November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

ALA’s Most Frequently Challenged Books; Teen Read Week Grants; Springtime Giveaways | SLJTeen News

getawaylibApply for YALSA’s Teen Read Week Grants
Applications for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)/Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s 2015 Teen Read Week (TRW) Activity Grant are now open. Ten grants worth $1,000 each will be awarded to 10 libraries to help fund their literacy-focused TRW programs and activities. Applications are due by June 1. Learn more about the event on the official TRW website. This year’s theme is “Get Away @ Your Library,” and it will be celebrated from October 18–24, 2015. The theme encourages teens to escape to the library to enjoy genres such as fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, comics, and travelogues.

Three Day SummerDreaming of Summer? A Groovy Giveaway to Get You Started

After our record-breaking winter, who can blame librarians (and patrons!) for wanting to jump start summer reading programs? Although Memorial Day is still a month away, get in the mood with this great giveaway. Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash (S. & S., May 2015) immerses readers in the culture and music of the Woodstock festival of 1969. Michael and Cora come to Woodstock for different reasons but discover each other, along with the soundtrack of the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and more.

Three lucky winners will receive a copy of Three Day Summer for their collections. To enter, send an email with your name, shipping address, and email address. Entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on May 1, 2015. Winners will be selected in a random drawing and notified via email. One entry per person, please; prizes will only be shipped to U.S. addresses.

Some boys2015 RITA & Golden Heart Finalists Announced

Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for aspiring and published romance fiction authors, recently announced the finalists for the 2015 RITA and Golden Heart Awards. The 2015 winners will be revealed on July 25 at the 2015 RWA Annual Conference in New York. The RITA — the highest award of distinction in romance fiction — recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts. Two young adult debuts are in the running for Best First Book: Fake by Beck Nicholas and Run to You by Clara Kensie (both Harlequin Teen, 2014). Nominees in the Young Adult Romance category include Boys Like You by Juliana Stone and Some Boys by Patty Blount (both Sourcebooks Fire), Plus One by Elizabeth Fama (Farrar), and Run to You by Clara Kensie (Harlequin Teen, all 2014)

9780803741638_CastOff_JK_2P.inddCAST OFF for Adventure with this Swashbuckling Giveaway!

In Cast Off by Eve Yohalem (Dial, May), the year is 1663 and 12-year-old Petra sees only one way to escape her abusive father: stowing away on a merchant ship bound for the East Indies. It will be impossible to survive for months at sea on her own, so when the marginalized mixed-race son of the ship’s carpenter finds her, she convinces him to help disguise her as a boy. As they face pirates, sickness, and even mutiny, Petra and Bram must make impossible decisions about friendship, loyalty, freedom, and survival. Fans of Avi’s The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle will love the heart-stopping action and high-seas adventure found in this riveting historical fiction novel.

Three lucky winners will receive a copy of Cast Off for their collections. To enter, send an email with your name, shipping address, and email address. Entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on May 1, 2015. Winners will be selected in a random drawing and notified via email. One entry per person, please; prizes will only be shipped to U.S. addresses.

perksPerks of Being a Wallflower Author Responds to CT Book Controversy

Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower (MTV Books, 1999) says he’s offended when critics quote passages of the book out of context. In a recent interview, Chbosky clarified the contents of his book, which one Wallingford parent deemed controversial, complaining to the school district and objecting to students being allowed to read it. Wallingford Superintendent Salvatore Menzo removed the book from the curriculum in response back in February.

The book is meant to create dialogue, Chbosky added, because “the more conversations we have about these things, the better.” His book has been on the American Library Association’s Top 10 most challenged books numerous times in the past decade. Read the full article for more on the controversy.

(Photo courtesy williamsdb/Flickr Creative Commons ((CC BY-NC-SA 2.0))

(Photo courtesy williamsdb/Flickr Creative Commons ((CC BY-NC-SA 2.0))

Doctor Who–themed Library Lock-In

Heath Ward, Youth Services Manager for the Pickens County Library System (PCLS) in Easly, SC, recently organized an event for teens based on the long-running British sci-fi series about a time-traveling alien. “We do them once a quarter with different themes. This time we chose Doctor Who,” said Ward in the local Pickens Sentinel.

The show chronicles the travels of a 900-plus-year-old regenerating Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey known only as the Doctor. With the aid of his spaceship disguised as a 1960s London police box called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) and a companion or two, the Doctor travels throughout the universe on his various adventures.

About 20 kids attended the event at the library, many dressed as their favorite Doctor. The night started off with a dinner mystery theater [program]. “Everyone here is a Doctor, and they’ve all got amnesia,” explained Ward. “Throughout the night they’ll have to figure out which Doctor they are by answering trivia questions and finding clues in the library itself.” A life-size TARDIS, hand-built by the librarian, sat center stage and was protected by a word-combination lock. The combination was placed in one of 250 Easter eggs that staff had hidden throughout the library. The kids would have to find the eggs and open the TARDIS before they could move on to their next quest.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianPersepolis, Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and Drama Among ALA’s Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2014

The American Library Association just released the list of the most frequently challenged books in 2014. Among the usual suspects, such as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown, 2007)—gaining the top spot once again and subject to a ban just last week in Iowa—and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (also a recently banned), were three acclaimed graphic novels: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon, 2003), Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics, 2012), and Drama (Scholastic, 2012) by Raina Telgemeier.

Persepolis (an autobiographical account of Satrapi’s teenage years in Iran during the Islamic Revolution) was listed as the second most banned book in 2014. Saga is one of the most acclaimed new series in comics, dominating best of and best-seller lists. It was challenged in 2014 for sexual content, nudity, and language, earning it the number six spot on the most challenged list. Rounding out the top 10 challenged books in 2014 is Raina Telgemeier’s Drama, which focuses on a middle school girl who is working on her school play. It explores friendships, crushes, puberty, and other topics that might make some adults uncomfortable. It was challenged for sexual content.

For more information on 2014’s most frequently challenged books see ALA’s complete list.

 

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Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

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  1. The list of challenged books is faked, and here’s where to find a link to one of the listed authors admitting to the fakery and why it was faked: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/katie-yoder/2015/04/14/gay-penguin-childrens-book-fishy-american-library-association-banned