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January 20, 2015

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A Conversation with the 2015 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalists

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT
Join us for a live webcast featuring the five finalists for the 2015 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award. Register now to learn a bit about these terrific titles; hear from the authors about their research and writing processes; and glean some insight into what goes into making the best nonfiction titles accessible and engaging to today’s teens. Don’t miss out on this exclusive event, which is scheduled just a week before the winner is announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. Register Now!

Pictures of the Week: Shabazz and Magoon Launch “X: A Novel” at the 92Y in New York City

CNN legal analyst and host Sunny Hostin (left) with Ilyasah Shabazz (center) and her coauthor Kekla Magoon (right) at the launch for their YA book, X: A Novel.

CNN legal analyst and host Sunny Hostin (left) with Ilyasah Shabazz (center) and her coauthor Kekla Magoon at the launch for their YA book, X: A Novel on January 6. They were in conversation at the 92nd St. Y as part of the organization’s YA Lit at 92Y series.

Jacqueline Woodson on weaving memory, crafting poetry, and writing for young adults

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Jacqueline Woodson talks about her National Book Award win, her handling of Handler’s comments, and how she approached the writing of one of the most distinguished memoirs for young readers in recent memory.

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

CO Library Pilots a Robotics Program that Helps Kids with Autism

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In 2014, the Longmont (CO) Public Library teamed up with a robotics start-up, Robauto, to pilot a program where kids with autism build a library robot.

Kick-butt Heroines, Epic Sagas, and Quirky Debuts | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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The new year is filled with richly imagined new worlds YA readalikes for fans of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling, such as Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in Ashes. Readers of realistic fiction will delight in Lance Rubin’s unique Denton Little’s Deathdate and Juliana Romano’s romance-filled First There Was Forever.

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

“Caminar” is a powerful tale of courage in Guatemala | Audio Pick

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BROWN, Skila. Caminar. 2 CDs. 2:23 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2014. $49.97. ISBN 9781491536858.
Gr 5-8–Carlos, a young boy living in remote Guatemala, yearns to be a man and defend his village from the soldiers who are seeking Communist rebels. His mother, however, tells him to run to the trees to hide. He’s in the jungle when the soldiers return, and he’s left alone, full of shame because he did not help his people. Carlos comes across a small band of guerillas, […]

AfterSchool Edge: Keep Them Edutained | Reference Online

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AfterSchool Edge pulls together different games into a tablet or desktop computer. Though more entertaining than academic, this is a quick and easy way to offer gaming options to the elementary school set.

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

Collaboration Leads to Top-notch STEM Programming at the Library

Forensics with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, December 2013

Electrocuting pickles at the library?! This was one of the many demonstrations on light brought to the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library through collaboration with the library’s own Science Task Force and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Capstone’s PebbleGo Earth and Space Becomes PebbleGo Science

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Capstone’s PebbleGo Earth and Space database not only gets a new name, but the updated database will cover additional content selected for its correlation to STEM and Next Generation Science standards.

Meet the Reviewer | Sabrina Carnesi

Sabrina Carnesi

SLJ interviews reviewer of the month Sabrina Carnesi.

Woodson’s “Brown Girl Dreaming” excels in audio format | Audio Pick

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Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. 4 CDs. 3:56 hrs. Listening Library. $28. ISBN 9780553397260. digital download.
Gr 4-7–Free verse is an effective writing style for describing dreams. Woodson’s text is particularly compelling when detailing the small moments of life, such as the “Saturday night smells of biscuits and burning hair” or bemoaning the “hair ribbons that anchor (her) to childhood.” And while poetry is sometimes difficult to follow on audio, this author is a masterful narrator. The sounds of the words […]

Junior Library Guild Announces New Book Categories for 2015

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Junior Library Guild announces seven new book categories available to its customers starting in January 6.

Pictures of the Week: Inside Artist and Author Lorenzo Pace’s Studio

Pace unfolds his latest piece of artwork.

Author and artist Lorenzo Pace, known for Jalani and the Lock, opened up his studio to SLJ editors.

SLJ Reviews the Taz 4 3-D Printer | Test Drive

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Chad Sansing considers the Lulzbot device, resembling a “steampunk erector set,” and 3-D printing’s learning potential.

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

Animals as We’ve Never Seen Them | SLJ Spotlight

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Four nonfiction titles that portray animals in an unusual (and sometimes endearing) light.

Filmmaker tackles the gluten-free trend in “The Trouble with Bread” | DVD Pick

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The Trouble with Bread. 27 min. Dist. by Bullfrog Films. 2013. $195. Rent $60. ISBN 1941545130.
Gr 7 Up–Beautifully shot, this informative work chronicles filmmaker Maggie Beidelman’s journey to understand her gluten intolerance and the burgeoning gluten-free market. After spending time in France, where bread was a large, enjoyable part of her diet, Beidelman returned to the United States and began to experience discomfort and pain after she ate bread. She investigates the difference between how the United States and France […]

DIY Library Bulletin Boards: Tips, Resources, and Ideas

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Do-it-yourself maven Melissa Techman says that bulletin boards can be important communication opportunities in your library. The K–5 librarian offers tips to keep it cheap and chic, and guidance on how to align bulletin boards with inspiring and informative instructional activities.

Who Am I? Why Am I Here?: Considering the Big Questions| Focus On

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A selection of fiction and nonfiction titles for children and teens that explore faith, spirituality, and existential concerns.

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

How I Organized My School’s Hour of Code

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My students joined 20 million others in Code.org’s global event from December 8–14. Our highlights included “unplugged” coding, tutorials with themes from Angry Birds to Frozen, and $10,000 in tools and accessories, awarded by Code.org.

A Bevy of Books for Gift-giving | SLJ Sneak Peek

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From a galazy far, far away to a pop-up misadventure, this month’s sneak peek of January 2015 reviews features great last-minute gift ideas and new titles to add to your TBR pile.