Monday, August 27, 2018

ALA New Orleans

As I sit and reflect on the many highlights of this summer, picking a singular favorite would be a tall order. One that stands out was my visit to the American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition which took place June 21-26 in the historic city of New Orleans.

A benefit of attending ALA is the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow librarians. You get to talk shop with associates hailing from around the 50 states, share ideas and notes, celebrate the happenings in your community. Furthermore, the platform provides us in the library world a venue to meet with authors (Ransom Riggs admittedly had me starstruck) and artists within the publishing world. With a host of panel discussions, programs, and classes, the only difficulty resides in trying to coordinate a schedule to attend as many presentations as possible. That being said, here are several of the forums I attended:

From Nine to Nineteen and Beyond

Five Young Adult authors (Erin Beaty, Tae Keller, McCall Hoyle, Jodi Kendall, Ashley Woodfolk) discussed what keeps their readers coming back for more, as well as criteria that cross genre boundaries and age categories. They examined how emotion drives characters, how emotion drives readers, and how reading increases empathy in the world at large.

Teen Voices Lead the Way

Our children can be our greatest teachers. Students today are raising their voices to participate, and even lead the way, in critical national conversations. Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), Justina Ireland (Dread Nation), Tahereh Mafi (A Very Large Expanse of Sea), and Elana K. Arnold (Damsel) explored writing for teens, their teenage selves, and the young, diverse voices that inspire them today.

Cultural Icons in the Library

Have you ever wondered how to leverage a love of Batman, Wonder Woman, or Superman into a passion for reading? Do you want to find out which superhero books are appropriate for Middle Grade and YA readers? DC Comics authors Mariko Tamaki, Danielle Paige, Shea Fontana, Ridley Pearson, Kami Garcia, Meg Cabot, and Lauren Myracle had the answers!

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die

James Mustich began his career in bookselling at an independent bookstore in New York in the early 1980s. In 1986 he co-founded the acclaimed book catalogue A Common Reader. He is currently Vice President for Digital Product at Barnes & Noble. As part of his panel, James discussed how he curated the list for 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die.

Atlas Obscura Explorer's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid

Dylan Thomas is the cofounder and creative director of Atlas Obscura. First published in 2016, the NYT bestselling book has provided readers with a multitude of locations to have wanderlust for. Now Dylan has brought the world of travel and unique global locations to young readers. During their commentary, authors Rosemary Mosco and Ella Morton conveyed the importance of nonfiction, travel, and curiosity.

It's Personal: Writing the Book of Your Heart

The book of your heart is a tricky thing. It's close to you. What's it like trying to get it published? Reading Reviews? Is it harder to take criticism on a story that's personal vs. something else? Eric Smith, Ashley Woodfolk, Kati Gardner, Daniel Jose Older, and Lydia Kang talked about their stories and the personal challenges that arise.

The Fab Four of YA

Brandy Colbert - winner of a 2018 Stonewall Book Award, Monica Hesse - Edgar Award winner, Emily X.R. Pan, and Jay Cole chatted about their new and highly anticipated novels.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

Taking a look at some of the most recent additions gracing the shelves of our YA department:

Stormcaster (Shattered Realms) by Cinda Williams Chima

Vagabond seafarer Evan Strangward can move wind, waves, and weather, but his magical abilities can’t protect him forever from brutal Empress Celestine. As Celestine’s relentless bloodsworn armies grow, Evan travels to the Fells to warn the queendom that an invasion is imminent.

Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington

Interning for a battling bands reality television show, teenaged Vee reconnects with Cam, her first love (and her first heartbreak), but the media spotlight threatens to expose the couple’s past secrets.

Here So Far Away by Hadley Dyer

Feisty and fearless George Warren has never let life get too serious. Now that she’s about to be a senior, her plans include partying with her tight-knit group of friends and then getting the heck out of town after graduation. But instead of owning her last year of high school, a fight with her best friend puts her on the outs of their social circle.

Legion (The Talon Saga) by Julie Kagawa

Devastated by revelations about the Talon dragon organization, hatching Ember Hill stands against her heir-apparent brother, Dante, who has threatened to unleash the greatest threat dragonkind has ever known.

The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth

When Cyra’s father Lazmet Noavek, a soulless tyrant thought to be dead, reclaims the throne, Cyra and Akos Kereseth are desperate to stop him from igniting a barbaric war.

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Amelia has looked forward to her last summer before college working at the Meade Creamery, but when the owner of the local landmark passes away, her nephew has big changes in mind.

Time Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau

Seven students trapped in their school after a bomb goes off must fight to survive while also discovering who among them is the bomber.

Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn

When Kira’s father enters rehab, she’s forced to leave everything behind. Now her father’s sober and Kira is returning home, determined to get her life back to normal. However, is that what Kira really wants?

In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner

Seventeen-year-old Klee’s father was the center of his life. He introduced Klee to the great museums of New York City and the important artists on their walls. He told him stories of myths and magic. Until his death. Now, forced to live in the suburbs with his mom, Klee can’t help but feel he’s lost all the identifying parts of himself. That is, until he meets wild and free Sarah in art class.

Winter Glass (Spindle Fire) by Lexa Hillyer

Aurora, torn from the dream world and Heath, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected.

This readers advisory brought to you by YA Librarian, Chris.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Getting to Know...Maggie

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Maggie Jernas! A 12-year-old seventh grader, Maggie has accumulated 42.75 volunteer hours since October 2017.


FAVORITE TV SHOW:  Girl Meets World




HAPPY PLACES: Library, Bedroom

INTERESTING FACT:  She is homeschooled

Monday, August 6, 2018

Book Covers

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, though in a literal sense it can make-or-break what might otherwise be a gripping page-turner. As award winning writer Jacqueline Thomas notes, “You can string together the most insightful, lyrical, delicious words ever connected in the human lexicon, but if your book cover looks like Photoshop amateur hour, no one will ever pick it up.”

So, dear reader, I ask, have you ever been influenced to select, or reject, a book solely based on the jacket design?