For those of you who don't already know, the Collaborative Summer Library Program's teen theme for 2012 is "Own the Night", which calls to mind all manner of creepy, fun programs.' Also, a lot of the books on this year's Best Fiction for Young Adults list lend themselves to these creepy, fun ideas. Here are two "Own the Night" themed programs for the 2012 BFYA pick, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.
Anna Dressed in Blood is the story of Cas Lowood, a boy who hunts and kills ghosts. He meets the ghost of Anna, a girl who was brutally murdered in 1958 and who kills anyone who sets foot in her home. Oddly enough, the two spare each other, but why? This book is great for the ghosts and scary stories portions of the "Own the Night" theme. One program idea for this book would be to invite your local paranormal society' to the library to discuss ghost hunting tips, tricks, and safety. I have worked with my local paranormal society, and they were great! They even brought in equpipment to demonstrate and asked the teens to debunk "ghost photos". It was a blast, and since Cas is a ghost hunter, it ties in perfectly with the book.
Another good program for this book would be to have a local story teller come in and share local ghost stories and urban legends. You could also share these stories yourself or compile handouts of local ghost stories and legends and have the teens share them with each other. Sit in a circle, dim the lights, hand out a flashlight to anyone that is telling a story. Have them hold it under their faces to give them a gruesome look. Then, serve everyone fake smores by spreading chocolate icing and marshmallow fluff onto graham crackers. (I wish I could take credit for this, but the idea actually came from Jennifer Hopwood who presented at the Florida Library Youth Program's Summer Workshop.) Now, you have the perfect campfire tales program in the library, combining two "Own the Night" themes: camping and scary stories. This program also ties in with Anna Dressed in Blood because Cas gathers all of his information about the ghosts that he hunts through the urban legends that his classmates share.
Hope you have some spooky fun! Tune in next month for Mad Science with Victor Frankenstein in This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel.