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#BacklistYA – What are the books you just hate weeding?

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Earlier this week I wrote a post specifically about NEWER YA titles that dealt with sexual violence and rape culture. If I was writing a comprehensive list, I would undoubtedly include the title Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This got me thinking about those older backlist titles – classics if you will – that we cherish and hold dear. So I asked on Twitter: What #BacklistYA titles do you think a YA Librarian should never get rid of and why? Here’s some of the replies I got:


  1. Name a #backlistYA title that you think libraries SHOULD NEVER weed ever & tell us why #Teens #YALit #Libraries Please RT










  2. #backlistYA Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen. It's a wonderful book about a girl coming into her own.


  3. #backlistYA Sunrise Over Fallujah by WDM. Shows war isn't what it's cracked up to be.







 

Of course the truth is, if a book doesn’t circulate it doesn’t circulate. You have to earn shelf space. I myself recently lamented that my teens no longer seemed to be reading Judy Blume. I’m not yet ready to weed them, but we’ve all had to weed something we loved. What have you had to weed that just broke your heart? Tell us in the comments.

Things I Never Learned in Library School: Menstruation is a Biological Function and the De-stigmatizing of the Female Body

thingsineverlearnedinlibraryschoolOn Monday night I sat at a table with other moms and one single dad while our 9 and 10 -year-old daughters attended a Girl Scout meeting in another room.

“When do you start telling your child about her period?”, one mother asked.

“25% of girls now start their period when they are nine,” I pointed out. “So now, now is when we start telling our daughters about their periods.”

This isn’t a problem in my house, because I am the mother to a teenage daughter and we are not squeamish about periods. Even her dad will talk about her period with her. Not in an I understand what you’re going through way, because he doesn’t, but in a this is a part of who you are and it doesn’t bother me at all way, because there is no reason for it to. She will lament when she is on her period. She will discuss her feelings about having a period. She will ask for love and support and, yes, ice cream and chocolate, when she is on her period. And her father has gotten up and gone to the store and gotten her chocolate or pads because he’s a good dad. He’s a weird dad, but he’s also a really good dad.

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The thing is, society is horrible about the way we talk about and deal with the female body. We can laugh and joke about male erections and wet dreams and take male masturbation as a basic fact of life, but girls are supposed to hide their period supplies in secret containers and walk with their head held down to the bathroom in the middle of the school day.

As the mothers all sat around and talked about their periods, the single father to a daughter squirmed like he was caught in some type of trap. I felt for his daughter because I had a dad like this. He couldn’t look me in the eye and ask me when he went to the grocery store if I was going to need any feminine hygiene products. I remember having to walk to the local corner store once after scrounging around in the couch cushions to find enough money for a small supply when my period came one day in the 8th grade and I had run out of product at home. My dad, a single dad, would always ask me if I needed any “stuff” in the most awkward way possible.

Once every few months someone will ask on Twitter why the girls in YA never have their periods, and this is a really good question. A couple of weeks ago when someone asked, I retweeted the question with a “yes, let’s talk about this more to de-stigmatize it” and was met with some push back. Periods, someone pointed out, are boring. So is driving a car, walking down the hallway, doing homework, eating dinner, and yet another a boy woke up with some morning wood scenes, but they all appear in YA literature. However, we can read entire books about girls and never once do they lament that it is their time of the month. Girls can be stranded in an arena (the Hunger Games), stranded in the past (Historical fiction), or even just spend day after day in high school, and never once do they mention their period or wonder how they are going to find the products they need.

There are exceptions, though. Thank goodness there are always exceptions. Though in the case of periods, they are few and far between.

Period Fantasy: On Mentions of Menstruation in YA – Book Riot

No Not the One in Sentences, Talking About a Different Kind of Period – TLT

7 Amazing YA Books About Periods That You Have To Read | Gurl.com

Once Upon a Bookcase: The Lack of Periods in Fantasy Novels

PERIODS in YA – Queen of Contemporary

Why Menstruation in Young Adult Texts Matters. | canyafiction

It’s That Time of the Month — @lizb A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

Are you there, YA readers? It’s me, your period. – Stories are Good

Things Never Mentioned in YA Books – Book Bratz

One of the biggest examples, and most classic, is Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. This book was invaluable to me when I was in middle school. It talked to me about this thing when no one else would. I remember all of my friends reading it and being anxious about starting their periods.

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Of course the female body is about more then just periods and menstruation. Over at Book Riot, Elena K. Arnold shares the story of an encounter she had with an older male at a recent book event. In it, she reads a snippet about a pap smear and the man asks why he should read about that. The why is simple, the human body is not a shameful thing and things happen to it. Woman have pelvic exams and pap smears. It’s just a thing that happens. Men have prostate exams, I know because I have read about them in fiction and in papers and talked with the men I love about them. It has to go both ways, men should know about women, their lives and their bodies, in the same way that women are expected to know about men, their lives and their bodies.

This week our healthcare is once again under attack. I won’t get into the specifics or the politics of it except to say this: time and time again recent healthcare plans want to almost criminalize the female body. Women, legislators proclaim, can be charged higher healthcare costs because of pregnancy. Pregnancy can be considered a pre-existing condition. Maternity care and even new born care is being put out the curb with the rest of the trash, in part because we are taught and been taught for generations that there is something icky and gross and sexual and less than about the female body. And this is where that dangerous rhetoric has left us.

The other day a teenager was telling me about a gross discharge she was having. I asked her if it looked like cottage cheese and she said yes. Don’t worry, I said, you have a yeast infection. Go home and tell a parent and there are some really easy things you can do to take care of it. She had no idea that a yeast infection was possible. No one told her because we don’t talk about the female body. Well, we do, but only in really objectifying and sexual ways. We’ll rate them. We’ll catcall them. We’ll talk trash if they don’t meet our standards. But in the meantime, girls are suffering from yeast infections and shame because we can’t even be bothered to mention the basics of what it means to have a vagina in a book about people that have vaginas.

Maybe that should change.

Check out the hasthag #YAHonest on Twitter for recs of YA lit that deals honestly with menstruation

Take 5: Some of the Best Feminist YA on Rape Culture in Quotes

Sometimes there are books that I finish and I immediately think, I want my teenage daughter to read this book right away. Today I am sharing 5 of those books that are specifically about sexual violence, rape culture, and the ways we talk about and view women’s bodies. Some of them talk about female friendship, which is also important to to me. Some of them breakdown stereotypes, such as two of the titles (Exit, Pursued by a Bear and Moxie) which look at cheerleader stereotypes. This list is by no means an exhaustive list, as I had to keep it trimmed down to just five titles. So I put some parameters on myself: It had to be contemporary, which means books like Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future could not be included. It had to specifically speak towards the topic of sexual violence and rape culture, which leaves off a lot of other powerful and important feminist novels. I wanted the titles to be newer, which means that Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is not on this particular list, but it is definitely on expanded lists and for good reasons.

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If you want to add a book to this list in the comments, please share a quote from the book, the title and the author. Why in quotes? Sometimes, I like to share some of my favorite quotes so that the power of the novel can speak to you itself.

feminist1All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Quote

“My dad used to say makeup was a shallow girl’s sport, but it’s not. It’s armor.”

Publisher’s Book Description

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

exit-pursuedExit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston

Quote

“If you think I’m going to apologize for being drugged and raped, you have another thing coming.”

Publisher’s Book Description

Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of… she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.

feminist2The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Quote

“But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdain and punctuated with an eye roll.”

Publisher’s Book Description

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

moxieMoxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Quote

“This is what it means to be a feminist. Not a humanist or an equalist or whatever. But a feminist. It’s not a bad word. After today it might be my favorite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that’s always finding ways to tell them they’re not.”

Publisher’s Book Description

An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texan high school in the new novel from Jennifer Matheiu, author of The Truth About Alice.

MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!

nowheregirlsThe Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Quote

“‘The thing is,’ Rosina says, ‘people don’t want to hear something that’ll make their lives more difficult, even if it’s the truth. People hate having to change the way they see things. So instead of admitting the world is ugly, they shit on the messenger for telling them about it.”

Publisher’s Book Description

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

Other Feminist YA Lists You Should Definitely Check Out

50 Crucial Feminist YA Novels – The B&N Teen Blog

34 Young Adult Books Every Feminist Will Love – BuzzFeed

100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader | Bitch Media

Booklist: Sexual Assault, Rape, and Dating Violence in Young Adult

YA Books About Rape Culture, Fight Against Sexual Assualt | Teen.com

When Talking About Sexual Consent, YA Books Can Be A Parent’s Best Friend

You may also want to check out our complete index for the Sexual Violence in YA Literature Project:

SVYALit Project Index

 

 

Book Review: The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed and What You Need to Know About MRAs

nowheregirlsPublisher’s Book Description

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

Karen’s Thoughts

Yes, in the title of this post I mention MRAs, which we will get to in a minute, but make no mistake: this is a powerful feminist story about teenage girls. Like Moxie by Jennifer Matthieu (which comes out tomorrow), it sets its sights on rape culture in our public high schools and sends readers the important and powerful reminder that they can and should actively stand up against sexual harassment and violence. In the midst of those big themes, there are also reminders about the importance of and power of female friendship, intersectional feminism, faith of all kinds, and more.

When The Nowhere Girls get together in private places, they have what many perceive to be forbidden (and graphic) discussions about sex, sexuality, rape and more. These are frank conversations that many characters note they wish adults would have with them so that they could work on sorting it all out. In fact, some of the girls mention that they wish someone had told them they had the right to say no and other mention that they wish someone told them that it was okay to enjoy sex. As an adult reader I wish that someone had these discussions with me. Reed does a really good job in these conversations and throughout the book in presenting a wide variety of points of view on the topics without condemning any one point of view to lift up another.

The Nowhere Girls also does a really good job of giving us some good character diversity. One of the main girls is a progressive Christian with a pastor mother (which was a refreshing representation in every way even if the girl’s name is Grace), one is a Latina girl, and the other has Asperger’s. At times I wondered if the characters didn’t fall too broadly into stereotypes – the Latina character, Rosina, for example, has a big family that runs the local Mexican restaurant and she is constantly being forced to either work in the restaurant or watch her large number of cousins. Erin, the girl with Asperger’s, sticks to a rigid schedule and is obsessed with Star Trek: The Next Generation, looking to the android Data as a source of inspiration. Then throughout the book we get glimpses into many of the other girls in short vignettes. In fact, I originally stopped reading this book because of the number of voices and points of view that came up, but I picked it back up and I am so very glad that I did.

If it only ever gave us The Nowhere Girls stories and points of view, this would still be a profoundly powerful must-read, but it goes an important step further and acknowledges the very real and very toxic men’s right advocate/activist culture (MRAs). If you are not familiar with the MRA culture, it is a deep online culture (though less hidden more lately in part due to terrifying cultural and political shifts) where men discuss how to pick up and yes, how to rape, women. There are some MRAs who are fighting for things like father’s rights after divorce and an end to alimony and child support, but if you go deeper into the culture you see the types of posts that are highlighted in The Nowhere Girls.

Here are some posts to help get you started in understanding MRAs and what you read about in The Nowhere Girls:

Mad Men: Inside the Men’s Rights Movement (Mother Jones)

The 8 Biggest Lies Men’s Rights Activists Spread About Women (MIC)

I Spent a Week Hanging Out On a Men’s Rights Activist Forum – VICE

5 Uncomfortable Truths Behind the Men’s Rights Movement

There’s a better way to talk about men’s rights activism (VOX)

And right there in the pages of The Nowhere Girls author Amy Reed shares posts from an online blog called The Real Men of Prescott where they talk about things like the only role of a woman is for sex and sandwich making, how women should be submissive, and how if girls don’t give you sex, then you might just have to take it. They talk about how they get girls so drunk they can’t say no, and this is rape. These blog posts are a very real look into some of the darker parts of the online MRA movement and this is the first book I have read that talks about this part of our culture. It’s disgusting and uncomfortable, but it is oh so very necessary to talk about because it’s real and it’s happening and I want us all to acknowledge it’s existence and understand the impact it has on the world we live in.

And because this is a book review, I want to let you know that this is powerful storytelling with someone beautiful phrasing and imagery. And the ending moved me to the extreme and I hope that when girls come and tell us their stories of being a victim of sexual violence, we will believe them and move with them through life in the ways that these girls do. And sometimes, not often enough but sometimes, there is justice.

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed is a must read by everyone 14 and older. It’s dark and graphic, but it’s also inspiring and empowering. Combined with Moxie by Jennifer Matthieu, I think this is powerful one-two punch on rape culture and feminism in our high schools that everyone should read and discuss. And never has there been a more timely book release than these two books coming out right as Betsy Devos is talking about walking back Title IX in our schools at the same time that women’s rights are once again under fierce attack by our current administration and legislators. These are the right books at the right times, and they are powerfully good book at that.

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed releases October 10th from Simon Pulse

I happen to have a spare copy of The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed in ARC form that I picked up at ALA and I think this book is good and important, I’m doing a give away. If you live in the U.S. do the Rafflecopter thingy by Friday.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Take 5: Time Travel and Teens, featuring INVICTUS by Ryan Graudin

We are HUGE Doctor Who fans in my house, and many of my teens are as well. So I’m always excited to read a new Time Travel book. So today I am going to review Invictus by Ryan Graudin and share with you a few of my other favorite time travel books for lovers of Doctor Who (or anyone really).

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Invictus by Ryan Graudin

timetravels1Publisher’s Book Description

Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

Coming September 26, 2017 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Karen’s Thoughts

This is a fantastic book: Exciting, twisty and compelling. Just when I thought to myself, yeah but why does the adventurous time traveler have to be a dude, Graudin inserts some new twists. In fact, this is far more than a time travel book but I can’t tell you why because then it would spoil everything which would make you hate me because where this novel goes is really interesting and fresh. There is also great characterization and growth. On top of all of that, there are some really good relationships here which I appreciated. This is a must buy and read.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

timetravels2Publisher’s Book Description

Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.

Karen’s Thoughts

This is such a great series. That’s right, it’s the first book in a series so there is more than one book to keep you traveling in time.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

timetravels3Publisher’s Book Description

One hour to rewrite the past…

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should’ve happened?

Karen’s Thoughts

Honestly, I will take any chance I can to recommend this book series. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

timetravels4Publisher’s Book Description

Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

Karen’s Thoughts

This is another great series that time travel fans will love.

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

timetravels5Publisher’s Book Description

Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.

Karen’s Thoughts

I haven’t read this one yet but Eric Smith recommends it and that’s good enough for me.

And a Bonus Title . . .

If you can, be sure and get your hands on the much older YA title MR. WAS by Pete Hautman.

mrwasJack Lund figures a good day is when his dad’s too drunk to beat up his mom.

For Jack, Bogg’s End is the end. The end of the turbulent, see-saw years of watching his father go on the wagon and fall right back off gain. Once it took two years, but the inevitable inevitably happened. Now it’s just Jack and his mom starting over in the strange old house his grandfather left them.

But the ride’s not over yet. Jack’s father returns, full of apologies and promises, and for a little while, things are looking up. Then in one terrifying, sickening moment, everything comes crashing back down again.

So Jack runs. He runs through a strange hidden door that takes him back in time to before his parents were born. Before he was born. Maybe with a second chance he can stop the inevitable. At least he’s got to try. What Jack doesn’t understand, though, is that he can’t change his future until he faces his past.

More Time Travel YA Lists

SLJTeenLive: Building a Teen MakerSpace on a Budget

This summer I was honored to participate in the SLJTeenLive event (if you have never attended, you are missing out on a wealth of information so put it on your calendar for next year). I also wrote an article about it for SLJ which you can read here. Today I am sharing my slides with you.

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MakerSpace: DIY Iron On Patches

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Our newest MakerSpace station at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County was inspired by a teen I know in Texas, and it has proven to be very popular.

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Technique Used: Cross Stitch

Supplies Needed:

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  • Cross stitch fabric
  • Craft floss
  • Cross stitch needles
  • Small cross stitch hoop
  • Small scissors
  • Small cross stitch patterns (perler bead patterns work best for this)
  • Permanent peel and stick fabric adhesive
  • Iron

Step 1: Patterns

 

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We have found that perler bead patterns work really well and are plentiful on the Internet. They also have a lot of pop culture characters that the teens are interested in. All you have to do to find a pattern is Google “Character Name + Perler Bead Pattern”. We print off two copies, one for the teen and one to keep in a pattern notebook for future use. There are several good Pinterest boards out there with a large collection of perler bead patterns:

949 best Perler Bead Patterns images on Pinterest | Pearler beads

Step 2: Cross Stitch 101

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You will then follow your pattern to create your patch. Some teens pencil the pattern onto the fabric, but this is not necessary. It depends on your skill level. Our teens are using YouTube tutorials to help them learn how to cross stitch.

From WikiHow: The Easiest Way to Cross Stitch – wikiHow

  1. Cut your fabric and floss. The size of your fabric will depend on the size of the pattern you are using. …
  2. Thread your needle. Take your single thread of embroidery floss and create a loop at the end. …
  3. Begin your cross stitch.
  4. Continue stitching.
  5. Finish your piece.
  6. Wash your cross stitch.

Step 3: Cutting Out Your Patch, the First Time

After you complete the cross stich portion of your patch, you then need to use your little scissors to cut it out. Leave a little bit of a white edge around your patch.

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Step 4: Making it Stick

You then want to iron your permanent peel and stick on the back of the patch. Then you’ll have to cut it out again around the edges. You can fin HeatNBond Ultrahold in the fabric aisles of craft stores. You’ll want to by fabric sheets, not the skinny strips, so that you can work with any and all sizes of patches.

Step 5: The Big Iron On

You then iron your patch onto your book bag, jeans, purse, whatever. Just follow the instructions on the HeatNBond.

It’s a longer maker project, depending on the size and complexity of your pattern, but the teens are loving it.

Online Tutorials:

DIY Iron On Patches by PaulTheDIYGuy – Nerd Crafting

DIY Iron On Patch – YouTube

Make Your Own Decorative Patches With Cross Stitch – Crafts

Librarian Humor: Regional Picture Books You Never See in the Library, but Maybe Should

bisforbuckeye

In the spirit of books like B is for Buckeye: an Ohio Alphabet book, I present to you a little bit of librarian humor. This was inspired by my child who stood in an ant hill while watching the homecoming parade on Saturday. For those of you not from Texas, ants are a real problem here in Texas. You can be standing where it appears there are no ants in sight and suddenly find yourself under attack. They swarm, they bite, and it is awful. Later you get a little white head full of puss on your bite and it itches. A lot. So I tweeted this after it happened:

I then invited everyone on Twitter to join in on the fun, and they did not disappoint. Here’s a look at some of our fun Regional Picture Books that you never see in the library, but maybe should.
Regional Picture Books//



  1. Regional picture books you never see

    I accidentally stood in an ant hill: A Texas Childhood

    What would your region's be?





  2. @TLT16 OK, one more.
    This Isn't From Whole Foods So I Won't Eat It: Autobiography of a Picky Northern California Child.
    #RegionalPictureBooks









  3. @TLT16 a picture book for young Chicagoans featuring a parking ticket ala "I'm just a bill" #regionalpicturebooks



  4. @leslie_kuo @TLT16 Wait, I Was Eating What? An Adult Learns Things About Her Military Childhood From Twitter #RegionalPictureBooks



  5. @TLT16 Snakes eat breakfast too! (Your toes would do, so wear your shoe) S. Fla #regionalpicturebooks






















  6. @TLT16 Texas Wildlife: Bites & Stings featuring: Fire ants, mosquitos, cotton mouths, scorpions and alligators

    #RegionalPictureBooks













  7. Why is everyone buying toilet paper, milk and bread? A Virginia snow story #RegionalPictureBooks


  8. The Place Where No One Knew How to Drive in the Rain: A DC Metro Area Travel Tale #RegionalPictureBooks


  9. @TLT16 Listening to strangers ask "isn't Delaware part of Pennsylvania?": A First State childhood #RegionalPictureBooks


 

Sunday Reflections: Reconnecting with My Teens as Adults to Help Houston

Last week I had the honor and the privilege of reconnecting with some teens that I used to teach and I have never been so proud.

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I’ve talked before about Mark Morrison, who helped organize a group called Little Lobbyists to help children with complex medical needs. This past week Little Lobbyists teamed up with The Parker Lee Project to help get truckloads of supplies to medically complex kids in the Houston area affected by Hurricane Harvey. So I spent some days last week receiving and sorting and packing medical supplies with another former teen who is now going to graduate school in the DFW area. It was amazing to reconnect with her, and while doing such important work.

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The Parker Lee Project was started by a woman who lost her child with complex medical needs, Parker Lee. She is working to help make sure that kids get the supplies that they need. They take donations of both medical supplies, which are sent out to families in need, and money, which helps pay for the shipping costs. Everyone who comes to the warehouse to help with the supplies is a volunteer. Most of them have children with complex medical needs themselves so they are all too familiar with the challenges of what it is like to care for a child that needs feeding tubes, trachs, breathing equipment and more.

In fact, these parents really helped me better understand what it would be like to have to escape a critical situation, such as Hurricane Harvey, while caring for a child with complex medical needs. When my home flooded and I had to get my children to safety, all I had to worry about was my children. These families rely on a host of medical equipment to keep their children alive and safe, which would further complicate the rescue efforts.

As I mentioned, three of my former teens are now involved with both Little Lobbyists and The Parker Lee Project, and I am so proud. I am proud of the adults they have become and I would like to think that maybe, just maybe, I played a small part in helping them become the awesome, compassionate and thriving adults that they are.

Little Lobbyists: About Us

The Parker Lee Project

#SJYALit: A Bibliography of MG and YA Lit Featuring Homeless Youth

Today as part of the Social Justice in YA Lit Project (#SJYALIt), Natalie Korsavidis has compiled for us a bibliography of books that talk about youth and homelessness. You can read all the #SJYALit posts here or by clicking on the tag at the bottom of this post.

sjyalit

Anthony, Joelle. The Right and the Real. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012

Homeless after her father kicks her out for refusing to join a cult, seventeen-year-old Jamie must find a way to survive on her own.

Bauer, Joan. Almost Home. Viking, 2012

When twelve-year-old Sugar’s grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren’t so easy to come by for the homeless.

Belcamino, Kristi. City of Angels. Polis Books, 2017

Nikki ends up on the streets of Los Angeles after her boyfriend reveals why he lured her there. Together with Rain, a destitute 12-year-old, she settles into a residential hotel above a punk rock bar. When Rain disappears, Nikki burrows deeper into the underbelly of a city that hides darkness beneath the glamour.

Bliss, Bryan. No Parking at End Times. Greenwillow Books, 2015

Abigail’s parents, believing the end of the world is near, sell their house, give the money to an end-of-times preacher, and drive from North Carolina to San Francisco where they remain homeless and destitute, as Abigail fights to keep her parents, her twin brother, and herself united against all odds.

Booth, Coe. Tyrell. Push, 2007

Tyrell is a young African-American teen who can’t get a break. He’s living (for now) with his spaced-out mother and little brother in a homeless shelter. His father’s in jail. His girlfriend supports him, but he doesn’t feel good enough for her and he seems to be always on the verge of doing the wrong thing around her.

Bowsher, Melodie. My Lost and Found Life. Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2006

When her mother is accused of embezzling a million dollars and vanishes, spoiled, selfish Ashley must fend for herself by finding a job and a place to live.

Bruchac, Joseph. The Long Run.  7th Generation, 2016

Travis Hawk runs away from his father and a Seattle homeless shelter to travel across the country, experiencing some bad situations and meeting some good people along his journey of survival and risk.

Carey, Janet Lee. The Double Life of Zoe Flynn. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004

When Zoe’s family has to live in their van for months after moving from California to Oregon so her father can find work, Zoe tries to keep her sixth-grade classmates from discovering that she is homeless.

Carroll, Sarah. The Girl in Between. Kathy Dawson Books, 2017

A homeless girl and her Ma, always hiding from the authorities, take shelter in an abandoned mill in the center of a big city, but when developers make plans to knock the mill down, everything changes, prompting the girl to wonder what kind of ghosts are haunting both the mill and her mother.

Cassidy, Sara. Skylark. Orca Book Publishers, 2014

Angie lives in an old car with her brother and mother. Homeless after their father left to find work, the family struggles to stay together and live as normally as possible.

Choyce, Leslie. Crash. Orca Book Publishers, 2013

Cameron’s parents split up just as he is trying to set his life straight, which leads to him living on the streets with his dog. He meets Mackenzie who is also homeless; they work together to survive and get Cameron’s life back on track.

Cupala, Holly. Don’t Breathe a Word. HarperTeen, 2011

Joy Delamere is suffocating from severe asthma, overprotective parents, and an emotionally-abusive boyfriend when she escapes to the streets of nearby Seattle and falls in with a “street family” that teaches her to use a strength she did not know she had.

Fensham, Elizabeth. Helicopter Man. Bloomsbury, 2005

Pete and his father have been on the run living on the fringe since Pete’s mother died six years ago. Pete’s father believes they are being pursued by a conspiracy. Every time a helicopter flies overhead, they hide or move on. Unsure why they are running or how long they’ll keep going, Pete knows he will always stay with his father.

Florence, Melanie. Rez Runaway. James Lorimer & Company, 2017

When he gets drunk and reveals that he is gay, life on the reservation becomes intolerable for Joe Littlechief–even his religious mother rejects him–so he takes off for Toronto, where he must survive on the streets with the help of two new friends.

girlinpieces

“Everything and everybody that’s busted can be fixed. That’s what I think.”

Glasgow, Kathleen. Girl in Pieces. Random House Children’s Books, 2016

As she struggles to recover and survive, seventeen-year-old homeless Charlotte “Charlie” Davis cuts herself to dull the pain of abandonment and abuse.

Gray, PJ. Trippin’. Saddleback Educational Publishing, 2015

Unhappy in a foster home and doing poorly in school, Troy runs away and ends up living in a homeless shelter in a nearby city, where he makes friends with Justin, another homeless young man.

Graziana. E. Breaking Faith. Second Story Press, 2017

Living in a dysfunctional family, Faith resorts to drugs, which seems to keep the Darkness at bay, but leads her to live on the street. The determination to find love and comfort that lures Faith to drugs is ultimately what can drive her to recover.

Griffin, Paul. Ten Mile River. Dial Books, 2008

Having escaped from juvenile detention centers and foster care, two teenaged boys live on their own in an abandoned shack in a New York City park, making their way by stealing, occasionally working, and trying to keep from being arrested.

Halahmy, Miriam. Behind Closed Doors. Holiday House, 2017

In alternating chapters, teens Tasha and Josie tell how each becomes temporarily homeless and how they find strength and friendship together as they try to regain control of their lives.

Hyde, Catherine Ryan. Becoming Chloe. Random House, 2006

A gay teenage boy and a fragile teenage girl meet while living on the streets of New York City and eventually decide to take a road trip across America to discover whether or not the world is a beautiful place.

Leavitt, Martine. Heck, Superhero. FrontStreet, 2004

When Hector’s mother forgets to pay the rent they are evicted from their home. She asks him to stay with his best friend for a few days, and then she disappears. Instead of staying with his friend he decides to hide out in an abandoned car, and discovers what reality on the streets is really like.

Moe, Laura. Breakfast with Neruda. Merit Press, 2016

Leaving his chaotic home to live in a 1982 station wagon, teenaged Michael is perfoming mandatory community service when he meets Shelly, a girl with a past, who may be special enough to unmask Michael’s deepest secrets and reveal his immense heart.

Moses, Sheila P. Joseph. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008

Fourteen-year-old Joseph tries to avoid trouble and keep in touch with his father, who is serving in Iraq, as he and his alcoholic, drug-addicted mother move from one homeless shelter to another.

Quick, Matthew. Sorta Like a Rockstar. Little, Brown, 2010

Although seventeen-year-old Amber Appleton is homeless, living in a school bus with her unfit mother, she is a relentless optimist who visits the elderly at a nursing home, teaches English to Korean Catholic women with the use of rhythm and blues music, and befriends a solitary Vietnam veteran and his dog, but eventually she experiences one burden more than she can bear and slips into a deep depression.

Rapp, Adam. 33 Snowfish. Candlewick Press, 2003

A homeless boy, running from the police with a fifteen-year-old, drug-addicted prostitute, her boyfriend who just killed his own parents, and a baby, gets the chance to make a better life for himself.

Ryan, Darlene. Pieces of Me. Orca Book Publishers, 2012

Maddie is living on the streets with her boyfriend, Q, when she meets a six-year-old boy, Dylan. She agrees to watch Dylan but when Dylan’s parents never return she and Q are left to try to look after themselves and Dylan.

Strasser, Todd. No Place. Simon & Schuster, 2014

When Dan and his parents can no longer pay their mortgage, they end up homeless and living in a local tent city. It’s a bad situation, and it only gets worse when the leader of the tent city is brutally beaten. Who is trying to shut down the tent city, and why.

Thomas, Jacquelin. Split Ends. Gallery Books, 2010

Kylie Sanderson isn’t looking for a handout or anyone’s charity. What she needs, as she summons up her courage outside the Crowning Glory Hair Salon, is a job. Tired of moving, currently homeless, she’s learned to depend on herself, not her hard-partying and irresponsible mother, which is why she’s quit school and is desperate to work.

runaway

“It’s a cold, hard, cruel fact that my mother loved heroin more than she loved me.”

Van Draanen, Wendelin. Runaway. Alfred A. Knopf, 2006

After running away from her fifth foster home, Holly, a twelve-year-old orphan, travels across the country.

Walters, Eric. Sketches. Viking Children’s Books, 2007

After running away from home, fifteen-year-old Dana finds friends on the Toronto streets, and, eventually, a way to come to terms with what has happened to her.

Wyss, Thelma Hatch. Ten Miles from Winnemucca. HarperTrophy, 2003

When his mother and her new husband take off on a long honeymoon and his new stepbrother throws his belongings out the window, sixteen-year-old Martin J. Miller takes off in his Jeep and settles in Red Rock, Idaho, where he finds a job, enrolls in school, and suffers from loneliness.