March 24, 2017

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SLJ Spotlight

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9 Refugee Stories for Kids and Teens

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These nine titles—from picture books to YA—explore the many dangers, factors, and effects that refugees and immigrants face every day.

3 “STEM”-ulating Biographies

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These recent titles tackle complex STEM topics suitable for any classroom.

3 Adorably Fox-y Picture Books

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Dispel the negative connotations surrounding foxes in children’s stories with these three cuddly tales.

5 Middle Grade Titles Featuring People of Color

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Looking for new middle grade novels starring main characters of color? Here are five standout titles suitable for most collections.

Checking the Bear-omator | SLJ Spotlight on Picture Books

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Bear stories are perennial favorites for the toddler and preschool set to curl up with and these new titles are no exception.

First Things First: YA Debuts | SLJ Spotlight

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From fun romances to royal intrigue and from a harrowing tale of Hurricane Katrina to a teen’s journey from Haiti to Detroit, the following YA debut novels offer new stories and voices on the teen lit scene.

Blast from the Past | SLJ Spotlight on Middle Grade

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Are your patrons itching to revisit days of yore and bygone eras? These recent novels take on historical fiction from varied perspectives, from a narrative set during the 1950s that tackles bias and prejudice to a tale of medieval London that incorporates fantasy and magic.

An Antidote for the Winter Blues | SLJ Spotlight on Nonfiction

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Cold, blustery days got elementary students down? These spring-related titles are just the ticket to get kids energized for longer and warmer days ahead.

The Champ is Here | SLJ Spotlight

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A mix of picture book and YA biographies that focus on well-known athletes who not only excelled in their respective leagues but also created lasting cultural change.

Dozers, Dumpers, and Drills | SLJ Spotlight

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Titles featuring construction equipment and other big machines are evergreen favorites with the preschool set, and these new offerings do not disappoint. Whether told in infectious rhyme, reinforcing concepts, or building vocabulary, these active, irresistible narratives filled with vibrant art and awesome sound effects address early literacy skills and get the job done in style.

Just a Touch of Magic | SLJ Spotlight

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A trio of new titles that offer realistic themes—bullying, health issues, family troubles—with a hint of the fantastical.

Get With the Program! | SLJ Spotlight

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In need of programming ideas?

Unzip the Mysteries | SLJ Spotlight

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With red herrings, suspects, and plenty of clues, mysteries hold tons of appeal for readers of all ages. These novels have all the twists and turns that make the genre so captivating, but all are tween-friendly. From the latest “Glimmer Girls” installment to the tale of a mystery prankster to a book about a disappearing toddler, these are intriguing yet age-appropriate stories that are bound to inspire budding gumshoes.

A Star Is Born | SLJ Spotlight

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The stage life isn’t all glamour, as the teens in these diverse titles discover. Whether they’re performing for a few spectators at a high school auditorium or for thousands of screaming fans at a stadium-size arena, these young singers and actors learn to balance everyday concerns about family, friends, and romance with the high-stakes drama of life in the spotlight.

Black Contributions Matter | SLJ Spotlight

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These titles are an evocation of the depth and richness of black artistry and creativity.

Every Dog Has His Day | SLJ Spotlight

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Whether tiny and intrepid or large and stately, our canine companions are almost always willing helpmates and loyal friends. Even those with exuberant personalities and vocal proclivities add excitement, energy, and elements of fun to otherwise humdrum households. Here are some winning pup-related picture books from this issue.

Suspenseful Settings | SLJ Spotlight

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Boarding schools have been the backdrop for some of the most popular recent youth titles. It’s no wonder that novelists find these ready-made worlds so appealing, with their contained settings, off-site parents, and rich traditions. These offerings make the most of evocative boarding school settings in stories woven with mystery and suspense.

We Are Family | SLJ Spotlight

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Is there anything more complicated than family? For the protagonists of these recent novels, families are both the source of strife and foundations of strength.

Companionable Reads | SLJ Spotlight

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Several sequels and companion books are reviewed in this month’s issue—from Bruce Coville’s laugh-out-loud second installment in the “Enchanted Files” series and Eleanor Glewwe’s thoughtful follow-up to Sparkers to Kirsten Hubbard’s unique companion to last year’s unsettling Watch the Sky and Beth Vrabel’s heartfelt sequel to A Blind Guide to Stinkville.

LGBTQ in Genre Fiction | SLJ Spotlight

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While coming-out stories will always be necessary in teen lit, it’s refreshing to see that LGBTQ protagonists are taking center stage in mysteries, sci-fi, romance, and other genre fiction. These latest titles offer engaging narratives with nonheteronormative leads that all young adults will find fun to read.