Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Teen Books: My To-Read List

So since I'm taking on a Teen Position, I'm going to need to (and possibly have a little time to) catch up on my reading. My usual choice is YA books, so I shouldn't be too terribly far behind. But I read some reviews today and thought it would be a good idea to start a reading list.

Anna Corey - Blackbird
Ally Condie - Atlantia
Kat Ellis - Blackfin Sky
Jessie Ann Foley - Carnival at Bray
Adam Gallardo - Zomburbia
Alena Graedon - The Word Exchange
Coleen Gleason - Clockwork Scarab
Lev Grossman - The Magician's King / The Magician's Land
Avery Hastings - Feuds
Donna Hosie - The Devil's Intern
Julie Kawaga - Talon
A.S. King - Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
Natalie Parker - Beware the Wild
Rainbow Rowell - Fangirl / Eleanor and Park / Landline

I'm currently reading Holly Black and Cassandra Clare's Iron Trial as well as Libba Bray's The Diviners.

Librarian on the move

I've given my two weeks notice and packed up my desk. Today I did my very last storytime.I am returning to Greenwood Public Library where nearly three years ago I interned while completing my master's degree, where I've accepted a new full-time position as the Teen Librarian!

What craziness is this, you ask. Well, three weeks ago I saw the position posting through an IU list-serve. I decided it would be worth applying, though I hadn't applied to many openings since getting the job at Hussey-Mayfield. I was very happy there, but working 25 hours there and  part-time as a Starbucks shift manager was starting to get overwhelming. Physically and emotionally working a minimum of 50 hours a week was taking its toll. I was tired and knew I needed some kind of change.

As every children's librarian who loves her coworkers, patrons, and city does, I hoped that change could be that I would eventually move to a full time position at Hussey-Mayfield. But that hope continued to look grim, so I went for it. I applied for the position.

I checked my email unhealthily often, nearly every hour, hoping for some form of reply. Two days later, a Friday, I received a response back asking for an interview that coming Monday. The interview went well, and two days later - exactly two weeks ago today - I accepted the position.

Since then, everything has been such a blur. I sent an email asking for an impromptu Tween Council meeting, so I could tell them face-to-face. I informed my storytimes. My positions at the library and at Starbucks are posted so I can be replaced. My desk is packed.

It's all so bittersweet. I am more than ready for a full time job at one location, where I can put my heart and soul in one job instead of being spread all over the place. But I am most definitely going to miss both of my jobs. The patrons are wonderful. I'll miss the adrenaline that comes from a peak rush when we're trying to beat our records. I'll miss watching the babies faces when I start the hand movements for Zoom, Zoom, Zoom - We're going to the moon. I'll miss knowing exactly who I'm going to see in the drive-thru at 5 am Sunday morning, when they ask what our Bold Pick of the day is at the speaker. I'll miss my Tween Council. I'll miss making drinks. Mostly I'll miss my coworkers. They're family. They've taken care of me, given me advice, taught me both career lessons and life lessons. They've made me laugh, made me cry, made me angry, and most often made my day better. They've dealt with my crazy schedule, my sleepiness, and of course my silliness. I can't thank you all enough.

I am super-excited for the chance to work with Teens. I get to read books I love, continue to be silly and geeky, make a fool out of myself. I get to be at a library I already adore with some amazing people. I will have a little more free time on my hands. Be able to visit family and friends. Have a night out now and then.
So here I go. Watch out world. Zoom, zoom, zoom.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy 34th Birthday Harry Potter! Happy 49th Birthday JK Rowling!

Today is Harry Potter's 34th birthday and Jo Rowling's 49th. Last week was Daniel Radcliffe's 25th birthday, and the week before was my 26th.

I started this blog three years ago after seeing the final Harry Potter movie in theaters. Much has changed since then, yet Harry is still and will remain an important fixture in my life.

As a youth services librarian, I get to watch as the Harry Potter series continues to fascinate children (and adults). One year ago today I was lucky enough to host a birthday party for Harry at the library, complete with classes and butterbeer cupcakes! It was so much fun!

The Great Hall


 Defense Against the Dark Arts

Teachers, Prefects, and Dobby

Again, it amazes me how much Harry Potter continues to influence generations as they read the books, watch the movies, and take in the culture around them. An article I read yesterday discussed the impact the series has made on our culture; stereotypes, prejudices, self-awareness. You should check it out: Harry Potter Reduces Prejudice

This isn't the only study that's been conducted regarding Harry Potter, and it won't be the last. Musicals have been made; universities teach entire courses; has over 600,000 stories (not to mention nearly 30,000 crossovers). There are books written on its Christian symbolism and its politics. There are cookbooks, spell books, party books, knitting books, music books, and even science books.

Rowling teased us recently with a short snippet by Rita Skeeter on the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, which I (and many, many others) hope means we'll be getting more than a peak at the grown Potters and Weasleys. And today I watched a video about real Quidditch teams across the world!

I believe that it's safe to say, Harry won't be abandoning us anytime soon. I plan to embrace my childhood for as long as possible.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tween Booklist

I've searched and searched, but discovered that there aren't very many Booklists out there for good Tween books. 

Tweens at my library are considered 4th and 5th graders with high reading levels but who want to read (or whose parents want them to read) cleaner books with low content. Teen books often have drugs, alcohol, and sex as main parts of the plot, but Tween books only have those as minor side points. Maybe mom is an alcoholic, but it will have very little to do with the story. Or perhaps Janie has a new boyfriend, but (appropriately since they're twelve) the most they might do is kiss and hold hands. In other words, Tween books keep it PG.

 So my Tween Council at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library and I came up with a booklist of books that are not only appropriate for Tweens but also great stories!

from our
Tween Council

Chasing Vermeer (Series)
1.        Chasing Vermeer
2.        The Wright 3
3.        The Calder Game
Starcatchers (Series)
1.        Peter and the Starcatchers
2.        Peter and the Shadow Thieves
3.        Peter and the Secret Rundoon
4.        Peter and the Sword of Mercy
The Penderwicks (Series)
1.        The Penderwicks
2.        The Penderwicks on Gardam Street
3.        The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
Mr. Terupt (Series)
1.        Because of Mr. Terupt
2.        Mr. Terupt Falls Again
The Last Dragon Chronicles (Series)
1.        The Fire Within
2.        Icefire
3.        Fire Star
4.        The Fire Eternal
5.        Dark Fire
6.        Fire World
7.        Fire Ascending
Out of my Mind
The City of Ember (Series)
1.        The City of Ember
2.        The People of Sparks
3.        The Prophet of Yonwood
4.        The Diamond of Darkhold
Conspiracy 365 (Series)
       1-12. January-December
       13. Revenge
Belle Teal
Every Soul a Star
Faith, Hope, and Ivy June
Middle School (Series)                          
1.        The Worst Years of My Life
2.        Get Me Out of Here
3.        My Brother is a Big, Fat Liar

Summer of the Gypsy Moths
Rebel McKenzie
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Series)
1.        The Lightning Thief
2.        The Sea of Monsters
3.        The Titan’s Curse
4.        The Battle of the Labyrinth
5.        The Last Olympian
Heroes of Olympus (Series)
1.        The Lost Hero
2.        The Son of Neptune
3.        The Mark of Athena
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Series)
1.        The Bad Beginning
2.        The Reptile Room
3.        The Wide Window
4.        The Miserable Mill
5.        The Austere Academy
6.        The Ersatz Elevator
7.        The Vile Village
8.        The Hostile Hospital
9.        The Carnivorous Carnival
10.     The Slippery Slope
11.     The Grim Grotto
12.     The Penultimate Peril
13.     The End