Mock Printz booktalk: Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Sonja Somerville of Salem Public Library.

Adri has been chosen for an adventure beyond imagination. She will be one of a small group being sent to colonize Mars, the first part of a plan for humans to escape from a run-down Earth where everything is melting and coastal cities are now mostly water. But first, Adri is going to be drawn into a different kind of adventure, in Kansas of all places. It’s time for Adri’s final training, and she is sent to live with a distant cousin she didn’t know she had in a family home she didn’t know existed. She finds herself living with an old lady who is starting to forget things and an ancient tortoise named Galapagos.

When Adri finds a stash of old letters and a journal in the house, she gets wrapped up in two much older stories about women who lived in this place before her. One is a love-struck teen trying to survive the Dust Bowl, panicking and determined to get away as the money runs out and the constant dust storm leaves her younger sister coughing and wheezing. The other is a young British woman recovering from the grief of losing her bother to World War I who leaves her own home behind to seek out a friend in America. In the end, this is about three women facing disaster –- connected by a house and a tortoise, by desperation and hope.

Mock Printz booktalk: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Susan Smallsreed of Multnomah County Library.

Starr Carter wasn’t supposed to be at Big D’s annual party. If mom or dad knew, she’d be grounded for life … or worse. But she hadn’t hung out with Kenya for months ’cause Starr moves between two worlds: the fancy Williamson prep, a mostly white, rich, suburban school, and Starr’s neighborhood, Garden Heights, where gangs fight over turf and drug dealing is a way of life. Anyway, with basketball practice, school work, and parents that won’t let her near the gangs, Starr doesn’t hang out much in the neighborhood anymore.

But Kenya begged, so Starr went to the party and it was HUGE. Starr hardly knew anyone and felt totally out of place until Khalil, her best friend from childhood, found her. And a couple of minutes later they had picked up where they left off, laughing and talking. But then shots rang out. Khalil got her out of the crowd and into his car to drive her home. But halfway there, a cop … badge number 115 … Starr made a point to remember that … pulled them over. And before she knew it, Khalil was dying in her arms and she had a gun pointing at her.

One white cop, one dead young black man, one witness. Should Starr talk? To whom? The gangs don’t want the police sniffing around and the police don’t want anyone to know that Khalil was unarmed. So it’s dangerous, no matter what. But what about justice for Khalil? What should Starr do? What would you do?

Mock Printz booktalk: A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Lisa Elliott of Tigard Public Library.

The underground world of Caverna is home to master crafters who create exotic and often magical delicacies. Their wines can erase or restore memories, their perfumes can intoxicate and enchant, and their cheeses can cause hallucinations or explosions. When Neverfell is a young child, she appears in the tunnels of Master Grandible, one of Caverna’s most highly regarded cheesemakers who, in spite of the aristocratic status that comes with his craftsmanship, has rejected the Court and keeps to himself behind intricately locked and booby-trapped doors. He discovers Neverfell in a vat of curds, and takes her under his wing as his apprentice. He also insists that she wear a mask and never reveal her face to strangers, because within it contains horrors Grandible refuses to explain.

By the time Neverfell is a teenager, she grows restless and escapes the cheesemaker’s tunnels and finds herself in a world of intrigue so complex, it is impossible to distinguish enemies from allies, especially considering Caverna’s most curious peculiarity: All of its citizens are born with blank faces and must learn facial expressions. The lower class drudges are taught only friendly, subservient faces, and the upper classes pay top-dollar for a huge variety of expressions they use to help them lie and manipulate in order to gain advantage in the Court. Neverfell’s entrance into this society immediately causes a stir, especially once the face under her mask is revealed. She finds herself a key figure of plot after plot, until she finally gets fed up with being a pawn and decides to take the fate of all of Caverna into her own hands.

Mock Printz booktalk: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Ian Duncanson of Beaverton City Library.

Griffin’s first love was a boy named Theo. Unfortunately, first loves have a tendency to end, and the two broke up. Theo headed to California for college, leaving Griffin back in New York City. Despite Theo meeting and starting to date Jackson, Griffin secretly harbored hope that the two would one day reconcile. Sadly, all of those hopes are dashed when he learns that Theo has died tragically in a swimming accident in his adopted state.

Griffin’s grief consumes him and begins to drag his entire life down. When Jackson arrives in New York City for the funeral, Griffin’s mental state continues to spiral down with his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder growing progressively worse. He replays his vanished relationship in his mind, the good times and bad, and ponders the “what might have been.” No matter how much he lives in the past, Griffin is ultimately stuck in the present where Theo is dead and he’s trying to hold it together. Secrets and revelations emerge during his recollections; it turns out that his relationship with Theo had more underlying complexities that he initially realized. Can Griffin ever come to terms with his grief and loneliness, or is he cursed to live in the past while throwing away his future?

2018 Book Rave nominations closing soon!

Book Rave is a list of outstanding books for middle and high school students in Oregon created by the members of OYAN — and the deadline for nominations is approaching!

Titles on the 2018 list must be published between November 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017. To nominate a title, fill out the online nomination form, including the title and author, date of publication, genre, tags, and a short synopsis of the book. The form allows for one nomination at a time, but you can fill it out multiple times to nominate multiple titles.

The form will be open through early December, and then members will be invited to vote on the nominated titles through mid-January. The top titles will be discussed at the winter meeting on January 20th in Beaverton, and then the final list will be announced at the OLA conference in April.

Questions? Email Sonja Somerville of the Salem Public Library.

Finding Funding: YALSA Summer Learning Grants

Golden dollar bill signs hang from fishing line, dark shadows cast behind themIt can be tough to find funding for all of the great ideas you want to make happen at your library. In this occasional series, we’ll highlight different funding sources you may not know about or may not know how to tap.

Are you looking to take your summer learning program to the next level? YALSA is giving away twenty $1,000 grants to support libraries’ efforts to reach underserved teens over the summer months as well as another twenty $1,000 grants to support hiring teen interns over the summer.

To determine if you are eligible, you must answer yes to the following questions:

  • Is your summer learning program administered through a library?
  • Is your program open to all teens in the community?
  • Do you work directly with teens?
  • Are you a personal member of YALSA?
  • Is your library within 20 miles of a Dollar General store?

If you answered yes to all of those questions, read these tips for writing effective grants and then check out the Teen Read Week website for more details and the application forms! Applications are due by December 1st. Good luck!

Upcoming OYAN meetings and events

OYAN meetings are a great way to swap book recommendations, get help with your teen programs and services, and hear what other libraries around Oregon are doing for teens in their communities. Join us at one of our upcoming meetings or other events!