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December 19, 2014

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Riffs on Classic Tales | New Fiction for Young Adults

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A number of young adult authors continue to adapt, interpret, and honor classic novels and short stories in tales that have proven to be fascinating companion titles to explore in classrooms or as independent reading choices.

Feed the Need | Facts for Fact Hounds

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Driven by natural inquisitiveness and personal interests, many children find the volumes in series such as ‘Guinness World Records’ and ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’ irresistible. Here are a few other titles that will feed the informational needs of fact hounds.

What the New Research Tells Us About Adolescence and Learning | Professional Shelf

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Does cramming for exams work? Are there benefits to testing? What type of projects encourage deeper understanding? New research in brain and cognitive science offers insights into adolescent behavior and learning with significant implications for both students and teachers.

Best Adult Books 4 Teens | Curriculum Tie-In Edition

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From the ‘Best Adult Books 4 Teens’ blog comes a list of high-interest fiction and nonfiction titles that make important contributions to conversations and topics covered in the high school curriculum.

In the Line of Fire: Perspectives on War

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Although they focus on different historical events, represent various viewpoints, and employ an assortment of formats, three new titles offer riveting perspectives of war and its devastating effects.

Robin LaFevers’s “Medieval Obsession”

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SLJ spoke with Robin LaFevers, who concludes her thrilling “His Fair Assassins” trilogy set in 15th-century Brittany with the exciting ‘Mortal Heart.’

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.

Views On An “Embattled” Profession | Professional Shelf

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As journalist Dana Goldstein eloquently documents in ‘The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession,’ the state of our current public school system is rooted in a complicated story.

Raúl Colón: The Boy Who Loved To Draw

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Raúl Colón’s latest book, ‘Draw!’ unfolds entirely through pictures, as a boy confined to his bed, takes readers on a journey of the imagination to the Serengeti plains of Africa.

Kathleen Krull: An Author to Study

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Kathleen Krull’s many picture books exemplify the best kind of narrative nonfiction for our students—accurate, well-researched, lively texts enhanced by large, handsome illustrations.

Transitioning to Chapter Books | Series Standbys

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What are your favorite series titles for children making their first forays into chapter books? We’ve listed a few of ours.

From Easy Readers to First Chapter Books | Titles to Ease the Transition

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This sampling of well-written, pleasingly illustrated books formatted with independent readers in mind will help students make the transition from easy readers to longer chapter books.

Separating a City—and Families

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On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Beth Kephart’s compelling YA novel ‘Going Over’ offers a story of the human impact of the barrier, which separated not just the city, but friends and families on either side.

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Bones | New Books About the Human Body

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The human body is an amazing machine. A number of new titles address how it develops, how to keep it functioning smoothly, and individual differences—all subjects reflected in the K–12 curriculum.

Spine-Tingling Stories for Older Readers

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Spellbinding, shocking, and satisfyingly spooky, creepy tales will rivet readers and raise goose bumps galore. They can also be shared in secondary classrooms to introduce and explore basic short story elements, discuss narrative voice, and analyze point of view.

Aaron Becker: Creating Scalable Worlds | Interview

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When Aaron Becker finished ‘Journey,’ his debut picture (and 2014 Caldecott Honor) book, he thought, “There’s a whole world here…and more story.” Look for the next installment of that magical tale in his recently released ‘Quest.’

Banned Books | Sparking Discussions with Students

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Encourage children and teens to read a banned or challenged book isplay of titles by Dav Pilkey, Louise Fitzhugh, Pura Belpré, Rainbow Rowell and other popular authors deemed “inappropriate” at one time or another.

Stolen Kisses | Romances to Tempt Teen Readers

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Conjuring up illicit but intoxicating chance meeting and burning passion, forbidden love is a tried-and-true trope that teens gravitate toward.

Support for Struggling Learners | Professional Shelf

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With solid advice and practical examples, two recent professional titles advocate student-centered approaches that support struggling learners as they gain confidence and increase proficiency.