April 24, 2017

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The Stars So Far: Tween Picks


A list of recent starred reviews hand-picked for tween readers.

The Bee Book | 30-Second Booktalk


A mini booktalk about one of our favorite new nonfiction titles, The Bee Book.

Gaby, Lost and Found/Gaby, Perdida y Encontrada | 30-Second Booktalk


Dr. Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez booktalks Angela Cervantes’ touching middle grade novel, Gaby, Lost and Found/Gaby Perdida y Encontrada in English and en español.

Six Tips to Combat Tween Summer Slide


Middle school librarian Christina Keasler offers simple tips to keep tweens engaged over the long summer months.

The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker Hero by Rachel Renée Russell | SLJ Review

max crumbly

RUSSELL, Rachel Renée. The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker Hero. illus. by Rachel Renée Russell. 320p. Aladdin. Jun. 2016. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781481460019.
Gr 4-6-From the creator of the “Dork Diaries” comes a new series starring a lovable new hero. Max’s transition from home schooling to public school is rocky, especially since he has asthma and an irritable bladder triggered by social anxiety. His plight deepens when a stereotypical bully, Thug, harasses Max and locks him in his locker—twice. The first […]

Gutsy, Funny, and Flawed: Angela Cervantes on Crafting Strong Latina Characters


Middle grade author Angela Cervantes talks about her inspirations, her research process, and how she crafts authentic—and very funny—Latina characters.

Shadow Magic | 30-Second Booktalk


Giant bats, dark magic, necromancy, and non-stop action fill Joshua Khan’s debut middle grade fantasy, as explained in a super short booktalk.

Staying in Touch with Their Inner Tween: Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan on “Save Me a Seat”

000 Save me a Seat

Co-authors Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan discuss the challenges of middle school and how they tapped their inner tweens for their humor-filled new novel, Save Me A Seat.

As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds | SLJ Review


REYNOLDS, Jason. As Brave as You. 410p. S. & S./Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481415903.
Gr 5-8–Reynolds’s engaging middle grade debut stars 11-year-old African American Genie Harris, an inveterate worrywart who considers Google his best friend, and his older brother Ernie, who is well on his way to being a cool dude (sunglasses and all). The born and bred Brooklynites are to spend a month with their grandparents in rural Virginia while their parents take a long overdue […]

Amazing Marble Run Mazes | Programming Cookbook


Librarian and programming expert Holly Storck-Post offers a foolproof program recipe for fun—and educational—marble runs.

The Dreamer/El Soñador by Pam Muñoz Ryan & Peter Sis | 30-Second Booktalk


Dr. Rodriguez from the Latin@s in KidLit blog shares a 30-second booktalk for Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sis’s The Dreamer in English and en Español.

Two Voices, One Stirring Tale: Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee on “Maybe a Fox”

Maybe A Fox

Librarian Kathy Kirchoefer chats with authors Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee about their unusual collaboration on the middle grade novel Maybe a Fox.

The Door By the Staircase | 30-Second Booktalk


A super short booktalk of Katherine Marsh’s delightfully creepy middle grade fantasy, A Door By the Staircase.

Read It, Make It: Low-Tech Maker Projects and Titles | Nonfiction Notions


Librarian Jennifer Wharton recommends several cheap, easy, and low-tech maker activities paired with books that offer step-by-step instruction.

11 Great YA Middle School Titles Out This Month

000 Games Wizards Play

Newly published YA titles perfect for those tricky middle school readers in grades six to eight.

How Tia Lola Came to Stay/De como Tía Lola vino a quedarse | 30-Second Booktalk


This month’s 30-second booktalk—which is presented in both English and Spanish—comes to us from Dr. Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez. She recommends Julia Alvarez’s fantastic middle grade novel, When Tia Lola Came to Stay.

And the Winner Is…a Mini Mock Caldecott | Programming Cookbook


Many mock Caldecott programs take months of planning and can last an entire school year, but for librarians tight on time and budget, a mini Mock may be just the thing to ignite rich discussion of text and art with middle graders.

Inspiring Reluctant & Struggling Readers with Sharon Creech’s “Love That Dog”  | In the Classroom


How a classroom teacher used Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog to effectively engage even her most reluctant readers.

Middle Grade Author Mike Jung on Adolescence, Suburbia, and the Impact of WNDB | Under the Covers


Librarian Karen Yingling chats with middle grade author Mike Jung, whose latest work, Unidentified Suburban Object, comes out in April.

Mind-Opening, Heart-Tugging TED Talks by Kid Lit Authors | Video Spotlight


What do Mac Barnett, Linda Sue Park, and Jarrett Krosoczka all have in common? Besides being award-winning and beloved children’s book authors, they’ve all delivered one heck of a TED talk.