April 15, 2014

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‘Niko and the Sword of Light’: A Graphic Novel in an App | Touch and Go


A sword-wielding boy on a quest facing monstrous obstacles against a dramatic landscape–what more could fans of graphic novels and adventure stories ask for? ‘Niko and the Sword of Light’ delivers all that and more.

Robots and Rising Stars | Consider the Source


Whether it is kids making, or scientists sharing, this is the moment when science, history, archaeology, paleontology, and physics are all about knowledge taking shape in our hands, in front of our eyes. What a thrill.

Caught in a Labyrinth: ‘Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure’ | Touch and Go


Roxie Munro has created a number of maze books; here she takes that concept and turns it into a puzzle app that offers both depth and detail for a range of ages.

The Gateway Drug | Consider the Source


If the “Harry Potter” books opened up fantasy for generations of readers, what will be the “gateway drug” for nonfiction readers? The author considers Jonathan Hunt’s question.

Apps for the Halloween Season | Touch and Go

room on a broom

This holiday sampler features some familiar characters and an opportunity for kids use their math skills.

New Fast-Paced Middle Grade Series Openers │ JLG’s On the Radar

Reluctant Assassin

Eoin Colfer and Gordon Korman lead the pack this fall with first books in new series. From magic to hypnotism and fantastical creatures to pirates, these novels selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild will have middle grade readers anticipating their next installments.

Confetti Flies and Critters Glide in Boynton’s ‘But Not the Hippopotamus’ | Touch and Go


Critters glide, jiggle, cavort, and giggle as confetti flies in Loud Crow Interactive’s latest app by Sandra Boynton, ‘But Not the Hippopotamus.’

The Elephant in the Reading Room | Consider the Source


Learning history is learning about the rise and fall of empires. And what type of stories are our students pursuing in their leisure reading? Could it be the rise and fall of empires? This author has some theories.

Ghosts and Other Things that Go Bump in the Night │ JLG’s On the Radar

Zombie BAseball

When kids have long outgrown the nightmare in their closet, they still clamor for a story that scares them into sleeping with the lights on. From zombies to murdering ghosts, the following new fiction titles, selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild will keep middle school readers looking over their shoulders.

Disney Animated | Touch and Go


An awe-inspiring new app from Touch Press offers a look at the history of animation through all 53 of Disney’s animated productions. For students, there’s a lot to learn here about crafting a good story in any medium.

ALA President Brings Conference Goers to Their Feet | SLJ Summit 2013


Speaking at SLJ‘s Leadership Summit in Austin, TX, last month, ALA President Barbara Stripling implored attendees to demand that their communities assert all students’ right to a library.

Orphans Abound: Conquering Larger-than-Life Hurdles | JLG’s On the Radar

Real Boy

From Victorian England to modern day America, orphaned children often face struggles that kids with parents rarely confront. However, most middle-grade students will relate to the issues explored in these new fiction titles―from poverty to self-confidence―selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild. In fact, these works may give young readers hope about their own issues, while giving them stories that help them step back from their own realities.

“I Want a Real Picture of a Dinosaur” | Consider the Source


While many of us have thought about the interplay of art, text, and design in picture books, few of us have considered how the same elements work in nonfiction. It’s time to talk about the decisions that go into choosing and using art in nonfiction.

LEGO Essay Contest; Celebrate Picture Book Month | News Bites

picture book month

November is Picture Book Month. Five winners and five finalists of the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards were announced September 17. Apply for the Stony Brook Southampton (NY) MFA in Children’s Literature Fellows program. Kids in grades 2–5 can enter the LEGO Essay Contest.

Tough Stuff: Middle Grade Novels Tackle Heavy Topics | JLG’s On the Radar


Fiction for grades three to five can take on tough subjects―abandonment, foster families, and racism. Handled with tactful gloves, the following fiction titles, selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild, allow readers to learn about themselves and empathize with those who are struggling with difficult issues.

Poetry Writing Contest for Kids; Eric Carle’s ‘Friends’ Exhibit | News Bites

friends eric carle

Publisher Kane Miller is cosponsoring a nonfiction writing contest for budding poets. Educators can enter the “Pin It to Win It” MathMovesU sweepstakes via Pinterest. From September 17, 2013 through March 24, 2014, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, is featuring the artwork from Carle’s new picture book, Friends. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre has announced the finalists for its seven major children’s book awards.

People Who Left Their Mark: Picture Book Biographies | JLG’s On the Radar


From breaking gender barriers to being the forerunner in children’s books illustrating, the subjects in the following titles selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild were ordinary people who did extraordinary things.

Cells and Matter, A Digital Look | Touch and Go


Along with the Common Core, many state standards ask that educators incorporate multimodal resources into their lesson plans. As time goes on, more and more quality apps are available to meet that requirement. Here are a few digital resources to consider for your nonfiction science collection.

Current Events and the Common Core | Consider the Source

students debate

As educators, it’s essential that we teach our students how to become informed citizens–to examine evidence and argument related to the issues that shape political opinion and decisions. It’s as Common Core as it gets.

SLJ’s Back-to-School Roundup | Resources


Tech maven Joyce Valenza and longtime SLJ contributor Joy Fleishhacker share the latest tools and book picks for the back-to-school season. From curated reading lists to useful tech trends and tips, School Library Journalhas gathered the following resources to help your students, patrons, parents (and you) get back in the swing of things.