January 15, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Style or Substance? One Teen Makes the Point | YA Underground

Amy Cheney is constantly on the look-out for books that will engage her incarcerated teens, but estimates that only about one in five that she encounters will pass muster. That’s why she is so excited about a new self-published title, From Crack to College & Vice Versa.

Reader Expectations for ‘The Art of War,’ Snitches, and 50 Cent | YA Underground

How much do our expectations influence our reading? Sometimes it’s the cover that throws you off, or maybe the author’s back story. And then again, what we think is great may not ring the bell for the teens we serve. Amy Cheney presents several titles that have met her teen readers’ expectations, including classics, self-help narratives, and YA novels for reluctant and urban readers.

Books for Teens You Might Have Missed | YA Underground

Amy Cheney rounds up her “underground” picks, perfect for reluctant readers and teens looking for something a little different. From the latest in the Bluford series to a nonfiction title dealing with addiction, this compilation explores a few of the edgier titles being published this season.

YA Underground: Books for Teens You Might Have Missed

Although I didn’t come up with this column’s name—YA Underground—I’m appreciating it more and more. The kids I serve are living underground both metaphorically and literally. My library is in a 350-bed lockdown facility Amy Cheney juvenile cellthat serves adolescents ages 11 to 19, and it’s in one of three rooms with windows. I have the only room with windows that are at eye level. The sunlight streams in and looking out, you can see trees, grass, clouds, sky, and sunsets beyond the barbwire. When Jonas (not his real name), an avid manga fan, was in the library on his every-other-week visit, I heard him describe the library as “a lonely bright spot.” He was talking about books—but aren’t books windows?

Top Book Choices for Youth in Detention (2012)

Here are my top 2011 picks for incarcerated teens. I’ve tried to list books that resonate with my teens, but aren’t well-known in the general library community. That said, there are a few titles on my list (from authors Coe Booth, Simone Elkeles, and Alexander Gordon Smith) that are so wildly popular with teen readers that I just couldn’t resist including them. Also, be sure to check out Dream Jordan’s new book, Bad Boy, due out in February. It’ll likely […]