Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tween Tuesday: The Adventures of Ook and Gluk by Dav Pilkey PLUS Giveaway

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and leave your Tween Tuesday link below.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: Graphic Novel/Humor/Time Travel/Adventure

Release Date: 8/10/2010

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About the Book: Ook and Gluk are cavemen living in the year 500,001 B.C. in Caveland, Ohio. Caveland is being attacked by an evil coorporation from the future. The annoying Chief Goppernopper's descendant has created a time machine and J.P. Goppernopper is stealing resources from Caveland and taking them to his time in 2222 A.D. Ook and Gluk and their pet dinosaur Lily must stop their village from being kept as slaves and to do that they must learn kung fu! Lots of laughs, adventure, and of course Flip-O-Rama's will follow-will Ook and Gluk save the day?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Any librarian who has spent time in the children's department of the library (or elementary or middle school librarian) will tell you that Captain Underpants is a constantly asked for series. And for many years librarians had no new news to tell fans who would come in every week asking when the next book by Dav Pilkey would be out. But finally this year librarians were able to do a happy dance because Dav Pilkey gave us a new book for these eager readers.

The Adventures of Ook and Gluk will please those readers who have been waiting for more humorous adventures. The premise of the book is that it's a graphic novel written by George Bear and Harold Hutchins (characters readers will remember from the Captain Underpants books). Readers won't need any prior knowledge of George and Harold as The Adventures of Ook and Gluk stands apart from the Captain Underpants books.

There's lots of humor and goofy jokes and the graphic novel format makes the book especially appealing to reluctant readers and young tweens. With lots of humor, adventure, time travel, pet dinosaurs, and even a bit of romance, there's a lot here in this short book that you can sell to readers. Readers who enjoy a good silly book will be sure to love this one.

The book is written as if two fourth grade boys wrote it, so there's lots of misspellings and at first I found that somewhat annoying. But once I got into reading it I could overlook it and enjoy the story. I love the "how to speak caveman" instructions in the back-especially the translation from "my grandmother doesn't think this book belongs in the library" into "grandma no fun." Readers will be eager for the next Ook and Gluk Adventure and this librarian is happy to have another Dav Pilkey book to add to the shelf.

Give the gift of reading to your child this holiday season! Scholastic books make the perfect stocking stuffer for any child on your list.

We have a HUGE prize pack filled with the most popular children’s books in the marketplace to offer one lucky reader! Titles include CAPTAIN SKY BLUE, IT’S CHRISTMAS DAVID, OOK and GLUK as well as TONY BALONEY, ODIOUS OGRE and I SPY CHRISTMAS A CHRISTMAS TREE!

One (1) Winner will receive a HUGE gift pack, including:
Prize Pack Valued at $89.75
Giveaways open to US Mailing Addresses only.

To Enter: Leave a comment with an e-mail address and let me know where you would travel to if you had a time machine.

US Addresses Only, Ages 13+, Contest ends December 10 at midnight central time

If you don't win, don't worry!
Scholastic has lots of great books and deals at the Scholastic Store!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Be Back Soon!!

Hi all! Just a quick note to let you know I'm still recovering from hosting Thanksgiving and having ten family members at my house over the week! I'll be back soon with contests and ideas for bookish holiday gifts. If you have any favorite books or bookish gifts, I'd love to hear about them!

Friday, November 26, 2010

YA Movie News: A Pretty Little Liars Thanksgiving

I got a special surprise from 'A' this week! I got a package from A with this note inside:

The note says "Time to turn up the heat and see what secrets are revealed. Happy Thanksgiving!-A"

And then I found this:

An Apple Pie from 'A' with her initials all over it! Of course we had to bake it on Thanksgiving!

Thanks A! And it got me very excited for the upcoming premire of Pretty Little Liars. I'm ready for the show to start back up! Don't worry, I've got the videos to get you caught up. Here's a recap of everything that's happened so far in case you missed it:

And of course a preview of the new season:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flash Reviews

Our newest state booklist will be released soon-our ratings for the books on the shortlist are due December 1st! I'm compiling my thoughts on some of the Gateway Award Nominees since our ratings are due soon. These will be shorter than normal reviews aka "flash reviews." While these books are shortlisted on the Gateway Award List and I am a reader selector for the list, these reviews reflect my own personal opinion and not that of the committee or the Missouri School Library Association. (And this isn't all of the books-I'm still working on several and I've reviewed many others already on this blog!) I'll keep you updated on the final list and try and post more of my reviews as I read. If you've read any, I'd love to know your thoughts!

Rating: 3/5

I really wanted to like this book since I typically love novels in verse. But this one fell short for me. The characterization was lacking-there were several characters that were introduced that were gone shortly after and I never really got to know them or their purpose in the story. Also, because this is a story of abuse told from the "invisible" daughter's point of view, the threat of abuse didn't loom as large as I think it would have if it had been told by one of the kids who was being abused. It still is a powerful story and I think some readers who enjoy realistic fiction told in verse would enjoy this one.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Rating: 2.75/5 Stars

Hmm...what to say? What an odd and interesting book! This was just a little weird for me. It's not for people who like their books wrapped up neatly-the narrator is unrealiable so you never know what part of the story is the truth which can be very frustrating for the reader. The ending leaves you scratching your head and wondering what was real and what wasn't. And I could have done without the big twist-I would have preffered the book to be about a pathological liar and not a pathological liar with a twist (and yes, the twist made me roll my eyes and think "can't we have realistic fiction anymore?")

Lost by Jacqueline Davies

Rating: 2/5 Stars

One of my least favorite on the list. I don't even know why this one didn't work for me. I just felt bored with the story. There were supposed to be a few plot twists, but I saw them coming, so there was no surprise for me, which made me disappointed. I also couldn't really relate to the main character, which made it hard for me to get into the story. I don't like historical fiction that much to begin with, so it was hard to get into this one with the slow moving storyline. I think it'd be better for older readers and readers who typically enjoy historical fiction.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Um..how did this not win the Printz Award?? I'm still puzzling over that one!
This was one of my favorites on the list and I think it's a must read for high
schoolers! Lia's story is heartbreaking but one you can't pull yourself away
from. My heart went out to her as I read (or actually listened to) this book.
I also loved the audiobook narration. When Lia is thinking about calories or
about food, the narrator has this whispering voice that portrays the inner
voice Lia is dealing with. A powerful novel about a horrible disease. It's
heartbreaking yet hopeful and the story sticks with you long after you read it.

Does your state have a reading list? I'd love to know about it and what books are on it!

Full Disclosure: All books were library copies or audiobook downloads I paid for with my
very own money!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

So I participated in the 2010 Debut Author Challenge (I set a goal of 15 books and right now I'm at 24!) I love reading Debut books so of course I'm going to participate again next year! The challenge is hosted by The Story Siren and you can find more info on her site. Be sure to join in-the prize packs each month are very cool and you get to read lots of awesome YA!

So what am I planning on reading?

1. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
2. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
3. Timeless by Alexandra Monir
4. Choker by Elizabeth Woods
5. How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen
6. Rival by Sara Bennett-Wheeler
7. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
8. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
9. Entwined by Heather Dixon
10. Clarity by Kim Harrington
11. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
12. Kat the Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
13. Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
14. The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
15. Divergent by Veronica Roth
16. Awaken by Kate Kacvinsky
17. Die for Me by Amy Plum
18. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I'll add more to the list, but these are the ones that are on my radar!! What about you? What 2011 books are you looking forward to?

Tween Tuesday: Poop Happened by Sarah Albee

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen! Join the fun and share your great tween reads below.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Non-Fiction/Humor

Release Date: 5/11/2010

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About the Book: Everyone poops. So why don't we ever talk about it history class? How did they go to the bathroom in the Middle Ages-they sure didn't have indoor plumbing! Who invented the modern toilet? How to astronauts go to the bathroom in space? Poop Happened is a look at the history of the world from the bottom up.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I'm always looking for fun, creative non-fiction to booktalk during my school visits. Poop Happened fits that description perfectly! The book is full of fun facts and illustrations and I know many middle school boys (and girls) will be excited to pick this one up.

I love the way the book is set up. The chapters are short and quick to read. In addition to the main chapter information, there's a lot of sidebar information and boxes full of fun facts. This is a book that can be read from forward to back or readers could easily pick it up and browse through it for some fun information. The book also has lots of cartoonish illustrations which I think adds to the appeal.

And of course, you can't forget the fact that the book is full of anything you've ever wanted to know about bathrooms and poop! How did they use the bathroom before there were toilets? What happened when they didn't clean up and poop spread disease? What were some of the gross poop related jobs people used to have? There's lots of humor and a few gross out moments, but nothing so bad it will really gross out readers.

Poop Happened is a great tween book and perfect for reluctant readers and reluctant readers of non-fiction. Even though it's targeted to a tween audience, I think this would have appeal to older readers as well-I mean, who doesn't want to learn about poop? It's always funny! I doubt this one will stay in my library long after I talk it up to my tweens!

Book Pairings: The Big Book of Gross Stuff by Bart King, 100 Most Disgusting Things on the Planet by Anna Claybourne

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from library copy

Monday, November 22, 2010

Negative Reviews Happen

So there's been a lot of talk lately about negative reviews and I felt like I wanted to give my view on negative reviewing. I work very hard to review honestly on this blog, which means there will be times when I don't like a book and I will post about it. I know that not every book is for every reader-I'm a librarian, I preach that philosophy every single day! But my blog is my place to share my thoughts on the books I read and I will post honestly-meaning the good and the bad. I do try my hardest to explain every review I write and really examine each book I read and look at it and see what worked and didn't work for me-and share that in my reviews.

I honestly get a little tired of seeing the blogging world turn into a gushing review society. Really, every YA blogger adores every single YA book they've ever read? Really? That's the beauty of reading-we all have different ideas, thoughts and experiences with books. What works for us might not work for someone else-and that's OK! I want to know honestly what you think about a book, not just some glowing gush-fest of every book you post about.

So with all that said, here's my advice and thoughts on negative reviews.

To bloggers: Let's face it-bloggers are reviewers, and not every review will be 100% positive and gushing. If that were the case, than all the professional journals would be handing out starred reviews like they were candy. But they don't.

It's OK to post negative reviews. It's OK to not like a book. But if you write about a book you didn't like, be polite and be respectful. It is never OK to bash an author personally or use a negative review to say mean things about an author. An author is separate from the book-you are reviewing their book, not them as a person. It is also never OK to tell someone not to read a book. Don't make generalizations about all readers and assume all readers won't enjoy it. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean others won't. It's OK to tell someone why you didn't like it, but understand that everyone has different opinions. That's what makes reading so great-we all take different things from different books and we get to talk about it.

If you do decide to write a negative review, make sure you explain what it was about the book that you didn't like. What didn't work for you? Don't just say it didn't work but explain why it didn't work for you. I also think it's OK to examine various aspects of the book-plot development, characterization and character development, setting, theme, etc. Your review should be an evaluation of the book. K.T. Horning's fabulous book From Cover to Cover (which is a great resource when it comes to reviewing) states that reviews should include an analytical section that includes "statements about literary and artistic elements, including evaluation, comparison, and mention of contributions to the field."

And readers-don't assume that just because you read a negative review, you won't like a book. Just like you can't assume because you read a positive review you'll love a book. Each reader is an individual and we all have different reading tastes. Yes, a negative review might make you less likely to read that book next in your TBR pile, but don't let a negative review make you give up on a book completely.

To authors: I know, negative reviews suck. I get that, really. It sucks writing them-honestly. But no book in the history of books has had 100% glowing reviews. There will always be someone who doesn't like your book. Yes, it might be over things you find petty but that's the readers opinion and they have every right to their opinion. Don't bash bloggers for writing negative reviews. Don't whine and complain about a negative review. I'm sorry that someone didn't like your book. I'm sorry that maybe I didn't like your book. But remember-everyone has different reading tastes. Not everyone will love every book they have ever read. You won't love every book you ever read!

Just because I might not love a book doesn't mean I'm not going handsell and booktalk that book as a librarian. I will still promote your books. In fact, my teens find it hilarious when they love a book more than me-it just means they are way cooler than I am! And it doesn't mean I don't like you as a person-I think all authors are amazing and wonderful. But sometimes a book just isn't the right fit-and that's OK. And I have every right as a reader to my opinions and thoughts on those books-even yours.

I know there's an unwritten rule among YA authors that authors won't write negative reviews about each other. OK, fine, don't review each other negatively. But I'm not a writer, I'm a reader and I'm a reviewer. I'm giving my opinion on a book and sharing that opinion with others. What they do with that opinion is up to them.

Yes, I know blogging is not the same as professional review journals. But no author would ever dream of writing a blog post or tweeting about the horrible reviews they got from Kirkus, School Library Journal, or Booklist. And they wouldn't write a letter to the Printz committee demanding to know why their book didn't win. So why does that happen to bloggers?

We need to keep in mind that everyone deserves respect. Bloggers, authors, readers-we all deserve respect. And we all deserve the right to our opinions. We can respect each other, even if we disagree, and even if we write negative reviews.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

MAJOR Cover Lust!!!

Ok, seriously how hot is this cover??? I've got MAJOR cover lust, what about you?

About the Book: Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn’t live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he’s never known, and just when he thinks he’s got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?

Friday, November 19, 2010

YA Movie News

-First off, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One is awesome! Go see it! Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I both enjoyed it very much and can't wait for part two! Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan says it's the most satisfied he's felt after watching a Harry Potter movie in theaters.

-Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has a director.
Mike White will be directing. I'll keep you posted on casting info as I find out! Thanks to Shelf-Awareness for the news.

-Director Baz Luhrmann (who I love!) has found his Daisy Buchanan for his upcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Actress
Carey Mulligan will take the role along side Leonardo DeCaprio and Tobey Maguire who will play Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway. I'm eager to see this new adaptation. I loved the book in high school and I pretty much adore anything Baz Luhrmann does! Thanks to Shelf-Awareness for the news.

-The Hub wil launch the new series R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour on December 25. I know my tweens will be excited about this one! Thanks to
Cynopsis Kids for the news.

-Have you seen the new trailer for Red Riding Hood? The premises sounds like a couple of YA novels out, but is not based on them. And it's directed by Catherine Hardwicke, so the trailer looks eerily similar to another film franchise we've seen. Anyone else see the similarities? And normally I like Amanda Seyfried, but the trailer makes her seem like a whimpering annoying girl with no acting skills and terrible lines. Will you go see the fim? I'm still undecided.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why I Love Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One is almost here! So to celebrate, I thought I would share what it is I love about the series. (And there are spoilers-you've been warned!! But seriously, if you need spoiler warnings, than I'm sad-you need to read the series!)

I got in on the Harry Potter phenomenon late-I read all the books in a month before the sixth book released. And you all have Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan to thank for that because he told me to read them. I had actually started reading book one aloud with my brother a couple of years before, but we stopped reading because I had to back to school and we just never caught back up. But after I read them, I immediately called my mom and told her she had to read them with my siblings!

I didn't really hear much about Harry Potter until I was in college (and yes, it makes me feel old when my teens say they grew up reading Harry Potter), and while I had friends that read them, I was very busy and not reading as much (this is also before I really re-discovered YA). I was still in that "I'm an adult I must read fancy adult books" phase, so children's and YA wasn't on my radar. But then a few years later, enter Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan who told me to read them. I was also volunteering at the Adler Planetarium and they mentioned how there were many tie-ins to the series in the constellations, so I decided to check the books out. I was getting fed up with my boring adult reading diet, so I welcomed the idea of something new.

I gobbled up the books! I read books 1-5 in a month and finished book five just a day before the sixth book released. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I went to Borders for the midnight release, rushed back and read our copies. We weren't officially dating at the time and we credit Harry Potter as one of the things that really brought us together.

Why do I love the books?

-They reintroduced me to children's and YA lit. Once I started reading Harry Potter, I couldn't stop there. I checked out other children's and YA books. I already had the idea that I wanted to be a librarian, but reading Harry Potter helped further that idea along and introduced me to the genres I loved the read-and the perfect job-tween and teen librarian.

-The stories are inventive and magical. The writing is so fantastic and the details of the magical world J.K. Rowling has created continue to amaze me-even when I re-read the books.

-There's always something new each time I re-read one of the books. There's new hints or details I didn't notice before. Like in book seven, she has characters mention to Hermione things about Magical Law. It's little things like that I appreciate with each reading.

-My all time favorite moment of reading the Harry Potter series came in book three, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. All throughout the book she has you thinking Sirius Black is a killer and betrayed Harry's parents. The moment Harry learns the truth is when we figure out what really happened. When Harry believes the truth, we as the reader change our mind and believe too-and that is a powerful moment as a reader.

-They can be enjoyed by all ages. I love that I was able to share this series with my family and friends. I was able to get friends who didn't think they were readers, let alone readers of children's and YA books, to read the Harry Potter Series. The fact that we can discuss each book and movie is something I love and hold dear. I look forward to sharing the books with my niece and maybe my own children someday.

Sadly, I think there's still a stigma surrounding the Harry Potter series. I have several friends who still haven't read them-they think they can just see the movies instead. (So wrong and every time they say it's like stabbing me in my librarian heart!) And there's the fact that the fandom has taken off and it's seen as somewhat "nerdy." But I try to explain that they just need to try to read them. If you can't seem to read them, try them on audio-Jim Dale is a fantastic narrator. The funny thing is, these aren't people who will shy away from reading YA-there's just something about Harry Potter that makes them turn up their noses. But I'm still working on them-I'll get these non-readers to read Harry Potter someday!!

So why do you love the Harry Potter series? When did you become a fan? Any favorite moments or books? And if you haven't read them yet, seriously why not???:) (And don't think you can just see the movies-that's so wrong and you're really missing out!) And who's going to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One?? I can't wait!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Cover Lust Edition

I don't normally post Waiting on Wednesday posts (at least not on a regular basis) but there have been so many lust worthy covers out recently, I had to share!!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano March 2011

This cover goes into the cover dresses I want in real life pile

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell March 2011
Another dress I love-I like this cover much better than the other one I've seen floating around!

I've been waiting for this book forever-I've serious got a waiting list already at my library of girls who want to read it! I love this new cover!
I've been wanting to read this since I heard Melissa was writing it which seems like forever ago-can't wait to read it!
There's lots of early buzz around this one, and author Veronica Roth is awesome! She lives in Chicagoland (and I used to live there!) and I hear the book is set in the city-love when that happens! And she posted an awesome post about #SpeakLoudly!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Katniss and Rue

I've seen a lot of fan made videos for various things, but this fan made Hunger Games clip featuring Katniss and Rue is pretty impressive!! I just hope the movie is this good!

Tween Tuesday: Bone by Jeff Smith

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and add your link for Tween Tuesday below!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Graphic Novel/Comic/Fantasy

Release Date: Originally published in 1996, full color copy from Scholastic published 2005

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About the Book: The three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone have been run out of Boneville. Shortly after the start of their journey the cousins are seperated. Each cousin travels into a strange forest with new creatures and the hope of finding a way back.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I feel like such a terrible librarian for admitting this, but I hadn't read Bone until this year! The comics are always checked out from my library and I always have tweens and teens asking for them, but I had never sat down and read them. When I was at a Scholastic warehouse sale earlier this year, I saw the full color versions of Bone and decided to pick up a copy of volume one for myself and I'm so glad I did!

After reading Out from Boneville I know why tweens keep asking for this series and why it's never on my shelf! The Bone cousins are hilarious and their adventures are so much fun. Fone Bone is the Bone cousin we get to know the most in this volume and I have to say he's my favorite. He's the nicest of the cousins and I love his sense of humor. The other two Bone cousins are scheming at times, but I still think they're fun to read about. I just have a soft spot for Fone Bone (and his poor crush on Thorn!)

The illustrations are beautiful and I love the way the character's emotions are portrayed in the artwork. Poor Fone Bone has a crush on the lovely human girl Thorn and you see his feelings for her through his eyes and facial expressions in the art.

The humor is spot on for tween readers. Bone is a fantasy that I think will appeal to readers even if they typically shy away from graphic novels. There's a lot of adventure and humor and that's what will draw readers in-no matter the style the book is written in. There are nine books in the Bone series plus two prequels as well as a new novel out in 2011 set in the Bone world. With so many books to choose from, readers will be happily enjoying Boneville for a long time!

Book Pairings: For other adventure/fantasy comics and graphic novels, give readers of Bone Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi, Flight: Explorer edited by Kazu Kibuishi, or Knights of the Lunch Table by Frank Cammuso

Monday, November 15, 2010

Library Programs: Teen Library Council

Teen Book Mania
Last week, I did an interview at YA Librarian Tales for Sarah's feature on "Life Behind the Reference Desk." I talked about my Teen Library Council and was asked to give more information. So here it is!!

-Basically, my Teen Library Council (TLC) is what I call my "teen brain"-I always tell them I hate growing up and sadly I'm not a teen anymore, so they need to tell me what teens want, what's hot, what's not and what I need to know about teens.

-TLC meets once a month (we meet on a Saturday but other libraries have good luck meeting on weekday afternoons). We meet anywhere between 1 and 2 hours and I keep track of who attends the meetings. They can count council time as volunteer time for the library.

-TLC helps me plan library programs for teens-that's their biggest job. They help me with ideas, crafts, events, and even program prep, set up and tear down. In December the TLC members will even be presenting a storytime for the kids and they will run everything! (And yep, this program was their idea!)

-When not planning programs, we talk about books, movies, music-anything! Sometimes I make a list and ask them "what's hot/what's not" and we go down the list and they have to fill it out-I always love hearing their answers! Other times I'll bring in covers of books and hold up the cover and not tell them anything else and they have to tell me what they think the book is about and if the cover is good/bad. I'll bring in a laptop and we'll watch book trailers/movie trailers/YouTube videos and talk about what's coming up that we're excited about. I'll bring in catalogs I get from publishers and have the teens go through and circle books they think the library should add to the teen collection. They gave feedback when we re-designed our teen space. They help me make booklists. They give me ideas of authors to contact for our new Skype Book Club. Our meetings are pretty much a hodge podge of stuff. We plan things for the library, but the teens also provide me with feedback on how programs went and what teens at my library want.

-TLC was already set up when I moved in my position in YA. Even though I already had a set time the group was meeting, it's a group I always have to do recruiting for. Many of the teens I started with graduated so I had to start new about a year in. I talk about TLC anytime I make a school visit and tell the teens about the group. I also advertise it in our library program booklet, on the library teen Facebook page and blog. Also, anytime I have a program at the library or talk to a teen who has ideas about library events, I promote TLC and invite them to come. There's no registration, no sign ups-they just come, see if they like it and can decide if they want to keep coming.

-Here's the biggest piece of advice I can give: Perks of being on the Teen Library Council can go a long way!! The perk of being on the TLC is that TLC teens get to read and review ARCs. My stash of ARCs for TLC started out small-I entered contests, tried to look for giveaways on the YALSA-listserv, and asked co-workers going to conferences to please look out for YA ARCs. I've been lucky to attend ALA annual the past two years and I grabbed ARCs that I thought would appeal to my teens. I ended up with two boxes shipped back from the TLC members, so I knew it would last us awhile! I keep books on the ARC shelf even after they've been published-the teens honestly just love reading and reviewing it in it's ARC form and they love the perk of borrowing a book that might have a big waiting list. I also only put out ARCs up to two months out from the month we're meeting in so there's always something new to add. I also add ARCs I get to review from my blog in the stash after I've reviewed them. I put labels on the cover of every TLC ARC that says "Please return to Sarah, Teen Librarian" to make sure the books get back to me.

The first time a teen visits TLC, they can borrow one book, after that they can borrow two at a time. They can return them at TLC meetings or to me if I'm around. I also have teens stop by and drop them off at the reference desk, they just can't exchange it for a new one if I'm not around. (I don't let them get anything new if they have stuff still out to make sure I get things back). I keep a document of everything I have on my ARC shelf, mark off who has it and when they borrowed it, and mark it off when it's returned. I've had a few books disappear, but for the most part the teens are really great about getting them back and passing them on to other members. I use the YALSA Galley Group review sheets for reviews and if they borrow a book I ask them to review it. We spend the beginning of each meeting sharing what books we've read and filling out reviews. Once we're all done with our agenda for the day, they get to pick new books.

Another perk of TLC is that when we hosted our Teen Book Mania event at the library, the TLC members were "author hosts." They got to give tours of the library, eat lunch with the authors, and emcee the event. I also got them t-shirts that we wrote T.B.M. T.L.C. and our names on with silver sparkly markers. Many of the teens than got their t-shirts signed by the authors.

I can't say this would work with every advisory group, but for my teens it works like a charm! My group is full of big readers and they love reading, reviewing and sharing books with each other. Like I said earlier, I promote the TLC when I visit schools. This past week I visited a high school book club and a middle school English class where I gave booktalks. I always end up booktalking some ARC and I mention how TLC members get to read and review ARCs. This last Saturday I had six new members at TLC because I mentioned at my school visits!

Other libraries have ice cream or pizza at each meeting or the teens get some other special perk for being on the council. I've found that having that perk really makes the teens feel important and gets them interested. Our meetings are low key, we have fun, and I don't mind if we got off track once in awhile to talk about how excited we are for the new Harry Potter movie-as long as we get through our "to-do" list for the day. We laugh a lot and we can be loud at times, but we have fun and I let the teens be themselves and that's what makes the group work.

My TLCers are such a huge part of what I do at the library-I couldn't do it without them! They make my job worth it. I have so much fun with my TLCers they were even part of my wedding last year-they got to be the ushers and attendants!

What about you??

If you're a librarian I hope you can start a TLC group-it's well worth it! And if you have one, I'd love to hear about it! What works with your group? What are your meetings like?

And if you're a teen, ask your library to start a TLC group or see if they have one and join it! It's a great way to give feedback and get involved in your library!

Friday, November 12, 2010

YA Movie News

-Another celeb has been tweeting love for The Hunger Games. According to The Hunger Games Trilogy Fansite, Adam Lambert was tweeting about the series. The website and Entertainment Weekly jumped on the news and suggested maybe Adam Lambert might be a good pick for Cinna. I don't really love the idea (he's not really how I pictured Cinna-I agree with EW when they mention is a minimalist dresser) but the idea sure made me laugh!

-In other Hunger Games news, rumors are out that auditions have begun!
The Hunger Games Trilogy Fansite has a report for an aspiring actress who had an audition for the film. According to the info sent from the casting agency, filming will begin in 2011 so hopefully we'll start to see some casting choices soon!

Mugglenet has posted their initial reactions to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One. I'm trying not to get my hopes up after I was very disappointed with how movie six turned out, but I have to admit I'm getting very excited!

-The newest trailer for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader looks great-I can't wait for this movie!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Life Behind the Reference Desk

Sarah of YA Librarian Tales has a new feature called "Life Behind the Reference Desk"-and guess who her first librarian guest is? Me! Be sure to check out the interview to see what life as a librarian is really like!

And thanks Sarah for the interview-check out her blog-she totally rocks!:)

2010 Holiday Reading Challenge

I don't know what it is about the holidays, but they make me want to curl up with a sappy holiday romance or watch cheesy made-for-TV movies. As much as I enjoy romance, I honestly can't take too much sap and cheesiness, but I love it this time of year! And I love reading holiday books, so the Holiday Reading Challenge at All About {n} is always a ton of fun!

Here's the rules:

Challenge Requirements:

1- Challenge will start Monday, November 15 and will end Friday, December 31.

2- You can read anywhere from 1 to 5 books for the challenge and, of course, if you're like me, you are more than welcome to surpass that number.

3- And now, here's the clincher... they must be holiday related books. That's right, the holiday doesn't really matter, but it would be more "jolly" if your choices were Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.

4- The size of the book does not matter, nor does the genre. It is also okay for the book to overlap with other challenges. The only thing I ask is that they are not children's books. YA is okay. And so are re-reads. I for one tend to read the same books every Christmas - they are tradition.

5- To sign up - leave a link back to your challenge post. There will also be a post for review links as well as one for challenge wrap-ups.

6- And.... there will be goodies. That's right, we'll call them presents. At the end of every week that the challenge is running I will choose one winner from the review links. Meaning the more books you read, review and link up, the more chances you have at winning a "present".

This year I'm going to try and read three holiday books (maybe more if I can). I'm hoping to read:
1. Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green and E. Lockhart (a re-read-perfect for the holidays!)
2. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
3. It Happened One Night by Lisa Dale

Want to join? Sign up at All About {n} and enjoy the holiday books!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lisa Rowe Fraustino Guest Post

Photo Credit: Nick Lacy

Please welcome author Lisa Rowe Fraustino to GreenBeanTeenQueen! I asked Lisa to share her thoughts on libraries:

In early childhood, I don’t remember having many books at home. I remember being told all the nursery rhymes and traditional fairy tales that my parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents all knew by heart, but it was when I got to school that I first discovered shelves full of children’s books.

Learning to read in the first grade changed my life. What, you didn’t need another person to tell you a story? You could learn the magic code of written language and tell all the stories in the world to yourself?

My teacher even let us borrow her books, take one home each night to read over and over. I loved reading aloud to my younger sister and brother. Wow, could life ever get any better than that?

Yes, yes it could! I found out the next summer, after my mother had started working full-time.

Mama and Daddy left us with a sitter all day, Mrs. Murphy, who had six kids and lived within walking distance of downtown Dexter, Maine. One day a teenage Murphy took me with her to a place I’d never been before, a cozy little beige brick building called “the library.”

Abbott Memorial Library in Dexter Maine

I never knew before that a place could smell so enticing, like paper and ink, because it housed hundreds or thousands of books! And if you and your mother signed your names on piece of stiff paper called a “library card,” you could take ten of them home at a time! For a whole week!

Thus began my life as an avid reader, hauling armloads of books back and forth on our weekly visit to the library. Throughout my school years, I read every children’s and young adult book in every town and school library where I lived—which is saying quite a bit because we moved into three different school districts.

During my adolescent years, I read all the adult books I could get my eyes on too. I read one book every day during the school year, and up to three books a day during the summer. When I ran out of library books, I’d reread all my old favorite childhood paperbacks bought for twenty-five cents from the school book club or given as gifts by my grandmother, dog-eared copies of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Charlotte’s Web, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and Queenie Peavy. I still enjoy rereading those, among others.

I loved reading and learning so much, I hated for any book to end and even for school to end. I stayed in school until there weren’t any more degrees to be had. Now I’m still in school as a college professor, and I have to read books every day for a living. I actually get paid to read! Life is good.

Would you like to see the different ways students sometimes look at children’s books in college classes? Visit Dr. Lisa’s Class at
http://lisarowefraustino.com/?page_id=296 to read “The Cat in the Hat Goes to Graduate School.” Other class sessions can be found at http://lisarowefraustino.com/?page_id=249.

Thanks Lisa! I'm so glad you discovered libraries and how cool that you get paid to read now as an adult! What a fun job!

Check out the book trailer for Lisa's newest book, The Hole in the Wall.

Blog Tour: The Hole in the Wall by Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Fantasy

Release Date: 11/1/2010

Add to Goodreads

About the Book: Strange things are happening to Seb. He's started to notice strange colors in his secret hideaway he's dubbed the hole in the way. Then he finds a rock that shares those strange colors. But when the eggs start to harden and raw cookie dough gives Seb the stomach ache of the century, he and his sister set out to uncover the truth about what's happening in their small town.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: It took me awhile to get into this book. There's not a lot of action right from the start and it took me a bit to get used to the author's storytelling style.

Seb is an interesting character and he takes a bit to get used to. He has quite an imagination, so his mind wanders and he imagines new situations and he takes the reader there with him. Because of this, his narration takes a bit to get adjusted to.

A lot happens in the story and there's a big mystery the twins have set out to solve, but I thought some of the story jumped around and there were parts that could have been explained a bit better. The mystery aspect of the storyline was a bit hard to follow at times. Because of that I think The Hole in the Wall would be great to give advanced tween readers that are looking for something that's a bit of a challenge but still middle grade.

There's not so much fantasy or mystery that it relies heavily on either genre, and readers who enjoy stories about small town life and fighting off evil coorporations should give this one a try.

Book Pairings: Pair this with Carl Hiaasen's middle grade novels for a good discussion on tweens standing up to adults and fighting for what's right.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by publisher for review

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tween Tuesday: Pilot & Huxley by Dan McGuiness

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tween readers! Join the fun and add your Tween Tuesday post below.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Comic Book

Release Date: 1/1/11

Add to Goodreads

About the Book: Pilot and Huxley are best friends who are about to get pulled into the biggest adventure. The video game they rented, Alien vs. Terminator vs Predator vs Robocop vs Jim Carry
is overdue-and just happens to hold the password to activate an alien race's weapon of doom. The aliens send the Grim Reaper to collect the game, but he just sends Pilot and Huxley to a strange new world. Now they have to find the leader, find a way home-and oh yeah, find a way to defeat evil aliens.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: When you work with tween readers you can never have enough gross out humor and Pilot & Huxley offers up a new comic series with plenty of gross out humor.

The banter between Pilot and Huxley is tween perfect-exactly how tween boys talk! One boy is the calm logical one and the other thinks their entire adventure is so cool so they bicker back and forth at times which adds to the humor. The story is so out there and crazy but tweens won't mind-they'll be laughing along. There's evil aliens, a lost pirate, a grim reaper, shape-shifting girls, giants, laser beams, robots, sloberfinks-everything you could ever want in a comic, it's packed in here.

It has plenty of silly and gross-out moments-my favorite is when the boys are sent on a quest to retrieve a golden nose hair from a sleeping giant and have to trek through snot in order to complete the quest.

The comic is a fast read and reads somewhat like a cartoon you'd see on Cartoon Network, so I think this would be perfect to place into the hands of a reluctant reader. The jokes are smart, the dialogue is witty, and there's plenty of adventure. This one is perfect for tweens. Check out the sneak peek of Pilot & Huxley and be sure to add this to your tween comic order!

Book Pairings: This could pair nicely with the Kit Feeny comics by Michael Townsend (the silly humor will appeal to readers)

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by publisher for review

Monday, November 8, 2010

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal

Release Date: 10/19/2010

Add to Goodreads

About the Book: Nora is happily dating Patch and life seems to be going great-until the moment Nora let's it slip that she loves him. Nora should have known her life couldn't stay perfect. Patch begins to pull away and Nora feels betrayed and hurt as Patch's attention turns to her nemesis, Marcie Millar. As Nora begins to learn more about her father's death she finds out about a group of rogue Nephilim and a mysterious leader, the Black Hand. Patch isn't answering her questions, so it's up to Nora to find out the truth for herself. But is she ready for the what the truth may uncover about her past?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I had a love/hate relationship with this book (and I mean that in a good way!) Nora and Patch would make me love them one minute and than get so frustrated and annoyed at them the next. Especially Patch-why couldn't he at least clue Nora in a bit? And Nora was very oblivious I wanted to yell at her at times.

But that's what makes these books so fun for me. I get so involved with the characters I want to talk to them and keep them from making dumb decisions, but at the same time I want them to mess up so I can read all about it. I want Nora to try and find Patch's apartment by herself or sneak into the mysterious Scott's place to uncover the truth. Yes, she's being impulsive but I want to solve the mystery as much as she does, so while I'm yelling at her I'm also cheering her on. I guess these books make me a very sadistic reader!

Patch isn't quite as bad boy in Crescendo as he was in Hush, Hush but he's still deliciously dangerous. Patch spends a lot of the book pulling away from Nora (because he can't be with her due to the archangels rules) and therefore they spend a lot of time trying to make each other jealous and drive each other crazy. This little dance between them, while frustrating, is actually pretty fun to read.

But what makes this series so much fun and why I keep coming back to it is the mystery element of the story. This isn't just a parnormal romance, this series has a mystery that the character's are trying to solve. Yes there's romance, but finding the truth is the main driving force of our characters and that's what I enjoy the most.

We learn a lot more backstory on Nora and we learn more about the angels and Nephilim which adds a nice new storyline. There were plenty of new twists and turns in the story that took me by surprise. There's also a pretty terrible cliffhanger, so I'm very eager to read the next book in the series! Crescendo is a great sequel that gives us even more information about Nora and Patch and will keep readers engaged in the series and leave them wanting more.

Book Pairings: For fallen angels of course pair with Fallen by Lauren Kate. For another look into a mysterious father/daughter relationship, I'd pair these with The Agency series by Y.S. Lee

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from a finished copy I borrowed from a co-worker

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Book Blogger Holiday Swap

Hey everyone! Don't forget to sign up for the Book Blogger Holiday Swap! This is a great way to spread the holiday cheer and share books and meet new bloggers. I partcipated last year and had a blast finding the perfect gift for my blogger and I was able to find two new blogs thanks to the swap (my blogger match and the blogger that sent my gift!)
The deadline is November 14, so sign up now!

Library Videos to Make You Laugh

This one is for all you library school students: (thanks to LibrariYAn for the link!)

And thanks to Betsy Bird for pointing me to this one.

Friday, November 5, 2010

YA Movie News

-Very cool Pretty Little Liars news! Check this out:

Pretty Little Liars Secret Seekers’” Grand Prize Winner to Receive
VIP Sneak Peek Screening of January 3 Mid-Season Premiere

Burbank, CA (November 3, 2010) – ABC Family has set the stage to allow fans to participate in the mystery of the network’s hit original hit series, “Pretty Little Liars,” with the “Pretty Little Liars Secret Seekers” online scavenger hunt game. “Pretty Little Liars Secret Seekers,” which began Monday, November 1, allows fans of the series the opportunity to compete for a special VIP sneak peek screening of the January 3rd premiere in their hometown.

The seven-week long “Pretty Little Liars Secret Seekers” online scavenger hunt will send fans around the internet to get clues to solve a series-themed mystery. The omnipresent “A” from “Pretty Little Liars” will be hacking into
www.ABCFamily.com/secrets, the “Pretty Little Liars” official Facebook Fan Page and the Pretty Little Liars Insiders Text Campaign to tell fans what they need to do each week. At the end of the seven weeks, the first person to solve the mystery, and then e-mail “A” to let her know, will win a VIP sneak peek screening of the mid-season premiere of “Pretty Little Liars” in their own hometown with up to 10 of their friends. While there will only be one grand prize winner, fans who play through the last mission will get a special treat from “A.” Fans can go to www.ABCFamily.com/secrets for details and full rules.

-Soul Surfer, based on the biography of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, will be released April 15, 2011. The movie stars Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, AnnaSophia Robb, and Carrie Underwood. Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack, but was determined to keep surfing competitively. Thanks to Cynopsis for the news.

-News from author Wendy Mass about the movie version of Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life. The movie is now in post-production and is set to be released mid-2011!

-Cartoon Network will premiere it's first original CGI TV movie, Firebreather, November 24. This is based on a comic series, but I haven't heard of it and we don't own it in our library. Anyone familiar with it? Thanks to Cynopsis for the news.

-Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter the movie has a release date: June 22, 2012. This movie could turn out very funny or very bad-I'm hoping it's good! Thanks to Shelf-Awareness for the news.

-Good news for Jenna Fox fans! Not only will there be two more books in a series around the events from The Adoration of Jenna Fox, but there's also a movie in the works! The movie is in development at 20th Century Fox, so keep your fingers crossed! Thanks to School Library Journal for the news.

-There's a gallery of
new Harry Potter photos at Entertainment Weekly. If you haven't seen them, be sure to check them out!

Actress Jodelle Ferland (aka Bree Tanner) dressed up as Katniss for Halloween! I love it! I think her costume take is pretty close to how I pictured Katniss. Now if only they'd start casting the movie!

-With a new take on Gulliver's Travels coming out this holiday season, there just might be a spike in popularity for the book. The movie does look kind of fun.

And just for fun, I have to share this Literal Harry Potter Trailer-thanks to my teens for sharing it!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Celebrities Hocking Books

So we all know I love books. I'm a librarian and an avid reader. I grew up going to the library and my house has always been filled with books. During most of my conversations there will be some talking about books and reading. I love discussing what it is I love about a book or what makes me really dislike it. I love sharing my thoughts and hearing what others have to say. I want to know why someone loves a book, what it is about that book that makes it their favorite book they've read, and why it meant so much to them.

And when I see support for books and reading from celebrities, I get excited, really I do. I mean, I was the first person to purchase the Nathan Fillion READ poster! And I proudly display the new Harry Potter posters in my office. But there's also something about celebrities hocking books that really bugs me. It's not enough for me to see some popular person holding a book on an ALA READ poster-I want to know why they picked it. I even thought that when I was a student surrounded by READ posters in my library, so that's not just my librarian opinion. It's not enough for me to see the title of the book you picked, I want to know why. What it is about that book that made you want to hold it in a poster for everyone to see?

The same thing goes for Scholastic's new social networking site for Bookprints, You Are What You Read. The idea behind the site is very cool. The site lets users pick five books that have made an impact on their lives and they call it a "bookprint." You can share your bookprint with others, and see what other books have influenced people. There's even a place for you to write why you are choosing that specific book-what did that book mean to you? I really love this idea and I think it's a great way to promote how books can touch our lives.

And yes, there's even a very large section of celebrities who have supposedly filled out their own bookprints. We can see the five books each celebrity picks, but we have no idea why they picked it or what it means to them. Sure, we can figure some of them out. I mean, Daniel Radcliffe's choice of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Kevin Durant's choice of basketball books make sense to me. But why is it so hard for celebrities to write one short sentence about "I liked this book because..." OK, I know they're busy, but I don't think of that as an excuse. Guess what? I'm busy too! I may not be a celebrity and have millions of dollars to pay people to fill things out for me, but I can take the time to write a short sentence about how a book influenced me. And if they have time to go to work, socialize, shop, appear in the tabloids, and post stupid tweets on Twitter, they can find a few minutes to promote reading. If they showed up for a READ poster photo shoot, they can mention why they chose the book they're holding. And can't that at least get put on the ALA website if not the poster itself?

Take a look at the celebrity bookprints listed on the You Are What You Read site and you'll start to see a recurring theme-The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Old Man and the Sea-pretty soon it all starts to look like a required reading list for high school students. Has no one ever read a book past high school? And honestly, I'm a bit rebellious by nature. If I looked at the site as a student and only saw high school required reading, I wouldn't be inspired to read those books, I would roll my eyes and think "yeah, right, another adult telling me I should read this stupid thing." All it makes me think is how these people can't think for themselves and they have to pick books that make them look smart in the eyes of the public. (It gets worse if one of the books they choose is one they wrote! And don't even get me started on tie-in publicity READ posters!)

In all reality, it's most likely not even the celebrity picking the books-it's a publicist or agent or assistant. But if you really want to show your support for reading and literacy, than at least take five minutes to think about what books meant to you and let us know. If that classic really did inspire you than tell me why. That's much more inspiring than just seeing your face associated with some classic I was forced to read and hate in school.

And honestly, if you can't even think of one book that was influencial and inspired you and can't explain why, than really I don't you promoting my profession. Why would I want some celebrity who hasn't read a book since high school telling kids to read when they can't even think of the last book they read themselves?

So what kind of celebrity book promotion do I like to see? Remember when Kristen Bell professed her love on Twitter for Mockingjay and posted a photo of the book? And then she talked about the books in a magazine interview and explained why she liked them. Then there was the big string of celebs tweeting about The Hunger Games. Why am I more inclined to believe those tweets than something else? Because the tweets conveyed excitement about the books and actually discussed plot points and characters-meaning I knew they had read the book.

All I really want is to know why someone enjoyed a book. Why are they suggesting it to others? Why do they think I should read it? It's just not enough to hold a book or put it up on a profile page-explain why I should pick it up and maybe I will.

Am I being too critical? Anyone else feel this way?
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