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AdLit gathers interesting news headlines about literacy, middle grade and YA books, best practices in instruction, and other key topics related to middle school and high school teaching and learning.

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Judy Blume Describes Latest Wave of Book Bans and Censorship as ‘Disgusting’ and ‘Fascist’ (opens in a new window)

PBS Newshour

May 05, 2023

The new film “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret,” is shining a spotlight on Judy Blume, author of the original novel. Many of her books deal with issues of sexuality and adolescence rarely found elsewhere when Blume was writing. That brought contention, including bans, that are once again front and center. Jeffrey Brown discussed this with Blume for our arts and culture series, CANVAS.

7 Multimodal Picks for Exploring Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ | Refreshing the Canon (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

May 05, 2023

We’ve put together multimodal lists of recommendations — including nonfiction, graphic novels, documentaries, and more — that educators can feature in classrooms and libraries alongside the exemplar texts. Our aim is to inspire educators to breathe fresh life into lessons around these works by giving students new context to understand why these classics are still relevant today.

What Happened When a District Decided to ‘Mess With High School’ (opens in a new window)

Education Week

April 28, 2023

The whole setup feels more tech startup than high school classroom. And in many ways, it is. The Synergy program at Mineola High School in Mineola, N.Y — for now, an alternative offshoot of the only high school in this nearly 3,000-student Long Island district — is the brainchild of Michael Nagler, the superintendent of the Mineola school district. He designed the model with his school-hating, computer science whiz teenage son in mind.

Middle School Students Face a Trifecta of Challenges. Here’s How to Help (opens in a new window)

Education Week

April 06, 2023

Middle school is a unique and often difficult time. Students go from the comfort and familiarity of spending all day with one teacher and one group of students to having six teachers and a wide range of classmates. For many students, this can feel like going from being a big fish in a small pond to the small fish in a big pond. Additionally, adolescence brings many physical and psychological changes. This trifecta of challenges helps explain why in the middle school years we lose many kids to drugs, violence, and despair. Forming diverse student groups can be an asset.

Where Have All the 13- to 15-Year-Old Protagonists Gone? (opens in a new window)

Publishers Weekly

April 06, 2023

It’s tough to keep kids reading at this age, but frankly, the publishing industry could be doing more to help. Where have all the 13- to 15-year-old main characters gone? While there are a plethora of 12-year-old main characters who are finishing elementary school or starting middle school, we really need more stories for our upper middle school readers. 

How This Public School’s Focus On Wellness And Health Benefits Its Community (opens in a new window)

Washington Post

April 03, 2023

There is a new book, titled “Schools of Opportunity: 10 Research-Based Models of Equity in Action,” that describes in detail how some successful schools approach their work with students. This excerpt from the book focuses on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College in far northeast Denver with its students in grades 6-12, and its approach to student wellness through supports and services that are largely nonacademic.

Colin Kaepernick Describes How He Embraced His Blackness As a Teenager (opens in a new window)


March 10, 2023

Before Colin Kaepernick was the face and catalyst of a protest movement – across sports and society – and before he was the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback in the Super Bowl XLVII, he was just a teenager trying to figure out who he was and where he was going. In a new graphic novel, Colin Kaepernick details how he wrestled with his identity within his blended adoptive family.

Rural Literature Teaches Rural Students To Value Self, Culture (opens in a new window)

The Goshen News

March 10, 2023

“I think as a kid, to be able to read a book where you feel seen and you feel like who you are as a human being, where you come from is being honored and recognized as something good, then that makes you feel good. It makes you feel like who you are as a person is an ok person to be and you can do good things in the world as that person whether you are still in your rural community or somewhere else.”

9 Essential YA Nonfiction Books About Black History (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

February 24, 2023

During Black History Month in the library, I’m always looking for titles to recommend to the teenagers at the high school where I work. Of course, I spend time highlighting books by Black YA authors — all Black authors, YA or not, to be perfectly honest — yet I wasn’t doing much to educate about the history itself.