A Getting Started Transmedia List (Summer 2013)

In the summer 2013 issue of YALS, Rachel McDonald and Jackie Parker provide an overview of what transmedia is, how to evaluate transmedia titles, and what teens have to say about the varieties of transmedia. The following is a list of transmedia titles you and the teens you work with might want to check out.

Web-based Transmedia:
Most of us are fairly familiar with web-based transmedia through popular series like Skeleton Creek. This may be the most accessible form of transmedia, as many teens are likely to have Internet access in multiple places.

Cathy’s Book
Originally published in 2006, Cathy’s Book contains an evidence packet filled with letters, phone numbers, pictures, and birth certificates, as well as doodles and notes written by Cathy in the page margins. This is one of the first examples of a young adult book incorporating alternative reality game elements. Over 1000 readers have discussed their theories online at www.cathysbook.com about where Cathy ends up after the book, where Victor is, whether Cathy’s father is dead or alive, etc. In 2010, Cathy’s Book was revamped and released as an app for the iPod touch and iPhone.
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An Interview with the Roadtripping Librarian (Summer 2013)

Over the summer YALS author Talya Sokoll traveled across the United States to learn about library services and collections for teens. Talya paid particular attention to space and collections that support the needs of LGBT teens. In this 10 minute video interview I talk with Talya about her trip and what she learned about library services during her travels.

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When Teen Read Week Leads to Questions (Summer 2013)

image of group research by Flickr user NWAPRGiven the increasing demands placed on today’s teens, people often wonder how much time young adults really have for recreational reading. Courtney Lewis, Director of Libraries at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pennsylvania, wondered what teens bought and read in their recreational time. In her article, “Seek the Unknown for Teen Read Week 2013: Using Action Research to Determine Recreational Habits of High School Students,” Courtney explains how she used Teen Read Week as an opportunity for finding out more about her library population.

Research is an important component of YALSA’s strategic plan and a key focus of the association’s year-long IMLS funded The Future of Libraries and Teens project. As YALSA’s work demonstrates (the association also developed a research agenda), learning about the reading interests and habits of teens is just one important area of the research library staff working with teens, and youth-oriented researchers, need to focus on. Action research and Courtney’s techniques, experience and suggestions can be adapted to any area that needs exploration. I asked a few YALSA members what they wanted to learn more about:

“When do teens like to read books in e-form and when do they like to read books in physical form?” Diane Fuller, Director of Libraries/Upper School Librarian at Gilman School, Baltimore, MD

“What mobile device do teens primarily use to read ebooks? Continue reading

What Teens Think Does Matter (Summer 2013)

In the Summer 2013 issue of YALS, K-Fai Steele, authored an article on the teen participatory design and action research she and her colleagues facilitated at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The project focused on creating spaces in the library that support teen needs and interests.

The print article didn’t include the photos that the Library made available to document the process the teens took part in. The images are important to the story K-Fai tells, so we wanted to publish them here.

voting on the ultimate teen space
Teens imagine and vote for what they think their ideal teen space should be all about.

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Fandom & the Teen World (Summer 2013)

In the summer 2013 issue of YALS, Robin Brenner explains the world of fan fiction and fandom. In her article Robin talks about a panel presentation she took part in during the YALSA YA Literature Symposium in November of 2012. You can view Robin’s slides from that presentation titled Fandom and YA Literature.


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Using Action Research to Seek the Unknown (Summer 2013)

In the summer 2013 issue of YALS, school librarian Courtney Lewis explains how she used action research to determine the recreational reading habits of teens. In her article, Courtney notes that Jody K. Howard and Su A Eckhardt in their book Action Research: A Guide for Library Media Specialists describe action research this way:

“…rather than designing a complex survey, accounting for a million variables and using statistical software, a librarian instead relies on her expertise and that of her colleagues to design an instrument which collects quantitative and qualitative data that will help give a comprehensive snapshot of a specific environment and help determine a course of action, preferably with data that can be shared with co-workers.

Fortunately, Courtney is willing to let others learn from the work that she’s done. You can view her original survey results and find out what Courtney learned:
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Serving Trans* Teens (Summer 2013)

In the summer 2013 issue of YALS, Talya Sokoll wrote about literature for trans* young adults. In this blog post, Talya covers ways in which libraries can reach out and serve trans* teens beyond putting books on the library’s shelves.


Much has happened in the nine months since I wrote the article for YALS, Representations of Trans* Youth in Young Adult Literature.

Teens, Books, and Spirituality (Summer 2013)

The summer 2013 issue of YALS included an article on teen reading, libraries, and books with religious themes. Article author, Margaret Auguste, put together a list of titles for teens with religious themes. Take a look and consider adding them to your collection, if you don’t have them already.

Crossing the Deep, by Kelly Martin
Sixteen year old Rachel Harker, is a Christian girl who goes on a church hiking trip to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, expecting it to be picturesque and majestic. Asher Jenkins, who is also attending the trip, is not a Christian and knows that he does not fit in with the rest of the group and yet, he has decided to go along on the trip in order to avoid his difficult personal life. The last thing that he or Rachel expects is that they will both be stranded together in the woods and will have to depend upon each other for survival. Their predicament puts their faith into the forefront as Rachel uses her faith in God to give her strength and Asher, who does not believe in God, is forced to examine what role, if any Faith has in his life.

Perfectly Ridiculous 3: A Universally Misunderstood Novel, by Kristin Billerbeck
Author Kristin Billerbeck, decided upon her spiritual path during college and when she became a writer decided to write books with that viewpoint in mind. The Universally Misunderstood series is a series about a Daisy, a Christian girl who calls upon her faith to make decision and as a foundation for her life. In this particular part of her journey, Daisy, is excited for her last summer before college. She has managed to arrange for a trip to Argentina with her best friend Claire to where her boyfriend Max also lives.  However, her plans are ruined when she discovers she has to complete mission work in order to qualify for college. Her parents accompany her and instead of the romance she has planned for she comes in contact with scorpions and has to sleep on a cot. Daisy worries about not being the daughter her parent’s wanted because she looks for a path in life that is much different than what her parents want for her, all issues that are confronted and explored during the trip that becomes much more special than she ever thought it would. 

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Trans* Titles for Young Adults (Summer 2013)

In the summer 2013 issue of YALS, Talya Sokoll writes about the state of young adults in trans* literature. As a companion to that article she put together a booklist of titles for library staff working with teens to know about.

Talya used several resources to develop the list. These are:
Booklist for Trans Youth
Diversityinya.tumblr.com
Lambda Literary Awards
Leewind.org
Rainbow Books
The Stonewall Award
Transgender Book Lists
Transgender Literature for Young Adults

You can check out the list below. (A .pdf version is also available.)

Young adult novels with main and supporting characters who identify as Transgender

Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Regan is an average sixteen-year-old who is keeping secret the fact that her brother Liam is really a Transgender girl named Luna.

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
When Logan meets Sage he is instantly attracted to her, but how will he react when he learns that Sage was born male?

I Am J by Cris Beam
J has always known that was a boy who happened to be born into a girl’s body by mistake. Now he just has to convince everyone else.

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
Just like the parrotfish that is born female but becomes male later in life, teenager Grady knows that even though he was born Angela, on the inside he is a boy. He is happy but not everyone else is, especially his family, and he must rely on the people in his life who support him to move forward.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
The story of a group of teen beauty queens marooned on a desert island, one of them is a former boy band member who has transitioned.
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Summer 2013 Issue: Teen Reading

summer 2013 yals cover - teen readingIn just a few days you’ll find in your mailbox the latest issue of YALS. Summer 2013 is all about teen reading and includes articles on:

  • How to use action research to discover what teens really want to read and how to tie that into Teen Read Week
  • Young adults in trans* lit
  • Religion and spirituality in young adult literature
  • Fan fiction and fan culture
  • Transmedia
  • Genrefying library collections

But that’s far from all Continue reading