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Friday Finds: February 16, 2018

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Creating an Inclusive Teen Game Night by Michelle Biwer

Sexual Harassment in KidLit

YA A to Z: Best Frenemies to Lovers in YA, a guest post by author Molly E. Lee

Book Review: Still Here by Rowan Blanchard

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA February 2018

Collecting Comics: February 2018 by Ally Watkins

YA A to Z: Top 10 CHARMING Characters in YA, a guest post by author Amber Hart

Book Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Book Review: The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

Around the Web

2018 Amelia Bloomer List

When you make a mistake you have to own it

The Gap Between The Science On Kids And Reading, And How It Is Taught


Winners of 2018 American Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award

On the Come Up: Angie Thomas unveils the striking cover for her next book

Creating an Inclusive Teen Game Night by Michelle Biwer


A number of teens on the autism spectrum are frequent patrons and volunteer at the library, but I knew that I was not seeing them attend my programs. After talking with some of them I realized the programs I offered were not suiting their interests and needs. We came up with the idea of “Friends Game Night,” a program where special needs teens and young adults are invited to play games with the Teen Advisory Board. It started off small, but we now have a regular group of teens with special needs and TAB members who come every month and love hanging out with each other.

Accessible Games

Our special needs audience is a diverse one with different levels of cognitive and physical abilities and at first we were not sure which board games would appeal to most of the group. Trouble has become a huge hit because it is easy to learn, is very tactile, and doesn’t require strong verbal communication skills. Apples to Apples and Bingo are also very popular.

I’ll be honest, at first I thought this program would be more of an education for the teens than for me. I thought it would be good for all of them to learn how to connect with people who may be different than themselves. While that was true, I found I also had to overcome some of my own biases. Recently, a teen who was blind attended game night and I realized the library had no accessible games for people with vision impairments. We worked with what we had that night (Trouble is somewhat accessible) but recently purchased Braille versions of Scrabble, Bingo, and Uno with the hope of purchasing more in the future.


EnableMart and 64 Oz Games are just a few places where you can purchase Braille versions of popular games. Meeple Like Us reviews the accessibility of games by looking at what physical and cognitive abilities are needed to play various games.

Friday Finds: February 9, 2016

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Recently In Book Mail

#YAAtoZ: Consent in YA, a guest post by author Sara Baysinger

Book Review: Is This Guy For Real?: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman by Box Brown

Book Review: The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

My favorite tools: Slack

Book Review: American Panda by Gloria Chao

New and forthcoming YA and MG to know about

Around the Web

Sexual Harassment in the Children’s Book Industry

Penguin Young Readers Announces Imprint for Diverse Books



Recently In Book Mail

Here’s what’s been in the mail recently:



31689949._UY2475_SS2475_And She Was by Jessica Verdi

Dara’s lived a sheltered life with her single mom, Mellie. Now, at eighteen, she’s dreaming of more. When Dara digs up her never-before-seen birth certificate, her world implodes. Why are two strangers listed as her parents? Dara confronts her mother, and is stunned by what she learns: Mellie is transgender. The unfamiliar name listed under “father”? That’s Mellie. She transitioned when Dara was a baby, after Dara’s birth mother died. She changed her name, started over. But Dara still has more questions than answers. Reeling, she sets off on an impromptu road trip with her best guy friend, Sam, in tow. She is determined to find the extended family she’s never even met. What she does discover — and what her mother reveals, piece by piece, over emails — will challenge and change Dara more than she can imagine.

Out of Wild Night CVROut of the Wild Night by Blue Balliett

Ghosts are alive on the island of Nantucket. You can hear them in the wind, and in the creaks of the old homes. They want to be remembered. And, even more, they want to protect what was once theirs. The ghosts seem to have chosen a few local kids to be their messengers — and to help save the island. But in this mystery, the line between those who haunt and those who are haunted is a thin one — and the past and the present must come to terms with one another in order to secure the future.

51DAM95qxrL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_The Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley by April Stevens

Eleven-year-old Frances is an observer of both nature and people, just like her idol, the anthropologist Margaret Mead. She spends most of her time up on the rocks behind her house in her “rock world,” as Alvin, her kindhearted and well-read school bus driver, calls it. It’s the one place where Frances can truly be herself, and where she doesn’t have to think about her older sister, Christinia, who is growing up and changing in ways that Frances can’t understand.

But when the unimaginable happens, Frances slowly discovers that perhaps the world outside her rugged, hidden paradise isn’t so bad after all, and that maybe–just maybe–she can find connection and camaraderie with the people who have surrounded her all along.

29414515The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

When Natalie Napoli’s hashtag-abusing teacher insists science is the key to life, she deems him crazy. How can science save her family now that her mother – a botanist who had such a passion for plants and for life – can’t even get out of bed in the morning? Now that everything in their beloved greenhouse is dead, even the rare orchid with extraordinary properties which her mom had been studying before she gave up trying. Not even Natalie’s therapist dad can help, so how is a year-long science project and a bunch of magnets and pendulums going to make everything right for Natalie and bring her mom back?
But then Natalie hears about a city-wide egg-drop competition with a big money prize. And she has an idea. If she can win the competition, maybe she can take her mom to New Mexico – to a place where a field of blue orchids will recapture the resilience, the wonder, and the magic of everything that made life good.

As Natalie embarks on a quest to understand the scientific method – and what is really going on in her family – she not only begins to delve into her biracial identity and evolving friendships, but also faces the biggest scientific experiment of her life. Can she create the perfect egg armor and win the prize that might just save her mother?

30809677._UY755_SS755_The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora. Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won’t stop her from being drawn back into her father’s palace politics. He’s the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well — and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home. The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what — and who — it is they’re fighting for.

9781524738655Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue by Jeff Seymour

9780735231702The Creature of the Pines by Adam Gidwitz

Elliot Eisner isn’t exactly excited about starting at a brand-new school in a brand-new town; he’d much rather stay at home and read a book. But things take an unexpected turn when he finds out his weird new teacher, Professor Fauna, has planned a field trip for Elliot’s very first day. Along with a new friend–brave, outspoken Uchenna Devereaux–Elliot gets caught up in a secret group of adventurers, The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose goal is to protect and defend the world’s mythical creatures. Together with Professor Fauna, Elliot and Uchenna must help rescue a Jersey Devil from a duo of conniving, greedy billionaires, the Schmoke Brothers.

512SiCLWqVL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Carnival Magic by Amy Ephron


51gIpenV8OL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_This Moment Is Your Life (and So Is This One): A Fun and Easy Guide to Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga by Mariam Gates

Don’t just do something, be here.

The key to happiness is being able to find comfort in this moment, here and now. When you are completely present and not distracted by regrets, worries, and plans, even for a little while, you begin to feel more confident and can deal more easily with everything you experience. This is mindfulness: paying attention to this very moment, on purpose and without judgment–simply being present with curiosity.

This engaging guide, packed with simple exercises and endearing full-color artwork, provides a handy starting point for bringing mindfulness into your daily life. Chapters on meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing explain the benefits of these practices, and you are free to pick and choose what to try. There are quick exercises throughout, and a more extensive tool kit at the end of each chapter. The final chapter offers satisfying five-day challenges that map out ways to pull all of the book’s mindfulness techniques together in your day-to-day life.

With the appeal of a workbook or guided journal, and full of examples relevant to tweens and teens today, this book will be your trusted companion as you begin the valuable, stress-relieving work of being still with skill.

9780399161933Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth by Sheila O’Connor

When eleven-year-old Reenie Kelly’s mother passes away, she and her brothers are shipped off to live with their grandmother. Adjusting to life in her parents’ Midwestern hometown isn’t easy, but once Reenie takes up a paper route with her older brother Dare, she has something she can look forward to. As they introduce themselves to every home on their route, Reenie’s stumped by just one—the house belonging to Mr. Marsworth, the town recluse. When he doesn’t answer his doorbell, Reenie begins to leave him letters. Slowly, the two become pen pals, striking up the most unlikely of friendships.

Through their letters, Reenie tells of her older brother Billy, who might enlist to fight in the Vietnam War. Reenie is desperate to stop him, and when Mr. Marsworth hears this, he knows he can’t stand idly by. As a staunch pacifist, Mr. Marsworth offers to help Reenie. Together, they concoct a plan to keep Billy home, though Reenie doesn’t know Mr. Marsworth’s dedication to her cause goes far beyond his antiwar beliefs.

35378963._UY960_SS960_The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

Twelve-year-old Charlie is down on his luck: His sharecropper father just died and Cap’n Buck — the most fearsome man in Possum Moan, South Carolina — has come to collect a debt. Fearing for his life, Charlie strikes a deal with Cap’n Buck and agrees to track down some folks accused of stealing from the cap’n and his boss. It’s not too bad of a bargain for Charlie… until he comes face-to-face with the fugitives and discovers their true identities. Torn between his guilty conscience and his survival instinct, Charlie needs to figure out his next move — and soon. It’s only a matter of time before Cap’n Buck catches on.

Friday Finds: February 2, 2018

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

World Languages Collection Development Resources for Teen Librarians by Michelle Biwer

#MHYALit: Small Towns and Mental Illness, a guest post by This is Not a Love Letter author Kim Purcell

Book Review: I Love This Part by Tillie Walden

Book Review: The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

B is for Brothers *and* Sisters; a Take 5 List

Asian American Voices in Young Adult Literature, a #YAAtoZ guest post by Kristyn Dorfman

Book Review: Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi

The Quest for Good YA Publishing Statistics

Around the Web

ALA to support multicultural literature for youth with enhanced 2019 Youth Media Awards

Kwame Alexander Will Start His Own Imprint.

Cassandra Clare Launches ‘One-Shot’ Publishing Collaborative

What Kind of Screen Time Parent Are You?

How America Outlawed Adolescence

7 Socially Conscious Books to Read After The Hate U Give


World Languages Collection Development Resources for Teen Librarians by Michelle Biwer


A recent project at work led me to research how to find quality, recent books in world languages for children and young adults. The best resources I found that include books for teens are below. If you have any further suggestions please leave a comment, I would love to hear about it!



Overdrive: provides e-books in Spanish for adults, teens, and children


Tsai Fong Books:

  • Titles in Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese
  • Translated, authentic, and bilingual titles
  • English annotations for all titles
  • Company will help you build “starter collection” of essential titles
  • Includes literature awards in catalog
  • Adult, YA, and Children’s titles


Lectorum – publisher and distributor of books in Spanish, both books originally written in Spanish and translations.  Features Adult, YA, and children’s books.

Penguin Random House – publishes Spanish translations of children’s and YA books, including recent bestsellers.

toonbooks toonbooks2

Toon Books – graphic novel publisher with children’s and YA Spanish translations

Resources and Awards:

International Board on Books for Young People:

  • Awards
    • Hans Christian Anderson Award: recognizes lifelong achievement of children’s authors/illustrators from around the world
    • IBBY Honor List: election of outstanding, recently published books, honoring writers, illustrators and translators from IBBY member countries (2018 list)
    • IBBY Europe: best books for children in languages common in Europe
  • Bookbird – journal of international children’s literature featuring coverage of children’s literature studies and children’s literature awards around the world

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award – rewards lifetime achievements for children’s authors, illustrators and oral storytellers internationally

Educational Book and Media Association – organization that caters to the educational media marketplace

Global Literature in Libraries Initiative – organization that promotes world literature

Worlds of Words – academic library at University of Arizona that specializes in global literature for children and young adults.

Friday Finds: January 26, 2018

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Sunday Reflections: That Delicate Balance Between Quality Patron Services and Employee Personal Boundaries

A Collection of Tweets on the Discussion of YA Books Set in College/Post High School

Take 5: New YA Booklists You’ll Want to See (January 2018)

New and forthcoming YA and MG to know about

Book Review: Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

YA A to Z: Boarding Schools, a guest post by Tawny Stokes

Candlewick Showcase and Giveaway

Book Review: Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias

Around the Web

Ursula K. Le Guin, Acclaimed for Her Fantasy Fiction, Is Dead at 88

133 People Publicly Confronted The Doctor Who Sexually Abused Young Women. Here Are Their Most Powerful Quotes.

Author Jason Reynolds being smart on The Daily Show


Friday Finds: January 19, 2018

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

So, You’ve Just Tweeted That Nobody Uses Public Libraries Anymore . . .

YA A to Z: Bullying by Michelle Biwer

Penguin Young Readers Showcase and Giveaway

Book Review: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

MakerSpace: DIY Metal Stamping (A metal stamping kit review)

Anger, inspiration, and the stories we tell, a guest post by Marieke Nijkamp

Post-It Note Reviews of Elementary and Middle Grade Books

Around the Web

Let’s Talk About Sensitivity Readers

Why We Shouldn’t Shield Children From Darkness

Brown and Proud: 11 Books from the South Asian Diaspora To Read Right Now

The 50 most anticipated books of 2018

14 Picture Books for Raising Kind Young Citizens

18 of the Most Buzzed-About Middle Grade Books of 2018

Vote to Nominate Finalists for the 2018 Teen Choice Book Award!

YA A to Z: Bullying by Michelle Biwer

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), about 20% of students ages 12-18 reported being bullied in 2015. Notably, those statistics skyrocket for LGBTQ students. In 2013, 70.8% of LGBTQ students were verbally bullied because of their sexual orientation and 54.5% were bullied due to their gender expression (National School Climate Survey, 2015). Bullying rates are also higher for black students (NCES, 2016) and students with disabilities (Rose et al., 2012). Edutopia has some great resources for how to prevent bullying as a teacher and how to get teens involved in the process.

Notably, the NCES does not currently compile data on students with disabilities and bullying, meaning the government does not have a complete picture of bullying issues. However, other organizations have collected that data and made it available for reference.

The recent YA titles below feature teens who are bullied. While bullying may be the focus of a story, it’s more often presented as one of many problems a teen protagonist has to deal with.

dear martinDear Martin by Nic Stone (Crown, 2017)

Justyce is an African-American teen who attends an elite boarding school and the rich, white kids he is surrounded by constantly harass him with racial epithets. When his friend is shot by a police officer, he sees what happens when such pervasive prejudice is ignored.

eleanor and park

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin’s Press, 2013)

Raised in an abusive household with no money, Eleanor goes to school in ill-fitting, patched-up clothes, making her an easy target for bullies. While trying to escape the bullies at home and at school, Eleanor makes a friend in Park, who shares her love of music.

ms. marvel 7
Ms. Marvel, Volume 7: Damage Per Second by G. Willow Wilson and Takeshi Miyazawa (Marvel Comics, 2017)

In issue #16 of the Ms. Marvel comics centered around New Jersey teen Kamala Khan, Dr. X threatens to reveal Kamala’s secret superhero identity to the world via the internet.

out of my mind
Out of My Mind
by Sharon Draper (Atheneum Books, 2010)

Melody is finally able to “talk” through her new assistive device, allowing her freedom she never had before as a person with cerebral palsy. She joins the quiz bowl team but suffers harassment from other members and even sometimes her teachers.

Positive: A Memoir
by Paige Rawl and Ali Benjamin (HarperCollins, 2014)

After Paige told her best friend that she was HIV positive, she was relentlessly bullied and struggled with depression. This memoir recounts that time in her life and promotes the importance of compassion.

rhyme schemer
Rhyme Schemer
by K.A. Holt (Chronicle Books, 2014)

Kevin’s unusual bullying tactic is cutting up old library books and arranging rude poetry about other students. When everyone finds out Kevin is the culprit, the tables are turned and he becomes bullied himself.

by Sarah Ockler (Simon Pulse, 2015)

Lucy steps in as a prom date for her best friend’s boyfriend and the next day she is hacked, with compromising photos of the two splashed all over her Facebook page. She fights against slutshaming and other bullying from her peers and is determined to find out who hacked her account.

simon v
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli (Balzer + Bray, 2015)

Simon is a closeted gay teen who is blackmailed about his sexual orientation by classmate at school. The film adaptation, titled Love, Simon, will be out later this year.

yaqui delgado
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
by Meg Medina (Candlewick, 2013)

Piddy moves to a new school and quickly finds herself the target of Yaqui Delgado and her gang.

Friday Finds: January 12, 2018

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

YA A to Z: Alcoholism, In Real Life and in Real Fiction, by by L.B. Schulman

YA A to Z: Alzheimer’s As a Means to an End, a guest post by L. B. Schulman

An Open Letter to Logan Paul

Book Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

YA A to Z: Adoption Books – Being Discussed, Being Seen, a guest post by Eric Smith

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA January 2018

YA A to Z: Telling a Different Amputee Story, a guest post by Mindy Rhiger

Around the Web

WNDB Announces the Winners of the 2018 Walter Awards

Department Of Education Finds Texas Violated Special Education Law

The 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winners

Ask a Grown Man: Jason Reynolds

How Reading Increases Your Emotional Intelligence & Brain Function: The Findings of Recent Scientific Studies

Most Anticipated Young Adult Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books of 2018

Why The Publishing Industry Needs To Be More Inclusive Of Autistic And Disabled People