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December 18, 2014

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Authors and Illustrators Share Warm Holiday Memories with SLJ

Tiim Federle as a Santa.

Children’s authors Kathryn Erskine, Tim Federle, Andrea Davis, Pinkney, and Huck Scarry open up their holiday memory archives that involve: near-death on the slopes, finding out that Santa Claus swears, and time spent as a Radio City Music Hall Santa.

James Patterson Gives Last of $1M Pledge to Indie Bookstores

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“We want going to the bookstore to be an event itself,” says Francine Lucidon, owner of The Voracious Reader in Larchmont, NY, and one of the 178 recipients of James Patterson’s $1M grant awarded to independent bookstores across the country.

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.

“This One Summer” Takes Home Canada’s Governor General Award

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Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer is the first graphic novel to win Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustration. SLJ recently caught up with the author-illustrator team.

Teaching “Black Lives Matter” | SLJ Talks to Educator, Author Renée Watson

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In the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict a New York police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, educator Renée Watson offers advice on how teachers and students can broach recent events.

SLJ Chats with Cece Bell About her Graphic Novel Memoir ‘El Deafo’ | Up Close

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With ample humor and a keen sensitivity to the emotional melodrama of early adolescence, Cece Bell’s graphic novel memoir, El Deafo, offers a window into growing up deaf in 1970s suburbia. SLJ caught up with the author to discuss her writing process, hearing aids, bad attitudes, and bunnies.

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

Inside Special Education: Gail Giles and ‘Girls Like Us’

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Girls Like Us by Gail Giles takes readers into the hearts of two distinctly different teens with cognitive impairment, and shares her thoughts on special education, imperfect people, and the challenge of writing grammatically incorrect dialogue.

The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide

The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide

“There are lots of children’s book illustrators who sell their work online, but I’ve never seen a good place to browse a whole slew of them in one sitting,” writes Travis Jonker. His guide, from A to Z.

Ivan, Clara, and the Freedom Tree: History in Picture Books │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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How did Clara Barton, Benjamin Franklin, Ivan the gorilla, and others evolve from ordinary characters to historical superstars? Find out their backstories, and other chronicled events of times past, in these titles selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild.

Q & A with ‘A Moose Boosh’ Author Eric-Shabazz Larkin

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Just in time for the holidays, SLJ talks to author Eric-Shabazz Larkin about his authorial debut A Moose Boosh, an imaginative collection of poems to do with food, accompanied by lively illustrations.

Jacqueline Woodson and Ursula K. Le Guin Shine at the National Book Awards Ceremony

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Highlights of the National Book Awards ceremony on November 19 included speeches by Young People’s Literature Winner, Jacqueline Woodson, and Distinguished Contribution to American Letters medalist, Ursula K. Le Guin.

SLJ Best Books Cover | December 2014

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The cover of School Library Journal’s December 2014 issue, featuring the Best Books of the year, as selected by SLJ editors. Art by Yuyi Morales.

Pictures of the Week: The 2014 National Book Awards Ceremony

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Ursula Le Guin is honored at the National Books Awards ceremony on November 19 and steals the show with her speech.

SLJ Reviews of the 2014 National Book Award Finalists in Young People’s Literature

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School Library Journal reviews of the National Book Award Finalists in the Young People’s Literature category, as well as some relevant pieces from our bloggers and interviews with the authors.

SLJTeen Unlocks the Secrets of the Past with Debut Author Jessica Lidh

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Jessica Lidh’s debut novel The Number 7 takes readers on a trip to the past, exploring Sweden’s role in World War II while examining one family’s ability to deal with grief in the present.

St. Louis School Librarian Offers LibGuide on Ferguson

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“As a librarian, I always feel like I have to share what resources are out there and the best of what is out there,” says St. Louis school librarian Katie Voss, who created an online LibGuide of materials related to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

SLJ’s Best Books Cover Gallery

2009 | Cover by Jerry Pinkney

A look back at SLJ’s December covers. In a tradition since 1998, the magazine has commissioned a top illustrator for the assignment, all on the theme of “stars.”

Robin LaFevers’s “Medieval Obsession”

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SLJ spoke with Robin LaFevers, who concludes her thrilling “His Fair Assassins” trilogy set in 15th-century Brittany with the exciting ‘Mortal Heart.’

Hank and John Green Join PBS to Expand “Crash Course” Video Series

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The partnership will make the Greens brothers’ witty, educational YouTube series available through the PBS Digital Studios YouTube channel and PBS LearningMedia.

Why the Great Green Room is Green, Facing Censorship, and More from BookFest @ Bank Street

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During the event at Manhattan’s Bank Street College of Education, Leonard S. Marcus, Brian Pinkney, Jason Chin, Coe Booth, Tim Federle, Matt de la Peña, and others talked about why they do what they do.