education Department

 

 

ComplicitComplicit by Stephanie Kuehn
Jamie’s mother was murdered when he was six, about seven years later his sister Cate was incarcerated for burning down a neighbor’s barn, and now Jamie, fifteen, learns that Cate has been released and is coming back for him, blaming him for all the bad things that led to her arrest.
St. Martin’s/Griffin Gr. 9-12 Fiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

Cracks in the KingdomThe Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty
Hoping to bring back her father and the other missing royals of Cello, Princess Ko gathers a group of teens, each with a special ability, including Elliot, whose forbidden communications with Madeleine may be the key to traveling across worlds.
Scholastic Gr. 7+ Fiction/Fantasy
Starred Reviews from Horn Book, Kirkus, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Eye to EyeEye to Eye: How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins
Explains how for most animals, eyes are the most important source of information about the world in a biological sense.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Gr. 1-5 Informational Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Following Papa's SongFollowing Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino
Little Blue, a young humpback whale, has never made the long migration up the coast, and he is worried about his first long journey with Papa.
Viking PreS-Gr. 1 Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

GravityGravity by Jason Chin
Explains the fundamentals of gravity.
Roaring Brook PreS-Gr. 4 Informational Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Hidden Like Anne FrankHidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival by Marcel Prins & Peter Henk Steenhuis, translated by Laura Watkinson
A collection of fourteen first-person accounts that share what it was like to go into hiding during World War II.
Arthur A. Levine Gr. 7+ Nonfiction/Memoir
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

 

How I Discovered PoetryHow I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson
Illustrated by Hadley Hooper
Tells the story of Marilyn Nelson as an artist and young woman through fifty eye-opening poems.
Dial Gr. 5+ Nonfiction/Memoir/Poetry
Starred Reviews from Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Horn Book, Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

last foreverThe Last Forever by Deb Caletti
After her mother’s death, it’s all Tessa can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. Even the rare plant her mother entrusted to her care starts to wilt. Then she meets Henry. Though secrets stand between them, each has a chance at healing…if first, Tessa can find the courage to believe in forever.
Simon & Schuster Gr. 9+ Fiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

Migrant: The Journey of a Mexican WorkerMigrant by José Manuel Matteo, translated from the Spanish by Emmy Smith Ready
Illustrated by Javier Martínez Pedro
A young Mexican boy tells how he, his mother, and his sister travel across the border to search for his father and for work in Los Angeles.
Abrams Gr. 3-6 Moveable Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly

 

 

Number One SamNumber One Sam by Greg Pizzoli
A competitive race-car driving dog learns that some things are more important than being number one.
Disney-Hyperion PreS-Gr.2 Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

 

Rules of SummerRules of Summer by Shaun Tan
Two boys explain the occasionally mysterious “rules” they learned over the summer, like never eat the last olive at a party, never ruin a perfect plan, and never give your keys to a stranger.
Scholastic All ages Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful LifeScraps Book by Lois Ehlert
A memoir of the life of children’s book illustrator and author Lois Ehlert, discussing her childhood, and her career.
S&S/Beach Lane Gr. 2-5 Picture Book/Memoir
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Horn Book, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Seven wild sistersSeven Wild Sisters: A Modern Fairy Tale by Charles de Lint
Illustrated by Charles Vess
Sarah Jane Dillard discovers and helps an injured ‘sangman fairy in the Tanglewood Forest, putting herself, her six sisters, and friends Aunt Lillian and the Apple Tree Man in the middle of a fairy feud.
Little, Brown Gr. 3-7 Fiction
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Shoe DogShoe Dog by Megan McDonald
Illustrated by Katherine Tillotson
In order to stay in the warm and cozy home he has longed for, Shoe Dog must learn to stop chewing shoes.
Atheneum PreS-Gr. 2 Picture Book
Starred Reviews from Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

 

Story of OwenStory of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E. K. Johnston
In an alternate world where industrialization has caused many species of carbon-eating dragons to thrive, Owen, a slayer being trained by his famous father and aunt, and Siobahn, his bard, face a dragon infestation near their small town in Canada.
Carolrhoda Gr. 8+ Fiction/Fantasy
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

This One SummerThis One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
The story of two young friends, Rose and Windy who deal with growing up, impending teendom, and family struggles.
First Second Gr. 7+ Graphic Novel
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, TheThe Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer
When a sleazy reality television show takes over Ethan’s arts academy, he and his friends concoct an artsy plan to take it down.
Knopf   Gr. 7+   Fiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Kirkus

 

 

 

 

Volcano Beneath the SnowVolcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery by Albert Marrin
Looks at the events and controversy surrounding John Brown’s role in the banishment of slavery and his ongoing inspiration for current events.
Knopf Gr. 7+ Nonfiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal
Teaching Resource:
Educator Guide Random House

 

 

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars  by E. Lockhart
Spending the summers on her family’s private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer.
Delacorte Gr. 7+ Fiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal
Teaching Resource:
Book Website

 

 

West of the MoonWest of the Moon by Margi Preus
In nineteenth-century Norway, fourteen-year-old Astri, whose aunt has sold her to a mean goatherder, dreams of joining her father in America.
Abrams/Amulet Gr. 6-8 Fiction/Historical Fiction
Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

 

 

 

The Winner’s CurseWinner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
An aristocratic girl who is a member of a warmongering and enslaving empire purchases a slave, an act that sets in motion a rebellion that might overthrow her world as well as her heart.
FSG Gr. 9+ Fiction/Fantasy
Starred Reviews from Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly
Teaching Resource:
Book Trailer Author’s Website

 

Divergent Is Coming

Divergent

Many of the latest book-to-movie adaptations are coming from books written for young adults. The film adaptation of Divergent by Veronica Roth starts tomorrow, and I will be in the ticket line for sure.

I thought I would list some links to free teaching resources for this title in case you’re using the book in your classroom or book club.

DivergentDivergent by Veronica Roth
Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. (Annotation source: Library of Congress)

Teaching Resources

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Video Resources

Video Interview  with the author about the book. YouTube

Book Trailer

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Movie Trailer