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July 28, 2014 | NPR · Argentina says it cannot pay certain debts and will fall into default by July 31 if it can't come to an agreement with creditors. This would be Argentina's second default in 13 years.
 
July 28, 2014 | NPR · Even though Spain's economy is out of recession, youth unemployment has hit 57.7 percent. Economists say it could be years before jobs return. By then, many will have missed a decade or more of work.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · To withstand their 9,300-mile migration, red knots feast on eggs from horseshoe crabs each spring in Delaware Bay. Scientists worry many crabs are starting to lay eggs before the birds can get there.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Israel and Hamas carried out a rhetorical battle Sunday over the fate of dueling offers to extend a ceasefire. In the end, the fighting resumed after Saturday's 12-hour truce. Israel vowed to continue its military campaign, targeting tunnels along the border. Wary Gazans prepared as best they could for the feast that marks the end of Ramadan.
 
July 27, 2014 | NPR · Anne Barnard from The New York Times talks with NPR's Eric Westervelt about the differences between the current explosion of violence in Gaza and previous ones.
 
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July 27, 2014 | NPR · The Harrier Jump Jet is known for vertical take-offs and landings. It also has an accident-prone track record, but that didn't dissuade one pilot from buying his dream plane.
 

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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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R.J. Palacio

Dec 18, 2013 — What books that touch on topics of race would you recommend to a not-so-bookish teen? A reader asks us to share our suggestions.
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Sep 12, 2013 — A chance encounter with a little girl in an ice cream store inspired R.J. Palacio to write a novel about a boy born with distorted facial features. She says it got her thinking about what it's like to "have to face a world every day that doesn't know how to face you back."
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Aug 14, 2013 — R.J. Palacio explores the life of 10-year-old Auggie Pullman, a tough, sweet kid who was born with a serious facial deformity. He wants a normal life, but adults and children alike turn their eyes away at the sight of him. Join NPR's Backseat Book Club as we read a novel about cruelty and kindness.
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Aug 5, 2013 — Earlier this summer, NPR's Backseat Book Club — our book club for young readers — asked you to weigh in on your favorite books for kids age 9-14. We heard from more than 2,000 of you, and our expert panel has whittled your hundreds and hundreds of nominations down to a list of 100 great reads.
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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 10, 2012 — NPR's Backseat Book Club polled children's booksellers and librarians to find 2012's best books for middle-graders. The winners are a heartwarming city kid's tale, a Chinese folklore-inspired adventure, and an encounter with a 10-year-old you'll never forget.
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Mar 22, 2012 — In R.J. Palacio's new novel, a middle-schooler with a facial deformity struggles to fit in. Raquel Jaramillo, the author behind the pen name, says she found it more interesting to write about teens being kind than about teens being mean.
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