Ferndale Library Staff Recommends: Susan's Picks
Another round of personal picks presented for your consideration of recreational/enlightening engagement by the staff at the Ferndale Library. This week, Reference Librarian (and head of Teen-Reader Programming) Susan Paley offers her picks.
Susan Paley studied to be a teacher before she became a librarian but found certain skills and sensibilities to be aidful in her transference from classroom to reading-room.
After attaining her BA in Education from Bowling Green, Paley - who grew up in Birmingham, Mich. - was also spending her summers working as a counselor at Camp Kingswood for Cranbrook Girls Middle School. Before that, even, during her undergraduate studies, she had worked at the Rec Center in Bowling Green.
It seems a natural fit, then, considering her experience in channeling teens' energy (and wrangling their attention spans) towards educational (and fun) activities, that Paley would take the lead for our Teen/Young Adult reading programs (even though you'll still find her at the Adult Services Reference desk quite often, ready to facilitate your next search).
Paley said that one class, particularly, at Bowling Green set her on course to becoming a librarian - the dryly titled "Content Reading for Adolescent Development."
"It was all about how to motivate kids to be interested in school subjects through reading regular books," said Paley.
Like, historical fiction, rather than bland textbooks. "So, in Social Studies, it'd be reading things about the Titanic. It's a way to make a school subject more interesting for the kids." Her grades in that class were so good that Paley's professor recommended she consider getting her Masters in Library Science.
Plus, a room full of 30 seventh graders would be overwhelming for anybody - Paley, then, was particularly drawn to the chance for more of a one-on-one connection with a young reader. So, she applied to Wayne State University and graduated two years ago with her Masters.
Paley is FPL's die-hard baseball fan. "It's just the perfect thing to do on a nice summer day," she said, having traveled to various different ball parks around the country (to attend visiting games featuring our hometown Tigers).
She also recently returned from an inspiring trip to Paris and has since been trying to teach the FPL staff a bit of French, (an uphill battle, considering most of us still struggle to recall our remedial Spanish classes from Junior High).
Her enthusiasm and diligence to her work here at FPL, whether facilitating the Animanga (Anime / Manga-graphic novel) programs, Teen Remix book clubs or simply searching your next query from the Reference desk "c’est magnifique!"
1. Pefect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
"Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes couldn’t be more different. She’s a rich girl from the north side of Chicago, and Alex is a south sider, in a gang. They are paired up for a chemistry project senior year, and all they can think of is how they’re so incompatible they can’t work together…but then they start falling for each other anyway. If you’re looking for a hot summer beach read, this book has it all! Part Sarah Dessen with an urban twist, part Romeo & Juliet, and part West Side Story, you won’t want to put this one down! (I’ve read it at least three times). It’s a very real and gritty story, with relatable characters dealing with relationships, first love, and what it means to break down stereotypes and barriers. The author also does an excellent job of integrating Mexican-American culture into the novel. Will Alex and Brittany’s love keep them together? If you like this book, it’s the first in a series of three, we have all the titles available for check out at the library. If you REALLY like this book, Simone Elkeles will be talking to us on Skype Tuesday, July 10th at 6:30 PM for the July Teen book club. Read the book and come discuss it with us!"
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
"The newest book from awarding-winner and super popular young adult author John Green is truly a masterpiece for teens. Yes, it is a story about Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, two teenagers with cancer, but is not without humor, sarcasm, honesty, and the beauty of true love. (All trademarks of John Green’s other novels). I might be getting a little sappy as I’m writing about it, but it’s not a sappy story, it’s a powerful book that will make you think, laugh out loud and, yes, maybe even cry, but you will want to read it again, because it is just that good. When I finished it, I wanted to write John Green a letter: “Dear John Green, I love you. The end. We have a print copy and the audio CD version available for check out. The audio version is also excellent, read by Kate Rudd."
3. The Batboy by Mike Lupica
"Brian Dudley has every baseball fan’s dream summer job…he’s a batboy for the Detroit Tigers. Brian has loved baseball ever since he can remember. When he finds out his baseball hero, Hank Bishop, is coming to play for the Tigers, he’s sure it will be the best summer ever. But what happens when your hero isn’t who you thought? Can Brian help Hank see he’s still a star? Is Brian ready to learn something from Hank? As many of you know, I’m a big Tigers fan, a fan of the game of baseball in general. Mike Lupica, as a sports writer really has a talent for making his readers feel lke they’ve been dropped right into the game. Brian is a very believable character and who learns about sportsmanship and what it means to be true to yourself and still have hope, even if a dream might seem impossible. This book is definitely a homerun!"
4. Up All Night by One Direction [Music CD]
"Move over, Justin Bieber, you’ve got competition! Meet Harry, Louis, Zayn, Liam & Niall of One Direction, the newest boy band from the UK, that’s about to take over the world. The album has sixteen tracks that are catchy, fun and definitely good dance music. Perfect for listening, singing along (and dancing to) at the beach, the pool, the car, your backyard, or your room. Favorite tracks: “What Makes You Beautiful” and "Save You Tonight"."
5. Midnight In Paris [DVD]
"Here is one pick that is not teen-related. Filmed in Paris and directed by Woody Allen, this romantic comedy stars actors Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams and French actors Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux and Carla Bruni (who is also the wife of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy). Owen Wilson, plays Gil, who dreams of being a writer and is obsessed with 1920s Paris “The Golden Age”. He wants to move to Paris after he gets married to Inez (played by Rachel McAdams). He likes to walk around Paris and marvel at its beauty (even in the rain) and she would rather shop and sightsee with their friends. Gil starts taking walks at midnight and discovers that 1920s Paris, inspiration for his writing and love are closer than he thinks. Paris c’est magnifique! That’s French for Paris is magnificent!"
Ferndale Patch thanks Susan Paley and the Ferndale Public Library for these recommendations! Check back soon for more ideas from library staff. Are you looking for recommendations on something specific? Email email@example.com, and we'll pass on your questions to the library.