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Teen Reading Resources

These are five reading related Web sites that I found dealing with teen leisure reading.

Teenreads.com  --  http://www.teenreads.com/

This was the first site that I visited for this assignment.  The site is definitely eye catching with it colorful display.  Teens are drawn to such sites.  The ease of navigation through the site and active links are also positive features of this Web site.  This site has a little of everything which I think makes it a great one to bookmark.  It has book reviews, monthly reading related contests, special feature books, new releases, book club guides, interviews with authors, and as summer approaches they post the “Ultimate Summer Reading List.”  Right now, they are working to create the list by taking suggestions from teens.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Teen Reads  --  http://www.carnegielibrary.org/teens/read/teenlists.html

This is a great site.  It has the teen book suggestions divided into subjects.  Teens can quickly pick a topic of interest and link right to a list of suggested teen books.  They have 22 different subject lists, such as Graphic Novels, It’s Rough Out There (fiction books dealing with teen life and issues), Modern Day Fairy Tales, etc.  This site is very simple in format and easy to use.  I love how quickly you can locate a teen book that will interest you, and I think teens will too.

Bookloons – Teens  --  http://www.bookloons.com/HandHTML/teens.html

This site is similar to Teenreads.com.  It offers cool book related contests, book reviews, and interviews with authors.  However, this site offers a few different resources for teens.  There is a link to story samples where teens can read excerpts from recent releases.  This is a neat feature.  The site also has a link to reading online where teens can actually read books and poems online.  This Web site also has links to the official sites of popular teen book series.  In addition, it has a link to a list of teen books recommended by teens for picky readers.  I cannot wait to show my students this site.

Reader’s Club:  Teen Corner Book Reviews  --  http://www.readersclub.org/category.asp?cat=4

This young adult site provides book reviews for many different types of books.  Teens can read the new reviews that are featured on the site, or they can pick a specific genre that they are interested in.  This site also provides a newsletter that can be emailed out to interested teens.  This site allows you to search for a review of a certain title.  What a great feature!!  This site also has a place for teens to describe their interests and submit for reading recommendations.  Other neat features include a personal reading log and celebrity reviews. 

Favorite Teenage Angstbooks  --  http://www.grouchy.com/angst/

This site deals specifically with teen books that focus on the struggles and challenges of being a teen.  This is a site that teens can really relate to.  Reviews are broken up into such topics as sex and love, fitting in, peer pressure, etc.  This site also provides interviews with authors and other cool bits of information.  The site provides teens with a place to interact with the creator of the site, Cathy Young, via a message board.  Coming soon to this site are links to online journals written by teens.  This is a great resource.  Teens will love this site.

After reading first few postings, I picked a couple of sites that were mentioned several times.  I also found a couple of others.

www.cynthialeitichsmith.com was created by author Cynthia Leitich Smith.  It provides lots of information on teen related reading as well as other reading levels.  Users can select “Young Adult” (authors A-L) and “Young Adult 2” (authors M-Z) under “Favorite Reads” to find book recommendations.  Transcripts of interviews with authors and other related links are also available.  The site is probably geared more towards adults looking for teen reads, but the “Favorite Reads” area is teen friendly and easy to navigate.

www.teenreads.com provides reviews of current teen novels, chats with authors, access to excerpts, and author biographies.  I enjoyed scrolling through the Pop Fiction books, Manga section, and Christian area.  The site also provides links to book clubs, reading guides, and major literary award sites.  This site is teen friendly and provides great information for teens and adults who love teen lit.   

www.grouch.com/angst/index/html was one of the most visually appealing sites for teens.  Readers can choose a category from “favorite teenage angst books” menu.  “Sex and love”, “mixed-up families”, “journey”, “awakenings”, “diary-ish”, “creativity”, “pressure”, “trouble”, “healing”, “challenges”, and “out of bounds” are the topics teens can choose from to find at least three recommended reads.  This site also offers the opportunity to purchase new and used books through Powell’s Bookstore.  One downside to the sight in my opinion was the number, or lack there of, of recommended novels compared to the other sites.

http://www.waterborolibrary.org/bklisty.htm is a gold mine!  This site provides an annotated list of hundreds of topics and related book site links for teens and adults collected by Waterboro Public Library.  If you need a book that covers a specific topic, this site will certainly help you find one.  The downside to this site would be the impossibility of checking all of the links and therefore, you would probably not want to post this one as a favorite link.

http://www.noflyingnotights.com/ and http://www.noflyingnotights.com/lair/index.html are both review sites for graphic novels for teens and adults.  The lair site is a sister site of No flying, no tights and has been set up to help readers distinguish between teen and adult graphic novels.  Both sites provide great information on the genre as well as reviews of the latest and most popular novels.  No flying, no tights would be the site to recommend for teens.

Teen Central

Teen Central is a website sponsored and created by Downers Grove Public Library in Downers Grove, Illinois. This site contains a book recommendation section called Great Reads. The "Our Recommendations" area includes Favorite Fiction and Reviews from Downers Grove TAB (Teen Advisory Board), Nonfiction, Sports, Dating Drama, and Page Turners. The Recommendations from Other People's area include award lists, such as Alex, Michael L Printz, and YALSA, Best Audiobooks and Best DVDs. Homework Help links are available in different subject areas. Readers & Writers section tells teens how to write to a favorite author, start a book club and get their work published. This site also provides links to teen magazine websites, such as CosmoGirl, Mad, PC Gamer, Seventeen, Shonen Jump, Teen People, and Thrasher. Teen Central is teen-friendly and easy to navigate. Graphics would make the website more attractive and interesting to teens.

Reading Rants!

Reading Rants! is a website with "Out of the Ordinary Booklists." Recent lists updated on August 2006 are Graphic Fantastics: Great Graphic Reads for Teens, Historical Fiction for Hipsters, and Nail Biters: Teen Psychological Thrillers, and Virgin Run: Books about Falling in Love and First Times for Teens. This site includes many controversial topics for teens to read, such as drugs, sex, homosexuality, and witchcraft. Jennifer Hubert, the creator of Reading Rants!, mentions that Reading Rants! is specifically written to teens not to adults even though adults do enjoy her site. For each book listed, a review and a front cover photo are included. Teens will find Reading Rants! intriguing and appealing. Due to some controversial topics l was unsure that it would be accepted in a high school library, but a local high school does have Reading Rants! bookmarked on the media center computers.

TeenLink

TeenLink, sponsored by the New York Public Library, has a bright and colorful homepage. The first graphic and link listed is eNYPL where library patrons can download free videos, music, ebooks and audiobooks through the library's catalog. Since many teens are computer and technological savvy, eNYPL is a great way to introduce teens to the public library and to reading. Most of the homepage is devoted to Meet the Authors with times and places (NY public library branches) to meet young adult authors. Each author's photograph is provided which gives a wonderful visual to teens. (I noticed John Green will be a part of a seven teen author panel at a branch in October. I read his bookLooking for Alaska for a Peck question and loved it.) Another interesting aspect of TeenLink is the inclusion of Turn It Up podcast program where New York teens speak their opinions on certain topics relevant to teens, such as stereotypes, gay marriage, and the anti-prom in recognition of LGBTQ Pride Month. Teens can download the MP3 audios to listen to the podcasts. Also new young adult books are highlighted on the homepage with a brief summary, front cover photo, and link to the library's catalog. Even though many of the items on TeenLink is specifically geared toward New York City teens, teens from other parts of the country would enjoy the links to the booklists found in the sidebar. The booklists include The Dream Lives On (books about people of African descent), Just Visiting This Planet (books for anyone who has ever felt like a stranger in a strange land), Poetry Unleashed, Taffeta, Tuxedos and Tulle: Books and Movies about Prom Night, and When Bad Things Happen. This site would be a great example for other public libraries and school media centers to follow when wanting to create an attractive and useful website for teens.

Teenspace

Teenspace is sponsored by the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The Books & Reading section include Hot Authors & Series, Book Reviews written by teens, Booklists, Award Winners, and New Stuff. A review form is available online for teens to submit their own book review. Here are a few of the Booklists titles available that would entice teens: It's Not Easy Being a Pirate, Cool Books for Hot Nights, Great Graphic Novels, Just Like Me: African American Novels for Teens, Manga Madness, Pet-Palooza: Fiction for Pet Lovers, Try Some Sci-Fi, and Urban Legends and Scary Stories. All listed books include a summary, front cover photo, and link to the library's catalog. There is also a link to the ezine, Seven Hills Review, which is a poetry publication written for teens by Cincinnati and Hamilton County teens. This ezine would be a great way to introduce students to poetry - reading and writing. Teenspace provides links for teens to other websites, such as college, comics, magazines & ezines and to happenings around Cincinnati, such as music, culture and entertainment. Teenspace's homepage is creative, colorful, and attractive with graphics and photographs. Many teens would find Teenspace worthwhile and useful, especially when looking for a book to read for pleasure.

Teen Ink

Teen Ink is a magazine, website, and book series written for teens by teens. Teens are asked to submit their writing and/or artwork as there are no staff writers or artist. Each magazine issue is devoted to poetry, fiction, nonfiction, book, movie and music reviews, sports, art, interviews, opinions, cars, college reviews, and many more topics and reviews. Visitors may read past issues of Teen Ink as they are archived on the website. Teens will find many of the articles, stories and essays interesting and informative. It will encourage reading especially since everything on the website and in the magazine is written only by teens and be easy to relate to. It may even entice them to submit some of their own writing and/or artwork to be published. Teachers and librarians would benefit from visiting this site in order to stay current with teen interests and to recommend the site to teens. Teen Ink also has a bulletin board (discussion board) where teens discuss issues from News & Issues to Family to Dating, Love, & Friendship to Health to Sports & Hobbies to Random Thoughts. This site would be a popular one for teens to visit and most importantly - read!

Teen Read, Teen Reviewed

This site is run by the Goshen NY Public Library. This site allows teens to review recently read material or the option of posting a review of their own. There is a search engine if someone is looking for a specific book under the site or it can be searched by category.

Each book reviewed has the author, types of books, how the book came to be read and the review. The site is very thorough and easy to navigate for the teenage audience.

Teen Reads

At this site teens have the option of answering the question of the month as well as the monthly poll. There is also the opportunity for readers to chat with one of the authors of a book being featured. I think this site has a wonderful amount of information that would be greatly useful for teen pleasure reading. There are reviews for a lot of the books as well as links to the author’s direct websites as well as their sites on My Space which is frequented often by teens.

St. Charles Public Library-Recommended Teen Reading

There is a bunch of different links on this site. A few of the links are as follows: Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award Nominees-2006 and Alex Awards. The first link is for books voted as the most outstanding by grade 9-12 students in Illinois. The second link is for ten books written for adults but that has specific appeal for students’ ages 12-18.

This site would be a benefit to students as the information listed is very current and is specific to their age group. This also allows students to choose a bit more of a challenging read if they were to choose the latter of the two options.

Authors for Teens

This site requires the individual to sign up for a yearly subscription. On this site we are able to click on one of the many authors featured and read an interview. Next to the author chosen are the books he or she has written. The information gained from this site would be helpful to teens who may not completely understand the authors view or message for a particular book. The downside to this site is it requires a yearly fee ($75.00) to access this information.

Carmel Clay Public Library Young Adult

Students are able to check out the Teen Library Council link which is made up of 25 students grades 7-12. The students choose their favorite books and there is a listing for the past ten years. Also on this site is a link for www.readforteens.org which is also run by the Carmel Library. It is a listing of books chosen by teens and reviewed by teens.

This site would be beneficial because there are multiple years listed so teenagers would have their choice of many different books and the reviewers are teenagers. It would be nice for a teenager to get a perspective on a book from one of their own peers.

CITATIONS:

American Library Association. (2006). YALSA. Retrieved September 25, 2006 from www.ala.org/ala/yalsa

The Book Report Network, (2006). Teen Reads. Retrieved September 24, 2006, from: http://www.teenreads.com/

Spisak, A. and Newhouse, R. (2006). Graphic Novels. Retrieved September 24, 2006, from: http://leep.lis.uiuc.edu/seworkspace/aspisak/Home.htm

Theis, A.C. (2006). YA Stars 2006. Retrieved September 14, 2006, from: http://www.overbooked.org/stars/ya/06.html

Wake County Public Libraries. (2006). Teens’ Reading Lists. Retrieved September 24, 2006, from: http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/kidsandteens/teensreadinglists.htm

Young, C. (2004). Favorite Teenage Angstbooks. Retrieved September 24, 2006, from: http://www.grouchy.com/angst/index.html