Category Archives: Summer Reading

Teen Book Clubs in Your Library

Are you looking to start a book club for teens at your library? A teen book club can be challenging in the beginning but will be rewarding once it is started. New teen programs may need to wait until there is an established group of teens that regularly attend programs or a Teen Advisory Group before they start a book club. This ensures that there will be active, regular participation.

Here are some resources to help you get started creating a book club for teens:

 Types of Book Clubs:

Traditional Book Club

In traditional book clubs, participants all read the same book and discuss it at the next meeting. This type of book club works well in larger systems where programs either have the funding to purchase books for members or an ILL system capacity to lend the materials out to every participant.

One of the challenges of a traditional book club is finding books that most of your readers will enjoy. Especially at the beginning, it’s important to talk to your readers about what genres and types of books they want. Consider crafting a ballot with 6 options and having everyone vote for their top three. Select the next 3 months’ books based on the tallied votes.

When choosing books, remember that some books are easier to discuss in a group than others. To encourage a more productive discussion, consider choosing character-driven novels with unique plot elements. Let students lead the discussion by focusing on what elements they think are interesting and relevant to their lives.

It’s also important to remember that teens are coming to this club willingly, and you are not assigning these books as homework. Let the teens know that it’s OK to not finish the book or to not like a book, but that you still want them to come to the book club to share those opinions.

To spice up this book club, consider adding book-related activities or snacks. These are great ice-breakers for both quieter students and new members, and it will help everyone feel included.

Genre Book Club

A genre book club has participants read different books but all of the books are from the same genre. The book club may have a different genre every month (fantasy, nonfiction, graphic novel, mystery, etc.) or maintain the same genre for the duration of the club (a mystery lover’s book club or science fiction book club, for example). Then, during the meeting, each member talks about the book that they read/are currently reading.

This book club format allows teens to read at their own pace and reading level and still be able to discuss books with their peers. As each member takes a turn talking about their book (often either recommending it to others or telling them to steer clear), they should try to avoid spoiling major plot-twists. This is a great way for peers to encourage each other to read new books rather than having an adult tell them what to read.

During the meeting, the club leader can try to direct the discussion towards common themes and elements within the certain genre as well as flaws with the genre, what is noticeably absent or taken for granted? This encourages the students to think deeper about the genres and the books they have chosen

Book Lovers Club

Come one, come all to a book lovers club. All participants are welcome to come to this book club. This simple club is more of a gathering for book enthusiasts to talk about what they’re currently reading and share recommendations. This is an easy gathering for teens to hang out and have a snack or to just attend and listen about all of the fun, wacky, or wild books their peers are reading. Discussions tend to be less structured in this type of book club, but if your goal is to keep teens reading and engaged, this may be the perfect place to start.

 

Tips and Tricks:

  • Make sure participants know that it’s OK to not like or finish a book; encourage them to come to book club anyways to share their opinions.
  • Combine forces with public librarians, local book store owners, and Library Media Specialists at the middle and high school levels to find interested individuals or different places to host the book club.
  • Remember that not all of your books need to be brand new. These are often expensive or have long waiting lists at the library. Choose books that are a few years older so that if you purchase them, they are more than likely available in paperback and if you request or ILL them, they probably won’t have a waiting list.
  • Give your participants buy-in by letting them vote for future titles or submit requests.
  • Supply snacks or other incentives

 

Book Club Questions to Get Teens Talking:

  1. What did you like best/least about this book?
  2. What characters did you like/dislike the most?
  3. Would you read another book by this author?
  4. Did you think the book was too long or short? What important elements were missing? What parts would you have cut out?
  5. What do you think of the book’s title and cover? Do they do a good job conveying what the book is about or were they misleading?
  6. Is this book or storyline unique?
  7. Did the characters and world seem believable or realistic?
  8. How did you feel about the ending? Did it wrap everything up or leave you hanging? Are you satisfied about the ending?
  9. Did the book make you think about anything differently?
  10. Would this book make a good movie? Why or why not?

 

YA and Juvenile Book Club Kits from NDSL through KitKeeper (as of 4-1-2018):

  • After Ever After; Jordan Sonnenblick
  • An Abundance of Katherines; John Green
  • Dairy Queen; Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  • Don’t Tell Anyone; Peg Kehret
  • Fahrenheit 451; Ray Bradbury
  • Flygirl; Sherri L. Smith
  • Frankenstein; Mary Shelley
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Msr. Basil E. Frankweiler; E.L. Konisgsburg
  • Going Vintage; Lindsey Leavitt
  • Heist Society; Ally Carter
  • I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban; Malala Yousafzei
  • Maximum Ride #1: The Angel Experiment; James Patterson
  • My Name is Not Easy; Debby Dahl Edwardson
  • The Book Thief; Markus Zusak
  • The Complete Maus; Art Spiegelman
  • The Fault in Our Stars; John Green
  • The Giver; Lois Lowry
  • The Maze Runner; James Dashner
  • Thirteen Reasons Why; Jay Asher

 

Helpful Websites:

ALA Book Discussion Groups: http://libguides.ala.org/bookdiscussiongroups

Book Riot: https://bookriot.com/2017/09/13/ideas-teen-book-club-ilibrary/

Penguin: http://www.penguin.com/read/book-clubs/create/

Teel Librarian Toolbox: http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2017/03/teen-book-club-creating-a-place-to-read-and-belong-a-guest-post-by-sheri-schubbe/

Teen Services Underground: https://www.teenservicesunderground.com/how-to-run-a-teen-book-club/

YALSA: The Hub; http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2015/12/11/teen-book-clubs-library/

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2016 Teen Video Challenge

Teen Facebook CSLP2016

This year we were pleased to have three entries from two North Dakota libraries in the CSLP Teen Video Challenge!

The first entry was “Get in the Game, Read” from Maya Bachmeier from the Minot Public Library:

The second entry was “Read in the Summer” from Nolan Mathews, also from the Minot Public Library:

The third entry was “Get in the Spirit” from Skye Avka, Racheal Couture, and Andrea McCubbin at the Valley City-Barnes County Public Library:

“Read in the Summer” was chosen as the winning video from North Dakota. Nolan and the Minot Public Library will receive prizes from CSLP and Upstart. All participants received a certificate and a book from the North Dakota State Library for participating. Thank you to all the 2016 participants!

Resources from the American Heart Association

heartThis year’s summer reading theme is health, wellness, fitness, and sports. The American Heart Association has a number of resources to help support active programs at your library. If your local school participates in Jump Rope for Heart, you may already be familiar with some of these resources.

You may have heard of the NFL Play 60 Challenge. If you are interested in hosting a challenge at the library, you can use the teacher guide to help you get started. Even if you don’t host a Challenge, there are plenty of ideas for activities you could use on their own.

Depending on the age group you are working with, there are lesson plans for both elementary and middle school age students. You can also find guides for jump rope skills, basketball skills, and ideas for Heart Smart stations.

For food oriented programs, you can register to receive School Garden Lesson Plans. The guide includes 35 lesson plans about healthy eating. The best part is you can do the activities in the guide even if you don’t have a garden!

What are you doing to encourage your kids to be heart healthy during the summer reading program this year? Share your ideas in the comments!

Resources for a Healthy Summer Reading Program

Chld Canoe copyAs you plan programs to get kids moving at the library for this summer’s reading theme of health,  fitness, wellness, and sports, here are some resources you can use to help kids make healthy life choices:

  • Eat Play Grow – Eat Play Grow is an “early childhood health curriculum” designed “to teach children ages 6 and younger and their adult caregivers how to make healthy nutrition and physical activity choices.”
  • USDA Summer Food Service Program – The SFSP “ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.” With programs for children already taking place, the library is an ideal feeding site.
  • Healthy Habits for Life – This toolkit from Sesame Street helps you “help channel [children’s] natural energy into activities that keep them fit and strong.” “We Have the Moves” is a particularly useful section for library programming.

How are you encouraging a healthy lifestyle at the library this summer? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Activity Ideas to Get Kids Moving at the Library

Child Boy Read copyReading is a beneficial, but sedentary, activity. As librarians, we are all about encouraging kids to read more. Developing your mind is crucial, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your body. It’s not enough just to read about physical activity. If you need activities to get your little bookworms moving, check out some of these ideas:

When it’s time to take a break from reading, what’s your favorite way to get moving?

Community Partners for Summer Reading

Chld Paddleboard copyThis year’s summer reading theme of health, wellness, fitness, and sports lends itself particularly well to building community partnerships. Many organizations are already committed to helping the citizens in your community live healthy, active lifestyles.

Here are some local organizations you might have access to in your community: Continue reading

Move to Learn

movetolearnMove to Learn is an organization based on the concept that “the more exercise a student gets, the better his or her grades are likely to be,” as well as the fact that “more fitness was associated with better behavior and less absenteeism.” Libraries may not be school classrooms, but libraries are all about learning, and library programs can help kids be more active. With the 2016 summer reading theme of health, fitness, wellness, and sports, now is the perfect time to start planning library programs that encourage an active lifestyle.

Move to Learn offers downloadable materials to help you plan programs:

The videos are organized by age groups from PreK to 6th grade. Lesson plans can be searched by subject area, grade level, duration of lesson, materials available, or keyword. Subject areas include Health and Physical Education; Science, Technology, and Math; History and Language; as well as Visual and Performing Arts. The songs, videos, and shorter activities would work well for story times too.

How do you get kids moving in your library programs? Share your ideas in the comments!

Growing Up Healthy

Chld Bikes copyNemours is a nonprofit children’s health organization, committed to improving the health of children. They have a wealth of information about healthy living that is perfect for the 2016 summer reading theme of health, fitness, wellness, and sports.

The Growing Up Healthy section has resources for five areas:

  • Healthy Eating
  • Physical Activity
  • Screen Time
  • Sleep Routines
  • Emotional Wellness

Continue reading

2016 “Get in the Game” Teen Video Challenge

Slogan

The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) has launched the 2016 Teen Video Challenge, a national video competition for teens to get involved with reading and their public library’s summer reading program. Teens across the country are invited to create a 30 to 90 second video with their interpretation of the 2016 teen slogan “Get in the Game–Read” in combination with reading and libraries. This is an opportunity for teens to showcase their creativity and have their ideas heard before a national audience.

The winning video from each participating state will be named one of the CSLP 2016 Teen Videos to promote summer reading nationwide. $150 will be awarded to the creators of the winning state video and their associated public library will receive prizes worth at least $50 from CSLP, Upstart, and CSLP partners. Winners will be announced by CSLP in April 2016.

For full details about the CSLP 2016 Teen Video Challenge and to find out how to enter in North Dakota, please visit http://library.nd.gov/videocontest.html.

Summer Food Service Programs at North Dakota Libraries

GF lunchDuring the school year, many children receive free lunches at school. When school lets out for the summer, that often means kids go hungry. That’s where the USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) steps in. During the summer, any child ages 0-18 can eat lunch a SFSP site. Public libraries make ideal sites, since they are natural gathering places for children during summer reading programs! As a meal service site, libraries do not prepare the food, they simply offer a place for children to eat.

This year, two North Dakota libraries were involved in the SFSP. The Grand Forks Public Library SFSP site is sponsored by the St. Joseph’s Social Care and Thrift Store. They served lunch Monday through Friday for eight weeks. The  Grand Forks Public Library has participated as SFSP site for two years. The Morton Mandan Public Library participated as a site for the first time this year. Lunch was served in Dykshoorn Park Monday through Friday for nine weeks.

Morton Mandan lunch at the library

First Lady Betsy Dalrymple helped kick off of the program by reading to the kids and giving away books provided by the United Way.

Linda Austin, Children’s Program Coordinator at The Morton Mandan Public Library, also organized 34 programs to tie in to this year’s summer reading theme. “Lunch with Heroes” featured different heroes from the community, and included the Fire Department, Police Department, National Guard, nurses, doctors, Humane Society, musicians, crafters, gymnasts, and many more. Heroes provided a short program that highlighted their role in the community. On average, 77 children attended each program. First Lady Betsy Dalrymple also participated by reading to the children and giving away books provided by the United Way. To learn more about the program in Mandan, check out the article in the Bismarck Tribune.

 Morton Mandan lunch at the library

“Dreams in Motion” gave the kids an opportunity to play wheelchair basketball.

Morton Mandan lunch at the library

“READ” therapy pets who read with the kids for the Reading Tails Program.

For information on the importance of the SFSP program, and to learn what libraries in other states are doing, check out the article “Eat Up! 5 Public Libraries’ Successful Summer Meals Programs.”  To learn more about getting involved in the SFSP in North Dakota, visit the Department of Public Instruction’s Child Nutrition & Food Distribution website. We would love to see more libraries participate!