March 18, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for May 2016

Why Students Want Wi-Fi-Free Zones

Students seek out Wi-Fi-free zones. They crave them. Word gets out about where they are, and people flock.

“Pride and Prejudice” YA Redux | SLJ Spotlight

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen’s classic continues to inspire new YA adaptations every year. Give these titles to budding Janeites or teens looking for YA romances with a unique spin.

MLA Style Center Launches with Sample Papers and a Practice Template

Back in April, I wrote about the publication of MLA’s 8th edition and its significant shift in focus (Shifting into 8th (On MLA’s new edition). The simplified approach is a response to the increasing mobility of digital texts and to what Tim Parks calls “an element of fetishism” that has “perhaps crept into what was […]

Follett Launches New Maker Space Bundles for K–12 Libraries

Designed to make starting a maker space quicker and easier, the pre-packaged supplies are specific to grade levels.

U.S. Girls Top Boys in Tech and Engineering, Study Shows

The results of the nation’s first Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) student assessment are in, and here’s what they reveal.

“LGBTQ Writers in Schools” Program Coming to New York City

Lambda Literary has partnered with the New York City Department of Education to bring 20 authors to visit K–12 schools in the nation’s largest district.

Notes on May 2016

In May… …I let you read my diary. My (Censored) Caldecott Diary (Part I of III) is ready for your perusal. …we considered the ramifications of lifting Caldecott/Newbery/etc. confidentiality rules. Nothing is decided yet, but ALSC is gathering thoughts and opinions on making the process not so secret. …Carter Higgins and I debuted a new […]

Trend Alert: Teacher E-Newsletters from Public Libraries

Public librarians across the country share their savvy advice on improving communication with some of their most important customers—teachers.

The Storyteller by Evan Turk | SLJ Review

Turk, Evan. The Storyteller. illus. by Evan Turk. 48p. ebook available. S. & S./Atheneum. Jul. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481435185. 

Gr 1-4 –Folktales involving water abound in all cultures, but this tale is unusual in using water as a metaphor for story: just as we need water to nourish our physical selves, we need stories to feed our spirits. In Turk’s fable, a lone storyteller remains in a Moroccan city where the water sources have all […]

Hopscotch App Introduces Kids to Block Programming | SLJ Review

Spell your name with emoji. Draw a snowflake. Create an Angry Birds game. Download Hopscotch and start coding these and other projects in minutes.

Free Virtual Conference to Help Librarians Teach Data Literacy

The 4T Virtual Conference on “Data Literacy: Creating Data Literate Students” will take place July 14–15 and focus on teaching high school students statistical literacy, data visualization, and how to use data in arguments.

#MHYALit Book Review: Meet Me Here by Bryan Bliss

Publisher’s description In a single night—graduation night—Thomas has to decide: do what everyone has always expected of him, or forge an entirely new path? Bryan Bliss’s absorbing examination of one boy struggling with expectations and realities will appeal to readers of Sara Zarr and Chris Crutcher. Thomas is supposed to leave for the Army in […]

Wondercon 2016: The Importance of Licensed Comics in the Industry

Sunday mornings at Wondercon tend to be a crap-shoot. You never know what’s going to happen or even if the panel you are going for is going to happen. It started to feel that way when we walked into the room for “The Importance of Licensed Comics in the Industry” panel. I was interested in […]

And How Did You Spend Your Memorial Day Weekend?

Me?  I spent it in Vermont. The rolling green hills.  The bears and red squirrels and little tiny insects that think your left nostril is a house and home.  The lovely company, particularly when you’re deciding the 2016 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners. Yup.  Alongside fellow committee members Roxanne Feldman and Joanna Long (she of […]

Middle School Monday: Welcome, Julie!

Let me ask you a question.  How much—on a scale of 1 to 10—do you dread that question when the speaker / trainer / principal asks you to “say a few words about yourself” as a way of introduction?  For me, it hovers around 42. Robin is that person in this story.  She asked me […]


Pax Written by Sara Pennypacker Illustrated by Jon Klassen Published in 2016 by Balzer + Bray Grades 4-8 ISBN: 978-0-06-237701-2 Book Review With eloquent prose and gripping plot development, Sara Pennypacker guides readers through a tumultuous and tender story about love, loyalty, grief, and the complex interdependence between humans and animals. Pax was a vulnerable […]



Written by Sara Pennypacker Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Published in 2016 by Balzer + Bray

Grades 4-8

ISBN: 978-0-06-237701-2

Book Review

With eloquent prose and gripping plot development, Sara Pennypacker guides readers through a tumultuou…

Book Review: Drag Teen by Jeffery Self, reviewed by teen reviewer Lexi

Publisher’s Book Description A fantastic, fabulous, funny YA debut from Jeffery Self, one of the gay icons of the YouTube generation, that follows one high school student on a drag race to his future. Debut YA author Jeffery Self takes us on a road trip with an insecure high school senior who has one goal: […]

The Mask You Live In | SLJ DVD Review

The Mask You Live In. 92 min. Dist. by Virgil Films. 2016. $19.99. UPC 829567121429. 

Gr 9 Up –A selection of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, this documentary by Jennifer Siebel Newsom addresses the American idea of masculinity and its rejection of the feminine. Newsom suggests that men are taught from an early age to become hypermasculine, to lock down all emotions except anger, to use violence to solve problems, and that being a man is based on […]

VT School Librarian Previews Google Expeditions App

A field trip to the days of Davy Crockett may sound like something Ms. Frizzle cooked up, but it’s now possible—at least virtually.