Sherman Alexie’s award-winning young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indiancan no longer be taught in classrooms at West Virginia’s Harpers Ferry Middle School, English teacher Dawn Welsh—who had assigned the book to approximately 120 eighth graders—tells SLJ. The often-challenged title was removed from the curriculum at Jefferson County Schools after parent Misty Frank objected to its profanity and sexual content.
Join SLJ editors on Thursday, November 21, 8 pm EST, during the third annual SLJ Best Books Twitter party, as they reveal the titles that made the 2013 SLJ Best Books list. From picture books to graphic novels and nonfiction to Adult Books for Teens, this year’s picks exemplify the stellar offerings created by authors, illustrators, and publishers of kids’ books
Librarians from around the country made their way to Austin, Texas, on September 28–29 for SLJ’s annual Leadership Summit. On stage and off, the conference convened key players and collaborators who are shaping a vision for the future of libraries. Here’s a snapshot and slideshow of the leadership event.
Awards season is finally upon us and, as the SLJ Book Review team puts the finishing touches on its Best Books of 2013 list, we’ve been comparing notes and keeping tabs on other reviewers’ top picks. Fan favorite and SLJ starred book, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park has even made Amazon’s top 10 books of the year.
SLJ has compiled an expansive page of diversity resources—including materials on people of color, non-American cultures, LGBTQ issues, and disability—to help librarians better serve children and teens. From author interviews to collection development tools and from blogs to news coverage, these articles and reviews aim to give insight into issues that are becoming more relevant for kids each day.
A parent in Marietta, Georgia, has lodged a complaint with his local school board about the inclusion of Hena Khan’s picture book Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors at his daughter’s Scholastic Book Fair on October 17. Thomas Prisock claims that the book is “an indoctrination of Muslim culture,” according to the The Marietta Daily Journal.
SLJ celebrated Trevelyn Jones, Book Review Editor, who retired after three decades, and more than 100,000 reviews under her helm. The event was held on October 29, and was attended by SLJ and Library Journal staff, representatives from several children’s publishers, and longtime friends and reviewers.
School librarian leaders from across the country made their way to the Austin, TX, aka the “Live Music Capital of the World,” on September 28–29 to attend SLJ’s annual Leadership Summit, where they discussed the future of libraries and how partnership is a necessary ingredient for stakeholder success. Throughout the weekend, participants—speakers, sponsors, panelists, and attendees—honed their conversations around the transformative power of collaboration.
To better serve the growing Spanish-speaking population in Dallas, TX, the local school district’s library media services director, Gay D. Patrick, put out a call for volunteers. Since 2006, this group of intrepid school media specialists, the Luminarias committee, has been developing an annual list of 20 of the best bilingual and Spanish-language books for children. Their goal is to help fellow librarians curate quality materials to meet the needs of the young Hispanic community in Dallas, while staying true to the culture and the language.
Fighting censorship and limited access to materials is an integral part of a librarian’s mission and job description. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since then. The following is a selection of SLJ’s news coverage of challenged books, interviews with oft-banned authors, and tools for showcasing censored titles during Banned Books Week, and all year.
From social media to publishing industry-led initiatives, the call for diversity in children’s and young adult literature has steadily grown into a loud roar in the past months. As part of School Library Journal’s SummerTeen virtual conference, the “Embracing Diversity” panel featuring Karen Arthurton, Jonathan Friesen, James Klise, and Amanda Sun, led to a lively and ongoing conversation about the importance of not only publishing books for kids by and about diverse people, but also getting them in the hands of readers. SLJ spoke to industry professionals who are raising awareness on the need for different perspectives in young adult books, and compiled a list of resources to find these titles.