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Showing posts with label teens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teens. 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


Monday, December 26, 2016

Looking Ahead for Fun Summer Crafts

Are you looking for a fun and easy craft to do with teens this summer?  Look no further!  I bet you have all of the materials you need right on hand.  All you need is yarn, school glue, a bowl, and plastic wrap.  That's it and you won't believe how cool it looks when it's all done.  Here are a few links to some awesome Yarn Bowl tutorials.

Y is for Yarn from Fantastic Fun.  Learning blogger Shaunna Evans shows us how easy it is for teens to make a yarn bowl.

Glue Yarn Bowl DIY - Red Ted Art blogger Maggy gives us the scoop on how to make yarn bowls for any occasion.

Yarn Bowl - Kiwi Crate shows you how to get messy with yarn and glue, it looks really pretty when it's done!

Here's a great idea!  How about taking the fun outside and creating life size games for teens to play?  Here are a few ideas that could be a huge hit with teens during the summer.


 Messy Twister Game With A Paint Twist - Try this out, it looks like a blast!

Sponge Water Bombs

Giant Jenga

Tune in next week for more fun summer crafts from 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.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Teen Summer Challenge Extended!

Hello everyone!  I know it's been a while since I have checked in here.  I've been busy writing for the Programming Librarian blog and was working on a great piece called the Teen Summer Challenge.  I didn't get a chance to finish up on the PL blog, so I was thinking that since summer isn't officially over until September 22nd that I would post the rest of my summer challenge ideas here.  My plan is to post about projects that teens will love to do at the library during the summer. I’ve got ideas for refreshing summer recipes, creative crafts, and even some outdoor activities. If you are a teen librarian or school librarian you can join the challenge by duplicating these engaging ideas at your library. Here's a sneak preview of some of the projects on my summer list that are still left to do:


  • Yarn bowls
  • Games 101
  • Leaf art
  • Kaleidoscopes
  • Plant pals
  • Sock puppets
  • Mastering the jump rope
  • Waterproofing the jump rope
  • Custom crayons
  • Lazy summer day playlist
Here are some crafts and activities that I already tried at my library!


Summer Fun with Adorable Tape and Dancing


More Summer Fun with Dream Catchers and Playing in the Dirt


May the Fourth of July Be With You


Feel free to try these crafts and activities out any time of the year!


Love your library!


Mrs. Librarian Lady



Saturday, May 14, 2016

Introducing YA Book n Craft Mashup! Six of Crows

Hey everyone out there!  I have an interesting new idea to pair up YA fiction books with fun crafts and yummy recipes.  It's basically a mashup of craft ideas that go with the awesome YA books I read. I will pick a book and then give a description and then list all of the crafts and/or recipes that apply.  I think it will be fun to see how many of these I can come up with.  Let me know if there is a YA book that you would like me to pair up with a craft or recipe!

My first Book n Craft Mashup will be Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.  Six of Crows is a Teens' Top Ten winner for 2016.  In this awesome YA book, a team of convicts, runaways, and thieves set out to smuggle an imprisoned scientist from an impenetrable fortress.  With their mastermind thief Kaz and spy Inej on the forefront, will their plan work?  

"The Ice Court had been built to withstand an onslaught of armies, assassins, Grisha, and spies.  When Inej said as much to Kaz he simply replied, "But it hasn't been built to keep us out." Kez has been offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams... But he can't pull it off alone."



YA Book n Craft Mashup for Six of Crows:


Spy Party - Here's a great idea for a super sleuth party that may inspire teens.

Secret Decoder - All spies need a way to send secret messages. Use this printable decoder to send cryptic messages to your partners in crime.

Hollowed Out Book - Everyone needs a good place to hide their secrets.  This sneaky diversion could help you with your mastermind plan!

Operation Incognito - Disguises are important so here's an awesome Youtube tutorial on how to make an origami mustache!  

Fingerpaint Recipe - Teens can get their hands dirty with the cool recipe created in Rome by Ruth Shaw.  Time to get crafty and creative!


Tune in next time for another YA Book n Craft Mashup!

Mrs. Librarian Lady!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Earth Day & Beyond


Earth Day is coming up this Friday, April 22nd! There are many ways to celebrate and show respect for our planet. You can use a sustainable mode of transportation for your commute to work. Riding the bus or helps take more cars off the road, which reduces congestion and helps improve environmental air quality, especially on hot days! Biking or walking are also great eco-friendly transportation modes that can help you avoid traffic and give you a workout on your way to work. Did you know that you take action all year long? Check out Billion Acts of Green, a worldwide environmental movement that is helping to protect the Earth for future generations. Why not celebrate Earth Day this year by creating some very cute and eco-friendly crafts? These fun crafts will inspire teens to learn more about Earth Day and will also help connect them to their environment.

photo from Craftionary blog

Bottle Cap Art - This is a great way to help save the planet, keep all bottle caps and make cute art!


Earth Day Slime - Who doesn't like playing with wiggly jiggly slime? Grab the glue, starch, and food coloring and you are all set!


photo by Amber's Averie Lane Blog

Herb Mason Jar Planters - Brighten up your Earth Day celebration with these adorable herbs planted in decorated mason jars.


Clay Leaf Impressions - These clay leaf prints air dry easily and are not only fun, but also very educational!


photo by Handmade by Kelly's blog

Recycled Bird Feeder - This beautiful bird feeder will attract birds and maybe even squirrels too. They also make a great Earth Day gift for friends and family.http://www.handmadebykelly.com/diy-recycled-can-bird-feeder-craft/


Water Pollution Exploration - This is a creative way to teach teens about water pollution by using a sponge shaped like a fish!



Tune in next month for more craft ideas for tweens and teens from Mrs. Librarian Lady!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Happy New Year 2016!


I have been so busy with my Programming Librarian blog and contributing to the YALSA Hub twice a month, I haven't had much time to work on my own blog, so I have decided to try something new this year! I've been thinking about what I really like to do and the idea of pairing books with crafts and program ideas is one of my most favorite things to do. I usually create a Pinterest board to go with my book pairing ideas so I would love to add a link to my boards when I add book pairings. To start the new year and kick off January, I was thinking of starting with recipes that can be found in YA books. The idea of exploring fantasy worlds through their food has been talked about for a long time, sharing recipes taken from the pages of our favorite teen books is truly a fun experience. If you know where to look, you can find instructions for making butterbeer, Dauntless Chocolate Cake, and even Selection Tarts. Fans of Harry Potter have ventured into the world of magic to create recipes for a multitude of treats that are mentioned in the 7 book series. If you are devoted to fictional feasting, you are in luck because major efforts have been made to bring cooking, community, and literature together in one place. Check out a few recipes and fictional recipe lovers websites I have listed below. Here is my Pinterest board :) Tasty YA Book/Films Recipes

"The Selection" by Keira Cass: "May, don't these strawberry tarts just make you want to cry?" America's Strawberry Nutella Tart

"Divergent" by Veronica Roth: "I only came for cake." Tobias Eaton - Dauntless Cake recipe

"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 fry gathering trifecta." Layla - Homemade French Fry Seasoning Blend


Epic Reads YA Inspired Recipes This is a great article from Epic Reads that has some really fun YA book recipes.


Harry Potter Recipes
You will find so many cool recipes from the Harry Potter series here!

Fictional Food has a ton of foods and recipes from Hunger Games, Twilight, Willy Wonka, and Game of Thrones


Food in Literature
has recipes from Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and Sherlock Holmes!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin - Fun, Fun, Fun

A laugh-out-loud high school adventure set in Greece, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she's devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona's mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks... but no thanks.

In the vein of Anna and the French Kiss, Zona navigates a series of hilarious escapades, eye-opening revelations, and unexpected reunions in a foreign country—all while documenting the trip through one-of-a-kind commentary.

I loved this book! It is very funny, the characters are really charming and it made me really really want to travel to Greece it sounds like such a beautiful place! I am also a big fan of realistic fiction and this book has all of the best impression of the how real relationships work. I loved how the main character Zone goes on a journey to basically find herself and how she realizes just like many others do, that life is not perfect, but if you can trust in yourself and live life to the fullest things will always turn out to be just fine. Just like many teens, Zona finds out that life itself is a work in progress. I am a huge fan of authors like Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen, and Jenny Han and Meredith Zeitlin is right up there with the best with this novel! I love her writing and can't wait to see if there will be more novels with Zona to come. I recommend Sophomore Year Is Greek To Me to anyone that loves a sweet coming of age story in a lovely setting. Very much like when Lena was in Greece in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.


Happy Reading!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wishes do explode... I mean come true

Spell Check by Julie Wright


I am so excited I finished this ebook on Halloween and I have to say that I loved it! It starts with a group of cheerleaders and their infamous leader Lisa Snoddy who you find to be an excellent “mean girl” are planning a prank on Allyson on her birthday, which just happens to be a few days before Halloween. Ally has no idea that the prank involves her hanging from a tree, and that Lisa and her clique are going to leave her there high and dry in the middle of the night all alone. She will soon find out though that every time she makes a wish something funny happens. Her wishes are awesome! Her best friend Kristin and Jake the hottest guy in school and the one who has stolen Allyson’s heart since 7th grade show up to rescue her. Later on, her Swedish grandmother shows up at her doorstep and tells her she has a magical family, LOL surprise! Allyson finally figures out what's been going on. After some totally hilarious situations arise she realizes that she has to get her head straight or she might spin out of control. My favorite part is at the end when she finally gets the wish she's always wanted to come true. Ooooooh Jake and Allyson possible love connection? I'll never tell. You'll just have to read Spell Check to find out!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Love, Laughter & Loss + Forgiveness = Real Life

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker (named
after John Lennon), bookworm and band
geek, plays second clarinet and spends her
time tucked safely and happily in the shadow
of her fiery sister Bailey. But when Bailey
dies suddenly, Lennie is catapulted to center
stage of her own life—and, despite her
nonexistent history with boys, finds herself
struggling to balance two. Toby was
Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s
own. Joe is the new boy in town, a
transplant from Paris whose nearly magical
grin is matched only by his musical talent.
For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon;
one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the
other comforts her in it. But just like their
celestial counterparts, they can’t collide
without the whole wide world exploding.
I can safely say The Sky is Everywhere
is one of my favorite books ever. I have never
finished a book and felt this emotional before,
last night when I turned the last page I felt like
crying, laughing, writing and running in a field
to nowhere in particular, and all at the same
time. It’s now been almost 12 hours and I can’t
stop thinking about this book!
I wasn’t really looking for a serious book I just
chose this one because it was sitting on the
shelf in the YA room looking a bit lonely. From
start to finish, my heart broke and got glued
back together more than once and I feel like
the cast of characters are now permanently
stuck to my life. The things from this book that
really stuck with me are how close Lennie and
her sister Bailey were, Joe’s eyelashes (bat,
bat, bat), Toby’s sad eyes and Gram’s
garden.

Beautifully written, The Sky is Everywhere
is about loss, grief, pain, healing, hoping and
love. The sudden death of Bailey a vibrant
nineteen-year-old is at the center of the story,
and her family’s struggle to cope is
heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same
time. Bailey and Lennie have been raised by
their grandmother and uncle, as their mother
abandoned them years before. The girls talk
about their mother as if she is on a journey
around the world and she’ll be back someday
to stay. The love stories in this book are
many and multi-layered. They include the
love between sisters, the mother-like love
between grandmother and granddaughter,
and breathtaking head-over-heels first love.
Music and poetry bring together the
instruments of healing for Lennie and her
family in this wonderful story about loss, love
and forgiveness.


Happy Reading To You!!!
Mrs. Librarian Lady

Friday, January 18, 2013

An Anti-Valentine's Day Campaign

I'm finally going to do to be able to get creative with and let loose my true feelings for Valentine's Day! I'm on a month long campaign to prove that Valentine's Day does not have to be all about hearts, love, and flowers. I'm hosting two Anti-Valentine's Day parties for teens at two different libraries! Wow that double exposure to heartbreak, disillusion, and pain. I love it ♥ I'm an evil genius muhaaahhaaahaaa! Finally something to get excited about in the cold winter weather. Here's my intro to the party invitation and I will be posting for the next month with pictures, songs, and crafts for this anti-heart celebration!

Do candy hearts and chocolates make you feel ill?
Are you running from Cupid and his stupid arrow?
Are you planning your ♥ Day escape?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
You are invited to an
ANTI-Valentine Party!!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Teens Top Ten - Did You Know???

Did you hear the news?? During Teen Read Week YALSA announced the Top Ten Teen winners!! Here is the list!

2012 Teens’ Top Ten

Divergent by Veronica Roth (HarperCollins)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Penguin)

Legend by Marie Lu (Penguin)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Quirk Books)

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen (Penguin)

Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Penguin)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Macmillan)

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic)

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (Penguin)

Abandon by Meg Cabot (Scholastic)

There are only two on this list that I didn't get a chance to read. They are the top one Divergent (it figures :) and the last one Abandon which I started and never finished. Ah the life of a busy librarian - well there is still time to keep reading!

Let me know if you read any of these books and which ones you loved the most! My favorite is Legend by Marie Lu.



Saturday, September 29, 2012

I've been wanting to read this book for months! "No Safety in Numbers" by Dayna Lorentz. I read it yesterday (all in one day!) and it was amazing!! I mean totally off-the-hook-riveting-page turning-can't-put-it-down-amazing! On Dayna Lorentz' website the book was described as "Life As We Knew It meets Lord of the Flies in a mall that looks just like yours" Wow I would describe it as a majorly incredibly scary realistic fiction that keeps you reading because you have to know what happens at a the end! Here's the short of what happens. Someone finds a bomb in the the air filtering system of a huge mall and there is a lock down. The people start going crazy, some die, some fall in love, and there is a shocking discovery at the end! That's all I can say but you have to read this book. Get it from the library and read it today!!!! Here's a review from Kirkus, I get the heeby geebeez just thinking about it!! "When a strange device is discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban mall, the entire complex is suddenly locked down. No one can leave. No one knows what is going on. At first, there's the novelty of being stuck in a mega mall with free food and a gift certificate. But with each passing day, it becomes harder to ignore the dwindling supplies, inadequate information, and mounting panic. Then people start getting sick. Told from the point of view of two guys and two girls, this is a harrowing look at what can happen under the worst of circumstances, when regular people are faced with impossible choices. Some rise to the occasion. Some don't."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Some Clarity Did Me Good on a Sunday Afternoon

Perception a Clarity Novel was a great book to read on a Sunday when I was trying to relax! It began interesting and continued to keep me interested through the whole story. I actually read this book in a few hours because I wanted to know what happened to Clare. The story of Clare and her family did remind me a little bit of the Lilydale series, but all in all it was a great book. I like the way that Harrington writes - well developed characters and descriptions that helped to understand their personalities and looks. I highly recommend this book to those that love mysteries with supernatural qualities! Here's a review of the book - Happy Reading to you all!! PERCEPTION (Clarity #2)Scholastic/Point, March 1, 2012, Age 14+ When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you? Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past. Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her. But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back? One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hex Hall X 3 = Awesome

Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident. Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late? If you haven't read this series yet you are definitely missing out! Check out the first book in the series called Hex Hall and you will be as hooked on Sophie Mercer and her adorably sweet witchy charm. Her love interest Archer Cross has a little something special going on too. I recommend this whole series if you are interested in Harry Potter but would like something on the little lighter side. Happy Reading to you!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mockingjay is Amazingly Awesome!!


This is the best book ever! I just finished it today and I'm still reeling from the action, excitement and thrills of it all. I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games and I am sad that this is the last book in the series, but this book did it all for me. Katniss is an awesome character and I absolutely love her courage and drive in all three books. I don't want to give away the ending, but Mockingjay ended just the way that I wanted it to end. Collins is a brilliant writer and she had me going through so many different emotions in this story. I was laughing at jokes between Katniss and her friends and crying when my favorite characters were in trouble. Who will Katniss choose? Is it the rugged and woodsy Gale, or is it the thoughtful blue eyed Peeta? Well I can't tell you that, you will have to find out for yourself. If you haven't read this trilogy yet, I recommend that you go and get it right now and read it!! It is amazingly awesome!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Don't Let Hard Times Get You Down

Angry Management by Chris Crutcher Harper Teen, 2009


I've been thinking about this book even though I've been finished for over a week now. I wanted to read it because there has been some controversy over the book and it had been challenged recently by a parent. I found that if you read the book the stories jump out off the pages and fill your mind with problems that real people and real teens have in their everyday lives. The characters are call backs from some of Crutcher's other novels and somehow because he knows these characters so well he is able to bring depth, light, and catharsis to all of their dilemmas and decisions. I think that the anger management classes needed a little more detail and there should have been more storyline leading up to the individual characters and their personal stories, but all in all this book was great. I would recommend this book to any teen that is looking for a realistic fiction or just something interesting to read. I myself enjoy stories that revolve around the struggles of life and how therapy can sometimes help. In teen realistic fiction, it seems that writer's like to set the tone of working it out in your own way that will ultimately help the person in the story. One of my favorite books that I read last year was "Tales of the Madman Underground" by John Barnes which tells the story of Karl Shoemaker a high school senior who has been in a therapy group since he was fourth grade. This is a great book with a story about a young man trying to break loose from the stigma of being in the group for so long and he is so desparately trying to find his own identity, his own true self.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

2011 Nominees for the ALA's Top Ten Teen Choice List

Here are the 2011 Nominees for the ALA's Top Ten Teen Choice List. If you haven't read these books I highly recommend reading them. Some of my favorites are Matched by Ally Condie, Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearson, and I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. Teens can also go online and vote for their favorites at
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/teenreading/teenstopten/teenstopten.cfm

Bachorz, Pam. Drought. Egmont USA. 2011. (978606840160)

Beam, Cris. I Am J. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2011. (9780316053617)

Beaudoin, Sean. You Killed Wesley Payne. 2011. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. (9780316077422)

Black, Holly and Justine Larbalestier. Zombies vs. Unicorns. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books. 2010. (9781416989530)

Card, Orson Scott. The Lost Gate. Tor Books. 2011. (9780765326577)

Clare, Cassandra. The Clockwork Angel. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry. 2010. (9781416975861)

Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay. Scholastic. 2010. (9780439023511)

Collins, Yvonne. Love, Inc. Disney/Hyperion. 2011. (9781423131151)

Condie, Ally. Matched. 2010. Penguin/Dutton. (9780525423645)

Cremer, Andrea. Nightshade. Penguin/Philomel. 2010. (9780399254826)

Fitzpatrick, Becca. Crescendo. Simon & Schuster Children’s. 2010. (9781416989431)

Grant, Michael. Lies. 2010. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books. (9780061449093)

Hawkins, Rachel. Demonglass. Disney/Hyperion. 2011. (9781423121312)

Hakwins, Rachel. Hex Hall. Disney/Hyperion. 2010. (9781423121305)

Kagawa, Julie. The Iron King. 2010. Harlequin. (9780373210084)

Lore, Pittacus. I Am Number Four. HarperCollins. 2010. (9780061969553)

Moore, Peter. Red Moon Rising. Disney/Hyperion. 2011. (9781423116653)

Nelson, Jandy. The Sky is Everywhere. 2010. Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers. (9780142417805)

Oliver, Lauren. Before I Fall. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2010. (9780061726804)

O’Neal, Ellis. The False Princess. Egmont USA. 2011. (9781606840795)

Patterson, James. Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel. Little, Brown & Company. 2011. (9780316036207)

Pearce, Jackson. Sisters Red. Little, Brown and Company. 2010. (9780316068680)

Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Blessed. Candlewick Press. 2011. (9780763643263)

Westerfeld, Scott. Behemoth. Simon Pulse. 2010. (9781416971757)

White, Kiersten. Paranormalcy. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2010. (9780061985843)

The voters ages must be between twelve to eighteen and they can vote online between Aug. 15th and Sept. 16th 2011 the book winners will be announced during Teen Read Week Oct. 16-22 2011.

Happy reading to you all!!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Torment of Female Teendom

This week's theme focuses on girls with issues. I love books that have a strong female character that you can really connect with. Here are a few that I have read recently that I think bring up realistic issues in teens lives and work very hard on resolving issues so that it might someone reading think that there is hope to continue to grow and learn.

Happy Reading to you all!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger (Little, Brown, 2010)

Bianca Piper is one tough cookie because her mom has been off on a book tour most of her life and her dad is a struggling recovering alcoholic. She knows that her friends are much prettier than her, but when the infamous girl chasing stud Wesley Rush tells her she’s the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) of her group she gets so mad she throws her drink on him. Later, she finds herself drawn to Wesley like a magnet to metal and she tells herself she’s just using him to forget about all of her problems. The trouble with that agenda is that she and Wesley spend so much time together that they end up being very close. Bianca can’t tell what’s real and what’s not as the lines of passion and manipulation become comepletely blurred. Can Bianca discover the true meaning of love and finally be happy or will she always end up being the DUFF?

This book is probably one of my favorites that I have read lately. I enjoyed the honesty and realism that Keplinger brings to her writing. She is a young woman herself who has probably had to go through many of the obstacles that Bianca did in the book. Keplinger offers front and center views on how girls see themselves and how it’s ok to be open about sex, birth control, and talk about your real emotions.

I would recommend this book to older teens. I read a review that said it should be recommended to older girls, but I think that guys should read this book too. The book offers many insights on how teens can deal with real life issues.

Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga (Houghton Mifflin, 2009)

Goth girl Kyra Sellers is back from the mental hospital after unsuccessfully trying to kill herself. She's mad at everyone in the world because they just don't understand her. She tries to change her appearance by shaving her head bald and wearing white clothes but this only draws more attention to her. After a long thoughtful bout of revenge planning Kyra finally has a break through and starts to realize that life goes on even after you have lost one of the most important people in your entire life. She must come to terms with the death of her mom and move forward with her own life because in reality she is still here, she is still surviving even though deep inside she feels that she just can't carry on any longer. Lyga's Kyra is such a moving character who is so full of anger and remorse that it's hard not to like her. The actions that she takes to destroy Fanboy are definitely not healthy, but her inner thoughts and plans of revenge are very engaging.

This book was very interesting and I think that many teens might be able to relate to Kyra’s confusion and anger. I had hoped that she could move on and get past her anger and revenge or find some kind of cathartic outlet to release her pain, but other than her changing her appearance this did not seem to happen in the story. However, the book offers life lessons that can definitely speak to teens.

By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead Julie Anne Peters (Hyperion, 2010)



I picked this book up at the library because I thought the title was very catchy. I found it to be a deep and dark exploration of a troubled teenage girl. Daelyn is a very sad and depressed teen girl. She has gone to many different schools and has been bullied and shamed because she was overweight as a child. She was shoved, kicked, groped by a group of boys and even locked in a custodial closet all day on the first day at a new school. When reading this book you feel the pain and torment that Daelyn has experienced and it makes you feel so sad. I really wished that I could reach out and hold her and try to take her pain away. She has been down in the depths of hell so long that she decides that there is nothing left in life to live for. She has actually tried quite a few times to end her life and recently had almost succeeded. As almost a punishment from nature, Daelyn won't be able to talk for a long while due to an injury that she has caused on her own body.

Now she is on a 24-hour suicide watch and her parents watch her like a hawk, spend almost every waking moment with her, and they do not trust her to ever be alone. Daelyn doesn’t understand that her parents love her and that they are so fearful that they might lose her. She thinks that they would be happier without her and that they could live a better life with her gone. This stems from the disapproval that she received when she was younger. They never seemed to understand why she was overweight or why she was the one always being picked on.

In this story, Daelyn gets connected online to a website called Through the Light. This site allows her to plan and plot her own death date. The thought might seem morbid, but it allows her to connect with other individuals who have gone through similar experiences as she has gone through. The website offers her an outlet that she definitely needs. So she begins her countdown at 23 days and starts to plan her departure. In the meantime, she meets a strange and quirky boy that is always outside by her school while she is waiting for her parents. It turns out that the boy whose name is Santana is homeschooled and he lives right next door to her school. He is also suffering from lymphoma cancer. She forms an interesting friendship with this boy and all along she is trying so hard not to connect with him. This book is fairly short, but highly thought provoking. The author Julie Anne Peters offers a deep insight on the boiling point for victims of bullying and the depths and despair of suicide. A must read for teens everywhere as it offers tips on warning signs to look out for and facts on the prevention of suicide.