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Author: Molly Wetta

Molly is the Senior Librarian for Youth Services, Programming, and Marketing at Santa Barbara (CA) Public Library. She is a former member manager of YALSA's The Hub.

#HubChallenge Twitter Chat June 15th at 7 pm CST

We’ve had such a great time discussing all the titles from the awards and selected lists during this year’s Hub Challenge, Hub bloggers wanted to invite all the participants (and anyone who has read the eligible titles) to chat about them on twitter tomorrow, June 15th, at 7 pm CST.

Copy of the hub 2016 reading challenge (1)

I’ll be moderating the discussion (@molly_wetta) and you can join in by following the hashtag #hubchallenge. We recommend participating through an application like Tweetdeck or Tweetchat to follow the hashtag. Check out these tips on participating if you’re new to twitter chats

International Stories in Verse for National Poetry Month

Books can allow readers to experience other parts of the world than where they live, exposing them to new cultures. Novels in verse can be an especially accessible way to access these stories, since the sparse, vivid language focuses on images and emotions, painting a picture of other times, places, and experiences.

These novels in verse tell stories of struggles from around the world, and are great to feature for National Poetry Month and year-round.
international stories in verse for national poetry month

Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg

A young girl in rural Haiti has a powerful dream of becoming a doctor. But can that dream overcome extreme poverty and a devastating earthquake? Her interest is in both traditional ways of healing and modern medicine, and her hope is to honor her brother who died as a child. This is an inspiring story beautifully told.

Caminar by Skila Brown

In this novel in verse, the horrors of the Guatemalan civil war serve as a backdrop for a young man’s coming of age. This can serve as a conversation starter for discussions on gender and war. 

2016 Hub Challenge Check-in #11

Not signed up for YALSA’s 2016 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since the awards were announced counts, and the challenge runs until 11:59pm on June 23, so sign up now!

the hub 2016 reading challenge

I’ve been on a graphic novel and nonfiction streak.

I finally read Nimona, and thought it was a lot of fun. I’m not generally a fan of manga, but A Silent Voice was a great look at bullying and people with disabilities, and seemed to be a very sensitive portrayal of the characters. The teens in my library tend to be drawn to the fantasy and action-filled manga, so I was glad to familiarize myself with this title so I could potentially recommend something a little different to them. I was a big fan of My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf, so I was excited to check out Trashed. I was surprised by how much research went in to it! 

Month in Review: March 2016

Here at The Hub we hope you all are getting in the swing of spring! Here are some highlights of posts at The Hub and around the web of interest to library workers serving teens.

month in review | yalsa's the hub

At The Hub: 

Books and Reading: 

Booklist: Recent YA Fiction about Technology for Teen Tech Week

Teen Tech Week begins March 6th and runs through 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 as well as to highlight programs that emphasize science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. For programming ideas, see this post at the YALSAblogTechnology and Science in YA Fiction for Teen Tech Week

It’s also a great time to highlight YA fiction that deals with technology issues. From steampunk to science fiction to thrillers, the theme of technology in the lives of humans cuts a across genres and can spark interesting conversations about the use and limits of technology. These 2015 and 2016 titles are great to highlight in a display in the library. Consider adding flyers that also remind patrons of the availability of digital books and audiobooks or sharing a “virtual” display on social media. Later this week, we’ll feature nonfiction resources on technology and science. 

Books to Celebrate Galentine’s Day

Galentine’s Day is a very special holiday from Parks & Recreation, where Leslie Knope and her lady friends have brunch on February 13th. “It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst, plus frittatas.” Basically, it’s a time during the season very focused on romantic love to recognize other relationships in your life, like female friendship.

galentines day

This week and next we’re featuring many booklists that focus on romance, but in honor of Galentine’s Day, these titles focus on strong friendships between young women. After all, at least for many teen girls, female friendships are the most important relationships in their lives.

Young Adult Literature with Strong Female Friendships

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson (2016 Great Graphic Novels)

Five friends and supernatural adventures! With quippy lines and a strong message of female solidarity, this is a perfect comic for Galentine’s Day!

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

Set against the lush backdrop of the 90s grunge rock scene in Seattle, this is a story of an incredible friendship between the beautiful and charming Aurora and the devoted, soulful unnamed narrator. A retelling of the Orpheus myth, this is very much about the bonds of female friendship.

A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith

The world needs more books like this one — books about female friendship, and how fraught with complications they can be during adolescence. This is the story of Annabeth’s senior year of high school. For years, she’s been buoyed by her close friendship with Noe. But now Noe is pulling away from her, and she’s feeling alone and uncertain. Ultimately, she works through these issues — and several others, all wrapped in Smith’s fierce and intimate prose.

Teen Creative Writing & Art Contest for Teen Tech Week

As part of Teen Tech Week, YALSA is teaming up with the Connected Learning Alliance, Deviant Art, National Writing Project, and Wattpad for the Twist Fate challenge.

teen tech week 2016

The challenge is to get young people (ages 13-17) telling stories about what happens when a hero becomes a villain, or a villain a hero (through writing, video, digital art, animation, etc.) and sharing them across the Deviant Art and Wattpad platforms. It’s happening March 6-April 6th, and to ramp up for it there will be a series of free webinars with guests including Mimi ito, Christina Cantrill, Candice Mack, Josh Wattles from DeviantArt, and Jing Jing Tan from Wattpad:

Connecting the Creative Sparks of Young Makers to Supportive Communities of Practice Feb. 11, 7pm EST

Storytelling and Making Redefined: Get to Know the Wattpad Community Feb. 18, 7pm EST

Meet the “Deviants”: Networked Artists and Makers of DeviantArt Feb. 25, 7pm EST

Booklist: Genre Reads for Cold Winter Nights

The temperatures are dropping below freezing and the sun sets early, making it the perfect time of year to curl up with a good book. Whether you like thrillers, swoon-worthy romance, or an escape from reality, there’s a book here to warm you up.

This is also a great list for a seasonal book display that can incorporate many genres and appeal to a wide range of readers.

Thrillers and Mysteries for Cold Winter Nights

If you’re in the mood for an adrenaline rush, these books are sure to  get your heart pounding. These mysteries and thrillers will chill you to the bone!

young adult thrillers for cold winter nights

Bonechiller by Graham McNamee (2009 Best Books for Young Adults)

After his mother’s death, Danny moves with his father to a remote Canadian town next to a frozen lake with a terrifying legend that haunts it.

Trapped by Michael Northrup

Seven teens are waiting to be picked up from school when a killer snowstorm hits. Can they survive? This is a good bed for readers who want a thriller without paranormal elements.

As White as Snow by Salla Simukka

Atmospheric Nordic crime thrillers have been popular with adult readers, and this trilogy brings the blood (and cold) to YA and adds a fairy tale twist.

Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujiwinski

When the season turns, more than severe weather threatens an isolated island and residents flee. When a group of teenagers are left behind, they must fight to survive. With hints of supernatural threats in addition to the terror of the elements, this is a spooky thriller for middle school readers.

The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley

This has all the elements of a classic ghost story: an orphan is sent to live in an isolated house in the woods, where he finds a spirits and a mysterious secrets. Fans of staples in this genre, like Poe or Gorey, will delight in this homage to Victorian ghost stories.

The Edge by Roland Smith

The follow up to Peak, this story revolves around a mountain-climbing and documentary film expedition that turns sinister when the director is murdered and other climbers are taken hostage.

Romance for Cold Winter Nights

There are countless summer romances in YA fiction, but sometimes it feels like the winter-themed stories are limited to holiday collections. These novels take place in the winter months.

YA romance for cold winter nights

 

Readers’ Survey Results

Thanks to everyone who took the time to give us some feedback in our year end readers’ survey. We were thrilled to have so many responses, and the Hub Advisory Board and I discussed many of your suggestions and are working to make the Hub the best it can be. your destination for information on library collections for teens.

The Hub Year End Readers' Survey

Many indicated that they wished we provided programming ideas. There are other places where YALSA focuses on this aspect of teen services.  Also, YALSA recently launched Teen Programming HQ, a site to share library programs designed for and with teens. Be sure you are following The YALSAblog, which not only covers information about the organization, but also posts on programming. The Hub has partnered with the YALSAblog to highlight collections in conjunction with various programs, so look for that new monthly feature as well.

Many lamented the sunsetting of the YALSA Monday Polls. These were discontinued last fall for a number of reasons: Hub bloggers felt we had exhausted many topics, and also thought we could use the time and effort to deliver more value-added content. However, after a break, we decided that we would bring them back as a monthly feature rather than a weekly one. Look for the first poll of 2016 on the last Monday of February!

2016 Hub Challenge Check-in #1

Not signed up for YALSA’s 2016 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since the awards were announced counts, so sign up now!

Hello! We have over a hundred—and counting!—participants in the Hub Reading Challenge so far. Get social! In addition to joining in the discussion in the comments section, you can follow along with those bookstagramming their progress on Instagram, chatting on Twitter, or join in at the 2016 Hub Challenge Goodreads group.

the hub 2016 reading challenge

If you’ve been on a reading spree and have already completed the challenge, complete this form.