March 24, 2017

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From Speechwriter to Fan-Favorite “Stick Dog” Author: Chatting with Tom Watson

tom watson

Funnyman Tom Watson is the creative force behind the laugh-out-loud illustrated novels starring Stick Dog and Stick Cat. Surprisingly, his writing career began in politics.

Chapter Books for Change | Chapter Book Chat


Topics such as immigration, gender identity, and homelessness are explored in this selection of chapter books for younger readers, with supporting web resources for classroom lessons and discussions.

Comical Information | Nonfiction Notions

000 Volcano

Can the graphic novel format ever be considered “true” nonfiction? For librarian Jennifer Wharton, who recommended several recent favorites, they occupy a space between fiction and nonfiction, offering readers a highly accessible and exciting entry into informational text.

Series for Every Type of Reluctant Reader | Nonfiction Notions

Blast Back

Librarian Jennifer Wharton explains the three major reluctant reader types and recommends high-interest titles for each.

“A Flame in Water”: Jason Reynolds on Writing for Middle Grade Readers


Award-winning author Jason Reynolds talks about his transition from writing YA to penning middle grade stories.

Cool New Tech Tools & Gadgets for Your Library Wishlist


Robots that teach coding, DIY computer kits, virtual reality, and more. There’s something here to satisfy every budding techie.

Stock Your Shelves! | Middle Grade Series Update


A roundup of recent middle grade series continuations.

Tween-Friendly Romance Titles | The Upper Deck


Columnist Tara Kron takes a look at three recent YA titles that bring the romance—in developmentally appropriate doses—for tween readers.

Monsters, Mysteries, and Middle Grade: A Chat with Bruce Hale


The prolific author of more than 40 books talks about his life as a young reluctant reader and what eventually turned him on to literature.

Giving the Gift of Nonfiction | Nonfiction Notions


When thinking about holiday gift-giving this season, don’t forget about nonfiction!

Three Ways To Use Picture Books with Older Kids | Programming Cookbook


Picture books are not just for toddlers! Here are three programs that highlight ways to use familiar picture books with upper elementary and middle school kids.

Watch with a Friend: Tween-Friendly Movies To Scare Your Socks Off


Thirteen PG-rated films perfect for a Halloween movie night.

Don’t Read These After Dark: A Horror Book List for Tweens


25 bone-chilling reads to help tween horror fans get ready for Halloween night.

Working Together: Simple Ways Public and School Librarians Can Collaborate


Librarian Christina Keasler offers a few simple examples of ways public and school librarians can connect and collaborate this school year.

Frightfully Good Reads | Chapter Book Chat


Librarian Abby Johnson suggests several chapter book series—paired with activities or lesson extenders—that deliver chills and thrills.

Scientist, Globe-trotter, Author, Publisher: An Interview with Sneed Collard III


SLJ chats with Sneed Collard about his books, starting a publishing house, traveling the world, and the impact and importance of nonfiction for middle grade readers.

Excellent Narrative Nonfiction Mentor Texts | Nonfiction Notions


Narrative nonfiction offers opportunities to teach students how to structure a research project, pose questions, investigate sources, and draw conclusions. These five titles are ideal mentor texts for use in classrooms and curricula.

Paranormal Pals | SLJ Spotlight


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.

Gold Medal Reads | Chapter Book Chat


Just in time for the Olympics, librarian Abby Johnson spotlights several sports series for chapter book readers and suggests accompanying activities, including fun ways to stay active this summer.

Tanita Davis’s Coming-of-Age Novels Hit the “Sweet Spot” Between MG and YA | Under the Covers

Tanita Davis_child

Tanita Davis crafts multifaceted and diverse tween characters who deal with relatable issues.