MG – Fake News

Jackson, Tom. Fake News. Quarto Publishing, 2020. 978-0-711-25034-5. 96 p. $14.75. Grades 5-8.

“Everyone and anyone can have an opinion, but not everyone’s opinion is fully informed.” Learn about censorship, secret agendas, conspiracy theories, and the battle between the media and politicians by reading Fake News. Chapters include the Myths and Meaning, Advertising, Memes, World Wide Web, and Freedom of Speech. This book encourages students to get all the facts before forming an opinion. Each chapter ends with a section of questions the reader can use to help reflect and make sense of what they have read. After reading this book, students will have the knowledge and skills needed to become responsible users of information and be able to make informed opinions about hot topics.

THOUGHTS: An important book for any person wishing to be a more critical thinker. The information presented is relevant to today’s current events and the book will be a valuable addition to any middle school or high school library collection. This book and others can be displayed together to make a compelling collection.

070.4 Media Literacy          Jaynie Korzi, South Middleton SD

Elem. – The President of the Jungle

Rodrigues, Andre with Larissa Ribeiro, Paula Desgualdo, and Pedro Markun. The President of the Jungle. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2020. 978-1-984-81474-6. 40 p. $17.99. Grades K-3. 

Lion has always been king of the jungle, but when he abuses his power by rerouting a river to create his own private swimming pool, the other animals decide it’s time for a change. Owl suggests becoming a democracy and holding an election where each animal has the chance to become a candidate and campaign with new leadership ideas. All jungle animals have the opportunity to vote and elect a president. Everyone agrees to the idea, and Monkey, Sloth, Snake, and Lion kick off their campaigns. They make posters, speak on tv, distribute pamphlets, debate issues, and hold rallies. On election day, each animal casts a secret ballot, and the first president is elected. This accessible title introduces young readers to the democratic process using straightforward language and easily understood descriptions. A glossary of election terms on the final page includes boldfaced words from the text such as campaign, debate, democracy, government, rally, and vote. Originally published in 2018 and translated from Portuguese, the book’s vibrant illustrations were created by mixing hundreds of paper cutouts with pencil and charcoal drawings and coloring everything digitally.

THOUGHTS: This lively jungle title spotlights the basic elements of democratic elections and will be a perfect fit for elementary classrooms looking for tie-ins to the 2020 presidential election. The text is geared towards the youngest readers, and the glossary includes child-friendly political definitions.

Picture Book          Anne Bozievich, Friendship Elementary School, Southern York County SD

YA Mystery – Girl I Used to Be; Long Game


Henry, April. The Girl I Used to Be. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2016. 978-1-62779-332-2. 229 pp.  $16.99.  Gr. 7 and up.
Seventeen-year-old Ariel Benson, who now goes by Olivia Reinhart, grew up in foster care believing that her father murdered her mother and ran off, abandoning her when she was only three years old.  When authorities find a piece of her father’s jawbone, however, Olivia learns that her father was likely murdered on the same day her mother died.  Now she is back in her hometown of Medford, determined to uncover the truth behind her parents’ murders.  But will she be able to solve the mystery before the murderer realizes who the curious new girl in town is and comes after her?  THOUGHTS:  The short chapters and fast moving, suspenseful plot make this an excellent choice for reluctant readers.  Fans of mystery writers like Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham, Sara Shepard, James Patterson, and Barry Lyga will also enjoy this title.

Mystery Fiction              Julie Ritter, Montoursville Area High School



Barnes, Jennifer Lynn. The Long Game (The Fixer Bk. 2). New York: Bloomsbury, 2016. 978-61963-596-8. $17.99. 358 pp. Gr. 8-11.

Tess Kendrick is back in this sequel to The Fixer (2015).  Finally accepting her position as Ivy Kendrick’s daughter (D.C.’s best fixer) and William Keyes’ granddaughter (a D.C. heavy-weight), Tess has become the Hardwicke School’s “fixer”.  Usually “fixing” school issues or “family” problems, Tess is faced with a more personal “fix” when she takes on a frenemies’ student council campaign against the school bully, who also happens to the the minority whip’s son.  When politics mix with politicians’ children, anything can happen.  Meanwhile, Ivy has taken on a serious case that puts everyone’s lives in jeopardy.  When the Hardwicke School is taken over by a terrorist organization, Tess realizes that Ivy’s case is more than a fix, and it’s up to her to figure out how to save her family, her school, her friends, and hopefully, herself.  THOUGHTS:  The Long Game is another fabulous, fast-paced mystery from Jennifer Lynn Barnes.  If your collection doesn’t include her series, The Fixer and The Naturals get them.  These Scandal-esque and Criminal Minds style series are sure to please all readers.  

Mystery/Suspense      Erin Parkinson, Beaver Area MS/HS