Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

What are YOU waiting for?

There are a lot of exciting projects – movies, books, video games – as well as conferences and weeks of celebration coming up. We want to know which ones you are most excited about. We also want to know which ones we might be missing – please chime in in the comments section!



  • Book: United We Spy by Ally Carter
  • Book: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
  • Book: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
  • Book: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Book: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Book: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein 
  • Book: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
  • BANNED BOOKS WEEK (September 22-28)
  • HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH (September 15 – October 15)
  • Library Card Sign Up Month


  • Book: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan 
  • Star Wars Reads Day (October 5)
  • TEEN READ WEEK (October 13 – 19)



Sometime in 2014 Karen and Heather’s professional book The Whole Library Handbook will be published by ALA Editions.  THIS is one of the things that we are MOST excited about in 2014!

January 2014

  • Book: The Unbound by Victoria Schwab 
  • ALA Midwinter & Awards Announcements (January 27)

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

  • Movie: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4)
  • Book: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
  • Book: Dangerous by Shannon Hale
  • Book: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
  • National D.E.A.R. Day (Drop Everything and Read) (April 12)
  • Celebrate Teen Literature Day (April 17)
  • TLA (come hear Karen and Christie speak!)

May 2014

Reel Thoughts: The Wolverine (movie review by Christie G.)

I am a comic book geek, and I am addicted to movie adaptations (for good or ill) of comic book series. I have seen the good (X-Men: First Class, Marvel’s Adventures) and the bad (Green Lantern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), and even though I was a little nervous about taking my teens to go see The Wolverine, I figured that if it was as bad as the previous one, at least we could mock it…

To my great surprise it was actually really good. It’s placed timeline-wise after X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) when Logan (Wovervine) has destroyed Jean/ Phoenix, and is struggling with both her death and what his life has become. He is found in the Canadian outback by Yukio, an assistant to a Japanese soldier Logan saved from a nuclear blast during World War II.  Now the soldier wants to return the favor:  to save Logan’s life by taking his immortality.

Anyone who’s watched the Wolverine animated series on G4 (soon to be the Esquire channel), or read the 1982 limited comic series written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, will be familiar with the story line and how most of the movie goes. The violence is similar to other X-Men movies, but to me didn’t seem nearly as realistic or jarring as the terrorism scenes in Iron Man 3. 

My teens and I really enjoyed it.  It’s definitely one that I will add to our library collection and would love to show at the library, if Disney ever gets the rights back from Fox for the X-Men properties.

For weird/awesome things that can possibly spoil the movie, follow the break!


DC hasn’t done this for some of their movies, and sometimes Fox hasn’t done it for their comic creations either, but this time they are taking a page from the rest of their Marvel brethren and adding in a teaser for where the franchise is going. On the bright side, it’s only one, not the three different endings that came out during the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine; but on the semi-negative side where it’s placed depends on what *type* of movie you see. We saw it in 3-D so it was pretty close after the listing of the cast (at the transition from the 3-D credits to the 2-D credits), but I’ve seen online that if you see the movie in 2-D that it’s shown after *all* of the credits.

It’s not any surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the news that came out from Comic Con, but it’s fun to see anyway, and gets you excited for what’s coming next. I’m interested to see how they’re going to mesh everything together in X-Men: Days of Future Past with the “old” and “new” cast, and I am super excited about the Sentinels


There were some flaws in editing that we noticed that shouldn’t have happened in a film this size- it’s like getting a misprinted book. If you haven’t seen it yet and are interested, go take a look and see if you catch it.

Taking things off twice

There’s a scene with Viper/the doctor in which she’s taking off her gloves, and they cut it weirdly- she ends up taking her gloves off twice…


There’s a scene with Logan and Mariko (the granddaughter) where they are eating and discussing important plot points. (Here’s where action people are all like, NOOOOOOOOOOOO, discussion?!?!  Need more fighting!!!!) Near the beginning of the scene she takes his upright chopsticks out of his food and sets them to the side; at the end of the scene she again takes the upright chopsticks out of the food and sets them to the side. Now, Logan might have put them back in the food as a rebellion move, but you (the viewer) never see him to it…


I really like to know *where* characters come from, and their back story. I want it in my books, and I want it in my movies. Marvel has won me over with what they’ve been doing with the Avengers and the whole series surrounding all of it because of how they’re building that world. The newest Batman movies build that world and sold me, too. I’m not so sure about some of the characters in The Wolverine; my teens were fine during the movie with the characters just appearing out of nowhere, but as we were driving back were asking me or using their phones to search for more information.

Viper- The good doctor really doesn’t follow any of the established storylines. Depending on which one you follow, she’s either part of Hydra, or a master assassin, or something else entirely. The problem is, she’s not really established in the movie. The immunity to poisons is cool, and the biotech smarts is awesome (yea girls with science) but the shedding skin thing at the end just didn’t work quite right.  What’s with the blonde hair then going bald but with perfect makeup?  That’s totally inconsistent with all the variations.

Silver Samurai– They have this huge, awesome silver samurai suit, and this huge, wonderful backstory. The movie publicists build up an epic battle with Wolverine and Silver Samurai- and there is, because this is what everything has been building up to (even though two of my teens guessed who was in the suit) and the whole point of the movie. Yet, it’s really like the Batwing from the original Batman with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson:  tons of money, and a one-off.

Still Really Good

None of this detracts from this being a really good movie. It definitely made my inner comic geek happy, and it gave my teens a really good buzz. I adored the soundtrack music, and they fact that they really kept it in the Japanese flavors. I would love to do a marathon before the release of Days of Future Past but as of right now none of the movies are covered by our public performance license. I shall have to geek out at my house beforehand.

Reel Thoughts: Stealing from the Past to Make the Future (Good or Bad)

There’s a host of sayings going around that there are no original ideas; everything has been done before, it’s just the spin. Hollywood and the movie industry definitely takes this view- a ton of movies that come through are taken from idea that have already come from either television or older movies that they feel the current target audience (18-35) wouldn’t be familiar with. However, that doesn’t mean that they work with teens. The ones below are covered under Movie Licensing USA and have been taken from sources originated in the 80’s. Do you use them in your programming? Share in the comments!


Was the REAL American hero and KNOWING was half the battle, especially with a PSA after each episode. However, the newer movies have more explosions and rewrote all the love interests…
GI Joe: Rise of Cobra came out in 2009
while GI Joe Retaliation came out in 2013 (DVD due to be released at the end of July)
and my teens seem to love both.

Another huge 80’s cartoon making a comeback has been Transformers…  from epic cartoon battles…

to live action and CGI, it has killed at the box office. I geek over the fact that they’ve gotten a lot of the original voice actors for the Transformers, even if I have real issues with the way women are portrayed in the films. And a fourth one is on the books for June 2014, with Mark Walhberg  as the lead (you go, Marky Mark).

But not all of the 80’s remakes have been cartoons.  Take for example:
RED DAWN. Made in 1984, The Wolverines took on Russia when they invaded and saved the good old USA. (Didn’t remember that Baby and Johnny Castle had a movie BEFORE Dirty Dancing, didja?) Now, in 2012, movie makers traded Russia for China and we got
RED DAWN. With Peeta. And a very shorn Thor. I haven’t seen this one, but my teens are clamoring for it, so I bet it’ll be on our fall rotation.
I am excited to see CARRIE.
 I love the original with Sissy Spacek, and have high hopes for the new one with Chloe Moretz.


These we can just look at the pictures and not talk about.




And there are more remakes coming. According to IMDB.com, there are remakes coming for The Highlander (which may be delayed since Ryan Reynolds just dropped out of the title role), Scarface, Dirty Dancing (not just the bad sequels),Escape from New York, and others. These can be good, bad or inbetween, but sometimes I really just want something that I don’t need to compare it to.

Reel Thoughts: Steel Yourself for This One by Christie G and That Guy

 That Guy and I went out to the movies on Sunday, and being the huge comic geek that I am, I have been crazy to see Man of Steel. I have been excited and nervous about the possibilities with this movie: I am one of the few who actually adored Watchmen (maybe because I read the graphic novel before watching the movie so I knew what to expect) and the bits and pieces I had seen online had just increased my anticipation. I was nervous because the writers and directors had said that they were veering away from any and all comic book backstory- it was going to be an entirely new saga, just with familiar characters. OK, I thought to myself- they did that with the recent Batman trilogy with Christian Bale, and I really liked those, and they veered away from canon in Star Trek and I watch those over and over again, so take it with a grain of salt.
If I really like a movie, I will go see it with friends repeatedly. If I’m intrigued by it and need puzzles figured out (looking at you, Inception) then I’ll see it one more time in theaters. I’ve seen Star Trek: In Darkness and Iron Man 3 twice this summer, I will probably see World War Z twice, and Thor: The Dark World will definitely be a multiple viewing, as will Kick-Ass 2. However, Man of Steel was a once-and-done for me. 
I was blown away by Cavill, Crowe, and Shannon, but not so much by Adams.  I need a more kick-butt Lois for it to be believable and she never got there for me. I poked That Guy every time I saw an actor/actress that I had seen in a previous favorite series (Battlestar Galactica in the house!), or when things lined up with the original movie. And I chuckled every time I saw a Lexcorp logo, because I secretly love Lex in all of his screen incarnations (from Hackman to Spacey to Michael Rosenblaum), and I hope that he’s the ubervillain in the sequel.
I LOVED the nonlinear storytelling- I thought that every flashback fit in beautifully with what they were trying to show, and that Kal-El/Clark’s story was stronger for it. It didn’t bother me that it jumped back and forth; it made those flashback scenes matter all the more, which I believe was the intent. And the special effects were gorgeous! From the planet Kryton to the physics of the fighting and the threat Zod brings, the renditions were brilliant, and natural enough that they didn’t throw me out of the movie because they didn’t blend in (like the effects in the 2012 remake of Total Recall did).
What bothers me enough to put me off entirely from the movie happens in the last quarter of the film. If you’re curious, keep reading below the jump.
Will I buy it for my library collection? Yes. Will I show it to my teens for a program? Yes, if they want to see it (I always give them options when I’m planning movie programs). Will I buy it for my personal collection? Time will tell, and it depends on whether or not the sequel will redeem this first one.
WARNING:  MASSIVE SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE, DO NOT FOLLOW. If you have seen the movie, or you’re not going to bother to see the movie, feel free.

My problem with the movie is not in the casting, even though I think Lois was a bit unbelievable. My problem was with the last quarter of the movie.   In the beginning, Jor-El takes the Codex (the genetic maps of all the lines of the Kryptonian race [That Guy:  I thought they said it had the genetic information for all life forms on Krypton…but I’m not going to see it again to find out for sure.])  and puts it into his son so that it would be safe from General Zod, who basically wants to take over Krypton and mold it to his ideal of a perfect Krypton, destroying those bloodlines that Zod considers useless.  Jor-El then launches baby Kal-El away from Krypton so that he is safe, because the planet Krypton is destroying itself anyway.  The vast and intelligent race has destroyed its natural resources, and instead of exploring galaxies as their ancestors did, they killed off their own planet.  (That Guy:  Idiots.)
Gotcha. I’m OK with this so far.  
 Zod is pissed, swears vengeance on Kal-El, and vows to find the Codex and repopulate the people (which they have done artificially in pods for centuries [That Guy:  see also The Matrix and Brave New World]) while he’s sent to the Phantom Zone for punishment. And Krypton explodes because of their folly and no one survives except Kal-El and those in the Phantom Zone. (That Guy:  why didn’t they just get on their super high tech ships and leave?  Again, I say:  idiots.)
Gotcha. Still OK with this. And it’s remarkably similar to another movie I watched.
 So fast forward though most of the movie, and Zod and Kal-El are battling it out. Kal-El has destroyed the World Engine, which is what the Kryptonians used to terraform planets to make them hospitable for their own kind- and which would have destroyed all humans on the planet. Zod has taken control of the Kryptonian ship that had landed on Earth back in the ice age (discovered at the beginning of the film) and though it’s never explained clearly (or if it was, I missed it) Earth was going to be one of the outpost colonies for the Kryptonian race during the ice age. So not only does it have all the cool Kryptonian tech (That Guy:  which appears to be totally unchanged after 18000 years?  Really? Why can’t Sony and MIcrosoft do that backwards compatibility with their gaming systems…), it has a Genesis Chamber full of Kryptonian babies. Zod’s flying it back to his ship to start repopulating Earth once things are at a suitable Kryptonian level, and Kal-El is bent on stopping him, and he does. BY DESTROYING THE SHIP with his heat vision, saying “Krypton had its chance”.
Now, that’s the first part I have issues with: that Superman would destroy all those lives. I get that yes, he has the Codex of Krypton in his blood so that theoretically if Earth ever gets the tech, or he develops it, he can start producing Kryptonian babies. And I get that the whole movie is forcing the suffering figure of Kal-El/Clark into making the hardest choices and shaping the man that he must be, but having read a lot of the comics, I can’t believe that he would destroy the entirety of his race.  It’s such a huge part of his character that he’s always alone, and always searching for the possibility that someone else survived, so that when there are others that appear (his son, or his cousin, a clone, or anyone else in the various timelines) it’s treated by him as a miracle.   (That Guy:  given that Zod is attempting to commit genocide against humans, he chooses to commit genocide against Kryptonians instead?  Doesn’t that put him on similar moral ground with Zod?  Now it’s his own fault that he’s alone, too.) 
The other one is the death of Zod and the way that Kal-El was forced into it. You think that Zod is dead, either in the crash, or sucked into the Phantom Zone along with his warriors and Colonel Hardy and Dr. Hamilton, but then he reappears. That I can go with. Then we have huge, epic battles through Metropolis, smashing buildings, turning around gravity, and all sorts of nice battle scenes. I can go with that. Zod at some point tells Kal-El that he (Zod) was created for the sole purpose of protecting and serving Krypton and its people, and making sure they survive, and that Kal-El “stole [his] soul.”  More fighting ensues.
Then they crash in the train station, Kal-El gets Zod in a choke hold, and Zod starts using heat vision to try and kill humans. As the beam gets closer and closer, he taunts Kal-El, and finally Kal-El snaps his neck.  (That Guy:  although it is not explicitly shown, I think Zod managed to kill the family he was threatening before Kal-El killed him, which further complicates his psyche with the guilt of hesitation, perhaps, or of not being strong enough, on top of the genocide he has just committed.  It’s tough to be the “boy scout in blue tights” with such a heavy conscience, don’t you think?  I’m not sure the Superman in the movie is the same character as the Superman we have seen before.  They might share a name and some background, but they are making very different choices, and to me are simply not the same person.)

If it was a pair of humans, we’d call this suicide by cop. Zod lost his reason for being, and forced Kal-El to kill him, never reasoning that there could be any other life than the one that he had been given at birth. That sends a powerful message, especially when we do live in an unspoken caste society. We are sorted by a variety of factors, and those factors open some doors for us and close others. Here in Texas, our governor refuses to sign equal pay acts and is closing Planned Parenthood clinics. Elsewhere there are places where women cannot get birth control, where if you have any hint of an accent you shouldn’t even apply for a job.  Even if we don’t acknowledge it, the circumstances of our births do affect the opportunities that we have.

If it was just the death of Zod in the train station, I would have been able to say without hesitation that it was a really good movie and recommend it to others. However, the scene of the ship being destroyed just goes against what intrinsically I think Superman stands for.  I didn’t walk away from this movie on a high, saying, “Wow, I want to come back and see it again.” 

TPIB: Secret Agent Man for the Summer

A lot of librarians I’ve talked to who are working within the Collaborative Summer Reading Program are doing ground things for “Dig Up A Good Book”- touch a truck programs, digging animals, etc. And for “Beneath The Surface” there are a lot of spa treatment programs, mermaids, and technology. I must be weird because my brain went directly to SPIES and SECRET AGENTS. Maybe it’s because I’ve just finished reading two assassin/mystery books back to back- who knows. At any rate, if you are thinking about going the spy and secret agent route, I’ve pulled together activities, crafts, and movies after the jump! See if you can get through a program without humming the Mission:Impossible theme, The Pink Panther theme, or Peter Gunn.


Scatter picture clues around the room (or around the library) and give out mystery sheets that have secrets to the clues to each participant. You could do shadow figures of literary characters, or hide cards in specific type of books (bring back a Wookie Cookie from the Star Wars Cookbook). Tweens/teens can go solo or do it in groups, and it can be an active part of your program, or a self-directed part of your summer reading, just by changing up the pictures and clues every couple of weeks.

Create a multitude of secret identities beforehand based off of literary and movie spies and detectives (James Bond, Austin Powers, Agatha Christie, Encyclopedia Brown) with a cheat sheet of characteristics that describe each secret agent. Hand these out to each participant. Taking a second list with just the names, cut them apart and place them in a bucket or a hat. Then have each person playing take pull a name out of the hat, and they will have to investigate each other to figure out who their secret person is, without lying but without giving away their secret identity. The first to figure out who their suspect is without being discovered is the winner.


I’m always surprised about how many of the teens/tweens I work with have *never* played Clue- it was a game I grew up with and was a staple at our house. You can do a host of things to make it interesting- do a live Clue version, or take the board game but replace the weapons with larger ones (an actual wrench and candlestick, a water gun and a fake knife, etc.). Break the group up into teams, and have at it.

Take a spin on madlibs by creating your own spy story. Find short mysteries stories, and copy them out leaving key words blank, then have tweens/teens fill them in without knowing the results.

The object is to get rid of all your cards (and catch a comrade in a lie along the way). Each player gets seven cards, while the rest are turned face down in a drawing pile. The dealer starts by laying a card or cards from his hand face down on the table, then declaring their value (for example, “three sevens”). The next player has to add a card or cards of the next highest value (in this case, eights). If he or she has no such card, the choice is either to pick from the drawing pile–or to fake it. Any player can challenge by saying, “Lie detector,” but when the truth is revealed, whoever is wrong inherits all the cards in the facedown pile. 

Set up your own spy training by creating an indoor obstacle course.  Use crepe paper streamers or string to create a crazy maze that they must twist and turn to get through, and tie chairs together that they must crawl under or over.

If your tweens/teens have the tech and the ability, give them an outdoor activity and hide a set number of geocache on library property. Set them up in teams, point them in the right direction with a time to be back, and have them search for the secret mission!

My tweens and teens are still in love with mustaches. Find printables online for all different types of mustaches and weird glasses, and run them off on card stock. Have them cut them out, and make their own “sneaky” disguises and take pictures to show off.

Every spy needs their own binoculars.  You can pick up craft kits at places like Oriental Trading Company, or make your own with toilet paper tubes and leftover craft materials. Sample directions can be found here.
ID Kits

Every spy needs their own case file, so why not create one? Break into the office supplies and liberate the manila file folders and stamp a bunch CONFIDENTIAL, then place a bunch of activity sheets in them, like message decoders, a spy identity card, and randomize what agency they work for and what missions they have performed.
I am in LOVE with our public performance license, and love showing movies- and my tweens and teens seem to love finding “new” to them movies that they may not have watched before.  Below are selections of movies (G, PG & PG-13) that fit in the spy/secret agent genre that are covered by Movie Licensing USA- please don’t show a movie if you aren’t covered. If you’re looking for others, please check their website.

Austin Powers Series
James Bond Series
Agent Cody Banks 1& 2
Adventures of TinTin
Dick Tracy
Despicable Me
Inspector Gadget
The Incredibles
The Pink Panther
Scooby Doo Series
Spy Kids Series
Turner and Hooch
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Jack Reacher
Bourne Series
Mission:Impossible series

Also, some of the activities on this CSI TPiB would work well for the theme as well.

TPiB: Free Comic Book Day

This Saturday marks the 11th year of Free Comic Book Day, and I LOVE this day. Started in 2002, and coordinated by Diamond Comics, participating comic shops AND libraries across the country give comics AWAY FREE to those who come by. These comics are free to customers (not the stores), and the day has three purposes:

1. to introduce people everywhere to the joy of reading comics (we love reading, right?)

2. to gain future comic readers (and gaining future readers is always good)

3. to thank current comic book buyers and customers for their support (generates excellent good will within the community)

However, if you do not HAVE free comics to give away to your patrons, DO NOT PANIC. You can still put together an awesome Free Comic Book Day event with a minimum of effort.

First, check the Free Comic Book Day website for retailers that are participating in your area. Give them a call and explain who you are and that you want to put flyers up in the library pointing patrons to their locations for Free Comic Book Day, and that *NEXT* year you’d love to partner with them. By this time, it’s way too late to expect shops to free up some of their inventory for you, but this way you can start generating the good will with the shops for next year.

Second, think about what type of programming you can reasonably handle on Saturday without stretching your staff too thin.  If you have a wonderful manager, or are in charge of your own schedule, then full speed ahead; if you’re not, take a look at when you’re on the desk and how the rest of the library is staffed. Always keep an eye on what you can REASONABLY handle, and what the rest of the library staff can handle as well. The best types of programs will not stress ANYONE out needlessly.

Think about whether you want to do self directed or staff directed programming. Then take a look at the ideas below that can fit into either.


Movie Marathons: Do you have a public performance license? Do you have the equipment to show movies? Do you have the space (teen room, program room, various areas)? If so, pull movies to show throughout the day, and combine them with some of the self directed ideas below. Iron Man 3 will be released in theaters this Friday; show Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and The Avengers. Need to show movies that are more family friendly as you are in an open space?  Go with Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, Despicable Me, Scooby Doo, or Speed Racer. Or if you have the additional anime license, show anime from the Movie Licensing USA Collection.

http://blogs.strose.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/boardgames.jpgLow Tech Gaming: Have a space or some empty tables? Put up flyers advertising a Low Tech Gaming day. Let your teens know to bring their Yu-Gi-Oh cards and your tweens to bring their Pokemon decks. See if any of your staffers would be willing to lend their comic based versions of Monopoly (I know I am not the only one out there that has Star Wars The Clone Wars Monopoly or Marvel Monopoly). Maybe someone has Simpsons Operation. Find a copy of Apples to Apples Disney Version. Or maybe someone has Scooby Doo Clue.

Console Gaming: If you have the space and the equipment, set up your console gaming equipment for some free style gaming. Titles like Marvel vs Capcom, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, DragonBall Z and Naruto completely fit the bill for a comic based program. An entire page in Wikipedia is devoted to titles (note: not all titles will be appropriate for teen programs in all libraries- you know your library so choose what would work for you).

Costume Party: Get buy-in from your library management, and have a costume party- everyone come dressed as their favorite hero (or villain). If you can’t go all out in dress, see if you can get a waiver for everyone to wear jeans and their favorite comic based T-shirt (within workplace rules- no graphic language, etc.). Then have a costume contest with your teens! Have their secret identity be their normal identity, and then they have a certain amount of time to change into their superhero (or villain) identity (without having to strip).  The changing room could be a closet off the program room or a storage area (if needed), and everyone would vote for their favorite costume. Music could be queued up from various comic based movie scores, and the winner announced at the end. Stations could be made from various self directed ideas, and it could be an entire celebration.

Often times we just can’t do everything we want to do (money, time, staff, energy) and we need to remember that IT’S OK. Teen and youth service specialists are some of the most self-sacrificing people I know, and we want to give our “kids” everything- and we can’t do it sometimes. An easy way to have ‘something’ without driving ourselves over the bring is to do self directed programs- things that can be left out at a table with directions that tweens and teens can do on their own. It’s still a program, it counts for your stats, but it involves minimal effort.
PAPERKRAFT: I love paperkraft (cubees in other words). I can print a set off, run off copies on the black and white printer, set them out with the kiddie scissors, crayons and tape and let my tweens and teens loose.  I really like these super hero ones.

SUPER HERO CUFFS:  Over at Sewing In No Man’s Land they have a quick tutorial for Super Hero Cuffs…  Perfect for all those toilet paper rolls you didn’t know what to do with….

JOURNAL PROMPT: Sometimes all teens want is a chance to draw and doodle, so why not make May a month of self exploration with a Saturday of journal prompts? Comic Book Saturday could start with what type of superhero would I be…  Lay out scissors, blank copy paper, leftover magazines, colored copy paper, construction paper, markers, and other craft supplies, and let them loose.  

INNER SUPER HERO: Or if art journaling is too much, have them create their Inner Super Hero with the printable forms from KOMBOH.

You can also put together a GN page template in Publisher and invite teens to create their own GN page.  Once they are done, use them to decorate your endcaps.  PS – you can also do a simple comic strip panel template as well.  There are some downloadable PDFs here.

In the past, I have also hired a Caricature artist to come for a few hours into the teen area and just had an informal program where teens hung out, read comics, and had their caricatures made.  You can do online searches to find caricature artists in your area.
What plans do you have for Free Comic Book Day? Or are you celebrating it as Star Wars Day (May the 4th Be With You)…?

From Page to Screen and Coming to a Theater Near You

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a movie junkie. Even more, I love movies that are based off of books- the best of both worlds, right? Except not when there are huge parts that *I* think may be important parts that are left out for editing reasons (think Harry Potter 7) or a change in the ending (The Firm).  At any rate, as more and more studios use books for their inspirations, I have more chances to enjoy (or rant) about how the conversion went.  Here are some that are coming up for this summer- are you going to see them?
One that I am super excited about (even though I haven’t seen a trailer yet) is Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes.  Set to come out June 7, I am buzzing that one of my favorite books is making it to the big screen!  I can only hope that it makes it to theaters nation-wide- I was so bummed that Fat Kid Rules the World was never playing anywhere near me (and I am in a HUGE metropolitan area).
I also want to see Geography Club. Based off of Bret Hartinger’s book, the trailer looks really good.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQb2-a685sw?rel=0]


Midnight’s Children based from Salman Rushdie’s book….

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6T35sFH_as?rel=0]
Star Trek: Into Darkness, which while not based off of any *current* book that I can find, has TONS of book tie-ins, so I am completely counting it.

The Great Gatsby (directed by those who brought you Moulin Rogue– and I  may have to get the soundtrack if the music in the movie lives up to the trailer)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN183rJltNM?rel=0]

World War Z, which I’ve not read the book yet, and won’t before the movie because I want to be surprised….

 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EC7P5WdUko?rel=0] 

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the second in the series….

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KoOtiuSjuI?rel=0]

 Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, based of the first in the Mortal Instruments series (which has 5 books so far and the 6th set for publication in 2014)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHlwRsl2uFk?rel=0] 

Carrie, based off of Stephen King’s work, and evoking the memories of the movie with John Travolta…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkjVoW3WZdI?rel=0]

Which ones are you looking forward to?

Graphically Speaking: From Page to Screen, summer movies based on graphic novels

I am in *love* with movies that are based off of comics and graphic novels. Nothing makes me happier than an excellent adaptation of them, and nothing ticks my inner geek off more than a crappy one. And it’s such an excellent way to tie those readers who swear they aren’t readers (or don’t think they are) into reading and browsing your collection!  We have such a wonderful line-up of movies coming through, you should definitely see what you have and tie it into your display! (And, superheros and mystery and secret identities and plots all work for the Collaborative Summer Reading Program themes….)
 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEIVPiTuYkQ?rel=0] 
Based on the Iron Man Extremis storyline
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DaPBBOHfsA?rel=0]
Man of Steel isn’t going to be based off of *any* of the previous histories, but uses the same characters we’re all familiar with, according to this article.   Random House and DC is also doing a Superman Day for libraries on June 15.
RED 2 
 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTcWTf-pfyU?rel=0] 
The comics may not be suitable for a teen collection, but I know my older teens (older ya) and new adults (college age and up) love the movie based on Ellis and Hamner’s works.
One that *just* released a trailer is Rest In Peace Department, all undead officers working to uphold the law on the other side.   It’s to star Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Bridges, and is set for a July 2013 release.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X07xNrVd7DU?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
 The Wolverine 

 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-TdhnFW0As?rel=0] 

 is based off of Chris Claremont’s acclaimed 1982 Wolverine story arc, set after X-Men: last Stand (2006); there have also been animation versions of what could be some of the storyline airing on television’s G4 channel in the last few years.
Kick Ass 2
 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0zu5isIBZo?rel=0]
Following the first movie, which drew huge criticism for having a nine-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit Girl, Kick Ass 2 is amping it up and following the comics right along the storylines, if the trailers are any indication.

And that, my friends, takes us until the end of the summer, at least graphically speaking….  BOOK WISE is a WHOLE ‘NOTHER story…
Which ones are you looking forward to?  Share in the comments below!

Friday Finds News Roundup, 4/5/2013

A few things of note this week…

Tweens are having (were having?) beauty contests on Instagram.  Not too surprising, but the grassroots counter movement is certainly worth noting.  A mom ruminates on the issue, and coincidentally I spotted this piece this week too, “Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life“.

One of my favorite recent professional development conversations, the #readadv Twitter chat, now has a blog.  This is great, because there has been many a Thursday night that I’m in the weeds and can’t participate.  I’m hoping this will help the conversations continue throughout the interim weeks as well.

Let’s connect teens with books!  YALSA has a few ways – their Books For Teens program is accepting applications, and if you’re near Chicago, you and your teens can get free Saturday exhibits passes for ALA Annual this June by participating in the Best Fiction for Young Adults Teen Session.

Speaking of Chicago, we lost a great Chicagoan this week with the death of film critic and thoughtful human, Roger Ebert.  Jennie at YAReadingList.com has put together a list of books about teens who love movies in his honor.  If you have a hand in ordering movies for your library, please check out the offerings from Ebertfests past and present, which highlighted some of Mr. Ebert’s favorite, often overlooked films.  He understood, as many of us do, the incredible humanizing, unifying, transformative power that creative works can  have in peoples’ lives.  His quote below, from a 2005 interview on NPR, highlights what we in the teen lit world often say about books:

“If you only see films about people just like yourself, why even bother to go? Because you already know about yourself.  You can only find out about yourself by learning about others.” – Roger Ebert

This is the end of the first week of School Library Month.  A big shout out to our school librarian readers from all of us at TLT!  Thanks for all you do for your students and communities and for contributing your expertise in so many ways!  I spotted this great and growing wiki project that addresses school and public library partnerships.  Good for all of us to keep in mind.

Happy Friday everyone!


TPiB: Collaborative Summer Reading Program Movie Ideas

If you’re in one of the states that is participating in the Collaborative Summer Reading Program like I am, you are already thinking of ways to bring creative (and cheap) programming into your rotation.  The manual has some wonderful ideas, and if you’re on pinterest there are TONS of boards.  I’m always scouring for movie ideas: we have the movie license so that’s paid for, the movies can either be rolled into the summer reading budget or into my materials order so I have the movie, and if I add in a craft and a few tables for my gamers, my teens are set!

I’ve pulled together a TON of movies that will work for family, tween (through twelve- my definition), and teen nights using an ‘underground” theme, which fits into both Dig Into Reading and Beneath the Surface!  Think of anymore, share in the comments!

 Family Movie Suggestions (G & PG):
A Bug’s Life
Alice in Wonderland
Beetlejuice (might need a special warning because it was made before there was a PG-13; it does have an Fbomb in there)
The Corpse Bride
Gnomeo and Juliet
How to Train Your Dragon
James and the Giant Peach
Journey 2- Mysterious Island
Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
National Treasure
Peter Pan
Raiders of the Lost Ark (might need a special warning on sign if for a family night since it was made before the PG-13 label- some scenes are intense)
Spiderwick Chronicles
Wreck It Ralph
Teen Movies (PG-13 rating):
10,000 BC
Batman/ Dark Knight
Blood and Chocolate
Bourne series
Brothers Grimm
Chronicles of Riddick
Clash of the Titans
Death Becomes Her
Deep Impact
Disaster Movie
Drag Me To Hell
Eight legged Freaks
Fifth Element
Forbidden Kingdom
Ghost Rider
GI Joe
Hunt for Red October
I am Legend
Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
James Bond movies
Jurassic Park
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
King Kong
Lara Croft
Lord of the Rings triology
Lovely Bones
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Min in Black series
Mission Impossible series
Mortal Kombat
Mummy series
Mystery Men
Prince of Persia
Red Dawn
Scorpion King
Skeleton Key
Snow White and the Huntsman
Sucker Punch
Terminator Salvation
The Fog
Time Machine
Total Recall
Transformers series
True Grit
Vampire’s Assistant
Van Helsing
War of the Worlds
Wicker Man
Wild Wild West
Note:  All movies listed are covered under Movie Licensing USA.  If you do not have a public performance license, please purchase one before showing movies for programs or use movies that are in the public domain.  Do not get invaded by the authorities.
Special Note:  while the MPAA ratings are guidelines and not law, a majority of libraries are not able to show R rated movies to teens without permissions slips or at all.  All suggestions are at the most PG-13.