Friday, August 21, 2020

Activate Your Vote

Activism and Voting are two sides of the same coin. Activate your vote! Listed below are 25 young adult books published in the past year, since August 2019, on the subjects of voting and activism. Included (and noted) in this mostly nonfiction list are a few fiction books and graphic format books.


Drawing the Vote: The Illustrated Guide to Voting in America, by Tommy Jenkins, 2020.  Looks at the history of voting rights in the United States and how it affects the way we vote today. Author, Tommy Jenkins, identifies events and trends that led to the unprecedented results of the 2016 presidential election that left American political parties more estranged than ever. Nonfiction, Graphic Format.

Election Manipulation: Is America's Voting System Secure?, by John Allen, 2020. Law enforcement and intelligence experts warn that Russia and other foreign countries are likely to try to interfere in America's presidential election in 2020. Federal and state officials must guard against computer hacks, disinformation and fake news on social media, and attempts to disrupt the voting system. This book examines how America's voting system can be made more secure. Nonfiction.

One Person, No Vote: How All Voters are Not Treated Equally (Young Readers' Edition), by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden, 2019.  Chronicles the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the Supreme Court's 2013 Shelby ruling, which allowed districts to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice, with a foreword by Senator Dick Durbin. Nonfiction.

The State of Us, by Shaun David Hutchinson, 2020. When Dean Arnault’s mother decided to run for president, it wasn’t a surprise to anyone, least of all her son. But still that doesn’t mean Dean wants to be part of the public spectacle that is the race for the White House—at least not until he meets Dre. The only problem is that Dre Rosario's on the opposition; he’s the son of the Democratic nominee. Realistic Fiction

Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights, by Lawrence Goldstone, 2020. In this portrait of the systematic suppression of the African American vote, Lawrence Goldstone traces the injustices of the post-Reconstruction era through the eyes of incredible individuals, both heroic and barbaric, and examines the legal cases that made the Supreme Court a partner of white supremacists in the rise of Jim Crow. Though this is a story of America's past, Goldstone draws direct links to today's creeping threats to suffrage. Nonfiction.

Vote!: Women's Fight for Access to the Ballot Box, by Coral Celeste Frazer, 2019. In the battle for the right to vote, American women faced arrest, jail time, and ridicule. They organized marches, forged alliances with other social reform movements, and lobbied politicians. They saw the right to vote as a guarantee of freedom and equality. Today, through voter purges, voter ID laws, and other tactics, many states make it hard for citizens--especially young people, poor people, and people of color--to register to vote and to cast ballots. What can we learn from history? And what can you do to protect your access to the ballot box? Nonfiction.

Votes of Confidence: A Young Person's Guide to American Elections, by Jeff Fleischer, 2020. A reference for teen students that provides information about the past, present, and future of American elections. Nonfiction.

The Voting Booth, by Brandy Colbert, 2020.  From Stonewall Award-winning author Brandy Colbert comes an all-in-one-day love story perfect for fans of The Sun is Also A Star. Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She's always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election? Duke Crenshaw is so done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band's first paying gig tonight. Only problem? Realistic Fiction.


Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing Up for Earth, by Christy Peterson, 2020. On April 22, 1970, an estimated twenty million people held a teach-in to show their support for environmental protections. It was the largest nationwide event ever, and lawmakers took notice.
But one day didn't change everything. Fifty years after the first Earth Day, climate change remains a dire concern. The divide between political parties continues to widen, and environmental policy has become an increasingly partisan issue. Nonfiction.

Enough is Enough: How Students Can Join the Fight for Gun Safety, by Michelle Roehm McCann, 2019. Explores the complexities of gun violence in America by explaining the myths, facts, causes, and obstacles surrounding the issue, and provides resources for students to get involved in gun safety activism. Nonfiction.

Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers Who Resisted the Nazis, by K.R. Gaddy, 2020. The Edelweiss Pirates were a loosely organized group of working-class young people in the Rhine Valley of Germany. They faced off with Nazis during the Third Reich and suffered consequences for their resistance during and after World War II. Nonfiction.

In Good Hands: Remarkable Female Politicians From Around the World Who Showed Up, Spoke Out, and Made Change, by Stephanie MacKendrick. Written for young women interested in running for office, with inspiring stories of eighteen women role models along with the all the tools and resources needed to get a campaign off the ground. Nonfiction.

Into the Streets: A Young Person's Visual History of Protest in the United States, by Marke Bieschke, 2020. Photos, artwork, and other visual elements guide readers through a lively and informative exploration of significant protests, sit-ins, and collective acts of resistance throughout U.S. history. Nonfiction.

Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights, by Karen Blumenthal, 2020. A history of the fight for reproductive rights in the United States. Tracing the path to the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade and the continuing battle for women's rights, Blumenthal examines the root causes of the current debate around abortion and repercussions that have affected generations of American women. Includes a glossary of legal and medical terms, timeline, and information about significant Supreme Court cases. Nonfiction.

Kent State, by Deborah Wiles, 2020. Told from different points of view--protesters, students, National Guardsmen, and "townies"--recounts the story of what happened at Kent State in May 1970, when four college students were killed by National Guardsmen, and a student protest was turned into a bloody battlefield. Historical Fiction.

Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio, by Derf Backderf, 2020. On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard gunned down unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University. In a deadly barrage of 67 shots, 4 students were killed and 9 shot and wounded. It was the day America turned guns on its own children--a shocking event burned into our national memory. A few days prior, 10-year-old Derf Backderf saw those same Guardsmen patrolling his nearby hometown, sent in by the governor to crush a trucker strike. Using the journalism skills he employed on My Friend Dahmer and Trashed, Backderf has conducted extensive interviews and research to explore the lives of these four young people and the events of those four days in May, when the country seemed on the brink of tearing apart. Graphic Format, Nonfiction.

Ms. Gloria Steinem: A Life, by Winifred Conkling, 2020. Gloria Steinem is perhaps the single-most iconic figure associated with women's rights, her name practically synonymous with the word "feminism." Documenting everything from her boundary-pushing journalistic career to the foundation of Ms. magazine to being awarded the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Biography.

Rainbow Revolutions: Power, Pride, and Protest in the Fight for Queer Rights, by Jamie Lawson, 2020. Around one o'clock in the morning on June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York, sparking days of intense rioting. What happened at Stonewall sent shockwaves around the world, and became a defining moment for the LGBTQ+ community. Nonfiction.

Raise Your Voice: 12 Protests That Shaped America, by Jeffrey Kluger, 2020. A recounting of protests throughout American history that have shaped our nation: The Boston Tea Party, 1773 -- The Seneca Falls Convention, 1848 -- The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire and the fight for workers' rights, 1911 -- The Montgomery bus boycott, 1955-1956 -- The March on Washington, 1963 -- The Democratic Convention, 1968 -- The Stonewall Uprising, 1969 -- Earth Day, 1970 -- The march against nuclear weapons, 1982 -- ACT UP, 1987 -- The Women's March, 2017 -- Dakota Access uprising, 2016-2017.  Nonfiction.

Speak Up!: Speeches by Young People to Empower & Inspire, by Adora Svitak, 2020.  A compilation of inspiring speeches from youth around the world whose voices have helped move the needle of progress. Nonfiction.

Stand Up! Be an Upstander and Make a Difference, by Wendy L. Moss, 2020.  You may doubt that you can make a difference. You can't fly like Wonder Woman or scale walls like Spiderman, but you could be a hero to someone else by speaking up. Small changes can lead to bigger and bigger changes. Chock full of quizzes, examples, practical advice, and small steps you can take in your real life, Stand Up! takes readers through the ways to be an Upstander, including being kind to yourself, having empathy for others, spreading kindness, and dealing with conflicts. Nonfiction.

Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance, edited by Bethany C. Morrow, 2019.  Anthology featuring fictional stories--in poems, prose, and art--that reflect a slice of the varied and limitless ways that to resist every day. Take the Mic's collection of stories features work by  Jason Reynolds, Samira Ahmed, Bethany C. Morrow, Darcie Little Badger, Keah Brown, Laura Silverman, L.D. Lewis, Sofia Quintero, Ray Stoeve, Yamile Mendez, and Connie Sun. Short Stories.

Thank You for Coming to my TED Talk: A Teen Guide to Great Public Speaking, by Chris Anderson and Lorin Oberweger, 2020. A teen edition of the New York Times best-selling TED TALKS: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, chock-full of tips and techniques to help teens become confident, capable speakers. For today’s teen, being able to communicate clearly in front of an audience is essential. From class presentations to interviews to online videos, an engaging talk can not only inspire and electrify a room, it can change people’s minds, and even change the world. Nonfiction.

True or False: A CIA Analyst's Guide to Spotting Fake News, by Cindy L. Otis, 2020. A former CIA analyst unveils the history of fake news and gives tips on how to avoid falling victim to it. "Fake news" is a term you’ve probably heard a lot in the last few years, but it’s not a new phenomenon. From the ancient Egyptians to the French Revolution to Jack the Ripper and the founding fathers, fake news has been around as long as human civilization. Nonfiction.

You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People, by Elizabeth Rusch, 2020. The political landscape has never been so tumultuous: issues with the electoral college, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and a lack of representation in the polls and in our leadership have led to Americans of all ages asking, How did we get here?  Rather than pointing fingers at people and political parties, You Call This Democracy? looks at flaws in the system--and offers a real way out of the mess we are in. Each chapter breaks down a different problem plaguing American democracy, exploring how it's undemocratic, offering possible solutions (with examples of real-life teens who have already started working toward them), and suggesting ways to effect change.  Nonfiction.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Just Keep Swimming

This time out of time (what day is it?) may be hard, difficult, scary, or boring for you. We can get through this. Or to quote Churchill, "If you are going through hell, keep going.". To help you keep going here are collections of resources I've scooped up for Fun, Inspiration, Study, and Health (FISH).Click the words in the graphic below to access those pages. Be like Dory, just keep swimming!

I'm here. I'd love to hear from you. My email is: There is lots of stuff I can still do virtually to help you while the building is closed, for example, helping you with signing up for a Library Card number, helping you access our digital resources, or creating a list of personalized book recommendations for you -- use our Your Next Great Read service. Register for our summer reading program, it is for all ages -- Beanstack information is found here. You can start anytime to earn badges to win prizes, from June 20 through August 8. See all the prizes here.

FISH resources for Teens at Home by kclaire

Thursday, March 12, 2020

March rrrOars

Animal Nonfiction Books by kclaire

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Jason Reynolds is National Ambassador

Young Adult author Jason Reynolds' list of awards and achievements is long and this January the list became even more illustrious when he was named our next (and 7th) National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress,and it's two partners the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader. Previous Ambassadors were: Jacqueline Woodson, Gene Luen Yang, Kate DiCamillo, Walter Dean Myers, Katherine Paterson, and Jon Scieszka.

The National Ambassador program was established in 2008. During their two year term each ambassador travels to towns across America to talk with young people. Reynolds believes that everybody has a story, and so he is calling his platform as ambassador: “GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story.” The focus will be on empowering students to embrace and share their own personal stories. 

There are a lot of interviews with Jason Reynolds online. I encourage you to check them out, particularly the recording of the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Inauguration. It is long, so if you just want to get to know about Jason and his platform start the video at 35:10. Many of the interviews focus on Jason's journey from reluctant reader to award-winning author. I think the following short clip from a 2018 interview gets at the heart of his message on reading and writing:

Here is a description and recommendation of Reynolds' work from Ebsco's NoveList database: "Authentic characterization drives the work of award-winning author Jason Reynolds. Focusing mainly on African-American teens and kids in realistic urban settings, he crafts characters whose words, actions, and emotions ring true. Reynolds doesn't shy away from portraying painful and deeply moving situations, but presents them in an honest, accessible style that will appeal to all kinds of young readers. Start with Long Way Down (Teens); Ghost (Older Kids)."

Or you could start with Jason's own favorites: Boy in the Black Suit, 2015 (Teens), or As Brave As You, 2016 (Older Kids).
Jason Reynolds' website.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Take Heart

💖 We are wearing our 
     hearts on our counters! 
    Stop by the teen area
     and check out a 
heart titled book this month.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

King wins Printz

As a long time fan of A.S.(Amy Sarig) King's books, it was wonderful to hear last week's announcement from the American Library Association that she won the Michael L. Printz Award for 2020, for her latest book, Dig. Please see all of her books in the slider above. The book covers are linked to our catalog. Click here for the professional reviews of Dig(scroll down). Click here for the reader reviews on Goodreads.
I particularly recommend her books if you enjoy, as I do, character-driven offbeat stories that surprise you with magic realism. In addition to her novels you can find A. S. King in these two short story collections: Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories (The Boy Who Won't Leave Me Alone, by A. S. King, 2011); Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors on the Dark Side of Love (Own Your Heart, by A. S. King, 2018)  A.S. King only uses the initials of her first two names on her books and has said in interviews and on her blog at, "If ever you've heard that I chose to write under the name A.S. King because it spells "asking" then you heard right.". On her writing journey, King said in an interview she gave in 2009: "It took me 7 novels and 15 years of writing to publish a book.". Like most authors who give advice on becoming a writer, King encourages people to read.
Get to know King a little though this fun reading pep talk she gave in 2016:

The American Library Association's Printz Award has been awarded every year since 2000, for a Young Adult book that exemplifies literary excellence.

Dig, by A.S. King,  2019. Five white teenage cousins who are struggling with the failures and racial ignorance of their dysfunctional parents and their wealthy grandparents, reunite for Easter. Genre: Magical realism. Listen to King read an excerpt from the beginning of Dig here.

The Printz committee also names up to 4 Printz Honor (the silver seals) books each year. (BTW- Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A. S. King, was a 2011 Printz Honor book.) Here are the 2020 Printz Honor Books:

Beast Player, by Nahoko Uehashi, translated by Cathy Hirano, 2019. Nahoko Uehashi's The Beast Player is an epic YA fantasy about a girl with a special power to communicate with magical beasts and the warring kingdom only she can save.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, 2019. Upset about her on-again, off-again relationship with her girlfriend Laura Dean, Freddy Riley depends on her friends, a local mystic, and a relationship columnist for help in dealing with her situation. Graphic novel. Genre: Realistic; Romance.

Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir, by Nikki Grimes, 2019. The author recounts her traumatic childhood, with a mother suffering from mental illness, unfortunate experiences in a series of foster homes, and her discovery of her love of writing, which eventually helped her overcome the hazards of her life. Nonfiction. Memoir in Verse.

Where the World Ends, by Geraldine McCaughrean, 2019. In the summer of 1727, a group of men and boys are put ashore on a remote sea stac to harvest birds for food. No one returns to collect them. Why? Surely nothing but the end of the world can explain why they have been abandoned. And how can they survive, housed in stone and imprisoned on every side by the ocean? Genre: Historical fiction.

Want to know more about the Printz selection process? Click here for School Library Journal's articles on Pondering the Printz on Its 20th Anniversary.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Young Adult Page to Screen in 2020

Read the book - then see the movie! 
Click on the book jacket cover below to place a hold. 
What's your not-to-be-missed book to movie?