The other day a post on The New York Times Bits Blog told the story of the post author, Nick Bilton, who was told, on two separate occasions in two separate New York City eating establishments, that he needed to put away his Kindle and his iPad. Each establishment doesn’t allow computer use. The first time it happened to Mr. Bilton he was reading on his Kindle – not using a computer for email, work, Facebook, or something of that nature. The second time he was taking notes on his iPad. (Which of course is a bit more like computing.)

When I read Bilton’s story I thought to myself, “My gosh, I think if I were told that I couldn’t use my iPad to read while in a coffee shop, or my iPad to take notes, while in a sandwich shop, I would probably become pretty irritated.” Read More →

Just a quick note from your, of late, comics obsessed blogger, that the eighth annual Free Comic Book Day is taking place this Saturday May 1st.

Free Comic Book Day offers publishers a chance to give comic readers a taste of new material, and to remind them of all of the great stories comic book shops have to offer.’  Readers get to pick up special compilations and titles made specifically for the day.’  Publisher’s Weekly says this about it.

Here’s a review of the titles that will be available.’  I’m excited because Oni Press, publisher of such things as Scott Pilgrim, will have an offering available.’  There also looks like there are various things that are either geared toward teens, or that teens would gravitate to and enjoy.

So why am I blogging this on a library blog? Don’t we give our patrons free comics every day? Well, yeah,’  but I think we should be supportive of anything that is raising awareness and excitement about reading and great storytelling.

What else could we do? Libraries could partner with their favorite comics shops for the occasion and prominently point the way with a poster and a recommendation. (If you’re in Massachusetts, I will here declare that I like to buy comics at Modern Myths in Northampton)’  Or celebrate the fact that we do offer free comics every day with a graphic novel display or a panel discussion or a manga drawing workshop.

Short notice for this year? Yes, it probably is.’  But keep it in mind for next year and tell your teens to head for the comic shop this Saturday!

My name is Debbie Fisher and I work at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island.’  I began working with students in the high school to create podcasts.’  Two’  English teachers- Deloris Grant and Alicia Migliore’  work with students to write book reviews based on a template we developed last year.’  We ask students to review the book (reminding them- no spoilers),’  explain what the student’  enjoyed about the book and/or who they would recommend read the book.’  They also select a short quote from the book’  and explain why the quote is meaningful.’  The students must also create connections to the book (such as text to text, text to self or text to world).’  Another group of students’  discussed the issue of violence and this coordinated with a celebration called’  A Day of Peace.

One teacher of English Language Learners- Michael Paul- also worked with me on podcasts. ‘  His students’  discussed issues facing teens today.’  Many of the ELL students were too shy to actually do the recording, so they had to be coached on public speaking. ‘  Once the students completed their writing, they came to the library.

Read More →

YALSA will again work with the Readergirlz and Guys Lit Wire in 2010 for another iteration of Operation Teen Book Drop! Operation TBD will take place on Support Teen Literature Day, April 15, 2010. Over the past two years, Operation TBD has put 20,000 books for teens into pediatric hospitals in the United States and Canada. This year, Operation TBD will coordinate donations to tribal libraries and schools by joining forces with If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything: A National Book Club for Native American Children, a project directed by former ALA president Loriene Roy.

Check out this video made by Readergirlz in honor of this year’s event to see how you can get involved! Want to learn more or see what schools and libraries are involved? Check out the Operation TBD website or contact us at

Well, hello there!’  I know it’s been a long time since my last ATB post (and I know I promised an anti-Twilight edition; it’s still in the works…).’  But I’m back, and this one’s more fun than a barrel of… well, you know.

Now, I don’t claim to know a lot, but there are a few things I do know:

  1. Zombies are cool
  2. Airships are cool
  3. Steampunk is cooler than cool
  4. Seattle is cool (or so I’ve heard…never been there, actually)

So imagine how beyond cool beans with extra hot sauce a book would be if it threw all of these things together, and even had a cool teen protagonist (with an even cooler mom!)!

Enter Cherie Priest, and our latest ATB: The zombie and steampunk-filled tour-de-force, Boneshaker.

Read More →

Teens can voice their choice for their favorite books by voting in YALSA’s annual Teens’ Top Ten poll! Voting is open now through Sept. 18. YALSA extended the voting period this year to four weeks, with more time for teens to fit voting into their busy schedules, particularly at the start of the school year. We’ll announce the winners in a webcast during Teen Read Week, Oct. 18-24.

How can you encourage teens to vote? There are plenty of ways. Read on to find out more…

Read More →

In this podcast, Best Books for Young Adults Chair Summer Hayes talks about the importance of the BBYA Teen Session, held at Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. Afterwards, listen to teens talk about their favorite nominees for the 2010 list at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference BBYA Teen Session.

See the full nomination list online at the BBYA webpage. Thanks to YALSA intern Thiru Selvanagayam for creating this podcast.


You can also subscribe to YALSA’s podcasts.

Jill Whitson, a YALSA member, speaks to Thiruchelvan Selvanayagam about what it’s like to have your library sponsor a WrestleMania Reading Challenge finalist and encourage a reluctant teen to start reading. Jill’s student designed a bookmark that earned him a spot in the WrestleMania Challenge finals. He didn’t win, but he did get to attend WrestleMania XXV and Jill won $2,000 for her library’s teen and tween collection.

The WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment, is a program designed to encourage teens’ and tweens’ to continue their reading beyond Teen Read Week; by doing so, they can win prizes donated by WWE.

Want to register for the 2009-2010 WrestleMania Reading Challenge? Sign up through Teen Read Week registration by this Friday and you could relive the experience Jill describes in this podcast.


You can also subscribe to YALSA’s podcasts.

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten is a compelling book that captivates you from the very beginning. The book’s main character Ellie has a sister that disappeared mysteriously and she tries everything and anything in her power to find her. Ellie’s friends and family think she should just stop obsessing over her sister’s disappearance and let the past be forgotten. Ellie finds a clue that renews her spirit in finding her sister, so she continues her quest for Nina, though it could cost her dearly. Read More →