Teen Read Week 2011

Teen Read Week is historically observed the third week of October, but that week is also the time for our fall state testing.  The library is used for testing, eliminating the opportunity for us to sponsor events that week.  No problem!  Those of us in education understand the importance of flexibility.

This year, our Teen Read Week wasn’t celebrated until the week of Oct.31st – Nov. 4th. The theme of Picture It @your library offered many possibilities and we decided to experiment with all new (to us) ideas and activities.

Bookmark Yourself

To begin the week, we borrowed Cathy Nelson‘s “Bookmark Yourself” idea allowing students to personalize bookmarks (with or without their photos – it’s amazing the number of students who don’t want their picture taken).  The activity was popular and is one we will use again.

Pictionary with Book Titles

One morning before school, we played Pictionary with book titles.  Now, I can’t draw worth a lick, but I have enjoyed playing Pictionary before and hoped our students would, too.  Armed with a whiteboard stand, some Expo markers and an eraser, and 15 book titles written on folded slips of paper, I enticed students (some might say I pounced on them) as soon as they began entering the library at 7:30.  Students wander into and out of the library for the 35 minutes we are open before school and at one point we had fifteen students playing Pictionary.  They loved it! Again, this is an activity we will repeat.

Name that Book Contest and Luncheon

Our piece de resistance was the Name that Book Contest and Luncheon held on Friday. (I first wrote about the activity here but did alter my original plans to only use 2012 SCYABA nominees.)  Again, I bow to Cathy Nelson who got my mental wheels (they are quite rusty) moving when she shared her (brilliant! fantabulous!) Books 2 Pics idea with me this summer.  And I must thank my intern, Sheila Roberts, and my co-librarian, Jay Campbell, for their hard work.  Each created slides that rocked! for five books.

Because our school population has grown considerably but our cafeteria has not, we now have four twenty-five minute lunch periods.  Students signed up to participate and by Thursday afternoon, all slots were filled. (Valuable lesson learned last year during Teen Read Week – line up alternates for the game.)

Students quickly reported to the library when their lunch period began and helped themselves to pizza, soda, and cookies.  While they ate, I explained the rules of Name that Book.  The bidding war began when the first book’s clue was provided.  Only one of the four lunch groups completed the game by identifying (or trying to identify) all fifteen books.  All groups had a blast and said they’d love to play the game again.

Teen Read Week 2011 has come and gone, but the memories created will linger for quite some time.  The thrill of implementing new activities and have them succeed is deeply satisfying.  I love teens and their passion and enthusiasm!

Can YOU Name that Book?  The slide above represents one of the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award nominees for 2012.  Any idea which one?

I Can Name that Book in One Pic!

Can you name that book in 5 pics?

A bit earlier this summer, my good friend Cathy Nelson shared her thoughts with me as she began planning for this fall’s Teen Read Week (sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association). She has several great ideas (see her post here), but the one that immediately captured my attention was her Books2Pics slides.  For each book, she created a slide containing pictures of several of its key elements. Her plan is to have one displayed each day during Teen Read Week and challenge the students to identify the book.

Because the idea looked just plain fun to me, when I finished reading one of the 2012 South Carolina Young Adult Book Award (SCYABA) nominees, I created a Books2Pics slide and shared it with Cathy and another good friend (and the third of the original Three Media Musketeers) Heather Loy, challenging them to “Name that Book.”

After I had created three of these slides (I’m telling you, it’s addictive!), I finally had that light bulb moment.  All of the YA books I am currently reading are from the 2012 SCYABA nominee list (gotta be familiar with those books!).  Why not sponsor a “Name that Book” contest during Teen Read Week similar to our YA Lit Jeopardy contest last year?

Name that Tune

For those of you not old enough to remember the “Name that Tune” game show, during the Bid a Note portion of the show two contestants vied for prizes by identifying songs from just a few notes.  A bidding “war” took place before one contestant had to name the song.  Contestant One would say, “I can name that tune in 5 notes” and Contestant Two would either counter by saying, “I can name that tune in 3 notes” or “Name that tune,” placing Contestant One in the hot seat to name the song from just the number of notes he/she had bid.

Each of the book slides I have created contains five photographs of key elements in the book.  I have used PowerPoint’s Customize Animation feature so that only one photograph will appear on the slide each time the mouse is clicked.  Two students, or teams of students, will challenge each other to “Name that Book” in 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 photograph(s).  Since all books in the game come from the 2012 SCYABA nominees, there will be no need to give individual hints before each new slide.

“Picture It @ Your Library” is this year’s theme for Teen Read Week making this contest a perfect fit.  I can only hope that the students will have as much fun playing “Name that Book” as I have had creating it!

Teen Read Week 2008


The week of October 12-18, 2008, librarians, media specialists, and teens will be celebrating YALSA’s Teen Read Week.  The theme this year is Books with Bite which ties in with the wildly popular Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.

The life of a media specialist is anything but calm and relaxed, so up until the last few days, I hadn’t even toyed with the idea of activities our media center could sponsor.  Today I have been compiling ideas and creating a web page to promote Teen Read Week.

I have found a few ideas available on the Internet that I thought I would share with others who, like me, haven’t been planning for this event for months.  (There is bound to be at least one or two others out there, right?)

YALSA’s Teen Read Week site – An obvious starting point.  Discover how to let your teens vote for the 2008 Teens’ Top Ten list and the 2009 Teen Read Week Theme.  Download the 2008 Teens’ Top Ten Nominations as well as find ideas about how to promote this contest. You can also download three PSAs to play over your school’s intercom.

Movie Trailers- Two N.Y. Times best selling novels that have been made into movies premier this fall.  Let your students watch the trailers for Twilight  and The Secret Life of Bees (this trailer has an advertisment added to the beginning). Organize outings for your book clubs to go to each premier.

Free Movie Entertainment Magazine Online – “Watch and download free horror and Sci-fi movies” at this site, including Night of the Living Dead, a 1968 classic.

Programming Ideas:

  • Mission Possible:  Spy a Book! Adriana Flores and Victor Schill have created a 20 page guide that provides eight detailed mystery related programs for young adults.  Excellent guide!
  •  List of Program Topics –  This document contains a long list of programming idea topics, some which may be suitable to adapt for your library or media center.  If nothing else, skimming through the list might spark other ideas you can use for this week or later.

Other ideas:

  • Identify this Young Adult Author!  Print five pictures of young adult authors and display one each day of the week.  If students can correctly identify the author, they can enter their name in a drawing for a book by that author.
  • Fill a jar with bite-sized candies and let students guess the number of candies.  The one closest to the actual amount without going over wins the jar of candies.
  • Creatures of the Night Trivia Contest.  Have trivia questions that can be answered using reference books or databases read over the intercom.  Students who correctly identify the answer and list the source enter their names in a drawing for movie tickets.
  • Distribute “Get Caught Reading” coupons to teachers.  Teachers will distribute them to students they catch reading outside of class.  These students should bring their coupons to the media center on Friday to exchange them for a treat.
  • Ask teachers to submit the title of their favorite book read as a teenager.  Create a display of these titles or ask students to match teachers and titles.
  • Ask students to write a book review to be posted in the library.  Students who submit book reviews are rewarded with bite-sized candy.
  • Check out the Fur vs. Fang competition sponsored by the Carrollton Public Library.  Awesome idea!
  • Favorite Bite – South Park High School in South Park, Pennsylvania, is having students write the title of their favorite book with bite on an apple that will be posted on the library’s doors. (From YALSA Teen Read Week Wiki.)
  • Twilight Family Feud pits the Cullen family against the Quileute family at the Tuscaloosa Public Library. (Also from YALSA Teen Read Week Wiki.)

Printables to spark creativity:

Image attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/61407047@N00/1784382224