April 23, 2017

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Amazon “Rapids” App Offers Kids Short Stories


Amazon’s new app for kids ages 7–12 brings them original short stores that unfold in snippets of chat style text on e-readers and cell phones.

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.

Challenging Gender Norms with “Boys Read Pink” Celebration


The boys in Karen Yingling’s library balked at reading so-called “girl” books until she enlisted some eighth grade helpers who challenged gender assumptions during “Boys Read Pink” month.

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”

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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.

Surprisingly Sophisticated: Exploring Tom O’Donnell’s “Space Rocks” | In the Classroom

000 ASpace Rocks

Sixth grade teacher Valerie Sawicki discovers surprising depth in a novel she nearly wrote off.

12 Tween Titles to Add to Your Summer Reading Lists


Middle school librarian Amanda Buschmann recommends a dozen titles sure to round out any summer reading list. Add your own recommendations in the comments!

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.

Mind the Gap: Serving Readers in Sixth Through Eighth Grade


Middle school librarian Amanda Buschmann offers tips for helping build collections and serve readers in that tricky range between sixth and eighth grade.

True Dystopia: Three New Wartime Novels for Tweens | The Upper Deck


These three recent historical novels about wartime survival should appeal to upper middle graders and teens.

Guidance for Kindergartners, Programming for Teens, and Inspiration for ESOL Educators | Professional Reading


This month, find plenty of guidance, whether you serve kindergartners, teens and tweens, or English-language learners.

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

Ebooks Can be a Great Choice for Middle Schoolers


A middle-school librarian conducted his own research on ebooks. What he found out now guides his collection development—and may be the answer to the “middle school drop-off” in pleasure reading.

Navigating the “Tween Scene,” Getting “Between the Sheets,” and Exploring Realistic Fiction | Professional Reading


From a look at programming for tweens to a guide to navigating sexual content, this month’s professional reading delivers some can’t-miss new resources.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

In “Book Club For Kids” Podcasts, Tween Talk Is Front and Center


Kitty Felde’s podcasts feature middle schoolers talking about books by authors from Roald Dahl to Laurie Halse Anderson. Each episode also features a celebrity reading, background about the title, and often an author interview.

Best Books 2015: Middle Grade

Best Books 2015: In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse | Middle Grade


Bullied by classmates about his light coloring, an 11-year-old Lakota boy embarks on a road trip with his storyteller grandfather to learn about his heritage—and himself—by visiting landmarks linked to the great 19th-century Lakota leader. A vividly told, emotionally multifaceted, and eye-opening journey into American history.

Best Books 2015: Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure/Perdidos en NYC: una aventura en el metro | Middle Grade


Pablo’s first day at his new school coincides with a field trip to the Empire State Building, and a series of mishaps ensue when he and his partner get separated from the rest of the class. Fun and engaging cartoon art, cutaways with above- and below-ground views, photographs, informative asides about the NYC subway system, and a map all contribute to the story of a boy learning to navigate his surroundings and find his way home.

Best Books 2015: Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer | Middle Grade


When city girl Sophie moves to her late great-uncle’s farm, the one bright spot is a chance to raise chickens. The narrative is composed of letters to her Great-Uncle Jim and Abuelita in heaven, along with correspondence with the Redwood Farm Supply company, the source of the rather unusual fowl. In addition to the challenges of caring for super-powered chickens, Sophie handles microaggressions in a homogenous small town. A charming chapter book with humor and magic reminiscent of the works of Roald Dahl.