Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Collecting Comics: September 2018 edition with Ally Watkins

collectingcomics

Here are some great September comics your teens and tweens will enjoy!

slamthenextjam

SLAM! The Next Jam by Pamela Ribon and illustrated by Marina Julia with Brittany Peer and Veronica Fish (BOOM! Box, September 11). Knockout and Can Can have broken one of the biggest rules in roller derby…not to mention some actual bones. When they get back to practice, can their teammates trust them? Collects all four issues of the limited run series.

Star Wars: A New Hope Graphic Novel Adaptation by Alessandro Ferrari (IDW Publishing, September 18). Faithfully bringing the film to the page, this graphic novel adaptation of Episode IV will thrill both your comics fans and your star wars fans. This volume is the first in a planned trilogy of adaptations of the original Star Wars series.

the unwanted

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (HMH Books for Young Readers, September 18). In this full-color, nonfiction graphic work, Brown explores the realities of the Syrian refugee crisis and the life the Syrian people live while living in and fleeing a war zone.

Science Comics: Solar System: Our Place in Space by Rosemary Mosco, illustrated by Jon Chad (First Second, September 18). The wildly popular Science Comics series is back, this time exploring Earth and its neighbors in our solar system. Your nonfiction readers will love the art and the facts!

checkplease

Check, Please! #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second, September 18). The extraordinarily popular webcomic comes to print!  Eric is a former figure skater who scored a spot on the Samwell University hockey team his freshman year, but nothing could prepare him for the experience he’s about to have–or for Jack, his moody and attractive team captain.

Supernova (Amulet #8) by Kazu Kibuishi (Graphix, September 25). Kabuishi’s thrilling Amulet graphic novel series continues! In this installment, Emily has lost control of her amulet and must find a way to fight back.  Meanwhile, Navin is having his own problems as the Resistance prepares to do battle. Both siblings must fight their hardest to save themselves and planet Alledia.

 

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. 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. 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.

 

 

 

tell me no liesTell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin (ISBN-13: 9781616206765 Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers Publication date: 06/12/2018)

A riveting novel about secrecy, complicated friendships, and heartbreak, set against the iconic backdrop of the late 1980s.

Lizzy Swift is a senior in high school, emerging from her nerd chrysalis to become a social butterfly. She starts dating popular Matt Ashley, whom she’s been pining for since freshman year. She’s delighted when rebellious new girl Claire Reynolds introduces her to Center City Philadelphia—clubs, street life, and the eye-opening art scene. As Lizzy begins to question her own long-held dreams, the changes in her life mirror the upheaval of a decade marked by a drug epidemic and the AIDS crisis. She’s no longer sure of her Ivy League ambition. While she has a special connection with Matt, something’s missing. And Claire carries around a mysterious sadness and talks about a breakup so bad she changed schools—but she won’t tell the whole story. Lizzy wants Claire to confide in her, even as she keeps her own embarrassing secrets.

Before too long, the heady thrill of her new life starts to crumble under insecurities and deceptions.  When the truth emerges from the wreckage, will it be too late for Lizzy, Claire, and Matt to save their love and friendships?

She’s Lost Control, a companion to the acclaimed Be True to Me, is a novel of unflinching emotional honesty about secrecy, lies, love, and identity.

 

 

 

harbor meHarbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (ISBN-13: 9780399252525 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/28/2018)

Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Jacqueline Woodson’s first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.

It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat—by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for “A Room to Talk”), they discover it’s safe to talk about what’s bothering them—everything from Esteban’s father’s deportation and Haley’s father’s incarceration to Amari’s fears of racial profiling and Ashton’s adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.

 

 

 

that's not whatThat’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger (ISBN-13: 9781338186529 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 08/28/2018)

It’s been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah’s story—that she died proclaiming her faith.But it’s not true.I know because I was with her when she died. I didn’t say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah’s parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight . . . but I’m not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did—and didn’t—happen that day.Except Sarah’s martyrdom is important to a lot of people, people who don’t take kindly to what I’m trying to do. And the more I learn, the less certain I am about what’s right. I don’t know what will be worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking 304668up . . .

 

 

 

 

 

a room awayA Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma (ISBN-13: 9781616203733 Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill Publication date: 09/04/2018)

Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will cost for her to leave . . .

In A Room Away from the Wolves, critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author Nova Ren Suma weaves a spellbinding ghost story about who deserves a second chance, how we lie to those around us and ourselves, and what lengths girls will go to in order to save each other.

 

 

 

 

tightTight by Torrey Maldonado (ISBN-13: 9781524740559 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 09/04/2018)

Tight: Lately, Bryan’s been feeling it in all kinds of ways . . .

Bryan knows what’s tight for him—reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama. But drama is every day where he’s from, and that gets him tight, wound up.

And now Bryan’s friend Mike pressures him with ideas of fun that are crazy risky. At first, it’s a rush following Mike, hopping turnstiles, subway surfing, and getting into all kinds of trouble. But Bryan never really feels right acting so wrong, and drama really isn’t him. So which way will he go, especially when his dad tells him it’s better to be hard and feared than liked?

But if there’s one thing Bryan’s gotten from his comic heroes, it’s that he has power—to stand up for what he feels . . .

Torrey Maldonado delivers a fast-paced, insightful, dynamic story capturing urban community life. Readers will connect with Bryan’s journey as he navigates a tough world with a heartfelt desire for a different life.

 

 

we are not yetWe Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson, Tonya Bolden (ISBN-13: 9781547600762 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 09/11/2018)

Carol Anderson’s White Rage took the world by storm, landing on the New York Times bestseller list and best book of the year lists from New York TimesWashington PostBoston Globe, and Chicago Review of Books. It launched her as an in-demand commentator on contemporary race issues for national print and television media and garnered her an invitation to speak to the Democratic Congressional Caucus. This compelling young adult adaptation brings her ideas to a new audience.

When America achieves milestones of progress toward full and equal black participation in democracy, the systemic response is a consistent racist backlash that rolls back those wins. We Are Not Yet Equal examines five of these moments: The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with Jim Crow laws; the promise of new opportunities in the North during the Great Migration was limited when blacks were physically blocked from moving away from the South; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 led to laws that disenfranchised millions of African American voters and a War on Drugs that disproportionally targeted blacks; and the election of President Obama led to an outburst of violence including the death of black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri as well as the election of Donald Trump.

This YA adaptation will be written in an approachable narrative style that provides teen readers with additional context to these historic moments, photographs and archival images, and additional backmatter and resources for teens.

 

 

here to stayHere to Stay by Sara Farizan (ISBN-13: 9781616207007 Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers Publication date: 09/18/2018)

Bijan Majidi is:

  • Shy around girls
  • Really into comics
  • Decent at basketball

Bijan Majidi is not:

  • A terrorist

What happens when a kid who’s flown under the radar for most of high school gets pulled off the bench to make the winning basket in a varsity playoff game?

If his name is Bijan Majidi, life is suddenly high fives in the hallways and invitations to exclusive parties—along with an anonymous photo sent by a school cyberbully that makes Bijan look like a terrorist.

The administration says they’ll find and punish the culprit. Bijan wants to pretend it never happened. He’s not ashamed of his Middle Eastern heritage; he just doesn’t want to be a poster child for Islamophobia. Lots of classmates rally around Bijan. Others make it clear they don’t want him oranybody who looks like him at their school. But it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends.

Here to Stay is a painfully honest, funny, authentic story about growing up, speaking out, and fighting prejudice.

 

 

 

map of daysA Map of Days: The Fourth Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (ISBN-13: 9780735232143 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 10/02/2018)

 

The #1 bestselling series returns with a thrilling new story arc set in America!

Vintage photographs reveal the never-before-seen world of peculiar America with a stunning addition—full-color images.

Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery—a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe.

Clues to Abe’s double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited—truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop.

Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few ymbrynes, or rules—that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children. Their story is again illustrated throughout by haunting vintage photographs, but with a striking addition for this all-new, multi-era American adventure—full color.

 

 

 

don't call me crazy(Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health by Kelly Jensen (ISBN-13: 9781616207816 Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers Publication date: 10/02/2018)

Who’s Crazy?

What does it mean to be crazy? Is using the word crazy offensive? What happens when such a label gets attached to your everyday experiences?

In order to understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? extreme? disturbed? passionate?—to different people.

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy is a conversation starter and guide to better understanding how our mental health affects us every day. Thirty-three writers, athletes, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore their personal experiences with mental illness, how we do and do not talk about mental health, help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently, and what, exactly, might make someone crazy.

If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages, and let’s get talking.

 

 

where she fellWhere She Fell by Kaitlin Ward (ISBN-13: 9781338230079 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 10/30/2018)

Watch your step.

Eliza knows the legends about the swamp near her house — that people have fallen into sinkholes, never to be seen again, maybe even falling to the center of the earth. As an aspiring geologist, she knows the last part is impossible. But when her best friends drag her onto the uneven ground anyway, Eliza knows to be worried.

And when the earth opens under her feet, there isn’t even time to say I told you so.

As she scrambles through one cave, which leads to another, and another, Eliza finds herself in an impossible world — where a small group of people survive underground, running from vicious creatures, eating giant bugs, and creating their own subterranean society. Eliza is grateful to be alive, but this isn’t home. Is she willing to risk everything to get back to the surface?

 

 

 

 

you are the everythingYou Are The Everything by Karen Rivers (ISBN-13: 9781616208158 Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers Publication date: 10/30/2018)

Can you want something—or someone—so badly that it changes your destiny?

Elyse Schmidt never would have thought so, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. It’s as if their love story is meant to be. Everything is perfect, or as perfect as it can be when you’ve literally fallen out of the sky and landed hard on the side of a mountain—until suddenly it isn’t. When the pieces of Elyse’s life stop fitting together, what’s left?

You Are the Everything is a story about the fates we yearn for, the fates we choose, and the fates that are chosen for us.

 

 

 

 

hide with meHide with Me by Sorboni Banerjee (ISBN-13: 9780451478351 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 11/06/2018)

 

Debut author Sorboni Banerjee crafts a gripping story about the unbreakable bonds of friendship, the sweeping power of first love, and the courage to fight for a brighter future against all odds.In the dying cornfields of his family’s farm, seventeen-year-old Cade finds a girl broken and bleeding. She has one request: hide me.Tucked away in an abandoned barn on the edge of the farm, the mysterious Jane Doe starts to heal and details of her past begin to surface. A foster kid looking for a way out, Jane got caught up in the wrong crowd and barely escaped with her life.

Cade has a difficult past of his own. He’s been trapped in the border town of Tanner, Texas, his whole life. His dad is a drunk. His mom is gone. Money is running out. Cade is focused on one thing, a football scholarship—his only chance.

Cade and Jane spend their nights in the barn planning their escapes, and their days with Cade’s friends: sweet, artistic Mateo and his determined sister Jojo who vows to be president one day.

But it’s not that easy to disappear.

Just across the border in a city in Mexico lies the life Jane desperately wants to leave behind—a past filled with drugs and danger, information she never wanted, and a cartel boss who is watching her every move.

Jane Doe’s past is far from over, and the secret she holds could kill them all.

 

 

storytellerThe Storyteller by Traci Chee (ISBN-13: 9780399176791 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 11/13/2018)

 

Sefia is determined to keep Archer out of the Guard’s clutches and their plans for war between the Five Kingdoms. The Book, the ancient, infinite codex of the past, present and future, tells of a prophecy that will plunge Kelanna in that bloody war, but it requires a boy—Archer—and Sefia will stop at nothing to ensure his safety. The Guard has already stolen her mother, her father, and her Aunt Nin. Sefia would sooner die than let them take anymore from her—especially the boy she loves.
But escaping the Guard and the Book’s prophecy is no easy task. After all, what is written always comes to pass. As Sefia and Archer watch Kelanna start to crumble to the Guard’s will, they will have to choose between their love and joining a war that just might tear them apart. Full of magic, suspense, and mystery, Traci Chee brings her Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy to a close in this spellbinding final installment.

 

 

 

dark daysThe Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman (ISBN-13: 9780670785490 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 11/20/2018)

 

The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen’s demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world.

Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.

In the final book of the trilogy that began with The Dark Days Club and continued with The Dark Days Pact, the intrepid Lady Helen’s story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal.

 

 

 

 

amberAmber & Dusk by Lyra Selene (ISBN-13: 9781338210033 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 11/27/2018)

Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies.

So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.

But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to seize what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.

An extraordinary, vividly rendered YA debut.

 

 

black enoughBlack Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi, Tracey Baptiste, Coe Booth, Dhonielle Clayton (ISBN-13: 9780062698728 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 01/08/2019)

 

Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi and featuring some of the most acclaimed, bestselling black authors writing for teens today—Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America.

Black is…sisters navigating their relationship at summer camp in Portland, Oregon, as written by Renée Watson.

Black is… three friends walking back from the community pool talking about nothing and everything, in a story by Jason Reynolds.

Black is…Nic Stone’s bougie debutante dating a boy her momma would never approve of.

Black is…two girls kissing in Justina Ireland’s story set in Maryland.

Black is urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—because there are countless ways to be black enough.

Contributors:
Justina Ireland
Varian Johnson
Rita Williams-Garcia
Dhonielle Clayton
Kekla Magoon
Leah Henderson
Tochi Onyebuchi
Jason Reynolds
Nic Stone
Liara Tamani
Renée Watson
Tracey Baptiste
Coe Booth
Brandy Colbert
Jay Coles
Ibi Zoboi
Lamar Giles

 

girl kingThe Girl King by Mimi Yu (ISBN-13: 9781681198897 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 01/08/2019)
Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this richly imagined, Asian-inspired fantasy for fans of Renée Ahdieh and Sabaa Tahir.

Sisters Lu and Min have always known their places as the princesses of the Empire of the First Flame: the eldest, assertive Lu, will be named her father’s heir and become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while timid Min will lead a quiet life in Lu’s shadow. Then their father names their male cousin Set the heir instead, throwing both girls’ lives into chaos.

Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu is forced to flee, leaving Min to face the volatile court alone. Lu crosses paths with Nokhai, the lone, unlikely survivor of the decimated Ashina, nomadic wolf shapeshifters. Nok never learned to shift–and he has no trust for the Empire that killed his family–but working with the princess might be the key to unlocking his true power.

As Lu and Nok form a tenuous alliance, Min’s own hidden power awakens–a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set’s reign . . . or allow her to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could very well turn out to be each other.

Told in three distinct points-of-view, this first book in a sweeping fantasy series weaves a story of ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

 

 

in parisIn Paris with You by Clémentine Beauvais (ISBN-13: 9781250299161 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 01/08/2019)
For fans of Eleanor & Park and Emergency Contact comes a sweeping romance about the love that got away.Eugene and Tatiana could have fallen in love, if things had gone differently. If they had tried to really know each other, if it had just been them, and not the others. But that was years ago and time has found them far apart, leading separate lives.

Until they meet again in Paris.

What really happened back then? And now? Could they ever be together again after everything?

 

 

 

 

highHigh: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction by David Sheff, Nic Sheff (ISBN-13: 9780544644342 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 01/08/2019)

Just Say Know!  With drug education for children more important than ever, this nonfiction book draws on the experiences of the NY Times bestselling father/son team of David and Nic Sheff to provide all the information teens and tweens need to know about drugs, alcohol, and addiction.

From David Sheff, author of Beautiful Boy (2008), and Nic Sheff, author of Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines(2008), comes the ultimate resource for learning about the realities of drugs and alcohol for middle grade readers.
This book tells it as it is, with testimonials from peers who have been there and families who have lived through the addiction of a loved one, along with the cold, hard facts about what drugs and alcohol do to our bodies. From how to navigate peer pressure to outlets for stress to the potential consequences for experimenting, Nic and David Sheff lay out the facts so that middle grade readers can educate themselves.

 

 

inventing victoriaInventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden (ISBN-13: 9781681198071 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 01/08/2019)

In a searing historical novel, Tonya Bolden illuminates post-Reconstruction America in an intimate portrait of a determined young woman who dares to seize the opportunity of a lifetime.

As a young black woman in 1880s Savannah, Essie’s dreams are very much at odds with her reality. Ashamed of her beginnings, but unwilling to accept the path currently available to her, Essie is trapped between the life she has and the life she wants.

Until she meets a lady named Dorcas Vashon, the richest and most cultured black woman she’s ever encountered. When Dorcas makes Essie an offer she can’t refuse, she becomes Victoria. Transformed by a fine wardrobe, a classic education, and the rules of etiquette, Victoria is soon welcomed in the upper echelons of black society in Washington, D. C. But when the life she desires is finally within her grasp, Victoria must decide how much of herself she is truly willing to surrender.

 

 

promise of changeThis Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce, Debbie Levy (ISBN-13: 9781681198521 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 01/08/2019)

In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racially segregated schools violated the U.S. Constitution. This decision, Brown v. Board of Education, was a big deal–but Supreme Court rulings do not enforce themselves. If Brown‘s promise of change was to become reality, people had to take action.

And so, in the small town of Clinton, Tennessee, twelve African American high school students stepped up. You probably haven’t heard of the Clinton 12–but what they did in 1956 (a year before the Little Rock 9, four years before Ruby Bridges) was front-page news all over the nation. My co-author, Jo Ann Allen Boyce, was one of the Clinton 12, and we have worked together to tell her story. Like my book The Year of Goodbyes, this is nonfiction in verse, with primary archival materials and additional backmatter features.

 

 

 

 

white stagWhite Stag: A Novel by Kara Barbieri (ISBN-13: 9781250149589 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 01/08/2019)

 

White Stag, the first book in a brutally stunning series by Kara Barbieri, involves a young girl who finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

A Wattpad break out star with over a million reads! Now expanded, revised and available in print and eBook.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

 

unnaturalUnnatural Disasters by Jeff Hirsch (ISBN-13: 9780544999169 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 01/22/2019)

From a bestselling author, an edgy, voice-driven novel set in a not-so-distant-future world about teens trying to survive when attacks by an unknown terrorist organization throw the entire planet into chaos. Just right for fans of Tommy Wallach’s We All Looked Up.

Will the Class of 2049 be the last class ever?

Lucy and her boyfriend have been planning an epic post-graduation trip for months, despite the unstable world they live in. But when everyone’s phones start to ring during prom, Lucy knows something terrible has happened—something new. Decades of climate change have taken their toll, religious extremism is spreading, refugees have nowhere left to turn, and terrorism is common. But this is worse. Far worse.

An unforgettable story about teens finding their way in a world the adults have destroyed, Unnatural Disasters is an ultimately hopeful tale of survival, identity, family, and love.

 

 

 

imprisonImprison the Sky by A. C. Gaughen (ISBN-13: 9781681191140 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 01/22/2019)

 

The sweeping Elementae series continues with a heroine so powerful she can command the sky . . .

Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus’s black market empire to captain her own trading vessel–and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets–not only that Aspasia is a wind Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can’t find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.

 

 

a curse soA Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (ISBN-13: 9781681195087 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 01/29/2019)

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

 

 

courtingCourting Darkness by Robin LaFevers (ISBN-13: 9780544991194 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 02/05/2019)

First in a duology, this darkly thrilling page-turner set in the world of the best-selling His Fair Assassin series is perfect for fans of THRONE OF GLASS, RED QUEEN, and GAME OF THRONES. Told in alternating perspectives, when Sybella discovers there is another trained assassin from St. Mortain’s convent deep undercover in the French court, she must use every skill in her arsenal to navigate the deadly royal politics and find her sister in arms before her time—and that of the newly crowned queen—runs out. 

When Sybella accompanies the Duchess to France, she expects trouble, but she isn’t expecting a deadly trap. Surrounded by enemies both known and unknown, Sybella searches for the undercover assassins from the convent of St. Mortain who were placed in the French court years ago.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she no longer knows who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. When she discovers a hidden prisoner who may be of importance, she takes matters into her own hands.

As these two worlds collide, the fate of the Duchess, Brittany, and everything Sybella and Genevieve have come to love hangs in the balance.

 

 

giverThe Giver (Graphic Novel) by Lois Lowry, P. Craig Russell (ISBN-13: 9780544157880 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 03/05/2019)

Now in graphic novel format, Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal–winning classic story of a young boy discovering the dark secrets behind his seemingly ideal world is accompanied by renowned artist P.Craig Russell’s beautifully haunting illustrations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

since we lastSince We Last Spoke by Brenda Rufener (ISBN-13: 9780062571083 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 04/02/2019)

 

When true love is shattered by tragedy—how much would you risk to save it all?

When Aggi Frank and Max Granger finally admitted their feelings for each other last December, it felt like love was beautiful and endless… until it wasn’t.

A fatal car accident involving their older siblings throws their lives into sudden chaos. And with a restraining order now in place between the two bitter households, Aggi and Max’s love runs cold. Being together again seems like a distant fantasy, even though they share the same driveway.

Still, Plum Lake is a small town, and staying apart can’t last forever. Aggi and Max eventually reunite at a lake-house party hosted by a mutual friend and break the ice after a year of silence. But just as they begin to rebuild their relationship, the unthinkable happens when Aggi’s little sister, Grace, flees from home after their father spirals into a fit of rage. With a support system of friends close by, Aggi and Max must confront each other and their families in the hopes of mending all the broken pieces.

Perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven and Nicola Yoon, Brenda Rufener’s (Where I Live) second heartbreaking and uplifting novel captures the ups and downs of star-crossed lovers in the face of unimaginable grief, the fragile balance of their family relations, and the rocky journey to healing, peace, and forgiveness.

 

 

love and otherLove & Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford (ISBN-13: 9780062791207 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 04/09/2019)

 

Perfect for fans of David Levithan and RuPaul’s Drag Race, this new stand-alone novel from the critically acclaimed author of Suicide Notes explores the complexities of identity, the pain of loss, and the joy of finding yourself.

The Weyward family has been haunted by a curse for generations—if a Weyward falls in love before their seventeenth birthday, the person they love dies. Sam doesn’t plan to fall for anyone in the nine weeks before his birthday. He’ll spend his time working at the Eezy-Freeze with his dad; cooking up some midsummer magic with his grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother (the Grands); and experimenting with drag with the help of the queens at the Shangri-La, the local gay club. But when a new guy comes to town, Sam finds himself in trouble when they strike up a friendship that might be way more than that.

As Sam’s birthday approaches and he still hasn’t quite fallen in love, the curse seems to get more powerful and less specific about who it targets. A mysterious girl Sam talks to on the phone late at night and a woman he’s only seen in a dream might have the answers he’s been looking for—but time is running out to save the people he cares about.

 

 

 

meaning of birdsThe Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown (ISBN-13: 9780062824448 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 04/16/2019)

 

Before, Jessica has always struggled with anger issues, but come sophomore year that all changes when Vivi crashes into her life. As their relationship blossoms, Vivi not only helps Jess deal with her pain, she also encourages her to embrace her talent as an artist. And for the first time, it feels like the future is filled with possibilities. After In the midst of senior year, Jess’s perfect world is erased when Vivi suddenly passes away. Reeling from the devastating loss, Jess pushes everyone away, and throws out her plans to go to art school. Because art is Vivi and Vivi is gone forever.

Desperate for an escape, Jess gets consumed in her work-study program, letting all of her dreams die. Until she makes an unexpected new friend who shows her a new way to channel her anger, passion, and creativity. Although Jess may never draw again, if she can find a way to heal and room in her heart, she just might be able to forge a new path for herself without Vivi.

Highlighting the Immigrant Experience through Art and Young Adult Literature, A guest post by librarian Lisa Krok

This week I had the opportunity to visit the incredible exhibit, The American Library, by Yinka Shonibare, MBE at the Cleveland Public Library in Cleveland, Ohio. This exhibit was commissioned as part of An American City: Eleven Cultural Exercises by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. Dedicated to supporting freedom of speech, blended heritage, open borders, and educational rights, The American Library is a sequel to Shonibare’s The British Library installation of 2014. Approximately six thousand books are wrapped in vibrant African wax cloth (a main feature of the artist’s work) and are housed in open bookshelves for display. The spines of the books are stamped in golden ink with the name of a first- or second-generation immigrant to the United States. Each immigrant featured has contributed to American culture via the arts, science, sports, politics, and more. There are also a few names of those opposed to immigration sprinkled in, for a scavenger hunt of sorts.

immigration1

The breathtaking sights that greet visitors upon entering the exhibit.

immigration2

The double-sided shelving encourages plenty of exploration. The teen librarian in me intentionally sought out names that would have recognition and appeal for teens. What an incredible field trip this would be for teachers to take their students and prompt lively discussions!

immigration3

Wrestler/actor John Cena, baseball star Omar Vizquel, politician/activist Kamala Harris

immigration4

Tattoo artist/tv personality Kat Von D, basketball star Kyrie Irving

immigration5

Can you spy the dissenter on this shelf with musician Selena Gomez?

immigration6

Young adult author Nnedi Okorafor, Maria Von Trapp of The Sound of Music fame, and legendary musician, John Lennon

immigration8

President Barack Obama standing strong on a shelf with dissenter Peter Brimelow

These examples are only a handful of many that visitors can find when touring The American Library installation at the Cleveland Public Library. Highly recommended for anyone living close enough to visit before the exhibit concludes on September 30. For those living too far for a live visit, please go to  https://cpl.org/theamericanlibrary/ and https://frontart.org/  for more information and images.

 

After seeing this, as a teen librarian or a teacher working with teens, what can you do?

  • Visit in person and/or share the websites above with teens to promote conversations about immigrants and refugees.
  • Those interested in sharing their own family histories can tag posts on social media with #FRONTArt2018. This helps to provide an interactive element that will enhance discussions about immigration on a broader level.
  • Research family ancestries at the library.
  • Promote, share, and engage teens with reflections from YA books about immigration and refugees.

 

Please see below for recent YA titles featuring immigrants and/or refugees:

poet XThe Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Internment by Samira Ahmed  (March 2019)

love hate

Love ,Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown

american panda

American Panda by Gloria Chao

Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers (MG)

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Hooper by Geoff Herbach

The War Outside by Monica Hesse

darius

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Escape from Syria by Samya Kullab and Jackie Roche

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore (MG)

This Land is Our Land: A History of American Immigration by Linda Barrett Osborne

astonishing

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi

i am not your

I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

Escape from Aleppo by  N. H. Senzai

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (MG)

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

*MG denotes middle grade

**All photos of exhibit were taken by author of this article with permission for reuse.

 

lisakrok

-Lisa Krok is a branch manager in the Cleveland Public Library system (Cleveland, Ohio), a member of the 2019 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers team, and a Ravenclaw. She can be found being bookish and political on Twitter @readonthebeach.

Sunday Reflections: Stop the Massage Train, we don’t need to be asking professionals to touch one another

tltbutton5

I often like to follow a conference tag on Twitter when I can’t attend a conference because I still tend to learn from them. I will screen shot tweets and send them to people I know who have been discussing the issue or save ideas for future consideration. This is what was happening when I was following tweets from #ASRL2018 the past few days. But then a tweet about staff development stopped me cold in my tracks:

I initially thought that this tweet was about doing this activity in a staff development training at the library, but this activity happened at the conference in a session about staff development and training. A group of people who paid to go to a professional conference were asked in a professional setting to engage in a massage train. I imagine given the way that these conferences work that this was also suggested as a possible activity for a staff library training or staff development day, though I can’t guarantee that it was as I was not there.

This tweet seems to be suggesting that asking staff or conference attendees to participate in a massage train is a good idea for staff development and team building. To clarify, this would mean asking your staff or conference attendees in a professional development environment to touch others in very intimate ways. This isn’t a professional handshake, this is reaching out and massaging the person beside you. I want to state this in plain and specific terms: do not ask your staff or other professionals to touch each other or put them in a position where they may have to publicly refuse to do so.

The first thing I want you to understand about this is that light, playful massage is often a grooming behavior of sexual harassers, assaulter and predators. Massage and “playful tickling” are chosen because it helps to break down barriers and it’s hard to accuse someone of assault when it can easily be dismissed as “a light massage”. If you Google Harvey Weinstein and the word massage, you will find stories that highlight the ways in which massage is used in workplace sexual harassment cases. You’ll find more of the same if you Google the words massage and grooming. This is a very common practice among sexual harassers and it should never be encouraged in the workplace, especially in the year 2018.A large number of woman have had to find ways to prevent themselves from being “massaged” by the skeevy coworker who wants to expert power over them and wants to touch them without their permission. There are very real reasons why massage is often the touch of choice and it behooves us all to spend some time researching why that is.

Let’s flip the script. Imagine you are that pervy person who is always looking for a reason to touch other people and now you’ve just been handed a buffet. What’s more, you have reinforced their belief that this is normal and acceptable behavior and fed into the foundational beliefs of a serial harasser or abuser. You have normalized what should not be normalized behavior. You are now complicit in this person’s ongoing harassment of their coworkers.

Many of our staff members and conference attendees are themselves sexual violence survivors. If we go by the most current statistics, 1 in 4 of them are. That means that many of the people we are putting in this situation will be triggered by this activity and they now have to figure out how to deal with it. Do they publicly opt out? If they do so, how will it affect their work relationships? Imagine you are the person in the room that your coworker has just refused to let touch them when everyone else in the room had no problem doing this activity. There are so many group dynamics and ramifications happening here. It’s not a good look for anyone.

It’s important to note that this is not just about sexual violence either. Some religions and cultures have very strict rules about touching, especially touching between people of differing genders. Other people just don’t like touching people period. Others have OCD issues and serious germ phobias. There are a lot of reasons why people may not want to touch other people and it is, quite frankly, completely unnecessary for us to ask our employees to do this.

But this isn’t just about employee comfort and safety, it’s about workplace liability as well. In the year 2018 and in the midst of the #MeToo movement, any workplace who asks their staff members to engage in this type of activity, even if we are suggesting that they can opt out if they wish to, can be seen as putting staff in a harassing environment. There is no scenario in which I would ask my staff to touch each other as a part of their job or job training because I don’t want to be sued for creating a sexually hostile work environment nor do I want to appear in the press for doing so. It’s a bad look.

It was suggested in the discussion that participants can opt out or in as they wish, but we all are aware that peer pressure is a real thing as are group dynamics. Even if someone is told that they can opt out, they may not feel genuinely safe to do so because they have to measure what the true social and professional cost will be to them. There is a social and professional cost to being the staff member who refuses to participate, especially publicly, in an staff training or staff development activity. Even if management claims it is okay, we all know that it is now possible that management has now internally labelled this staff member as an outlier, someone who is not team oriented or wants to cause problems. This sets up all kinds of potential internalized bias for a staff member all because they want to protect their bodily autonomy.

I can think of very few scenarios in which we should ask our employees to touch their coworkers or fellow conference attendees, and most of them involve saving their lives. But a massage train? It’s completely unnecessary. Whatever we believe may be accomplished by this activity can be done so in another way and in a way that respects our employees bodily autonomy and keeps us safe from liability.

Don’t get me wrong, I have hugged tons of my professional peers at a conference and sometimes even at work, but this is always because the other person and I choose to engage in this activity. We have full bodily autonomy and mutual consent, it’s not being privately or publicly suggested by a person in a position of power outside of the two of us, and there is no cost to us if we refuse to do so. In a professional environment, there is little reason to ask people to touch each other. Please don’t do this.

Friday Finds: September 14, 2018

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

Book Review: The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown

Helping Teens Prepare for College? Don’t Forget to Talk About Sexual Violence

Book Review: Dream Country by Shannon Gibney

MakerSpace: Instax Mini Fun

Sunday Reflections: The Fight for Our Children is Exhausting, but Important

Around the Web

Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever

This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America

‘Watch Us Rise’ By Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan Is About Two Teens Who Start A Women’s Rights Club At Their High School — Start Reading Now!

Using Young Adult Novels to Make Sense of #MeToo

The 2018 National Book Awards Longlist: Young People’s Literature

 

Book Review: The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown

Publisher’s description

the unwantedIn the tradition of Don Brown’s critically acclaimed, full-color nonfiction graphic novels The Great American Dust Bowl and Sibert Honor winning Drowned CityThe Unwanted is an important, timely, and eye-opening exploration of the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, exposing the harsh realities of living in, and trying to escape, a war zone. 

 

Starting in 2011, refugees flood out of war-torn Syria in Exodus-like proportions. The surprising flood of victims overwhelms neighboring countries, and chaos follows. Resentment in host nations heightens as disruption and the cost of aid grows. By 2017, many want to turn their backs on the victims. The refugees are the unwanted.

 

Don Brown depicts moments of both heartbreaking horror and hope in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Shining a light on the stories of the survivors, The Unwanted is a testament to the courage and resilience of the refugees and a call to action for all those who read.

 

Amanda’s thoughts

I’m a huge fan of all of Don Brown’s graphic nonfiction. If you are unfamiliar with them, I hope you will check into them and add them to your collections, particularly his stunningly moving book on Hurricane Katrina, Drowned City. This slim volume packs a real punch, filled with information and first-person accounts of Syria’s refugee crisis.

 

Brown provides a very brief overview of the Arab Spring, starting this story with teenage boys writing graffiti (“Down with the regime”) on a wall in Dara’a, in southern Syria, then the arrest and torture of those boys, which sparks a protest for their freedom. Of course, this is just one of many inciting incidents, as the anger is far deeper and more widespread, with Syrians unhappy with Assad’s rule and the corrupt government. The government retaliates against the protesters, with the growth of the protest and violence leading to civil war. Syrians flee to Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, living in tent cities, with friends and family, or in communities in the hills. Violence intensifies when jihadists, including ISIS, join the fight. Brown followers various refugees’ journeys as they escape any way they can. We see people fleeing on foot, on boats, with smugglers, some of them successfully escaping, but many thousands and thousands dying in the process.

 

Brown gives readers a closer look at life both inside and outside of refugee camps. He also shares statistics that help inform the stories he is telling, such as numbers of registered refugees, applications for asylum, and numbers of the dead and missing. He goes on to show the tolls on the countries accepting refugees and the lengths many countries went to to keep refugees out. As sympathies wane, many begin to fear and hate the influx of refugees, whom they see as a threat and drain on resources. As more borders close, more and more people find themselves stranded. One refugees asks the heartbreaking question, “Who cares about us?” Brown takes readers back to Syria, looking at the continued war there, with the eventual exodus of so many who had hoped to be able to wait out the violence and unrest. Brown ends with a family making it to California and speaking about the future. He then includes extensive back matter explaining why he focused this story so closely on the refugee experience without going into the complicated roles that religion, politics, and cultured played in the story. Included are journal summaries from his May 2017 visit to a refugee camp in Greece, lengthy source notes, and a bibliography.

 

It was no surprise to me that Brown so adeptly captures the emotions and weight of this experience. Though, as noted, this book is slight, it is a thorough and affecting look at the Syrian refugee crisis, particularly for younger readers who may just be looking for a quick and basic understanding of what has been going on. The full-color illustrations are dynamic and powerful, whether showing crowded boats, near-empty deserts, or the anguish on the refugees’ faces. This somber, poignant, and deeply sympathetic look at Syrian refugees is as moving as it is informative. A solid addition for all collections. 

 

 

Review copy (ARC) courtesy of the publisher
ISBN-13: 9781328810151
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/18/2018

Helping Teens Prepare for College? Don’t Forget to Talk About Sexual Violence

I will readily admit that college preparation has been one aspect of teen librarianship that I have often failed to provide adequate services in. I have been really focusing on that more this year and have even started a special collection for college preparation/research and new adult materials. The New Adult collection specifically focuses on books with main characters in college to give teens the opportunity to find and read books about this possible next step in their life. At the same time, my own teenage daughter is starting to prepare for college. Just yesterday I was researching what the best colleges are for a Chemistry major. Both professionally and personally, helping teens plan for life after high school has been very much on my mind.

svyalit

Later that same day, I walked behind the circulation desk where I heard two staff members talking about visiting Ohio University over the weekend. If you don’t know, there have been 6 reported rapes on the OU campus since school started this fall. That’s six rapes in about a month’s time. That moment was a jarring reminder to me, as someone who works with teens and is researching college with her teen daughter, that sending our kids – especially our female ones – off to college can be an incredibly scary thing. Yet when we talk about doing college research, we often focus on things like cost and what schools have are best for a particular major. These questions are, no doubt, important and relevant, but they are not the only questions we should be teaching our teens to research. I would like to ask everyone of us that works with teens to expand our college preparation talks to include looking specifically at campus safety.

svyalitgraphic

Here are some facts about college sexual violence from Rainn:

  • 11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students).2
  • Among graduate and professional students, 8.8% of females and 2.2% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.2
  • Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.2
  • 4.2% of students have experienced stalking since entering college.2

Discussion about consent and sexual violence should definitely start before college (it should start at birth!), but as we are talking with teens and providing resources for teens to research college, one of the things we should be telling them to research is their college campus safety statistics and the statistics of the towns in which their colleges are located. College planning and prep can’t just be about majors and cost, it must also be about safety. Our teens may not think about this so we owe it to them to remind them to research this aspect of college life as well. We need to make sure our teens are making fully informed decisions, and there health and safety should be a very important part of that equation.

Things to look for:

Research college campus safety statistics for each college being considered

Town safety statistics and crime rates for each of the colleges being considered

Look at the college website. Do they have a page that talks about campus safety and consent? What does the college you are researching say specifically about college safety and their response protocol for reported incidents of sexual violence?

Do a general Google search. Has the college been in the news for recent incidents or for complaints about improper handling of reported incidents?

If you do a college campus visit, specifically ask them about both their safety statistics and whether or not they have a written procedure and staff training for handling issues of sexual violence on campus.

Resources:

How Safe Is Your Campus? Campus Safety Resources You Need

How to Do College Research Right: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn How to Research Campus Safety | Best Colleges | US News

College sexual assault: 10 questions to ask when choosing a school

18 Questions to Ask About Your School’s Sexual Assault Policy

10 Questions Every Parent, Student Should Ask About Campus Safety

Choosing a university? Look into campus rape rankings before you start packing

2019 Safest College Campuses in America – Niche

Book Review: Dream Country by Shannon Gibney

Publisher’s description

dream countryThe heartbreaking story of five generations of young people from a single African-and-American family pursuing an elusive dream of freedom.

Dream Country begins in suburban Minneapolis at the moment when seventeen-year-old Kollie Flomo begins to crack under the strain of his life as a Liberian refugee. He’s exhausted by being at once too black and not black enough for his African American peers and worn down by the expectations of his own Liberian family and community. When his frustration finally spills into violence and his parents send him back to Monrovia to reform school, the story shifts. Like Kollie, readers travel back to Liberia, but also back in time, to the early twentieth century and the point of view of Togar Somah, an eighteen-year-old indigenous Liberian on the run from government militias that would force him to work the plantations of the Congo people, descendants of the African American slaves who colonized Liberia almost a century earlier. When Togar’s section draws to a shocking close, the novel jumps again, back to America in 1827, to the children of Yasmine Wright, who leave a Virginia plantation with their mother for Liberia, where they’re promised freedom and a chance at self-determination by the American Colonization Society. The Wrights begin their section by fleeing the whip and by its close, they are then the ones who wield it. With each new section, the novel uncovers fresh hope and resonating heartbreak, all based on historical fact.

In Dream Country, Shannon Gibney spins a riveting tale of the nightmarish spiral of death and exile connecting America and Africa, and of how one determined young dreamer tries to break free and gain control of her destiny.

 

Amanda’s thoughts

Confession: I have been staring at the blank screen now for 18 minutes. I’ve been writing book reviews for 16 years, since I was in graduate school at Simmons. How many reviews have I written in those years—many hundreds, maybe more than a thousand? And yet here I sit, trying to put together even just one useful, coherent sentence that might begin to sum up how powerful, unique, and phenomenal this book is. I’m frowning as I type, because those words don’t even begin to do this novel justice.

 

The first thing you should know is that this novel will challenge readers, and I mean that in the best possible way. We move around in time and in place, and though there are parts of a family tree shown, I had to draw my own to start to make the connections clearer. You know who is up for challenging reads? Teenagers. They’ll be fine.

 

We’re first introduced to Kollie, a 16-year-old Liberian boy living in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota (just outside of Minneapolis) in 2008. His family fled Liberia during the Second Civil War and lived for three years in a refugee camp in Ghana. Many of his friends and classmates are Liberian, and there’s a lot of tension between the African immigrant kids and the black American kids. Kollie and his friends are regularly called slurs, called “jungle animals.” Things are not easy for Kollie, but he’s getting by. His parents have high hopes for him, that he can help be a positive influence in the community. His mother warns him that America may be the land of opportunity, “but if you want to destroy yourself, they will give you that opportunity too.” She says the world will do its best to convince black boys that they should destroy themselves, but she’s proud he’s working to better himself. Of course, this speech is before Kollie is involved in a violent incident at school, suspended, and working for William, a neighborhood “degenerate.” Devastated and ashamed, his parents send him away.

 

From here, we weave back and forth in time and location, meeting some of Kollie’s ancestors and following their struggles, losses, and achievements as they try to make their way through a world that doesn’t seem to want them to succeed or even to exist. Readers meet Togar, in 1926, in Grand Bassa County, Liberia, fleeing from Congo soldiers. We follow the story of Yasmine, who we meet in 1827 on a plantation near Norfolk, Virginia. The American Colonization Society’s new idea is to send “the coloreds” back to Africa’s Gold Coast to share their knowledge, experience, and salvation with the people there. Though this opportunity seems rife with potential, another woman there warns Yasmine that their new town is a hell and to stay away from hope. Yasmine and her family quickly realize that their new life is one filled with tension and fighting, and that the white men who came up with this idea weren’t looking to better anyone, but rather to ship people away to eliminate them. We also spend time with Evelyn and Ujay, in 1980, in Monrovia, Liberia, where we see Ujay’s work as an activist with the Progressive Alliance of Liberia and the hope for indigenous, not Congo, rule. We flash forward to 1994 with Ujay, now in a refugee camp near Ghana. And finally, we hear from Angel, Kollie’s sister, in 2018, ten years after Kollie was sent away from their family.

 

The stories are loosely tied together (in the sense that we’re following the line of one family and returning to the same place over and over), but read like short stories, complete on their own. It feels especially profound, then, when we reach Angel’s portion of the narrative and understand that it is she who has been telling all of these stories as a way to help make sense of her lineage, history, and ancestors. Through her revelations about her writing, readers see the choices she made in telling these stories, her search for explaining people and their actions, her desire for wholeness, for neat intertwining, for being able to know what these experiences were like. The title, Dream Country, takes on new significance through Angel’s eyes, and with Angel’s own story. This powerful and well-written story examines deep human emotions, the desire and fight for freedom, power, and immigrant experiences. Perhaps shamefully, I managed to make it to 40 without knowing much of anything at all about Liberia, but this book has changed that. Gibney’s complex look at one family, told through a wide scope, is moving and unlike anything I have ever read before in YA. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Don’t miss it. 

 

Review copy (ARC) courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9780735231672
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/11/2018

 

MakerSpace: Instax Mini Fun

instamax3

I have had an Instax Mini camera sitting in my house for some time, but Thing 2 (now a Tween, how did that happen?) recently discovered it and fell in love. She started asking me to go on walks with her and now we go on nightly walks and take pictures. And because she has spent some time in the Teen MakerSpace at my library she knows all about photo booths, so she asked me to help her make one and some props so that she could have her friends over and take pictures of them. And as always happens, this got me started thinking about all of the ways we could use the Instax Mini in teen programming.

instamax6

Thing 2 taking some pics with her Instax Mini

instamax5

The Instax Mini is an instant camera that produces pictures on the spot. The camera itself can be purchased for around 55 to 65 dollars. It comes in 3 sizes, the 7s, the 8 and the 9. If you can, I recommend purchasing the 9 because it comes with a close up lens. You can purchase a close up lens for the other editions, but you might as well buy the 9 which comes with the lens. The Instax mini is fun and instant, but it doesn’t have a lot of versatility in terms of things like shudder speed, focus and flash. In fact, the flash always goes off and it is recommended that to avoid over exposure in some situations you may want to cover the flash with electrical tape. There are some user guides out there and I recommend taking a look at them.

The Ultimate Fuji Instax Camera Comparison – Photography Concentrate

The Key Differences Between the Instax Mini 9 and Mini 8

Using your Instax Mini 8 | Some Tips & Tricks – Heidi Swapp

Let Your Creativity Show in an Instax! · Lomography

If you buy the film in bulk each pictures costs an average of anywhere between 60 and 65 cents. Be careful when buying the film, because it can go as high as $1.00 a picture. You can buy film with a plain white border or buy film with decorative borders. Fuji even occasionally releases specialty film, like Alice in Wonderland or Lilo and Stitch. You can buy sticker frames or acrylic frames for your pictures, put them into photo albums, or make a variety of cool crafts with them. You can even buy small scrapbooking stickers and decorate the border yourself.

instamax7

This is a Instax pic with a pre-purchased sticker frame. Teens can make their own frames using scrapbook paper or patterned vinyl. Cut it by hand using a stencil or using a cutter like the Silhouette Cameo.

I’ve already made one crafty display for my pictures and Thing 2 is working on one of her one that will take up a large chunk of one wall. In fact, I started a Pinterest board of Instax Mini ideas that I’m planning on trying to implement in a makerspace.

instamax1

instamax2

A co-worker and I recently did our final outside outreach event of the season and we made an “I Love My Library” sign and used the Instax Mini camera to take pictures that we gave to attendees to take home and remember the library. Kids were amazed by the instant photo and their parents were excited to have a blast from the past.

Some ideas I have include:

For Teen Read Week: Have teens create a tripdic (a series of 3 pictures) that relate somehow to their favorite book. Display the pictures and see if other teens can guess what book it is. This can be set up as a bulletin board or display wall and be an interactive promotion.

For Banned Books Week: Set up a jail cell or photo booth and take pictures of teens with their favorite “banned” books. Again, this would make a fun display.

Let teens take a picture or series of pictures and decorate or display them. They can create frames, wall art, magnet frames and more. In fact, we have a Silhouette cameo and you can purchase magnet sheets that can be cut with the Silhouette Cameo. Cut out frames, then cut out a piece of vinyl to decorate the frame, and you have a great fridge or locker craft.

Sunday Reflections: The Fight for Our Children is Exhausting, but Important

tltbutton5

It seems like every day now there is a new assault to be concerned about. Some lawyers want to know, is literacy a fundamental right? My gut reaction is yes, but the more important question is what happens when literacy rates go down? Spoiler alert: one of the answers is increased crime and incarceration rates.

Many are once again trying to take away healthcare, especially healthcare that covers pre-existing conditions, from the American people. Not only is it generally in-humane, it once again puts communities at risk of higher poverty and crime rates. It puts children at risk.

Many people are complaining because the Houston ISD is offering free breakfast and lunch to all of its students because this is of course tax funded. But what happens when children go through every day hungry? It puts communities at risk for higher poverty and crime rates.

Hundreds of children are sitting in cages that will probably never be reunited to their parents because their parents dared to try and bring them to a better life for safety and hope.

Children in Flint are drinking poisoned water that will have life long health effects.

You probably see a theme here.

It’s especially hard because a lot of these assaults are at the expense of children and as someone who has dedicated their life to working with children, particularly teens, I know first hand the impact that poverty, poor healthcare, poor nutrition and a lack of community support has.

We are failing our children. And in failing our children, we are failing ourselves. No good will come from all of this hatred, greed, selfishness and a lack of caring and nurture for the next generations. None.

It’s easy to despair in the year 2018. I do so frequently, if I’m being honest. I can’t even understand what some of my dearest friends and family are thinking when I hear some of the things they are saying. As a nation, as a culture, we have seem to have lost our heart. We failed to learn from the past.

But there are many who are continuing to fight, and every day more are joining in because this fight matters. The fight for our children, for their health and well being and safety, matters. Not just because it is the humane and moral thing to do, but because it has real consequences.

I’m not going to lie, yesterday I never even got out of my pajamas. I took a day to do nothing, to recharge my batteries. Because it’s easy to read the news, to go to work and see the world around you, and to be completely overwhelmed. Sometimes I don’t even know where to start making a different, it seems like too much is wrong, that I don’t understand the questions, and that this is all so much bigger than me, bigger than any one person.

And it is. It’s bigger than any one person. Which is why we need to be in this together.

We need each other.

And our children need us, to work for them, together.

So I’m getting out of bed today and trying again. I hope you’ll join me on the days that you can.