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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: School Library Journal, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 102
1. Over at SLJ: The Story Behind Addison Stone

Adele Griffin's newest book is The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone (Soho Press, 2014).

I had the privilege of interviewing Griffin, and writing up a little something about the book and how it was created, for School Library Journal.

You can go read my article at The Story Behind Adele Griffin's Hybrid Novel, 'The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone'.

I promise to write up more of my thoughts on Addison Stone here -- the short version? Loved it. This is the type of creative, inventive story telling I love, and Addison herself is a fascinating young women. Love her or hate her, you'll remember her.





Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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2. Two Things on Tuesday


Thing One

Some days I fear writing dreadfully, but I do it anyway. I've discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing.
--Ann Quindlen 


Thing Two

Came across this from School Library Journal during a recent office cleanup. I made a gazillion Yoohoo boats for this.

  


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3. We Need Diverse Books that aren't "Blindingly White"

If you're a white male, you'll have an abundance of opportunities to imagine yourself on the stage this year at BookCon. The list of authors is being called "blindingly white" by BookRiot. If you're a white male or a cat, you could imagine yourself on the Blockbuster Kid Lit panel.

If you're not a white male--or a cat--you're out of luck. Rachel Renee Russell, author of the Dork Diaries (which I haven't read), was offered a set of pre-written questions with which to use to interview what Rick Riordan (one of the panelists) called the "Four White Dudes of Kids' Lit" (see his tweet on April 11, 2014). Russell asked to be a panelist instead, and that apparently went nowhere.

If you've been following this situation, you've likely read some of the responses to it. Over the weekend, a new response emerged that involves ACTION. Here's the poster for the We Need Diverse Books event taking place this week:



Perusing the 15 books in that set, it is clear that the planners of the campaign envision diversity in a broad range. It isn't, in other words, just books by or about authors of color, or authors who are citizens or members of one of the 500+ federally recognized tribes. It is about body type. It is about sexual orientation. It is about all of us.

What can you do?

RIGHT NOW (or sometime before May 1), take a photograph that in some way states why you think we need books that represent all of us. The photo can capture whatever it is you want to highlight. The planners suggest holding a sign that says "We need diverse books because _____." Send your photo to weneeddiversebooks@yahoo.com or submit it via the Tumblr page. Starting at 1:00 PM EST on May 1, 2014 people will be using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks to share the photos.

On May 2, 2014 there will be a Twitter chat--again using that hashtag--at 2:00 PM EST. Share your thoughts on existing problems with the lack of diversity in children's and young adult literature, and share the positives, too.

On May 3, 2014 at 2:00 EST there will be book giveaways and a "put your money where your mouth is" component to the campaign.  

Regular readers of American Indians in Children's Literature know that I encourage people to buy books from independent booksellers. My recommendation? Birchbark Books.

The poster (above) includes Eric Gansworth's If I Ever Get Out of Here, which you can get from Birchbark Books.  I want you to get it, but I also want you to get every book on my lists of recommended books. You can start with the lists I put together for the 2008 and 2013 "Focus On" columns I wrote for School Library Journal. Here's the lists:

Native Voices (November 1, 2008)
Resources and Kid Lit about American Indians (November 5, 2013)

Please join the campaign!

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4. 2013: Best Books, High School

If I was starting a library in a high school, these are the first books I'd buy, along with the ten listed in 2010: Best Books, High School.    

Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, edited by Bill Bigelow

Killer of Enemies, by Joseph Bruchac

The Round House, by Louise Erdrich

House of Purple Cedar, by Tim Tingle

Code Talker Stories, by Laura Tohe

The Moon of Letting Go: And Other Stories, by Richard Van Camp

Robopocalypse, by Daniel H. Wilson 

Short annotations for these books are at School Library Journal in a column I wrote for them in November of 2013: Resources and Kit Lit about American Indians.

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5. 2013: Best Books, Middle School

If I was starting a library in an elementary school or if I was ordering books for a middle school library, these are ten books I'd buy right away, along with the ten listed in 2010: Top Ten Books Recommended for a Middle School Library.

With these books, students will read the works of Native and non-Native writers who know what they're talking about. 

Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection. Edited by Matt Dembicki.

My Name Is Not Easy, by Debby Dahl Edwardson

If I Ever Get Out of Here, by Eric Gansworth

Triple Threat, by Jacqueline Guest

Under the Mesquite, by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky: Poetry and Prose by Lakota Youth at Red Cloud Indian School, edited by Timothy P. McLaughlin; illustrated by S. D. Nelson

Native Writers: Voices of Power, by Kim Sigafus and Lyle Ernst

Super Indian: Volume One, written and illustrated by Arigon Starr

How I Became a Ghost, by Tim Tingle 

Annotations for the books are at a column I wrote for School Library Journal in November of 2013:
"Resources and Kid Lit about American Indians"

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6. Going Over: The Trailer, The News



Sometimes, a whole lifetime's worth of specialness happens in a few short days.

Those few short days were these past few days. That Handling the Truth/Meredith Vieira moment in New York City, that trip to see old friends and make new ones in South Carolina. And the gifts leading up to the release of Going Over.

First, today, I want to thank the extraordinary Chronicle team—for everything, really. But in particular, today, for the trailer, above. I had no idea a trailer was in the works. It just arrived one day. It is perfect, in my eyes, in everyway.

The news is here, below:

School Library Journal Pick of the Day

Junior Library Guild Selection
iBooks Spring’s Biggest Books 
An Amazon Big Spring Books

“A stark reminder of the power of hope, courage, and love.”—Booklist, starred review

“An excellent example of historical fiction focusing on an unusual time period.” —School Library Journal, starred review


"Going Over carefully balances love and heartbreak, propelling readers through the story."Shelf Awareness

"Readers will finish the book and continue to think about how effective one wall can be in separating a country and in fashioning attitudes toward life." —Reading Today

"At once compelling and challenging... this gripping effort captures the full flavor of a trying time in an onerous place." —Kirkus Reviews



 “A profound read meant for discussion.” —VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates

"Gritty, painful and lovely."--Emma, age 17, SLJ Teen, Young Adult Advisory Councils Reviewer

Some very generous bloggers have agreed to participate in a blog tour that will kick off when the book officially launches on April 1. I've written pieces about history, graffiti, titles, editing—and I'll be answering questions—throughout it all.

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7. BoB

Cakejpg BoBSLJ’s Battle of the Books is underway, and let me just say how glad I am that the judges are being (relatively) tough.

share save 171 16 BoB

The post BoB appeared first on The Horn Book.

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8. Handling the Truth Wins Books for a Better Life/Motivational Category Award—and I meet Meredith Vieira and Lee Woodruff



The thing is: I had already won.

I had been invited to the 18th Annual Books for a Better Life Awards Program, sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society New York City—Southern New York Chapter. I was seeing friends—Darcy Jacobs, nominee Patty Chang Anker, Katie Freeman, Julia Johnson, my Gotham editor, Lauren Marino. My husband had joined me for the evening, our sensational son had left work to see us an hour before, Jenny Powers, VP of Special Events for the Society, had put on an amazing show of truly exceptional everythings at The TimesCenter. I had a new pink dress, those famous new shoes, and Maggie Scarf, the bestselling author, was telling my husband and me a story that held us both in captive disbelief. Soon I would go down that long flight of stairs and find the fabulous Lee Woodruff in the bathroom. We would speak of pink dresses, pink scarves, the sometimes good luck of fashion.

Earlier in the day, the phenomenal team at Chronicle Books had posted the stunning new trailer for Going Over, my soon-to-be-launched Berlin novel. School Library Journal had named Going Over the Pick of the Day. Laura Fraser of Shebooks had sent sweet news. The weather was kind. Only two-thirds of my hair was a mess.

And so I settled back into my chair at The TimesCenter simply to watch the show. To be grateful for it all. To be unencumbered, for that moment, by doubt. The first category of ten to be announced was the Motivational category. Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir, a book about the students I love and the things they have taught me, sat (remarkably) alongside The Novel Cure (Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin), Saturday Night Widows (Becky Aikman), Survival Lessons (Alice Hoffman), and On These Courts (Wayne B. Drash). Meredith Vieira—gorgeous Meredith Vieira—was looking stunning up there on the stage, post Sochi, post Oscars. She was reading off the nominees, then opening an envelope, and then—and then—she called my name.

I have never been so unprepared for anything in my life. I had not, for a single second, rehearsed the possibility of the moment; winning was out of the question. I had a wide stage to cross, and by the time I reached the microphone and Meredith's outstretched arms, I had been rendered incapable of speech. I have absolutely no idea what words I finally said. I know only that I told Meredith how beautiful she really is (inside and out). I know that I struggled to find words for the beauty of my students. I know I said "son" and "husband" and "Gotham" and "dreams."

(How grateful am I to Lauren Marino, Lisa Johnson, Beth Parker, and the entire Gotham team for saying yes to this book in a seaside nano-second. And a million thanks to my agent, Amy Rennert, who has supported this book from the second it arrived in her to-be-read bin.)

Afterward, when all the winners gathered on stage for a Publishers Weekly photograph, I had an opportunity to speak with Meredith, to learn more about her upcoming new program, The Meredith Vieira Show. It is going to be wonderful because she is through-and-through wonderful. A real show, real conversations, a set that recreates her own family room, her own interests, pursued. Look for it come Labor Day.

I end this as I must end this—with prayers for those who are living with and seeking to combat multiple sclerosis, a haunting condition about which important words were spoken last night. Without organizations like the New York City—Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society—organizations that work throughout the year to raise awareness and research dollars, bring together authors and publishers, put leading lights like Meredith Vieira, Lee Woodruff, Arianna Huffington, Pamela Paul, Mark Bittman, and Richard Pine on one stage, and gather friends—hope would not loom so large.  

I have never been so proud to bring an honor home.

I head to South Carolina in a few hours to serve as the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Distinguished Writer. This is the week of a lifetime.


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9.

The Hispanic Division and the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress will honor Sonia Manzano for The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano (Scholastic) with the America’s Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Program on Monday 23 September in Washington DC.

First Book made headlines this past summer when they targeted purchases from two publishers to increase the availability of diverse books for young readers. After distributing books from HarperCollins and Lee and Low around the country, First book has announced the second phase of their program.

So what’s next for First Book? In June, the group unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative America the planned next phase of the project, a “Commitment to Action” that includes outreach to 30,000 new schools and programs, special collections of diverse and multicultural titles, matching grants for educators, and an influential council of authors to help inspire new books and stories.

In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a growing dynamic in the demand for diversity in characters and authors in YA lit. Sure, it may be just another phase that the industry is experiencing, but I feel a real commitment from the individuals who are speaking up. They’re making statements that express concerns and beliefs they live with all the time. School Library Journal recently held a virtual conference “Embracing Diversity” which resulting in an article full of diversity resources.

The mosaic on Elephant Rag blog is a great place to find new books that reflect the world around us.

From authors Kelbion Noel and Zetta Elliott

Everyone deserves to see themselves in the pages. That’s what Diversity Reads is all about. Allowing youth the opportunity to enjoy speculative fiction featuring characters who look and deal, just like them. The non-profit is introducing a quarterly series, featuring multicultural authors of speculative fiction works, featuring main characters of color. Stay tuned for an event near you!

Their first event, “Black Magic” is in Toronto on 21 Sept.

Author Carole Boston Weatherford visited the Brown Bookshelf to discuss her book, Birmingham 1963 which pays homage to the four girls who lost their lives in a church bombing 50 years ago.

Lisa Yee is publishing on Paper Li.  STET, Good Books and Bad Dogs and Outer Space Stuff is brought to you daily.She’s much better at that than I am! I have a weekly publication but all I news I manage to collect comes from YALSA. I’m working on it!

Author Cynthia Leitich Smith will be presenting a Graphic Novel Writing workshop in Austin on 5 Oct. To prepare for this event, her blog recently featured an interview with her conducted by Samantha Clark, Austin SCBWI’s regional advisor, Why did she take her Tantalize series to graphic format?

The Tantalize series struck me as a great fit for graphic format. The books are genre benders–Gothic fantasies with strong elements of romance, mystery/suspense and some humor. They’re high action, rich in setting – an alternative Austin; Dallas; Chicago; small-town Michigan; Montpelier, Vermont – and offer diverse protagonists and visually arresting creatures (angels, vampires, werearmadillos).

Me? I’m working at the reference desk today! I’m looking forward to my first visit to Rose Hulman’s library this week to hear a speaker that’s part of the Muslim Journey bookshelf on which we’ve partnered. And, I’m reading reading reading for BFYA! With regards to BFYA, I’m really excited to have identified several ways to distribute the books I’ve been receiving. Of course, some have been going to the Indiana State University library! Advanced copies have been going to area teachers for their classroom libraries. Others will soon ship to the Boys and Girls Club of Burbank and in March I hope to distribute the remaining hundreds to school libraries here in Indiana. Thanks to a wonderful suggestion from Suzanne Walker, the Children’s Librarian for the state of Indiana, I’m planning a mini-grant program to send the books to the neediest libraries in the state. Hopefully, I’ve found a way to get it funded as well!

You?!! I hope you have a fantastic week and that your favorite team wins, unless they’re playing the Colts!


Filed under: Me Being Me Tagged: Carole Boston Weatherford, Cynthia Leitich Smith, diversity, First Book, Kelbion Noel, Lisa Yee, School LIbrary Journal, Zetta Elliott

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10. In Which Katherine Applegate Speaks For Me About Structure, Plot, and Writing


Why did you decide to write the story in a sort of prose poetry form? Was it just to give Ivan a believable voice, or was there another reason?

I am not entirely sure. I tend to look at structure before I look even at plot,* which is probably why plot is a struggle for me.** I think about what the book looks like and how it feels.*** Maybe that discipline is helpful for me in terms of finding the right words.

But when I look at big sprawly novels, sometimes… my husband just finished [writing] 500 pages. I marvel at it, because it’s so symphony and I’m so chamber music.**** I just don’t think that way, and it seemed really appropriate that since I was working with an animal voice that it would be small and poetic.

Read the rest of the interview at School Library Journal's Meet the Latest Newbery Winner: How Katherine Applegate Created a Modern-Day Classic



*yes
** oh, yes
*** yes siree
****exactly!

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11. The four-star constellation of the Duck!

A new star was discovered today. It's called School Library Journal, and joins Kirkus, PW, and The Horn Book in the ever brighter constellation of the Duck.
















A small green duck has lost his new blue socks. He looks for them in his toy box and consults his friends the fox and the ox. He does not find them among other socks on the rocks, but his peacock friends help him find them. The short, repetitive rhyming sentences are a good fit for beginning readers, and the large trim size allows plenty of space for the watercolor and [pen] illustrations to provide clues to solve the humorous mystery. This is a whimsical delight for children whose parents clamor for phonics-based books.Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI

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12. Distinguished Writing: Awarding the Struggle

So I've stayed away from School Library Journal's Heavy Medal blog all of a couple days. Not so hot on discipline, am I?

This quote is from a post there called The Art of Writing. It really struck me in its loveliness.
We have to muddle our way through a lot of really good work, hold each up against the other, try calling it distinguished, disagree, find something better…in order to identify the best out there.  I always hope, in the end, that the medals go to works that truly achieve “liftoff.” Our job (most of us) is one of connecting readers with great books, medal or not. Though the Newbery award is certainly for those readers,  in my mind, it’s more important that it’s for the writers/creators: awarding them for the struggle, so that they’ll continue, and so that others have a standard to shoot for.
Let's celebrate Newbery winners today, those whose struggles have set the bar high and have given us books we love. Who's on your list?


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13. Best Books of the Year


I'm excited to report that On the Road to Mr. Mineo's has been named one of School Library Journal's Best Books of the Year!

 

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14. Troll Hunters!

Our very own Michael Dahl has truly outdone himself this time. His epic fantasy tale involving trolls, teens, and the stars isn’t set to run wild until August 1st, but I thought I’d give our blog’s readers a sneak peek at what’s to come.

First off, we’ve already received a handful of glowing reviews, including this testimonial from School Library JournalKirkus Reviews cited the story's “Compulsive plot, non-stop action … fast-moving narrative [with] lots of suspense ... A page-turner.”

Another review compared the book to a younger version of the His Dark Materials series of books by Phillip Pullman (The Golden Compass, The Amber Spyglass, etc.). Good company, to say the least.

Last but definitely not least, nearly every review thus far has mentioned the amazing illustrations done by Ben Kovar. But don’t take my word for it, or theirs—judge for yourselves.




Make sure to mark August 1st on your calendars! In the meantime, keep your eyes on the skies!
Sean Tulien, Editor

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15. Finally Finally Finally



Woohoo!

I've been about to bust a gut keeping this secret.

I have a feeling the Battle Commanders heard me bouncing around the back room with my hands clamped over my mouth and figured they'd better spill the beans before I do.

I love, love, love this battle.

But NOW I have to STILL keep a secret.

I can't tell you which books I judged.


Nope.

Can't do it.

Not even for money (well, you can always make me an offer).....or Spicy Thai Potato Chips....or cases of Cafe Francais Instant Coffee.


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16. SLJ Battle of the Books





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17. Battle of the Kids' Books

Finally! The judges and their books all announced for School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books.


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18. Vote for the Undead!

Now's your chance to vote for which book will come back from the dead in School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books.

Here's how it works: the book with the highest number of votes gets a second chance in the final judging. (Like going to Redemption Island, if you watch Survivor, which probably nobody does but me.)



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19. Re-Seussify Seuss Challenge

Image

In case you missed it, this week’s results for School Library Journal’s Fuse #8 Re-Seussify Seuss challenge were in, and they were pretty spectacular! The mission, as set forth by children’s lit guru Betsy Bird, was to draw a spread from a Dr. Seuss book, but in the style of ANOTHER famous picture book artist. I was inspired by the fun mash-up idea, and pulled off the image of Yertle The Turtle in the style of Arnold Lobel, above.

The idea for the image itself came to me pretty easily. It’s no surprise that I love drawing turtles, and Yertle The Turtle is a family favorite. The reptile vs. amphibian factor – Yertle crossed with Frog and Toadwas amusing to me as well. In particular, I wanted to try my hand at Arnold Lobel’s style. I thought the limited palette with textured graphite would be fun, and his characters and watercolors lend themselves easily to my own style. Plus, he’s a fellow Pratt alum!

I learned a lot about Arnold Lobel’s creative process from this video with his daughter, Anita Lobel.  She sought to replicate her father’s paintings when she colored Arnold Lobel’s unfinished The Frogs and Toads All Sang:

I am very interested in Lobel’s use of color separations to make the Frog and Toad illustrations, and I wish I could find more on the subject. While Anita went with full-color in her recent interpretation, I wanted to imitate the 2-color (and black) separations by sticking to a green layer, a brown layer, and dark graphite.  I’m pleased with the result and think it was rather successful, if I do say so myself.

Now go check out Betsy’s post for the other mind-blowing creative Re-Seussification mash-ups!


Filed under: illustration sensations, paintings, videos Tagged: anita lobel, Arnold Lobel, betsy bird, dr seuss, early reader, frog and toad, fuse #8, re-seussify seuss, school library journal, watercolor,
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20. Let the battle begin!


Tomorrow's the day!

 
Woohoo!!


Amelia Lost or Anya's Ghost?


Between Shades of Gray or Bootleg?

The Cheshire Cheese Cat or Chime?


Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Deadend in Norvelt

 


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21. Week 2 of the Battle





Drawing from Memory or The Grand Plan to Fix Everything?
(And the judge for this one? Um, little ole ME!)

 
 Heart and Soul or Inside Out & Back Again?


Life: An Exploded Diagram or A Monster Calls?


Okay for Now or Wonderstruck?


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22. Drum roll, please...Round 1, Match 5




Let me assure you, this was one tough job. 

Allan Say vs Uma Krishnaswami

Both books were wonderful...

..and quite different.

But it was fun to examine books so closely and to analyze their parts and their wholes.

It was an honor to have been asked to participate in this event.

I've learned a lot about the process of critical analysis - not only by being a judge but from the other commentators and reader comments. 

 


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23. Battle of the Kids' Books

We're now heading into Round 2 of School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books.

The battle heats up starting tomorrow!


Who will move on to Round 3?

Amelia Lost or Between Shades of Gray?

Chime or Daughter of Smoke and Bone?

Drawing from Memory or Inside Out & Back Again?

Life: An Exploded Diagram or [I'm headed to the airport and it's too early to find out. You'll have to look it up here. Sorry.]


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24. Battle of the Kids' Books



The battle is heating up!

On to Round 3 tomorrow....

Who will win?

Between Shades of Gray or Chime?



Drawing from Memory or Life: An Exploded Diagram?


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25. The Big Kahuna Round

It's here at last: the final Big Kahuna Round of School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books:



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