New Movies Your Teens are Excited About.

It is YA Tuesday

I have come to the realization that I am a basically a 25 year old teenager. 

Instead of doing a review today, I wanted to touch on some new movies that are generating a lot of hype(...and I might be really excited about too). 

Don't forget about these movies in your next programming period! 

1. Pitch Perfect 

Pitch Perfect is on the top of a lot of teens movie watch list. Be aware of this new sequel coming out. For your next teen movie night, try playing the first Pitch Perfect and maybe follow the movie with some karaoke.

2. Jurassic World 

Another 90s comeback! 

3. Paper Towns 

John Green book club anyone? 

4. The Avengers 

I heard that there will be a brand new trailor for Star Wars at the beginning of Avengers. As if I needed anymore motivation. Watching Avengers before our super summer reading programming. I think its a must. 

5. Terminator 

I am constantly surprised what my kids like. They are really into 90s movies. Why? I don't know, but as a kid of the 90s, I can dig this. I think it is time to do some 90s trivia and lots of 90s movies. 

A non-appropriate movie my teens are  really excited about is Ted 2. Even its trailer was a little much for me, but it is something good to be aware of. 

Here are some more to get your teens excited! 

Here a few that were just announced: 

 Adventure Time! ....coming  in 2017 


Disney just announced they they are making a live action Mulan movie. I wonder if they are remaking all of the Disney princess movies. 

Okay... now I just have to fan girl. Guess what is being picked up by ABC Family? 

               Mortal Instruments TV series! 

It is going to be an hour long TV show. I am a little unsure about it, but oh how I love you ABC Family! 

I can't wait to see all of these movies. Which ones are you most excited about? It is a great year for programming for sure! 

A Tween movie edition is coming soon..... 

Hope everyone has a great week! 


Spring Break & Passive Programming

As Easter approaches, many school are on their spring break. Suddenly, your department is full of kids. What do you do?  

I recently asked myself this question. My answer was programming. 

Since spring break  is so busy, I decided to do a low prep program. That was the easy part. Deciding on what to do was another thing. 

After much contemplation, I decided to do a Lego program. 

All I did for this program was:  I placed out Legos for the kids to play with and I put in The Lego Movie. Easy enough, right?  I thought I was in for quiet evening with low attendance. 

 As I open my door to let the kids into the program, I quickly realize I had made a terrible mistake. Not only was their a pack of children waiting to get into my program, but there was a reporter who was at the very back asking to interview me. 

Reporter man, say what? I was so caught off guard. (Plus it had to be the day I had no make up on and my hair was a mess! Do they have a super power to find you on those days?) 

I quickly got my kids going on the movie and the Legos. I slowly went back to address the reporter. 

 It was late. My manager wasn't there, and I didn't know what to do. After the person in charge said it was okay to do the interview, I was on my own. 

As an aspiring librarian, I am learning that you really have to expect the unexpected. 

This was not the first time I had a reporter show up to my program, but last time my manager was there to do the interview for me. Last time when she did the interview for me, she gave me some tips. (Ms. S. is just that cool). 

When doing a TV interview she told me: 

1. When asked a question, rephrase the question 
2. Speak loudly, clearly, and slowly
3. Remember who you are representing. Since it is the library, always connect the questions to library & its values. 

When the camera and the lights turned on me, did I remember this? No.... 

Although it did not go the best, it was a learning experience. The reporter was there to cover on activities that kids could do over spring break. It was a lovely way to spotlight the library and my program. 

I was happy with how well I did in the few minutes notice I had. The only downer part of the interview was how quiet I was on camera.

I just have a quiet princess voice. I guess that is the story with most librarians, right? Maybe I will do a better job next time.  My inner princess of information voice shall conquer! 

After the reporter left, I got the opportunity to sit with kids that participated in the program, play with Legos, and watched The Lego Movie. It was sweet to watch the kids pretend to be Emmett and create all different kinds of incredible things. 

After the program, my Lego book displayed was completely cleaned out and I was showered with thank yous from parents. They really appreciated that the library offered free programs and activities for the kids to do over spring break. 

Even though it was not the quiet night I was expecting, it did go well. It reminds me that we need to make an extra effort to provide things for kids to do over breaks.

It also reminded me that the programming we do doesn't have to be extravagant. Sometimes we just need to provide a place for people to go. 

 If you do not have time to do a program for tweens, you may try to put out some passive programs. Sometimes the most successful programming can be passive programming. 

Some ideas maybe: 

1. Origami- place out some paper and some how to origami books 

2. Create a scavenger hunt for your library for your kids to complete throughout the week. 

3. Trivia- print out some trivia questions and see if the kids can answer them. I like to use pop culture, but you can do whatever is best for your patron base. 

4. Set out some board games, and let the kids play. We have a checker game that we have set out in our children's department, and it get used quit a bit. I enjoy watching families play, and I especially like to see the different rules the kids make up to play it. 

5. Set out coloring sheets. If your library doesn't aprove of coloring sheets, you may 
have them create their own bookmark instead. You can create a simple blank box on the computer, print it out on card stock, set out crayons, and enjoy seeing the bookmarks that kids create. 

6. Play a seek and find game- place a character like "Where is Waldo" in the library and have your kids try and find it. 

When your library is full of kids, I hope these passive program ideas will come in handy for you. More importantly, I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe week. I am happy that we officially made it to spring! 

For the next blog, I am working on more reviews for middle grade books. For my Missourians, I will also start to post discussion questions and program ideas for our Mark Twain state award nominees. Be on the lookout for that. 

Until next time, 


Seconds : A Graphic Novel by Byan Lee O'Malley

It is Young Adult Tuesday! 

I have slowly been working away on The Hub Reading Challenge. One of my favorites from this list so far is: 

Seconds: A Graphic Novel 

The Story 
In this graphic novel, a young woman named Katie is a talented chef. She already has one successful restaurant and is getting ready to open another. One night, a terrible accident happens;one of her employees gets badly burned. Katie goes to bed worried and feeling guilty. If she did something different could it have saved her employee? Just as she is about to fall asleep, a mysterious spirit appears. The spirit gives her some simple instructions to have a second chance & fix her mistake. All she has to do is eat a mushroom, write her mistake, go to sleep, and wake up anew. Just like that, Katie's mistake was undone. Her employee was never burnt, and Katie gets a second chance to redo everything. This opens the door for Katie to think about second chances with other things in her life. If she had done something different with her ex-boyfriend, could it have worked out? Katie begins to take advantage of her second chances. As many chances as Katie has, Katie begins to realize that sometimes things happen for a reason. But she must discover this before her whole world falls apart. 

The Review 

As an inspiring librarian, I hate to admit this but..... this is my first ever graphic novel.

I know, I know, but I always thought graphic novels were odd. I think it is just its set up. I found it intimidating. After I read this, I realized it is just different. Byan Lee O'Malley was a great first graphic novel for me.   O'Malley is best known for his Scott Pilgram vs The World Series, and who doesn't love this story? 

One problem I had was separating Scott out. (It is one of my favorite movies).  Once I got it out of my head that Scott has left the building, I really enjoyed Katie's story.  O'Malley has a lot of humor that he slides in. Which in many ways is why I liked Scott Pilgrim. I also really enjoyed the fate theme of this book. As a reader, O'Mally struck me most when he addressed Katie's worry about finding love and how much she wanted things to work out with her ex. To me, I really connected to that part of the book. I think this is a common worry among many people. 

I also really enjoyed that she liked to cook. At one time, I wanted to be a baker, but it must have been fate I didn't because I have Celiac Disease. Not being able to touch flour would have made me a terrible baker! Reading about Katie's passion for it, however, reminded me of my passions though. I think that aspect of the book is really important too. Overall, I was really surprised by how much I connected with this book. I wasn't expecting much and walked away with a "everything is meant to be" lesson. I hope other reader's will connect to it in the same way as I did. As far as star ratings go, I would have to give it four. 

I am really thankful for The Hub Challenge 2015 for opening my eyes to this genre. It made me take a chance on book that I wouldn't have normally read. I would love it if you joined me! There is still time. Here is a link to that information: 

Also here are the list of books to read for the challenge: 

You have to read 25 of the books on the list before June 21st. 
This list contains a lot of wonderful need to know YA lit & you get rewarded for reading them. 
It is just that awesome! 

Until next time, 


Blue Birds by Caroline Rose Starr

Tweens Read Thursdays

Alis is just a twelve year old English girl, but she is making an historic journey to the new world with her family. Unknown dangers and adventures await her, but the thing foremost in her mind is reuniting with her beloved uncle. When the colonists meet with tragedy on the island, the only thing that gives Alis some measure of peace is the wooden bird her uncle carved for her. Desperately, she takes her bird and seeks solace in the forest that is forbidden to her. It is here she forms an unlikely friendship with a native girl named Kimi. Eventually Alis must make the most difficult choice of her young life: she must choose between friendship and family.

From the moment I heard about this book I was excited! I have been a history buff for all of my days and am especially intrigued by historical mysteries. Roanoke has always held a fascination for me. How could an entire colony vanish without a trace? Starr Rose diverts the focus from this central question and instead places an emphasis on the everyday life of the people and the natives of Roanoke. She weaves a beautiful tale in an engaging verse format from the alternating perspectives of Alis and Kimi. There were sections of this book where it felt like time had slowed. I held my breath during those moments and heard only a heartbeat while I read those mesmerizing lines. Conversely, I experienced the horror and despair of the characters to such an extent that I considered laying the book down and not picking it up again. This would have been a mistake. However, Blue Birds did not leave me feeling satisfied, as if I had eaten a tasty meal. Rather I felt like I had consumed one of Kate Dicamillo's "Littmus Lozenges," with the "sweet and sad...all mixed up together" and " separate...out." (See Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate Dicamillo.)  I could not give Blue Birds a star ranking if I tried, but I will say this: Read Blue Birds and exult in its glorious moments, but expect sorrow mingled with joy and possibly a bitter aftertaste.


Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Tweens Read Thursdays

Pages- 592
Age Range- 10-14 years old 
Release Date- February 24, 2015 

The Story

"Your fate is not yet sealed. Even in the darkest night, a star will shine, a bell will chime, a path will be revealed." 

One day, a young German boy named Otto is playing hide and go seek with his friends. To impress a girl he likes he goes deep into a forest so no one will find him.  Otto does win the game of hide and go seek but he develops a new problem; he doesn't know how to get out of the forest & he becomes lost. Just when he is about to give up, Otto is saved by three sister princesses who are imprisoned by a witch's curse. The sisters agree to help Otto find his way out of the forest on one condition. The condition is that the sisters must be allowed to put their spirits into his harmonica. From there, Otto must agree to pass along the harmonica. In order to break the curse, they must save three souls on the brink of death. After Otto is saved, the harmonica connects three more characters to the harmonica. It follows: Friedich; who is living in 1933 Nazi Germany, Mike Flannery; who is an orphan protecting his brother in the Great Depression in 1935 USA, and finally, Ivy Lopez; who is dealing with her brother being away in the war while her Japanese neighbors are in a an concentration camp in 1942 USA. The kids must overcome their personal struggles, but it may have a bigger implications. Can they overcome their fate? 

My Review

So far, this is my FAVORITE book of 2015! Dare I say award worthy? 
 I loved the historical fiction portion of this book, but I also liked Munoz Ryan's ability to weave a fairy tale into it. I think that makes it more appealing to kids. I felt like it also gave an accurate description of WWII based on these accounts too. Even though the book is long, each character's story leaves off on a cliff hanger. Reader's will be sure to devour this read quickly to get to the end to see what happened to all of the characters. 

 I can't wait to share this with my tweens.  I have to give this book the five star treatment. 

Have you read Echo yet? What did you think? 


The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

It is Young Adult Monday! 

When it comes to working in Youth Services, you have to read a little bit of everything. One of my favorite young adult authors is Sarah Dessen. I fell in love with her books after reading the book This Lullaby.  I even named my cat Dexter after one of the characters in the book. Meet my awkward cat Dexter. 

To mix things up a little bit, I had to read one of her most recent books The Moon and More.  

Age Range- ages 12 and up 
Pages- 448 
Release Date- June 2013 

Quick Summary 

Emaline lives in Colby. Colby is a small tourist spot. She has the perfect boyfiend and she is getting ready to go off to college. When her biological father comes into town, her life is shaken up. Her biological father wants more for her then the little town of Colby. Shortly after her father arrives, Emaline and her longtime boyfriend break up, and Emaline immediately rebounds with a visiting tourist. As the summer quickly passes by, Emaline must balance what she wants with what she already has. 


I am a huge Sarah Dessen fan. I recommend her stories about change to my older tweens and teens, but this was the first book by her that I really didn't like. Maybe it is just because I am getting older and I cannot relate to her books anymore. I don't want to give away too much, but one thing that really bothered me was the plot holes! The biggest plot hole was having to do with her tourist boyfriend named Theo. Dessen never wraps up what happens to him. He was a major character in the book, and it was a loose end that left me tied in knots. I also didn't love some of the characters in the book. I might hold off on recommending this particular Dessen book. I would have to give this one only three stars. It was good, but not a must read like her previous titles. 

I must say, I am really excited for Dessen's new book though.  

Check out her new book Saint Anything 

Look for it to come out on May 5,2015. 

Are you a Dessen fan? Which one is your favorite?