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AdLit News Headlines

Each weekday, 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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Teachers Help Students Navigate Misinformation, Emotions, History of War in Ukraine (opens in a new window)

Los Angeles Times

March 11, 2022

As the news of Russia invading Ukraine dominates news cycles, teachers throughout the country are helping students navigate the wave of emotions that comes with devastating world events. They’re providing much needed historical and political context. And they are doubling down on media literacy practices amid the flood of misinformation online. But teaching about the invasion of Ukraine can be tricky.

Not OK? That’s OK. Middle Grade Authors Provide Compassionate Portrayals of Mental Health (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

March 09, 2022

Tweens and teens can feel overwhelmed and may not know how to discern “normal” growing pains and feelings from something that’s more serious, and when they need help. Adults are not always skilled at recognizing symptoms or knowing what to do, either. Thankfully, a growing field of middle grade books tackles these issues and presents readers with authentic pictures of what mental illness may look like, how it can be treated, and how very normal and common it is. 

‘The Pennymores’ is a Kid’s Book Building a Real-World Secret Writing Society (opens in a new window)

Latin Post

March 09, 2022

“There are lots of book clubs out there,” Eric Koester, author of the Pennymores & the Curse of the Invisible Quill shared, “but we didn’t see a lot of writing clubs. Since the Pennymores story includes this secret writing society called the Plumes, we needed to create a real-world ‘secret’ writing society for the readers of the book to encourage more writing and writers out there.”

Middle Grade Fiction That Sees the Forest for the Trees (opens in a new window)

NY Times

March 07, 2022

Nature acts as a sort of universal guarantor of holiness. For generations, people around the world have felt there is something divine about a remote mountaintop, a silent grove, a snow-white stag glimpsed through virgin foliage. So what happens to our souls when there is no more wilderness to underwrite them?

What was the First “YA” Book? (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

March 07, 2022

Do you know what the first “official” YA book was? The one written specifically for teenage readers, featuring teenage protagonists? If your answer is The Outsiders by SE Hinton, you’re close, but you’d be wrong. It’s a different title, published decades prior, and one that is still in print today.

Should Libraries Be Safe Spaces? (opens in a new window)


March 07, 2022

Listen as we discuss the demonstrations that took place inside several Boston libraries last month opposing the city’s masking policies. Should libraries be considered a public space where anyone can come demonstrate for a cause? Or are they more a place of peace and privacy, dedicated to learning and reflection? We speak with Anita Cellucci, a librarian at Westborough High School and the K-12 Library Department head. She’s also a lecturer for Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, where she teaches an online course for children’s and young adult literature.

12 YA Titles Publishing in 2022 That Feature Asian American Protagonists (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

March 02, 2022

Even though 2021 was challenging for many Asian Americans, a dazzling crop of YA books featuring Asian and Asian American life in all its beauty and complexity brightened the year.

In 2022, readers will find new books that will warm their hearts, spark their imaginations, and reflect their lived realities. Here are 12 exciting titles to add to the TBR pile this year.

Teachers abandon letter grades in search of a fairer way (opens in a new window)

Washington Post

February 28, 2022

Across the country, educators are experimenting with a more tolerant grading system. “We’re aligning the letter grade with actual learning,” says Joshua Moreno, who works in the Alhambra Unified School District in Southern California. “It’s sad that it had to be for a worldwide pandemic to get people to look at this, but at the same time, it’s good that it’s happening. It had to.”

21 Books That Make LGBTQ+ Teens Feel Seen (opens in a new window)

Seventeen Magazine

February 25, 2022

As the age-old quotation goes, “We read to know we are not alone.” For LGBTQ+ teens who aren’t necessarily surrounded by people like them, books can be an especially crucial resource. Luckily, the YA genre has taken major strides toward being more inclusive, and there are dozens of popular books starring queer characters or penned by queer authors.

Ink Differently: Graphic Novels Take New Directions (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

February 24, 2022

Once looked down upon as “just comics,” graphic novels have evolved into a respected and dynamic platform for every genre in print. The graphic novels coming out this year for children and teens take this art form in new directions with compelling, multidimensional characters who are finding their identity and learning how to cope within a complex environment—conflicts that resonate especially with young readers.

A High School Spoken-Word Club Changed Students’ Lives. Now, You Can Read Their Poems (opens in a new window)

High Plains Public Radio

February 18, 2022

Peter Kahn, an English teacher at the Chicago-area Oak Park and River Forest High School, was terrified of teaching poetry. So he asked a former student of his for help, who suggested the idea of a poetry slam — a competition in which poets perform spoken word poetry before a live audience.

That was 1999. Inspired by the club’s potential to engage students, Kahn created an after-school spoken word club at the high school. And for over 20 years, the club has created space for students to engage in storytelling.

How I Fell In Love With YA Fantasy (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

February 10, 2022

YA Fantasy are my go-to type of books when I need a comfortable escape with a book, but they weren’t always my favorite. I hope you decide to give them a shot once you’ve read about my journey from apathy to excitement.

Unaccompanied Migrant Teens Have Unique and Profound Needs. One New Orleans Teacher Created a Special School to Help Them (opens in a new window)

The 74

February 07, 2022

While English learners often require years of support to thrive in school, unaccompanied minors have special challenges. They may have missed years of formal school in their home countries and arrive in the States multiple years behind. If they are teenagers, they have precious little time to catch up if they are to graduate.

How a Decline in Community College Students is a Big Problem For the Economy (opens in a new window)

Hechinger Report

February 07, 2022

Existing shortages of graduates with badly needed skills are about to get much worse. That’s a big problem for employers who need to fill jobs made even more essential by the pandemic, and in fields where there are already shortages. These include health care, cybersecurity, information technology, construction, manufacturing, transportation, law enforcement and utilities.

My Seventh Graders Found Healing Power in Disco (opens in a new window)


February 02, 2022

During the pandemic, it’s been nearly impossible for kids to let loose at school and just be kids. While facing COVID-19 restrictions and dwelling on their own mortality, they have missed out on beloved traditions, such as field trips, dances, and athletics. An impromptu COVID-era dance party helped us look to the future with hope. 

Authenticity Brings Project-Based Learning to Life: How to Ensure It’s at the Center of Instruction in Your Classroom (opens in a new window)

International Literacy Association

February 02, 2022

Distance learning at the height of the pandemic took its toll on students academically and emotionally. Even though most students are back in class this year, things aren’t quite back to normal. Students continue to crave connection and higher levels of engagement. But how do we help students stay connected and engaged in deeper learning? Many educators are finding that project-based learning (PBL) provides a way forward by developing knowledge and skills through authentic learning experiences that generate student interest and enthusiasm.

Who Knows the Book Best? Andrea Davis Pinkney Faces Middle School Contestants on Author-Fan Face-Off (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

February 02, 2022

Cue the applause! SLJ is teaming up with award-winning author and historian Steve Sheinkin and school librarian Stacey Rattner to stream their fun, fact-filled game show, Author-Fan Face-Off. In this brand-new episode, award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney squares off against a group of middle school superfans to answer 10 questions about Pinkney’s book She Persisted: Harriet Tubman, written with Chelsea Clinton. 

Black Girls are Graduating at a Higher Rate Than Any Other Demographic in Memphis Schools. Here’s Why. (opens in a new window)


February 02, 2022

Over the last four years, Black girls have graduated from high school at a higher rate in Memphis-Shelby County Schools than any other demographic group on record, a reversal of traditional academic disparities where Black students lag behind their white peers.

Supportive classrooms and attentive teachers of color who can relate to their students are certainly a large part of the equation to Black girls’ academic success. But Memphis-Shelby County Schools graduates and soon-to-be graduates agree that behind the trend is a personal determination to excel in spite of the double burden of racism and sexism that Black girls often face.

4 Advantages of Digital Discussions in the Classroom (opens in a new window)


February 02, 2022

Through stories, students are able to create an understanding of the materials presented in class. However, when tasked with sharing stories that relate to what they’ve learned, students aren’t always as forthcoming with the material. Thankfully, due to modern technology, there are many options beyond the traditional classroom share-out for students to show their understanding. 

8 Tips for Dealing With Your Angry Teenager (opens in a new window)

University of Utah Health Communications

February 01, 2022

Having a teen who gets angry easily can make you feel like you have to tiptoe around issues to avoid conflict—but that’s not a healthy way of relating to one another. Read for tips on how to ward off and diffuse teen anger.

The Best YA Comics and Graphic Novels About the Joys and Heartbreak of Friendship (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

February 01, 2022

Some of these might already be on your radar as overtly friendship stories, while some of these books are less obvious with their friendship themes — but still worth picking up! They cover everything from the painful process of making new friends, navigating complicated friend groups and dynamics, being lonely and discovering a new friend, friendship break ups, and friendships that evolve into something more! 

What’s Behind The Flap About ‘Maus’ (opens in a new window)


January 31, 2022

A Tennessee school board’s decision to remove the graphic novel Maus from the curriculum has sparked international condemnation. But the incident has its roots in the state’s efforts to improve school curricula—and controversies like this one shouldn’t be allowed to prevent that.