July 20, 2017

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#SJYALit: The Lunar Chronicles as a Reflection of Current U.S. Political Climate, a guest post by Emily Keyes

Today as part of our Social Justice in YA Lit series, Emily Keyes discusses authoritarianism, othering, and The Lunar Chronicles. When I first started brainstorming this blog post, I planned to recommend a number of dystopian Young Adult novels whose plots exhibited the issues of authoritarian governments, racism, sexism, and other-ing in believable ways, in […]

I Voted? | SLJ DVD Review

I Voted? 77 min. Dist. by Tugg Educational. 2016. $75. ISBN unavail.

Gr 9 Up –Jason Grant Smith, a young independent filmmaker, asks, “Are we the country we think we are?” in this timely, provocative, and important exploration of America’s voting procedures. His initial interest in the unlikely primary victory of an unknown candidate for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina morphs into a general investigation of current voting systems, which are likely to be vulnerable to error and […]

DVD Review: Political Animals + Giveaway

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book (or, in this case, DVD), finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of School Library Journal.   Political […]

An Inside Look at Librarians, Schools, and the Political Climate

Librarians around the country share how their workday has changed post-election.

Sunday Reflections: Muslim Voices

If you know me at all, you know I am quite fond of my library minions. And when I say “my library minions,” I mean the teens and young adults I have gotten to know over the past many years working in high school and public libraries in central Minnesota. I’ve since moved and am […]

Book Review: Factory Girl by Josanne La Valley

Publisher’s description In order to save her family’s farm, Roshen, sixteen, must leave her rural home to work in a factory in the south of China. There she finds arduous and degrading conditions and contempt for her minority (Uyghur) background. Sustained by her bond with other Uyghur girls, Roshen is resolved to endure all to […]

Screening The 13th: Questions to ask yourself #SJYALit

I recently heard about how “video visits” were growing in popularity with prisons. As the details unfolded, my initial impression of interest (“Oh that’s nice – families could maybe see their incarcerated loved ones more often or from greater distances.”) turned to revulsion. The strategy is being used largely by local jails as a way to […]

Sunday Reflections: How the 2016 Election is Affecting Teens, Week 3 (A tweet story by Mary Hinson)

On Sundays, I have the privilege of hosting a weekly event that we call Spaghetti Sunday (inspired by author Christa Desir). We open our home to a wide group of people, eat food (not always spaghetti), do puzzles, play games, and just hang out. My beloved Mary Hinson (@knoxdiver on Twitter, YA assistant at Irving […]

Truth, truthiness, triangulation and the librarian way: A news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world

We were guaranteed a free press,  We were not guaranteed a neutral or a true press. We can celebrate the journalistic freedom to publish without interference from the state.  We can also celebrate our freedom to share multiple stories through multiple lenses. But it has always been up to the reader or viewer to make […]

Things I Never Learned in Library School: On Being a Teen Librarian 2 Weeks After the Election of Donald Trump

I knew eventually something like this would happen, I just didn’t think it would be so soon. The call came on Friday. A co-worker, her nephew took his own life. He was both black and gay and he saw the writing on the wall and he was scared. He read the news, he heard the […]

Spending the Day After the 2016 Election with Teenagers

  I have been a teen services librarian for 22 years, maybe 23. I have sat with teenagers through a lot of moments. Many elections. 9/11. I have talked with them about war, the economy, and yes, about their abortions. Some teenagers we see once or twice, others we come to know more personally. They […]

In on the joke: Political cartoons and the election

We want our kids to be in on the joke. As I mentioned last time around (or in 2012), presidential elections present ultimate, authentic teachable moments, opportunities for us to exploring a variety of literacies with learners at all levels. Political cartoons are everywhere. These powerful little works of editorial art and sharp, nuanced thinking […]

Courting Controversy? | Scales on Censorship

Assigning a recently challenged book; teachers’ political views; classroom book selection policies.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Political TV Ad Archive (and a resource round-up)

A media literacy opportunity like this comes along every four years. Political advertising is expected to reach several billions of dollars this season, leaving most Americans both barraged and confused. Political TV Ad Archive, a free project recently launched by the Internet Archive, arrived just in time to support this learning opportunity.  It is already […]

By any media necessary

Intensely political years present rich opportunities for teaching and learning.  As we enter the 2015/16 school year, I suspect we’ll see a bounty of resources to aid in the teaching of civic engagement and media literacy. One highly engaging, high quality resource high school and university instructors, and especially librarians, will want to grab right […]

Free civil rights programs using presidential primary sources

Now through March, the Presidential Primary Sources Project (PPSP), a partnership involving the National Park Service, U.S. Presidential Libraries and Museums and other cultural and historic organizations, and the Internet2 community, offer an exciting series of free programs for students. Designed for grades 6 through 12, the programs created by ten historic sites and libraries, […]

Nutrition, Social Deviance, and Political Controversy | Reference

Reference reviews cover a variety of topics. Check out The Encyclopedia of Social Deviance for a breakdown of taboos, and dive into From Famine to Fast Food, for everything you ever wanted to know about nutrition.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

News Bites: Involve Your Students in the Election Process with ePals World Election Center

Get your students interested in the electoral process in the United States and globally with ePals World Election Center. The site includes projects and activities to reinforce K–12 students’ critical thinking skills and cultural awareness by having them learn about candidates, government, and more. Kids have the opportunity to voice their opinions about issues affecting them at home and learn about the elections abroad.

Democrats are up

Now that the Young Republicans’ Club has chosen its ticket, the Democrats are off and running. Far more of them to wade through (why IS that?*) but the Party has thinned the herd down to four potential candidates who will be presenting their platforms this week. First up, Octavian Nothing. *Really, why? I think I […]

Politics: We the People | Focus On

If the pundits and talking heads are to be believed, politics in America is dirty business. Lobbying, partisanship, pork-barrel spending, and mudslinging make up no small part of it. There is much more to politics, though. Beneath the necrotic layers of scandal and corruption are the birth-bright essentials of policy, governance, civics, and people. This collection of books, websites, and films attests to that with content, style, and format that are ideal for children and teens.