April 15, 2014

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No More Pink: Independent Readers with Independent Female Protagonists │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

Fly away

From a naughty girl-turned-spy to a best friend who sometimes makes mistakes, these strong female characters make their own choices, even when it’s scary to do so.

Great Books About Eggs and Chicks


Bursting with a sense of exhilarating discovery, natural renewal, and out-and-out exuberance, these 12 lively books for young readers about eggs and chicks are just right for spring.

Conclusions to Popular Teen Lit Sagas | Fiction Series Update: YA Trilogies


Whether a paranormal romance aficionado or a dystopian or postapocalyptic fiction completist, teen readers can slake their hunger for series fiction with the following picks.

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

The Latest from Sheila Turnage and Tim Federle │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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Middle grade titles by Sheila Turnage, Tim Federle, and newcomers Natalie Lloyd and Henry Clark combine humor and poignancy, creating the perfect recipe for great reads. Incorporate the following booktalks and tools when sharing these powerful books with kids.

Text Sets: Your Chance to Lead the Common Core | Consider the Source

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While offering educators tried-and-true resources that respond to the CCSS mandate for “content-rich nonfiction that builds knowledge,” the ambitious Student Achievement Partners (SAP) also opens a door to collaboration.

Resources for Newbery Award-Winners │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

One Came Home

The results are in. Four Honor books were recently selected by American Library Association. With great kid appeal for students in grades two to nine, these books also meet classroom learning standards. Check out the following booktalks and resources for these acclaimed titles.

The 2014 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

The 2014 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

The 2014 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to Kirkpatrick Hill for Bo at Ballard Creek, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Resources for Award-Winning Middle Grade Fiction │JLG’s Booktalks to Go

PS Be Eleven

With the award season in full swing, how can you make the best use of the wonderful books you’re adding to your collection? Junior Library Guild’s Deborah B. Ford offers booktalks and resources for acclaimed fiction titles for elementary readers.

MWA Announces 2014 Edgar Awards Nominees

blue and green background, house, lower right

The Mystery Writers of America has announced the nominees for its 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television from the previous year, in celebration of the 205th anniversary of Poe’s birth.

‘I, Frankenstein’: A New Creature Feature and a Selection of Monstrously Good Reads for Teens

Frankenstein Classical Comics

Opening in theaters on January 24, I, Frankenstein (PG-13) provides a fresh take on a classic character set in an alternate modern-day world. Help teens make a connection between movie incarnations of this fearsome protagonist and the tale’s early 19th-century literary inspiration with a spine-tingling selection of graphic novels and reimaginings.

Must-Read Middle School Book Club Novels │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

True Blue Scouts

What would you do if your family was the only one with a fallout shelter and you heard the sirens? Or your mom needs money to save the family restaurant? Or you promised to follow orders no matter what, even if you know they are morally wrong? These are the situations facing the characters in this week’s selections from the editors at Junior Library Guild, our second round-up of book club novels ripe for discussion.

2014 Kids of Color: Things Are Looking Up


What is Betsy Bird anticipating in the New Year? “It is, in fact, the plethora, the godsend, the sheer number of books with kids of color on the middle grade covers coming out in 2014.”

Teens Review Spring 2014 Releases, Second Take on Whaley’s ‘Noggin’


Though there’s time travel in Subway Love and a body transplant in Noggin, all of the featured titles here could loosely be labeled contemporary young adult fiction. While one teen attempts to escape from suburban atrophy in The Other Way Around, another finds her way out through dance in Warm Up. What’s not to love about YA books?

Web Resources for Must-Read Book Club Picks │JLG’s On the Radar

Great American Dust Bowl

Do they really use human bones in bone china? How long can you farm without water? After reading the following titles, selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild, students won’t need much prompting for discussion. Check out suggestions and resources for using these picks with student book clubs or share them with classroom teachers.

SLJ Best Books 2013 Fiction


SLJ’s book review editors have chosen the best fiction titles of 2013. From a plucky pig sailing to the south pole to a endearing story of first love, the middle grade and young adult titles on this list feature three-dimensional characters, fully realized worlds, and stories that stay with the reader long after the last page.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Spotlight on Spanish-language Fantasy | Libro por libro


Fantasy and science fiction for children and young adults is a genre that can bridge language and cultural barriers and find popularity throughout the world. English-speaking authors have all been widely translated and are familiar to Latino children here in the United States. But what about the authors writing in this genre in Spanish?

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Why Verse? Poetic Novels for Historical Fiction, Displacement Stories, and Struggling Readers


There are many reasons to write novels in verse, according to author Terry Farish: To reflect a culture’s music and literary heritage; to offer reprises of a language’s rhythm; to create a fast pace that mirrors the character’s own ride; to bring the cinematic camera intimately close.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Debut: SLJ Chats with Susann Cokal About ‘The Kingdom of Little Wounds’

The Kingdom of Little Wounds

The Kingdom of Little Wounds is a complicated, intense, and provocative story for mature teen readers set in late-16th-century Skyggehavn, Scandinavia. SLJTeen caught up with the multitalented Susann Cokal to chat about her opulent and triumphant debut YA novel.

JA in YA: To Jane on the 200th Anniversary of ‘Pride and Prejudice’


On the 200th Anniversary of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ SLJ editor, Austen devotee, and children’s literature specialist Shelley Diaz has compiled a list of some of her favorite spin-offs–in several formats–for young adult readers.

The Beat Goes On: Brilliant Middle Grade Sequels │ JLG’s On the Radar

When Did You See Her

Junior Library Guild editors share fun sequels for independent readers. These follow-ups include new entries in favorite series by Lemony Snicket and Jack Gantos, and will have kids anxiously waiting for their next titles.