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August 20, 2014

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Novels in Verse, Literary Street Lit, and High-Interest Nonfiction | What’s Hot in YA

How it Went Down Magoon

Kekla Magoon’s How It Went Down about a black teen who is shot by a white man, is especially timely with recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and just the right title for young adults grappling with streaming headlines. And, a new book from the queen of verse novels, Ellen Hopkins, will entice fans of the format. The following fiction and nonfiction titles for teens will be perfect for late-summer reading and back-to-school shelf-browsing.

On the Cusp

On the Cusp

High school is behind you, but you’re not quite an independent adult. Today’s reviews cover one book of essays and stories written during–and one graphic novel memoir written about–the college years. Marina Keegan was a talented writer who died days after graduating from Yale. She had lined up a position as an editorial assistant at The [...]

Teens Teach Tech Grants, Giveaways, and Teens’ Top Ten Voting Opens | SLJTeen News

Teens Top Ten YALSA

Looking for a way to get your older patrons up to speed on the latest tech gadgets but short on staff time? There’s a grant for that. Chronicle has a galley for every reader in its giveaway basket, and please note: it’s time for teens to vote for their favorites from the YALSA Teens’ Top Ten 2014 nominee list.

Two Books About Black Youth in America

Two Books About Black Youth in America

“In comparing football players to drug dealers, Almond’s point is that football is among the very few limited options available to black youth,” writes Mark Flowers. The Adult Books 4 Teens blogger considers Burning Down the House, by Nell Bernstein, and Against Football, by Steve Almond.

Teens Review Debut ‘Zac & Mia’, ‘Off Pointe’ and Throne of Glass 3

Off Pointe

Zac & Mia will be of interest to fans of TFIOS, ballet lovers will want to grab Off Pointe, while fantasy gurus looking for a series to dig into ought to check out Sarah Maas’s “Throne of Glass” books.

An Interview With George Pratt

An Interview With George Pratt

On Wednesday, we reviewed Above the Dreamless Dead, edited by Chris Duffy, a graphic novel comprised of poems by the Trench Poets of World War I, and illustrated by contemporary graphic novelist. As promised in that post, today we have an interview with one of the illustrators of that collection, George Pratt. Pratt is a [...]

The Long-Anticipated Film of Lois Lowry’s ‘The Giver’ | Movie Review

BRENTON THWAITES and ODEYA RUSH star in THE GIVER

The film adaptation for Lois Lowry’s 1993 dystopian middle-grade novel The Giver is almost 20 years in the making, starting when actor Jeff Bridges bought the book option back in 1995. Fans of Lowry’s book have long waited for the book’s screen release coming to theaters this Friday, August 15.

SLJTeen Catches Up with Debut Author Anthony Breznican

Brutal Youth

It can’t be easy having your debut novel compared to The Chocolate War, but Anthony Breznican takes it all in stride. Adult Books 4 Teens contributor Diane Colson talks to the author about his inspiration, his characters, and Elvis Costello.

Illustrating the Poetry of World War I, One Hundred Years Later

Illustrating the Poetry of World War I, One Hundred Years Later

There are various dates given as the first day of World War I, from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, to the first shots fired by Austro-Hungarian soldiers on July 28 to the August 4th declaration of war by the British Empire, signalling the truly world-wide stretch of the conflict. Whatever [...]

Constructing a Life | A Conversation with Isabel Quintero

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“Adults forget what it is like to be a teen—that on their way to becoming adults they are often faced with situations they don’t know how to react or respond to. I often hear adults say, ‘In my day young women/men didn’t behave this way or that way.’ I have to laugh because, yes they did!”

Sister, Sister: Sibling Drama in Young Adult Literature

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Delving into everything from rivalries and heartbreaks to cold shoulders and warm embraces, three recent young adult novels each explore a facet of that bond among young women coming of age simultaneously, bound by blood, and, often, friendship.

Family Histories and Folktales

Family Histories and Folktales

Today we review two books that offer intriguing, even haunting, stories from unfamiliar cultures. Both are inspired by the family histories and folktales the authors were told by family members, one Native American, one Vietnamese. We begin with House of Purple Cedar, an historical novel that reveals both the daily and spiritual life of one [...]

Backpacks, Lunch Boxes, and Giggles Galore: Back-to-School Adventures

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This year’s crop of back-to-school titles balances familiar elements with inventive plots to explore commonplace qualms and quandaries with creativity and pizzazz.

Interactive & Imaginative: New Apps for Young Children | Touch and Go

Interior image from "How I Became a Pirate" (Oceanhouse Media) Shannon

This week we highlight three apps for children preschool-grade one: a multimedia production to reinforce concepts and two flights of fancy. What do they have in common? In a word, action!

Lock In

Lock In

John Scalzi’s Redshirts was one of my favorite books of 2012 to recommend–fun and funny, Science Fiction but easily accessible to non-SF readers. Now he’s back with another high-concept Science Fiction title, Lock In. A disease called Haden’s Syndrome leaves its victims completely paralyzed–”locked in”–but with their mental facilities fully intact, calling for a series [...]

The Rules of Summer; Shakespeare at Play | App Reviews

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There’s play and plays in this month’s selection of apps that you won’t want to miss.

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

Out West and Underwater | Multimedia Reviews, August 2014

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Bionic pets, great white sharks, and snow monkeys dart across the screen in three DVD documentaries while Brian Floca’s award-winning Locomotion arrives as an audiobook. Or, plunge under the sea with Jacques Cousteau or hop into the box ring with Joe Louis in two adaptations of acclaimed picture books

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

A Girl and Her Dog, Beyond ‘Peter Pan,’ and Other New Middle-Grade Reads | Fiction Grades 5-8

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There’s something here for middle-grade fans of all stripes this month. Those looking for adventure on the high seas will find it in Heidi Schulz’s Hook’s Revenge, while readers seeking a quieter tale will enjoy Ann M. Martin’s moving Rain Reign, a poignant story of an autistic girl who bonds with a lost dog.

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

Late Summer and Fall Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Beginning Chapter Books | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4

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This issue features a cornucopia of titles loaded with child appeal and just right for year-round sharing. Highlights include some runaway cookies, a princess in black, imaginative play, and an exploration of things that make us happy.

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

Artistic Bonds, Gender-Bending Memoirs, and a New Look at Ernest Shackleton | Nonfiction Grades 5 and Up

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Check out a gorgeous new volume on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, two memoirs that tackle gender, and a graphic novel on Arctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.

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