Monthly Archives: May 2014

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Haunt by Curtis Jobling

American Lit off GCSEs

Michael Gove thinks that GCSE students in the UK have a duty to study works by British authors.

To that end he has decreed that Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Crucible are to be dropped from the English Literature GCSEs.

more on this to follow as information becomes available…

60 Second Recap

60 Second recap began life in September 2009 as a website dedicated to making the works of literature accessible, relevant, and, frankly irresistible to today’s teens.

When Holden Met Katniss: The 40 Best YA Novels (according to Rolling Stone)

Rolling Stone Magazine has pulled together a list of YA novels that it thinks its readers should read over the summer:

We’ve parsed through hundreds of stories about dystopian societies, supernatural love triangles, awkward first crushes and many a mixed-tape featuring the Smiths to bring you this core collection of classic staples and overlooked gems…

Read more:

The Perils of Using Wikipedia for Research

Student use of Wikipedia is a massive bugbear of mine.

Personally I love using it for general interest stuff and for idle moment reading. It is also good for presearch (the thing you do before settling down to do the work for an assignment).

The thing that really gets me is the fact that so many students seem to rely on it as the definitive and only source of information for homework and assignments.

Most public libraries offer Encyclopaedia Britannica or World Book Online as well as hundreds of other easy to use on-line reference sources (free with a library card).

Students mostly ignore other reference sources for the perceived ease of use that Wikipedia offers, regularly cutting and pasting entire blocks of text and passing the work off as their own.

Today on twitter I was a link to an article on how a vandalism edit can take on a life of its own.

How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark

The article tracks how the Wikipedia entry (edited in 2008) influenced articles written on the BBC news site as well as in the Telegraph the Telegraph article (written in 2010) was cited by Wikipedia as evidence that the term Brazilian aardvark is genuine.

It is interesting to note that as of today (20th May) the Wikipedia article has been amended to remove all reference to the “Brazilian aardvark”

wikiality(click on image for larger version)

I will be adding this to my talk on the perils of online information seeking and the importance of verifying information.

Schools in the UK should be required by law to have a library

Schools in the UK should be required by law to have a library and they should be subject to Ofsted inspections, the Society of Authors has told Harriet Harman, with author Sarah Waters speaking out in support.

Harman, who is shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport, spoke this month at the Publishers Association’s (PA) annual general meeting and asked for suggestions on what the organisation would like to see in government party manifestos.

Read full article at

Neil Gaiman Reads The Graveyard Book

If you run a teen group in a library you can have Neil Gaiman himself read your teens The Graveyard Book over nine weeks or even nine days if they are keen.

With each chapter coming in at between 45 minutes to just over an hour they will fit in to most teen group sessions.

Return to the sprawling graveyard in this classic novel or discover Bod’s boyhood adventures anew, read by master storyteller Neil Gaiman himself one chapter at a time.

Watch his tour readings to hear the captivating book in its entirety

If they cannot wait for a weekly fix of the greatness that is Gaiman you can push physical copies of The Graveyard Book into their hands (or any of his other amazing titles if they have already read it).

Meet My World

Amantani and Andina present Meet My World 2014.

Amantani is an award-winning organisation that works to defend the rights of indigenous Quechua children living in the Andes of Peru. These children grow up on the margins of Peruvian society and they have seen how this can erode their self-respect.

Amantani want to change this. They want to show children that their culture is something they can be proud of. That is why they created Meet My World.

This year, they asked twelve children to write and present films that will teach you traditional skills from their communities.

The idea is simple: the more people that learn from the children’s films, the prouder they will be.

From catching fish (with your bare hands) and building a mud oven to making a traditional Andean corn drink, these films will give you a brief window into the lives of children on the other side of the world.

At under five minutes each these films will keep the attention of the most fidgety student by introducing them to how young people live across the world and teaching them a skill that children and teenagers learn from an early age. These films are perfect for well-being, PSHE & Citizenship lessons as well as Spanish listening practice.

You can watch the first film here:

How To: Catch Fish With Your Bare Hands | Written by Yuri

You can watch all the films on the Amantani Youtube Channel

Once you have watched the films you can help the children take pride in their indigenous Quechua heritage. Just say “THANK YOU”.

These simple words will show the children that people have watched their films and learnt from them. We have until the 22nd June to collect as many “THANK YOU” photos as possible. Each and every single one counts!

Please post your “THANK YOU” photo on Twitter (make sure to use the #meetmyworld to help us track your photo and share it with the children), or you can e-mail your photo to:

Queen of Teen 2014 Shortlist


Eight Years of Teen Librarian

The official birthday of Teen Librarian is today, on the 15th May 2006 the very first edition of Teen Librarian was launched, you can read it here:

It it so small when compared with the latest (and greatest) issue:

I still like the original logo design but will be sticking with the current design. I have started looking into a new image for the masthead but that is still a few months away.

I can honestly say that I did not think that Teen Librarian would last as long as it has, that it is still going is largely down to the community of Librarians, authors and other youth-focused pros that subscribe, provide comment and articles for the newsletter and let me know that they use the site.

Another group of people without whom running this site would be a chore is the book blogging community, they have made me feel most welcome and although I am (technically) a library blogger I do run fairly regular reviews and have been a stop on several book blog tours over the past few years.

Running Teen Librarian has enabled me to meet and become friends with a wide range of librarians, authors, publicists and related book-y folk. There are far, far too many to mention but I want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone that I have met and got to know along the way.