Award Winning YA Books and Audiobooks

Do you like to read or listen to award-winning books? American Library Association announced the top books, digital media, and audio books for young adults of 2021! 

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults: 

Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri, is the 2021 Printz Award winner! The Michael L. Printz Award is an American Library Association literary award that annually recognizes the “best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit.”

This story is about a boy who flees Iran as a small child, detours through a refugee camp in Italy, then winds up in middle school in Oklahoma, where he is met with both curiosity and suspicion.

The four Printz Honor titles were:

“Apple (Skin to the Core),” by Eric Gansworth, “Dragon Hoops,” created by Gene Luen Yang, color by Lark Pien, “Every Body Looking,” by Candice Iloh and “We Are Not Free,” by Traci Chee.

The 2021 winner of Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults is Kekla Magoon! Margaret A. Edwards was an educator and librarian who was at the forefront of the movement for young adult services in the 20th century. Some of the winner Kekla Magoon’s books are: “X: A Novel,” co-written by Ilyasah Shabazz “How It Went Down,” “The Rock and the River” and “Fire in the Streets.”

The Odyssey Award is an annual award given for Excellence in Audiobook Production. The winner of the 2021 Odyssey Award is “Kent State,” by Deborah Wiles and narrated by Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina Delaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries.

Kent State is a free-verse novel that explores the killing of four American students who were protesting the Vietnam War.

Here are the other teen Odyssey Honor Audiobooks that were also selected:

“Clap When You Land,” written by Elizabeth Acevedo and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte; “Fighting Words,” written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and narrated by Bahni Turpin; “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi and narrated by Jason Reynolds

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

YALSA stands for Young Adult Library Services Association. “The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh,” written by Candace Fleming, is their 2021 Excellence in Nonfiction winner.

The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh is the biography of an American hero who was deeply flawed.

The four other books that were finalists for the award were:  

“All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team,” written by Christina Soontornvat, “The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival,” written by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess with Laura L. Sullivan, “How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure,” written and illustrated by John Rocco and “You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Democracy and Deliver Power to the People,” written by Elizabeth Rusch.

The William C. Morris Award is for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens.

The 2021 winner was “If These Wings Could Fly,” written by Kyrie McCauley.

If These Wing Could Fly is about a girl dealing with domestic violence, first love and her town in chaos due to thousands of crows.

Four other books were finalists for the award:  

“Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard,” written by Echo Brown, “The Black Kids,” written by Christina Hammonds Reed, “It Sounded Better in My Head,” written by Nina Kenwood and “Woven in Moonlight,” written by Isabel Ibañez.

If you enjoyed this list, check out the rest of the award winning books here.

15 Apps Parents Should Know About

Recently, the local sheriff’s department released a list of the top 15 apps parents should be aware of. These apps can reveal your location, data mine, and expose your children and teens to strangers on the internet or in person. Here are the apps and what you need to know:

  1. MeetMe

MeetMe is a dating social media app that allows users to connect with people based on geographic proximity. Users are encouraged to meet each other in person.

2. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, make calls and video chats worldwide. This app uses an internet connection on smart phones and computers.

3. Bumble

Bumble is similar to Tinder however it requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to use bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age.

4. Live.Me

Live.Me is a live-streaming video app that uses geo-location to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster’s exact location. Users can earn “coins” as a way to “pay” minors for photos.

5. Ask.FM

Ask.FM is known for cyber bullying. The app encourages users to allow anonymous people to ask them questions.

6. Grindr

Grindr is a dating app geared towards gay, bi and transgender people. The app gives users the option to chat, share photos and meet up based on a smart phone’s GPS location.

7. Tik Tok

Tik Tok is used to create and share short videos with very limited privacy controls. Users are vulnerable to bullying and explicit content.

8. Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the popular apps in recent years. Even though the app says that photos/videos will disappear, new features including ‘stories’ allow users to view content for up to 24 hours.

9. Holla

Holla allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds. Reviewers even say they have been confronted with racial slurs, explicit content and more.

10. Calculator%

Calculator% is only one of several secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.

11. Skout

Skout is a location-based dating app and website. While users under 17 are not allowed to share private photos, kids can easily create an account using a different age.

12. Badoo

Badoo is a dating and social networking app where users can share photos, videos and their location. The app is intended for adults but teens are known to create profiles.

13. Kik

Kik allows anyone to contact and direct message your child. Kids can bypass traditional text messaging features. Kik gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

14. Whisper

Whisper is an anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet up.

15. Hot or Not

Hot or Not encourages users to rate your profile, check out people in their area and chat with strangers. The goal of this app is to hook up.

YALSA 2021 Best Fiction Titles

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) of the American Library Association (ALA) announced its 2021 Best Fiction for Young Adults list!

The list is made up of 85 titles that are selected from 124 nominations, which were posted and discussed in YALSA’s blog The Hub. The nominees can also be found on this blog. After receiving feedback from teens, the team created a list of the top ten titles.

Be Not Far from Me by Mindy McGinnis

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

This Is My America by Kim Johnson

We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

What I Carry by Jennifer Longo

The suggestion form for the 2022 Best Fiction for Young Adults list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, you can fill out the form here.

Coding

What is coding? Coding is another term for computer programming or software programming. Coding is the method of giving instructions to a computer to perform a certain task. The instructions that you give your computer are communicated using a language that only computers can understand. These languages include visual blocks, Java, Python and C Learning.

Did you know that learning how to code can improve in your problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills? Did you also know that if you learn how to code it can give you more career opportunities in the future?

Here are some awesome websites that you can use that can help you learn how to code.

Scratch Ages 8-16 Free

Scratch is a free block coding website for kids, developed by the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is its own programming language and consists of graphical blocks that snap together. 

Code.org Studio Ages 4-14 Free

This website is a non-profit organization that has a series of four courses that teach computer science fundamentals. Each course is made up of a series of puzzles, videos, and activities that teach the principles behind computer science.

Blockly Ages 8+ Free

Blockly teaches programming principles and introduces JavaScript using a block-based programming approach.

GameBlox 13+ Free

GameBlox is a block-based programming site for making games online for web and mobile devices. It allows anyone to develop games that you can play online and on your mobile phone. 

Codecademy 13+ Free. A PRO track is available for a monthly subscription.

Codecademy offers a comprehensive set of text-based courses on web development and related programming languages. Codecademy courses cover how to build a website and a whole slew of related coding languages, including HTML & CSS, Ruby on Rails, Python, JavaScript, jQuery, SQL, PHP, and more. General access to Codecademy courses is free. The paid PRO track adds a personalized learning plan, quizzes, projects, and access to live advisors. 

Khan Academy 13+ Free

Khan Academy offers expert-created content and resources for free online courses and practice. For computer programming, Khan Academy has courses in JavaScript, Processing JS, HTML & CSS, HTML & JavaScript and SQL

VidCode 11+  Limited free access. Tiered annual subscriptions.

Vidcode is a coding website for kids that offers research-backed computer science courses focused on open-ended projects. Their courses teach computer science, object oriented programming, web programming, design, & JavaScript.

Novelist

Have you found yourself reading more lately? Have you tackled your to-be-read pile but now you don’t know what to read next? Don’t worry the library can help you find your next great read! Novelist is a comprehensive reader’s advisory database that helps you find exactly the kind of book you’re looking for!

Novelist works by tagging each book in its database with story elements. Story elements are the aspects of a book that may catch your attention. This could include appeal terms, themes, and genres. Besides liking a genre such as fantasy or thriller there are other things you might like about books too. Do you like when the book’s location takes place in a small town or busy city? Do you like when the characters are cynical or kind? Do you like to laugh when you read, or cry? 

Some of these story elements are key in helping you find your next read. Novelist allows you to search all of these things. You can even type in the search bar the last book you liked and find a list of books just like it! Below is a picture guide on how to get to Novelist.

International Games Week

International Games Week is an initiative of the American Library Association to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games. 

There’s no better time to play games with your family than now! Break out board games and card games like Uno, Sorry, Apples to Apples, Spot It and more! There are also many new types of games you can learn to play like Exploding Kittens, Coup, Codenames, and Ticket to Ride.

There are many ways to celebrate this week and your love of games in general. Participate in a live virtual program with us, download online games to play, borrow books about games or borrow a videogame!

Virtual Game Programs at the Library

Here are some game programs to participate in at the library!

POKEMON VIRTUAL MEET UP
Grades 4-6
Friday, November 13, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Join us for a virtual meet up to discuss
all things Pokémon! Pokémon Master
Lori Beth will be on hand to facilitate
Pokémon related topics such as your
favorite Pokémon, new cards, questions
about cards, and game play strategies!
Bring your cards and virtually share
some of your Pokémon adventures!

GAME TIME!
Grades 6-12
Wednesdays, December 2 (Jackbox
Games) & December 30 (Escape the
Room) 3:00-4:00 pm
Calling all gamers! Join our librarians
on our Discord server for some fun and
exciting games. Don’t forget to bring the
snacks. Registration begins November 2

FAMILY GAME
NIGHT: BINGO
AND SPACE
TRIVIA

Families
Saturday,
December 19,
6:30-7:30 pm.
Let’s get together
for some fun and exciting virtual games.
Grab the whole family and compete
against your neighbors, all from the
comfort of your own home. Don’t forget
to bring the snacks! Registration begins
November 16

Online Games to Play on Your Own Time:

Caterpillar Feast Eat your way through the leaves before the owl finds you!

Mint Cooperative A mint-based superhero game designed to fit in an Altoids tin.

Orchard Grab as much fruit as you can by overlapping tiles in the most advantageous way in this simple and clever game.

Rolling Realms This downloadable page features 9 different games on one page.

Read About Gaming:

Learn More About Our Museum Passes

Did you know the library offers museum passes for you to borrow? These museum passes offer you the key to a variety of fun places to go. From planetariums to state parks, there is something fun for everyone to do! Here is some background information on each museum.

American Airpower Museum Farmingdale, NY

Admission is for 2 adults and 2 children.

This museum’s mission is to preserve the legacy of all Americans who have sacrificed themselves to defend our liberties. They hope to educate a new generation by presenting the operational aircraft and armor in the museum’s collection and its related displays, exhibits and programs.

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Admission is for 2 adults and 4 children.

After 99 years as a New York State trout hatchery, this non-profit center became dedicated to educating visitors about the freshwater ecosystems of New York. They have the largest living collection of New York State freshwater reptiles, fishes and amphibians. Visitors can tour two aquarium buildings and eight outdoor ponds, feed hungry trout and try “Catch & Keep” fishing.

Cradle of Aviation Garden City, NY

Each pass admits 2 adults and up to 2 children, 18 years and younger.

This aviation and spaceflight museum is located in East Garden City on Long Island to commemorate Long Island’s part in the history of aviation. This educational center preserves Long Island’s contribution to aerospace, science and technology by inspiring future generations through learning.

Empire Pass New York State

The Empire Pass provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to most New York State Parks including forests, beaches, trails and more. Here are just some of the places you can visit with the pass:

-Bayard Cutting Arboretum

-Belmont Lake State Park

-Captree State Park

-Connetquot River State Park Preserve

-Heckscher State Park

-Jones Beach

-Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

-Robert Moses

-Sunken Meadow State Park

Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society Captree Island, NY

Admission is for 2 adults and 4 children.

The Fire Island Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on Long Island. Visit the lighthouse and climb the 182 steps to the top of the tower. There you will see the ocean, Fire Island, the bays, Long Island to the North and on a clear day, the skyline of New York City. You can also see the Keeper’s Quarters, the Len’s Building, and the Boathouse.

Long Island Children’s Museum Garden City, NY

This pass admits 2 adults and 2 children.

The Long Island Children’s Museum offers 14 interactive exhibits, plus live theater, art spaces, and daily activities to provide hours of discovery for children of all ages.

Nassau County Museum of Art Roslyn Harbor, NY

Includes admission for 2 adults and 4 children

Visit this museum to get a deeper understanding of art and culture through their exhibits and education programs. They work hard to enhance their permanent collections, sculpture park, historic property, and natural setting.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration Old Bethpage, NY

Includes free admission for up to 4 people.

This unique history museum offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience life as it was on Long Island during the 19th century. This village consists of 36 houses, barns, and buildings dating from 1660 through 1875.

Old Westbury Gardens Old Westbury, NY

This pass includes free admission/parking for 2 adults and their children to the gardens.

The historic mansion at Old Westbury Gardens sits among 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds, and lakes. The Westbury house itself is furnished with English antiques and decorative arts. On the Gardens’ premises you can attend guided tours, museum exhibitions, pop up concerts, gardening classes and more!

Vanderbilt Museum, Mansion and Planetarium Centerport, NY

Each pass admits 2 adults and 4 children. Includes museum grounds, exhibits and one free regularly scheduled planetarium show. 

This informal educational facility is a unique combination of mansion, marine and natural history museum, planetarium and park. This facility was Mr William K Vanderbilt II’s idea to help promote understanding and appreciation of the diversity of life.

Find Your Next Great Read with Book Browse

The library is now offering Book Browse database to all of our patrons.

This website offers you in-depth book reviews, author interviews, book previews, and reading guides. There are many features that can help readers find the next book they will like and this database is meant to help you save time finding that next book. Here are some highlights from this comprehensive database:

What’s New” tab:

Under this tab you will find book news, articles, what other readers recommend, and what’s getting published this week.

You will also find the Editor’s Choice section. In this section, you can read reviews, an excerpt from the book and explore the historical, cultural and contextual aspects of the book.

Find Books” tab:

Under this tab you will find the Young Adults page.

You will also find a Featured Books section with hand-picked books for young adults and more recent titles.

Another great part of this page are the Reading Lists. You can click on any term and a list of books in that genre will come up for YA.

The Read-Alikes Tab:

If you enjoyed a certain book and would like to read something similar you can visit this section where you will find hand-selected read-alikes. It breaks it down for you by title to title and author to author recommendations.

This database is perfect for readers 10 and up! Visit Book Browse Here!

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week reminds us to celebrate our freedom to read, draws attention to banned and challenged books, and highlights individuals who have been persecuted. Taking the time to read what you want is a part of exercising your First Amendment rights!

Keep the celebration up by doing these things:

Read a Banned Book

This may seem like an obvious choice, but it’s also the most effective! Check out this list of banned Children’s and YA books or choose one from our bibliography:

YA Banned/Challenged Books

Children’s Banned/Challenged Books

Reach Out to an Author

Tell an author how much their work means to you! Reach out to an author who’s on the banned books list or to an author you enjoy.

Writing a book takes a lot of effort and can be extremely challenging. You can reach out through social media, their websites or e-mail and let them know much you appreciate, value, and love the books they share with us.

Share a Banned Books Infographic

Infographics like this one from American Library Association can be posted and shared on social media apps. ALA has other infographics that can be downloaded and shared in order to spread awareness.

ALA Infographic Downloads

Join or Host a Virtual Read-Out

The Banned Books Week Read-Out is your way to stand up to censorship and exercise your rights by reading from a banned book or discussing censorship issues on camera. Since 1982, banned authors such as Judy Blume, Dav Pilkey, and John Green have participated in this read-out. Join them and others and have the chance to be added to the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

Get Informed

Another great thing you can do is educate yourself. Read about what Banned Books week is and its history. Then learn about the history of the books that were challenged and banned.

Do you know the difference between a challenged book and a banned book? A challenge is only an attempt to remove or restrict material, based solely on the opinions of a person or group. Challenging a book is damaging because it could restrict access to others. When you ban a book, you remove the material.

#LookToLibraries

Did you know children’s library professionals have access to information, resources, and community partnerships that contribute to the development of materials, programs, and services that support families in their library communities? Through ALSC, you can create an informed media plan that best suits your family’s needs and navigate through the hardships brought on by COVID-19.

#LookToLibraries for Media Mentorship 

Navigating the extent of digital devices and content available to young children can be daunting for parents and caregivers, and even more so during times of crises. These resources help to develop a media plan that best addresses your family’s needs. These tools have been available through the library and, just as families have had to adapt their expectations and guidelines for media use, libraries are continuously adapting to accommodate new situations and new challenges, like that of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Media Mentorship Tip Sheet – Learn more about media mentorship and how you can find excellent resources, model safe and effective digital device use, and find objective suggestions on creating a family media plan.

To Tech or Not to Tech? The Debate about Technology, Young Children, and the Library  By Kathleen Campana, J. Elizabeth Mills, Claudia Haines, Tess Prendergast, and Marianne Martens

Where Are We Now? The Evolving Use of New Media with Young Children in Libraries  By Kathleen Campana, J. Elizabeth Mills, Marianne Martens, Claudia Haines 

#LookToLibraries for Support during a Pandemic 

The resources below can help families and their children navigate and adjust to drastic changes in routines and the lack of access to familiar people and places as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tough Conversations Tip Sheet  – Consider the strategies of Fred Rogers, of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, that describe how to talk with children about difficult topics.

Apps, Podcasts, and Activities – Apps, podcasts, and activities to support family well-being during the pandemic.

Books for Older Children – Titles for older children that include nonfiction information about epidemics and ways to manage anxiety.

Books for Young Children – Books to help young children understand germs and how to cope with the feelings they may be having.

Comforting Reads – times of crises bring times of change. These books were selected to help children going through challenging situations like the death of a loved one, an unexpected move, natural disasters, and more. 

COVID-19 Expert Resources Tip Sheet  – Connections to information about the virus to help children understand the pandemic.

COVID-19 Resources Tip Sheet  – Print and online books, articles, apps, podcasts, and websites for youth and parents/caregivers to provide support during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Online Books for Children – Online books for children that address the COVID-19 pandemic and how to cope with its challenges.

Resources for Parents/Caregivers – Books and articles to help parents and caregivers on a range of topics, from caring for a newborn in the age of COVID-19 to trying to balance parenting and coping with the pandemic.

Tough Topics – The books on these lists are to help inspire conversations with children going through challenging situations like the death of a loved one, an unexpected move, natural disasters, and more.