With so many superb DVD productions in 2013, it was a tough task to choose the 10 best. This year’s top picks reflect an array of topics including art, science, biography, and social studies, with Ken Burns’s documentary The Dust Bowl leading the list.
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It’s a year-long process, but after watching hours upon hours of apps and debating their finer points, we have come up with “SLJ’s Top Ten Apps 2013.” Our list includes innovative works of stunning quality and depth, along with some familiar characters that host loads of engaging interactivity and game play.
SLJ’s book review editors have chosen the best fiction titles of 2013. From a plucky pig sailing to the south pole to a endearing story of first love, the middle grade and young adult titles on this list feature three-dimensional characters, fully realized worlds, and stories that stay with the reader long after the last page.
Every fall the “Adult Books 4 Teens” reviewers come together to nominate, discuss, and select the best reading of the year for a list that guarantees a combination of excellence and appeal to young adults. All of these books were originally reviewed on SLJ’s “Adult Books 4 Teens” blog (blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/adult4teen).
Join SLJ editors on Thursday, November 21, 8 pm EST, during the third annual SLJ Best Books Twitter party, as they reveal the titles that made the 2013 SLJ Best Books list. From picture books to graphic novels and nonfiction to Adult Books for Teens, this year’s picks exemplify the stellar offerings created by authors, illustrators, and publishers of kids’ books
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.