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September 15, 2014

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Shelley Diaz

About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is Senior Editor of School Library Journal's Reviews. She recently received her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

SLJ Reviews and Interviews of 2014 National Book Award Longlist in the Young People’s Category

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The National Book Foundation today announced the titles on the long list for the 2014 National Book Awards in the Young People’s Category. Below are SLJ reviews, blog posts, and interviews with the authors of the these works for children and teens.

Margarita Engle Wins PEN Literary Award

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Margarita Engle, the first Latino author to receive a Newbery Honor, was honored with the top prize in the 24th Annual PEN Literary Awards for The Lightning Dreamer.

Portrait of an Author: SLJ Chats with Jandy Nelson About ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’

photo by Sonya Sones

Former literary agent Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is told not only in alternating narratives but also in alternating time lines. SLJ caught up with the author to talk about her unique writing process, love of magical realism, and casting wishlist for the optioned film version.

Novels in Verse, Literary Street Lit, and High-Interest Nonfiction | What’s Hot in YA

How it Went Down Magoon

Kekla Magoon’s How It Went Down about a black teen who is shot by a white man, is especially timely with recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and just the right title for young adults grappling with streaming headlines. And, a new book from the queen of verse novels, Ellen Hopkins, will entice fans of the format. The following fiction and nonfiction titles for teens will be perfect for late-summer reading and back-to-school shelf-browsing.

Sister, Sister: Sibling Drama in Young Adult Literature

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Delving into everything from rivalries and heartbreaks to cold shoulders and warm embraces, three recent young adult novels each explore a facet of that bond among young women coming of age simultaneously, bound by blood, and, often, friendship.

East Harlem Bookstore Launches Book Drive to Aid Unaccompanied Child Immigrants

Donations to La Casa Azul's book drive for unaccompanied child immigrants. Photos courtesy of La Casa Azul Bookstore.

A bookseller, a professor, and members of the El Barrio community in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood have launched a project to serve the needs of detained children from Mexico and Central America.

Art Heist Capers, Super-Powered Fantasies, and Creepy Horror Tales | What’s Hot in YA

Kiss of Deception

With works by heavy hitters such as Scott Westerfeld, Gregory Maguire, Andrew Smith, Katherine Paterson, Jacqueline Woodson, and Maggie Stiefvater, this month’s column is chock-full of upcoming YA and nonfiction titles that will have teens adding to overflowing TBR piles.

Meg Medina, John Parra, and Others Honored at the Int’l Latino Book Awards | ALA 2014

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For the first time, the winners of the 2014 International Latino Book Awards were revealed concurrently with the ALA Annual Conference. Among this year’s 231 honorees, recognized during a ceremony at the Clark County-Las Vegas Library Theater on June 28, were well known children’s and young adult authors and illustrators, such as Alma Flor Ada, Meg Medina, and John Parra.

Klassen and Brooks Take UK’s Greenaway and Carnegie Medals

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On June 23, Caldecott-winning Jon Klassen’s This is Not My Hat and Kevin Brooks’s The Bunker Diarytook top honors in the 2014 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK’s longest running and most prestigious awards for children’s literature. Backlash surrounding the Carnegie pick continues to develop.

Star-crossed Love, Diabolical Mean Girls, and Unsolved Historical Mysteries | What’s Hot in YA

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Looking for titles to share for the summer reading crowd? The following picks will intrigue teens looking for their next YA fix, whether it be the latest in science fiction, graphic novels, DIY guides, or heartbreaking true stories.

Page to Screen: Kid & YA Lit Flicks to Look Forward to After ‘The Fault in Our Stars’

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With the success of Divergent and The Book Thief, Hollywood continues to tap kid’s books, from classic fairy tales to the latest dystopian, for new ideas. To celebrate the highly the anticipated big screen version of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, SLJ has compiled a list of upcoming projects that will be coming to a screen near you.

The Illusion of “Normal” | SLJ Chats with Cammie McGovern About ‘Say What You Will’

Cammie McGovern

Cammie McGovern aims to fill a gap in young adult literature with Say What You Will—featuring complicated, fleshed out characters with disabilities who live, fall in love, and make mistakes just like anyone else. She talks with SLJ about her inspiration for the novel, diversity in YA lit, and what she’s working on next.

#WeNeedDiverseBooks: Not a Trend, But Here to Stay | BEA 2014

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Over 300 people attended the #WeNeedDiverseBooks panel on May 31 held at New York City’s Jacob Javits Center as part of BookExpo America’s consumer-focused BookCon event; the session was added late to the program after the grassroot campaign’s hashtag went viral following its launch, eliciting more than 162 million tweets since May 1.

Gothic Romances, Sci-Fi Adventures, and a John Green Readalike | What’s Hot in YA

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Looking for a John Green readalike? Search no further than Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost. Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s eerie novel set in Barcelona will entice and haunt teens. And if you thought the dystopian and paranormal novels have worn out their welcome—Michelle Krys, Catherine Linka, and Kelsey Foster bring fresh takes to the tried-and-true genres. The following young adult, nonfiction, and crossover titles will grab reluctant and avid readers alike.

Conclusions to Bardugo’s, Cass’s, and Taylor’s Sagas and More | What’s Hot in YA

God & Monsters

After teens have devoured the final volumes in the popular fantasy series by Leigh Bardugo, Kiera Cass, and Laini Taylor out this spring, offer the following hot picks in fiction, graphic novels, and nonfiction. Whether a fantasy die-hard or a fan of contemporary fiction with diverse characters, readers will find a smorgasbord of engrossing titles in these selections.

Beach Reads, Royal Intrigue, and Genre-Bending Tales | What’s Hot in YA

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The following titles–from Justin Somper’s first foray into YA lit and Danielle Paige’s wicked Dorothy Must Die to Sally Green’s witchy Half Bad and E. Lockhart’s much-anticipated We Were Liars– offer teens a plethora of attention-worthy narratives.

Yang’s Two-Volume ‘Boxers & Saints’ Scores Final Victory | SLJ 2014 BoB

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While crowd favorite Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park swept the Undead Poll, it was Gene Luen Yang’s innovative graphic novel, Boxers & Saints, on Chinese history, that survived to be the winner of SLJ’s 2014 Battle of the Kids’ Books.

SLJ’s 2014 Battle of the Books Is in Full Swing

Teen with BoB contender

SLJ ’s own version of March Madness, our sixth annual Battle of the Kids’ Books (BoB) elimination contest, kicked off on March 11 and has been going strong for 10 matches and counting. A recap of the Battle’s surprise victories, student-led celebrations, and quips from the Peanut Gallery.

Children’s Book Author and Toymaker Tim Kehoe Dies at 43

Tim Kehoe

Timothy Kehoe, author of The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow and its sequel The Top Secret Toys died unexpectedly in St. Paul, Minnesota at age 43 on February 27, reports the Star Tribune.

Latest Titles by Brashares, Lynch, Pike | What’s Hot in YA

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From chick lit and urban fiction to the latest nonfiction and graphic novel innovations, the following books will intrigue teens and keep them coming back for more.