March 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SummerTeen 2014 Authors Hit the Mark with New Releases │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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School Library Journal‘s SummerTeen 2014 is nearly upon us. This amazing free event features some of the best YA authors―up close and personal. It’s not too late to register. Round up some colleagues or teens and host a party. In the meantime, check out the latest releases from the featured guests. Resources for the titles selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild are included in the award-winning LiveBinder, JLG’s BTG.

crossoverkwameALEXANDER, Kwame. The Crossover. Houghton Harcourt. 2014. ISBN 9780544107717. JLG Level: SM : Sports Middle (Grades 5–8).

Twins, Josh and Jordan, come well-coached to their junior high basketball team. Their dad was a champion baller himself. And though they’ve always done everything together, the year they are 12 the ties between them begin to unravel. JB finds love and Josh resents being left behind. Add a mom that holds them to high standards and a dad who ignores his potential health issues, and Josh has his poetry-writing hands full.

Alexander’s novel-in-verse works well as a read aloud and has an educator’s guide. Check out the author’s videos on his website; you can follow him on Twitter. Videos of basketball greats, such as Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant, are posted in the LiveBinder.  As hypertension is a strong factor in the plot, a link to TeensHealth is also available in the LiveBinder. For older students, check out Alexander’s novel, He Said, She Said (HarperCollins, 2013), which tells the story of a bet that becomes an unlikely romance between a high school quarterback and Harvard-bound Claudia.

Just One YearFORMAN, Gayle. Just One Year. Dutton. 2014. ISBN 9780525425922. JLG Level: YM : Mature Young Adults (Grades 11 & Up).

Fans of Just One Day (Dutton, 2013.) rejoice! Willem and Allyson’s story returns as he wakes up in a Paris hospital and spends a year searching for her. Traveling from Merida to Mumbai, Willem begins to understand himself, reconnecting with the life he lost prior to the beating that separated him from Allyson. Delaying his life for that one day had changed everything; this is his chance to try again.

Learn about upcoming events on Forman’s website. Follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. Read an excerpt of both books in the series on Penguin’s book detail page. Watch the video of Forman discussing the series. The movie version of her novel, If I Stay (Dutton, 2009), is set for release in August.

Like No OtherLAMARCHE, Una. Like No Other. Penguin/Razorbill. Jul. 2014. ISBN 9781595146748. JLG Level: CH : City High School (Grades 10 & Up).

Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet―two teens forbidden to be in love. But that was forever ago. That doesn’t happen anymore, right? Wrong. Devorah is Hasidic; she’s not even supposed to be alone with a guy. Yet when fate delivers the forever-rule-following teen to an elevator with a non-Jewish black boy, her feelings, beliefs, and thoughts begin to unravel. Jaxon, on the other hand, has never been good with girls, yet he finds he can talk to this beautiful girl with ease. They want to be together. They are willing to make sacrifices. However, Devorah’s religion makes it as difficult for the two as it did for the Shakespearean lovers all those years ago.

Check out the author’s blog and follow her on Twitter. Listen to her read an excerpt from the novel. You can also read an excerpt on the publisher’s website. Learn more about Devorah’s culture in A Life Apart: Hasidism on PBS. This is LaMarche’s second YA novel. (Five Summers, Penguin, 2013).

Diamond BoyWILLIAMS, Michael. Diamond Boy. Little, Brown. Dec. 2014. ISBN 9780316320696. JLG Level: Y : Young Adults (Grades 9 & Up).

Patson arrives at the Marange diamond fields with dreams of finding a girazi, a stone so valuable it can change his family’s life. First, though, he must stay alive. With the death of his father, and the disappearance of his sister, the teen must leave his dreams and the dangers of South Africa in order to truly save his family.

A companion to Now Is the Time for Running (Little, Brown, 2011), the novel is set in the dangerous diamond mines of Zimbabwe. Teens can read about the horrific camps in the South African industry. Newsela has a related informational text piece, Wars, Poverty and Greed Keep Millions Enslaved, which ranges in Lexile from 1200L to 660L, but no test is currently available. Become a fan of the author on Goodreads and stay tuned to the publisher as the release date draws nearer.

Additional Resources

Check out our award-winning LiveBinder which organizes all of the above resources. All websites are posted within the LiveBinder, along with the accompanying booktalk. As I write more columns, more books and their resources are added. Simply go to JLG Booktalks to Go where you will see the LiveBinder main tabs. Each tab is a book title. Under each color-coded tab are gray subtabs with links to media, websites, and other related documents. Everything you need to teach or share brand new, hot-off-the-press books is now all in one place. Booktalks and resources are also included on JLG’s BTG Pinterest board.

For library resources, tips, and ideas, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.

Junior Library Guild (JLG) is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at (NOTE: JLG is owned by Media Source, Inc., SLJ’s parent company.)


Deborah B. Ford About Deborah B. Ford

Deborah is the Director of Library Outreach for Junior Library Guild. She is an award-winning teacher librarian with almost 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools.

Empowering Teens: Fostering the Next Generation of Advocates
Teens want to make a difference and become advocates for the things they care about. Librarians working with young people are in a unique position to help them make an impact on their communities and schools. Ignite your thinking and fuel these efforts at your library through this Library Journal online course—April 24 & May 8.