March 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Jane Addams 2015 Award Winners; Apply for Best Buy Teen Tech Grants; NYT Summer Reading Contest | SLJTeen News

Award news

Girl From Tar Paper School Cover ArtThe recipients of the 2015 Jane Addams Book Awards were revealed on April 28. Presented since 1953, the awards are given annually to the best children’s books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races. This year’s winner for younger children is Duncan Tonatiuh’s Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation. For older children, Teri Kanefield’s The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement (both Abrams) took top prize. Two books were named Honor Books in the Books for Older Children category: Deborah Wiles’s Revolution (Scholastic) and Margarita Engle’s Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal (HMH). Check out the award’s website for more information on other books that were honored.

Upcoming event

YA A to Z: David LevithanThe Freedom to Read Foundation will be hosting a FTRF45 New York City event on Friday, May 29, in conjunction with BookExpo America in celebration of the organization’s 45th anniversary. Authors David Levithan (Boy Meets BoyAnother Day), Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things) and Jeff Smith (“Bone”) will be appearing at the fund-raiser. These authors have all written books that were subject to significant censorship challenges, and are passionate advocates for the freedom to read.

The event will be held from 6:30–9:00 p.m ET at the Scholastic headquarters in New York City in its Greenhouse space. Cosponsors for the event include the New York Public Library and Elsevier. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at

New imprints

imprintErin Stein, who has had editorial positions at HarperCollins, TokyoPop, and Little, Brown, has cemented her new role at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group as publisher of a new imprint, Imprint. Macmillan president Jon Yaged told Publishers Weekly that Imprint’s “initial list is a mix of blockbuster authors, debut new voices, and multimedia talent, reflecting Imprint’s wide-ranging approach to storytelling.” It will release approximately the same quantity of picture books and middle grade, and young adult titles. YA author Kami Garcia has followed her longtime editor to the new publisher and will be working with Stein on The Lovely Reckless (Fall 2016), a contemporary YA romance about the daughter of an undercover detective who falls for the car thief her father is trying to nab.


EPic pressEPIC Press, a new Minneapolis-based publisher of teen fiction, will launch its first list of 48 titles this fall. ABDO, a publisher of nonfiction titles for the school and library market, is the new venture’s parent company, and founder Joseph Abdo’s son, Kenneth Abdo, will be EPIC’s managing editor and sole employee. EPIC is being launched as a separate company.

EPIC’s debut list will include eight series, each containing six related novels, which will be released simultaneously in hardcover and in digital formats. This approach, EPIC executives maintain, is intended to encourage readers to consume more content at a faster clip, comparable to teens’ propensity for “binge-watching a favorite series” on Netflix.

The eight series include Nicole M. Taylor’s Bots,; Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny’s Coming Out, S.E. Wendel’s Earth Aliens, Jennifer Skogen’s The Haunting of Grey Hills, Shannon Layne’s He Said, She Said, Sam Moussavi’s Hoop City, Laura McGehee’s Stoopid, and Josh Anderson’s Time of Death. EPIC is also implementing an Instant Access QR Code program for libraries: QR codes and hardcover copies of EPIC releases are available free of charge after librarians have purchased $500 in ebooks.

New York Times summer reading contest

EH140605-YalsaSince 2010, the New York Times has invited teens to submit responses to their favorite NYT articles read during the summer. Winning pieces have been posted on the newspaper’s website. This year, the contest has added an all-new commenting system.

Every Friday from June 12 through August 14, teens ages 13–19 from anywhere in the world will be asked, What interested you most in the Times this week? Participants can choose from any article, essay, video, interactive, or photograph published in 2015, on any topic they like. Every Tuesday starting June 30, winners from a previous week will be announced and published on the blog. Check out a PDF with more information on guidelines, contest rules, and how educators can use this activity with teens.

YALSA news

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) members elected Sarah Hill as the division’s next president-elect. Hill will begin her term in June 2015, becoming president for one year in June 2016.

Hill is an information services librarian at Lake Land College in Mattoon, IL, and has served as Illinois School Library Media Association President as well as on a variety of ALA and YALSA committees, including the Alex Award Committee and the RUSA/YALSA Young Adult Reference Committee.

Grant opportunity

best buyThe Best Buy Foundation invites applications for Teen Technology Programs Grants of up to $10,000. These will be awarded to qualifying nonprofits that provide teens with places and opportunities to develop 21st-century technology skills that will inspire future education and career choices. Applications are being accepted from June 1–29.

Examples of program activities include:

  • Computer programming
  • Digital imaging (photography, graphic design, videography)
  • Music production
  • Robotics
  • Gaming and mobile app development

Community Grants are designed to support local efforts and are reviewed for consideration by Best Buy teams across the nation. The average grant amount is $5,000 and will not exceed $10,000.


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Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz ( is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

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