February 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox
Mahnaz Dar

About Mahnaz Dar

Mahnaz Dar (mdar@mediasourceinc.com) is Assistant Managing Editor for Library Journal and School Library Journal and can be found on Twitter @DibblyFresh.

3 Steps for Introducing Teens to Virtual Reality | ALA Midwinter 2018

Digital Services Librarian Maddie Clybourn offers tips for those curious about using virtual reality with their teen patrons.

A Beloved YA Classic’s Transition to Graphic Novel Format

Author Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrator Emily Carroll describe the challenging yet richly rewarding experience of adapting Speak.

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –When Zarin and her friend Porus die in a car accident in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, everyone, from the religious police to Zarin’s classmates, is suspicious—was Porus one of Zarin’s many romantic liaisons? Only the deceased teens know the truth, and as their spirits hover above the wreckage, they look back on what led up to this point.

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –With great power comes great responsibility—and even more confusion.

“Olympians” Author George O’Connor Shares His Tricks of the Trade

George O’Connor speaks with SLJ about Hermes: Tales of the Trickster, the latest in his beloved “Olympians” series and an SLJ Popular Pick.

Hermes: Tales of the Trickster by George O’Connor | SLJ Review

Gr 4-8 –Hermes, Greek god of thieves and liars (and much more), gets his due in the latest installment of the “Olympians” series.

Sparking the Conversation Through Graphic Novels

New and forthcoming graphic novels address contemporary social issues.

From Webcomic to Graphic Novel: Melanie Gillman On Queer Representation

The author/illustrator of an insightful graphic novel about a queer teen confronting hostility at a backpacking camp discusses the path to publication, inclusivity, and the power of the visual medium.

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman | SLJ Review

Gr 6 Up –Charlie, 13, is excited to embark on an all-girls Christian camp’s backpacking trip.

Useni Eugene Perkins On Adapting His Iconic Poem into Picture Book Form

The acclaimed poet, playwright, author, and activist discusses the origins of “Hey Black Child” and the work’s new format.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Good Night, Planet by Liniers | SLJ Review

PrS-Gr 2 –After a day of playing in the leaves with her deerlike stuffed toy Planet, a little girl gets ready for bed. When the child falls asleep, Planet comes to life, gives her a kiss, and wanders downstairs.

“American Born Chinese” Opens Windows and Shines Mirrors | SLJ Summit 2017

At the SLJ Leadership Summit, Gene Luen Yang and students and educators at Jesuit High School in Portland, OR, discussed how Yang’s American Born Chinese helped develop their racial literacy.

Dialing Up the Creepy | New Graphic Titles for Teens

This selection of new and forthcoming graphic novels range in subject and tone—from mildly creepy to spine-tingling.

Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green | SLJ Review

GREEN, Katie. Lighter Than My Shadow. illus. by Katie Green. 516p. Roar Comics/Lion Forge. Oct. 2017. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781941302415.

Gr 9 Up –Green chronicles her struggles with an eating disorder. In high school, when her weight dropped dangerously low, she underwent treatment for anorexia; in college, she restricted what she ate and engaged in binge eating. For Green, food was intricately linked to her constant pursuit of perfection; despite high grades, she was rarely satisfied with her achievements. She offers a nuanced […]

Flora and the Chicks & Flora and the Ostrich by Molly Idle | SLJ Review

IDLE, Molly. Flora and the Chicks. Mar. 2017. ISBN 9781452146577.

––––. Flora and the Ostrich. Sept. 2017. ISBN 9781452146584.

ea vol: illus. by Molly Idle. 20p. Chronicle. Board $9.99.

PreS –With the latest offerings starring the beloved Flora, Idle tackles the concepts of counting and opposites. Donning a yellow kerchief and a pair of red overalls in Chicks, Flora attempts to keep track of a bevy of chickens as they hatch and cavort around the farmyard. Readers will enjoy counting the chicks as page by page […]

I’m Smart! by Kate McMullan | SLJ Review

MCMULLAN, Kate. I’m Smart! illus. by Jim McMullan. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper. Jun. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062449238.

PreS-Gr 2 –Oozing confidence and energy, a big-eyed, grinning school bus describes his morning route, informing listeners that it “takes BRAINS to do my job—drive you to SCHOOL and keep you SAFE!” As with previous titles, the McMullans (I’m Brave!; I Stink!; I’m Cool!) infuse everyday activities with an infectious excitement bound to entice vehicle-loving youngsters. When the bus’s lights flash amber, it means “Cars and trucks, […]

Transcending the Genre: True Crime for Young Adults

While true crime is often associated with the prurient and the voyeuristic, a trio of new titles prove that the genre is far more nuanced.

Gale Galligan On “Dawn and the Impossible Three”

Gale Galligan presents an inspired graphic novel version of one of Ann M. Martin’s beloved “Baby-Sitters Club” books.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Libraries Provide Teens with Important Life Skills | ALA Annual 2017

During a panel at the ALA annual conference, librarians suggested ways to help teens learn lessons on everything from cooking to money management.

The Power of Nonneutral Librarianship | ALA Annual 2017

While some believe that libraries should remain entirely objective, several speakers at an ALA annual conference panel stressed the importance of using exhibits and programs to express political opinions and take a stand.