2567638237_c742c1e083_mI’ve always liked to spend money.  I thought an ideal job for me would be a personal shopper, directing people to items them need or want.  When I do Reader’s Advisory I feel like a personal book shopper for my teens and their parents.  Often, when patrons ask me for books, they don’t provide me with a lot to go on.  Sometimes, the parent isn’t with their teen, and their only request was to bring them ‘something good’ from the library.  Other times my reader has something in mind but they can’t describe it well, or at all; or they don’t know specific genre names.  I don’t think I’ve had a teen ask me specifically for dystopian or steampunk.  I queried the YalsaHub Bloggers, and they sent me sample RA scenarios.  For this post, we’ll assume my hypothetical patrons are unable to provide more details.

Here are my suggestions for  getting the right books into the hands of teen patrons, based on a variety of information they might provide. Read More →

…is the first line in the book for a certain character. Do you know the character?*

Teens (and adults) in my library are all abuzz about the imminent opening of Hunger Games. Students who say they haven’t checked out a book in years are reserving the first book in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian trilogy because they want to know what all the fuss is about, and others are rereading it before the big premiere.

One such student inspired me to create a running countdown behind my desk, which she has helped me update each morning. (Mondays in particular were exciting, since the number dropped significantly from the previous week.) The countdown, in turn, gave me the idea to put on Hunger Games Trivia–and you can too!

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There were two books keeping me sane during my wild and woolly flight back from Anaheim: Hunger Games from Suzanne Collins, of Gregor the Overlander fame… and Barry Lyga’s Hero-Type, reviewed on the blog by Carlie Webber.’  Hunger Games was the one book I was determined to get at Annual, and it certainly lived up to its promise.

Hunger Games inherits the crazy premises of both Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” and Stephen King’s Bachman novella The Running Man.’  It’s an unholy marriage to be sure, but the result is compelling, addictive, and relatable for a generation raised on the Survivor television series. Read More →