Wednesday, January 16, 2019

NoveList & LibraryReads Free Genre Webinars

Photo by Abhi Sharma

You all. Yesterday, I attended the first free webinar in a new series on genres that NoveList and LibraryReads are partnering up to present. It. Was. Fantastic.

Even before the webinar started, attendees were suggesting their favorite sci-fi novels and talking about subgenres in the chat (which continued throughout the webinar - I copied and pasted the chat into a Word document to save it and it was 33 pages).

This first webinar in the series was on Science Fiction and I found it very engaging and helpful. We got an overview of the development of the genre from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to what's new and trending today. The slides had TONS of suggestions for books along the way. I could tell that they paid attention to being inclusive with many female authors and authors from different cultures and ethnicities represented.

After the overview of the genre presented by a member of the LibraryReads team, a NoveList team member spoke about appeal factors in the genre and how to use NoveList to search for books for sci-fi readers and narrow the searches down to find a great match. I think you'd get the most out of it if you're a NoveList subscriber, but even if you're not, there were still tons of information about the appeal factors in the genre and book suggestions that would are useful.

This webinar was a bit like my Reader's Advisory class in grad school boiled down to one hour. I LOVED that class, so I was definitely nerding out. If you are unfamiliar with genre fiction or just want a refresher or if you're not confident about searching NoveList or if you have staff that aren't using NoveList because they don't know how, this is a FANTASTIC RESOURCE.

The webinars are centered on adult reading, though there were definitely YA titles that I spotted throughout. If you work with teens or adults, it's well worth watching.

The full schedule of genre webinars for the year is posted on this NoveList blog post and the webinars will be archived in case you can't make the actual time. As soon as the sci-fi archive is available, I will post it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

2019 Books I'm Looking Forward To (Young Readers' Edition)

Has anyone else's 2019 gotten off to a SUPER BUSY start? My to-do list has been jam packed so far this month and I can only hope that things even out a little bit soon.

I have had some time to drool over these books coming out in 2019. Here are a handful I'm looking forward to, so you can add them to your TBR list, too. This is the Young Readers' Edition - look out for the Adult edition later this week!


Soaring Earth: A Companion Memoir to Enchanted Air by Margarita Engle (Atheneum, February 2019). From publisher: 


In this powerful companion to her award-winning memoir Enchanted Air, Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle recounts her teenage years during the turbulent 1960s. 
Margarita Engle’s childhood straddled two worlds: the lush, welcoming island of Cuba and the lonely, dream-soaked reality of Los Angeles. But the revolution has transformed Cuba into a mystery of impossibility, no longer reachable in real life. Margarita longs to travel the world, yet before she can become independent, she’ll have to start high school.
Then the shock waves of war reach America, rippling Margarita’s plans in their wake. Cast into uncertainty, she must grapple with the philosophies of peace, civil rights, freedom of expression, and environmental protection. Despite overwhelming circumstances, she finds solace and empowerment through her education. Amid the challenges of adolescence and a world steeped in conflict, Margarita finds hope beyond the struggle, and love in the most unexpected of places.

I looooved Enchanted Air and it was one that was in my booktalk rotation when we were doing heavy outreach to schools. I'm excited for this companion memoir where Engle looks back at her teen years during the 1960s.


The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala (HarperCollins, April 2019). From publisher:

Esha is a legend, but no one knows. It’s only in the shadows that she moonlights as the Viper, the rebels’ highly skilled assassin. She’s devoted her life to avenging what she lost in the royal coup, and now she’s been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha.
Kunal has been a soldier since childhood, training morning and night to uphold the power of King Vardaan. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path—even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has been growing only more volatile.
Then Esha’s and Kunal’s paths cross—and an unimaginable chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces. As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices.
Drawing inspiration from ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, the first book in Swati Teerdhala’s debut fantasy trilogy captivates with electric romance, stunning action, and the fierce bonds that hold people together—and that drive them apart.

This #ownvoices fantasy series starter is based on Hindu mythology. Yes, please! And look at that gorgeous cover!


How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons (Little, Brown, March 2019). From publisher: 

To Kill a Mockingbird meets One Crazy Summer in this powerful, bittersweet debut about one girl's journey to reconnect with her mother and learn the truth about her father in the tumultuous times of the Jim Crow South.
In the small town of Alcolu, South Carolina, in 1944, 12-year-old Ella spends her days fishing and running around with her best friend Henry and cousin Myrna. But life is not always so sunny for Ella, who gets bullied for her light skin tone, and whose mother is away pursuing a jazz singer dream in Boston.
So Ella is ecstatic when her mother invites her to visit for Christmas. Little does she expect the truths she will discover about her mother, the father she never knew and her family's most unlikely history.
And after a life-changing month, she returns South and is shocked by the news that her schoolmate George has been arrested for the murder of two local white girls.
Bittersweet and eye-opening, How High the Moon is a timeless novel about a girl finding herself in a world all but determined to hold her down.
Any book compared to One Crazy Summer is an automatic read for me - that is one of my favorite series!


Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (Macmillan, May 2019). I'm cheating because I'm actually in the middle of the digital review copy right now, but I want YOU to know about this book and put it on your TBR. 

Teen K-Pop star Lucky has just finished her Asian tour and is about to have a major appearance on a US television show, an appearance that could be her big break in her home country. But, frustrated over how regimented her life has become, she gives her bodyguard the slip and heads out into Hong Kong in search of a hamburger (a very forbidden food on her strict diet). Where she meets...

Jack, who is also frustrated at his life. He's graduated high school but has no desire to go to college and study something sensible like finance, which is all his parents demand that he do. He's convinced them to let him take a gap year and he's interning at a bank and taking photographs for sleazy taboids on the side to pay the bills and get his start somewhere in photography, which is where his passion lies. 

Jack takes care of Lucky when they meet on the street - she's doped up on sleeping pills and he takes her back to his place to sleep. But when he recognizes her the next morning, a plan begins to form. If he can convince her to spend the day with him and take photos of her on the sly, they'll sell for tons of money to his tabloid, basically guaranteeing him a full time position. He thinks Lucky deserves it - it was her choice to go for a life of fame and fortune, after all. But as the two spend the day together and get to know each other, Jack's decision about whether to sell his photos doesn't seem so easy anymore. 

Hurrah for another fresh-faced and funny teen romance from Maurene Goo! 


Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson (Penguin Young Readers, March 2019). From publisher: 

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society's failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #metoo and #timesup, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice-- and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.
Speak is a classic and I'm super excited for Anderson's memoir in verse.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Book to Screen Readalikes

If you got your Winter 2018 School Library Journal this month (or last month?), you may have seen my face smiling out at you!



If not, hop on over to SLJ.com to read my readalikes for a handful of recent and upcoming book-to-screen film and TV adaptations. Connecting media to books can be a GREAT gateway to reader's advisory, especially for kids who might not consider themselves "readers". I always, always think that a kid who self-describes as "not a reader" just hasn't met the right book yet.

As I read back over this article, I do notice a problem with it... TOO FEW DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE CHOICES. I promise I've noticed, I'm calling myself out on it, and I'm working on it: the next one will be better.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Look Back at 2018

2018 was my first full year in my new position as Collection Development Lead at my library and I did some things!
  • I got kudos from my boss at a leadership meeting for spending pretty much the entire collection budget for the first time in many years. 

  • I've been building my Personal Learning Network for adult collection development (Early Word Galley Chat has been great for this!) and learning so much about adult materials.

  • I set up a location in our ILS for our new branch and have been working on getting them the materials they need up there. 
  • I have learned soooo much about our ILS vendor. 

  • I revised our Collection Development Policy and set up an online form where patrons can suggest purchases.
  • I got us a subscription to Wowbrary and it's making our holds lists for new materials grow and grow!

  • I renewed our magazines and databases and set up systems to collect more data so that these renewals will be easier next year.
It's been a great year and I continue to love my job (although I continue to miss baby storytime...). I have goals for next year. LET'S DO THIS, 2019!