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Quarto Publishing Week Giveaway

This week is Quarto Publishing Group week. Every day we are highlighting a different book from the Quarto Publishing Group, chosen by yours truly. In exchange for hosting this week, I got to choose 5 of my favorite titles to give to YOU, our readers, as a giveaway. So I did my research and chose 5 titles that I thought YA librarians could use in their collections, in their programs, or for themselves personally. I hope that you enjoy them. It was really hard choosing just 5 because they had a lot of interesting titles to choose from including a biography on John Hughes, his movies defined my early adolescence, some cool picture books, and a great picture book called Dreams of Freedom. They also have a book called Cats in Sweaters that I can’t help but thing TLTer Robin Willis would love. See, such hard decisions.

To enter the giveaway, just do this Rafflecopter thingy here. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, sorry. One random winner will be selected by Rafflecopter and then the Quarto Publishing Group will send the 5 titles selected out to that winner. There are multiple free entries because we wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to enter.

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About Quarto Publishing Group

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

And Here are the 5 Books We Chose for You:

How to Make a Movie in 10 Easy Lessons by Robert Blofield

Featured in my 5 resources/tools for helping teens create movies in your MakerSpace post, I love this book so much I just ordered 3 copies for my library’s MakerSpace. It’s a good resource. There is also a learn guitar title in this series which I highly recommend as well.

Origami City: Fold More Than 30 Global Landmarks by Shuki Kato & Jordan Langerak

There is a lot you can do with this for a road trip themed book discussion group, display or program.

Playing with Surface Design: Modern Techniques for Painting, Stamping, Printing and More by Courtney Cerruti

Again, a ton of great arts and craft ideas that can easily be incorporated into a teen program on any theme.

Duct Tape: 101 Adventerous Ideas for Art, Jewelry, Flowers, Wallets and More by Forest Walker Davis

Duct tape crafts continue to be popular with my teens and Davis does some truly fabulous things with tape. Check out my fave duct tape books and crafts here and read more about this book.

Color Me Calm and Color Me Happy by Lacy Mucklow

On Friday we’re going to talk about adult coloring books and some tips for staying stress free during Summer Reading, a very busy time of year of YS and YA librarians. This book has some amazing coloring pages that are sure to help you relax during the SRC.


Book Review: The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

Look, it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Maureen Johnson. You didn’t know? Do you live under a rock? I follow her everywhere – Tumblr, Twitter, etc. She has a fantastically skewed sense of humor that I find appealing, and I love how much she cares about the young people for whom she writes and the issues that affect their daily lives. But more than her online persona, I love her novels. And her Shades of London series is well written, inventive, tightly paced, and gripping.  The most recent installment, book three of four in the series, more than lives up to expectations set in the first two.

Closely following the events of Madness Underneath, book three, The Shadow Cabinet, details the events of the days following Stephen’s untimely accident. Also BE DO BE DO BE DO! *spoiler alert* if you haven’t read books one and two, please stop here. You should scroll down to the bottom of this post, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for The Shadow Cabinet, then proceed directly to your local bookseller, library, or best friend with discriminating taste in YA literature to obtain copies of the first two books in the series.


Okay, so if you’ve read the first two books, you know that book three starts with Rory, Callum, and Boo searching for Stephen’s ghost. Unfortunately, he is nowhere to be found. They are also working closely with Thorpe, their government agent/supervisor/babysitter to locate Rory’s classmate, Charlotte, who has been abducted by the same cult that attempted to abduct Rory. Thorpe is doing his best to keep Rory safe from the cult – and she is doing her best to put herself in harm’s way. And, in the midst of all of this, Stephen’s body is taken by an unknown agency.

There are so many twists and turns in this novel, I’m reluctant to get into too much detail for fear of spoiling the book for those who haven’t read it. I do want to say, though, that those of you who missed Rory’s friends from school will be pleased to find that Jerome plays a much larger role in book three than he did in book two. Also, if you were worried about how the series would proceed without Stephen…um…never fear? I suppose that’s all I can say?

Finally, there is an entirely new character, named Freddie, who plays a large part in the book. Often introducing a new character at this juncture might be seen in a ‘cousin Oliver’ light. This one, however, is my favorite insertion of a new character since Dawn. And, for those of you who understand both of those references, *fistbump* you are my people.

This series hits so many interest points for my students that I have a difficult time keeping copies in stock in the library. I think it’s the mix of the ghosts, cults, and mythology of the series and the quirky characters and sense of humor that combine to make it so appealing. I also enjoy giving my book talk for it that includes detailing the near-death experience Rory has that causes her ability to see ghosts. What can I say, middle schoolers love gross stuff.

Want a chance to win your very own copy of The Shadow Cabinet? Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway! Giveaway is open to residents of the United States.

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Blog Tour and Giveaway – Firebug by Lish McBride

We are so pleased to be a stop on Lish McBride’s Blog Tour for her upcoming novel Firebug! In case you missed it, you can read my review of it here. (OMG, you guys, dream. come. true.)

Firebug will be available next Tuesday, September 23! Lish joins us today to answer some very silly and somewhat personal questions that have been weighing heavily on my mind…

Congratulations on the new baby! Are there any books you got so sick of reading to your first baby that you’re planning on hiding them before this one is old enough to ask for them?
Thanks! He’s certainly been a dramatic little guy so far!
As for reading material, no—we get rid of those books as soon as the baby turns around. And for the new ones we get, well, we’ll ask our ten year old to read those. You know, until he catches on. I did read Goodnight, Moon so many times I memorized it, though. It always makes me think of the Simpsons where they had Christopher Walken reading it. 

I love it when you post about the bookstore on Twitter! Describe the most interesting customer interaction you’ve had at the bookstore. Or, if you’re not allowed to do that, what item is most frequently stolen from the bookstore?

We get a lot of great people in the bookstore. For those that haven’t been there, the idea behind Third Place Books is centered on one of Ray Oldenburg’s essays where he states that the first place is home, the second place is work, and the third place is community. So a large part of the bookstore is surrounded by this giant commons area where people can eat, knit, play board games, and meet up for language groups. A lot goes on there. The downside is…sometimes you see an odd side of people. I’ve seen some really weird stuff there. Really weird. Tales I probably shouldn’t tell. Let’s just say I’ve seen the cops a great deal for being in such a nice neighborhood and working in a bookstore. Personally, though, I’ve had ladies start randomly running their hands through my hair as I walk them to a section, and I had to stop wearing my name tag for a while because I got tired of people asking me if my name is short for “delicious.” (It’s not.)

I’ve seen topless guys shaving (and singing) in the men’s bathroom, there’s a lady who really likes our bear statue (she brings it presents) and I watched a guy OD once. That was sad. As for stuff getting stolen, I’m not sure we have a top item. Art books get stolen a lot, as does Graphica, which is one of my sections. Inventory is always off there.

Other than that, just normal bookstore stuff—like that time a customer wouldn’t believe me that the book she needed to get her daughter for school was in the Science Fiction/Fantasy section. She kept telling me, “No, no—it’s a classic. She needs it for school.” And I had to keep saying, “Yes, I know. It’s a popular book for High School English classes. Trust me, it’s a classic. You should read it when your daughter is finished with it. There are a lot of classics in that section.” After the third round of that, and her thinking that maybe she had the wrong book, she finally said, “Are you sure? And it’s in Science Fiction?” Then I just walked her back and handed her the book and cried a little inside.
The book was Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury.

Do you like to travel? You get to do an author event anywhere in the world – where do you choose to go?

I do! Not a huge fan of planes, but I like going to all different kinds of places. If I could chose, I’d like to go back to either Ireland or Scotland. Love those countries.

You discover you are a were creature – what do you become? (Bonus – as this were creature, what is your most powerful ability?)

I’d become Keanu Reeves, because I think he’s my spirit animal. No, not really. I mean, I love Keanu, but he’s not an animal. He’s a man. So…I don’t know. A raccoon? An otter? Something small that gets into stuff. Man Friend says I’m a lot like Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, because I communicate mostly through hissing and pointing, and I like to destroy things, but Stitch is a made up creature, so I probably can’t use that. 

My most powerful ability would be super rabies if I were a raccoon, or the ability to hold things in my tiny paws, which works for either. Also maybe to look so cute people would get distracted, and then I’d take their wallets.

You are haunted by the spirit of a historical figure. Who is it and why are they haunting you?

Probably Charles Dickens, because I always say I want to go back in time and punch him. And that’s not nice, so he’s demanding an apology. Touché, Dickens. I’m sorry I said I wanted to punch you. I need to learn to use my words instead of my fists.

What is your favorite breakfast food?

So breakfast is sort of my nemesis, because I have several favorite foods, so every time we got out to eat, it becomes this showdown between waffles, French toast, and eggs Benedict. That being said, if the restaurant happens to have vegetarian biscuits and gravy (that does NOT involve mushroom gravy, as I am not a lover of fungus) then I usually order that. It’s hard to do a good vegetarian biscuits and gravy. My mom can do it, even though she must think it’s somewhat of an abomination. Because really, it should involve actual sausage, but she kindly indulges her weirdo vegetarian daughter. (My mom has always been quite supportive of my vegetarian ways.) One thing I miss about living in the south is the abundance of biscuits. They don’t eat them as much up in Seattle, and it’s just not right.

Enter here for a chance to win a free hardcover copy of Firebug: 

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Get started before it comes out – download the first 5 chapters here

For the record, I would also like to punch Dickens.


It’s no secret that I adore book based movies. (Really, who doesn’t?) I’ve gone opening night to both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and I saw Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I really liked Beautiful Creatures (once I let go of the fact that it was based on the book). I’ve seen both Percy Jackson movies (I like the second better than the first, and will admit that I read the series AFTER the movies). I yelled in theaters at some of the changes they did to the Harry Potter movies. I did miss Vampire Academy, but that was more my schedule than anything else.

And I love hearing that a book is being picked up for a movie, so when they’re picked up BEFORE they’re even released, it’s even better! And we at Teen Librarian Toolbox are sharing our excitement with you! I have ARCs of TWO books that have been optioned to Hollywood, and you get your chance to win them before SCRIPTS are even made.

Are you ready?

SO, to win, mention in the COMMENTS your FAVORITE book based movie and WHY, along with a contact (email or twitter address). One winner will be randomly selected to receive BOTH ARCs. Giveaway ends Saturday, April 5 (International Tabletop Gaming Day, BTW).

Racism, Privilege, Shame, and a Book Giveaway (a guest post by author A.B. Westrick)

I had already written Brotherhood when I first listened to Brené Brown’s TED Talkabout shame. Growing up in the North as the child of Southern-born parents, I’d picked up on my parents’ sense of shame. Whether it was over our family’s complicity in the wrongs of the Confederacy or the Jim Crow laws, I don’t know, but I sensed it, and Brown’s TED Talk brought it home for me.

BrenéBrown is a Houston-based researcher who studies and writes about vulnerability and shame. She spends a lot of time listening to people tell their stories, and has come to believe that “you cannot talk about race without talking about privilege, and when people start talking about privilege, they get paralyzed by shame.” Once paralyzed, they stop talking; the shame intensifies, and the problem festers.

Brown says that “shame needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment.” Her comment reminded me of an email I got from my brother after I had blogged about the emotional seeds of my novel Brotherhood. My brother emailed to say that some of his friends were African-American, and he didn’t appreciate my announcing (via my blog) that our ancestors had owned slaves. He’d never before heard that history, and he didn’t want his friends hearing it. He wanted me to take the post down.

He sent me that email in 2011, one hundred and fifty years after the start of the Civil War, and it struck me how powerful the silence has been. He was right that our parents hadn’t talked about our ancestors enslaving Africans. I’d had to push them to get that information out of them. Their parents hadn’t talked about it, either. Nor had theirparents. Such was the genius of those who sought to interpret the Civil War as the noble Lost Cause of the Confederacy—a view that minimized the slavery issue. The institution of slavery was shameful, and white Southerners don’t talk about the things that shame them.

To be fair to my brother, he hadn’t ever shown much of an interest in our family’s history—not like I had. So maybe he hadn’t asked the questions I’d asked, and hadn’t sensed our parents’ shame. I respect him, but I didn’t take down my blog post. Removing it would feed the flames of secrecy, silence and judgment. Our society has come a long way on the racism front, particularly in the past fifty years, but American still has a ways to go.

“White privilege” is a term I first heard only a few years ago, and I’ve scoured websites to understand what it means. If you’re as unfamiliar with the term as I was, I suggest reading “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” by Peggy McIntosh. The article has helped me understand that simply by virtue of being white in a white-majority country, I enjoy benefits I’m not even aware of. In the aftermath of cases like Trayvon Martin’s, some of us whites are starting to get it. There is progress, albeit slow.

Brown says that the antidote to shame is empathy. When we strive to imagine how life is for others, when we listen and say, “I’m sorry,” the curtain of shame begins to lift. If we want it to lift even faster, we need to recognize privilege, own it, and talk about it. She’s says that “Jungian analysts call shame the swampland of the soul,” and she suggests that all of us will benefit from putting on some galoshes, and mucking around in it for a bit.

Brown’s research and her talks are intriguing. If what she says about privilege and shame resonates with you, check out her other TED Talk (it’s on vulnerability).

Meanwhile, if you’d like to be entered into the giveaway of one signed copy ofBrotherhood, leave a comment below. One random commenter will be chosen to win. Deadline to enter is February 8th.  Giveaway is open to U.S. residents.  Please leave a Twitter name or email so we can get in touch with you if you win.

A.B. Westrick is the author of Brotherhood (Viking/Penguin 2013), a Junior Library Guild selection. In its starred review, VOYA notes, “Great historical fiction always feels like a gift … Westrick skillfully leads the reader toward conclusions regarding racism, letting each epiphany occur organically. All the characters, dialogue, and action support each other deftly and with no filler.” For more about Brotherhood, visit the author’s website at www.abwestrick.com.

2013 Debut Author Bash: Meet Mindy McGinnis, author of Not a Drop to Drink (GIVEAWAY)

Debut Authors Bash at yareads.com

Like many readers, I am obsessed with the apocalypse in any form.  I’m pretty sure my obsession began way back when I read The Stand by Stephen King.  Earlier this year, I was introduced to Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis, a post-apocalyptic thriller that asks us to imagine a world where water is scarce and people are willing to kill for it.  And then one day soon after reading it, they were talking about a nonfiction book entitled Water Wars on NPR. It is possible that one day we may be facing a world not unlike the world that McGinnis imagines in Not a Drop to Drink.  So today, as part of the YA Reads 2013 Debut Authors Bash, we are talking with Mindy McGinnis about her debut ya title Not a Drop to Drink.  Stay tuned for a giveaway at the end.

Mindy McGinnis is an author by night and works in a school library in Ohio by day.  She cans her own food, which should come in handy should the apocalypse ever come. She does have a pond in her backyard.  You can read more about her at her blog Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire (where I stole this picture from). Her debut YA novel is Not a Drop to Drink, coming this month from Harper Teen and I totally recommend it, but since my word has less weight than say author Michael Grant, you should know that he also really recommends it: “A brutally beautiful debut, not to be missed.”

About Not a Drop to Drink
In an all too real future, water is scarce and worth dying to protect.  A girl sits on her roof, binoculars in hand, with her mother.  She can not remember a time from before.  All she knows is this: they must be vigilant because there are those who would do anything to steal their water.  But what is she willing to do to protect it?  Lynn will find out when they start to come.  The signs are there, there is smoke on the horizon.  Strangers are on their way.

September from Katherine Tegen books. ISBN: 978006219850

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Yes! I distinctly remember telling the lady who administered our career assessment tests in 8th grade that I wanted to be a writer. Then my results came back and said I’d be a great cop. Or a museum curator.

How did you come to write a YA novel?

Originally I wanted to write for adults. I have four very miserable and horribly written adult manuscripts under my bed. After years of failing at that I looked around one day and realized that as a YA librarian I was surrounded by my audience 40 hours a week and immersed in the market… why WASN’T I writing YA?

What do you hope teen readers take away from your novel?

There are different levels of NOT A DROP TO DRINK. Someone who comes to it looking for an adventurous read with a strong female protagonist will be thrilled, someone who is looking for big questions about what it means to be human and the cons of isolation will be happy too. J

Would you survive a post apocalyptic world like your book is set in? Have any tips for the rest of us?

Read My Earlier Review

The question of whether or not I’d survive is basically asking if I’d be willing to kill someone else in order to ensure my own survival. And, I just don’t know. I don’t think that’s something you can know about yourself until you’re in the situation. Tips? Learn self-defense, know how to grow your own food, and learn methods of purifying water with natural energy – (hint, SODIS method).

What visions of the future have scared you the most?

This one. It’s an entirely plausible scenario. All of the research I did for DRINK told me to be concerned… very concerned.

Here is a true but funny story.  When I lived in Ohio, it turns out that Mindy lived in the town right next to mine.  We never knew each other.  Ironically, we met after I moved to Texas.  Texas is in a drought, has been since I moved here two years ago.  Everytime I see the dry, cracking grown I think of Not a Drop to Drink, so I made this graphic for Mindy.  You can see it and more on her Pinterest page.
Why do you think post apocalyptic fiction is so hot right now?

I think there’s a lot of doubt in the world right now. I feel like people are questioning and resenting the government, corporations, and political figures more than ever. Seeing characters that stand up to “the man” always makes the little guy feel empowered. In my own book, there is no ruling power – it’s all about straight-up survival. And those stories resonate because I think we all wonder if we could live in a situation like that.

What are you reading and loving right now?

THE GIRL OF FIRE & THORNS trilogy by Rae Carson. Good God, she can write.

What’s next for you as a writer?

Right now, mostly promotion for NOT A DROP TO DRINK. It’s my debut, and I’ve had a TON of support from HarperCollins. I’m throwing myself behind the marketing aspect and focusing on that right now.

What book did they make you read in high school that you simply hated? Loved?

Honestly I didn’t care for To Kill A Mockingbird. I truly didn’t understand what the big deal was. I read it again as an adult and was like, “DEAR GOD this book is AMAZING!!” I think in some ways that book is taught too early. A book I loved… Um, I’m a big nerd. I loved The Odyssey.

What IS your favorite drink?

Truly and honestly, it IS water. I’m an athlete and an outdoors girl, and there is NOTHING like cold water when you need a drink.

Mindy McGinnis is generously giving away 5 swag packs to our readers.  In order to enter to win, please follow the Rafflecopter prompt below.  The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada and ends Saturday, October 5th.

Casting Call- Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Cress GIVEAWAY

Please note: the winner of the Cress ARC Giveaway (random drawing) is KIKID (Kierra D) and her book is in the mail.  Thank you all for reading our blog and playing our casting call game.  We enjoyed hearing your thoughts.  This book series if VERY popular it turns out.  Keep watching for more giveaways.

I am completely in love with this series. I tore through Cinder and went through Scarlet like CRAZY, and was one of those weirdos at ALA Annual who stood in line to get a copy of Cress, even though it does not come out for over 100 days. And, That Guy was sweet enough to stand with me, so I have TWO- one for me to drool over and one to give away!
Want it? Here’s what we want you to do. I’ve put together who I think would be awesome to play the main characters (so far- so spoilers with Cress, that wouldn’t be fair) and placed their pictures below the break (age is no barrier- didn’t take it into consideration). In the comments below, share YOUR casting picks for the Main Characters…. (Note: All casting is part of my own head and reading, not anyone else’s)

Please note: we need your casting ideas by Sunday, September 20th to be entered to win the Cress ARC.



Prince Kai

Dr. Eckland

Lunar Queen



Captain Thorpe

Win This: 5 From Merit Press (Giveaway)

Earlier this year, Merit Press launched.  It is a new YA imprint started by New York Times best selling author Jacquelyn Mitchard.  Their focus is on “riveting and relevant real world novels for young adults” (via their Facebook page).  Today we had a guest blog post from author Julie Anne Lindsey, a Merit Press author.  I happen to have right here in my hand five FINISHED HARDBACK books from Merit Press for you to win.  You can keep them, use them as prizes, or add them to your library collection if you are a librarian.  This giveaway will be open until Midnight on Saturday, September 7th.  Complete details at the end of this post.

Exposure by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

 “The minute you think you can outsmart life, that’s when life will outsmart you.”

A modern day homage to Macbeth.  The captain of the hockey team, Duncan, turns up dead.  And senior Skye finds herself caught in a love triangle.  She may be the only one who knows what really happened to Duncan.  To tell or not to tell, that is the question.

Tempestuous by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

“I shuddered, remembering the similar crown of condescension I wore back when I stook perched on a higher rung of the social statrum.”

Miranda Prsopero has found herself banished from the popular crowd (say not banished).  She now finds herself working at the Hot-Dog-Kabob (think Hot Dog on a Stick with awesome uniforms and tall hats).  A huge storm sweeps through and they are all trapped in the mall, creating the perfect opportunity for revenge against her former clique.  Like Exposure, Temptestous is a part of the Twited Lit series, this one a take on The Tempest.

The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab

“The one thhing even more dangerous than being in a hostage situation has to be being in a hostage situation that’s gone wrong.”

Rich, powerful people often make powerful enemies.  And they can seek revenge at the most unfortunate times.  Ariel is in the midst of a mega birthday party when they show up, guns in hand.  Everyone is now being held hostage, except Ariel who has escaped into secret tunnels.  Sera was forced to attend the party by her father.  As terrorists take over the party, Ariel and Sera may be everyone’s only chance for survival.

The After Girls by Leah Konen

“How could she have spent week after week with her friend, her best friend, and not known that she wanted to leave? The guilt ripped at her, enveloped her, drowned her.  If only she could find what it was that she’d missed. If only she could see how she’d failed her friend.”

Ella, Astrid and Sydney find their summer plans shattered when Astrid takes her own life.  Ella and Sydney are left reeling: they had no idea anything was wrong, shouldn’t they have seen this coming?  Ella hunts for the truth while Sydney tries to escape the pain, often in destructive ways.  And is it possible that Astrid is trying to communicate with her friends from beyond?  The answers may just change their lives forever.

Louder Than Words by Laurie Plissner

“Every night it’s the same thing. Screeching brakes. Crunching steel. A rush of cold, wet air as the glass crumbles, letting in the snowy night.”

Her entire family was killed in a car crash that left Sasha unable to speak without the assistance of a voice box.  Ben, an empath, seems able to read Sasha’s mind and tries to help her heal from the trauma of the accident.  Soon it becomes clear: Sasha’s family did not die in an accident, and her life is in danger.

Sunday Reflctions: Poverty doesn’t always look the way you think it does

Several years ago, the world fell apart and many of us who didn’t know what suffering was except in the pages of a book learned.  I watched as my friend and co-worker for almost 10 years lost her job.  I watched her pack up her home, give things away, and move in with a family member as she tried to survive.  And every time someone stood in front of a microphone and talked about those lazy people who just didn’t want to work and were waiting for a free government hand out, I stood up for her and all the others out there.  The people who had worked hard, gotten educations, and then had the carpet ripped out so ungraciously from beneath them.  My friend, she is an older lady, holds a master’s degree, is white, and even while she was unemployed and her unemployment ran out, she volunteered at her church food pantry.  She had no income, just the love of a sibling who wouldn’t let her be homeless.

For 3 years my friend was out of work.  She applied.  Sometimes they even called and asked her to interview.  But there were often more than 100 people applying for one job.  Then finally, like me, she got a part time library job (we had to move for my husband’s job which was affected by the economy, it has not been an easy experience).  And like me she wasn’t making enough money to survive, she wasn’t putting into retirement, she wasn’t buying new clothes or going out to eat.  And like me, she was hoping that one event that could break us all wouldn’t happen, whatever it turned out to be.

This week, I celebrate with that friend because for her, the universe have finally righted itself.  She is back in the library world that she loves and able to touch lives with her passion.  She is one of the lucky ones.

Last week, it was revealed that there were glass shards found in salsa bought from Dollar Tree.  Some on Twitter then got into a conversation about how you should never buy food from Dollar Tree, ever.  The truth is, for many living in poverty they don’t have the transportation or money to go somewhere else.  If you live in walking distance of a Dollar Tree and can scrape up enough change, a meal from Dollar Tree could be the only one you get.

I do not live in poverty.  I am lucky because I have a spouse who makes a decent enough wage that we do okay, we make above what they declare the poverty line to be.  In fact, the poverty level for a family of 4 in 2013 is $23, 550.  I am the mother of a family of 4 and I assure you, that is not enough to house, feed, clothe and educate a family of four.  And although I do not live in poverty, and I am blessed and thankful, I am one of the many educated, hard working members of the middle class who has seen their life inch closer to falling apart.  And I know many like me.  And in my libraries I have worked with far too many.  So while the universe has finally gotten it right for my friend, and I celebrate with her, I want us to keep working to make it right for all the families, all the children, all the men and women out there who still are trying to find a way to make ends meet.  There are many of us that are one heartbeat away from losing it all, many that have already seen that happen.

Earlier this week, we shared a booklist of books that talk about poverty.  Today I am giving away 3 to help raise awareness and compassion.  Please leave a comment to enter (we will need a Twitter followback or email to contact you if you win) and RT this booklist to help raise awareness.  Every person, every family, that is brought out of poverty is a win for us all.  For poverty doesn’t just affect a person, it affects us all.

Poverty isn’t just the homeless person on the street with a sign.  Poverty is the family next door that has to choose between buying food or paying the mortgage.  It is the family down the street that gets food from the local pantry to feed their children because as food and gas prices go up, pay doesn’t.  It is the family in low income housing that doesn’t know how they will buy the huge list of back to school supplies that are being mailed out right now.  It is the family with children left home alone late into the night while parents work two and three part-time jobs and miss parent teacher conferences because taking off work is not an option.  It is the family eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the third night in a row while they wait for payday to come.  It is the family that is one medical crisis, one pink slip, one injury, one moment away from losing it all.

Poverty is no respecter of the color of your skin, the amount of education you have received, the number of years you have worked.  If we have learned anything since 2008 it is this: You can lose it all in the blink of an eye and it can happen to anyone.

More on Poverty at TLT:
Can We All Just Stop Saying the Internet Is Free Now Please? 
Rich Teen, Poor Teen: Books that depict teens living in poverty 
Working with youth who live in poverty 
Sunday Reflections: This is what losing everything looks like
Sunday Reflections: Going to bed hungry
Sunday Reflections: A tale of two libraries 

Giveaway Guidelines:
We are giving away ARCs fo Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey, Hooked by Liza Fichera, Safekeeping by Karen Hesse.  To enter, please simply leave a comment by Wednesday, July 31st at midnight.  One winner will be selected from the U.S. (sorry, but international mailing costs are high).

Egmont USA Week, July 15-19

July 15th is the 2 year anniversary of the Teen Librarian Toolbox.  And we are joining forces with Egmont USA this week to celebrate.  All this week we will be talking about Egmont USA titles, sharing some author guest posts, and giving away Egmont titles.  This will be our hub and we’ll add new posts each day as they post.

Let me just take this moment to say THANK YOU! Thank you for reading this blog, sharing your passion for books and libraries with us, and for giving us this forum to talk about the things we want to be talking about.  We have gotten a ton of great feedback from you all and it genuinely makes our day every time it happens.  And a special thanks to Christie Gibrich, Heather Booth, Robin Willis and Stephanie Wilkes who have all been such an important part of TLT.  And, of course, thank you to EgmontUSA for this great week of books and giveaways. 

The Egmon tUSA giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.  You can enter multiple times so check out our daily posts. Rafflecopter will select our prize package winner and they will be contacted by EgmontUSA for shipping purposes.  Contest ends on Friday, July 19th at Midnight.

This is What Losing Everything Looks Like: How TLT started
Fall 2013 Releases 
MG Review: Vordak, Time Travel Trouble
The Things That Scare Us by Em Garner, author of Contaminated
Book Review: Quarantine 2 The Saints by Lex Thomas
Book Review: Contaminated by Em Garner 
Book Review: BZRK Reloaded by Michael Grant
Book Review: Saving Thanehaven by Catherine Jinks
Book Review: What I Came to Tell You by Tommy Hayes
Writing About Grief and Recovery in Spies and Prejudice, a guest post by Talia Vance
Summertimes by Lindsay Eland, author of A Summer of Sundays
Book Review: A Summer of Sunday by Linsday Eland

Previous Egmont USA Posts

Guest Posts
10 Reasons You Should Buy QUARANTINE for Your Library by Lex Thomas
Who Watches the Watchers? A guest post by Ashes author Ilsa J. Bick

Book Reviews
Book Review: Quarantine book 1: The Loners
Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
Book Review: Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick
Book Review: One Moment by Kristina McBride 
Book Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Book Review: The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
Book Review: Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
Book Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Book Review: Timepiece by Myra McEntire 
Book Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynne Barnes

Booklists and Readalikes
Top 10: You Could Have Been an X-Men – readalikes for the X-men fans 
Top 10: YA Books that Buffy Fans Will Like 
Top YA Books for the Doctor Who Fan 
Take 5: Spies Like Us – great spy reads