Showing posts with label reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading. Show all posts

Friday, December 30, 2016

Reality Scoop

I have been interested in writing about the issues of teens and have found that many of the issues that they face are very difficult.  Since I read so much YA fiction, I have seen that there a lot of books that tackle teen topics in a very sensitive and conscious manner.  A few years ago I started to write about real topics that teens are dealing with such as depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, stress, and other mental health issues and pair these topics up with YA realistic fiction books in a column I called Reality Scoop.  I came up with this idea because I feel like many teens could relate to issues they might be dealing with by reading books they can check out from their library.

Here are a few articles that I have written for my column Reality Scoop on the YALSA Hub:

Random Acts of Kindness
Holiday Stress Released
Depression in Young Adult Literature
Autism Awareness
Mental Wellness

I'm thinking of continuing Reality Scoop here on this blog and I am currently working on a list of topics for 2017,

This will be a fun writing project for the upcoming year!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Are Urban Legends Important for Teens?

I love to write, it is one of my favorite things to do.  I am a librarian so I am an avid and natural born researcher.  I am also very passionate about weird and wacky things and love the history of folklore and legends.  I have a master's degree in Consciousness Studies, so I have a strong background in psychology, philosophy, and dream studies.  My thesis for this degree was all about the history of fairy folklore and the origins of the dark fairy Morgan LeFay.  I love poetry and literature and enjoy reading very much.  I'm very in tune with the young adult world and have been a teen librarian for many years.  I have so many ideas that I could write about.

Right now I am very interested in researching Urban Legends.  I feel that these legends are interesting, upbeat, and engaging for teen readers.  I think it would be great to write about different legends each week and find out more why these legends are important and how they relate to teens in today's world.  I also think it would be really cool to come up with craft ideas that relate to the legends. One urban legend that always sticks with me is the one about the lady with the beehive hairdo that ends up having a spider's nest in her hair!  It would be great to pair that story up around Halloween time with a creepy spider's nest craft.

I think researching urban legends will help to find the answer to whether urban legends are important to teens.  I will further this idea as we progress each week.

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Books and Recipes for Teens What a Great Combination

I love starting new book clubs for teens! They encourage teens to read something new and provide great enrichment by asking them to examine what they've read. Then the teens soak up new vocabulary words, figure out the storyline, and learn about the characters in the story.

I am also a firm believer that book clubs help teens build leadership skills and gain confidence. Joining a book club give teens a chance to speak up in a group and respectfully share their ideas and opinions, particularly since so many YA books delve into controversial topics. Teens that take the lead in book discussions will gain an extra edge that will help them in school and social settings.

Most of my teen book clubs have focused on a theme. I think having a theme adds a bit more excitement to the club and also offers you, as the facilitator, a chance to be creative and find great books for your teens to read. One of my first teen book clubs was called “Muggles and Magic,” and all the teens wanted to do was read "Harry Potter" over and over again. It was fun — and tricky — to find other books after we were done with the "Harry Potter" series, but my imagination took over, and I found quite a few books that blend magic and mystery for teens. We also played games like "'Harry Potter' Jeopardy" and dressed up as our favorite characters from the book at the end of the school year.

This book club was a great way to figure out how to get teens to read and discuss books. It also gave me the back-up I needed when I started working in a public library to continue to host book clubs. I am always looking for ideas to start a new book club, and since I have just recently started at a new library, I think it could be a great way to get to know the teens in my new community. 

I read a great article about pairing books with desserts on Shari's Berries, and it totally gave me a great idea! It gave me a chance to explore the world of fiction and the food that is taken from the pages of some of my favorite books. You can find all kinds of recipe ideas in books. Many fandoms have created special web pages just for recipes and ideas. I’ve also seen blogs with resourceful recipes inspired by "Twilight," "Hunger Games" and "Harry Potter."

So, what do you think about planning a book club that focuses entirely on reading YA fiction books and making the food that is mentioned in the book?  Sounds fun, right?  It's also a great way to promote reading.  Not only will the teens be reading, they will also be testing their cooking skills. It's so easy to do.  Choose a book every month and have each member pick a treat to make and bring to the discussion meeting? I bet there will be some creative cooking happening! Check out some of these recipes that book club readers could easily recreate for a fun and interactive book discussion group. 
  • The Selection by Keira Cass: "May, don't these strawberry tarts just make you want to cry?" America's Strawberry Nutella Tart
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner: “Beds were assigned, clothes and bathroom things were passed out, dinner was served. Pizza. Real, bona fide, greasy-fingers pizza.” Maze Runner - Tablespoon Pizza Rolls
  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen: "Layla's crazy fry eating ritual will leave you wanting to test out the mystery blend method after completing your own french frey gathering trifecta."  Layla - Homemade French Fry Seasoning Blend
  • Splintered series by A.G. Howard: "I need to get to that tea party and wake up the guests ... and how are you supposed to do that? Give a magical kiss to the half-baked hatmaker?"  Allysa -  Edible Tea Cups - YUM!
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth: "I only came for cake." Tobias Eaton  - Dauntless Cake recipe
  • Check out my Pinterest board, "Tasty YA Book Recipes," for more fun ideas on pairing YA books and yummy treats!

    Tune in next month for more tips and ideas for tween and teen programming from Mrs. Librarian Lady.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Not Your Average History Lesson - A Look at Historical Fiction

I’ve always been a fan of historical fiction – When I was a kid I loved reading about people that really excited in faraway times and places. My favorite book in high school was none other than Gone with the Wind which was set in the Civil War (go figure??) I think this love followed me to college because I went on to study Humanities in college and learned about the history of art, music, philosophy, religion, language, and how people experience all of these things. Nowadays, I love reading for fun and I love coming-of-age stories combined with fascinating periods of history around the world. If you are tired of the same old boring history lessons you’ve seen and want a great Historical Fiction read then this is place for you! Tune in each month as Mrs. Librarian Lady starts from zero and goes all the way up to the 1990’s. You will be amazed at how many great stories are based on real life people in history!

Here’s a little Historical Fiction kick starter for you!

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill - I have always been entranced with the Salem Witch Trials, so I am so glad that I found this terrific book! This story written in verse is based on the epic historical event that took place in Salem, Massachusetts throughout the year of 1692. Wicked Girls is very engaging and brings a stunning reality to the actual girls that accused many people of being witches in Salem during the 1600’s. This is a fictional account of what it might have been like for the girls that started the vicious lies and rumors about their friends and neighbors. The historical information on this subject is very easy to find in any history book or in the Salem museum. However, Hemphill gives a more personal look at how a handful of Puritan girls took hold of a town and used this fortune to their own advantage. I found this book to be a truly amazing account of how that year in 1692 unfolded in the town of Salem. This book also gives the reader insight on how difficult it must have been to live in the rural area of Salem and how strict and narrow minded the Puritan townspeople were.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – Set in New Orleans, in 1950, the city is getting back to regular life with the war over. But for Josie Moraine, there’s no such thing as a normal life. Her mother is a brothel prostitute and Josie only wants to get out of New Orleans and attend college where she can make a life for herself without her mother’s reputation always tainting her attempts to make something of herself. But then someone dies in a pretty suspect way and Josie’s involvement in the investigation might keep her from ever being able to escape the Big Easy.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein– All I can say is that reading this book takes you back in time to World War II and it is an emotional and intense ride from the start. You get to read the story through written pages and notes. One side of the story is of Queenie the British spy who has been captured by the Nazi's in Nazi occupied France in 1943. She made the crucial mistake of looking the wrong way while crossing a busy street in the town of Ormaie, France. The Gestapo orders Queenie to unravel the tale of how she met her best friend Maddie and how they went down in the plane that Maddie was flying over France. Queenie manages to stay alive in prison as long as she's writing what the Gestapo approves of. Otherwise, she is horribly tortured. The second half is the story of Maddie and how she has to hide and survive in France after crashing the plane. The two stories woven together are totally compelling and the courage that these two young women possessed was amazing. I felt as if I was reading their personal diaries as it really happened all those year ago.This book is definitely a tribute to women and has resounding themes of friendship and courage throughout the book.

Tune in next month for more YA Historical Fiction recommendations!

Mrs. Librarian Lady ♥

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Books will come and books will go

Right now I'm reading The Sorceress by Michael Scott. It's the third book in the series the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. So far it's been pretty good, but the first book still has my vote for #1. I also have plans to read Max by James Patterson this week, but have not been able to thus far. I just finished some really great books that I want to write reviews about.

I've become a huge Jodi Picoult fan and my #1 fave book by her is House Rules. I think my second fave is the Tenth Circle. I recently read two books by Sara Zarr and thought her writing was really fantastic. Sweethearts captivated me and I found myself not wanting the book to end. Once Was Lost was again captivating but not as amazing as Sweethearts. Zarr has other books that I definitely want to read and I think she is up and coming as an author and will rock the teen reader world.

I also finished The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Calletti and was actually pretty surprised by the unfolding of this tale. I thought it was going to be a lot of fluff and really the book had a lot of depth to it. The main character Quinn was really a breath of fresh air for me since a lot of characters in teen books are either really shallow or under described. I liked the myriad of women that voiced their stories on the men they had known in their lives and how that affected them throughout their lives and in their current relationships. What was interesting is that all these women could be traced back to Quinn's father, who was the catalyst for the journey in this book. I loved it!

I also read Big Girl by Danielle Steele which is not my usual reading material, but I found it to be a pretty good read. Victoria in the story had always been a big girl and she was treated cruelly by her parents because of it. She had a younger sister who was perfect in every way and that always made her feel like such a loser. The story follows Victoria on a journey of discovering who she is deep down inside and not for what she looks like on the outside. She becomes a high school teacher who is caring and dedicated to her students. Eventually she find love and changes the tides of the emotional abuse she received from her parents as a child. Nice book, not much depth, but a good read for sure.

Ok, let's see what else is on my horizon of reading. Oh yes, I'm about to start Catching Fire the sequel to the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and I've need to go pick up Poor Little Bitch Girl by Jackie Collins and a brand new book by Sarah Dessen called Lock and Key. I'm so busy with books I can't believe it!!