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Author: Brooke Windsor

Despite having two graduate degrees (M.S. in Instruction and Curriculum with a specialization in School Library Media and M.I. in Library and Information Sciences), I'm still a kid at heart -- plenty of geektastic passions (cosplay FTW), Disney lover, Netflix binge watcher, and owner of massive movie collection dubbed Brooke-buster.

Currently, I serve a wide variety of teens from a range of backgrounds at a public library-secondary school shared facility in southern Ontario. I also totally dig my work as a member on the Ontario Library Association's Child and Youth Services Committee.

P.S. -- Need a good movie to watch or series to binge? Give me a shout! I've got TONS.

What Would a Jedi Read? Reader’s Advisory for Star Wars Characters

Our favorite Star Wars characters need good book recommendations too! Yet, could you figure out a book picks for popular Star Wars characters off the top of your head? The latest and (apparently) final entry into the Skywalker saga within the Star Wars universe is just around the corner. It is always important to reflect on popular culture in the library. Such a large percentage of our collections embrace the idea of pop culture. Also, aspects of the fandoms can be great touchstones for reader’s advisory. If the teen you are trying to help doesn’t know how to explain their needs or desires in a book, asking for the name of their favorite Star Wars character could be the “in” that you need.

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Down With Love: Romance-Free Y.A. Books

Even though teens are being bombarded with tons of hormones, it doesn’t mean they want a romantic barrage in their book choices. There have been plenty of teens crossing my path who request romance-free Y.A. books. They always feel the need to defend their decision for some reason though – not ready, culture, religion, or just don’t like it.

As with the teens who ask for books filled with romance, I don’t judge the teens who want romance-free. It is merely another subgenre of books. The only issue is that “romance-free” is not really a sortable genre on book searches (even though romance is – unfair!). To make things easy for you, here are my quick picks for those wanting to avoid anything lovey-dovey.

 

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You’re Not Alone: Mental Health Nonfiction Picks for Teens

As mental health struggles get more time in the spotlight, mental health nonfiction books have been cropping up aimed a variety of demographics. In fact, many options are now available just for teens. This list looks at great resources for those who are struggling with mental health issues or want to help someone that is.

Now, I want to be clear in saying that I was very conscious of readability when pulling these titles. A good book in this area is useless if the writing is akin to banging your head against a wall. It is more important for these books to be engaging than even a standard Y.A. fiction offering that you recommend.

Also, while these selections mostly cater to teens, the high readability makes them good for anyone interested in improving mental health without being insanely bored. Without further ado, let’s get ready to be mentally healthy!

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Teen-Friendly Horror Movies That Won’t Make Parents Scream in Outrage

Teens and horror movies go together like peanut butter and jelly. It is one of the biggest reasons why the majority of horror films strive to get a PG-13 rating to secure their primary demographic. Despite this link, many parents hate how dark/sexual/illicit-substance-using these movies tend to be. I would argue these features really contribute to their appeal even though teens may not admit to it though.

My personal history with horror is tumultuous at best. After viewing a specific part of Poltergeist at the age of 8 when flipping through TV channels one summer night, I became a certified coward. That mentality reigned over my teen years. I finally started opening my mind to the possibility of enjoying horror in my twenties. I am so incredibly grateful that I did; and like any late-age convert, I’ve really become a “high brow” horror fan (engrossing story lines, good production value, awesome acting). This fact means that I have some good picks for horror movies which teen patrons will love and that won’t have parents coming in the next day to file a complaint.

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