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May 23, 2015

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Connecting the dots

Probably inspired by our seeing yesterday the wonderfully mysterious The Clouds of Sils Maria, I dreamed last night that we received for review a new YA novel that took the form of a high school yearbook. Apparently something very terrible had happened at that school, but the reader had to piece together clues in the text and […]

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Gender by the numbers

Gender by the numbers

A poster in our office lobby for the upcoming Simmons International Women’s Film Forum alerted me to the interestingly low–29%–number of female protagonists in films for children.* I guess it ain’t all Disney Princesses after all. How does this compare with the numbers in books for children? I asked myself. The gender disparity had been on my […]

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Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Bandits Peak

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Bandits Peak

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Bandits Peak; by Chris Eboch. Pig River Press, 2015. 173pp. ISBN 0-978-0692346006. Paper ed. $9.99 Jesse is out for a wander in the wilderness he loves […]

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Middle Grade Maven Makes a Must-See YA Debut | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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This month, YA readers are in for a treat: veteran middle grade author Michael Buckley takes a step into YA with great results. Undertow is not to be missed. And check out the latest from Pete Hautman, Cori McCarthy, and others.

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

Default in our stars

This week’s Entertainment Weekly has a list of “50 Books Every Kid Should Read” (view PDF here). Given that it strives to contain both classics (Where the Wild Things Are) as well as modern favorites (The Fault in Our Stars); and pop hits (The Hunger Games) along with critics’ darlings (Roll of Thunder, Hear My […]

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Announcing: YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten

Announcing: YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten

Teen Read Week just ended, but the celebration continues. Today, Willow Shields (aka Primrose Everdeen), announced YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten titles. This teen choice list engaged Teens’ Top Ten book groups in sixteen school and public libraries around the country in reading and voting. The selected titles will also be included on the must-have […]

Clearing the brush

Clearing the brush

The New York Times’ sensationalizing of the practice of abridging adult nonfiction titles for a younger audience rather misses the point, which is about commerce, not censorship. The main difference between the adult and juvenile editions of these titles is that the latter are shorter, provide less background material, and are less detailed. As an […]

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2014 National Book Award Longlist Announced for Young People’s Literature

Recap: The National Book Award Finalists

Just announced: The 10 National Book Award long list for Young People’s Literature.

Preapocalyptic Time-Travel, Turn-of-the-Century California, and High School Drama | YA Fiction Series Update

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SLJ presents the latest updates in YA fiction series and the conclusions of some trilogies you won’t want to miss. Your teens won’t want to miss these series continuations, from dystopic science fiction to realistic high school stories to historical fiction.

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

The Latest from Stephanie Perkins, Maggie Stiefvater, and Scott Westerfeld | Gr 9 & Up Fiction Reviews

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Whether it’s Stephanie Perkins’s latest title set in the City of Light, Scott Westerfeld’s mind-bending volume, or Maggie Stiefvater’s companion to her “Wolves of Mercy Falls,” July’s reviews are chock-full of heavy hitters. And don’t miss offerings from debut authors E. K. Jonston and Michelle Knudsen.

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

Thanks for Annie, Nancy.

Thanks for Annie, Nancy.

I was very sorry to read that Nancy Garden died on Monday. While she wrote in just about every children’s-book genre there is, it’s Annie on My Mind that made her immortal, and led to her parallel, equally admirable, career as a defender of intellectual freedom in libraries and communities across the nation. The first […]

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YA by the numbers

YA by the numbers

Pursuant to our discussion of who YA is for, I asked Horn Book intern Jill to take a look at the most recent issue of the Horn Book Guide and see what she saw. The spring 2014 issue of the Guide contains reviews of virtually every trade hardcover book published for young people during the […]

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Why do we even call it YA anymore?

Why do we even call it YA anymore?

I just can’t blog about this topic anymore. It’s worn me out. But I also can’t muster the reflexive outrage Our Crowd exhibits whenever someone wonders if there’s something weird about civilian adults with a steady reading diet of books for teenagers. There is. But it’s not because these YA books are less complex (a […]

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SLJ and BookExpo America | BEA 2014

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SLJ attends this year’s BookExpo America (May 28-30) at the Javits Convention Center in New York City and took the opportunity to catch up with award-winning authors, like A Plague of Unicorns (Zonderkids, 2014) Jane Yolen, and even famous actors like “How I Met Your Mother’s” Jason Segel whose children’s book Nightmares!M/em> comes out in September through Delacorte.

I see you’re still reading

I see you’re still reading

I was jawing on the radio yesterday about Common Sense Media’s latest report on the woeful state of young people reading for pleasure. I dunno–kids have been reported to be reading less than they used at least ever since I got into this business thirty-five years ago. If this were in fact true, you’d think […]

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Continuations of Popular Middle-Grade and YA Series | Fiction Series Update

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The latest “Origami Yoda” book, a new title by Shannon Hale, and the conclusion to “The Darkborn Legacy” trilogy top our list of exciting new additions to popular series fiction for middle-grade and YA readers.

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

#WeNeedDiverseBooks a round-up and a reflection

#WeNeedDiverseBooks a round-up and a reflection

The movement seems to be headquartered on author Kate Messner’s blog. I believe it was sparked by the powerful New York Times opinion pieces–Walter Dean Myers’ Where are the People of Color in Children’s Books and Christopher Myers’ The Apartheid of Children’s Literature. Both of the authors reference a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book […]

Street Lit in school libraries

Street Lit

K.C. Boyd wrote this morning asking me to help get the word out about announcement of the 2014 Street Lit Book Award Medal (SLBAM) winners. This award was created by Dr. Vanessa Irvin Morris, author of the Reader’s Advisory to Street Literature and the official press release appears on her Street Literature site. The young […]

Film Review: The Nonstop Action of ‘Divergent’ Dominates

Shailene Woodley and Theo James/Jaap Buitendijk

Veronica Roth’s film adaptation of her dystopian YA novel Divergent is an action-packed narrative with a brave, young heroine and handsome love interest that diverges enough from The Hunger Games with some familiar overlap.

YA Romance Imprint Swoon Reads Selects NJ Librarian as its Next YA Novelist

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YA librarian Sandy Hall had never finished writing a novel before. After reading about Macmillan’s new romance novel imprint’s process that uses its online community to chose its authors, she found herself selected as a YA novelist.