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Tag: Laurie Faria Stolarz

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, August 5 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

A Time to Dance cover art

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman; narrated by Padma Venkatraman
Listening Library
Release date: 09-03-19
ISBN: 978-0593153482

Veda is at the top of her game as a classical dancer in India.  Then, on a bus to a championship dance show a terrible accident leaves her with a partial leg amputation, crushing her dance prodigy dreams.  Unable to give in to losing her life’s love, Veda finds a dance teacher willing to take her on, but she must start at the beginning, learning to dance all over again with her new prosthetic leg.  At her new dance school she meets Govinda, a boy who also has a love for dance, one that is deeply spiritual.  As she is relearning the movements of her body, with the help of Govinda, she connects much more fully to the meaning behind the dances and herself.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, March 13 Edition

Click hereto see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard by Echo Brown
Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers / Macmillan
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
ISBN: 978-1250309853

Echo Brown is a teenage wizard in Cleveland, Ohio. Part of being a wizard means she can stop time to manage challenging situations, secrets from the past, and the dark veil that hangs over herself and others.  Her mother’s addiction means she has had to grow up quickly and develop coping mechanisms for some disturbing and emotionally intense situations.

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Quick Picks (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, March 3 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, art by Harmony Becker
Top Shelf Productions / IDW Publishing
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
ISBN: 978-1603094504

George Takei, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, tells of his family’s forced removal from their home and detention in internment camps in this graphic memoir. The drawings show the grim realities of their lives even as the text tells the story from George’s perspective as a five year old whose parents undertook heroic efforts to shelter him from their dire circumstances. George’s parents largely succeeded in protecting him from the harsh truth that they were prisoners and he still has some fond memories games, treats, and friendships in the camps. When the camps closed, the Takei family began an even more precarious existence as they struggled to rebuild their lives in a world that viewed them with suspicion and hostility. Interspersed throughout the book are depictions of milestone events in Takei’s life that demonstrated how the residual effects of a childhood spent as an “alien enemy” impacted his personal relationships, his career, and his activism.

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Diversity YA Life: Diverse Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

shadowshaperMuch of diverse young adult literature is contemporary, realistic fiction, or historical fiction about the struggle of being a person of color.  As a teen library worker, I get to know the personal lives of teens and some of their stories are heartbreaking.  From poverty to bullying, I recognize that the struggle is real and I am happy to be a non-judgemental adult soundboard.  I am also grateful for the plethora of young adult fiction available so that I can hand a book to a teen I feel will provide some insight and comfort.

But when life is tough, many teens also like to escape into fantasy and science fiction. Readers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror also like to see themselves in these books.  If people of color can survive slavery and oppression and poverty, they can also survive zombies and maniacal kings and naiyadragons. So, where are the black Hermiones?

I am a teen services specialist and a major part of my job is to connect teens with books.  I have an avid reader, who is Middle Eastern, who asks me to recommend fantasy books about once a month.  A year ago when the We Need Diverse Books movement started, I asked her to do a cue card about why we need diverse books and she stated that she would like to see more Middle Eastern characters in fantasy.   A little over a year later, I gave her The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and she came back and absolutely raved about the book.  She said that she particularly loved the inside cover because there was a girl who looked and dressed like her.  This is one reason why we need diverse books.

If you are a library worker looking to enhance your diverse young adult repertoire or a teen reader looking for yourself in a magical world or a speculative fiction reader seeking something new, here’s a list of speculative young adult fantasy/science fiction titles for you to try.  Please note that some titles feature characters of color in a supporting role—but that’s okay because Hermione was a supporting character, too.

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Makin’ Stuff: Books to Inspire DIY and Creativity

Making stuff isn’t something that is usually associated with libraries, but it should be. The maker movement is still going strong, and it’s showing everyone that teens use libraries for all sorts of learning- including how to make all sorts of things. YALSA’s 2014 Maker Contest is going on right now, and applicants have the chance to win some neat prizes as well as share their awesome ideas with others. The deadline to apply is September 1st and you can go here to learn more and to apply. (Get some ideas on how to create a maker/ DIY program here.)

Finding themes in YA fiction that go along with the maker movement wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be until I thought bigger and stopped limiting myself to duct tape. When I did that I found a bunch that I thought might spark some interest in doing with teens. I also found some nonfiction titles, too, to get us all started on the doing!

COOKING

pizza loce nd other stuff that made me famousPizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams follows sixteen-year-old Sophie from the kitchen in her family’s restaurant in Washington, D.C., to the set of “Teen Test Kitchen,” a new reality show about teens cooking that her best friend has convinced her to audition for. Is Sophie ready to compete with her cooking, though? Hopefully growing up in the family restaurant will have been enough training!breakfast on the go

Although Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous includes recipes, there are lots of teen oriented cookbooks out there. A Teen Guide to… cookbook series by Dana Meachen Rau covers everything from Breakfast on the Go to Quick Healthy Snacks, and includes safety tips, conversion charts, and tons of tips throughout. Even I can cook using these, and I once tried to microwave a frozen noodle dinner for seventeen minutes instead of seven!

 

 

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