Sunday, February 25, 2007

Reading for Teens

No review or booktalk this week, just my toughts on reading teen books. I read books for teens for professional development. Reading these books helps me understand what is popular in YA literature and to evaluate new titles that I may like to order for my branch or for my entire library system.

With each book I read, I write a booktalk and fill out a form that goes into my "YA Literature Database" (otherwise known as a giant MS Word file that lives on my laptop and a packed full binder that lives in my closet). If I'm reading the book for my teen book club, I also print out any activity ideas or questions I write or find online.

So, picking out the book is the easy party. Finding the time to read it is almost as easy - I can legitimize reading a teen book during my off-desk hours at work, because my job title is YA Librarian.

I had fallen into the habit of evaluating the books, writing a booktalk and doing each of my other "post-read" tasks, only after I had a pile of books to process. Now, I work on each book one by one, and I find my life much saner as a result.

I've just finished reading three books for School Library Journal and am currently reading a book meant for adults (it's fun, from time to time, to remember that I am not actually a teenager anymore). But soon I'll dive into yet another YA book...and I'm sure I'll have no trouble deciding which one.

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