Teen Book Club: What’s Popular?

So, my monthly Teen Book Club met tonight and I had 14 teens there for a free discussion. (Sometimes we all read the same book and discuss that, but coming off the summer months, we do a lot of free discussion because they have more free time to read. There are pros and cons to both kinds of discussion.)

Anyway, these are the books and authors that got brought up, in the order that they were brought up, grouped by which discussion led to more discussion:

– Susane Colasanti, who immediate got compared to…
– Sarah Dessen, who wrote “Just Listen” which led someone to talk about…
– “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson

– “The Last Little Blue Envelope” by Maureen Johnson, which led to a discussion about recent sequels and included:
– “Dream Dark” and “Beautiful Chaos” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and…
– “Son of Neptune” by Rick Riordan (where I had to squeal and beg them not to spoil me, as I’m on page 475 right now)

– “Matched” by Ally Condie, which led to talk about…
– “Crossed” by Ally Condie, which led to talk about…
– “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, and…
– “Blood Red Road” by Moira Young

– “Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares” by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, which naturally brought up…
– “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” by John Green and David Levithan

– “Shine” by Lauren Myracle and “Chime” by Franny Billingsley which led to a great debate on…
– “ttyl,” “ttfn,” “l8r, g8r” by Lauren Myracle and a hugely awesome discussion on Banned Books in general, which led to…
– “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher which has just been pulled from a classroom book collection this week

Other Books Brought Up:

– “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern
– “I Am J” by Cris Beam
– “The Redemption of Ajax” by Trinity Faegen
– “Hush, Hush” by Becca Fitzpatrick
– “10 Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have)” by Sarah Mylnowski

Anyways, that’s what we talked about! It’s pretty much an easy program to run, with the teens monitoring themselves. Mostly I just have to remind them not to have side conversations or to talk over one another. Next month, we’re reading “Eleventh Grade Burns” together — should be a good one!

Display: Banned Books Display

A few years back, I did a Banned Books display at my library. I covered YA books with brown butcher block and put yellow caution tape down their fronts. I labeled the books “Challenged,” “Restricted,” “Banned,” or “Unresolved” depending on their current status in the town in which they were challenged. On the back of each book, I had a blurb about where the books had been questioned and why they were questioned.

(As you can see, I’ve gotten way more creative with the backdrop ideas in my displays. But I’m still super proud of this idea!)

Teens could either browse through the book or check out a mystery book. The brown covers were removed (carefully!) at the circ desk and I’ve saved them for if/when I repeat this display.

The sad news is that I have many more books to add to this list. Books are not necessarily being banned (hence my clarification on the yellow caution tape — it’s hard to ban a book by textbook definition), but censorship is alive and well in this country. Teens need advocates to stand up and to stock/purchase books who do not back down from a potential challenge. Teens need administrations that support their school librarians and public librarians collection choices and who do not remove a book because of one parent’s or community member’s personal preferences.

I hope that you have time to do more investigating into the history of Banned Books Week and that your weeks are challenge free.

Teen Program: Book Speed Dating

If you’re anything like me, overcrowded bookshelves are a major problem. I turned my traditional six-month-weed into a program for my teens.

I brought a bunch of ARCs that I wasn’t going to get before their publication dates, a bunch of ARCs that I had doubles of, and a bunch of finished copy books that I was done with and set them up on a table.

Fifteen teens showed up to speed-date these books. I gave them five raffle tickets and they were able to put their tickets in for any of the books on the tables, once they had had a few minutes to spend with each book.

I didn’t track any finished books, but the most popular ARCs were:

– Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey (8 teens)
– Enthralled edited by Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr (5 teens)
– Frost by Marianna Baer (5 teens)
– Dark Parties by Sara Grant (5 teens)

The teens had a BLAST with this event and were already asking me when we could do it again. I made sure that everyone went home with at least one book, but I would say a majority of them walked away with two or three.

I’ll be interested to hear from them about which books I should purchase for the library, and I’ll be even more interested if they decide to write a review for any of their books!

This is a totally cost-free program, provided you have books to spare! And even though I had published books, the teens were just as interested in those as they were in the ARCs. I definitely recommend doing this if you have a chance!

(And I believe that Sarah is the person who originally hosted this program at her library. I only copied her success. :D)

I’ll be back on Tuesday, with a Banned Books Week post!

Teen Movie Books Display

Yesterday, I put together this display in the library:

Material List Break-Down

Film Reel
– Foam Board
– Tape Roll
– Paint
– Glitter
– Paper Film Reel
– Laminator
– Tape & Glue

I used a blown-up photo of a film reel and traced in onto the foam board. Then, I painted the foam board gray. Afterwards, I sprinkled glitter on it and ran my paintbrush through to spread it out. To assemble, I put a tape roll (book tape) between the two foam pieces. I laminated a long strip of film that I printed off from the web to give it a shiny look and tape it around the edges. This is by far my favorite part of the display!

Popcorn Box
– Posterboard
– Paper
– Yellow Tissue Paper

Begin with the posterboard, cutting out the shape. (And yes, I had to look it up, but you want to draw a isosceles trapezoid.) Honestly, I free-handed the template. As long as you have two sets of equal sides, the box will line up. Afterwards, I glued a red and white stripe piece of paper onto the posterboard, taped all the sides together and made the label. Then, I crumpled yellow tissue paper in the box to look like popcorn.

– Butcher Block

I just pleated Butcher Block paper and attached around the display.

I am in *love* with this display, but I still want to add more. Maybe some hanging stars with glitter? We’ll see.

Teen Non-Fic: Drug Resources

[This is part of an on-going series about teen non-fiction and updating that collection. Previous posts can be found here, here, here, and here.]

I came across this series while doing my weeding in the non-fic:

The Drug Abuse Prevention Library.
Published by Rosen; between 1991 and 2003.

No. Just no! Do you see those covers? Do you see the publication dates? Why was this on my shelves?

Well, these books *circulated!* Average circulation was between 10-20 times since purchase, which is pretty large for a such an overgrown and hard to wade through non-fiction collection.

And they were incredibly relevant when published. To replace them has been a natural part of library collection management. Here’s what I bought to replace them:

Drug Abuse and Society.
Published by Rosen; between 2007 and 2009.

While I’m not sure about the covers and teen appeal; at least these books won’t heavily date based on the cover. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Date Rate and Drugs boy.) I liked that this series was another 64 page series, just like the Drug Abuse Prevention Library. Most of my teens want quick information bits and this series definitely filled that need.


Published by Benchmark Books; between 2005 and 2007.

These books might already be a little information dated, but I loved the format. We had a few of them already and I filled out the series with any available volumes. Our copy focusing on marijuana has circulated 19 times in the past two years.

Any other suggestions for me? Let me know in the comments!