Thursday, September 18, 2014

Be a Changemaker Blog Tour: Laurie Thompson Guest Post

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About the Book: Do you think you have what it takes to be a changemaker? Laurie Thompson shares stories of young entrepreneurs whose ideas made a difference and shares how readers can be changemakers themselves.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: If you're looking for an inspiring book that will get you excited-and give you advice-on how to ignite change, Be a Changemaker is going to kickstart your ambitions. Laurie Thompson gives readers examples of young entrepreneurs who decided to make a change and start something that mattered and gives practical, easy to follow advice for teens looking to start something in their own community. The result is inspiring and is sure to spark ideas among teens about how they can get involved.

The book covers a wide range of topics and balances real life experiences and stories with ways teens can start now and get involved in their community. The library is the perfect place to get teens involved! I would love to host a library book discussion over this book and see what ideas the teens come up with!


Please welcome Laurie Thompson to GreenBeanTeenQueen! She has a great idea for how libraries can encourage changemakers and be at the forefront of the changemaker revolution! I know I can't wait to think about using Makerspaces as a place for reaching out in the community and I hope others will join in as well!

Making Change in Schools and Libraries
As a parent and kidlit author, I try to keep up with trends in education and library services. Two recent trends in these areas that seem to be popping up all over lately are a focus on STEM topics and the emergence of makerspaces. I think there’s great potential in adding the idea of changemaking—solving real-world problems in the community and beyond—to both of those missions, in schools and in libraries.
As technology continues to advance, the world keeps changing faster and faster, and it has been widely accepted that having a solid foundation in the STEM subjects will be necessary for an individual to thrive in that environment. But, rather than contriving exercises and assigning made-up tasks, perhaps we could instead focus on teaching STEM-related skills in the context of how they can be used to solve actual problems that students care about. What better way to learn and practice new STEM-related skills than by applying them to a clear and relevant purpose? Mastering new skills is that much more satisfying when students can immediately use them to help themselves and others in their own communities. Focusing on empowering people to become changemakers naturally leads them to improving their STEM-related skills, thereby teaching those STEM-related skills in direct, hands-on ways with meaningful applications.
Many schools and libraries across the country are now experimenting with offering makerspaces, places where people can go to create and build together using shared technology, equipment, and tools. Typically, the emphasis is making tangible items that can then be taken home. But what if the same concepts of collaboration and shared resources were applied to changemaking, with an emphasis instead on solutions—projects that can be applied to problems in the greater community? Why not take the image of a typical makerspace user—a hobbyist or an entrepreneur—and extend it to a community activist or social entrepreneur? If the purpose of a makerspace is to allow people to be creative with technology, it seems to make sense for us to encourage and empower makers to create solutions to problems they see around them every day.
We know that schools and libraries exist to provide information and opportunities for connection to others, and both of those goals mean so much more when directed toward a higher purpose. Whatever area you’re thinking about—STEM education, the maker culture, humanities, the arts, etc.—everything jumps to the next level when you give it a direction and apply it to a problem that really matters. Plus, whenever anyone in a community is empowered to become a changemaker, it benefits not just the individual but everyone in the community, and not just once but on an ongoing basis.
So, can schools and libraries to start making change a priority within their communities? Most already have in place the resources necessary to enable a changemaking mindset, they just need to increase awareness of those resources and the endless possibilities for their application in the realm of changemaking and allow people to form groups around the causes they care out. In this way, schools and libraries plant the seeds of inspiration and give them room to grow, while enabling students and patrons to bloom into active changemakers within their communities. When a school or library makes change accessible, anyone in that community can become a changemaker. And that’s a very good thing—for everyone.

Follow the Be a Changemaker Tour:
Fri, Sept 19
A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
Sat. Sept 20
Elizabeth O. Dulemba

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blog Tour: Pig and Small by Alex Latimer

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About the Book: Pig and Bug want to be friends, but their size difference is causing them trouble. Bug is too small to play chess and Pig is too big for Bug's presents. Can they find anything that they can do together?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Pig and Small is an adorable picture book about friendship. Pig and Bug work hard to be friends, but it's not always easy because of their size. But they find things they have in common and it makes their friendship stronger. It's a great story about working at friendship and finding things to do together as friends.

The illustrations add to the detail and humor-Bug sweating and pushing hard on a large chess piece, Pig chomping on a small cake in one bite. The illustrations add more for kids to talk about and discuss. The message that friendship doesn't always come easily is thoughtful and portrayed in a sweet and humorous way.

Pig and Small could also be a great addition to preschool storytimes and pair well with other seemingly mismatched friend stories.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from finished copy sent by publisher

Friday, September 12, 2014

Evil Librarian Blog Tour: Michelle Knudsen Guest Post

Please welcome Michelle Knudsen to GreenBeanTeenQueen! She's sharing a playlist of her favorite musical theater songs in honor of her latest book, Evil Librarian.

About the Book: (from Goodreads): #EvilLibrarian He’s young. He’s hot. He’s also evil. He’s . . . the librarian.

When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body! From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen, here is the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety)

Like Cyn, the main character in Evil Librarian, I love musical theater. In college, a bunch of my theater friends and I lived on the far edge of campus from where rehearsals usually were, and we got into the habit of listening to musical theater mix tapes during the drives there and back. I would often listen to my favorite songs from shows and sing along in the car when alone, too, but it was even more fun to do it with a few like-minded friends who could all sing different characters in the multi-part numbers. In honor of the Evil Librarian blog tour, I thought I’d put together a little playlist of some of my favorite musical theater songs — the ones that would definitely make it onto a playlist if I were making a new one today. These are in no particular order — it’s just a list, not a ranking. :)

1. “Quartet (A Model of Decorum and Tranquility” from Chess (U.S. version)
Chess is one of my all-time favorite musicals to listen to (both the Broadway and London versions, which are very different from each other) although I’ve never yet seen it performed on stage.

2. “I Heard Someone Crying” from The Secret Garden
This is one we used to sing together in the car on the way to rehearsal. I’ve never seen this one live either, although (of course) I’ve read the book it’s based on.

3. “Potiphar” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
They did this one my freshman year of high school, and it was a lot of fun to watch and listen to. I still really love all the music, but this is one of the songs I most often find randomly popping into my head.

4. “Belle” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
I’d go with the movie soundtrack version on this one. Does that still count? I saw the movie in the theater 10 times when it first came out. And I still love to sing this one in the car. And outside the car. I still know every word by heart.

5. “Any Moment: Moments in the Woods” from Into the Woods
It was hard deciding between this one and “On the Steps of the Palace.” Those are my two favorite songs to sing from this show. I saw the Public Theater “Sondheim in the Park” production in 2012 which was amazing (with the same two best friends mentioned in #7 below).

6. “One Day More” from Les Misérables
One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite musicals of all time. I think I picked this one for this list over “Stars” (another of my favorites) because it’s got everyone in it, and I love big ensemble numbers so much.

7. “The Devil You Know” from Side Show
I first encountered Side Show at Broadway on Broadway in NYC with two of my best friends (the two friends Evil Librarian is dedicated to, actually) and I fell in love with it at once. I didn’t get to see it on Broadway before it closed, so I’m super excited about the revival opening this fall!

8. “Heaven on Their Minds” from Jesus Christ Superstar
I love to sing this one, but never where anyone can hear me. I know I can’t really sing it. I’m sure it sounds ridiculous and horrible when I try. But I love to anyway.

9. “Skid Row (Downtown)” from Little Shop of Horrors
We did this one in high school. It’s really not a good show for the chorus, at least in terms of stage time — except for a few small character parts, most of the chorus only got to sing in the opening and the finale. But it’s a fabulous show to watch/listen to. (I love the movie version, too, which is not always the case.)

10. “A Little Priest” from Sweeney Todd
I couldn’t end this list without including something from Sweeney Todd, which is the show Cyn and her classmates are doing in the book. One of my all-time favorites. If you’ve never seen it, buy or borrow a copy of the 1982 recording of the Angela Lansbury/George Hearn performance and watch! I love this song because it’s such a great example of the blending of the darkness and humor and madness and brilliance that runs through the entire show.

Follow the tour:
WhoRuBlog
9/9/2014
Elizabeth O. Dulemba
9/13/2014
Random Chalk Talk
9/10/2014
Books 4 Your Kids
9/11/2014
Green Bean Teen Queen
9/12/2014
Katie's Book Blog
9/15/2014
Word Spelunking
9/16/2-14
Book Chic Club
9/17/2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Visions of the Future: Writers Talk About Their Apocalypses

I'm very excited to host the next stop in the Visions of the Future Tour from MacTeens. Emmy Layborne is talking about her post-apocalyptic world in her series Monument 14.




Ah! Post-apocalyptic visions of mass destruction - you are so varied, so specific and so horrible! It’s a pleasure to be here today talking about my own personal brand of ruination.

In the Monument 14 trilogy, an escalating series of environmental catastrophes results in a breach of chemical weapon storage facilities at NORAD. 

Two chemical weapons are released. One is a magnetized blackout cloud, designed to hover above the detonation site and jam all radio, television and cell signals. The other is a compound called MORS, which divides the population based on blood type, turning people with Type AB blood into paranoid freaks, people with A blood blister up and die almost immediately. Type O people become deranged, consumed with bloodlust, driven to slaughter indiscriminately. The fourth blood type, B, shows no outward symptoms. They’ve been made sterile and infertile, but otherwise they’re fine - and must witness the chaos and bloodshed around them.

Fourteen kids ranging in age from 5 to 18 wind up stranded together in the relative safety of an empty super store. Inside, they must band together to form a new society in order to survive the threats of their new world.

Once I finished Monument 14, I took a moment to ask myself: What is wrong with you, Emmy?
Why did you feel the need to cast the world into such darkness? Why did you have a mega-tsunami wipe out the eastern seaboard? (That happened in the chain of catastrophes I mentioned before.) Why did you set the epicenter of all this misery in Monument, Colorado - where your own mother-in-law lives?! 
Okay, so I can totally answer the first one. It had nothing to do with destroying my MIL’s hometown, I promise. I simply wanted a small town in Colorado, and I was familiar with Monument and knew I’d be visiting Monument 2-3 times a year to do additional research. I swear!

But why did I feel the need to create such a dark world? And why did my vision of the future have such a high body-count? One answer is that I created a dark world so that the inner light of my characters could shine through. There’s truth in it, but that seems a little easy, doesn’t it? 

Did I do it because I was following the trends? God, no. If I’d been following the trends I would have made the central character a girl and put her smack dab in the middle of a Niko/Jake love triangle!

I think my impulse to destroy the world comes from a sub-conscious recognition of a true need that young adults have. I think post-apocalyptic and dystopian YA literature originates from this: Teenagers need to destroy the world of their parents so that they can create their own, new worlds. 

And so, in the twisted, terrifying world of Monument, CO in the year 2024, I forced the characters to create a new social construct and to find out who they are - in a new (okay, terribly dark and violent) world. 
So there you have my rumination on the post-apocalyptic world I created in the Monument 14 trilogy. Hey, I’d love for you to read the series and tell me why you think I put the kids in such terrible danger.

Thanks again for having me here! If you’d like, follow me on on InstagramTwitter or like my author page over at Facebook. And over at www.emmylaybourne.com you’ll find giveaways and the latest news on the “Monument 14” movie deal. 


Be sure to follow the tour:
Monday: Andrew Smith at Cuddlebuggery 
Tuesday: Caragh O'Brien at Finding Wonderland
Wednesday: Farel Dalrymple at The Book Wars
Thursday: Here!
Friday: Carrie Ryan at Forever YA

Monday, September 8, 2014

Blog Tour: Stanley's Garage by William Bee

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About the Book: It's another busy day for Stanley! His friends need help fixing their cars and Stanley and his garage is there to rescue them.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Stanley's adventure in his garage is perfect for transportation loving toddlers. William Bee's illustrations are bright and colorful. The color scheme and clear illustration style make this one that would work great in a group setting for storytime as well as one on one.




Stanley's friends all drive different colored cars, so there's a subtle inclusion of color introduction as well as a simplified insight into what cars need to run. Animals need help fixing a flat tire or getting gas and Stanley helps another friend whose car breaks down and needs a tow. The text is simple but offers a lot of great vocabulary (overheating, radiator, oil) which is a fantastic way to give young readers a look into how cars work.


The Stanley books follow the same format-Stanley helps his friends and then heads home for supper, a bath, and bed after a busy day. The repeating format, fun illustrations, and engaging text make this series stand out as a great toddler addition. A sure hit with young readers-be prepared to read about Stanley's adventures frequently!

Be sure to follow the tour and find Stanley around the blogging world this week:


Full Disclosure: Reviewed from galley sent by publisher

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tune In Tuesday

Welcome to the first ever Tune In Tuesday! What is Tune In Tuesday? It's a monthly round up about music-favorite songs, favorite albums, and favorite ways to use it in the library! If you have a Tune In Tuesday post this month, be sure to share it in the comments so I can add it to the round up-and let me know if you want to host next month. (Also, if anyone is super creative with making logos, would you make one for Tune In Tuesday?)


 

-I only recently discovered Bari Koral Family Rock Band and it's a new favorite of mine. When I looked the groups website, I noticed a blurb that said "Sheryl Crow for kids" and I couldn't agree more. 

The songs are catchy and folksy and perfect for kids of all ages and their grown ups. The album has a great indie folk feel and is one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to adults. I wouldn't be surprised if adults enjoyed listening to this one even without the kids around.

 I used some songs from this album at my most recent Bibliobop dance party and they were big hits. I used Bee with scarves and had the kids shake the scarves anytime the chorus came on about the bumblebee. It was a great slow versus fast song and I had one girl tell me that it was her favorite song of the day. I also used Give a Hug as an ending song and plan to use it in an upcoming storytime on friendship. I've also recently started using it as background music during activity and craft time during storytime and it's fantastic background music too! 



-Zee Avi is an artist who needs to produce more children's albums. Seriously, Ms. Avi-please getto work on that right now and children and parents everywhere will thank you. Nightlight  is a cover album full of lullabies ranging from Rainbow Connection to Don't Worry Be Happy to Mockingbird. There's also a Nightlight Medley which includes a Malaysian lullaby perfect for introducing kids to lullabies from around the world. (and would pair nicely with Putumayo Kids Dreamland) The entire collection is beautiful with Zee Avi's delicate and tender voice and gorgeous melodies combining to make a fantastic lullaby collection that's not just for kids-or bedtime. This album is perfect for anytime you want to put some lovely, peaceful music. 

I used Mockingbird as a parachute song at my dance party. It was the perfect tempo for the younger kids and a great calm song to slow things down after a full morning of dancing hard. This would be another great choice to also use as background playtime music anytime.


Roundup:

Abby the Librarian talks about using Asheba's Monkeys-this is one of my favorites too Abby! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Blog Tour: Stanley the Builder by William Bee PLUS Giveaway

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About the Book: Stanley is a helpful guinea pig who helps his friend Myrtle build a new house.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: When it comes to picture books, I can't help but do the storytime browse when I look through them. You know the one. You open a book, check the length of the text on the page and if it's a page long, you put it aside in the not for storytime pile. Yes, I know, longer picture books are great for lapsits and older readers, but I'm always on the lookout for simple text to use with my youngest storytime crowd.

New toddler books are hard to find so I am thrilled that William Bee's Stanley is here! Bright colors, simple text and fantastic vocabulary all make this a wonderful addition to toddler storytime.

Stanley builds Myrtle's house using a variety of trucks which is sure to be a hit with young readers. I love that in addition to the vocabulary of each vehicle used, there's also an introduction to the color of each vehicle. The colors are bright and vibrant and sure to engage young readers who will love looking at Stanley's adventures.


Along with his friend Charlie, Stanley builds Myrtle's house using concrete, bricks, nails and of course paint! 


The process of building is explained in a way that toddlers will understand. They're sure to want to read it again and again. And who can resist the adorable Stanley? 

Stanley is a great addition to toddler storytimes and would pair nicely with Lauren Thompson's Mouse Series

Would you like to win a copy? 
-One entry per person
-US Address only
-13+
-Contest ends September 8


Full Disclosure: Copy reviewed from galley received from publisher for review 



About Me

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I am a youth services librarian, which means I work with children, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! The opinions and content of this blog are my own and are not that of my library system. My blog content is my own and not that of any committee or organization I'm involved in. A Note to Authors/Publishers: I would be happy to review your book, share guest posts, author interviews or other book promotions on my blog. Please contact me at greenbeanteenqueen (at) gmail (dot) com