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September 2, 2015

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Video: Daniel José Older Talks to Sonia Manzano, Sesame Street’s ‘Maria,’ About Her Memoir

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SLJ had the opportunity of pairing two Latino authors—Daniel José Older and Sonia Manzano, an award-winning author and acclaimed actress who originated the iconic role of “Maria” on Sesame Street—in a conversation about Manzano’s first memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.

Christopher Franceschelli on the Art, Design, and Nutritional Value of Board Books | Up Close

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Christopher Franceschelli has worn many hats from editor to creator to book packager. The busy bookmaker discusses his new work, Dinoblock, what makes a great board book, and how these tiny works of art are for more than just babies.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Our Voices Matter: SLJ Chats with Valynne Maetani About “Ink and Ashes” | Up Close

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The first winner of Lee & Low/Tu’s New Visions Award, debut author Valynne Maetani shares what inspired her to write a YA mystery/thriller with a strong Japanese American female protagonist.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Avant-Garde Children’s Lit: Mac Barnett on “The Skunk” and Writing Picture Books

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Author Mac Barnett talks about his new picture book illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, The Skunk, and muses on the intelligence of young readers and the role of experimentation within the world of children’s literature.

Girl Power to the Max: SLJ Chats with the Creators of the “Lumberjanes” Comics

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The all-female conceived and produced “Lumberjanes” comics are truly a unique team effort. SLJ caught up with three of the creators, Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen to discuss their collaborative process and inspiration for the campy series.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Native North Americans Shatter Stereotypes in an Evocative Anthology | Up Close

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Editors Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale talk about their stunning and much-needed anthology that explores the art, culture, and experiences of Native North Americans, Dreaming in Indian.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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

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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

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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

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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’

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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“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

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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.