May, a month of “ducky” stars.
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Have you heard about “The Hub Reading Challenge,” sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)? As reported in SLJ’s Good Comics for Kids blog, YALSA is hosting an expanded, new and improved The Hub Reading Challenge for 2013. This is how it works: you have until June 22 to read as many titles as you can from YALSA’s official challenge list. Once you hit the 25 book mark, you’re eligible to submit a reader’s response for any of the titles you’ve read. Sure, there’s a prize, and you can earn a badge too!
A week after the “big reveal” at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting, everyone is still talking about the latest award-winning titles. Young Adult Library Services Association committees select books for teens from 12 to 18 years of age, with a broad range of reading abilities and maturity levels. Whether they are edgy or informative, these buzz-worthy books will circulate among your students for years to come.
I guess we’re going make this an annual thing. Last January, SLJTeen ran my top choices for 2011, and here I am again with my 2012 picks. As you may remember, Coe Booth’s Bronxwood and Simone Elkeles’s Chain Reaction were on last year’s list. In a blog post, Booth wrote that she purposefully deleted the new novel she was working on. That takes courage and commitment. Her novels show her dedication to excellence, and teens respond. Elkeles is working on a new four-book series about football entitled Wild Cards. When I asked if there were also girls and guns in it, she replied, “There are always girls and romance and guys with lots of testosterone! No guns in the first book, but it gets gritty in the second when one of the boys gets caught up in gang activity.”
Looking for a great way to keep kids’ attention from wandering in class? We’ve got a solution: show them a film that’s so engaging, they’ll forget it’s part of the lesson. During the past year, we’ve reviewed nearly 300 DVDs aimed at the K–12 crowd. So how could we possibly select the 10 best? Well, it wasn’t as difficult as we thought. As we looked over our reviews, a pattern emerged, especially in light of the new Common Core standards.
Best Books 2012
Bringing together the best reading of the year among 17 book reviewers resulted in a wonderfully varied group of titles that combines excellence and appeal to young adults. All of these books were originally reviewed on SLJ’s Adult Books 4 Teens blog, which can be found at blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/adult4teen.
There were a few trends in addition to the plentiful coming-of-age fiction and nonfiction memoirs. We ended up with three powerful debut novels about modern war–The Yellow Birds, Billy [...]
The breakdown of this year’s list reflects the realities of the publishing world—YA continues to dominate in terms of output and sheer heft, but there was a noticeable uptick in the numbers of fine middle grade novels. There were several terrific picture books with engaging characters and dynamic art.
First, consider the numbers. Some 37,000 children’s and YA books have been published in 2012, according to Bowker. SLJ reviewed more than 6,500 of them—thanks to our corp of 300 active reviewers in the field. Of these titles, 289 earned stars. And here, in the final presentation, are the 65 that were selected as SLJ’s Best Books of 2012.
How they get identified is not a math problem, of course. Passions run high. There’s a talented team behind this list, packed [...]