YAACING Winter 2016
Dispatches From a Rural Librarian: On (Not) Doing Everything
Introduction to Raspberry Pi
Ukulele in Storytime
Screen Time Debate: Is It Time to Redefine the Term?
NEWSLETTER OF THE YOUNG ADULT & CHILDRENâ€™S SERVICES SECTION OF BCLA
YAACING Winter 2016
Cover image from bookdrop display at Mission Library. Photo taken by Afton Schindel. Originally posted to Fraser Valley Regional Libraryâ€™s Facebook page.
CONTENTS WINTER 2016
4 Message from the Chair 5 Message from the Editors
News 6 Summer Reading Club 8 YAACS Social Media Redux 9 YAACS Continuing Education Committee 9 KidsWWWrite E-Zine
Features 23 Books for Children of Mixed Asian and Caucasian Ancestry: An Annotated Bibliography, by Alan Woo 27 Real Female Protagonists of Children’s Literature: An Annotated Bibliography, by Zane Phillips 30 Screen Time Debate: Is It Time to Redefine the Term?, by Delyana Grozdeva 33 The Gratitude Tree, by Susan Pierce 34 How I Use Ukulele in Storytime, by April Ens 36 Introduction to Raspberry Pi, by Taren Urquhart 40 Reviews
Columns 10 Kaitlyn’s Programming Corner: Mustache Storytime, by Kaitlyn Vecchio 12 Teens Only: Writing Behind Bars, by Heather Gloster 13 Dispatches From a Rural Librarian: On (Not) Doing Everything, by Amy Dawley 15 We’ll Link to That!: Digital Technology Resources, by Lindsey Krabbenhoft and Dana Horrocks 17 Junior Jive: Featuring Series by Alise Nelson 20 Who’s on the Felt Board?: Flip Flap Jack Felt Story, by Taren Urquhart
Call for Submissions 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 Stefania Alexandru Art Director: Afton Schindel If you are interested in submitting anything for publication, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org Next Deadline: February 15, 2016 WINTER 2016 | YAACING 3
Message from the
I hope everyone’s having a great fall! Here in the Lower Mainland the reds and golds of autumn have suddenly given way to dark, torrential rainfall. I know that for many of you these changes have been accompanied by snow; it’s always good to remind ourselves about how vast this province is. YAACS has made some strides! After a few years of steady decreases in the number of BC Library Conference sessions dealing with youth services issues, BCLA has agreed to have a YAACS member be part of the Program Committee, so session proposals can be properly evaluated. Our Vice Chair, Kristen Rumohr, will serve on the committee. Meanwhile (and completely separate from that!), do you and your colleagues have a great idea for a conference session? Dana, Tina and Jane, our Continuing Education Committee, are available to assist in developing proposals, as well as coordinating efforts which could complement each other. You can reach them by emailing email@example.com. And a big thank you to the committee for hosting a successful Guerilla Storytime Rhyme Time evening! We’ll soon have those rhymes available on our YouTube channel—watch for an email. Our Communications and Social Media committee continues to explore ways of reaching our members as well as the larger community. You can find us in two Facebook locations: the YAACS page, and the YAACS group. Finally, a big thanks to Sadie Tucker, who formulated our survey, which gathered almost a hundred responses. We’re currently analyzing the results and will be reporting our findings in the future. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!
- Jon Scop YAACS Chair firstname.lastname@example.org 4 YAACING | WINTER 2016
Message from the
Welcome to the Winter 2016 issue of YAACING, another new year of YAACING. To celebrate the start of a new year, YAACING is happy to introduce a new Junior Jive programming column by Alise Nelson. Other highlights include the screen time debate, using ukulele in storytime, and an introduction to Raspberry Pi. Weâ€™d also like to welcome Jane Whittingham to the YAACING team as Stefania will be resigning from her current position as YAACING Co-Editor. Welcome Jane and thank you, Stefania, for all your contributions. Feel free to connect with us on the YAACS Social Media pages or email us at email@example.com.
- Alicia Cheng and Stefania Alexandru YAACING Editors firstname.lastname@example.org WINTER 2016 | YAACING 5
Evolving BC Summer Reading Club It may be cold and wet outside, but already work is well underway for next year’s SRC! Lee Edward Födi, our 2016 artist, is doing a fantastic job of realizing our travel theme of “Book a Trip!”
doing chores. What he really wanted to be doing was travelling and exploring. And he did, after a fashion, by daydreaming and reading; by writing, drawing and telling stories to his younger brother and sister.
This fall, I had the pleasure of chatting with Lee about his life and his work, as well as how much he enjoys mentoring young artists and writers. Lee also generously shared a photo of his intriguing-looking studio!
As a boy, Lee read (and reread) books about the places he wanted to go, the more magical the better! His two favourite series were C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and Frank Baum’s Oz books. (Lee is perhaps the only person on the planet to consume Star Wars as a book before he saw the movie!) His all-time favourite was Richard Adams’s Watership Down.
Lee Edward Födi
He wrote and illustrated his first book at the age of five or six. A tale about farm animals that get captured by bank robbers and have an adventure, it was called The Farm 7720. While the rationale behind the title is lost, Lee still has the book. Sewn together with thread, this book marked not only Lee’s first publishing effort, but also his discovery that even if he couldn’t get away and have adventures, his characters could.
Lee grew up in a small town in the BC interior, on a farm. Each summer, while his friends were off vacationing, Lee was busy 6 YAACING | WINTER 2016
Lee studied fine arts and literature and graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in English literature. Trying to choose between drawing and
writing was a bit of a battle. Now Lee recognizes that he works in the boundary between them, fluidly moving back and forth, and describes himself simply as a “storyteller.” As a grownup, Lee gets to tell stories and travel all over the world. In fact, when we first talked to Lee about the possibility of him being the 2016 artist, he was in the UK, on an “inspirecation”! Wherever he goes, Lee always takes a sketchbook and a camera, and records things that interest him. He is particularly interested in doors (which you may have noticed if you followed @leefodi on Twitter during his visit to the UK!). He loves their details and, best of all, their potential. When he’s not travelling or writing and illustrating books, Lee is busy teaching kids how to make books of their own, through the Creative Writing for Children Society. The CWC is an organization he started in 2004, with his friend, educator and author, Joon-hyoung Park. He describes the program as “soccer camp for writers” and it’s obvious he values this opportunity to mentor kids in the art of taking themselves, and their work, seriously. With CWC, Lee visits Korea (his “home away from home”) twice a year.
Lee lives in Vancouver with his wife, actor, Marcie Nestman, along with their cat, a fluffy Maine Coon named Griffin. His home studio is filled with treasures from his travels, with things that inspire him. When he does school visits and workshops he often brings along his “museum of artifacts” and kids delight in recognizing things from his books: “the Box”, giant metal keys, antique bottles filled with “potions”, a few goblin eyes…
introduced the SRC Community Story Award in order to recognize and honour those stories. Each year, the BC Summer Reading Club presents this award to an individual whose story best demonstrates the impact of the SRC within their community.
When you tell your friends and family about your work and the SRC, what story do you tell? Funny? Touching? Something that makes you proud or yourself and your work? We’’d love to No matter where Lee travels to—whether hear your story! it’s halfway around the world or deep in his imagination—he likes to bring back a souvenir To submit a story for nomination for the SRC that connects him to that place. We are delighted Community Story Award, please send an email to have Booked a Trip! with him to the 2016 BC to email@example.com with the subject line: SRC SRC! Community Story Award. The winner of this year’s SRC Community Story Award will be announced in early spring of 2016 and the award will be presented at the 2016 BCLA Conference. The winner will attend the conference as a guest of the RBC! Previous winners have included Rossland Public Library’s Beverly Rintoul (2014) and Vancouver Public Library’s Miranda Mallinson (2015). To read their winning stories, please visit kidssrc.bclibrary.ca
BC SRC Community Story Award Nominations
Stories will be accepted throughout the year and may be submitted both by an individual or about an individual. All submitted stories will be shared with our stakeholders and may be published to help demonstrate the powerful impact of the BC SRC. You may submit as many stories as you wish. Can’t wait to hear yours!
Have you submitted your story to the BC SRC Community Story Award? As you well know, we all work hard to track statistics! As important as those numbers are, they don’t tell us nearly enough about how the SRC impacts you or your community. Stories are what move us, transform us. They speak to the heart of why we do what we do. In 2013 BCLA, in partnership with RBC,
- Cynthia Ford BC Summer Reading Club Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us on Twitter @BC_SRC #BCSRC WINTER 2016 | YAACING 7
YAACS Social Media Channels Redux Follow YAACS online and join the conversation: www.facebook.com/bcyaacs
Icons by Raul Taciu and Hakan Ertan under CC license.
We also invite you to share any interesting articles, resources, or BC events that you run into by emailing email@example.com.
- Sadie Tucker and Rei Kitano YAACS Social Media Committee 8 YAACING | WINTER 2016
YAACS Continuing Education Committee Thanks to everyone who participated in our Rhyme Time and Beyond workshop in October. We had a lot of fun and hope everyone was able to learn a few new songs/rhymes. The videos are gradually being put on YouTube and can be found on the YAACS web channel. Our next event is planned for February, so please stay tuned for more details. - Dana Horrocks, Tina Lee, Jane Whittingham YAACS Continuing Education Committee
KidsWWWrite E-Zine KidsWWWrite E-Zine is an international words) and poetry from children and teens. We creative writing outlet for young authors ages 5 to publish monthly except for January and August. 16. Please spread the word by sharing the magazine’s website with any teachers or librarians who are Do you know some young people who would trying to strike a creative spark by encouraging like to see their writing published online? Do you kids to WWWrite! work with students who would be encouraged by the opportunity to show others that their own stories and poems are published online? KidsWWWrite e-zine was started nearly fifteen years ago by British Columbia writer Margriet Ruurs with the support of the Kalamalka Press and Okanagan College in Kelowna. After editing over 130 issues, and enthusiastically promoting the publication to libraries and schools in Europe and Africa during visits there, Margriet stepped aside last year. The current editor is Ellen Heaney, retired Head of Children’s Services at the New Westminster Public Library. The magazine is always eager to receive submissions of short fiction (maximum 1000
- Ellen Heaney Editor, KidsWWWrite e-zine firstname.lastname@example.org Ellen Heaney retired as Head of Children’s Services at the New Westminster Public Library in May 2013 after 38 years of working with children and families there. She now spends her time volunteering as an ESL tutor, storytelling at New Westminster Family Place and New Beginnings refugee settlement centre in Coquitlam, and editing Kids WWWrite e-zine. WINTER 2016 | YAACING 9
COLUMNS KAITLYN’S PROGRAMMING CORNER:
Mustache Storytime! By Kaitlyn Vecchio
I recently conducted a mustache storytime 2. Warm Up Song: Open Shut Them in honour of Movember, and while putting Open shut them, open shut them (open and the storytime together I realized there are few shut both hands) mustache themed songs/stories out there! So I Give a little clap, clap, clap (clap hands three thought I would provide all you YAACING readers times) with the outline of my mustache storytime. Enjoy! Open shut them, open shut them (open and shut both hands) Mustache Storytime: Put them in your lap (lay hands flat on your legs) *First Things First!: I passed out mustaches on Creep them, creep them (creep them up legs, Popsicle sticks body, all the way up to chin) Here are my niece, Emily and nephew, Dylan Creep them, creep them enjoying their mustaches Right up to your chin Open up your little mouth (open mouth and hold fingers outside of mouth) But do not let them in! (shake finger ‘no’) 3. Flannel Story: Mr. Lou There once lived a man named Mr. Lou, He had a mustache that grew, and GREW! By Monday, it was tiny as his nose, By Tuesday, on and on it grows! By Wednesday, it stretched as far as his ears! By Thursday, it looked as if it had grown for years. But on Friday Mr. Lou caught the flu… ACHOOOOO! And off when the mustache—and away it flew! 1. Welcome Song: Come Along Come along and sing with me Sing with me, sing with me Come along and sing with me On this storytime morning. Option (clap, roll, snap, etc.) 10 YAACING | WINTER 2016
4. Song: My Father Has a Mustache 7. Song: Five Mustache Monsters Jumping on the Bed! My father has a mustache I just pattered the Five Little Monkeys Jumping My mother has one too So when I get much older, I’ll have a great on the Bed mustache or two 8. Book: Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos Mustache, mustache, a big bushy mustache for me and you Mustache, mustache, I’ve got a great mustache do you? 5. Book: Mo’s Mustache by Ben Clanton
6. Game: Where’s Mo’s Mustache I got this idea from Literary Hoots. I made all of the characters from the Mo’s Mustache book and hid the mustache behind the characters and had kids guess where the characters were hiding. I would just say, “Little mustache, little mustache, are you behind the green monster, etc.”)
9. Song: Ten Little Mustaches One little, two little, three little mustaches Four little, five little, six little mustaches Seven little, eight little, nine little mustaches Ten little mustaches under my nose. 10. Goodbye Song Oh it’s time to say goodbye to our friends One, two, three (Clap) Oh it’s time to say goodbye to our friends One, two, three (Clap) Oh it’s time to say goodbye, with a wave and a wink of your eye Oh it’s time to say goodbye to our friends One, two, three (Clap)
Kaitlyn Vecchio is a Children’s Librarian at the Prince George Public Library. WINTER 2016 | YAACING 11
COLUMNS TEENS ONLY:
Writing Behind Bars By Heather Gloster
Ever since I read Avi Steinberg’s Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian, I have been interested in bringing library services to custody centres. Prince George is home to one of only two Youth Custody Centres in the province, the other being in Burnaby. I was aware that the local school district ran classes at the facility in Prince George but other than the library supplying donated and discarded books we didn’t have any outreach programs at the centre.
very nervous. The employees at the centre were also nervous. The first session had four adults in the library along with me and the group of 5 residents. It went although I felt like the number of adults in the room inhibited the boys from truly expressing themselves. I spoke to my contact at Youth Custody and he agreed that it would be better for the guards to stand outside the room while the creative writing group was happening. During the following sessions we tried having the guards stand outside the door and that has worked much better. The youth feel more confident to rap, and ask questions.
In July I was contacted by Youth Custody about setting up a writing group with the residents. Like most libraries we were busy during the vacation period with I work with two groups when the Summer Reading Program I am there, secure and nonso beginning a program right secure. Both groups are typically away was impossible. I met with comprised of 5 boys. The boys are the centre’s supervisor and the really interested in learning how onsite teacher in August to set to rap and writing poems that up the program. They explained they can turn into raps. Every a lot about working with the week I bring rap lyrics or slam youth there and challenges they poetry for the groups to analyze. face daily. The meeting helped Some lyrics are too profane so I me understand more about the have to do some creative editing culture there and prepared me for working with before the teens get their hands on them! Many of the teens. the teens in Youth Custody were already interested in writing their own raps so the creative writing In order to work in Youth Custody, whether group gives them a chance to bounce ideas off of an employee or a volunteer, there is a fairly one another and also perform their work. Some extensive background and reference check of the teens are shy and don’t share any work but process. I completed the process and was able to the groups are supportive and enjoy hearing each start the creative writing group on October 2nd. other’s rhymes. The first time I went to Youth Custody to run the creative writing program I must admit I was A nursing student from UNBC who has been 12 YAACING | WINTER 2016
doing her practicum at Youth Custody came to one of the creative writing groups. She told me that the boys were anticipating the next creative writing group and telling her how they had worked on some new raps and hoped that she would join again. I was really pleased to hear that the writing group was something they chatted about during meals and hangouts.
on rappers. The boys typically finish the books in between sessions and return them to me. Overall this has been an excellent outreach opportunity for teen services. It is a way to bring the public library to youth who normally have no access to it. The staff at Youth Custody have been wonderful to work with and I hope it will be a partnership that will last many years.
Youth Custody has a small library with many If you have any questions or comments please popular books you would expect the teen section of a library to have. I always encourage the boys to don’t hesitate to contact me by phone, 250-563request books for me to bring for them the next 9251 ext.105 or by email, email@example.com. time I come. Recent requests have been anything Heather Gloster is the Teen Librarian at the Stephen King, anything Military/Taliban related, Prince George Public Library. Walking Dead, Darren Shah books and biographies
DISPATCHES FROM A RURAL LIBRARIAN:
On (Not) Doing Everything
By Amy Dawley
Let’s face it: those of us who work in public libraries do a lot. We are problem solvers, tech support specialists, compassionate listeners, community advocates, literacy leaders, reader’s advisors… The list goes on and on. Those of us who work in rural branches know what a heavy load it can become when you are responsible for all the services and programming at your library yourself or as part of a small team.
the nuts and bolts that it takes to keep a branch running. We do this work happily alongside the rest of our duties programming to children, but we must also turn our attention to programming and providing services to the rest of the folks in our communities. As rural library staff, we don’t have the luxury of focusing all of our attention on children and being children’s librarians. We wear many hats. Yes, we are children’s librarians. We are also teen librarians, adult services librarians, community outreach librarians, and more. It is an inherent part of our job that we feel we must do absolutely everything or we risk underserving or not serving segments of our population.
As children’s and youth advocates, we want to provide the best service we can to the kids we serve in our communities. However, the reality is that while we are also programming for children we are at the same time doing everything else. We are doing the day-to-day library stuff that There is an inherent challenge in trying to find is the constant about our work: ordering and balance between delivering quality, relevant, and maintaining the collection, processing interlibrary needed services to our communities while at loans, reader’s advisory, financials, facilities… all the same time avoiding burnout. It is a very real ⊲⊲⊲
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 13
COLUMNS situation in public libraries that staff have too much work to do and not enough time (and sometimes energy) to do it. Often this overwhelming workload is self-inflicted—I have been there myself by doing way too many things in my first year as a teen librarian, for example. Other times the workload is due to extenuating circumstances such as staff turn-over or an unexpected project landing on your plate. My fellow libraryland friends, it is important that we learn to be kind to ourselves and to begin to practice gentleness in our approach to our work. We cannot be effective in the work we do if we don’t take care of ourselves first.
if you are struggling with workload. It may be as simple as letting a community member lead the monthly book club or running a poll of the public to let them vote on what movie to watch for the next movie night. Any little thing you can do to let go and to offload some of the work or decisionmaking will be so very helpful. An example from Gabriola Island that is new to us is a monthly “Everyday Experts” speaker series (thanks to my dear friends at Prince George Public Library for the idea!). My community has been enormously helpful in suggesting topics and making initial contact with speakers—I can instead turn my energies to being sure the time/date/advertising nuts and bolts are in order. Rather than me But where to start? Here are a few things I have struggling to come up with ideas, Gabriola has found helpful to keep in mind as I plan services stepped up and told me what they are interested and programs at my library. in learning.
Do what we do best. A very wise woman in my circle always returns to this question: What do we do best? The answer may be different for some of us, but my answer has often been—we do free, we do books, and we do reading. It is simplistic to be sure. Some may argue public libraries are so much more than this and they are correct. But when we boil ourselves down to the essence of how our customers conceive of us it’s probably not so far from the truth. Consider asking yourself, “What are our core services?” If you are feeling overwhelmed and struggling under an enormous workload, culling the herd using this criteria may be a great place to start.
Let go. Our communities want to be involved in their libraries, and libraries that practice a communityled model are some of the most vibrant around. Welcoming the community in and encouraging them to become part of the service and/or programming model can mean a world of difference 14 YAACING | WINTER 2016
Ask for help. This one may be the most difficult of all and it is not something we tend to do easily. It is hard to admit you cannot do everything. I encourage you to take a chance and ask your colleagues, coworkers, and communities for help. Even if it’s just a few moments of the day to bounce your ideas off another person, or for brainstorming program themes, or for cutting out frog shapes for storytime—we do not have to do every little thing. I encourage you to ask for help when you need it. We are better libraries and library staff when we are not feeling overwhelmed or overworked. Take a moment to step back, assess your current workload situation, and look for solutions. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone out there in libraryland to learn to stop trying to do everything. Let’s choose to be kind to ourselves.
If you’d like to bounce your own branch program, workload, or ideas off another person who gets it please feel free to reach out! Sometimes it helps to have a set of ears and I’d love to help out in any way I can. Drop me a line any time at 250-2477878 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Dawley is the Customer Services Librarian II at the Gabriola Island branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library. 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.
WE’LL LINK TO THAT
Digital Technology Resources By Lindsey Krabbenhoft and Dana Horrocks
Is your library doing advisory or programming around apps or digital media? Do you want to start? Research from Common Sense Media in 2013 cites that 75% of households own digital media in some format, with 40% of families with children under age 8 owning at least one device. Here are our Top 10 resources for learning about the research on using digital media with children and for learning about ways public libraries are embracing our role as media mentors.
1. NAEYC/Fred Rogers Joint Position Statement
In 2012, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College released this paper giving their recommendation that
“when used intentionally and appropriately, technology and interactive media are effective tools to support learning and development.” They also state that we must pay special attention to media use with infants and toddlers, avoiding passive play in favour of shared technology time with an adult caregiver.
2. American Academy of Pediatrics Growing Up Digital Recommendations Though widely cited for their 2011 recommendation of no screen time for children under the age of two, the AAP recently came out with updated suggestions that ⊲⊲⊲
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 15
COLUMNS make a distinction between passive and active media. They now recommend that parents engage in digital media with their children, model media behaviours, and investigate the quality of media aimed at children. A more formal policy statement will follow their 2016 national conference.
out with their “Research-Based Guidelines for Screen Use for Children Under 3 Years Old.” In these guidelines they advise that caregivers participate in screen time for young children and that screen time should be interactive. They also highlight the importance of extending learning beyond the screen.
3. ALSC White Paper on 5. Joan Ganz Cooney Media Mentorship Center: Joint Media This 2015 paper published by Engagement the Association for Library Service to Children summarizes the current research on the topic of using digital media with children and makes four core recommendations for all youth services staff. They recommend that every library have staff who act as media mentors, that media mentors support families in their decisions, that library schools provide training to future youth services professionals, and that current staff receive the professional development they need to take on this role. Their website includes many helpful links, including free webinars on this topic to their members.
4. Zero to Three: Screen Sense Zero to Three is one of the leading organizations advocating for early childhood education. In 2014 they came 16 YAACING | WINTER 2016
The Cooney Center is an independent research organization that specializes in advancing children’s learning through digital media. They came out in 2011 with a publication that advocates for joint media engagement— using digital media alongside children—which leads to more positive learning outcomes. They were one of the first groups to emphasize the positive effects of caregivers participating in screen time.
reports mentioned above and other important publications.
7. Anne’s Library Life
If you’re just getting started or curious how to incorporate digital elements into your storytime we love Anne’s nononsense eStorytime outlines. She includes descriptions of the apps she uses and lots of images. Her introductory blurb on iPad Apps and Storytime would be great to adapt and share with caregivers as well.
8. Media Smarts
This is a great place to go for Canadian standards, research and policy for digital and media literacy. They also have excellent resources for educators and guides in several different languages.
9. Books by Lisa Guernsey
Lisa Guernsey is one of the leading researchers on digital media and young children 6. Little eLit today. Her most recent book While no longer being updated Tap, Click, Read: Growing Little eLit remains a vital source Readers in a World of Screens by of information when it comes to Guernsey and Levine (2015) digital media. Browse through is a complete look at helping the archived blog posts, scroll children develop strong literacy through apps which have been skills through “the combination reviewed on Little eLit and of parents, educators, and highlocate lists and other trusted quality media.” The book which review sites. Finally, their started it all Screen Time: How home page links to some of the Electronic Media–From Baby
Videos to Educational Software– Affects Your Young Child (2012) explores her journey as a parent and journalist to dispel myths around media use and children. If you’ve ever heard of the 3 C’s, we’ve got Guernsey to thank!
10. West Vancouver’s Youth Department App Reviews
TFeaturing app reviews for young children, teens and kids in between this is one tumblr you’ll definitely want to follow. Each review is written by a member of the West Vancouver Memorial Library Youth Department and includes helpful tags for searching by operating system, age, price and type.
Featuring Series By Alise Nelson
Have you ever come across a series that you think looks fantastic but it’s just not circulating? Sometimes you just want to put a neon sign around a book and ask kids, “Why aren’t you reading this?” Here at Prince George Public Library, I made my very own significantly less electrical version of a neon sign and called it the Monthly Feature Series.
Do you have a favourite Summer Reading Club idea that we missed? We’d love to hear about it, give us a shout at email@example.com.
My Junior hardcover section has three shelf-end display spaces, which up until I took them over were populated by a mismatched assortment of suggestion books. Often these books were last-second space fillers and frankly, they just weren’t very pretty. Instead, I picked three series a month for the duration of the year and set to work making description signs for each of my series. I glued these onto library coloured construction paper (for us it’s green and blue) and had them laminated.
Dana Horrocks and Lindsey Krabbenhoft are Children’s Librarians at the Vancouver Public Library.
Each shelf display has the title and author, then a paragraph or so to describe the series. These, I copied straight from our library catalogue. Underneath that I included a list of the order of the books, and finally I finished off with a few read-alikes suggestions. For me this display serves a dual purpose. First, it ⊲⊲⊲
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 17
COLUMNS For Juniors I found that they need a little bit of extra help selecting new books. They know which books they enjoyed reading, but have a hard time branching out and finding new books. Parent suggestions often don’t fly well in an age group that is just starting to branch out and become independent, and sometimes the desk staff are just too foreign and scary to approach. By making demarcated series suggestions, I’ve offered Juniors the chance to exercise their independence, but with a little bit of secret hand holding. By the end of the first month, 18 books had gone off my end displays. My current monthly record is 28 books. I can delightedly say that I know this works! If you don’t have an end display, get creative! For the top of shelves, prop up your description sheet with a wire display holder and fan out your series next to it. Repurpose an old magazine rack. Take highlights books that I want to get circulating, and over a shelf of your new book display. Put them on second, it just looks much nicer. Series will all share your information desk. There are all sorts of ways similar covers and the cohesiveness of colours and that you can make this happen. design style are much more eye catching than a hodge-podge of books. Every month I make sure that all three series are a completely different genres. This ensures that there is something for every child regardless of taste. There is always a fantasy book, a nonmagical book, and for the last display I alternate between whodunit mysteries, puzzle solving, and spooky books. For October I did all variations of ghostly books, but made sure that at least one series was funny instead of scary. As books get checked out, I replenish the empty spaces with books off the suggestions list. Kids who are disappointed to find the whole featured series checked out will grab a read-alike if it is easily accessible. And often kids who have already read, and liked, the featured series will grab a recommended book. 18 YAACING | WINTER 2016
For paperbacks, I took a slightly easier route. I don’t often have trouble getting these books to circulate, but I did want to highlight some of the new series that I brought in to the collection. In addition to having a new books shelf bay, I created new series shelf tags. Again, I printed these on library coloured paper then slipped them into plastic shelf tags. Self-directed juniors love having
the visual for when they peruse the shelf and I’ve noticed that parents also love having distinct signs. “Here’s one you haven’t read yet” is a statement I love hearing from over at the children’s desk. Occasionally as a cheat, I move the shelf markers over to a series that isn’t necessarily new, but one that I want to highlight. Paperbacks at PGPL have shelf stickers behind the books naming the series. This helps the pages shelve, keeps the shelves themselves more organized, and also lets me know what the most popular series are currently. This is incredibly useful for me when I do my ordering. If I only ever see the sticker and not the books, I know which series is most frequently checked out. This past summer I spent of a lot of time revamping the action series section. When I noticed that two of my “new” soldier series were very rarely on the shelves, I was able to tailor my ordering to reflect that very obvious preference. It’s impossible to remember every single book series, and for me, having the extra visual has been extremely practical.
If you think you’d like to do the feature series, but just don’t have enough time to make all the signs, please send me an email. I’d be happy to send you my series from the past year. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alise Nelson is a Reader’s Advisor and purchaser for the Juniors collection at the Prince George Public Library. WINTER 2016 | YAACING 19
COLUMNS WHO’S ON THE FELT BOARD
Flip Flap Jack Felt Story by Taren Urquhart (Sung to the tune of Aiken Drum) There was a man that was made of food, Made of food, made of food. There was a man that was made of food, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. His head was made of a pancake, A pancake, a pancake. His head was made of a pancake, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. His body was made of a waffle, A waffle, a waffle. His head was made of a waffle, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. His legs were made of bacon, Of bacon, of bacon His legs were made of bacon, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. His feet were made of fried eggs, Of fried eggs, of fried eggs. His feet were made of fried eggs, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. His arms were made of bananas, Of bananas, of bananas. His arms were made of bananas, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. His ears were made of oranges, Of oranges, of oranges. His ears were made of oranges, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. 20 YAACING | WINTER 2016
His eyes were made of blueberries, Of blueberries, of blueberries. His eyes were made of blueberries, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. His mouth was made of a sausage, A sausage, a sausage. His mouth was made of a sausage, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. His nose was made of a strawberry, A strawberry. A strawberry. His nose was made of a strawberry, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. His hair was made of whip cream, Of whip cream, of whip cream. His hair was made of whip cream, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. His belly button was made of a raspberry, A raspberry, a raspberry, His belly button was made of a raspberry, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. And he danced upon the table, The table, the table. And he danced upon the table, And his name was Flip Flap Jack. If you’d like to see Flip Flap jack in action, check out this video. Taren Urquhart is a Library Technician at the West Vancouver Memorial Library, Douglas College Library, and Langara College Library.
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 21
22 YAACING | WINTER 2016
Books for Children of Mixed Asian and Caucasian Ancestry: An Annotated Bibliography By Alan Woo
Statement of Focus It’s hard enough to find diversity and representations of different cultures in children’s books (see the We Need Diverse Books campaign), but what happens when those cultures mix and intersect with one another? Living in Vancouver and having friends who are in interracial relationships that are mainly composed of a Caucasian and Asian pairing, it was challenging to find appropriate children’s books to give to them once they started having kids. With that in mind, here is an annotated bibliography for children of mixed Asian and Caucasian heritage.
Cheng, Andrea. Grandfather Counts. Illustrated by Ange Zhang. New York: Lee & Low Books Inc., 2000.
Selected as a Reading Rainbow book, Andrea Cheng’s Grandfather Counts is a quiet story of bonding between a grandfather who doesn’t speak English and his granddaughter Helen, who doesn’t speak Mandarin. Although that situation could also be applied to a Canadian born Chinese, the warm illustrations by Ange Zhang imply a Caucasian father and Chinese mother and their mixed-race children. Helen does have mild resistance to the situation however, when she loses her bedroom to accommodate
her grandfather. The book can loosely be used as a counting book as well, as the two main characters teach one another to count in their respective languages. The glossary of words and translations at the front of the book are also helpful in teaching kids words in Mandarin and introducing them to a different language. Books like Grandfather Counts are important in this genre of children’s books as it doesn’t deal so much with the struggle between two worlds, but rather, encourages embracing one another and trying to learn about each other’s differences. Promoting this kind of openness to curiosity and learning can only be beneficial to a child who has questions about being from two different cultures.
Friedman, Ina R. How My Parents Learned to Eat. Illustrated by Allen Say. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984. Ina R. Friedman’s How My Parents Learned to Eat is a love story of an American sailor and a Japanese schoolgirl, told by their future biracial daughter. Gloriously illustrated by Allen Say, the images have a classic iconic feel to them, introducing North American children to exotic images of Japan with delicate detail paid to street scenes and depictions of Japanese food. The presence of the child is not prominent at all, but ⊲⊲⊲
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 23
FEATURES kids reading this should still find it interesting to see these two adults trying to fit into one another’s worlds through the use of food and eating utensils. The book can be used as a great teaching tool, with kids learning about things such as Japanese food, proper eating etiquette with a knife and fork, kimonos, usage of chopsticks, and differences between Japanese and Western culture (e.g. bowing vs. shaking hands). The issue of being a mixed child is not focused on, but rather, depicted in the illustrations and implied through the passages about having different kinds of dinnertimes. The subtleness of this tale of two cultures coming together can be a great starting point for conversation around this topic for early readers.
MacLachlan, Patricia. You Were the First. Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2013.
Filled with beautiful and detailed illustrations by Stephanie Graegin, You Were the First is Patricia MacLachlan’s luscious book that bleeds unconditional adoring love from its pages. The White father and Asian mother are shown on the cover and throughout the book, but there is no actual mention of any mixed heritage in the text. In fact, the mother may not even be of Asian descent, though pictorially it can be assumed. Rather, the text emphasizes the child, addressed directly by the author, as being the first-born. Because the book is more about being a first-born child, it might find a rather limited audience. There are mentions of one day possibly having siblings, but this book in particular is quite content in singling out the first-born. The strongest feature of the book is the illustrations, which are lovely and have a calming effect with its colours and soft lines. There is also diversity represented in the montage of the people in the 24 YAACING | WINTER 2016
park as well as when the grandparents come to visit. There is action in the pictures, from beach scenes to winter scenes, and even a playful dog. What the book lacks in plot and meaning is more than made up for in the story told ever so boldly by the illustrations.
Namioka, Lensey. Half and Half. New York: Delacorte Press, 2003. In Lensey Namioka’s chapter book Half and Half, we are introduced to 11-year-old Fiona who struggles to find balance between her Chinese and Scottish ancestry. Along for the ride are members of her family, including 12-year-old brother Ron who looks more Scottish than Chinese, yet would prefer kung fu over a highland dance any day; Grampa, who wants so badly to share his Scottish background with his grandson; and Nainai, the Chinese grandmother whose pride for her granddaughter’s Chinese background is denied when Fiona decides to dye her hair orange. Set in Seattle and with numerous mentions of Vancouver, BC, this book would pique the interest of Canadians, as well as kids living in the Pacific Northwest. Given that it is relatively recent, the use of the word “sissy” to describe a smaller built boy is questionable, as is the choice to turn to physical violence to counter bullying. Meanwhile, the father’s filial piety storyline rings true. The main plot is simple, if not earnest, and will manage to keep young readers interested as they navigate towards a healthy conclusion of self-acceptance, compromise, and hope.
Rattigan, Jama Kim. Dumpling Soup. Illustrated by Lillian HsuFlanders. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1993. Dumpling Soup by Jama Kim Rattigan is complex and ambitious in scope. The mixed
heritages that are touched upon are complicated, and not as simple as a half-Asian half-White lineage, which serves as a good representation of just how diverse the world at large can be. Like the mix of ingredients that go into a dumpling soup, Rattigan’s characters are varied, ranging from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Hawaiian, with an array of languages and customs that get briefly touched upon within these pages, but without much elaboration. This would be a good book for readers who are transitioning from picture books towards chapter books, as it is heavy on text and story, with many different points for discussion and research. The watercolour-type illustrations are playful but not all that engaging. Reading this to a child may prove challenging in that there are lots of things that might need to be explained, i.e. Who are the Yangs that suddenly get mentioned? What language are they speaking now? What do all these different words mean? There is also an issue of only the women characters being in the kitchen preparing the food, while the men come along to judge the tastiness of it. Is this tradition or is it sexism? The lack of male characters may also prevent boys from picking up this book. Dumpling Soup really is a mishmash of ideas thrown together that may or may not leave you hungry for more.
Say, Allen. The Favorite Daughter. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013.
Yuriko is a little blonde JapaneseAmerican girl who gets teased by her friends and teachers and immediately wishes to change her name to something more westernized. Allen Say’s The Favorite Daughter not only depicts the woes faced by bi-racial kids, but it also subtly showcases the life of a child of divorced parents. Also represented is the role of an Asian father. Most books that feature half-Asian and halfWhite kids tend to have the mother as the Asian
parent and the father as the Westerner. As well, depicting a daughter as a favoured offspring turns the traditional son-worshipping Asian culture on its head. Heavy with dialogue, the story is told mainly through conversations between father and daughter. The father is seen as patient and amused by his daughter’s antics, which come across as impertinent but how a young confused child may behave in such situations. Using dialogue to tell the story can be a useful tool for reading aloud, allowing the reader to use changes in inflection and tone to keep listeners engaged. Say mixes in real-life photographs with his illustrations, which really makes the story all that more genuine, especially with a dedication at the front to his actual daughter Yuriko. This type of realism helps introduce a form of non-fiction to children and perhaps allow for the story to be more believable and relatable.
Shin, Sun Yung. Cooper’s Lesson. Illustrated by Kim Cogan. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 2004. Printed in both English and Korean text, Sun Yung Shin’s Cooper’s Lesson brims with possibilities and hope. The story focuses on Cooper, a half-Korean, half-American boy who tries to steal from a grocery store and gets taught a valuable lesson about honesty and self-acceptance from the storeowner, Mr. Lee. The illustrations by Kim Cogan are moody and somber, with Cooper looking like he’s in pain for much of the book. The choice to have both English and Korean text makes the pages look cluttered with too many words and may be offputting to some readers, while others may find it intriguing to see what the Korean language looks like. It isn’t overtly clear from the pictures if Cooper’s dad is Caucasian, but one passage mentions Cooper having freckles and brown ⊲⊲⊲ WINTER 2016 | YAACING 25
FEATURES hair and people commenting on his skin colour and being half. Some kids may relate to Cooper’s feelings of shame, embarrassment, shyness, anger, and frustration. The hope is that they will also relate to his noble attempts at learning about his cultural background and language, as well as his desire to tell the truth. There is definitely more than one lesson to be learned in Cooper’s Lesson, which could be a great starting point of discussion for kids who read or hear the story.
Wong, Janet S. Buzz. Illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. San Diego: Harcourt Inc., 2000. Janet S. Wong’s Buzz is a very simple, easy-to-read picture book with big, colourful, and stylized illustrations by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. Beginning with a bumblebee making noise in the garden, readers are introduced to an unnamed narrator who wakes up to the bee’s buzzing sounds. The buzzing motif continues throughout the book, hence its title, and provides for a fun read-aloud storytime with children because of all the different noises one can make, i.e. the buzzing of an alarm clock, a razor, a lawn mower, a blender, and even a garage door opener. Other sounds also come into play such as the honking of a horn, a washing machine, and a toaster. These passages allow for an interactive reading experience with children, as they can be asked what they think all these sounds should sound like, engaging them with the story and their imagination. It is only alluded to in the pictures that the character is half-Asian/half-Caucasian, as Daddy has light brown hair with blue eyes, while Mommy has dark black hair and smaller eyes, whose colour we don’t actually get to see. Mommy (and Grandma’s) eyes veer towards being “slanty” so it would have been nice to see some brown pupils drawn in. The depiction of the child with dark black hair and bright blue eyes however is clearly shown. 26 YAACING | WINTER 2016
Works Cited Cheng, Andrea. Grandfather Counts. Illustrated by Ange Zhang. New York: Lee & Low Books Inc., 2000. Friedman, Ina R. How My Parents Learned To Eat. Illustrated by Allen Say. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984. MacLachlan, Patricia. You Were the First. Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2013. Namioka, Lensey. Half and Half. New York: Delacorte Press, 2003. Rattigan, Jama Kim. Dumpling Soup. Illustrated by Lillian Hsu-Flanders. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1993. Say, Allen. The Favorite Daughter. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013. Shin, Sun Yung. Cooper’s Lesson. Illustrated by Kim Cogan. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 2004. Wong, Janet S. Buzz. Illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. San Diego: Harcourt Inc, 2000.
Alan Woo is a current MLIS student at UBC’s iSchool and the author of the awardwinning children’s book Maggie’s Chopsticks (Kids Can Press).
Real Female Protagonists of Children’s Literature By Zane Phillips Introduction The once noteworthy Hugo Awards has recently becomes mired in an outrageous controversy centered around an outspoken group of entitled male authors desperately clinging to the status quo; that is, the status quo which privileges male stories (amongst other things). In protest of this backwards way of thinking, I have developed an annotated bibliography which highlights eight books that have female protagonists. Literature too often defaults on the male perspective. Here are eight wonderful books that do not.
L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle In Time. New York: Crosswicks, 1962. Print. The protagonist of Madeleine L’Engle’s sci-fi adventure is fourteen-year-old Margaret “Meg” Murry, whose most noteworthy feature, at least by her own account, is how not-special she is. Despite being a member to one of the most outstandingly accomplished families imaginable, which includes two genius parents and child prodigy of cosmic proportions, Meg really is rather plain. At least, that is how it seems until she, her genius brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin are swept up, by 3 (Macbethian) witches, into an interstellar war between the forces of good and evil. The Black Thing is evilness itself. IT seeks to corrupt and dominate all things. IT imprisons Meg’s father, manipulates Charles Wallace, and controls and disciplines entire planets. The Black Thing, however, is the embodiment of a traditional Christian
notion of evil: it seems very great and terrible, but is in fact nothing but a privation. IT suffers the fatal weakness inherent to evil: IT cannot love. IT cannot understand or even withstand love (207). Thus, exploiting the weakness of evil, Meg, who as it turns out is prodigiously courageous and loving, is able to save both her father and Charles Wallace. Audience: 9+
Tamora Pierce. The Song of the Lioness Quartet. New York: Random House Books for Young Readers, 2003. Print. Tamora Pierce’s 1980s fantasy series The Song of the Lioness is primarily noteworthy on account of its protagonist Alanna being female. The narrative, set in a magical medieval kingdom, is a classic knight’s tale: an unassuming hero rises through the ranks of chivalry (page, squire, knight, king’s champion), performs noble deeds, and eventually saves the kingdom from the evil machinations of the predictable evil-wizard antagonist. Despite the formulaic plot however, the book still feels refreshing and progressive. Not only is Alanna an incredibly strong female character, but she is so in a hyperbolically patriarchal world. In order to fulfill her dreams of being a knight, Alanna is forced to disguise herself as a boy. She maintains this disguise for 7 years despite the many challenges to it, which include being violently bullied by a much larger boy and dealing with her body changing and menstruation. Despite having officially earned the shield of her knighthood, once her true sex is revealed Alanna is still forced ⊲⊲⊲
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 27
FEATURES to defend the legitimacy of her station to her Collins, Suzanne. Catching Fire. male-dominated society; however, she does so New York: Scholastic P, 2009. Print. triumphantly, and eventually ushers in a new age ---. The Hunger Games. New of gender equality. In addition to being progressive York: Scholastic Inc., 2008. Print. with respect to gender, The Song of the Lioness also does not pander to an asexual construction ---. Mockingjay. New York: of childhood: throughout the series Alanna has Scholastic P, 2010. Print. sexual relationships with three different partners. Even 30 years later this book remains progressive, The Hunger Games is an adventure series about and can be recommended to children 10 and up. a girl in a dystopic future wherein children are Audience: 10+ forced to fight to the death in a dangerous public arena. As punishment for a past rebellion against the Capitol, the 12 districts are in varying states Markus Zusak. The Book Thief. of poverty, while the Capitol is lavishly rich and New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. technologically advanced. Katniss Everdeen lives Print. in District 12, the poorest region. After her younger sister is selected for the Games, Katniss volunteers The Book Thief is a gripping and heartbreaking in her stead. Along with Peeta Mellark from District historical fiction about a poor German family 12, the two teenagers try to navigate the political during WWII. The protagonist is 9 year old Liesel world of the Capitol. Katniss proves to be tough, Meminger, who is adopted by Hans and Rosa focused only on staying alive, and is critically Hubermann shortly after her little brother dies. observant of the capitalistic environment that This loss is the first time (though tragically not the seeks to commodify her. A contrast to the typical last) that the book’s narrator, Death, crosses paths female heroines who uses kindness, gentleness, with Liesel. This book is a meta-narrative, in which and other stereotypical feminine characteristics Death retells the story, which itself is filled with to tame their surroundings, Katniss instead relies storytelling, of The Book Thief, an autobiographical on her bow and her bravery to become (somewhat account of Liesel’s life before and during the war. unwittingly) the symbol of resistance against the Liesel’s account is heartbreakingly naïve: neither Capitol. Meant for children from the ages of 11 she nor her best friend Rudy Steiner have much and up, the book explores heavy themes of trauma, context or understanding of the global events that class, violence as entertainment, and capitalism. they are caught up in. Liesel is, however, starkly Audience: 11+ confronted with gravity of the times when her family takes in Jewish refuge, Max Vandenburg. Susan Fletcher. Shadow Spinner. Along with her stepfather, Max helps teach Liesel the incredible power of words and stories. This New York: Atheneum Books for power is on display throughout The Book Thief: it Young Readers, 2011. Print. is touching, bibliotherapeutic, and subversive. The Susan Fletcher’s The Shadow Spinner is a retelling book navigates the poles of human kindness and cruelty; it explores the duality of wartime Germany; of A Thousand and One Nights. The book begins and it is as beautiful as it is sad. I would regard this with the decree of the Sultan, who is in search of a new bride after having killed the previous one. book as a YA/adult-crossover. Audience: 12+ Worried that her daughter may be the latest string of victims, Marjan’s mother cripples her. Although 28 YAACING | WINTER 2016
she is spared from the Sultan’s attention, Marjan’s life is no longer the same. But Marjan has the ability of storytelling, and catches the attention of Sharazad, the Sultan’s current wife. Sharazad escapes execution by telling the Sultan stories, but she is running out of stories to tell; however, with the help of Marjan, she is able to stay alive. This book is implicit in its exploration of gender dynamics and violence against women, which may benefit from some dialogic reading with an adult. The book, which is a meta-narrative, more explicitly explores the wonderful power of stories. Audience: 12+
Diana Wynne Jones. Howl’s Moving Castle. New York: Greenwillow Book, 1986. Print Howl’s Moving Castle is a fantasy novel about Sophie Hatter. She lives in the magical kingdom of Ingary, where many fairy tale tropes are accepted ways of life. As the oldest of three sisters, Sophie knows that she is not destined for much, despite being able to (unknowingly) talk life into objects. But when the Witch of the Waste casts a spell turning her into an old woman, Sophie leaves her quiet life and finds work as a cleaning lady on a roaming castle for the heartless Wizard Howl. She strikes a bargain with the resident fire-demon, Calcifer, and must find a way to break his own curse if she ever wants to return to her original teenage form. Intended for children from the ages of twelve and up, Diana Wynne Jones’s writing style is simple and dialogue heavy. The wide-world, full of magic and wonder, is explored through a beautifully written third-person perspective. The work navigates themes of destiny and love; the significant love in question, however, is not romantic, but rather inwardly bent. Audience: 12+
Lewis Carroll. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland. Mineola: Dover Publications, 1993. Print. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland is a fantasy novel about a girl who goes down a rabbit hole. Alice finds herself in Wonderland, which despite its ridiculous characters (The Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat) and its nonsensical activities (playing croquet with a Flamingo), is actually a world that encourages Alice to think rationally. Alice is focused on making sense of Wonderland, guided by what she learned through her studies (always check if something is marked ‘poison’ or not). Inspired by three little girls that Lewis Carroll would often entertain, the story is actually meant for children as young as eight years old. But contemporarily, it might be more suitable for ages eleven and up. Carrol’s writing style is complicatedly simple (or simply complex); a style which contributes strongly to the work’s central thematic considerations of illogic and logic. Audience: 11+
Pullman, Phillip. His Dark Materials. New York: Bluefire, 2007. Print. His Dark Materials is a steampunk series set in a multiverse. Its main character is Lyra, a precocious girl who has a mind of her own, and her daemon (soul), Pantalaimon. After thwarting an attempted assassination by the Church on her father, Lord Asriel, Lyra learns of parallel universes and a mysterious substance known as Dust. When children go missing, Lyra is given a golden compass and sent to live with Mrs. Coulter, her mother. There, Lyra learns how dangerous the world truly is, yet she navigates it with ingenuity and courage. The world is controlled by the Church, which links maturity with sexual sin. It therefore seeks to castrate youths in order ⊲⊲⊲
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 29
FEATURES to preserve their “innocence.” Asriel (a character inspired by the Romantics’ interpretation of Milton’s Satan) leads a rebellion against the Church, and ultimately God, in a fight to preserve free will. This very complicated and captivating Zane Phillips holds three degrees from UBC work explores themes about the construction of innocence, the subversion of disciplinary societies, (BA, MA, MLIS) and is currently pursuing a and the freedom of the will. Audience: 13+ career as a writer/librarian.
Screen Time Debate: Is It Time to Redefine the Term? By Delyana Grozdeva
Screen time is defined as the amount of time spent in front of screens including TV, computers and video games (Segen’s Medical Dictionary). Increased screen time is associated with lower physical activity which leads to lower psychological activity and behaviour problems among young children and adolescents (American Academy of Pediatrics). According to the MedLine Plus Encyclopedia, too much screen time leads to sleeping problems, risk of attention problems, and risk of obesity in children. The current guidelines advise no screen time for children under age two and screen time limits of one to two hours a day for children over two years of age (MedLine Plus). Parents, caregivers and educators struggle to stay informed and navigate through the ever changing digital media world while medical communities continue to point out the negative impacts of screen time on children. At the same time, the mainstream media is providing information that is confusing and contradictory. As the need for new guidelines for screen time increases, new research into screen time and its potential for learning is putting libraries in the forefront of the field of digital learning.
Media Literacy” points out to recent research and studies about youth and new media that indicate the value and learning potential of new media for young people. According to author Lisa Tripp, libraries play an important role in fostering new ways of learning in the digital age and can help young people “develop and practice new media literacy skills” (10). Tripp gives as an example a successful program called YouMedia started at the Chicago Public Library in 2009. The goal of this program is to provide online and physical space for teens to engage with library resources and learn with digital media, i.e. video production, digital music, graphic design, etc. (4). By facilitating programs like YouMedia, libraries have the opportunity to capitalize on recent developments in digital learning and provide mentorship for positive and creative use of digital media to young people.
In their paper “New Media in Youth Librarianship”, Campbell and Koester state that “children librarians are ideally placed as media mentors to families with young children” (2). The authors point out the importance of library professionals, especially those working with children to stay informed and keep up with the The article “Digital Youth, Libraries, And New continuously evolving information needs of the
30 YAACING | WINTER 2016
community. The paper also points out that there are decades of research on passive screen time and its negative effects on children’s development but there is still not much research on the use of interactive media and its effects. Therefore, these very different digital media types can’t be grouped together and general assumptions of their effects made. On their Little eLit blog, Campbell and Koester provide examples of good practices they have come across through experimentation with young children and new digital media: 1. The best media for very young supports the development of a relationship with another human being. 2. Support and model Joint Media Engagement (Child/parent joint participation with digital media). 3. Encourage creativity and creation in the use of digital media 4. Use content that supports the early learning practices: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play. 5. Always use a mix of physical and digital props.
(Campbell and Koester 4)
The paper “Active Versus Passive Screen Time For Young Children,” reports the initial finding from The Australian Government Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Dataset. The findings of the study indicate that the majority of Australian children exceed the screen time recommendations by the Australian government, which are based on the 2001 guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Sweetser et al. 2). The authors provide a review of a body of research about screen time and its positive and negative effects on children. Through these findings, the authors argue that an important distinction between passive and active screen time be made which will provide a more
accurate way of viewing the effects of screen time on young children (Sweetser et al. 4). It is interesting to point out that in 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) restated that children under the age of two should not be allowed any screen time. However, the draft was designed much earlier before the appearance of iPads in 2010, therefore not reflecting this new interactive media. Dimitri Christakis, one of the original co-authors of the AAP statement and a member of the Executive Committee of the AAP Council of Media and Communications, states that there is not much research on the effects of these interactive media on children’s cognition. However, the initial findings from current research on interactive media and children points to the “many ways in which iPads and traditional toys differ from traditional passive media” (Christakis). Christakis concludes that “there is a strong theoretical foundation to posit that the AAP recommendations regarding media for children younger than the age of two years should not be applied to these newer media” and gives a recommendation for how long young kids should spent each day with interactive media. In a recent article at the Washington Post, Molly Raskin interviewed Sandra Calvert, a psychology professor at Georgetown University involved in studies concerning the hypothesis that young kids learn better from observing behaviors in real life than on a screen. Calvert states that “twenty-firstcentury literacy is dependent on screens, and our early findings are promising,” and “Tuning it out is a missed opportunity to open up a wonderful world of exploration that involves learning with your child” (qtd. in Raskin). The article also mentions Michael Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital and his opinion about interactive media: “What a kid does on an iPad is totally different from what they are doing when they are watching TV. It’s different ⊲⊲⊲
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 31
FEATURES psychologically, neurologically, educationally— so we can’t just lump all screens together.” Rich recommends that parents get involved and stop using media as babysitter, which will help them understand their child’s media choices and turn technology into a learning opportunity (qtd. in Raskin). In conclusion, it is time to consider that the term “screen time” has outlived its usefulness. The digital media is ever-changing and it is here to stay. A clear distinction between passive and active digital media has to be made and that should be reflected in new screen time guidelines. This will help more accurately understand the effects of these media on children. New research into interactive media points out that this new media has a potential to be a great learning tool for young children and adolescents. Through continuous education and appropriate children programming, library professionals are positioned well to take advantage of new developments in digital learning, become successful digital media mentors in the community and help families navigate the confusing digital media world.
Works Cited Campbell, Cen and Koester, Ann. “New Media in Youth Librarianship.” Young Children, New Media, and Libraries, 2014. Web. 7 April 2015. <http://littleelit.com/2014/10/15/new-mediain-youth-librarianship-chapter-one-of-the-littleelit-book/>.
American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009. Web. 7 April 2015. <https://www.aap.org/en-us/ about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/MoreScreen-Time-and-Less-Activity-Can-mean-MoreDistress.aspx>. “More Screen Time Linked to Lower Psychological Ability.” American Academy of Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics, 2010. Web. 7 April 2015. <https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aappress-room/Pages/More-Screen-Time-Linked-toLower-Psychological-Ability.aspx>. Raskin, Molly. “Managing your children’s screen time.” The Washington Post. 2013. Web. 7 April 2015. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/ lifestyle/style/managing-your-childrens-screentime/2013/01/03/9c47cea2-2e84-11e2-89d4040c9330702a_story.html>. “screen time.” Segen’s Medical Dictionary. 2011. Farlex, Inc. Web. 7 Apr. 2015 <http://medicaldictionary.thefreedictionary.com/screen+time>. “Screen Time and Children.” Med Line Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2013. Web. 7 April 2015. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ ency/patientinstructions/000355.htm>. Sweetser, Penelope, et al. “Active Versus Passive Screen Time For Young Children.” Australasian Journal Of Early Childhood 37.4 (2012): 94-98. Academic Search Premier. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.
Tripp, Lisa. “Digital Youth, Libraries, And New Media Literacy.” Reference Librarian 52.4 (2011): Christakis, Dimitri. “Interactive Media Use 329-341. Academic Search Premier. Web. 7 Apr. at Younger Than the Age 2 Years: Time to 2015. Rethink the American Academy of Pediatrics Guideline?” JAMA Pediatr. 168(5) (2014): 399400.doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.5081. <http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article. Delyana Grozdeva is a student in Langara aspx?articleid=1840251>. College’s Library and Information Technology “More Screen Time and Less Activity Can Mean program. More Distress.” American Academy of Pediatrics. 32 YAACING | WINTER 2016
The Gratitude Tree By Susan Pierce
This past Thanksgiving I wanted to create a passive program that focused on gratitude. My goal was to provide an opportunity for our child customers to take part in creating a visual gratitude display. The display would give children the opportunity to talk about gratitude with a parent or caregiver and then have their ideas become part of a larger visual gratitude movement. I wanted to give children the experience of practicing a gratitude mindset, in hopes that parents could continue this practice with their children in other aspects of their lives. Cultivating an understanding of gratitude in children helps them develop skills for resiliency and positivity that will have a positive impact on their future mental health and literacy. Studies have shown that children who adopt a gratitude mindset are less likely to be depressed or anxious and have better learning outcomes. My intention was to create a program that would give families an opportunity to help children adopt a change in perspective. It’s amazing how even a small switch in perspective can change your life. To achieve my goals, I decided to create a gratitude tree in our children’s area. I wanted to make the program as low cost and low maintenance as possible in keeping with the idea that less is more. Children could take a precut leaf from the children’s area and write a word or draw a picture on it that represented one thing they were thankful for. The leaves were then all attached to a giant tree our staff created in our children’s area. This project can easily be adapted to fit any library. If you don’t have wall space to draw a tree, use an easel or mural paper on the end of a shelving unit. It doesn’t require staff to have any particular artistic skills either; get a leaf template
off the internet and draw a stick skeleton of a tree. The real beauty in this display is the participation of the children and their drawings and ideas. We had many humorous as well as heartfelt entries. Children expressed their gratitude for family and home as well as specific gratefulness for bacon or their cabin. The possibilities are endless. The Gratitude Tree display created a lot of buzz in the library as children brought their families in to read their contributions and see the display. Adults just browsing in the library also enjoyed pausing and reading the contributions, which often resulted in chuckles or quiet smiles. The result was that many people in the library inadvertently benefited from our gratitude tree and perhaps even took a moment to individually contemplate what they were grateful for. The visual impact of the tree was stunning with multicoloured leaves filling its branches to create a full and lush, all-encompassing spectacle. Families and the community enjoyed ownership in the display. Our anticipated outcome of creating an opportunity for children to reflect on gratitude was achieved, with the added bonus of creating a beautiful visual art display as a product of this conversation. I felt very grateful for our community, library and the gift of gratitude. Try it, I guarantee your library will enjoy this gift of gratitude too!
Susan Pierce is a Customer Services Librarian for Parksville, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Port Alice, Sointula, and Woss Branches at the Vancouver Island Regional Library. WINTER 2016 | YAACING 33
How I Use Ukulele in Storytime By April Ens
I starting bringing my ukulele into the library started singing the first opening song before I about four years ago, and over time I’ve been even introduce myself, and it’s been a great gentle steadily increasing my repertoire and confidence. way of bringing everyone together. But all you need to get started is a couple chords Selectively and the courage to try. Storytime is a very forgiving space. Here’s how I play: I don’t play my instrument every time we sing. It’s one of many tools on the storytime shelf. I Imperfectly love to use puppets, felt stories, shakers, scarves, I can only sing and play in front of a crowd song cubes, and other props during my programs. if I keep it simple and don’t bother with fancy There isn’t room for everything in a 30-minute strumming. Once in a while a toddler detunes toddlertime. I find that if I play too many songs the ukulele in between songs, and no one cares. on the ukulele it detracts from the interactiveness Sometimes I fumble a few chords, and we just of the rest of the program, which is counter to my keep singing. I like to think that imperfect music entire storytime philosophy. teaches the listeners that they don’t have to be Predictably perfect when they’re exploring music, especially with their own child. I use the same general structure for my storytimes every week. Repetition and routine are Unmemorized comforting to children, and help their amazing If you can, I encourage you to memorize your brains learn. These days I include the same songs before playing them in public. But if I made opening and closing songs played on ukulele, with this a prerequisite, I’d never play my ukulele. I the possibility of another song or two in the body only have a few songs completely and confidently of the program. memorized, so I practice enough to be very Multimodally familiar with all the transitions and chords, and I print myself a cheat sheet to set at my feet. I make Repetition with variation strengthens early the text nice and big so I can just glance down literacy experiences. With this in mind, I might whenever I need a reminder. present the same song in multiple ways over a storytime season, using felt stories, puppets, To Signal a Transition ukulele, shaker eggs or singalong books. Often I’ll Strumming an instrument signals to the play the ukulele alongside the felt story to create audience that it’s time to pay attention. And if you an enriched environment and appeal to different have a large crowd, it’s a lot easier on the voice learning preferences. than trying to speak over everyone. Lately, I’ve 34 YAACING | WINTER 2016
And what about you? How do you use the ukulele at storytime? If you’re looking for simple chords to play at storytime, come visit me at StorytimeUkulele. wordpress.com, where this piece was originally shared. I’m collecting contemporary, classic, and piggyback songs. And if you have favourite storytime songs I haven’t posted yet, please send them my way! I love to learn new tunes. You can contact me at email@example.com or @storytimeuke on twitter.
April Ens is a Children’s Librarian at the Vancouver Public Library.
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 35
Introduction to Raspberry Pi By Taren Urquhart
On a daily basis I see the words “Raspberry Pi” splashed across library homepages. Community boards feature classes where children can learn “Scratch” and “Python” while using a Raspberry Pi. What do all these strange words mean and how are they relevant to children in a library and community space? As stated on the FAQ page at www.raspberrypi.org: The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming. This definition is repeated over and over again in media reports, and yet it gives little information about the physical product or how it is used as a programming tool.
What is a Raspberry Pi? Also known as a Raspi or RPi, the Raspberry Pi is a simplified computer board measuring 9 cm by 5.5 cm. Several different models are available, ranging in price from $35 USD to $60 CAD, but all containing the same basic components that most PC users are familiar with:
power jack for smartphone • HDMI—link to television or computer monitor • RCA video and audio jacks—alternative means of audio visual connection • SD card slot—download operating system • 26 or 40 general-purpose input/output pins (GPIO)—connectors to plug in other electronic equipment 256 to 512 MB of RAM—amount of memory Setting Up a Raspberry Pi, a short nine-minute YouTube video presented by Christopher Barnatt, introduces the working parts of the Raspberry Pi, how to build a DIY case, and basic instructions on how to download software. Out of the box, a Raspberry Pi still requires some extra equipment to get up and running, including SD card, power supply, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. The Linux-based operating system (an open-source alternative to Windows and Mac OSX) called Raspbian, can be downloaded onto an SD card from the Raspberry Pi website and uploaded into the device.
Who created the Raspberry Pi and • Ethernet Network port—connects to the why? Internet
The Raspberry Pi project began in 2006, at the University of Cambridge’s Computer • USB ports—connects to other devices Laboratory (UK) headed by Eben Upton. The use (keyboard, mouse, printer, etc.) of “Raspberry” stemmed from the long tradition • Micro USB power connector—similar to of using fruit names in computer companies.
36 YAACING | WINTER 2016
A Raspberry Pi computer (image from YouTube video “Setting Up a Raspberry Pi.”)
“Pi” was an abbreviation of “Python”, which was launch of the first model in February of 2012, over originally thought to be the only programming 1 million Pi’s have been sold all over the world. language available for a less powerful computer platform. How can schools and libraries use Concerned about the lack of programming in schools and the inability of the average child hobbyist to hack their expensive home computer, the Raspberry Pi Foundation (a charity not a private company) set out to create an inexpensive tool that could introduce children, teachers, and home inventors to the basics of computer sciences. Mullins, from the Foundation explains that today’s desktop computers and laptops make programming difficult. “Computers are delivered with a closed platform so it’s difficult to do anything with them except consume,” he says. (Andrews 34) Young computer enthusiasts need a learning tool to promote and invigorate the pioneering spirit of the 1980’s, and create the next generation of programmers and developers. There was a growing concern among the professional computing community about the diminishing interest in computer science within the tinkering public and the school curriculum. They found that computer literacy within Britain was focused more on word processing, spreadsheets, databases and typing skills. The first batch of 10,000 Raspberry Pi’s sold out almost immediately and since the
the Raspberry Pi as an educational tool? You have a Raspberry Pi and all its external paraphernalia (case, monitor, mouse, keyboard, power cord, SD card, etc.)—now what? Wes Holing has posted a useful article on Techsoup for Libraries giving practical advice for educators and librarians just beginning their adventure with Raspberry Pi. The names of several distributors are listed along with links to guides on what to look for when buying your first Pi and go-to sites for tutorials and projects. One of the best print resources I found was by Carrie Anne Philbin. Her book Adventures in Raspberry Pi offers the firsttime user a great introduction on how to install and configure software, in addition to 9 projects for different skill levels. Both Holing and Philbin discuss using your Raspberry Pi in tandem with a program called Scratch. Scratch, also the name of the program’s movable mascot, was developed for younger school children by researchers at MIT. It is widely used in schools and lets children program ⊲⊲⊲
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 37
FEATURES animations and games through a visual interface. Younger pupils can choose from a library of prewritten codes which they drag and drop within the program. The list of commands they create is essentially a computer program that instructs Scratch, the dancing cat character, to move and talk, thus impacting an object on the screen and creating animation within a short amount of time. “Python” is another dynamic programming language used by children in conjunction with the Raspberry Pi.
• RaspberryPi.org—the go to place for all things Raspberry Pi. Where to find downloadable operating systems, informational videos, quick-start guides, and help forums. • Whaleygeek—blog and visual guide to start a Raspberry Pi club (specifically for educators) • The MagPi—official Raspberry Pi magazine (free PDF downloads)
The inclusion of Raspberry Pi into libraries across Canada is a recent phenomenon, thus there are few case studies reporting on the benefits, successes and/or failures of implementing this computer tool. After speaking with several different instructors and librarians, most were confident that if given enough dedicated practice time, along with the ability to access online resources, they could teach the basics of Pi with little programming experience. As one librarian Example of Scratch programing screen stated, coding, like many things in life, can be very used in conjunction with Raspberry Pi. time consuming and frustrating. Teaching the Notice the drag-and-drop commands fundamentals of coding requires close attention to the left of the screen. to detail, creativity, problem solving, and how to Obviously, many instructors and library appreciate possible failure as a step forward. professionals will be new to coding technology Some believe that while the Pi is an interesting and have limited experience setting up the physical equipment. Don’t let the lack of owning a concept and very attractive for media headlines, Raspberry Pi dissuade you from trying some basic it is not going to transform children who are computer coding. Try Scratch for free online (no not interested in computers into people who are. Raspberry Pi needed) or a simpler version called However, in a world of touch screens and smart Pencil Code, intended for younger users or older phones, where few young people (or adults) library professionals. Pencil Code is simple to understand “how things work,” isn’t the very act learn and may remind others of my generation of a of introducing people to a naked computer and its time when computer programming meant moving parts, a small step towards understanding what is a small green glowing turtle around the screen of going on under the sleek metallic iPad case. Not all who play with Raspberry Pi are going to become a 1980’s Apple II E computer. programmers and chip designers, but providing There are a host of online resources to help the catalyst for new ideas has always been at the educators and library professionals with strategies heart of libraries and the Maker Movement. If only for purchasing, configuring and using Raspberry one child discovers an aptitude for programming Pi’s within their classrooms: 38 YAACING | WINTER 2016
The MagPi. Raspberrypi.org, 2015. Web. 3 Apr. when tinkering with a Pi, then the Raspberry Pi Foundation considers their project initiative a 2015. http://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/ success. Mann, Charles C. “Eben Upton.” Technology Review 115.5 (2012): 42-43. Academic Search Works Cited Premier. Web. 4 Apr. 2015. Andrews, Crispin. “Easyaspi.” Engineering & Technology 8.3 (2013): 34-37. Academic Search Mitchell, G. “The Raspberry Pi Single-Board Premier. Web. 4 Apr. 2015. Computer Will Revolutionize Computer Science Teaching.” Engineering & Technology 7.3 (2012): Barnatt, Christopher. “Raspberry Pi Model B+.” 26. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Apr. 2015. YouTube. ExplainingComputers, 25 July 2014. Web. 3 Apr. 2015. < https://www.youtube.com/ Philbin, Carrie Anne. Adventures in Raspberry watch?v=SYR35_AMYL8> Pi. West Sussex: Wiley, 2014. Print. Barnatt, Christopher. “Setting Up a Raspberry Pi.” YouTube. ExplainingComputers, 18 Oct. 2013. Web. 3 Apr. 2015.< https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=U7Dj7R8bu4k> Bizony, P. “The Raspberry Pi Single-Board Computer Won’t Revolutionise Computer Science Teaching.” Engineering & Technology 7.3 (2012): 27. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Apr. 2015. Edwards, Chris. “Not-So-Humble Raspberry Pi Gets Big Ideas.” Engineering & Technology 8.3 (2013): 30-33. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Apr. 2015. Holing, Wes. “Raspberry Pi for Educators and Librarians.” Techsoup for Librarians, 28 July 2014. Web. 3 Apr. 2015.< http://www. techsoupforlibraries.org/blog/raspberry-pi-for educators-and-librarians Jaseman. “The Pioneers: The story of how the Raspberry Pi computer came to be.” The MagPi, 1.5 (2012): 6-8. Web. 4 Apr. 2015. < http://www. raspberrypi.org/magpiissues/MagPi01.pdf> “Just Bought a Raspberry Pi? 11 Things You Need to Know”. YouTube. MakeUseOf, 29 May 2014. Web. 3 Apr. 2015. < https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=vw2nTpLFof8>
“Raspberry Pi-Based Kits Offer Challenges and Fun.” Engineering & Technology 9.9 (2014): 38-39. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Apr. 2015. RaspberryPi.org. Raspberry Pi Foundation, 2015. Web. 3 Apr. 2015. http://www.raspberrypi. org Richardson, Matt and Shawn Wallace. Getting Started with Raspberry Pi. California: MakerMedia, 2013. Print. Schiller, Nicholas. “Adventures with Raspberry Pi: A Librarian’s Introduction.” ACRL TechConnect Blog, 22 April 2013. Web. 3 Apr. 2015. http://acrl.ala.org/techconnect/?p=2962 Terlaga, Amy. “Take a Look at the Raspberry Pi – Library Technology Buzz.” Public Libraries Online: News & Opinion, 23 Aug. 2013. Web. 3 Apr. 2015.<http://publiclibrariesonline. org/2013/08/take-a-look-at-the-raspberry-pilibrary technology-buzz/>
Taren Urquhart is a Library Technician at the West Vancouver Memorial Library, Douglas College Library, and Langara College Library. WINTER 2016 | YAACING 39
BOOK REVIEWS The Bathing Costume, Or, The Worst Vacation of My Life Reviewed by Ana Calabresi Moundlic, C. (2013). The Bathing Costume, Or, The Worst Vacation of My Life. New York, New York: Enchanted Lion Books. At 8 years old, this is the first time Myron is going away on vacation without his parents. Myron (a.k.a. Ronnie) and his older brother, whom he hates, are spending one week with their grandparents in the country while their parents are moving to a new apartment. Ronnie feels miserable. He is afraid of his huge and serious grandfather, and he doesnâ€™t get along with his cousins. To make things worse, his mother gave him his older brotherâ€™s swim wear, which is still too big for Ronnie and keeps falling off when they go to the pool. After a few days, when he is finally enjoying himself, he works up the courage to jump from the 10-foot diving board, a family tradition for everyone when they turn 8, despite the embarrassment of his swimwear falling off. It is a funny, warming, and beautifully illustrated book about courage and growing up. Audience: 6+
40 YAACING | WINTER 2016
Serafinaâ€™s Promise Reviewed by Ana Calabresi Burg, A. E. (2013). Serafinaâ€™s Promise. New York, New York: Scholastic Press. This is a middle-grade novel written in verse that tells the story of Serafina, a girl who lives in a shack outside Port-au-Prince in Haiti. Serafina has a dream: to become a doctor when she grows up. While she helps her family with house chores all day long, she thinks about ways to save money and convince her mother she needs to go to school. The family goes through severe hardship: poverty and illness. Just when she is finally on her way to fulfill her dream, disaster strikes, but she proves her strong will to go forward and never give up. This book addresses issues that we, in Canada, take for granted. Access to education and universal health care are basic needs for people, and our children may not know that kids in other parts of the world are not as lucky. The text in verse emphasizes the emotions of the main character, making the reader feel empathy. This is a book that promotes diversity and fosters compassion. Audience: Middle grades
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 41
Carry On Reviewed by Alison Moore Rowell, Rainbow. (2015). Carry On. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin. Carry On, Rainbow Rowell’s latest and eagerly anticipated YA novel is an absolute treat. A love letter to fanfiction readers and writers, Carry On is an in-depth take on the fictional Gemma T. Leslie series that features heavily in Rowell’s 2014 novel Fangirl. As with any solid YA fantasy, Carry On has magic, action, adventure, and romance in spades. While an obvious parody of Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the perpetual onslaught of so-bad-they’re-good pop culture puns means that Carry On evokes the rollicking absurdity of Fforde’s Dragonslayer series as well. The friendship-turned-romance between hopeless wizard Simon Snow and his hopelessly-in-love vampire roommate Baz is warm and believable—in other words, classic Rowell— and brings to mind another authentic LGBT teen romance, Sáenz’ Aristotle and Dante. While Carry On is a lot of fun, it’s definitely not for the uninitiated. YA fantasy and/or romance enthusiasts, fanfiction readers, and lovers of Rowell’s other novels will find everything they hoped for and more here; those who gave Potter a miss could probably forgo this too. Audience: Teens/13+
42 YAACING | WINTER 2016
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 Spring 2016 issue of YAACING is February 15, 2016. Email your submissions to the editors at YAACING@gmail.com.
WINTER 2016 | YAACING 43