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February 27, 2015

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Native North Americans Shatter Stereotypes in an Evocative Anthology | Up Close

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Editors Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale talk about their stunning and much-needed anthology that explores the art, culture, and experiences of Native North Americans, Dreaming in Indian.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Kid Lit Still Mostly White, but Diversity Gaining Ground

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Children’s books with significant African or African American content nearly doubled in 2014, according to new data from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There was also a slight uptick in publications featuring Asian/Pacific or Asian/Pacific American content.

In the Margins Announces First Social Justice/Advocacy Book Award

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Bryan Stevenson has won the In the Margins Social Justice/Advocacy Book Award for his 2014 title Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, which traces his career of serving the imprisoned and his fight to change injustices in the system.

Top 2015 Titles for Youth in Custody—or in Your Libraries

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After careful consideration and heated debate, the In the Margins committee has selected its best fiction and nonfiction, top 10, and overall selection list of 34 titles. On February 18, it will announce the newest recognition—the Advocacy Award—for authors.

Technology Pilots in Colorado Juvenile Facility Libraries Support Learning and Digital Literacy Skills

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The Division of Youth Corrections, in partnership with the Colorado State Library, has had a great run in its recent launches of multiple technology pilot projects in select juvenile correctional facilities statewide. These innovative initiatives are designed to support positive youth development and resilience for at-risk youth.

Civil Rights Protester and Memoirist Talks to SLJ

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SLJ caught up with Lynda Blackmon Lowery, whose recent book Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March details her experiences participating in the civil rights movement as a teenager.

Black Storytime, Flourishing at Multnomah (OR) County Library

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Should libraries offer programs geared to one culture? After I spoke with Kirby McCurtis, who started a thriving Black Storytime program at Multnomah County Library in Portland, OR, it was clear that the answer is “yes.”

We Need Diverse Books Opens Submissions for “The Walter” Award

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Starting January 29, YA authors of diversity with diverse works may apply for We Need Diverse Books’ inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award.

“Selma”: Accurate Enough? Questions about the film’s historical accuracy present a teachable moment.

Bobby Simmons, 17 Years Old, Marches for the Vote, 1965. Photo by  Matt Herron www.takestockphotos.com

Weighing in on the recent controversy over “Selma” and the ensuing Oscar fallout, author Elizabeth Partridge offers some ideas for engaging students in a discussion about historical accuracy, primary sources, and expert opinion.

We Need Diverse Books Launches Short Story Contest

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We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) has partnered with Random House to publish a middle grade anthology dedicated to the late Walter Dean Myers. One spot in the anthology will be reserved for an unpublished fiction writer selected through WNDB’s upcoming short story contest.

Five Trends That Make 2015 Worth Celebrating| Editorial

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The new year is always a time of optimism. This year in particular, positive tendencies will influence our work in schools and public libraries.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Changing the World | New Books about African American History

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Utilizing a variety of literary forms, writing techniques, and illustrative styles, four 2015 books convey information in a powerful and personal manner, making history accessible—and enticing—to young readers.

Pictures of the Week: Shabazz and Magoon Launch “X: A Novel” at the 92Y in New York City

CNN legal analyst and host Sunny Hostin (left) with Ilyasah Shabazz (center) and her coauthor Kekla Magoon (right) at the launch for their YA book, X: A Novel.

CNN legal analyst and host Sunny Hostin (left) with Ilyasah Shabazz (center) and her coauthor Kekla Magoon at the launch for their YA book, X: A Novel on January 6. They were in conversation at the 92nd St. Y as part of the organization’s YA Lit at 92Y series.

Interview: Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon on their YA Novel About Teenage Malcolm X

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Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz collaborated with young adult author Kekla Magoon on a historical fiction novel about the civil rights leader’s formative years. SLJ caught up with the pair to discuss their writing process, inspiration, and the lasting impact of Malcolm’s legacy.

What’s Trending? Hot Themes in kidlit and what we want to see

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Betsy Bird examines kids’ and YA publishing, from recent trends to seismic shifts, then looks to 2015 and where we’re headed. And there are a few items on her wish list.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Pictures of the Week: Inside Artist and Author Lorenzo Pace’s Studio

Pace unfolds his latest piece of artwork.

Author and artist Lorenzo Pace, known for Jalani and the Lock, opened up his studio to SLJ editors.

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.

Sherman Alexie and Jacqueline Woodson to Speak at BookCon 2015

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A year after heavy criticism for only featuring white authors on panels, BookCon is teaming with the advocacy group We Need Diverse Books for two gatherings with authors of various backgrounds, including National Book Award winners Alexie and Woodson.

Teaching “Black Lives Matter” | SLJ Talks to Educator, Author Renée Watson

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In the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict a New York police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, educator Renée Watson offers advice on how teachers and students can broach recent events.