YA Clicks October 2010

Just for You: Library Blogs

Rebecca Purdy and the Web Surfers from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

October 2010

There are so many blogs of interest to young adult librarians how do you choose which ones to follow?  In lieu of individual Kudos this month, the Web Surfers and I are giving a great, big, cumulative Kudos to all of the following librarian blogs including one non-library blog we feel you shouldn’t miss!

The Book Smugglers

http://thebooksmugglers.com/

The Book Smugglers

5I 5R 5U

M J S Adult

Ana and Thea, the Book Smugglers, provide honest, in-depth book reviews as well as occasional author interviews.  Each review includes a “Notable Quotes/Parts” section, a rating on a scale 1-10 clearly explained in the margins, and the revelatory “How did I get this book” so you can tell which books came free from the publisher.  If they don’t like a book, they’re not afraid to say it AND, just as importantly, tell you why!

Bookshelves of Doom

http://bookshelvesofdoom.blogs.com/

Leila Roy

5I 5R 4U

S Adult

The minute the site appears you know you have found something special and there is a unique sense of humor behind it.  The title header shows Lewis Carroll’s Alice with her arm in a defensive position and a look of consternation as books fly towards her.  The text is even funnier.  For example, Janet Evanovich is likened to, “the literary equivalent of cotton candy ¹” The footnote explains “Crappy cotton candy, I mean, not awesomely delicious maple cotton candy²” and I leave it to you to discover where the 2nd footnote leads.  The blog itself covers books and authors for all ages, includes reviews as well as links to news, videos, and quotes and insights from the authors themselves.

The Practical Librarian

http://practicallibrarian.blogspot.com/

Mary Kelly

5I 3R 5U

Adult

While not specific to young adult services, this site has much to offer anyone working the reference desk.  Among many topics you will find information, thoughts and practical solutions on weeding, bibliographic instruction and dealing with change.  The writing is well, practical; Kelly is straight-forward and conveys each point clearly.  Readers are left with ideas they can implement immediately.

Shelf Life

http://shelf-life.ew.com/

Entertainment Weekly

5I 5R 5U

J S Adult

I hate to say it, but I was surprised that Entertainment Weekly had such a great book blog.  However, judging from all of the comments about their piece on Mockingjay I’m a little late to the party!  The site is not exclusively dedicated to young adult literature, but that is a good thing because neither are most teens.  For example, recent posts range from Oprah’s latest book club pick to a self-help book by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter.  There’s also a popular culture edge to the blog that behooves anyone working with this population; take a look.

Welcome to My Tweendom

http://tweendom.blogspot.com/

Stacy Dillon

5I 5R 5U

M J Adult

As you have probably guessed, this blog’s focus is books for tweens.  Dillon is a school librarian and incorporates her personal experience at the end of each detailed reviews.  For example, in her review of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda she assures anyone who is skeptical about the believability of a middle school student “pulling off a month of wearing an origami Yoda puppet” that “this is exactly the kind of thing that goes on in the cafeteria and hallways.”  This perspective makes her blog an invaluable resource.

The YA YA YAs

http://theyayayas.wordpress.com/

Various Librarians

5I 5R 5U

S Adult

The clever title of this blog makes it clear: it’s teen services all the way!  There is more than one blogger on this site providing frequent well-written posts with distinctive voices.  Book reviews combine with book related news and information as well as the occasional program suggestion!  This blog is not only of interest to anyone who loves YA literature, but is looking for practical information to use on the frontlines.

The Graphic Classroom

http://graphicclassroom.blogspot.com/

Review of graphic novels and comics.

Hip Librarian’s Book Blog

http://hiplibrariansbookblog.blog-city.com/

Home Girl’s Book Blog

http://j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/

Young adult book reviews.

Through YA Eyes

Guys Lit Wire

http://guyslitwire.blogspot.com/

Various Librarians

5I 4R 5U

J S Adult

In the craze of supernatural romances and cutesy chick flicks, one has to wonder which new books boys between the ages of 12 and 20 are reading.  On Guys Lit Wire, bloggers find and discuss these elusive titles for teenage boys and “the people who care about them.”  However, this shouldn’t put off girls or non-teenagers:  the blog and many of the titles mentioned have appeal for wide audiences.  With groups like “Flying Cars and Lost Cities” and “From Slam to Sonnets,” Guys Lit Wire categorizes promising books for viewers, making it easy to read and navigate.  Each title is accompanied by a picture, a brief account of the author’s past experience, a summary/teaser, and some commentary from the blogger.  Often the reviews are funny and engaging.  The bloggers promise to update the blog every day Monday through Friday, a goal which they fulfill reliably, keeping the site fresh.  Also included are a list of links to favorite authors’ blogs, blogs for teenage girls, and blogs for world news.  Layout is perhaps more “masculine” themed, but it is certainly not overly much, and is easy to follow and use.  This site is good for both professional librarians and the leisure reader looking for a solid YA book to read.  With a fun taste in books and a slightly quirky method of presenting them, Guys Lit Wire gives any reader information on promising titles.—Elizabeth Chase

Reading Rants

http://www.readingrants.org/

Jennifer Hubert Swan

J S

5I 5R 5U

Have you ever walked through a library, in a school or elsewhere, trying to find an interesting book to read but coming up empty-handed? Well say goodbye to the endless days of searching and greet Reading Rants, an online blog checking out new or popular books available to teens. Reading Rants offers a plethora of information about each and every featured book, from the best and worst aspects to vivid depictions of the plot and storyline. The creator uses funny, interesting, and colorful language to keep the reader’s attention and bring out her opinions of the books. The creator has the ability to intrigue the reader while dishing out bountiful writings and opinions with her own twist and flare. Aesthetically, the page is great. Reading Rants’ simple design offers an attractive, yet appropriate, setting for a literature-based blog. Any person trying to find the fun side of reading will find it here. Teens can have fun while searching and reading about books. Finally, the site is incredibly easy to use. Each individual post can be easily told apart and is extremely organized. All of the links are along the left-hand side and divided into separate sections, from blog dates to blog topics, from FAQ’s to other great book blogs.  Reading Rantsprovides a fun and useful environment to search for the books. Any teen book-lover should take a look at this fascinating Web site.—Chris Yang

Rebecca Purdy is the Youth Services Manager at the Headquarters Library of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system in Fredericksburg, VA.  The Web Surfers are a collection of teens willing to volunteer some of their time to see their names in print and help young adult librarians find good sites for teens.

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