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Friday Finds: December 29, 2017

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Spring 2018 Showcase and Giveaway

Why That Book Isn’t in the Library; or, no starting your own small press isn’t always the answer to diversity

Book Review: Welcome Home edited by Eric Smith

Book Review: Meet Cute by various authors

Around the Web

Andre Wagner captured the brief window when kids run New York.

A Black Kid In A Hoodie Brings Tidings Of Comfort And Joy

DeVos In Charge, Teacher Well-Being And Chronic Absence

21 of Our Most Anticipated Debuts of 2018

What Sensitivity Readers Actually Do

15 Literary Organizations To Support In 2018 To Make Your Reading Year The Most Meaningful Yet

 

Book Review: Meet Cute by various authors

Publisher’s description

meet cute

Stories by: Jennifer L. Armentrout, Dhonielle Clayton, Katie Cotugno, Jocelyn Davies, Nina LaCour, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Emery Lord, Katharine McGee, Kass Morgan, Julie Murphy, Meredith Russo, Sara Shepard, Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

 

Amanda’s thoughts

I so love a good collection of short stories. And this one of the many cute, funny, and unexpected ways romances can start is diverse, sweet, and has something for nearly everyone. 

In Katie Cotugno’s piece, an unlikely couple shares a moment and possibly nothing more while hiding out at a party. In Nina LaCour’s story, two girls meet over Twitter during a customer service crisis. Ibi Zoboi’s contribution is about Cherish, a 6’5″ black girl desperate to get out of her super white town but wait listed at all of the HBUCs she applied to. Just when she sees a way out, she meets the one interesting boy in town. Katherine McGee’s science fiction story finds Alexa, a computer programmer working on a revolutionary virtual reality program, going on a date with a boy a computer algorithm says should be a perfect match… only he’s not who she thinks he is. Sara Shepard’s story involves a musician and a record label intern. Meredith Russo writes about Nina, a trans student who’s embroiled in a bathroom battle at school where her classmate Lexie is among the most unspoken of her opponents. Dhonielle Clayton’s piece revolves around a love blueprint—coiled tattoos on hands—that eventually fade to match your love’s. When her main character holds hands with a boy she meets (something that is forbidden), she sees many futures for herself. Emery Lord’s tale about two girls meeting in a security line at the airport proves that sometimes you just totally get someone right away. Jennifer Armentrout’s piece reveals a connection made via an overdue library book. Jocelyn Davies’ main characters, Dev and Samara, find out the statistical odds of falling in love at first with someone on the subway. Kass Morgan’s story looks at two candidates for a one-way mission to Mars and the reasons they have for leaving. Julie Murphy’s story has two girls competing on a reality show for a date with a musician, but discover they’re both interested in someone else. Huntley Fitzpatrick’s story is about a waitress and a customer, a boy, with an, unbeknownst to her, complicated relationship. Nicola Yoon’s piece about the Department of Dead Love, which performs relationship autopsies, finishes off the collection.

This is a super fun and cute collection. The stories are all very different, featuring a variety of characters, identities, and settings. This will be an easy recommendation for many readers. Plus, the cover is so dang cute, it will sell itself. Me + this book = true love. 

 

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9781328759870
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 01/02/2018

 

Book Review: Welcome Home edited by Eric Smith

Publisher’s description

Welcome Home collects a number of adoption-themed fictional short stories, and brings them together in one anthology from a diverse range of celebrated Young Adult authors. The all-star roster includes Edgar-award winner Mindy McGinnis, New York Times best-selling authors C.J. Redwine (The Shadow Queen) and William Ritter (Jackaby), and acclaimed YA authors across all genres. The full list of contributors includes: Adi Alsaid, Karen Akins, Erica M. Chapman, Caela Carter, Libby Cudmore, Dave Connis, Julie Eshbaugh, Helene Dunbar, Lauren Gibaldi, Shannon Gibney, Jenny Kaczorowski, Julie Leung, Sangu Mandanna, Matthew Quinn Martin, Mindy McGinnis, Lauren Morrill, Tameka Mullins, Sammy Nickalls, Shannon Parker, C.J. Redwine, Randy Ribay, William Ritter, Stephanie Scott, Natasha Sinel, Eric Smith, Courtney C. Stevens, Nic Stone, Kate Watson, and Tristina Wright.

 

Amanda’s thoughts

welcome homeI generally read and review books in order of publication date and rarely go back to fit in anything I had missed previously. I just get too many books to consider to not just keep plowing forward. Unless someone finally figures out how to have reading all night make me feel as rested as actually sleeping does, that’s just the way it will stay—I try to read as much as humanly possible, but miss an awful lot. That said, I wanted to sneak in WELCOME HOME before the year ends because it’s such a unique and important collection.

As with any anthology, the stories are somewhat uneven, with many stories standing out better than others. Also, stories of just a handful of pages are not always really given enough time to actually develop in a satisfying way. BUT, I happen to love a good anthology. You can pick and choose, go back later, skim things, discover new writers (to me, that’s always the most exciting part of an anthology), and get what feel like extra bonus stories you wouldn’t otherwise get from old favorites. I’m glad to see anthologies making a comeback these days. They really appeal to a certain kind of reader, so I hope this book, and others like it, land in all libraries and get talked up and promoted.

There’s a lot to like about this book. Multiple genres are featured and though all of the pieces revolve around adoption, foster care, family, and love, there is a lot of variety in tone and content, which keeps the collection from feeling repetitive. Plots include an adopted superhero, a nearly too late reunion, a mother in prison, the death of an adoptive parent, a mute child in an orphanage, transracial adoption, a child taken back by a birth parent, a pregnant teen trying to decide what choice to make, a genealogy assignment, and more. Themes of love, support, friendship, family, and belonging permeate all of the stories. This diverse collection of short pieces is a welcome addition to YA, where we don’t necessarily see a lot about adoption. Get this on display in your libraries to help it get into the hands of kids who will recognize their own stories in this collection. A great look at the many ways families are made up and come together. 

 

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9781635830040
Publisher: North Star Editions
Publication date: 09/05/2017

Why That Book Isn’t in the Library; or, no starting your own small press isn’t always the answer to diversity

thingsineverlearnedinlibraryschool

Earlier this week, The New York Times posted an article about sensitivity readers that prompted a heated discussion on Twitter. Because of the holidays I didn’t follow all of the conversations happening, though I did see that author Joyce Carol Oates suggested that historically marginalized authors start their own small presses and literary magazines to help fill the gap.

Besides the fact that this is being done, I recognized immediately what a huge problem this suggestion is, mainly because I know how books get in to our libraries. So let me explain to you why an author starting their own small press won’t help the problem of not enough diversity in publishing from a library perspective.

A library is a business, it’s a non-profit business but it is still a business. So like any business, we have processes and rules and regulations. In fact, because libraries involve spending public money, we are heavily regulated. In the state of Ohio, for example, we are regularly audited by state auditors and we have to be able to show where all of our monies were spent and that we followed all of the rules and regulations. Buying books for the public library is not the same as buying books for your home, there are a variety of rules and processes in place and, unfortunately, they often put small and independent presses at a huge disadvantage when it comes to buying books for our school and public libraries.

Vendors

Most libraries work with specific vendors. This involves POs, which we will talk about in a moment, and vast discounts. Vendors like Baker and Taylor, Ingram and Follett allow libraries to purchase large quantities of books at a steep discount, making our dollars stretch farther. These vendors specialize in library distribution so they have built targeted programs that make putting together large book orders quick and easy. They work with librarians to develop interfaces and do things like built specific carts, find professional reviews in one place, and download catalog records. And I mentioned the discounts, right? The discounts are just as important as the technology. Many libraries will only buy books through their vendor. If a book isn’t offered by the vendor being used by the library, then it can’t be purchased. A lot of small press titles are not distributed by vendors, so being published by one of the big publishing houses eliminates a HUGE stumbling block to getting a book on the shelves of the local public and school library.

Purchase Orders

In every library I have worked at, you have to have a purchase order approved by administration before you can make a purchase. And in many libraries, you can only get a purchase order from a set of pre-approved vendors. Some libraries will approve purchase orders for a local brick and mortar store or for an online retailer like Barnes and Noble or Amazon, but some will not. This depends on the local library and their fiscal officer. The necessity of POs presents yet another stumbling block for getting small and independently published titles into our public libraries.

Catalog Records

Every book that comes into the library must be cataloged. Many libraries used to have large technical services departments that spent the time cataloging each and every book that comes into the library. But as library budgets shrank and technology changed, the cataloging process has changed as well. Today, most libraries purchase the catalog records through the vendor and do very little original cataloging. So for a title to be added to the collection, it has to have a catalog record. I sound like a broken record at this point, but again, this is a stumbling block for small and independently published titles.

Positive Professional Reviews

Public and school libraries often face material challenges. This means that a member of the public objects to having a particularly title in the local library. In order to help address any potential material challenges, libraries go through the process of developing concrete collection development policies and materials challenge procedures. Every library has a policy in place for their book selectors and they often will state that a book must have at least one and sometimes two positive professional reviews before a title can be purchased. Please note it is always professional reviews, which usually means from a professional review journal like School Library Journal, Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus or Booklist. Blogs, Goodreads, etc. typically don’t count as professional reviews. This need for professional reviews again means it is harder for a small or independently published title to get even in front of the eyes of a selector, let alone past one of the gate-keeping measures that libraries must use to build their collections.

With the growth of small and independently published titles, some libraries have taken steps to help incorporate these titles into their local libraries, but not all. Not a lot, in fact. Many libraries will take donations of small and independently published titles by local authors and build local author collections, but this doesn’t help book sales and it doesn’t help get authors on the shelves. And we can debate whether or not these are good policies on the part of libraries for days, but the reality is that libraries have to have operating procedures, they have to be accountable for public monies spent, and they have a responsibility to get the most bank for their buck to best serve their local communities. This need must be balanced with the need to build inclusive collections and provide access, but the reality is that for a lot of library systems, small and independent presses are hard to incorporate into their purchasing routines.

Small and independent presses are a possible solution to help solve the lack of diversity and inclusion in publishing, but they are not the only answer and if we want to help libraries build more inclusive collections, they aren’t the best answer. The truth is that this lack of diversity in publishing is a systemic, multi-faceted problem that needs to be addressed in a variety of ways. One of those ways is that we need for the big publishing houses to start publishing more diverse and inclusive titles. Big publishing houses have done the work of building up marketing and distribution channels, they have the funds to promote the titles, and they have systems in place to get those titles in front of the largest number of eyes possible to start changing the world. Starting your own small press is great, but it has to have the time to be nurtured and developed, and it has to have the funds. I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from starting their own press or literary magazine if that is what they want to do, but that isn’t the right answer to the question of how do we help make our public libraries more diverse today.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Spring 2018 Showcase and Giveaway

tltbutton7Beyond the people I work with and the people this blog has led me to get to know, by far the best aspect of blogging for TLT is the constant influx of books. All of the books I get end up going back out the door in some fashion—to teen readers I know, to classroom libraries of friends, to my own school, or in giveaways. I can’t read/review every book I get, but it’s fun to be able to sift through boxes and see what grabs my attention, and to see what books will find loving new homes with the right reader.

 

Today I’m sharing with you titles from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All annotations are from the publisher. I’m also doing a giveaway for some of these ARCs. Enter via the Rafflecopter or by retweeting this post on Twitter (I’m @CiteSomething) between now and December 31st. I’ll pick two winners (1 through Rafflecopter and 1 from Twitter), which each winner getting three books. U.S. only!

 

 

heatThe Heat Is On by Charise Mericle Harper, Aurelie Blard-Quintard (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780544980280 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 02/13/2018 Series: Next Best Junior Chef Series #2)

The competition heats up in episode two of this zesty series for fans of MasterChef Jr. and Kids Cook-off!   With this episode’s theme of family and tradition, from a diner challenge to a quinceañera to the farmer’s market, the junior chefs will have to sauté their way through the chewiest challenges yet. They’re the best in the nation, but can they handle the twists and turnovers week two has in store, on- and off-camera? Which junior chefs can stand the heat? And which one will need to get out of the kitchen? We are one episode closer to discovering just who will earn the title of Next Best Junior Chef. Bonus: Includes real cooking techniques for the aspiring young chef!

 

 

prideThe Spinner Prince by Matt Laney (ISBN-13: 9781328707260 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 03/06/2018)

I am Leo, Prince of Singara, and I am about to die. . .

Prince Leo is next in line for the throne of Singara, a land ruled by super-evolved felines. Like every thirteen-year-old, Leo must prove his worth by hunting a deadly beast called a slaycon. But killing a slaycon is the least of Leo’s problems. The enemy beyond the Great Wall is rising up. Inside the wall, Singara is being torn apart by Leo’s rebellious cousin. Worst of all, Leo is a Spinner, cursed with a dangerous and forbidden power he can’t control.
The future of Singara is in Leo’s hands. Can he conceal his curse, claim the throne, and protect his realm? Or will he embrace his power and discover a far greater destiny . . . for himself and for his world?

An unforgettable adventure, this first book in the Pride Wars series by debut author Matt Laney introduces a world where honor and duty, ferocity and faith, are tested by an unexpected hero.

 

 

time bombTime Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau (ISBN-13: 9780544416703 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 03/13/2018)

Seven students trapped in their school after a bomb goes off must fight to survive while also discovering who among them is the bomber in this provocative new thriller from the author of the New York Times bestselling Testing Trilogy. Perfect for fans of This Is Where It Ends.  
A congressman’s daughter who has to be perfect. A star quarterback with a secret. A guy who’s tired of being ignored. A clarinet player who’s done trying to fit in. An orphaned rebel who wants to teach someone a lesson. A guy who wants people to see him, not his religion.

They couldn’t be more different, but before the morning’s over, they’ll all be trapped in a school that’s been rocked by a bombing. When they hear that someone inside is the bomber, they’ll also be looking to one another for answers.

Told from multiple perspectives, Time Bomb will keep readers guessing about who the bomber could be—and what motivated such drastic action.

 

 

miles awayMiles Away from You by A.B. Rutledge (ISBN-13: 9781328852335 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 03/20/2018)

From debut voice A.B. Rutledge comes a quirky and completely fresh story of young love, loss, and the drastic distances we sometimes have to travel in order to move on, perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Jandy Nelson. Explores gender nonconformity and the spectrum of sexual preference in an authentic way.

It’s been three years since Miles fell for Vivian, a talented and dazzling transgender girl. Eighteen months since a suicide attempt left Vivian on life support. Now Miles isn’t sure who he is without her, but knows it’s time to figure out how to say goodbye.

He books a solo trip to Iceland but then has a hard time leaving the refuge of his hotel room. After a little push from Oskar, a local who is equal parts endearing and aloof, Miles decides to honor Vivian’s life by photographing her treasured Doc Martens standing empty against the surreal landscapes. With each step he takes, Miles finds his heart healing—even as he must accept that Vivian, still in a coma, will never recover.

Told through a series of instant messages to Vivian, this quirky and completely fresh novel explores love, loss, and the drastic distances we sometimes have to travel in order to move on.

 

 

stone girlThe Stone Girl’s Story by Sarah Beth Durst (ISBN-13: 9781328729453 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 04/03/2018)

Exploring the power of stories and storytelling, Sarah Beth Durst presents the mesmerizing adventure of a girl made of living stone who braves unforeseen dangers and magical consequences on a crucial quest to save her family.

Mayka and her stone family were brought to life by the stories etched into their bodies. Now time is eroding these vital marks, and Mayka must find a stonemason to recarve them. But the search is more complex than she had imagined, and Mayka uncovers a scheme endangering all stone creatures. Only someone who casts stories into stone can help—but whom can Mayka trust? Where is the stonemason who will save them?

Action and insight combine in this magical coming-of-age novel as the young heroine realizes the savior she’s been searching for is herself.

 

 

class actionClass Action by Steven B. Frank (ISBN-13: 9781328799203 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 04/03/2018)

One sixth grader takes his battle against homework all the way to the Supreme Court! Hoot for the over-homeworked generation. 
Sixth-grader Sam Warren is sick of stressing over assignments, and that’s exactly what he tells his teacher: NO. MORE. HOMEWORK!

Suspended from school, Sam recruits his elderly neighbor and ex-attorney Mr. Kalman to the cause. He’s ready to file a class action suit on behalf of all the children in Los Angeles—and eventually the country. Their argument? Homework is unconstitutional.
With his sister Sadie, Mr. Kalman, and his besties, Sam takes his case to Washington DC and the highest court in the land. Will Sam’s case pay off and allow him and his friends some time to grow and play, or will he just look like the laziest kid in America?

 

 

hidingHiding by Henry Turner (ISBN-13: 9780544284777 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 04/03/2018)

When a teen boy who excels at being unseen finds himself hiding in his ex-girlfriend’s house, he uncovers carefully concealed truths—about her, her family, and himself—in a twisty mystery with a shocking surprise.
One night, a lovelorn teen boy “accidentally” slips into the home of his ex-girlfriend, Laura, and ends up hiding in her basement, trapped in the house by its alarm system. How long can he stay hidden? What will happen if he is found? What will he learn about Laura—and himself—in this house? And what is his true motive for being there?

Turner’s affinity for observant outsiders—and teens who share a desire to hide from nosy adults and judgmental peers—shines in a psychological thriller in which the slow burn of tension keeps readers turning pages to a sudden twist that changes everything.

 

 

isleIsle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier (ISBN-13: 9780544968578 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 04/10/2018)

Eighteen years ago, two princes vanished. Now a riddle hidden on a mysterious map could chart a course towards the truth . . . and the missing royals in this historical fantasy that’s perfect for fans of And I Darken and Grave Mercy.
Nineteen-year-old Elias, a royal mapmaker and friend of the newly crowned king, is eager to explore uncharted waters. But when two maps surface, each with the same riddle, Elias must put aside his next voyage to solve a mystery that has plagued the kingdom for eighteen years—what happened to their two young princes, both kidnapped on one tragic day? Following the hidden clues, Elias uncovers long-held secrets and unimaginable betrayals.

This fantasy adventure is full of intrigue and schemes, romance and friendship, and fearless explorers searching for the truth.

 

road tripRoad Trip with Max and His Mom by Linda Urban, Katie Kath (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780544809123 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 04/17/2018)

In this sweet and funny companion to Weekends with Max and His Dad by acclaimed author Linda Urban, Max and his mom embark on a road trip as they adjust to their new understanding of family.

Third-grader Max is heading off on a road trip with Mom. With miles to travel, cousins to meet, and a tall roller coaster to ride (maybe), it will be an adventure! But Max always spends weekends with Dad; will Dad be okay if he’s left behind? And will Max be brave enough for all the new explorations ahead of him?

 

 

brightlyBrightly Burning by Alexa Donne (ISBN-13: 9781328948939 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 05/01/2018)

A romantic, cinematic, richly-imagined retelling of the classic Jane Eyre set in space, about seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley, a mechanic who takes a governess job on board the private ship, the Rochester and falls in the love with the ship’s mysterious and troubled captain. For Marissa Meyer and Kiera Cass fans.  
Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.

 

 

girl made of starsGirl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake (ISBN-13: 9781328778239 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 05/15/2018)

For readers of Girl in Pieces and The Way I Used to Be comes an emotionally gripping story about facing hard truths in the aftermath of sexual assault.

Mara and Owen are as close as twins can get, so when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can her brother really be guilty of such a violent act? Torn between her family and her sense of right and wrong, Mara feels lost, and it doesn’t help that things are strained with her ex-girlfriend, Charlie. As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie come together in the aftermath of this terrible crime, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits into her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.

 

ninjaJunior Ninja Champion: The Competition Begins by Catherine Hapka (ISBN-13: 9781328710581 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 06/05/2018)

For fans of the wildly popular TV competition American Ninja Warrior, this action-packed adventure series brings five unlikely friends together to compete in the first ever Junior Ninja competition.

Izzy, Ty, Kevin, JJ, and Mackenzie don’t have a lot in common. But they have all seen the reality TV obstacle competition National Ninja Champion.

When news breaks that there’s going to be a kids’ version of the show?and tryouts are just a few miles away?all five find themselves drawn to the obstacle course at Fit Kidz Gym. Before they know it, they’ve become a team?training together and helping one another overcome all kinds of obstacles as they compete for the title of Junior Ninja Champion. With lots of heart and edge-of-your-seat excitement, Junior Ninja Champion packs in the action of the competition along with all the ups and downs on the journey to making it.

Who will secure a spot in the finals, and who will be named Junior Ninja Champion?

 

unsinkableUnsinkable: From Russian Orphan to Paralympic Swimming World Champion by Jessica Long (ISBN-13: 9781328707253 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 06/05/2018)

The top Paralympic swimmer in the world, Jessica Long delivers an inspirational photographic memoir.

Born in Siberia with fibular hemimelia, Jessica Long was adopted from a Russian orphanage at thirteen months old and has since become the second most decorated U.S. Paralympic athlete of all time. Now, Jessica shares all the moments in her life—big and small, heartbreaking and uplifting—that led to her domination in the Paralympic swimming world. This photographic memoir, filled with photographs, sidebars, quotes, and more, will thrill her fans and inspire those who are hearing her story for the first time.

 

chemistryChemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein (ISBN-13: 9781328764645 Publisher HMH Books for Young Readers Publication date: 06/19/2018)

From advice columnist Meredith Goldstein, a dazzling, romantic, and emotionally resonant YA debut about a teen science whiz in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who tries to crack the chemical equation for lasting love and instead wreaks havoc on herself and the boys in her life.

 

For seventeen-year-old Maya, the equation for happiness is simple: a dream internship at MIT + two new science nerd friends + a perfect boyfriend = one amazing summer. Then Whit dumps her out of the blue.Maya is miserable until she discovers that her scientist mother, before she died, was conducting research on manipulating pheromones to enhance human attraction. If Maya can finish her mother’s work, maybe she can get Whit back. But when her experiment creates chaos in her love life, she realizes that maybe love and loss can’t be understood using the scientific method. Can she learn to trust the unmeasurables of love and attraction instead?

 

lostLost! by Terry Lynn Johnson (ISBN-13: 9780544971189 Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers Publication date: 07/03/2018)

A high-stakes survival series perfect for fans of the I Survived series and Hatchet.
Stay calm. Stay smart. Survive.An ancient myth about a statue leads eleven-year-old Carter and twelve-year-old Anna down a trail deep into the Costa Rican jungle. They get turned around, then chased by howler monkeys. Carter and Anna try to find their way back to the familiar path, but the tangle of vines and trees all look the same. They are . . . lost!With seventeen years of hands-on experience and training in remote areas, survival expert Terry Lynn Johnson (Ice Dogs; Sled Dog School) creates on-the-edge-of-your-seat storytelling featuring real skills to prepare kids for surviving a disaster. This book includes tips from the Canadian Red Cross on how to make your own survival kit. After reading this book, you’ll be better prepared for surviving a real-life disaster.

 

 

winner isThe Winner Is…by Charise Mericle Harper, Aurelie Blard-Quintard (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 978-0544991446 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 02/13/2018 Series: Next Best Junior Chef Series #3)
The thrilling final episode in the zesty series for fans of MasterChef Jr. and Kids Cook-off! It’s the season finale and only two contestants remain. Who will take the cake and earn the title of Next Best Junior Chef?
Two talented junior chefs have sliced and diced their way into the finale of Next Best Junior Chef. This week’s theme: innovation. Which junior chef will rise to the top and earn the title of Next Best Junior Chef? And whose goose is cooked? Two contestants compete on- and off-camera, but only one will win the whole enchilada.

 

 

forest queenThe Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell (ISBN-13: 9780544888197 Publisher: Clarion Books Publication date: 08/07/2018)
From a New York Times bestselling author, a fresh, female-centered take on “Robin Hood” in which a young noblewoman, like the legendary hero, becomes an outlaw fighting for social justice. Perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sarah J. Maas.When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen. Perfect for fans of fairy tale retellings or anyone who loves a strong female lead, this gorgeously written take on the Robin Hood tale goes beyond the original’s focus on economic justice to explore love, gender, the healing power of nature, and what it means to be a family.

 

elephantElephant Secret by Eric Walters (ISBN-13: 9781328796172 Publisher: Clarion Books Publication date: 08/28/2018)

We Bought a Zoo meets Jurassic Park in a gripping story featuring the evergreen appeal of human-animal friendships and set in an elephant sanctuary, about a thirteen-year-old girl, a cast of elephants, and a surprising new arrival—a woolly mammoth.

Sam was born and raised in an elephant sanctuary. When a beloved elephant dies giving birth, Sam develops a connection with baby Woolly—who isn’t actually an elephant but was cloned from woolly mammoth DNA. And the billionaire genius behind the cloning experiment will stop at nothing to protect his investment. Smart, determined, and loving, Sam stands up to this powerful adversary to protect the sanctuary and her herd. In the best tradition of child-animal friendship stories, Elephant Secret explores the strong and complex bond between Sam and her elephants while offering a fascinating, authentic glimpse into elephant—and human—behavior.

 

 

Friday Finds, December 21, 2017

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Sunday Reflections: Seven Words

Memory Lab Workshops for Teens by Michelle Biwer

MakerSpace: Get Teens Involved Making Cards by Kate-Lynn Brown

New and forthcoming YA and MG to know about

Book Review: Girls Like Me by Nina Packebush

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Book Review: Girls Like Me by Nina Packebush

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the December 2017  School Library Journal Xpress Reviews.

 

girls likePACKEBUSH, Nina. Girls Like Me. 204p. Bedazzled Ink. Nov. 2017. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781945805356.

Gr 9 Up –A pregnant queer teen finds true friendship and maybe a little hope during the worst time in her life. Sixteen-year-old Banjo is briefly hospitalized in a juvenile mental ward in the wake of her genderqueer boy-/girlfriend’s suicide. There, she meets Pru (Ethiopian and adopted by white parents), a cutter who also identifies as queer. The two befriend Dylan, a gay boy from a conservative family. Together, the three share their experiences and feelings, finding relief in understanding after years of isolation and frustration, though their friendship is not without complications. Banjo struggles with what to do with the baby once it is born (keep it or give it up for adoption) while also being mired in memories of Gray and the way they died. Though it ends on a slightly encouraging note, the story of Banjo and her friends is unrelentingly miserable. Horrible things happen to these characters, especially to Gray, Banjo’s boy-/girlfriend. Adults and treatment are generally unhelpful, with Banjo’s mother thinking medication is poison. The psychiatrist at the hospital is ignorant, dismissive, and uncaring, quickly diagnosing all three teens as bipolar and threatening to forcibly medicate Banjo. This bleak view of what life as a queer teen looks like feels dated. Though Banjo eventually ends up with effective and caring doctors in her life, they don’t erase the overall message that hospitalization, therapy, doctors, and medication are ineffective, punishing, and harmful. VERDICT An additional purchase.–Amanda MacGregor, Parkview Elementary School, Rosemount, MN

New and forthcoming YA and MG to know about

tltbutton7Books, books, and more books! My neighbors probably wonder what exactly goes on over here at the house where UPS of FedEx stops nearly every day. The following are the books that have arrived here in the past few weeks. I will be reviewing many of them in the upcoming months on TLT. See something you’ve already read and need to make sure I don’t skip? Or something you’re super excited to read when it comes out? Let me know with a comment here or on Twitter, where I’m @CiteSomething.

All descriptions from the publishers.

 

light yearsLight Years by Emily Ziff Griffin (ISBN-13: 9781507200056 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 09/05/2017)

As a mysterious virus infects the world’s population, a girl embarks on a quest to find a cure in this thrilling debut from Emily Ziff Griffin.

Luisa is ready for her life to start. Five minutes ago. And she could be on her way, as her extraordinary coding skills have landed her a finalist spot for a fellowship sponsored by Thomas Bell, the world’s most brilliant and mercurial tech entrepreneur. Being chosen means funding, mentorship, and most importantly, freedom from her overbearing mother. Maybe Lu will even figure out how to control the rare condition that plagues her: whenever her emotions run high, her physical senses kick into overload, with waves of color, sound, taste, and touch flooding her body.

But Luisa’s life is thrust into chaos as a deadly virus sweeps across the globe, killing thousands and sending her father into quarantine. When Lu receives a cryptic message from someone who might hold the key to stopping the epidemic, she knows she must do something to save her family—and the world.

Suspenseful, lyrical, and thought-provoking, Light Years features a remarkable heroine on an intensely physical and emotional quest for hope and existential meaning.

 

stolen secretsStolen Secrets by L.B. Schulman (ISBN-13: 9781629797229 Publisher: Highlights Press Publication date: 09/19/2017)
After an abrupt move across the country to San Francisco, sixteen-year-old Livvy is shocked to find that her mother has lied to her. Instead of looking for work at a bakery, her mom is taking care of Adelle, Livvy’s grandmother, who Livvy thought was long dead. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, Adelle shouts out startling details, mistakes her own name, and seems to relive moments that may have taken place in a concentration camp. When Livvy and her new friend Franklin D. find journal entries from the Holocaust in Adelle’s home, Livvy begins to suspect that her grandmother may have a shocking link to a notable figure — Anne Frank.

 

 

 

bound by iceBound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story by Sandra Neil Wallace, Rich Wallace (ISBN-13: 9781629794280 Publisher: Highlights Press Publication date: 09/19/2017)

In the years following the Civil War, “Arctic fever” gripped the American public, fueled by myths of a fertile, tropical sea at the top of the world. Several explorers attempted to find a route to the North Pole, but none succeeded. Bound by Ice follows the journey of George Washington De Long and the crew of the USS Jeannette , who departed San Francisco in the summer of 1879 hoping to find a route to the North Pole. However, in mid-September the ship became locked in ice north of Siberia and drifted for nearly two years before it was crushed by ice and sank. De Long and his men escaped the ship and began a treacherous journey in extreme polar conditions in an attempt to reach civilization. Many, including De Long, did not survive. A riveting true-life adventure, Bound by Ice includes excerpts from De Long’s extensive journals, which were recovered with his body; newspapers from the time; and photos and sketches by the men on the expedition. The title also includes an epilogue, author’s note, bibliography, source notes, and index.

 

 

inevitableInevitable and Only by Lisa Rosinsky (ISBN-13: 9781629798172 Publisher: Highlights Press Publication date: 10/10/2017)

What if you suddenly found out you had a sister . . . and she took over your life?

Cadie is close to her father. They are so much alike—same temperament, sense of humor, and love for the theater—and Dad always knows how to comfort her . . . until the day he announces that he has another daughter.

Suddenly, Cadie has a sister, Elizabeth—a sister who is six months older than her, a sister who is about to move in with them, a sister whose very existence means that Cadie’s beloved father cheated on her mother when they were already married. What other secrets might he have? Can she still trust him? Does Cadie really know her father at all?

And when Elizabeth arrives, Cadie’s worst fears come true. Elizabeth looks just like Dad; not only that, she seems all too perfect. Until she begins stealing Cadie’s place in the family and even Cadie’s one true love . . . But Elizabeth has secrets of her own.

This deeply emotional coming-of-age story explores the choices you make when your family—and your life—changes overnight. Are these choices the inevitable and only ones? And will they ultimately bring your family back together or push you further apart?

 

now orNow or Never!: Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Infantry’s War to End Slavery by Ray Shepard (ISBN-13: 9781629793405 Publisher: Highlights Press Publication date: 10/10/2017)

Here is the riveting dual biography of two little-known but extraordinary men in Civil War history—George E. Stephens and James Henry Gooding. These Union soldiers not only served in the Massachusetts 54th Infantry, the well-known black regiment, but were also war correspondents who published eyewitness reports of the battlefields. Their dispatches told the truth of their lives at camp, their intense training, and the dangers and tragedies on the battlefield. Like the other thousands of black soldiers in the regiment, they not only fought against the Confederacy and the inhumanity of slavery, but also against injustice in their own army. The regiment’s protest against unfair pay resulted in America’s first major civil rights victory—equal pay for African American soldiers. This fresh perspective on the Civil War includes an author’s note, timeline, bibliography, index and source notes.

 

 

eggsEggsistential Thoughts by Gudetama the Lazy Egg by Francesco Sedita, Max Bisantz (ISBN-13: 9781524784287 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 10/17/2017)

Meh . . .

From Sanrio, who brought you Hello Kitty, comes Gudetama, the lazy egg.  

Not all Sanrio characters are cheery! In Japanese, when you’re lazy, you are referred to as gude gude. And that’s where our new friend gets its name. Gudetama (tama from “tamago,” egg in Japanese) is the lazy egg. Gudetama likes soy sauce and being left alone. Sometimes, Gudetama wonders if we are born only to suffer. And here, in Eggsistential Thoughts, are Gudetama’s musings on life.

 

 

us kidsUs Kids Know by JJ Strong (ISBN-13: 9780448494173 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 10/24/2017)

We all knew about Cullen Hickson.

Siblings Bri and Ray O’Dell are lost. Anxious. Restless. Ray—bullied at his Catholic school for being small and timid—wants to be someone people respect or, even better, someone people fear. Meanwhile, Bri knows that something is off about her friendship with the shiny, happy, sophisticated blond girls on her field hockey team. They don’t really understand Bri, and if Bri is being totally honest, she doesn’t really understand them either.

When storied delinquent Cullen Hickson enters the orbit of the O’Dell siblings, though, everything changes. Bri and Ray find an alluring, addictive outlet in Cullen, who opens their eyes to a world they didn’t know existed. For Ray, that means experiencing the singular thrill of crime—from breaking and entering to grand theft auto—while Bri quickly dives into an all-consuming romance with the enigmatic upperclassman.

As Bri and Ray become more and more entwined with Cullen’s antics, and their once-thrilling experiences grow increasingly dangerous, a series of life-changing events threatens to lead the teens down a dark path—one that could forever alter the course of their lives.

 

sneakersSneakers by Rodrigo Corral, Alex French, Howie Kahn (ISBN-13: 9780448494333 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 10/24/2017)

Featuring exclusive interviews with Virgil Abloh (Off-White), Daniel Bailey, Ronnie Fieg (Kith), DJ Clark Kent, Serena Williams, Alexander Wang, Kobe Bryant and many, many others.

Through honesty, intimacy, intelligence, and swagger, Sneakers amounts to a singular rubber-soled taxonomy, a global group portrait of a culture that’s both personal and public, driven by commitment and curiosity, and sustained by our definitive cast of storytellers, historians, and artists.

An absolute necessity for design devotees and sneakerheads of all ages! Sneakers is a definitive exploration of the cultural phenomenon of sneakers, now an 85-billion-dollar-a-year industry. This gift-worthy book features 320 pages of photos and interviews with industry gurus, sports legends, and celebrities in a stunning package created by celebrated designer Rodrigo Corral.

The book’s carefully-curated list of participants takes readers to the center of the action. Edson Sabajo, owner of Amsterdam’s seminal sneaker boutique, Patta, leads a sneaker hunt that starts in the back-alleys of Philadelphia and ends in the Middle East. Jeff Staple, designer of a pair of sneakers that resells for $6000, recalls the sneaker riot his design kicked off on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 2005. Jim Riswold dishes on making commercials with Michael Jordan. Ronnie Fieg explains the collaborative magic of KITH. Adidas’s Rachel Muscat and Jon Wexler get philosophical about their star collaborator, Kanye West. Nike’s legendary Tinker Hatfield takes a glimpse into the future.  Professional tennis player Serena Williams shares an exclusive reveal. And much, much more. From its arresting cover design and thought-provoking interiors to the unprecedented depth of its first-person accounts, Sneakers is an absolute must-have for sneaker lovers and anyone who is interested in design, creative process, street culture, branding, entrepreneurship, art and fashion.

 

 

piperPiper by Jay Asher, Jessica Freeburg, Jeff Stokely (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780448493664 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 10/31/2017)

#1 international bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why Jay Asher and co-author Jessica Freeburg brilliantly reimagine the classic Pied Piper legend as a powerful graphic novel about loneliness, love, and vengeance. Fans of Neil Gaiman and Through the Woods by Emily Carroll will devour this eerie, atmospheric retelling.

Long ago, in a small village in the middle of a deep, dark forest, there lived a lonely, deaf girl named Maggie. Shunned by her village because of her disability, her only comfort comes from her vivid imagination. Maggie has a gift for inventing stories and dreams of one day finding her fairy-tale love.

When Maggie meets the mysterious Piper, it seems that all her wishes are coming true. Spellbound, Maggie falls hard for him and plunges headfirst into his magical world. But as she grows closer to the Piper, Maggie discovers that he has a dark side.

The boy of Maggie’s dreams might just turn out to be her worst nightmare…

With striking illustrations from Eisner-nominated artist Jeff Stokely, mixed with Jessica Freeburg’s work on historic and legendary horrors, Piper is an exciting new departure for Jay Asher that deftly touches on the same themes of truth, guilt, and redemption that made Thirteen Reasons Why a beloved bestseller.

 

 

science dogsScience Comics: Dogs: From Predator to Protector by Andy Hirsch (ISBN-13: 9781626727687 Publisher: First Second Publication date: 10/31/2017)

How well do you know our favorite furry companion? Did they really descend from wolves? What’s the difference between a Chihuahua and a Saint Bernard? And just how smart are they? Join one friendly mutt on a journey to discover the secret origin of dogs, how genetics and evolution shape species, and where in the world his favorite ball bounced off to.

Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic—dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you’re a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty year old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you!

 

 

novemberThe November Girl by Lydia Kang (ISBN-13: 9781633758261 Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC Publication date: 11/07/2017)

I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.

Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there’s no one here but me. And now him.

Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I’m half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can’t protect him from the storms coming for us.

 

 

havenHaven by Mary Lindsey (ISBN-13: 9781633758834 Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC Publication date: 11/07/2017 Series: Haven Series #1)

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

 

 

RIP elizaR.I.P. Eliza Hart by Alyssa Sheinmel (ISBN-13: 9781338087628 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.  Publication date: 11/28/2017)

When Eliza Hart, the most popular girl at Ventana Ranch boarding school, is found dead, Ellie Sokoloff is determined to figure out what happened to her. After all, Eliza was Ellie’s childhood best friend.

Never mind that ever since Ellie arrived at school Eliza has spread terrible rumors about her, calling her a liar and a stalker, when all Ellie wanted to do was rekindle their old friendship. Or that Ellie’s claustrophobia limits where she can go and what she can do. Or that Ellie’s suitemate, Sam, is the only one who will help her . . . because to everyone else, Ellie looks like the top suspect.

Can Ellie clear her name and solve the mystery behind Eliza’s death? Her hunt for the truth will uncover secrets she never imagined, sending her deep into her own memories of her childhood with Eliza Hart.

New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Sheinmel delivers a gripping mystery and a sensitive and moving examination of the secrets that can hold us back–and even destroy us.

 

march forwardMarch Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Pattillo Beals, Frank Morrison (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781328882127 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 01/02/2018)

From the legendary civil rights activist and author of the million-copy selling Warriors Don’t Cry comes an ardent and profound childhood memoir of growing up while facing adversity in the Jim Crow South.

Long before she was one of the Little Rock Nine, Melba Pattillo Beals was a warrior. Frustrated by the laws that kept African-Americans separate but very much unequal to whites, she had questions. Why couldn’t she drink from a “whites only” fountain? Why couldn’t she feel safe beyond home—or even within the walls of church?  Adults all told her: Hold your tongue. Be patient. Know your place. But Beals had the heart of a fighter—and the knowledge that her true place was a free one.

Combined with emotive drawings and photos, this memoir paints a vivid picture of Beals’ powerful early journey on the road to becoming a champion for equal rights, an acclaimed journalist, a best-selling author, and the recipient of this country’s highest recognition, the Congressional Gold Medal.

 

don't cosplayDon’t Cosplay with My Heart by Cecil Castellucci (ISBN-13: 9781338125498 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 01/02/2018)

When Edan Kupferman dresses up like her favorite character, Gargantua, she feels tall and powerful. That’s important right now, because her family is a mess, her best friend is gone for the summer, her crush is confusing, and Edan’s feeling small and not sure which end is up.

When Edan’s cosplaying, she can be angry, loud, and not the good girl everyone thinks she is. And when she’s at conventions, she feels like she’s found her own Team Tomorrow. But when her personal life starts to spiral out of control, Edan has to figure out whether she needs a sidekick, or if she has the strength to be the hero of her own story.

 

 

love this partI Love This Part: Hardcover Edition by Tillie Walden (ISBN-13: 9781910395325 Publisher: Avery Hill Publishing Publication date: 02/01/2018)

Two girls in a small town in the USA kill time together as they try to get through their days at school.

They watch videos, share earbuds as they play each other songs and exchange their stories. In the process they form a deep connection and an unexpected relationship begins to develop.

In her follow up to the critically acclaimed The End of Summer, Tillie Walden tells the story of a small love that can make you feel like the biggest thing around, and how it’s possible to find another person who understands you when you thought no one could.

 

 

disturbedThe Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos (ISBN-13: 9781512439762 Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group Publication date: 02/01/2018)

Macy’s school officially classifies her as “disturbed,” but Macy isn’t interested in how others define her. She’s got more pressing problems: her mom can’t move off the couch, her dad’s in prison, her brother’s been kidnapped by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn’t speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own terms—complete with gritty characters and outrageous endeavors. With an honesty that’s both hilarious and fearsome, slowly Macy reveals why she acts out, why she can’t tell her incarcerated father that her mom’s cheating on him, and why her best friend needs protection . . . the kind of protection that involves Macy’s machete.

 

 

fade to usFade to Us by Julia Day (ISBN-13: 9781250097378 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 02/06/2018)

Julia Day’s Fade To Us is a story about found families, the bond of sisterhood, and the agony and awe of first love.

Brooke’s summer is going to be EPIC— having fun with her friends and a job that lets her buy a car. Then her new stepfather announces his daughter is moving in. Brooke has always longed for a sibling, so she’s excited about spending more time with her stepsister. But she worries, too. Natalie has Asperger’s—and Brooke’s not sure how to be the big sister that Natalie needs.

After Natalie joins a musical theater program, Brooke sacrifices her job to volunteer for the backstage crew. She’s mostly there for Natalie, but Brooke soon discovers how much she enjoys being part of the show. Especially sweet is the chance to work closely with charming and fascinating Micah—the production’s stage manager. If only he wasn’t Natalie’s mentor…

When her summer comes to an end, will Brooke finally have the family she so desperately wants—and the love she’s only dreamed about?

 

shadowsongShadowsong by S. Jae-Jones (ISBN-13: 9781250129130 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 02/06/2018)

The conclusion to the gorgeous and lush Wintersong duology.

Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

 

 

flightFlight Season: A Novel by Marie Marquardt (ISBN-13: 9781250107015 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 02/20/2018)

From the author of Dream Things True and The Radius of Us comes a story of two teenagers learning what to hold on to, what to let go of, and that sometimes love gets in the way of our plans.

Back when they were still strangers, TJ Carvalho witnessed the only moment in Vivi Flannigan’s life when she lost control entirely. Now, TJ can’t seem to erase that moment from his mind, no matter how hard he tries. Vivi doesn’t remember any of it, but she’s determined to leave it far behind. And she will.

But when Vivi returns home from her first year away at college, her big plans and TJ’s ambition to become a nurse land them both on the heart ward of a university hospital, facing them with a long and painful summer together – three months of glorified babysitting for Ángel, the problem patient on the hall. Sure, Ángel may be suffering from a life-threatening heart infection, but that doesn’t make him any less of a pain.

As it turns out, though, Ángel Solís has a thing or two to teach them about all those big plans, and the incredible moments when love gets in their way.

Written in alternating first person from the perspectives of all three characters, Flight Season is a story about discovering what’s really worth holding onto, learning how to let go of the rest, and that one crazy summer that changes your life forever.

 

SERPENTThe Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1) by Sayantani DasGupta (ISBN-13: 9781338185706 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 02/27/2018)

MEET KIRANMALA:

INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMON SLAYER

(Only she doesn’t know it yet.)

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey . . . until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.

To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’ve come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it . . .

 

 

honor codeHonor Code by Kiersi Burkhart (ISBN-13: 9781512429961 Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group Publication date: 03/01/2018)

Sam knows how lucky she is to be part of the elite Edwards Academy. As she dreams of getting into Harvard one day, she’s willing to do anything to fit in and excel at the private high school. Even if that means enduring hazing, signing up for a sport she hates, and attending the school dance with an upperclassman she barely knows.

But when she learns the high cost of entry, will Sam be willing to bury the worst night of her life in order to “keep the community sacred”? As the line between truth and justice blurs, Sam must find out for herself what honor really means.

 

 

 

final sixThe Final Six by Alexandra Monir (ISBN-13: 9780062658944 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 03/06/2018)

Set in the near future, this action-packed YA novel—already optioned by Sony Pictures—will take readers out of this world and on a quest to become one of six teens sent on a mission to Jupiter’s moon. This is the next must-read for fans of Illuminae andThe Martian.

When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, an Iranian-American science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered.

After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six, who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the competitors must endure.

For Leo, the prospect of traveling to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—to help resettle humankind is the sense of purpose he’s been yearning for since losing his entire family in the flooding of Rome. Naomi, on the other hand, suspects the ISTC isn’t being up front with them about what’s at risk.

As the race to the final six advances, the tests get more challenging—even deadly. With pressure mounting, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo, and the two grow closer with each mind-boggling experience they encounter.

But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives.

MakerSpace: Get Teens Involved Making Cards by Kate-Lynn Brown

makerspacelogo1

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and relatively cheap way to give back this holiday season–and also plan a program with your teens–I’d suggest making holiday cards to donate! This time of year gives everyone the jitters, and channeling that extra excitement and energy into creativity is a great way to unwind.

holidaycard2

I ran a drop-in card program this December where I asked the teens to make and decorate holiday cards. What’s great about this program is that it works this time of year, but it can be done any time! Most organizations will accept year-round cards for birthdays, other holidays, or just to say hello and share messages of encouragement.

Some general tips: Most organizations want you to send multiple cards, pictures, and letters in one large envelope. Individually wrapping each card creates a hassle for screeners and distributors. In general, the consensus for organizations sending to sick people is to avoid “Get well soon.” There is no way to know if the person receiving your card is terminal, so they might not be able to get well soon. My director had only one request about this project: NO GLITTER. Save your library floor and the organization you’re sending to, and leave the glitter and confetti out. This would also be a great program to run library-wide. Although I’m just doing this with my teens, adult and children’s services could easily get involved to send an even bigger collection of cards!

Cards for Hospitalized Kids

www.cardsforhosptializedkids.com/about-the-founder.html

Cards for Hospitalized Kids is a great option if you want to make cards now that can reach their destination by the holidays. CFHK sends cards to hospitals all around the country,  The group, started by Jen Rubio and run out of Chicago, asks for all cards to be sent two weeks before the holiday, but can accept them up until 7 days before. If you want to get cards to hospitals before the end of Hanukkah, you have until December 14th to send them. Be sure to include Rubio started the group after 20+ hospital stays for connective tissue and bone disease; so she’s experienced firsthand how a handmade card can make someone’s day! This is the organization my teens made cards for during our drop-in.

Send to:

Cards for Hospitalized Kids

7290 W. Devon Ave

Chicago, IL 60631

holidaycards3

Operation Gratitude

www.operationgratitude.com

Operation Gratitude sends cards and care packages to deployed troops, veterans, new recruits, and first responders. The site’s “Guide to Letter Writing” helps contributors decide what to say, from the generic salutation to the closing remarks. Children are asked to use their first name only and provide an adult’s contact information if they’d like to receive a response.

Send to:

Operation Gratitude

ATTN: Letter Writing Program

21100 Lassen Street

Chatsworth, CA 91311-4278

 

holidaycards4

Card Care Connection

cardcareconnection.com/news.aspx

This nonprofit organization is perfect for year-round donations. Card Care Connection accepts cards all year and asks for them to blank on the inside. Sentiments such as, “you’re special,” “hello!” are encouraged, but the group asks that contributors refrain from religious messages, “get well soon,” or cards for specific holidays. Card Care Connection asks the contributors use cardstock and other high-quality materials, so this organization is best for older teens and adult programs.

Send to:

Card Care Connection

112 Saddlehorn Court

Fenton, MO 63026

 

holidaycards5Caitlin’s Smiles

https://twitter.com/caitlinssmiles

Caitlin’s Smiles mission is a great one: “Giving sick children laughs, hopes, and smiles.” Caitlin Hornung was only four years old when she was diagnosed with cancer, and she passed away before her eighth birthday. This organization continues Caitlyn’s love of art and making people happy by providing creative care packages to kids undergoing long treatments in hospitals. Each “Bag of Smile” is sent with a homemade card. The group asks for cards to not contain any religious messages, and do not say get well soon. Since most of the patients are terminal, this isn’t the best sentiment to send. Include fun drawings, silly jokes, and bright colors!

Send to:

Caitlin’s Smiles

3303 N. 6th Street

Harrisburg, PA 17110

 

holidaycards6 Cardz for Kidz

https://twitter.com/cardzforkidz

 

Each hospital that partners with Cardz for Kidz promises to deliver each card room to room, which makes the kids even more excited about your message to them! Contributors are encouraged to include popular characters, like the ninja turtles and minions, although generic animals and jokes are great too! The organization also needs cards in Spanish, French, Creole, and Vietnamese. The group asks for cards to be signed with a first name, which makes the experience more personal for the child receiving.

Send to:

Cardz for Kidz

323 East Wacker Drive #11

Chicago, IL 60601

Memory Lab Workshops for Teens by Michelle Biwer

What is a Memory Lab?: A memory lab is a place for people to digitize their family photos and home video. In addition to digitization, my library’s memory lab offers the opportunity remix digitized memories into a video personal narrative to share with family and friends, and the ability to record filmed oral history interviews.

I recently received an IMLS and Maryland State Department of Education grant to create a Memory Lab, inspired by the labs at DC Public Library and Queens Library. In order to reach the widest audience possible, it was determined that volunteers would be needed at all Memory Lab events to help staff assist patrons. I recruited interested teens from the 100+ strong teen volunteer program I have developed at my library. Of course the average teen these days has never used a VCR, so this project required several trainings!

Remix Volunteer Training

Grant funding allowed us to bring in a local Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker and a librarian with a background in live television work for this training. The teen volunteers had the amazing opportunity to learn from experts about how to create a compelling personal narrative in video format. They also learned how to use Adobe Premiere Elements and some simple tricks to make documentary-style videos compelling. Teens will teach patrons what they learned as the patrons create video narratives like a wedding compilation or vacation slideshow at the Lab.

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We also brought in our local archivist to talk to the teens about the process of conducting oral history interviews. The training covered how to do research on your interview subject, what kinds of questions to ask, and how the interviews will be set up. My favorite part of the training is when teens brought up issues of trust and legality in an interview setting. How do you earn the trust of the person you are interviewing? What if while telling their life story to a teen a patron mentions the time they stole something? Or that they are undocumented? These ethical conversations are important to have with young people, and I am very pleased this project is sparking these discussions. The archivist also brought examples of good oral history interviews for the teens to watch. Finally, the teens were taught how to set up a camera, lapel mic, and lighting rig for an interview. These teen volunteers have now started interviewing local community members and library patrons about their lives.

Digitize Volunteer Training:

Our Memory Lab has the capability of digitizing various types of video as well as photos, negatives, and slides. In this 1.5 hour training I trained the teens on how to use and troubleshoot our equipment so they can assist patrons at the Labs. The challenging aspect of this project is that many patrons will bring in older memories that might require some restoration. I taught the teens some basic photo/video restoration vocabulary and functions in our various setups that will help them digitize the highest quality product possible. And even more important than simply digitizing memories is preserving them. Which means organizing them! I let out my true librarian self and made sure the teens had the tools to help patrons name and structure their files, add metadata, and make multiple copies.

We have had a dozen Memory Lab events so far and the teens have done an amazing job staffing the events. They know they are being trusted to complete important work and value that experience.

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