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TableTop Game Review: Ultimate Werewolf

I found out about today’s game, Werewolf, from one of the best sources of all: a teenager. In fact, right now, this game is very popular with the teens that I know. It’s kind of a cross between the old school room classic Heads Up 7 Up and a role playing game. I’ve also been told that it’s a version of another game called Mafia, which I am unfamiliar with.

The premise of Werewolf is simple: All of the players in your game live in a village that is being attacked by werewolves. You want to eliminate – which means identify – the werewolves before they kill all the villagers.

Here’s a brief how to on YouTube:

And here’s a breakdown of the game on How To.

Please note: This game need a large number of players to be played. We recommend 10 or more. So from a library perspective, you’re going to want to play this in a meeting room.

You are going to hand out cards to each player. At least 2 of those cards will be werewolf cards. There will also be one seer, who can ask to identify one character each round. The remaining cards will be villager cards. There are additional cards you can add, but this depends on how many players you have. For example, you can have a priest or doctor card which allows the priest or doctor to heal one person once during the game.

The game operates on a day and night cycle. During the night cycle, the werewolves will identify the next person in the game that they want to kill and the seer will ask the moderator the identity of one player. During the day, the players will nominate people to kill in hopes that they are killing the werewolves and not their fellow villagers.

There is a moderator that oversees the game. The moderator controls the flow of the game. They will tell everyone during the night cycle to go to sleep and everyone lowers their heads. You can have participants tap on their legs or something to help provide a bit of noise coverage. The moderator then says, “Werewolves, open your eyes” and the werewolves choose someone who they want to kill. They are then told to go back to sleep and the seer is awoken. It is here that the seer will find out the identity of one person of their choice. Without revealing anyone’s identity, the seer tries to help sway choices regarding who is killed or saved during the day cycle. The moderator will do this routine every night cycle until either all the werewolves or all the villagers are eliminated.

It is now day time, and the moderator will awaken all of the players. The moderator will tell the player that has just been killed by the werewolves that they are no longer in the game. Players will then nominate a player to be killed, hoping that the player they are choosing is a werewolf. Once all the players agree on a player with a majority vote, that player is also killed. So each round two players are eliminated from the game.

The key to a successful Werewolf game is that players must keep their identities secret. The second key to a successful game is a good moderator. For example, even if the seer or other special characters are eliminated, the moderator will pretend to keep waking them up during the night cycle so that the remaining players don’t know which identities have been eliminated.

If all the villagers are eliminated and only a werewolf remains, the werewolves win. If the villagers identify and eliminate all of the werewolves, then the villagers win. I recently played with a group of around 11 tweens and teens and the werewolves won every time.

This game was a lot of fun and easy to play. And remember, it was the teens themselves that told me about this game so it already has a teen endorsement. It’s quick, easy, fun, and there isn’t a lot of set up.

You can find the official Werewolf rules here.

More Table Top Game Talk at TLT

DIY Games

Take 5: Table Top Games Teens will Love

Cindy Crushes Programming with a Live Action Donner Dinner Party Game

Cindy Crushes Programming: Cindy’s Favorite Tabletop Games

Game On at Your Library

Friday Finds: July 19, 2019

This Week at TLT

Collecting Comics: Middle Grade Novels that a Middle Grade Reader Really Loves

Rethinking 3D Printing in the Library, it’s not as complicated as you might think

Promoting Teen Writers, a guest post by author Jennifer Nielsen

Kicky’s Post It Note Reviews: Updating the A. S. King Reviews Edition with Dig and The Year We Fell from Space

What A. S. King Means to Me, a guest post by The Teen

Around the Web

‘I’m Drowning’: Those Hit Hardest By Student Loan Debt Never Finished College

Here Are Your 2019 Eisner Awards Winners

Friday Finds: July 12, 2019

This Week at TLT

Kickin It Old School in the New School Library

Kicky’s Post It Note Reviews: In which a teen reader tells us what they think about several new books including Girls of July, Hot Dog Girl, Poet X, 10 Blind Dates, Stepsister and The Serpent King

Slime, slime, and more slime

Twitter Talk: What Do You Think is Missing from Today’s YA?

Book Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Around the Web

New Report Examines Influences on Occupational Identity in Adolescence

The best YA books: 10 Middle East authors worth reading

University of Texas-Austin Promises Free Tuition For Low-Income Students In 2020

Twitter Talk: What Do You Think is Missing from Today’s YA?

Over on Twitter I asked the YA Lit Community what elements from teen life they think are missing from today’s YA and got a lot of interesting results. You can follow that thread here:

Some of the most common answers include:

  • Menstruation
  • Religion/Spiritual Life
  • College Prep
  • Lack of transportation
  • Homework

What would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments.

Friday Finds: July 5, 2019

This Week at TLT

Cindy Crushes Programming: Mission to Mars Escape Room

Take 5: Books on Creative Writing

Sparking Summer Reading, a guest post by M.G. Hennessey

When Pride is Said and Done: Teen Contributor Elliott Shares Their Post Pride Thoughts

Around the Web

Report: Just One Accepting Adult Can Save an LGBTQ Young Person’s Life

New Releases: Heartbreak, Monsters and Oddities, Oh My!

How Can Libraries Support Children and Immigrant Families? By Doing What We Do Best.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Mission to Mars Escape Room

In today’s episode of Cindy Crushes Programming, Cindy Shutts shares with us how she hosted a Mission to Mars themed escape room with her teens.

To learn more about the basics of hosting an Escape Room, please check out Breakout Edu as they have basic kits that you can use as a foundation. You can also read a couple of previous posts on Escape Rooms here at TLT and online:

TPiB: Build an Escape Room by Michelle Biwer – Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: Locked in the Library! Hosting an Escape Room by Heather Booth

Cindy Crushes Programming: Stranger Things Themed Escape Room

Programming Librarian: Creating a DIY Escape Room for Your Library

Plot: Welcome to the Mars Space Station! Unfortunately, the station is losing oxygen and you have 45 minutes to find the key for the manual override to fix the oxygen levels. A former, disgruntled Space Station employee has hidden the clues to restart the system in the breakroom.

Supplies:

You could use the Breakout Edu Kit

  • 4 digit lock
  • 3 digit lock
  • Word lock
  • Key lock and key
  • Two lock boxes, one small and one large
  • Empty bag of Space Ice Cream
  • I hate Ares note
  • Books
  • Mythology Book
  • Breakroom supplies like plates, salt and pepper shakers, napkins, silverware
  • Mars Space Station Manual (See documents below)
  • Nasa Mars Posters (https://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/resources/mars-posters-explorers-wanted/)
  • Various images of Mars printed out to look like Mars is outside the window. I like using a porthole or making portholes with paper plates.

Instructions: I made sure I read the prompt, so everyone knew what was going on. I also let them know they had two hints. I am always prepared to add one more hint later on if they need it.

Room Set Up Instructions

Red Herrings:  I will have an empty bag of Space Ice Cream and a Tang Container.

Word Lock: This clue will be in the Space Station Manual. I have bolded the letters L A S E R in the document. This lock will be on the large box.

3 digit Lock: I will have a note on the table saying I hate Ares who is the god of war in Greek Mythology and Mars is the god of war in Roman Mythology.  I am going to bring a book about mythology and have a Roman numeral written in the book on the page about Ares that says 3 9 9 or III IV IV. This lock will be on the large box.

Key Lock: Key lock will be on the small black box. The key will be placed in the large box.

4 Digit Lock: 0319 On the break table, There will be 3 blue paperclips, 1 green paperclip, 9 yellow paper- clips. I will hide a note in the trashcan that has a picture of Clippy, the old Microsoft mascot.  This lock will be attached to the large box.

Final Thoughts: My teens were really on the ball and finished on the 30-minute mark. I would add a directional lock to make it harder next time. I am doing a Star Wars Escape Room in July and I plan on making it a little harder so it will take more time. All the teens were happy and liked the directions.  I was grateful to Nic Mitchel, a fellow teen librarian who helped me made the prompt punchier.

Friday Finds: June 28, 2019

This Week at TLT

Book Review: Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets by Gayle E Pitman

The Weight of Our Words: Reflections on how we talk about mental health and why it matters

Book Review: Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson

Teen Services 101: What Keeps Teens Coming Back to the Public Library?

Sunday Reflections: Stand Up for Children

Around the Web

The Case Against Hope

The Invisibility of Chronic Illness in Literature

American Library Association to remove Dewey name from medal over his anti-Semitism and misogyny

Democratic Presidential Contenders Propose Free College And Student Loan Forgiveness

Sunday Reflections: Stand Up for Children

Several weeks ago, I was lucky enough to go to BEA (Book Expo America). Of one of the many highlights of this event for me was meeting George Takei, who was there promoting his new graphic novel They Called Us Enemy. You see, I am a long time Stark Trek everything fan and this was it, I finally finally got to meet someone from the universe that carried me through my teens and early twenties.

As I stood in line, I was not prepared for what would happen. You see, George Takei took my hand as I put it out to shake his and he held onto it with his two hands and looked me straight in the eye and told me what it was like for him as a young child to be put in Japanese internment camps here in America. He told me how his family lost everything and they were plunged into poverty that would take them years to recover from. And then he told me that he could not be silent because it was happening again.

Make no mistake, it is happening again.

I expected that I would cry while meeting George Takei, but I was entirely wrong about the reason that I would cry. You see, here I stood and stared into the eyes of a hero of mine and I could see that even though he had lived through what had happened to him and his family that he was still truly haunted by it. As a person who talks frequently and often about the long term effects of childhood trauma, I was truly staring into those effects in the eyes of a by all accounts completely successful adult.

Then this week the news became far worse then I could ever imagine. Stories poured out about what the conditions were like for children right here in the United States of America in border camps. People began arguing not about what those conditions were, but about whether or not we should be calling them concentration camps. And then members of our government stood up and argued that we shouldn’t be supplying these children with things like toothbrushes and soap.

Trump Administration Argues Migrant Children Not Entitled To Soap, Toothbrushes, Beds

I am horrified about what is happening. I went to church this morning and sat in my Sunday School class and this topic didn’t even come up. The silence regarding this issue was loud and vulgar.

Make no mistake, these children are being treated horrifically and they are experiencing trauma, they will feel the effects of this trauma their entire lives. It will reverberate throughout their lives and ours and all of human history. As we speak we are dehumanizing and abusing and traumatizing children.

The Long Term Effects of Childhood Trauma

Please do not be silent. You can call (202) 224-3121 and ask your representative to stop this horrific abuse of children. I share with you today the words of George Takei:

Friday Finds: June 21, 2019

This Week at TLT

New books alert: Magic-fueled airships, an underwater future, a young activists’ handbook, and more!

Cindy Crushes Programming: DIY Harry Potter Book of Monsters

Penguin Random House 2019 Showcase: Books featuring Ziggy Stardust, friends pretending to date, a vengeful ghost, vampires, and more!

Out and Proud (On the Page and In Real Life): My Long and Not-Straight Journey to Self-Acceptance, a guest post by Amber Smith

Book Review: Rules for Vanishing

Nonfiction Roundup: MakerSpace Edition

Around the Web

If Kids Can’t Read What They Want in the Summer, When Can They?

The Hunger Games Is Getting a Prequel Novel, Set During the ‘Dark Days’ of Panem

How I Grew Up Frighteningly Ignorant of Sex

Harvard Rescinds Offer To Parkland Survivor After Discovery Of Racist Comments

New books alert: Magic-fueled airships, an underwater future, a young activists’ handbook, and more!

Books, books, and more books! All of the books I get end up going back out the door in some fashion—to teen readers I know, to classroom libraries of friends, to my own school, or in giveaways. I can’t read/review every book I get, but it’s fun to be able to sift through boxes and see what grabs my attention, and to see what books will find loving new homes with the right reader. 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.

Emily Out of Focus by Miriam Spitzer Franklin (ISBN-13: 9781510738546 Publisher: Sky Pony Publication date: 05/07/2019)

Twelve-year-old Emily is flying with her parents to China to adopt and bring home a new baby sister. She’s excited but nervous to travel across the world and very aware that this trip will change her entire life. And the cracks are already starting to show the moment they reach the hotel—her parents are all about the new baby, and have no interest in exploring.

In the adoption trip group, Emily meets Katherine, a Chinese-American girl whose family has returned to China to adopt a second child. The girls eventually become friends and Katherine reveals a secret: she’s determined to find her birth mother, and she wants Emily’s help.

New country, new family, new responsibilities—it’s all a lot to handle, and Emily has never felt more alone.

From the author of Extraordinary and Call Me SunflowerEmily Out of Focus is a warm and winning exploration of the complexity of family, friendship, and identity that readers will love.

Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan (ISBN-13: 9781624147333 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 06/11/2019)

Liang Anlei wants a life of glory and revenge

As a warrior who protects her village from shadow spirits, Anlei has never been beyond the borders of her town. All of that changes the day the viceroy and his fleet of mechanical dragons arrives. It’s the protection her village is desperate for, but it will only be given in exchange for Anlei’s hand in marriage. Torn between wanting to protect her village and her own freedom, Anlei is forced to make a sacrifice.

The day before her wedding, she encounters Tai, a young thief who is also trying to save his people. Tempted by his quest and the thrill of glory it promises, the two embark on an epic journey to the Courts of Hell to discover where the shadow spirits come from. But the secret of their existence isn’t so easily solved.

Amid dark experiments and battles on magic-fueled airships, Anlei must summon the courage to be the hero; to live the life she has always dreamed of.

Brave the Page by National Novel Writing Month (ISBN-13: 9780451480293 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/27/2019)

The official NaNoWriMo handbook that inspires young people to tackle audacious goals and complete their creative projects.

Partly a how-to guide on the nitty-gritty of writing, partly a collection of inspiration to set (and meet) ambitious goals, Brave the Page is the go-to resource for middle-grade writers. Narrated in a fun, refreshingly kid-friendly voice, it champions NaNoWriMo’s central mission that everyone‘s stories deserve to be told. The volume includes chapters on character, plot, setting, and the like; motivating essays from popular authors; advice on how to commit to your goals; a detailed plan for writing a novel or story in a month; and more!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes in the transformational power of creativity. They provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds–on and off the page. With its first event in 1999, the organization’s programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers Program, Come Write In, and the “Now What?” Months.

Hope Is Our Only Wing by Rutendo Tavengerwei (ISBN-13: 9781641290722 Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated Publication date: 09/10/2019)

Set in Zimbabwe, Rutendo Tavengerwei’s unforgettable novel offers a beautiful and honest look at adolescence, friendship, and the capacity for courage.

For fifteen-year-old Shamiso, hope is a futile leap into darkness. Grief-stricken and bewildered after her father’s death in a mysterious car crash, she’s shipped off from her home in the UK to a Zimbabwe boarding school. For Tanyaradzwa, a classmate whose life has been turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis, hope is the only reason to keep fighting. 

As an unexpected friendship blossoms between them, Tanyaradzwa helps Shamiso confront her fear of loss. In opening herself to someone with a potentially fatal illness, Shamiso knows that she might be opening herself to more pain. Yet Tanyaradzwa is the only one who gives her the strength to ask the burning question: What really happened to her father?

Enough Is Enough: How Students Can Join the Fight for Gun Safety by Michelle Roehm McCann, Shannon Watts (Foreword by) (ISBN-13: 9781582707013 Publisher: Simon Pulse/Beyond Words Publication date: 10/08/2019)

From award-winning author Michelle Roehm McCann comes a young activist’s handbook to joining the fight against gun violence—both in your community and on a national level—to make schools safer for everyone.

Young people are suffering the most from the epidemic of gun violence—as early as kindergarten students are crouching behind locked doors during active shooter drills. Teens are galvanizing to speak up and fight for their right to be safe. They don’t just want to get involved, they want to change the world. Enough Is Enough is a call to action for teens ready to lend their voices to the gun violence prevention movement. This handbook deftly explains America’s gun violence issues—myths and facts, causes and perpetrators, solutions and change-makers—and provides a road map for effective activism.

Told in three parts, Enough Is Enough also explores how America got to this point and the obstacles we must overcome, including historical information about the Second Amendment, the history of guns in America, and an overview of the NRA. Informative chapters include interviews with teens who have survived gun violence and student activists who are launching their own movements across the country. Additionally, the book includes a Q&A with gun owners who support increased gun safety laws.

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (ISBN-13: 9781250145444 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 10/08/2019)

A speculative thriller in the vein of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Power. Optioned by Universal and Elizabeth Banks to be a major motion picture!

“A visceral, darkly haunting fever dream of a novel and an absolute page-turner. Liggett’s deeply suspenseful book brilliantly explores the high cost of a misogynistic world that denies women power and does it with a heart-in-your-throat, action-driven story that’s equal parts horror-laden fairy tale, survival story, romance, and resistance manifesto. I couldn’t stop reading.” – Libba Bray, New York Times bestselling author

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao (ISBN-13: 9781547602001 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 10/15/2019)

“An exhilarating tale. . . Readers will be enthralled.” —J.C. Cervantes, New York Times bestselling author of The Storm Runner

A debut novel inspired by Chinese mythology, this middle-grade fantasy follows an outcast as she embarks on a quest to save the world from demons—perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent’s Secret.

As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret.

Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles into a battle with a demon—and helps defeat it. She just might be the fabled Heaven Breaker, a powerful warrior meant to work for the all-mighty deity, the Jade Emperor, by commanding an army of dragons to defeat the demons. That is, if she can prove her worth and find the island of the immortals before the Lunar New Year.

With Alex and other unlikely allies at her side, Faryn sets off on a daring quest across Chinatowns. But becoming the Heaven Breaker will require more sacrifices than she first realized. . . What will Faryn be willing to give up to claim her destiny?

This richly woven contemporary middle-grade fantasy debut, full of humor, magic, and heart, will appeal to readers who love Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta.

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah (ISBN-13: 9781368036887 Publisher: Disney Press Publication date: 10/29/2019)

Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people, often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she’s picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.

Now, she’ll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture-and her father might be lost forever.