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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Teens, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 410
1. Teens and How They Use Technology – What’s Our Role?

This semester I’m enrolled in a Collaborations in Feminism and Technology class. It parallels the larger organization, FemTechNet. During our most recent class, our discussion turned to a frequently talked about: children/teens and technology. What sort of access to technology should they have and how will they use it?

Part of our class veered towards the idea of technocentrism (technology is the center of our world and it controls us. See Seymour Papert’s paper to read more) or technological determinism (essentially get on board with technology’s pace or forever be left behind). We discussed just giving kids and teens technology and counting on them to “just know” how to use it. We discussed restricting access because they aren’t old enough to really know how to use technology. And we discussed that teens simply don’t understand the permanence of putting something online.

However, some of my classmates (myself included) were not quick to jump aboard the technocentrism train of thought. I firmly ground myself in the idea of living in a socio-technical system – where I impact and shape technology just as much as technology is shaping and changing me. People in positions of power and privilege are making decisions on how they design and create technology and that has impacts on how we use and think about technology. So shouldn’t we be having some of these conversations with the teens we interact with?

I think we should take some responsibility for this education and problem posing of technology and its impacts. Because in many ways, the decisions we are making affect how current and future teens will use and think about technology (and the digital footprint that has been involuntarily created for them). Recently I’ve been hooked on WNYC’s podcast, Note to Self with Manoush Zomorodi. The focus of this podcast is our relationship with technology and a recent episode lets us hear first hand from a teen interviewed on her views of technology (and smart phones). Teens are actively using technology and making decisions about it and we should respect and think about those decisions (Manoush also has a great “back to school tech” post with links on [mainly] managing kids and educational apps and technology). These posts and podcasts made me think of participatory action research that people like Rachel Magee and others are doing that digs deeper into the relationships teens have with technology (a field I’m very interested in. Also Rachel is a new faculty member at the University of Illinois so I’ve been learning more about her work).

So how do we do this? How do we have those conversations? How do we talk about our permant identity on the Internet? How do we help teens to see the ways in which we shape and our shaped by technology. My main idea is through dialogue – both informal and formal. Everything from a passing comment to longer workshops (I wrote earlier this year about a week long Twitter workshop that could be led to show how information is distributed, biased, and controlled through Twitter and what users we select to follow). Or…how could we incorporate resources like YALSA’s 2012 Issue Brief on Keeping Teens Safe Online (or revise it for 2015)? How might we incorporate idea of connected learning into these conversations for a greater and long lasting impact? How can we take this Social Media Guide and turn it into an engaging program or informal conversation? Granted, I know these programs or conversations would take time – time to plan, time to think through the ideas, time to get to know the teens, and time to actually implement these ideas (I get a little tired thinking about how I would do that once I enter the working world of Library Land). But, what keeps me going is the idea that we too can impact technology. The sooner we have those conversations with our teens, the sooner we start engaging in that critical dialogue, the sooner we can start changing the world.

How do you do this in your libraries with your teens? How do you not get trapped in the idea of technocentrism and instead, strive to empower teens to think critically about technology and their technological footprint?

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Review by Elisa WALK ON EARTH A STRANGERby Rae CarsonSeries: Gold Seer Trilogy (Book 1)Hardcover: 448 pagesPublisher: Greenwillow Books (September 22, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times-bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a

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3. A Lot in Love with A LITTLE IN LOVE by Susan Fletcher

Review by Paola A LITTLE IN LOVEby Susan FletcherAge Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and upHardcover: 288 pagesPublisher: Chicken House (August 25, 2015)Goodreads | Amazon Inspired by Victor Hugo's classic, Les Miserables, A Little in Love beautifully conveys the heartbreaking story of street girl Eponine.Paris, 1832A girl lies alone in the darkness, clutching a letter to her heart.Eponine

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4. Teen Design Lab Day Four -- Time to Design!

Another good day at the Teen Design Lab. We had a pretty free form day, complete with some inspiration, project time, and stickers.

What we did:

  • Watched some library related humor videos (such as Check It Out made by the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library — what a great job they did incorporating Taylor Swift into EVERYTHING). These videos served as inspiration and a potential design project. We wanted to give teens the option of making a video parody to promote the library.
  • Then it was design time. This is the neat part of the camp. We just let the teens be, serving really only as sounding boards and offering words of encouragement. We provide laptops, paper, pens, and other design supplies (such as clay, building blocks, felt, etc) so they can create a prototype of some sort. It was neat to see the teens find their element — some needed to make something with their hands while others made detailed dream plans and steps to success charts. The design process also the teens to showcase their talents and strengths, which is awesome. At the same time, we are aligning with library and community priorities — giving suggestions on how to make the teens feel welcome or participate in their community and or library.
  • The day ended with a sticker workshop. Again, this pulls from Makerspace and Fab Lab ideas and equipment (check out the Maker & DIY Programs YALSA Wiki page for more information about this sort of programming). It was an easy setup — laptops running Silhouette software, Silhouette vinyl cutters, and vinyl for the stickers. It’s another workshop where the teens really have free reign over what they want to do. Our only suggestion was using a silhouette image for the cleanest cut. The teens really took off on this project, most printing multiple sets of vinyl. They picked up on it pretty quickly (and a few had done this before). It was a nice way to end the workshop.

The teens will be back tomorrow, continuing to work on their designs and then give a brief presentation to their peers and community members we’ve invited to come so the teens’ opinions can be heard!

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5. Teen Design Lab Day Three — Tech Playground & Teen Feedback

Wednesday was a bit of a slow day. Lucky for us, we had something free form planned for the teens to explore.

We called it a Tech Playground. Our potential project ideas were:

  • Facebook pot for the Peoria Heights Public Library
  • Google Maps with pins of their favorite places in Peoria Heights
  • Experiment with graphic design using Canva, Gimp, or Imgur

Canva overview image from Reel Bold Media

What won out was Canva. I had only briefly worked with this website and I was the one who had recommended it after hearing about it at a social media conference. To sign up, all you need is an email address or can log in with Facebook or a Google account.

From there, you can make almost any sort of design. Flyers, Facebook covers, Etsy banners, posters, business cards — the sky is the limit. With the design, there are both free templates and templates that can be purchased at low cost ($1 or so). You can upload your own photos, use copyright free images, or purchase images from Canva (again around $1 or so). It’s relatively easy to maneuver around the site, and lots of tutorials to watch if you get confused. Here’s a thing we made!

We made a thing!

The teens seemed very into it and said it was one of their favorite things they did that day. It was a great project to just let them run wild and to create something they wanted to use. We also confirmed that Facebook is just not a social media this group of teens use (paralleling recent studies done that say teens are moving away from using Facebook).

After Canva, which was hard to tear the teens away, we had a volunteer from the Peoria Heights Historical Society come in. The teens seemed engaged with the volunteer and asked some good questions. The day ended with conversations on potential design projects they will officially start tomorrow and a conversation with the director of the library. He had looked at their feedback on the Hack Your Library project. The conversation was pretty good, but of course, came back to similar problems — teen involvement and investment. The teens gave good suggestions, such as scouting a couple of teens and allowing them to have a very active role in program planning. If they can bring a couple of friends, then the program has a chance of taking off. I’m curious to know in the future if the director keeps this in mind. I think getting teen feedback is so crucial. We can guess all we want, but at the end of the day, what the teens say and think does matter.

Looking forward to day four and getting more into the design process!

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6. Teen Design Lab Day Two — Maps, notebooks, and hack your library!

Back for day two reflection! We added one more teen to the group, bringing our total up to five. Today was a heavy work day, although we were taking into consideration the request from the teen for more projects.

The afternoon began with working on something for the internet. We gave the teens three options: make a Facebook post for the Peoria Heights Public Library page (since our camp takes place at this library), make a blurb that could go up on the Richwoods Township website (since Roger came from the township to talk to us yesterday), or create a Google Map with pins at places they had visited on the community tour on Monday. More on that in what went well and what could be improved. 

Then, the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab made an appearance (and they are team members in this larger grant helping to pay me and my co-teachers to develop and run this camp). They brought along a friend, aka a portable laser. Holly, one of the Fab Lab instructors, led the five teens though designing a notebook cover to be lasered on a small Moleskine notebook. It was a great workshop and the teens had to find a quote they liked. We can definitely think of this workshop as a way to develop interest-based, developmentally appropriate programs that support connected learning. The teens had full say in what their notebooks looked like and this design process exposed them not only to design tools, but file management, USB procedures (like eject USB before physically removing it), and exposure to technology they might not have seen or used before.

With the notebooks begin lasered, the teens then did Hack Your Library. Essentially, they each had a clipboard, pencil, and a bunch of post-it notes. They were to carefully and thoughtfully go through the library, writing down on the post-it notes what they liked about the library, what they didn’t like, and things that surprised them (very similar to what they did the day before in downtown Peoria Heights). The afternoon ended with the teens presenting their findings to the group. The director of the library who we’ve been working closely with couldn’t sneak away to hear the presentation but was looking at the feedback on our way out after camp was over.

What went well

  • The teens really seemed to enjoy the notebook design workshop. It was great to see each other being lasered because they really showed off each teen’s unique personality. I think it’s a great strength to be able to have programming and activities that allow teens to be themselves in that sort of creative process. I feel I learned even more about them from those simple notebook covers.
  • Hack the Library activity ended up with so many interesting notes. Very few teens noticed the same things, which again helps to show how each teen is unique and brings a new perspective to the table.

What could be improved on

  • They seemed a little lackluster about creating website/Facebook/Google map content. I’m not sure if it was how we explain the activities or if that is something they just weren’t interested in. This gets me thinking about how can we encourage them to be creators of material on the internet in a way that’s engaging and fun to them.

Resources to check out

Photos coming soon! Check back tomorrow night for day three reflections!


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7. Programming is challenging, especially when you have to anticipate

Since May, I’ve been part of a planning team designing a week-long summer camp (July 20-24, 2015) for 8-12 year olds and for teens in the Peoria Heights (IL) area. This team is a smaller aspect of a much larger project, the Digital Innovation Leadership Program (DILP). This project is funded through the University of Illinois Extension and works with 4H offices across Illinois to plan and lead programs. Our goal is to focus on three learning areas: digital manufacturing, digital media production, and data analytics.

For me, it’s an exciting grant because it really builds off what I’ve done this past year. I get the opportunity to think more about digital literacy and how what I learned can be applied in other situations, always bending the curriculum/workshop to fit the context of the group. Additionally, I played a major role in the creation of the 8-12 year old camp and played a support role in developing the curriculum for the teens. The teens are building off the work of Ann Bishop and her team have been doing in Seattle: InfoMe, which I wrote about in my December 2014 post. Here are five things I learned (or got confirmed) about planning along the way.

  1. Plan A is rarely your best plan.
    • I think our morning camp is in version 3.5. We would have an idea, run with it for a bit, think of something better, tweak it, and run with it again. A few times, we threw out the whole idea and came up with something better. Just like writing a paper for my English classes in undergrad, my best work comes after a few revisions, a few freakouts, and some good conversations with mentors & peers.
  2. Nail down objectives early so that when new ideas come up they can quickly be  assessed if they fit the objectives. If yes, then accept the idea and if not, the idea is vetoed.
    • This was incredibly helpful as we kept coming up with different plans. Our team had met with some community leaders in Peoria Heights at the beginning of May to get an idea of what they wanted from this camp. The main objective that came through was strengthening community pride. When we came back to Urbana-Champaign to play, we had that strong objective in mind. Our camp was framed around that idea and it helped keep us focused and remember what was important.
  3. Give yourself enough time, especially if you’ve working with community partners.
    • Everyone is busy. It seems like such a simple fact, but often forgotten. While a community partner you meet with several months before the program seems very excited about collaboration, as the program actually approaches and the summer is flying by, they might be harder to get in touch with. However, if you contact them early enough, get the date on their calendar sooner rather than later, and provide solid information on expectations and program objectives, then you can feel confident going into the program. Also, I don’t know about you, but I never can estimate how long something will actually take me.
  4. Clear communication is crucial. 
    • Use clear and direct email subject lines, direct emails with questions or bullet points of information, call the person/people on the phone when needed, and also don’t forget about the value of visiting the place the program will take place (if it’s off site or for us, in a completely new city). We took another trip to Peoria Heights in June with a draft of our camp and some questions. It was so nice to sit across from the stakeholders and on-site organizers to make sure we were on the same page.
  5. Anticipate all you want, but sometimes you just have to relax and rely on your ability to change on the fly.
    • With the camp a week away, we suddenly started coming up with all these ideas. Well, if project A doesn’t work, we could do this alternative project A, or alternative project B. Oh…wait, here’s another idea. When you start to go into that spiral, things become overwhelming. I think it’s good to have a backup plan, but somethings you just can’t anticipate. I found myself needing to feel confident about what we had planned and trust myself to think on my feet if during the week, something changes.

Since the camp is right around the corner, I’ll be blogging reflections after the morning camp on my personal website and then will be posting short reflections on the teen camp here on the YALSA blog. Looking forward to sharing this camp with you!

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8. STONE RIDER by David Hofmeyr \\ Ride Hard or Die

Review by Leydy STONE RIDERby David HofmeyrAge Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and upHardcover: 336 pagesPublisher: Delacorte Press (July 14, 2015)Goodreads | Amazon "Intense, original, compelling . . . bristles with attitude. So cool. Just read it."--Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Gone and BZRK In the vein of The Outsiders and the early Western novels of Elmore Leonard,

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9. JOYRIDE by Anna Banks \\ #weneeddiversebooks

Review by Sara JOYRIDE by Anna Banks Age Range: 12 - 18 years Hardcover: 288 pages Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (June 2, 2015) Goodreads | Amazon Who says opposites don't attract? It's been several years since Carly Vega's parents were deported. Carly lives with her older brother, studies hard, and works the graveyard shift at a convenience store to earn enough to bring her parents back from

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10. {Quick-fire Review} PRETENDING TO BE ERICA by Michelle Painchaud

by andye PRETENDING TO BE ERICAby Michelle PainchaudAge Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and upHardcover: 272 pagesPublisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (July 21, 2015)Goodreads | Amazon Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a

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11. MATERIAL GIRLS by Elaine Dimopoulos // This needs to be a TV show!

Review by Paola  MATERIAL GIRLSby Elaine DimopoulosHardcover: 336 pagesPublisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 5, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves.

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12. A Confused and Disappointed Letter to Hold Me Like A Breath...

From Becca   HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH Once Upon A Crime Family #1 by Tiffany Schmidt Hardcover: 400 pages Publisher: Bloomsbury (May 19th, 2015) Language: English Goodreads | Amazon Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ

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13. Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

From Becca CONSPIRACY OF BLOOD AND SMOKEPrisoner of Night and Fog #2by Anne BlankmanFile Size: 808 KBPrint Length: 416 pagesPublisher: Balzer + Bray (April 21, 2015) Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers Goodreads | Amazon The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler's inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and

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14. Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson

Review by Meghann Title: Nil Unlocked Series: Nil #2Author: Lynne MatsonPublisher: Henry Holt and Co., an imprint of MacmillanGenre: Young Adult Fiction - Science Fiction, DystopianRelease Date: May 12, 2015Source: ARC provided by the publisher, opinions are honest and my own. On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Rives is now the

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Reviewed by Krista SISTERS OF BLOOD AND SPIRITby Kady CrossSeries: Sisters of Blood and Spirit (Book 1)Hardcover: 288 pagesPublisher: Harlequin Teen (March 31, 2015)Goodreads | Amazon Wren Noble is dead—she was born that way. Vibrant, unlike other dead things, she craves those rare moments when her twin sister allows her to step inside her body and experience the world of the living. Lark

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16. {Teen Review} The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Teen Review by Reagan  THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND by Kasie West Paperback: 352 pages Publisher: HarperTeen (May 5, 2015) Goodreads | Amazon When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she

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17. Quick-Fire Review of THE WITCH HUNTER by Virginia Boecker

by Andye THE WITCH HUNTERThe Witch Hunter #1by Virginia BoeckerHardcover: 368 pagesPublisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (June 2, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear. Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a

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18. 30 Days of Teen Programming: Would this ACTUALLY work? A graduate student contemplates Twitter

When the email got sent around the bloggers about doing a 30 days of programming, my mind instantly went blank. I’m just a librarian-in-training and haven’t done a lot of hands-on programming with teens. What could I bring to the conversation?

Then I remembered I did have a program. A hypothetical one that is. I’m currently taking a Media Literacy for Youth class which has been amazing. One of our assignments was to create either a lesson or program plan about a media literacy topic. It could be targeted to any age group and should last 2-3 hours. We had to write about outcomes, lay out all the activities, essentially plan it so some librarian could do it with the kids they work with.

I’ll lay out my idea and then want your feedback. Is this program realistic? Would it work with the teens you work with? And if it’s not realistic, what needs to be changed?

So…here I go!

As a twenty-something, I would say I’m pretty well-connected in social media. If someone asked what my favorite social media platform is, I would say it’s Twitter. There something exciting about Twitter when you think about it like a cocktail party (shout out to blogger Dave Charest for this analogy) — there are hundreds of conversations going on around you and you decide which ones to tap into. And our teens are using it so why not have a program that challenges them to think about not only how they use Twitter, but how others use Twitter?

The program would stretch over several sessions, with each session being around an hour. I wanted to design a program that could be amended to fit the library and the teens. So each session has a big idea and it was my hope that librarians could pick and choose which sessions to do. Here’s a brief run-down of the sessions:

  1. Twitter 101: Learn the basics. Set teens up with accounts if they don’t have one (or have dummy accounts they could use for these sessions). Talk about how you tweet, what the heck hashtags are, and how the people you follow can create a bias for the information you consume.
  2. Creative uses of Twitter: Twitter doesn’t just have to push information out to people. It can be used to write stories, tell choose-your-own-adventure plots, and even poetry. This session would allow teens to explore these various avenues and try one out for themselves.
  3. Using Twitter intentionally — how businesses incorporate social media: This would be the workshop where you could bring in community partnerships. Ask a social media coordinator for a local company to come in and talk about social media strategies. How do those companies use Twitter (it’s intentional as opposed to the ways the average Twitter user tweets). You could even ask the staff member in charge of your library’s Twitter account to either help facilitate this session, or come in to give a short presentation.
  4. Tweet chats: Explore the world of tweet chats (or when hashtags trend and become a large conversation). Have the teens engage in a tweet chat or perhaps see if another library wants to team up and have the teens from both libraries talk via Twitter!
  5. Live tweet: I see this session as the final one, but it doesn’t have to be. Have the teens pick out an event they want to go to (or suggest an event like a library or school board meeting). Have the teens create a common hashtag and have them live tweet the event. See if those tweets can get other people to join the conversation!

So…what do you think? If you want to know more about each individual session, you can check out my online portfolio where the whole plan is (it’s the first link on the page), including references for more information. Looking forward to hearing your comments!

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19. SOLITAIRE by Alice Oseman

"Review my books" Review by Natalie In case you're wondering, this is not a love story. My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very

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20. THE WINNER'S CRIME by Marie Rutkoski is EVERYTHING: Book & Audiobook Review

by Andye THE WINNER'S CRIMEThe Winner's Trilogy #2by Marie RutkoskiAge Range: 12 - 18 yearsHardcover: 416 pagesPublisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (March 3, 2015)Audiobook Narrated By Justine Eyre Length: 10 hrs Publisher: Listening LibraryGoodreads | Amazon | Audible Following your heart can be a crime A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It means one celebration after

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21. WATCH THE SKY by Kirsten Hubbard

Review by Leydy WATCH THE SKYby Kirsten HubbardAge Range: 8 - 12 yearsGrade Level: 3 - 7Hardcover: 272 pagesPublisher: Disney-Hyperion (April 7, 2015)Goodreads | Amazon The signs are everywhere, Jory's stepfather, Caleb, says. Red leaves in the springtime. Pages torn from a library book. All the fish in an aquarium facing the same way. A cracked egg with twin yolks. Everywhere and anywhere.

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22. Teen Story Slam

Nuff said.  More tomorrow.

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23. LIES I TOLD by Michelle Zink {Review & Giveaway}

by Emily What if, after spending a lifetime deceiving everyone around you, you discovered the biggest lies were the ones you've told yourself? Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family. But it’s all a lie. Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never

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Review by Bri The Queen of Bright and Shiny ThingsAnn AguirrePublished: 7th April, 2015Feiwel & FriendsGenre: Contemporary, RomanceAge: Young AdultFrom: Publisher ARC Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine…

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25. 1.5 Stars to The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman

by Leydy THE LAST GOOD DAY OF THE YEARby Jessica WarmanHardcover: 288 pagesPublisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (May 19, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon Ten years ago, seven-year-old Samantha and her next door neighbor Remy watched helplessly as Sam's little sister was kidnapped. Later, Remy and Sam identified the man and he was sent to prison.Now, Sam's shattered family is returning

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