SLJ Welcomes Mastrull, Simmons to the Reviews Staff

Amanda Mastrull returns to SLJ as editor of YA reviews. Florence Simmons joins as associate editor, generalist. 

The School Library Journal (SLJ) reviews staff continues to expand. Amanda Mastrull joins the team as editor of YA reviews, and Florence Simmons has come aboard as a generalist associate editor.

Amanda Mastrull
Amanda Mastrull

This marks Mastrull’s return to SLJ. She began as an editorial assistant in 2013, when she was the point of contact for submissions. She also became a valuable YA reviewer, conducting several author interviews for the BeTeen newsletter. Mastrull was soon promoted to assistant editor on the Library Journal side, handling SLJ’s sister magazine’s coverage of law and crime, literature, and crafts, among other categories.

After some time freelancing, Mastrull returned to the magazine as a freelance editor this past February, when she managed the biannual supplement. 

Florence Simmons
Florence Simmons

Simmons hails from sunny Florida, where she has held several editorial positions—from reviews editor at Taylor & Francis Group to reviewing children’s books at Booklist. She is also the founder of children's and YA reviews blog “Book Nerds Across America,” which has been running strong since 2010. 

“We are so excited to welcome back Amanda, now in a permanent role. Without her contribution, savvy, and industriousness, we would never have been able to publish the spring 2021 issue Series Made Simple,” says SLJ reviews editor Shelley Diaz. “And Florence’s enthusiasm and expertise is just what we need to round out the team,” Diaz adds.
Going forward, Mastrull is point on all things YA, including the BeTeen newsletter. She will also contribute her editorial expertise to the annual virtual event SLJTeen Live. Simmons will be supporting the reviews team with copyediting and expanding our areas of coverage, especially in the transitional readers space. She will be working remotely from Florida.

These additions to the staff also mark a shift in editors’ assigned areas of coverage. Each editor will be responsible for nonfiction in addition to fiction within their age categories: Kimberly Olson Fakih, picture books; Ashleigh Williams, chapter books and middle grade; and Mastrull, young adult. Mahnaz Dar will continue to assign fiction and nonfiction graphic novels. This change follows the recent promotions of Dar and Williams.

These are exciting times at SLJ Reviews. 

About School Library Journal

School Library Journal (SLJ), a MSI publication, is the premier publication for librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens. A source of quality journalism and reviews for more than 60 years, SLJ produces award-winning features and news coverage on: literacy, best practices, technology, education policy and other issues of interest to the school library and greater educator community. SLJ evaluates a broad range of resources, from books and digital content to databases, in 6,000+ reviews published annually.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing