reel reads

Reel Reading For Real Readers–Ask the Passengers

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Today’s Reel Reading for Real Readers highlights Ask the Passengers by A.S. King.    The titles that appear at the bottom of this glog  all touch upon LGBT themes and issues–but here’s my challenge for you:  don’t keep these books on reserve for “those teens” who might be experiencing issues and conflicts of their own.  I feel like sometimes we reserve LGBT booklists as bibliotherapy for gay teens. I’m a full believer in books as instruments of healing, but I’m also a big believer in the power of books to introducing teens to choices, lifestyles, and experiences that they may never have themselves, but when learning how to be empathetic, they would benefit from reading about.  What I particularly love about these books is that they include a complex cast of characters, representing diversity fully and with intriguing situations and conflicts.

Reel Reading for Real Readers: Summer Lovin’ Book Picks

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 Reel Reading for Real Readers will be taking it’s own summer vacation over at, but we’ll keep the summer reading fun rolling here :-).

And speaking of summer fun…I am in the mood for all things summer:  sun, road trips, extended lazy-afternoon book reading sessions, and a little romance :-).  One book in particular has done this for me:  Gayle Forman’s Just One Day.

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.
Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon! (

When I truly love a book, I put off the inevitable end.  True to form, I am holding steady in a landing pattern fifty pages until the end, stealing myself to end my journey Forman’s latest teenage Odyssey.

And if you are looking for a summer romance series to lose yourself in, check out Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty and it’s trilogy.

Reel Reading for Real Readers: October Mourning

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Visit Three Teachers Talk for more book trailers for teens every Thursday and join in the meme!

It’s April and the display ideas, special events and activities, and poetry slams are blowing up the school library blogosphere.  We love National Poetry Month.

Today’s book trailer features a novel told through verse, October Mourning, that relates the events of October 6th, 1998 when gay teenager, Mathew Shephard, was lured from a bar, savagely beaten, tied to a fence post, and left to die.  Leslea Newman employs multiple points of view and verse to create a poignant homage and raise awareness of the tragedy.

Sometimes, poetry is the only means to express what our hearts are feeling.  Sometimes, poetry can turn the darkest, ugliest, most tragic moments into opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.

Reel Reading for Real Readers: The New Demon Hunter on the Block

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It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for some YA movie trailers!  Jump on over to Three Teachers Talk for more exciting book trailers!

Fans of the Alex Van Helsing series by Jason Henderson and Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer can really sink their teeth into Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon. 

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn’t hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that? (


Reel Reading for Real Readers: Sometimes you need something sweet

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Join Amy and Heather over at for more fantastic YA book trailers to share with teen readers every Thursday.

There was a little paperback book with a simple black and white photograph of a couple kissing with a cool title that made huges waves at my book fair last fall.  The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith is the perfect cure for your reading sweet tooth.  Like Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Elizabeth Scott, Smith writes a simple, honest, sweet book about love.  But don’t let her simplicity fool you. 
This book is chalk-full of beautiful paragraphs and one-liners, dynamic and deep characters, and an well-orchestrated narrative reminiscent of such romantic film classics as When Harry Met Sally and just about any other Meg Ryan flick.


Reel Reading for Real Readers: Bad Girls Don’t Die

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Teens love horror.  Is it because they are adrenaline junkies or truly that masochistic? Either way, they flock to the latest slasher/ paranormal/ serial killer flick like bees to honey, drawn by the promise of a horrifying and thrilling time.

I find that with many of my teens who are brought, most of the time unwillingly, into the library to check out a book, I’m able to hook them with the promise of “this is so scary!  Don’t read it at night or you’ll have seriously crazy dreams!” 

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake has opened my eyes to the realm of teen horror.  This morning I was reading it while standing at the circulation desk (no judgment, I’m in the last few chapters), completely engulfed by the action and drama, when I (very loudly and unaware of my surroundings) let slip “oh my god this is so freakin’ scary!”  Sixty senior heads popped up from their workstations and stared.  “Well it is!” I shook the book at them, “I mean just check out the title and book cover!”  They nodded in assent and returned to their research, sharing a brief moment of understanding of how one can become totally involved in a scary moment that leads to such an outburst.

Later, I spent some time walking around looking for titles that I knew my horror-loving students passed around and recommended and found Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender.  When I book talk this one all I have to say is, “Look at the cover.  Doesn’t it remind you of The Grudge or something?”  And, that’s all I’ve been able to get through–the cover.  I’m such a scaredy-cat.

The sequel was released this year, From Bad to Cursed.  Creepy!

Sometimes it helps to remember that the way to some teen readers’ hearts is through a little bit of creepy-crawly.

Reel Reading for Real Readers: And the winner is….

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Welcome to Thursday’s meme Reel Reading for Real Readers started by Amy and Heather over at! I love book trailers and believe in their power to build readership for certain books and engage ALL readers, no matter their reading habits.

Celebrating Books Awards With Teen Readers

The 85th Academy Awards are this Sunday night.  The Oscars trumpet the peak of awards season in Hollywood  following the Golden Globes and Grammys with flair, pomp, and fashion.  Growing up, I loved watching the Oscars.  Dressed in my finest wares, I’d lounge for the four hour awards show in front of our box t.v., slices of pepperoni pizza in hand and a 2-liter of Coke. I loved everything:  the orchestra, the dresses, the speeches, the movie clips, the hosts. 

For book lovers, we  feel similarly about the ALA Youth Media Awards in January.  Although we may not be decked out in fashion-forward formalware and most of us are streaming the event live through our computers or following the Twitter feed, there are just as many raucuous rounds of applause, audible gasps of shock, and even a little flair at the event. 

Readers, just like movie-goers, love to celebrate their favorite books, put them on display, slap big metallic award stickers on their covers, and collect them.  IMDB, TCM, and many other Hollywood afficiando sites provide lists of the top 100 films.  Film followers find pride and enjoyment in having watched all 100 of those films just as readers find a sense of accomplishment and pride in having read all the Newbery award winners since 1929 with the Twitter meme #nerdbery.

This week in the library I am unveiling our latest special display:  2013 Book Awards.  Books featured in the display are recipients of the Newbery, Printz, National Book Award, Morris Award, Pulitzer, and Nobel just to name a few. 

Take time to celebrate books and authors who have been recognized for their contribution to children’s and teen literature with book trailers from some of the 2013 recipients:

Newbery Award Winner
The One and Only Ivan
by Katherine Applegate
Morris Award Winner
by Rachel Hartman
Printz Honor Book
Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein