It’s that time of year again! Yes, it’s School Library Month, and what better time to announce our brand new DCS Teen Lit Top 10 list? But first, a bit of background...
What is the DCS Teen Lit Top 10?
The DCS Teen Lit Top 10 list, first implemented by high school librarians during the 2016-2017 school year, was created to give Davidson County high school students options to explore high quality young adult titles through a variety of activities at their home schools and online. While we’re still exploring ways to help readers from different schools interact and we had to cancel our planned DCS Lit Con due to scheduling conflicts, the first year of this initiative was still a success. Our students enjoyed having a curated list of books to read and discuss, and some of the titles from this year’s Teen Lit Top 10 were among the highest circulated books in our collections! This year’s favorites included Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Looking for Alaska by John Green, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, and Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman.
How is the DCS Teen Lit Top 10 Different from Battle of the Books?
The Battle of the Books is a great program, but a more flexible format works better for DCS high school students. Many high schoolers have jobs, take advanced classes, and participate in extracurricular activities, which makes finding time for pleasure reading a challenge. With the DCS Teen Lit Top 10, students simply read the books from the list that appeal to them, and share and discuss their favorites.
How was the Top 10 list created?
DCS high school librarians chose books based on a variety of criteria to create a list that we believe represents a wide range of reading tastes, diverse perspectives, social issues, and cultural significance. For inspiration, we looked to the Audiobook SYNC program as well as quality lists curated by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. For newer releases that haven’t had time yet to win an award, we chose titles that are “buzzworthy” in the YA genre and have a very high Goodreads average.
Where can I get the books?
All titles should be available at DCS high school libraries, as well as through the North Carolina Digital Library, which students can access with a public library card. This is a great time to sign up for a library card if you don’t have one! One title is also available for free through Audiobook SYNC, a summer audiobook program for teens. See our Smore (www.tinyurl.com/DCSTLT10-2017) for more complete information and detailed summaries of each book, and our Toolkit (http://tinyurl.com/DCSTLT10Toolkit2017) for a printable poster, bookmarks, and handouts for students to rate the books they read.
What does it mean to participate?
Students can read as many or as few titles as they wish, and activities will vary from school to school. This is meant to be a flexible opportunity for readers to participate at the level they feel comfortable with. We realize that not every book is for every reader, and that’s okay!
How can librarians help?
Middle school librarians can inform their current Battle of the Books teams of this opportunity, while high school librarians can spread the word to their feeder schools, teachers, and patrons.
We’re still figuring out the best way to give our students an opportunity to build a reading community that reaches across our schools. While we did have some participation in the Google Classroom we set up this year for this purpose, we’d love to hear your suggestions about how to invite further participation--please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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