Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Let's talk about YA books that have scared the absolute &%*# out of me.  ............

Okay there are none until Libba Bray destroyed my peaceful dreams with this amazing book, The Diviners.  First in a 4 book series, Libba introduces Evie O'Neill, small-town girl who is bored out of her mind with small-town life and looking for excitement around every corner.  Evie has her own parlor tricks though to build up that excitement as she can 'read' memories, personality traits, and emotions from different objects.  After revealing a bit of a town scandal, Evie is sent to New York to stay with her uncle.

Is she sad about this?  Absolutely not!  She is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled to head to New York with the speakeasies and shopping and tons of movie theaters!  Evie just knows she is destined for fame and fortune and this is the way to get there.

Her uncle is the curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, known to locals as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies", and when a string of occult type murders begin occurring in New York, Evie is drawn into the mystery along with her Uncle Will and a cast of seemingly odd characters.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How Mental Illness Tried and Failed to Ruin My Life by Robison Wells

Variant by Robison Wells was one of my favorite books of 2011 and I became an instant fan of Robison Wells.  It's a book that has one of those "What the Heck" just happened moments.  If you read my previous post, If You Give a Geek a Computer, you know that at some point I stumbled upon Wells' webpage where he shares openly about his struggles with mental health issues.  And if you are a regular reader here at TLT you know that part of our mission is to increase awareness and understanding of the issues that affect teen lives.  Mental health issues can affect teens in one of two ways: they are either struggling with their own mental health issues ("Fifty-one percent of boys and 49 percent of girls aged 13-19 have a mood, behavior, anxiety or substance use disorder, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.") or they are struggling to live in families with members affected by mental health issues.  Today, I am honored to share this guest blog post by author Robison Wells to help us better understand mental health issues.  Be sure and check out our Top 10 list from Tuesday for some good suggestions of ya titles that deal well with mental health issues. 
Ladies and gentleman, Robison Wells . . .
Author Robison Wells holding a copy of Feedback, the sequel to Variant.
Feedback is being released in October of 2012 by HarperTeen
I used to have a healthy brain. According to most measures of success, I was doing great: I had published three books in the local market and had just secured a fantastic three book contract with HarperCollins; I had finished a master’s degree and worked for Fortune 500 companies and groundbreaking startups; I had a wife and three kids, and a little house with a big garden. Everything really seemed to be going my way.


However, lurking under all of it was growing problem. It started one late night while I was working

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shelf Talkers: Bunheads

I saw that the season finale of Bunheads just happened and I'm still (im)patiently awaiting Season 3 of Dance Academy** so I know there are some hardcore dance nuts out there who love all things dance.  Years ago in another body in another lifetime, I was a dancer and spent 11 years in a ballet school and then danced on a national competition squad for 7 years.  I love all things dance.  Especially since when I bust a move, it's leaning over in my office chair to get the Twix I dropped and completely busting my rear.  True story.  Okay, enough sharing time.  Here are some dance books to whet your appetite and keep you dance happy for a little while!

Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone is an oldie-but-goodie!  Tag line of this book: Ballet and big boobs don't mix.  Kayla is a ballet dancer in an arts academy in Florida and has her heart set on getting a solo in Cinderella at the spring recital.  Instead, she's cast as an ugly stepsister and then starts receiving messages and a pair of red pointe shoes in this odd mystery/body image teen book.  It's just a good light read and had several laugh out loud moments because Kayla has a really genuine voice and a serious problem in the ballet world...boobs.
 (ISBN: 006005701X, HarperCollins, 2005)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top 10: Books dealing with mental illness (guest post by Kim Baccellia)

My early years growing up in Sacramento were filled with lots of confusion and fear.  At the time, I knew something wasn’t quite right with my father but the one time I did confine in a friend?  I was labeled ‘bad’ and a bad example.  Only later did I found out that most of the young women in my church were told to avoid me.  As if you could catch what was happening in my home.

I felt so alone.  My church wouldn’t help my family.  Other people would avoid us as if we had the plague.

Only recently, after my father’s death, did I have a name for what my father had.

Bipolar Disorder.

I wanted to know all I could about this mental illness as I believe knowledge is power.  What I found is there is still a stigma attached to it.  I’m happy that just recently there has been some YAs that have addressed this and other mental health issues.  I thought I’d share some of my favorites.  I believe these books NEED to be out there and I’m a huge advocate for them.

Young girl dealing with bipolar disorder flees being put in mental institution to find biological mother in small Texan town.  She later finds out that maybe she’s not as crazy as she thought.  I loved the way the author shows us a strong protagonist who refuses to be ignored while battling her own demons and the ones in her town.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Stepping Through The Screen: Reality TV and Library Programming by Christie G

Everyone who knows me knows that I am an absolute competition reality TV addict.  I love watching competition shows that bring people together from all over, fighting it out to win a specific prize in front of television cameras.  While I am smart enough to know that the contestants for the shows are cast not only for their talents but also for their appearance and demographic profile, I’m willing to suspend my disbelief, delve into the fantasy, and root for a favorite.  Teens are the same way- ask them what they’re watching, and it can be anything from the new season of Survivor to Iron Chef America to Top Chef to The Great Escape.  Some of the most popular programs that I’ve done have tied in reality television with library programming and books within my collection….

Friday, August 24, 2012

Libraries are the Beating Heart

Six years ago on September 1st I was supposed to give birth to a baby, but that baby never came.  He, or she, left my body way back in February of that year, leaving an emptiness that threatened to consume me.  So I turned to the books in my library to help me.  I read every book in my library about miscarriage and pregnancy loss and dealing with grief.  And then, when I had read everything that sat on my library's shelves, I borrowed from other libraries.  And with each book I read, I made connections with the words that helped to fill that emptiness in me.  With each story shared there were new strands of life that wove me back into the fabric of life because I knew that I was not alone but a part of a bigger tapestry; My loss became a communal experience through story.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

"Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love." - first line, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Press, September 2012
ISBN 978-545-42492-9

All souls that will die in the next 12 months travel the ghost road on St. Mark's Eve, which is where you will find Blue Sargent.  Although Blue comes from a family with intense psychic powers, the only power Blue has in the power to emphasize theirs.  She does not see what they see until the night she sees a spirit who identifies himself only as Gansey on the path.

"There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

Banned Books Week Roundup: Read In, Speak Out for Libraries!

You may have noticed, but it's election season.  And back to school time. Which means it is also time to start thinking about Banned Books Week.

Banned Books Week at ALA
You can get information and graphics for Banned Books Week at ALA
Banned Books Week is a reminder to us all to celebrate our freedom to read.  Access to information - to new thoughts and ideas, no matter how radical they may be - is the cornerstone of democracy.  And yet every year, we hear case after case of someome attempting to (and sometimes succeeding) remove that access by having materials removed from school and public libraries across the nation.  Without the materials in libraries, that means our patrons have to find ways to access the information themselves, often costing money they don't have, especially in these hard economic times.

I took a moment to look at what it would cost our teens to buy the books they want and need for both pleasure reading and school, and this is what I came up with as a modest estimate.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Shelf Talkers: Knocked Up Teens

So, many of you don't know but I, Stephanie, am pregnant and have been a bit absent from the blog lately.  Karen has done an excellent job on keeping everything looking spiffy and flowing and I've been about as much help as a bucket with a hole in it.  BUT, I am feeling pretty good today and I'd thought I'd talk up a few books that have to deal with...pregnancy.  Sort of a taboo topic at times when working with teens but with the popularity of shows such as 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, many teens are exposed to pregnancy through pop culture and some even first hand.  There are some excellent books dealing with pregnancy and different pregnancy issues, and even some fun ones, so I'm going to highlight a few of my favorites.  As always, if you know of some others, please leave them in the comments section!

 Let's just kick things off with a controversial pair, shall we?  Great.  Bumped and it's sequel, Thumped, are two of my all time favorite teen pregnancy books because of Megan McCafferty really makes use of the direction society is headed with regards of marketing, social media, and teens and then integrates it with futuristic look at what would happen if only teenagers could reproduce.  Adults over a certain age could no longer have children and so they contracted teen boys and girls to surrogate their children.  And we're not talking about a hush-hush deal either.  We're talking about full blown sponsorships from companies for the teens who are the most desirable for creating top-notch babies and these teens have AGENTS.  It's really some crazy stuff and then entire time I read, I couldn't decide if I was cringing in anticipation of what would happen next or if I was secretly really enjoying this book.  This series follows Melody and Harmony, twins separated at birth and long lost to each other.  Melody is immersed in this preg-tastic world and Harmony lives in a religious compound and is considered 'godfreaky'.  I loved these books because the resolution in the end is perfect and my teens that have read them are appalled and shocked at this type of lifestyle...which is the exact reaction I think McCafferty was looking for.  Well played, Megan, well played.
(Bumped, ISBN: 0061962740, Pub Date: 4/2011, Balzer + Bray;
, ISBN: 0061962767, Pub Date: 4/2012, Balzer + Bray)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top 10: Teen titles that deal with obesity and body image

The past couple of days, we have been talking body image and the depiction of obese teens in teen fiction.  So here's our list of the Top 10 Titles that deal with body image with an emphasis on titles that deal with teens struggling with obesity.

Obesity and Teens in Teen Fiction: a discussion
Every Day by David Levithan, a book review
Butter by Erin Jade Lange, a book review
A Second Opinion: Every Day by David Levithan
Coming Soon: a review of Skinny by Donna Cooner

Fat Kid Rules The World by K. L. Going
“Whats ironic,” he adds, shaking his head, “is that everyone’s so busy trying not to look like they’re looking at you that they’re really not looking at you.”

Body Image and Every Day by David Levithan, a discussion by Christie Gibrich

Recently, I had one of those moments where I am talking about a book that I really loved and the person I am talking to, in this case fellow blogger Christie Gibrich, says "yes, but . . ."  So I asked her to write about her "Yes, But" because it is an issue that I myself even referenced last week in my review of Butter by Erin Jade Lange.  I'll let her tell you all about it.

A little background: Every Day is the story of a person known only as A who wakes up every day in a different body.  For 24 hours A lives the life of this person.

My co-blogger, Karen, wrote a review of Every Day by David Levithan in June (find it here).  I fully admit that I am a rabid fan of David Levithan- I had the pleasure of meeting him at a conference after his Boy Meets Boy came out, and I went into full fangirl worship mode and we talked for a good thirty minutes about his work and how much I loved it, and how much my teens loved that he was writing such realistic characters for teens- and for GLBT teens.  So when I got ahold of an e-ARC of Every Day, I stayed up through the night to read it.  And I was loving it.

Until I hit Day 6025.

Monday, August 20, 2012

GETTING REAL . . . A LITTLE ANYWAY by Terry Trueman (and giveaway)

Earlier this month, I wrote about Terry Trueman's Printz Honor Award winning title, Stuck in Neutral.  Tomorrow, Trueman releases a sequel entitled Life Happens Next.  Today, he writes about his sequel and is offering YOU a chance to win a signed copy.  We are giving away 5 signed copies, find out how to enter at the end of this guest post.

It’s especially nice to be a guest blogger for Teen Librarian’s Tool Box. I’d like the thank Karen and the other librarians for giving me this chance to reach out to Teen and Youth services librarians. My subject for this blog is ‘back to reality’. And by this I mean that as an author of what is usually termed ‘realistic’ fiction or, more disparagingly, ‘problem novels’ I’ve been more than a little surprised by the depth and breadth of movement away from realistic fiction towards dystopian, fantasy, vampire/virgin/wizard/werewolf etc books and series that have taken over the world of works being marketed for teens and young adults. I know that this is not a complete takeover and that realistic fiction still holds some part of the publishing world but I have to admit that the conversations I’ve seen on the YALSA book discussion site, which I rejoined recently after several years’ absence, seem overwhelmingly geared away from the kind of books I write.
Life Happens Next by Terry Trueman
Releases August 21st from HarperTeen

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday in the News: Salon and the case for the positive book review

Setting Up the Case: Are book reviews overly positive and is that a problem?

As a librarian, collection development is one of the hardest, most time consuming parts of my job.  My goal is to build a collection that will circulate.  To meet this goal I have to understand my patrons - in this case teens - both as a general group and the interests of teens unique to my location.  Having worked now in 4 different library systems and 2 different states I can tell you, local culture matters. A lot.  Understanding who my patrons are and what they want, I now have to find a way to meet those needs.  My #1 tool: the book review.

The Background: The goal of collection development

Well, first I have to spend a lot of time pouring through an ever increasing number of sources to find titles.  These sources include professional journals, online sources and even Twitter.  Twitter is in fact one of my favorite places to stay involved in the book review/discussion loop.

When looking at titles to purchase, I need some basic overview of the plot, any relevant themes, and a basic look at whether or not it is well written and will appeal to teen readers.  It's not as easy as you think.

Friday Fill-Ins: If you like Buffy, try reading . . .

I hope you were with us yesterday when we made our big announcement regarding Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Today I am happy to announce that the incredibly awesome author of many buffy the Vampire Slayer novels, Nancy Holder, will be joining us at some point in the next two months with a guest blog post.  In the mean time, let's do our Friday Fill-In . . .

You know how it goes, fill in the blanks in the comments.

If you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, try reading _____________________________ by _________________.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

ANNOUNCING - The Sunnydale Project! (Sept 1 - Oct 31, 2012)

I’ve got an exciting announcement to make today. TLT will be co-hosting, along with Patricia from Patricia’s Particularity and Rachelia from Bookish Comforts, a two month long Buffy the Vampire Slayer appreciation event this fall called The Sunnydale Project! The event will be taking place on all three blogs from September 1 to October 31st, 2012 and each of us will be providing something new, so be sure to follow Patricia and Rachelia if you aren’t already so you don’t miss out!

As a teen services librarian, and a fan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been an important part of both my personal life and my professional one.  Buffy really captured the spirit of teenage angst.  She was an inspiring female role model. And the tie-in novels really helped get teens into the library and reading.  Today, the Buffy series continues on in comic book form.  So although the series may be over for tv watchers, it is not over for readers.

We are SO excited for this event and thought we would get you excited too by giving you a little "sneak peek" of what's in store!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review: Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Now over 400 pounds, Butter is a teenage boy who knows all to well the loneliness that comes from being an outcast.  But when he announces that he is going to eat himself to death online, he finds that popularity is both toxic and fleeting -and often quite dishonest.  Butter by Erin Jade Lange is a heartbreaking tale that touches on bullying, our online culture, loneliness, and a teenage boy living with obesity.

"If you can stomach it, you're invited to watch... as I eat myself to death." - Erin Jade Lange

Releases September 18th by Bloomsbury
ISBN 9781599907802

One Last Time with NPR: Women writers, Presitge and Stuff

I had completely gotten over my issues with the NPR 100 Best Young Adult Novels list and was ready to come blog about something else when I spotted this article on Salon: A Prestige Free Zone.  So take a moment to read it and then come back and we'll discuss.

The reason why this article stuck out to me is because it was the second article in just as many days that I have read discussing the prominence of female authors on the NPR list.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top 10s: Books I would have like to have seen on the NPR list

Yesterday we talked about the 100 Best Young Adult Books list put together by NPR.  Today, I am going to share with you 10 books that I would have liked to have seen on the list and why.

Click here to see the Top 100 Young Adult Books on the NPR list

Monday, August 13, 2012

Best or Favorite? A look at the NPR "Best" Young Adult Novels list

I watch So You Think You Can Dance every week without fail.  Here is a show where you can call in and vote for your "favorite" dancer.  This favorite part is important, every year they make a point of making this distinction: it is not the best dancer, but your favorite.  Because that's how voting works usually, it's subjective.

Best implies perhaps the highest quality while favorite implies the most popular.  And, truthfully, if you are asking the people to vote you are going to end up with the most popular.  So when NPR puts out it's list of the Best 100 Young Adult Novels that have been voted on by the public, what you are really getting is some combination of both the best and everyone's favorites.

NPRs Best Young Adult Novels
Did your favorites make the list?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Fill-Ins: Introduce New Teens to This Older Book - Now!

Yesterday, we talked about the Printz Honor Award Winner Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman.  It won this honor in 2001, more than 10 years ago.  And in my post I mentioned that this is one of the "classic" teen titles that we need to be re-introducing to our new teen patrons.

So here's your chance, today's Friday Fill-Ins is an opportunity for you to share a "classic" teen title that you think we need to make sure and re-introduce new teen readers to.  You know the drill, fill in the blanks in the comments.  Be sure to check out our "Why YA?" posts for some other classics that many authors and teen librarians have felt were worth sharing.  And don't forget, you can write your own Why YA? post and share it at TLT if you would like.

A classic teen title that we need to make sure and introduce to our new teen readers is ________________________________ by ____________________________.

Out of curiosity, does your classic read appear on the NPR Top 100 Teen Books list?

Thinking Outside the Box: Putting Some Randomness Into Your Programming

"Always Play With Their Minds"- Lucas, Empire Records (1995)

TPIB: We have 31 teen programs for you to pick and choose elements from!

I am in an extremely unique situation.  At my library, I am *the* librarian.  All programs, whether they be for babies or adults, fall on my shoulders…as well as materials ordering, and staff management, and computer troubleshooting, and everything else.  I am youth librarian, teen librarian, adult services librarian, branch manager- all in one.  I have one full time and two part time paraprofessionals rounding out the staffing for a library that’s open 40 hours a week, and between us all we run our 3000 square foot library in our community building.  (Although thanks be praised, we will soon have a part time youth librarian on staff, so I can shift a little of the younger kids onto them).

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Power of Reading: Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

Sometimes life has a moment of kismet.  Just yesterday one of those moments happened.  As I sat at the Reference Desk a mom walked up and asked me where "the classics" were.  She wanted her child, a daughter, to only read the classics so that she would increase her vocabulary.  So we talked.

I told this mom that there was value in all reading.  Reading, you see, helps the reader develop their world view, it helps them learn problem solving and interpersonal relationship skills, and it helps them develop empathy.  In fact, that is one of my favorite parts of reading: sometimes, you take a walk in someone else's shoes and you understand things you never would have before.  Which brings me to the book Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman.

I was a younger teen librarian when Stuck in Neutral came out, a college student myself.  I didn't have a lot of worldly experience.  I didn't know a lot of people who weren't exactly like me.  I didn't know anyone like Shawn McDaniel.  And I didn't know that I needed to think about what it meant to be someone like Shawn.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Top 10: RA Posters

If you are a teen services librarian, part of your job is marketing and merchandising your collection.  I used to spend a lot of time putting together booklists and had a huge RA booklist center, but then I stopped.  The reason why?  It occurred to me that there were too many steps for teens to take to find the books on the booklists and it often ended up in an unsatisfying patron experience.

Here's how a booklist works:
1)  You grab your list of books and read through to see if there are any titles you want.
2)  You go to the PAC and search to see if the title is available (or go to the shelf).
3)  Of course the title you want is checked out so you place a hold and still have to find a title to read today.

There is a lot of effort and time spent using booklists for what ends up more often than not in an unsatisfying patron experience.  Your patron still walks out empty handed and having to wait for the books that you just got them excited about with your brief annotation.

In comparison, if you do book displays the experience goes like this:
1)  You walk up to a display of books on a certain theme - let's say zombies.
2)  You pick up the book to read the back and see if you want to read it.
3)  You check out the book and leave a satisfied customer.

However, staff and parents sometimes want to know titles to recommend to teens so I came up with a great compromise that combined both RA materials and face out book displays AND created a way for me to make my teen area attractive and fun - the RA poster.  Granted, I didn't invent the RA poster.  But since my budget doesn't allow for me to purchase multiple posters, I started creating my own, which I often share here for free.  One of the questions I frequently get asked is how I create my RA posters.  I use a variety of apps (Instagram, Wordfoto, Diptic) and programs (Gimp, Microsoft Publisher, Wordle) to create the posters (and bookmarks and memes).

Here are my 10 fave to date . . .

Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review: Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry

“The act of dying is one of the acts of life.” --Marcus Aurelius

Releases September 12, 2012 from Simon & Schuster
ISBN 9781442439894

Flesh and Bone is the third book in the Rot & Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry

Rot & Ruin imagines a post apocalyptic world in which a virus turns everyone who dies into zombies and in this now primitive seeming world, everyone is fighting just to stay alive.

Book 1 in the series is Rot & Ruin and Book 2 in the series is Dust & Decay

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Fill-Ins: The Unexpected Gems

We all waited breathlessly for Timepiece by Myra McEntire and other big titles like Insurgent, but sometimes a title comes quietly sneaking up and just blows you away.  Today I share with you one of my unexpected gems, Guitar Notes by Mary Amato.  And the unexpected gem is also the subject of this week's Friday Fill-Ins.  You know how it goes, fill in the blanks in the comments.

I read __________________________ by _________________________ and it turned out to be such an unexpected gem. Read it!

Book Review: Guitar Notes by Mary Amato

Teen librarian true confession: I have been in a reading funk for the past 2 weeks.  Seriously, I couldn't find anything I wanted to start and started and stopped a lot of books. I was worried.  But in doing my check out the pub catalog rounds I stumbled across a little book called Guitar Notes by Mary Amato and it was just what I needed.  And it is just what your teens need too, let me tell you why.

"lucky, lucky me" - from Guitar Notes by Mary Amato

Guitar Notes by Mary Amato
July 2012 by EgmontUSA 9781606841242

Our story begins at the beginning of the school year where we meet Lyla and Tripp, two souls who couldn't seem to be more different but soon find themselves thrumming (all is explained beautifully in the book.)  Lyla is a straight A, perfectionist soon to be professional cellist.  Tripp is a lost soul who finds comfort in nothing but his guitar, which his mother has taken away.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Teen Take: A review of Battlefield by J. F. Jenkins (Cuyler Creech)

Cadence, JD, and Orlando couldn't be more different from one another. Under normal circumstances, the three wouldn't so much as say hi to each other if they could get away with it. Then an alien crashes through the roof of their local mall, and everything changes. Not only do the three teens gain new abilities, but they're also chosen to help fight in an intergalactic war where the next chosen battlefield is Earth. (from Goodreads)

Orlando, Cadence, and JD are three normal, everyday kids. They are completely different from one another, and the possibility of the three would ever hangout, let alone say hi, is remote. They're just three everyday teenagers trying to survive high school.

That is, until a crazy fireball crashes into the local mall ten feet from them. And as the flames crackle and sizzle down, out steps a glowing red figure.

An alien.

This is the moment when everything changes. The strange, handsome alien, Alan, tells of a great war coming.

And its battlefield is Earth.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

If Not You, Then Whom? Taking a Stand For What You Believe In

By now you might have heard of the debate going on about Chick-Fil-A, Chick-Fil-A’s President’s Dan Cathy’s statement about the company’s statement that they support the “biblical definition of the family unit” which does not include same-sex couples.  The company actively gives money to anti-gay organizations.  YA author Jackson A. Pearce has a couple of wonderful YouTube discussions on it ( and ), and I’m sure there are more floating around. 

You can download and share this poster at

WHY DOES IT MATTER?  Because marginalization of any group of people is wrong.  PERIOD.

Is There Power in the Message? Putting positive images of teens in the press

Teens often get a bad rap.  Especially in libraries.  Especially with non-teen services staff.  Right now in your head you are thinking of the one or two members on your staff who hate when the clock strikes 3:30 and the teens comes bustling in through the front doors.  Some of them carry skateboards.  Some of them are giggling, talking loud.  Almost all of them are travelling in some type of pack.  And those certain staff members - they are waiting to pounce.  You see them coiled and ready to launch their attack the first moment that opens.

Then you open the newspaper and see about the fights, the drugs, the robberies, the teenage pregnancies.  I'm not going to lie, all of that is a concern . . . BUT