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Tag: Emily Murdoch

Is This the Real Life? Parental Abandonment

Instead of reading for the Morris/Non-Fiction Challenge, I was reading other books. Ooops. But one of the books I read spawned this month’s contemporary theme: parental abandonment. These books don’t necessarily address homelessness (Molly Wetta already tackled that subject), but teens that were left on their own by their parents for whatever reasons. I know there has to be more, so let me know in the comments! First up, the book that inspired this list:

If You Find MeIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (2014 BFYA Nominee)

Carey and her younger sister Janessa live in a broken down trailer in the woods. They don’t go to school, they don’t go into town much (if at all), and they are anxiously awaiting the return of their mother. Instead they are met with a stranger and someone who Carey recalls being her father. They have come to take the girls away since their mother has informed the state she is unable to take of them anymore. What seems like a nightmare to Carey is actually a blessing in disguise as she is forced to come to terms of what really happened in the woods and adjusts to living in civilization.

Jellicoe RoadJellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (2009 Printz Award Winner)

Taylor was abandoned by her mother at 11 at a 7/11 and was found by Hannah. Now, at 17, she is the leader of the boarders at Jellicoe School. Amidst the struggle of trying to keep the upper hand in a territory war at her school, Taylor has to deal with the disappearance of Hannah who was the adult she came to rely on. All that is left of Hannah is a manuscript that she had written. Taylor needs to find out more but this means she will have to confront her own story and find her own mother.

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The Seven Princples of Kwanzaa in Teen Fiction

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Kinara and Seven Kwanzaa Candles.

Kwanzaa is a holiday that lasts from December 26th through January 1st. The celebration originated in the 1960s and honors the impact of an African heritage on Americans.  While Kwanzaa is enjoyed by mainly people of African descent, the values shared at this celebration can be appreciated by everyone.  Originally defined in the Swahili language, Kwanzaa illustrated seven principles intended to guide and strengthen our community. (Kwanzaa)

  1. Umoja – Unity
  2. Kujichagulia – Self-Determination
  3. Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility
  4. Ujamaa -Cooperative Economics
  5. Nia – Purpose
  6. Kuumba – Creativity
  7. Imani – Faith

Each principle is represented by a black, red or green candle; the colors of the Pan-African flag.  One candle is lit every night in a special order and each candle represents one of the seven principles.  To incorporate these ideals into your Kwanzaa celebration, here is a list of YA books that embody the seven principles.

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ALA 2013: Ten Years of YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten

2013-07-03 20.11.39I just got back from the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago where I had a great time at the Ten Years of YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten (TTT) preconference program. This jam-packed half-day program included everything from a short explanation about the program to tips by former and present TTT teen book club advisors on how to run a program.

The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of teen book groups in sixteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Celebrate Teen Literature Day, the Thursday of National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers ages 12-18 vote online between August 15 and September 15; the winners are announced during Teen Read Week.

Another portion of the program also included tips on how to use technology to make keeping track of the many books the teens receive and review easier. As attendees, we also got to participate in a brainstorming session to offer suggestions on how to improve marketing and promotion of the TTT. We also received a bound copy of all the TTT titles that included not only the selected top ten titles from 2003-2012, but also useful fun facts and read-alikes for many of the titles.

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