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July 1, 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.

Poignant Intros to Immigration and Transgender Issues | SLJ Sneak Peek

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Jairo Buitrago’s spare picture book presents a gentle portrayal of a family’s struggles with immigration. Alex Gino’s middle grade novel sensitively depicts George’s desire to identify as a girl even though her family and friends see her as a boy. Check out these advance reviews and more in this sneak peek of titles reviewed in SLJ’s July 2015 issue.

Q&A: Urban Fantasy Counter-Narrative: Daniel José Older on “Shadowshaper”

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SLJ caught up with Older and discussed the topics of race, mythologies, and community, as well as the borough of Brooklyn, in his first novel for young people.

Magical Thinking in the Real World: YA Lit at SLJ’s Day of Dialog 2015

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A panel of acclaimed and debut authors—including A.S. King, Patrick Ness, and Allan Stratton—discussed the things that inspired them to create their latest YA novels, all of which blur the line between reality and fantasy.

Woodson, Riddell, Herrera Selected as Laureates; “Minus Me” Giveaway | SLJTeen News

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Juan Felipe Herrera has been selected as the first Latino U.S. Poet Laureate for 2015–16. Jacqueline Woodson began her two-year tenure as the U.S. young people’s poet laureate on June 1. Illustrator and writer Chris Riddell has been named the UK’s ninth children’s laureate. Check out more industry news in the latest SLJTeen News roundup.

Hard Corners of Life: Debut YA Author Adam Silvera on “More Happy Than Not”

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SLJ chats with former bookseller Adam Silvera about what inspired him to write this genre-bending YA novel, struggles with identity, and teens’ capacity for happiness.

Authors at the Fourth Annual SLJ/AAP Librarian Dinner | BEA 2015

Panel of authors at the SLJ/AAP Librarian Dinner. l. to r. Matt de la Peña, Kevin Henkes, Mike Curato, Jeff Anderson?, Candace Fleming, Adam Silvera, and Eric Rohmann.

Matt de la Peña, Kevin Henkes, Mike Curato, Jeff Anderson, Candace Fleming, Adam Silvera, and Eric Rohmann were featured speakers at the dinner, moderated by Betsy Bird.

Ballerinas Behaving Badly: Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton on “Tiny Pretty Things”

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Debut YA authors Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton discuss how they came to write Tiny Pretty Things, a novel about diverse ballerinas fighting for roles in a posh dance boarding school, and what inspired them to create the book packaging company for diverse teen books, CAKE Literary.

Latinitas and DIY Girls: Paving the Way for Latina Makers

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Two nonprofit organizations, Latinitas and DIY Girls, are working with Latina teens and tweens to promote tech- and media-focused skills.

Our Voices Matter: SLJ Chats with Valynne Maetani About “Ink and Ashes” | Up Close

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The first winner of Lee & Low/Tu’s New Visions Award, debut author Valynne Maetani shares what inspired her to write a YA mystery/thriller with a strong Japanese American female protagonist.

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

Jane Addams 2015 Award Winners; Apply for Best Buy Teen Tech Grants; NYT Summer Reading Contest | SLJTeen News

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The winners of the 2015 Jane Addams Book Awards include Teri Kanefield’s The Girl from the Tar Paper School. Sarah Hill has been chosen as the President-Elect of YALSA. Teens can participate in a summer reading contest run by the New York Times. Best Buy is offering up to $10,000 to nonprofits working with teens and tech programming.

Oneworld to Launch U.S. YA Imprint in July

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The UK publisher Oneworld Publications will officially launch its young adult and children’s imprint, Rock the Boat, on June 2 in the UK and July 14 in the United States. The publisher’s first U.S. title, written for a middle school audience, is Minus Me by Norwegian bestselling YA author Ingelin Røssland.

Adopt-a-Library Program Reveals Winners; “Nowhere But Here” Giveaway | SLJTeen News

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The debut authors’ group Freshmen Fifteens announces the winners of its mini-grants. The 2015 International Latino Book Awards finalists are revealed. Enter for a chance to win a copy of Katie McGarry’s Nowhere But Here. Get a preview of Awkward graphic novel from Yen Press.

Superpowered Heroines | SLJ Spotlight

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Five exciting new titles feature fierce female superheroes.

Super and Magical Webcomic Now in Print: Jillian Tamaki on “SuperMutant Magic Academy”

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On the heels of the publication of her first solo YA work, a collection of her webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy, about teen witches and mutants who attend a Hogwarts-like school, Jillian Tamaki shared with SLJ what inspired her to work on this long-running project and what she’s got planned next.

2015 Banned Books Week to Focus on YA Lit

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This year’s Banned Books Week (BBW, September 27 to October 3) will celebrate books written for the teen audience, the BBW National Committee announced on April 22.

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.