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Friday Finds: February 17, 2017

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Sunday Reflections: Muslim Voices

Middle School Monday: Spy on History Blog Tour and Giveaway

Book Review: American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Dr. Bully, a guest post by M.G. Hennessey

Everything, Everything Movie Trailer is Here!

TPiB: 3 cheap and easy after school programs

#SJYALit Hello, I’m Your Social Justice Librarian, a guest post by Perlita Payne

Book Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Around the Web

12-Year-Old Marley Dias Signs Book Deal To Write Kids Activism Guide

21 YA Books For Black History Month

Young Adult Author Nina LaCour on Why You Shouldn’t Talk Down to Your Readers

Philip Pullman to Release First Volume in New ‘Book of Dust’ Trilogy

The 2016 Cybils Winners!

 

 

Sunday Reflections: Dear World, Here’s What We Want You to Know about Teen Girls

The other day, in attempt to express contempt for President Trump’s Twitter use, Judd Apatow disparaged him by comparing him to a 14-year-old girl who tweets. This is not the first time that I have seen a tweet like this. The idea of being “like a girl”, especially a teenage girl, is a tried and true way of putting down others, especially men. For many, being like a girl is the worse insult they can think of. Teenage girls are so reviled that we effortlessly use them as insults and then we wonder why they are growing up feeling unempowered and rejected by the world around them.

So in response to not just Judd Apatow but to a culture that wants to continue to use teen girls as an insult and a put down, I tweeted about the various teen girls that I know, love, raise and spend time with in my life. You can read those tweets in a Storify here. But I want to tell you specifically what two 14-year-old girls spent last week doing.

forneybooks

For some time, The Teen, a close personal friend and I have been talking about starting an initative to try and get books into the hands of needy children and teens in our local community. One in five children go to bed hungry each night and if you can’t buy food, you are most certainly not buying books. And as a librarian I know and preach the value of libraries exactly for this reason, but I also know that there is something special about owning a few books and having your own personal library that is open all the time and you get to call yours. So these past few weeks we worked really hard to start making it happen in our local community.

b4fk6

We knew that getting books wouldn’t necessarily be a problem – many people have already donated – but we kept getting stuck on the how do we distribute the books portion. Then, our local food pantry announced that it was starting a backpack food program. If you’re community doesn’t do this I highly recommend looking into it. Each child who needs one gets a backpack full of food and snacks to take home on Friday afternoon so that they have some food to eat over the weekend. For many children, breakfast and lunch at school may be the only meal they get each week, and weekends are hard. The food backpack program helps bridge the gap over the weekend.

Making bookmarks

Making bookmarks

So we called the local food pantry, who will be putting the backpacks together each week, and asked if we could also put a book in each backpack. They said yes! So now we have begun collecting book donations (or the money to go buy books as some people prefer we buy the books). We also are making bookmarks and READ buttons to put with each book. Our goal is to put a book in each backpack a couple of times a month so that by the end of the school year these kids will have a handful of books to call their own and they can keep reading when they no longer have access to their school library.

Making buttons

Making buttons

So Friday night, out of all the things these two teenage girls could have been doing, they set up and assembly line to make buttons and bookmarks, placed them in books, and organized books by ages to be placed next week in backpacks. To date we have about 131 books.

b4fk5 b4fk1

We made signs and put collection boxes up around the neighborhood. And we brainstormed other ways we could get books into the hands of kids. For example, our community has a monthly farmer’s market and we talked about purchasing a cart that we can set up with a “here kids take a book” sign. The girls are excited about the prospect of spending their Saturday’s out in the community handing out books to kids.

These are just two teenage girls, there are tons more like them all over doing equally amazing things. So maybe we can stop using them as insults and instead start respecting, nurturing and empowering them. And hey, maybe once in a while tell them they’re awesome. Because they are.

Friday Finds: February 3, 2017

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Sunday Reflections: My Fellow Americans, You’re Breaking My Heart

Cover Reveal: 27 HOURS by Tristina Wright

Middle School Monday: What We Say—and Don’t Say—Matters

Book Review: Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

Book Review: The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu

So You’re a Librarian (or Library), What Do You Do Now? Librarianing in the Time of Political Turmoil

January #ARCParty – A look at some new YA lit releases

#MakerSpace: Typewriter Fun

Recently in Book Mail

Take 5: A List of YA Lists on Refugees

Around the Web

#RewriteTheSpeech

Kwame Alexander: Take a knee

Jeff Zentner’s Morris Award Acceptance Speech for The Serpent King

New Guidelines Urge Schools To Rethink Recess

ALA opposes new administration policies that contradict core values

Boy Scouts Will Admit Transgender Boys

Gene Luen Yang Launches Annual Reading Without Walls Program for Young Readers

 

Sunday Reflections: My Fellow Americans, You’re Breaking My Heart

sundayreflections1

He was different because he was a Muslim, but not in the ways that you think.

You see, he knew you hated him and although he was just a teenage boy, he knew the rules were different for him. So he made straight As, he worked more teen volunteer hours than any teen had ever worked in the history of teen volunteering, he dressed impeccably, he said yes ma’am and yes sir. Because he knew that one slip of the tongue, one moment of being a regular teenager, and you would say see, I told you so.

For three years I worked at a Texas library branch that had a large population of Muslim teens. I had just moved to the state and had worked in several predominantly white communities before moving. This is what I discovered: teenagers are teenagers. They just want to listen to their music of choice, wear what they want to wear, read what they want to read, and they are occasionally stubborn and sassy. They’re all just . . . teenagers, really.

I work once again at a small, predominantly white and rural library in the Midwest, but I am better for having worked in that library. I was introduced to new cultural traditions, I heard amazing family stories, and I learned that what I always thought was true is in fact true: we’re all just people living our lives.

Another branch of that library had a large Latinx population. I would visit it occasionally. The number one complaint that these teens had was how everyone assumed that they were in America illegally and spoke Spanish. Most of them were second, third, and multiple generation Americans, had never been to America, and didn’t know a lick of Spanish. They were so afraid of our (American) prejudice that many of them rejected their rich cultural and family heritage just to try and be accepted. The truth is, as long as they wore brown skin they knew that whatever they did would never be enough.

I am a child of divorce. I am a very, very white child of divorce. But both of my parents are remarried and they are remarried to amazing individuals with a rich Mexican ancestry, though they themselves are all multi-generational Americans. I have thought about them often after November 8th. I am well aware that although many say what they hate is illegal immigration, that when they look at someone who doesn’t look like them they just assume they are illegal immigrants. I have feared for my family’s safety – though not my own because I have the privilege of being white and Christian – since the election. This weekend has proven that those fears are not unfounded.

One of my favorite and closest family members identifies as GLBTQA+. This family member lives in a renewed sense of fear, fear that someone will deny them a job or housing or healthcare – deny them life – because of who they love. I tell this family member often that I love them, because I do.

I do have some personal fears, because I am a woman from a conservative Christian background and I am all too familiar with what rights many conservatives think I should and shouldn’t have, what my role in this world should be. I know how the incoming administration seeks to defund programs that seek to understand and prevent domestic violence at the same time that Russia – who apparently now has great influence on our country – voted overwhelmingly to decriminalize domestic violence. As the mother to daughters, I am not without my own fears.

But mostly what I have is a broken heart. Because I believe in Democracy. I believe in human and civil rights. I believe that all people were created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, including the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And I care about my teens. The Muslim ones who had to try so hard to be perfect so that you would not hate them. The Latinx ones who hate that you assume they are illegal immigrants. The GLBTQA+ ones who know that you want to shock them into being straight. The female ones who just want to be able to walk down the street without being grabbed by strangers. The poor ones who just want to have a meal that fills their bellies and the chance at a decent education so they can get a job that helps them no longer be starving.

These are my teens. All of them. And I fear the world we are creating for them.

Friday Finds: January 27, 2017

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Sunday Reflections: This is Why I Marched

Here We Are: Feminism & Social Justice In Action by Kelly Jensen (#SJYALit: Social Justice in YA Lit)

Book Review: Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen

Book Review: The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World – Kelly Jensen talks with contributor Alida Nugent about social justice, feminism & finding and using your voice

My Voice is Louder Now: HERE WE ARE editor Kelly Jensen talks with Brandy Colbert about Feminism

Book Review: Racial Profiling: Everyday Inequality by Alison Marie Behnke

Feminism is for Everyone: HERE WE ARE editor Kelly Jensen interviews contributor Daniel Jose Older

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA January 2017 and February 2017

Around the Web

8 ways you can empower girls to learn coding

2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults

2017 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

Roxane Gay Pulls Book From Simon & Schuster In Response To Milo Yiannopoulos Controversy

5 SIGNS YOU ARE LIVING IN A DYSTOPIA

The New York Times Stops Showing Comics Love, Suspends Graphic Novel Bestseller Lists

 

Feminism is for Everyone: HERE WE ARE editor Kelly Jensen interviews contributor Daniel Jose Older

It’s day three of our week celebrating the release of Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen. Today, Kelly joins us as she interviews one of the contributors, Daniel Jose Older. Be sure to visit our post from day one to enter to win a Feminist t-shirt!

“In our activism, it’s important we celebrate”: Daniel José Older on Feminism and Social Justice

____________________

hereweare

Daniel José Older’s essay in Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World tackles the topic of the journey; he explores how he envisions feminism as a big, beautiful room where people of all strokes are dancing and enjoying themselves—taking turns showing off their moves when they feel so inspired—and how every individual in that room got there in their own way. From there, his essay expands to discuss how he himself found feminism and how it was art that really made it click.

Here’s a short excerpt from his essay:

Patriarchy has sharp teeth. The borders it draws around our identities and hearts are unforgiving and lined with broken glass and barbed wire. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls masculinity “a hard, small cage.” Our patriarchal gender norms, the rules that tell us how to fit into pre-assigned boxes labeled “man” and “woman,” have nothing to do with love and everything to do with power. They guide our steps and demolish our lives, our sense of self, our relationships. Because we have subscribed to them as a society, because they are normalized, they seep into our hearts and minds from our earliest contact with the world around us. They take root there, then metastasize.                                                           

My own journey to feminism required looking both outward and inward. It is an ongoing process that means learning and relearning how to listen, when to shut up, when to speak up. There is no map for the work of undoing that trauma within us—like all the great journeys, it is a road we make by walking. This is terrifying at first; there’s a false comfort in the sense that if we just follow these simple steps, we will get where we need to go.                                                           

But the harder truth contains its own truer joy—the beautiful struggle.

Daniel is no stranger to social justice, just as much as he’s no stranger to feminism. His work in protest, his work as a paramedic, and his work as a creative writer have all intersected to form his beliefs and guide his actions for doing right. His essay shows how no single path is the correct one; what matters is that the journey leads to this room full of people eager to advocate for equal rights and equal access for all.

Kelly Jensen: Your essay is about the moment when you came to understand “feminism” and owned the term and system of beliefs for yourself. Your vision of feminism as a giant party, full of those taking turns with their own moves, is one that really captures not just feminism, but social justice more broadly. Where did this sort of grand vision emerge in relation to your understanding of feminism?

Daniel J. Oseolder

Daniel Jose Older

 

Daniel José Older: In our activism, it’s so important that we celebrate. It gets really easy to be overwhelmed, particularly these days, with all the terrible things happening and feel like we’ve already lost before the struggle has even begun. But part of being alive and part of resistance is celebration. This also means we honor our different paths, our different voices — we can’t privilege one path or voice over another, as we have in the past. That will destroy us. So I believe in this great, celebratory room, and I think in order to really manifest that vision we have to be very self-aware, very accountable, very real with ourselves about where we are and where we’ve been and that means having some of the difficult conversations we’ve seen pop up in the past couple years especially.

Kelly: How and where do you see art, be it visual or verbal or written, as intersecting with social justice? What might be a couple great contemporary examples?

Daniel: We have to approach our work in the world, whether it’s organizing a rally or running workshops or political activism, with the same creativity we approach our artwork. There’s long been this idea that activism is this one cookie-cutter thing: do A then B then C and that’s activism. No! We have to be as interconnected and audacious and outrageous and most of all creative in our approach as possible, in part because oppression is itself quite interconnected and creative in thinking up ways to keep folks down and turn us against each other. Art and activism are not only not opposing elements, they are in fact one.

Kelly : In what ways have you incorporated social justice/feminism into your everyday life?

Daniel: I believe if we’re not approaching life in general, whether it’s how we live, how we love, how we work, how we make art, from a feminist or womanist perspective, we are by default doing it from a sexist perspective. That is the status quo, it’s what we’re taught. To move beyond patriarchy we have to actively engage ourselves to think critically about what we’re doing and how we do it. So for me, being a cis/straight male, that means I have to both check in and check myself regularly to make sure I’m not enacting the violent behavior that is a part of our legacy. It means I have to be able to listen and step back, whether that’s in a social space or an activist one or an artist one.

Kelly: What are some of your favorite books and/or resources that would benefit all readers eager and curious about social justice/feminism?

Daniel: Both Twitter and Tumblr are tremendous gathering places of brilliant feminist thinkers. Yes there are trolls, there are downsides, there are disputes, but over all, when we step back, what we’re seeing is an amazing, global conversation about feminism and patriarchy and its intersections with race and class that is very needed. I’ve also learned a lot from great books like Joan Morgan’s When Chickenheads Come Home To Roost, bell hooks, the anthology This Bridge Called My Back, Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

Kelly: How can young readers and those who advocate on their behalf better prepare themselves to be actively engaged with social justice and feminism? You came to your understanding in your mid-20s; we’re seeing teens today standing their ground and fighting for the causes they believe in (including the protest walkouts and more in the aftermath of the election). Do you think today’s teens are more engaged with the movement? Any idea why that might be and how it can be actively cultivated and encouraged?

Daniel: They are much more engaged and it’s amazing to behold. It gives hope, to be honest. I see the way young folks are being badass and unstoppable and real with each other and the world and I feel like somehow, we’re gonna be alright. I give a lot of credit to social media for that, it’s allowed access to this conversation in a way that we’ve never seen before. It’s an exciting time to be alive and be a feminist.

Kelly: What is the biggest thing you hope readers take away from your essay in Here We Are?

Daniel: I hope they see that feminism, as bell hooks said years ago, is indeed for everybody. That there are many, many ways to jump into the conversation and change the world.

Meet Daniel Jose Older

Daniel José Older is the author of the young adult novel Shadowshaper (Scholastic, 2015), a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, which was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature and the Andre Norton Award, and named one of Esquire’s 80 Books Every Person Should Read. He also writes the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series. You can explore his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic, hear his music at danieljoseolder.net, and find him on Twitter at @djolder.

Exclusive Deleted Scene from UNDEFEATED by Steve Sheinkin

For 10 years, I worked at the Marion Public Library in Marion, Ohio. This is significant to this story because one of our branches was in LaRue, the home of Jim Thorpe and the pro-football team which featured the Oorang Indians. We had entire programs built around Jim Thorpe. But it still always tickles me when other people talk about Jim Thorpe, in part because I’m not super involved in the world of sportsball of any kind and I forget that other people are and they know things about it. Today we are honored to share with you a deleted scene from the new book, UNDEFEATED by Steve Sheinkin.

undefeated

I always wind up with a lot of deleted material, and often whole scenes, but this was the once instance in Undefeated where I cut an entire chapter. I love the story, but I knew the same themes would be covered later in the story, once Jim Thorpe arrived on the scene.

On an October night in 1902, Pop Warner sat in his home on the Carlisle campus, wondering what he could possibly do to turn his football program around. The team had gone 6-4-1 in 1900, with losses to Penn and Harvard, and a 35-0 thrashing at the hands of Yale. 1901 was worse. A beating by old school, Cornell, set off a seven game winless streak, and the team finished with a losing record. Warner could not possibly justify his salary with these kinds of results.

      There was a big game with a strong Cornell team in four days. And Warner, an optimist at heart, was wrestling gloomy thoughts. 

      “It looked,” he later said, “as if victory was going to be impossible.”

      Halfway into the 1902 season, Carlisle was 3-1. Not bad, but they hadn’t played any top teams yet, which is what made this Cornell game so important. That and the fact it was Pop’s old school. And the fact they’d crushed Carlisle 17–0 the year before. And the fact that Pop’s younger brother Bill, one of the country’s top linemen, was the Cornell team captain. Was he really going to let his kid brother humiliate him again?

      Yeah, probably.

      Bill was six-foot-one, 220, and Cornell’s other linemen were nearly as big. They’d use mass plays to batter Carlisle’s smaller line. But the bigger problem was the state of the Carlisle team. Nikifer Schouchuck, the sturdy center from Alaska, had been hurt so badly the week before, he was still in the hospital. Albert Exendine, a promising eighteen-year-old left end, could hardly walk on his badly sprained ankle. Martin Wheelock, who Pop called “my best offensive weapon,” was down with a case of pleurisy, an excruciating inflammation of the membrane lining the lungs and inner side of the ribcage. “His pain was so great that he couldn’t bear even to have the bedclothes touch him,” Warner remembered.

      Warner was pondering limited options when there was a knock on the door. It was another of Pop’s best players, Antonio Lubo. His arm was in a sling.

      “Coach, I’d give anything if I could play against Cornell,” Lubo said. “I know how Schouchuk and Wheelock can’t play. I’d like to go up there for you and for Carlisle.”

      In a game with Navy the year before, Lubo had suffered a compound fracture of his left wrist. The wound got infected, and still hadn’t healed properly. But here he was, begging to play.

      “Not with that arm,” Warner told him.

      “But that wouldn’t make any difference,” Lubo insisted. “I’ve been exercising and have kept in good shape in every other way.”

      Warner asked Lubo where he thought he could play.

      “Tackle, in Wheelock’s place.”

      “No. That’s out of the question. A tackle must have both arms.”

      “Well, then, center.”

      “No, a center must use both hands to pass the ball.”

      “Well,” Lubo said, “I know I could play somewhere.”

      Pop had always been a tinkerer, the type of guy who liked to take things apart and put them back together. He had an idea. The next morning he found two strips of leather and sewed them into a finger-to-elbow cast. He slipped it over Lubo’s wrist, stuffed it with cotton, and wrapped the whole thing in a thick layer of tape.

      “Thank you, coach,” Lubo said with a huge smile.   

      That inspired a movement. “All the cripples around the place asked for harness that would enable them to play,” Warner recalled. Albert Exendine’s ankle injury was fairly straightforward. “We bound his crippled limb with tape so tightly that he couldn’t move his foot.” The real challenge was Martin Wheelock, who sneaked out of the infirmary and showed up at Pop’s door.

      Warner ordered him back to bed.

      “If you can fix Lubo, you can fix me,” Wheelock said. “There’s nothing wrong with my arms or legs; all I’ve got is pleurisy.”   

      “But you can’t run, Martin.”

      “Change me from guard to center. Then I won’t have to run.”

      Against his better judgment, Warner shaped two sheets of aluminum into a sort of lightweight suit of armor. Wheelock wriggled his tender chest into the contraption, and taped it in place.

      On the field at Cornell, Pop chatted with his brother before the game. Bill asked how the Carlisle team was feeling.

      “So-so,” Pop said, shrugging. “I’ve got a sick lad at center and a one-armed chap at guard.”

      “Say! We don’t want to play a bunch of cripples.”

      Pop smiled. “Don’t worry old boy. You’ll find ‘em lively enough.”

      Cornell was the stronger team, moving the ball steadily with power runs. But Carlisle hung around, making just enough third down stops to keep it close. “Mostly it was Lubo and Wheelock,” Warner recalled. “How Lubo did it with his lame arm I don’t know. And time and time again, Wheelock winced in pain as he came in contact with his opponents.”

      Late in the second half, with Cornell leading 6–5, Carlisle recovered a fumble at the Cornell thirteen. Four plays later, third down and goal from the Cornell two, quarterback Jimmie Johnson handed it to Charles Williams, who dove over backs of his blockers, Lubo and Wheelock, landing across the goal line.

      Carlisle held on for the win, 10–6.

      Bill Warner hobbled over to shake his brother’s hand. He told Pop, “Thank the Lord these boys weren’t feeling well.” 

About UNDEFEATED

Jim Thorpe was an incredible Native American athlete and Olympic gold medalist, and Pop Warner was an indomitable coach and football mastermind with an Ivy League background. Before these men became legends, they met in 1907 at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where they forged one of the greatest teams in American football history. Called “the team that invented football,” they took on the best opponents of their day, defeating much more privileged schools such as Harvard and the Army in a series of breathtakingly close calls, genius plays, and bone-crushing hard work.

UNDEFEATED is an astonishing underdog sports story—and more. It’s an unflinching look at the U.S. government’s violent persecution of Native Americans and the school that was designed to erase Indian cultures. Expertly told by nonfiction powerhouse author Steve Sheinkin, it’s the story of a group of young men who came together at that school, the overwhelming obstacles they faced both on and off the field, and their absolute refusal to accept defeat.

Just in time for pre-Super Bowl football roundups and coverage, Steve Sheinkin brings Jim Thorpe’s inspiring story to life, highlighting his heritage and the previously little-known and astonishing history of Native American boarding schools.

Meet Steve Sheinkin

Steve Sheinkin

Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of fast-paced, cinematic nonfiction histories for young readers. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, was a National Book Award finalist and received the 2014 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery, won both the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and the YALSA award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Bomb: The Race to Build-and Stealthe World’s Most Dangerous Weapon was a Newbery Honor Book, a National Book Award Finalist, and winner of the Sibert Award and YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War was a National Book Award finalist and a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award finalist. Sheinkin lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife and two children.

Published by Roaring Brook Press | On sale January 17, 2017 Hardcover | $19.99 | 9781596439542

Recently in book mail

Books, books, and more books! My neighbors probably wonder what exactly goes on over here at the house where UPS of FedEx stops nearly every day. The following are the books that have arrived here in the past few weeks. I will be reviewing many of them in the upcoming months on TLT. See something you’ve already read and need to make sure I don’t skip? Or something you’re super excited to read when it comes out? Let me know with a comment here or on Twitter, where I’m @CiteSomething.

 

All descriptions from the publishers.

 

march-againstThe March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power  by Ann Bausum (ISBN-13: 9781426326653 Publisher: National Geographic Society Publication date: 01/03/2017)

James Meredith’s 1966 march in Mississippi began as one man’s peaceful protest for voter registration and became one of the South’s most important demonstrations of the civil rights movement. It brought together leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael, who formed an unlikely alliance that resulted in the Black Power movement, which ushered in a new era in the fight for equality.

The retelling of Meredith’s story opens on the day of his assassination attempt and goes back in time to recount the moments leading up to that event and its aftermath. Readers learn about the powerful figures and emerging leaders who joined the over 200-mile walk that became known as the “March Against Fear.”

Thoughtfully presented by award-winning author Ann Bausum, this book helps readers understand the complex issues of fear, injustice, and the challenges of change. It is a history lesson that’s as important and relevant today as it was 50 years ago.

 

 

racial-profilingRacial Profiling: Everyday Inequality by Alison Behnke (ISBN-13: 9781512402681 Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books (CT) Publication date: 01/28/2017)

Racial profiling, the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of an offense, affects thousands of Americans on a daily basis. It takes many forms, from routine traffic stops to police violence. High-profile cases, such as the deaths of unarmed black men and boys at the hands of white police officers, have brought national attention to this issue and fueled activism such as the Black Lives Matter movement. What exactly is racial profiling? How is it linked to racism and racial stereotyping? Can it be an effective crime-fighting strategy? What are its consequences, both for individuals and for American society? Rigorously researched text combines with powerful personal stories to explore this phenomenon of social injustice.

 

 

 

our-ownOur Own Private Universe by Robin Talley (ISBN-13: 9780373211982 Publisher: Harlequin Publication date: 01/31/2017)

Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it’s mostly about sex.

No, it isn’t that kind of theory. Aki already knows she’s bisexual—even if, until now, it’s mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.

Actually, Aki’s theory is that she’s got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she’s got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It’s time for her to actually dosomething. Or at least try.

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing.

But it’s not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you’re in love? It’s going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.

 

 

audacity-jonesAudacity Jones Steals the Show (Audacity Jones #2) by Kirby Larson (ISBN-13: 9780545840651 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 01/31/2017)

Audacity Jones and her best friend, Bimmy, are setting off from Miss Maisie’s School for Wayward Girls on an extraordinary adventure! In the glittering city of New York, the girls meet Harry Houdini, the world’s most famous magician, as he prepares a new spectacle: Houdini plans to make an elephant disappear from a crowded theater.

But Audacity and Bimmy discover a nefarious plot that puts Houdini’s illusion in jeopardy. Who could be trying to sabotage the master magician? Audie will need all her smarts, the help of friends new and old, and even her best juggling skills to solve this mystery. Will she manage to save the show in time?

Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson brings readers a magical romp of a mystery that will delight and thrill to the very last page.

 

 

lifersLifers by M.A. Griffin (ISBN-13: 9781338065534 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 01/31/2017)

Fear haunts the streets of Preston’s city: a girl has disappeared. Preston is drawn to investigate, exploring the city in the hunt for his missing friend. And deep in the bowels of a secret scientific institute, he discovers a sinister machine used to banish teenage criminals for their offenses.

Captured and condemned to a cavernous dimension, Preston is determined to escape. But this is no ordinary jail. Friendships will be forged and lives will be lost in a reckless battle for freedom, revenge–and revolution.

Set in a world all too similar to our own, Lifers is thrilling, pulse-pounding storytelling of the highest degree.

 

 

the-edge-of-everythingThe Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (ISBN-13: 9781619637535 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 01/31/2017)

When their worlds collide, X and Zoe are pushed to the edge of everything in this tour de force from Entertainment Weekly veteran Jeff Giles.

For the perfect love, what would you be willing to lose?

It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shocking death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying subzero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in the woods–only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.

X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for them both.

Gripping and full of heart, this epic start to a new series will bring readers right to the edge of everything.

 

 

playing-cupidPlaying Cupid by Jenny Meyerhoff (ISBN-13: 9781338099225 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 01/31/2017)

Clara Martinez knows what it takes to make a good match. So when her school assigns a project to create a business from scratch, Clara decides to start a matchmaking service for her fellow classmates. But things get complicated when Clara starts receiving mysterious notes and sweet gifts in her locker. Clara has a secret admirer! But she has no clue who it could be…

Despite being a love expert for her friends, Clara’s a total novice when it comes to her own love life, and truth be told, it all sort of scares her. Can Cupid Clara gather the courage to fall in crush?

 

 

 

ahgotAhgottahandleonit by Donovan Mixon (ISBN-13: 9781941026472 Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press Publication date: 02/14/2017)

Tim is bad news navigating Newark’s mean streets. An undiagnosed dyslexic, his neighborhood creds rest on riffing strange rap-rhymes. He’s packed into a 3-flat with his mother, sister and wise Uncle Gentrale. His drunkard father, recently evicted from the household, kills himself. Then it gets worse—Tim accidentally kills Chucky, a gangbanger who wanted to kick his brains out.

 

 

 

 

 

playbookThe Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life by Kwame Alexander, Thai Neave (Photographer) (ISBN-13: 9780544570979 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 02/14/2017)

You gotta know the rules to play the game. Ball is life. Take it to the hoop. Soar. What can we imagine for our lives? What if we were the star players, moving and grooving through the game of life? What if we had our own rules of the game to help us get what we want, what we aspire to, what will enrich our lives?
Illustrated with photographs by Thai Neave, The Playbook is intended to provide inspiration on the court of life. Each rule contains wisdom from inspiring athletes
and role models such as Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Carli Lloyd, Steph Curry and Michelle Obama. Kwame Alexander also provides his own poetic and uplifting words, as he shares stories of overcoming obstacles and winning games in this motivational and inspirational book just right for graduates of any age and anyone needing a little encouragement.

 

 

time-museumThe Time Museum by Matthew Loux (ISBN-13: 9781596438491 Publisher: First Second Publication date: 02/21/2017)

The internship program at the Time Museum is a little unusual. For one thing, kids as young as twelve get to apply for these prestigious summer jobs. And as for the applicant pool . . . well, these kids come from all over history.

When Delia finds herself working at the Time Museum, the last thing she expects is to be sent on time-traveling adventures with an unlikely gang of kids from across the eons. From a cave-boy to a girl from the distant future, Delia’s team represents nearly all of human history! They’re going to need all their skills for the challenge they’ve got in store . . . defending the Time Museum itself!

 

 

amstrongArmstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank (ISBN-13: 9780544826083 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 03/07/2017)

Charlie isn’t looking forward to sixth grade. If he starts sixth grade, chances are he’ll finish it. And when he does, he’ll grow older than the brother he recently lost. Armstrong isn’t looking forward to sixth grade, either. When his parents sign him up for Opportunity Busing to a white school in the Hollywood Hills, all he wants to know is “What time in the morning will my alarm clock have the opportunity to ring?”  When these two land at the same desk, it’s the Rules Boy next to the Rebel, a boy who lost a brother elbow-to-elbow with a boy who longs for one.
From September to June, arms will wrestle, fists will fly, and bottles will spin.  There’ll be Ho Hos spiked with hot sauce, sleepovers, boy talk about girls, and a little guidance from the stars.
Set in Los Angeles in the 1970s, Armstrong and Charlie is the hilarious, heartwarming tale of two boys from opposite worlds, Different, yet the same.

 

 

star-crossedStar-Crossed by Barbara Dee (ISBN-13: 9781481478489 Publisher: Aladdin Publication date: 03/14/2017)

Mattie is chosen to play Romeo opposite her crush in the eighth grade production of Shakespeare’s most beloved play in this Romeo and Juliet inspired novel from the author of Truth or Dare.

Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite’s Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing—and, if all that wasn’t enough: British.

As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and funny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life.

 

 

worthyWorthy by Donna Conner (ISBN-13: 9780545903936 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 03/28/2017)

Download the app. Be the judge.

Everyone at Linden’s high school is obsessed with Worthy. It’s this new app that posts pictures of couples, and asks: Is the girl worthy of the guy?

Suddenly, relationships implode as the votes climb and the comments get real ugly real fast.

At first, Linden is focused on other things. Like cute Alex Rivera. Prom committee. Her writing. But soon she’s intrigued by Worthy. Who’s posting the pictures? Who’s voting? And what will happen when the spotlight turns… on Linden?

 

 

just-another-girlJust Another Girl by Elizabeth Eulberg (ISBN-13: 9780545956284 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 03/28/2017)

Hope knows there’s only one thing coming between her and her longtime crush: his girlfriend, Parker. She has to sit on the sidelines and watch as the perfect girl gets the perfect boy . . . because that’s how the universe works, even though it’s so completely wrong.

Parker doesn’t feel perfect. She knows if everyone knew the truth about her, they’d never be able to get past it. So she keeps quiet. She focuses on making it through the day with her secret safe . . . even as this becomes harder and harder to do. And Hope isn’t making it any easier. . . .

In Just Another Girl, Elizabeth Eulberg astutely and affectingly shows us how battle lines get drawn between girls — and how difficult it then becomes to see or understand the girl standing on the other side of the divide.

You think you have an enemy.
But she’s just another girl.

 

strange-the-dreamerStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (ISBN-13: 9780316341684 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication date: 03/28/2017)

A new epic fantasy by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way aroundand Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries–including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

 

 

honestly-benHonestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg (ISBN-13: 9780545858267 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 03/28/2017)

Ben Carver is back to normal. He’s working steadily in his classes at the Natick School. He just got elected captain of the baseball team. He’s even won a full scholarship to college, if he can keep up his grades. All that foolishness with Rafe Goldberg the past semester is in the past.

Except…

There’s Hannah, the gorgeous girl from the neighboring school, who attracts him and distracts him. There’s his mother, whose quiet unhappiness Ben is noticing for the first time. School is harder, the pressure higher, the scholarship almost slipping away. And there’s Rafe, funny, kind, dating someone else . . . and maybe the real normal that Ben needs.

Perfect for fans of David Levithan, Andrew Smith, and John Green, Honestly Ben is a smart, laugh-out-loud novel that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to be “honestly ____________” in some part of their lives.

 

 

youre-baconYou’re Bacon Me Crazy by Suzanne Nelson (ISBN-13: 9781338099195 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 03/28/2017)

Tessa loves working at the trendy food truck her aunt runs in their native San Francisco. Serving yummy BLTs to her classmates after school, Tessa feels like she’s living the dream. Then the dream turns into a nightmare. Popular, arrogant Asher starts working at the truck! He can’t make a sandwich to save his life, and he’s frustratingly cute.

But when the city’s big food-truck festival is canceled, the future of the truck is suddenly at stake. Can Tessa and Asher set aside their differences and work together to save the truck? And will Tessa finally admit to herself how she really feels… about Asher?

 

 

 

night-witchesNight Witches by Kathryn Lasky (ISBN-13: 9780545682985 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 03/28/2017)

16-year-old Valya knows what it feels like to fly. She’s a pilot who’s always felt more at home soaring through the sky than down on earth. But since the Germans surrounded Stalingrad, Valya’s been forced to stay on the ground and watch her city crumble.

When her mother is killed during the siege, Valya is left with one burning desire: to join up with her older sister, a member of the famous and feared Night Witches-a brigade of young female pilots.

Using all her wits, Valya manages to get past the German blockage and find the Night Witches’ base . . . and that’s when the REAL danger starts. The women have been assigned a critical mission. If they succeed, they’ll inflict serious damage on the Nazis. If they fail, they’ll face death . . . or even worse horrors.

Historical fiction master Lasky sheds light on the war’s unsung heroes-daredevil girls who took to the skies to fight for their country-in an action-packed thrill ride that’ll leave you electrified and breathless.

 

 

pointe-clawPointe, Claw by Amber Keyser (ISBN-13: 9781467775915 Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group Publication date: 04/01/2017)

Jessie is killing her body to become a ballerina. Dawn is blacking out and waking in strange places. At every turn, the friends encounter the many ways girls are judged and discarded. Should they play it safe or go feral?

 

 

 

 

 

 

what-girls-are-madeWhat Girls Are Made Of by Elana Arnold (ISBN-13: 9781512410242 Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group Publication date: 04/01/2017)

This is not a story of sugar and spice and everything nice.

When Nina Faye was fourteen, her mother told her there was no such thing as unconditional love. Nina believed her. Now Nina is sixteen. And she’ll do anything for the boy she loves, just to prove she’s worthy of him. But when he breaks up with her, Nina is lost. What is she if not a girlfriend? What is she made of?

Broken-hearted, Nina tries to figure out what the conditions of love are. She’s been volunteering at a high-kill animal shelter where she realizes that for dogs waiting to be adopted, love comes only to those with youth, symmetry, and quietness. She also ruminates on the strange, dark time her mother took her to Italy to see statues of saints who endured unspeakable torture because of their unquestioning devotion to the divine. Is this what love is?

 

 

love-and-vandalismLove and Vandalism by Laurie Boyle Crompton (ISBN-13: 9781492636052 Publisher: Sourcebooks Publication date: 05/02/2017)

He calls it fate. She calls it blackmail.

Rory has a secret: she’s the vandal who paints graffiti lions all over her small town. If her policeman dad knew, he’d probably disown her. So when Hayes, a former screw-up on the path to recovery, catches her in the act, Rory’s sure she’s busted. Instead, he makes her a deal. If Rory shows him around town, he won’t turn her in. It might be coercion, but at least the boy is hot.

As they spend more time together, Rory worries she made the wrong choice. Hayes has a way of making her want things she shouldn’t want and feel emotions she’s tried to bury. Rory’s going to have to distance herself from Hayes or confront a secret she can’t bring herself to face…

 

 

girl-out-of-waterGirl out of Water by Laura Silverman (ISBN-13: 9781492646860 Publisher: Sourcebooks Publication date: 05/02/2017)

Fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen will fall in love this contemporary debut about finding yourself-and finding love-in unexpected places.

Ocean breeze in her hair and sand between her toes, Anise can’t wait to spend the summer before her senior year surfing and hanging out on the beach with friends. Santa Cruz is more than her home-it’s her heart. But when her aunt, a single mother, is in a serious car accident, Anise must say goodbye to California to help care for her three young cousins.

Landlocked Nebraska is the last place Anise wants to be. Sure, she loves her family, but it’s hard to put her past behind her when she’s living in the childhood house of the mother who abandoned her. And with every Instagram post, her friends back home feel further away.

Then she meets Lincoln, a charismatic, one-armed skater who challenges her to swap her surfboard for a skateboard. Because sometimes the only way to find your footing is to let go.

 

 

birdyBirdy Flynn by Helen Donohoe (ISBN-13: 9781780749396 Publisher: Oneworld Publications Publication date: 05/09/2017)

Birdy Flynn carries secrets.
There is the secret of Birdy’s dead grandmother’s cat. How the boys tortured it and Birdy had to drown it in the river to stop it from suffer-ing. There’s the secret of Mrs. Cope, the teacher who touched Birdy. The secret of the gypsy girl at school who Birdy likes. But she can’t tell anyone about any of these secrets. Because Birdy’s other secret is that while she fights as good as the boys, she is a girl, and she doesn’t always feel like a girl is supposed to.
So Birdy holds on to her secrets and tries to become what others want, even it if means losing herself.
BIRDY FLYNN is a beautifully nuanced and deeply felt portrayal of a girl growing up amid an imperfect family, and an imperfect world, to become the person she was meant to be.

 

 

that-funny-thingThat Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim (ISBN-13: 9780062445704 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 05/09/2017)

This young adult novel by Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl, is a funny and affecting coming-of-age story for fans of Jenny Han, Megan McCafferty, and Sara Farizan.

Shabnam Qureshi is facing a summer of loneliness and boredom until she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack. Shabnam quickly finds herself in love, while her former best friend, Farah, who Shabnam has begun to reconnect with, finds Jamie worrying.

In her quest to figure out who she really is and what she really wants, Shabnam looks for help in an unexpected place—her family, and her father’s beloved Urdu poetry.

That Thing We Call a Heart is a funny and fresh story about the importance of love—in all its forms.

 

 

gentlemansThe Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (ISBN-13: 9780062382801 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 06/20/2017)

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born to be a gentleman, but even the finest boarding schools in England haven’t been able to tame his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

 

 

art-ofThe Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller (ISBN-13: 9780062456717 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 07/11/2017)

More Happy Than Not meets Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future in this gritty, contemporary YA debut about a bullied gay teen boy with an eating disorder who believes he’s developed super powers via starvation.

Matt hasn’t eaten in days.

His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal. But Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.

Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.

So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?

Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger… and he isn’t in control of all of them.

A darkly funny, moving story of body image, addiction, friendship, and love, Sam J. Miller’s debut novel will resonate with any reader who’s ever craved the power that comes with self-acceptance.

 

 

fragile-like-usFragile Like Us by Sara Barnard (ISBN-13: 9781481486101 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 07/18/2017)

In the tradition of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson comes a pitch perfect novel about friendship and what it takes to break the bonds between friends.

Caddy and Rosie have always been inseparable. But that was before Suzanne. Now the twosome has become a triangle with constantly shifting alliances.

Caddy’s ready to be more than just the quiet one. She wants something to happen. Suzanne is trying to escape her past and be someone different, someone free. But sometimes downward spirals have a momentum of their own. And no one can break your heart like a best friend.

 

 

dress-codesDress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens (ISBN-13: 9780062398512 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 08/29/2017)

Faking Normal author Courtney Stevens delivers a contemporary realistic John Hughes-esque exploration of sexual fluidity in the small-town South.

 

As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.

But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too. Always considered “one of the guys,” Billie doesn’t want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. So she keeps her conflicting feelings to herself, for fear of ruining the group dynamic. Except it’s not just about keeping the peace, it’s about understanding love on her terms—this thing that has always been defined as a boy and a girl falling in love and living happily ever after. For Billie—a box—defying dynamo—it’s not that simple.

Readers will be drawn to Billie as she comes to terms with the gray areas of love, gender, and sexuality, while facing the opposition that follows. An honest, funny, endearing, and important book!

Friday Finds – January 6, 2017

Hello TLTers. Today Friday Finds is being brought to you by me, Karen, because Robin Willis is at a training session on food insecurity and some other youth related issues. I’m sure she’ll be sharing what she learned soon in an upcoming post. So here are this weeks Friday Finds.

fridayfinds

TLT this Week

What’s In Your Teen MakerSpace Manual? : Forms Edition

Book Review: The Truth of Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron

Book Review: Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Book Review: Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

Sunday Reflections: The Cybils are Here!

Also, don’t forget the first #SJYALit (Social Justice in YA Lit) Book Club/Twitter Discussion is coming up soon.

Around the Internet

The Next Generation Of Farmers Is Being Trained In New York City High Schools

On a personal note, I’m really upset about this news. GIRLS MEETS WORLD was a strong, empowering show for young women and a personal favorite in my household. I’m hoping it gets picked up by Netflix.

Here’s some important, and quite distressing, news about teen pregnancy and mothers. Keep in mind, this is a horrific abuse of power imbalance and is legally rape.

Here is Some Other Book Info We Shared This Week:

15 of the Best YA Books for January 2017 : Bustle

60 Diverse Books To Look Forward To In 2017 – Bookishness and Tea

22 of Our Most Anticipated Contemporary YAs of 2017 : The B&N Teen Blog

26 of Our Most Anticipated YA Fantasy Novels of 2017 : The B&N Teen Blog

17 2017 YA Books To Have On Your Radar : Amanda MacGregor (Teen Librarian Toolbox)

And finally, last year TLT was so impressed with Teen Vogue we got 26 teens and libraries subscriptions to the mag. We also got The Teen and The Bestie a subscription. Their first issue came and they immediately started reading it. So excited to be able to do good things for teens through TLT. Happy New Year Everyone!

teenvogue1

 

Carrie Fisher: Rebel Princess, The Library and Me

I once presented at ALA with Princess Leia hair buns. I was having a bad hair day, feeling defeated, and the clock was ticking. I needed to go sit in front of my professional peers and talk about Free Comic Book Day programming. So I summoned the Force, threw my hair up in two buns on the side of my head, and just went with it. Princess Leia hair, I would later argue to someone who questioned me, was the perfect hair for a panel on Free Comic Book Day. Comics, like Leia, are rebellious.

Using the green screen & other photo apps to make Star Wars pictures

Using the green screen & other photo apps to make Star Wars pictures

Free Comic Book Day. Star Wars Reads Day. May the 4th.

Star Wars has been a huge part of my professional library career.

It’s also been a huge part of my private life.

I remember waiting in line to go see Return of the Jedi on a dark night.

I remember my little brother going to sleep each night with a stuffed R2-D2.

I remember my own stuffed Ewok.

Green Screen Star Wars

Green Screen Star Wars

Last year, I had the honor and privilege of introducing my daughters to the Star Wars universe and taking them to see A Force Awakens. Here again was Carrie Fisher breaking the mold. Older now, she stood on that screen larger than life and she continued to lead the rebellion.

Many years ago, late at night, The Mr. and I were flipping channels when we stumbled across Carrie Fisher’s one woman show. We watched it and I was astounded to realize all that she had fought with and by most appearances won in her life time. Later, when I would have my own struggles with mental health, I remembered how she fought to erase the stigma. “She was a champion for mental illness,” I told my girls yesterday, “She struggled with depression.” My daughter looked at me and said, “that’s what happens to you sometimes.” And it is. We put a name to it, we take away it’s shame and power. It’s an illness, I remind my girls.

thumbprint27

It is only later in life that I would learn of Carrie’s tremendous talent as a writer, which seems odd when you consider that for 22 years I have been a champion of the written word. But as in most things in life, women have to work twice as hard to get half the credit. She did the work, and was good at it.

I recently took both of my girls to see Rogue One. We had a very Star Wars Christmas at my house. The Force Awakens, Rogue One, t-shirts and pajamas. And while I knew these gifts sat under our tree, I also knew that Carrie Fisher was in a hospital fighting for her life.

2016 has been devastating to my childhood.

Today, like that day at ALA years ago, I wear my hair in Princess Leia buns. I will rebel.

Today, like that day at ALA years ago, I wear my hair in Princess Leia buns. I will rebel.

But I do not lose hope. Hope is what rebellions are made of. And in the true spirit of Carrie Fisher, I will continue to fight the rebellions and give my teens the tools to fight it for the next generation.

To Carrie Fisher I say, “I love you.” To which she replies, “I know.”