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March 6, 2015

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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.

Value Judgment | Scales On Censorship

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This month, Pat Scales fires back on a principal who nixes the study of a novel with a Buddhist mother-character in a world religions program, a teacher who wants to label library books by reading-level, and a company contracted for book fairs that labels a graphic novel featuring a kiss between two boys as “Mature Content.”

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

Time For Bed: Story Apps To Put Them In the Mood | Touch and Go

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A cat creeping around a house, a raccoon scavenging through trash cans, and circus animals settling down for the night, are some of the sights and sounds seen and heard in these soothing story apps guaranteed to ease children into bedtime routines.

Newly Discovered Dr. Seuss Book to Publish in July

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What Pet Should I Get?, discovered among text and illustrations belonging to Ted Geisel, also known as “Dr. Seuss,” will be released by Random House Children’s Books on July 28, 2015.

Teens Review New YA Fantasy by Rachel Hartman, Sarah J. Maas, and E.K. Johnston

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SLJTeen’s new teen review group from Kitsap County, WA, has pulled out all the stops for its inaugural column. We have eight reviews, including two very different opinions on Melinda Salisbury’s The Sin Eater’s Daughter.

A Nat Geo explorer gets up close and personal in “Crocodile Encounters!”| Audio Pick

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Barr, Brady with Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld. Crocodile Encounters! And More True Stories of Adventures With Animals. 1 CD. 45 min. Recorded Bks. 2014. $15.75. ISBN 9781490635873. digital download.
Gr 2-4–National Geographic explorer Barr presents four suspenseful and often humorous tales of his encounters with crocodiles. In “Undercover Croc,” he dons a specially developed crocodile suit to enter into a large group of fearsome crocodiles. In “Toy Story,” he tries to capture a crocodile using a remote-controlled car and milk jug with […]

Flipped, Blended, or Stirred: Using Video to Enhance Learning in the Classroom | Tech Tidbits

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Video in the classroom is a promising, effective tool for student and teacher learning and education. Colorado teacher librarian Phil Goerner shares some tips on how to use digital video resources in the classroom.

Program Spotlight: “Reading Friends” Initiative Pairs Retirees with Young Students

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At the St. Croix Falls (WI) Elementary School library, retired senior citizens regularly sit down individually with over 130 students to read together, laugh, and learn. Here’s how the program developed.

Best Databases: Watch science spring into action with these must-have resources

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SLJ has reviewed all of the year’s databases in anticipation of our best of list. The results are in: a roster of dynamic and on-point databases that will more than meet 21st-century student needs.

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

Indie Music for Kids: An Essential Playlist

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Aided by the web and social media, “kindie” music has entered a new Golden Age. Critic Warren Truitt highlights the best independent bands in kids’ music.

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

Dreaming of Spring | SLJ Spotlight

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Some perfect picture books to welcome the start of the spring season.

Chieri Uegaki and Chris Haughton Win 2015 Ezra Jack Keats Book Awards

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The 2015 winners of the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award are Chieri Uegaki, author of Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin and Chris Haughton for the illustrations in Shh! We Have a Plan.

The E-Rate Window Is Wide Open: So What Next?

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Libraries and schools applying for E-Rate’s Wi-Fi program have an extra $1.5 billion of funds to tap until the March 26 deadline. Here are some tips and tools to maximize your application.

SLJ Accepting Entries for 2015 Build Something Bold Award

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SLJ, in partnership with LEGO Education, has launched the Build Something Bold Award, this year honoring creativity in programming and lesson plans that incorporate hands-on learning in the library or classroom.

Theodore Gray’s ‘Molecules’ | Touch and Go

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Here’s SLJ’s reviewer Paula Willey on ‘Molecules': A new app from Touch Press—home of the exquisitely lit razor-sharp 360-degree image floating on a velvet-black background—is like getting a VIP tour of a fabulous new exhibit at a richly funded museum.”

PARCC and You | Consider the Source

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The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) tests are coming to 10 states this spring. How can you help colleagues, parents, and students to prepare for them?

SLJ Reviews LittleBits: These bright, appealing sets encourage tinkerers to explore electronics

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Imagine if building a flashlight was as easy as stacking blocks, or that you could build a robot with a shoebox, nine-volt battery, and a pile of components small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Enter LittleBits, a modular, à la carte electronics prototyping platform for users of all skill levels

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

Tuck Turns 40

Natalie Babbitt at Symphony Space.

On Tuck Everlasting’s 40th anniversary, Gregory Maguire hosts an evening dedicated to the Natalie Babbitt YA classic in New York City’s Symphony Space, and SLJ talks to the 82-year-old Babbitt.

Spanning the College Readiness Gap | Editorial

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Too many teens arrive at college unprepared to do the work ahead. From research savvy to life skills, college readiness needs to be addressed through concerted effort by educators and librarians.

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

Sound and Fury | Graphic Nonfiction for Teens

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Visually enticing, featuring dramatic colors or memorable images, graphic nonfiction is a surefire hit in high school collections. And what better way to transform students’ conception of history from a compilation of long-ago events and obscure names into real people, with relatable stories?