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Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Harry Potter Birthday Celebration! By Michelle Biwer

tpibLast week I hosted my second movie matinee of the summer for teens. I was expecting these events to be very popular, as the first event was a screening of Moana sponsored by a local restaurant. I really thought catered food would be the way to my teens’ hearts, but attendance was low.

I was prepared for low attendance for this event, but Harry Potter’s name will apparently do more for publicity than speaking to summer reading school visits and your entire department publicity strategy combined. Thankfully I had just enough supplies for 20 hungry teenagers.

I scheduled three hours for this program which ended up being a perfect amount of time to capture their attention and run all the activities I had planned. When they first arrived we took a vote on which Harry Potter movie we would watch and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was chosen. The younger teens paid rapturous attention to the film and the older teens found my Harry Potter Uno cards and started playing. I’m glad I brought those as a backup activity because it held their attention for an hour and gave them a chance to socialize.

Once I saw some restlessness in the crowd I brought out the butterbeer. We have a no cooking policy in our library system so the “recipe” was vanilla ice cream, cream soda, and butterscotch syrup. It was surprisingly tasty and disappeared as soon as everyone was served. I also had great intentions of the teens creating “snitches” from ferrero rocher chocolates and set out all the supplies. Instead, they were just immediately devoured. Can’t say I am surprised!

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At this point there were only a few teens left really watching the movie so I started letting interested teens make their own wands. The setup was very simple-dowels, hot glue guns, brown paint, and paintbrushes. They used the hot glue to add texture and decoration and once the glue hardened they painted over the dowels with brown paint.

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With one hour left in the program and no interest in finishing the film we switched over to trivia. We started with Harry Potter Jeopardy which I made using a blank slideshow Jeopardy template. I don’t mean to brag, but I am the biggest Harry Potter fan I have ever met so I made sure the hard questions were HARD.

With the last few minutes of the program half of the teens continued to play trivia with Kahoot! and the other half played Beanboozled, a gamified “muggle” version of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.

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In my heart, every day is a Harry Potter Celebration but it was fun to share my passion for a few hours!

TPiB: Undertale Party

Last week, I wrote a review about the video game UndertaleIf you haven’t read it, go ahead and skim it before trying out this program! Also, be sure to ask your regular teens if they’re fans of Undertale before deciding to do this program. Undertale is a niche fandom that isn’t nearly as big as something like Pokemon Go, so make sure you are guaranteed an audience first!

undertale

I had my Undertale program a few weekends ago on a Saturday afternoon. One of my regular teens volunteered to help decorate our program room and plan games, which was a HUGE help!  The best part about my Undertale program was how it attracted teens from all over our county who didn’t know each other, and they all exchanged phone numbers at the end!

Music: I always like to play music in the background during programs because it makes it less awkward if there’s a lull in conversation.  I recommend two different playlists for this program.  First, you can play Undertale’s soundtrack on this YouTube playlist.  But, if you want to get hardcore, you can play music from the Undertale musical. Yes, you read that correctly!  Someone made an Undertale musical, which you can find on YouTube here.  This is a bonus for your teens who are big Hamilton fans!

YouTube Video:

Food: There are a ton of ridiculous names for food in Undertale, and they’re inspirational for food creation activities (a part of me wishes I made rock candy with the teens!)For a complete list, you can click here.

I chose to buy a candy mix and called it “Monster Candy”, Cinnamon Bunnies, and Spider Cider.  I had teens create and bake their own Cinnamon Bunnies using Pillsbury dough and chocolate chips.  We made big bunnies, small bunnies, and what we dubbed “womp bunnies” for all of the bunnies whose ears fell off while eating it.  I also poured apple cider in cups and put plastic spiders in them.

Craft: I always try to give the teens something to take home from a large program like this, so I printed out Undertale perler bead patterns and let the teens go nuts.  Kandi Patterns has plenty of different character patterns available for free!  *Be sure you have PLENTY of black available, because every single character needs a black outline!*

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Perler beads are the perfect craft for this video game because the game’s graphics are 8-bit, and perler beads look just like the video game!  Creating perler bead crafts gave the teens something to do with their hands while they talked all things Undertale.  They talked for a long time about their favorite character, what path they played through first, and what is their favorite YouTuber “Let’s Play” video.

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Games: Figuring out games to play was a little tricky.  I did not want to play the video game itself because it’s only a single player game, and I wanted all of my teens to be engaged at once.  I decided to pick aspects of Undertale that were fun, and create activities that are somewhat related.  You could easily do your own puzzle activities, since that would fit Undertale’s gameplay.

Pun Off: Puns are a big part of the game, whether you enjoy them or not.  I planned to have a formal “Pun Off”, but it actually manifested by itself during the perler beads crafts.  The teens tried to come up with their best puns and reciting puns they memorized from the game.

Collect Gold Coins: In order to survive in the game, players have to collect coins which can be used to buy food for health.  I actually planned out a scavenger hunt for gold coins, but that fell through because our library reorganized our interior that weekend because we are renovating soon!  So, I decided to repurpose the ball pit balls that I spray painted gold and have the teens play a live version of Hungry Hungry Hippos.  Is Hungry Hungry Hippos related to Undertale? Not in the slightest, but it wouldn’t be a library program without a little improvisation!

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Disarming a Bomb:  One popular mini game in Undertale is disarming bombs in under three minutes.  I wanted to do something related to disarming bombs, which is how I discovered the video game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.  I reviewed it for TLT, which you can read here.  The teens LOVED this game, and it will now be featured at our weekly Teen Game Night program!

Marshmallow Target Practice:  I printed out a giant version of Flowey, taped him to our library building outside, and let the teens practice throwing marshmallows at it.  I made sure to buy those giant campfire marshmallows for easy throwing! Flowey is the primary boss in the game, so don’t be fooled by the cute looking flower.

Glow Stick Dance Party: I had a celebratory dance program at the very end, especially because they were full of sugar!  I turned off the lights, gave them glow sticks, and turned up the music!

Video: Glow stick party

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian

 

TPIB: Photo Word Bookmarks (Or Instagram Photo Booth Strip Looking Bookmarks)

tb3Sometimes I learn about stuff at the library and go home and do it with my kids, but sometimes I do something at home and it turns out to be a great library/Teen MakerSpace activity. The Teen recently turned 14 and she wanted to have a taco birthday. It was very important to me that we have a taco themed birthday without having a Mexican Fiesta type birthday because this is not our culture and I didn’t want to appropriate it or do something that appeared to be mocking it. But The Teen, she does love tacos, so we had a taco themed birthday.

We ended up having a taco taste test where we drove around to various taco places and ranked their tacos. At the same time, our guests were invited to take pictures to spell out the word “taco” using architecture and every day objects which we would then turn into bookmarks.

The rules were this:

You had to appear in one and only one of the pictures.

You couldn’t use an actual letter, like from a sign.

Have fun, be creative.

If you are doing this in a library, you will want to set some additional parameters and perhaps a time limit.

Materials Needed

  • A photo device of some sort, like a smart phone or tablet
  • Printer
  • Clear contact paper
  • Scissors
  • Craft floss to make a tassel
  • PhotoShake app

This is a fun, quick and easy project to do. After you take the photos, it takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Making the Bookmarks

Participants then texted their pictures to me and I made them into bookmarks using the PhotoShake app. Since I have a bank of iPads in my Teen MakerSpace that each have this app downloaded, it’s easy for us to have the teens email their pics to a generic email to download and make into bookmarks. After receiving the pictures and downloading them, I delete the emails immediately. You could also just use a hashtag and then download the pictures that way if you are worried about email.

Using the PhotoShake App to Make Your Word Photo

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After opening your app, choose the Wide Photo option to make your bookmark.

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At the next screen, you will choose the Horizontal option.

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Select your photos under the Shake option. Then choose Edit. It will ask you if you want to Edit your photos manually, say yes. You can then put your photos into the correct order to spell your word. If you’re not familiar with this app, you’ll want to spend some time getting to know the various things you can do with it. For example, you can erase the borders if you wish. In addition, you can add filters, crop and more.

You will then save your photo, which is found under the Share option. You can then print your and cut your photo to size using your regular print options. Ours looked like this:

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To make the bookmark more durable, we covered both sides in clear contact paper. We then punched a hole in it and added a tassel. Instructions on how to make a bookmark tassel can be found here.

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In addition to spelling fun words like taco, we have also done names and nicknames.

Taking the pictures and seeing how everyone made the letters for their words was the funnest part of all.

As an alternative, you can use this same process to make Photo Booth Strip Bookmarks if you have a green screen or a photo booth in your library. Even if you don’t, it’s a fun and easy way to combine Instagram photos into a Photo Booth Strip Bookmark. You would simply choose the vertical option instead of the horizontal option for your layout.

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MakerSpace: Thumbprint Art Buttons

You might think that teens would not be interested in doing thumbprint art. I thought that. It turns out, we would both be wrong. That is the takeaway from this past week, at least for me. I was right there with you, I too was worried that my teens would not be into doing thumbprint art. But I needed a quick and easy maker project for an outreach event and this worked amazingly well for me.

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It began on May the 4th. At a previous location I had done Star Wars thumbprint doodles – I happen to have mine and The Teen’s framed at my house – so I thought it might be fun to do them in the Teen MakerSpace and make them into buttons. But I worried that perhaps teens would think it was a little too juvenile. I worried unnecessarily. It turns out thumbprint art is really fun, easy and makes for some really cool buttons.

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Then I fell down the rabbit hole of thumbprint art. It is vast it turns out. In fact, I put together a Pinterest board of thumbprint art resources which you can find here. It’s amazing the amount of creativity that can be applied to a simple thumbprint.

Fast forward to Friday. I did our first Teen MakerSpace outreach event at the local First Fridays. I decided that doing thumbprint art buttons would be a big hit and I was not wrong. In the space of about3 1/2 hours I made over 150 buttons and we hands down had the most popular table.

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I put together some example sheets and had example buttons on the table, and for the most part the kids and teens made something they saw on the examples. I also pre-made all the circles for the activity so that they would say The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County on them. This meant that we got a lot of free advertising as 150+ kids and teens walked around wearing buttons with our library name on them. Although our makerspace is for teens, we opened the activity up to all ages on the public square because we knew that it would be good promotion for our library, our space and our upcoming summer reading challenges.

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As I mentioned, 99.9% of participants chose and made their thumbprint into something they saw on an example sheet. This teen, however, turned his thumbprint into a grenade and I didn’t know whether I should be impressed by his creativity or terrified of his murderous tendencies. I ultimately decided I was impressed with his creativity; I hadn’t even seen a grenade in any of the examples I saw online.

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As an outreach activity, it worked really well. I was able to put my supplies into one box: stamp pads (min pads, 12 for $4.99 at Michael’s), fine point Sharpies, button supplies and the button maker. Plus, I had a lot less supplies to pack up after the end of the day because they had used all the button supplies. I call this a win.

Then on Saturday I continued the thumbprint button theme to end Scholastic’s “I Read YA” promotional event in our Teen MakerSpace by making “I Read YA” and “I Love YA” thumbprint buttons.

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Buttons have turned out to be really popular for us in the Teen MakerSpace, though it has mainly consisted up to this point of teens cutting up magazines or printing off pictures and making them into buttons. There is nothing wrong with this, but adding the thumbprint art component allowed us to add a little more of the “A” for art into our Teen MakerSpace. In fact, yesterday I ordered several Fingerprint Art books and am going to be doing some Fingerprint Art challenges periodically to help keep those creative juices flowing. There are several options out there, including this series of fingerprint art books:

fingerprintart fingerprintart2

 

 

 

 

 

I’m also thinking that fingerprint art might be fun for some stop motion animation challenges.

So here’s what I learned last week:

I shouldn’t underestimate teenagers. (Hey, even the best of us sometimes need to be reminded of this.)

Fingerprint art is fun, creative and easy.

Making 150 buttons in a little over 3 hours is great publicity for the library, but it is also exhausting.

Food TPiB: Mug It Edition

Yesterday I talked about cooking with a waffle iron, today were using a mug and a microwave. My source of inspiration: Mug It by Pam McElroy from Zest Books. I can also do this kind of cooking, and it’s a great teen activity. If I can do it, a teen can. And The Teen, The Bestie and I tested it out for you.

mugit3All you need to make this work is a mug (and in some cases a mason jar), ingredients and a microwave. It’s quick and easy. Some of the recipes are even healthy. In fact, Mug It! have a lot of salads in a jar. I liked this because I want to balance healthy eating habits with fun things like waffle cooking. The pictures from inside the book below come directly from the Zest Books website.

mugit4 mugit6

We tried out a variety of the recipes. We began with a cake in a mug, because of course that’s where you would begin. Cake!

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This was yummy. In fact, I lost my cake to Thing 2 who was only going to take a bite and then she ate the entire thing.

We next tried macaroni and cheese in a mug. The Teen and I are very fond of mac & cheese and I was excited to learn you could cook it in a mug.

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For our version we used gluten free pasta and once we figured out how to cook the noodles correctly it worked really well.

Cooking in a mug is actually really popular. I frequently see posts on Buzzfeed and in my FB feed. Having a recipe book was nice. And I liked this one because it has color pictures, which is a must in my cookbook requirements. If you don’t have pictures of the recipes and they aren’t in full color that is a deal breaker for me.

In addition to doing a fun Iron Chef/Chopped type program with mug cooking, adapting the post from yesterday, this book would also make a great gift. Let’s be real, a lot of teens spend some time in the home alone and they have to cook for themselves. And I would have loved to have had this when I was a college student living in the dorms. If you are going to do a series of food programs, I would do something like this:

What days would you add? A post-apocalyptic survival cooking camp would also be fun. Remember, it can be a long running series or it could be a weeklong event – which would be fun for Spring Break. Teens come every day, learn about nutrition and cooking, and they get to eat! I may not be a fan of cooking, but I do love to eat!

Additional Resources

Cooking Programs for Teens

Food Based TPiBs

TPiB: DIY Instagram Magnetic Duct Tape Frames

instagram2 I am, as I believe we have discussed, obsessed with Instgram. Not so much the app as a social media tool, in fact my Instagram account is private in part because I take so many pictures and I figure everyone would be annoyed if they actually followed me. I like the filters and the light effects and the cute little square sizes.

Also, you should know that I use Instagram completely wrong. I take my picture using the regular smart phone camera and then I run it through Instagram so I can enlarge areas that I want, create the lighting that I want, etc. Sometimes I will run a picture through Instagram multiple times to see which effects I like best.

Last week I did something stunning and I actually printed some off. Then we went and bought frames. The frames run anywhere from $3 to $15. This, I thought, is something we can definitely do as a MakerSpace activity. So The Teen and I spent the weekend figuring it out. The black and white frame is our inspiration and the look we were trying to emulate.

First, a note about printing out Instagram pictures:

You can, of course, download your Instagram pics to your regular computer and use some type of a program to print them off. If you have your printer set up correctly, you can also print wirelessly using airprint. HOWEVER, if you print an Instagram picture directly from your photos folder on your smartphone it will stretch out and print 4×6. This is not the desired effect that you want. You can not print wirelessly directly from the Instagram app. BUT you can download an app called Print Your Insta and it will print your Instagram photo in the small square format. The app is technically free, but you have to buy the 99 cent upgrade to remove the watermark. This app will print your Instagram print directly from your Instagram account at a 3.5 by 3.5 size.

Materials and Supplies

instagram4 We started with the model of the picture frame that we had purchased. It’s a great size and magnetic on the back so it fits perfectly in school lockers. To recreate this size and look we used the following:

One piece of photo matte board. We recommend 4.5 by 4.5 or 5 by 5 in size.

Clear contact paper. If you have access to it, those clear dry erase sheets that we used to use for overhead projectors also works. You will cut it the same size as your photo matte board.

Duct tape of choice.

Magnets. We used a roll of magnets because it was the cheapest and I don’t really recommend these magnets. Buy stronger individual magnets because the roll of magnet tape was hard to get to stay flat and it wasn’t as strong as other magnets.

The normal items like paper cutters and scissors come in handy as well.

The DIY Process

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Cut your photo out. You want to leave a small white edge along the border for taping it down. This white edge also provides a great guide for duct taping to help keep your edges straight, bonus.

In order to help the photo stay on the photo matte we used a small piece of acid free scrapbooking tape. We then taped the photo into the center of the matte board.

With our photo in place, we used our duct tape to cover the edges to create a cool border. Because we are perfectionists, we also completely covered the back. You don’t need to do this, it wastes tape to be perfectly honest, but we liked how it created a cleaner, cohesive look.

Apply your magnets to the back.

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Voila – you have a fun Maker project. We made a ton for The Teen to give to all of her friends to put in their lockers as we perfected the process. My fridge is also now covered in them. Since we bought the items in bulk, as we create more framed pictures the cost goes down. More importantly, we got to have fun together while making unique, one of kind items to preserve precious memories and decorate our home.

For more fun program ideas, including more ideas of what to do with your Instagram pictures, check out our Teen Programs in a Box.

TPiB: Comic Book Creations

Today I am hosting my first Teen program for this year’s super hero themed program. This is hands down my favorite SRC theme to date. So many cool, easy and fun things to do. Today I’m just having a kind of informal comic themes Maker program where we will cut up discarded graphic novels/manga/comic books to make a wide variety of crafts.

1. Upcycled Bottle Cap Crafts

Bottle cap crafts are quick and easy. You can make magnets. You can hang a washer with a magnet on a string and make easily interchangeable necklaces. And since we’re using GNs and comics we can use pictures or catchy phrases.

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To make the bottle cap crafts you need:

  • Some type of pictures (here I used discarded GNs)
  • A 1 inch hole punch
  • Bottle caps
  • 1 inch circle epoxy stickers
  • Some type of glue to glue the picture into the bottle cap
  • Magnets

To make the necklace: tie a washer to a string long enough for a bracelet or necklace. Attach a magnet to the washer. You can then easily interchange bottle caps to change out your jewelry.

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I also bought a variety of comic book and super hero themed duct tape which will work really well for making button crafts as well. In addition, I bought photo mats and my goal is to have the teens use the duct tape to cover photo mats and frame their GNs pages with it.

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2. Upcycled Buttons

Buttons are actually really popular with my teens. Cutting up GNs and comics to make them is quick and easy.

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3. Turn an old GN into a new (and personalized) GN

I cut up a bunch of discarded GNs to make my own GN. You could glue it to a piece of paper. I happen to have a bunch of various size acrylics to decorate my teen area so I went ahead and made it into a mural/wall art.

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4. Make collages

The above wall art came about actually quite by accident. I started making a simple collage to frame because we have a ton of smaller acrylic frames that were donated and I knew they would make a fun craft for teens to take home. Then I just kind of got carried away and made it into a wall panel. But a basic collage works as well.

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5. Make your own comic strips & gn pages

I am going to be doing this portion of the program in two ways.

BY HAND

comiccrafts8On Amazon I was able to order a few different comic book creation tools that had long comic strip sheets for teens to fill in and graphic novel templates. You can find them here and here.

BY TECHNOLOGY

comicbk3I made the above comic page using an iPhone and the ComicBook app. I wrote previously about comic book creation tools here.

Take 5: Postcards from France, programs, books and more for a France themed day (Quarto Week) (TPiB)

In my home, Paris is a dream destination. The Tween collects a variety of memorabilia and we tend to collect and read books that take place in France. This post for a Paris themed TPIB has been sitting in my drafts folder for a really, really long time. But I’m finally dusting it off and sharing it with you as part of our Quarto Week because of the book Origami City.

Origami City: Fold More Than 30 Global Landmarks by Shuki Kato & Jordan Langerak does exactly what you think it would do – it gives you step by step instructions for folding more than 30 landmarks out of paper. After a brief introduction giving you basic instructions and explaining the symbols used in paper folding, the various origami project are divided into geographic regions. The section on Europe includes a few French landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Le Louvre Pyramid and the Arc de Triopmhe. In addition there are some basic fun projects like a house, car, stop sign, park bench, etc. so you can, in fact, make a little paper city.

This book would be a great addition to our previous Eat and Read Around the Globe program outline that includes things like making postcards from each city and tasting the foods of the region. In addition to the France location, it includes the Taj Mahal (which looks awesome), the Tokyo Tower, Big Ben (Doctor Who program!), and the Sydney Opera House, to name just a few.

5 YA Titles Set in France

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney

Just One Day by Gayle Foreman

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Rook by Sharon Cameron

More YA Reads set in France

Craft Ideas:

French Manicure : Have a spa day and give yourself a French manicure.

Little Paper France : Make a little paper model of France that you can use to decorate. You can also decoupage the pieces onto a canvas or other cool thing – like a jewelry box – if you wanted. These pieces would be a great addition to your city that you make using the Origami City book.

Eiffel Tower Paper Banner : Decorate by creating a paper banner with images from France.

Edible Eiffel Tower : Edible crafts are yum.

Free Printable Paris Themed Bottlecap Craft Inserts : Use these cool inserts – which are Free! – to make bottle cap jewelry or magnets.

If you use the FilterMania app on a smart phone or tablet, there is an Eiffel Tower frame you can use to create cool pictures.

You can also use Instagram images and Publisher (or some other design program) to create Paris themed postcards.

About Quarto Publishing Group

The Quarto Publishing Group (formerly Quayside Publishing Group) books have earned a reputation for style and quality in the fields of art, crafts, hobbies, food and drink, nature, lifestyle, reference and children’s. The children’s program just launched in 2014 with the creation of Walter Foster Jr., but expanded dramatically with the “coming home” of our Quarto UK imprints Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and QEB Publishing, now formally published through Quarto USA.  In addition, a number of our general and specialty book imprints, such as Quarry Books, Motorbooks, and Race Point, publish books on history, craft, art, and other topics of interest to teen readers.  Visit us know at www.quartous.com and beginning this June at www.QuartoKnows.com.

About the Books Mentioned:

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney

Seventeen-year-old Julien is a romantic—he loves spending his free time at the museum poring over the great works of the Impressionists. But one night, a peach falls out of a Cezanne, Degas ballerinas dance across the floor, and Julien is not hallucinating.

The art is reacting to a curse that trapped a beautiful girl, Clio, in a painting forever. Julien has a chance to free Clio and he can’t help but fall in love with her. But love is a curse in its own right. And soon paintings begin to bleed and disappear. Together Julien and Clio must save the world’s greatest art . . . at the expense of the greatest love they’ve ever known.

Like a master painter herself, Daisy Whitney brings inordinate talent and ingenuity to this romantic, suspenseful, and sophisticated new novel. A beautifully decorated package makes it a must-own in print. (Bloomsbury 2013)

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know. (Speak 2013)

 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? (Dutton 2010)

 

 

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Readers of If I Stay and Elizabeth George will love Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light. Revolution artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love; it spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. (Random House 2010)

Rook by Sharon Cameron

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse. (Scholastic 2015)

All book descriptions are the publisher’s book descriptions.

 

 

TPiB: Programming with Straws

When I was Tweeting about Strawbees on Twitter, Laura Renshaw sent me the above tweet about her library’s Everything is Strawsome program, an obvious play on the popular Lego’s song Everything is Awesome. This is hands down the most genius program name ever! I was so excited about the program name that I tweeted to Laura that I wanted to do a program with straws as well, featuring Strawbees. She then replied that this Straw Ninjas craft was the craft activity that she had found that inspired the program.

Straw Ninjas

I did some looking around and found some other straw themed ideas that I am considering doing as part of a straw themed program. Strawbees plus some other straw related activities would indeed make for a Strawsome program! Man, I love that name Laura.

Some of our Strawbees creations on display at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County in Ohio

Drinking Straw Cuff Bracelet

Mark Montano has a YouTube tutorial on making a beaded cuff bracelet using drinking straws.

Balloon Rockets

Straw Chinese Yo-Yos

I have mixed feeling about this one. I have done them before using small wooden dowel rods and I worry that the straws won’t be strong enough for repeated use. I guess it would depend a lot on the quality of the straws that you use. The Harvard Chinese Yo-Yo Club has some information about the history of the Chinese Yo-Yo.

Straw Wars

This is really just a fancy version of spit balls. To make it really Star Wars related, you could print off some pictures of Storm Troopers as targets.

Pixie Sticks

Using paper straws, you can make your own Pixie Sticks.

Hey, here’s an earworm for you . . . And you’re welcome!

This is currently what I’m thinking about doing for my straw themed program. If you have some other fun ideas, please share in the comments. I’m thinking this would make a great Earth Day program. Couple it with my Zip Tie Crafts and I could go with a whole upcyclying/environmental series.

TPiB: Doctor Who – How to host a BRILLIANT 50 year anniversary party (at home or at your library)


This month, my tween edges a little closer to teendom.  And later this year, Doctor Who is turning 50!  On November 23rd they will air the Doctor Who 50 year anniversary special at the same time, everywhere.  So we are doing double duty here, hosting a Doctor Who themed birthday party for my Tween and putting together a Doctor Who program for our library in November in anticipation of 50 years of our favorite Doctor.  Below are some great ideas that would work well in a library, given the time and space constraints we often have.  Pick and choose what works for you, step into your Tardis, and see where you end up.  Don’t forget to put our YA Books for the Doctor Who fan recommendations on display.

Duct Tape Doctor Who
Image found on Tumblr

I don’t know about your tweens, but mine are obsessed with Duct Tape.  And this is good because it makes for some easy (albeit kind of expensive) programming.

Duct Tape Bowtie Necklaces (Because Bowties are Cool!)
Simple really, follow these instructions and make Duct Tape bow ties.

Duct Tape Rose Pens
Fans of the companion Rose can rejoice and make this rose pen. Out of Duct tape, of course.  Instructions for a Duct tape rose can be found here.

Duct Tape Tardis Purse
This is the best craft idea ever because the Tardis is the coolest spaceship ever.  There are a couple of different ways you can make a Tardis bag out of Duct tape.
Version 1: http://ducttapecase.wordpress.com/tardis-duct-tape-bag/
Version 2: http://redditgifts.com/marketplace/product/doctor-who-tardis-duct-tape-purse-tardis/

Doctor Who Crafts


Make Your Own River Song Journal
Technically, you can make a River Song Journal in a variety of ways.  Just Google make your own journal, pick one that you like and make yours blue.  However, there is a great tutorial here for making an actual River Song journal for purists.

Make Your Own Weeping Angels
You know those holiday angels you have sitting around in your basement or garage?  The ones you put at the tops of trees?  Spray paint them silver.  Not an awesome craft per se, but it would make for some great party decorations. 

Cybermen Headbands
What you need: headbands, silver spray paint and pipe cleaners.  Spray pain your headband silver and let it dry.  Use your pipe cleaners to create the thingy majig that would go across the top.  You’ll have to do this by eye using a picture because I couldn’t find a pattern, but it isn’t hard.  Connect two pipe cleaners, wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle for the middle part, and attach it to the bottom of your headband.  When you wear your headband, you now are rocking some serious Cybermen headgear.  If you don’t use silver pipe cleaners, use your silver spray paint to finish off your look.

Build a Dalek 
There are plans everywhere online.   In the end all you really need are some boxe, foam balls cut in half, and paint.  Here is a simple example using everyday household items.

Robot Building
I recently had a two part tech fun program.  On day 1, we took a bunch of donated tech and took it apart.  It was fun and it allowed my tweens and teens to see what the inside of the technology they use everyday looks like.  On day 2, we took those bits and pieces and used them to make robots.  Not functioning robots, because I don’t know how to do electrical work, but things that looked like cool robots.  I feel like this would be a fun Doctor Who program because it fits right in with the verse.  Maybe one of your tweens or teens will even create the next major villain for Doctor Who.

Dalek and Tardis Fuse Bead Crafts
Use your fuse beads to make Doctor Who themed keychains (or zipper pulls) and more.  Here is a pattern for a Dalek. Here is a pattern for the Tardis.

Doctor Who Shrinky Dink Jewelry
You can make Shrinky Dinks at the library using a toaster oven.  Purchase blank sheets of Shrinky Dink pages and go to town creating Doctor Who themed pieces.  Then, watch the shrinking magic happen.  You can use your pieces on keychains, jewelry or even as ornaments.  In fact, string them and make Doctor Who themed garland.

Dalek Bags
You can buy draw string bags from places online like Oriental Trading.  Buy solid colors.  Bust out some black fabric markers and color in circles.  Tada, you now have a Dalek bag. There is an example in this awesome birthday party outline.

Paper Snowflakes (The Snowmen)
In one of the most awesome Christmas specials, snowmen attack.  They show snowflakes with menacing faces and it was both sinister and cool.  We’ve all cut snowflakes out of paper, but can you make some scary ones?  Give it a try.

Make Your Own Villain/Alien
Use the classic Exquisite Corpse activity to create unique and totally original creatures that the Doctor might encounter in his travels through space and time.

Weeping Angel Barbie
You can buy a bunch of Barbies at a thrift store and use these instructions to make a Weeping Angel.

Fimo Clay Tardis Necklacs 
Use Fimo clay to make a Tardis necklace.  Follow the Fimo instructions on the package and use any of the numerous pictures available online for a model.

Tardis Tin
Use old Altoid tins.  Paint Tardis blue.  Decorate.  As a bonus, you can make Doctor Who art/quotes Marble Magnets to place inside.

Doctor Who t-shirts with stencils (or bleach pens)
Use stencils or bleach pens to make Doctor Who themed t-shirts. Instructions for bleach pen shirts can be found here.

Create your own Doctor Who light faceplate
Take a light switch cover and paint it Tardis blue.  Add some white.  Tada, a Tardis light faceplate. Or, you can print off your favorite pictures (to size) and Mod Podge them.  Actually, you can do this really for just about anything.  Mod Podge is cool.

An example of circular Gallifreyan from Sherman’s Planet Instructable

Write your name in circular Gallifreyan 
Gallifreyan  at Sherman’s Planet
Instructable

Doctor Who Trailer Maker and Comic Maker available at the BBC website.

Keep in mind, you can do some traditional crafts, like Bottle Cap Jewelry or Marble Magnets, and just give them a Doctor Who twist.  Here is a Pinterest page with some excellent examples of Doctor Who bottle cap jewelry.

Paper Crafts 

Doctor Who Paper Craft (tons online) like :http://manmadediy.com/users/chris/posts/702-free-download-dr-who-papercraft-templates

Various Masks from the BBC, including Weeping Angels, Gangers, and Smilers 

Printable Tardis Notecards

Printable Tardis Notecards

You can also use your Phone Apps and favorite quotes (or Publisher if you like) to create your own Doctor Who art.

Games
 
Weeping Angels Tag

This game is outlined really well in this Facebook post.

Cube Stacking Contest
Take a bunch of old wooden blocks and spray pain them black to make them look like the cubes in The Power of Three.  Have contests to see who can stack the most amount of cubes in a short amount of time: say 1 minute.  This is a variation on the Oreo Cookie stacking contest.

Doctor Who Guess Who
Steal your kids Guess Who game and print off 2 pictures each of various Doctor Who characters, including all 11 (now 12) versions of the doctor.  Replace all the pictures in the game with your pictures and keep one set for the drawing pile.  You now play by the same rules as Guess Who, but have Doctor Who characters instead.  Follow these instructions from Instructables to learn more about customizing your Guess Who game.

Musical Fez
Play a version of musical chairs, but instead of moving chairs you pass the fez.

Doctor Who Bingo
Someone was kind enough to make these Doctor Who Bingo cards.  Thank you kind Doctor Who Bingo card maker.

Humans VS. Weeping Angels
Christie is adapting this Humans VS. Zombies games for an upcoming lock-in.

Decorations

Dalek Cups
Get lidded cups, like Starbucks cups.  Spray paint various colors.  Add dots (markers or stickers will work)

Tardis Doorway
Supplies needed: a refrigerator box, box cutter, and lots of blue paint. You could also try and use butcher paper.  In fact, you could make one of those big banners and have your teens run through it like they do at football games.

Tardis Art
Decorate your own masterpiece and insert the Tardis somewhere.  Tweens and teens could literally use paper and paint to create any type of artwork and just paint the Tardis in.  I am, of course, referring to the episode Vincent and the Doctor.

Food
 

Sonic Screwdriver Snack
Take pretzel rods and dip the tip of them in white frosting.  Then, coat the frosting in green sprinkles.  This will create an edible snack that resembles the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver.

Dalek Cupcakes
Here are incredibly simple instructions to make Dalek cupcakes.

Tardis Cookies
Use graham crackers, frosting and licorice to make Tardi themed snacks.

Ood Cupcakes
Use this as an example to make Ood looking cupcakes.  Cupcakes, frosting and soar strips. Yum.

Marshmallow Adipose
Use large and small marshmallows to create Adipose.

Snowflake cookies
Pretty self explanatory, use your snowflake cookie cutter and make snowflake cookies.  Let your tweens and teens frost and decorate their own.

Fish and custard
If you are daring, you can just make fish sticks and dip them in your custard.  I am not the daring, so you can use French Toast sticks or Swedish fish to represent the fish sticks and dip them in your pudding.

Bananas
“Always take a banana to a party Rose. Bananas are good.”

Oh look – it’s number 12! Peter Capaldi (BBC)

Other Fun Tie Ins

Impressionist Paintings (for Vincent and the Doctor)
Shakespeare Readings (for The Shakespeare Code)
Do an interactive mystery in honor of Agatha Christie (or play Clue) (for The Unicorn and the Wasp)
Make a Volcano (for Fires of Pompeii) – Scholastic has an easy mini-volcano recipe on their site.

Don’t Forget!!

Trivia, trivia, trivia.  Match quotes to numbers to see if tweens and teens know which Doctor said them (you might want to concentrate on Doctors 9-11).

And, you can make all kinds of bookmarks, fan art and more using Doctor Who pictures, quotes, etc.  In fact, check out the official Doctor Who Tumblr to see amazing fan art that is quote heavy.

Turn your favorite Doctor Who quotes into wall art with this Peel Away Quote art activity

Additional Activities and Resources

http://pinterest.com/patriciamckelvy/doctor-who-doctor-who-diy-crafts-accessories/
http://pinterest.com/thestonerose/doctor-who-crafts/
http://pinterest.com/samiam4688/doctor-who-geek-craft-misc/
http://pinterest.com/mrsjrdavis/doctor-who-merchandise-crafts/
Another fun Doctor Who themed party 
Maria Selke’s Pinterest Board: http://pinterest.com/lleullin/doctor-who/
http://doodlecraft.blogspot.com/2013/09/doctor-who-party-week-food-snacks.html
Doctor Who Party Pack from BBC: http://doctorwho.tumblr.com/post/67307924465/we-made-you-a-doctor-who-global-celebration

Karen & Christie