What I Did:
Like many of my programs, this one was born on Pinterest. I saw this sweet pin of waffle sushi, and I definitely thought it was something that sounded fun (and delicious!) Even though I have a solid budget for teen programming, though, I just couldn’t justify buying a pizzelle maker that we would probably only use once. I can think of a hundred uses for an electric skillet, though, so I figured we could just use pancakes instead of waffles and it would still be delicious!
What I Bought:
$20 electric skillet
$4 for two containers of whipped cream cheese – one plain and one berry
$2 for complete pancake mix (generic, yo!)
$1 for a spatula (you might already have one of these on hand if you do cooking programs a lot!)
$2 for some syrup
$2 for a container of strawberries
$2 for a bunch of bananas
Total, about $33 for supplies, with about two thirds of that going toward equipment (the skillet and the spatula) that we can use again and again. If you do cooking programs with your teens already, you might have these things on hand, which would make this a pretty darn cheap program.
How It Went:
This was my first Anime Club since school is back in session; we are on programming pause for August to give us time to recover. I was a little scared that not many teens would show up – what if my healthy summer numbers were just a fluke? What if the teens hated me? WHAT IF I’M A SMELLY LOSER?
Welp, apparently none of that is true. We had a nice crowd of about 10 teens, with a few newcomers and a good bunch of regulars. I had a teen help me measure out the mix and water (life skills!); we made sure to add a little more water than suggested to make a loose batter for better rolling. I set a teen with some knife skills to cutting the strawberries and bannanas into slices. I manned the skillet, and my flipping skills were put to the test. Some of the pancakes were more…beautiful…than others, but all were tasty. The teens had a lot of fun spreading the cream cheese on their pancakes and adding fruit. They also had a lot of fun mocking my flipping failures, but that’s life. Some teens ended up making more pancake taco, but hey, it’s still delicious in my book!
I was inspired to do this week’s Drop In and Hang Out by a post over at the always awesome Library as Incubator Project. Have you seen this site yet? It’s great, and full of ideas about how to incorporate more art, science, and awesome into library services.
Anyhow, this is a super easy passive program! Just print some of the templates linked in the Library as Incubator Project, and put them out with scissors, hole punches, and yarn. This is a great way to use up some of the random yarn that tends to accumulate in library craft closets. I also made a quick sign that instructed teens how to put it together (Cut. Fold. Punch. Tie.) and put out some finished examples.
That’s it! If you’re feeling really frisky, you can also put out blank templates and encourage teens to draw their own thaumatropes. This is also a great place to sneak in some books on optical illusions.
Easy peasy mac and cheesy – and free! Another easy passive program from me to you!
I’m working on stepping up our reader’s advisory materials that live in the teen area. I know lots of teens don’t ask for help when they’re looking for books, either because they don’t know we can help them find books, or they’re too shy. I started with We Were Liars because I know it was a big read last summer, and I am imagining at least some teens end up in the library in June and haven’t read anything for fun since the previous year. We Were Liars is also a slippery book to find readalikes for, since it’s a fairly unique and hard to pin down title.
If you like the poster, you can download the PDF of the poster here here. You can also grab a PDF of the matching bookmarks here.
Do you have RA or book suggestion materials up in your teen area? What have you found works?
I am a HUGE Artemis Fowl fan. So, despite the fact that I found Unplugged, Eoin Colfer’s adult novel, not to my taste, I was excited that he had a new young adult series coming out. Given my growing stack of summer To Reads, I decided I’d knock it out in audio form, and quickly downloaded it. First of all, let me say that I found the narration quite good. Maxwell Caulfield does an excellent job with the many accents and characters, and his pacing is excellent.
As for the book, well, I can’t say I was very impressed. It’s a fine time travel novel, but it’s definitely not outstanding. I never felt sympathetic toward any of the characters, which made it hard to care if they lived or died. There is plenty of action in this book, though. Perhaps a little too much — if not for the sometimes brutal violence sprinkled throughout, it would be an excellent tween crossover title. Since there is some gore and torture, though, I wouldn’t feel super comfortable giving this book to a tween who is a bit tenderhearted.
One super-minor thing that bugged me like crazy was the fact that Chevron, one of the main characters, never uses contractions. Given that she’s a Native American, it seemed a little weird and old-fashioned – almost like people who think that all Native Americans speak in broken English with halting grammar. I’m pretty sure that’s not what Eoin Colfer intended, but that’s the way it read to me.
This book wasn’t very long, but it seemed to take me forever to get through it. I think that, Artemis Fowl notwithstanding, Eoin Colfer’s style just isn’t my favorite. I definitely won’t be picking up the next book in the series, although I would recommend it to teens who are looking for a little Victorian-time-travel-action.
I figure since I’m reading lots of young adult books anyway, I’d let you guys know what I thought of ’em! So, I’m going to start posting a weekly YA Book review, just for something a little different.
One of the strangest and most engaging books I’ve read so far this year, Teeth by Hanna Moskowitz isn’t like anything else on the shelves.
Rudy had the most normal of normal lives. That is, until his family moves to a strange island populated with magical fish that have the power to heal. Why does a young family need to live on an isolated and desolate island with healing fish? Because Rudy’s little brother is dying at the ripe old age of three. Lonely and bored and being driven half-mad by the screaming sea, Rudy is desperate for something to do. He didn’t expect that something to come in the form of a fishboy. Nothing like the mythical mermaids you know, Teeth is angry and freakish and completely enchanting to Ruby. But how can Ruby balance out Teeth’s desire to save the magical fish with his brother’s need to live?
This book is incredibly thought provoking and heartbreaking. Full of the most difficult decisions these characters will ever have to make, this magical realism title offers no easy answers. Even if you’ve read every single paranormal romance about creatures and people trapped between two worlds, you’ve never read anything like this.
Recommended for folks who like their stories dark, or those who are looking for truly strange and innovative modern fairy tales.