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December 19, 2014

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SLJ Reviews

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Far-Out Science Fiction | SLJ Spotlight

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Four out-of-this-world YA novels that will grab teens’ attention.

Lists!

Lists!

It’s mid-December and that means there are lots of lists coming out. Last year, I made an exhaustive spreadsheet of all of the major journals’ best-of lists to show you what made multiple lists and which ones we’d reviewed. This year, I’m . . . not going to do that. Instead, just a few thoughts. […]

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site | Touch and Go

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You don’t have to go far to find a truck or construction site enthusiast in the under-five crowd. Since it was published in 2011, Sherri Duskey Rinker’s picture book ‘Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site’ has been a favorite with this group. Now there’s an app.

SLJ’s Top 10 DVDs 2014

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School Library Journal DVD reviews editor Kent Turner selects the top picks out of the more than 250 DVDs reviewed in SLJ this year. The following are memorable works that will enhance curricula with their strong educational and entertainment appeal.

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

SLJ’s Top 10 Graphic Novels 2014

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Four superhero stories, three tales with a touch of fantasy, and the drama of a trouble-plagued Antarctic expedition are among the “Good Comics for Kids” bloggers’ favorites.

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

SLJ’s Top 10 Audiobooks 2014

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SLJ’s top 10 audiobooks of 2014 represent the best of the best of 2014’s releases, with titles for all age groups and interests.

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

A complex father-son relationship is found “Somewhere in the Darkness” | Audio Pick

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MYERS, Walter Dean. Somewhere in the Darkness. 5 CDs. 5:15 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. $51.75. ISBN 9781470393922. Playaway, digital download.
Gr 7 Up–Jimmy is 14 years old. His biological mother is dead and his father has been incarcerated for the past nine years. As the story opens, Jimmy is living with Mama Jean in a rundown New York neighborhood. One day he returns home to find a stranger claiming to be his father. Crab, as Jimmy’s father is called, has been […]

Upcoming Diverse Titles, Light Romance, and Magical Realism | What’s Hot in YA

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As we close 2014, it’s heartening to see that the new year will be filled with novels featuring diverse teens, fanciful plotlines, and lots of romance. From Justine Larbalestier’s Razorhurst and Jennifer Niven’sAll the Bright Places to Stacy Lee’s Under the Painted Sky and Cindy Rodriguez’s , young adult fans will have lots to look forward to in 2015.

SLJ’s Top 10 Tech Trends 2014

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Social Media is the new media. Crowdfunding is the new bake sale. Find out what other trends topped Joyce Valenza’s list.

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

Social Justice and Inequality

Social Justice and Inequality

Two passionate nonfiction books top our week. Just Mercy is a memoir by Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer and activist, which focuses on his work as a co-founder of the Equal Justice Initiative–”a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal […]

SLJ’s Top 10 Latino Books of 2014

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From works by Pura Belpré Award-winners to debut authors hailing from Argentina, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, SLJ’s top selections for children and teens about and by Latinos are as diverse and multidimensional as the culture they represent.

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

Books to Increase Awareness of the Cycles of Poverty, Race, and Incarceration

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By listening to the voices of those who have experienced racism, time in prison, and life on the streets, readers of these titles can begin to learn how to break the cycle, and be inspired by those have.

Teens Review the Latest from Holly Black, Novelized Bio of Malcolm X, and More

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Teens share their thoughts about upcoming YA books that feature faeries, whales, and pickup lines along with a fictionalized account of the life of Malcolm X.

Stand-Alone Sequels | SLJ Spotlight

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Three middle grade series installments that can be enjoyed all on their own.

Three Debuts

Three Debuts

One of my favorite reader’s advisory tools is Amazon’s “Customer’s Who Bought This Item Also Bought” feature. I know, I know, Amazon’s a big evil company engaged in a fight against the absolutely tiny publishing firm of Hatchette (note: Hatchette is not tiny), but what can I say? The algorithm they use is great. You […]

The Human Body—Animated | Touch and Go

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Through detailed diagrams, informative animations, and a few exercises, two colorful apps offer students up-close, interactive looks at human body systems.

“Safety Show” explores a broad range of topics | DVD Pick

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The Safety Show. (Ruby’s Studio). 47 min. Dist. by the Mother Company. Themotherco.com. 2013. $14.99. ISBN 9780988282780.
PreS-Gr 1–Keeping children safe is a key concern for parents and teachers, and this production addresses this important topic in a way that empowers children instead of scaring them. The upbeat music, original cartoons, practical crafts, and music videos make learning about safety fun and memorable. Segments cover a range of different topics, and young viewers will learn how to stay safe in a […]

Funny Celebrity Memoirs

Need I say more? I’m not sure I need to. We all know that teens love humorous books, and both of these also fall in the category of books that are very fun to browse through. Brief excerpts from Poehler’s book are available from her NPR interview, and NPH’s website offers a nice intro to the […]

SLJ’s Top 10 Cool Tools 2014

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SLJ “Cool Tools” columnist Richard Byrne taps the best productivity apps and websites of the year.

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

Award-Winning Works Arrive | Multimedia Reviews, December 2014

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The debate about cell phone radiation and the startling increase in teen drug overdoses are scrutinized in this month’s DVD section. In addition, the landmark Emmy Award–winning series Years of Living Dangerously takes viewers around the world exploring climate change. Author Neil Gaiman provides one of the voices in the audiobook version of his acclaimed and ghostly novel The Graveyard Book, and Jacqueline Woodson narrates her award-winning free verse memoir Brown Girl Dreaming.

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