Thursday, June 26, 2014

June Teen Summer Reading - Spark A Reaction

Hmmm. . . it appears this blogger has been a bit remiss in her duties.  In youth library services, spring and summer are times of increased levels of program planning and interaction with our patrons, so there is less time for reading and reviewing literature than in the fall and winter. At least, that's my excuse for not writing these last few months!

Here in the Teen Room, we are nearly one month into a very busy summer of club meetings, a reading program, drop-in afternoon activities, and volunteer opportunities. In this blog post, I'd like to link some of these popular activities with potential reading selections, so that patrons who enjoyed a particular activity can find a book with similar themes and subject matter.

Spark a Reaction: Chain Reactions.  All summer, our drop-in afternoon activities are emphasizing creativity and imagination, the idea that one thought or person can spark an entirely new idea or reaction.  For the first week of our drop-in activities, teens were able to innovate with our 3D printer pen and LittleBits, create with chalkboard paint, and collaborate with one another in clubs and a book discussion. This was also the week of our Robotics Club launch, very exciting for some of our newer patrons.  Teens who particularly enjoy creating with technology -- or exploring the impact technology can/could have on the human race -- may enjoy these fiction selections:
  • BZRK series Michael Grant
  • Homeland by Cory Doctorow
  • Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve
  • Mila 2.0 by Debra Drizza
One Book, One Teen Room discussion.  We concluded our first One Book, One Teen Room promotion early in the summer with a discussion of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  With the popularity of this title, we aren't able to keep any of John Green's novels on our shelves for long!  While TFioS deals with the very heavy subject of childhood cancer, Green's other novels deal with additional realistic topics relevant to teens' lives.  If you are a reader who likes the realistic fiction genre, you aren't restricted to John Green! Try one of these novels, too:
  • Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon
  • Please Ignore Viera Dietz by A. S. King
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  • Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates

Spark a Reaction: Rhythmic Reactions.  In our second week of drop-in activities, patrons were encouraged to explore the science involved in music, and to create their own musical instruments and accessories.  While listening to music is a huge part of teen culture, not too many YA novels write about teen musicians. Here are four -- one dystopia, one realistic fiction, one historical fiction, and one fantasy -- that all portray the importance of music in teens' lives:
  • Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
  • Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
  • Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Spark a Reaction: Electric Reactions. As I type this, we are finishing up our third week fo drop-in activities, this time with a focus on electricity, batteries and circuitry. Patrons have been able to use litmus paper to test soda acidity, create batteries with zinc, copper and fruit, and invent jewelry using bits and pieces of old appliances.  For those teen patrons who enjoy learning about all sciences, these science fiction novels will continue to "spark" their interest:
  • Michael Vey series, by Richard Paul Evans
  • Delirium trilogy, by Lauren Oliver
  • Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer
  • Lorien Legacies, by Pittacus Lore
In the CCPL Teen Room, we'll take a break from our drop-in programming next week, although all clubs will be meeting at their regular times. Beginning the second week of July, we'll continue our afternoon activities with "Spark a Reaction: Chemical Reactions."  All teens entering 7th through 12th grade are welcome to join us, and to participate in our summer reading program to earn great prizes!