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December 19, 2014

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Far-Out Science Fiction | SLJ Spotlight

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Four out-of-this-world YA novels that will grab teens’ attention.

Timing Is Everything | Consider the Source

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Everyone who knows me knows I’m in the cheering section for the Common Core English Language Arts State Standards. But as an advocate for the standards, I have a concern and a question about the assessments.

SLJ’s Top 10 Graphic Novels 2014

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Four superhero stories, three tales with a touch of fantasy, and the drama of a trouble-plagued Antarctic expedition are among the “Good Comics for Kids” bloggers’ favorites.

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

A complex father-son relationship is found “Somewhere in the Darkness” | Audio Pick

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MYERS, Walter Dean. Somewhere in the Darkness. 5 CDs. 5:15 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. $51.75. ISBN 9781470393922. Playaway, digital download.
Gr 7 Up–Jimmy is 14 years old. His biological mother is dead and his father has been incarcerated for the past nine years. As the story opens, Jimmy is living with Mama Jean in a rundown New York neighborhood. One day he returns home to find a stranger claiming to be his father. Crab, as Jimmy’s father is called, has been […]

IMLS Innovation Funding; Bewitching Giveaway; A Wicked Deal for “The Devil’s Intern” | SLJTeen News

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Encouraging innovation is one thing—paying for it is quite another. A Sparks! Ignition grant from IMLS would provide an excellent start in the creation of a new service or tool to implement at your library. Witch and devil fan alert: free books inside for the lucky and the speedy.

Outlining and Note-taking with Diigo | Tech Tidbits from the Guybrarian

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Students don’t always want to spend time creating a good outline when embarking on a research project, but as educators, we know it’s an important building block. Diigo, a free web-based outlining and note-taking tool, can help them create a solid foundation.

School and Public Libraries Collaborate to Help Teen Community: Reports from the Field

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In big and small ways, collaboration is a way of life for many school and public libraries. From teen book festivals to maker space initiatives, they are working together to bring new services and programs to their young adults.

ALA Announces Winners of the 2014 American Dream Libraries Grant

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Thanks to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, 22 libraries across the United States will now have $15,000 each to fund their print and digital English as a Second Language (ESL) collections.

SLJ’s Top 10 Latino Books of 2014

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From works by Pura Belpré Award-winners to debut authors hailing from Argentina, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, SLJ’s top selections for children and teens about and by Latinos are as diverse and multidimensional as the culture they represent.

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

Teens Review the Latest from Holly Black, Novelized Bio of Malcolm X, and More

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Teens share their thoughts about upcoming YA books that feature faeries, whales, and pickup lines along with a fictionalized account of the life of Malcolm X.

Pottermore Fansite Releases 12 Days of Harry Potter Surprises

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To ring in the holidays, the Harry Potter website, pottermore.com, has been revealing surprises everyday, starting on December 12, including new writing by J.K. Rowling.

Stand-Alone Sequels | SLJ Spotlight

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Three middle grade series installments that can be enjoyed all on their own.

Sherman Alexie and Jacqueline Woodson to Speak at BookCon 2015

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A year after heavy criticism for only featuring white authors on panels, BookCon is teaming with the advocacy group We Need Diverse Books for two gatherings with authors of various backgrounds, including National Book Award winners Alexie and Woodson.

PBS Digital Innovators Program Application Open for Ed Tech Leaders

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Tech-savvy K–12 educators can apply for the third annual 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program recognizing the top 100 applicants who are incorporating digital media in classrooms.

Hearing the World: Fiction and nonfiction audiobooks from around the globe | Listen In

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December brings with it the close of the calendar year, giving us time to reflect on and celebrate the diversity of our world’s cultures. Audiobooks, especially those that represent common human experiences and examine global heritage and customs, afford listeners an opportunity to hear stories from around the world.

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

“Safety Show” explores a broad range of topics | DVD Pick

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The Safety Show. (Ruby’s Studio). 47 min. Dist. by the Mother Company. Themotherco.com. 2013. $14.99. ISBN 9780988282780.
PreS-Gr 1–Keeping children safe is a key concern for parents and teachers, and this production addresses this important topic in a way that empowers children instead of scaring them. The upbeat music, original cartoons, practical crafts, and music videos make learning about safety fun and memorable. Segments cover a range of different topics, and young viewers will learn how to stay safe in a […]

Award-Winning Works Arrive | Multimedia Reviews, December 2014

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The debate about cell phone radiation and the startling increase in teen drug overdoses are scrutinized in this month’s DVD section. In addition, the landmark Emmy Award–winning series Years of Living Dangerously takes viewers around the world exploring climate change. Author Neil Gaiman provides one of the voices in the audiobook version of his acclaimed and ghostly novel The Graveyard Book, and Jacqueline Woodson narrates her award-winning free verse memoir Brown Girl Dreaming.

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

Riffs on Classic Tales | New Fiction for Young Adults

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A number of young adult authors continue to adapt, interpret, and honor classic novels and short stories in tales that have proven to be fascinating companion titles to explore in classrooms or as independent reading choices.

SLJ Reviews and Resources for YALSA 2015 Morris and Nonfiction Finalists

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Awards season is well underway in the children’s and YA lit world, and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) made its contribution last week when it revealed the shortlists for its nonfiction and debut YA awards. SLJ has compiled the full reviews and resources for each of the finalists.

Social Media Makes Me a Better School Librarian | Feedback

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Readers weigh in: one librarian raves about social media and another educator talks about his use of YA titles to foster compassion in his students.

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