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Teens Blog

Two Ways to Share the Love

  1. Valentines for Children's Hospital
    January 31-February 9, 2016

    Bring in a signed valentine, homemade or store-bought, for a patient and receive a treat.  Valentines cannot include candy, balloons, rubber bands, religious messages, or tiny objects.  This is at the request of Children's Hospital.  Please turn in your valentines to the preschool desk.  
  2. Be Our Valentine
    Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

    Enjoy a fun night of Valentine crafts, games and snacks for the whole family.  Follow your heart (and the starred hallway) to the program room.
Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

Let's Talk Books!: How to Booktalk

My number one job here at the Hoover Public Library is getting the right books in the right hands.  Sometimes, the kid is reluctant to try reading something new.  Sometimes, the teen doesn't like reading at all.  Sometimes, the girl thinks she doesn't like sports books.  Sometimes, the boy doesn't want to read a book with a character who isn't exactly like him.  That's when I have to use my well-honed superpower: the persuasive booktalk.  I use it at the Kid Zone desk, in the Teen Spot stacks, in the schools . . . basically everywhere I go.  Now, here's my confession.  Lean in close, I don't want everyone to know.  YOU have the same superpower.  Or, at least, you CAN have it if you follow these tips.

  • As you read a book, take notes on elements like eccentric characters, key story details, and humorous or suspenseful scenes.  Use these notes to draft your booktalk.
  • Your booktalk should convey something about the book that your audience will remember -- like a specific detail, character, or scene that made a vivid impression on you -- and include one or two lines about the plot (without giving too much away!).  
  • 150-200 words is the perfect length for a short booktalk.  The shorter the talk, the more books that can be covered in a short time.
  • Practice delivering the booktalk.  While you don't need to memorize it, a booktalk is more effective if you can deliver it without reading.  (Trick: Stick a Post-it note on the back of the book to remind you of key details.)
  • Be enthusiastic!  

Need specific examples?  No problem.  Here are a couple sample booktalks of new titles.
Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu
It cannot be real, Silly thinks.  Her sisters have not uncovered some sort of magic in their bedroom closet.  But when Astrid and her twin sister, Eleanor, invite Marla and Silly into their secret world, huge changes descend on the household.  You see, magic can be wonderful and healing and golden.  Unfortunately, it can also be dark, demanding, and dangerous.  And Silly seems to be the key to how the magic will ultimately affect her entire family.  Can she save Marla and her parents from the effects of a darker magic?
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
It's not an insult, not a cuss word.  It is a fact.  Willowdean, will for short, is fat.  Her mother's nickname for Will, Dumplin', is a subtle reminder that Will is not the type of young woman who would normally enter a beauty pageant.  The pageant in question is the Miss Texas Blue Bonnet Pageant, the same pageant Will's mother won when she was a young woman, and the one Will elects to enter now.  She has a point to make: you don't have to win a pageant to wear a crown.  And sometimes the fat lady gets to do more than sing before the story is over. 

* These hints and sample booktalks are courtesy of HarperStacks.  Take a look at their website for more great reading resources.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

Sign Up for LS 102!

It's time for our online resources class for homeschoolers, grades 4-12.  Library Skills 102 has been scheduled for Friday, February 5, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.  Students will learn how to use the Alabama Virtual Library, Homework Alabama, Universal Classroom, and Mango Languages.  We'll also briefly cover Zinio, Overdrive, Hoopla, Goodreads, DAWCL, and the library's daily blog and monthly teacher newsletters.  The class is limited to 25 students, and registration is open!  You can sign up online or by phone (444-7830).  Parents are welcome to sit in and learn, too!

Michel Chikwanine was five years old when he was abducted from his schoolyard soccer game in the Democratic Republic of Congo and forced to become a soldier for a brutal rebel militia.  Against the odds, he escaped and found his way back to his family.  The gripping story of Michel's experience is captured in Child Soldier, a graphic novel biography featuring art by Claudia Dávila.  It is a story of violence, but also of hope.  The back matter contains further information, as well as suggestions for ways children can help. As Michel's father told him: "If you ever think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito."  This is a perfect resource for engaging youngsters in social studies lessons on global awareness and social justice issues, and would easily spark classroom discussions about conflict, children's rights and even bullying.  Access the official website for a book trailer, interviews, and a teaching guide.

Another awesome teen book has become a hopefully-awesome movie.  The 5th Wave, based on Rick Yancey's book of the same name, opens this weekend.  

Four waves of increasingly deadly attacks from an alien invasion have left most of Earth decimated. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal fifth wave, Cassie teams up with a young man who may become her final hope - if she can only trust him.

Read the book or ebook before you see the movie!  You can also listen to the book-on-CD or download the audiobook via Overdrive or Hoopla.  

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Teen Services

Teen Community Service Volunteer Guidelines

Volunteer applications are taken year round, but opportunities are available on a limited basis. During the school year times are available for special programs only. Applications will be held on file until opportunities arise. Volunteers are needed more during the summer to help with the library’s Summer Reading Program.