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April 16, 2015

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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.

ALA’s Most Frequently Challenged Books; Teen Read Week Grants; Springtime Giveaways | SLJTeen News

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The American Library Association has announced 2014’s most frequently challenged books. Teen Read Week grants are available from YALSA. Enter in two YA book giveaways. See how one librarian hosted a Doctor Who–themed lock-in with great success.

“Port Chicago 50″ Wins Seventh Annual Battle of the Kids’ Books

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In BOB’s final round, The Closer, Newbery Medalist Clare Vanderpool, selects Steve Sheinkin’s Port Chicago 50 as the victor of the yearly virtual tournament of books for children and teens.

The Importance of Girls’ Stories: SLJ Chats with Nova Ren Suma About “The Walls Around Us”

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YA novelist Nova Ren Suma shares what inspired her to write about killer ballerinas and a bookish incarcerated teen in her latest work, which explores feminism, friendship, and unlikable narrators.

Sexy Retellings, Alternative History, and Road Trip Novels | What’s Hot in YA

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From Rosamunde Hodge’s latest fairy tale reimagining to Bill Konigsberg’s road trip YA, the following books for teens are among this year’s must-have titles.

Graphic Novels, Diversity Dominate in SLJ’s 2015 Battle of the Kids’ Books First Round

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The opening round of the annual virtual tournament featuring children’s and young adult books in a March Madness—like competition has come to a close. Graphic novels This One Summer and El Deafo and celebrated titles Brown Girl Dreaming and Port Chicago 50, among others, have continued on to fight another day.

2015 Debut YA Authors Launch Adopt-a-Library Initiative

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A group of first-time YA authors have banded together to adopt 15 school and public libraries, offering participating sites the chance to receive a set of 15 books, Skype author visits, and virtual Q&As. Applications are due by April 24.

Girl Power to the Max: SLJ Chats with the Creators of the “Lumberjanes” Comics

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The all-female conceived and produced “Lumberjanes” comics are truly a unique team effort. SLJ caught up with three of the creators, Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen to discuss their collaborative process and inspiration for the campy series.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Aliens, Mean Girls, and “Speak” Readalikes | What’s Hot in YA

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From Michael Buckley’s alien-infested YA debut to poigant exlorations on sexual violence and mental illness, the following titles for teens will keep young people coming back for more.

How Do You BOB?: Librarians, Parents Share the Ways They’re Celebrating Battle of the Kids’ Books

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With just a few weeks to go until the first Battle of the Kids’ Books (BOB) match on March 9, schools, parent groups, and librarians across the country are gearing up for this year’s March Madness–style tournament. Check out a few examples of how BOB has become a fun, educational, and community-building event.

Kid Lit Still Mostly White, but Diversity Gaining Ground

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Children’s books with significant African or African American content nearly doubled in 2014, according to new data from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There was also a slight uptick in publications featuring Asian/Pacific or Asian/Pacific American content.

2015 Battle of the Kids’ Books Battle Plans and Brackets Unveiled

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We’re less than a month away from the official start of SLJ’s seventh annual Battle of the Kids’ Books, and the Battle Commander has just revealed this year’s battle plans and brackets for the March Madness–type contest.

A Fight to the End Paper: SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books 2015

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While for some March calls to mind college basketball, at SLJ, March 9 heralds the start of our Battle of the Kids’ Books (aka BOB). From Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming to Cece Bell’s El Deafo, these mighty contenders are ready for a (literary) fight. May the best book win!

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Royal Intrigue and Superpowers: SLJ Chats with Debut Novelist Victoria Aveyard About “Red Queen”

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Rich world-building, enigmatic characters, and a breakneck pace mark Victoria Aveyard’s debut, Red Queen, as possibly “The Next Big Thing.” SLJ caught up with the author to discuss her inspiration for the epic fantasy/dystopian series.

Girl Power, High Fantasy, and Unconventional Lit | What’s Hot in YA

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Highly illustrated novels, out-of-the-ordinary narratives, and titles with female leads and fascinating world-building are just some of the YA books that are on SLJ editors’ radar. See what else is trending in teen lit.

SLJ’s Seventh Annual Battle of the Kids’ Books 2015 Contenders Announced

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What better way to celebrate Mock Newbery season than by announcing the 16 candidates in SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books? The first match of the virtual book elimination tournament doesn’t start until March 9, but these contenders are raring to go.

Interview: Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon on their YA Novel About Teenage Malcolm X

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Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz collaborated with young adult author Kekla Magoon on a historical fiction novel about the civil rights leader’s formative years. SLJ caught up with the pair to discuss their writing process, inspiration, and the lasting impact of Malcolm’s legacy.

Upcoming Diverse Titles, Light Romance, and Magical Realism | What’s Hot in YA

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As we close 2014, it’s heartening to see that the new year will be filled with novels featuring diverse teens, fanciful plotlines, and lots of romance. From Justine Larbalestier’s Razorhurst and Jennifer Niven’sAll the Bright Places to Stacy Lee’s Under the Painted Sky and Cindy Rodriguez’s , young adult fans will have lots to look forward to in 2015.

Change Makers at the SLJ Leadership Summit

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Key conversations and presentations at the SLJ Leadership Summit, this past October, centered on school media specialists’ changing roles, how to use tech to meet 21st-century learning goals, and the importance of reaching all readers and learners.

LGBTQ Fiction, Reimagined Fairy Tales, & Horror | What’s Hot in YA

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From an anthology of writings by LGBTQ teens to R.L Stine’s newest entry in the “Fear Street” saga, the latest books for teens are sure to pique readers’ interest and keep them coming back for more.

Superintendent of the Year Mark Edwards’s Top Leadership Book Picks | SLJ Summit 2014

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Keynoter Mark Edwards provided a booklist of titles that influenced his leadership—and could influence yours—at the SLJ Leadership Summit in St. Paul, MN, on October 25–26.