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Friday Finds: June 22, 2018

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

As I Try Desperately to Get Home Again, Not All Children Can. Here’s why it matters.

New and forthcoming YA and MG to know about

On World Refugee Day 2018, #ReadForChange with Alan Gratz’ Refugee

Book Review: Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition by Julia Kaye

YA Nonfiction Roundup by Michelle Biwer

MakerSpace: Rhonna Designs Photo and Collage App Review

Around the Web

Educators Keep Battling, Supporting Each Other After Spring #RedforEd Uprising

For Megan Whalen Turner fans

Bestselling author Grimes to receive Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award July 12

8 Book Anthologies Featuring Underrepresented Voices Coming Out In 2018

19 of Our Most Anticipated YA Debuts of 2018: July to December

Five Things That High School Girls Worry About Most

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” Starring Lana Condor Trailer Released by Netflix

YA Nonfiction Roundup by Michelle Biwer

deep dark blueBrazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

Profiles of diverse, international female role models in comic strip format.

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield

A narrative account of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 told from the perspectives of the major groups involved in escalating the conflict, recommended for readers who liked The Family Romanov.

How to Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation edited by Maureen Johnson

Short essays, poems, and interviews about how young people can make a change in the world by a diverse list of celebrities, writers, and podcasters.

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Rivalry, Adventure, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (Young Readers Edition) by Sam Kean

History, science, and fun facts converge when author Sam Kean shares the surprisingly dramatic account of the creation of the Periodic Table of Elements.

Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII by P. O’Connell Pearson

Pearson honors the forgotten 1,100 female pilots who fought to fly and assist the US war effort during World War II by sharing their story.

Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña

A graphic autobiography of Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide, known for capturing indigenous Mexican and Mexican-American communities on film.

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi

Memoir of a Iranian-American teenager and her progress towards getting a green card and surviving the typically awkward American high school experience.

Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin by James L. Swanson

Teens who loved Swanson’s previous title Chasing Lincoln’s Killer will appreciate his newest narrative nonfiction work which chronicles the moments leading up to Martin Luther King’s assassination.

Deep Dark Blue: A Memoir of Survival by Polo Tate

Memoir of an Air Force Academy student who survived sexual assault and harassment at the hands of her superiors and reckons with the consequences.

Resources for finding new YA Nonfiction:

ALA YALSA Nonfiction Award

ALA Amelia Bloomer Award Nominations/Winners

Scholastic Focus Imprint

Review Journals and End of Year “Best of” Lists

Friday Finds: June 15, 2018

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

Sunday Reflections: In Which The Teen Writes a Poem About Sexual Harassment

Book Review: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

Celebrating 7 Years of TLT: 7 Years, 7 Books Giveaway

Book Review: Tsu and the Outliers by Erik Johnson

MakerSpace Tech Review: Canon Selphy 1300 Printer

Celebrating Seven Years of TLT: A look back at favorite posts

Celebrating 7 Years of TLT: Why I Love TLT

Around the Web

Kids Need Books Everywhere

Teacher leaves $1 million to fund scholarship for students with learning disabilities

Libraries are Bridging the Summer Gap for Hungry Kids


Celebrating 7 Years of TLT: Why I Love TLT

7yearsThere are a lot of reasons I love writing for this blog. The first is the feeling of community I get from it, both from my fellow bloggers and from our readership. We are all really invested in serving the teens in our lives and connecting them with books, information, and our libraries. It’s helpful to know so many people out there care about these things. Also, on a side note, I finally got to meet Karen this year and it was really fun finally hanging out with someone in person with whom I already felt such a connection.

The second reason I love writing for the blog, though, is that it gives me a venue to share all of my favorite books and authors with a wide audience and hopefully turn some new readers on to what I consider to be the best (for me) of what is out there.

One author I love, Gail Carriger, has been mentioned frequently on the blog and I have reviewed two of the books in her YA Finishing School Series, Waistcoats & Weaponry and Manners & Mutiny. For our adult audience, I would also recommend her other series that take place in the same ‘Parasolverse.’

I wrote about another favorite, Libba Bray, for our YA A to Z series. She continues to be a rockstar YA author in my opinion, both for her novels and for her continual openness and support of the YA community. You can read some of my reviews of her books here and here.

Finally, one of my favorite moments for TLT was when we were invited to be a part of the blog tour for Lish McBride’s Firebug. Her answers to my interview questions remain in my memory both for their candor and their humor.

Book Review: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

9781524738235Y’all…y’all…this book is balm for your soul. Are you looking for a fun read where you invest in the characters and their circumstances without being worried that the world might end? Then this book is for you.

I’ve been going through a bit of a reading slump for the past several years (I know, it’s driving me crazy.) But this book…this book was everything I’m looking for. The main character, Daisy, is wonderfully complex and self-aware without falling into any of those ‘flawed heroine’ tropes I get so tired of. Her sister (the one dating a prince, the one who drives most of the action of the story) is complete and compelling in her own right. The journey Daisy takes to understanding Ellie, and vice versa, is one of the best sister narratives I’ve read in a long time.

Honestly, everything about this book is wonderful. It is delightfully well written, tuned into the current issues of concern for teens, and a fun read on top of it all. I would encourage everyone to try it. Bonus points for coming out at such an opportune time.

From the publisher:

Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

You can find my reviews of other titles by Rachel Hawkins here, here, here, and here. Why yes, I do love her books. She’s also quite a fun follow on Twitter, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Friday Finds: June 8, 2018

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA June 2018

MakerSpace: Screenprinting Program Recap

Collecting Comics: June 2018 Edition by Ally Watkins

Book Review: I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton

Epistolary YA Lit Roundup by Michelle Biwer

Sunday Reflections: Dear Writers, Women’s Stories Don’t Always Have to Involve Sexual Violence

Around the Web

27 YA Books You’ll Want To Devour By The Pool This Summer

Slayer: Preview the first book in a thrilling new series set in the Buffy universe

Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018

UN expert calls US income inequality ‘a political choice’

A surprising gift to graduating eighth-graders: Ballistic shields for backpacks

Epistolary YA Lit Roundup by Michelle Biwer

Epistolary works weave various types of documents together into a unique form of narrative. Here are some recent releases in epistolary YA.

dear martin

Dear Martin by Nic Stone (2017, Crown Books)

Justyce McAllister writes letters to Dr. Martin Luther King as he tries to figure out his place at his all-white boarding school and what it means to be a black male teen in America.


from twinkle with loveFrom Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon (2018, Simon Pulse)

Twinkle finally gets to try her hand at directing a film to premiere in the local film festival. As she navigates unexpected romance and follows her career dreams, Twinkle writes letters to her favorite female filmmakers.


i hate everyone but youI Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin (2017, Wednesday Books)

As two best friends head to college on opposite ends of the country they promise to update each other through texts and emails. Fans of the authors’ YouTube channel Just Between Us will be excited for Dunn and Raskin’s debut novel.


illuminaeIlluminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (2015, Knopf)

In this dystopian future Kady and ex-boyfriend Ezra have to survive a war, a plague, and a possibly evil AI by hacking documents, instant messages, maps and all sorts of other documents that are compiled to tell their story. Illuminae is the first book in this hugely popular sci-fi trilogy.


Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer (2017, Bloomsbury)

Juliet copes with her mother’s death by writing letters to her and leaving them at her grave. But when Declan finds them and starts writing back anonymously they begin a correspondence that may lead to something more.


simonvsSimon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (2016, Balzer + Bray)

When Simon’s emails to his crush Blue are leaked to the entire school he is outed as gay and has to figure out a way to save his relationship with Blue and survive school bullies. Recently adapted into a film called Love, Simon.


we are still tornadoesWe are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen (2016, St. Martin’s)

Best friends Scott and Cath graduate from high school in 1982 and have to learn to live apart for the first time. They keep in touch through letters documenting their lives that start to take a romantic turn.

Friday Finds: June 1, 2018

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

The top 25 children’s titles at my school this year

Mini Book Reviews: What I’ve Been Reading including books by Lauren Oliver, Claire Legrand, Caleb Roehrig, Justina Ireland and more

MakerSpace: Guitar Pick Jewelry

Planting Books, Growing Readers, a guest post by Liesl Shurtliff

Book Review: Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff

Sunday Reflections: Where are the children?

Around the Web

What’s Going On In Your Child’s Brain When You Read Them A Story?

Girls Are Sexually Harassed In School All The Time and No One Is Doing Anything About It



Friday Finds: May 25, 2018

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Book Review: All Summer Long by Hope Larson

Summer Reading Chaos: How do we balance the needs of our community with those of our staff?

#ReadForChange: Get Really Real with Lilliam Rivera’s The Education of Margot Sanchez, a guest post by Marie Marquardt

DNA Profiling Program Recap by Michelle Biwer

Sunday Reflections: This is what happened when the The Teen asked me if .gov websites were trustworthy

Around the Web

Tributes Pour In for Richard Peck

My FanX craziness, annotated

The Brain Science Is In: Students’ Emotional Needs Matter

Jason Reynolds’ Commencement Address at Lelsey University

The Official List of Harper’s Fall 2018 YA Cover Reveals

Federal Agencies Lost Track of Nearly 1,500 Migrant Children Placed With Sponsors



DNA Profiling Program Recap by Michelle Biwer

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 6.44.03 AMA local branch of the international biotechnology corporation Thermo Fisher conducts outreach every year in my community. They approached our library system with offers of free programs they could run at the library for our patrons.

A group of scientists from Thermo Fisher came to share a 1.5 hour program about DNA profiling for teens at my library. The first 45 minutes of the program highlighted the terminology and background the teens would need to know (What is DNA? How can we match DNA? And the surprising fact that 99% of human DNA is the same from person to person). The presenters used examples from King Tut’s tomb to demonstrate how scientists establish identification, family ties, and other markers from a person’s DNA.

The second half of the presentation was a hands on test of their knowledge. The teens got to separate into groups and actually load DNA samples into a machine and use electrophoresis to separate DNA fragments and look at characteristics of human DNA. They had so much fun using this equipment and asking ridiculous and great questions of the scientists who volunteered their time to assist with this program. I will always remember the middle school boy who asked “If we loaded this machine on my face, would it alter my DNA?” (The answer is no, if you were wondering).

I was pleased with the high turnout from the homeschool community for this event, some families had traveled over an hour to attend the program. I would recommend reaching out to your local Thermo Fisher location or other scientific lab to discuss the possibility of joint programming.