Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Friday Finds: January 4, 2019

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

What’s new in LGBTQIA+ YA January 2019

Take 5: 2019 Resources to help with planning, promotion and marketing

Cindy Crushes Programming: Nail Polish Gems

The 2019 Project: Feminist AF!

Sunday Reflections: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Around the Web

The 10 Most Anticipated Young Adult Novels of 2019

How Harry Potter Has Brought Magic To Classrooms For More Than 20 Years

January 2019 YA book releases you don’t want to miss

Don’t miss these LGBTQ+ YA books being released in 2019

The Beginning of the End of Snow Days



Friday Finds: December 28, 2018

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

Meet Our New TEEN Contributor to TLT: Elliot

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Spring 2019 Showcase

Around the Web

The Most Exciting Young Adult Books of 2019

Ten Young Adult Books To Buy in January 2019

‘What if someone was shooting?’

The 2018 Nerdies: Fiction Picture Books Announced

U.S. Public Schools Have Lost Nearly 20% Of Their Librarians Since 2000


Friday Finds: December 21, 2018

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

Please note, TLT was moved to a new server this week and most of the posts from this week were lost. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Around the Web

Library community grieves tragic loss of Amber Clark of Sacramento Public Library

Disney’s Artemis Fowl reveals first look at Judi Dench as Commander Root

Instagram is helping save the indie bookstore

30 Young Adult Debut Novels From 2018 That Prove First-Time Authors Can Have A Serious Impact

Schools Respond to the Rise of Student Vaping

Friday Finds: December 14, 2018


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Instagram Challenge

Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 7.11.08 AM

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Miles Morales, a half African-American/half Puerto Rican teen from Brooklyn, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.  Spider-Verse celebrates diversity and individuality, providing an opportunity for teens to imagine they or someone they admire is a Spider-Hero.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Instagram Challenge — “What Makes You Different Is What Makes You Spider-Man.”

Sony Pictures challenges teens to create and document their very own Spider-Hero from their own universe/neighborhood in celebration of the upcoming release of Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse on December 14. Teens can make an image or video, up to 30 seconds long, of what their Spider-Hero would look or sound like and post it on Instagram with the following hashtags #SpiderVerse and #everydayspiderhero.

Additionally, any teen librarian who would like to promote the Challenge can contact Rachel Breinin at rgbreinin@gmail.com, who can send them free bookmarks and great raffle prizes including Spider-Verse headphones, beanies and backpacks!


Friday Finds: December 7, 2018

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

19 2019 YA Books To Have On Your Radar

Cindy Crushes Programming: Light the Night with Fandom Themed Fairy Jars

Book Review: What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards

On PAPER GIRL and Anxiety: a guest post by author Cindy R. Wilson

Amanda’s favorites of 2018

Book Review: Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump by Martha Brockenbrough

If You Buy It, Will It Circ? In Defense of Visual Merchandising and Why Public Libraries Should Do More of It

Home Away From Home: a guest post by author Merrie Destefano

Around the Web

What the world would look like if we taught girls to rage

In Love With Teen Lit

‘Dumplin” Review

Digital Divide Is Wider Than We Think, Study Says

Millennials Didn’t Kill the Economy. The Economy Killed Millennials

10 Great Parents from Young Adult SFF



On PAPER GIRL and Anxiety: a guest post by author Cindy R. Wilson

41KnHEWIJoL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I have to be honest. I didn’t expect Paper Girl to be my first published novel. In fact, I wasn’t even trying to query it or find an editor to publish it. I wanted to write big, explosive stories with strong heroes and heroines who were nothing like me. Those kinds of stories you get excited to see on the big screen when they become movies. I guess that’s mostly because my own life was kind of boring in comparison—after all, living with constant anxiety makes living in the real world with real people doing real things terrifying.

Which was partly why I wrote Paper Girl. I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and PTSD when I was in my 20s. I’d been anxious before that, but this brought it to a whole new level. A kind of I-don’t-want-to-leave-my-house level, sort of like the heroine in Paper Girl. Zoe hasn’t left her house in over a year because of her anxiety, and I could relate to that entirely. I spent a lot of years being afraid to go places, meet new people, and push myself outside of my comfort zone because it was just too scary. But I didn’t want that for my life. As a way of working through my own anxiety, I wrote Paper Girl. For once, I wanted to write a heroine like me, socially awkward, shy, maybe even a little dorky. I wanted to see a girl like that become the hero of her own story. So I made it happen.

Zoe has to work every single day to recover from anxiety and it was wonderful for me to write a character that many of us can relate to. We all have our own struggles and hardships on big and small scales, but it’s great to see victories in tiny steps and paths we all have to take in various ways. I feel as though the characters of Paper Girl are some of my most relatable because we can all understand being afraid of something but wanting so badly to be on the other end of it and living our lives.

I still write big, explosive stories, but somehow (through a twist of events, which is a whole other story), Paper Girl is my debut YA. And once I adjusted to that fact, it actually made me really happy. This story is real and raw, and it’s something people can relate to. I get a chance to reach readers I might never have reached by simply sharing my story. So now, even though I love those big explosive stories and even write them here and there, I can’t say how much I believe in writers sharing their real struggles. There are so many readers out there who share the same issues and challenges and it’s nice to know we’re not alone. It’s also nice to know that even with those socially awkward, dorky traits, we can still be the hero of our own story, and I think that’s exactly what Paper Girl shows.


Cindy R. WiCindy R. Wilsonlson is a YA speculative and contemporary author whose own struggles with anxiety disorder inspired her to write a story with a real-life topic readers can relate to. She lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and loves using Colorado towns and cities as settings for her stories. She’s the mother of three girls who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels.

When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking some of Colorado’s tallest peaks, reading, or listening to playlists she’s created for her next story idea.

website: www.cindyrwilson.com

twitter: @CindyRWilson

facebook: @AuthorCindyRWilson

Instagram: @CindyRWilson


Home Away From Home: a guest post by author Merrie Destefano

915ooJY2t-LWe all have our shattered years, a time when things go wrong, horribly wrong. For me, it all began in grade school, when my parents got divorced. My life fell into a dark spiral after that. Both of my parents became alcoholics and, then, when I was sixteen, my father—who was my favorite person in the world—died of a heart attack.

To say that I needed a place of escape during those years would be an understatement. I needed a place of survival. Fortunately, I found my refuge in two places: books and art.

And, more often than not, I could be found in the local library.

The public library in my hometown was magical. It stood three stories tall and overlooked the river. The bottom story seemed to be made entirely of glass—even on gloomy Midwestern days, the space filled with shafts of sunlight and colorful art exhibits. As beautiful and captivating as the first story was, it was only the beginning of the treasures this building held. Each floor was stacked high with books. There were long tables and chairs where you could take each volume for a test drive. There were long windows that looked out onto the river or the tall brown brick buildings of downtown.

And when you turned the page of a book, there were countless vistas you could look out upon. I journeyed back in time and to the future; I went to Mars and the Moon; I visited a future culture where illegal books were burned; I visited a past culture where the weak were eaten by the strong; I met a man whose body was covered in tattoos that each told a different story; I befriended hobbits, elves, and wizards.

I came to believe that my current life situation could be brightened by a handful of poetic words.

I also learned that I had stories and poetry of my own.

That library forever changed my life. I can still feel its touch, as if its fingerprints were pressed so tightly around my soul that it left indelible impressions.

The Rockford Public Library on 215 N. Wyman opened in 1903 and was the second oldest library in Illinois. It was torn down in October, 2018.

It took a part of my heart with it.

Yes, it will be rebuilt, yes, there are new dreams and visions being born, even in the midst of the ashes. But as someone who loved that library as much as a dear friend, I need to mourn its loss. I also need to remember everything I learned there and I need to count my blessings.

For many years, I was priveledged to walk through snow and rain and dark days, all the way from my red brick tenement building, all the way across the bridge and through downtown, all the way to other worlds—all because the Rockford Public Library was there.

Waiting for me.


51iwpYZMEOL._UX250_Merrie Destefano’s latest novel, Valiant, is out on December 4! ‘The Valiant was supposed to save us. Instead, it triggered the end of the world.’

Author Bio:

Novelist Merrie Destefano writes dark stories with a thread of hope. Her novels include Valiant, Lost Girls, Shade, Fathom, Afterlife, and Feast, and her work has been published by Entangled Teen and HarperCollins. Her next YA Science Fiction novel, Valiant, releases on December 4, 2018.


Author Links:

Author Website: www.merriedestefano.com

Author Blog: http://merriedestefanoauthor.blogspot.com/

Author Tumblr: http://merriedestefano.tumblr.com/

Author Twitter: @merriedestefano

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Merrie-Destefano-127750623906184/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/816280.Merrie_Destefano

Author Photo:

Photo by Mark Mendez

Friday Finds: November 30, 2018

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

Post-it Note Reviews of Elementary and Middle Grade Books

The Cart is the Thing: Making a Magnetic Mobile MakerSpace Wall When You’re Short on Space

Post-it Note Reviews of Recent YA Releases

Take 5: Table Top Games Teens Will Love to Play

Around the Web

‘The Numbers Are So Staggering.’ Overdose Deaths Set a Record Last Year.

Why Aren’t Millennials Spending? They’re Poorer Than Previous Generations, Fed Says

2019 YA Books Starring Queer Girls

Why The Backbone of Publishing May Make Book Prices Rise


Friday Finds: November 23, 2018

tltbutton3This Week at TLT

Graphic Novels involving the Refugee Experience a guest post by Kristyn Dorfman

2019 Collection Development Resources, a handy list of resources to help you buy new books in the new year

#ReadForChange: Courage in the face of a “Dystopian Reality” in Jennie Liu’s Girls on the Line

Cindy Crushes Programming: Hosting a Teen Improv Night

Bill Konigsberg the Proud Papa Bear

Around the Web

8 Things You Need to Know About Kiersten White’s New Novel Set in the World of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Watch @billkonigsberg’s incredible Proud Fierce Papa Bear speech here

Survey Says Most Young People Don’t Identify as Straight

6 Reads to Help You Recover from Black Friday