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September 3, 2015

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Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin | SLJ Review

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SHEINKIN, Steve. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War. 384p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. Roaring Brook. Sept. 2015. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781596439528.

Gr 7 Up–In this thoroughly researched, thoughtfully produced, and beautifully written book, Sheinkin delves into the life of Daniel Ellsberg, former Pentagon consultant and a self-described “cold warrior,” who gradually made an about-face with regard to America’s presence in Vietnam. Ellsberg famously leaked the Pentagon Papers, a lengthy document written by military insiders about […]

The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau | SLJ Review

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RESAU, Laura. The Lightning Queen. 336p. Scholastic. Oct. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545800846; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780545800860.

Gr 3-6–If books were written in black and white, The Lightning Queen would be written in color. Esma, a young Romani girl, meets Teo, a young Mixteco living on the Hill of Dust in the mountains of Mexico, when her traveling caravan makes a stop in Teo’s small village. The Romani bring with them the magic of cinema films, and after the loss of […]

Audio adaptation of “Billy and Goat” surpasses original | DVD Pick

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Billy and Goat at the State Fair. 7 min. Dist. by Dreamscape Media. 2015. $38.99. ISBN 9781681411545.
PreS-Gr 1–The DVD version of Dan Yaccarino’s picture book (Random, 2015) is enhanced by the upbeat music befitting a visit to the fair. The simple story follows Billy and his prized yet nameless goat on their adventures. When Billy sees a billboard advertising the state fair and learns that there will be a best goat competition, he’s sure that his will win. This adaptation […]

Realistic fiction tackles teen issues while it entertains listeners | Listen In

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This month we’ve gathered a diverse selection of stories featuring teen protagonists facing many different challenges and situations.

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

Teens Review the Latest from Erin Bow, Gary Schmidt, and More

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The reviewers of the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library YA Book Group laud upcoming titles by Erin Bow, Gary Schmidt, A.S. King, and others for their diversity, heartrending twists, and thought-provoking endings.

5 Key eBook Trends for Schools and Districts Going Digital

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Thursday, September 24th, 2015, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT
Led by OverDrive Director of Education Herb Miller, Ed. M., this webinar will cover how schools and districts are adding digital reading options for the classroom, ways to engage students year round with digital libraries, strategies for incorporating digital titles into ELA programs, and much more!
Register Now!

Real World Readers: Attention-Grabbing Titles | Focus On

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Loaded with surefire kid appeal, these fiction and nonfiction series are meant to entertain, reinforce skills, and, more importantly, create a lifelong love of reading.

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

Set the Right Course for Back to School

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How do you make sure you’re starting your school year on track and in command? School librarians share their best tips.

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

Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler | SLJ Review

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MACKLER, Carolyn. Infinite in Between. 480p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Sept. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780061731075.

Gr 7 Up–What are the four years spent in high school made up of? Teens tend to focus on the big moments—midterms and finals, homecoming and prom, first dates and first loves. But what about those unexpected battles and victories that truly shape and change them? Mackler follows five young adults from freshman orientation to senior graduation. Jake, Zoe, Whitney, Gregor, and Mia all have their own expectations […]

Taking It to the Kids—Middle grade author visits

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Three middle grade authors reflect on their experiences meeting their readers face-to-face.

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

This Is My Home, This Is My School by Jonathan Beam | SLJ Review

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BEAN, Jonathan. This Is My Home, This Is My School. illus. by Jonathan Bean. 48p. Farrar. Oct. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780374380205. LC 2014040682.
PreS-Gr 1–In his second semi-autobiographical picture book, Bean introduces young audiences to one family’s homeschooling experience. The well-paced narrative draws clear connections between the details of a traditional school environment—with a teacher, a cafeteria, and classrooms—and a homeschool setting—Mom and Dad are the teachers, the kitchen becomes the lunch room, and the house, the yard, the nearby […]

Stand-Off by Andrew Smith | SLJ Review

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SMITH, Andrew. Stand-Off. 416p. ebook available. S. & S. Sept. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481418294.
Gr 9 Up–In this sequel to Winger (S. & S., 2013), Ryan Dean West’s senior year at Pine Mountain Academy is off to a rough start. Still grieving over friend Joey’s death, he’s saddled with Sam, a 12-year-old freshman roommate he dismisses as a “larva in soccer pajamas.” Adding to the pressure, his rugby coach wants him to take Joey’s position on the field and as […]

Reviewers and Bloggers: Prepare for KidLitCon 2015, October 9–10, in Baltimore

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Registration is now open for the annual festival of book love known as KidLitCon, for people who write about children’s and young adult literature.

Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick | SLJ Review

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WINICK, Judd. Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth. 208p. (Hilo: Bk. 1). ebook available. Random. Sept. 2015. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780385386173.
Gr 2-5–Daniel Jackson Lim, aka DJ, is an ordinary boy in a family of overachievers. He meets Hilo, a robot boy who fell to Earth from space and doesn’t know where he came from or what he is doing on this planet. DJ, along with his best friend, Gina, help Hilo unlock the secrets of his past […]

Behind the Scenes: SLJ In Conversation with Top Children’s Book Editors

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Join Kiera Parrott, SLJ’s review editor, for a conversation with three storied children’s book editors, Neal Porter of Roaring Brook Press, Sheila Barry of Groundwood Books, and Kathy Dawson of Penguin.
Register Now!

Rollicking “Ratscalibur” a sure favorite among young fantasy fans|Audio Pick

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LIEB, Josh. Ratscalibur. 3 CDs. 3:36 hrs. Listening Library. 2015. $27. ISBN 978101915301. digital download.
Gr 3-6–Joey, a soon-to-be seventh grader, has recently moved to New York City with his mother. He is not particularly enthralled by big city life. Soon though, Joey’s uncle brings home a special new friend for him—a rat, just like the creatures he has seen about the city. To Joey’s surprise, his new pet rodent begins speaking to him from his cage. He learns that the […]

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands | SLJ Review

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SANDS, Kevin. The Blackthorn Key. 384p. ebook available. S. & S./Aladdin. Sept. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481446518. LC 2014048032.
Gr 4-6–An auspicious debut middle grade novel. Set in the 1600s, the story revolves around Christopher Rowe, the apprentice to a Master Apothecary. After losing his master, Christopher begins to unravel a series of complex codes that his master had, unbeknownst to Chris, been preparing him to solve all along. The more that the protagonist uncovers, the more he finds himself in […]

SLJ and Scholastic Announce 2015 School Librarian of the Year Award Winners

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Today, School Library Journal and Scholastic recognize Kristina Holzweiss, Lakisha Brinson, and Sally Smollar, three school librarians who display outstanding achievement and innovative use of technology.

Meet Kristina Holzweiss, SLJ’s 2015 School Librarian of the Year

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From her blog, entitled “Bunhead with Duct Tape,” to her maker space program called SLIME, Kristina Holzweiss, of Bay Shore Middle School in Long Island, NY, displays an energetic penchant for tinkering with traditional ideas.

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

Nashville’s Pride: Lakisha Brinson, 2015 School Librarian of the Year Finalist

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At Robert E. Lilliard Elementary School in Nashville, TN, Lakisha Brinson used a wide array of books, electronic media, and apps to bring social studies to life, particularly during Black History Month lessons.

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