Random Fandom : Pokemon

Random Fandom : Pokemon

Full disclosure upfront: I stole the title Random Fandom from a mailing list.  If you came up with that title, thank you!

The theory is that we celebrate a different fandom each month, but have activities that non-fans can participate in. This particular program was planned based on an anonymous request I had to host a Pokemon program. Besides my end of summer party this was the most successful program I’ve held since beginning this job in February; 11 teens (mostly new) showed up.

The program started with a hunt for the 15 pokeballs I’d hidden around the teen space and reference (these are right next to each other). The teen who found the most won a $1 box of candy. I was afraid this would seem too juvenile (a general worry for the whole program), but was a great gathering activity and most of them really got into.

The rest of the program was mostly the teens talking Pokemon, bragging about their cards, talking about their games . . . Seriously, I know next to nothing about Pokemon, but I loved seeing the teens geek out about it.  They also cleaned me out of my snacks.

I had planned two games and had cubeecrafts available.  They sat around the cubeecraft table and a couple of them started, but no one finished.  All were too engrossed in conversation. The games I had planned were most definitely too juvenile, though there was some minor interest no one actually played.

I am definitely looking into turning this into a Pokemon club, and I will most likely make the hunt for objects a feature of future Random Fandoms.

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Back from the Dead

It’s been six years since I updated this blog. In that time I started a new job and spent five years as the manager of a busy urban children’s department.  I loved that job.  I loved the staff and the customers. But here I am starting another new job as a smallish town teen librarian, because family is important and I love working with teens.

So I will still talk about books, some.  I also want to talk about my experience shifting focus and growing a teen department from very little.

What I’m Reading and What I Want to Be Reading

I have three stacks of “have to be read” books.  A mock Newbery list, a mock Printz list and the state award list.  One of the things I’m finding interesting about this is paying attention to the varying criteria as I read. (Thank goodness we’re not tackling a mock Caldecott again this year.)

Our mock Newbery list is long!

The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggot
All the Broken Pieces by Ann Burg
The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochrane
The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
The Problem with the Puddles by Kate Feiffer
The Dream Stealer by Dis Fleishman (Pictures by Peter Sis)
Brooklyn Nine: a Novel in Nine Innings by Alan Gatz
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Neil Armstrong is my Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me by Nan Marino
The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson
A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead [By the end of June I’d already been wanting to blog about this book for ages – trust me there’s a draft – and now it is mid December and I still haven’t. I hope I will have time to reread it before our discussion.]

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Tate
The Great and Only Barnum by Candice Fleming
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose (J Biography – National Book Award Finalist)
Traveling the Freedom Road by Linda Barrett Osborne
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone

For the mock Printz:

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson [this will be interesting as some of us have already had a contentious discussion of this title]
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
The Devil’s Paintbox by Victoria Mckernan
SLOB by Ellen Potter
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
When you Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis
Flygirl by Sherri Smith
All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg

I will not share my reading list for the state award.  Of course there are any number of other books waiting to be read:  the most recent Wheel of Time entry, Her Fearful Symmetry, Under the Dome, Splendour . . . My hope is to type up something as I visit or revisit these mock award books.

Long Time, No Post

So, yesterday I’m sitting in a meeting with the YA team and one of my colleagues says, “I don’t know if you know this, but K blogs regularly.” Imagine my embarrassment.

Yes, I am a teen librarian now, at least part-time.  It is a split position and the vast majority of the job tends to fall in the younger range. I’m finding the process of growing a teen presence in the library even more difficult than I imagined.  (Also, I’m going to have to learn how to say no.  I just can’t join every committee and do every presentation that comes along.)

Thanks in part to all  those commitments I haven’t said no to, I have a few stacks of middle grade books waiting to be read. Look for some mock Newbery discussion in the coming weeks. Though if you want a really good Newbery discussion check out the Heavy Medal blog over at SLJ.

One thing about this new(ish) position is that every morning I get to drive over a bridge and everyday the water is different.  Most days, from the apex of the bridge, I can see the ocean and when the sun is filtering through the clouds in distinct beams and the bay is glistening it truly seems to be ” an enchanted land.”

Faith, Hope and Ivy June

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ARC from Midwinter

Ivy June Mosely and Catherine Combs are seventh graders and are going to be participating in their respective schools first exchange program.  No, they don’t live in different countries, or even different states.  Ivy June and Catherine are both residents of the bluegrass state.  Catherine is a city girl from Lexington, while Ivy June lives in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky.  (Full disclosure: I grew up halfway between the two.)  The exchange program is a way for the girls to explore a different way of life and all the prejudices and stereotypes that exist because of these differences. Of course, they find out their differences and similarities are not what they’d thought they’d be.

The differences in physical surroundings are obvious. Ivy June lives with her grandparents, because her parents’ house was getting too crowded (forget the telephone and indoor bathroom), while Catherine lives in a mcmansion and has her own bathroom.  However, the girls share family/friend joys and difficulties.

Interspersed between the third person narrative focused on Ivy June are  journals entries written by both girls. The settings are rich, particularly Naylor’s descriptions of the Appalachian mountains, and made me a little homesick.
The book takes a more serious tone at the end. Drama brings the two girls closer, leaving me hoping they can maintain that friendship despite the physical distance that seperates them.

48 Hour Reading Challenge

Now that the Tonys are on I’ve given up trying to accomplish anything else towards the challenge.  Today was much less sucessful than yesterday.

Yesterday I read for 13 hours and finished 3 books (and a portion of one I put aside for later), today only 4 hours and 1 book. My original plan for this weekend was to get to titles that I should have read ages ago and so I checked out stack of books from the library. None of the books I read were from this pile and so these titles remain unread.

My totals were 17 hours, 4 books and 1469 pages.