Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Faux Fauxtography (Teen fiction and photography)

Margot Wood is a lover of YA lit and calls herself the Real Fauxtographer.  She has a blog where she takes pictures inspired by her favorite YA fiction.  If you haven't checked it out yet, you really should because she does some amazing photography.  If you are fan of this blog you know that a lot of my teen programming ideas involve having teens create their own teen fic inspired art projects.  From illustrating their favorite quotes from books to recreating book covers with a picture of themselves on the front, there are a lot of ways that teens can cross art with fiction.  The two are wonderful dance partners, to say the least.  Because I am a huge fan of the Real Fauxtographer, I thought I would share some of the pictures that I have shared here in the last year inspired by my favorite teen fiction.  They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I hope that Margot is flattered.

Miss Pereregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Friday, March 30, 2012

13 Reasons Why I Love 13 Reasons Why

A couple of weeks ago 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher hit a milestone: it has been on the bestseller list for 2 years straight.  And it deserves it.  Here are 13 reasons why I love 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and think that all teens, and teen librarians, should read it.

“You can't stop the future
You can't rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
...is to press play.” (Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why)

1. The Storytelling Device

13 Reasons Why is the story of Hannah Baker, who has just committed suicide.  At the beginning of the book Clay Jensen receives a set of audio tapes with the instructions that he must listen to the tapes and then pass them on to the next person on the list.  If he fails to do so, the contents of the tapes will be made public.  Here Hannah tells her story as she sends her listeners on a sort of scavenger hunt to places where important, and often devastating, events in her life took place.  It is a unique and compelling story telling devise.  At one point Clay steals a Walkman from a friend to go on this hunt as not many people have cassette players these days.  But like Clay, once you start listening (or in this case reading), you can't stop.  As Clay sits in a coffee shop late one night listening to the tapes and hearing Hannah tell what happened there, you are eerily haunted by her voice, her story, her memories.  Her body lays in the grave, and yet her words are whispering a tale in your ears that at times seems so horrific in emotion it overwhelms.  You want to close the book and walks away, but you simply can not.  Hannah has a tale to tell and if you shut the book you do a disservice to her memory.  So Clay trudges along on this heartbreaking scavenger hunt through a town that is haunted by Hannah's suicide and as he learns what part he had to play in her death we do, too.

“I hope you're ready, because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you're listening to these tapes, you're one of the reasons why.” (Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why)

Want to Serve Teens? You Have to Know What They Think

In January I went to ALA and was astounded when I ran into two teenage girls.  We all stood there and stared at the Pandemonium ARC.  I believe there were longing caresses of the ARC itself involved but it had a huge DISPLAY ONLY sticker on the cover so we just sat there and dreamed.  We struck up a conversation and I was super impressed to learn that they had paid their own way to ALA and they submitted for a The 2012 Project pic.  Then a couple of months later I ran into Marissa, one of the two, again when I went to meet Lauren Oliver.  It turns out that these two fabby fab teens are book bloggers and they have a blog entitled Beneath the Moon and Stars.  I have met some more teenage book bloggers via Twitter.  Honestly, I love reading what teens have to say about the books they read.  We can read and review all that we want as adults, but if we are going to serve teens we need to spend time getting to know, understand, and respect teens.  So today, I introduce you to Marissa and Jasmine.  These are two teens that you should follow to keep your pulse on what teens are reading, and what they think about it.

Hi this is Marissa and Jasmine. We started our YA book blog Beneath the Moon and Stars back in November. We wanted to make a blog because we saw tons of other bloggers getting awesome books for review. Also we’re best friends who both love to read and we got tired of talking to just each other about these amazing books so we figured why not make a blog and tell everyone else about them? Since starting our blog we have talked to tons of amazing bloggers and authors and went to a lot of events where we were actually recognized which was really cool.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Don't Underestimate the Value of Twitter

I am fairly new to the Twitterverse, and fairly addicted. It's mostly Maureen Johnson's fault (that woman is split your sides funny, you should definitely follow her).  An avid Facebook user for years, I had no idea how rich the book culture was on Twitter.  Here are 10 reasons why you should be on Twitter.

10.  Fast and Furious News

A wide variety of news outlets, including Publisher's Weekly, Yalsa and VOYA, tweet links and various relevant facts that keep you quickly and easily updated.  All you have to do is open the link and read the news source.  As a reader, the most amazing moment in my life occurred when someone tweeted that author Lauren Oliver was going to be coming to a bookstore that it turns out was just 45 minutes from my house.  I learned of it the day before and made the trek to meet Lauren Oliver (read about Lauren Oliver day here) and outside of getting married and having my babies, it was truly one of the more amazing moments in my life.  If it wasn't for Twitter, it never would have happened.  I learn what is going to be on the bestseller list, what upcoming teen author festivals are in my area, and more.  During conferences like ALA or PLA you can follow the discussion even when you can't make it there.  By choosing who you follow you create for yourself a news aggregator tailored to your wants and needs.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blog Tour: Whispering Hills by Taryn Browning

Has it been a while since you read a good ghost story?
Open the pages of Whispering Hills by Taryn Browning and prepare to be haunted.


For as long as she can remember, seventeen-year-old Alexis Forbes can hear the thoughts of others. Most recently, she is disturbed by the dark, unfamiliar voice of a frightening killer: callous, cunning, charismatic…and dead. She hears his every sinister thought. But she can’t tell anyone. No one would believe her.            

Alexis is suddenly being haunted by a terrifying past she doesn’t remember, and a ghost with a serious score to settle. Even Chance, the gorgeous new guy she’s falling for, has his own ghostly secret. He’s definitely not like any guy she’s ever met. Alexis soon discovers she has a connection to the dead and it runs much deeper than she could ever imagine.
And if the sociopathic entity has his way, she’ll finally be sentenced to the fate she escaped thirteen years ago.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If You Give a Geek a Computer (Book Review: Variant by Robison Wells)

So last night I was thumbing through a journal and there was a one sheet ad from Harper Teen with all their starred books including Variant by Robison Wells.  As the ad said Variant has received a starred review from VOYA magazine (and a lot of other places) and I thought to myself, "Hey, I did that!"

Then I got online and Tweeted what I just mentioned above and I follow Robison Wells (you should totally follow him too) and he responded!  The actual "conversation" went like this:

TLT: I am loving seeing ads for Variant by @robisonwells where it says it got a starred review from @voyamagazine. I did that! #totally deserved.

Robison Wells: I love seeing those ads too! THANKS!

True or False, when he responded I was a giddy little fangirl?

Then I remembered that he had tweeted that he had received a box of ARCs for the upcoming sequel to Variant, Feedback.

Monday, March 26, 2012

MG Moment: Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Please join me me in welcoming school librarian Amianne Bailey to the TLT team.  She will be joining us periodically to review middle grade fiction and provide us with a Middle Grade Moment (MG Moment).  Today she reviews Okay for Now by Gary d. Schmidt.

A Story of Baseball, Birds, and Bullies

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt resembles the story of so many of our kids. On the surface, these “smart alecks” appear to not care about school or their grades. On the surface, these “slackers” appear to not be very smart because they refuse to play the game. That’s why it is dangerous, especially as an educator, to look at kids (or anyone for that matter) from a surface perspective—to confine them to a certain stereotype and not give them the chance to surprise you.

I thought I had Doug Swieteck all figured out as the typical jaded protagonist. He comes from an extremely dysfunctional family that moves to upstate New York in the summer of 1968. Doug’s oldest brother is returning from Vietnam; his father is a “chump;” he calls his new home “the Dump.” Doug has every reason to be mad at the world. But when he stumbles into the local public library and discovers the plates of Birds of America by John James Audobon, the power of art begins to chip away Doug’s protective armor to reveal a sensitive, deeply perceptive, and talented young man.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Why We Hunger for the Hunger Games

A little over 10 years ago planes crashed into the World Trade Center changing the landscape of the world we live in.  There was a before and there is an after.  In the after, we live with the constant drum beats of war.  In the after, we live with the encroaching footsteps that trample our civil liberties.  In the after, we live with the omnipresent fear of "them" and "terrorists".  In the after, we live with color codes that tell us how afraid we should be.

Today's teens will not remember living in a world without these things.  They won't remember a time without fear, without war, without the desperation that hangs heavy in our air.  And they will barely remember living in a time when we weren't on the brink of economic collapse.  We are thisclose to walking of the edge and plunging into the abyss of being like District 12 it often seems.  And the people in the Captiol, well - they are living large.

Friday, March 23, 2012

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Last night was the midnight premiere for The Hunger Games movie, which I was not able to attend (insert frowny face here).  But it was also the night for #figlitchat hosted by Figment and the topic was oh so appropriately The Hunger Games books.  Fans of the series joined together to discuss the works and world of Suzanne Collins and it was interesting to hear what people had to say.  It goes without saying, if you haven't read the books I wouldn't read on if I was you.

The Love Triangle

The topic of love triangles comes up a lot these days in teen fiction because they are omnipresent.  As many chat participants pointed out, the love triangle did in fact exist before Twilight.  Not everything is about Twilight people.  For me, the love triangle basically worked in THG.  Gale was a childhood friend who genuinely knew and had spent a lot of time with Katniss before the games.  And after the games, Peeta is now the only person who really understands Katniss, what she has been through and what it has done to her.  As far as triangles go, this one makes sense.  Katniss has a before and an after and you would want to be able to come back to the life you led in the before, but you can't because the games change you; war changes you.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Give Me Some Love

Last night on the #yalitchat (yes, there is a #yalitchat on Twitter and you should join them) we discussed love, romance and sex in teen fiction. So here are some of the highlights and my thoughts on the topics discussed.

The Love Triangle

Without a doubt, love triangles are popular in teen fiction.  It is hard to think of a ya novel that doesn't have a love triangle.  I feel like I am completely done with them as a reader, to be honest.  It's like they have become a crutch.  Instead of coming up with a good plot we'll just throw another love interest in there.  To be fair, teen emotions run high and we are often attracted to more than one

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

You don't want to touch Juliette.  Her touch is lethal power. As a baby, her touch caused her mother and father intense pain, so they shunned her.  Then one day she saw a mother hurting a young boy and she reached out to hurt him help him.  He ended up dead.  She has spent the last few years in some type of facility in isolation - and then he shows up.

First Lines: "I've been locked up for 264 days.
I have nothing but a small notebook and a broken pen and the numbers in my head to keep me company.  1 window. 4 walls, 144 square feet of space. 26 letters in an alphabet I haven't spoken in 264 days of isolation. 6,336 hours since I've touched another human being."

Shatter Me is set in a dystopian future where food is scarce, animals are scarcer and people are hanging on just to survive.  The government regime is trying to control the people maintain the peace in that special way that crazy power hungry people try to do.  Enter Warner (not the he mentioned above, but an important he none the less).  Warner is obsessed with Juliette, with her power gift.  He thinks that Juliette is like him and will want to join him to use her power.  He thinks that he loves her.  He thinks that she can love him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Teen Issues: Teen Pregnancy and Complications


The teen girl trudged through the mall like a zombie; obviously pregnant and with a strange backpack on her back with a tube going into her body.  She barely walked a few steps before she had to find a bench and sit down, tired and out of breath.  Never before must a small mall have seen so huge and overwhelming.  While her teen friends went off and explored things like Hot Topic (which studded collar should I buy today?) and the food court, the pregnant teen wanted nothing more than a moment - just one moment - to remember what it was like to be healthy and have a future.  I understood everything she was feeling and walked up to give her a look of encouragement and let her know that I cared because you see, like her, I too suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum and I knew what this teenager was going through.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review: Steampunk Poe

Here's my geek admission of the day: When I graduated from high school I took all that cash I received and promptly went out and bought the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe.  Sure, some people do practical things with the money, like pay for college or textbooks.  Others take a trip.  But for me there was only one option: Poe all the way, baby!  So when I found out that someone had made a Steampunk Poe collection, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. (Thanks so much to Running Press for this!)

Wait, what? Steampunk you ask.  Steampunk is born out of the industrial revolution and is a genre of fiction that imagines the Victorian era or Wild West with steam powered technology like balloons, air shipts, etc.  It has a unique style and feel and is quite a popular subculture movement.  For good examples of the steampunk genre check out the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld or The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross.  Or, check out Steampunk Poe . . .

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Caolyn Mackler

Teens today won't remember a time without Facebook, but it did exist (really!).  What would happen if the year was 1996 and you got your first computer and logged on only to find yourself reading status updates in the future?  That is the premise of Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler's The Future of Us.

The year is 1996.  Facebook has not yet been created.  Josh and Emma are neighbors and best friends; well, they were until Josh got his signals crossed and made a move on Emma and now everything is just awkward.  When Josh lends Emma an AOL cd for her brand spanking new computer, neither one of them is prepared for what is about to happen.

Post It Note Art (Guest Post by Stacey Costabile)

A couple of weeks ago I was totally excited by a piece of artwork shared as part of The 2012 Project on Twitter: a Post It note cat.  It was glorious, and the best part - it was created by teens!  Today the teen librarian that coordinated this project shares her thoughts with us as a part of this excellent guest blog post.  If you decide to make your own Post It note art - and you totally should - please send pictures as part of The 2012 Project.

Our Post-It Note Nyan Cat has been making his way around library-land and my teens and I are so excited at the great response such a simple project is getting! Because it is pretty simple, you just need to plan accordingly!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tag! You're it.

The Rules
1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them
Read on for my answers and then the fun part, my questions.

Top 10 Dystopians, from a teen point of view

Today, the TLT Teen Review, Cuyler Creech, tells you his top 10 favorite dystopian series. There are definitely no shortage of them. Did your favorite make the cut?

Think your world is unbearable? Unthinkable? Maybe even unlivable? Well I think these heroes and heroines may beg to differ with you on that. Welcome to the world of dystopias. Think of the worst thing possible that could happen to you, and multiply that by 10. Now you have what our brave young men and women face in some of our favorite young adult novels. Government thinking it’s time to up its “dictatorship” levels? Zombies roaming outside your village? You the only one left in a mass genocide? Bomb explosion? Deadly virus? Most of us don’t know what it’s like to live in a world that’s the complete opposite of a perfect utopian society. To “educate” us on the matter of such, I have compiled a list of what I think are the 10 best dystopian novels/series the world today has to offer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Jacob Portman feels that his life has never had much of a meaning to it. His parents–his mother a rich woman who likes to show off her spoils of home d├ęcor, and his father an amateur ornithologist and a wannabe nature writer–he’s not real close to. His only friend, a chain-smoking punk-rock dresser, is the closest thing to a best friend he has. And his workmates pretty much hate his guts. There’s really no one in the world Jacob is close to. Except Grandpa Portman.        
         
A survivor of the great World War II, Grandpa Portman has always shared a strong bond with Jacob. Telling enthralling stories of his adventure-filled life when he was but a lad. Stories of a mysterious orphanage on a near-secluded island in Wales surrounded by billowy mist. The orphanage, a home to a group of mysterious children, and a dark-clothed caretaker known as The Bird.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Review: The Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

"Lives only begin once.  Stories are much more complicated."

Portia has always grown up hearing the stories of her family, but when her family disappears there is no one left to care for her except for The Mister. The Mister runs the McGreavey Home for Wayward Girls and it is a place that you would do anything to escape if you could, perhaps even death.  When one of the girls in the home, her friend Caroline, does indeed take her life, the thought that she may be a murderer haunts her.  For a while Portia languishes at the home, biding her time and praying that her father will magically appear and rescue her, but when the circus caravan drives by and a card with all their routes on it falls out a window and glides slowly to the ground, she has a new plan.

Quotable RA: Sometimes it is among the dying that we remember to live

This post originally appeared at Book Brats.

I got dressed for church and I walked to the car all without putting the book down. As he drove, I sat in the passenger seat reading. Two little girls sat in the back seat but they were used to this. As we pulled into the parking lot I closed the book and sobbed. It’s hard to explain to a 3-year-old how a book can be so beautiful, so moving that it makes you cry and that is a GOOD THING.

The book? If I Stay by Gayle Forman. It was not the first and it was not the last, but I am not a book weeper so the tears are a testament to the beauty of it. Many a friend has asked me why I like to read books about dying teens, why teens come in and ask for “tearjerkers” and a book that will “make me cry.” You see sometimes it is among the dying that we remember to live. We forget in our day to day lives that each day is a gift. It’s so easy to get caught up in who is saying what, who is wearing what, and whether or not you are going to make it to destination A on type because darn it we have to leave RIGHT NOW. We forget to tell the people in our lives that we love them. We forget to put our cell phones down and look them in the eyes and really allow ourselves to discover who they are. We forget to make moments. I read books about dying people because they help me to remember to do all of those things. And because they are often beautifully written and I am not going to lie, I love words and the way you can

Friday, March 9, 2012

Creating a great Teen website: an example and some tips

If you are a school or public library, you can't ignore the fact that teens are online. A lot.  And honestly, you need to create a situation for yourself where you have a dynamic and continually updated web presence committed to teens.  Fear not, I found a really great example at Girls in the Stacks.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

TPIB: Paranormal Romance - Angels


Without a doubt angels are hot right now in YA fiction (Paranormal Romance).  You have the Fallen series by Lauren Kate, Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and now the Embrace series by Jessica Shirvington - just to name a few.  So I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with some angel crafts that weren't incredibly hokey (angels out of paper plates - oh my!) and yet weren't wicked expensive.  Sure, we could do variations of some of the same things we have done before; I mean, angel wings will work nicely in bottle cap jewelry or marble magnets or what have you.   But then a great idea was staring me right there in the face on the cover of Embrace . . . you could make 3 dimensional book covers with angel wings using your teens as models.

Lauren Oliver Day, the recap

Yesterday was World Read Aloud Day and as part of my day, I got to hear Lauren Oliver read the first few pages of Pandemonium out loud.  This was after Lauren announced that she had just received word that Pandemonium was a New York Times Bestseller (which it rightfully should be).  This was the icing on the cake of the day that came to be known as Lauren Oliver day in my home. 

Many of you know that yesterday was my first book store visit (I know, I know) and it turns out - they are exactly like library and school visits.  Miss Oliver was charming and kind and a delight to hear speak (so if you have the opportunity, definitely invite her to your school or library).  She talked a little about herself and her journey as a writer, she answered questions, and then she read the first 5 pages of Pandemonium to us.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mailbag: Why TLT?

So today I thought I would take a moment and answer an email question I get on a fairly regular basis: Why did I do the Teen Librarian's Toolbox?

I worked at the Marion Public Library in Marion, Ohio for almost ten years - and loved every moment of it.  Every day I was very aware that I was exactly where I was supposed to be and doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.  The universe, however, was not so kind to The Mr.  So he ended up with a job in Texas and for a year - a whole year! - he worked in Texas and occasionally came home to see me and our two children, one of which was a 1 year old with chronic health issues.  Then, our town flooded, including our home (we lost 1/3 of our possessions including the first child's baby stuff and some books! - it was fairly

True Confessions: Book Visits (and a Planning Tip)

Today is Lauren Oliver day!! 2 weeks ago, before reading Pandemonium, there would not be a Lauren Oliver day (although I did really like Delirium - a lot). But having read Pandemonium, there is now a Lauren Oliver day! Yesterday HarperTeen tweeted the news that Lauren Oliver would be visiting a book store near my home (only 45 minutes away - yay!) and I went crazy. Honestly, it is suddenly like this was the 80s, I was 12, and she was Duran Duran (who still rock, by the way).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa Bick

And we all thought the change that puberty brings is bad, that is nothing compared to what happens when a strange EMP rocks the world in Ashes by Ilsa Bick.

Alex is camping in the mountains, carrying her parents ashes and hoping to finally find a place of peace, when a strange EMP goes off.  She has no idea what is happening, but suddenly her cell phone doesn't work.  She runs into an older man and a younger child when the man suddenly drops dead before her.  She doesn't know it yet, but there are a lot of dead people now.  And those that don't die . . . well, she will find out what happens to them soon enough.

Ashes is an interesting take on the zombie novel.  Everyone between the ages of 20 and 60 has died, for some reason the old have survived and the young have been turned into zombies.  Alex is a rare breed now, a teen that didn't turn.  Who knew that brain tumor would come in

The Rebuttal: Marketing and Library Lock-Ins

So, in my original post on Marketing and Library Lock-Ins I mentioned a co-worker and how she used library lock-ins to reward her teens.  She has been so kind as to write a rebuttal for my original post.  And here it is . . .

I would be the librarian that was mentioned in the blog on 2/17, although I don’t think of myself as particularly awesome.  My office is stacked high with stuff that needs to be done, half the time I can’t find my desk, and my walls are decorated with pictures from the library kids and posters of a few of my favorite Read @ Your Library actors (Alan Rickman smiles only for *me*).  And on one wall I have framed shirts and pictures from our reading program lock-ins.  So, when Karen asked me to write a response to her blog, I immediately told her, “I’ll be your huckleberry.”

Thinking Out Loud: More Marketing and the Library Lock-In

A few weeks ago I posted some thoughts I had been rolling over in my head about the idea of the library lock-in.  You can read them here. I fully and completely expected to get flames and was so pleasantly surprised that everyone responded to me with civil tones which I thinks highly of our profession and our value for different points of view.  I did get some comments and personal emails and I thought I would take a moment to share and respond to them, parts of this appeared in the comments on the original post.  Because my life is often filled with irony, after my original post appeared a nationwide library lock-in was announced.

I guess I should make a few clarifying points. I realize that a lock-in

Monday, March 5, 2012

Autism and Libraries: A q&a and book giveaway

If I were to tell you this statistic - it affects 1 out of every 110 children - would you know what I am talking about?  The answer is autism.  Current research indicates that 1 out of every 110 children is being diagnosed as being somewhere on the autism spectrum.  If you are a boy, that statistic is even higher: 1 out of 60.  As these children grow up and enter into middle school and high school, their needs, like all teenagers, can be much more complex and aggravated by hormones.  The middle and high school years are very social times and marked by extreme peer pressure, which is a challenge for teens on the spectrum.  Thankfully, there are a lot of books out there on the market to help teens, educators and their families navigate the challenge of being a teen on the spectrum.  Keep reading for your chance to win 3 autism titles to add to your library collection.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Today's Tidbits: TTW, the Spark Award, Hunger Games, and National Poetry Month

Today kicks of Teen Tech Week, so get your tech on!  Looking for some last minute ideas?

Try the previous TLT post Teen Tech 12 or check out what Teen Librarian Stacey in Chicago (@BookSavvy on Twitter) did Friday with her teens.


That's right ladies and gentleman, this ultra cool pixalated cat is made from Post It notes.  865 of them to be exact.  And it took around 3 hours to complete.  I love it.  I put my super librarian skills to use and there are whole art galleries online of post it note art.  Here is one at Huffington Post, check it out.

Also in TLT news, be sure and check out my letter to Lauren Oliver and see how it led me to create the Spark Awards

Still planning your Hunger Games release party ideas?  There are tons online and you can find some good compilations right here at TLT: Feed Their Need for the Hunger Games part 1 and part 2 

Sure TTW is this week, but National Poetry Month is coming and there is still plenty of time to plan.  Check out TPIB: Poetically Speaking for some great programming ideas.  Also, here is a great poster I put together for you that features teen fiction that is inspired by and references poetry in one way or another:


When planning your NPM activities, be sure and check out Poemcrazy: Freeing your life with words by Susan G. Wooldridge. It has some fun activities and is one of my favorite books about tapping into your poetic self.


Have a great Teen Tech Week everyone, I look forward to the pics.  Be sure to leave a comment sharing what you are doing for Teen Tech Week, HG release parties, or National Poetry Month.  And don't forget to nominate titles for the Spark Award throughout the year.


Friday, March 2, 2012

The Spark Award

Some times we are fly by the seat of our pants here at TLT.  Today I decided that we should have an award for teen fiction that inspires social change and challenges the status quo.  We want to reward well written teen fiction that showcases teen characters rising up to the challenges of life and deciding to be a force for good in their world. We want to reward teen literature that leads teens to question what they have always believed and inspires them to live their lives differently.


Here is what I am currently thinking, may be refined throughout the course of the year:

1.) We'll nominate titles that have a 2012 publication date and go through the end of December.
2.) We'll vote - open to teen readers and their favorite librarians - in the beginning of January 2013.
3). We'll announce our first Spark Award winners around the same time that YALSA announces their yearly awards.

So, leave a comment and let me know what titles you want to nominate for 2012.

Quotable RA: Stop Bullying. Period.

I am sure I don't need to recount the news of the week, we all know.  Another young man entered his school with a gun and shot some of his classmates.  Once again we hear cries that bullying has led to violence.  Also in the news, Lady Gaga started a foundation and challenged teens everywhere to stand up to bullies.  The Born This Way Foundation has a great slogan: Empowering Youth, Inspiring Bravery.  Whatever one may think of Lady Gaga, her style or her music, it seems hard to argue with her mission of empowering youth and trying to save lives.  She is not alone in her mission, every day there are writers writing stories about bullying to send the message: Bullying must end. Period. It has consequences. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but the childhood rhyme is wrong - names do hurt.  Long after bruises fade the pain of bullying lingers.

I like to collect quotes; as I read, I keep a journal by my side where I write down the parts of a book that speak to me.  Here I present to you 6 powerful works about bullying by letting the book speak for itself.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Delirium Contest and Experiment

If you read my letter to Lauren Oliver that I posted yesterday, you know that I love this series and believe it has important implications for the times we live in.  Many times librarians contact me and ask advice about starting a teen book club.  My number 1 recommendation: find the right book.  I believe this is the right book.  And it is definitely the right time. 

So, I am going to encourage everyone to read and discuss this great series with a book giveaway.  I will donate a copy of Delirium and Pandemonium to two libraries and all you have to do is . . .

1) Sign up to be entered to win by agreeing to have a book discussion of these two titles.  Just leave a comment saying that you will and

2) Agree to submit The 2012 Project pictures of your book discussion and a guest blog post about how the discussion went including questions you asked, how the teens responded, etc.

There are several sites with Delirium book discussion questions already put together for you to make it easier:
Oliver Books (the official page)
AUSA Book Club

So, if you are interested, leave a comment by March 7th. Remember, you need to agree to have a book discussion group/club around this title and share pics and a blog post about your experience - let's say by the end of May, the school year (although it would be a great activity to have for Banned Books Week).

The Countdown is On: Feed their hunger for The Hunger Games, more resources

The countdown is on, the Hunger Games movie will be out on March 23rd and I know that many teens and their favorite librarians are waiting anxiously for the day to arrive.  One of the most visited posts at this site is a previous program outline I shared with some hands on activities to do with teens around the Hunger Games series.  Today I am sharing with you some more resources that I have found.

You'll want to keep your eye on the Entertainment Weekly site as they have a feature called Hunger Games central.  Here they post frequent updates, movies, articles and more that are easy to click and share with your teens via your social media site.  Many magazines are hitting the stands right now with special HG editions of their magazines full of posters, trivia and more - these are great resources to get information together, decorate your teen area, and get some good trivia questions for your book discussion groups or programs.