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January 27, 2015

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SLJ’s Seventh Annual Battle of the Kids’ Books 2015 Contenders Announced

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What better way to celebrate Mock Newbery season than by announcing the 16 candidates in SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books? The first match of the virtual book elimination tournament doesn’t start until March 9, but these contenders are raring to go.

Benny Andrews | His Life and Art

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In “Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews,” illustrated with the artist’s oil paintings and collage compositions, Kathleen Benson highlights the words Andrews chose to paint by, and to encourage those he taught.

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.

Interview: Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon on their YA Novel About Teenage Malcolm X

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Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz collaborated with young adult author Kekla Magoon on a historical fiction novel about the civil rights leader’s formative years. SLJ caught up with the pair to discuss their writing process, inspiration, and the lasting impact of Malcolm’s legacy.

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.

Much More Than a List | Editorial

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SLJ’s year-end picks point to the power of curation.

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

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.