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July 29, 2014 | NPR · House and Senate negotiators reached a compromise, $17 billion agreement to improve medical care for veterans. The deal comes in the final week before Congress leaves town for a monthlong recess.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Liz Sly tells Renee Montagne that U.S. arms may be flowing to moderate Syrian rebels, but the aid seems to be too little too late to affect the course of the civil war.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · The militant group threatens to kill parents who immunize their children. As a result, polio has come roaring back in Pakistan. Eradication now hinges on whether the country can control the virus.
 

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July 28, 2014 | NPR · A new salvo has been fired in the fight over teacher tenure. A group led by former TV anchor Campbell Brown filed a complaint in New York state court, arguing that tenure laws are preventing the state from providing every child with the "sound, basic education" its constitution guarantees.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · Why are so many low-income and minority kids getting second-class educations in the U.S.? That question is at the center of the heated debate about tenure protections and who gets them.
 
July 28, 2014 | NPR · Only one movie in July, Transformers: Age of Extinction, has broken the 100 million mark during its opening weekend. Box office receipts all summer have proven anemic. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with RENTRAK, talks to Audie Cornish about the box office slump.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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Best friends

Sep 7, 2013 — In her debut novel, Iranian-American Sara Farizan tells the story of two teenage girls, secretly in love. Sahar faces a crisis when she discovers Nasrin is engaged, and considers gender-reassignment surgery as a way for them to stay together. Farizan speaks with NPR's Jacki Lyden about the book and her own struggle with her sexual orientation.
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Jun 13, 2013 — Looking for a great read for a kid age 9-14? Here are all the titles our kids' book club has read since we launched in 2011. We revisit classics like Black Beauty and The Phantom Tollbooth and explore new stories like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Graveyard Book.
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Dec 20, 2012 — It was a strange and wonderful year for young adult fiction, says critic Maggie Stiefvater. This list rounds up five magical books for young adults and grown-ups alike.
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Aug 7, 2012 — More than 75,000 of you voted for your favorite young-adult fiction. Now, after all the nominating, sorting and counting, the final results are in. Here are the 100 best teen novels, chosen by the NPR audience.
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Jun 7, 2012 — If there's one thing that teenagers of all stripes spend their energy on, it's friendship. These outstanding new novels for young adults explore friendship wherever it blossoms, whether in the extremes of a dystopian future or the more mundane emotional extremes of high school.
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Dec 20, 2011 — Anne Ursu's novel is a modern-day fairy tale set in the snowy woods near Minneapolis. In the latest installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club, Ursu explains that Breadcrumbs was inspired by her own childhood memories of white winters in Minnesota.
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Nov 29, 2011 — Anne Ursu's big-hearted story about friendship and adventure is set in the snowy woods — and perfect for wintry reading. When 11-year-old Jack disappears in the Minnesota woods, it's up to his best friend, Hazel, to trudge through the snow to find him.
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Oct 17, 2011 — A terrible mistake in naming finalists for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature has put an author in an absolutely awful spot.
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Oct 18, 2009 — As Halloween approaches, new generations of literary zombies are rising from the dead and shambling towards the bookshelves — ready to entertain (and frighten) readers of all ages.
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Jul 1, 2009 — In the novel Touch, Francine Prose tells the story of the conflicting accounts that arise after a 14-year-old girl is groped by three male friends on a school bus.
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