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March 5, 2015

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Should Online Book Reviews Be Anonymous? | Up for Debate

anonymous reviewers

SLJ presents the latest Up for Debate regarding young adult author Kathleen Hale’s tale of her response to being catfished by a reviewer, which ran in The Guardian last October. What role can anonymity play in book criticism? Is it invaluable or irresponsible? A critic and an author respond.

Anonymous Book Reviews: License to Be Cruel

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Too many anonymous reviewers use their alternate online persona as a blank check to for cruelty. It’s as if being faceless themselves allows them to forget that there is a living, breathing human being with a full range of emotions who will be affected by their words.

Anonymous Book Reviews: There Is a Good Reason for Them

Vicky Smith

Perhaps, as one of my colleagues (and countless authors) has suggested, reviewers should have the cojones to proudly byline negative reviews, but that’s a hard standard to enforce in a connected society.

March Stars

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Visit old friends and new with this month’s SLJ stars. Will Grayson, Will Grayson fans will delight in finally seeing TIny Cooper’s masterpiece come to life, and Avi fans are in for a treat with Catch You Later, Traitor. Graphic novel fans have a wonderfully gruesome new series with “The Lunch Witch,” while YA fans looking for a new voice will find it with Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days.

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

“This is the Rope” discusses importance of family and history | Audio Pick

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WOODSON, Jacqueline. This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration. 1 CD. 7 min. Weston Woods. 2014. $12.95. ISBN 9780545790512.
Gr K-2–Something as simple as a discarded rope has tied a family story together through several generations. In the middle of the 20th century, an African American family moves from South Carolina to Brooklyn, NY, making the great migration north as many other families bravely did at the time. This tale follows a family through several generations, always coming […]

Serving Conservative Teens

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An educator recommends titles for teen patrons of diverse faiths, along with tips and a working booklist. Check out these suggestions, and add your own.

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

Spring Giveaways from Merit Press and Chronicle; International Reading Association Renamed | SLJTeen News

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For millennials, being able to read is just the start of developing literacy skills; in recognition, the International Reading Association has renamed itself the International Literacy Association. Spring giveaways include creepily serious A Work of Art and the ridiculously useful Funny on Purpose.

Teens Review the Latest from David Almond, Elizabeth Wein, and More

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Elizabeth Wein and David Almond place readers in new and unusual settings in their latest offerings, Black Dove White Raven and The Tightrope Walkers. And unsurprisingly, power struggles are at the heart of The Witch Hunter, The Winner’s Crime, and Powerless, a theme that continues to run through teens’ favorite reads.

Findaway Debuts Playaway Launchpad

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Findaway has recently launched the first-ever secure, preloaded learning tablet designed for children in a circulation environment, according to Playaway spokesperson Brittany Gonzalez, and the Chicago Public Library and Nashville Public Library are amongst its early adopters.

Game Changers: Women Making History | Focus On

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A compilation of books about women who made a difference in their chosen fields and in the world in general. The highlighted individuals include standard-bearers and lesser-known figures, all of whom showed exemplary strength, determination, and all willingness to make a stand.

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

The 2015 Youth Media Awards: A Crossover Year for Diversity

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Librarian and critic Nina Lindsay unpacks the 2015 Youth Media Awards. Diversity was the hallmark of this year’s top honors in children’s literature, pushing boundaries of content, form, and style. Is this a harbinger of real change?

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

Winds of Change at the YMAs | An ALA Midwinter Comic

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A graphic rendering of the 2015 Youth Media Awards by children’s librarian and artist Lisa Nowlain.

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

Growing Up in a Cult | SLJ Spotlight

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Four titles that deflty tackle the unusual, unsettling topic of teens growing up in cultlike envinronments.

Heroic Reads: Supporting Collaborative Summer Library Programs | Focus On

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A sensational collection of titles to use with the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme “Every Hero Has a Story.” This dynamic roundup includes selections for early elementary, middle grade, and young adult readers alike.

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

“Little Big Girls” explores puberty and its effects | DVD Pick

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Little Big Girls. 52 min. Dist. by National Film Board of Canada. 2014. $295 (PPR). ISBN unvail.
Gr 5 Up–Three of the times in a girl’s life when she’s told she’s a “big girl” are depicted in the animated introduction: when she learns to use the potty; then when she rides her bike without training wheels for the first time; and lastly, when she gets her first bra. The subject here is early puberty, and the candid interviews with girls who […]

Beboppin’ with “Bird & Diz”

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With bursts of rhythm and flashes of color, Gary Golio and Ed Young’s stunning new picture book “Bird & Diz” captures the spirit and genius of bebop artists Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and their classic rendition of “Salt Peanuts.”

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

Net Neutrality: Why You Should Care About the FCC Vote

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The Federal Communications Commission vote concerning the regulation of Internet broadband services and net neutrality is on February 26, and here’s why schools and libraries should care.

Pam Muñoz Ryan’s “Echo” Reverberates With Hope| Interview

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In her epic novel “Echo,” Pam Muñoz Ryan weaves together stories of young people living through a tumultuous period in the 20th century.

Spotlight On Ecosystems | Terrestrial Biomes & Their Denizens

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When we think of the major terrestrial biomes—desert, grassland, forest, tundra—we envision dramatically different climates, flora, and fauna. If only it were so simple!

Much-Anticipated Sequels and the Latest from Avi, Suma, and Wein | SLJ Sneak Peek

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From the new “Penderwicks” novel to the sequel to E.K. Johnston’s The Story of Owen, the titles featured in SLJ’s March issue will delight fans and create new ones. Check out the latest sneak peek of reviews appearing in the next print issue.