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April 24, 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.

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.

From Tearjerkers to Action-packed Superhero Thrillers | What’s Hot in YA

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Melissa Kantor and Ava Dellaira’s YA titles will have readers reaching for tissues while Shannon Hale and Lamar Giles’s new books offer heart-pumping rides. Check out the latest from Lauren Oliver, Beth Kephart, and other “hot” titles for teens.

Raw Honesty | Author Jay Asher Talks to SLJ About ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’

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In anticipation of the live event with New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why on March 3, SLJ caught up with Jay Asher to chat about his work and inspiration for the popular YA novel.

Rowell, Yang Are L.A. Times Book Award Finalists; Green Honored as an Innovator

John Green Author photo

The finalists for the 34th annual L.A. Times Book Prizes were announced Wednesday, February 19. Among the 50 books that made the short list, five acclaimed titles for young people were selected, including Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints. Bestselling YA author John Green is also being honored with the Innovators Award.

Tips for Creating a “Mock BoB” | SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books

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Whether you’re hearing about SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books (BoB) for the first time, or you’ve been a longtime fan of the virtual elimination contest that pits the best kids’ books of the year against one another, the online tournament can be a fun way to engage students, while increasing their literacy skills. Here are some tips for creating your own mock BoB.

Title Match: SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books Returns for its Sixth Bout

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Sixteen of 2013’s best books for young people are being paired off to engage in a series of one-on-one contests, March-Madness-style. Launching on March 11, the online elimination competition will pit the year’s most acclaimed titles against one another in matches to be decided by author judges.

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

Diversity 101: Addressing the Need for Diversity in Materials for Kids | ALA Midwinter 2014

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In a lively ALA Midwinter panel moderated by Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein, three children’s book editors, one librarian and the Children’s Book Council’s Diversity Group discussed ways to promote diversity in the content of books for young people.

Book Awards Roundup: Rainbow List, Amelia Bloomer Project, and Other Non-YMA Awards

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While ALA’s Youth Media Awards took the spotlight on Monday morning, several other children’s book awards were recently announced, including the Orbis Pictus, Asian/Pacific American works, American Indian Youth Literature, Amelia Bloomer Project for feminist books, and the Rainbow Project focusing on LGBT titles.

Lemony Snicket’s ‘The Dark’ Takes 2014 Charlotte Zolotow Award

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Acclaimed children’s book author Lemony Snicket’s The Dark, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen, is the winner of the 17th Annual Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding picture book writing, given by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center.

SLJ’s Battle of the Books’ Contenders Revealed

And the 2104 Contenders Are…

At last! The Commanders of School Library Journal’s sixth annual Battle of the Kids’ Books (BOB) have revealed the 16 contenders! Though the first round of the virtual book elimination tournament doesn’t start until March 10, let the speculating begin! Which title will end up on top?

The Givers: What It Takes to Serve on the Newbery, Caldecott Committees

Illustration by Gary Hovland

While the process of selecting the Caldecott and Newbery Medalists remains top secret, SLJ asked various committee members, past and present, to offer their insights on how to get tapped for the honor of a lifetime: being part of a Youth Media Awards selection committee.

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

Page to Screen: A Year’s Worth of New Adaptations

Here is Woodley again, as Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars, based on John Green's popular YA novel.

As 2014 peeks around the corner, SLJ looks ahead to future releases in this latest installment of our roundup of the most highly anticipated franchise openers and long-awaited big screen versions of children’s classics.

Alexie’s ‘Part-Time Indian’ Pulled from West Virginia School Curriculum

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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.

School Librarians Score 3-D Printers Through MakerBot

School Librarians Score 3-D Printers Through MakerBot/DonorsChoose

School librarians looking to launch a maker space in their schools, but who lack the funds to purchase high-tech gadgets like a 3-D printer, should consider the recent MakerBot and DonorsChoose.org partnership, says media specialist Andy Plemmons.

SLJ to Reveal 2013 Best Books on Twitter

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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

JA in YA: To Jane on the 200th Anniversary of ‘Pride and Prejudice’

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On the 200th Anniversary of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ SLJ editor, Austen devotee, and children’s literature specialist Shelley Diaz has compiled a list of some of her favorite spin-offs–in several formats–for young adult readers.