Welcome to the New iYouth Officers

Hello everyone! Please put your hands together for the new iYouth Officers of 2016-2017.


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We are all very excited to lead iYouth and represent the voices of all students interested in working with youth. Our goals are to connect students with the professional world through field trips, guest speakers, and workshops.

You can come meet us at the iHeART poetry event on April 11th! Have a great Spring Break everyone!


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10 DiVERSE Books to Read Over Spring Break

April is National Poetry Month!

To celebrate, iArts, ALISS, iEquality, and iYouth will be co-sponsoring the annual iHeART Poetry event. It is on Monday, April 11th, from 7-9PM. Our theme is “We Need DiVERSE Books!”

Here’s an article in the Daily about last year’s iHeART Poetry Night.

In preparation for the event, we would like all of you to read some books written in verse. If you find a poem you loved, perform it during the open mic!

We know you will be reading over Spring Break anyway, why not explore a little? Even if you are not able to come to the event, read these books anyway. I promise there will be at least one that will touch your heart.

(Each of these books include a description from Novelist because I haven’t read all of these. However, they are all on my list for Spring Break! Novelist is an awesome tool for reader’s advisory in public libraries but also just for yourself. If your local library has this resource, check it out!)

Ready for the diVERSE books on my Spring Break list?

Here are 5 Chapter Books written in verse:

1) The Crossover by Kwame Alexander


Don’t be fooled by the basketball cover. “Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.” This novel is emotionally intense and moving.

3) Red Butterfly by A.L. Sonnichsen


I put this one on my holds list after learning it was about an orphan with a deformed hand. This one isn’t the most popular on this list but I’m hoping it’s a gem. “In China, a foundling girl with a deformed hand raised in secret by an American woman must navigate China’s strict adoption system when she is torn away from the only family she has ever known.”

3) The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney


This one is also on my holds list because it is supposed to delve into really tough subject matter. I will probably cry reading this one over Sprink Break. “After her tribal village is attacked by militants, Amira, a young Sudanese girl, must flee to safety at a refugee camp, where she finds hope and the chance to pursue an education in the form of a single red pencil and the friendship and encouragement of a wise elder”

4) Inside Out and Back Again by Thanha Lai


“Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.” I’ve been so excited to read this one. It’s supposed to have a funny element thrown in through the narrative of Ha. She comes to America by boat, deals with bullies at school, and ends up finding an incredible mentor.

5) Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson


“In vivid poems that reflect the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, an award-winning author shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.” I started reading this during my lunch break yesterday. I think I found the poem I want to read from in the 2nd or 3rd chapter. You can probably guess which one!


Here are 5 YA books written in verse:

1) Audacity by Melanie Crowder


“”A historical fiction novel in verse detailing the life of Clara Lemlich and her struggle for women’s labor rights in the early 20th century in New York.” Told by a strong female character who is loosely based on the life of Clara Lemlich Shavelson, the leader of New York shirtwaist strike of 1909. Clara and her family are Jewish Russians who flee the anti-Semitism of turn-of-the-century Russia to find a better life in America. She is unable to gain the education she desires, because she is forced to work in a sweatshop, and she can’t rise above her given status as an immigrant worker because foreign women are taught only rudimentary English.

Inside I am anything

but fresh off the boat.

I have been ready for this


all my life

2) Crank by Ellen Hopkins


“Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter, but she meets a boy who introduces her to drugs  and becomes a very different person, struggling to control her life and her mind.” It isn’t just Crystal Meth that has her hooked. She’s going down a downward spiral with boys too. If you are looking for a suspenseful read, this is it!


3) 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

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“In a dystopian future where gender selection has led to girls outnumbering boys 5 to 1 in India. Marriage is arranged based on a series of tests. It’s Sudasa’s turn to pick a husband through this ‘fair’ method, but she’s not sure she wants to be a part of it”. How much does your culture influence how you live your life? Should it? These are questions I still have to ponder today.

4) Love, dishonor, marry, die, cherish, perish by David Rakoff


“The NPR radio essayist and award-winning author of Fraud presents an edgy LGBTQ+ novel in verse that traverses the experiences of characters linked by acts of generosity or cruelty throughout major historical events of the 20th century.” This novel is like a time machine. Each chapter explores a different person’s life in a different time period.

5) Sold by Patricia McCormick

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“When she is tricked by her stepfather and sold into prostitution, thirteen-year-old Lakshmi becomes submerged in a nightmare where her only comfort is the friendship she forms with the other girls, which helps her survive and eventually escape.” The verse in this book is a bit longer than the other 9 books in this list. However, it’s so powerful that it will engage the audience throughout an open mic section.

Have you read some of these? Are there others that you would recommend we read over Spring Break too? Tell us!

I’ll see you all at the iHeART Poetry event on April 11th. Posters will be available soon!





Booktalking like a Boss

Booktalking.  We’ve all heard about it.  We all know it is important.  But are we all prepared to do it?


For a little bit of backstory, I will be one of the presenters at the WLA Conference this year for the CAYAS (Children and Young Adult Services) Booktalking the Best presentation.  It is a presentation in which library students and professionals give booktalks about some of their favorite recent books at the Washington Library Association’s annual conference.

Have I given a professional, official book talk before?  NO!  Am I nervous?  You bet your socks I am!  But instead of hiding under a blanket, I’ve decided to tackle this head on.  I figured some of you might be in the position of booktalking for the first time, so I thought I’d take you along for the ride as I start researching how I am going to booktalk the books I chose.



Not sure where to begin?


Sometimes the hardest part is getting started.  I know I’ve been somewhat actively avoiding thinking about these booktalks for about a month now, unsure of where to start. So in this blogpost, I am going to share some ideas to help get us started.  This list is certainly not exhaustive of all possibilities.

Booktalks are essentially an advertisement for a book.  So just like those clever Super Bowl adds, these booktalks have to be catchy! By catchy, I mean–what is the hook?  What is going to make the potential reader stop and listen in?  It is important to establish some sort of intrigue.  This can be done in a couple of ways.


  1. A quote from the book (pick something ear-catching)
    • “Eleanor was right.  She never looked nice.  She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” -Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
  2. Describe a scene
    • Imagine you’re in a race with your friends, running from the car to see who can get to the door of your house first.  You’re in the lead, you can hear your friends giggling.  You feel the rush of the wind on your face, you’re flying, no…no…you’re not flying, you’re falling, you’re falling flat on your face.  Pain.  Blood.  Screams.  Mom?  You see people all around you, in a second you’re mom is there but you can’t understand why she is asking people to look through the grass.  What are they looking for?  Your head is swirling, you try to talk, but realize, with a sudden panic as your mouth tries to form the words that what they are looking for are your two front teeth, which are somehow missing from your mouth. – inspired by Raina Telgemeier, Smile
  3. Ask a question
    • What do you think would be the first thing YOU would notice if you went outside your house for the first time since you were a baby? – inspired by Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything
  4. Do something different
    • This is a chance to shock, surprise, or jolt the audience into attention! You could draw something, you could bring up an image, you could make them enact part of the book, you could even…SING!  Be creative–showing that you’re interacting with the book in a fun and exciting way will get your potential readers excited as well.

Spoiler Alert: I am totally going to sing for one of mine!


Here are two links to lots of videos of booktalks if you are interested seeing some examples:

Scholastic has several videos of booktalks that do a great job of telling the reader what the story is about.

Check out this YouTube playlist of a bunch of librarians doing booktalks.


This blog was written by Katie Riley. She is a first year online MLIS student.  As a former 6th grade English teacher, she love working with kids but likes the library setting rather than a traditional classroom. She is working toward the school library media endorsement. She love kids books–from farting aliens to swooning zombies–she can’t get enough!  When she is not tearing up over a great middle grade read,  she is usually playing with her crazy dog Soliloquy (Lily for short), making up silly songs, or writing some awesome snail mail to friends and family.  She excited to be a part of iYouth and to help create, discover, and learn!

What I’m reading now: The Diviners by Libba Bray

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