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12 Blogs of Christmas: YA Lit Quotes (We Heart Young Adult)

To say that I love a good quote is an understatement.  I have journals – yes, plural – where I have written down some of my favorite quotes from the books I have read over the years.  And one of the things that I love most about the 21st century technology is seeing how others can take their favorite book quotes and turn them into beautiful art.  I love this so much that I have done it myself and I have done teen programming around the concept.  If you follow some of your favorite YA authors on Tumblr or Twitter you will often see them sharing amazing artwork inspired by their titles; many teens are inspired by books to create art of their own, whether it be visual art or fan fiction.

So with this in mind, I present to you blog #3 in the 12 Blogs of Christmas: YA Lit Quotes

Yes, yes, yes – it is, once again, technically a Tumblr.  But I propose Tumblr is just a different version of a blog and since this is my 12 Blogs of Christmas I am totally running with that.  Follow this Tumblr and you will have some great content that is easy to share with your teens.  And it will probably inspire some of them to try a new book they hadn’t thought about reading.  One quote can do that.

Here are 5 of my favorites from the We Heart Your Adult YA Lit Quotes Tumblr:

TPiB: Peel Away Book Quote Art (guest post by Erinn Batykefer from The Library as Incubator Project)

2005-03-10 03.01.18Whew! National Craft Month is drawing to a close, and I’m a little sad, frankly. As I said in my last post about Story Terrariums, I’ve really enjoyed test-driving craft ideas for this year’s Beneath the Surface theme for the Teen Summer Reading Program– there are just SO MANY good YA books that explore the idea of another world just barely contained within “reality.”

Last time, we focused on Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone; this week I’m re-visiting a HUGE favorite of mine with a movie tie-in coming up this summer: Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones. I have a pretty good feeling about the teen craze that’s going to surround this release (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is slated to open on August 23rd), so why not capitalize on that energy and promote the book at your library? This craft is just one way to let your teens engage with the story by making something, and the technique is great for all kinds of craftiness.

Here’s my picture tutorial for Peel Away Book Quote Art:


Once again, I started at my local thrift shop, where I found not one but TWO completely heinous canvases. I brought ’em home and covered them with gesso, because I was an art major and I still have a gallon pail of perfectly good gesso. But you can use whatever you’ve got (spray paint is cheap, works well, and has a certain badass appeal for teens…and also me. Just make sure you plan to do this outside, or in a REALLY well ventilated area). Or, just find a really cool canvas and skip this step entirely.



 I’ve thought about the imagery in City of Bones a lot since I first read it 4 years ago, when I was living in Lewisburg, PA (shout out to The Public Library of Union County, where I first found it on the shelf!). I always pictured the NYC setting as a kind of bleak, industrial facade that is crumbling away to reveal something far more alluring, elegant, and dangerous. A beautifully crafted weapon, for example.

A seam of golden imagery is shot through the entire story, especially in reference to Jace: he’s all blond hair, sleek skin, and gold eyes, and he and his world of magic, angels, and demons are deeply compelling to Clary, something she both wants and fears.

So obviously I wanted my “reveal” color to be gold. I mixed up some of my favorite shiny acrylics and covered the canvas with them, making the base a bit mottled and messy, like pounded metal.



Here’s the catch: If you’re doing the layered look, like I chose to, there’s some waiting time involved.
I had to let my gold layer dry before moving on. If that’s not in the cards for your craft time, consider skipping this part by starting with ready-to-cover base layers (like LP covers or posters). Otherwise, plan on this being a 2-day craft.

Once things were nice and dry, I chose a quote from the book that I liked: All the stories are true. I was considering something pithy from my all-time favorite supporting character, Magnus Bane, but “Not even for you, biscuit” is probably less recognizable, am I right? I had a ton of contact paper on hand, so I printed out my quote and cut the peel-away letters from that. Then, I placed them on the board.


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The last part was super-fun, and what I had been looking forward to from the beginning: SPRAY PAINT. I got plain white spray paint (now I’m thinking that graphite gray or black would have looked cooler with the Shadowhunter theme), and covered my canvas. Once things were all dry, I peeled away my letters to reveal the shimmering gold underneath!

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The technique definitely worked, but I have to say that contact paper would not be my first choice if I had to do this again. I’d go with something that creates sharper lines, like painter’s tape. But I am in LOVE with the way the quote itself catches the light and seems to shimmer in the midst of all that boring, flat white.

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Cool, huh?

Here are a few hacks you can use to customize this for your library and budget:

  • BYO canvas is a big money saver.
  • “Canvas” can also be interpreted loosely: old records, foam-core mounted posters, and other flat, sturdy surfaces will work, and you won’t have to paint over them! Check out this DIY tutorial for Song Lyric Wall Art, which inspired this project.
  • Consider different base layers. You can lay down a decoupage collage or make a spray paint painting that will be revealed once you apply your quote and topcoat and then peel the quote away. Like I said, spray paint lends a bit of rebellion to the whole project, but you have to plan ahead for a multi-day project, and do your spraying outside.
  • Consider using painter’s tape or masking tape instead of contact paper. I used what I had, but if I had to do it again, I’d go for painter’s tape; I think it would make cleaner lines.

Want More?

All March, we’ve been delighted to partner with our friend Karen Jensen of Teen Librarian’s Toolbox to share Teen Summer Reading Program craft ideas for National Craft Month. Here are all of our links to help you kick-start your “Beneath the Surface” plans:

Even More!

Are you planning any awesome “Beneath the Surface” crafts for your Teen Summer Reading Program? Share with us in the comments and on social media!

Quotable RA: Stop Bullying. Period.

I am sure I don’t need to recount the news of the week, we all know.  Another young man entered his school with a gun and shot some of his classmates.  Once again we hear cries that bullying has led to violence.  Also in the news, Lady Gaga started a foundation and challenged teens everywhere to stand up to bullies.  The Born This Way Foundation has a great slogan: Empowering Youth, Inspiring Bravery.  Whatever one may think of Lady Gaga, her style or her music, it seems hard to argue with her mission of empowering youth and trying to save lives.  She is not alone in her mission, every day there are writers writing stories about bullying to send the message: Bullying must end. Period. It has consequences. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but the childhood rhyme is wrong – names do hurt.  Long after bruises fade the pain of bullying lingers.

I like to collect quotes; as I read, I keep a journal by my side where I write down the parts of a book that speak to me.  Here I present to you 6 powerful works about bullying by letting the book speak for itself.

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

“…racist thought and action says far more about the person they come from than the person they are directed at.”

“I walk outside and scream at the top of my lungs, and it maybe travels two blocks. A whale unleashes his cry, and it travels hundreds or even thousands of miles. Every whale in the ocean will at one time or another run into that song. And I figure whales probably don’t edit. If they think it, they say it…Whale talk is the truth, and in a very short period of time, if you’re a whale, you know exactly what it is to be you.”

“Nothing exists without its opposite.”

“…the Magnificent Seven consisted of one swimmer of color, a representative from each extreme of the educational spectrum, a muscle man, a giant, a chameleon, and a one-legged psychopath. When I envision us walking seven abreast through the halls of Cutter High, decked out in the sacred blue and gold, my heart swells.”

The Misfits by James Howe

“Another thing I think about names is that they DO hurt. They hurt because we believe them. We think they are telling us something true about ourselves, something other people can see even if we don’t. —Bobby Goodspeed”

“Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our spirit. —Bobby Goodspeed”

“This business of really knowing people, deep down, including your own self, it is not something you can learn in school or from a book. It takes your whole being to do it—your eyes and your ears, your brain and your heart. Maybe your heart most of all. —Bobby Goodspeed”

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

“If your heart tells you something but your mind tells you something else, which do you believe? Both are just as apt to lie. In fact, they play at deceit all the time. Mostly they balance each other, giving us that crucial reality check. But what happens on the rare occasions when they conspire together?”

“What’s the point of living if you’re going to hate the world? Guard your heart if you have to, but don’t shut it away.”

“You think you want to know the secrets of the universe. You think you want to see the way things all fit together. You believe in your heart of hearts that enlightenment will save the world and set you free.
Maybe it will.
But the path to enlightenment is rarely a pleasant one.”

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

“No one ever found out what was happening inside me. How the pain was eating me away. No one ever came to my rescue, or stood up for me.”

“I’ve never been afraid of the dark. I’m more afraid of the day, of people. I love the night. The solitude. Well, I don’t love it. I don’t feel love. I hate people, so I hope when I get there it isn’t crowded. I hope the light is a momentary phenomenon and the other side is completely black. And silent.”

“Everything seems to be working.” Except me. I’m broken.”

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

“Life isn’t fair. A fair’s a place where you eat corn dogs and ride the ferris wheel.”   

“One’s my favorite number. The word won being the past tense of win, and we can all say at the end of the day that we won once again, can’t we? Some days making it to the end of the day is quite a victory.”

“At Garvin High we were dealt a hard dose of reality this year. People hate. That’s our reality. People hate and are hated and carry grudges and want punishments … I don’t know if it’s possible to take hate away from people. Not even people like us, who’ve seen firsthand what hate can do. We’re all hurting. We’re all going to be hurting for a long time. And we, probably more than anyone else out there, will be searching for a new reality every day. A better one … But in order to change reality you have to be willing to listen and to learn. And to hear. To actually hear.”

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”

“But you can’t get away from yourself. You can’t decide not to see yourself anymore. You can’t decide to turn off the noise in your head.”

“In the end….everything matters.”

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”

Previous Posts: Join the Fight Against Bullying ; A Letter to Teens About Bullying