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February 27, 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.

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.

Scenes and Resources from the Summit | SLJ Summit 2014

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Inspirational and groundbreaking school librarians from all over the United States descended upon St. Paul, MN, on October 25─26 for SLJ’s 10th annual Leadership Summit. Here are some scenes and highlights from the event.

Hollywood Starlets, Charming Con Men, & Lethal Assassins | What’s Hot in YA

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From Ally Condie’s /Atlantia to Jason Reynolds’s The Boy in the Black Suit, these latest books for teens will inspire, infuriate, and tug at the hearstrings (and nerves) of readers.

Neil Gaiman Chats with SLJ About His Reimagined “Hansel and Gretel” | Up Close

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SLJ caught up with master storyteller Neil Gaiman, who penned a spooky graphic novel adaptation of “Hansel and Gretel,” inspired by Lorenzo Mattotti’s dark and gloomy art. Check out our exclusive behind-the-scenes video chat with Gaiman.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Interview: Gregory Maguire on Why the World Needs Magic and ‘Egg and Spoon’

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The author of Wicked, the book that spawned the blockbuster Broadway play, Gregory Maguire talks with SLJ about his latest otherworldly novel Egg and Spoon, who should be reading it, and why fairy tales are necessary nutrition for the modern world.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

An Informal Study: Do Book Challenges Suppress Diversity? | Banned Books Week

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In an informal study of the top banned books since 2000, young adult author and Diversity in YA cofounder Malinda Lo reveals that 52 percent of challenged titles have diverse content or are written by a diverse author.

REFORMA Brings Books, Backpacks, and Support to Unaccompanied Minors

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REFORMA’s Children in Crisis project distributes Spanish-language books to unaccompanied immigrant children from Latin America, many in detention centers, while spreading the word about library services.

Fabulous Debuts, Dark Fantasies, and Haunting Tales | What’s Hot in YA

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Annie Cardi and Dawn O’Porter’s debut novels deal with tough stuff and Brenna Yovanoff and Cat Winters return with spooky works that are sure to give teens nightmares. From surreal fiction to pulled-from-the-headlines nonfiction, the following titles will hook young adults and have them asking for more.

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.