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November 24, 2014

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A Trio of Trailblazing Performers

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Three new picture books about three African American women born in the early 20th century resound with compelling storytelling, expressive artwork, and a sonorous message about overcoming obstacles and following one’s dreams.

Old Friends, Fresh Stories: New Middle Grade Fantasy

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Fantasy writing for children has a long and storied history, populated with all manner of heroic quests, forgotten prophecies, and strange magic. Despite its near-century of popularity, there is no sign of flagging enthusiasm for this much-beloved genre.

Early Chapter Books to Cheer About | SLJ Spotlight

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Six great new titles to help early readers hone their skills.

Hank and John Green Join PBS to Expand “Crash Course” Video Series

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The partnership will make the Greens brothers’ witty, educational YouTube series available through the PBS Digital Studios YouTube channel and PBS LearningMedia.

Bibliotherapy for Teens: Helpful Tips and Recommended Fiction

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A public librarian’s interaction with teens affirms her faith in bibliotherapy, as does her research. Read her story, along with a recommended list of realistic YA fiction. We invite you to suggest more titles.

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

A Mysterious Thief with an Unusual Mission| Touch and Go

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Looking for an app that offers a language-arts lesson ? The Happy Dandelion’s ‘UnStealer’ fits that bill, but does it succeed as story?

Understood.org: Web Resource Helps Parents of Kids with Learning and Attention Issues

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Understood.org is a new “parent toolbox” on the Web that pools the expertise of 15 well-known learning and child nonprofits so that parents can find articles, advice, expertise, and empathy for their child’s learning and attention struggles.

HarperCollins Releases Enhanced Ebook Version of To Kill a Mockingbird

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The enhanced ebook, released November 4 by HarperCollins, features a 1964 radio interview with author Harper Lee, who rarely speaks to the media. The regular ebook edition of To Kill a Mockingbird came out in July 2014.

Reaching a Range of Users, from the Youngest to the Oldest | Reference Online

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This month, we highlight databases for both the oldest and the youngest patrons. While Sparticl brings together the best science material on the Web, World Book’s Early World of Learning focuses on users making their first forays into reading.

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

Alaskan culture and human nature explored in “Ice Whale” | Audio Pick

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GEORGE, Jean Craighead. Ice Whale. 4 CDs. 4:30 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. $46.75. ISBN 9781490630212. Playaway, digital download.
Gr 4-6–This magnificent story begins with Toozak‚ a Yup’ik Eskimo boy in Alaska, staring at a whaling ship with a red, white, and blue flag. When Toozak unknowingly leads the Yankee ships to the whales’ feeding grounds, the animals are slaughtered. For this, the village shaman declares Toozak’s family cursed until one of them can save the life of Siku, a young ice [...]

In Search of Stellar Nonfiction | Consider the Source

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Under the Common Core State Standards students need quality nonfiction to support class assignments and they need to know how to read it. So where is it?

Free Speech Matters: National Coalition Against Censorship’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

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SLJ was on hand to fete the 40th anniversary celebration of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) on November 3 with luminaries from the children’s literature and YA world, including honorees Neil Gaiman and Robie Harris, and NCAC co-chair Judy Blume.

Dynamic Librarian Gets Apple ConnectED Grant for West Harlem Middle School

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Peter Kornicker, a library media specialist at Don Pedro Albizu Campos Middle School in New York City, nabbed the Apple ConnectED grant for his school. This award translates into every student receiving an Apple iPad and every teacher, an iPad and Macbook, in 2015.

Carnegie-Whitney Grants Available; YALSA 2014 Maker Contest Winners | SLJTeen News

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Apply for a Carnegie-Whitney Grant to underwrite fabulous library resources. Find inspiration among the five winning entries to YALSA’s 2014 Makers Contest—from digital media training to “Sew Electric.”

The ‘Red Band Society’ and Beyond: YA Novels About Life, Death, and Love

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Filled with humor and heartbreak, poignant emotion, and amazing instances of courage, these young adult offerings are sure to captivate fans of the Red Band Society TV show and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

Ken Burns & Vivaldi on the iPad | Best of Apps & Enhanced Books

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Overviews of the work of two men separated by disciplines and centuries headline our app selections for the month.

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

Bold in Every Setting| Editorial

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The four stand-out programs recognized by SLJ and LEGO Education’s Build Something Bold design award reinforce the case for strong school libraries.

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

Why the Great Green Room is Green, Facing Censorship, and More from BookFest @ Bank Street

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During the event at Manhattan’s Bank Street College of Education, Leonard S. Marcus, Brian Pinkney, Jason Chin, Coe Booth, Tim Federle, Matt de la Peña, and others talked about why they do what they do.

Teens Review ‘The Bane Chronicles’, and Latest from Ally Condie, C.J. Lyons, and Sarah Zettel

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Our group of teen reviewers share a pair of love letters to The Bane Chronicles; offer their thoughts on the second installment of the “Palace of Spies” series by Sarah Zettel; and showcase titles dealing with agoraphobia and a world divided between those above and below.

Beloved Tales in New Skins: Sherlock Holmes, “Beauty and the Beast,” and More | Fiction Grades 5-8

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Check out a bevy of new titles, from new twists on old favorites, such as a gorgeous new edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, an updated “Beauty and the Beast,” and a graphic novel adaptation of Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero.

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