Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Take 5: Postcards from France, programs, books and more for a France themed day (Quarto Week) (TPiB)

In my home, Paris is a dream destination. The Tween collects a variety of memorabilia and we tend to collect and read books that take place in France. This post for a Paris themed TPIB has been sitting in my drafts folder for a really, really long time. But I’m finally dusting it off and sharing it with you as part of our Quarto Week because of the book Origami City.

Origami City: Fold More Than 30 Global Landmarks by Shuki Kato & Jordan Langerak does exactly what you think it would do – it gives you step by step instructions for folding more than 30 landmarks out of paper. After a brief introduction giving you basic instructions and explaining the symbols used in paper folding, the various origami project are divided into geographic regions. The section on Europe includes a few French landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Le Louvre Pyramid and the Arc de Triopmhe. In addition there are some basic fun projects like a house, car, stop sign, park bench, etc. so you can, in fact, make a little paper city.

This book would be a great addition to our previous Eat and Read Around the Globe program outline that includes things like making postcards from each city and tasting the foods of the region. In addition to the France location, it includes the Taj Mahal (which looks awesome), the Tokyo Tower, Big Ben (Doctor Who program!), and the Sydney Opera House, to name just a few.

5 YA Titles Set in France

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney

Just One Day by Gayle Foreman

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Rook by Sharon Cameron

More YA Reads set in France

Craft Ideas:

French Manicure : Have a spa day and give yourself a French manicure.

Little Paper France : Make a little paper model of France that you can use to decorate. You can also decoupage the pieces onto a canvas or other cool thing – like a jewelry box – if you wanted. These pieces would be a great addition to your city that you make using the Origami City book.

Eiffel Tower Paper Banner : Decorate by creating a paper banner with images from France.

Edible Eiffel Tower : Edible crafts are yum.

Free Printable Paris Themed Bottlecap Craft Inserts : Use these cool inserts – which are Free! – to make bottle cap jewelry or magnets.

If you use the FilterMania app on a smart phone or tablet, there is an Eiffel Tower frame you can use to create cool pictures.

You can also use Instagram images and Publisher (or some other design program) to create Paris themed postcards.

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.

About the Books Mentioned:

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney

Seventeen-year-old Julien is a romantic—he loves spending his free time at the museum poring over the great works of the Impressionists. But one night, a peach falls out of a Cezanne, Degas ballerinas dance across the floor, and Julien is not hallucinating.

The art is reacting to a curse that trapped a beautiful girl, Clio, in a painting forever. Julien has a chance to free Clio and he can’t help but fall in love with her. But love is a curse in its own right. And soon paintings begin to bleed and disappear. Together Julien and Clio must save the world’s greatest art . . . at the expense of the greatest love they’ve ever known.

Like a master painter herself, Daisy Whitney brings inordinate talent and ingenuity to this romantic, suspenseful, and sophisticated new novel. A beautifully decorated package makes it a must-own in print. (Bloomsbury 2013)

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know. (Speak 2013)


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? (Dutton 2010)



Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Readers of If I Stay and Elizabeth George will love Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light. Revolution artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love; it spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. (Random House 2010)

Rook by Sharon Cameron

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse. (Scholastic 2015)

All book descriptions are the publisher’s book descriptions.



Friday Fun: My Side Effects May Vary Bucket List

I have already reviewed the amazing Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy, you can read that here. But in the book, Alice – who is dying – creates a Bucket List. I have always wanted to create a bucket list. So I will. Right now.

1. To take The Tween to Paris

In my last semester of graduate school, I was planning a trip to Italy. Visiting Italy has always been my dream. But during that last semester I discovered that I was pregnant with Thing 1. Now a Tween, she is obsessed with Paris. So my dream has changed: I want nothing more in life than to be able one day to take her to Paris and experience this with her. I want to see her dream come true and share it with her. We have redone her room in a Doctor Who visits Paris theme. She swears I promised her that if she made all As and Bs in High School I would take her (wouldn’t I have said all As?). And of course I want to bring my fantastic husband and Thing 2 as well, because I am all about my family.

2. To write a book – which just came true!

I have always been a reader. And I have always dabbled in writing, mostly poems. Actually, mostly bad angsty teenage poetry. In the 6th we made boys in our classroom. Mine was the compelling story of a shoe that hated being one of a pair, she wanted to be unique. So she set off on her own, arriving at a carnival, only to discover that she really did want to go home and be with her family. Yes, it was as bad as it sounds. I have long discovered that I am not a fiction writer. Or a good poet. But I can share my passion for being a YA librarian. Thus my book. But I would also like to write a book about the #SVYALit Project (see #3), because the cause is so important to me. So I hope that I am not done with this one yet. Also, I would love to turn my The ABCs of HG: An Unconventional Picture Book into a real book with medical information about Hyperemesis Gravidarum at the beginning or end and sell it so I can donate all proceeds to the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation (www.helpher.org).


3. To end sexual violence against everyone

Seriously. I’m tired of hearing stories from the people I love and from the teens I serve about the damage that has been inflicted upon them. It’s not okay. Ever. We need to change the culture. As a corollary, I would like to one day be able to sit at a dinner with Christa Desir, Carrie Mesrobian, Trish Doller, Elizabeth Fama, A. S. King and Laurie Halse Anderson and say thank you so much for all of your hard work on this project and for your inspiration and support.


4. To have season passes to a local amusement park

Yes, I realize this is shallow. But The Mr. and I have always struggled financially, working hard but making little. It’s a really big deal to make enough money to go to Six Flags or Disneyland or wherever we might be living at the time. This week is Spring Break and we were going to take the kids to Six Flags, until we realized how much it would cost. And I know that we are not alone. I think all of the time about the number of kids that will never get to walk with barefeet on the beach, will never get to experience the joy of jumping on a plane and visiting a new place, and will never get to go to the nearest theme park. Which is why I also try and use this platform to raise awareness about teens and poverty. But one day, I hope to have enough extra cash lying around to buy season passes, mostly because it would mean that we aren’t eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the three days before the next pay day as we wait to have the funds to go grocery shopping. And I guess the corollary is that I would like to find a full-time teen services librarian job once again so I can make this happen, but also because it would mean the downward trend in libraries was no longer so downward.

5.  To go to Comic Con in San Diego 

I fully embrace my geekdom. I have loved Science Fiction and Fantasy since before I left my mother’s womb. I need to be here among my people. It would have been nice to have gone while Buffy or Firefly were still on the air. Or last year when Doctor Who was celebrating its 50th anniversary. But I’ll take any time over no time. And I really want to be able to go with my husband, who I adore, and Mary and Mike, my mentors and adopted family who share my Sci Fi passion.

I have a few other little dreams. Like, I would love to be on NPR. And yes, I know that also proves what a geek I am, but I listen to it as I drive back and forth to work and it makes my bucket list. I would love to go see an episode of Sherlock or Doctor Who being shot, preferably with Tom Hiddleston as a guest star (wouldn’t he make a great guest star on these two shows?) I would love for my husband to get a job with regular hours so that he could spend more time with his girls (he is a great father) and be in better health. And I used to drive every Sunday to eat dinner with my friends and adopted family and I would love to be in the position to do this again. And I would love to have all the time in the world to finish my ever growing TBR pile. But that’s every book lovers dream.

But all in all, I’m very happy with my life. I’ve had an awesome week. I have some awesome friends and co-bloggers here at TLT. And my family, well they kind of rock.

Be sure and read Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy. And don’t forget to make your own bucket list.

Reflections: I dream of Paris

As I began my last class working on my MLS, I dreamed of going to Italy.  In fact, the plan was The Mr. and I were going to go as a graduation present.  I had even gotten a big, fat, luscious travel guide to Italy for Christmas that year. It was a glorious Christmas present full of dream and promise.  Later that semester, however, I learned that I was pregnant.  And then I learned about HG.  Needless to say, I have still never been to Italy.  I tried to convince The Mr. that we should name our baby Italy, but he said we couldn’t name our child after a dream deferred.

Now, that baby is a Tween, the oldest of 2.  Like me, she is a dreamer.  She dreams of going to Paris.  I don’t know how it happened, her falling in love with Paris, but she did.  She swears I told her if she got all As and Bs in high school I would take her as a graduation present.  Wouldn’t you think I would have asked for straight As?  But if we do go, and I hope we do, we’ll have to slide on over to Italy for a couple of days, just so I can finally say I have been.  Maybe one day we can both see our dreams fulfilled, together.  There is nothing I would like more.

Like a lot of tweens/teens, she is going through the fashion design phase of her life.  Every Thursday we watch Project Runway together.  So this year, I went in search for the perfect Christmas present for her and I struck gold.

Some original Tween fashion designs

 It all began during Zest Books week.  They had all these great fashion books and I thought, I will get a copy of them for her.  But then – a miracle – I found this Paris themed trunk.  I don’t know about you, but one of my librarian quirks is that I am obsessed with storage and organizational things – please tell me I am not alone in this.  So I filled her Paris trunk with fashion and craft books from Zest Books, and then added in some fun supplies – like different colored duct tape, beads and baubles, etc.

The magnificent Paris trunk

Full of books and supplies

The tween looks at “The Look Book” while sporting her own unique look.

Let the crafting begin!
 I am not going to lie, I was super impressed with myself. And we have had a lot of fun making stuff and things.  The tween had a friend spend the night and they gave the 4-year-old a make-over.  I’m thinking she needs a sewing machine, and someone to teach her how to use it (I’m looking at you Stephanie Wilkes). It just goes to show you, books really do make the best presents.
I still have that fat, luscious travel guide to Italy, now completely outdated.  We have replaced it with newer editions several times at the library.  I still dream of Italy, but I would rather make sure she sees her dream of Paris comes true.  If I had to choose between Italy and her, I would definitely choose her all over again.
Join the conversation and share in the comments:
What are some of the best book presents you have ever given or received? 
What treats did you give yourself after graduating high school, college, or graduate school?
Where do you dream of going one day? 
You can read about the fashion and craft related Zest Books in Project Fashion