Category Archives: Young Adults

CMLE Reads Across MN: Turn Left at the Cow

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but it also has many interesting books. In this series, we are sharing some of the books we like from Minnesota, or Minnesota authors.

We are mapping our literary journey around Minnesota, so you can see all the interesting places where our books are set. Follow our progress on our Google Map, accessible by clicking that link or searching for the title CMLE Reads Across Minnesota!

Turn Left at the Cow, by Lisa Bullard

 

This week’s book was suggested by CMLE reader Karen Landsverk. She said it was “both funny and heart-rending” so I had to give it  a try – and indeed it was both!

I like to read YA books, and this one focused on thirteen year old Travis, and his adventures in Minnesota. Was his dad – who died before Trav was born – a bank robber? What secrets is his grandmother hiding? And, why does Iz suddenly seem so interesting?? Continue reading CMLE Reads Across MN: Turn Left at the Cow

Guest Blogger: Teen Lit Con 2017 Recap!

This is a guest post from Bethany Kauffman, Media Specialist at Rogers High School, about attending Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2017.

There is something special about finding “your people” in the world.  As book lovers, we seem to find our kindred spirits almost organically at work, church and in our neighborhoods.  Finding “your people” is such an important part of life that I relish any chance to help my students meet and connect with other teen book lovers like them.  CMLE made that happen for Rogers and Sauk Rapids – Rice high school students this past spring.

On Saturday, May 6 2017 at Henry Sibley High School, Minnesota’s metro public libraries brought one of the most popular and controversial authors of the moment to Twin Cities teens.  Sauk Rapids – Rice and Rogers High Schools were able to load up teenagers and get them to St. Paul for the big event through the support of CMLE.  What made the day so hype-worthy was that we saw, wait for it… Jay Asher!  Yes, that Jay Asher, whose books had suddenly become the topic of controversy and passion with the airing of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix.

Adults had suddenly become aware of Jay Asher and his writing, his honest conversations about hard subjects and the power that words and ideas can have in a teenager’s life.  Those of us who work with teens, read YA and love the awkward eagerness of all things before age 25 already knew all about Jay Asher.  We spend our days talking to young adults about serious and not so serious topics.  Sometimes hair color and friend drama is as deep as it gets but that’s what makes this age so great.  They are thinking, growing, learning, observing, trying on different personas nearly every week and they aren’t shocked when a YA book tackles a tough topic like suicide.  Young adults welcome stories that push the edges and make them think deeply about life.

As a result, I wasn’t surprised when we were packed into the auditorium at Henry Sibley High and the atmosphere was what I can only describe as electric.  It was the first session of what was going to be a day filled with book-loving kindred spirits galore.  When Jay Asher, Jeff Zentner, Box Brown and Meg Medina walked onto the stage for the first author panel of the day the auditorium exploded with the kinds of screams and roars and clapping that is usually only heard at a rock concert.  I am not kidding.  The teenagers shook the roof!  Let that soak in.  Teenagers screaming their heads off, nearly fainting over authors not athletes, millionaires, movie stars or music icons.  They were with their people and they were screaming at the top of their lungs for what they loved – ideas, emotions and creativity in books.

The rest of the day went well.  It followed a typical conference schedule with a variety of sessions and activities.  The teens had opportunities to be a part of several writing workshops, meet Minnesota authors, buy books, get autographs, try out Book Speed Dating, discuss creative nonfiction, find out about the behind-the-scenes work of creating graphic novels and meet real book editors.  One of the most highly attended sessions dealt with mental health issues in YA lit.  You literally could not get in the door of that session it was so full.  There were also t-shirts and concessions and an exhibit hall and temporary tattoos.  All good events have temporary tattoos.

When the afternoon came to an end, my 11 students from Rogers High School and the 25 students from Sauk Rapids – Rice High School piled into the bus and started home.  I was so grateful that we joined the teens from another high school for the long ride.  There were plenty of awkward introductions and graphic novel discussions and shy exchanges of artwork and books between students who had never met before.  Book lovers find common ground quickly and everyone headed home happy.  CMLE was the impetus behind this amazing day.  They encouraged us to coordinate between our schools, facilitated our communication and awarded us a grant to cover the cost of the bus.  As a result, this day was free to our students and for several of them, I’m sure, that made attending Teen Lit Con possible.

The new school year is here and it’s once again time to bring teens and books together.  It’s time to start fostering relationships that drifted over the summer, get the book clubs up and running, unpack the first book order of the year AND it’s time to talk to our teens about Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2018.  Why not join us?  Rogers High School is going to make sure we are at the next convention.  We’d love to connect with your teens and share the love of all things authors, illustrators, writers and YA lit with you.  Start thinking now about giving your teens the opportunity to find “their people” at Twin Cities Teen Lit Con in the spring.

https://teenlitcon.com/

Bethany Kauffman
Media Specialist
Book Club Advisory
Rogers High School
Rogers, MN
bethany.kauffman@isd728.org

Day Eighty of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

 

We all like to read books – I’ll just take that as a given! (We are library people after all; if you don’t like to read, this might not be the ideal work environment for you.)

I read a lot of books, so I  always appreciate recommendations for more, good books. Check out this great list!

Librarians Vote for the Top 100 Must-Have YA

“In November of 2015, School Library Journal released a poll to investigate what professionals in the field would call their “Top 100 Must-Have YA titles.” The survey received 274 responses; of those who identified themselves, 29 percent work in a public library and 43 percent in a school library (18 percent in a high school library, 12 percent in a middle school library, four percent in an elementary school library, and nine percent in another type of school library). While opinions varied on what constitutes a young adult book, it’s clear that both genre fiction and contemporary works have made significant contributions to the corpus of titles marketed to teen readers.

What Children’s Book Do You Remember That No One Else Does?

Tin Woodman

(From Atlas Obscura, by  SOMMER MATHIS)

[Mary’s note: I immediately remembered reading the entire Dark Forces series as a kid as soon as I saw these photos! I had forgotten them, but remembered reading all these fun books, with some mild scariness, that I grabbed from the library!]

“THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOOKS we read as kids that stick with us, regardless of whether they were particularly good. These days, I couldn’t tell you what was important about most of the canonical texts I read freshman year of college, let alone the plot of the light-read detective novel I picked up last summer at the beach. But somehow I can recall, with vivid detail, scenes from nearly every trashy preteen book series I devoured in the late 1980s and early ’90s.

Yes, that includes The Nancy Drew Files and Sweet Valley High and The Baby-Sitters Club, all of which no doubt many women my age remember with a fierce fondness. But it also includes Sharon Dennis Wyeth’s short-lived Pen Pals series, about a quartet of roommates at an all-girls boarding school who strike up a correspondence with a group of boys, and Eve Becker’s fantasy-driven Abracadabra books, which chronicle the adventures of Dawn, a 13-year-old who suddenly gains magical powers. In particular, my drug of choice one long, hot summer were the Dark Forces books, a packaged series of occult-based young-adult horror that made me feel—crucially, at the age of 11—like I was getting away with something naughty.

Left to right: "Abracadabra #4: The Sneezing Spell" by Eve Becker; "Dark Forces: Beat the Devil" by Scott Siegel; "Pen Pals #7: Handle With Care" by Sharon Dennis Wyeth.
Left to right: “Abracadabra #4: The Sneezing Spell” by Eve Becker; “Dark Forces: Beat the Devil” by Scott Siegel; “Pen Pals #7: Handle With Care” by Sharon Dennis Wyeth. BANTAM SKYLARK/BANTAM BOOKS/DELL YEARLING

I’m certain I don’t remember these long out-of-print series so well because they were works of genius. To the contrary, the storylines and writing were of relatively low nutritional value, as these things go.

Continue reading What Children’s Book Do You Remember That No One Else Does?

Another book hunt! Book recommendation for defiant young teen?

source

We are passing on another Reader’s Advisory question, and a few suggestions in case this one comes up for you. If you have suggestions, please share them below!

“I have a tricky readers’ advisory quest. I’ve been asked by a parent to recommend some books (by tonight!!!) for a defiant 14yo boy who reads on a 12yo level. He dislikes reading, prefers nonfiction, and has Asperger’s. His parents are going to require him to write a book report. It sounds like she wants something like the Bernstein Bears’ books – but for teens (!)  They have not let him read or watch Hunger Games or the like, but he has been allowed to watch/read Percy Jackson and Harry Potter.

She wants a book on why he shouldn’t defy / lie / resist /  etc. She is not finding anything but parenting books on dealing with defiant children/teens.

I’ve explained books that focus on “change your ways or look what horrible things will happen”  are difficult to find for his age group and that I’m going to give her a wide range of books to look at that perhaps will get them talking about relevant issues. Tricky also since he prefers nonfiction *and* I need to stay away from edgier books for the older YA audience.

Any ideas?”

Continue reading Another book hunt! Book recommendation for defiant young teen?