13 Reasons Why Read-Alikes Bookmark

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Since the Netflix series came out, a lot of our teens have been talking about 13 Reasons Why. I created a bookmark and accompanying display of read-alikes. It’s only been up a few days and I’ve already had to restock it! If you’d like to use this bookmark at your library, click here to download the pdf file.

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Hunger Games Party

This is my first Summer Reading Program (or as we call it, Summer Library Club) at my new library. The former Teen Services Librarian had transferred to a new position last summer, so the program was very bare bones. Because of that, I may be overcompensating this summer. I have 18 programs planned for over the course of 7 weeks.

We are using the CSLP teen theme, Get in the Game: Read. When I think of teens and games, I think The Hunger Games. So, for our kick-off I threw the teens a Hunger Games Party. Excuse me, a Panem Party (I wasn’t allowed to call it a Hunger Games Party). We made mini bows and arrows, had themed snacks, did a trivia challenge, and had a reaping drawing. There wasn’t a large turn-out, but the attendees had a ton fun.

Here are the PDF files for the food and drink labels:

Feel free to use and share!

Pride Month

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Happy Pride Month, y’all! I’m currently working on a Pride display for our Teen Zone. Our teens are very interested in LGBTQIA+ lit. To quote one, “I’m tired of reading about straight people.” To help them easily find titles with  LGBTQIA+ characters, I made some bookmarks that I’d like to share with all of you. Click here* to download the PDF.

*Bookmark has been updated to correct a typo (thanks, Amy & Erica!).

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John Green Read-Alikes

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Made this graphic for the library’s teen social media accounts to help promote a curated ebook list. Really love how it turned out. What’s your go-to recommendation for John Green fans who have finished all of his work?

Teen Read Week – Matching Game

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted about teen services. I took a brief sabbatical from the realm of public libraries to work for a vendor, but now I’m back where I belong! To kick off my new-ish job, I’ve been tasked with running our teen booth at the local book festival. The festival happens to coincide with Teen Read Week, so we’re using Get Away @ Your Library as the theme. For activities, we are going to play Pin the Glasses on John Green (thanks to Sarah Amazing!) and I’ve created the matching game below.

TRW MATCHING GAME

Feel free to use this game at your own library. You can download it as a PDF here.

Book Review – Dumplin’

Willowdean “Will” Dickson is the self-described “fat” daughter of an aging Texan beauty queen. She is intelligent, funny, and confident. When her relationship with her best friend becomes strained and a secret romance with her  drool-worthy coworker goes south, Will’s once solid confidence is shaken to the core. She decides the solution to her problem is to enter the local beauty pageant (run by her critical mother). This single act inspires a trio of misfits to also join and they set off to prove that society’s beauty standards aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be.

It’s not very often that I fall in love with a book from the very first sentence, but Dumplin’ charmed me from the get-go. This book has it all: Dolly Parton, female friendships, body positivity, and drag queens (!). Julie Murphy has penned an important novel that every teen girl should read. Dumplin’ is fun, has tons of heart, and drives home a good message without being didactic. I recommend this title to all YA fans.

Book Review – I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Cody is heart-broken and stunned when her best friend Meg downs a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner. Sure they had grown apart since Meg left their small town to attend college, but wouldn’t she know if her best friend was depressed? When Meg’s family asks Cody to retrieve her belongings, she uses the trip as an opportunity to find closure but only ends up with more questions. What was Meg hiding in an encrypted file on her laptop? What secrets are Meg’s roommates keeping? And what role did mysterious and handsome Ben, the guy Meg had a short-lived fling with, play in her suicide? Cody is determined to find the answers to these questions and solve the mystery surrounding Meg’s death.

Gayle Forman has a knack for writing authentic characters and I Was Here highlights that ability even more than her past novels. Cody rang especially true to me as a grieving friend. She wasn’t perfect: she was moody, lashed out at those around her, and was consumed by guilt. These are trademark characteristics of a person who has suffered a devastating loss. I found myself becoming more and more absorbed in Cody’s emotions as the story moved along. I became so absorbed that I started ugly crying on my living room floor and scared my dog.

Forman also delves into Cody’s home life and her budding relationship with Ben (it wouldn’t be a Gayle Forman novel without a little amore). Many people will relate to Cody’s strained relationship with her mother and her feelings of being trapped in a small-town. So much of this novel was beautiful and real, especially the aspects about family and friendship; however, the romance between Cody and Ben came off as cliché at times. If you’re looking for a love story, try If I Stay instead.

Overall, I Was Here is a powerful and honest exploration of grief and self-discovery. It is definitely a worthwhile read, just make sure to keep a box of tissues handy. I Was Here is perfect for fans of John Green and Maureen Johnson.

Originally published on OverDrive BookBytes.