Thursday, May 31, 2012

Passive Program: Read the Rainbow Challenge

Getting teens to read outside their chosen genre can be difficult, but not impossible.  This is an easy, eye catching display sure to catch the interest of your teens and even encourage them to read outside their genre.

What to do:
Set up the challenge on one of your library's blogs (I recommend Tumblr since it is very easy to post photos).  Each week set the "color" challenge i.e. 'This week read something RED'.  Have teens submit photos of book covers they are reading for the challenge.  Simple, easy and reading based!

When you are finished you can use the images submitted to create a color wash "Reading Quilt" just for the teens at your library.  You could even go WAY over the top and have the covers printed on cloth and make them into a physical quilt to raffle off or give away as a prize to one of the participants.

Here's an example of a digital "Reading Quilt" using book cover art from titles mentioned on this blog:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: 'Girl in the Steel Corset' by Kady Cross

 Finley Jane knows she is no ordinary miss and when her employer's son attacks she defends herself with a strength she should never have been capable of. While fleeing the seen of the assault, Finley runs into Griffin King, leader of a motly band of teens whose special abilities are used in service to the Crown. Griffin and company take Finley in and begin to help her understand her unusual abilities, but she needs to learn quickly if she is to aid in defending the Queen against a nefarious plot.

The classic tale of Dr. Jeykl and Mr. Hyde gets a steampunked reboot sure to thrill readers.  Ms. Cross's world is wonderfully detailed and littered with interesting characters that readers will think about long after the novel is finished.  Finley is in intriguing mix of shy practicality and independence, while Griffin is debonair, mysterious and honorable.  (A girl could do a lot worse than have a crush on Griffin's character.)  A twist ending will have readers clamouring for the next novel, Girl in the Clockwork Color - which released this month!

On a side note: the cover art for this series is amazing!

Book Source: Local Library
Review by: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 16+ Attempted sexual assault, violence, spycraft

Recommended for Readers of:
Gail Carriger
Scott Westerfeld
Catherine Fisher
Marissa Meyer

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Programs: Window "Shopping" for Ideas

If you are anything like me, you sometimes have trouble coming up with the next great "Teen Program Idea".  Some days it feels as though all my creativity is gone and I can think of nothing more imaginative that pulling out the Wii or turning on a movie for my teens.  (While there is nothing wrong with the occasional arcade or movie day I don't think they make a very good foundation for teen programming simply because they do not require that teens use their own imagination.) 

What do I do to find inspiration when I'm completely brain dead?

I go window "shopping"!

I've found that Etsy & Pinterest are some of the best resources out there for getting your own creative juices flowing.  Clicking through Etsy stores and items often inspires me to adapt a craft or project for my own purposes.  Same with Pinterest - I even have a board 'Teen Program Ideas' where I gather ideas for future teen events.

So if you are having an off day and need program inspiration A.S.A.P. those are two places I totally recommend.

More YA Librarian Resources coming your way this week so check back soon!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: 'Everneath' by Brodi Ashton

Nikki has been gone for a centery in the Underworld though only months have passed on the Surface.  She spent one hundred years trapped in a shadowy embrace with Cole who supports his immortality by Feeding off of mortals' emotions and destroying their memories.  When the Feed ends the mindless husks of the mortals are sent to the Tunnels to power the world of Everneath.  But Nikki remembers something of her former life and chooses to Return, even knowing that her time on the Surface is limited.  The Shades who control the Tunnels will eventually track and drag her down.  But how do you begin to say goodbye to a life you barely remember?

Brodi Ashton's world is a clever blend of mythology and fantasy that will intrigue readers but ultimatly left me feeling a little cheated.  A love triangle exists between Cole, Nikki and her ex-boyfriend Jack.  The problem for the reader is that, as a result of her time being in the Underworld, she doesn't really remember her life or her love.  The longer she remains on the Surface the more emotion she gains, but the reader has a hard time connecting since there isn't much emotion behind the thoughts.  I actually found myself rooting for Cole who is supposed to be the villian of the novel simply because Nikki was able to generate a greater emotional response to his machinations.  Maybe I'm overthinking the story.  In general this is an original story and is well written.  I can see teen readers enjoying this novel if not obsessing over it.

On a side note: I LOVE the cover art!

Book Source: Blue Willow Bookshop
Review by: Rebecca
Recommended Ages: 12+ The characters are high school students but there is nothing overly objectionable.

Recommended for Readers of:
Aimee Carter
Trinity Faegen
Kiera Cass
Cynthia Hand

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: 'Love & Leftovers' by Sarah Tregay

Do you hate the person
who tapped the first domino down?
Or do you hate the domino
for not standing up for itself?
And if you are the second domino,
and you get toppled, do you hate yourself?

When Marcie’s Dad leaves the family for another man, her Mom drags her across the country to the family's summer home in New Hampshire. Marcie isn’t thrilled about the enforced vacation from her best friends, the Leftovers, and her emo-rocker boyfriend, Linus, but she makes do until school starts and she realizes that this "vacation" might not be as temporary as she thought. With her mother too depressed to leave her bed and everyone else she loves 3,000 miles away, Marcie finds herself falling for the cute boy who slowly romances her with breakfast. But when her concerned Dad comes to take her back home to Idaho, Marcie quickly realizes that picking up the pieces of her old life might not be as painless as she hoped.

Sarah Tregay’s debut novel is an emotional roller coaster in verse. I am a huge fan of novels in verse and thought this one worked exceptionally well. There is a lyrical quality to the text, but it somehow remains down to earth and packs an emotional punch. Each poem is penned by Marcie in her poetry journal, a well-worn notebook that, at some points, serves as her only confidant. This was an excellent decision on Tregay’s part because Marcie isn’t always a likeable character. In fact, she makes some pretty stupid decisions that hurt a lot of people. Marcie’s poetry journal allows us to peek inside her brain and watch her try to sort out the motive behind her actions. She knows what she’s doing isn’t right and rationalizes it, but she also beats herself up over it after the fact. There is real remorse and that is what turns Marcie into a sympathetic character the reader wants to see happy.

Tregay also does an excellent job drawing secondary characters. The Leftovers are an eclectic group: not popular but, as long as they have each other, not social outcasts. Linus is a sweetheart, the kind of emo-rocker every angsty teenage girl wants to kiss. Despite that, there is something about J.D. (the New Hampshire love interest) that is so boy-next-door he seems irresistable. Even knowing the situation, there was a still a tiny part of me that was rooting for J.D. to get the girl. But by far, my favorite characters were Marcie’s Dad and his boyfriend, Danny. Marcie and her Dad have honest discussions about relationships, family, love and sexuality, and Danny makes a real effort to get to know her.

Love & Leftovers is a beautifully written, poignant story about broken families, worn out friendships, and the relationship between emotional love and physical passion. Marcie’s struggles with loneliness and longing for real human contact are universal.

Book Source: My local library

Review by: Kimberly

Recommended Ages: 16+ do to mild swearing and frank discussion of sexual orientation, teen sexuality, teen pregnancy, and birth control.

Recommended for Readers of:
Sarah Dessen
Ellen Hopkins
Jennifer E. Smith
Daniel Handler

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Now Presenting Kimberly!

Kimberly, my fellow YA Librarian and voracious reader, has agreed to be a weekly guest blogger on Lunanshee's Lunacy!  I am very excited about this as Kimberly reviewing for this blog since her reading preferences vary greatly from my own.  So now this blog will have a more diverse pool of reviewed books and YA programming ideas.

You can follow us both on Twitter:

Tomorrow's post is Kimberly's FIRST REVIEW!  Stay tuned...

Books to Movies for the YA: List 1

Looking to show some films at your library?  
It's a low-cost, easy program to run with almost guaranteed attendance.  
And here's a way to tie in reading!

Below is a list of books that have been adapted into films with teen appeal.
Please make sure your library has licensing to show films before screening.

Lord of the Rings:
Fellowship of the Ring
Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Hunger GamesHunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Chronicles of Narnia:
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis
Alice in WonderlandAlice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carrol
Howl's Moving CastleHowl's Moving Castle
by Diane Wynn Jones
by Alex Flinn
by Frank Miller
by Jane Austen
Race to Witch MountainEscape to Witch Mountain
by Alexander Key
Freaky FridayFreaky Friday
by Mary Rogers
Scott Pilgrim vs. The WorldScott Pilgrim
by Bryan Lee O'Malley
by Neil Gaimon
The Three MusketeersThe Three Musketeers
by Alexandre Dumas

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: 'Undead' by Kirsty McKay

Undead by Kirsty McKay releases September 2012.

A school sponsored ski trip in the wilds of Scotland, becomes the ultimate fight for survival for a small group of high school students.  Newly repatriated after years in the U.S., Roberta doesn't fit in with her new classmates but she never expected them to try and EAT her!  The bus stops for a lunch break and Roberta's life changes forever when teachers and students mysteriously drop dead only to reanimate into flesh-craving zombies a short time later. In order to survive Roberta and her few surviving classmates must put aside their differences and work together.  It's going to be a bumpy ride.

McKay's debut novel is funny, fast-paced and creepy - everything that a reader could want in a zombie novel.  She has obviously done her research on buses, diners and snowboards which allows her characters to react both creatively and realistically.  Instead of the usual remote cabin often found in this type of novel these teens are trapped in a passenger bus, which presents unique challenges for staging, survival and security.  The plot leaps into a sprint on the very first page and continues at a breakneck pace throughout the novel.  While Roberta is female and the story is told from her perspective, she is wonderfully pragmatic and should not bother male readers.  If you've got teens looking for a great zombie novel this is one to send their way.

McKay is an author to watch.

Recommended for Readers of:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: 'The Pledge' by Kimberly Derting

In Charlie's world every person's fate is determined by the class they are born into and constrained by language they are allowed to speak.  Meeting the gaze of a person who outranks you while they speak the tongue of their class is an crime punishable by public execution.  Acknowledging that you understand a language other than that of your class will get you killed.  Which is a problem for Charlie: she has never encountered a language she doesn't understand.  This secret defines her existence, the looming threat of discovery a shadow over her family.  But when Charlie meets a mysterious boy who speaks a language she has never heard before the fragile strands of her secret begin to come unwound leading to a destiny she could never have imagined.

The world of The Pledge comes alive from the first page, leaping into the conciousness of the reader and enveloping in the constant fear of life under tyrannical rule.  Personal freedoms are few in this place and civil unrest is brewing beyond the city's walls, threatening the power of an aging but still powerful queen.  A queen who will do everything in her power to maintian her place.  Derting has creating characters with foibles, backgrounds and motivations that are rich and textured.  Her characters come to life, dragging the reader through the pages long after she should have put the book down for the night.  Recomended for readers who enjoy dystopian fiction.

Discussion points:
  • Class division
  • Civil disobedience
Recommended for Readers of:
Suzanne Collins
Veronica Roth
Lauren Oliver
James Dashner

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who Doesn't Love Fairytales?

In preparation for the release of Snow White & The Huntsman here is a list of fantastic reads for fairytale, folklore & mythology loving teens.  (Yes, I will be going to see the film in spite of KS!)
by Mercedes Lackey
by Alex Flinn
by Melissa Meyer
by Joy Preble
by Orson Scott Card
Briar Rose
by Jane Yolen
by Heather Dixon
by Brodi Ashton
by E.D. Baker
by Aimee Carter
by Polly Shulman
by Jessica Day
by Althea Kondis
Sweet Venom
by Tera Lynn Childs
by Melissa Marr
by A.C. Gaughen