So YA Like…Christmas books

Every year we all get that holiday reading bug, personally I satisfy mine with David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice.  However, you might not want to hand that book off to any of your Teen/YA patrons.  Here is a list to help your teens ring in the holidays!

The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog. Dave Barry.

Delighted to be playing the part of a shepherd in the local Christmas pageant at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Doug Barnes is suddenly confronted by a host of problems, including the misbehavior of his fellow shepherds and the illness of the family dog.

Ex-Mas. Kate Brian.

When her attempt to get back at her little brother Cooper results in him and his friend Tyler setting out for the North Pole to help save Santa, Lila enlists the help of Beau, her ex-boyfriend and Tyler’s brother, to find them.

Last Christmas. Kate Brian.

Before Reed Brennan attended Easton Academy and Ariana Osgood killed Thomas Pearson, Adriana and Thomas spent a night together over Christmas vacation, a night that set the stage for the horrific events that followed.

A War of Gifts. Orson Scott Card.

When Zeck Morgan, son of a puritanical minister, qualifies for admission into the International Fleet’s Battle School, he is brought to the school against his will. Citing pacifist religious beliefs, Zeck refuses to participate in any simulated war games, but when he sees a Dutch student give a friend a small present in celebration of Sinterklaas Day, he reports the violation of the school’s rules against open religious observation and sparks an uproar over religious freedom and the significance of cultural traditions. Meanwhile, Zeck becomes a pariah until series hero Ender Wiggin finds a way to show him the real meaning of the holidays.

What Child is This? Caroline B. Cooney.

Sixteen-year-old Matt knows not to expect anything of life, or people, or Christmas. But his foster sister, Katie, hasn’t yet learnt not to hope. When all the foster kids make their Christmas wishes, Katie asks for a family. Matt reckons no-one gets a family for Christmas – do they?

Mistletoe. Aimee Friedman, Hailey Abbott, Nina Malkin, Melissa de la Cruz.

In the first, Aimee Friedman brings Hanukkah and Christmas together as Maxine finds love in a department store. Hailey Abbott’s heroine, Aria, is welcoming her best friend, Emily, home for the holidays; unfortunately, she has fallen in love with Emily’s boyfriend. Nina Malkin sets her romance in Hollywood, and Melissa de la Cruz, the author of the Au Pairs series, offers a twist on O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.”

Let it Snow. John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle

In three intertwining short stories, several high school couples experience the trials and tribulations along with the joys of romance during a Christmas Eve snowstorm in a small town.

French Kissmas. Cathy Hapka.

While spending the winter holidays in Paris participating in a promotional video for the S.A.S.S. program, Nicole Larson is unnerved to discover that her feelings for Luc, the boy she met during her semester abroad the year before, are more than just casual friendship.

Marly’s Ghost. David Levithan.

The spirit of Ben’s girlfriend Marly returns with three other ghosts to haunt him with a painful journey though Valentine’s Days past, present, and future.

My Fair Godmother. Janette Rallison.

High school sophomore Savannah wants to find the perfect prom date after her boyfriend breaks up with her to date her older sister, but when a godmother who is only fair becomes involved, Savannah finds herself in trouble in the Middle Ages, along with a boy who would like to be her charming prince.


Starting a Literary Magazine

adastrapicWhile many may people may lament the perceived loss of the literate teen, we in libraries know that to be a fallacy.  Writer’s groups are flourishing but as anyone whose run a writer’s group will tell you the teens want to get published.  However, most writer’s groups are not full of S. E. Hintons and Francesca Lia Blocks.  So what’s a librarian to do?  Self publish!  At least that’s what the cool kids are doing.

The Plainfield Public Library’s Teen Writers’ Group created their own literary magazine on almost no budget (ink and copying were only costs).  Even the cover art was teen created.  From January to May the teens submitted original work and promoted the magazine in their own schools.  Then we collected the works and proofed during the first half hour of our meetings.  By July we had corrected the submissions and I began formatting it into a magazine.

The formatting is the most difficult part of the process.  To create the magazine I started with an 11X17 page in publisher which will give you an 8.5X11 magazine.  The difficult part is getting the pages to layout correctly (1 following 2 following 3 and so on).  I can give you a template if you desire

The greatest part of this project was the pride in the teen author’s faces.  They had an idea, followed through, and were able to hold a finished product in their hand.  We had a release party were the teens shared their “published” writing.