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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: tweens, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Tween Spaces – Wants or Needs?

A library’s space, and how it relates to children of all ages, is the theme of this year’s ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program: Libraries: The Space to Be . If you are attending ALA Annual in Orlando, join President Andrew Medlar to learn more about space design during a panel discussion that will focus on best practices for small, medium and large libraries, and how libraries are creating spaces that are vital to children and the communities that support them. Speaking of space design – does your library have a space created specifically for the tween user?

Yes, tweens. Previously best known as “school age patrons”, the 9-12 year old set has graduated into their own sub-community of library users, with many libraries paying attention to this demographic by creating specialized spaces within their children’s departments that cater directly to the pre-teenage.  Today, libraries are defined as much by their spaces as they are by their communities.

So what makes tweens so unique?  For one thing, it is the age where many children are becoming aware of their own likes and dislikes, reading preferences, and identity. Tweens have opinions, and they voice them – through book selections, social media posts, and yes, their library usage or non-usage.  By creating a space that is unique to this narrow range of patrons, children’s librarians are sending an important message: Welcome. We want you here. Get comfortable. Stay for awhile and hang out.

Hard tables and straight backed chairs are being replaced with free-form tables on wheels, ones that can fit together like puzzle pieces, or be pulled apart to create separate spaces on those days when pre-teen patrons want their own personal space.  Wooden chairs are making way for softer counterparts, ones that beckon a child to sit and charge their phone while dangling their legs over the side. Tall bookshelves are being swapped out for lower, browsing units that mimic those seen in retail – with face out book covers and shelf talkers.

Gone too are the bulletin boards created solely by the library staff. Tweens today want interactive spaces that they can personalize and change as they please, often as rapidly as their tastes and trends fluctuate. Think art galleries, creative writing boards, and other collaborations.

Did I mention making? Tweens are at that fantastical, mystical age where you can plop play dough on the table in front of them, and they will squeal with delight as they roll out snakes and coils, reminiscing about their long ago childhood years. The very next day, those same tweens will be wielding tweezers and 3-D printed model hand parts as they build a working hand prosthetic, in the library. So many tween spaces now include mobile carts and other creative “creating stations” that focus on incorporating STEM and STEAM activities into drop in activities in the library that inspire curiosity on a whim – no signing up for a program weeks in advance here. In tween spaces, programs are often the spontaneous, drop in variety.

So take a look around – does your library have a space dedicated to tween users, one that they can call their own? Are you on the fence, trying to determine if this type of space is a want or a need in your community? If you are headed to ALA Annual in Orlando, please come by at 8:30 am on Saturday, June 26, as I discuss this very topic in the program: InBeTween – Programs and Services for Tweens in Public Libraries. You will also see a wide variety of tween spaces from around the country, in libraries small and large. If you have a tween space that you want to share, please reach out to me at lisa@suffolknet.org. I’d love some more examples of tweens using – and loving- their library spaces!

Lisa G. Kropp is the Assistant Director at the Lindenhurst Memorial Library in NY. She is the co-chair of ALSC’s Liaisons to National Organizations committee and the outgoing chair of the Managing Children’s Services Committee. Tweet hello to her @lisagkropp!

 

 

 

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2. Coming Soon!

Summer Reading is imminent, librarians. We all have a ton on our plates and very little time to think about anything but programming, performers, reading logs, and summer fun.

Here are just a few books coming out in the next couple of months. Something to put on your radar when you get a minute, in between programs, when you’re trying to put together book orders.  Your kids will like these, and you will, too.

Source: Goodreads

Maria lives in the Bronx with her mom, who works two jobs to keep them afloat. Then her mom gets a job on a seaside estate on Martha’s Vineyard, and Maria’s life for the summer is radically different. Maria spends her summer juggling new friends, her Lebanese family, and an old map that she’s sure will lead to pirate treasure.

Source: Goodreads

Mafi’s long-awaited first middle grade novel has been called “rich and lush” by Kirkus. Alice lives in a land of magic and color, and she has neither. But she’s determined to find her beloved Father in magical Furthermore anyway. She has only one companion: someone she’s not sure she can trust. Can she use her wits to find her dad?

Source: Goodreads

The second in Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel series about the mysteries and magic of coding, this one will basically fly off your shelves completely by itself. There’s something lurking in an underground classroom of Stately Academy: Hooper, Eni, and Josh are determined to find out what!

Source: Goodreads

Jenni Holm’s latest novel is about Beans, a kid growing up during the Great Depression on Key West. Beans knows that grown-ups lie to him. But he doesn’t really let it bother him. He’s got plans of his own. Beans is the cousin of the titular Turtle in Holm’s Newbery Honor-Winning Turtle in Paradise and returning to her beautiful novels is always worth it.

Good luck with summer reading! These books will be waiting for you on the other side.

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Ally Watkins (@aswatki1) is a library consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

The post Coming Soon! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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3. Knitting Club for Tweens – a step-by-step how-to guide

Hand knitting has been around for arguably thousands of years, though in modern times its popularity has waxed and waned.  Waldorf schools around the world have long recognized that teaching young children handicrafts helps develop their fine motor and analytical skills. The great thing is, libraries can promote knitting, too! Currently, knitting is very popular and many libraries have started their own knitting circles. Here are several reasons to start a knitting circle for tweens at your library and a step-by-step list on how to get started:

Step 1

Start a knitting club for adults. My adult knitting group meets in the evenings right near the children’s area, so we’ve garnered a lot of interest from the kids by simply existing. They want to know all about knitting, how we started, what clothes we’ve made, etc. Most kids ultimately ask if I can teach them how to knit. We have a diverse group of men and women in our adult group, and in turn I’ve had both boys and girls show interest in learning. Having a multifaceted group is a great way to highlight that knitting is not just for women.

Step 2

Find someone who wants to teach kids how to knit. If you are a knitter, it could be you. If not, contact your local knitting guild or meet up group to see if one of their members has an interest in teaching kids how to knit.

Step 3

Gather your materials! You’ll need yarn, needles, scissors, tapestry needles, and knitting books from your collection to get the kids started once they’ve masted the basics of knit and purl. Ask your adult patrons if they can donate materials or reach out to your library friends group for the funds needed to purchase some knitting paraphernalia.

Step 4

Pick a date. I find that knitting clubs for adults tend to be the most successful if they occur at the same time and place weekly, so pick a date and time when your tweens will usually be able to attend. We have our summer knitting club on craft day, the same time every week!

Step 5

Publicize! Spread the word about your knitting club at school visits and outreach, and on library social media and websites. It also helps to reach out to your local knitting guild so they can publicize for you!

Kate Eckert is an artist, knitter, and mother of one. She is also a member of the School Age Programs & Services Committee and is a Children’s Librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia. She tweets @8bitstate and may also be contacted at eckertk AT freelibrary.org.

The post Knitting Club for Tweens – a step-by-step how-to guide appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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4. Comics Update!

It’s time for our semi-annual comics for tweens roundup.  Here’s a few comics that your tweens will adore!

source: Goodreads

A group of teenage girls used to be the Zodiac Starforce: they spent their freshman year fighting monsters. But that’s pretty much over two years later…or so they think it is until their leader, Emma, is attacked by a monster and infect her. Good for tweens and teens, Ganacheau’s bright coloring and magical girl style is fun to real.

source: Goodreads

AT LONG LAST, Amulet #7 has arrived! Your young patrons will be so excited! Emmy, Trellis, and Vigo visit Algos island, where they can enter lost memories, looking for knowledge they can use against the Elf King. This series continues to be great. Use it for displays to get your teens excited about comics!

source: Goodreads

Originally a webcomic, Help Us Great Warrior is a delightful tale of a deceptively tiny Great Warrior protecting her village from evil-doers. But she has a huge secret. How will her friends feel about her protecting them when they find out?

source: Goodreads

Sixth in the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, this juvenile nonfiction graphic book takes on the Battle of the Alamo. Your kids that already like NHHT will, of course, love it, but it’ll stand well on its own.

BONUS: COMING SOON

source: Goodreads

We’re getting a new Raina this year! Did you know we were getting a new Raina this year?? It’s out in September, and here’s the copy to read to your kids to get them excited about the fall:

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.

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Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a library consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

The post Comics Update! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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5. Fresh Graphic Novel Picks

Image from Penguin Random House.

Image from http://bit.ly/1StCQOy.

Hurrah! Spring has officially arrived- at least for the most part.  Although it seems to be a daily surprise here in my part of the country whether or not we will have spring or winter temperatures, I thought it was a great time for sharing some fresh, new graphic novels with you! Below are a few of my favorite titles that have been published so far this year. I’m sure you and your patrons will enjoy them!

Complete Chi’s Sweet Home: Part 2 by Konami Kanata. Vertical Comics; 2016.

Cat lovers of all ages will adore this manga series! This recently released title collects volumes four through six from Kanata’s original series. Follow Chi in her adorable adventures as she learns how to live with her adoptive family, the Yamadas, and searches for her mother.

Unicorn Vs. Goblins: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson. Andrews McMeel Publishing; 2016.

The third volume in the Phoebe and Her Unicorn series delivers plenty of laughs, just like the previous two titles. Readers will follow Phoebe and her narcissistic unicorn best friend, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, on some goofy adventures. The pair visit summer music camp, hangout with Marigold’s sister, Florence Unfortunate Nostrils (ha!), and encounter a goblin queen. An especially great pick for tween readers.

The Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson, Henry Holt and Co.; 2016.

The amazing creator of Newbery honor book Roller Girl has now given us this gem! Have you ever wondered what classroom pets do once the students and teachers have went home for the day? Jamieson gives us a hilarious look at the after-hours antics of the pets of Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary as they attempt to escape, get into a food fight, and more. Younger readers in kindergarten through second grade will be cracking up, I know I was!

The Nameless City: Volume 1 by Faith Erin Hicks. First Second; 2016.

Image from http://bit.ly/21fQDus.

Image from http://bit.ly/21fQDus.

This title is slated to be the beginning of a new series from Hicks and it is filled with adventure and intrigue. Two kids from opposite sides of a long-held conflict become friends in the City. It remains nameless due to the constant invasions by other nations, seeking to control the only passage through the mountains to the ocean in this well-developed fictional world. Recommended for older tween readers, this graphic novel takes on more serious issues of identity while providing plenty of fun action.

What are some of your favorite graphic novels published this year so far? Happy reading until next time!

The post Fresh Graphic Novel Picks appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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6. Passive Programs for School Age Kids

Passive programs are a great way to engage kids, whether they’re hanging out after school, coming in on a school-free day, or are just looking for something to do! They often require minimal effort to prepare and get off the ground, but are then good for hours of fun and engagement. If you’re looking to add school age passive programs to your library’s offerings, want to freshen things up, or just try something new, take a look at some of these great options!

Book cover puzzle

Book cover puzzle

Make copies of a book cover, laminate, cut into puzzle pieces, and set them out (above)!

Put “postcards” out on a table and encourage kids to write a postcard to their favorite author or book character, like in The Show Me Librarian’s blog post. Bonus fun if you can find a place to display them in the library!

Take a look at this collection of passive program ideas from Jbrary.

We all know Pinterest is a great resource for ideas. There are lots of passive programming boards out there, so find your favorites or start with this one from Central Mississippi Regional Library System.

See what you can do with cardboard squares and plastic cups over at Library Learners.

Magnetic poetry wall

Magnetic poetry at La Crosse Public Library

Have some fun with magnetic poetry (left)! If you have a magnet wall like the one pictured here it’s extra easy, but you don’t need something as elaborate as this! Try painting some cardboard with magnetic paint and lean it against a wall or set it on a table, and you’re good to go.

 

 

 

If you have a magnetic surface, there are lots of cool options to consider. Those book puzzle pieces pictured above? There’s magnetic tape on the back of each piece, so they double as magnet puzzles (below).

Book cover puzzles on a magnetic wall board

Magnetic book puzzles at La Crosse Public Library

Mad Libs provides some fun, free downloads, and you can find lots of other Mad Libs-style downloadables elsewhere online. Print them out, set them on a table with pencils or pens, and let kids get extra silly! Or, find a paper Mad Libs booklet and set that out instead!

Build your own Tinker Toys and let kids create like at Never Shushed.

When it comes to passive programming, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What awesome passive programs are you doing with your school age kids?

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Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser is a youth services librarian at the La Crosse Public Library in La Crosse, WI and a member of the ALSC School-Age Programs and Services Committee. 

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7. Hamilton and the Children’s Library

hamiltonBroadway’s hit show Hamilton is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon: sold out until January 2017, its cast album just became a gold record, meaning it has sold more than 500,000 copies; meanwhile the cast recently performed live at the Grammy Awards and at the White House. For those not yet obsessed with the show, Hamilton mixes hip-hop with show tunes to tell the story of America’s “ten dollar Founding Father/without a father.” The cast is stunningly talented and diverse, and young people (and their friendly neighborhood librarians) across America are obsessed.

So how can we capitalize on this Hamilton hunger in the children’s library? True, the musical is based on a book, but not many 10 year-olds are wiling to haul an 800+ page, Pulitzer-prize winning behemoth to school. Prior to his recent fame, Hamilton was an oft-ignored Founding Father. In fact, Chernov’s book bills itself as the “first” full-length biography of the man, written nearly 200 years after he died. So what can we offer Hamilton‘s younger fans?

Luckily, offerings for the young reader are not as slim as you might think. The following books are in-print, well-reviewed, and fun to read:

Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider (2012, Gr. 6+)

The Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr (2009, Gr. 5+ )

The Founding Fathers!: Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’, Gun-Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America (2015, Gr. 2+)

Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History (2015, Gr. 2+)

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery (2013, Gr. 5+ – yes, this one is not about Hamilton. But it’s excellent, and tells the story of another early American whose story has been reduced to one thing: traitor)

Better Nate than Ever (2014, Gr. 5+ – again, not about Hamilton. But a kid who loves Broadway will love this book. And so does Lin Manuel Miranda!)

What books would you give to a young Hamilton fan? And what’s your favorite song from Hamilton? Mine is (currently) “Dear Theodosia.”

 

 

 

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8. On Tween Programming

Programming for tweens can be difficult; we all know this. The kids in this age group are constantly in flux and their needs change a lot. Figuring out what exactly they need and how best to serve them is a challenge that many librarians are familiar with. Today I’m talking to librarian Amy Diegelman, Young Adult Librarian at the Vineyard Haven Public Library in Vineyard Haven, MA, about how she’s meeting the needs of the tweens in her community.

IMG_9510

Amy Diegelman

 

ALLY: What were the needs that you were seeing from teens in your library that weren’t being met?

AMY: We found ourselves with a group of kids coming into the library to hang out after school (awesome!), instead of going home or to one of the two or three other local after school options. What we ended up with was predictable- hungry, energetic tweens bouncing off the walls. More than anything, they just needed a place to goof around with their friends – but our children’s area doesn’t accommodate them and our YA area is near the quiet study tables.

ALLY: How did you adapt your programming for this age group to better serve the tween patrons coming into your library?

AMY: Our program room provides space and seclusion from other patrons, but the tweens were uninterested in the activities we’d been offering (Wii, Legos, etc). But I did have one thing they were totally interest in: snacks. So on one day that  they commonly come in, I had a simple snack ready for them (baby carrots and cheese crackers), had them come sit with me, and asked what they wanted. The answer was easy enough to come up with – a snack, an unstructured activity, and permission to play. Now those program timess include a snack and a very light activity like coloring, simple origami, or magazine collage making. The activity is not mandatory, though, and the tweens are free to chat, play, or make videos on their phones.

ALLY: How is this working for you and how might you continue to change your programming to meet the needs of your kids?

AMY: The results have been great! The tweens, staff, and adult patrons are happier and we are now drawing more kids to these programs because they can make the time their own. The big lesson for me has been flexibility. I’ll be checking in with the tweens often and using this new structure to respond more quickly to their interests and build on their feedback. I’ve already had several program ideas just watching what they choose to do when left to their own devices!

Thanks, Amy!  You can find Amy on twitter at @amydieg.

How do y’all best serve the tweens in your library? Sound off in the comments!

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Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a library consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

The post On Tween Programming appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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9. The Battle of Darcy Lane by Tara Altebrando



The Battle of Darcy Lane by Tara Altebrando is a great pick for our middle school readers!

All Julia really wanted to do this summer was hang out with her best friend, Taylor - and maybe her neighbor/friend/secret crush Peter, too. Then Alyssa moves into the neighborhood. Julia immediately doesn't like her; Taylor does. And just like that, Julia's best friend has a new friend, and Julia has a rival.

Alyssa is really into a ball-bouncing game called Russia. At first, Julia doesn't care for it, but then she realizes that she might be able to beat Alyssa at her own game. Over the course of the summer, while Julia tries to hang on to her friendship with Taylor, she also attends band camp, bonds with Peter over a TV show she's not supposed to watch, and challenges Alyssa to an epic game of Russia. She also avoids cicadas and tries to talk her parents into letting her move into a different room in their house.

Julia's an only child, born to parents who love her and - get this - love each other. It's refreshing to read a book in which the parents are happy together, and it's wonderful to see how the child reacts to that relationship. In this case, Julia feels left out, not only because she is the youngest member of the household AND the only kid AND she has to go to bed earlier than her parents, but also because her parents are so close, she feels like there's no room for her sometimes - like she's interrupting something. There's a beautiful moment in which Julia overhears her parents talking outside, their voices drifting up to her window:

They were laughing a lot, and they sounded like something other than a husband and wife, something other than a mom and dad: they sounded like best friends.

Not only does this perfectly capture their relationship, it also ties back to Julia's concerns about her own best friend. Taylor is spending more and more time with Alyssa and less time with Julia. Teasing, confusion, and jealousy ensue. (Goodness, I don't miss middle school!) But thankfully, instead of being your typical mean girl story, this book offers something more plausible, something more satisfying and more age-appropriate, with the Russia showdown and the additional revelations in the denouement.

The Battle of Darcy Lane is a solid story for young readers. It's kind of like a modern-day Now and Then. Julia tries to test the boundaries a little a couple of times, and she sometimes struggles over the right thing to do, but overall, she has a pretty good head on her shoulders. Though the word "tweens" or the term "tween fiction" may not appeal to everyone, it's appropriate when you consider what it means: between. When you're eleven and twelve, you might feel trapped between your little kid years and your teens, torn between wanting to feel more grown up and wanting to stay a kid. This is best exemplified by the scenes in which Julia feels compelled to put away her dolls and knickknacks, even though she still kind of likes them.

Tara Altebrando has a knack for depicting honest relationships between protagonists and their families and friends, and I regularly recommend her YA books to teens looking for realistic modern-day stories. Now I can give The Battle of Darcy Lane to slightly younger readers. I also plan to read her other middle grade novel, My Life in Dioramas.

And who knows - maybe I'll have the opportunity to play Russia somewhere along the way, too.

This review was originally published at Bildungsroman.

The end of the book includes instructions on how to play the ball-bouncing game referred to as Russia or Onesies, Twosies. I also found instructions at the website howstuffworks.com. Have fun!


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10. Amazing February Girls Round-Up

February was a month for middle-grade books about amazing girls that do amazing things! They save their families! They go to bat for their friends! They fight for survival! Let’s take a look at some stories your young patrons will love.

Source: Goodreads

A witch has come to Brye and she has kidnapped Hans, Greta’s little brother. Greta has to travel to the perilous city of Belladonna to rescue him. It’s going to be a difficult journey, but she’ll stop at nothing to get her brother back.

Source: Goodreads

Mabel’s baby sister is plucked from her crib Mabel must brave the jungles of The Forbidden City to get her back!

Source: Goodreads

Real and imaginary worlds are colliding in the world of Story. Tuesday sets off with her friends at the request of the Librarian to find the Gardener: the only person who can stop this catastrophe.

BONUS MARCH GIRL:

Source: Goodreads

Soledad and her sister Ming moved from the Philippines to Louisiana with their dad–and then he left them. Now all they have left is each other and the amazing stories that Sol creates to comfort them. But as time goes by and all they have to look forward to is a life with their hated stepmother, will Sol’s stories save them or make everything worse?

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Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a library consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

The post Amazing February Girls Round-Up appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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11. StoryMakers | Carol Weston’s Ava Wren Series

STORYMAKERS - Carol Weston

Carol Weston is the author of more than 15 books and serves as “Dear Carol,” the advice columnist for Girls’ Life magazine. Her book Ava and Pip was said to be “a love letter to language,” by the New York Times Book Review. Carol joined StoryMakers host Rocco Staino to discuss the books in the Ava Wren series, her book of advice for teens, and her upcoming book titles. The Ava Wren series imparts wonderful and sometimes difficult lessons about growing up, friendship, responsibilities, and the dreaded first crush. Ava and Pip is a 2015 Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts and Ava and Taco Cat was named a 2015 ABC Best Books for Young Readers (American Booksellers Association). 2015 Newbery Honor Book Roller Girl author Victoria Jamieson illustrated the covers for the Ava Wren series!

We’re giving away three (3) bundles of books signed by Carol Weston. Each bundle includes a copy of Ava XOX, Ava and Taco Cat, and Ava and Pip. Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sponsored by: SourcebooksLOGO
ABOUT THE AVA WREN SERIES

Ava XOXAva XOX Written by Carol Weston Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Love is in the air-and Ava thinks she’s allergic Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and Ava couldn’t care less. That is, until a new girl, Kelli, asks out Ava’s friend Chuck…and he says yes What? ? Ava is NOT okay with this. But since when does she think about boys? For the first time ever, words fail Ava. She isn’t sure what she’s feeling (Like? Love? Friendship? Frustration?), or what “going out” even means. After all, fifth graders aren’t allowed to go anywhere by themselves, are they? To top it off, Pip’s friend Tanya is being bullied for her size. Ava wants to help-but, uh oh, it’s not as easy as she imagines. Don’t miss how it all began in: Ava and Pip and Ava and Taco Cat. Ava and Taco CatAva and Taco Cat Written by Carol Weston Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Ava desperately wants a pet for her eleventh birthday-but gets way more than she bargained for when she adopts T-A-C-O-C-A-T. When Ava Wren hears about an injured yellow tabby with mismatched ears, she becomes obsessed and wants to rescue him. She even picks out a perfect palindromic name: T-A-C-O-C-A-T. But when Taco joins the family, he doesn’t snuggle or purr-all he does is hide. Worse, Ava’s best friend starts hanging out with Zara, a new girl in fifth grade. Ava feels alone and writes an acclaimed story, “The Cat Who Wouldn’t Purr.” What begins as exciting news turns into a disaster. How can Ava make things right? And what about sweet, scared little Taco? Ava and PipAva and Pip Written by Carol Weston Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Meet outgoing Ava Wren, a fun fifth grader who tries not to lose patience with her shy big sister. When Pip’s 13th birthday party turns into a disaster, Ava gets a story idea for a library contest. But uh-oh, Ava should never have written “Sting of the Queen Bee.” Can Ava and her new friend help Pip come out of her shell? And can Ava get out of the mess she has made?

COMING SOON

The Speed of Life (September 2016) Written by Carol Weston Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Amazon Pre-order

“The Speed of Life is the kind of book that you want to read speedily, all at once, because the characters are so engaging, the voice of the narrator pitch perfect, the situations convincingly real and raw, the humor and liveliness of the prose such fun to follow, and the feelings of that time in a teenager’s life when everything can go from awful to awesome in a heartbeat are so vividly captured. You won’t want to put it down. But my advice is slow down and savor this delightful book, full of cariño, funny and heartfelt, and (spoiler alert) not just for teens.”

— Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

ABOUT CAROL WESTON

Carol Weston was born in Armonk, New York, but lives in Manhattan. She’s a Phi Beta Kappa comparative literature graduate of Yale, with an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College. She’s been on the Today show and Oprah, and The View. She loves cats, walks, art museums, and her husband Rob makes a mean paella. Carol has two daughters; one works for NBC and one co-started Birch Benders Micro-Pancakery. CONNECT WITH CAROL WESTON Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter CONNECT WITH KidLit TV Facebook Group Facebook Page | Newsletter | Pinterest | Twitter YouTube StoryMakers Executive Producer: Julie Gribble | Producer: Kassia Graham

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12. Backlist Booklist: Mystery Edition

The weather outside is…pretty gross, let’s be honest. It’s the perfect time to snuggle up with a great mystery! We focus a lot on new and upcoming titles (because they’re EXCITING!) but our library shelves are filled up with backlist. Let’s take a look at some charming and fun mysteries that your tweens will be mad about.

Source: Goodreads

Theo is delighted when she finds a beautiful painting hidden underneath an other painting at her grandfather’s home–she’s trying to find money to save their family house. But her grandfather had been a security guard at the art museum. Could the painting be stolen?

Source: Goodreads

Being an Inquisitor is not a job for a nice Jewish boy, but once the police get wind of the fact that Sacha can see witches, he’s apprenticed anyway. This alternate history of early 20th century New York–with magic–is delightful. If your tweens love it, no worries! There’s a sequel.

Source: Goodreads

Enola Holmes is the 14-year-old sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. When her mother disappears on her birthday, her much older brothers swoop in to haul her off to boarding school. But Enola is just as clever as her siblings and is determined to figure out where her mother is. She soon escapes to London and begins investigating all on her own. First in a 6-book series.

Source: Goodreads

Sophie and Grace are in the seventh grade, are best friends, and they spy on their neighbors. Just as a game. But one night, they witness a really scary, really bloody scene at the home of their school counselor, and they’re determined to get to the bottom of it–and it quickly isn’t a game anymore. If you love Young and Yang, don’t worry–a second book has just been released!

Source: Goodreads

What’s a discussion of mysteries without a good heist story?? Jackson Greene is a reformed schemer and conman. Those days are behind him, and he just wants to get on with his middle school life. But when he gets wind that the upcoming school president elections may not be on the up-and-up, he can’t stop himself from assembling a crack team to make sure everything goes the right way. Excellent, diverse cast, and super fun adventure, and a sequel came out just this week!

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Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a library consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

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13. Tween App Review Roundup

Did your tweens and teens get new tablets/devices during the winter holidays? If they haven’t already come into your library asking for advice about apps, they might be soon! Here are some already curated app reviews perfect for teens and tweens. This way you’ll be able to help your young patrons find exactly what they need for their new device!

Photo App:

fotorus-300x300

FotoRUs

Reviewed by Karen Jensen, Teen Librarian Toolbox

Review Excerpt: “FotoRus is an app that does multiple things. You can create a collage, add a sticker or edit like a pro using the pro edit feature. My two favorite things about FotoRus are the Mag Library feature (InstaMag) and the PIP (photo in a photo) feature.”

 

Storytelling App:

930951_orig

Plotagon

Reviewed by Joyce Valenza, Neverending Search

Review Excerpt: ” Plotagon encourages users to script a story–selecting locations; building dialogue;  adding emotions, attitudes and postures;  responding to characters; choosing sound effects and music.”

 

Art and Architecture App:

icon-FLV

Apprentice Architect

Reviewed by Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal:

Excerpt from review: “Touch Press built a highly visual, interactive app with numerous opportunities for exploration, discovery, and creation in Apprentice Architect  (iOS, Free), an introduction to the new, Gehry-designed contemporary art museum in Paris, the Fondation Louis Vuitton.”

 

Poetry App:

Lark

Reviewed by Wendy Stevens, YALSA Blog

Excerpt from Review: “Lark, Storybird’s Poetry app, is a digital incarnation of a refrigerator magnet poetry set, inspiring creativity within a finite vocabulary set as you move and reorder the words it generates over an image.”

 

Puzzle Game App:

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Last Voyage

Reviewed by Donna Block, YALSA Blog

Review Excerpt: “Last Voyage is an abstract puzzle game inspired by science fiction movies. It features hypnotic, minimalist graphics that often consist of simple geometric shapes; but also more cinematic scenes that pay homage to icons like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.”  (Bonus: mentions of other excellent puzzle game apps!)

STEM App:

fullsize_wonders_universe

Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe

Reviewed by Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal

Review Exerpt: “Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe immerses viewers in a spectacular look at the mysteries of our solar system and beyond.” (Bonus: on sale for $1.99 now!)

 

No matter what your tween or teen is interested in, there’s an app out there for them. Let this librarian-reviewed list of apps help you help your patrons!

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Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a library consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

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14. Comics Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for winter holidays!

Does the tween in your life or your library love comics? Here are a few that need to be on your radar and will make your kids go absolutely nuts.

Source: Goodreads

Peppi Torres is just trying to survive her first days middle school. Suddenly she finds herself being both the teased and the teaser, and in the middle of a club war! Can she figure out how to make middle school bearable for both herself and those around her?

Source: Goodreads

Do your kids love PrinceLess? Well, let’s not forget about Angoisse, the oft-forgotten middle Ashe sister. What’s she been up to lately? Wellllll, it seems that the swamp surrounding her tower is inhabited by monsters and goblins and vampires! Not to worry, though, because her sister Adrienne and friend Bedelia don’t think twice about helping Angoisse rescue herself! The PrinceLess books are all fantastic and volume 4 is no exception.

Source: Goodreads

Well, Squirrel Girl is 100% delightful for readers of all ages, and it’s just been announced that Shannon and Dean Hale are going to write a YA novel about Doreen Green, so this is a GREAT time to get caught up on this girl who has the powers of a squirrel, awesome tale included. Bonus? Volume 2 comes out before Christmas, too! Perfect for the superhero fan in your life that also loves humor.

Source: Goodreads

Source: Goodreads

Do you have a Steven Universe fan in your family or your library? Then get this fully-illustrated handbook to the Crystal Gems into their hands, stat! Fully authorized and written by Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar, this book is full of new facts and fun illustrations. I promise your SU fans will eat it up.

Happy gift buying and book ordering!

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Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a library consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

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15. Taking the Lead in Helping Kids Become Good Digital Citizens

Digital citizenship. It’s a complex subject that I’ve thought a lot about in recent years- and one that I’ve been figuring out how best to address in my role as a public librarian. For our kids to be contributing participants in the Digital Age, they need to be informed about a whole host of issues such as internet safety, privacy and security, cyber bullying, digital footprints, information literacy, copyright and creative credit, and more!

So when Mariah Cheng, one of my regular patrons who also happens to be an elementary school teacher, approached me about teaching a series of digital citizenship workshops at the library for children and parents I jumped at the opportunity to partner with her. Mariah had recently become a Certified Educator through Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship Initiative which offers training and curriculum for free to K-12 educators so that they can teach their students and families how to be smart, safe and responsible online. 

During our planning stages I reached out to the Vice Principal of one of my local schools to see what topics she thought were most important for her students to learn and what ages would be best to target the classes towards. She and I had previously discussed how difficult it was for her teachers to find the time to address digital literacy with their students and how the library might be able to partner with the school to teach these topics. Unfortunately, whether she was overwhelmed with the start of a new school year or otherwise, I never heard back from her and moved forward with planning the classes along with Mariah and my Children’s Department staff.

Mariah and I decided to hold a series of three classes: one for parents, one for kindergarteners through 2nd graders, and one for 3rd through 5th graders. We capped registration at 16 attendees for each class, the capacity of the library’s computer lab. Ultimately we ended up cancelling K-2 session due to low interest, and we expanded the 3rd-5th Grades session to include older students after many inquiries by parents. For the Parents session Mariah addressed how to help their children use social media responsibly, how to address cyber bullying, and how to talk to their kids about their online activities. I especially loved that Mariah’s lessons were pragmatic. It’s a fact of life that adolescents are online and using social media already. Instead of being alarmist or didactic Mariah gave parents the tools they need to set reasonable limits on their children’s screen time and to help their kids be safe and healthy while doing so. She introduced parents to a variety of tools they could use to limit or monitor computer time and gave them some great resources for evaluating websites, apps and other media. For the Student session, Mariah talked with kids about their online activities and what to do if you see or are the target of cyber bullying. She also talked about “digital footprints” and reminded participants that and nothing is truly “private” or “erasable” online. The kids wrapped up the session by playing Common Sense Media’s Digital Passport, a collection of free computer games that teach kids about respect, safety and community online.

Mariah Cheng teaches digital citizenship to a class of 4th -8th graders at the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library. Photo by Diana Garcia.

Mariah Cheng teaches digital citizenship to a class of 4th -8th graders at the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library. Photo by Diana Garcia.

Students sorted unique and shared characteristics of bullying and cyber-bullying. Photo by Diana Garcia.

Students sorted unique and shared characteristics of bullying and cyber-bullying. Photo by Diana Garcia.

These programs were a great way to start the conversation about digital citizenship with kids and parents and we definitely plan to hold more to address subjects like information literacy, copyright and creative credit. I would encourage anyone who is interested in holding digital citizenship programs to take a look at the wealth of resources available from Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship Curriculum. There are ready made lesson plans, toolkits, online games and assessments, activities, videos and downloadable materials all free for librarians and teachers to use with students. There is even a list of Certified Educators on the website. You may have one working in your school or district already!

Have you offered digital literacy classes at your library? Did you work with local teachers or have you used Common Sense Media’s resources? Share your experiences and let’s continue the conversation in the comments below!


Diana Garcia is the Children’s Librarian at the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library in California where she has the privilege of serving a diverse community through storytimes, creative programming and tutoring. Her afterschool literacy program for English Language Learners won the PLA Innovations in Literacy award in 2013. Diana is currently serving on the ALSC Liaison to National Organizations Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California and serves on their Awards Committee. 

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16. Roller Girl Rocks

Image from http://www.victoriajamieson.com/

Image from http://www.victoriajamieson.com/

I just got around to reading Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015) and boy, was it awesome!

This great graphic novel for middle-grade readers follows twelve-year old Astrid, who is inspired to join a summer youth roller derby camp after her mother takes her to a Rose City Rollers derby match. Astrid immediately falls in love with the sport and aspires to be like the rad roller ladies, whose colored hair, witty names, and rainbow socks absolutely scream cool. Unfortunately, Astrid’s best friend Nicole doesn’t seem quite so impressed by the roller derby. Soon after Astrid discovers that her bestie will be spending her summer at ballet camp with one of her not-so-favorite people, Rachel. So begins Astrid’s summer of growth as she learns that sometimes friendships change and that skating is not quite as easy as it looks.

The story felt very authentic to me, capturing the sort of girl drama that can blossom between friends, especially during those difficult and emotional middle-school years. Jamieson herself is a roller girl, skating with the real-life Rose City Rollers under the name “Winne the Pow” (how cute is that?!). Jamieson’s personal experience provides readers with a realistic glimpse into the world of women’s roller derby, while her bright, colorful illustrations bring this world to life. This book just may inspire readers to seek out their local derby team and become roller girls themselves!

Roller Girl is a stand-out graphic novel and an impressive debut from Jamieson. I look forward to seeing what she comes out with next! This title is a perfect book to put in the hands of Raina Telgemeier fans or young tweens who may feel like outsiders looking for their own place to fit-in. I might even use this title for a future tween graphic novel book club meeting, as there is plenty to talk about and relate to for girls and boys alike.

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17. Fall programming for kindergarteners to tweens!

Building a Mystery (not the Sarah McLachlan song)

Have you ever attended one of those murder mystery programs for adults? Now you can make one for your tweens and teens at the library.

To run a good murder mystery program at your library you need to put your creative librarian hat on and let your imagination run wild. It is easy to spend money on a pre made mystery kit, but if you have the time, make your own. Create the mystery setting in your library, have a librarian go missing and set the crime scene. Caution tape and a duct tape outline of the body make for great props. Perhaps the librarian was found under a crack in the floor, or downstairs under a stack of books. Make sure evidence is planted and there is an estimate time of death. Identify what staff member will be the victim and the culprit and then the fun starts. Come up with a motive for each staff member involved. Write a short paragraph for each staff member including where they were the night of the crime and an alibi. Here is an example:

I left work around 2:30pm that day, I had a doctor’s appointment right in town and then I went home to make dinner and go to my kid’s school pageant. I would never do anything like that to Mary; she was one of my favorite people to work with. I really hope you figure out who did this”

 Write alibi’s for as many staff members as you can get to participate. Use these alibis to identify their time and location when the crime happened. These alibis will be recorded on video (use a video camera or your cell phone). Have each staff member read their alibi on camera, have some staff members look right into the camera, others not looking at all, tapping their feet and so on. When you show kids these videos have them look for different behavior that might make them look guilty or innocent.

Matching up with the times noted in each staff members alibi, make a fake schedule for all staff members, this will be used as a piece of evidence. Next write an email that has some back and forth between the victim and a potential suspect. Create fingerprints, using photos from online or dip your fingertips in pencil led and rub it on a piece of paper. Create writing samples of a note that was found with the victim. This is always the last clue, as the older kids will easily identify the matching handwriting.

It is always best to start with examining the crime scene, if you have the money in your budget go to the dollar store and purchase the mini composition notebooks that come in a pack of three. Kids will write their thoughts in here and feel like a real detective. After examining the crime scene, hand out the schedules to each kid, once the kids have those, show the videos and explain what an alibi is and what interrogation tactics are. Pass out the remaining clues one at a time and discuss. It always helps to have a large piece of paper with notes for each suspect hung up on the wall. Take a screenshot of the alibi movies and use that as the mugshot for each suspect. After kids have pieced all the evidence together and agree on a culprit, go ahead and make the arrest!

This program not only raises critical thinking skills, but also increases vocabulary and introduces children to careers.

Have fun!

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 3.39.08 PMMeredith Levine is Head of Youth Services at the Chattanooga Public Library in Tennessee. She is a member of the School Age Programs and Services Committee of ALSC. If you have any questions, email her at mlevine@lib.chattanooga.gov and follow on Twitter @schmoopie517

 

Grossed-out and fractured Halloween

Several years ago, I attended an excellent children’s librarian skill share on using how to add props to story time. One of my colleagues introduced me to Bone Soup by Cambria Evans, a Halloween fractured fairy tale based on the “clever man” fable, Stone Soup.bone soup My colleague poignantly noted that most kids love to be grossed out and recommended Bone Soup as the perfect grossed-out fairy tale.

Finnigin, a wandering ghoul, is shunned by the local townspeople due to his infamous appetite.  Through his wits and a little kindness from a tiny werewolf, he manages to trick the others into contributing their ingredients to soup made from a “magic” bone, as well as gooey eyeballs, leathery bat wings and all. Bone Soup is guaranteed to delight a wide range of children but if you want to gild the lily a tad, the story is even more outrageous and fun when accompanied by a theatrical production of making the bone soup along with the story. I went to my local witches’ supply store, also known as the dollar store, to purchase the ingredients: mouse droppings
(brown rice), spider eggs (cotton balls painted with black dots), fake centipedes, plastic eyeballs, glow-in-the-dark bat wings, fingernails (fake nails), a large cauldron, and of course, a magic (plastic) bone.

I usually make the soup as I tell the story, stirring the mixture along with Finnigin and his reluctant friends; though, if I have a very patient group willing to share duties, I let the children concoct the magic soup themselves. Of course, I pretend to slurp the soup at the very end and the kids always demand to see the final product. Many of the young patrons at my old library branch did not celebrate Halloween officially, but they always demanded Bone Soup when All Hallows Eve rolled around.

witchat“Interactive” Bone Soup is a great and an easy, if not foul, way to add props to your Halloween storytelling! Pairing this version of the story with another version of Stone Soup (I recommend Jon Muth’s retelling) should invoke an interesting comparative folklore discussion!
Kate Eckert is a member of the School Age Programs & Services Committee and is a Children’s Librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia. She tweets @8bitstate and may also be contacted at eckertk@freelibrary.org.

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18. Instagram of the Week - August 17th

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

While the most popular of public library summer programs, Summer Reading/Learning is only one of many activities that benefits and serves teen communities. Tapping into the various motivations within your own teen community are crucial to creating and implementing a well-received passive or active teen program. Are there other creative and publicly available spaces in your community, or does your library provide the only opportunity for free creative exploration? Does your library serve teens who seek to advance themselves academically during the summer months? Is there an independent maker space in your town or city, or is the library the sole source of maker activities? Do the teens in your community attend magnet schools or schools with advanced tech programs? Do those schools offer opportunities for summer tech projects, or does the library have a unique opportunity to provide the space and tools for coding, movie-making, and more? Exploring what teens already have free access to (and use!) and identifying what service and material/supply vacuums exist in your wider community will teen services librarians create and implement effective programming.

What research do you do before implementing a new program or innovating an existing program? Do you research other offerings in your town/city to prevent overlap or identify potential collaborative opportunities? How does the summer closure of schools affect programming opportunities in your pulic library? Please discuss in the comments below!

For more information, please see the Summer Reading/Learning section of the YALSA wiki, as well as the YALSA Teen Programming Guidelines.

 

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19. Resources for Youth Services

Summer Reading is over! Many schools have already cranked up, and more will be getting going in the next couple of weeks. Fall, to me, means planning. I love doing long-term planning and reading materials that inspire me.  I’ve compiled a list here of a few more non-traditional resources that we could all benefit from. I hope one or all of these sparks your creative ideas for the fall!

Think Outside the Stacks – This is a TinyLetter newsletter written by Beth Saxon, also known as BethReads. Beth uses this newsletter to compile information that is relevant is YS librarians from outside the usual library sources–family blogs, news sources, museums, craft sites, educators. The title is apt. We have a lot to learn from people who aren’t librarians that also have interest in serving children and family, and Beth beautifully curates current, pertinent information.

Fairy Dust Teaching Blog – Fairy Dust Teaching is a resource site for teachers that actually offers online courses. But the blog is free to browse and is chock-full of classroom fun that can easily be adapted to library programming. She also highlights what educators all over the country are doing.

Planet Esmé – You might know Esmé Raji Codell from her book, Educating Esme, and her site is a wonderful resource for books, teaching, and other fun. You could get lost in those archives.

Podcasts are having their moment in the sun and I, for one, love them! Here are some great resources for podcasts that can help you be a better librarian:

Podcasts to Help Build Your Teen Collection: a post by Anna Dalin over at the Hub about great podcasts for collection development!

Secret Stacks – a podcast about comics in libraries by Kristin Lalonde and Thomas Maluck.

I hope this gets you started. Happy planning!

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Our guest blogger from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a Library Consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

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20. President's Report - July & August 2015

Happy End of Summer and Back-to-School!

I’m so excited to be sharing my first YALSA President’s Report!

It’s been a whirlwind since ALA Annual, and here’s what I’ve been working on since then:

Done & Done!

  • Appointments to Edwards, Printz & Nonfiction Committees
  • Assigning Board liaisons to Strategic, Selection & Award Committees
  • Assign Board Members to Standing Board Committees
  • Column for Fall 2015 issue of YALS
  • Virtual training for New YALSA Board members
  • YALSA blog post on Presidential Initiative: 3-2-1 Impact! Inclusive & Impactful Teen Services
  • Worked with YALSA Board to appoint Renee McGrath to fill Krista McKenzie’s vacancy on the YALSA Board
  • Had first call with the Whole Mind Group, who YALSA is working with on Strategic Planning
  • With Chris Shoemaker, hosted first monthly chat with the YALSA Board, where we discussed YALSA’s Standing Board Committees
  • Interviewed candidates for Member Managers for the Hub blog and Teen Programming HQ; appointed Molly Wetta as new Hub Member Manager and Jessi Snow as new Teen Programming HQ Member Manager

Works in Progress

  • Filling Strategic Committee vacancies
  • Filling Rachel McDonald’s Board vacancy
  • Appointing YALSA representatives to ALA groups
  • Strategic Planning
  • Preparing for YALSA’s YA Services Symposium & Fall Executive Committee meetings
  • Seeking content experts for Teen Programming HQ
  • Seeking out partnerships with ALA ethnic caucuses, ALA LGBT Round Table, ASCLA, Wattpad, National Writing Project, Connected Learning Alliance, DeviantArt and more

Media & Outreach

Stats & Data

  • Friends of YALSA raised $1,155 in June 2015
  • Friends of YALSA raised $436 in July 2015
  • Membership: 5,113 (down -0.3% over this time last year)

Important Deadlines

  • Oct. 1 - Deadline to submit a volunteer form to be on YALSA's upcoming award, selection and strategic committees! More information here

Last, but certainly not least -

THANK YOU

  • All of our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities, every day!
  • Chris Shoemaker, YALSA’s immediate Past President, for passing the torch and mentoring current President-Elect Sarah Hill
  • YALSA’s ALA Annual 2015 Local Arrangements Committee, for a terrific job coordinating travel tips & info and local YALSA events in San Francisco
  • YALSA Board, for your hard work, leadership and enthusiasm - I know it's going to be a great year!
  • YALSA Staff, especially Beth Yoke, Letitia Smith & Nichole O'Connor, for your assistance and support with association logistics

Until next time!

Respectfully submitted,

Candice Mack, YALSA President

 

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21. Instagram of the Week - August 31

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

As libraries continue to evaluate the needs of their communities, the physical space of libraries may evolve in an effort to meet those needs. Space may be repurposed for a teen area, new tables and chairs might arrive so patrons can create their own collaborative spaces, and group study rooms may be constructed. For patrons that rely on digital devices, additional outlets or charging stations could be in demand, desktop stations may move to make room for laptop bars, and mounted televisions for gaming, video conferencing, and collaborative projects may be needed. Below are some examples of libraries that underwent renovations, purchased new furniture, or reorganized bookshelves to make room for more open spaces and meet the changing technology needs of their patrons. Has your library undergone a similar change? We want to hear from you! Share with us in the comments section below.

For more information about teen spaces and the envisioned future of library spaces, please see The Need for Teen Spaces in Public Libraries and The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report.

 

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22. Instagram of the Week - September 28

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

Banned Books Week kicked off yesterday, Sunday, September 27 and Instagram users are posting photos in celebration of their fREADom to read. Running from September 27 through Saturday, October 3, this year's Banned Books Week focuses on young adult books. It may be easy to call to mind cases of challenged books and censorship that made their way to media outlets, but both the YALSA wiki and the American Library Association's Challenges to Library Materials page remind us that a challenge can also include a patron expressing concern over an item or requesting that it be shelved in another collection. YALSA's The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report lists intellectual freedom as one of the core values librarians should hold as they protect the rights of teens to access information and educate the community about intellectual freedom.

Are you doing something to celebrate Banned Books Week? Book lists, displays, games, posters? We want to know! Share with us in the comments section below.

For more information on Banned Books week, please visit the Banned Books Week website and this year's ALA press release which discusses the focus on young adult books.

For more information on intellectual freedom, please visit the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom webpage.

 

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23. Middle Grade and Young Adult: Another Author Interview

Back in November, I did an interview with two authors who have written both middle grade and youth adult books. It was fascinating to see their different and similar experiences in writing for two audiences.  Today, I’m interviewing Corey Ann Haydu, the YA writer of three books. Her first first middle-grade novel, Rules for Stealing Stars, is in stores today!

Books:
OCD Love Story (2013), Young Adult
Life by Committee (2014), Young Adult
Making Pretty (2015), Young Adult
Rules for Stealing Stars (2015), Middle Grade

ALLY: Are you in a different mindset when writing MG and YA? How do you think differently about your audience?

Corey: I’ve found there’s a bit of a mysterious, lovely thing that happens in my brain when I’m writing MG. It opens up a new little pocket of imagination for me that has its own life and really took me by surprise. It’s reflexive– writing MG loosens up my mind a little bit. I think it freed up my writing and gave me access to a whole new set of stories and worlds. It was a total surprise– like a path I stumbled upon in the woods.

I always write topics that are more difficult– a little scary and challenging and uncomfortable– but in MG I think my awareness of my audience has to do with my desire to have hope play a role.  I want to write honestly for young readers, but I also want to encourage whatever brightness is growing in them. I think there’s room for both. Mostly, I want my audience to feel feelings, whatever they are. And I want them to grasp that inner spirit can be more powerful than outer troubles.

ALLY: Do you think you will continue to write both YA and MG? What’s next up?

Corey: I’ll absolutely continue to write both. At the moment I’m working on a new YA project AND a new MG project, so I’m really working both muscles in tandem at the moment. It’s really liberating. I’m interested in challenging myself, and I’m a big believer in the power of getting out of my comfort zone. So readers can expect me to continue to push my own boundaries as a writer– as well as theirs as a reader, hopefully.   

ALLY: You started in publishing with YA. What was it like to make the transition to MG, both in your writing, and in terms of the way your book was received by the kidlit community? Does it feel very different?

Corey: Like I said, in terms of writing, I found transitioning to MG to be exactly what I needed– it freed me up, it got me out of my head, it let me explore new feelings, stories, textures, and sides of myself. It was sort of like falling in love with writing all over again.

In terms of the response from the kidlit community, I think I’ve gotten support across the board from the kidlit community for all my books, but it’s been wonderful to get support as I shift gears a little this fall. On a personal level, playing around with genres and age ranges lets me breathe a little, and that helps me be a better member of the community as well. But most of all I am thrilled I’m getting a chance to visit schools, talk to kids, and connect with a new readership. I think there’s something really special about younger readers– for me, 4th, 5th, 6th grades were when I really discovered the total joy of books. In that way, writing MG is unique, because I’m writing with the distinct memory of the books that shaped my life as a reader and a person — The Giver, Mandy, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, A Little Princess, Bridge to Terabithia, Tuck Everlasting, Sideways Stories from Wayside School. It adds sort of this magical thrill to the whole process, because I forget a lot of books I’ve read over my long career as a writer, but I never ever forget the books I loved when I was ten.

ALLY: Your first MG is out today! Can you give us a quick synopsis?

Corey: Rules for Stealing Stars is the story of four sisters who are trying to cope as their mother struggles with addiction and their family loses its balance. When Silly, the youngest sister, discovers her sister’s magical escape, a new world opens up to her. It seems like the solution to their problems– when things are difficult at home they can hide away in a world of magic. But even the fantastical world scares Silly and her sisters, and the magic they hope is fixing their broken parts might not be everything it seemed, or everything they need.

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Corey’s middle-grade novel, Rules for Stealing Stars, is out today!

 

You can find her on twitter at @CoreyAnnHaydu!

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Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a Library Consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

The post Middle Grade and Young Adult: Another Author Interview appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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24. Eerie Graphic Novels for October

October is one of my most favorite times of year for a variety of reasons. Crisp weather makes for perfect hiking, my scarf collection makes a triumphant return from the closet, and all things pumpkin can be found. The real reason October stands out for me though is the mysterious mood cast thanks to Halloween. As a fan of spooky stories of all sorts, this month provides the perfect opportunity to share some of my top picks for eerie and ghostly reads. The graphic novels highlighted below are not holiday specific, and would be great recommendations for readers year-round, but are especially fun during this season.

Cat Burglar Black by Richard Sala. First Second; 2009. This quirky title by the talented Sala has it all-  dangerous mysteries, weird characters, hidden treasure, and creepy settings. K was raised in an orphanage where the children were trained to be professional thieves and now finds herself at Bellsong Academy, a suspicious boarding school with barely any other students. I’ll be discussing this title with my tween graphic novel book club next week and I can’t wait to hear their thoughts!

Possessions: Unclean Getaway by Ray Fawkes. Oni Press; 2010. First in the Possessions series. Possessions is both laugh-out-loud hilarious and totally disturbing, in the most fun way.  In Unclean Getaway, readers meet Gurgazon the Unclean, a demon who has possessed a 5-year old girl and is now bent on destroying the world…if she could only escape the Llewellyn-Vane House for Captured Spirits and Ghostly Curiosities. This is an ongoing series with the most recent title, The Final Tantrum, published in February of this year.

Photo by Nicole Martin

Photo by Nicole Martin

Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow adapted by Blake A. Hoena. Stone Arch Books; 2014. Irving’s classic tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman is adapted for graphic readers in this colorful title. This version is great for readers who may be new to the story as it provides an introduction discussing the real Sleepy Hollow and how Irving may have stumbled across the legend, as well as a glossary of vocabulary words.

Hans Christian Anderson’s The Red Shoes and Other Tales by Metaphrog. Papercutz; 2015. The dark story of Anderson’s The Red Shoes is wonderfully retold in this graphic novel, along with Anderson’s The Little Match Girl and an original story titled The Glass Case. The sickly color palette exhibited throughout this book really gives these stories an extra layer of spookiness.

Johnny Boo: The Best Little Ghost in the World by James Kochalka. Top Shelf Productions; 2008. First in the Johnny Boo series. Johnny Boo and his ghost pet Squiggle take on the Ice Cream Monster in this introduction to the world of Johnny. This series is a good choice for young readers interested in something ghostly but not-so-scary.

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol. Square Fish; 2014. Anya’s Ghost mixes realistic young adult issues and a ghost story to make one awesomely scary graphic novel. Anya is part of a Russian family and is already having a hard time trying to fit in at school when she falls down a hole and finds herself face to face with a haunted skeleton. At first this ghost seems to be a friend to Anya, but quickly we learn that she is not to be trusted.

I suggest that these titles be read under dim lighting, while wrapped in a cozy blanket and sipping a mug of hot apple cider. Happy haunting!

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25. Not SCARY Scary (again)

Last year, I wrote a post about books for kids that have creep appeal but aren’t downright terrifying. I’ll make my shameful confession again:

I’m a wuss. And because of that, Halloween isn’t really my jam. I hate being scared!! I DO, however, enjoy some good creepiness or eeriness, and some good suspense. So here are some more titles (all of these are out in 2015) for you to share with your patrons. Good luck with your Halloween/Fall Festival/Harvest programs, librarians! Happy October!

Source: Goodreads

Pram can see ghosts. She’s always been able to. And it’s never mattered much that she doesn’t have many friends that are actually alive, but then her aunts put her in school and she makes a friend who has lost a parent and is looking for answers. This adventure takes them from spiritualists to haunted houses and they definitely land in more trouble than they bargained for.

Source: Goodreads

Lauren Oliver’s latest is about several children with extraordinary abilities growing up in an oddities museum. But when an antiquity–yes, the shrunken head–is stolen, the kids embark on an adventure to get it back, but they encounter several murders and shady truths from their past. Super fun and creepy, this one will delight your kids.

Source: Goodreads

Thomas Marsden is a grave-robber. It’s a bad business, but it becomes even worse when he opens up an unmarked grave one night and finds a boy that is the spitting image of Thomas himself. What’s going on? And what do spiritualism, death, and the faery folk have to do with Thomas?

Source: Goodreads

The Jumbies is a little bit on the scarier side, but it’s also just excellent. Rooted in Caribbean folklore, this book is the tale of Corrine, who definitely isn’t afraid of jumbies. They aren’t real, they’re just stories parents make up to scare kids. But then strange things start to happen at night, and a beautiful and bewitching woman shows up on the island. Can Corrine and her friends save the island?

Happy Halloween!!

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Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a library consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

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