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A Series of Fortunate Events: Library Collaborations that Help LGBTQ Young Adults Transition to College Life

Co-presented by university librarian Amanda Melilli, head of the Curriculum Materials Library at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and Las Vegas (Clark County) high school English teacher and department chair for English in Clark County Ashley Nebe, this session focused on their collaborative relationship, designed to support and encourage LGBTQIA teens both in their high school years and during the transition to college. We also heard from authors Ann Bausum, Susan Kuklin, David Levithan, and Mariko Tamaki on their thoughts for supporting LGBTQIA youth during the transition from high school to university.

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Nebe spoke (inspirationally!) about the incredible growth of the GSA chapter at her high school, and the work that they have done to partner with other LGBTQIA-serving organizations and allies in the community, including Melilli’s library. The high school group now runs a student Talent Showcase in an open-air setting at the high school that has become a large event with strong participation numbers from students (with the larger community invited). They participate in the community-wide Pride Parade each year, which gives them a chance to make personal connections with college-age LGBTQIA students and faculty before arriving on the university campus themselves. Some key take-aways:

Flashback Friday: Books from the ’90s

The Hub Loves the '90sIt’s Flashback Friday and The Hub is taking you back to the 1990s! Last week, Jessica Lind discussed the ’90s nostalgia emerging in contemporary pop culture in her post titles The Hub Loves the ’90s. Now we’re going to be flashing back to what young adults were reading in the ’90s. The inspiration for this post was the television show Fresh off the Boat. The show based on Eddie Huang’s best-selling memoir, is about a Taiwanese-American family living in the suburbs of Orlando, FL during the ’90s. The show gave me a very funny librarian thought: what if the tweenage Eddie went to the library on Fresh off the Boat– what would the librarian recommend to him? This thought caused me to crack open the librarian vault and take a journey back to the decade that had us rolling with the homies….

So it’s time to break out your flannel, find those old shoe-lace hair clips, put on Wannabe by the Spice Girls and grab your favorite Pogs, because we’re going to the 90’s!

If Teen Books Could Tweet

As I was checking Twitter – for work! – last week I stumbled upon a woman tweeting a generic dystopian YA novel. Her “novel” has the stereotypical hallmarks of the genre: an oppressive, stratified soceity, some sort of testing, a love triangle, the trope of the “Chosen One.” It’s great. I love dystopian YA novels, so at first I was a little annoyed, but it’s actually really wonderful. Take a look: 

So funny! And it got me thinking, “If other teen books could tweet or characters in those books, what would they tweet about?” I came up with a few for fun:

The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Divergent
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Fantasy Novels Get a Bad Rap

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October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Megan Doehner.

Fantasy novels kinda get a bad rep. Sure, when you hear “fantasy” you automatically think of unicorns and princesses, right?

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WRONG. Fantasy novels are so much more than that. They let you escape to another place that only exists in the imaginations of authors, and they are generous enough to share their wonderful worlds with us.

Even if you’re not a huge fantasy fan and think that magic and stuff is just a waste of time, I’d still recommend branching out and trying new things. I found some of my favorite books by exploring new reading genres, and firmly believe in the “Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it” attitude.

Here are a few fantasy novels that I think you’ll absolutely love.

DK_cover_mdCinda Williams Chima’s novel The Demon King is a perfect example of one of those books that will absolutely blow your mind. Action, romance, adventure, spying, and, of course, who doesn’t love a little magic thrown into the mix? Honestly, this is probably my favorite series in the history of my reading repertoire, and trust me, I have a large library in my collection.

Here’s a little teaser to get you excited.

Han Alister never thought he was going anywhere other than the streets, he was an amazing streetlord to say the least, but he knew that thugs in his position rarely survived past twenty. If only there were something more, a way to get away from it all, a way to get those telltale trademark silver cuffs off his wrists…Raisa ana‘Marianna doesn’t want to get married, plain and simple. She still longs to see the world and find her true love, not be forced into a marriage simply to gain diplomatic ties. She knows she’s in line for the throne, but has never truly met the people she’s bound to rule. What better way to find out about them than to become one of them for a day? Fates have been sealed as these two strangers’ lives slowly intertwine with one another’s, creating a powerful thrill that’s sure to capture your heart.

Back to (Realistic, but Fictional) School

School Room by Rob Shenk
School Room by Rob Shenk

It’s getting to be that time of year; the temperatures are falling, the edges of the leaves are crisping, football is revving up, baseball is winding down, and many of us are getting used to new teachers and new classes.

To help take the sting out of the end of summer (goodbye till next year, reading on the beach with an iced tea…), I like to throw myself into celebrating the beginning of fall (hello again, curling up in an armchair with a hot chocolate while the rain falls outside!). For me, this means: new notebooks, adding apples to pretty much every meal, and diving into books that highlight all the little rituals of the school year. The following are some of my favorite titles with strong school settings, to help us all get excited for the new semester (even if we can’t actually enroll at Hogwarts, which would, let’s be honest, be the ultimate in back-to-school excitement).

Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Frankie is really smart (and unaccustomed to hiding her smarts in front of guys, even though sometimes they seem more comfortable if she does), dislikes accepting the status quo, is impatient with her dad’s secretive pride about his own halcyon days at her boarding school, and is (maybe) on the path to becoming a criminal mastermind- an idea she finds morally…ambiguous. A 2009 Printz Honor Book, Teens Top Ten pick, and National Book Award finalist, plus a 2013 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults title, this is one of those books I’m always bothering everyone I know to read.

Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Speculative fiction disguised as a coming-of-age story, Never Let Me Go was an Alex Award winner in 2006, and has quickly become a modern classic. Following a trio of students through their years at a seemingly traditional boarding school, Never Let Me Go is about the complex hierarchies and subtle competitions between friends, but it’s also about how to get the truth from adults, and how to live with truths that are shockingly, fundamentally painful to process.

Tweets of the Week: April 12th

As usual, twitter has been busy this week with YA related news, events, giveaways and more.  Here are some of the highlights, in case you missed them.

Contests and Giveaways