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December 19, 2014

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Timing Is Everything | Consider the Source

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Everyone who knows me knows I’m in the cheering section for the Common Core English Language Arts State Standards. But as an advocate for the standards, I have a concern and a question about the assessments.

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.

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 […]

IMLS Innovation Funding; Bewitching Giveaway; A Wicked Deal for “The Devil’s Intern” | SLJTeen News

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Encouraging innovation is one thing—paying for it is quite another. A Sparks! Ignition grant from IMLS would provide an excellent start in the creation of a new service or tool to implement at your library. Witch and devil fan alert: free books inside for the lucky and the speedy.

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.

“This One Summer” Takes Home Canada’s Governor General Award

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Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer is the first graphic novel to win Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustration. SLJ recently caught up with the author-illustrator team.

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.

Hearing the World: Fiction and nonfiction audiobooks from around the globe | Listen In

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December brings with it the close of the calendar year, giving us time to reflect on and celebrate the diversity of our world’s cultures. Audiobooks, especially those that represent common human experiences and examine global heritage and customs, afford listeners an opportunity to hear stories from around the world.

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

Bibliotherapy for Teens: An Expanded Booklist

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Our November feature article and booklist “Bibliotherapy for Teens” by Erin E. Moulton received an outpouring of positive feedback from readers. Here’s an updated booklist with readers’ suggestions.

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.

‘Highland Park Kids Read’ Takes on Censorship Battle in TX School District

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Nonprofit group Highland Park Kids Read is set to protest the pulling of “objectionable” books from the district’s curricula at a December 9 board meeting of the Highland Park Independent School District.

Feed the Need | Facts for Fact Hounds

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Driven by natural inquisitiveness and personal interests, many children find the volumes in series such as ‘Guinness World Records’ and ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’ irresistible. Here are a few other titles that will feed the informational needs of fact hounds.

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.

Social Media Makes Me a Better School Librarian | Feedback

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Readers weigh in: one librarian raves about social media and another educator talks about his use of YA titles to foster compassion in his students.

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

What the New Research Tells Us About Adolescence and Learning | Professional Shelf

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Does cramming for exams work? Are there benefits to testing? What type of projects encourage deeper understanding? New research in brain and cognitive science offers insights into adolescent behavior and learning with significant implications for both students and teachers.

Late Fall and Early 2015 Picture Books, Easy Readers, and Early Chapter Books | Fiction Preschool to Grade 4

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A strong finish to the 2014 publishing season with a sprinkling of 2015 titles added to the mix.

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 Cow Goes Rogue, Dickens Goes Steampunk, and Katie Friedman Goes Luddite | Fiction Grades 5-8

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This month’s middle-grade fiction includes a bevy of alluring new titles, from Audrey (Cow), a cow determined to make something of herself, to a steampunk version of Charles Dickens’s classic holiday tale, A Christmas Tale.

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 Chats with Cece Bell About her Graphic Novel Memoir ‘El Deafo’ | Up Close

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With ample humor and a keen sensitivity to the emotional melodrama of early adolescence, Cece Bell’s graphic novel memoir, El Deafo, offers a window into growing up deaf in 1970s suburbia. SLJ caught up with the author to discuss her writing process, hearing aids, bad attitudes, and bunnies.

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

How a Librarian Got Celebrities to Booktalk for Her School

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Viktoria Henderson used social media and word of mouth to get local celebrities, from the Tennessee governor and his wife to author Nikki Giovanni, to make video booktalks for her students.

Kids and Apps: A New Parent’s Guide from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center

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The free guide, “Family Time with Apps,” discusses how apps can be used to foster communication and learning while turning “screen time into family time.”