Sunday, April 29, 2012

Looking for YA Steampunk?

If you work with teens, you know that one 
of the most common questions is:
"I LOVED _____ book and 
want something like it!"

It can also be difficult to stay on top of all the different genres, so here's some help to those of you with teens looking for steampunk fiction.


Steampunk: Poe by Zdenko Basic, Manuel Sumberac
Soulless by Gail Carriger (adult novel w/ YA appeal; ages 16+)
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
The Greyfriar by Clay & Susan Griffith (adult novel w/ YA appeal; ages 16+)
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Corsets and Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances by Trisha Telep
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder (adult novel w/ YA appeal; ages 16+)
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (adult novel w/ YA appeal; ages 16+)
Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade


Steampunk Style Jewelry: Victorian, Fantasy, and Mechanical Necklaces, Bracelets, and Earrings by Jean Campbell
Steampunkery: Polymer Clay and Mixed Media Projects by  Christi Friesen
Steampunk Softies: Scientifically-Minded Dolls from a Past That Never Was by Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate


Looking for a program idea?  Dig through the above mentioned non-fiction books for fab ideas or check tomorrow's blog post - Teen Program: Club Steampunk!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Win a Galley of 'Grave Mercy' by Robin LaFevers

Teenage assassins, political intrigue and fascinating characters make this the ultimate historical fantasy.

Want a free Advanced Reading Copy of  'Grave Mercy' by Robin LaFevers?
Enter the contest below for a chance to win a copy!

You have until Sunday, April 29th!

Winner will also receive a "Why Be the Sheep When You Can Be the Wolf?" promo button to go with your ARC.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teen Program: Prompting Creativity

An easy, fun passive program can be as easy as posting an image and asking a question:

What is this character's story?

Find an image that provokes thought and contemplation and pose a simple question:
  • What is the emotion of this image?
  • Where is this character from?
  • What is the story behind this image?
Have teens submit their responses via Twitter, Blog comments, or in person.  This can even be a prompt for a Teen Writing Contest (see earlier post for contest 101).

Do your teens need an INCENTIVE?
Try offering tickets to an Art Museum, a community theatre, or even a Roller Derby meet!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Kamisama Kiss, Volume 1 by Julietta Suzuki

Nanami Momozono is used to her father's less-than-stellar parenting skills, but is shocked to return home from school one day to find a note indicating he has abandoned her and is running from creditors.  In true manga style, Nanami is immediately kicked out of her apartment and left with the weight of providing her own food and shelter on her slender teen shoulders. 

But opportunity comes at the most unexpected time and she is rewarded with a house sitting offer after rescuing a man from a stray dog.  Unfortunately, Nanami has been tricked into accepting his job as a local deity!  Now she's got all kinds of new responsibilities, two vocal and unhelpful spirits and an ex-familiar who's hotness is only balanced by his rudeness.  What's a newly-made deity to do?

Nanami is a likable heroine who isn't afraid to stand up for herself, while the fox-spirit Tomoe provides a sarcastic, snarky balance to Nanami's sweetness.  The art is beautiful and the characters unique enough to draw in new readers.  Kamisama Kiss, Volume 1 is highly entertaining and well-drawn.

Recommended for Readers of:
Inuyasha, Fruits Basket, Otomen and Hana Kimi

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sneak Peak: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

While attending the Scholastic Literary breakfast at TLA today I got to hear a "dramatic reading" from Ms. Stiefvater's newest project "The Raven Boys". It looks FABULOUS!
Here's a link to a free preview of the first 2 chapters:

Update: YA Books to Movies Pt. 2

Maze Runner
  • Based on the novel by James Dashner has a completed script and is in development.  No word yet on cast or director.
  • Based on the wonderful steampunk book by Catherine Fisher is rumored to star Taylor Lautner, of Twilight fame, as the mysterious Finn.  Claudia's part has been offered to Blake Lively, Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Watson, but formal acknowledgment of casting.  This project is in pre-production, so details may change.
Devil in the White City
  • Erik Larson's novel by the same name about one of the most infamous human monsters in American history is rumored to star Leonardo di Caprio and may be out as early as December 2012. 
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (not specifically a book, but close enough)
  • Stars Jeremy Renner as the witch-slaying Hansel and is set 15 years after the gingerbread house "incident".  This horomedy is due out January 2013.  My Mr. Renner is having a busy year!
Mortal Instruments
  • Clare's City of Bones looks as though all the film pieces are falling into place.  Lily Collins (Blind Side, Abduction, Mirror Mirror) stars as Clary Fray who gets pulled into the world of Shadow Hunters when she sees something she shouldn't have.  This juicy treat releases in August 2013.
Rumored (meaning they may have been optioned, but I can't find deets on them):
Wicked Lovely by Marissa Meyer
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvader
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Luxe by Anne Godbersen
I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Which book to movie are you most looking forward to?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Passive Program: Reel Them In

If your library is anything like mine during the summer, it is an absolute madhouse with teens attending events, checking out books and using computers. Here's a passive program you can put together to reach out to your teens when they are hanging out in your teen area!*

Reel to Read - Celebrating the books that inspire the movies.

This summer has a slew of amazing titles that are based on books that can probably be found in your library. I have chosen SIX of these titles with Teen Appeal:

The Avengers - May 4
Snow White and the Huntsman - June 1
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer - June 22
Amazing Spiderman - July 3
Dark Knight Rises - July 20
The Bourne Legacy - August 3

Step 1: Fashion a display or create a poster in your YA Area.  Make sure to link the films back to the novels/graphic novel/fairytale where they were first created - mine looks something like this ---->

Step 2: Make a limited number of buttons for each movie release.

Step 3: As teens ask for the buttons hand them out (the limited number makes them special).

Step 4: Teens who collect all 6 buttons get a entered into a chance to win a fab bit o' SWAG!

Teens love buttons - especially when they have a neat quote or cool graphic.  Tailor your buttons to reflect each specific movie.  Since your buttons can also be used to promote library programs make sure that your library's name or logo appears on there somewhere.

Easy peasy! And, should you actually have some buttons left over, they can go into your Swag Stash for future giveaways.

*This program may even make sure that teens take the time to READ the signage you put up in the YA Area. :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Teen Book Con FTW!

Two days ago 20+ YA authors and more than 1,100 people decended on Alief Taylor High School for our 3rd Annual Teen Book Con!

It was, in a word, AMAZING!

Teens got to choose from six panels where they were able to ask the authors questions ranging from "what's your writing process" to "are you scared of clowns".  Note: I discovered that Holly Black has a VERY strong aversion to zombies and D.J. MacHales kryptonite is clowns.

This year's keynote speaker was the literary legend Orson Scott Card, who set the theme for the day when he stated in his address:
 "Don't you dare ever make a child ashamed for what they love to read." and
"If someone makes fun of you for reading you can just smile at them and know that they are STUPID!"

Sound like some quotes to live by to me...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Teen Program: Lord of the Rings Extravaganza

Looking for a program for this summer?

July 21, 2012 is the 58th Anniversary of The Lord of the Rings and I'd like to encourage everyone to celebrate it with style.  Here are several Tolkien-inspired program ideas sure to be a hit with fantasy fans of all ages.  (These can be adapted to any library situation, so get ready to adapt some fun!)


  • Have a Tolkien scholar from one of the local colleges or universities come in to discuss the impact of Middle Earth on fantasy literature on modern fantasy novels.
  • Bring in a movie special effects person to discuss how the effects used in the film adaptations impacted later movies

  • Read Lord of the Rings in a book club and have a fantastic time!

  • Check you library's movie licensing, you may have permission to show one or all three of the Lord of the Rings films.  Depending on your library's hours you can show one or all three films.  If you can only show one or two films you might think about having a fun intermission to give viewers a break.  Have patrons vote for their favorite Lord of the Rings character then offer a door prize.

  • The easiest way to get a Lord of the Rings Trivia Contest up and running is to get a copy of the Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit game.  You can use the questions and create your own rules. :)
Whatever you choose to do have fun with it!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Final Countdown: Teen Book Con!

Which authors am I going to be GEEKING OUT over at this year's Teen Book Con?

Holly Black
Just finished White Cat and it was AMAZING!

Orson Scott Card
Favorite book by him is Enchantment.

Megan Crewe
Debut author who's book looks like a teen version of Cobra Event.

Gina Damico
Her main character, Lex, is niece to a Grim Reaper - what's not to love?

Lauren DeStefano

Dusty Higgins & Van Jensen
Vampire slaying puppet FTW.

Marissa Meyer
Cinder is one of my favorite recent reads - original, sassy and moving.

Jessica Spotswood
Have only read the first chapter of Born Wicked and am already in love!

Maggie Stiefvater
A true original - she takes traditional folklore and twists it into something new.

ONLY 5 DAYS LEFT!  Who are you thrilled about meeting?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Update: YA Books to Movie Pt. 1

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am very excited about some of the upcoming books to movies headed for theatres in the next year.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith is due out in theatres June 22, 2012.  Starring Benjamin Walker as the 16th president of the USA, this film is co-produced by Tim Burton and directed by Timur Bekmambetov and reboots history to bring Lincoln and a vampire threat together.  One of my favorite actors, and fellow Texan, Alan Tudyk will also add his tremendous skill to this film.

Harry Potter star Emma Watson joins forces with Logan Lerman who played Percy in the movie adaptation of The Lightning Thief to bring another fabulous YA book to the big screen.  Stephen Chbosky has transformed his Perks of Being a Wallflower into a film sure to leave movie-goers thinking long after they've left the theatre.

In Fat Kid Rules the World, K.L. Going penned a moving story about an outcast finally finding his place in the unique world of punk music.  The film, directed by Matthew Lillard debuted at SXSW in Austin, TX and received a warm welcome.  While the movie is currently unrated and looking for a major distributor, rumor has it that it should release into theatres in December 2012.

As the movie adaptations of the Lord of the Rings trilogy made evident, Tolkien's world is well-suited to the big screen.  Fans of Middle Earth will get to revisit old friends and make new ones when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits the screens in December 2012.  The events of Tolkien's prequel to Lord of the Rings have been split into two films so there is even more adventure to come!

*As always, please read the book before seeing the movie - it is almost always so much better!*

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?

Ismae is the uneducated, unwanted daughter of a peasant who gives her in marriage to an abusive, superstitious pig farmer.  On her wedding night she is rescued from her new husband and smuggled to the convent of St. Mortain where novitiates are taught the art of death.  For the Sisters of St. Mortain are servants of the God of Death himself and act as His assassins.  Comfortable in her new life as a Daughter of Death, Ismae begins executing targets assigned by the Mother Superior in preparation for taking her vows and rising to the rank of full Sister.  But death is not as black and white as Ismae first believed and she begins to question her role as her newest assignments drags her deeper into Court plots and treasonous plans.

Medieval Brittany is given a dark and thrilling makeover in LaFever's first YA novel which will leave readers howling for more.  Readers will be able to relate to Ismae, for all that she has a rather blood thirsty personality.  Watching her grow from an instrument of vengeance into something more is rewarding and intriguing for the reader on both an intellectual and an emotional level.  Grave Mercy has a wonderful balance of political intrigue, mystery, action and romance and an opening chapter sure to hook any reader looking for a good book.  History, fantasy and medieval politics come together to draw readers into a world unlike any they have entered before.

This book is AMAZING!  I could not put it down and cannot wait to get my hands on the next volume.
Order your copy now!

Recommended for Readers of:
Stephen Lawhead, Sharon Kay Penman, Orson Scott Card, Eleanor Updale

Monday, April 2, 2012

Teen Program: Knit Your Way To A Strong Core

If you are not naturally crafty, you may not be aware that knitting has burst back onto the scene as a form of social interaction, creative endeavor and community building.  Many libraries and community centers already have adult knitting groups that meet, so you may be able to build on an already existing program.

OPTION A: Start from Scratch
  • Have a strong knitter - Knitting can be very intimidating to the novice and it is helpful to have at least one experienced knitter to assist new knitters when they run into problems.  If you are a strong knitter yourself then you're good to go - just be prepared to spend some time teaching and troubleshooting with your new knitters. 
  • Need a strong knitter - If you are NOT a strong knitter reach out to a local church, community center or specialty yarn shop; there are probably people at these places who are more than willing to donate their time to help teach new knitters.
  • Start with a Workshop - Another option for starting from scratch (and a good way to gauge interest) is to host a Knitting Workshop.  Schedule this program every evening for a week in one hour increments (any longer than an hour and teens tend to get very frustrated when learning to knit).  For a beginning project try a simple scarf or wash cloth.  Once you've completed the workshop plan on a once a week meeting for teens to knit, converse and relax.  For the weekly meeting I recommend 1.5-2 hours allowing teens to come and go as they desire.
OPTION B: Building on a Foundation
  • A Knitting Group Already Exists - If your library already has a knitting group then talk to the knitters.  Find out if they are willing to allow teens into their meetings (also see if the meeting time works with teens' schedules).  Many knitters have a passion for what they do and are more than willing to pass on the knowledge.  Extending a preexisting knitting group to a teen audience can be a great way to build inter-generational relationships and can act as a connection between the older and younger customers.
SUPPLIES *You can probably get many of these donated!*
  • Yarn - For new knitters inexpensive, acrylic yarn is often easiest to learn on.  Try to gather both variegated and solid colors.  Stay away from solid blacks or very dark blues and greens as it can be difficult for beginners to see the stitches on those colors.
  • Needles - I recommend size 8, 9, 10 needles in wood or plastic.  Metal needles are very common but are also very slippery and can be difficult to work with, especially for novice knitters.
  • Scissors - Two to three pair of scissors should work for your group.  As they become more knowledgeable knitters they will probably start bringing their own supplies.
  • Binder of Patterns - Have a binder and stock it with simple patterns to start with.  Be prepared for your binder to grow as knitters bring in patterns they enjoy or recommend patterns.
The most important thing to remind yourself and new knitters is to BE PATIENT.  Novices will not be able to create a masterpiece immediately - it takes time to learn different stitches and be able to complete different projects.  Likewise it can take time to grow a knitting group.  If you only start off with two or three teens that is STILL a success.  Your group will grow as word spreads and your knitters start wearing and giving away projects they complete.  Allow your group to form organically for best results.

The Knitting Guild Association
Knitting Help