January 30, 2015

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SLJ Chats with Cece Bell About her Graphic Novel Memoir ‘El Deafo’ | Up Close


With ample humor and a keen sensitivity to the emotional melodrama of early adolescence, Cece Bell’s graphic novel memoir, El Deafo, offers a window into growing up deaf in 1970s suburbia. SLJ caught up with the author to discuss her writing process, hearing aids, bad attitudes, and bunnies.

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

The Power to Perceive: Paul Fleischman shines a light on the environmental crisis | Up Close


Few authors have taken on environmental issues as effectively as author Paul Fleischman. In his recent Eyes Wide Open, he has penned an empowering call to action, stirring young people to challenge assumptions and think for themselves.

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

Neil Gaiman Chats with SLJ About His Reimagined “Hansel and Gretel” | Up Close


SLJ caught up with master storyteller Neil Gaiman, who penned a spooky graphic novel adaptation of “Hansel and Gretel,” inspired by Lorenzo Mattotti’s dark and gloomy art. Check out our exclusive behind-the-scenes video chat with Gaiman.

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

Interview: Gregory Maguire on Why the World Needs Magic and ‘Egg and Spoon’


The author of Wicked, the book that spawned the blockbuster Broadway play, Gregory Maguire talks with SLJ about his latest otherworldly novel Egg and Spoon, who should be reading it, and why fairy tales are necessary nutrition for the modern world.

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

A New Picture Book Biography About a Transgender Girl | Up Close


In this picture book biography, young readers meet Jazz Jennings, a young girl who knew from a very early age that she had “a girl’s brain in a boy’s body.”

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

A Signature Style: Picture book author Byron Barton on developing his craft | Up Close


Iconic picture book creator Byron Barton chats with SLJ about his process, his influences, and his unique style.

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

An All-American Superhero: Gene Yang on His Latest, ‘The Shadow Hero’ | Up Close


SLJ interviews author Gene Luen Yang, whose latest work, The Shadow Hero, is an informative and entertaining exploration of the superhero.

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

‘Red Madness’ Author Gail Jarrow on Solving a Medical Mystery | Up Close


Author Gail Jarrow uncovered how the medical mystery of the disease pellagra was discovered in her work Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat. She weighs in on the disease, her research process, and the scientific method.

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

Living with Legends: Up Close with Kid Lit Historian Leonard Marcus

Photo by Elena Seibert.

Leonard Marcus might just be the busiest man in the world of kid lit. In June, the children’s literature historian and scholar launched a critically acclaimed exhibition at the New York Public Library (which he curated) and had a book published that celebrates the life and work of Maurice Sendak (which he edited). Marcus shared with SLJ some of the details of his recent projects, insider knowledge of children’s literature history and icons, and his belief that picture books might be the solution to saving all physical books.

Up Close with Library Journal’s 2013 Youth Services Movers & Shakers


The 2013 class of Movers & Shakers represents the many outstanding, diligent, and creative librarians working in the field today. Karyn M. Peterson, SLJ news editor, had the opportunity to get an in-depth look into the innovative programs, important milestones, and daily inspirations of the 13 youth services librarians that were honored this year for their work with children and teens in public libraries and school media centers. We’ve gathered these interviews into a resource page for your future use.

Achievement Unlocked: Up Close with Teacher Librarian Matthew C. Winner

DocWho Matthew Winner

Teacher librarian Matthew C. Winner, media specialist at Longfellow Elementary School in Columbia, MD, is having the year of his life. Thanks to his boundless enthusiasm for student learning and engagement, Maryland’s 2012 Outstanding User of Technology Educator can also claim a few more distinctions: Mover & Shaker, White House “Champion of Change,” and published author. Ahead of ISTE’s annual conference, Winner shared his thoughts on school libraries and his exciting plans for the future.

Islands of Adventure | Up Close with Michelle Perera


Michelle Perera, assistant director of the Rancho Cucamonga Library (CA) and 2013 Mover & Shaker, has broken amazing new ground. Her efforts to expand programming, infrastructure, and professional development have garnered grant funding and awards, and her plan to build interactive exhibits for children—now trademarked as the Play and Learn Islands—is being expanded to other libraries. In this interview, Perera shares with us her inspirations and passions, and some of the secrets behind Rancho Cucamonga’s success.

Audio Artist: Up Close with Katherine Kellgren


“Audio is a great doorway to a love of literature,” says Katherine Kellgren, award-winning young adult audiobook narrator, lifelong audiobook listener, and supporter of a SYNC, the free YA audiobooks program. SLJ caught up with Kellgren for a candid chat about her start in the field, the joys—and challenges—of narrating YA literature, the importance of audio in boosting kids’ literacy, and her upcoming projects. Kellgren even stopped by our offices to record a few video segments.

Sacramento’s Summer Reading Standout: Up Close with Christy Aguirre

Christy Aguirre

Librarian Christy Aguirre—supervisor of the Southgate branch of the Sacramento Public Library (CA), 2013 Mover & Shaker, and noteworthy neighborhood networker—knows how to stop the summer slide. Her literacy outreach efforts have helped triple the branch’s summer reading program to more than 2,000 participants. We caught up with Aguirre to learn more about her inspirations and passions, the ways she collaborates with her community, and her thoughts on the future of public library youth services.

It Takes Two: Up Close with Librarians Margaux DelGuidice and Rose Luna


“[Our] library in Freeport is the heart of that community,” says 2013 Mover & Shaker Margaux DelGuidice, who shares duties with fellow honoree Rose Luna at the Freeport Memorial Library in Long Island, NY. These two powerhouses also hold full-time teacher librarian positions at two area high schools, and have devoted countless hours to professional advocacy. In our interview, they share their inspirations and passions, their best practices for constructive collaboration, and their goals for the future of libraries.

Storytelling Star: Up Close with Bilingual K–5 Librarian Lisa Lopez

lopez again

Zavala Elementary School librarian Lisa M. Lopez, the unofficial Little Free Library ambassador to El Paso, TX, and 2013 Mover & Shaker, talks to School Library Journal about her passion for storytelling, her tireless efforts to advocate for bilingual literacy through Día de los niños/Día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) celebrations, and the ways she inspires her students.

Literacy Leader: Up Close with Melissa Zymboly Depper


Melissa Zymboly Depper, children’s and family services librarian at the Arapahoe Library District in Centennial, CO, and 2013 Mover & Shaker, talks about her passion for the profession, her favorite read-aloud titles, the importance of collaboration and community, and why the library is critical to giving every child a good start in life.

Storytime, Science, and Silliness: Up Close with Librarian Susan Anderson-Newham


2013 Mover & Shaker Susan Anderson-Newham, early learning supervising librarian at the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA, talks about the importance of collaboration and a good sense of humor to her work, why hands-on play is key to kids’ learning, and her top early learning picture books of all time.

Building Bridges: Up Close with Librarian Assistant Rebecca Zarazan Dunn


“If you can bring the community into the library, those children will ultimately flourish. And if a library can go outside of its walls, you’re only expanding the area in which young people can be affected,” says Rebecca Zarazan Dunn, 2013 Mover and Shaker, lifelong bookworm, blogger, advocate, youth services librarian assistant for the Lawrence Public Library (KS), and soon-to-be MLIS candidate. In this interview, Dunn shares her top kids’ book picks of all time, her inspirations and passions, and why it’s critical for public librarians to collaborate with school librarians and teachers.

A Voice for Teens: Up Close with Youth Librarian Lindsey Tomsu

Lindsey Tomsu

In our candid interview with Library Journal Mover & Shaker Lindsey Tomsu, new youth librarian and teen club advisor extraordinaire at La Vista Public Library (NE), she shares with SLJ her top teen book picks, her dealings with Dewey, her inspirations and passions, why teens matter so much, and her views on the future of youth services.