Don't forget to serve tween parents too!

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I am over on ALSC  this week talking about the importance of serving tween parents.  


Hello friends, 

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I hate how far behind I have gotten on updating my blog! Please forgive me. I graduate with my MLIS in December, and I feel like that is all I have time for. I have not forgotten about tweens! 

I am currently working on a Beauty and the Beast Escape room. The program is still a few weeks away, but does anyone have any tips for a good escape room? 

I will be planning on sharing a post with my plans and a recap of how it went! 

As a library, I am currently in the process of planning for Summer Reading. 
I am obsessed with Steven Universe so of course I had to do a program with that! I am also planning to do a Percy Jackson and a LARP Mars program. 

This past month, I became a teen librarian! My focus has shift a little bit, but I still work with all ages. In fact, I just did a baby story time this morning, but it is my hope that I can share more programming from my middle school tweens. 

What kinds of programming are you doing for this summer? 

I will continue to update with my passive programs and book reviews soon! 


Star Wars Jedi Training

Star Wars Jedi Training 

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This past year has gone by so quickly. I am happy to finally start a new year, but the last tween program of the year helped to end the year on a happy note. For this program, my library put on a Star Wars holiday program for tweens. It was a huge success! 

As the month of December approached, my coworkers and I collaborated on some tween programming we could offer during the holidays. When we offer tween programming as a library, we always try to ask our participants what type of programming they would like to see in the future. Over the summer, the answer we got was unanimous- Star Wars.  

Our vision for the program was simple. We wanted a place for tweens to go to celebrate their love of Star Wars and to meet other people with the same interests. We also wanted to show off our collection and encourage our Star Wars enthusiasts to check out Star Wars books and nonfiction literature on space.

Originally, we planned our program to be a glow themed dance that would give tweens an outlet for somewhere to go over their holiday break.

While brainstorming ideas, we discovered that our coworker’s husband taught Jedi Martial Arts and he was willing to come in for free to do a free Jedi training for the kids. This would include showing the kids how to use lightsabers along with some simple health tips such as managing your anger. This simple outreach contact changed the entire structure of our program.

The Program
Before the program began, we first gathered supplies. The only thing we needed for this program were glow sticks and balloons from the Dollar Tree and some cookies. Thankfully, our library already had a set of lightsabers made out of dollar pool noodles that we were able to use for this program. Since our outreach guest volunteered to this program for free, the cost of this program was less than $10.  

On the day of the program we spent about an hour setting up. We placed Christmas lights around the room, spread out glow sticks around the room, blew up balloons, hung up donated Star Wars posters, and set out food.

After that, we gave our Jedi Martial Arts guest full control. He opened the program by discussing that it is important to manage your stress and anger with exercise. The kids did some jumping jacks, planks, and went over some basic breathing exercises.

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Next, he then went through some simple movement that the tweens used to spar with the light sabers with. They gracefully moved up and down our auditorium for an hour.

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After the participants completed Jedi training, they were invited to dance to music from the Star Wars soundtrack and complete trivia for a prize. It was a program that even Yoda would approve of, but it was only made possible with collaboration and outreach.

If you don't have access to someone that could do a free program from a Jedi Martial Arts Academy, have no fear. This could easily be substituted with a bubble machine and some pool noodle lightsabers. Tweens will be excited to meet other people that share their interest and will be excited to do activities that

For even more information on this program, please check out my ALSC blog post on things that I learned from this program.

Until Next time,


Fall, Kidlit Con, Bookoplis, and Newberys

Wow, can you believe this year is almost over? I feel like I fell asleep in October and woke up in time for Thanksgiving. I apologize I have been slow to post on here. This year has been full of sickness and stress. I hope that even though this year has been difficult, it will bring new beginnings and opportunities.

One opportunity I had this year is the privilege of going to Kidlit Con. Kidlit Con is a small conference with a one-on-one feel with authors and other bloggers. Having this opportunity to go, helped me to learn about a couple new resources I wanted to share with you.

The first, is Bookopolis

Before this conference, I have never heard of it, but I feel like it is a useful tool for both librarians and parents. Essentially, it is a tool that kids can use to find books that other kids have recommended. It is broken down into kid friendly language such as "I want a big book or an easy book."  Recently, I have been passing this resource onto parents who come in looking for a book for their child who isn't with them at the time. The parents and the kids that I have shared it with, have loved it! It is quickly becoming my new favorite reference tool to share. 

The second, is 90- Second Newbery 

This program challenges kids to read Newbery awards and create a movie in 90 seconds that covers the entire book. It is a wonderful way to expose children to the award and to promote creativity and even some STEAM skills. I imagine it working well with school libraries and maybe even an on going program at a public library. I especially found it fun to watch some of the kid's work. They are very creative! 

I realize this was a quick overview of this, but I wanted to share it with you before I forgot it! I hope everyone is having a fantastic fall season. What is your favorite resource? 
Is there a new resource that you discovered this year? 


Welcome MLA!

Welcome Missouri Library Association! Thank you for attending our session. Here are some program plans and additional resources to assist you in building tween programming at your library!


Program Plans

 Scooby Doo Programming

 Scooby Doo Instructions

Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything I can help you with.


What's in and out with Tweens? Fall 2016

Every time Ms. A. and I see one of our regulars, we love to ask: What's popular with tweens? 

Our tweens are a very generous bunch, and they love the opportunity to share what they think is in and out with their age group. According to them here is what is hot right now : 


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Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Rachel platten (pop music)

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Star Wars 

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Pokemon (but its not as popular) 

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I mentioned this in previous posts, but tweens are not watching TV as much as generations before. Instead, they have turned to YouTube for entertainment. Some of the most popular are : 

Aglife - offers tweens tips such as how to get your best school picture

How to prank this is from the tv station Nickelodeon

Rclbeaauty101- funny video, craft ideas, and make up tutorials

TheFallen Jedi - youtuber who makes videos about Star Wars.

Just2good-A Lego Youtube Channel.

As far as what is "out," the tweens I talked to all agreed that the movie Frozen has gone cold. If you like Frozen or sing the songs, you are made fun of. According to our tweens, this is so out. 

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This is just from our tweens. All tweens are different and are at a range of maturity levels and interests. What are some things that your tweens are interested in? 

WWII Books for Tween & Teens

We all of those favorite reader's advisory questions. I'm a history buff, and one of my favorite reader's advisory questions is when someone is seeking a historical fiction recommendation. 

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Lately, I have been flooded with questions with book requests on quality fiction books set WWII.  
I secretly love it. 

 With these questions, I have been trying to making a running list of some of the best ones. 

Here are some of my favorites : 

Salt to the Sea
Published : February 2016
Age : Grades 9 and up 

Girl in the Blue Coat
Published: April 2016
Age: Grades 9 and up 

The Last Cherry Blossom
Published : August 2016 
Ages: Grade 9 and up 

The Book Thief
Published : March 2006 
Ages : Grades 9 and up 
Awards: ALA’s Michael A. Printz Honor Award, 2007

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Published : May 2013
Ages : Grades 9 and up 
Award : Winner of ALA’s Michael A. Printz Award, 2013

The Berlin Boxing Club
Published: April 2011
Age: Grades 9 and up 
Award : Winner of YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2012

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Published : April 2015
Age: Grades 9 and up
Award : Winner of  ALA’s Notable Children’s Book award, 2016

Published : March 2014
Age: Grades 6 and up
Award: Winner of Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Book, 2014

Prisoner B-3087
Published : March 2013
Ages: Grades 6 and up 
Award: Winner of YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2014

Published : October 2014
Age : Grades 4 and up
Award: Winner of Outstanding International Books, 2015

Number the Stars
Published : 1989 
Ages: Grades 4 and up 
Awards: 1990 Newbery Award

Published : January 2015
Ages: Grade 4 and up
Awards : 2016 Newbery Honor book
2016 Schneider Family Book Award Winner

Published : February 2015
Age : Grades 4 and up 
Award: 2016 Newbery Honor

Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust
Published: April 2014
Ages: Grade 4 and up 
Historical Graphic Novel 
AwardsWinner of ALA’s Notable Children’s Books, 2015
Winner of ALA’s Mildred L. Batchelder Award,  2015

Paper Wishes
Published : January 2016 
Grades: 4 and up 

Classic Biographies 

I am sure I will be adding to this list periodically.
Did I miss any? What is your favorite reader's advisory question?