Thursday, August 2, 2012

Own the Night: Final Summer Reading Party

Yesterday, the Young Adult department hosted our final "Own the Night: Teen Summer Reading 2012" activity -- a Teen Iron Chef contest and drawing for our three grand prize baskets.  You can read a little more about the Teen Iron Chef contest in the August 2 edition of the Gillette News Record. 

We are now winding down from all the summer reading activity, looking back at the last two months, and reflecting about what worked. We think that allowing teens to choose between tracking pages or tracking hours encouraged more participation. According to what has been reported to us as of today, our teen patrons have read over 152,000 pages and 800+ hours: that's a lot of reading!

We were also gratified to see an upswing in the circulation of our Young Adult nonfiction collection this summer. We moved that collection to a room in the basement of the library, next door to the Teen Room, last winter.  Teens are now learning that there are books about "real stuff" available to them in that room, and are excited to browse there.

For those teens who participated in the Teen Iron Chef, here are a few of our newest cookbooks, which you will find in our nonfiction collection:

The Ultimate Student Cookbook: From Chicken to Chili, by Tiffany Goodall.  Written for teens with little or no cooking experience, this guide presents step-by-step instructions to many basic dishes, all illustrated with ample photographs.  There are two recipes for alcoholic drinks in this cookbook; otherwise, it is a good guide for teens who are cooking for their family, or who are on their own at school. 

How to Cook: Delicious Dishes Perfect for Teen Cooks, by Maggie Mayhew.  With 100 recipes for all types of food, this cookbook offers both variety and instruction. Some of the recipes are a little more difficult, making it a better choice for a teen with some cooking experience. Several recipes have international backgrounds, and there is enough room for experimentation to ensure that teens are not bored. Both full-color photos and simple line drawing accompany the recipes throughout the book. 

Cooking Healthy Series. The library owns four titles in this series: Cooking with Meat and Fish; Cooking with Fruits and Vegetables; Cooking with Eggs and Dairy; and Cooking with Cereals and Grains. As expected, each title focuses on a particular food group, including both recipes and advise for including that food group in a healthy diet. A feature that I appreciate is the information about where certain types of food comes from:  animal diagrams for cuts of meat and crop information for grains, fruits and vegetables. Each title presents recipes for both foods that are staples of our American diet, and foods that are not as common. 

And finally, a new cookbook that is just fun for us fans of YA literature to browse:

The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook: from lamb stew to "groosling" -- more than 150 recipes inspired by the Hunger Games trilogy, by Emily Ansara Baines.  I first thought this cookbook would be filled with fantasy foods, similar to some of the Harry Potter cookbooks that were published when that series was immensely popular.  This cookbook, however, echoes one of the major themes of the actual trilogy -- the immense gap between the rich and the poor in Panem's society.  Here you will find very humble recipes such as "Gale's Bone-Pickin' Big Game Soup" and "Rue's Roasted Parsnips" next to extravegant delicacies like "Capitol Grade Dark Chocolate Cake." Each recipe is for real food, although some of us might have difficulty procuring the ingredients!  Teens will enjoy looking through the recipes for foods the characters did eat in the books, and may come away with even more of an understanding of the power of food to impact society.