Monday, April 22, 2013

Spotty Reception This Week

This week is TLA (Texas Library Association) Annual Meeting.  Since I am attending conference and I'm not sure what the internet accessiblity will be, please expect some spotty blogging between now and April 28th.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Do you know SAAM?

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Part 1

Sexual violence will impact the life of someone you know.  You, yourself, might be the victim of sexual violence.  Almost 1 in 5 women in the United States report being raped at some point in their lives. Almost 5% of women and men living in the United States have experienced sexual violence other than rape.  The data when broken into age groups is even more distressing.

A 2011 survey conducted by the CDC found that 11.8% of girls and 4.5% of boys in grades 9-12 reported being forced into sexual intercourse at some time in their lives.  Of female rape victims, 42.2% were raped before they reached age 18.  This means that anyone working with teens is likely to be interacting with a victim of sexual violence. Even more traumatic than the violence itself is the fact that the majority of rapes are committed by people the victims know; 51.1% of female rape victims report being raped by an intimate partner; 40.8% by an acquaintance, male victims of rape have similar statistics with 52.4% reporting rape by acquaintance.  So how do you address these very sensitive issues with your teens?

Talk to Them (and Their Parents)
Ensuring that adults understand characteristics of healthy sexuality and sexual development in children allows parents and those working with youth to recognize risks and challenge negative messages.  Parents, you need to discuss sexuality with your children in an age-appropriate manner.  There is no way to completely limit your child's access to the Internet, experience of their peers, or society. According to Internet Safety 101, 7 out of 10 youth have accidentally stumbled across pornographic images or videos while surfing the web. One third of youth who view pornography online are doing so intentionally.  Bottom line: your sons and daughters will be exposed to sexually explicit material.

Sexuality is more than just sex, it encompasses attitude, values, emotions, and interactions and is shaped by both society and culture.  Talking about sexuality with youth can be uncomfortable, but is necessary to discourage child sexual abuse and to fight negative messages about sexuality the permeate the media.  Information on healthy childhood sexual development can be found here.  The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has wonderful resources on sexual development and talking to your kids.

Now, librarians and teachers are often put in a difficult position since many parents are not comfortable with someone else "instructing" their teens in issues of sexuality.  This is the point where it is imperative that you engage with the parents of your teens to encourage them to open lines of communication.  If a parent is not involved in a teen's life, then (in my opinion) your interaction with the teen comes down to a judgement call.  Maybe you are the only person in their life who has ever talked to them about healthy relationships, beneficial boundaries and preventing sexual violence.  Personally, I'd rather get in trouble with a parent for spreading a positive message than perpetuate a cycle of silence and misinformation.

Be prepared for some awkward questions and, possibly, to blush yourself; but the conversation needs to happen. The sad fact is that many of your teens will be victims, or perpetrators, of sexual violence at some point in their lives.  Talking about healthy sexuality, boundaries and healthy relationships is key to helping past victims heal as well as working to prevent future victims of sexual violence.

Some resources:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Giveaway: 'Throne of Glass' by Sarah J. Maas

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review: 'Going Vintage' by Lindsey Leavitt

I’m a little bothered that my hypothesis wasn’t entirely right.
I thought The List was going to take me back to a simpler time, 
but in some ways it’s just made my life more complicated. 
“It’s not that different now, is it? Being sixteen?”

“Adolescence is the same tragedy being performed again and again. 
The only things that change are the stage props.”

After Mallory discovers that her boyfriend has been cheating on her with a girl he met online, her perfect world comes crashing down in a messy social networking confrontation. But when Mallory discovers a list of goals her Grandmother wrote for her senior year, she is inspired by the simplicity of teenage life back then. Now, Mallory is swearing off boys and modern conveniences and, with her sister’s help, checking off each item on her Grandma’s to-do list, circa 1962. Along the way, Mallory will uncover family secrets, discover her purpose, and, just maybe, find a new steady.

A lovely blend of Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins, Going Vintage is the perfect contemporary romance: light and breezy on the surface, surprisingly thoughtful at its core. I was initially attracted to this novel because of the brightly colored cover with its vintage feel (even as a librarian, I still judge books by the cover!), but the plot pulled me in almost immediately. Leavitt has an easy, clean writing style that fits the light, funny feel of the book. Quirky characters, retro goals (Find a steady! Become secretary of the pep club!) and relevant themes of connectivity and unplugging make this a charming, relatable YA novel.

What really makes Going Vintage shine, however, are the characters. Mallory is a brilliant, realistic narrator. She’s quirky and funny and obsessed with lists, but she’s also confused and uncertain. For the first time, she actually wants to follow through on a plan, but she still has to move past her usual ambivalence. As it turns out, living like its 1962 while everyone around you moves in the 21st century is difficult. I’m not adventurous enough (or crazy enough, perhaps?) to try one of these social experiments myself, so I appreciated Mallory’s uncertainty and her few setbacks more than the actual plan. It felt more true to life than if she had wholeheartedly thrown herself into it without any hesitation.

Leavitt also did a nice job writing most of the secondary characters. The boyfriend was appropriately awful, and the new boy was sweet and quirky, the perfect friend and possible love interest. The rest of Mallory’s friends were fairly one-dimensional, but their single-minded focus on social networking and texting worked for the purposes of the story. I thought Leavitt did a wonderful job with Mallory’s family members, particularly her younger sister, Ginnie, who is smart, focused and wise beyond her years. I loved seeing Mallory and Ginnie’s interactions in such a positive and supportive light. Mallory’s Grandma was the other stand-out. Her changing relationship with Mallory and her reconnection with her past added a nice dimension to the overall novel.

Going Vintage is a delightful contemporary romance perfect for a lazy day on the beach or a night in on the couch. It’s as bright, quirky and colorful as the retro cover would suggest!

Book Source: From the publisher, via NetGalley (Thank you Bloomsbury!)
Reviewer: Kimberly

Recommended Ages: 12+

Recommended for Readers of:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review: Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer Volume 3: Of Wood and Blood, Part 1

Just my luck,
I get stuck on a deserted island
with a humorless ghost.

Of Wood and Blood, Part 1 finds Pinocchio with his trusty, spectral counterpart, Cricket, washed ashore a seemingly deserted island after their ship is sunk during a storm. Looks are deceiving as Pinocchio is quickly reunited with the living puppets Harlequin, Punch and Columbina and confronted with an army of vampires eager to bite his newly-human self. While fending of a horde -- or is it a swarm? a murder? -- of the undead, Pinocchio and his cohorts must escape the island and rescue Carlotta.

As with the previous Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer volumes, Of Wood and Blood offers plenty of chills, thrills and giggles.  Repartee between characters is snappy, entertaining and offers a much-needed levity to an otherwise dark tale.  Vampires, the hidden menace, are amassing around the world; waiting for the signal to strike and enslave the human race (a.k.a. food) forever.

Pinocchio's character has developed well for a graphic novel character and I look forward to his continued maturation in forthcoming volumes. Carlotta was rather one-dimensional in this volume, but the reader also doesn't get to see very much of her now that she is separated from the rest of the group.  Cricket was probably the most entertaining character of the novel, will far less lecturing and far more quippy one-liners and comebacks.

Readers are given a glimpse into the back-story of how the wood that the living puppets were carved from become 'alive'. This original twist on Pinocchio's origins is woven in with elements of Vlad the Impaler and vampire lore - which makes for an original origin story.

Note: While this title can be read out of order, readers will appreciate this volume more if read in order.

Book Source: Local Library
Reviewed by: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 14+ mild language, violence and some suggestive dialogue

Recommended for Readers of:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Books to Movies 2013 - Looking Forward

There are so many movies based on books scheduled for a 2013 release!
Here is my list of Books-to-Movies that I believe have high teen appeal.

Make sure to encourage your teens to read it before they see it!

based on comics by Stan Lee & Others

based on the novel 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald

based on comics created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

based on the novel 'World War Z' by Max Brooks

based on comics by Warren Ellis

based on comics by Peter M. Lenkov

based on comics by Roy Thomas & Others

based on the novel 'Sea of Monsters' by Rick Riordan

based on the novel 'City of Bones' by Cassandra Clare

based on the novel 'Carrie' by Stephen King

based on The Last Apprentice novels by Joseph Delaney

based on the novel 'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card

based on the novel 'Catching Fire' by Suzanne Collins

based on 'Thor' comics by Stan Lee & Others

based on 'The Snow Queen' by Hans Christian Anderson

based on 'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien

Monday, April 1, 2013

Readers' Advisory When You're NOT Around

My library only staffs one YA Librarian & YA Lit Specialist - Me.  When I'm not there, the Adult &
Choose Your Experience Display
Children's Services staff are left to answer teen Readers' Advisory questions whether or not they have any knowledge of Teen Lit.. If your library is anything like mine, there are quite a few hours during the week that the branch is open but there is no YA Lit Specialist in the building.

To that end, I tend to create Reader's Advisory Displays to help both my teens and my co-workers when I'm not around!

What's a Reader's Advisory Display?
My displays vary depending on season, phase of the moon and my whims, but they do tend to fall into one of two categories: single theme & general YA Lit.  For example: In October I usually put together a display featuring creepy/monstrous reads, or I might focus on specifically "undead" titles.

What's the Difference Between a Regular Display & a Readers' Advisory Display?
Everyone is familiar with regular displays - you select books, maybe throw up a sign and let teens grab the books as they like.  The problem with these displays is that they often get picked over and can be hard to keep stocked.  The answer? Readers' Advisory posters! Several times a year I create/update Book Posters which I use to highlight books for a specific display. (This is also a good trick if your library does not have adequate table-top display space.)

My Book Posters are themed and generally feature at least 20 titles for teens, parents & staff to explore.  I make an effort to feature both older and newer titles as newer titles often have wait lists and I hate for teens to walk away empty-handed.  With a Readers' Advisory Display, even staff who are not YA Lit Specialists can help teens find a book they would enjoy.  So even when you are not in-branch, your teens are getting the suggestions they need to keep them reading!

Make a Poster, Make a Bookmark
If you decide to make Book Posters, I highly recommend creating a corresponding bookmark for your teens.  Many of my teens want multiple titles from one poster, but they don't remember titles well and that can become a problem as you rotate your Readers' Advisory Display.  With a Readers' Advisory Bookmark teens can easily find the titles that were of interest on the poster.  Another advantage of bookmarks is that you can often fit more titles on a bookmark than a poster, which means more Readers' Advisory!

If you are interested in using my Book Posters & Bookmarks, they are for non-commercial, library or school use only and can be found here.