YA Clicks June 2016
Rebecca Purdy and the Web Surfers from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library
Libraries have always offered opportunities for teens to find and nurture their creative sides through programs as varied as writing workshops, art shows and crafting classes. The making movement has taken this endeavor to new and exciting places, but all of this has occurred in our hometowns. No more! Teens are no longer limited to sharing their talents locally, but can now find a community of creativity online. The Web Surfers make their recommendations for sites and apps that let teens shine all over the world!
Through YA Eyes
5I 5R 3U
M J S A/YA
Deviant Art is a website for you artists out there! It’s a great way to show off your beautiful artwork. Are you interested in photography? What about Anime? Do Arts and Crafts interest you? They have it all! Daily Drawing Challenges test your artistic ability and show you what you are capable of accomplishing. This website helps you get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Deviant Art is a way for you to express yourself and the amazing talent that you have. – Hafsah Hussain
5I 3R 3U
M J S
Are you a Harry Potter fan? Then this website is for you! There are many books available for you to read from people just like you. They have everything from drama, mystery, romance, horror, and humor and even stories based on your favorite characters. There are short stories, novels, novellas, and more, but if you don’t have enough time to read a full book, then you can limit the search by the story’s length. This website also shows you the top ten best stories by showing you which ones were viewed the most. Do you love to write stories? You can write your own creative Harry Potter fan fiction stories and share them here. – Hafsah Hussain
Merlyn’s Pen, Inc.
5I 4R 5U
Are you considering writing a story, but don’t know where to start? Well then, look no further, Merlyn’s Pen is what you’ve been searching for! This really informative website is filled with helpful tips to get you started. If you’re looking for some inspiration or wanting to view some fun, short works, Merlyn’s Pen also has an online library of stories submitted by students. You can search by filtering them by genre, topic, grade level of author, or by the author’s location. The site also runs writing contests frequently and shares links to other writing competitions. Maybe one of the site’s best features, however, is its search engine that can help you find a summer program offering a writing course, or a college that offers the writing program you want. Although this feature is currently not up-to-date, it does plan on adding new programs soon. This website still has many other great options though for the young writing enthusiast. For instance, Merlyn’s Pen has “special collections”- groups of writing samples from students that fit a specific theme, such as humor, or the sea. These collections are hand-picked and very thought-provoking. Whether you’re looking to submit an untold story; find a writing program that meets your desires, or laugh at a funny story shared with the world–Merlyn’s Pen is the site for you! –Eliza Falk
Young Author’s Foundation
5I 5R 5U
Teen Ink is a wonderful website where teenagers can get involved with writing, ranging from fiction and nonfiction to poetry and the many styles that come with each. They also have a section where people can read reviews on books, movies, music, tv shows, and even video games. Art is given importance as well. There is a nice forum where teenagers can get together and share their writing and have live discussions. They also offer a summer program guide where the categories of activities are endless. For a teenager finishing up with high school, college is one of the biggest stressors they can encounter. Teen Ink’s college guide makes the stress easier to handle with their helpful articles, essays, reviews, and links that students can access for all their college-related worries. They also offer a magazine subscription in which people can get their art or writing published in the magazine. Overall it is a great website for teenagers with a variety of things to discover.–Anum Hussain
2I 5R 4U
Tumblr, one of the best social media websites to visit, has content that ranges from amusing videos to somber quotes to thought-provoking facts. In addition, it has a modern and sophisticated appearance, appealing to the young adult crowd. Tumblr has made itself attractive. On the basis of technology, it has correlative gadgets as compared to other websites, including instant messaging, posting, following, and more. Users can post links, photographs, videos, or other kinds of media to the site, and are in a way, running the site by monitoring the content that users post. These links are almost always stable, keeping in mind that the moderators of the site simply view them. Being a social media website that serves well as a creative outlet, Tumblr is very interactive in that users can follow each other, post things, and more. The site’s purpose is not to inform but to entertain thus, it is a worthy choice for recreation. Similarly, Tumblr features simple usability that one can become accustomed to in minutes. In conclusion, Tumblr makes one of the best sites to visit in regards to recreation and entertainment.–Nicole Packard
WP Technology Inc
1I 5R 5U
J S A
Wattpad is a platform for people to read original stories while also having the option to write their own! It’s a community of creative thinkers, and people who love to read and completely free, you just need an e-mail to sign-up and make a username. It’s also available in multiple languages. This site gives undiscovered authors a chance to put their stories out there, and get feedback from their readers. I’d probably give it a +12 rating because there are mild horror/fear themes in some stories, and others could contain things like profanity, alcohol or drug references, and there’s the possibility of some mature or suggestive situations. Wattpad is a lovely place to bring your ideas to life, and to interact with the people who appreciate them. Wattpad allows writers to see how many people read their stories and then read the comments left by said readers. They can also follow other writers and their readers and get notifications when a story updates. Users can also set-up a “library” of stories that they are currently reading, or want to read. And if they don’t want to forget about a good story to re-read, they can create and add it to a list! They offer all different types of genres to choose from, such as Teen Fiction, Romance, Adventure, Humor, FanFiction, Horror, and more! I’ve personally used Wattpad for at least three years, and this is how I’d sum it up: it’s a friendly place to find new things to read by amazingly talented young authors.-Becca Brown
5I 5R 5U
YouTube is a great place for teens and adults to entertain themselves and even look up informational videos. It is a very user-friendly website; everything is conveniently laid out. You can easily stream music, sports videos, gaming, movies, news, and more!An account can easily be created to upload videos, create a playlist, subscribe to other channels so you can stay updated, and much more! You can upload your own videos of anything you like and gain subscribers if people like your content. YouTube recently released an addition to its site, called YouTube Red. For $9.99 a month, users can stream videos for free, save videos for background and offline viewing, and access new original content. – Aribah Hussain
Kudos for Library Teen Sites
Sno-Isle (WA) Libraries
Sno-Isle’s site for teens has great visual appeal. There are a few brief sentences with clickable images highlighting some of their exciting features along with a traditional text menu. No matter how often you click to explore the offerings, it’s easy to tell that you’re still in the teen section because of the distinctive banner at the top of every sub-page. It’s primarily in shades of gray with a particularly eye-catching graphic, a little black and white dog with a talk bubble above his head. The dog’s “comments” change depending on the page. If there’s something to explore, the dog suggests “Check it Out,” and on another he asks the very important question that all teens have “Will there be snacks?” The interactiveness and engagement that the site offers is especially remarkable. There are photos of the teen librarians at each of the branches and Dawn, the teen librarian at the Service Center, has her own page. She shares her favorites from categories such as books, music, movies and games and invites teens to, “challenge me to find a book you would like!” Teens themselves actively contribute as well. The Sno-Isle Teen Vlog Squad share video book reviews and teens are even invited to submit the titles that are their “Top 3 Right Now.” A “Ready to Vote” feature encourages newly minted eighteen year olds to register and tells them how. It even lists ways that teens can be involved in the election process and suggests sites that provide non-partisan analysis of the issues. Sno-Isle has created a dynamic website their teens are sure to enjoy.
Rebecca Purdy is the Youth Services Coordinator for the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system in Fredericksburg, Virginia. 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 their library blogs and Web pages.