September 26, 2016

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SLJ Spotlight

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Paranormal Pals | SLJ Spotlight

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Most ghost stories are designed to send shivers up readers’ spines, but these three new books buck the trend, tackling a range of relatable themes via interactions with the not-so-scary recently deceased. There’s 13-year-old Andie, whose paranormal investigations help her grapple with loss; Baylor, a young teen who communes with his dead sister; and Ada, a goth girl who befriends a ghostly mouse. Engaging mystery, strong characters, and dashes of humor set these offerings apart from the typical ghoulish fare.

Tell It Slant | SLJ Spotlight

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These works are a call for empathy and compassion and necessary reads for students engaged with our nation’s past, the refugee experience, and the power of self and nature.

On the Road, Again: New YA Road Trip Novels | SLJ Spotlight

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Nothing signifies “coming of age” as well as a road trip. And as the protagonists in these YA novels prove, the twists and turns of highways and inevitable vehicle malfunctions are part and parcel of this rite of passage. From an Odyssey-like journey to an artist’s struggle to forge her own identity in the Jim Crow South, the following works highlight the ups and downs of adolescence and the winding adventures of the road.

Oh, Baby | SLJ Spotlight

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There are loads of books about the arrival of cute bundles of joy into a household. These titles address some of the less charming aspects of infants. They disrupt established routines, demand (and command) constant attention, terrorize the family pets, and drive their siblings bonkers.

Wild, Weird, and Wonderful | SLJ Spotlight

NF-SP-Elem-Turner-Crow Smarts

These selections are odes to all of the fierce, creepy, and, in some cases, elusive beasts that ordinarily make even the toughest of us say “eek!”

Smells Like Tween Spirit | SLJ Spotlight

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Whether you call them “upper middle grade” titles, “tween reads,” or just “great books for preteens,” the following selections are perfect for those looking for a middle school setting, a bit of YA-esque action, but non of the more sophisticated content that typically accompanies novels for true teens.

YA Shakespeare Retellings | SLJ Spotlight

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William Shakespeare’s plays have found a welcoming home in YA adaptations. Complete with a diverse cast and contemporary settings, these works play with the legendary playwright’s plots, characters, and themes.

The Gang’s All Here | SLJ Spotlight

NF-SP-LEVY-I Dissent

Take a peek at this collection of notable activists and political figures to start conversations about social movements with students.

Getting In on the Action | SLJ Spotlight

Ryan Quinn and the Rebel’s Escape

For readers looking for books that will grab them, hold their attention, and leave them wanting more, these action packed titles will have readers humming the “Mission Impossible” theme song.

Wild Things! | SLJ Spotlight

Finding Wild

Whether large or infinitesimally tiny, predators or helpful plants and creatures, all offer something to stimulate the senses and secrets to be discovered in these selected titles about exploring the natural world.

New Kid Blues | SLJ Spotlight

MG-SP-Vickers-Like Magic

Moving to a new town or school is a common, and difficult, life experience for many kids. Several new titles feature characters who experience—and overcome—the new kid blues.

Small Steps | SLJ Spotlight

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Forget the electoral process; students may need a refresher on what Washington, DC, even looks like! These titles will have readers ready to set off on the right foot toward greater political knowledge.

Your Worst Nightmare | SLJ Spotlight

SIROWY, Alexandra. The Telling

Looking for a good scare? Check out the latest spine-tingling YA offerings sure to keep teens up at night.

“Pride and Prejudice” YA Redux | SLJ Spotlight

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen’s classic continues to inspire new YA adaptations every year. Give these titles to budding Janeites or teens looking for YA romances with a unique spin.

Mellow Dramas | SLJ Spotlight

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Middle Grade novels often have two extremes: ultra fantastical or the issue-driven realistic. However ,these titles are equally satisfying to read stories where the drama is simply of a more mellow nature, where the smaller trials and tribulations of growing up take center stage.

BFFS | SLJ Spotlight

PB-Harry and Walter

Kindred spirits come in all shapes and sizes (and ages!) and help make every activity and new discovery that much more fun. These picture book tributes to making and keeping old friends and new.

Tenacious Trailblazers | SLJ Spotlight

NF-Whoosh

When discussing innovations, whether they are related to science, sports, or even backyard fun, it is important to give proper respect to those responsible. These titles provide an engaging and lively look at the individuals behind such beloved cultural artifacts as the Super Soaker and baseball or, in the case of Tiny Stitches, a poignant portrait of Vivien Thomas and his contributions to the medical community.

Barton, Chris. Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions. illus. […]

Summer Lovin’: 13 New YA Romances | SLJ Spotlight

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Looking for lighthearted romances to populate summer reading shelves? Take a look at the latest crop of beach reads that teens will be devouring come vacation time.

YA Tales from Down Under | SLJ Spotlight

Hartnett, Sonya. Golden Boys

From a nuanced look at abuse to a fun read about a teen who communicates with ghosts, these latest works set in Australia are sure to wow U.S. teens.

Hiding in Plain Sight | SLJ Spotlight

BARROUX. Where’s the Elephant

Whether it’s a story about a game of counting and scouting for hidden friends or looking for cleverly concealed visual clues, these books sharpen children’s observation skills and allow them to succeed vicariously by paying attention, honing sharp-eyed reflexes, and having fun along the way.