The Year's Most Popular Stories on SLJ | 2018

In a difficult year, SLJ readers raised up good books for kids and teens, seeking out and celebrating the best in publishing. The most popular posts of the year included lists featuring Latinx and Native American themes and characters.

In a difficult year, SLJ readers raised up good books for kids and teens, seeking out and celebrating the best in publishing. Notable here among the most popular posts of the year are lists featuring Latinx and Native American themes and characters. There was major love for The Hate U GIve, as well as the new Wimpy Kid.  Fresh perspectives on school library advocacy drew readers, as did stories that questioned systemic racism and the MLS.

In September, we covered the start of school for Susan Mongold. She is the librarian at the new I PROMISE school in Akron, OH, popularly known as LeBron James's school, which was established in partnership by the basketball superstar's foundation and Akron Public Schools. The key takeaway of that piece: pure excitement. With that, we look ahead to 2019. 

Our most viewed articles of 2018 are:

1:  SLJ’s Best Books 2018 

School Library Journal editors named 80 titles to our 2018 list. It was a standout year for works in the graphic format and stellar first novels, as well as titles that push conventional boundaries of genre and representation.

2: Can Diverse Books Save Us?  In a divided world, librarians are on a mission

The majority of public and K–12 librarians consider it "very important" to have a diverse book collection for kids and teens, according to SLJ's nationwide survey. 

3:  Educators and Race: A Conversation with Author Ijeoma Oluo on Tackling Systemic Racism in U.S. Education

Advice from the author of So You Want to Talk About Race on what educators, and specifically librarians, can do to better serve students of color and change institutional bias and patterns of systemic racism in U.S. education.

4:  27 Middle Grade and YA Latinx Titles for National Hispanic Heritage Month and Beyond

Our list of fiction titles on the Latinx experience followed up a roundup of related nonfiction and poetry titles for children and teens.

5:  2018 NBA Longlist for Young People's Literature Announced

Ten contenders for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature were unveiled by the National Book Foundation in September, kicking off the awards season.

6:  10 Books To Read After "The Hate U Give"

What do you read after completing the most talked about YA book of 2017? YA titles that explore the lives of Black teens, police brutality, and systemic racism, in advance of the feature film’s release in October 2018.

7:  Best Adult Books 4 Teens

With input from our reviewers, we chose timely, relevant, and necessary titles that will resonate with older teens.

8:  SLJ Reviews of the Finalists for the 2018 National Book Awards

The shortlist for the 2018 National Book Awards for Young People's Literature was announced in October. Here are our reviews.

9:  12 YA Titles To Give You Thrills & Chills

Spine-tingling and suspenseful reads from Lauren Oliver, Nova Ren Suma, Courtney Summers, and more.

10:  How To Speak Administrator

Tips on language and presentation to get administrators to listen (and act) when advocating for the library, from Andrew Maxey, director of special programs for Tuscaloosa City Schools, and Mike Daria, superintendent, Tuscaloosa City Schools.

11:  12 Picture Books That Showcase Native Voices

Children's literature scholar Debbie Reese highlights recent picture books, fiction and nonfiction, that celebrate American Indian heritage.

12:  Educators Must Mind Tone Policing 

Tone policing occurs during conversations or debates when one person, typically of greater privilege, thwarts a speaker's thoughts or opinions by reacting to their emotional tone. Edith Campbell wrote this thought-provoking opinion piece.

13:  Who Needs the MLS?  In a Fast-Changing Field, Librarians Consider the Investment.

How valuable is a master’s degree in library science? Opinions from the field have fluctuated, along with the fortunes of the profession. Education journalist Brenda Iasevoli reported our October feature.

14:  Texas To Delete Hillary Clinton and Others From Curriculum 

The Texas State Board of Education passed a preliminary vote in September to remove Clinton, Helen Keller and others from the social studies and history curriculum. After protests, the Board voted to retain these figures.

15:  Life as the Teacher Librarian at LeBron James's I PROMISE School

Susan Mongold talks about the excitement and challenges of being on the inaugural staff at the basketball star's new public school in Akron, OH.

16:  20 Middle Grade Books About Ghosts, Witches, and More

You can’t have too many Halloween reading recommendations. By popular demand, here are recently reviewed works for tweens to aid librarians and educators.

17:  Top 10 Graphic Novels | 2018

This year’s list of the 10 best graphic novels for young people proves how the format has blossomed in recent years.

18:  45 Phenomenal Titles | November 2018 Stars

The best of children's and YA materials reviewed in our November 2018 issue, including the latest from Kevin Henkes, Sharon Draper, Roshani Chokshi, and Ibi Zoboi.

19:  Sneak Peek at New Diary of a Wimpy Kid, "The Meltdown"

Readers got an exclusive, pre-pub look at a chapter from Jeff Kinney's latest: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown.

20: YALSA Reveals Teens' Top 10 Titles of 2018 

The teens voted. Here are their 10 best books of 2018.


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Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka is editor in chief of School Library Journal.

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