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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reading Goals Results--February

We had a more manageable list this month so I have included some comments from submitters.

We were reading Realistic Fiction in February.  In March, we're reading Humorous Books--March is a month when I could use some humor...If you read a book, please fill out this short form to help crowd-source next month's list!

Here's what we read:

Realistic Fiction

Younger Readers

Alexander, Kwame.  Crossover. 2014.

Leah recommends this year's Newbery Medal winner for middle grade and middle school students, especially those who like basketball.  It is a family story told in verse.
Bell, Cece.  El Deafo.  2014.
Leah enthusiastically recommends this Newbery Honor graphic novel, based on the author's childhood, for middle grade students.  It navigates friendships, siblings, school stress, and profound hearing loss with humor and poignancy. 

Gantos, Jack.  Joey Pigza series.  various, most recent in 2014.
Enthusiastically recommended by Sam at LEPMPL.  "When I found out these books don't circulate well, I wanted to cry.  I think this writer is BRILLIANT!"  She recommends it for anyone who likes to laugh, or thinks their family is a little strange.
Herrera, Robin.  Hope Is a Ferris Wheel.  2014.
Nora from New Richmond says this book is one she'd recommend to certain middle grade readers.  
Hiaasen, Carl.  Chomp.  2012.
Kathy from Bloomer recommends this book to middle grade and middle school kids, especially those who are interested in animals, adventure, and uncovering the truth.  "Behind the scenes of a reality TV show, chaos and mishap abound.  My 9-year-old loves the sarcasm of the real wildlife wrangler who handles the animals for the actor.  I read and listened to it...I've found myself laughing out loud."
Higgins, Melissa.  Sgt. Reckless. 2014.
Patti from Durand recommends this picture book based on a true story about a horse used during the Korean War for all ages, especially kids who like war and horse stories.
Martin, Ann.  Rain Reign.  2014.
Monica from River Falls enthusiastically recommends this Schneider Family Book Award winner for adults and families, middle grade and middle school readers.  The book is narrated by a girl with a disability, but she is not defined by her disability.  Written for middle grades, but can be read by a wide age range.  She says there are "lots of appeal factors, including animals, great writing, word play, and a main character who will have you cheering for her."
Mills, Claudia.  Kelsey Green, Reading Queen.  2013.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this one for primary grades.
Sovern, Megan Jean.  The Meaning of Maggie.  2014.
 Cassie from Augusta recommends this one for middle grade readers.
Wertheim, L. Jon and Tobias Moskowitz.  Rookie Bookie.  2014.
Kathy from Bloomer would especially recommend this title to boys who like sports or math.  In it, she says the protagonist "runs a gambling ring and makes a lot of money for it, but he gets in big trouble for it."

Middle School/High School

Carter, Ally.  All Fall Down. 2014.
Cassie from Augusta recommends this book for high schoolers who like mysteries and political intrigue.
Cherry, Alison.  For Real. 2014.
Valerie from Spooner recommends this for high school age kids who like reality TV.  It's about two sisters who enter a show.
Cooney, Caroline.  Three Black Swans.  2010.
Pat from Deer Park recommends this book for middle and high school students who liked the Face on the Milk Carton series.  It "shows how quickly social media can impact a life--the book takes place in three days."  It has a "typically happy ever after ending."
Czukas, Liz.  Top Ten Clues You're Clueless. 2014.
Valerie from Ladysmith recommends this for high school students.  It's about "a diabetic grocery store clerk and her co-workers are accused of stealing donated money and try to solve the crime." 
Haskins, Nora Raleigh.  Anything but Typical.  2009.
Krissa from Roberts enthusiastically recommends this title for middle grade and middle school students.  "Our teen book club read and discussed this title during National Autism Month.  They all loved it so much we decided it should be a mandatory read for 5th and 6th graders....It was perfect to provide awareness to students."
Marr, Melissa.  Made for You.  2014.
Cassie from Augusta recommends this title to high school students who like mystery and suspense.
Murphy, Julie.  Side Effects May Vary. 2014.
Megan from Bloomer would recommend this title to high schoolers, especially those who like John Green or Rainbow Rowell.  "While the book was not flawless...the relationship between the two main characters was complex and interesting."
Nelson, Jandy.  I'll Give You the Sun. 2014.
Colleen from Menomonie enthusiastically recommends this year's Printz winner for high school students.
Niven, Jennifer.  All the Bright Places. 2015.
Monica from River Falls recommends this title for certain high school students, particularly those who liked The Fault in Our Stars, or books dealing with depression and suicide.  She says it is "a heart-wrenching romance...Warning:  there is no happy ending in store and this book isn't for every reader.  It is beautifully written and a fabulous story, but it is very sad and does deal with topics that may be hard for some readers."
Nolan, Han.  Crazy. 2010.
Krissa from Roberts recommends this title for middle and high school student.  "The writing is on the lower lexile level, but the content is definitely for 13 and up.  It covers friendships, family problems, missing persons, mental illness and loss of a parent...I would highly recommend it!"
Patterson, James and Maxine Paetro.  The Private School Murders (Confessions #2).   2013.
Cassie from Augusta recommends this title for certain high school kids who like mysteries and suspense.
Wilson, Rachel.  Don't Touch. 2014.
Leah from IFLS thinks this book would appeal to teens who love Shakespeare, since it is about a girl who is trying to manage her OCD along with playing Ophelia in a high school production of Hamlet.  She was a little impatient with the protagonist, but read a Disability in Kidlit review of it that felt the portrayal of OCD was authentic.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Disability in Kid Lit

Lately I've been reading some fascinating blogs and threads about diversity, and how to embrace and respect diverse voices as librarians (here's one, which has an incredible bunch of comments).  In the midst of this, I came across a reference to a relatively new, beautiful, and important blog called Disability in Kidlit.  It features discussions, reviews, and interviews about middle grade and young adult literature, all from a disability perspective.  I have read several of the reviews, and find the perspective of a person with a disability in evaluating a book that includes elements of the disability experience is really interesting.

So much to think about and learn!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Badging Project Coming Up

Thanks to the inquiring mind of Ted in Menomonie, and the input of several librarians in our area, IFLS is putting together a project to try out using Badges with teens.  We are dabbling our toes in the waters, and we invite you to participate!

Every year through YALSA (Young Adult Library Service Association), teens have the chance to vote for the Teens' Top Ten from a list of 40 nominees.  The nominees are announced during National Library Week (in April), and then teens are encouraged to read as many as possible and vote for their favorites during Teen Read Week (in October) when the top ten winners are announced.

We are setting up a website and badging system that will encourage teens from the area (including those using public, school, and academic libraries) to read these titles, rate them, and promote them to their friends or interact with the books in some other way.

The website itself will launch on April 18.  Watch for details coming soon!

Friday, February 20, 2015

YSS Powerhouse Presents

In the second* in a series of YSS Powerhouse Presents webinars for youth librarians in the state, Teen Services is the focus.  These free CE opportunities feature Wisconsin Library Association Youth Services Section members who are also amazing youth services librarians sharing tips, programs and more to help all of us improve services.  

Additional upcoming webinars this year include one on school age services, one on partnerships and one on the secrets of great youth collection development (no, it’s not all about buying new books!).  We also have four more webinars waiting in the wings! YSS is the proud sponsor of these webinars and hope you not only benefit from them but consider becoming a member of WLA and the YSS section where change for youth in WI happens!

YSS Powerhouse Presents: Teen Services Okay? Better Than Okay!
Join us for a webinar on Mar 31, 2015 at 1:00 PM CDT.
Sponsored and hosted by the Nicolet Federated Library System

Does it sometimes feel as if teens are from another planet? Speaking a different language? Three WLA Youth Services Section member librarians share their triumphs and tribulations in serving teens, with practical tips and examples on programming, great displays, and teen volunteers. After this webinar you'll feel better than Okay about your teen services – you'll feel great! Join panelists Terry Ehle, Youth Services Coordinator, Lester Public Library, Two rivers; Emily Heideman, Teen Services Librarian, Waupaca Area Library; and Becky Arenivar, Programming Specialist, Prescott Public Library and power up.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar from Nicolet Federated library System.

*the first was Storytime 101 and you can view the webinar here at the SCLS website. Soon we will have a space on our YSS website with all the webinars archived together. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Showcasing Your Collection

I got a great question from Shelly in Eau Claire this week.  She's looking for fun ways to showcase the books in her collection--innovative or interesting book displays that will grab the attention of people already in the library and encourage them to explore books (and do impulse check-outs!).

In digging around a little, I found a few good resources.  I would love to feature some great book displays you've done in this blog, too.  People love to see (and borrow from) other people's ideas!  Please send in a photo of a favorite book display and I'll put it in the blog.

Here are the resources I found that I thought were helpful:

Twenty Rules for Better Book Displays (an article in Novelist's newsletter, this is geared toward adult displays but has some great suggestions.
So Tomorrow is one of my favorite youth services blogs, and this is a collection of display ideas

Our own Kathy Larson from Bloomer has posted some of her book display ideas on her fabulous blog, From the Short Stacks.

We have a relatively recent book in our professional collection (available on MORE) called DIY Programming and Book Displays by Wisconsinites Amanda Moss Struckmeyer and Svetha Hetzler.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentines in Ladysmith

Thanks to Valerie Spooner from Ladysmith for this guest post:

For my preschool storytime tomorrow I'll be reading Mouse's First Valentine by Lauren Thompson and If You'll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant. We'll do a flannel board activity called, "Red Heart, Red Heart, What Do You See?" that goes just like the story by Bill Martin. Each child will have a heart and bring it up to put on the flannel board when his or her color is called. After that, we'll make our valentines. I die cut hearts out of cardstock to make a window card. Then I put a piece of contact paper so the sticky side was in the front on the window. Then we'll decorate them with sequins and glitter before putting a piece of contact paper that has been die cut into the same heart shape on top. If you have younger kids, you could use tissue paper rather than sequins.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Promoting Diverse Books

Last week I, like many of you, watched the announcements of the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards via twitter or live streaming.  I always get excited about these announcements, thrilled when favorites win, and fascinated to see what rose to the top for people who took the time to carefully consider, discuss, and re-read (listen or watch).

This year, I was especially excited to see what a diverse list won awards.  In the Newbery category, as many have pointed out, all three books honored include diverse protagonists (Crossover by Kwame Alexander, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and El Deafo by Cece Bell).  Because we live in a less populous area of the country, our numbers are smaller across the board, including fewer people of color, fewer GLBTQ kids/families, fewer people with disabilities.  Sometimes librarians find that titles with diverse characters go out less frequently than other titles, and some librarians have a hard time putting their limited budgets into materials they don't expect to see circulating.

It is crucial to purchase these titles.  It is important for the kids and families who don't fit the dominant culture to be able to see themselves in the literature we provide for them, and it is also important for kids from dominant culture to see outside that.  There are so many things to promote about a good book--El Deafo not only deals with a girl coming to terms with her profound hearing loss, it is also about dealing with bossy friends, crushes, and sibling rivalry.  Plus, it's a funny and charming graphic novel.  The Crossover is about an African American basketball star, so great sports story, with plenty of family dynamics and accessible poems.

Sometimes, especially for those of us in the rural Midwest, we need to be extra-conscious of promoting these titles.There are many ways to promote a book.  Creating a list of books about sports?  Include The Crossover.  Creating a list about friendships?  Include El Deafo.  Booktalking to a group of fifth-graders?  Include both titles (plus Brown Girl Dreaming) in the mix.  Storytime?  Be sure to look for diverse books to round out the ranks.  It's best practice, and it's our job!

For a thought-provoking piece of writing about this, check out Amy Koester's Selection is Privilege post in her Show Me Librarian blog.