May 27, 2016

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S. & S.’s Preview Yields a Bountiful Crop of Summer 2016 Books

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From a touching, unique perspective of 9-11, to the dangers of little white lies, this group of entries from Simon & Schuster’s Summer 2016 list plumbs the depths of tough emotions. But you’ll find books that are funny and memorable, too.

Inspire: Authors and the Creative Spark

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What Carolyn Mackler, Sherman Alexie, Julie Berry, Tim Wynne-Jones, and others say about experiencing and harnessing inspiration.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Pictures of the Week | Ezra Jack Keats 2016 Bookmaking Winners

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The young winners of the annual student bookmaking contest describe their creations.

Challenging Gender Norms with “Boys Read Pink” Celebration

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The boys in Karen Yingling’s library balked at reading so-called “girl” books until she enlisted some eighth grade helpers who challenged gender assumptions during “Boys Read Pink” month.

SLJ’s 2016 Day of Dialog in Chicago: “Everything Is Wonder”

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The summit drew record numbers of librarians and book creators, who, apropos of the new location, enjoyed deep dives into kid lit along with their deep dish.

Gutsy, Funny, and Flawed: Angela Cervantes on Crafting Strong Latina Characters

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Middle grade author Angela Cervantes talks about her inspirations, her research process, and how she crafts authentic—and very funny—Latina characters.

Little, Brown Trots Out Fresh Faces and Themes at Fall 2016 Preview

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Here a debut, there a debut, everywhere a debut! The Little Brown Fall 2016 Preview showcased a promising crop of first-timers, with standouts for middle grade and YA readers alike.

Shadow Magic | 30-Second Booktalk

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Giant bats, dark magic, necromancy, and non-stop action fill Joshua Khan’s debut middle grade fantasy, as explained in a super short booktalk.

From Comics to Board Books to Middle Grade Novels | A Chat with the Holms

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Jennifer and Matt Holm, the creators behind the wildly popular “Babymouse” and “Squish” graphic novel series, are not afraid to branch out and experiment with new forms and formats, as evidenced by their recent collaboration on a series of comics-style board books.

Integrating Nonfiction into Your Summer Booktalking | Nonfiction Notions

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Nonfiction Notions columnist Jennifer Wharton recommends several recent nonfiction titles and offers simple ways to include them in summer reading booktalking.

Surprisingly Sophisticated: Exploring Tom O’Donnell’s “Space Rocks” | In the Classroom

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Sixth grade teacher Valerie Sawicki discovers surprising depth in a novel she nearly wrote off.

12 Tween Titles to Add to Your Summer Reading Lists

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Middle school librarian Amanda Buschmann recommends a dozen titles sure to round out any summer reading list. Add your own recommendations in the comments!

A Sneak Peek at Melissa Sweet’s Splendid Biography of E.B. White

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“Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White” is bound to be one of the biggest books of the fall season. We are thrilled to share these engaging snippets.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Candlewick Press Fall Preview Full of Drama, Dark Fairy Tales—and Octopi

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Oliver Jeffers’s A Child of Books stole the spotlight among a deep field of other worthy upcoming titles, including hotly anticipated picture books and fairy tales with a film noir feel.

Audiobooks and the Summer Reading Push | Tech Tidbits

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Audiobooks are just what teens need to combat the summer slide. Teacher librarian Phil Goerner shares the top free resources to offer over the break.

The Olympics Are Coming! Great Sports Reads for Teens

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Percolating with athletic action, these titles also include smartly treated coming-of-age themes that will captivate sports fanatics and couch potatoes alike.

Interview: John Corey Whaley on Star Trek, Anxiety, and “Highly Illogical Behavior”

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SLJ chats with Printz Award-winner John Corey Whaley about his third YA novel Highly Illogical Behavior

The Thank You Book by Mo Willems | SLJ Review

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WILLEMS, Mo. The Thank You Book. illus. by Mo Willems. 64p. (An Elephant & Piggie Book). Disney-Hyperion. May 2016. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781423178286.
PreS-Gr 2–A sweet and pitch-perfect swan song to a wildly popular series. Reflecting on her good fortune and many blessings, Piggie decides to thank everyone who is important to her. Gerald thinks this is a bad idea, in that she runs the very big risk of forgetting someone. Piggie will not be dissuaded and embarks on her “Thank-o-rama!” She […]

As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds | SLJ Review

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REYNOLDS, Jason. As Brave as You. 410p. S. & S./Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481415903.
Gr 5-8–Reynolds’s engaging middle grade debut stars 11-year-old African American Genie Harris, an inveterate worrywart who considers Google his best friend, and his older brother Ernie, who is well on his way to being a cool dude (sunglasses and all). The born and bred Brooklynites are to spend a month with their grandparents in rural Virginia while their parents take a long overdue […]

A Lineup of Presidential Proportions from Random’s Summer 2016 List| Preview Peek

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Rounding out the patriotic pack at the Random House Summer 2016 Preview was an easy-to-read biography, Hillary Clinton: The Life of a Leader by Shana Corey and Adam Gustavson. (An ode to Donald Trump was conspicuously absent.)