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Author: Dawn Abron

Dawn is a Teen Services Supervisor at the Zion-Benton Public Library where selects YA fiction and graphic novels and provides programming for 5th-12th graders.

Happy Mother’s Day: Salute to Bad Moms

Mother’s Day is the celebration of the woman who supported you, saved you, and loved you unconditionally.  Unfortunately the mothers below didn’t quite make the grade.


Willowdean “Dumplin” Dickson is a Texan, daughter of the Miss Teen Beauty Pageant’s coordinator, and overweight.  She has best friend issues, boy issues, mommy issues but she decides to honor her aunt by entering the pageant.

Madeline suffers from the bubble boy syndrome where she’s allergic to everything and can’t go outside. Her only human contact are her mother and her nurse. One day a new family moves in and she fall in love with Olly.

Bone Gap Illinois is a little town that has gaps where one can fall into and never find their way out.  When Roza goes missing and creepy Finn doesn’t help her, the town suspects Finn but Finn suspects a mysterious stranger.


Sexual Assault Awareness Month Booklist

April is sexual assault awareness month.  As some of your teens may have been a victim of sexual assault or knows someone who has, the following list may offer some assistance to help them cope.

In this reimagination of Sherlock Holmes, Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are school mates in a Connecticut boarding school.  When a popular boy is found dead, Charlotte has been blamed and enlists the assistance of Jamie to clear her name.

Breezy is an MIT bound student when she wakes up dead in a grave.  As Breezy travels the country, as the walking dead, she’s determined to find her killer. During her journey Breezy encounters some interesting characters including: a preacher, a banshee, and cast of colorful monsters.

Hermione is at her last year at cheer camp and she’s vowed to make this the best year ever.  When she wakes up and is told she was sexually assaulted, she then vows to not be a victim.

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Teens in Outer Space

In February, NASA scientist discover seven Earth like planets out in space.  Although these planets are 40 light years or hundreds of thousands of years away, that doesn’t stop us from wondering if there’s other life out there.  Luckily, there are authors who have wondered the same thing and you can check out their space stories below.

Nemesis is a diabolic-a killing machine.  When her master and friend is summoned to become a hostage for political gains, Nemesis protects her the only way she knows how-she must become her.

Akos, son of an oracle, lives on the farthest planet from the son-Thuvhe. His life along with many others is fated yet, he doesn’t know his fate until all the fates are announced space-wide. Now that all the fates have been revealed, all the fated including Akos and his family are in danger.  Cyra is the youngest daughter of the Shotet’s elite family. The Shotets live on Thuvhe but are at war with Akos’ people. Cyra’s family will stop at nothing to rule their planet including kidnapping and killing to change their fates.


Beauty and the Beast and Other Classic Retellings

With the highly anticipated theatrical release of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens comes a multitude of YA retelling book display ideas.  Below you’ll find a list of YA books inspired by the classic fairy tale. If you’re looking to expand your display or reader’s advisory, I included retellings inspired by Peter Pan, Shakespeare, and Alice in Wonderland.


Beauty and the Beast

In a village surrounded by a magic forest, the people rely on wizard known as Dragon to keep the magical forest’s powers away. But when Dragon requires a young maiden to serve him for ten years to fulfill the duty, Agnieszka knows her beautiful best friend will be chosen. Or will he choose someone else?

Falling on hard luck, Yeva’s family must move to the woods with the fabled beast that is the object of her father’s obsession.  When Yeva’s father is taken while on a hunting expedition, she must return to the woods to get him back.

Belle is a lot of things and one of them is being trapped in a castle by the beast.  When Belle unwittingly touches the Beast’s rose, she discovers that her mother is the reason for the curse and Belle and the Beast search for clues to break it.

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Diverse Debuts of 2017

At The Hub, we’re committed to spotlighting not only books that feature characters from diverse backgrounds, but also books written by diverse authors. Did you miss some diverse debuts of 2016? Check them out.


In the back of Audrey’s closet sits a letter written by her birth mother.  Audrey has yet to read the letter but when she learns she is pregnant, Audrey suddenly understands what it’s like to be a pregnant teen who must make life altering decisions.

Rhee is an empress who will do almost anything to claim the throne and Aly is a rising star of his planet that has been accused of killing Rhee. What happens when their two planets collide?

Based on Asian Folklore and mythology, this reimagination of the evil queen from Snow White is about a woman who longs to be empress and the jealous god she unleashes to fulfill her desires.

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Equal Rights Through Fantasy and Science Fiction

Current events sparked a conversation about the disenfranchised in America.  Racism and sexism can be tough subjects to start with teens and a great way to begin is with fantasy and science fiction.  These genres often approach these topics using witches or another class of people as metaphors for real life disenfranchised groups.  If you are thinking about discussing our current political and social climate with your book club or classroom, consider the titles below.



Zen likes trains especially the rails in his alternate universe in space.  When a mysterious man named The Raven pays Zen to steal a box from the train of the emperorer, Zen isn’t sure if The Raven is evil or if it’s the government that’s evil.

Disenfranchised-Non Magical

Elli is the Saadelah, next in line to be queen, and has accepted her duty to serve and protect the Kupari people with ice and fire magic.  When her time to reign has suddenly begun, something goes tragically wrong and Elli is forced to hide in the Outlands with the thieves and murderers.  Her time in the Outlands is full of family, love, and a new purpose.

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemJK Rowling

Disenfranchised-Witches and Wizards

On a brief stop in New York City, Newt Scamander accidentally releases some of his magical beasts onto the city.  While trying to recapture his beasts, Newt; a nomaj; and two American witches find themselves on the hunt for an Obscurus who’s destroying the New York.

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5 Books to Read Based on Your Ilvermorny House

It’s Harry Potter season!  Everyone knows about the Hogwarts houses and most people have taken the sorting quiz but what’s the new American wizarding school all about and how do you pronounce it?  Ilvermorny (ill-ver-mor-ney) is where American witches and wizards go to study their craft.  If you’d like to learn more about the history, you may visit the Pottermore website.  You can get sorted into an Ilvermorny house on Pottermore while learning the character traits associated with each house.  After you get sorted, check out the following books that you may enjoy based on your new American wizard house.

Thunderbird House- Thunderbirds have soul and they attract adventurers.


Harper is a ballerina. She works hard but she can’t seem to be as great as her best friend.  When she comes up short on her dream, Harper decides to find her meaning of life on an Antarctican expedition.

Leila is on a road trip to see the Northern Lights and she meets four teens on her travels.  Although their time together is brief, Leila makes a deep impression.

Minn is stuck with her father and new stepmother in Mississippi.  When Minn overhears that her mother is ill back in her hometown of Ohio, she steals her stepmother’s money and hops on a bus.  On her way, Minn meets an attractive photographer, a homeless teen with Down’s Syndrome, and other nefarious people.

Zen likes trains especially the rails in his alternate universe in space.  When a mysterious man named The Raven pays Zen to steal a box from the train of the emperorer, Zen isn’t sure if The Raven is evil or if it’s the government that’s evil.

Blue Riley’s mother has died and her sister has run away. Desparate to find her only family, her sister, Blue makes a deal with the devil.  On a cross country trip to locate her sister, Blue encounters new friends, loves, and enemies.

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Anime Club

Libraries all over the world offer anime clubs and the benefits are endless.  As a library worker, you are offering a space for teens with similar interests to meet and create new friendships.  Anime clubs provide opportunities to provide unique cultural experiences while never leaving town.  Anime clubs can also lead to other programs such as drawing, cooking, and using cosplay as a STEAM activity.

In the beginning, offering a monthly anime club was difficult because we were novices to this world.  We began by checking our circ stats to discover the most popular mangas and used those titles as themes.  Once we had a dedicated group of teens, we allowed them to facilitate their club and we offered support such as purchasing supplies and assisting with setup/clean up.  By allowing the teens to take over the club, they gained confidence and as a result the club grew in attendance and enrichment.

Anime Club
Anime Club

Below you will find a list of our most popular themes and activities.

Sailor Moon-This was our most popular meeting.  The teens watched Sailor Moon and made t-shirts using stencils and bleach.  We purchased a Crunchyroll membership with our Apple TV but you can purchase Crunchyroll online.

Pokemon-We hosted Pokemon several months before Pokemon Go but this was also an extremely popular theme.  Activities included a Pikachu ear craft, mini Pokemon tourneys, and Pokerap karaoke.

Studio Ghibli Movie Marathon-Teens tried Ramune and mochi ice cream while watching anime.

Dragonball Z-Teens learned how to make bobo tea and we had a scavenger hunt.  Someone hid a Dragon Ball while everyone watched the Superman vs. Goku video.

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20 Books to Inspire Social Change

Teen Tech Week is when libraries make the time to showcase all of the great digital resources and services that are available to help teens succeed in school and prepare for college and 21st century careers.


Celebrate the next Teen Tech Week with the theme “Be the Source of Change,” March 5-11, 2017. 

Below you’ll find 20 books to inspire your teens, your programming, or your book displays.

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

The year is 2054 and decades of gender selection in India have led to a gender imbalance where boys outnumber girls 5 to 1. This makes girls a valuable commodity. A community of women tired of the unfairness of marriage decides to wall off a city and form their own country, Koyanagar. Here, young men compete for a woman’s hand in marriage through a series of tests. The story follows Sudasa, who must take her turn picking a husband, but she is unsure she wants to be a part of it.  In this reversal of gender roles and circumstances told through the alternating viewpoints of Sudasa and Contestant Five, readers explore important issues facing various cultures today.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn’s alternating viewpoints, All American Boys examines current social justice issues through the lens of several teens.

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7 Books If You Like The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train starring Emily Blunt comes to theaters October 7th.  Based on the best selling novel by the same title by Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train features an unreliable protagonist that may or may not have murdered someone.

If your teens have read or will see The Girl on the Train in theaters and need more books featuring unreliable protagonists, have them check out these seven titles.


Cat woke up on the beach of her summer home in nothing but her underwear however she doesn’t remember what happened.  Two years later, Cat suffers from an unknown illness and the only cure may be to return to her summer home to search for answers.

Zoe has a huge secret that she’s too afraid to share with anyone until she gets the idea to confess to a death row inmate in America.

Violet has a promising ballet career and Amber is an inmate in a juvenile center.  Their only connection is Ori and she is the only person who can release the demons haunting Violet and Amber.

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