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Book Hooks

SLJ reviewers suggest their favorite titles for booktalking, complete with grade level recommendation and a quick "booktalk hook." Guaranteed to make these titles fly off library shelves! #sljbookhook
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Strike Three You're Dead by Josh Berk. Grades 5-8 How many of you are Phils fans? How cool would it be to sit in the announcer's booth and broadcast a game? Lenny gets just that chance, but things take a turn when the Phillies' new hotshot rookie pitcher drops dead on the mound! The official cause of death is a heart attack, but Lenny's sure there's more to it. Can he and his two best friends figure out what really happened?—Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, PA #sljbookhook

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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black Gr 9&up Waking in a bathtub after a party, Tana discovers that she survived a mass murder. In the nick of time with a toothy nick to her leg, Tana escapes and frees two prisoners: her ex and a vampire. Now the trio of “infected” humans and mysterious vampire must head to a Coldtown, a quarantined zone of lawless vampires and the humans that loathe and love them.—Adrienne L. Strock, Chicago Public Library #sljbookhook

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Gr 9&Up Cath is famous on the Internet for her stories inspired by beloved children's series, Simon Snow (think Harry Potter). She's got thousands of adoring fans online, but it's time to face the real world: she's off to college and she's not sure she's up for the challenge. It's hysterical, endearing, and you won't want it to end.—Alison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA #sljbookhook

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Pick of the Day: Fangirl

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Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis. Gr 3-6 Timmy may think he's the operator of the best detective agency around, but if it wasn't for his sidekick—a 1,500-pound polar bear—he wouldn't get anything done right.—Marie Drucker, Malverne Public Library, NY #sljbookhook

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Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo Gr 4-6 What do you suppose happens when a squirrel gets sucked into a vacuum cleaner? He gets super powers, of course! Then he becomes best friends with Flora, the girl who rescued him. But will his newfound abilities be enough to save him from his arch-nemesis (who also happens to be Flora's mother)?—Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, PA #sljbookhook

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The Girl and the Squirrel: Kid Lit Author Kate DiCamillo on ‘Flora & Ulysses’

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One Came Home by Amy Timberlake Gr 5-7 Georgie is sure her older sister Agatha has run away with a group of people following the passenger pigeon migration. And though no one else believes her, Georgie is determined to find Agatha even if it means traveling the Wisconsin frontier of the 1870s by herself. Good thing 13-year-old Georgie is an expert with a shotgun.—Marie Drucker, Malverne Public Library, NY #sljbookhook

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Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George. Gr 4-6 Princess Celie lives in a magical castle that changes every Tuesday, adding new rooms for guests or a new tower or even a new wing! Celie is trying to compile an atlas of the castle, which comes in handy when her parents are missing, enemies threaten, and the castle's secrets may save the day.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI #sljbookhook

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Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett Gr K to 2 Getting a great book for your birthday can be awesome! Funny animals, brave battle scenes, heroic quests? Yes! But when Alex gets a boring book from a well-meaning aunt, he is not going to put up with it. Using his great imagination and a small pencil, Alex rewrites the story...and this book will never be the same.—Natasha Forrester, Capitol Hill Library, OR #sljbookhook

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Jinx by Sage Blackwood Gr 4-7 Young Jinx is an orphan with a curse. But he also has a gift: He can tap into the ancient magic of nature and life itself and discover their mysterious secrets. This will come in handy when he must help save not only other children with curses but also his wizard teacher.—Marie Drucker, Malverne Public Library, NY #sljbookhook

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Pick of the Day: Jinx

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The Vengekeep Prophecies by Brian Farrey. Gr 4-7 Jaxter Grimjinx was born into a family of thieves, but he's so clumsy that his first big robbery lands his whole family in jail. The Grimjinxes are released when a prophecy woven into a tapestry predicts that they will save the city of Vengekeep from a variety of disasters. Can Jaxter and his friend Callie save their home city from a magic tapestry gone wrong?—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI #sljbookhook

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Review of the Day: The Vengekeep Prophecies by Brian Farrey — @fuseeight A Fuse #8 Production

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