Keep Teens Reading

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The Lost Hero of Olympus Print Email
Thank you Rick Riordin for creating heroes that are funny, and really struggle with school and home life.  It felt like you wrote The Lost Hero of Olympus just for the teens at the Juvenile Detention Center.

It’s a long book to tackle in one week, but the teens responded with enthusiasm and almost all of them finished it.

Favorite comments from the teens this month:

“Book club got me more into books”

“Book club helped me get over my fear of reading out loud”

“I give this book 10 out of 4 stars”

One of them requested more read aloud time.

Karin had some great discussion prompts this week:

*If you could have any super power what would it be and how would you use it? Pull from Greek mythology, comic books, super heroes. etc.

*Which Greek God would you want for a parent and why?

*The characters are being challenged by going on this quest and with these new experiences. Describe a time when you were challenged and what you use for inspiration.

If you are celebrating this books with teens our suggested food pairing is

Leo’s Tacos or Leo's Tofu Burgers.

Next month: we had a request for non-fiction, so Tamar is bringing in Into the Wild.  Her Alaskan wilderness experience should make this book come alive in a whole new way.


Books+Food= A Party Print Email

Every month the Juvenile Detention Center book club ends with  a celebration which includes food.  Recently Kyla read Dark Life, an underwater adventure, with the students.  The snack she brought in consisted of (still warm) fish sticks, tartar sauce, gummy fish, and seaweed.  The laughter as she passed out the food was the perfect way to end that book.    

Lynden Noon Kiwanis funds our snacks for the whole year-a special thanks to them for helping us make book club a program in demand at the Juvenile Detention Center!

Looking for a way to share food and books with your teen?  Check out The Unofficial Recipes of the Hunger Games for a start. 

Let us know if you have a perfect book/food combination.-Aubri

Juvenile Detention Center Director Speaks Print Email

Incarcerated teens in Whatcom County know her as "Sully", the teacher who welcomes them to the JDC, weaving in some academic support during their stays. Suzanne's work and that of the JDC Book Club was highlighted April 19th at the Whatcom County Library Foundation's Branch Out Dinner.  The Foundation supports the JDC Book Club, a monthly event where WCLS staff read a book with a group of 6 JDC students.

In her speech, Suzanne reminded us all of the importance of celebrating the small steps in working with this population of kids.  Here is an excerpt from her presentation.    Enjoy! -- Tamar

So, what hope can we have for these students? Well, if we spend our time looking

for big turn-arounds, we’ll all burn out fast. In my profession working with youth

on the fringe, we learn to look for the small reward -- the youth who at first

declares he doesn’t read books, and then by the end of his month’s stay, is

checking out four books each library visit. The youth who comes in sullen and

silent, and after a week at our school, begins to open up and talk, and one day even

smile. The youth who actually follows up on a transition plan we’ve worked on and

when released heads over to BTC to find out about the GED program. We plant

seeds. Many, many, seeds. We water them with our kindness, our concern, and our

respect. We shine the light of school success on them. And sometime, somewhere,

maybe one of those seeds will sprout and begin to grow, and a whole new and

productive path will open for that youth. I believe the Library Foundation’s Book

Club plants these seeds as well.  -- Suzanne Harris



HelpNow! Print Email

What teen hasn’t been stuck at home with a pile of homework and needs help? If this is your teen, help is here! 

HelpNow! is a live tutorial chat service available to all WCLS cardholders.

It provides:

  • Live tutoring and homework help by trained staff from 1-10 p.m. every day 
  • Help with your writing – send in papers and get feedback.
  • Study and practice for SAT, ACT and GED tests.

You can find this new service on our website at under Homework Help tab.  Click on HelpNow!, enter your barcode and PIN and your teen will be on their way to getting their homework completed!  

Encourage your teen to give this service a try this Spring and let us know what you think!    -- Tamar

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