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October 23, 2014

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Get to Know Goodreads: Share this primer to the social reading site and help teachers and kids connect with great books

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That’s the first thing you do when you finish reading a book? Pass it along to a friend? Return it to the library? Place it on the unruly pile of titles that you charitably call your “office”? Scores of dedicated readers log on to Goodreads and share their opinions with the world. Imagine Facebook and your [...]

That Collaborative Spirit: Changing times demand more complex partnerships | Editorial

Photograph by Thomas Strand.

Who wouldn’t want to work with the two librarians on our cover? To me, their joyous, open faces welcome engagement. I want in on the action—in this case, the series of projects they pull off to bring more to the kids they each serve.

Life After Death: Susin Nielsen’s tenderhearted novel, ‘The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen,’ explores the aftermath of a school shooting | Under Cover January 2013

Susin Nielsen

Canadian novelist Susin Nielsen talks about her novel The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, which explores the aftermath of a high school shooting.

One Librarian’s Success Story | On Common Core

Christine Poser School Media Specialist

With one smart step at a time, Christine Poser, a middle-school librarian at Myra S. Barnes I.S. 24 on Staten Island, NY, is helping her school move on the new standards.

Mischief Maker: National Book Award–winner William Alexander has created a world of fun, fury, and astonishing possibilities

William Alexander

Author Gary D. Schmidt interviews 2012 National Book Award–winner William Alexander.

Books to Build Connections to Latino Culture for K–10 | Libro por libro

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As a librarian, I love it when I find books that relate to one another in terms of themes or content, which gets me thinking about potential program ideas. The titles selected for this first column of the new year are full of such connections. Starting with the idea of focusing on longer fiction, I found two semiautobiographical novels in verse, and both are historical fiction that deal with the protagonist coming of age.

Partners in Success: When school and public librarians join forces, kids win

SLJ January 2013 Cover

School library and public library collaborations are making a huge difference in kids’ lives.

Best of Apps & Enhanced Books | January 2013

Franklin Frog (Nosy Crow Ltd.) © by Barry Tranter.

Reviews in this column first appeared in SLJ’s column Touch and Go. Please note that later versions of some of these titles may now be available. Visit Touch and Go at slj.com under “Blogs & Columns” for additional reviews, commentary, and interviews with people in the field.

Book Review Preschool to Grade 4: January 2013

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 AHLBERG, Allan. The Goldilocks Variations. illus. by Jessica Ahlberg. 40p. Candlewick. 2012. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6268-4.
PreS-Gr 2–With whimsical illustrations and interactive features such as flaps, pop-ups, and pull tabs, the Ahlbergs showcase six silly variations on the classic tale. The standout of the bunch has the heroine wandering into the “trood (or spaceship) of The Three Bliim.” Full of silly alien words, the tale begs to be read aloud. In other adventures, Goldilocks takes on 33 bears, the furniture (chair, bowl, and [...]

Adult Books 4 Teens: January 2013

 HAYES , Nick. The Rime of the Modern Mariner. illus. by author. Viking. 2012. Tr $32.. ISBN 978-0-670-02580-0.

Adult/High School–In cleverly constructed verse that echoes (without mimicking) Coleridge, Hayes presents the tale of a 21st-century explorer who has ridden the high seas in search of (illegally hunted) whale bone for scrimshaw. He has been sucked into the swirling mass of garbage in the north Pacific (see Rachel Hope Allison’s I Am Not a Plastic Bag by [Archaia 2012]) and eventually comes to a London park bench to [...]

Oh, Mama!: What to do when a parent wants to narrow her child’s reading choices | Scales on Censorship January 2013

As I was preparing a library card for a new student, she handed me a two-page list of books that her mother won’t allow her to read. Then later on, her mother called and told me she expected me to monitor what her daughter was reading. What should I do?

You need to tell the mother that it’s not your role to monitor students’ reading. If she has an issue with the titles that her daughter chooses, then she [...]

Book Review Professional Reading: January 2013

BERNIER, Anthony, ed. VOYA’s YA Spaces of Your Dreams Collection. 224p. appendix. charts. diags. further reading. illus. index. photos. websites. VOYA. 2012. pap. $50. ISBN 978-1-61751-011-3. LC 2012935470.
Bernier has compiled every “YA Spaces of Your Dreams” column for VOYA since its inception in 1999 through 2010. The book is divided into three main parts by size of the teen space (less than 500 square feet, 501 to 1000 square feet, and more than 1001 square feet), and the sections are organized chronologically by publication date. It provides [...]

Letters to SLJ | Technology Education | January 2013

School Library Journal welcomes Letters to the Editor. They may be edited for clarity and length. When submitting letters, please
include a daytime telephone number. Please email letters to Phyllis Levy Mandell at pmandell@mediasourceinc.com.

Fiction Series Update: January 2013

Book Covers

The latest installments in ongoing fiction series that are well-known to most of our readers.

Book/Multimedia Review Stars List: January 2013

Henry and the Cannons (Brown), ©2013 illustration by Don Brown

Henry and the Cannons (Brown), ©2013 illustration by Don Brown

Preschool to Grade 4

AHLBERG , Allan. The Goldilocks Variations . illus. by Jessica Ahlberg. Candlewick. p. 74.

BROWN , Don. Henry and the Cannons . illus. by author. Roaring Brook. Jan. 2013. p. 89.

BRYANT , Jen. A Splash of Red . illus. by Melissa Sweet. Knopf. Jan. 2013. p. 89.

HALPERIN , Wendy Anderson. Peace. illus. by author. S & S/Atheneum. Jan. 2013. p. 92.

HELQUIST , Brett. Grumpy Goat. illus. by author. HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2013. p. 78.

JEFFERS , Oliver. This Moose Belongs [...]

Multimedia Reviews: January 2013

 Planet Dinosaur. DVD. approx. 3 hrs. Prod. by BBC Worldwide. Dist. by Warner Home Video. 2012. ISBN 0-7806-8447-8. $19.96.
Gr 5 Up–In the last two decades, paleontologists have made great discoveries about dinosaurs thanks to new computer-generated imaging (CGI) technology and cutting-edge research. The film, narrated by John Hurt and featuring computer-generated images, brings these prehistoric creatures to life. A whole new cast of dinosaurs are introduced, such as the Predator X, a sea creature that liked to tear the Plesiosaurs to [...]

Book Review Grades 5 & Up: January 2013

 BLACKWOOD, Sage. Jinx. 360p. HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-212990-1; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-212992-5.
Gr 4-8–“In the Urwald you grow up fast or not at all,” readers learn in the opening of this rich and fecund fantasy. Jinx is that staple of children’s literature: the scorned, ill-used orphan who proves to be so much more gifted and important than he ever imagined possible. He occupies a world that is simultaneously original and familiar, influenced by centuries of folklore, but newly envisioned and [...]

Book Review Graphic Novels: January 2013

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 HALLIDAY , Ayun. Peanut. illus. by Paul Hoppe. 216p. Random/Schwartz and Wade. Jan. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86590-9; PLB $18.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96590-6.

Gr 7 Up–Worried about transferring to a new school, Sadie comes up with the idea of faking a peanut allergy. She thinks that pretending to have a life-threatening condition will draw attention to her and generate sympathy. Her predictions come true, and she makes several new friends and even attracts a boyfriend. But as time passes, Sadie finds it harder [...]

Books to Celebrate the Everyday Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement

Illustration by James Ransome from This Is the Dream (HarperCollins, 2006).

Fifty years ago this May, people around our country turned on their televisions to the sight of children being viciously assaulted with fire hoses and snarling dogs by uniformed grown men, their faces twisted with hatred. The violence in Birmingham, Alabama, stirred a swelling of national conscience and raised questions demanding an answer: Do we really believe that “all men are created equal”? What would our country look like if we really did? What has to change to make that dream a reality?