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Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Resources: #SVYALit and #MHYALit – Teens and Suicide, Teens and Sexual Violence Brochures

Due in part to the discussions I have been having surrounding the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, I made an informational brochure on the topics of suicide and sexual violence for the teens at my library. I am posting them here for you and you can use them if you would like. A few notes though.

One, these contain titles that I currently have in my library on the subjects. I have been working on my next book order and I am working to make sure to include highly recommended titles and titles that feature diverse MC or are Own Voices on these subjects in my next book order.

Two, I think you can easily make corrections or additions by downloading book covers you have in your collection and overlaying them in a graphics program if you wish.

Three, we checked multiple times because I’m me for typos, so I hope there aren’t any.

I am also working on one to address the current drug/opioid crisis that we are witnessing nationwide and in the county that I serve, but that one is taking a little more time. I could quickly pull information off of TLT to make these two given some of our past projects, but I am just mow starting to really dive into the facts and figures of the opioid crisis.

svyalitbrochurepage1

real talk sexual violence brochure page 2

real talk sucide brochure page 1

real talk suicide brochure page 2

 

#MHYALit: A Letter to My Teen Self, by author Sara Wolf

MHYALitlogoofficfial

As part of our ongoing discussion of teens and mental health, we are honored to host author Sara Wolf, who has written a beautiful letter to her teen self. You can find all the #MHYALit posts here.

author photo sara wolf

Dear Teen Me,

In the grand scheme of things, you’re a bit of a shit, aren’t you? You refuse to like anything everybody else does (the Beatles are intolerable), you ripped the boy who tried to kiss you for the first time a new butthole, and worst of all, you wear your hair down all the time like a hippie Rapunzel. Newsflash: living in Hawaii isn’t exactly conducive to not-ponytails. Stop asking why your neck is sweaty all the time.

Stop asking why the boys aren’t good enough for you. Stop mooning over the Senior who left last year. You weren’t in love with him, you just wanted to jump his bones. You don’t know what that means yet, but you will, someday; nothing is wrong with you. You’re not slow, or weird. Contrary to what society tells you, it’s okay not to want a wiener in your face all the time. Your friends aren’t more mature or experienced than you – they’re different. And that’s fine. The boy who tried to kiss you is different, too. Don’t be too hard on him. You’re far more than he can handle – he is only human. You’re an inferno and he only knows how to hold an ember.

You are afraid of sex, and growing up, and it’s alright. Here’s the thing: it’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to be weak, and I know you hate hearing that, but I’m here to make you hate me. You already hate me, old and comfortable and soft. But I’m smiling at you all the same. It’s okay to be afraid, to shake at the idea of someone touching you. You can barely touch yourself without shaking.

It’s okay.

Take your time.

The burning in your heart is the urge to die. You’re bored and tired and you want to try dying just to feel something, anything. Dying is a challenge and you haven’t had one in so long, not since that Senior went away but he never really talked to you, did he? He touched your hand once and that was enough for you to write a psalm about him. You wanted a challenge from him, but he never followed through. You want a challenge from someone, anyone. Whose brain can match yours? Who is witty and perilously sharp and striding the same knife-edge you are at all times? Whose brain and soul are on fire the same way yours is? Who would even have the courage to set themselves on fire like you? No one. You are special.

I won’t say you aren’t, because I’d be lying. You are the most special thing in the world, to me. I love you. But you’re a little shit and you know it. You wear it proudly, because being a little shit is better than being like everyone else – complacent and quiet and non-confrontational. You are a sword among daggers, a horse among sheep. You fit in, but you don’t belong. Not yet. There are no challenges, no open fields to run in or heads to chop off. Where are your magic powers? You want to be a witch, a magician, you want to be dead. Anything, something other than normal.

So you write.

lovemenever

And you write, because at sixteen you figured out magic wasn’t real but it needed to be, you had to make it real or you’d lose your mind, your reason for living. This world can be so much more, and you know it. You know it as you sit through those yawn-inducing pep rallies and chemistry classes. You can make the world better, if they’d only give you the chance.

I’ll give you a hint, padawan; no one will give you the chance. You have to make it for yourself, take it, grasp it like Icarus gunning for the sun. You are the end and the beginning, the only existence we’ll have in this world. So keep writing. Keep doing fanfic. Keep crying at night to songs you don’t understand yet. Keep telling yourself there’s a challenge waiting for you out there, because there is. He has a name and a face and he’ll light you up from the inside out. Keep living; because as long as you’re alive, you can make magic.

Keep burning.  

Keep making magic.

Meet Author Sara Wolf

Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

About Love Me Never (Lovely Vicious #1)

Don’t love your enemy. Declare war on him.

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.
The game board: East Summit High.
The reward: Something neither of them expected. (Entangled Teen, 2015)

#MHYALit: My Definition of Crazy, a guest post by author Lois Metzger

Today as part of the #MHYALit Discussion we are honored to host author Lois Metzger. Her newest book, Change Places with Me, will be released tomorrow. You can read all the #MHYALit posts here.

MHYALitlogoofficfial

I’m at my bedroom window, looking out at the building across the way.  Unbelievably, it’s on fire.  I can see a girl facing me.  Doesn’t she know she’s in a burning building and there are flames at her back?  But she’s just standing there, staring at me.  I start waving my arms at her—get out!  She waves her arms too.  Then I realize—I’m looking at a reflection.  I’m the one in the burning building and the flames are behind me, coming closer.

I wake up, heart thudding, barely able to breathe, my nightgown clammy, as if I’d stood too close to actual flames.

As a kid growing up in Queens, in New York City, I had nightmares like this several times a week.  In college I majored in psychology and read about “night terrors,” as they’re called, dreams so scary and troubling they wake you up.  The textbook said that people got night terrors two or three times a year.  I thought that must be a misprint.  They meant a week.  But then the book went on to say that people who had them more often might have mental-health problems.

Still, that didn’t mean I was crazy.  I had a clear definition of crazy in my head.  My grandfather.

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My grandfather had lived his whole life in Vienna. When Hitler came to power in Germany, my grandfather didn’t see a threat because he’d fought in World War I on the side of the Germans.  But after Hitler marched into Austria in 1938, my grandfather was persecuted because he was Jewish.  At one point he was imprisoned, and beaten so badly that old surgery scars opened up again.  For years he was on the run.  In Yugoslavia, he was put in a number of small concentration camps.

After the war he came to America.  He lived in Manhattan and loved that he could walk everywhere, as he had in Vienna.  He came to our house a couple times a month and cooked egg noodles.  I remember him as tall, kind of stooped over, and soft-spoken (after saying “hello” in English, he kept up a steady stream of conversation to himself entirely in German).  He wasn’t all “there,” it was explained to my brother and me.  He thought that his wife (my grandmother) was in touch with Hitler and that Hitler was coming to New York to find him. My grandmother had had to leave him; she found her own apartment not too far from us.  We weren’t allowed to talk about my grandmother in my grandfather’s presence.  We had to pretend she was dead or in Chicago.  I don’t think it mattered that she could be dead one month and in Chicago the next.

Then, one day, he tried to kill a window washer by pulling his ladder away, because he thought the man was spying on him.  My grandfather spent the rest of his life in a psychiatric hospital, though in his last years he had freedom to leave and go for walks.

Growing up, that was how I saw mental illness, as something distant and triggered by world events.  (Or the occasional sighting on the street of someone who was no-doubt-about-it insane.)  There was some talk that my grandfather may have had issues even before the war, but his war experiences pushed him far over the edge.  As for my grandmother, who’d been on the run with him—she came through the war much stronger.

My grandmother was the one who noticed things in me.  She said, “You feel too much.”  As a kid, I was drawn to books about narrators who were also plagued by intense feelings—sadness, grief, anxiety, depression, guilt:  Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” and Frankie in Carson McCullers’s “The Member of the Wedding,” Gene in “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles, and Ralph in William Goldman’s “Lord of the Flies.”  I didn’t know this was a kind of self-help, but it most definitely was.  In middle-class Queens I couldn’t relate to Holden Caulfield’s life of privilege—I didn’t even know what a prep school was—but I was right there with him in every other way, though I never took it seriously when he insisted, “I’m crazy.  I swear to God I am.”

It was only years later I realized the world of mental illness was a lot more inclusive and widespread than my narrow childhood definition.  The novels I write tend to be about young people who don’t even know they’re part of this world, let alone realize there’s a world of help out there.

Meet Author Lois Metzger

Lois Metzger’s latest book, “Change Places with Me” (HarperCollins 2016), is about a girl desperate to avoid intense feelings and who has a dream about a burning building.  She is the author of three other novels, including “A Trick of the Light,” about a boy with an eating disorder, and she has written two nonfiction books about the Holocaust.  She lives in New York City with her husband and son.  Please visit her at loismetzger.com and on Facebook and Twitter https://twitter.com/metzgerlois.

changeplaceswithmePublisher’s Book Description: CHANGE PLACES WITH ME by Lois Metzger

Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood with her stepmother and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was just a little different than it was before. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. Her hair and her clothes all feel brand-new. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There is no more sadness in her life; she is bursting with happiness.

But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because, until very recently, Rose was an entirely different person—a person who is still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin. (June 14, 2016 from Balzer and Bray)

January #ARCParty – A Look at January, February and March 2016 YA Lit Releases

January #ARCParty

Here’s The Teen, The Bestie, and new TAB member Cat taking a look at some of the most recent ARCs that we have received here at TLT Headquarters (aka, Casa Jensen). In case you are new to TLT, here’s what we do: The teens go through each book and look at the cover and read the description to let me know what they think and if they would be interested in reading the title or not based on that little bit of info. I always find it interesting to see what they think plus it helps me know what titles they might be interested in reading and reviewing.//

January #ARCParty

A look at #yalit coming out January through March 2016

  1. Gonna have an #ARCParty. We'll be looking mostly at Feb & March 2016 #yalit release https://t.co/meRdfqq5gP

    Gonna have an #ARCParty. We’ll be looking mostly at Feb & March 2016 #yalit release pic.twitter.com/meRdfqq5gP
  2. The Bestie has already read this one and says "one of the best books ever". Substance abuse, cousins https://t.co/1ecPeEeEkc

    The Bestie has already read this one and says “one of the best books ever”. Substance abuse, cousins pic.twitter.com/1ecPeEeEkc
  3. An over achieving perfectionist tries to live life more fully https://t.co/VqC2AjMRLP

    An over achieving perfectionist tries to live life more fully pic.twitter.com/VqC2AjMRLP
  4. Karen actually read this & it was good. WWII. Greatest maritime disaster. They say it sounds good. #ARCParty https://t.co/SOAO6h94Dt

    Karen actually read this & it was good. WWII. Greatest maritime disaster. They say it sounds good. #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/SOAO6h94Dt
  5. Teen w/strange new power; 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. Sounds interesting! #ARCParty https://t.co/QMmowNJ5wD

    Teen w/strange new power; 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. Sounds interesting! #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/QMmowNJ5wD
  6. Much giggling about title. Transfer student. He really is a pterodactyl apparently! They are intrigued. #ARCParty https://t.co/RowzMD07h4

    Much giggling about title. Transfer student. He really is a pterodactyl apparently! They are intrigued. #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/RowzMD07h4
  7. They like the cover. They say yes!  (This is a sequel) #ARCParty @lexusgailey will be reviewing. https://t.co/M0OcvENkwJ

    They like the cover. They say yes! (This is a sequel) #ARCParty @lexusgailey will be reviewing. pic.twitter.com/M0OcvENkwJ
  8. Arts academy; is our MC responsible for a string of deaths? fantasy. So intriguing. #ARCParty https://t.co/ScoS790u5G

    Arts academy; is our MC responsible for a string of deaths? fantasy. So intriguing. #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/ScoS790u5G
  9. Suicide attempt, friendship & family; self discovery, middle school. They say it sounds good. #ARCParty https://t.co/eoM2ln7Nri

    Suicide attempt, friendship & family; self discovery, middle school. They say it sounds good. #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/eoM2ln7Nri
  10. Cliff falls for girl, has to figure out life, about to graduate. They said it sounds good & intense #ARCParty https://t.co/e8OMjCkjql

    Cliff falls for girl, has to figure out life, about to graduate. They said it sounds good & intense #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/e8OMjCkjql
  11. LOL - they're all, no don't touch it! Don't get anything on it! #Arcparty https://t.co/bFteHdkM0k

    LOL – they’re all, no don’t touch it! Don’t get anything on it! #Arcparty pic.twitter.com/bFteHdkM0k
  12. Drug abuse/addiction; domestic violence; homelessness; trying to end cycle #ARCParty https://t.co/GbMtTHQrID

    Drug abuse/addiction; domestic violence; homelessness; trying to end cycle #ARCParty pic.twitter.com/GbMtTHQrID