Thursday, December 1, 2016

30 Days of Working for and with Teens for Social Justice

This month on YALSAblog and the Hub, we're focusing on social justice. Be sure to follow along with both blogs as they explore this topic, and how to work for and with teens.
Think about your library’s population: Is it diverse? If you answered no, why don’t you think the population is diverse? Keep in mind that diversity is not always something you can see, like skin color, a hijab, or a wheelchair.   
Read over this site, and try to accomplish the challenge posed: 
“Commit to taking 3 actions in the next month, and share these with a trusted friend, colleague, or family member in order to increase your accountability to follow through on your commitment.  Can you take at least one action in the next two weeks in the Ally or Accomplice category?”
Read the full post here.

Monday, November 28, 2016

New YALSAblog Member Manager!

I'm excited to announce one of my new roles:
CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has selected Allison Renner, a Teen Services Librarian at the Cordova (Tennessee) Branch Library as its new member manager for the YALSAblog.

“The YALSAblog played a huge part in my life as I earned my Master of Library Science,” said Renner. “I was in an online program, and reading and writing for YALSAblog helped me feel connected to other librarians. As I started my new position as a Teen Services Librarian, I found so much inspiration on the blog, and support from the entire YALSA community. I am eager to bring my hands-on experience as a student and librarian to the position, as well as my interest in promoting diversity and inclusion.”

Renner will serve a one-year term as member manager starting December 1st.
See the whole press release here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It Looks Like This

The teenage years are a time for young people to discover their identities and explore and push the boundaries of structured life. The lucky ones are given room to experiment as they explore. It Looks Like This is a book about what happens when someone is not given that freedom.
See the full review at Cleaver Magazine.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Unlock Their Imagination - October #kidlitpicks

During the month of October, KidLitPicks explored picture books that unlock imagination. Magic happens when tiny fingers turn the pages of a beloved book. Stories provide avenues of amusement, entryways to intrigue, and doors through which discovery abounds. The simplest of sentences can launch us to the stars and back again, helping us land safely in our haven of blankets and pillows after completing an expedition to save the earth. Stories can help us learn to fly, travel the globe in mere moments, and go on enchanting adventures with talking animals and magic carpets.

Through story, we can help our children navigate oceans of emotions and experiences. We can provide them a safe place to grapple with difficult topics and challenging feelings. We can give them laughter and comfort, and we can teach empathy and inclusiveness and kindness. Most importantly, we can use books to unlock their collective imaginations.

As Kwame Alexander recently said in a New York Times article, "The mind of an adult begins in the imagination of a child." Lets give our children a safe space to run free and roam the universe by offering them books that encourage wild, fanciful and meaningful experiences. These imaginative stories may plant the seeds for their big ideas -- big ideas that will one day change our world for the better.

A special thank you to Lauren from Happily Ever Elephants for the theme!


The Forgetful Knight, by Michelle Robinson and Fred Blunt (shared by @readingisourthing) “Story writing involves chops and changes. Not only does The Forgetful Knight accentuate this, but also the idea of endless possibility.”

What Can I Be? by Ann Rand and Ingrid Fiksdahl King (shared by @spiky_penelope) “It explores the power of imagination and the room for potential.”

The Storyteller by Evan Turk (shared by @afriendlyaffair) "The book, which is reminiscent of an ancient parable, reminds us of the power of a great story to quench the thirst for history, imagination, and togetherness."

Cook In A Book: Pancakes!: An Interactive Recipe Book, by Lotta Nieminen (shared by @the.book.report) “The illustrations are simple and clean, which fit this book PERFECTLY!”

Journey, by Aaron Becker (shared by @homegrownreader) “With an amazing cameo by a boy with a purple crayon at the end of the book, the pages of this story leaks creativity onto your hands.”

Beyond the Pond, by Joseph Kuefler (shared by @book.nerd.mommy) “This book is a beautiful reminder that imagination is an incredible power that can transform the world from a place of rigid boundaries to a realm of possibilities”

Hey A.J. It's Saturday, by Martellus Bennett (shared by @hereweeread) “Let your kids unlock their imaginations with this imaginative and entertaining book.”

Topsy Turvy Ocean by Wes Magee and Tracey Tucker (shared by @astoryaday) “This book provides a springboard for children to explore their imaginations.”

Shadow, by Suzy Lee (shared by @chickadee.lit) “This wordless picture book shows the power of solitary play, and—with just two colors—creates a magical immersive experience..”

Ursa's Light, by Deborah Marcero (shared by @happily.ever.elephants) “[It] is delightful, imparting to our little ones that even the most seemingly impossible dreams can be realized with hard work, dedication, and the ability to ignore the naysayers.”

The Wonder, by Faye Hanson (shared by @bookbairn) “ I can't think of a better way to unlock doors to different worlds than through books and reading.”

Also an Octopus, by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Benji Davies (shared by @bookbloom) “A riot of whimsy and color, this over-the-top book sparks imagination by exploring the components of good storytelling.”

Big Friends, by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies (shared by @howifeelaboutbooks) “So many books came to mind with this theme because picture books are one of the best ways to explore imagination!” (See my full post HERE!)

What Do You Do With an Idea?, by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom (shared by @smallysbookshelf) "The words and illustrations in this book are nothing short of magic."

This Is Sadie, by Sara O'Leary and Julie Morstad (shared by @fee_loves_) “A beautiful, beautiful book that encourages our children to unlock their imagination.”

Anno's Magical ABC, by Masaichiro Anno and Mitsumasa Anno (shared by @ohcreativeday) “Such a fun way to introduce emerging readers to the amazing world of letters”

You Choose, by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt (shared by @alittlebookhabit) “This unique book basically offers children all the many options they need to create their own stories by asking a few clever questions and then providing more options than you knew were possible.”

Panda Pants, by Jacqueline Davies and Sydney Hanson (shared by @childrensbooksgalore) “A little panda really wants to wear pants!”

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What We Read This Week 10/30

This week had an unofficial theme, if you can't tell - construction and Halloween!


I'm Dirty! by Kate and Jim McMullan. Dirty, a backhoe, tells the reader all about his work duties. My son and I love the attitude all of Kate and Jim McMullan's characters have. My son is still really into this collection of books because of The Stinky & Dirty Show.

Trick ARRR Treat: a Pirate Halloween by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Jorge Monlongo. Reviewed in the Halloween books round-up.

Job Site by Nathan Clement. These realistic illustrations of men and machines working helps explain what they do to children. Good as a starter nonfiction/informative book for really young children (though it is fiction and has a storyline).

Digger, Dozer, Dumper by Hope Vestergaard, illustrated by David Slonim. This is a collection of poems about machinery and construction sites. Short and sweet, and reading one or two is a great way to cap off the usual bedtime stories.

I'm Brave! by Kate and Jim McMullan. This book is about a brave fire engine, and probably has been my favorite of the series so far. I think my son loves all of them, again because of The Stinky & Dirty Show.

Dig, Dogs, Dig: a Construction Tail by James Horvath. This is the CUTEST book! Dogs work together to build something together. Adorable illustrations. It helped the story engagement that, besides loving puppies and construction sites, my son is obsessed with this awesome Mudpuppy puzzle.

Shivery Shades of Halloween: a Spooky Book of Colors by Mary McKenna Siddals, illustrated by Jimmy Pickering. Reviewed in this year's Halloween video.

The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by J. Elizabeth Mills, illustrated by Ben Mantle. This book is pretty simple because everyone knows "The Wheels on the Bus", but the spooky twist is really fun. Make sure your kids sing along with this new version! There's also a counting element to the song that makes it enjoyable as a book - you can point out and count spooky things in the illustrations.