YAACING Spring 2017 Youth Services Institute
Chatting Careers with Teens
Red Cedar Gala 2017
Teen Spring Break Mini Challenge
NEWSLETTER OF THE YOUNG ADULT & CHILDRENâ€™S SERVICES SECTION OF BCLA
YAACING Spring 2017
Message from the Chair Message from the Editors News 6 Revisiting YAACS LGBTQ+ Lit Event 7 Youth Services Institute 8 BC SRC 13 Red Cedar Award Gala 2017
Features 22 Chatting Careers with Teens at Your Library by Heather Gloster 26 Annotated Bibliography: Families Around the World by Kerry-Ann Kerr 31 Annotated Bibliography: Middle Grade Books with LGBTQ Themes by Casey Stepaniuk
Reviews Columns 14 We’ll link to that by Dana Horrocks and Lindsey Krabbenhoft
Call for Submissions
16 Teens Only: Spring Break Mini Challenge by Amy Dawley 18 STEAM: Butterflies in the Library by Afton Schindel 21 Who’s On the Felt Board? by Jane Whittingham
YAACS (Young Adults and Children’s Services) is a section of the British Columbia Library Association. Founded in 1980, our members include librarians, teacher-librarians and other library workers interested in services to youth in British Columbia. Our purpose is to promote the exchange of ideas among library personnel who work with children and young adults. YAACING is published 4 times per year. Editors: Alicia Cheng & Jane Whittingham Art Director: Afton Schindel If you are interested in submitting anything for publication, send it to email@example.com Next Deadline: June 1, 2017
Message from the Chair Hi YAAC’ers near and far! Hard to believe the new year is here and already 2016 seems like a distant memory. This winter has seen some excellent work being done by YAACS members: Kate Longley continues to explore how libraries around the province are working to support student and staff with the new BC Curriculum, the Continuing Education Committee put on yet another stellar event by teaming up with the BCLA LGBTQ Interest Group and finally Vice-Chair Sarah Harrison has collected information from people in current YAACS roles to ensure smooth handovers going forward so we don’t lose momentum. Speaking of which, I am thrilled to announce that building on the momentum and feedback from last year’s conference YAACS and BCLA are holding the first ever Youth Services Institute! This will take place on April 19th before the BCLC kicks off and will feature Dr. Chris Kliewer, a renowned researcher and professor of inclusive literacy practices and Tess Prendergast, a Children’s Librarian and academic who’s research examines inclusion in the library setting. Then after lunch, the afternoon will consist of lightning talks or quick, informative presentations by your colleagues (or maybe even you!) about a program that’s worked in their community, an epic fail of a project or the latest teen craze. Please note this event is separate from the conference and you must register and pay separately. Hopefully we’ll see some of you at the Youth Services Institute, or at the AGM, which we will be held during the BCLC. - Dana Horrocks YAACS Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
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Message from the Editors Winter is finally on it’s way out, and here at YAACING we’re looking forward to spring! There are so many exciting things coming up this spring, including the first ever Youth Services Institute, the Annual General Meeting, and of course, Spring Break! Whatever your spring plans include, we hope you’ll find some inspiration in the pages of this spring edition of YAACING - as usual we’ve got a lot of great content to share, courtesy of our talented colleagues from across the province. Goodbye, winter - here’s to another British Columbia spring! And as far as goodbyes go, after 5 years as YAACING Editor, Alicia is stepping down from her role. Julia McKnight will be stepping in as Editor along with the amazing Jane and super talented Afton. It’s been a wonderful five years, and I can’t wait to read future issues of YAACING! Cheers, - Alicia Cheng and Jane Whittingham YAACING Co-Editors email@example.com
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Revisiting YAACS LGBTQ+ Lit Event A big thanks to Rob, Casey, and Lucinda for their fabulous presentations at the YAACS LGBTQ+ Lit event held at Burnaby Public Library on February 28. These experts highlighted books for children and teens that feature LGBTQ+ characters and shared excellent insight on what to look for and think about when reading and using these books with youth. The three panelists shared their book recommendations (and some titles they wouldnâ€™t recommend), discussed some of the emerging trends in the LGBTQ+ publishing industry, and provided tips on how to make the most of evaluation and review tools. Portions of the presentation will be available shortly on the YAACS YouTube channel. For notes and presentation slides, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Calling all youth services library staff! Join us for a day of inspiring professional development with a focus on inclusive library services and literacy for children and youth. Leading the morning sessions will be inclusive literacy expert, Chris Kliewer, and inclusive library expert Tess Prendergast. They will present their research and challenge participants to apply their learning to the library setting. The afternoon is a chance to hear from YOU! Thatâ€™s right, your colleagues have put together lightning talks on a range of topics from revolutionary program ideas to career hacks. Lightning talks speakersâ€™ bios to come! Registration closes on April 12th. Please note, this event does not include a refund if registration is cancelled. For questions about the event, please contact Dana Horrocks: 604-665-3945 email@example.com When:
April 19th, 2017 9 - 3pm
Location: Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 6B1, Canada Alma VanDusen and Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level Central Branch Event Fee(s): BCLA Member $ 50.00 Non-Member $ 60.00 Student (Lib Tech/ Lib) $ 40.00
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NEWS BC SRC Update
BC Summer Reading Club 1. WALK ON THE WILD SIDE! Welcome to the 2017 BC Summer Reading Club! Vivid, filled with life, and inspired by her own deeply personal connection to nature, this year’s gorgeous artwork is by Darlene Gait. Combining her incredible skill as an artist with her ability to pay attention and look more closely at the world around her, Darlene has done a fantastic job of realizing this year’s theme of Walk on the Wild Side!
THE POSTER Peering through a gap in an old brick wall is a curious (and incredibly cute!) Racoon. In the background, we can see a city scape — grey buildings set against blue water and blue mountains. Through the gap is a verdant world filled with a variety of BC animals, all illustrated in exquisite detail. Look closely and you’ll spot a wolf, spider, a raven, a marmot and many others
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— along with some deliciously ripe-looking blackberries! You can almost see our Raccoon’s nose quiver in anticipation! Adventure, beauty, discovery, wonderful encounters, new friends — all these and more await when you “Walk on the Wild Side!”
THE READING RECORD AND STICKERS The cover of the 2017 Reading Record echoes the poster and, along with our adorable Raccoon, invites children and their families to explore the natural world all around them, wherever they live! Inside the reading record, a pathway opens up into a panorama of British Columbia landscapes. In each environment kids can spot a BC animal. Darlene has purposely chosen several animals listed as At-Risk or Endangered. Can you spot the Little Brown Myotis? (Hint: it’s hanging in the cave!) Don’t worry, we’ll have the names of the
animals on the website for any budding naturalists to reference! As always, on the back of each of the seven weekly panels there is room for kids to log their daily reading by recording titles, pages, or minutes read, or simply by colouring the delightful icons. The sticker panel features seven BC animals: our adventurous Raccoon in the centre, surrounded Raven, Wolf, Bear, Lynx, Northern Leopard Frog. This year’s activity card encourages children to “draw themselves in nature”. A folding “stand” at the bottom of the card makes it possible for kids to take their “mini-me” figure for a Walk on the Wild Side of their reading record! And if they want some company, pop-out figures of a raccoon and a deer are available to join them! Instructions are provided on the back of the card, in English and French.
2. BONJOUR BC SRC! We are delighted to announce that the 2017 BC SRC Core Print materials will be available in English and French! The Core Print materials will include:
• • •
poster (one side English; one side French) reading Record (French cover on one side; English cover on the other) bookmarks (both languages on bookmarks)
As well, there will be a thematic French booklist and downloadable letters for parents, schools, media, etc. available from the website. You’ll want to be sure to advise the French Immersion teachers and schools in your community! The addition of French to our Core Print Materials and our Parent/School support materials marks Phase One of increasing language accessibility to the BC SRC. Thanks to a grant from the Ministry of Education, Libraries Branch, in 2017, children and their families will be able to “Walk on the Wild Side!” and to “Balade dans la nature sauvage!”
3. IT TAKES A PROVINCE! The BC Summer Reading Club would never be able to go anywhere without the incredible talents and hard work of some amazing people: Emily Olsen of Thompson-Nicola Regional
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NEWS District Library System (Committee Chair) Kate Adams of Richmond Public Library (Past Chair) Mehjabeen Ali and Surrey Public Library (Content Creator) Anne Martin and Vancouver Public Library (Content Creator) Wiena Groenewold and Fraser Valley Regional Library (Content Creator) Susan McCowan and Meghan Ross Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library System (Content Creator) Morgan Churchill and Fort St. John Public Library (Content Creator) Tina Lee and Burnaby Public Library (Content Creator) Julie Carter and Vancouver Island Regional Library (Content Creator) Tess Prendergast, Inclusive Early Literacy (Consultant, Inclusion Review Team)) Emma Rumley (Inclusion Review Team) Lucinda Murray (Inclusion Review Team) Meredith Temple (Inclusion Review Team) Roger Handling, Terra Firma Digital Arts (Graphic Designer) Neil Firkins, (Web Design) Shayne Letain, Rain in Spain Creative Studio (www.kidssrc.ca) Mari Martin, Director, Libraries Branch, Ministry of Education Scott Leslie and BC Libraries Cooperative Michael Burris and the staff at InterLINK Cassie McFadden, Office Manager, BCLA Angie Ayupova, Admin Assistant, BCLA Annette DeFaveri, Executive Director, BCLA The BC Summer Reading Club is sponsored by the British Columbia Library Association and public libraries throughout British Columbia, with support from the Province of British Columbia, through Libraries Branch, Ministry of Education, and the RBC Foundation.
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Cynthia Ford BC SRC Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us on Twitter @BC_SRC #BCSRC
NEWS Red Cedar Awards Update
Red Cedar Gala! Saturday, May 6th at 12 – 3pm Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver Alice McKay Room, Lower Level Free! Popular. Arrive early! The Red Cedar is British Columbia’s Young Reader’s Choice book award for children between grades 4 and 7. Please join us in celebrating this year’s nominees and winners, with a party featuring author readings, activities, and snacks! Brought to you by the Young Readers Choice Awards Society of BC.
A partnership event:
RSVP: email@example.com More info: www.redcedaraward.ca or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 Gala: Getting a book signed by W.C. Mack! Spring 2017 | YAACING 13
We’ll Link to That!
By Dana Horrocks and Lindsey Krabbenhoft We recently shared some 2017 picture books we’re looking forward to reading based solely on cover appeal. Today we wanted to shine a spotlight on some upcoming Canadian picture books that we can’t wait to get our hands on. Get your collection development funds ready! Boonoonoonous Hair by Olive Senior, illus. by Laura James: We dare you to say the title five times fast! This book features a little girl learning to love her curly hair. Award winning author Olive Senior splits her time between Jamaica and Canada. Town is By the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illus. by Sydney Smith: A Nova Scotian author and illustrator duo bring to life a small boy’s day as he imagines his father in a coal mine beneath the waves. We can’t wait to see how Smith of Sidewalk Flowers fame brings to life this element of Canadian history. Hurry Up! by Anne-Sophie Tilly, illus. by Julien Chung: What makes this concept board book so special? It’s trilingual! Each page shows an animal and the name in English, French, and Spanish. A great purchase for your babies and toddlers. Look for the companion book Don’t Move! 14 YAACING | Spring 2017
Hand Over Hand by Alma Fullerton, illus by Renné Benoit: Fullerton wrote this book after a school visit where a young girl asked her why so few children’s books takes place in the Philippines. Follow Nina as she convinces her grandpa to take her fishing even though a boat is “no place for a girl.” A challenge to gender stereotypes anywhere. My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo: A young Muslim boy named Sami escapes with his family to a refugee camp where he finds the strength to welcome a little girl who arrives with a new group. The idea for this book came when the author was trying to explain the Syrian refugee crisis to her young children. With so very few picture books about the refugee experience, this one is a welcome addition. Short Stories for Little Monsters by Marie-Louise Gay: One of Canada’s best loved storytellers is back at it with a collection of 19 short stories filled with important questions like what do trees talk about? and should you make funny faces on a windy day? For budding readers
or a family read-aloud look out for Margaret Atwood’s A Trio of Terrible Tales which is also coming out this year! Shark Lady: The Daring Tale of How Eugenie Clark Dove into History by Jess Keating and Marta Alvarez Miguens: Dipping our toes into the waters of non-fiction isn’t so scary thanks to the incredible research of Eugenie Clark! This illustrated biography tells the story of how Clark studied sharks and was able to dispel many myths about these misunderstood creatures. Why the Monster by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, illus. by Toma Feizo: This is one of many books scheduled to come out from Inhabit Media this year. Set in the Arctic and bursting with powerful mystical creatures and adventure, this teen read is for Percy Jackson fans. While you’re at it check out Inhabit Media’s site, their aim “is to preserve and promote the stories, knowledge and talent of Inuit and northern Canada” and they have many exciting titles which do just that!
Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen: Do we need to say anymore? Not really, but we will anyways! Cats! Knitting! And Nielsen’s incredible ability to create characters who deal with loss and tragedy in the most human way possible. If the reviews are to be trusted you will fall in love with Petula and be kept guessing about Jacob until the very end. Thin Places by Lesley Choyce: This is another very talented Canadian YA author with an exciting new book. What got us: this one’s written in verse! If you are a fan of Gabrielle Prendergast (who also has a new book out this year) but love a fantasy twist follow main character Declan to the places where the barrier between the human and spirit worlds are thin.
For more ideas check out CanLit for Little Canadians’ post. What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017? We’d love to hear about it! Give us a shout at email@example.com. Spring 2017 | YAACING 15
COLUMNS TEENS ONLY
Spring Break Teen Mini Challenge By Amy Dawley Building on the success of 2016’s Teen Summer Challenge, the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s Teen Services Committee is trying another grand experiment this spring break: Teen Mini Challenge. The idea came to us from the need to revitalize our system-wide teen spring break programming, which had been mainly focused on celebrating Teen Tech Week. TTW got some small uptake in a few of our communities, but the Teen Services Committee thought we could do better with a home-grown approach spring break programming for teens. The mini challenge was born.
How will it work? The timeline: From March 11 to 31, teens from all over Vancouver Island, the Central Coast, and Haida Gwaii will be challenged to take on 16 “mini” tasks as part of our mini challenge. We chose these dates because they encapsulate the spring breaks from all the different school districts our library serves. The tasks: We’ve put together a smaller version of the Teen Summer Challenge’s task booklet, inspired by all things “mini” and mini-outrageous. Some of the tasks include: • Create “bad art” on a post-it note. • It’s spring! Bring us the tiniest flower or leaf you can find. • Craft a tiny book and write and illustrate a picture book for children.
The basic idea of these kits is to include a “passive” program, in which the craft materials are provided to teens and they can take and make at their own convenience. The mini challenge’s DIY-to-Go will challenge teens to make a mini bow and arrow using a popsicle stick, q-tip, and dental floss. We found inspiration from this post on Pinterest.We plan to pre-assemble these kits and attach them to the task booklets that are handed out at our branches. The prizes: To stick with our “mini” theme, the system-
wide grand prize for this year’s challenge will be an iPad Mini. We are working toward handing out a mini “runner up” prize at each of our 39 branches and will be putting together “mini prize packs” with goodies that are simple, tiny, teen-friendly, and fun.
Why a mini challenge? We know the challenge model works. With the
growing popularity of our Teen Summer Challenge, we feel confident that trying a smaller-scale version of this program over a shorter period of time would be something that could work for teens in our communities. As mentioned above, this is another grand experiment!
Our staff want to build relationships with teens.
When we asked staff for feedback about the Teen Summer Challenge, one of the main comments we heard was that they were thrilled with the Challenge’s success, but were sad that they didn’t get to see their teens in person. VIRL’s Teen Summer Challenge can be done almost exclusively online, which is a fantastic way for teens to connect with the library and have access to a library program. That being said, an online program The take-away activity: We are incorporating a deprives branch staff of the opportunity to connect mini version of the DIY-to-Go crafting kits that with their local teens and build those all-important were so popular from the Teen Summer Challenge. relationships. 16 YAACING | Spring 2017
By pairing down the idea of the teen summer challenge to its core elements, we hope to use the mini challenge to connect teens with their local libraries and staff. Teens will bring proof of their tasks to their local branch staff and will enter to win the grand prize by dropping off their completed challenge booklet at the library. One of the things I most appreciate about serving teens in a 39 branch system like ours is the need to think through the specific details of how we provide library programs, from our largest urban branches to our smallest rural communities. The challenge is always to come up with something that will work no matter what the staffing level, library branch size, or access teens have to tools and resources they may need to complete challenges. In planning our system-wide teen programs, we are always keeping these questions at the top of our minds to ensure what we’re planning will work everywhere for everyone. 2017 continues to be a year of test-driving new programs and initiatives at our library, as I’m sure it is for all of you dedicated library folks out there. The Teen Mini Challenge is a great opportunity for us to try something new within a familiar programming framework. I will be sure to report back to let you know how it goes. If you think a mini challenge may work for teens in your community, feel free to drop me a line at 250-247-7878 or firstname.lastname@example.org ! I’d love to hear your ideas and am always available to answer any questions you may about how we planned ours.
Amy Dawley is the Customer Services Librarian II at the Gabriola Island Branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library and serves as the Chair of VIRL’s Teen Services Committee. In 2013 Amy received the British Columbia Library Association’s Young Adult and Children’s Service Award in recognition of exceptional service to children and youth in British Columbia. Spring 2017 | YAACING 17
Raising Butterflies in the Library By Afton Schindel At Mission Library, we’re always trying new STEAM How it Started programming ideas. Most of these are placed in the area we call the “STEAM Station”. When Mission Library integrated into the oneservice-desk, our old Information Desk was left The STEAM Station is an interactive display area that empty in the middle of the library. At first we used focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts the old desk as a display and storage area for Graband Mathematics education. Based on the Bigger and-Go bags, but we wanted to make it a more Concept Model of the redesigned BC Curriculum, featured display area in the library. It was the ideal the STEAM Station aims to take a simple topic spot for some passive programming. and teach something about it in a way that leads users to a deeper understanding of the bigger The first display we did at the STEAM Station was ideas behind the topic (such as critical thinking, raising butterflies. We’ll be doing this one again as problem solving etc.) Customers can learn about, it is a perfect lead-in to this year’s SRC theme, and view or experience new topics, and implement was an absolute hit with the community. their knowledge through active learning. Each exhibit is designed to provide information as well The butterflies were such a hit that my manager as an active learning activity that encourages the wanted us to keep the momentum going. The idea knowledge to be applied right away. Exhibits are was to turn the area into something more permanent changed monthly to keep customers interested and where kids could come and view a similar exhibit returning to the library. every month or two. In this new column, I hope to share what worked for us and to give you concrete ideas to try at your own library! 18 YAACING | Spring 2017
COLUMNS My first thought was that the live butterflies would What you’ll need: be really hard to beat. - A Butterfly Kit: Larvae & cage What we came up with in the end was the “STEAM We ordered our kit from www.flutterbuys.ca Station”. in early February 2016 and recieved 24 caterpillars in April. You can order now for a 2017 June So far we have done a variety of displays including: delivery and the caterpillars will be ready for - pH release in July during SRC! I would recommend - Hyperbolic crochet getting at least 24 larvae, which will cost about - Zoetropes and the history of the .gif $62. The first time you run this program you - Cyphers will also need to purchase a butterfly cage - Earthquakes, Tornadoes and Volcanoes (costs around $25 but is large enough to fit 36 butterflies). - A Clean Spray Bottle For spraying leaves or dehydrated chrysalises Walk on the Wild Side: Raising Butterflies with clean water.
Raising butterflies in the library is an easy and relatively inexpensive program to run
- Dishes or lids to hold food When the butterflies start emerging they
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COLUMNS storytime, we released the creatures into the wild.
A Couple Suggestions 1. When the caterpillars enter the pupa stage, they will attach to the coffee filters that were covering the top of the larvae containers. Hang the coffee filters from the top of the cage to make it easier for kids to see what is happening.
need sugar water to eat. We used 3 or 4 bottle tops from plastic water bottles as feeding dishes. 2. For the release party we cut orange slices and handed them out to the crowd. these worked really well to keep the butterflies close after releasing them from the cage. Theyâ€™ll fly to the orange slices How it Went so that kids have a chance to check them out more closely. We were short on slices so make sure you This program exceeded all of our expectations. have enough for each child! People of all age groups came into the library frequently to watch the process as the caterpillars cacooned and began to emerge as butterflies. Even one bus driver from the nearby station heard people talking about it and popped in to check them out.
3. We released our butterflies in the morning on a school day. Many parents suggested next time to release them after school hours so the grade-school kids could make the event.
Over the month-long process, kids decorated the walls of the library with flowers, caterpillars and If you have any questions or ideas I would love to hear from you! Give me a shout at butterfly cutouts. email@example.com or 604-814-1260. Close to the time the painted butterflies began to emerge, we picked a day for the release party. Over 100 people showed up for the event. Following a butterfly-themed
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Afton Schindel is the Community Librarian at Mission Library, Fraser Valley Regional Library.
COLUMNS WHO’S ON THE FELT BOARD
Old Macdonald Had a Farm By Jane Whittingham
Reworking felt stories in different ways is a great way Here’s a fantastic version of Dear Zoo. for library staff to maximize efficiency...while also injecting a bit of fun and variety into storytimes! Here are some adorable wild animals. Have a set of animal felts sitting around? Why Here’s a fun version of Goodnight Gorilla. not try a new version of the classic standby Old Macdonald Had a Farm by taking it to the zoo! Have fun! I like to use my Dear Zoo felt story set to do a rousing rendition of Old Macdonald Had a Zoo! Old Macdonald had a zoo E-I-E-I-O And on that farm he had a lion! E-I-E-I-O With a roar, roar here, And a roar, roar there Here a roar, there a roar, Everywhere a roar, roar Old Macdonald Had a Zoo, E-I-E-I-O! Can you imagine doing this with a set of dinosaur felts? Old Macdonald Had a Park! If you don’t have a set of wild animal felts on hand, there are plenty of free online templates to choose from. Jane Whittingham is a librarian with the Vancouver Public Library Spring 2017 | YAACING 21
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Chatting Careers with Teens at your Library! By Heather Gloster
Figuring out how you are going to pay the bills as an adult when you are a teen is one of the most daunting things. It is something that I hear youth stress about quite often in the library and I remember it well from my gr. 12 year. It made me think about what the library could do to combat
this stress. The obvious answers are buying materials such as, What Color is my Parachute and purchasing online resources like Career Cruising. I felt confident with the resources we were offering local youth but I wanted to bring them a program. Spring 2017 | YAACING 23
FEATURES After some deliberation I decided to try a Human Careers Library back in the fall of 2015. This involved getting 25 professionals from the community to donate 1.5 hours of their time to talk to teens about their job. The first time we ran this program it was called, ‘Let me see…What will I be?’ and the second time we simply called it, ‘Job Chats.’
HOW IT WORKED: The first year I offered this program I collaborated with the Youth Advisory Board to come up with a list of professionals that they were interested in chatting to, or we had some kind of connection with, a parent, aunt, Library Board member etc. I also relied heavily on my own network of friends to participate as professionals. I started calling and emailing the professionals over a month in advance and to my surprise most of them were very excited about donating their time and participating in the event. Many of them even talked it up with professionals they knew so it wasn’t very difficult to get adult participants. On the day of the event I set up tables in our programming room and sat two professionals at each table with a numbered sign in front of them stating their name and profession. At the front of the room I had numbered cards with the name and profession of each adult in the room. When a teen was interested in signing out one of the professionals they would take the card signalling to the others that the lawyer was signed out for example. We had one hand-out available for the teens, on one side it listed the professionals and on the other side it had a list of questions that the Youth Advisory Board had come up with to keep the conversation going.
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HOW IT WAS ADVERTISED: Our library issues a library guide three times a year where we list all of the upcoming events but in addition to that I wanted to get the word out widely to non-library users and their parents. Typically we don’t do much postering anymore but I thought it was beneficial to try to reach people from the outer areas that don’t come downtown. I slapped up around 15 posters in shop windows, cafes, schools, pools and the art gallery. We also had a Facebook event page where we highlighted different professionals’ bios and uploaded photos of them.
WHAT WAS THE MOST STRESSFUL? The most stressful thing about this program by far is anticipating how many people will show up. It would be so embarrassing if nobody came and you had a room full of adults that gave up a Saturday afternoon! On the other hand if there is a mob of people will you be able to handle the crowd?
COST: $60 We paid a Youth Advisory Board member to make simple thank-you cards. We also bought water, carbonated water and juice to offer the professionals.
SUCCESS STORY: When I was contacting professionals to come back for the second year I heard from a graphic designer who actually hired a boy that she met at, ‘Let me see…What will I be.’ He had come to the event with a portfolio and talked to the graphic artist for a long time. When the event was over he asked if he could do a work placement at her office as part of a planning course. After completing some voluntary hours as part of his course the graphic design firm decided to give him a
junior position. Both years I have been fortunate to have a great turn-out to the event. Parents, teens and professionals all have given me very positive feedback. Some people have even requested that we run the program twice a year. One parent commented that it was so much better than a career fair because you are actually able to talk with the professional not the human resources department. I would 1:30 -3:0 encourage other libraries to try 0PM Bo , TE b H this program. The cost is very ENS a r , FR low and everyone gets a lot kins EE W Br out of it. DR Eâ€™R
OP anc CAR E PU IN h T , EER TIN D G ow TO P CH ROFE TOGE nto AT wn WIT SSION THER AG HY A L S A OU ABO WHO THER IN W UT THE OULD G OF L IR J OB IKE S!
Heather Gloster has been working at the Prince George Public Library in Youth Services since April 2014. In May she was the recipient of the YAACS award for her work with incarcerated youth at the PG Youth Custody Centre. Spring 2017 | YAACING 25
FEATURES ANNOTATED BIBLIOGAPHY
Families Around the World By Kerry-Ann Ker This Annotated Bibliography of eight Children’s Books is recommended for Canadian school or public libraries’ collection as themes on family could assist readers who are immigrants. However, other readers might also enjoy reading about families in other parts of the world. Cherry Blossom Winter Author: Jennifer Maruno / Canadian Publisher: Dundurn, / 2012 CDN$9.49, Paper back, ISBN: 978 1 4597 0211 0 Pages: 176, No illustrations IL Ages 9-14, RL Grades 4-7 Review Machiko Minagawa, who is nine years old, bids her father farewell not knowing the government has summoned all Japanese born men out of the province. Life takes a turn as they eventually face hardships, prejudice, Christmas without her father and intense winter. How can Michiko be proud of her Japanese heritage when her family’s possessions are confiscated and they are forced into deprivation in a small, insular community after the bombing of Pearl Harbor? The women struggle while the men are set to work. Things begin to change for the better as Michiko’s teacher a former Asahi baseball star ignites the fever of the game to the class which eventually became a community interest. Gradually their situation worsens but their neighbors who are not Japanese lend a helping hand. Death occurs to a family member but the new addition to the family restores hope to them. The plot is intriguing with 26 YAACING | Spring 2017
characters helping to magically paint the picture of war and knowing how families depended on each other for survival during hardships. The book is segmented in chapters with dates, author’s note, and a glossary of Japanese vocabulary with English equivalent. Purpose: A recent books chosen to provide some vicarious experience for readers about JapaneseCanadians and their struggles during World War II. This story of relocation will have you committing to reading other compelling great reads from the author. Tags: family/WW II/Japanese-Canadians – Evacuation & Relocation Danny, the Champion of the World Author: Roald Dahl, / British, Illustrator: Quenin Blake Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, / 1975 CDN$17.97, Hard cover, ISBN: 0 375 91425 0 Pages 212, black & white illustrations IL Ages 9-13, RL Grades 4-7 Review This is an enchanting and thrilling adventure story of a nine year old English boy and his relationship with his widowed father named William. The bond which father and son share is solid, genuine and non-emotional. In fact, Danny
adores his father and thinks he is the best dad in the world. They both live in a caravan in rural England and they enjoy each other’s company. Danny’s father is a mechanic and so he teaches him the skills of rebuilding engines that will prepare him to become one of the finest in the future. Furthermore, Danny’s father has a secret which affects their relationship with Mr. Hazel the landowner but fortunately this secret strengthens the father and son bond even deeper. How does Danny react to his father’s secret and why does this secret become so intriguing to him? Read more about this one of a kind father and son love relationship to discover the gems of what makes each character uniquely interesting. As the plot thickens you will find yourself mesmerized with the challenges as well as the practical solutions which suit the protagonist and his father. Purpose: This book would appeal to boys as they often do not gravitate towards fiction books. Therefore a book specifically about a father and son would be ideal to readers who would be interested in a single parent family set in England. Additionally the movie for the book could be used to introduce the book and the author. Tags: family & friends/books made into movies/ hunters & hunting/poachers, poaching/sensitive males/father & son
More Perfect than the Moon Author: Patricia MacLachlan / American Publisher: Scholastic, / 2005 CDN$ 24.00, Hard cover, ISBN: 978-0439775250 Pages: 80, no illustrations IL Ages 7-9, RL Grades 3-5 Review The Witting family lives on a farm and all the members have a good relationship with each other. Life of a farm comes with great responsibilities as the children are given roles that help lessen their parents’ heavy workloads. Cassie the main character enjoys writing in her journal which was given to her by her brother who became too busy writing. Cassie is unique in her own way and finds great comfort in writing in the journal anything which she finds interesting as she has a keen eye for observing her family doing chores. This book is well written and gives a captivating feeling towards life completely opposite to the hustle and bustle of city life. With each character mentioned, the reader can experience a natural environment less complicated than contemporary society. Cassie’s relationship with her grandfather is special and will make you appreciate the sentiments of bonding with generation gaps. Why is Cassie so upset when a pleasant surprise is brought to the farm and how does she come to terms with such changes? Will she continue journaling or will she be given responsibilities of her own leaving her little time to absorb the details of everyone’s farm routine. This is a lovely family story which is captivating and equally fascinating. Purpose: This book describes a family’s love for each other during difficult circumstances while working on a farm. Spring 2017 | YAACING 27
FEATURES Tags: family/babies/siblings/mothers & daughters/ Tags: orphans/family/voyages & travels/frontier & frontier & pioneer life –Great Plains pioneer life/historical fiction Orphan Journey Home Author: Liza Ketchum / American Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, / 2000 CDN$0.01: Paper back, ISBN: 0 380 80988 5 Pages: 129, no illustrations IL Ages 8-10, RL Grades 3-5 Review This is a classic adventure story about a family’s love and loyalty to each other. Meet the Damon’s family who decides to migrate from their Illinois farm as they set out for Kentucky. Along the journey their parents become ill from the “milk cow disease” and struggle to survive. However, the four children have much to consider as they try to brave the journey especially after the parents succumbed to their illness. Follow closely as the narrator takes you on a rough wagon journey from Illinois to Ohio with so much uncertainty. There are challenges to encounters as the family pass through each geographic location. Will the children survive the journey or will they be held captive and taken as slaves or will they go separate ways? Expect an intriguing, tension-filled novel able to initiate tension with each turning page. Jesse’s diary mirrors children’s strength of character. While the tone of the story is touching, the beauty of the characters’ resilience underscores the purpose of hope in dark moments.
Rules Author: Cynthia Lord Publisher: Scholastic Press, / 2006 CDN$7.99, Hard cover, ISBN: 0 439 44382 2 Pages: 200, no illustrations IL Ages 9-13, RL Grades 4-7 * Schneider Family Book Award, the Golden Sower Award, Mark Twain Award, Newbery Medal Review Catherine the protagonist is twelve years old but interestingly, she has the ability to hold her family together although her brother David has autism. Sometimes living with people with a disability can become frustrating and so Catherine naturally wished for a normal life. However, she later encounters more internal complications to validate the definition of normal as friendships develop with a young paraplegic. Throughout the book, David is guided by rules which keep him under control. How much more can Miranda take before she meets Jason who has his own disability? The characters are charming and simply moving as the reader learns tolerance and patience for individuals with disabilities. Expect nothing complicated because this realistic view of life told from the siblings’ outlook is transparent, positive, encouraging and light-hearted.
Purpose: This historical fiction describes a family’s Purpose: Rules would appeal to readers who love for each other during difficult circumstances ought to develop tolerance for someone they while working on a farm. know with a disability and can also be more suitable than a non-fiction book since the point of 28 YAACING | Spring 2017
view is from a child. Tags: family & friends/people with disability/ brothers & sisters/ special needs â€“autism â€“Para & Quadraplegics The Lights go on Again Author: Kit Pearson / Canadian Publisher: Puffin, / 2014 CDN$8.09, Paper back, ISBN: 978-0803740815 Pages: 215, No illustrations IL Ages 9-13, RL Grades 4-7 Review Imagine children living away from their family for five years because of the war and being mistreated by extended family. Meet the siblings Gavin and Norah who have sought refuge in Toronto, Canada leaving their family in England. Throughout the course of the novel, we see these siblings growing up as normal children with their own internal struggles. But as the end of the war approaches, both are left to decide if they want to return to their homeland. How is Gavin influenced by his friends and what treatment do the siblings get from their caretakers Aunt Florence and Aunt Mary? What happens to Norah who expresses her thoughts about war in an essay at school? You will be pleasantly surprised how the author recreates the war time situation in such a melodramatic fashion that you can almost feel the dread, hope and anticipation that unfolds. If this is your first book in the war trilogy series you definitely have to read the others. The author/character profiles, discussion questions, and actions to take after reading makes for great discussion. Purpose: This book is written by a Canadian must
be a staple in the collection and making reference to her work will introduce readers to other intriguing works. Tags: family& friends/ World War II 19391945/ Evacuation of civilians/ children Great Britain The War That Saved My Life Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley / American Publisher: Dial Books, / 2015 CDN$16.90, Hard cover, ISBN: 9780803740815 Pages: 320, No illustrations IL Ages 9-12, RL Grades 4-7 * Schneider Family Book Award Review Ada the main character is ten years old and simply special in her own charming way. She has flaws like anyone else but she is impertinent, smart and strong. Ada lives with her six year old brother Jamie and their unkind step-mother in a London flat during World War II. Ada has a disability; her club foot prevents her from walking so she is confined to the apartment. Jamie cannot seem to appreciate his sister in spite of the handicap she has to live with. So he talks bad about her and teases her beyond measure. Amy is the lifeline for Ada to what is happening in the outside world and is the one to inform her that her brother will be evacuated to the countryside. As a result, Aida becomes resilient and discreetly teaches herself to walk which was an advantage as she later escaped with her brother in the evacuation. It is during Spring 2017 | YAACING 29
FEATURES their time they were away in the countryside that they found life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother. The plot is simply gripping and the new awakening for the siblings will leave you yearning to read on. This book tells of the beauty of family and the unpredictable ways love can blossom from unforeseen circumstances. Purpose: A book with an award can greatly influence readers’ appeal for higher quality content. Tags: brother & sister/children with disabilities/ Great Britain – History/ WW II 1939-1945
mystery solved and was anyone hurt in the process? Does Miranda’s mom’s relentless practice with her boyfriend Richard pays off to win the $20, 000 Pyramid? See how Miranda learns how to value true friendships with the many individuals who befriend her. The plot is interesting as it builds up gradually leaving mixed feelings on different readers. Discover the ebbs and flows of real life in New York City. Purpose: This book would appeal to readers who are interested in reading about single parent families. The culture and setting might be high appeal markers in tandem with the awards won.
When You Reach Me Tags: family & friends/space & time/New York Author: Rebecca Stead History – 1951 / American Publisher: Yearling, / 2009 CDN $6.00, Paper back, ISBN: 9780375850868 Pages: 199, no illustrations IL Ages 9-12, RL Grades: 4-7 * A New York Times bestseller, Newbery Medal & Boston Globe/Horn Book Award Review Twelve year old Miranda is an only child living with her mom in New York City which is a city for survivors with a purpose. Miranda’s mother finally received entry to a TV singing show after trying for three years. As soon as her success becomes more vivid, then the mysteries of the novel begin. Notes from an unknown sender who not only knows too much about their lives but this individual continues to make demands on Miranda who becomes fearful. But who is responsible for these notes? How is this 30 YAACING | Spring 2017
As a teacher-librarian I am passionate about inspiring young minds to develop an eclectic choice of audio-visual resources which are needed for their development at all levels. I enjoy travelng and volunteering for humanitarian causes.
FEATURES ANNOTATED BIBLIOGAPHY
Middle Grade Books with LGBTQ+ Themes By Casey Stepaniuk While there is a plethora of well-known YA literature as well as children’s picture books with LGBTQ+ themes and characters—see David Levithan, Libba Bray, and many others’ work in YA and now classics such as Asha’s Mums and And Tango Makes Three— books for middle readers with LGBTQ+ themes are sorely lacking. Kelly Jensen, in her post on Book Riot, laments that “there are so very few books for the 3-6th grade reading levels featuring LGBT main characters. Even among the lists compiled of best LGBT books, picture books and YA books dominate, with one or two middle grade titles, if any, per year” (2016, para. 5). The relative lack of middle readers featuring LGBTQ+ characters is a significant problem, because, as Vikki Vansickle points out “the middle grade years (ages 9-12) are when kids are the most in need of answers, empathy, and someone to relate to. YA is too late. You need to reach children in their middle grade years, when it really counts” (2013, para. 2). Vansickle’s point is that if we want books to teach all children empathy and compassion and to support LGBTQ+ children and let them know they are not alone, YA fiction is just not soon enough. Given that today transgender children are coming out in elementary school (and sometimes earlier) and lesbian, gay, and bisexual people report bullying as early as elementary school, middle grade books with LGBTQ+ themes are very much needed. An article in The Guardian notes that at a “multidisciplinary clinic where all British transgender children are assessed, the service has seen referrals increase by 50% every year, from 97 new cases in 2009 to 697 in 2014”; many of these children are under 10 (Kleeman 2015, para. 9).
Also see, for example, Canadian YA author Raziel Reid’s statement that “[h]e recalls being bullied in relation to his sexual orientation as far back as kindergarten, and by Grade 6 was leaving school in tears pretty much daily” (Lederman 2015, para. 8). Therefore, this annotated bibliography serves to highlight LGBTQ+ middle grade books that have already been published and as a cry to action for more, and more diverse, LGBTQ+ middle grade books. In particular, books about trans boys, LBQ girls, and children of colour, as well as books of different genres, are sorely needed, being completely or mostly missing from this list.
Annotations My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer by Jennifer Gennari; Published 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Gennari’s sweet coming-of-age realist novel is about 12-yearold June who lives in rural Vermont with her mom and, most recently, her mom’s soon-to-be wife. Tackling the early backlash against same-sex civil union legislation in Vermont—a context that might unfortunately be a bit confusing for and lost on many child readers, My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer confronts adult bullies and the complex realities of children with LGBTQ+ Spring 2017 | YAACING 31
FEATURES parents. Alongside the homophobia plotline is June’s struggle to make the best wild berry pie and win this summer’s competition at the country fair. The recurring metaphors and similes related to pies and the lake that June lives by are lovely and effective: “my insides congealed a little, like a pie left out overnight”; June’s feelings of anxiety being mirrored by a rough windy day on the lake. Another of the book’s great strengths is that Gennari smartly refuses to simplify the situation, allowing June to realistically deal with the homophobia around her, including her own sometimes homophobic reactions, her conflicted feelings about her stepmom-to-be, and the trouble she has standing up to homophobic peers and adults. The book also beautifully captures the easy feeling of summer in a rural place at age 12: swimming, exploring the woods, boating, and riding your bike. Lastly, it features a friendly librarian character who supports June and helps her stand up to the homophobes! Overall, this is a sweet, authentic, moving story sure to be popular with kids who enjoy stories about fighting injustice and stories set in rural summertime, as well as kids with LGBTQ+ family members.
actually written by a trans author, unlike a lot of fiction about trans characters written by cisgender (non-trans) authors for cisgender audiences. One key difference here is how Gino uses she/her to refer to George from the very beginning of the novel. The plot centres on the school play of Charlotte’s Web and how much George wants to play the part of Charlotte; unfortunately, her unsupportive teacher tells her she cannot even try out for the part. George and her best friend Kelly, however, concoct a plan to get George onstage and to tell everyone who George really is: a girl. The girls’ friendship is adorable, and they make a great pair: George as sweet and shy, and Kelly as the loudmouth, bossy best friend. While George is realistic in the ways it depicts friends’ and family members’ reactions to George coming out, it also ultimately offers hope and understanding. This book is an authentic, moving, positive introduction to trans issues for cisgender kids and an empowering, potentially lifesaving novel for trans kids; therefore, its potential popularity is very high. Its reading level is on the low side for middle readers, and thus accessible even for younger and reluctant middle readers.
George by Alex Gino; Published 2015 by Scholastic Press
See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles; Published 2012 by Candlewick Press
In some ways, George is a very familiar realist story about a regular kid in a regular school with regular ten year old problems: dealing with bullies at school, really wanting a certain part in the school play, an annoying teenage brother, and a busy single mom. Except, this story is about a tenyear-old transgender girl, which makes everything revolutionary. It is worth noting that George is
See You at Harry’s is an emotionally-charged realist story about family, grief, finding your place in the world, and, ultimately, hope. 12-year-old Fern is the middle child and all she wants is to stay out of her dad’s crazy family restaurant advertising schemes, figure out what her feelings are for her guy best friend are, protect her older brother from homophobic school bullies, and
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maybe, just once, stop feeling like the invisible one in her big, chaotic family. This would be plot enough, but halfway through the novel, after Knowles has lovingly fleshed out all of the family members, an earth-shattering tragedy strikes Fern’s family, and Fern’s life is turned upside down. Knowles succeeds beautifully at creating a real, flawed family that is nevertheless full of love. 14-year old Holden’s sexuality is portrayed honestly and complexly, without making Holden’s struggle to come out the only interesting thing about him. Knowles does a wonderful job depicting how difficult it is for Holden to come out—even though his family essentially already knows—but how he somehow expects them to support his identity without ever having voiced it. Without ever being trite or preachy, this novel teaches some important truths about being yourself, accepting your sexuality, surviving emotional disasters, and the importance of family bonds. Beautifully written and emotionally resonant, See You at Harry’s is sure to be a hit with a diverse group of children, especially strong readers who like family drama. Marco Impossible by Hannah Moskowitz; Published 2013 by Roaring Book Press Marco Impossible features an ambitious plot full of hijinks and mishaps as two 13-year-old best friends—straight guy Stephen and gay guy Marco—embark on a mission to worm their way into high school prom so that Marco can declare his undying love for his long-time crush. To add to the stakes, the boys only have one day to orchestrate the “heist.” The plot promises a lot of fun and humour. Unfortunately, Marco Impossible
fails to live up to its plot’s potential, instead falling back on an increasingly significant sub-plot about homophobic bullying. What is more problematic is how the novel utterly fails at characterization: the boys are not authentic or likable, and Moskowitz tries too hard without succeeding to make them quirky and funny. Consequently, the relationship dynamic between Marco and Stephen is never believable; you cannot understand why either of the boys even like each other, let alone are supposedly best friends. This tension between them—Marco treating Stephen badly and Stephen whining about it—is never resolved, leaving the portrayal of Marco as controlling, immature, and narcissistic feel like a simple confirmation of negative stereotypes about gay men. The novel does do some things very well, such as the natural inclusion of ethnic and cultural diversity as well as offering an interesting twist by having the story told by the straight sidekick to a gay hero. Child readers more interested in plot than character may enjoy this novel, but overall it misses the mark of its potentially excellent story. Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky; Published 2014 by Disney-Hyperion Gracefully Grayson aims to be an educational piece of contemporary realist fiction about a 12-year-old trans girl struggling with the idea that no one sees her for who she truly is. Unfortunately, this is clearly a novel written by and for cisgender people that ultimately creates a stereotypical story that, in addition to being slow and sad, mainly serves to evoke pity in the cisgender reader for the trans protagonist. Grayson’s life is chock full of tragedy: she is a friendless, bullied orphan and over the Spring 2017 | YAACING 33
FEATURES course of the narrative her grandmother dies, her new friend abandons her, her caretaker aunt tries to force her into gender normativity, and her favourite teacher is forced to leave the school after giving Grayson the female lead in the school play. Grayson, consequently, is mostly robbed of agency, empowerment, and support. Gracefully Grayson also uses such tired and offensive stereotypes as a brave yet pathetic trans protagonist; the idea of being “stuck in the wrong body”; and a lot of focus on feminine clothes as the primary way of expressing gender identity. Polonsky’s emphasis on the “stuck-in-the-wrong-body” trope is especially problematic, as it leads her to fail to truly portray Grayson as a girl; there is even some misgendering (using “he” to refer to Grayson). Overall, while this novel has noble intentions, it fails to present an authentic, relatable trans protagonist and to emerge from the sea of insulting narrative tropes about trans people. Furthermore, the length and reading level make this suitable only for the high end of middle readers, perhaps spilling over into the young end of YA fiction. Drama by Raina Telgemeier; Published 2012 by GRAPHIX Drama is a charming contemporary realist graphic novel about 12-year-old Callie, a musical theatre nerd who is set designer for the drama department, and her two new 13-year-old friends, twin boys named Justin and Jesse, who become part of their middle school’s latest musical production. Of course, Callie ends up dealing with lots of onstage and offstage drama. Drama, never failing to live up to its name, is mostly about everyone gossiping about who is dating who, sexual identity, and crushes, as well as 34 YAACING | Spring 2017
how Callie and the rest of the cast and crew deal with all the obstacles a middle school budget and time restraints put on their production. The drawings are lovely: clean, brightly coloured, and expressive, Callie’s fun pink and purple hair above her animated facial features often being highlighted. Telgemeier expertly weaves in more than one bisexual/gay male character into the story, and walks very well the fine balance between nonchalance inclusion of queer characters as if they are simply a normal part of middle school life, and acknowledging that middle school can be a very hard time to be out. Especially impressive is the insistence on not excluding the possibility that a boy who likes a certain boy could be gay or bisexual. As the title implies, any child reader who loves drama of the theatre or dating variety should love this book; the graphic nature as well as the relatively low reading level could make this a good sell for reluctant readers and ones as young as eight. The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams; Published 2008 by Harper Collins Children’s Books The protagonist of Walliams’s debut novel is 12-year-old Dennis, who is an ordinary boy living in an ordinary house on an ordinary street in England. However, readers soon discover Dennis is not quite as ordinary as he seems: of course, as the title tells us, he likes to wear dresses. Defying stereotypes— Dennis is a star soccer player in addition to his love of fashion and cross-dressing, The Boy in the Dress is a lighthearted, hilarious tale featuring a colourful cast of often larger than life characters. Many of these characters are Indo-British, such as Dennis’s
best friend Darvesh’s overly enthusiastic soccer mom who admonishes Dennis for wearing a dress only because it was not a colour that suited him and the kind but swindling corner store shopkeeper Raj who, inspired by Dennis, comes to work one day in drag just for fun. Walliams smartly allows Dennis to be a real, complex boy who just likes to wear girls’ clothes: the novel does not delve into identity politics, but simply promotes the positive message that it is okay for everyone to be who they want to be. A silly, entertaining read sprinkled with the iconic and expressive illustrations of Quentin Blake, The Boy in the Dress is an endlessly charming book that will appeal to kids who are soccer and/or fashion fans and ones who love a good laugh.
Tackling racism from the point of view of a mixed race person and early lesbian sexuality, Woodson’s novel asks some complex, hard questions. It is a slow, serious, contemplative book that might for some readers feel like it never really gets to the “meat” of the story, a quality that is further harmed by Woodson’s tendency to tell about rather than show important action. Although it is a slim book, The House You Pass on the Way is not a fast read, given the complexity of the issues it deals with, and so is best suited to young readers who enjoy slower, introspective books, as well as for young LBQ and/ or mixed-race girls wanting a fictional peer to identify with.
The House You Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson; Published 1997 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers Winner of the Lambda Literary award for children’s literature in 1998, The House You Pass on the Way is a quiet, subtle, contemporary realist story about Stagerlee, a 13-year-old girl trying to find her place in the world from the isolated spot of the rural Southern United States. Even before questioning her sexuality, Stagerlee has felt different as the granddaughter of grandparents famously killed in an anti-civil war bombing and the daughter of an interracial marriage (a black father and white mother) in an all-black town. One summer, Stagerlee’s slightly older cousin Trout— whom she has never met before—comes to stay, and Trout’s openness about queer sexuality moves Stagerlee to imagine what her future might hold.
Casey Stepaniuk is a writer and almost-librarian with an MA in English and interests in public libraries, diversity, and collections. She runs the website Casey the Canadian Librarian, where you can find reviews of and news about LGBTQ+ Canadian books, and also writes for Book Riot and Autostraddle. Spring 2017 | YAACING 35
Slug Needs a Hug by Jeanne Willis Wild Feelings by David Milgrim Review by Jane Whittingham and Tony Ross Review by Jane Whittingham
A little slug wonders why its mother never hugs it. Could it be that it isn’t huggable enough? The little slug decides to make itself more huggable, and wanders around asking other creatures what they think it should do. Of course, each animal thinks that the little slug would be more huggable if it looked just like they do, and at the end of its quest, the slug looks quite ridiculous! In an ending that will likely come as no surprise to anyone who has ever picked up a picture book before, mother slug reveals that she loves the little slug just the way it is – it turns out that she doesn’t hug the little slug because she doesn’t have arms! Fortunately, she can still express her love for her little one by showering it in kisses. The “be yourself ” message is a familiar one, and stories about characters changing their appearance to fit in (and looking ridiculous in the process) are a dime a dozen. Still, slugs rarely get cast in starring roles, and Tony Ross’ charming illustrations are sure to bring the laughs. Nothing groundbreaking, but still a lot of fun, and worth taking a look at. 36 YAACING | Spring 2017
Oh, feelings. Sometimes they’re lovely. Sometimes they’re….not so lovely. Feelings can confusing, especially if you’re a small child who’s experiencing them for the first time, or if you lack the vocabulary to describe and communicate what you’re feeling. There will always be a need for gentle, approachable picture books that normalize emotions, and help children verbalize their feelings. Some of the similes in Wild Feelings are familiar (“clumsy as an ox”, “chicken as a chicken”), while others are a bit less concrete (the spread with the text “how about totally and completely alone?” shows a boy in a wolf suit howling at the moon), and might need a bit of an explanation. Still, the overall message – that feelings are natural and normal and that everyone has them – is a worthy one, and the sweet illustrations are a lot of fun.
Call for Submissions YAACING is published four times per year and is always looking for submissions that might interest childrenâ€™s and teen specialists in BC libraries. We accept news pieces, articles, program descriptions and ideas, conference reports, and much more. If you would like to write a regular column, send us a brief pitch. Submissions should be no more than 2500 words, sent in an editable format (not PDF). Please include a byline with your job title and workplace, or for students: your school, program and class information, if applicable. YAACING invites your contributions to our Reviews and Felt Story sections: Reviews: Please send us reviews of books, blogs, websites, or other resources. Submissions should be no more than 300 words. Longer reviews may be considered for publication as featured articles. Felt Stories: Share your creativity! YAACING is looking for felt story patterns. Submissions should include a printable pattern, photograph of the finished product, and related rhyme or note about the origin of the story. The deadline for the Fall 2016 issue of YAACING is June 1, 2017. Email your submissions to the editors at YAACING@gmail.com.
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icons by Ruslan Corel