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June is Audio Book Month

Since moving from Ohio to Texas, we have driven back and forth several times.  It is 19 hours.  19 hours trapped in a car with a teen and a 4 year old.  They fight.  They ask if we are there yet – a lot.  But behold the magic of Audio Books! They really do make travelling better.

June is Audio Book Month.  In part because school is ending and everyone is thinking about taking those long vacation drives somewhere.  It is, in fact, a great time to listen to an audio book.  Of course, you can also listen while you work out, clean your house, do yard work and more.

During Reluctant Readers week, we talked a lot about how audio books are a great tool for reluctant readers:

Confessions of a Librarian Raising a Reluctant Reader
What is a Reluctant Reader  
Take 5: Resources for Working with Reluctant Readers  
Top 10 Tips for Parents (and teachers and librarians) for Helping Your Reluctant Reader  
What if We
What If It’s More than Reluctant Reading? A story of Dyslexia  
Challenge Accepted! A school librarian talks about Reluctant Readers

But audio books are more than just for reluctant readers.  They are for anyone who wants to listen to a great story.  This month, in celebration of Audio Book Month, we will be posting periodically about audio books.  We will have an audio book narrator share with us how an audio book comes into being, an Odyssey member share with us her experience on the committee, and Christie is going to talk about how – and why – her branch recently added Playaways to the library.

And we’re going to have a Giveaway.  We all have some audiobooks that we have reviewed laying around and we’re putting a little prize package together for you.  You have until the end of the month to enter if you are a U.S. resident.  Included in the prize package will be my full review copies of Scowler and Rotters by Daniel Kraus, which I talked about listening to here: True Confessions of an Audio Book Virgin

So let’s get this giveaway and our discussion of audio books started.  Leave us a comment telling us your favorite audio book and what makes it stand out above the rest.  Or, if you don’t really like listening to audio books, leave us a comment telling us why.

SOHO Teen Presents…Deviant by Helen FitzGerald

When 16-year-old Abigail’s mother dies in Scotland–leaving a faded photo, a weirdly cryptic letter, and a one-way ticket to America–she feels nothing. Why should she? Her mother gave her away when she was a baby, leaving her to grow up on an anti-nuclear commune and then in ugly foster homes. But the letter is a surprise in more ways than one: Her father is living in California. What’s more, Abigail discovers she has an eighteen-year-old sister, Becky. And the two are expecting Abigail to move in with them.

After struggling to overcome her natural suspicions of a note from beyond the grave (not to mention anything positive) Abigail grows close to her newfound sister. But then Becky is found dead, the accidental victim of an apparent drug overdose. As Abigail wrestles with her feelings and compiles a “Book of Remembrance” of her sister’s short life, she uncovers a horrifying global plot aimed at controlling teen behavior: one that took her sister’s and mother’s lives, with vast implications.

I’ve only read an excerpt of this one so far and my mind is already buzzing around the possibilities!  First off, Abigail is a Scottish foster teen.  And from the way she describes it, it pretty much resembles the crumbling foster system that I am used to working with with my foster home youth.  She was abandoned as a baby and given to a woman to live with who was the only family that Abigail had ever known.  At the age of nine, the woman tells Abigail she has cancer and within a week, she is dead, thrusting Abigail into the System.

Now, seven years later, Abigail finds out her birth mother has died and left her a large sum of money, a letter telling her her father is alive, and a ticket to Los Angeles.  So many questions for a young girl who trusts no one…

I cannot wait to read the rest of this one!!!!  I’m already on pins and needles wanting to know what will happen next!


Today is the last day to enter the SOHO Teen giveaway!!!!  We will announce the winners on Monday!  Good luck and have a great weekend!

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SOHO Teen Presents…Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon

17-year-old Sophie lies on her deathbed in California, awaiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer…
17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland…
17-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt…

All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital—only to discover that they’re not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they’re to have any hope of surviving. 

Soon they discover that they’ve been trapped in a future that isn’t of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home. As the truth comes to light through the eyes of Sophie, Declan, and Anat, the reader is taken on a dark and unforgettable journey into the hearts of teens who must decide what to do with a second chance at life.

I am already a huge fan of Michelle Gagnon after reading Don’t Turn Around and while I have only read an excerpt of this novel, she definitely does not disappoint.   The book opens with each character describing their time of death, some sudden and some expected but all three pack a powerful punch into this time-traveling mystery.  

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SOHO Teen Presents…Escape Theory by Margaux Froley

Sixteen-year-old Devon Mackintosh has always felt like an outsider at Keaton, the prestigious California boarding school perched above the Pacific. As long as she’s not fitting in, Devon figures she might as well pad her application to Stanford’s psych program. So junior year, she decides to become a peer counselor, a de facto therapist for students in crisis. At first, it seems like it will be an easy fly-on-the-wall gig, but her expectations are turned upside down when Jason Hutchins (a.k.a. “Hutch”), one of the Keaton’s most popular students, commits suicide.

 Devon dives into her new role providing support for Hutch’s friends, but she’s haunted by her own attachment to him. The two shared an extraordinary night during their first week freshman year; it was the only time at Keaton when she felt like someone else really understood her.  As the secrets and confessions pile up in her sessions, Devon comes to a startling conclusion: Hutch couldn’t have taken his own life. Bound by her oath of confidentialityand tortured by her unrequited love—Devon embarks on a solitary mission to get to the bottom of Hutch’s death, and the stakes are higher than she ever could have imagined.

While the concept of boarding school mystery isn’t exactly new, the way that Escape Theory takes it on totally is.  The chapters are split into sessions that Devon has as a peer counselor and really moves the story along as the mystery of what happened to Hutch starts to unravel.  

I love Devon’s voice and again, another excellent addition to the SOHO Teen imprint.  That’s three months of excellent mysteries back to back…I couldn’t be any more pleased! 

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Happy New Year – Some Announcements & A GIVEAWAY

Happy New Year! First, want to thank you for an awesome 2012.  We could not have done it without you, so from the bottom of our hearts – thank you!  For 2013, we have a new look (we hope you like it), some announcements (they are juicy), and a chance for you to win a box of 5 YA books/ARCs (YAY!). Please read on.

It’s a Mystery! Meet 3 New YA Imprints

In January, in addition to all of our regular posting and book reviewing, we will be spotlighting Mysteries and introducing you to three new YA Imprints: SOHO Teen, Month9Books and Merit Press.  The week of January 14-18 will be dedicated to SOHO Teen as TLTer Stephanie Wilkes introduces you to their new mystery books.

And Baby Makes More

If you follow Stephanie on Twitter then you know that she is going to have a baby soon – yay! So she will be taking a little bit of a break for a few months to welcome that new bundle of joy into this world.  We can’t wait! (But we are going to miss her and will welcome her back with open arms.)

Someday We’ll Find It, the Rainbow Connection

Christie G. has been nominated as the chair of the Rainbow Committee for 2014. The Rainbow Project puts together each year’s Rainbow List, a selection of quality LGBTQ titles.  She’ll be sharing her experiences throughout the year.  Look for her at Midwinter and ask her what she has been reading.

Booktalk This!

Kearsten, the YA Librarian from Arizona who inspired the #mustacheyoutoread project, will be joining us as a regular contributor by sharing her monthly booktalk feature.  Here, she will share 5 booktalks around a theme that you can use in your library.  We are so excited to have Kearsten on board because she is passionate, dedicated, and fits right in with us.

Kearsten is the second from the right on the bottom, right between The Mr. and Heather Booth


As we speak, techy people are working to make us a networked blog with VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates).  This is very exciting for me because it has been my number 1 tool since the very beginning, when I had no idea what we were doing.  I squealed with excitement in 2001 when I was chosen to become a VOYA reviewer.  I was on the receiving end of Stephanie’s call last year when she also squealed after becoming a reviewer for VOYA.

Answer Some Questions, Win Some Books

Drumroll please . . .

And finally, Heather Booth and I are writing a book! Technically, we have been writing a book for a year now and now that it seems like we really are going to turn in a rough draft, we thought we would tell you about it.  Our book is called The Whole Teen Library Handbook and we are writing it for ALA Editions.  We have gotten a lot of help from other ya librarians, including our very own Stephanie and Christie.  We can’t say thank you enough to those who are contributing their thoughts and experiences.  But we want to make sure we cover everything that needs to be covered and need your help.  Please answer any or all of the following questions in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a box of 5 books/ARCs.  Be sure to leave an e-mail address or Twitter follow back so we can get in touch with you.  And if you would like, you can e-mail me your answers at kjensenmls@yahoo.com with the subject heading TWTLH and be entered to win.

Survey Questions

1. What do you wish you knew more about to be a better YA Librarian?

2. What part of your job were you not prepared for?

3. What 1 piece of wisdom would you pass on to an MLS student?

4. My biggest triumph so far has been . . .

5. I work with teens because . . .

Stories in Motion: a look inside book trailer creation by Alicia Kat Dillman (guest post)

Today as part of the Daemons in the Mist blog tour, author Alicia Kat Dillman discusses the process she goes through to make a book trailer.

Hi everyone, today I’m joining you here at the awesome Teen Librarian’s Toolbox to talk about book trailer creation.

The first thing I do is select what the trailer will be about, what message I’m trying to get across to the potential audience in under two minutes of running time. You want to catch the interest of your audience while not bombarding them with too much info.

Daemons in the Mist is told in first person so I figured the trailer should be as well. I decided the trailer would be Patrick’s story, told from his point of view, so I chose two scenes from Daemons in the Mist as the base of the trailer. Why those two scenes? Because really, the whole story pivots on the decisions he makes in those chapters.

Most of the lines in the trailer were lifted from actual passages in the book and then edited to fit the format of the trailer. It gives you a taste of what you’ll get in the story and a look into the way Patrick thinks; his voice. The few lines he says speak volumes to all the conflict he’s going through in the story without giving too much away and spoiling the story like our modern movie trailers do.

I take all the text from the passages and develop a script for the trailer which you can see here. Script in hand, I head on over to my favorite stock music site Jamendo and listen to some music. If you’re making your own trailer remember that you cannot just grab your favorite song. Doing so violates the rights of the song’s copyright-holder. Your best bet is to select a song from a stock music site or better yet, create one yourself.

After I’ve selected the song, I head over to Animoto, a browser-based video creation program, fellow author Merrie Destefano suggested to me, which I use to make my trailers. Animoto uses mathematical algorithms to time and mix visuals with the music you select. I start mocking up the trailer with placeholder imagery since Animoto won’t work without images. Once I decide exactly what artwork will be needed to create my vision for the trailer, I hop into Painter and get to work.

Once the artwork is completed, I drop it into place within Animoto and hit the “Produce Video” button. Lastly I remix the completed video about 10-20 times to get the trailer that most closely fits my vision. And there you have it, the process I go through when creating book trailers.

About Alicia Kat Dillman
Indie author & illustrator Alicia Kat Dillman is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. Kat illustrates and designs book covers & computer game art by day and writes teen fiction by night. The owner of two very crazy studio cats and nine overfull bookcases, Kat can usually be found performing, watching anime or hanging out in twitter chats when not playing in the imaginary worlds within her head.

Daemons in the Mist
Seventeen year old Patrick Connolly has been hopelessly infatuated with Nualla for years but he is all but invisible to her. Until, that is, he rescues her from a confrontation with her ex. Little does Patrick know he’s just set off a dangerous chain reaction that will thrust him into a world of life altering secrets and things that shouldn’t exist, because the fog and mist of San Francisco is concealing more than just buildings.

Website Link: http://www.katgirlstudio.com/
Book Link: http://www.katgirlstudio.com/book/daemons-in-the-mist-book/
There is more information on making booktrailers in a previous TLT post.
Leave a comment and a way to get in touch with you and you will be entered to win an e-copy of Daemons in the Mist by Alicia Kat Dillman.

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