February 24, 2017

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What Today’s Teens Have To Say About George Orwell’s ‘1984’

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With “alternative facts” in the headlines, high schoolers connect with George Orwell’s classic novel and protagonist Winston Smith’s world of “Newspeak” and “doublethink.”

Rain by Sam Usher | SLJ Review

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USHER, Sam. Rain. illus. by Sam Usher. 32p. Candlewick/Templar. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763692964.

PreS-Gr 2 –In a suitable sequel to the author’s Snow, Sam can’t wait until he is “out in the rain. You can catch raindrops, splash in puddles, and look at everything upside down.” Granddad and his young grandson watch through the window as drops fall steadily, increasing until the street disappears in a steady downpour. They wait and wait, one reading about sea monsters […]

Talking Baby: Helping Your Child Discover Language by Margaret MacLagan & Anne Buckley | SLJ Review

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MACLAGAN, Margaret & Anne Buckley. Talking Baby: Helping Your Child Discover Language. 192p. Finch. Nov. 2016. pap. $18.95. ISBN 9781925048605.

In this puddle-jumper from down under, child language development lecturer ­Maclagan and speech-language therapist Buckley set forth a just-technical-enough look at how children acquire language and how to best support its development. Beginning with infancy, the authors encourage parents to talk, talk, talk about anything and to leave time for “response” (anything the baby does is her “turn” in […]

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham | SLJ Audio Review

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DOWNHAM, Jenny. Unbecoming. Preloaded digital audio player. 14:14 hrs. Mar. 2016. Scholastic. $30. ISBN 9780545945905.

Gr 9 Up−Although Mary, Caroline, and Katie are three very different generations in the same family, suddenly living under the same roof forces them to confront a complicated past that has kept them estranged for decades. Mary is the grandmother, newly widowed, fighting the dementia that is clouding and tangling memories. Caroline is her angry daughter, unforgiving of the long estrangement and unwilling to […]

Baby Talk, Physical Play, and More | Parenting Reviews

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Seeking new materials to bolster parenting collections? Look no further.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

“Information Literacy in the Age of Fake News” Kicks off SLJ ISTE Webcast Series

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A new season of the SLJ ISTE webcast series launches with “Information Literacy in the Age of Fake News” on March 16.

Long Way North | SLJ DVD Review

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Long Way North. 81 min. Dist. by Shout! Kids Factory. 2016. $16.99 UPC 0826663172027. Blu-ray $22.99 UPC 0826663172034.

Gr 5 Up –Viewers are introduced to 15-year-old Sacha as she explores her lavish Russian home and dances with a prince at a ball. This lovely animated film quickly reveals that Sacha Tchernetsov is no princess wannabe, but a strong-minded adventurer. She feels kinship with her explorer grandfather, who disappeared while seeking the North Pole. When she finds his notes in […]

Nikki Robertson Shares Tips for YALSA’s Teen Tech Week

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Librarian and instructional technology facilitator Nikki Robertson curates SLJ’s Teen Tech Week (March 5–11) Pinterest board.

Science Award Opportunity; #BlackSTEMLikeMe | News Bites

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Our round-up of news briefs includes award-worthy librarians, a teen who made the most of her love of books, and new opportunities for STEM exploration.

The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found by Martin W. Sandler | SLJ Review

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SANDLER, Martin W. The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found. 176p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. Candlewick. Mar. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780763680336.

Gr 6 Up –Sandler dispels many popular pirate-related myths and offers a more realistic and factual view of the era of piracy in the New World. Instead of living in abject poverty at the mercy of kings and nobles, many men embraced piracy as a means to support their families and live a comfortable life, […]

Teens Review Michael Miller and Amanda Strickland’s “Shadow Run” and More

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From graphic novels about war to sci-fi, this month’s batch of teen reviews covers the spread.

Fandoms & Cons 101 | Mix It Up

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Curious about hosting a Comic Con in your library? Look no further.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

School Library Journal’s Black History Month Pinterest Board

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A wide-ranging selection of Black History Month teaching resources, curated by high school librarian and Library Journal Mover & Shaker K.C. Boyd.

Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper | SLJ Reviews

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COOPER, Elisha. Big Cat, Little Cat. illus. by Elisha Cooper. 40p. Roaring Brook. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781626723719.

PreS-Gr 1 –Bold and simple illustrations perfectly depict life with cats. Elegant, expressive black line drawings on white backgrounds capture the essence of all things feline and call to mind the work of Clare Turlay Newberry and Nikki McClure. The book follows a lone white cat who gains a small black companion, their life together, and the eventual loss of […]

A Call to Action in Canada | Picture of the Week

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A children’s librarian in Ontario used the poster by artist Calef Brown, included in the February issue of SLJ, as the centerpiece of a book display.

Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants | SLJ DVD Review

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Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants. (Nature). 53 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781627898744. POP

Gr 5 Up –Dr. Julian Fennessy has spent the last two decades studying giraffes. Astonishingly little is known about them, especially compared with other high-profile animals whose populations are also under threat, such as elephants and rhinos. Alarmed that giraffe populations have declined 40 percent in the past 20 years and are thus threatened with extinction, Fennessy developed a relocation project for 20 giraffes. […]

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan | SLJ Review

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KHAN, Hena. Amina’s Voice. 208p. ebook available. S. & S./Salaam Reads. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481492065.

Gr 4-6 –A satisfying read about an 11-year-old girl navigating friendship, family, religion, and dreams of becoming a soul-singing sensation. In a quiet Milwaukee suburb, Amina and her best friend Soojin grapple with their own ethnic identities and the pressure to Americanize. Soojin is Korean American and on the pathway to citizenship. She’s contemplating changing her name to solidify her American identity, […]

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | SLJ Review

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TAYLOR, Laini. Strange the Dreamer. 544p. ebook available. Little, Brown. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316341684. POP

Gr 9 Up –Lazlo Strange is a foundling who has grown up alone and unloved, sustained only by his fantasies and stories of a city known as Weep. As an adult, Lazlo finds his way to the Great Library of Zosma and becomes a librarian, tasked with supporting scholars in their work. His fixation with Weep continues, and he searches for scraps […]

An Inside Look at Librarians, Schools, and the Political Climate

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Librarians around the country share how their workday has changed post-election.

How Schools in the Big Apple Built a PD Program to Cross the District Divide – And You Can, Too!

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Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017, 3PM-4PM ET / 12PM-1PM PT
Does the thought of building out a Professional Development (PD) program across an entire school district seem like an insurmountable task to you? Where do you start? How do you overcome obstacles such as distance or diverse needs? Learn from someone who has been there. In this webinar, Melissa Jacobs of the NYC Department of Education shares how they were able to roll out a comprehensive city-wide PD program using ASCD eBooks to improve teacher practice and evaluations modeled after Charlotte Danielson’s rubric.
Register Now!