April 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Twenty-Five Vlogs for Teens (and Teen Librarians)

Many teens have grown up watching videos online and see YouTube celebrities as on a par with pop stars and high-profile movie actors, and even prefer the authenticity YouTube channels offer. Web series are winning Emmys (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries), have their own convention (VidCon), and are taking the entertainment world by storm. Here are some notable channels and vlog series—covering categories such as gaming, beauty, and science and technology, and more—that may be of interest to teens.


game theorists

The Game Theorists vlog dissect and discuss the latest games.


Teens enjoy watching other people play Minecraft as much as they enjoy playing it themselves. This video channel is entirely devoted to Minecraft, showcasing tutorials, Minecraft challenges, and free games.

The Game Theorists

These guys take gaming to a new level, analyzing the stories and concepts in their favorite games. Gamer geeks will feel right at home.


Girls are gamers, too! Catch not only Tiffany Garcia’s (aka Tiffyquake) gaming adventures but also cosplay videos and baking tips, and bask in the general geekiness.


Brad is “king of the YouTube walk-through.” He narrates instructional video recordings while playing video games, giving running commentary of exactly what he is doing and why.

Twitch.tv is an alternative to YouTube for gamers, featuring live gaming.


michelle phan

Michelle Phan makeup YouTube channel has over 8 million subscribers, 1.1 billion lifetime views, and 350 uploaded videos.

Ingrid Nilsen

Ingrid shares costume looks, nail art, everyday makeup looks, and her coming-out story on her blog.

Michelle Phan

She conquers looks from glam to Daenerys Targaryen, mother of dragons, in her detailed tutorials. Phan recently published a lifestyle book that fans might want to check out—Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success–Online and Off (Harmony, 2014).

Jaclyn Hill

Jaclyn is a professional makeup artist who shows viewers the tricks of the trade.


Andrea is sassy and fun, plus she uses drugstore brands, so viewers are less likely to get the product envy that other beauty vloggers may induce.

Books and Lit


The modern adaptation of Carmilla is one of the many literary vlog series that teen book buffs can enjoy.

Epic Reads

Everything YA lit, including author interviews, live-stream parties, and Book Nerd Problems videos.


Comicbook Girl 19 shares comic recommendations, plus reviews of recent and old movies. Some episodes have mature language.


Jesse shares book reviews of YA lit and participates in many BookTube challenges and tags.

Little Book Owl

She’s Australian, has pink hair, and loves to read. Enough said.

Carmilla by Vervegirl TV

If your teens love Pemberley Digital (the creators of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved) and are bummed they don’t have a new series right now, check out the web series Carmilla, the modern adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu’s gothic novel.

Celebrity, Personality, and Comedy


Lilly Saini Singh, akae Superwoman, is a Canadian YouTube personality, vlogger, comedian, rapper, actress, and motivational speaker.

Tyler Oakley

Tyler shares videos on both humorous and inspiring topics. He is also an activist for suicide prevention and LGBTQ acceptance.


A Canadian-Indian comedian asks important questions, such as “What if my family was One Direction?”


This comedy show features parody, original series, music videos, and all manner of hilarity.

Fine Brothers Entertainment

These guys present spoilers to everything, show popular “reaction” videos, and have original animated series like “Emo Dad.”


PewDiePie is an Internet sensation. He gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at his life and gaming, and has a series dedicated to weird things you can find online. He had a book out in October and recently hit 10 billion views on his channel. Some episodes have mature language.

Science and Technology


Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown share fun tidbits and science facts in their weekly vlog installments.


Michael Stevens covers a variety of topics, including, physics, space, and human behavior.


Did you know you’ve been dipping your Oreos in milk the wrong way all these years? This guy can also teach you how to open a can without an opener, which will be handy during the zombie apocalypse. He also has cool science experiment demonstrations.


Fun songs, scientific takes on pop culture, facts about the brain, and more.


This is a great source for information on maker projects, engineering, science, and technology.


This channel features mind-blowing science and illusion videos.

Molly Wetta is the member manager at YALSA’s “The Hub,” and collection development librarian at the Lawrence (KS) Public Library. She blogs at “Wrapped Up in Books.”

SLJTeen header

This article was featured in our free SLJTeen enewsletter.
Subscribe today to have more articles like this delivered to you twice a month.

Empowering Teens: Fostering the Next Generation of Advocates
Teens want to make a difference and become advocates for the things they care about. Librarians working with young people are in a unique position to help them make an impact on their communities and schools. Ignite your thinking and fuel these efforts at your library through this Library Journal online course—April 24 & May 8.