Skip to content

Category: Media

What the Dang Heck Is a Webcomic??

Screenshot of Sarah Andersen’s website as viewed on my phone.

Webcomics aren’t typically given much attention by library professionals — possibly because they can’t be owned or lent; nevertheless, we should be familiar with them. After all, our goal should be to connect people with materials they love, not just materials the library owns. Additionally, if we want to be deft, resourceful readers’ advisers, we need to be familiar with all kinds of reading materials, especially the kinds of things our patrons are reading.

If you’re brand new to webcomics, this post will give you a foothold in their vast, wild world. If you’re familiar with webcomics, please leave your favorites in the comments as well as any resources you find helpful!

NaNoWriMo Inspiration for Teens

With November halfway over, many aspiring writers are trying their best to complete NaNoWriMo (also known as National Novel Writing Month) where they are challenged to write a book by the end of the month.  Life is especially hectic for teens as they juggle school assignments, clubs, sports, etc. So if any teens are attempting to do NaNoWriMo, they need lots of inspiration as they forge ahead on their writing journey. Here’s a round up of some resources to motivate potential teen writers:

Fiction: 

Riverdale Reads

Oh Riverdale – I have a special place in my heart for you, but I think your teenaged residents could use some time away from town quarantines and drug induced hallucinations and really horrible parenting. Luckily, YALSA’s 2019 award winners and nominees have books to help your beleaguered high school students cope with all the drama. (Warning: Season 3 Spoilers)

Rescue Me: a Media List for Teen Dog Lovers

  A couple of years ago, I decided to put my lifelong obsession with dogs to good use and became a volunteer at my local animal shelter. I swore up and down that I wouldn’t adopt a dog, for a variety of logical reasons, and I actually held out for about a year. Then, to NO ONE’S surprise but mine, I fell in love with, and adopted, my dog Pippa.

What Would Anne and Maud Read?

I was incredibly excited when I first heard that Netflix and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation were creating a new series based on L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. My Canadian friends and family were able to view Anne With an E before me and their reviews were mixed. Most had seen – and loved – the 1985 CBC TV series, which faithfully followed the book. It seemed that older friends and family, especially those who had read the books and/or seen the original TV series, disapproved of the “liberties” the new series took with the story line. Younger friends and family, who had less familiarity with the story, were intrigued at the way the new series explored darker themes

In addition to creating controversy, the new series, now renewed for a third season, has sparked a new interest in interest in the author and the world she created. Regardless of what you think of Anne With an E, these books are an exciting way to explore the world of Anne, and her creator, who liked to be called Maud (without an E).

   

#WontBeErased: Transgender Awareness Week and Day of Remembrance

This November, Transgender Awareness Week (November 11-17) and Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20) comes on the heels of our current administration’s ban on military service for transgender individuals, along with his latest efforts to remove legal protections afforded by federal civil rights law. Raising visibility of the issues facing transgender people is even more important now, as transgender kids are increasingly vulnerable to bullying, violence, self-harm, and suicide; and library staff and educators working with young people can and should be aware of how to support them.

For many of us, this means exploring our own biases and rethinking some of our ingrained ideas about sex and gender identity, which can be a difficult task. I’ve gathered some resources below–books, videos, websites, and even a webcomic–that can help adults working with youth become more knowledgeable and understanding, and therefore better able to offer support, resources, and empathy to our transgender patrons. For excellent fiction and nonfiction to offer to transgender, nonbinary, and questioning teens, follow these two links to past YALSA Hub articles. 

What Would Fred Read?

I laughed cried and marveled at Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the biography of Fred Rogers, the host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I didn’t grow up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and was amazed by the thought Fred Rogers put into each episode and the range of current topics he addressed. He looked nerdy and trained as a Presbyterian minister; he was a man on a mission. He chose children’s television as his means to nurture young children and help them make sense of the world. He was very concerned about people’s feelings and making personal connections with his viewers, speaking directly to them and looking into the camera as if looking into their eyes. I think a teen Fred Rogers would enjoy books that do the same sort of thing.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marvelous Meta-Horror for Halloween Season

Horror is at its scariest when it puts you into the perspective of its terrified victims, but if you’ve read or watched widely in the genre, it can be harder to feel those vicarious thrills, especially when you’re busy yelling at the characters to stop being so stupid. Enter meta-horror: where your extra knowledge of the genre is part of the fun. In meta-horror, the characters may realize that events are happening like in a horror movie; or the story may break the fourth wall and deconstruct horror tropes to do something unfamiliar. It may be as simple as including “wink-wink” references that a horror fiend may be delighted to recognize. Either way, these meta-horror books, movies, and games can be scary, clever, or funny, or all three. You can recommend these titles to your high school teen horror buffs who are looking to put their horror knowledge to good use.

BOOKS

Alone, by Cyn Balog (Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers 2019 nominee)

Seda’s mother inherits a crumbling mansion that was once a murder mystery hotel. Her mother is supposed to renovate and sell it, but she seems more interested in keeping it in the family. Seda likes all of the secret passages and macabre decorations at first, but it turns oppressive when a blizzard strands a group of teenagers at the house. To keep their new guests entertained, her mother decides to host a murder mystery like in the old days.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Living the Story through Video Games

From the moment that Zork in the 1970s opened with “You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door,” interactive fiction games have continued to evolve, and not just because of the inclusion of increasingly more sophisticated graphics. Story-driven experiences are still at the heart of many of today’s best video games, with as many different styles of gameplay as there are gamers.

The following video games are particularly suited to teens story-wise, though content ratings list most of these games as M for Mature, which are more appropriate for older teens. Consider these if you’re updating and adding to your circulating video game collection, and keep them in mind when talking with teens as “outside the box (or book, in this case)” recommendations.