In this interview, I talk with John Corey Whaley, author of the book Highly Illogical Behavior. The novel, peppered with Star Trek: The Next Generation references, tells tale of Solomon, a teen with a severe anxiety disorder who hasn’t left the house in over three years and the friendship that will either save or ruin him.
Buzzfeed calls Highly Illogical Behavior, “Another raw, funny, and unforgettable read from Whaley that won’t leave you disappointed.” Tune in to find out how Corey’s own experiences with anxiety influenced him to write this story and how writing LGBT characters has changed in recent years.
Originally aired on KBOO Community Radio, Portland, Oregon for the program Between the Covers. http://kboo.fm/media/50583-john-corey-whaley-highly-illogical-behavior
In this interview, I talk with Jesse Andrews, author of the book The Haters. This hilarious and touching story follows Wes Doolittle and his friends as they escape the oppression of jazz band camp and set off on a road trip in search of a venue to play an epic concert that will establish them as a band.
Booklist called The Haters: “Uproariously funny … very of-the- moment … Effortlessly readable, deeply enjoyable, and, given the years since Andrews’ fantastic debut, well worth the wait.” Tune in to hear Jesse hate on a cheesy band and to find out how his own musical background inspired him to write this story.
Originally aired on KBOO Community Radio, Portland, Oregon for the program Between the Covers. http://kboo.fm/media/49573-jesse-andrews-haters
In this interview, I talk with Cat Winters, author of the book The Steep and Thorny Way. This historical fiction, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, follows protagonist Hanalee as she navigates rural Oregon in the 1920’s as a biracial teen coming to terms with her father’s murder.
School Library Journal called The Steep and Thorny Way: “Unique and riveting historical fiction that feels anything but dated.” Tune in to find out how Cat makes history interesting with a supernatural twist and why young adult fiction is for everyone.
Originally aired on KBOO Community Radio, Portland, Oregon for the program Between the Covers. http://kboo.fm/media/49882-cat-winters-steep-and-thorny-way
I started working in libraries by accident. It was never a career that had crossed my mind. I grew up in a small town that didn’t have a library, so I never spent much time at the library. I wanted to be an elementary teacher. After college, I moved to Aurora, Colorado. I worked as a paraprofessional for Denver Public Schools for a year, then began applying for teaching jobs. I sent out dozens of applications with very little response. Feeling defeated, I started looking for other jobs. I saw an opening at the public library and applied there as a backup. I finally landed an interview for a 3rd grade teaching position. The same day, I was called to interview for the library assistant position. I interviewed at the school one day, the library the next. A day later, I was offered the library job. (I was later informed that they chose someone with experience for the teaching job.)
As I learned the library assistant job, I realized that it had the fun parts of teaching (helping people, research, teaching classes) without the bad parts of teaching (politics, standardized tests, angry parents, disciplining a classroom of 35+ kids). I worked there for almost two years before I moved to a new city and a new job. As an assistant librarian in the young adult department of a suburban library, I discovered my passion for programming, outreach, and marketing, as well as working with teens.
I moved back to my home state of Nebraska after almost three years working in YA. I’m now a part-time library assistant for Lincoln City Libraries. Working at a branch library means doing a little bit of everything. However, working part-time means I miss out on doing special projects and programs.
From 2009 to 2010, I worked on my MLS online through Clarion University. I graduated last December. Now I’m looking for that elusive full-time professional position. I would love to work in youth services and do programming and outreach. But with tight budgets all around, library positions are few and far between. In a year and a half, changes will take place in my personal life that will allow me the flexibility to move. In the meantime, I will continue to work as a library assistant and participate in professional development activities to keep my skills sharp and my options open.
In my Digital Libraries class, we were to find a grant application for a digitization project and write a proposal. My professor’s philosophy was, “Write one grant proposal, you’re a grant writer. Write two grant proposals, you’re an experienced grant writer.” The following is my proposal for Project Podcast, a project in which audio and video book talks, book reviews, program reviews, and interviews with community members of interest, all written and performed by teens, are recorded and digitized.
Sometimes middle school or high school classes, homeschool groups, or groups such as Boy Scout troops would ask for a tour of the library, specifically the Teen Zone. In preparation for a school visit from a 7th grade class, I prepared a tour and short tutorial of relevant library resources. After the tutorial, students split into groups to do practice exercises and a scavenger hunt of the Teen Zone.
Click below to view the practice exercises and scavenger hunt.
Practice exercises and scavenger hunt
The following is a booktalk I did in a 9th grade classroom. The teacher asked us to talk about books that would be interesting for students in 9th grade that were reading at about a 5th grade level. My coworker and I chose 15 books to booktalk, many of which were claimed by students by the end of the class period.
By Neil Gaiman
Coraline is bored. Coraline is so bored that she’ll do anything. She and her parents have just moved into an apartment. Below them are two old ladies that are of questionable mental state. Above them is an old man who keeps talking about his circus mice. Coraline likes to go exploring, especially outside. But one day it is raining. She is so bored, that she counts all of the doors and windows in her apartment. There are 21 windows and 14 doors. Out of these 14 doors, 13 open and close like normal doors. But the fourteenth door – the big, carved, brown wooden door – is locked. She asks her mother where this door goes. Her mother tells here that it goes nowhere, and unlocks it so Coraline can see that behind the door is a brick wall. That night, though, Coraline is lying awake in her bed when she hears a “creak”. Then she sees a shadow in the hall, a black shape that looks like a person. When she turns on the light, there’s nothing there. The next day, Coraline is still bored. When her mother leaves her at home alone, Coraline decides to take another look at that mysterious door. She climbs up on a chair and takes down the key ring. There is a cold iron key that must go to that door. She listens for her mother. She’s alone, so she puts the key into the keyhole and it turns. She stops again. Still alone. She slowly turns the doorknob and opens the door. Instead of bricks, there is a dark hallway that smells like something very old. She carefully walks down the hallway, until she sees something very familiar. The carpet is the same carpet in her hallway. The wallpaper is the same is her wallpaper. The picture hanging in the hall is the same picture that hangs in her hall. She looks around, confused. She couldn’t have gotten turned around in a hallway. Then she hears someone call her name. It’s her mother – only it’s not. The person standing there looks like her mother, only her skin is white as paper, she is very tall and very thin, and her fingernails are dark red, long, curved, and very sharp. And one more thing – instead of eyes, she has big, gleaming black buttons. “Coraline, we’ve been waiting for you for a long time.”