In SLJ: Exploring SLJ’s 2023 Starred Books
Hop on over (or maybe back over!) to School Library Journal to see my new article, Exploring SLJ’s 2023 Starred Books, which looks at prevalent themes in starred reviews. This kind of article is exactly the sort of thing I love writing. I sifted through all starred reviews of 2023 titles, made notes on every single one, went through again to look at common themes, and sorted all books that fell into those themes into lists. I then went through those lists to make sure I was presenting a diversity of representation and wasn’t repeating titles (for instance, many books addressed two or more of the common themes). It was interesting to see how 2023’s themes compared to 2022’s themes (you can read my article from last year on the themes here).
Here’s the intro to the piece, with the themes. Go look at the books listed for each them and build your TBR list!
The themes that have long marked books for children and teens continue to loom large in 2023, focusing heavily on identity, relationships, emotions, connections, and community. Current trends in SLJ’s starred titles look at courageous choices, large and small; connections to the natural world; intergenerational bonds with grandparents; how and why we grieve; and trailblazers in a wide range of disciplines.
Additionally, starred reviews value inventive, unique approaches to both format and story and show a continued appreciation for novels in verse, a format that has exploded in popularity over the past two years. From picture books to young adult novels, stories in all genres, for all ages, these stellar titles show fresh approaches and share powerful messages.
Filed under: Book Reviews
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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