February 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for January 2012

2013 Newbery Reading List

Here are some of the more promising candidates for the 2013 Newbery Medal.  Some of the starred review information may quickly become outdated–if it isn’t already.
THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate (three stars) is a novel in prose poems with rich themes.
DRAGONSWOOD by Janet Lee Carey (two stars) is a sequel to the author’s earlier […]

Book Reviews from Young Adults

Best-selling author Mark Kurlansky is known for his entertaining nonfiction books for grown-ups, such as Salt, Cod, and The Big Oyster, which focus on familiar items. Now, he’s dipped into the world of young adult literature, and according to our reviewer, Kurlansky has hit the mark with the late-2011 release, Battle Fatigue, a story about a Vietnam War draft dodger. The Sneak Peekers have also been reading about the world of deejaying (DJ Rising), gay rights (Tessa Masterson Will Go […]

Red Letter Day?

So: I’ve finally finished reading, and rereading, our medal and honor books. Jonathan has pointed out that no one should be that surprised to see DEAD END IN NORVELT and INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN “stickered,” since each had previously been so… Gantos winning the Scott O’Dell award, and Lai the National Book Award. But […]

Shelf of Shame

Is there a Newbery book that you’re ashamed to admit that you haven’t read yet?  Perhaps one that is considered a classic?  That everyone else seems to have read but you?  Don’t we all have these books on our own personal shelf of shame?  Now some of you are more ambitious about your goals, like Colby Sharp […]

Reactions from the Honorees

Some of the honorees of the Youth Media Awards have been posting video reactions.  Here’s Elephant and Piggie: http://www.youtube.com/ALAYouthMediaAwards#p/c/139BE1FB0DFBE1CF/7/ZzxLukueoy8
Jonathan and I have a few more things to say this season (yes, including our thoughts on “Breaking Stalin’s Nose”)…but we’ll be wrapping up early next week. So if there’s anything else you’ve been too shy to ask […]

Susan Cooper

I don’t have very many vivid recollections from my childhood, but I do remember being in the sixth grade, going to the school library, browsing the shelves, and pulling THE GREY KING off–I remember all of that very vividly with precise sensory details.  By then, I had developed the knack for sniffing out fantasy without asking […]


The uncorrected version of the 2012 Notables list is now up here
The Notables list is considered a gathering of “the best of the best” of the year:
“”notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books […]

Dead End in Dallas!

While DEAD END IN NORVELT wasn’t on our shortlist, the book earned three starred reviews, made three best of the year lists, and won the Scott O’Dell Award.  We had a running conversation about the book here and here and here.  Similarly, we did not include INSIDE OUT & BACK AGAIN despite the fact that it […]

The Announcements

You’ll get a more thoughtful post from Jonathan soon, but here’s something quick from the floor so you all can begin commenting. Remeber that your resource page for all the award winners is http://www.ala.org/yma

Sharon McKellar and I are here with Monica Edinger. We passed the closed Starbicks (7:30? come on, don’t they […]

Breakfast of Consensus

I just breakfasted next to a Newbery committee member who was feeding and bolting to her 8am meeting.  They met all day yesterday, and will again all day today, and by the end (“10pm” is often wishful thinking on Saturday) may have a winner.  Sunday, if they’re on schedule, is for preparing press releases and […]

New York Comic Con 2011: Video games take the spotlight at this pop-culture event

More than 100,000 attendees jammed the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in October for the East Coast’s largest pop-culture event—New York City’s 2011 Comic Con—featuring the latest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, and movies. Many of the standing-room-only sessions were geared towards teachers and librarians, providing information about video games in libraries, e-books, graphic novels as tools to connect with library users, and more.

Panels were packed with librarians, graphic designers, gamers, and comic […]

Hail to the Chief!: Presidential Tales

With Presidents’ Day approaching, we’ve assembled an array of impressive new titles that delve into various presidents’ roles in shaping our history, our nation, and our landscape.

This month’s interview features Maira Kalman, the author-artist of a illustrated tribute to our 16th president: Looking at Lincoln (Penguin, Jan. 2012; Gr. 2-5). Kalman’s narrator, on a stroll in the park, notices a tall man in a stovetop hat. He reminds her of someone. When she pays for her breakfast with “a Lincoln […]

Longing for Lincoln: An Interview with Maira Kalman

Looking at Lincoln (Kalman) ©Maira Kalman

In 2009, author and illustrator Maira Kalman set out on a tour of the United States, stopping in small towns and major cities, visiting schools, homes, archives, museums, governmental agencies, and national sites. In her monthly illustrated blog posts, published by the New York Times, she shared her observations and thoughts on topics as wide-ranging as democracy and cherry pie and Mt. Vernon and happiness. Her February column was dedicated to Abraham Lincoln, a […]

Immigrant Teens, Valiant Newcomers

Perhaps the best way to view the hot-button topic of immigration (legal and illegal) is through the eyes of teenagers new to this country. Young enough to have arrived here because of decisions made by the adults in their lives, but standing on the brink of independence, immigrant teens face challenges that require pluck, determination, and resilience. From Tibet and the Dominican Republic to Bangladesh and Sierra Leone, they arrive, often without a lick of English, and are expected to […]

Top Book Choices for Youth in Detention (2012)

Here are my top 2011 picks for incarcerated teens. I’ve tried to list books that resonate with my teens, but aren’t well-known in the general library community. That said, there are a few titles on my list (from authors Coe Booth, Simone Elkeles, and Alexander Gordon Smith) that are so wildly popular with teen readers that I just couldn’t resist including them. Also, be sure to check out Dream Jordan’s new book, Bad Boy, due out in February. It’ll likely […]

SLJ Exclusive Interview: Walter Dean Myers, the New National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Back in September, SLJ blogger Betsy Bird (A Fuse #8 Production) said that the next National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature “shouldn’t be another white guy or gal” because it’s the ambassador for all kids. Bird went on to suggest Walter Dean Myers as the perfect person for the job. Was she looking into a crystal ball? This morning, the award-winning author, who often writes about the challenges that face today’s at-risk urban youth, was named our third ambassador by […]

On the Radar Teen: NSTA Selects Outstanding Science Trade Books for Teens

Every year, the National Science Teachers Association compiles a list of outstanding science books for kids in grades K to 12. Featuring fiction and nonfiction selections, this year’s topics range from the natural world to mathematics to engineering. And the latest selections, which support the Common Core guidelines, also include stories about oil, the hydrogen bomb, plant hunters, and an autistic scientist. Teen readers will be enlightened as they uncover the ever-broadening field of science and the opportunities that it offers them.

Music and Game Reviews from Young Adults

It’s all about collaboration for both Alicia Keys and Ke$ha. Joining forces with performers like Bruno Mars and Iggy Pop is a sure-fire way to broaden the buzz for their latest albums—and give some old dogs a chance show off their vocal tricks. Missing the Dark Knight? Brady Games has just released Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition—not only does the game offer new modes and battle techniques, it also includes all of the previously released “Arkham City” adventures. It gives you a lot of bang for your gaming bucks!

Get a Free Starter Set for Go

Looking for an easy way to implement a program for your tweens and teens? Consider introducing Go, an ancient board game with simple elements that can be enjoyed by Go Starter Setplayers with varied ability levels. The American Go Foundation (AGF) is offering a Go Starter Set to youth organizations for free—simply visit the AGF Resources page and submit an application. You can also find information on AGF’s library programs page, which explains how to put together a “hero’s journey” series of events that’ll be especially appealing to fans of manga and anime.

Macmillan Introduces Swoon

Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group has announced the launch of Swoon Reads, a revolutionary crowd-sourced romance imprint dedicated to publishing books that capture the intensity and excitement of teen love. Starting in 2014, Swoon Reads will publish 6 to 12 novels a year as an imprint of Feiwel and Friends.