It’s mid-December at the time of this writing, and we’ve already had our first snow day. Like usual, while the schools were closed, we at the public library were still open, leading to many a bored teenager, hyper kid, and frazzled parent to brave the weather for some diversion. Often, these seekers of entertainment were not just looking for something to do right then and there, but for ideas for the next snow day, the big one (the real one), where everyone would be stuck inside and forced to make their own fun. Here are some interesting cooking and craft books to recommend to tweens and teens who want to perfect a skill, learn something new, or make something together with their family. Think of this list as a Pinterest alternative.
Do you know the feeling that comes sometimes when you finish reading a really great book, the one in which you don’t want the story to end? You can always hope for a sequel or a companion novel. If there is a film adaptation, you can experience the world, again, there. Or you can keep the world alive by creating something yourself.
I recently attended the DML2014 conference in Boston and found myself surrounded by people passionately talking about ways to interact with digital media. As a blogger for The Hub, I immediately focused on the ways that people were using these programs and communities to create content based on YA books. This also tied in well with last week’s Teen Tech Week theme of DIY @ your library. Below, I have listed a handful of ways that youth and adults are taking their favorite stories and making something new.
Create a Program
One of the tools that was frequently mentioned at DML2014 is Scratch, a web-based programming tool that allows users to create and share games, videos, and stories. I searched Scratch for projects related to popular YA titles and found a wide variety of program types including interactive quizzes and games, slideshows, and still image fanart. A few examples include a Divergent Aptitude Test Simulation, Snape’s Potion Game (Harry Potter), and The Mortal Instruments: Downworld Attack game. These users have found a way to continue interacting with books that they enjoyed while also learning how to code computer programs. Scratch is only one of a number of options available in this area, too. Continue reading Get Creative with YA Lit
The Hub, as you know, is your connection to teen reads. And we tend to focus on fiction. But since January is National Hobby Month, we couldn’t let the month go by without sharing some terrific nonfiction books, magazines, and websites that may encourage you to take part in various hobbies.
For journaling, scrapbooking, and generally awakening one’s creativity, it’s hard to beat Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. Not generally found in libraries (for obvious reasons), this book shows you that it’s OK to write in, tear pages of, and generally mutilate a book…as long as it is this book, and it belongs to you! Smith’s cheerful instructions will lead readers to get over the preciousness of their pristine journals, and to unleash the wild side of their brains by spilling coffee on pages, making art from found objects, and thoroughly engaging their creative process. Here are some great Wreck This Journal images found on Tumblr. And if you’re an app addict, catch the review of “Wreck This App,” an app based on the book, over at the YALSAblog.
Knitting is eternal. Our great grandmothers knit, and now, there people are knitting (and crocheting) amigurumi animals, Doctor Who scarves, and cell phone cases. Weekend Knitting: 50 Unique Projects by Melanie Falick and Ericka McConnell is not for the novice knitter, but if you enjoy knitting and can read patterns, this title offers inspiration, gorgeous photos, and fun projects to tackle. From mittens to washcloths to sweaters to handbags, this is not your great grandmother’s knitting book.
Maker spaces are sprouting up all over the world and encouraging people of all ages to do some DYI and make stuff. While there are plenty of DYI books in the world, you might want to consider looking at MAKE magazine for inspiration. MAKE has been around for ten years and they offer ideas, instructions, and encouragement to people who want to mess around and geek out. While 3D printing and electronic components such as the Arduino microcontroller and Raspberry Pi computer get a lot of press, MAKE doesn’t neglect more â€œtraditionalâ€ crafts such as woodworking, papercraft, sewing, photography, and gardening. They really do have something to interest everyone.