Tag Archives: Reader’s Advisory

Why go to Teen Lit Con? One of your peers tells all!

Attention Central MN! This FREE conference is a haven for students who love to read and write. Maria Burnham, Sauk-Rapids Rice High School Media Specialist, is hoping that if a few different schools get together and share a bus, they could share the cost of transportation along with CMLE who has agreed to pay for a portion of the bus fee.  Please contact Maria if you’re interested in attending with students and she will work with you to coordinate details.  Or, please pass this information along to any others you think would be interested.  Maria is willing to do the organizing if you can get the kids!  Call Maria at 320.258.1625, email her at maria.burnham@isd47.org, or find her on Twitter @MariaBurnham4.

Maria Burnham with Author Steve Brezenoff
Maria Burnham with Author Steve   Brezenoff

Not sure? Read Maria’s account of Teen Lit Con last year….

Looking Back at TeenLitCon 2015!

Let’s face it.  In the K-12 world, everyone loves spring.  Our students have grown and changed since the fall, and the warmer weather has us all dreaming of summer days to come.  For me, one of the reasons I so look forward to the spring is attending the TeenLitCon at Henry Sibley High School.

Last year was the first year I attended the event.  I brought six students with me in a school van, and we made the hour-and-a-half long trek to the southern Metro on a beautiful Saturday morning in May to immerse ourselves in books, writing, and a love of reading.

Upon our arrival, the energy of the place was magnetic!  The Henry Sibley gym was full of enthusiastic teenagers waiting to meet their favorite authors.  The day started with a Q & A panel with E. Lockhart, Matt de la Pena, Gene Luen Yang,

"Next read" predictions gurus!
“Next read” predictions gurus!

and Gayle Forman.  The rest of the day was a “build your own schedule” of breakout sessions: book signings, keynote speeches by the four featured authors, writing workshops, button-making, poetry writing, “your next read” predictions, illustration tips, and book talks.  I walked away from the day with a bag full of signed books and a renewed energy for teen literature.  My favorite of the day?  Joining in a dance party with Gayle Forman and about a hundred other students.

I’m looking forward to attending the event this year, once again held at Henry Sibley High School on Saturday, May 7th.  Giving up a Saturday isn’t always easy (especially one in May), but this event is worth it!  The van ride home last year was completely quiet as my students were engrossed in their new books.  Some of my aspiring authors left the day with a few writing tips and opportunities for summer writing camps.  Others were so excited to receive an advanced copy of a book by an author they just met.  No matter the take-away moment for the student, all enjoyed the event and left with memories that will stay with them forever.

Thank you to the metro public libraries for sponsoring such a wonderful, FREE event to teenagers!  Hope you’ll join me in attending TeenLitCon this year!

High tech, high touch personal library services

Meredith Farkas is a faculty librarian at Portland (Oreg) Community College and a lecturer at San Jose State University’s School of Information. She recently did a blog post brimming with ideas about Cats and Dogs 59 how to make library end users feel a personal connection with their librarian of choice, and mitigate any fears of using the library. Her examples include academic and public libraries specifically. If terms like “personal librarian service” or “book recommendation ninja”, appeal to you, her post is worth a read. She also talks a bit about the how an Oregon library is humanizing readers’ advisory in a big way by using the My Librarian service.   Read Meredith’s post now at In Practice: High tech, high touch

Summer Reading Lists

Image by Wishpong some rights reserved
Image by Wishpong some rights reserved

With June right around the corner, CMLE is here to help you get your summer reading lists created for all ages, including yourself!

For Kids:

The Association for Library Service  to Children (ALSC) has pulled together Three Summer Reading book lists to help keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer. The lists are available for K-2nd, 3rd– 5th and 6th-8th grade students.

The Boston Public Schools have four big lists for students too. Their lists are broken down for Book List Grades K – 2Book List Grades 3 – 5Book List Grades 6 – 8, and Book List Grades 9 – 12

For Adults:

Mashable’s list has summer in the title so you know they’ve got to be good! Check out eight books to add to your summer reading list.

The HuffingtonPost has a list of 30 books you NEED to read in 2014. “Need” seems a little strong, but who are we to argue when it comes to reading books!

The BBC chose to focus on the 10 best new books. They have a diverse collection of books and some might not classify as “beach-reads” but all are still worthy of a look.

Finally, not to be forgotten, Flavorwire has a list of 20 new Non-Fiction books you should read this summer. Supposedly, these titles will make us smarter!

What books are you excited about reading this summer? Serious classics or trashy romances, all titles are welcome! Help us add to the lists.


Another Perspective on Books for Boys


Our friends at ALA’s Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) question the notion of “books for boys” and encourage us to think beyond gender when providing readers advisory to boys and girls. Point well taken. Read their rationale, and to back up their assertion, they provide a list of titles they’ve recommended to guys recently too! Some of the titles may surprise you. Feel free to add your ideas and suggestions!

Links to previous posts on this subject include:

Books for Teen Boys (Grades 7-12)

BooksRecently, a question appeared on a Minnesota listserv, and it was fun to see the engagement and excitement of the list participants. I do believe a librarian’s mission is life is to entice a non-reader to read! And, the quest for just the right material to make that happen is ongoing! The question posed is included below along with a compiled list of all of the great suggestions….all of which happened within about a one-hour time frame! Pure fun….continue the excitement by listing your suggestions in the comments field! Or, more fun yet, search for Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange on Facebook, like our page, and add your suggestions there!

Question: I’m looking for new authors for our teen boys grades 7 – 12.  Other than Gary Paulson, John Flanagan, Rick Riordan, what are some others that you can recommend.  I’m asked often for books about hunting;  wilderness anything outdoorsy that also has an AR quiz.


(The following authors were enthusiastically endorsed, no matter what they write)                                                  

John Flanagan, Margaret Haddix, Mary Downing Hahn, Will Hobbs, Gordon Korman, Jim Kjelgaard, Walter Dean Myers, Gary Paulson, Wilson Rawls, Rick Riordan, Will Weaver, Pam Withers

Titles and Authors

(Subjects are in Italics)

Wild Life: Cynthia DeFelice

Weasel: Cynthia DeFelice

Various teen topics: Paul Volponi’s

Alex Rider series: Anthony Horowitz

Vampires and werewolves:  Darren Shan

Sports books: Mike Lupica

Series  of Chris D’Lacey

Chronicles of Vladimir Tod (series): Heather Brewer

Sports, &the Sports Heroes & Legends biographies: Mike Lupica and Tim Green

Sci-Fi: Scott Westerfeld, Roderick Gordon, Pittacus Lore

Adventure: Will Hobbs, Anthony Horowitz, Gordon Korman

Humor:  James Patterson’s “Middle School” books, Jordan Sonnenblick

War stories:   Chris Lynch (Vietnam series and now WW II), Tim O’Brien, Walter Dean Myers

Relationships : John Green

“Secrets” series: Pseudonymous Bosch

“Michael Vey” series: Richard Paul Evans

 Outdoors: Gordon Korman, Mary Casanova

Any title (High school boys): John Sandford, Tim O’Brien, William Krueger,

Grade 7-12 boys, any titles: John Flanagan, Joseph Delaney, Stephen King, Chris Lynch,

Additional suggestion: I also ordered smaller books from Follett on hunting and fishing, they are average level and smaller books worth one to two points, but the boys seem to like them.