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1. Creating Classroom Environments: Introducing Writer’s Notebooks

Four tips for introducing writer's notebooks this fall

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2. A Notable Summer

Source: www.chicagopubliclibrary.org

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot . . . These are strange and breathless days, the dog days.”

Natalie Babbit, Tuck Everlasting

 

Source: www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists

Odds are that at least one of your Facebook friends will post the above quote this week—and for good reason, as this is, IMO, one of the best descriptions of summer ever to come from an ALSC Notable Children’s Book. Tuck Everlasting was named a Notable Children’s Book after its 1975 publication and is now widely hailed as a classic. Announced each year after Midwinter, the Notables lists of books, recordings, and videos, bring well-deserved attention to those titles which are “worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding” and make superb resources for curating collections in libraries and homes. And Notables seals, just like those of the Newbery and its kin, help your library community discover these great titles. I’ve found that a great late summer project can be making sure that all of the Notables in the collection have this honor glinting from their cover, and you can buy Notables seals in sets of 24 here, or if you need 1,000 or more you can go here.

Thanks to all of the hard-working Notables committees over the years and best of luck to this years’!

Here are some other great summer-themed Notables from recent decades:

  • Blackout. By John Rocco, Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion Books (2012 Books list)
  • Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Summer Vacation. By Tommy Greenwald, read by MacLeod Andrews. Brilliance. (2014 Recordings list)
  • A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever. By Marla Frazee. Harcourt. (2009 Books list)
  • The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester. By Barbara O’Connor. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. (2011 Books list)
  • Garmann’s Summer. By Stian Hole, translated by Don Bartlett. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. (2009 Books list)
  • Georgie Lee. By Sharon Philips Denslow, illustrated by Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow. (2003 Books list)
  • Horse Song: The Naadam of Mongolia. By Ted and Betsy Lewin. Lee & Low Books. (2009 Books list)
  • Hot Day on Abbott Avenue. By Karen English, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. Clarion. (2005 Books list)
  • A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Stories. By Richard Peck. Dial. (1999 Books list)
  • My Louisiana Sky. Based on the novel by Kimberly Willis Holt. Hallmark Entertainment (2002 Videos list)
  • One Crazy Summer. By Rita Williams-Garcia. Harper/Amistad. (2011 Books & Recordings lists)
  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. By Jeanne Birdsall. Knopf. (2006 Books list)
  • Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time. By Lisa Yee. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. (2006 Books list)
  • Summersongs. By John McCutcheon. Rounder Records. (1996 Recordings list)
  • Sweet Corn. By James Stevenson. Greenwillow. (1996 Books list)

Congratulations to everyone who is now beginning to wind down their summer programming, and warm wishes for an enjoyable rest-of-summer, and here’s hoping that these titles whet the appetites of our southern hemisphere colleagues for the season headed your way. Happy reading, viewing, and listening to all!

My favorite spot on the Lake Michigan shore by my house to read in the summer. Photo source: Andrew

My favorite spot on the Lake Michigan shore by my house to read in the summer. Photo source: Andrew Medlar

The post A Notable Summer appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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3. Fandom Starts Early Storytime-LibraryCon Edition

Fandom Starts Early Storytime Number 1
Fandom Starts Early Storytime Number 2

I've hosted two Fandom Starts Early Geeky Storytimes for kids and I knew it would be the perfect fit for LibraryCon. My previous Fandom storytimes have been OK, but I held them on Friday evenings, which are always a tough time to draw a crowd. Plus, I didn't get the true geeky families I was hoping for and I knew my audience at LibraryCon would appreciate and love a storytime based on fandoms.

I took some things that I've used before and added a few new things for the LibraryCon version. I actually had to adapt and change my plan at the last minute because my crowd ended up being much younger than I anticipated. So here's what we did for Fandom Starts Early LibraryCon!

(flying like superheroes)


Opening Song: Hedwig's Theme-I opened the doors had the kids walk in to Hedwig's Theme and welcomed everyone to Fandom Starts Early Storytime. I told the parents that it's fun to introduce their favorite fandoms to their kids and we have lots of great books to help do so. Plus, being a geek is awesome!


Book: Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope-The epic yarns books are simple and perfect for geeky storytimes-plus it worked well with my young crowd.



Book: Star Trek Book of Opposites-another great choice for young audiences

Song: The Freeze by Greg and Steve-I used a picture of Dr. Horrible and his freeze ray and every time he appeared, we had to freeze. You could also use Mr. Freeze for this. 



Book: Super Heroes Book of Opposites-to go along with our superhero Summer Reading theme

Rhyme: Five Supheroes (source: Storytime Katie and Jbrary

Five superheroes ready to fly
Here comes a villain. Stop that guy!
This superhero can save the day.
Off he/she flies-up, up, and away!

I used the awesome superhero kids that Hafuboti made and put magnets on them to use as a magnet board rhyme. 

Parachute: We tossed the TARDIS around in the parachute to the Doctor Who theme. (I printed off two photos of the TARDIS and glued some popsicle sticks between them to get it to bounce)




Activities:

I had lots of activities set up around the room for the kids to do. 

-Superhero mask making=with masks cut out from the diecut machine and various items to use to decorate

-Match the characters with their item (Han Solo with the Millennium Falcon, Kirk with the Enterprise, Harry with his broom, etc)

-Paint a Dalek-I printed off black and white pictures of a Dalek and let the kids use dot stampers to color the Dalek. Make sure to have wipes on hand! 

-Match the Star Trek colors-I put up pictures of the Next Generation cast and sorted them by uniform colors (Red, Yellow, and Blue) and put out blocks to sort under each picture.

-Design your own house crest. I printed off a blank house crest template and let the kids create their own. 

-Make your own Origami Yoda-I used the simple Origami Yoda pattern with green paper for the kids.

-Decorate the Death Star-my amazing teen librarian, Valerie painted over a globe with chalk paint and we now have a death star that can be drawn on with chalk. It's tons of fun and reusable!

I also had lots of comic books to give away to the kids and a big book display for various geeky books.

This was the most successful Fandom Starts Early Storytime because my crowd really appreciated the topic and thought it was lots of fun to get their kids talking about their fandoms. The kids really loved the superhero masks and the parents loved the matching game. I can't wait to do it again next year! 

And I'm always looking for geeky storytime books so if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!

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4. Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans  by Don Brown Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015 978-0-544-15777-4 Grades 5 and up The reviewer received a copy of the book from the publisher. This month marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Many teens and adults will remember watching the news in horror as citizens struggled to survive squalid conditions in the Superbowl shelter while

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5. #act4teens: Partnering with Policy Makers for Improved Advocacy Outcomes

act4teens

Just in time for District Days!  In this podcast (click through to download or connect to online player), Dorcas Hand, longtime Houston-area Independent School Librarian, discusses her experiences working with school board members, candidates, and legislators in support of library services for young people in her area and beyond.

The files and links that Dorcas mentions can be found below:
YALSA Advocacy Benchmarks
Students Need Libraries in Houston ISD webpage
Students Need Libraries in Houston ISD facebook page
Students Need Libraries facebook page
TASL: Parents & School Librarians Partnering for Student Success
TASL: Teachers & School Librarians Partnering for Student Success

Wendy Stephens is a member of the YALSA Advocacy Resources Taskforce.

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6. Creating Classroom Environments: Making Space for Partnerships

Our blog series kicks off with a post on creating space in your classroom to get writing partnerships up and running right away.

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7. Sordid Taglines: Doing Children’s Lit Classics a Wrong

Moving house, home, and family does something to a woman’s brain. If that woman is me, it makes her ponder great intricacies of life, to say nothing of ballsy marketing plans. And today it all began with this book:

LittlePrincess5

I suspect that we Americans are generally more familiar with The Secret Garden as our preferred Frances Hodgson Burnett classic than this little number. Still, it shows up on the occasional Summer Reading List and occasionally gets adapted into films, for good or for ill. As long as you can bust through the child reader’s expectation that the book is going to be about an actual princess, you’re generally in the clear.

Still and all, it got me to thinking. Originally published in 1905 the book is technically in the public domain. And so I wondered what an enterprising soul might do with it if they wanted to hock it to the masses. How could you sell it to 21st century child readers in the most blatant, shameless manner possible? The answer? Kooky taglines, my friend.

With that in mind, here is a crazy conglomeration of famous children’s books with brassy, ridiculous taglines, possibly more likely to cause perturbation amongst the adult masses than interest with child readers. It’s the B-movieazation of classic children’s literature. And I love it.  Here they are, along with some of the odder images I’ve found over the years of these books.

A Little Princess: One orphan has the power to conjure up magic in an attic. But is any of her spellcasting true?

LittlePrincess14

The Little Prince: In the desert, no one can draw you a sheep.

littleprincestatue

Holes: Treasure, blood, revenge and more.

Holes8

Half Magic: Be careful what you wish AND WISH for.

HalfMagic2

When You Reach Me: Sometimes the life you save is your own.

WhenYouReachMe3

One Crazy Summer: Fight the power.

OneCrazySummer

A Wrinkle in Time: Science, God, Magic and one crazy pulsating brain.

WrinkleInTime5

The Secret Garden: You only THINK you’re alone.

SecretGarden3

Harriet the Spy: You only THINK you’re alone.

HarrietSpy4

Charlotte’s Web: You only THINK . . . oh, fine fine. The idea’s played itself out.

WilberCharlotteStatue

Any you’d care to come up with as well?

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8. Creating Classroom Environments: Charts to Start the Year

Start the year off right with charts that make expectations, strategies and tips on writing visible for students.

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9. Instagram of the Week - August 3

A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

Summer is the season of fun! As July came to a close, many libraries continued to rock out this summer with awesome programming, displays, and good humor. How are you beating the heat and maxing out on fun this summer? Take a peek at these libraries and how they are enjoying their summer under the hashtag #libraryfun.

[contact-form]

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10. Creating Classroom Environments: Paper Choices

Kids do need room to grow. Not only do they outgrow clothes in the blink of an eye, they also grow as readers and writers. This is why we need classroom libraries stocked with a wide range of levels, and it's why we need writing centers stocked with paper choices.

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11. We Should Hang Out Sometime Book Review

Title: We Should Hang Out Sometime Author: Josh Sundquist Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication Date: December 23, 2014 ISBN-13: 978-0316251020 336 pp. ARC provided by publisher Josh Sundquist is a Paralympian, motivational speaker, and YouTuber who's not so good with the ladies. This biography tells the tale of all the girls he's loved before (or at least crushed on

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12. #719 – Monster & Me #5: Monster Needs Your Vote by Paul Czajak & Wendy Grieb

Yesterday was “National Friendship Day.” To all my cyber-friends and fantastic readers, I am thrilled to know you! I also have a new friend in my life. Her name is Molly, she’s eight-years-old, and her four paws follow me everywhere. (The kitties are adjusting fine to a dog that pays them no mind—except for the occasional nose-to-nose greeting.)

monster-banner-4

Welcome to the “Monster Needs Your Vote” Campaign Tour!

Plus, I have wonderful character-friends in Boy and Monster who—with Paul Czajak and Wendy Grieb—have a new picture book in their award-winning Monster & Me series. This new, relevant picture book is entitled Monster Needs Your Vote. So forget about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and . . . 

VOTE FOR MONSTER!

#5 needs your vote
Monster & Me #5: Monster Needs Your Vote

Written by Paul Czajak
Illustrated by Wendy Grieb
Mighty Media Kids         8/25/2015
978-1-938063-63-3
32 pages         Age 2—6 +

“Today’s readers are tomorrow’s leaders. Election season is finally here, and Monster can’t wait to run for president. But getting voters to care about his campaign is harder than it looks—until he finds a monstrous cause worth fighting for. Show your kids that whether you’re blue, red, or 9 feet tall and furry, real change can come from the most unexpected places (even if you’re not technically qualified to run for office).” [publisher website]

Review
The Monster & Me series has been one of my favorites since Monster needs a [Halloween] Costume. Always fresh, humorous, and on point, Monster & Boy give children young and old enjoyable stories for anytime of the day, not simply at bedtime. But, if you enjoy giggles, smiles, and sweet Monster dreams, each of the Monster & Me books are perfect for a bedtime reading—night, after night, after night . . .(how many editions are there?)

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Monster Needs Your Vote, the 5th Monster & Me picture book, is a timely story given the beginning of the presidential nominations and soon the 2016 election. Monster runs into a few Presidential candidates while at the fair. He decides he must vote in this election. Boy nicely tells Monster he is not old enough to vote—he’s not yet eighteen! Undeterred, Monster decides if he cannot vote he will participate in the election by running for President of the United States. Boy, Monster’s constant companion, tells Monster he needs a “platform.” (One of many larger-election terms that will have children learning new words.) Monster’s platform is one kids will love and understand but, voting adults just do not comprehend the importance of Monster’s platform—or his next.

Monster’s second platform, a black and white illustration, with period clothes, will remind most adults of the 1930s and a famous election quote. Only when Monster sees a closed sign does he find the issue/platform with the potential to propel Monster to Mr. President Monster. The other Presidential contenders begin to look discouraged, until . . . dear Monster receives horrible news from two dull-looking men—government types. In the end, Monster wins . . . just not the Presidency.

It is clear to me that Monster makes the perfect candidate, given his persistence, comic antics, and Boy’s unwavering support. Like most candidates, Monster runs into a few problems along the way. With each problem, Monster rallies back stronger and more determined. He learns to take a stand for things he believes in, despite all those set-backs. With Boy’s campaign advice and encouragement, Monster finds the courage he needs to persist. Monster is infectious on the campaign trail and is adorable in his organic presidential blue suit.

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Wendy Grieb’s illustrations have remained consistent between books, helping to endear the Monster & Me brand. Her palette is bright when needed, like the stunningly red full-page background that makes Monster and Boy POP! I enjoyed all the wonderful details on each spread. Boy is not the only kid to have a Monster pal. One young girl rides upon an ostrich-like bird with Big Bird-ish legs; an oval, purple body with green feathers; a giraffe-like neck; and a prehistoric-like pelican head. I love this highly imaginative monster, along with all the other new, maybe-old-enough-to-vote monsters that stand among the adults. Sadly, a few monsters are kidless, so I hope there is a matching service for kids and monsters somewhere on the Internet.

Paul Czajak’s newest Monster & Me picture book is perfect for the upcoming elections. Though written for preschool children older kids will enjoy Monster’s political career while learning the basics of U. S. Elections. This means Czajak often used an election-related higher vocabulary: cast, platform, issues, oratory, grassroots, and mission to name a few. Grab a dictionary kids—one you must flip through to find a word—it’s time to expand your vocabulary. Which brings me to what is probably the first negative thing I have ever said about this humorous and often educational Monster & Me series. Given the number of election and campaign words Czajak so deftly included in his story, a glossary would have been a welcome addition.

new no 3

Monster Needs Your Vote is written in rhyme with the sing-song quality I love. Parents won’t mind multiple reads thanks to Czajak’s strong voice, and the words and verses which leave your lips like a perfect melody. Grieb’s art captivates readers’ and their young listeners. Her humor is infectious. Czajak and Grieb are the perfect collaborators for Monster & Me. I hope the pair continue telling Boy and Monster’s story. Is there another Monster political caper coming soon?

“And  Monster’s roar in politics had only just begun.”

Monster Needs Your Vote meets Common Core and many state curriculum standards. Teachers, parents, and librarians can download a free Monster & Me Series Educator’s Guide and Event Kit. Monster Needs Your Vote is appropriately dedicated to “all the librarians in the world.”

REMEMBER: VOTE FOR MONSTER—IT’S YOUR KIDLIT DUTY! 

visits

MONSTER NEEDS YOUR VOTE (Monster & Me #5). Text copyright © 2015 by Paul Czajak. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Wendy Grieb. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Mighty Media Kids, Minneapolis, MN.

Purchase Monster Needs Your Vote at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksMighty Media Kids.

Learn more about Monster Needs Your Vote HERE.
Schedule a Skype in the Classroom Campaign Stop with Paul Czajak HERE.
Find Monster’s Campaign Kit HERE.  (contains the reviewer’s apology, um, a glossary of election terms)
Download Coloring Pages HERE.

Check out what Monster dreams about HERE.  (short animated story)

Visit Boy & Monster’s Twitter Page:  https://twitter.com/MonsterandBoy

Meet the author, Paul Czajak, at his website:  http://paulczajak.com/
Meet the illustrator, Wendy Grieb, at her twitter page: https://twitter.com/boodlewink 
Find more Monster & Me books at the Mighty Media Kids website:  http://blog.mightymediapress.com/

Mighty Media Kids is an imprint of Mighty Media Press.

AWARDS for the Monster & Me series
A Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient—2011
A Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient—2013
tug-o-war-cropped_award

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Monster & Me series
#1: Monster Needs a Costume (review HERE)
#2: Monster Needs His Sleep (review HERE)
#3: Monster Needs a Christmas Tree (reviewed soon)
#4: Monster Needs a Party (Unfortunately, I missed this edition—”AW!”)
#5: Monster Needs Your Vote (Well, go to the top and read again!)

#1 - needs a costume

#2 needs his sleep

#3 - needs a christmas tree#4 - needs a party

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Also by Paul Czajak
Seaver the Weaver (illustrated by the Brothers Hilts)

seaver-the-weaver-cover-e1426889190373

 
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Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Monster Needs Your Vote (Monster & Me #5), by Paul Czajak & Wendy Grieb, and received from Mighty Media Kids, (an imprint of Mighty Media Press), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

monster-banner-3

The Preceding Review was an Unpaid Announcement from KLR. — Boy, Campaign Manager


Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Series Tagged: campaigning, civics, humor, Mighty Media Kids, monster, Monster & Me, Monster Needs Your Vote, Paul Czajak, politics, United States Presidential elections, voting, Wendy Grieb

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13. Week in Review: July 26-August 1

From July
The Armstrong Girl: A Child for Sale: The Battle Against the Victorian Sex Trade. Cathy Le Feuvre. 2015. Lion. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
An Impartial Witness. Charles Todd. 2010. HarperCollins. 352 pages. [Source: Library]
On My Honor. Marion Dane Bauer. 1986. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 96 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat. (Henry and Mudge #8) Cynthia Rylant. Sucie Stevenson. 1990. Simon & Schuster. 48 pages. [Source: Bought]
Board Book: Five Little Monkeys: A finger & toes nursery rhyme book. Natalie Marshall. Scholastic. 2015. 12 pages. [Source: Review copy]
The Book of Lost Tales. J.R.R. Tolkien. 1983/1992. 345 pages. [Source: Library]
Mom School. Rebecca Van Slyke. Illustrated by Priscilla Burris. 2015. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
To All The Boys I've Loved Before. Jenny Han. 2014. Simon & Schuster. 288 pages. [Source: Library] 
 The Shaping of a Christian Family. Elisabeth Elliot. 1992/2000. Revell. 240 pages. [Source: Borrowed]

From August
Peppa's Windy Fall Day. Adapted by Barbara Winthrop. 2015. Scholastic. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Board Book: Ten Playful Penguins. Emily Ford. Illustrated by Russell Julian. 2015. [October] Scholastic. 22 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! Dr. Seuss. 1971. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]

This week's recommendation(s): I loved, loved, loved THE ARMSTRONG GIRL. 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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14. OUTREACH SERVICES FOR TEEN LIBRARY STAFF: WHAT SOME STAFF ARE DOING OUTSIDE THE WALLS OF LIBRARIES

The American Library Association (ALA) defines outreach as providing library services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented populations, populations like new and non-readers, LBGT teens, teens of color, poor and homeless teens, teens who are incarcerated.  As these populations are often marginalized and underserved it is crucial for libraries to recognize these populations and provide services and programs to them where they are.

The President of YALSA, Candice Mack, is focusing her year as President with an initiative, "3-2-1 Impact: Inclusive and Impactful Teen Services," which will focus on building the capacity of libraries to plan, deliver and evaluate programs and services for and with underserved teen populations.  Visit YALSA's wiki to find and share information about serving diverse teens and building cultural competence.

Each month I will profile a teen librarian providing outreach services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented teens.  The purpose is for us to learn, connect, network and share with each other the crucial work we are doing in this area.

Rekha Kuver,Teen and Children’s Services for the Central Library Seattle Public Library

J:  What kind of outreach services do you provide for teens?

Rekha Kuver-I manage Teen and Children’s Services for the Central Library location of the Seattle Public Library, located in downtown.  One part of what I do is work with two full time Teen Librarians in the Teen Center.  I began in this position in 2011 and at the time I observed how the teen space was being used. Although we were seeing teens in the space, it wasn’t being used heavily, especially throughout all open hours.  I did some data gathering and analysis to get a snapshot of the Teen Center, including the number of teens using the space, what times of day were busiest, and what activities in the space were most in demand.  At the same time, since we are located in the heart of downtown Seattle, I knew that we were close to numerous organizations that work directly with youth, many of whom work with underrepresented youth communities. I wanted teen staff to have more time to find out the answers to questions like: what work are those organizations doing with teens, what needs are they identifying via their relationships to those teens, and how can the Library assist and partner to meet those needs? With the data that we gathered about what was happening (and not happening) inside the building and our growing knowledge of communities in our neighborhood, I gained approval from my manager for the Teen Center reference desk to be staffed only during the hours when teens were using the space most, which for us was between 2:00 and 6:00, 7 days a week. The remaining hours of the work day (morning and evening) would be dedicated to outreach in the downtown neighborhood, collaborating with youth-serving organizations to provide library services to teens wherever they are. Although it seems counter-intuitive, we did not start out this work with clear goals and outcomes that assumed we knew what teens needed. Rather, I encouraged teen staff to spend several months meeting with organizations, making contacts, building relationships, and gathering data (demographic and otherwise). We didn’t put pressure on ourselves to produce a lot of programs and services for these audiences at first. Rather, we asked a lot of questions, made ourselves as available as possible, and listened.  After some months of this, priorities emerged organically from what we were hearing across our community. For most youth-serving agencies that are embedded in traditionally underrepresented teen communities in our area, we found that they talked about three things: supporting teens in their identities; college and career readiness support; and life skills support. Upon learning this, we adopted these as our current departmental priorities as well.

J:  Describe a day in the life of you providing outreach

Rekha Kuver-We have documented relationships with over 70 organizations so far this year, although this does include organizations that work with children as well, since our overall department includes Children’s services. Each relationship looks different- we collaborate with some on longer term projects, others we collaborate with sporadically as needs arise, and still others we are building relationships with and don’t have an active project going with them. We work with many different types of organizations, including teen and family shelters, transitional housing complexes, food banks, health organizations, educational organizations, digital literacy organizations, arts organizations, and more.  Because of this, my day and the other teen librarians’ days are never the same, although we do spend a considerable amount of time meeting/communicating with partners, delivering services off-site and in-house, coordinating amongst ourselves for staffing needs, and debriefing on what has occurred to improve for next time.  One example of an organization we work with is New Horizons.  They are a homeless shelter that provides services for teens and young adults through a drop in center, case management and job training.  Currently, we collaborate on doing a weekly drop in for youth at the Teen Center as well as visits to their facility to bring library services, do library card signups, provide library materials, and provide programming. This is a good example of our philosophy around serving underrepresented audiences: understanding the needs and being responsive to those needs can happen in the library or outside of the library (and oftentimes both). Getting library services to teens is what we provide, but the location of where this happens can be fluid. Often librarians think of programs (in the library) and outreach (outside of the library) as two separate things, but I have come to think of it as completely integrated together.

J:  What resources would you recommend for someone new to outreach to look for ideas for inspiration as well as best practices?

Rekha Kuver-The first thing I would recommend is to look to other librarians who are doing a great job at this work. For instance, my colleague Hayden Bass did a great series for YALSA Blog called Adventures in Outreach that is very informative and motivating. The second thing I would recommend is learning from youth-serving organizations that are not libraries. Although their missions may be different than ours, there is likely some alignment to be found because those organizations, like us, want to understand teen needs in order to meet them. Sometimes they are embedded in underrepresented teen audiences in a way that you may not be. Our work with the leaders of organizations that serve unstably housed youth has provided us a wealth of “insider” information about that audience. Although we know homeless teens and serve them in the library, those organizations have data, statistics, experiences, and best practices that we may not and seeing youth serving organizations as our colleagues and collaborators has helped us a lot. (Building these relationships is, of course, always a two-way street and so they are learning from our expertise as well, which just strengthens the support that our shared teen audiences receive from all sides).

J:  What are some of your favorite things you have heard from teens while providing outreach services?

Rekha Kuver-One of the things we have been working on as we do projects is to make the collaboration with teens and organizations that serve them be true collaborations in every aspect, including evaluation. As we develop a collaborative project, like the youth drop in at the Library, we ask the teens: what do you want to get out of this program? At the end of three months (or 6 months, or one year), what do you want this relationship with the library to have provided for you? Sometimes they say they want a complete resume and cover letter, sometimes they say they want a safe place to hang out with their friends, sometimes they say they want to express themselves with art, sometimes they say they want snacks (ok, they always say that last one). My favorite things I hear from teens happen as we check in with them over the course of the project regarding how we are doing on those outcomes they said they wanted from us. Building those relationships with us, the cumulative listening and responding to what we have heard from them garners thoughtful, sometimes critical, but always insightful and helpful feedback from teens about how we are doing. Building up relationships and trust over time is what gets our patrons the services that they need, because it’s that trust that enables them to tell us honestly what that is. So, everything teens tell us about what they need and how we are doing with that is my favorite thing.

 

 

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15. On Debriefing the Summer Reading Club

Maybe you are lucky like me and your Summer Reading Club is finished or winding down, or maybe you still have some weeks to go. Either way, let’s talk about debriefing after the Summer Reading Club is over.

I always dedicate our early August/late July department meeting to discussing the Summer Reading Club. We talk about what worked and what didn’t. We make notes for what we should change or keep for next year. We go ahead and pencil in dates so that we’re all clear about our schedule.

Here are some things we did this summer that we had discussed last summer:

Photo by Abby Johnson

Photo by Abby Johnson

Our prize cart was decorated and we always pushed it out on one side of our desk (the side without shelving carts) because last year we had some confusion about which books were prize books. This worked really well for us this summer and having a special, decorated cart got the kids even more excited about choosing a free book.

Last year, we had a huge issue with registration for programs. We decided to try out having NO REGISTERED PROGRAMS this summer and it went smashingly. The only programs we had capacity issues with were our large performers where we give out tickets to ensure we’re staying within the fire code. And it was amazing the amount of work it saved us in not having to sign up kids for all those programs. That was a benefit we hadn’t even really considered, but it was huge.

And here are some things we discussed this year and that you should consider as you’re winding down your program and making notes for next year:

  • Is the registration and/or logging process easy for patrons and staff? If not, how can we make it easier?
  • Do the prizes given out encourage kids to read and are they easy for staff to manage?
  • How was your program attendance? If it was low, how could you bolster it? If it was unmanageable, how can you make it easier for staff to handle?
  • What great programs did you offer that you might like to repeat? What programs would be good to repeat with some changes?
  • How did you feel at the end of the summer? If you felt like you wanted to die, what made the summer so hard? Is there anything you can change to make it easier?
  • How did your Summer Reading Club affect other departments? Is there anything you can change to make it easier for Circulation, Pages, IT, Marketing, etc.?

Do you meet to debrief about the Summer Reading Club? What items do you make sure to discuss?

— Abby Johnson, Youth Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN
http://www.abbythelibrarian.com

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16. Meet Elizabeth Parker

Murder at Longbourn. (Elizabeth Parker #1) Tracy Kiely. 2009. St. Martin's Press. 320 pages. [Source: Library]

I enjoyed reading Tracy Kiely's Murder at Longbourn. It is first and foremost a cozy mystery. It is not a retelling or adaptation of any particular Austen novel. So don't expect that, and you won't be disappointed, or as disappointed.

As I said, I enjoyed this holiday-themed mystery novel. Elizabeth Parker, the heroine, goes to visit her great-aunt for New Year's Eve/Day. There is a party hosted at her great-aunt's bed and breakfast. It is a themed party--there will be a "murder" at the party. She meets plenty of new people at her great-aunt's bed and breakfast. Some of them being guests staying at the b&b. Some being guests (from the town) invited to the New Year's party. But one person is not a new acquaintance at all, but, an old "nemesis" named Peter. The two knew each other as children, and, as far as Elizabeth is concerned, there's nothing but hate between them: past, present, and future.

The party goes horribly, of course, and a real murder is committed. Elizabeth is convinced that there is a lot of framing going on--and her aunt may suffer for it--but can she with a tiny bit of help from Peter--find the real murderer in time?

I liked Elizabeth well enough. I didn't love everything about her. There were times she came across as not too bright. And I did find quite a few things about this one to be predictable. But. In the moment, as I was reading it, I cared more than I didn't. I wanted to keep reading it. I wasn't annoyed or frustrated or disgusted or disappointed. It was a very pleasant read. Now, a week after finishing it, the in-the-moment pleasure of it all has faded a bit.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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17. Gut

Gut: The Inside Story of Our Most Underrated Organ. Giulia Enders. Illustrated by Jill Enders. 2014/2015. Greystone Books. 288 pages. [Source: Library]

Words to describe this one: Thrilling, Fascinating, Informative, Fascinating.

Gut by Giulia Enders is a compelling, action-packed nonfiction read that I found almost impossible to put down. I read it in two sittings. And I found myself stopping only to share little bits of information with others. My goal: to try to get everyone to read this one! Why? Because I think people NEED to know how the body works, and how ESSENTIAL gut-health is for HEALTH.

Yes, primarily, the book is about "the gut" (digestion from start to finish), but, it is also about how the whole body functions or malfunctions.

 The last third of the book focuses on microbes, or gut flora. This section of the book is so absorbing and enlightening. And part of what makes it so exciting is how much is still not known, how NEW this research still is, and how promising it looks to be. There is still so much we don't know, don't understand, about how our bodies function, and what causes things like diseases and obesity. The link between gut microbes and obesity is certainly attention-grabbing.

From start to finish, I found Gut to be a great read. The jacket copy says that the narrative has "quirky charm" and I quite agree. You can watch this video as well.

Table of Contents:

Gut Feeling
  • How Does Pooping Work? And Why That's An Important Question
  • The Gateway to the Gut
  • The Structure of the Gut
  • What We Really Eat
  • Allergies and Intolerances
The Nervous System of the Gut
  • How Our Organs Transport Food
  • Reflux
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • The Brain and the Gut
The World of Microbes
  • I Am An Ecosystem
  • The Immune System and Our Bacteria
  • The Development of the Gut Flora
  • The Adult Gut Population
  • The Role of the Gut Flora
  • The Bad Guys--Harmful Bacteria and Parasites
  • Of Cleanliness and Good Bacteria

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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18. Seuss on Saturday #31

Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! Dr. Seuss. 1971. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: The time has come. The time has come. The time is now. Just go. Go. GO! I don't care how. You can go by foot. You can go by cow. Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now!

Premise/plot: The narrator REALLY, REALLY, wants Marvin K. Mooney to GO. But will Marvin K. Mooney be so obliging?

My thoughts: I liked it. It is definitely one of the catchier Seuss books. (Though not as fun or as silly as say Fox in Socks or Green Eggs and Ham. Still. There's something pleasant about it.) It's just FUN to say phrases like "You can go by foot. You can go by cow. Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now!" It just is.

Have you read Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!

If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is In A People House. 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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19. Boom Snot Twitty: this way that way by Doreen Cronin


This is the second book featuring the bear (Boom), a snail (Snot) and a bird (Twitty). Once again, the trio have differing agendas. The three animals are all packed to go on an outing, but none of them are packed for the same place. Boom wants to go splash in the water, Twitty wants to go hike in the mountains and Snot could go anywhere but all he has is snacks. Of course, it's up to the one with snacks to solve the dilemma. The illustrations by Renata Liwska are fuzzy, soft and simple and match the spare text. A good introduction to compromise for younger kids.

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20. Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet Videos

The award acceptance videos from the 2015 Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet are now available. These speeches took place at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. Below are the three videos from each of the winners. You can also watch the video of the full banquet (running time 1 hour 45 minutes 54 seconds). Enjoy!

Kwame Alexander – Newbery Speech

Dan Santat – Caldecott Speech

Donald Crews – Wilder Speech

The post Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet Videos appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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21. Here Is the World (of Leslea Newman)

Author Leslea Newman
Leslea Newman has written over 60 books for children and quite a few for adults as well. She is well known as an author of Jewish books and LGBT books, and wrote the groundbreaking title Heather Has Two Mommies (reissued in 2015 with new illustrations). Her newest picture book, Here is the World, is a joyful celebration of Jewish holidays around the year.

AUDIO:
 
Or click Mp3 File
(18:09) 

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife!

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 






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22. Reading Roundup: July 2015

By the Numbers
Teen: 10
Tween: 2
Children: 5

Sources
Review Copies: 7
Library: 7

Standouts
Teen: Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
The rich world of Puerto Rican Brooklyn comes to life, with a plot and powers that have their roots in Sierra's heritage and everyday life. I wanted to spend a lot more time there.

Tween: The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Wilson
Calpurnia Tate, that science-minded girl, is back. While this was fairly episodic in nature and had an oddly abrupt ending, I still loved seeing how she matures, starts to understand what she wants and how the world may not be willing to give it to her without a fight.
Children: Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford, illustrated by Elanna Allen
In order to get what you want, you have to have a plan. But it may not go as . . . well . . . planned. I loved how this book respected the deep and imaginative inner life and turmoil of its young narrator.

Because I Want To Awards
Addictively Readable: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
This look at escaping from the Quiverfull ideal takes its heroine out of her family and shows her struggle to adjust to the world outside, as well as her longing to retain a connection with God.
Sniff: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
A tender and sad look at changing families, letting go, and moving on, in which the romance is almost incidental.
Slyly Hilarioius: One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath
Though it deals with heavy subjects (a character in foster care, the yearning for a best friend who really gets you), there were several moments that had me howling aloud. While it takes place in Canada, I thought of the very best of the kooky Southern small town genre.

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23. Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

"Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often." -Susan Statham

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24. Library Loot: First Trip in August

New Loot:
  • A Test of Wills by Charles Todd
  • Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders
  • Ordinary by Michael Horton
  • Great Day for UP by Dr. Seuss
  • When Books Go To War by Molly Guptill
  • The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm translated by Jack Zipes
Leftover Loot:
  • Wouldn't it Be Deadly an Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery by D.E. Ireland
  • The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
  • An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
  • A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd
  •  Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
  • Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks
  • The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah
  • Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst
  • The Little Way of Ruthie Leming by Rod Dreher
  • P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  • Search the Dark by Charles Todd
  • Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are by Dr. Seuss
  •  The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas
  • The Lost Princess by George MacDonald
  • Murder on the Bride's Side by Tracy Kiely
  • Murder Most Persuasive by Tracy Kiely
  • Murder Most Austen by Tracy Kiely
  • Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Ella MacNeal
          Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries  

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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25. Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey, forward by Jane Goodall, 96 pp, RL 4

The introduction for Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey begins by noting that Jane Goodall "has been chosen as the most recognized scientist in the Western world." Regardless of how accurate that statement is, the fact remains that Jane Goodall is still alive, has been working in her field for over 50 years and her subject is something that is almost universally appealing

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