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April 15, 2014

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The Debut: SLJTeen Talks with Laura McHugh, Author of ‘The Weight of Blood’

The Weight of Blood

Laura McHugh‘s debut novel is set in rural, small-town Missouri, deep in the Ozarks. This dark coming-of-age mystery follows a 17-year-old girl determined to investigate the murder of a friend from school, a search which leads to the earlier murder of her own mother. SLJ contributor Diane Colson shares her recent conversation with McHugh here in SLJTeen.

Q&A: Author Andy Griffiths on his Ever-Growing ‘Treehouse’ Series

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The 26-Story Treehouse author spoke to SLJ about the treehouse of his childhood, punk rock, advice for young writers, and more.

Q&A: Jake Marcionette, the 13-Year-Old Author of ‘Just Jake,’ Talks with SLJ

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SLJ contributing editor Rocco Staino speaks with the 13-year-old author of Just Jake about ‘Kid Cards,’ his school librarian, paying homage to Jeff Kinney, and more.

Q & A: Tim Federle Talks About Writing Middle School Fiction’s First Boy-Boy Kiss and His Second Cocktail Guide

Tim Federle 2013

It’s been a whirlwind year for kid lit author Tim Federle who released Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Simon and Schuster which included middle school fiction’s first boy-boy kiss. He’s now working on his second cocktail guide Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist, a boardbook for new parents.

‘Dear Nobody’: SLJ Chats with Coeditors Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil

Dear Nobody

Dear Nobody: The Real Life Diary of Mary Rose focuses on the reality of being a teen with cystic fibrosis. Coeditors Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil talked to SLJ about what drove them to bring Mary Rose’s story to life.

Q & A: James Patterson Talks About Upcoming Webcast and How Literacy Saves Lives

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Two-time Children’s Choice Book Award nominee James Patterson is a passionate advocate for reading and libraries, but he tells SLJ he was a late-blooming reader who didn’t come into his love for reading until he was 20-years-old. This year, Patterson pairs up with NBA player Dwayne Wade for their second webcast stressing the importance of reading to air April 24.

Librarian Appears on “Ellen” and Transforms Her Library: A Q&A with Ashley Kirby Thomas

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Ashley Kirby Thomas at McAuliffe Elementary (OK) had been longing to be on the show “Ellen.” After several failed attempts, it was finally her selection as “Teacher of the Year” that caught Ellen DeGeneres’s attention. SLJ caught up with Thomas and how her school’s library has changed since her two appearances.

Q&A: Meet the Creator of Ms. Marvel, the First Female American-Muslim Superhero

Variant cover of Ms. Marvel/Marvel

Hey librarians, here’s a chance to introduce your patrons to Marvel’s first female American-Muslim superhero. SLJ talks to the creator behind Ms. Marvel, a teenage superhero who fights crime and happens to not eat bacon.

The Debut: Bethany Hagen Talks About ‘Landry Park’

Landry Park

Bethany Hagen’s day job is in teen services for Johnson County (KS) Library; she can now add debut novelist to her resume. Her book, Landry Park, which pits the gentry against the poor, has been referred to as “Gone with the Nuclear Wind.”

The Debut: Leslye Walton on ‘The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender’

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

SLJTeen caught up with Lesley Walton to discuss her magical realism-infused debut novel, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. The author had to do a lot of research sitting in cafes, eating croissants and pain du chocolat.

Riding High: Brian Floca on the Remarkable Process Behind His Caldecott-winning ‘Locomotive’

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In SLJ’s cover story, we visited Brian Floca at his Brooklyn studio, where the author illustrator shared the backstory of his award-winning picture book Locomotive and what he might wear to the June banquet.

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

Raw Honesty | Author Jay Asher Talks to SLJ About ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’

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In anticipation of the live event with New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why on March 3, SLJ caught up with Jay Asher to chat about his work and inspiration for the popular YA novel.

Beyond Magenta: SLJ Talks to Susan Kuklin About Her Book on Transgender Teens

Susan cover

Author Susan Kuklin offers some insight and backstory about meeting her teen subjects and helping to shape their compelling narratives.

The Debut: Nathan Filer on ‘Where the Moon Isn’t’ | Adult Books for Teens

Where the Moon Isn't

Author Nathan Filer recently was given the Book Of The Year Award at the 2013 Costa Book Awards for his debut, Where the Moon Isn’t (St. Martin’s). A former mental health nurse, Filer used his own experiences in this examination of schizophrenia, grief, and guilt. SLJ reviewer Diane Colson caught up with him to talk about writing his process British trivia, and more.

Through a Child’s Eyes | A Conversation with Marilyn Nelson

How I Discovered Poetry

In unrhymed sonnets, the acclaimed poet Marilyn Nelson traces her early years from age four to 14, describing her family’s many moves, her growing self-awareness, and her awakening as a poet.

The Kate Connection: DiCamillo Talks About her Role as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Photograph by Joe Treleven

Award-winning author Kate DiCamillo talks about her plans for her new role as National Ambassador, her advice on creating an environment to foster young readers, and more in this candid conversation with Travis Jonker.

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

The Debut: SLJ Chats with CJ Lyons About ‘Broken’ and Why Fear is Useless

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CJ Lyons is an award-winning, critically acclaimed bestselling author of 21 adult novels. Now she has published her first YA novel. And she found the time to launch the “Buy a Book, Make a Difference” campaign that’s funded 54 scholarships to help fight crime and raised an additional $75,000 for charities.

Searching for Sarah Rector | An Interview with Tonya Bolden

Searching for Sarah Rector

The Oklahoma-Texas oil boom of the early 1900s created fortunes for many landowners, including an 11-year-old girl named Sarah Rector. Her fascinating story is told here by Tonya Bolden.

SLJ Talks to National Book Award Winner Cynthia Kadohata

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Elizabeth Bird interviews Cynthia Kadohata, winner of the 2013 National Book Award in the category of Young People’s Literature for her “truly original, honestly heartfelt middle-grade novel, The Thing About Luck, in our January 2014 cover story.

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

Kate DiCamillo Is New National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

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Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo has been named the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, 2014–2015. SLJ blogger and contributor Travis Jonker interviewed the author to learn more about her exciting new platform, “Stories Connect Us.”