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December 20, 2014

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Characters with Tough Choices │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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We all make difficult choices. Some are harder than others. In the following selections by the editors at Junior Library Guild, kids fight with their siblings, adjust to parents with chronic illnesses, and fight racial prejudice. Sharing these titles with your middle graders will show them that they are not alone.

Novels in Verse, Literary Street Lit, and High-Interest Nonfiction | What’s Hot in YA

How it Went Down Magoon

Kekla Magoon’s How It Went Down about a black teen who is shot by a white man, is especially timely with recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and just the right title for young adults grappling with streaming headlines. And, a new book from the queen of verse novels, Ellen Hopkins, will entice fans of the format. The following fiction and nonfiction titles for teens will be perfect for late-summer reading and back-to-school shelf-browsing.

Connections That Count: Audiobooks that Highlight Kids’ Meaningful Relationships | Listen In

Illustration by E. B. Lewis from Jacqueline Woodson’s The Other Side.
Courtesy of Weston Woods.

With another school year on the horizon, the focus of August’s Listen In column is on the relationships that children and teens make—with other kids and with adults—to help them navigate the stormy waters of growing up. The ten audiobooks featured are excellent for group listening and for generating discussions about what’s happening to the young people in the stories, from the poignant depiction of friendship in The Other Side to the real drama wrought by abuse in Eleanor and Park.