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Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

In which TLT has a very important (and exciting!) announcement to make

Heather, Robin, Amanda and I are very excited and incredibly honored to announce that Teen Librarian Toolbox is becoming a part of the School Library Journal blog network. In order to make this transition, the SLJ tech people have to do a couple of technical things, which will be happening this weekend. TLT may experience a few technical hiccups or be down a couple of days while this transition is made. This will probably not happen, but it is possible.

Have no fear! TLT will resume as normal as soon as possible. The URL will not change, you will continue to find us at www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com. You will continue to hear us share our thoughts on books, libraries, pop culture, teen issues and more. And we will continue to ask you to share yours with us because we value being a part of a dialogue that helps us all better advocate for and serve our teenage population. The only thing that will change is that we now get to be a part of the SLJ family, and that’s a pretty awesome thing. As a librarian I have been reading SLJ for a little over 20 years now and it is so amazing to get to be a part of their good work for libraries and youth in this way.

Wait – there is one other small change. We are moving from Blogger to WordPress. Heather, Robin and Amanda all have experience with WordPress. I, however, do not. So there might be a little bit of a learning curve for me. We hope to have any and all bugs ironed out as soon as possible.

Thank you all for reading TLT. We greatly value having a space to talk about the things that we love and think about it, and people to talk about them with. TLT is my baby and we will continue to work  hard to do this thing that we love in the best ways that we can. When you join us again next week, look for the School Library Journal header and know that Heather, Robin, Amanda and I are squeeing with delight in the background.

Killing Your Darlings (A reflection on weeding)

1e9d7 buffybook Killing Your Darlings (A reflection on weeding)

Weeding. Sometimes, it seems such a violent act. Sometimes we have to kill our darlings. And for me, that time came in 2011. And it involved my beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

You see, as a Buffy fan I had been on standing order for the book series since forever. But time marches on, shows get cancelled, and new fandoms emerge.

I had read every single one of the Buffy and Angel books on my teen shelves. And together, the series took over a shelf and a half of precious space.

The problem wasn’t even that the books weren’t being read. Angel really wasn’t, but the Buffy books still flew off the shelves. Well, flew off the shelves may be a bit of hyperbole, but they definitely earned their keep.

No, the problem was an entirely different problem that comes with age and use: they were – quite literally – beginning to fall apart. Sometimes it seemed as if when you took the book off the shelf it might just disintegrate into dust like you had staked a vampire right there in the teen area. All that would remain was a pile of dust that used to be the stories on the page.

So one final, fateful, mournful day, I did the unthinkable. I killed my darlings. I took every single last Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel book off of the shelves. I swiped them with the magic wand that would remove them from the collection. I crossed out their barcodes. I stamped them withdrawn. And I shoved them all in a box.

I think that box stayed under my desk for about a month. Maybe I would change my mind. Maybe a patron would ask for them. Maybe I would just take them home.

None of those things happened. They were in such bad shape that the Friends didn’t even want them in their annual book sale, so they were recycled. It seemed such an inglorious end to this thing that I loved so dearly.

By the time I had finally gotten up the courage to this evil seeming deed, the series has stopped publication for a few years. There were no new titles coming in. The show was off TV. This new crop of teens were asking for different vampire books and television series. But it hurt, this thing I had to do. It hurt more than any other weeding moment in my life.

The other day, we hired a new circulation clerk. She came up to me and whispered the name of a book that she thought we should never, ever, ever, weed from our library. “Be sure you check it out,” I told her. She was perplexed. “If you want a book to stay in the library and you are worried it won’t, check it out.” But the truth is, sometimes just circulating isn’t enough.

Sometimes books die horrible deaths. They fall apart. They reach a point where they can’t be glued, taped or mended any more. They go out of print and can’t be re-ordered. They simply die. Even well loved ones.

Even Buffy.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: My First Fandom (a guest post by Cindy) (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)

d264d cindy2bas2bbuffy Buffy the Vampire Slayer: My First Fandom (a guest post by Cindy) (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)

Photo used with permission by Sarah Stumpf

One true thing is that you will never forget your first big fandom. Growing up as the weird kid in my school, I loved Beauty and the Beast and I adored L.J. Smith whose books started me on my love affair with reading. Nothing could and will never compare to my love of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I was obsessed to put it mildly. I had watched it off and on during the first season, but it was the second season that hooked me.

‘Becoming’ Part One and Part Two changed everything for me.

It was hard loving something so much, because I knew people who liked the show, but I knew no one who I could really talk to about it. I would have friends who would listen, but I knew no one really understood it. I had trouble finding my tribe. The internet was blooming and I would go on the Bronze, which was a popular message board for the show on the WB website.I was too young to really post and was scared of interacting. I would read as much fan fiction as I could find, which was a lot, but I will always remember feeling like I was annoying everyone around me about Buffy, but honestly I did not care. Buffy made me happy. I was going to talk about it no matter what.

That is what fandom is too me– strongly loving something so much that you just don’t care about what other people think about the object of your fandom or you. This is one reason why we have so many fandom related activities at my library. It gives the teens a place to express their love of something whether it is Hunger Games, Black Butler, or Dr.Who. I want teens to feel like they have found their place and their tribe. Buffy was and is my home.

About Our Guest Blogger:

Cindy Shutts is a Teen Services Librarian at White Oak Library District. She has guest blogged with us before sharing her Divergent library program and a display she put together for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You can follow her on Twitter @cindysku

More About Fandoms:

Check out the Fanlore Wiki to learn more about Fandom

Huffington Post: A Complete Guide to the Tangled Web of Teen Fandom

Mtv: Decoding Millennials and Fandom

Style Caster: Teenage Fandom in the Age of Twitter (this takes a specific look at online bullying in the world of fandom)

Robin Brenner presents on Fandom and the Teen World (with resource links provided)

Friday Finds – Halloween Edition

b4eaa fridayfinds Friday Finds   Halloween Edition

This Week at TLT

Sunday Reflections: The soundtrack of our lives
Take 5: Why I Love Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)
Middle Grade Monday – Why Rick Riordan is the opposite of a problem
The Sunnydale Project: Celebrating Buffy the Vampire Slayer 
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Validating Teens, a guest post by author Annie Cardi (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)
Press Play by Eric Devine releases today, so he’s having a cool contest
Webinar: Putting More Music in Our Libraries (Music and Teen Programming)

Starting a Vampire Book Club, a guest post by Carrie (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)

Great YA Reads for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans, a guest post by author Alexandra Duncan (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)
Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

Around the Web

Do yourself a favor – drop everything and go read this. It will restore your faith in humanity and soothe your soul.

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More reasons why Rick Riordan is the opposite of a problem. From The Atlantic.

The child poverty rate is falling. Not enough, but it’s a start. Over 100,000 high school and college aged athletes are homeless.

Reasons to help your tween create her own Halloween costume.

Thanks to Leila for this:

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/C6ju2-IjWhs?rel=0 

Support the We Need Diverse Books campaign!

//player.vimeo.com/video/110136751

Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

38878 sunnydale2bproject2bbutton2b20142bstyle2b2 Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should ReadAs a Buffy fan, I will often finish a book and think to myself, that would be a great book for Buffy fans. Sometimes the connections are obvious – vampires, zombies and demons, oh my! Sometimes it has more to do with the tone or the characters. The cast of Buffy had a certain snark about them that not every author can do, so when I find it done well in a book I’m always a little bit tickled. Sometimes, however, the book may not have a touch of paranormal in it at all, but it just reminds me of situations that Buffy and her friends had to deal with – like relationships or grief. So to add more great YA reads to Alexandra Duncan’s list from earlier today, I present you with Five by Five (Buffy fans will know what this means) – 5 more paranormal/speculative fiction titles and 5 contemporary titles that Buffy fans just may want to read.

5 Speculative/Paranormal YA Books for Buffy Fans

Unspoken by Sara Rees Brennan

20b9f unspoken Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

Unspoken gets that balance of snark and pathos exactly right. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll curse Brennan for breaking your heart and then you’ll beg her for more. And then you’ll get ti because this is only the first book in a series. Kami Glass is in love with the voice in her head, and then one day he shows up. It turns out, he is real. And he is a part of the mysterious family whose secrets helped form the history of the town she lives in. When a body appears in the woods, Kami and her friends set out to discover the truth of the Lynburn Legacy. That’s the title of the series, by the way, The Lynburn Legacy.


Demon Derby by Carrie Harris

5728f demonderby Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

What if Buffy joined a roller derby team? That’s how this book reads. Casey joins a roller derby team for reasons, then it turns out not everyone on the team may be exactly what you might call human. Oh – and Harris does a great job creating a snarky, strong female lead that you’ll want to hang with.

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

400e7 nobody Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

Remember that episode of Buffy where the girl starts to literally become a ghost because she thinks nobody notices her – Out of Mind, Out of Sight? If you liked that episode, this is the book for you. Here two teens who are literally noticed by no one are on the run from people who want to use their ability and train them to be assassins. Jennifer Lynn Barnes wrote another great read-alike called Every Other Day that you’ll also want to check out. Every Other Day involves a lead character who fights demons like Buffy, but only every other day because on the other days, her powers seem to disappear.


Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

3de61 mortaldanger Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

Technically, this is more an Angel read-alike. And when you get into the book and find out more, you’ll understand exactly why. In an effort to exact revenge against all those who almost drove her to commit suicide, Edie finds herself part of a game where she doesn’t know the players, has no idea what the rules are, and it turns out the stakes are really high.

Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

2f8cf servantsofthestorm Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

This is hands down one of the freakiest and most atmospheric takes on demons I have ever read. A hurricane blows through town, killing Dovey’s best friend Carly. Except Dovey swears she just saw Carly. Soon Dovey is learning things about her town that she never would have imagined and trying to find a way to free her friend Carly from a life time of servitude to those who control the storms.

5 Contemporary YA Reads for Buffy Fans

Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir

8ecc0 bleedlikeme Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

Buffy may have been an awesome friend and slayer, but she had horrible luck with the men in her life. First Angel lost his soul and then, you know, stalked her and tried to kill her, but not until he tortured and killed some of her friends. And then there was Spike and their deeply disturbing sexual exploits after Buffy came back not quite right. Bleed Like Me is about an obsessive, unhealthy relationship. It also involves cutting. It’s a bold look at what happens when girls are willing to sacrifice themselves in the name of love that I think everyone should read.


Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder

a7ad1 fallingforyou Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

This is another great read in the Buffy made the worst choices in relationships canon. Rae falls for Nathan. Nathan it turns out is very Angel without a soul/Spike like. She turns to a friend for support, Nathan is not willing to give up so easily.

 

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

ba652 everythingleadstoyou Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

Perhaps one of the most celebrated relationships on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was that of Willow and Tara. It took them a while to come together and their relationship was strained – as all relationships are – by a variety of life experiences. Tara had her own past that she had to wrestle with. Willow was just coming off of a broken relationship. Everything Leads to You by LaCour is a beautiful story about two people eventually coming together, even as they must try and figure out who they are on their own.

Death, Dickinson and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torress Sanchez

d69cb deathdickinson Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

For me, the most profound episode of Buffy ever was The Body. Suddenly, our little gang was shattered to the very core of their being by this very tragic loss. Anya trying to make sense of this sudden change and the very Anya way in which she expresses her emotions just guts you to the core. Like our Scooby gang, Frenchie Garcia is struggling to understand a recent death. You see, a boy she has always crushed on killed himself – after spending his last night with Frenchie. With the help of a new found friend, Frenchie retraces their steps on that last night of his life to see if she can try to understand what happened, what she might have missed. Because she should have seen something, right? Some clue that this was going to happen so that maybe she could help him.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

a8529 illgiveyouthesun Five by Five: 5 Speculative Fiction and 5 Contemporary Fiction Books that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans Should Read

Although Buffy had a variety of ghosts, goblins and demons, at the heart of the story it was always about real life. Trying to fit in, finding yourself, working through relationships – these are all the underlying themes of Buffy. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is a beautifully told story about grief and forgiveness, two themes that came up frequently on Buffy. A sister and a brother, twins, are left reeling after the loss of their mother. The mother’s ghost may or may not be appearing to help the sister work through that grief so that these siblings can forgive each other and find a way to move forward. This is hands down one of the most amazing books of 2014 and a meaningful exploration of grief and loss.

How about you – what’s on your list of YA lit that Buffy fans might want to read? Please share in the comments.

Great YA Reads for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans, a guest post by author Alexandra Duncan (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)

e253e sunnydale2bproject2bbanner2b2014 Great YA Reads for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans, a guest post by author Alexandra Duncan (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)

I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer during my sophomore year of college, a year or so before the show went off the air. The war in Iraq had just started, my family was in the throes of pre-divorce drama, and my long-term boyfriend – now my husband – was living in another city half a state away. It felt like the whole world was falling apart and there was nothing I could do about it.

Then along came Buffy. Buffy wasn’t perfect. She cracked jokes when she was supposed to be training to hunt vampires, and sometimes her secret identity got her into trouble with her parents and teachers, not to mention cultists and bloodsucking immortal demons. But Buffy had a purpose. She fought pointy-toothed evil and won, though sometimes at a cost. She had an amazing group of friends, and they fought evil, too, even though most of them didn’t have superpowers. The show could turn on a dime between genuinely creepy (the Gentlemen), hilarious (kitten Poker), and tragic (Buffy’s mom’s death). Sometimes it was all of those things at once. Yet my belief in the universe Joss Whedon created never wavered. Real life is like that too, sometimes. It’s a drama and a comedy tumbled together. 

So, if you’re like me, you’re always on the prowl for something that reminds you of Buffyin some way. Maybe it’s the whip-smart dialogue, the bone-deep shudders, the doomed romance, the heartening sight of friends banding together to fight evil, or the sorrow that comes with death and regret. Maybe – if you’re lucky- it’s all of those things. 

Today, you’re in luck. I present to you 13 titles that capture some part of the Buffyspirit. The show might be over, but we will read on. 

e619e btvs2bread alikes Great YA Reads for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans, a guest post by author Alexandra Duncan (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)

  
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish MacBride

Eighteen year-old Sam is working at a fast-food restaurant in Seattle when he discovers his long-hidden true identity – he is a necromancer. Not only that, he and his new friends might be the only people who can stop an evil necromancer on the loose in the city, a necromancer who wants to recruit Sam and use him for his own nefarious ends. With plenty of paranormal activity, Whedon-esque dialogue, and a reluctant hero leading a ragtag group of friends in the fight against evil, this novel is a perfect match for Buffyfans.
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
From the moment readers meet pink-loving Evie, you know she and Buffy would get on like a house on fire, whether they were naming their favorite weapons, trying on dresses, or kicking evil’s butt. Evie works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, and she is not impressed by vampire posturing. She does, however, long for a normal life and maybe even a nice guy to go with her to prom. Too bad her destiny always gets in the way. Rejoice, readers: this is also the first book in a series.
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
After an unfortunate incident at prom reveals Sophie’s identity as a witch to the non-magical world, her single mother has no choice but to pack her off to Hex Hall, a reform school for troubled witches, wizards, and other creatures. There, Sophie makes enemies (a trio of Mean Girls worthy of Cordelia) friends (vampire roommate and fellow outcast Jenna), and tries to stop a series of attacks on her fellow students. But could Jenna be the attacker, or is something more sinister going on? Why are Sophie’s powers so different from her classmates’? And why do the hottest warlocks always have to be jerks? Sophie’s snarky voice is the perfect counterpoint to the creepy goings-on, and fans will be glad to know this book is the first in a series.
White Cat by Holly Black
Rather than alcohol being banned during Prohibition, in Black’s world, it’s magic that’s against the law. Skip forward to the present day. Cassel is the only non-magical member of his family of curse-working con artists and underworld henchmen. He also might be a murderer. At least, he remembers killing his best friend Lila all those years ago.  But when he starts sleepwalking and dreaming about a white cat – a cat that somehow reminds him of Lila – he starts to wonder if things are really what they seem. This first entry in the Curseworkersseries shares its tone with some of the more serious Buffy episodes, though there are plenty of creepy-funny moments sprinkled in. Lovers of Buffy’s darker shades and Anya fans will fly through this series.
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Sisters Scarlet and Rosie March are werewolf hunters. But these are no Zen Oz-werewolves; these are bloodthirsty monsters that stalk young women throughout the city of Atlanta. The sisters struggle with guilt, obligation, their own dark pasts, and, of course, axes as the werewolves run rampant. The final fiery showdown is worthy of one of Buffy’s fights with the Big Bad, and so is the combination of sibling rivalry and affection.
Devilish by Maureen Johnson
Buffy aficionados know better than anyone that demons can bring some high comedy. That is definitely the case in the story of outsider Jane and her best friend Allison, who attend a Catholic girls’ school. When Allison suddenly becomes popular overnight and starts ignoring Jane in favor of the (definitely demonic) Lanalee, Jane knows that she has to save her friend and her friend’s soul. What she doesn’t yet know is how high the stakes are and what the deadly Poodle Prom has in store. Devilish has Maureen Johnson’s characteristic quirk and wit, this time with supernatural elements. Those who enjoy it should look into her new Shades of London series, as well.
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Buffy always turned our assumptions about good and evil on their heads, and Peterfreund does the same here with unicorns. There is some truth to the old legends – only virgins can capture the creatures – but these unicorns are no harbingers of sweetness and innocence. They are venomous beasts who have no problem chowing down on humans with their razor-sharp teeth. When one of them attacks Astrid’s boyfriend, she finds herself shipped off to Italy to become part of a secret society that trains girls to become unicorn hunters. Is this sounding awesome yet? What are you waiting for? Go find a copy. Run like killer unicorns are chasing you!
House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple
This one’s for the Scoobies. For young witch Josephine Hemlock, magic is about family and sacrifice. Haunted by a curse that killed her mother, Jo struggles to keep both her friends and family safe from the evil that has descended on her quaint, sleepy town. But can she protect everyone and stay alive? Can she afford to accept her friends’ help, even if it puts them in danger? If you enjoy this stand-alone, you’ll want to check out Whipple’s other fun, well-crafted novels.
Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino
Novels aren’t the only medium carrying on the Buffyspirit. This manga series follows Yuki Cross, adopted daughter of the headmaster at Cross Academy, where she also works as a guardian. Why does her boarding school need pistol-toting guardians? Because it is populated by both a “Day Class” of humans and a “Night Class” of vampires. Yuki was almost killed by a vampire when she was a child, so she knows better than anyone that when the two classes cross paths, there’s bound to be trouble. The only question is, can she and the other school guardians stop it?
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
This first book in a series by the same name takes sibling rivalry to the next level with the tale of twins Lia and Alice, one good and one completely, irrevocably evil. After the death of their father, the girls discover their part in a prophecy that could bring about the end of the world. One sister has the power to unleash evil upon the world, and another has the power to seal the entrance to the underworld for good – but who is who?

 
The Archived by Victoria Schwab

In Schwab’s world, the dead and their memories become Histories, stored in the Archive and watched over by Keepers and Librarians. Mackenzie Bishop has always wanted to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and become a Keeper, guiding confused and violent Histories back to their resting place. Since the death of her younger brother, though, things have become more complicated, especially when Mac discovers someone has been erasing the memories from Histories and her new home might be the sight of a long-ago murder. The gorgeous prose and singularly unsettling setting should please lovers of all things creepy.
Chime by Franny Billingsley

Briony is haunted by secrets and guilt. She’s a witch, and, after all, witches deserve death in her turn-of-the-century English town of Swampsea. But with the help of Elderic, one of the few locals who doesn’t shun the swamp, and the love her sister Rose, Briony begins to unravel the mystery of her family’s past and her stepmother’s death, something she has always thought was her fault. Rich, quirky writing and a beautifully dark atmosphere set this stand-alone novel apart.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

If you were a fan of the way Buffy explored the sometime-blurry line between good and evil, you’ll love this first book in Laini Taylor’s dark fantasy trilogy. Karou has grown up in Prague, spending her days as an art student, but going home to an avuncular, tooth-collecting Chimera named Brimstone each evening. Karou doesn’t know why Brimstone needs human teeth or how she ended up with hamsas tattooed on her palms, but when she starts finding handprints seared into doors all over the city and is nearly killed by a beautiful, deadly angel named Akiva, the mysteries of her everyday life begin to connect with her long-forgotten past. 

Meet Our Guest Blogger:
Alexandra Duncan is a writer and librarian. Her first novel, Salvage, was published by Greenwillow Books in April 2014. Her short fiction has appeared in several Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy anthologies and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. She loves anything that gets her hands dirty – pie-baking, leatherworking, gardening, drawing, and rolling sushi. She lives with her husband and two monstrous, furry cats in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can find her online on her web site, Twitter, and Facebook.
About Salvage:
46bb8 salvage Great YA Reads for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans, a guest post by author Alexandra Duncan (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)
Salvage is a thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel that will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. This is literary science fiction with a feminist twist, and it explores themes of choice, agency, rebellion, and family.

Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated, conservative deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean.

This is a sweeping and harrowing novel about a girl who can’t read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. What choices will she make? How will she build a future on an earth ravaged by climate change?

Named by the American Booksellers Association as a Spring 2014 Indies Introduce Pick. (Publisher’s Description)


Karen’s Thoughts: Both Robin and I have read this book and it is fantastic feminist Sci Fi with a female character and an intriguing storyline. It gets bonus points for the epic  adventure through space that our main character takes. Salvage would actually make another great read for Buffy fans looking for a strong female lead!

Starting a Vampire Book Club, a guest post by Carrie (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)

1c2da twilight Starting a Vampire Book Club, a guest post by Carrie (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)Back when Edward Cullen was at his very sparkliest, I was teaching English at an all-girls high school. I have never seen anything like it. Spontaneous character debates broke out in class and my pro-Jacob leanings earned me some enemies (I make no apologies. He was WARM and could FIX THINGS). Whispers of “Team Edward” followed me down the hallways. Backpacks were heavy with books and my heart was light: kids were READING. 
 I do not want to bag on Twilight. It got kids to read, and that is an amazing and admirable thing. We should never shame anybody for reading whatever they damn well please, and the reason I wanted my students to go beyond Bella wasn’t that I thought Twilightwas a “bad book,” it was because I wanted them to realize that it wasn’t the ONLY book, that they could keep having that incredible experience of being immersed in another world, over and over again, for the rest of their lives.
I also wanted to give them more characters who could help them navigate their lives with confidence and courage. When I looked at the students in my class I saw smart, strong, funny, kick-ass young women who could change the world. I also saw vulnerable kids fending off endless online approaches by strange men and whose boyfriends demanded they get Brazilians before the big dance. (And that’s just the stuff I knew about.) They needed somebody fierce to help guide them.
So I gave them Buffy.
(Eventually.)
First, I started a vampire book club. It would be totes legit, I assured my skeptical colleagues: We would investigate vampire myths! We would explore the genre! We would move on to classic literature and soon the girls would be gushing about gothic novels instead of Edward’s abs…
Yeah, none of that really happened. 
dd3ab count Starting a Vampire Book Club, a guest post by Carrie (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)
Image from Muppet Wikia

They did read some new books, and a few even tackled Dracula. We discussed how vampire myths are tied to the Count on Sesame Street and we had a good time, but it never felt like enough. I was entertaining them, sure, but I wasn’t giving them any characters or ideas they could take away and hold close to bring out when they felt scared or unsure. I wondered about this in my three minutes of free time a week (#teacherlife) and decided I was being unrealistic. Maybe what I wanted to give them didn’t really exist – or maybe it wasn’t even mine to give.

We met during lunchtimes and after a few months the girls decided that watching some vampire videos would really “help with their understanding,” and, coincidentally, they just happened to have The Vampire Diariesright here.  
“No!” I said, desperately fighting to maintain control of my creation. “Come back tomorrow and we will watch the best show about vampires that ever has been, is, or will be.”
And that’s how my book club turned into a Buffy club.
4110b buffy Starting a Vampire Book Club, a guest post by Carrie (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)None of the students had seen it before, and after a few “look at baby Booth” giggles they settled in. In fact, they were hooked. Once a week wasn’t enough for them anymore: soon they were knocking everyday on the staffroom door, eyes shining and hands outstretched, pleading for the next episode.
They cheered when Buffy told Angel that being stalked “isn’t exactly a big turn on for girls” and they cried when he lost his soul and Buffy realized when she would have to do to stop him. A lot of the references flew past them (New Zealand teenagers have never seen the softer side of Sears) but it didn’t matter: the characters and the themes were relatable and timeless. They got it. Buffy was in their heads and she’d be there, making bad puns and refusing to back down, whenever they needed a boost of confidence.
I left the classroom but stayed in town and I still run into the Buffy girls every now and again. One of them served me a coffee a year later and told me she and a few friends had pooled their money to buy all five seasons of Angel. At the New Zealand film festival screening of Much Ado About Nothing I waved across the room to a group of them, giddy with excitement and dressed to the nines in honor of Joss Whedon’s latest production.
Buffy is not a perfect character. She is not the “anti-Bella” or the answer to every teenage girl’s problems. Nothing is that simple. But showing teenagers a brave, flawed, kind, strong, ass-kicking female character canmake a difference. Those students probably don’t remember all the stuff I spouted in class about visual and verbal language features (even I have blocked most of those memories) – but they do remember Buffy.
My vampire book club (like so many things in life and teaching) didn’t quite turn out the way I thought it would. We didn’t read as many books as I’d hoped, and I certainly can’t prove I upped any test scores. But it is one of my absolute favorite teaching memories, and I will always be grateful that Buffy was there when my students and I really needed her. 


Meet our guest blogger, Carrie Boufard
Bio: I’m a Vermonter in New Zealand who spends my days working with teachers and librarians to build strong reading cultures in schools and get students excited about books. I spend my nights writing middle grade stories and drinking lots of coffee. I’m repped by Carrie Howland, which makes me a very lucky writer indeed. I’m jumping back into social media after a break (there was a whole baby/sleep deprivation thing) and I would love to connect with you on my blog, Twitter, or Goodreads.

Webinar: Putting More Music in Our Libraries (Music and Teen Programming)

For some time now I have been putting together a variety of webinars for Florida Library Webinars (with Novare Library Services). So when they asked me months ago about some potential topics for this year, one of the items I wanted to explore was putting more music in my library programming. I must give a shout out to author Mary Amato who answered some questions and shared her own favorite ideas for putting more music in libraries.

   Music in Our Libraries

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/244749503/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=true

Also check out this cool idea that The Library as Incubator Project shared via Twitter yesterday:

Press Play by Eric Devine releases today, so he’s having a cool contest

Yay, it’s Pub Day! And to celebrate the fact that Press Play is out in the world, I’ve created a fun and interactive giveaway. You have the opportunity to win a signed copy of Press Play, as well as this long-sleeve T-shirt.

7294e eric1 Press Play by Eric Devine releases today, so hes having a cool contest
From today, 10/28, through Tuesday, 11/11, you have one job––to create a video. What kind, and what to do with it, are below:
*You do not have to be a Tumblr user to enter. You just need to go to the site. 
I promise* 
1. Go to a bookstore. Record yourself making a big deal about finding Press Play on the shelf. Maybe you can even talk it up to other patrons. It’s your call, just make it fun for everyone.

2. If you’ve already gone to the bookstore or to one of my signings, and, therefore, have a copy, there’s no need to go to the bookstore. Make a video in which you discuss the awesomeness of the book. It doesn’t have to be you sitting in front of the camera, talking. However you want to create the “review” is up to you.

3. Once you’ve recorded, you’ll need to upload your video to YouTube or to Vimeo so that you have an Embed code or URL.

4. With video complete, go to my Tumblr: http://initiationsecrets.tumblr.com/ 

5. See that “Submit” tab?

f70ec ericstep5 Press Play by Eric Devine releases today, so hes having a cool contest

6. Click Submit and you’ll see this:

141b4 ericste6 Press Play by Eric Devine releases today, so hes having a cool contest

7. Now, enter a name and email. I need to be able to tell you that you’ve won icon smile Press Play by Eric Devine releases today, so hes having a cool contest

15a0b ericstep7 Press Play by Eric Devine releases today, so hes having a cool contest 

8. You’ll need to change “Text” in the upper, left corner to “Video”

 
68555 ericstep8 Press Play by Eric Devine releases today, so hes having a cool contest

9. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready and the screen will look like this:

ca35e ericstep9 Press Play by Eric Devine releases today, so hes having a cool contest 

10. Paste in your Embed code or URL and Submit

Sweet, right? I know. I’m looking forward to seeing all the videos, the antics, the creativity. And I’m excited to hear your reactions to my work.

Go, have fun. Enjoy Press Play. I’m waiting for those videos.

About Press Play:
db937 pressplay Press Play by Eric Devine releases today, so hes having a cool contest

Greg Dunsmore, a.k.a. Dun the Ton, is focused on one thing: making a documentary that will guarantee his admission into the film school of his choice. Every day, Greg films his intense weight-loss focused workouts as well as the nonstop bullying that comes from his classmates. But when he captures footage of violent, extreme hazing by his high school’s championship-winning lacrosse team in the presence of his principal, Greg’s field of view is in for a readjustment.

Greg knows there is a story to be told, but it is not clear exactly what. And his attempts to find out the truth only create more obstacles, not to mention physical harm upon himself. Yet if Greg wants to make his exposé his ticket out of town rather than a veritable death sentence, he will have to learn to play the game and find a team to help him

.
Combine the underbelly of Friday Night Lights with the unflinching honesty of Walter Dean Myers, and you will find yourself with Eric Devine’s novel of debatable truths, consequences, and realities. (October 28 from Running Press Kids)

About Eric Devine:

Eric Devine is a high school teacher and the author of Tap Out, Dare Me and the upcoming Press Play, all from Running Press Kids. He blogs here at Teen Librarian occasionally and wrote a chapter in The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services, edited by myself and Heather Booth and published in July 2014 from ALA Editions.  

You can follow Eric online:

Twitter

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Validating Teens, a guest post by author Annie Cardi (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)

be25f sunnydale2bproject2bbanner2b2014 Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Validating Teens, a guest post by author Annie Cardi (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)
When I talk about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I talk about it as more than a show. I talk about it as a cultural and emotional touchstone in my life. I talk about it as the show that made me realize that growing up was going to be okay.
My middle school experience started with me spending a lot of time crying in the library, wearing formless JCPenney khakis, and feeling like I was the only one who was having a hard time with this whole ‘being a teenager’ thing while everyone else already had it mastered. Why were some friends suddenly popular? What exactly did boys and girls talk about when they were on the phone together? (“Homework?” I asked my mom.) How did everyone seem to have a chic new wardrobe? Did I forget to pick up my ‘How to Be a Successful Teenager’ manual at middle school orientation? Ideally it would be a manual based on Clueless or Beverly Hills 90210, both featuring popular teens with effortlessly cool wardrobes and good hair and hot boys fawning over them. That’s what I was supposed to have now that I was a teenager, right? So why did it seem so impossible?
f3cf0 asif Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Validating Teens, a guest post by author Annie Cardi (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)
Image from giphy.com
Then Buffy premiered. I remembered seeing commercials for the movie, but didn’t know much about it other than the girl-fights-vampires premise. They were making a TV show from that failed, silly movie? I turned on the premiere, pretending I just stumbled across it and told myself I’d change the channel in case my brother walked in the room and decided to make fun of me for checking it out.
But it wasn’t silly—it and witty and creepy and exciting, and it was so refreshing to see a teen girl literally save the world. Beyond that, it was a show about how a) high school is hell, and b) it’s okay to be an outsider.

Every week, Buffy and the Scoobies battled monsters and demons who reflected the awkwardness and pain of the teen experience. Parents can be domineering and abusive (“Witch”); your boyfriend could be sweet one day and a total dick the next (“Innocence”); kids get kicked out of their houses (“Becoming – Part 2”). Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the first show I’d seen that admitted that the teen years could, as Buffy herself would say “on occasion, suck beyond the telling of it.” Adults are quick to say that, “It’s not the end of the world, get over it,” but those are empty words when you’re dealing with soul-sucking pain. For Buffy and her friends, every week felt like the end of the world because it was. Even if I wasn’t dealing with a literal hellmouth opening up beneath me, it was validating to see a show that acknowledged that feeling.
And unlike my other middle school favorite, Clueless, Buffy isn’t about a perfect, popular girl’s struggles. Buffy is classically pretty and formerly popular, but where she really finds her place is among the weirdos. Even better, Buffy the Vampire Slayer never looked down on the kids who didn’t fit in. (Saved by the Bell, I love you, but you were seriously obnoxious when it came to depicting nerds.) The show fully recognized that being a nerd is powerful—Buffy could never save the world from apocalypse without the major research skills of Giles and magical/science abilities of Willow behind her. And friendships aren’t based on who has a chic wardrobe or a hot boyfriend—they’re formed by people who will stand by you, even at the end of the world. (Xander Harris and his broken crayon speech in “Grave” kills me.) The popular kids may win Prom King or Queen, but the weirdo hero wins Class Protector. Buffy showed me that it’s okay if you don’t fit in with the popular kids; your friends are the ones who will hang out with you at the library, cheer for your Snoopy dance and help you study for the hell of standardized tests.
1f067 buffy Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Validating Teens, a guest post by author Annie Cardi (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)
Image from Giphy.com
 13-year-old me embraced this weird little show on the WB and all it showed me about the teen experience. And soon I found other people who loved the show and who occasionally felt like high school was hell. As Buffy went to prom, went to college, went to the afterlife and back, and ultimately found a place for herself, we were there with her. We stood at the edge of Sunnydale and looked back and smiled, and knew that we were stronger for having been a small part of this show.
In every generation, there are teens who need something that’s theirs. That reminds them that being a teen is painful and joyful and confusing and awesome and hellish. For some, it’s a YA novel like Twilight or The Hunger Gamesor Harry Potter or The Fault in Our Stars. For me, it was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As a YA writer, I just want to pay this validation forward.
dceff anniecardi Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Validating Teens, a guest post by author Annie Cardi (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)Bio: Annie Cardi holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College and a BA from the University of Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in the Georgetown ReviewVestal ReviewJuked, and other publications. In 2011, PEN New England selected her as a winner of the Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award for the manuscript that would become her debut young adult novel, The Chance You Won’t Return. Annie lives near Boston with her husband and a portrait of a sea captain. You can find her sharing funny gifs and pictures of corgis at:  Blog Facebook Twitter Tumblr.
About The Chance You Won’t Return:
e493f chanceyouwon27treturn.jpg?w=198treturn Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Validating Teens, a guest post by author Annie Cardi (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)
When your mom thinks she’s Amelia Earhart, navigating high school, first love, and family secrets is like flying solo without a map.

Driver’s ed and a first crush should be what Alex Winchester is stressed out about in high school – and she is. But what’s really on her mind is her mother. Why is she dressing in Dad’s baggy khaki pants with a silk scarf around her neck? What is she planning when she pores over maps in the middle of the night? When did she stop being Mom and start being Amelia Earhart? Alex tries to keep her budding love life apart from the growing disaster at home as her mother sinks further into her delusions. But there are those nights, when everyone else is asleep, when it’s easier to confide in Amelia than it ever was to Mom. Now, as Amelia’s flight plans become more intense, Alex is increasingly worried that Amelia is planning her final flight – the flight from which she never returns. What could possibly be driving Mom’s delusions, and how far will they take her? (Publisher’s Description)