Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A letter to Lauren Oliver, Pandemonium (a Book Review)

Dear Lauren Oliver,

I stayed up all night last night reading Pandemonium; I laid in bed and read every glorious word and thought about what it meant to be free, to make your own choices about how to think and what to feel and who to love.  I read with anticipation as Lena talked about growing and changing and running and what it meant to be a zombie. I read and I thought, I wish that every teen and their parents would read this book - this series - and think about what it meant to be a thoughtful person who chose love.  Not just the love between a man and a woman, but the love of family, friends, those people that you choose to draw into you and share your sacred self with.

Today more than ever dystopian fiction reigns and I think it is because you can hear the drum beat of fear and oppression beating through our land.  Beat beat beat, the end is coming its cadence seems to say.  Beat beat beat, we are full of fear.  Beat beat beat, the economy is




Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

"It's been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. But three ordinary teenagers are about to change that - and their lives - forever." (Back cover blurb)

A secret meeting is held and it is determined that in order to help generate new interest in the space program there will be another trip to the moon and this time, 3 teenagers will have the chance to participate. But in this meeting it is also clear that something horrific happened in a previous moon trip.  A secret station exists on the moon that has never been used, and there are good reasons why.  There are concerns, but those concerns are pushed aside and the plan goes forward.

First lines: "Gentleman, it's time," . . .

Pinterest

Pop Quiz: What fairly young social media site has gained over 10 million users in less than 2 years and generates more actual purchases and traffic than any other social media sites out there?

Answer: Pinterest

Pinterest is a social networking site that allows its users to "pin" their favorite websites, pictures, information and more onto pin boards and create a virtual bulletin board. It strength is how visually appealling it is, plus it is easy to use and invites a sharing of ideas.  Many people use Pinterest to store recipes (food porn it is often called), hair styles, "thinspiration" (they store photos and quotes to help them on their weight loss journey), craft ideas, organization ideas, and more. How you use Pinterest is completely up to you.  Pinterest would be a great tool for creating and sharing booklists with teens with enhanced information including websites on particular topics or crafts to go along with the board topic.  For example, you could create a board for Steampunk and pin pictures of books, websites on the topic and links to craft projects.  You could do the same for paranormal

Monday, February 27, 2012

ALA Midwinter: The ARCs (May 2012)

Today we take a look at some of the ARCs handed out at ALA for books that have a May 2012 publication date. As noted previously, these are not reviews (unless otherwise stated), but a sneak peek at just some of the titles coming your way in May.  I can say that two of the books have been read and are recommended, so read on to find out more.

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle

Back cover blurb: "A reminder that Doyle is one of the best writers of dialogue there has ever been. A Greyhound of a Girl has all that Barrytown strut and swagger. No, not swagger - sway. It dances. It dances on the grave." - Frank Cottrell Boyce, author of Millions
First lines: She hated the hospital. She hated walking through it. She hated everything about it. Exept for one thing. Her granny. She hated the hospital, but she loved her granny.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ways to Participate in #the2012project, the February 25th update

Now more than ever, advocacy matters. I am an advocate for libraries. And for teens. And for reading.  I believe that amazing things happen in the lives of teens when they use their libraries: they learn, they grow, they are empowered. This is especially true in communities that support their libraries and their schools.  The best communities are those that value their teens and their libraries.  When these two elements come together you have communities where education works and teens experience a sense of value and hope that lead them to follow more positive paths (please see the 40 Developmental Assets). And yet we are here facing a crisis in our libraries, a crisis of funding and a crisis of support - which is why now more than ever we must be advocates.  We must rise up to the challenge and show our communities that libraries have value and still matter.  Thus, The 2012 Project.

The 2012 Project (also #the2012project on Twitter) is an attempt to collect 2,012 pictures of teens reading and using their libraries in order to make a visual statement: Teen use (and love) their libraries.  Here I present you with 10 fun, creative ways to get your teens involved in the project - and have some fun programming.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Q&A with Daisy Whitney

"Three things I know this second: I have morning breath, I'm naked, and I'm waking up next to a boy I don't know." - Daisy Whitney, The Mockingbirds

Alex's first time wasn't what she expected at all. In fact, she can't really remember it and she is pretty sure that she didn't want it.  As the pieces begin to come together she realizes that she was date raped.  Alex decides that she is going to tell no one, but she does have one option . . . The Mockingbirds. At Themis Academy, a boarding school, there is a secret group that upholds its own form of law among the students.  The Mockingbirds are the law.  When they give a judgment, and pass down a punishment, all the students know they must obey.

The Mockingbirds is a gem of a novel that I had the pleasure of reading when it first came out.  It is a heart wrenching tale of a young lady trying to deal and heal with the fact that she was date raped.  It is also a compelling tale of life at a boarding school with a secret society of students that enforces its own code of laws.  The sequel to the Mockingbirds, The Rivals, has just been released and I had the pleasure for doing a Q&A with author Daisy Whitney to share here with you at TLT.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book review: Starters by Lissa Price

What are you willing to do to save the ones you love?

As a reader, as a human being, it is hard to think of someone coming up with a concept more horrific then sending teens into an arena to fight to their death (think The Hunger Games), and yet Lissa Price has managed to do just that with her novel Starters.  Starters has been getting a lot of pre-pub buzz and it turns out is for a good reason: Starters is a thoughtful, thrilling, well-written book that answers the questions "what do I read after The Hunger Games?"  This.

First lines: Enders gave me the creeps.

A massive war has ravaged the nation and there are only two kinds of people that remain, the young - Starters - and the very old - Enders.  These two groups of people were lucky enough to get a vaccine before deadly chemical weapons were used to annihilate a large portion of the population in the Spore Wars.  Unclaimed minors, those with no living adults to care for them, have no legal rights, can not

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TPIB: More craft programs than you have time for

Craft programs can be some fun go-to programming for tweens and teens. They are hands on, promote the collection, meet the developmental needs of your audience, and build those positive relationships with our teens that we are seeking. While you are sitting around doing crafts you can talk about books, poke around in their heads for upcoming service and program ideas, and build the relationships that keep teens coming back to the library for more.

The downside, they can be kind of expensive depending on the program. Some take more time than others. And as with all programming, finding the right day and time can sometimes be hit or miss. So, are you looking for some craft ideas?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

TPIB: Poetically Speaking!


"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" - John Keating, Dead Poet's Society

April is National Poetry Month and a great time to get teens thinking about and writing poetry so that they can add their verse. So that they may sound their "barbaric yawp" and "suck the marrow out of life." You can find some ways to celebrate National Poetry Month at the 30 Ways to Celebrate page at Poets.org. You can also keep reading and find some of the ways that I like to share poetry with teens.

Today's Tidbits

Head on over to BookBrats to read my guest post Sometimes it is Among the Dying that We Remember to Live, a reflection on death in teen fiction with some of my favorite book quotes.

There are new pics in The 2012 Project photo albums on Facebook.  One of my faves: Yesterday a young man came into my library wearing a t-shirt and bow tie. I love how teens often feel so free to be themselves.  And I love that he loved the library so much he had to get all dressed up to come visit us :)


All The 2012 Pics are located on the TLT Facebook page in The 2012 Project photo album and The 2012 Project photo album #2

Speaking of The 2012 Project, we have some cool contests happening now and coming up throughout the year. I am also looking to organize a Banned Books Week contest; I think pics of teens reading Banned Books would be a great addition to the project.


And finally, I am a little excited to that the Teen Librarian's Toolbox was nominated for an award for Most Fascinating Blog of 2012 in the Librarian Blog category.




Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

It has been said that we only use a small portion of our brains. What if eleven minutes could change the way your brain is wired? Is that all it would take: 11 minutes?

Back cover blurb: A lot can happen in eleven minutes. Decker can run two miles easily in eleven minutes. I once wrote an English essay in ten. No lie. And God knows Carson Levine can talk a girl out of her clothes in half that time. Eleven minutes might as well be an eternity under water. It only takes three minutes without air for loss of consciousness. Permanent brain damage begins at four minutes. And then, when the oxygen runs out, full cardiac arrest occurs. Death is possible at five minutes. Probably at seven. Definite at ten. Decker pulled me out at eleven.

First lines: The first time I died, I didn't see God.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reflection: Be Your Own Katniss

Katniss Everdeen did not choose to be a hero.  No, she was chosen to be a statement and then she chose to rise to the occasion.  She didn't pick up her bow and arrow and say, "hey, let's overthrow this corrupt government."  In a moment born out of love and selflessness, she chose to volunteer and take the place of her sister. It did not start out as the big movement that it would be become, it was a little step  born out of genuine emotion. As you read through the Hunger Game series it is easy to forget how the story of Katniss begins because the story becomes so much greater than that moment; but it is that moment that changes everything.

Everywhere you look these days people are talking about The Hunger Games, which I think is a good thing. It is awesome when literature

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Mr.'s Mini Review: Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars by Nick James

Back cover blurb: Control the Pearls, Control the World
First lines: My fingers grip the ledge, searching for cracks. The rest of me dangles into empty sky like some demented human windsock.

Small mysterious orbs called "pearls" fall from space; these are a devastated Earth's only hope. These pearls supply the energy that the world now uses to power its cities.  The remaining inhabitants of Earth are divided into two groups, those that remain on the land and those that orbit the Earth in Skyships; these two groups are at war - seeking to control the power by controlling the Pearls.

Thinking Out Loud: Marketing and the Library Lock-In

My mentor called me the other day and asked about what I would do in a particular situation that involved teens at a library lock-in, my very glib response was, "I wouldn't have had the lock in."  Already many of you are seeing flames and thinking about your replies - but wait, let me explain myself.

I have come to think of the library lock-in not from a programming perspective, but from a marketing one.  Everything that we do sends a message and we must ask ourselves, what is the take away of this event. To me, I think we can make a fair argument that the library lock-in may be a form of false advertising.  You see, we invite teens in when the library is empty and we let them run around (although probably not literally) and yell and scream (also probably not literally) and use the space in a way that they will never get to use the space the remaining 364 days of the year. In fact, if they came into the library any other day they would probably disrupt other library patrons and be reprimanded (although hopefully quite nicely) by staff.  A library lock-in is not normal operating procedures and would could argue that it does not help teens understand the role of the public library in the community and appropriate ways to use the library.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Back cover blurb: "A funny, profane, heartbreaking debut novel" - you, hopefully, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Jesse Andrews

When I picked up this book my first thought, honestly, was - ouch, it must stink to be a guy writing about a girl dying of cancer in the year 2012 if your name is not John Green.  Without a doubt John Green is getting tons of accolades (and deservedly so) for his work The Fault in Our Stars, which you may have heard features a dying girl.  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews is not that book, but it is a good book.  In fact, while I wept several times while reading The Fault in Our Stars, I laughed out loud several times while reading Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.  It's not even fair to compare the two, so don't.

First lines: I have no idea how to write this stupid book.

Reading the Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies are invading again. They’re everywhere. On the streets. In your house. On the TV…and in your bookshelf. These brain-munchers have made an amazing comeback as they moan and shuffle their way to the top of young adult novel enthusiasts’ lists. Now it seems that you don’t have to be even interested in zombies before you read one. They’re that good. Infinitely infectious like the disease that lingers in their bite. They’ll drag you into their stories as villains, protagonists, and even as love interests as you scream for mercy…or more. Are you willing to risk getting bitten in exchange for a good story? I know I am.
    
So, to satisfy all you zombie enthusiasts, you apocalyptic survivors, and even you who’re searching for a good human limb to curb your munchies, I’ve procured a list of what I consider the top ten zombie list for YA novels.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Second Opinion: BZRK by Michael Grant

So The Mr. picked up BZRK and read it. If you've read the Meet TLT bio you would know that is his "thing". He's not a librarian or even a reviewer, but he is a reader. Quite a prolific one.  I read and reviewed BZRK here. Then he read it and I asked him how many stars out of 5 he would give it.  He said 4.7. Technically he said 5, but then he remembered that being difficult is also his "thing" so he changed it to 4.7.  He said he changed it because it "ended too abruptly." This is because it is the first book in a series, which I explained to him. He said he would definitely read the next book because he wanted to know what happens.  We then had a long discussion about how the plot was believable and not too far fetched; the parts that may seem far fetched are described so well that it makes it believable.  The Mr. said he likes the description of the characters and the interaction of the characters but he said at first there were a lot of characters to try and figure out and keep track of, "not like a Dickens novel" he said, but a lot none the less. He also noted that it was complex and definitely would be the upper end of YA. So that's your second opinion: 4.7 stars out of 5.

Book Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

At some point in our life most of us have had a parent hold our hand as they helped us learn to use a knife by guiding it through an apple or a freshly baked loaf of bread. That's not how it happened with Jazz.  There was no freshly baked loaf of bread. But there was a knife. And a hand guiding his . . . but when and where?

Jazz is the son of the world's most notorious serial killer. His father, Dear Old Dad, killed over 100 people and is serving over 30 consecutive life terms in prison. Jazz knows the details of far too many of those murders because Dear Old Dad was grooming Jazz to excel in the family business.  Every day is a war inside Jazz as he struggles with who he is and how he was raised: Does he have a choice in following Dear Old Dad's footsteps?  If Jazz uses what he knows to hunt serial killers, maybe he can keep himself from being one.

First lines: It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field. Except for the body.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TPIB: Prom Spectacular (by Steve Moser)

One of the worst parts of having worked at a tuxedo shop is that you suffer from “Prom Brain” every spring.  So, if you’re going to be thinking of prom anyway, why not embrace it and help your teens at the same time, right?  I can’t take credit for the basic idea of this program.  It was done at my library a few years before I started there.  In fact, my first exposure to the Prom Spectacular concept was coming on behalf of the shop where I worked at the time to try to sign up guys to become prom reps for our store.  What I didn’t know at that time was that I would end up working for the library and would be reviving this program in just a few years!

If you’ve ever been to a bridal show, then you’ve seen the Prom Spectacular concept in another form. Our program is basically a bridal show for prom kids.  What are the most important aspects of a successful Prom Spectacular?  There are two: a slew of local businesses to provide information and support for your program, and a fashion show.    As you enter our program, you’ll find our auditorium ringed with tables covered with displays.  Each participating business is given one six-foot table to set up as they please. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Singing the Praises of the Debut Writer

As a reader and a librarian, it's easy to just stick with what is comfortable; What you know is going to move off of your shelves. I know that my teens are waiting for the sequel to Delirium by Lauren Oliver, as am I. It's a sure bet. We know that the next John Green or Sarah Dessen is also going to be a sure bet.  They have proven themselves to us as authors and earned our trust and loyalty.  But John Green and Sarah Dessen all had to start somewhere. Before we knew them, before they were that sure bet, they were someone that we took a gamble on.

Often, that gamble pays off. This year's 2012 Printz Award Winner, Where Things Comes Back by John Corey Whaley, is a debut. That's right, right out of the gate Whaley is an award winning author. He took a chance as a writer, a publisher took a chance, librarians took a chance, and teen readers took a chance. That chance has paid off.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Reflection: teen issues and the celebrification of celebrity

Last night I was on Twitter when everyone started tweeting about the news that Whitney Houston had died. Suddenly everyone went from promoting their books or being funny to being shocked and saddened by the news that a popular talent from their childhood had passed away, and at such a young 8. Everyone on Facebook was talking about it as well. And this morning as I read the posts I kept thinking about the celebrity culture that has come to permeate America (maybe other countries too, I don't know).

You see, I am the mom of a preteen girl and almost every. single. show. marketed to her demographic has one single message: You must be famous. Being popular isn't even enough anymore, it's all about celebrity.  I get why the shows do this, it is just additional revenue for them as they sell albums to go along with all their other merchandising: clothes, pillows, blankets, oh my! But I worry about the message and the long lasting influence it will have on today's tweens and teens.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Review: Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

The first thing you need to know about Embrace is this: I returned from ALA Midwinter in Dallas with a little over 50 ARCs to preview, read and review for you. The Mr. went through all of the ARCs and this was the first one he picked to read. I found that immensely interesting because it is not his typical reading fair but he liked the cover, read the back description and it drew him in. He stayed up all night reading it. He said it was worth losing sleep over.  When I asked him what he thought of it he said it was "very good" and the characters were "well developed" and "believable." This is high praise coming from a very discerning reader. To put it in perspective, after finishing one of the other ARCs (which will forever go unnamed), he brought it to me and said that the last 30 pages were "chaotic and disappointing". So I went and opened up the pages of Embrace with high expectation, and it did not disappoint.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

ALA Midwinter: The ARCs (April)

Well, you probably thought I was never going to get back to it. And yet, here they are: a look at some of the titles coming your way in April 2012. Hang on to your seat because there are a lot of them. Remember, these are just brief overviews to help you get an idea of what you want to look for not actual reviews (unless otherwise noted).  This is not, of course, a look at everything that is coming out, just the stuff I got ARCs for at ALA.



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Teen Issues: Teens and Autism and Future Horizons

As many of know, I am the aunt to 3 boys on the autism spectrum, one of whom is now officially a teenager.  His life is very different from the teens we usually see in our libraries.  He won't be coming to any library programs or telling you what he thinks about the books he reads. He communicates through a Dynavox. He bites himself when he becomes frustrated about his inability to communicate or if he become overstimulated. He likes to go for rides in the car and play on the computer. And like most young teens, he likes to ride his bike.

I don't know what the future holds for my nephews, but I know that current statistics indicate that 1 out of 110 kids are being diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. If you look at just boys, 1 out of 60 boys is on the spectrum. The library world, like the rest of the world, has started to take note of these statistics and really started to examine what they can do in their communities to reach out to teens on the spectrum, and their families.  One of the ways we can reach out, of course, is by providing quality information. Meet Future Horizons.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Teen Tech 12

Teen Tech Week is coming (March 4 - 10)! Every year it seems to sneak up on me planning wise; We've just announced the big medal winners and are thinking about Valentine's Day and them - bam - it's Teen Tech Week. TTW is a great time to consider the role that technology plays in our programming. Teens like tech, but a lot of smaller libraries don't have the staff or the budgets to keep up with the latest technology and really incorporate them into our programming. In fact, it often seems that teens are way ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. Even my preteen got a Kindle ereader for Christmas (which she loves) but our library still doesn't offer any e-book services, which is true of a lot of libraries (although more and more are).

So what will you be doing this week - and this year - to incorporate the teen love of tech into your programming? Here are 12 ideas for you to consider doing in 2012.  Have one of your own? Please share it in the comments. Read more for the TLT Teen Tech 12 . . .

Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: The Downside of Being Charlie by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Jenny Torres Sanchez at ALA Midwinter in Dallas
Ser en dip i ty - [noun] the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Occasionally, the universe comes together in a moment of total serendipity. At ALA Midwinter I stumbled upon a booth that was setting up to have an author signing for a debut ya author.  That author was Jenny Torres Sanchez. I was there first in line and Jenny was kind enough to take a moment to talk to me while they were setting up (she's very nice).  I was there handing out cards and posters trying to promote The 2012 Project and she mentioned that the main character in her novel, Charlie, uses photography to help deal with the things happening in his life.  I kinda mentioned maybe we could do a tie-in project since both of our projects involved photography and she said sure and . . . well, I am being bold this year so I contacted her via e-mail and she very graciously said yes, she would love to work with me to promote The 2012 Project.  Then I had a moment of panic and thought: I better read this book, what if I hate it? So, thankfully, I am here to tell you that The Downside of Being Charlie by Jenny Torres Sanchez is a really well written, thought provoking contemporary ya novel that reminds me of one of my favorite authors, Chris Crutcher.

Back cover blurb: How do you rise above when you've always been left behind?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Super Challenge for Super Teen Librarians on Superbowl Sunday

You are a super teen librarian: Super passionate! Super motivated! Super dedicated! And a super reader! So let your teens know.

Send in a pic of yourself reading your favorite book in your teen space for a special Super Teen Librarians poster for The 2012 Project.  Bonus points if you wear a super hero outfit.

As with the regular project pics, no names or locations will be used - but your teens will recognize you and your space. You can share on Twitter (@tlt16, #the2012project), the TLT Facebook wall, or e-mail me your pic at kjensenmls@yahoo.com.

Let's show teens that their teen librarians care!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Book Review: Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

In a world taken by storm by vicious, flesh-eating, decaying zombies, only a few places of civilization dot the earth. Rules and common decencies of the world before are next to nonexistent. It’s a do or die world for most.

Benny Imura has just turned fifteen. Living in the dilapidated town of Mountainside , fifteen means get a job. No job, no rations. He’s tried everything, from locksmith to fence tester. None of which has held his interest. Looks like his only option is to join the family business.

Benny’s brother, Tom Imura, has the unique occupation of zombie killer. Among others, he is one of the most experienced and respected in the field. That is, to everyone other than Benny himself. Benny thinks he’s a coward, made soft by the “mercy killings” of the town’s once living loved ones. But Benny has no choice. Even in a world of zombies, there are rules.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Book Review: The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg

Back cover blurb: Brie's life ends at sixteen. Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart - literally.

First line: There's always that one guy that gets a hold on you.

"Gorgeous, funny and heartbreaking." - Lauren Oliver cover blurb

Teen Librarian Heather Booth posted on the TLT Facebook wall that "I cried and cried! But it was a GOOD cry."

At the beginning of The Catastrophic History, Jacob tells Brie that he doesn't love her. The x-rays show that her heart seems to have literally broken. In the story telling device made popular in The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Brie narrates this tale from the afterlife.  She goes to her funeral, visits her family and friends, eats a lot of pizza (there is pizza in the afterlife), and learns that love is more complicated then she could ever have imagined.

Putting the "Teen" in Your Teen Space

I'm a big fan of teen buy in.  When teens feel that they are a part of your teen programming, including your teen spaces, they are invested.  Invested means they are more likely to take care of the space because it is now their space. Invested means they feel welcomed and invited, which is how we want them to feel.  So how can we help teens become a part of our library teen space? By getting them involved in decorating the space.

This is the artwork of Tim James, a former teen patron and now employee at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County in Ohio. He is 17, and obtained a G.E.D. this summer after having been home-educated.  He became involved in the library initially because of our Anime Club.  We had an Anime Art Contest which he won and then he did some graphics for the teen section of the website as a volunteer.  Last summer he applied for a job at the library and now works here 18 hours a week doing mostly technology related work.  We have a large amount of digital signage now and he uses a program called "Flypaper" to create much of the content for us.  He also helps with Anime Club, Video Game Club, Teen Advisory Group, selection of video games for circulation, selection of Anime for circulation, some graphic design and will be teaching teens a class on the photo editor Gimp (like a free version of Photoshop) for Teen Tech Week in March.  Teens have a tremendous amount of talent, we should be giving them a platform to share it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

TPIB: Live Angry Birds (by Heather Booth)

When I couldn’t get that jaunty little tune out of my head and everyone around me, from my preschooler to my mom were playing Angry Birds, I knew it was a program whose time had come. Pinterest, my go-to spot for browsing and brainstorming, had led me to a few different ways of incorporating Angry Birds into a library program.  A crafty idea seemed like a good fit for the teens that have been frequenting my programs – mostly middle schoolers, mostly girls, mostly full of a fun energy and an interest in both making and doing things at the programs.  But I thought it might not be quite enough, might not pack quite a big enough punch to draw in new teens and appeal to those guys that hang out every day after school but still avoid eye contact with me.  Then I stumbled upon a very cool, very large scale live version and the wheels began to turn.  I clearly couldn’t go that big in the library in the middle of January – we’re stuck in a basement meeting room after all – but holy cow – projectiles and semi controlled chaos?  Those guys reading Thrasher in the corner would be all about that!