Keep Teens Reading

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Learning CAN be fun! Print Email


With the push for STEM and Next Gen Science, there are lots of new products help young and old alike learn about electronics, circuitry and still have fun. 

Here’s one we hear great things about: Makey Makey

Imagine turning your computer into a piano and then use bananas to play it.  Sounds wacky, but it really is a brilliant, simple invention kit that any age can use.  Makey Makey is a circuit board that connects to your computer and then turns everyday objects into touchpads.   They call it an invention kit for the 21st century.  We just call it a ton of fun.  Learn more at 

-- Tamar

Back to School Print Email

John Green has a message for teens going back to school that we thought was worth sharing.  

“Regardless of where you live, primary education became a requirement sometime after 1775,” he said. “This 250-year period has been a pretty good run for humans — featuring, you know, steam engines, the Internet, antibiotics, skyscrapers, a stunning increase in life expectancy, home pizza delivery, water purification plants and landing a freaking Mini Cooper on Mars. Needless to say, this is not a coincidence.” Education, he concluded, “isn’t just about you. Your nation is making an investment in you because they believe that you are worth it. So the next time you’re, like, half-asleep in class, fantasizing about being a kid chosen for a special mission or wizard school or whatever, please remember something: You are special, and you’ve been chosen for a special mission that was denied to 99.9 percent of all humans ever. We need you, we believe in you, and we’re counting on you.”

Thank you John Green! If you students to stay awake, we librarians will stay awake with you.

A Week with Babies on the Brain Print Email
When is the right time to start a family?  Who has it hardest, teen moms or teen dads?  How do we get stereotyped by friends, family and strangers, and how does that change the way we see ourselves?  Does telling a lie matter if you are doing something for the greater good?  All of these questions came up when we spent a week reading aloud and discussing two books about teenage pregnancy at the Juvenile Detention Center.

We read The Pregnancy Project by Gabby Rodriquez the first half of the week and followed it with The First Part Last by Angela Johnson the second half of the week.   Reading these two books side by side ended up working really well.  Our book club was split over which title was their favorite and why.

When asked who had it harder, everyone went with Bobby in The First Place Last, who is doing his best to be a teen dad and finish high school.  When asked if the author Angela Johnson did a good job of getting into the head of a teenage boy, every teenage boy in the group answered “yes.”  The Pregnancy Project was a page turner, all but one of our teens read ahead and everyone had finished it by day three.

One of my favorite parts of book club is that often the guards will drop in to talk about the book.  They try to keep up on what we are reading and always have their own opinions they are willing to share.  It really feels like everyone at the JDC is into book club  that one week a month.

Our snack Friday was pickles and ice cream-you can guess why.

Aubri Keleman

Connecting with Teens Online Print Email

How do authors and publishers connect with teens and build up excitement about their next title?  Take a look at this article from Publisher’s Weekly to get a snapshot of the everse for young bibliovores right now.


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