Welcome to our YA Smackdown Round-Up! For those of you who haven’t heard about it, YA Smackdown is an informal, guerrilla-style idea-sharing activity for teen library service professionals. It’s always fun, and there’s something to learn for everyone.
You can join in on a Smackdown at various professional events, start your own with our handy downloadable kit, or join in on a TSU-hosted challenge on social media every Wednesday! (Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.)
After each month, we’ll post a collection of some of the more noteworthy responses. We hope you’ll all join in every week!
What is your favorite new nonfiction pick for teens?
“Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson 4EVER!! It was so interesting and so horrible and so inspiring.” – Brandi S.
“Susan Cain’s Quiet. I keep an eye out for my introverts and make sure they know it’s there” – Semoy G.
“Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner. Full of back-stabbing, ritual suicide, heads lobbed off…” – Kylie P.
“Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin. It was fascinating! And such a page-turner. Even knowing the outcome, I was breathlessly waiting for revelation after revelation.” – Lisa S.
“Trauma is Really Strange by Steve Haines – accessible account of trauma, its effects, and the healing process in a graphic format.” – Trixie D.
What was your most successful author visit? What made it work so well?
“Skype with Andy Weir. We had 3 libraries join in virtually, we met his cat, and it was packed with teens asking awesomely intelligent science-y questions, adults, and some grandparents! Still trying to figure out how to follow that event sometimes.” – Kelsey P.
“Maggie Stiefvater this last May. What made it work, I think, is that we had detailed info from her publisher on what was allowed/not allowed, we set up free ticketing at Eventbrite with a waitlist (given that demand was huge and we wanted to give every fan a chance to attend), and I made sure we had enough volunteers, food, and activities to make it a special night for everyone. My best idea was doing the signing by groups (one for each book of the Raven Cycle), and as everyone bought their book, they got a ticket that listed all the signing and Q&A rules on the back to make it abundantly clear what was ok/not ok. Our 140 tickets, when we put them up, “sold out” in five minutes, but with the waiting list, we were able to get in around 30 more people when other folks canceled.” – Robin B.
“Jason Reynolds was amazing! We gave away over 500 free copies of “When I was the Greatest” prior to the event. We also invited a local radio station to help us promote and MC that evening.” – Carrie D.
What was your most successful program or activity you’ve done with your Teen Advisory Board?
“We put together a music video as promotion for our SRP. They had a BLAST! They got to pick the song (with my approval), and we all stayed after hours on a Friday to film it. The video included a book domino trail all around the Teen section. They’ve asked about doing another video several times since!” – Alison B.
“Ideal Bookshelf display. Their idea start to finish and now it’s an annual summer display. [It’s] based on the book by same name.We made templates of 10 bookspines on a bookshelf for tab to fill out and they used colored pencils to fill in. All you need is ruler, black marker , colored pencils and photocopier. My teens read the book in their honors HS English class and loved it so much they wanted to use it for RA at the library.” – Julia L.
“Using chalk paint markers to decorate teen zone windows. (2 sides of the room are windows) They looooove it. So now I have them redo the windows at every monthly meeting” – Genna M.