2020 Tween Book Group Activities

To say 2020 was strange doesn’t even begin to cover it. But it was definitely an odd year for tween (ages 9-12) book group. First, book group stopped like everything else. We weren’t allowed to hold any programs, not even virtual. Then we brought it back via Zoom, but only with books with eBook or eAudiobook versions in Library2Go or Hoopla. In August, we found our groove (and grant funding) to provide book group boxes that we mailed to participants in advance of the Zoom discussion. As of this writing, we’ve done these book group boxes now for a whole year. (I’ll talk more about the process behind creating those in a separate post.)

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Article Alert: Graphic Nonfiction for Kids

Here’s a quick post to share that I had an article published in Booklist‘s third annual Guide to Graphic Novels in Libraries (July 2021). The piece, “Creating a Graphic Nonfiction Collection for Kids,” is mostly aimed at collection development librarians, but there is a small bibliography of recommended titles that could be useful for anyone.

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Caldecott 2021 Wrap-Up

With the 2021 Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy Banquet come and gone, my term on the Caldecott committee is officially over. What a rollercoaster these last two years have been. But, when I look back on it all, I feel nothing but pride. I’m proud of my fellow committee members (and feel so lucky to have served with them). I’m proud our choices. I’m proud of the process, which went on alongside one of the most difficult years for the whole world.

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Pokémon Day 2021

Did you know every February 27 is Pokémon Day? I didn’t until my library started celebrating it last year. Our Pokémon Day celebration was our last big children’s event before the pandemic sent us all home and pivoting to virtual programs. This year, Pokémon turns 25. I don’t know about your communities, but in mine the Pokémon love is still strong. (I’m also personally and eagerly awaiting the new Switch game in 2022.)

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2020 LGBTQIA+ Starred Review Roundup

It’s time for the 3rd annual roundup of star-studded LGBTQIA+ titles for kids and teens. While stars aren’t everything (especially not to youth), I think it’s interesting to see the types of books that receive praise. Once I have five years of information, I may even write something a bit more in depth. Until then, here is a list!

(Previous lists: 2018, 2019)

A quick comparison from last year’s list shows a decrease in the number of starred reviews: 105 titles received at least 1 star (89 in 2018, 152 in 2019) and 16 titles received 3+ stars (26 in 2018, 38 in 2019). Due to the pandemic, it could be that fewer titles were reviewed or that publication dates were pushed back. Or it could be that, after the boom of LGBTQIA+ publishing in recent years, journals are more reluctant to give stars. For more statistics fun beyond stars and LGBTQIA+ identities, check out the CCBC findings.

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