And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

Reviewed by Ian Duncanson, Beaverton City Library

andwestayAnd We Stay is written in both verse and prose, with an emphasis on the latter. Emily Beam’s junior year of high school in the mid-’90s was cut short when her boyfriend Paul took a gun to school and committed suicide in front of her in the library. Traumatized from the experience and unable to return to her normal high school, Emily has enrolled in a boarding school in Amherst, MA where she seeks comfort in being alone, writing poetry, and bonding with her new roommate. She also throws herself into the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson, finding strength and hope in the works of the dark and enigmatic American literary figure who lived and attended school in Amherst. As the story progresses, we learn more details about Emily and Paul’s relationship and what drove him to suicide.

I’m normally not one for poetry in prose stories or novels written in verse, but I thought that the poems in And We Stay (written from Emily’s perspective) were strong and provided insight into the character and her coping with violent trauma. Even though the cliché boarding school setting might elicit an initial groan, it does not play a lot into the story. Hubbard focuses more on Emily’s thoughts, growth and literary interests than on the surrounding boarding school life and antics. With school violence in the news, And We Stay is a timely story about a broken person left traumatized in the aftermath of another’s actions and healing through the support of friends.


Melted Crayon Art

by Bobbye Hernandez, Tillamook County LibraryMelting Crayon2

Need a way to use up all your broken crayon bits? Why not try making melted crayon art. To kick off my teen summer reading programs this year I started with a little melted crayon art and the results were impressive. The teens were given a 4×6 canvas, votive candle(s), and a pile of crayon bits – the rest was up to them. Some drew out designs while others just got straight to melting crayons over their canvases – one even took out her smart phone and copied a van Gogh.

The activity was intended to be “sciency” to go with this year’s summer reading theme, but as the teens were really into the creating aspect, I failed to incorporate any science lessons into our program. The most technical we got was when some of the teens noticed that some of the crayons melted faster than others. Having used the leftover crayons from the children’s department there were different brands in the mix and their compositions vary, making melting time and color vibrancy noticeable. I could have made more of a science lesson by simply asking more pointed questions about melting time, pigments, and wax, but in the end we were having a good time and I chose not to school them on their first week of summer.

There are different ways to make melted crayon art but I wanted to keep things as simple and clean as possible. I chose the dot method, which is very easy to do with teens and younger kids as well. Simply light a votive candle and hold the crayon over it until its starts to melt, then tap or drip the crayon on the canvas. The teens took between 30 minutes to an hour to finish their projects and when they finished, for good measure we brushed a layer of Modge Podge over their finished projects in hopes of keeping their art work sealed and preserved for a little longer.


Young Adult Collection Development

LSE Library Collecting books for readers in the reserve stacks, 1964 LSE Library Collecting books for readers in the reserve stacks, 1964

LSE Library
Collecting books for readers in the reserve stacks, 1964 LSE Library
Collecting books for readers in the reserve stacks, 1964

A fellow librarian asked librarians to share their favorite resources in developing their young adult collections. Mark Richardson wrote a blog post for his library listing his process at the Cedar Mill Library, which sited VOYA and School Library Journal magazines and the Teen Reads blog as a few of his favorite resources. Read his blog to find out more about his process.

Teena from Driftwood Public Library sited using

I use Ingram Advance, GoodReads, School Library Journal, YALSA, kids/young adult/adult suggestions (especially those series continuations!!),…

And don’t forget there is also the awards and booklists from YALSA. Do you have any favorites you would like to share? Leave us a comment.

Graphic Rave Voting Round Two

By Tracie Glass

At the Summer OYAN meeting held in the beautiful Crook County Library (thanks for hosting us, Barratt!), we determined 9 of the 15 titles needed for this year’s Graphic Rave.  I’d like us to do a revote on the manga titles (none of them got enough votes to move them forward) and the superhero titles.  We have 6 spots left, and we need 3 manga titles and 3 superhero titles as per the Graphic Rave criteria requirements.  Manga – choose your 3 favorite titles – simple enough.  Superheroes – choose 3, but please keep in mind equal gender representation (aka let’s have at least 1 female superhero make the cut) and publisher equality.  So, read, read, read!  Since I’m a little late getting the survey out (story of my life), you’ll have until September 8, 2014 to get your votes in.  Here’s the link to the survey:

And, stay tuned…I’ll debut the 2014 Graphic Rave list right here for all you OYANers on September 9th!

Megan Kearney’s Beauty and the Beast: Act One Review

Reviewed by Barratt Miller, Crook County Library beautyandbeastcoverI was super excited when I realized that the print version of my favorite webcomic, Megan Kearney’s Beauty and the Beast: Act One, was eligible for a Graphic Rave nomination this year. I’m a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast and did research on the tale in college and grad school. I’ve read and watched dozens of adaptations over the past six years or so and this is definitely one of my favorites. Plus, while there are plenty of YA novelizations of this popular tale, this is the only teen-friendly graphic novel version I’ve come across. In a nod to the tale’s roots, the unspecified setting resembles eighteenth-century France. Kearney’s opening matches that of the original tale as well: Beauty’s father, on his way back from a trip to the city in which they once lived, takes shelter in a castle during a snowstorm. The Beast sentences him to death when he catches him stealing a rose for Beauty. Beauty, of course, takes her father’s place in the Beast’s mysterious, magical castle. The best fairy tale retellings go beyond surface-level characterizations to reveal emotional depth, complex relationships, and detailed back stories that enrich the original story. Kearney’s Beauty and the Beast does just that. Since Act One is told primarily through Beauty’s point of view, the Beast and his motivations remain unclear to the reader–but the little he does say reveals that there is much more to him than meets the eye. Beauty herself is an exceptionally well-rounded character, especially in regard to her ambivalence about the Beast. Kearney’s dialogue is pitch-perfect and her expressive illustrations allow the story’s wordless scenes to shine. BeautyandBestInsideThe characters’ visual design is equally compelling, due largely (I suspect) to Kearney’s animation training–she has an Honours degree in animation from Sheridan College. Kearney’s characters are always in motion, which makes it seem as if they are about to step off of the page. The background illustrations are gorgeous as well, especially scenes of the Beast’s castle. (The rose motif hidden throughout is one of my favorites.) While these elements of the design evoke the Western animation tradition, influences of Japanese manga–especially some of the page layout choices and sound effect style–are present in the art as well. Act One certainly raises more questions than it answers. Who was the Beast before his transformation? How did he become the Beast? And what is the deal with this magic castle, anyway? Not to mention the cliffhanger ending. (I may or may not have shouted “WHAT?! NO!” at my computer screen because the first page of Act Two hadn’t been posted yet.) Readers no longer have to worry about that particular cliffhanger, however. The entire series is being serialized for free online at: Nearly half of Act Two is now available (yay!) and new pages are posted twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday. Fairy tale fans of all stripes are going to love the pants off this book. I can’t imagine any library in which it would not be wildly popular with teens. Needless to say, I enthusiastically recommend it as a first purchase for every collection.

Book Planters


By Elvira Sanchez Kisser, Woodburn Public Library

A creative way to use old books heading to sights unknown is to create a decorative garden planter out of them. I was inspired by garden projects found on Pintrest and found some great instructions at

 Supplies you will need: books (the older the better. If the paper is already brittle and yellow, it cuts much easier than newer books), potting soil (small bag), succulent plants (about 1-2 per teen), glue, wax paper or plastic bags, x-acto knives, rulers, pencils.

The plants are the costliest part of the project, but you may be able to get a deal from a nursery or even buying them at a mainstream home improvement place will run you about $1 a plant. You can save by having each teen use only one to two succulents.

  1. Please caution the teens to be careful working with x-acto knives for cutting the holes out. Keeping this in mind, here are some tips for creating successful book planters without the sight of blood.
  2. First place a generous amount of glue on the spines and edges of the book. Using glue bottles works great with a sponge or regular brush to spread the glue.
  3. Next, let them dry or use a hair dryer to speed the drying process.
  4. A good solution to keeping the limbs on your teens is to make them score a fairly small square and check them. Teens are very ambitious and like to try and cut out the largest square possible, not realizing this will make their project take longer and create a weaker container for their plants.
  5. Then have them cut the holes using a ruler as a guide while standing. You will get lots of moans from this instruction, because they feel it’s harder and they love to sit. Having them stand they can see what they are doing better, exert even pressure in cutting and the using the ruler prevents slippage of the knife while creating a barrier between said edge and their fingers.
  6. After the dangerous part is done and they have pulled all the inside sheets out of the book, have them line the hole with wax paper or a small plastic bag.
  7. Once lined, add the plants and then fill the space with extra potting soil. Trim the wax paper and spray with a little bit of water.

If you have a beautifully crafted title page, I suggest cutting the title page out and gluing to the garden facing page. Remember, smaller is better and safer. The teens will accomplish the garden in the time allotted and with all fingers in tact.


Fun with Fizz, book, READ!

bubble night

Bubble Night

by Teena Nelson, Driftwood Public Library

Over the past year, ‘Ms.Teena’ at Driftwood Public Library, in Lincoln City, has been changing up story time on Tuesday evenings to incorporate science in almost every Tuesday event.

Tuesday night 6:30pm storytimes began as Pajama Times. Kids could wear their pj’s and hear stories in the evening. This though, only drew a small crowd of young children and their parents.

After hearing a talk from librarians working in a Portland area library, Teena became inspired to use some science ideas in the story times in the evenings.

“ I wanted to draw more school aged children to attend story programs. Evenings were a good time and my attendance grew as teachers from the local grade schools got word of these science nights. Soon a homework assignment choice in second and third grade was to attend one of Ms. Teena’s science nights!”

Oobleck Night

Oobleck Night

Because of  STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM (science, technology interpreted through engineering and the arts in the language of math) learning curriculums in the public schools, and the hands on excitement they instill, Driftwood Public Library intends to enrich children as much as possible in the ½ to 1 hour science night visit with something new and exciting each time.

Ideas with youth assisted demonstrations and experiments happen every

time. Some ideas fail, but the principles of the idea travel the room. Books loosely related to the topic of the evening are always presented first followed by the science experiment or demonstration.

 “One of our simple favorite science explorations at the library used this past year at Science Night Tuesday is…

Title:  “Digging up Dirt”..

By using magnifying glasses, garden dirt and the library’s big electric print enlarger/magnifier machine, we observed worm mouths, centepede legs and tiny insects enlarged x200!! gave many a thrill finding the tiniest bugs in garden dirt!

A “dirty” book to read before you begin? Try  Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin.”

Lots of our ideas come from ScienceBob’s website ( a great one with a little more prep?  “Rapid Color Changing Chemistry” try it, it’s amazing!!

Riley at lego club

Riley at lego club

Interestingly enough the summer reading theme for 2014 happens to be Fizz, Boom, READ for kids and Spark A Reaction for teens. (yay!) This year’s theme gave the library another exciting opportunity by offering science and technology for older kids. Teen ‘Maker’ programs for this summer will include rocket building, kitchen chemistry with no cook-cooking, inventing using small motors to create “artbots”, “bristlebots” etc., puppet making, juggling and more.


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