TEEN ADVISORY BOARD
TEENS AND BOOKS
TALKING ABOUT BOOKS
We meet most Fridays and had our last meeting for this year, so join us next fall!
Eat your lunch, then join us in the library. We start around 11:50.
See the books TAB members are recommending this year.
What is TAB? It’s a book club. We talk about books, have lively lunchtime visits together, meet real authors, and make new friends! APL’s librarian Mike joins us to help us know about events in the public library, too, and H-B’s readers help him, Maggie and Carol know which of our newest books are hot with readers! We like to focus ESPECIALLY on the newest works of fiction coming into libraries, including award winners!
When and Where?
- Middle Schoolers eat their lunches quickly elsewhere and then come to the library on most Fridays at lunchtime.
- High Schoolers meet for pizza with readers from W-L, Wakefield and Yorktown at Central Library the first Tuesday of each month, starting October 4. (If you like, give your email address to Maggie and she can help you connect with the Arlington Public Librarians for TAB notices.)
What are some recent highlights? In March, 2023 we had author Kelly Yang visit to tell us and middle schoolers across APS about her new book Finally Seen. We got free copies of that book and she signed them for us! In 2022, we enjoyed Gordon Korman’s visit to ALL TAB, and shared our book recommendations all year long. We made bookmarks like Sample 1 and Sample 2. We provided survey input to the Arlington PUBLIC library and learned about their summer reading program. The Public Library made posters and bookmarks to share our Top Ten (listed below) across the county. Students in TAB sometimes take on an individualized reading challenge, provide a Brownies n Books or Reading Group leadership. What will this year look like? Bring your ideas to each meeting.
History: TAB began over 30 years ago as a partnership between the Arlington County Public Library and the students in 6th grade and higher in Arlington Public Schools. It was designed to get student input and involvement in the selection of books by the libraries and as a resource for committees making recommendations on “best books.” In 2000, we received a national award form the American Library Association honoring our partnership. Articles from the following sources explain more of the history of the award winning collaboration: VOYA and Arlington Connection.
Who can join? Any middle or high school student in APS at any time of the year! (Don’t worry if you can’t come to every meeting.) TAB is a book club that runs in each of APS’s middle schools and sometimes those clubs join together for their activities.
How it worked — THEN… AND NOW:
Before recent legislation changed how book clubs can function in schools: TAB students read and reviewed new titles purchased in partnership with the public library. (Many of those books end up on the annual award lists.) Students spent the school year reading whichever books they like from our TAB shelves. They rated their reads with 1-5 stars and provided our group a quick review. In the Spring, TAB members would vote to determine which of the TAB collection deserve to be the “Top 10” titles, creating a list for each middle school in Arlington. (It has been very cool to see which newly published and best-selling books each school picked and those results are below!)
But starting Fall, 2023 the governor’s directive, 2022 Virginia legislation and policy that APS School Board reluctantly issued in accordance therewith resulted in changes to TAB. Participants will now select from our entire library what books to spotlight and bring forth in our meetings. There will no longer exist a focused “TAB Collection” of newest best-selling and award winning fiction selected and purchased for middle schoolers by our public and school librarians.
TAB meetings still enable us to spotlight special activities such as March Book Madness (it’s a “battle of the books” tournament), pizza parties, virtual and face-to-face meetings with famous authors. We share information about book festivals and reading contests. The highlight of the year is when we go on a field trip to All TAB. It’s an event during which we join middle school TAB participants from all around APS for a presentation by a super famous author. And then she signs your book!
See all of our 2023’s TOP TEN TAB READS: link.
The 2021-2022 “Top 10 Picks:
Carry Me Home by Janet Fox
Freedom Swimmer by Wal Chim
Hollow Chest by Brita Sandstrom
Linked by Gordon Korman
Long Lost by Jacqueline West
Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee
Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga
Room to Dream by Kelly Yang
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
Vacancy by K.R. Alexander
The 2020-2021 “TOP 10” Picks:
Find them at the public library– here’s their list!
Race to the bottom of the earth: Surviving Antarctica by Rebecca Barone
The Rise of the Halfing King (Series: Tales of the Feathered Serpent: The Rise of the Halfling King) by David Bowles
Fighting words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Class Act by Jerry Craft
Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay
The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love and Truth by Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson.
Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright.
War Stories by Gordon Korman
Primer: A Superhero Graphic Novel by Jennifer Muro
Three Keys by Kelly Yang
The 2019-2020 “TOP 10” Picks:
Supernova by Marissa Meyer
Guts by Raina Telgemeier
Wildfire by Rodman Philbrick
Stargazing by Jen Wang
Slay by Brittney Morris
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
Teen Titans Raven by Kami Garcia
Up for Air by Laurie Morrison
Nocturna by Maya Motayne
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
Honorable Mention: Cape by Kate Hannigan
The 2018-2019 “TOP 10” Picks:
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
The Cardboard KIngdom by Chad Sell
My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero with Erica Moroz
The Rule of One by Ashley and Leslie Saunders
No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen
Breakout by Kate Messner
Crush by Svetlana Chmakova
Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk
Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan tied with Takedown by Laura Shovan
The 2017-2018 “TOP 10” Picks:
All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
Real Friends by Shannon Hale
Restart by Gordon Korman
Swing it Sunny by Jennifer Holm
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Warcross by Marie Lu
The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Brave by Svetlana Chmakova
First Rule of Punk by Cecilia Perez
Solo by Kwame Alexander
THE 2016-17 “TOP 10” PICKS
Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
The Best Man by Richard Peck
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
It’s not so Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas
Lodestar by Shannon Messenger
Nothing But Trouble by Jaqueline Davies
Unplugged by Donna Freitus
THE 2015-16 “TOP 10” PICKS
Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks
Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko
Apple and Rain: A Story to Fix a Broken Heart by Sarah Crossan
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
“Masterminds” series by Gordon Korman
“The Young Elite” series, including Rose Society by Marie Lu
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
“The Sword of Summer series, including Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
THE 2014-2015 “TOP 10” PICKS
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
“The Blood of Olympus” (series) by Rick Riordan
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer Smith
Ideas for staying engaged with reading all summer long:
HBW’s students read like crazy in the summer.
Arlington Public Library offers a summer reading program. (Registration helps raise money for charity and makes students eligible for prizes!)
Start or Join a Summer Book Club: Students are encouraged to find friends with whom to make regular visits to the public library (“each Thursday at 10 am,” for example) and form a summer book club. Middle Schoolers are free to set up a Google Classroom for help with communication.
Planning for a Successful Summer Book Club:
- You can have your first meeting before summer starts in the library at lunchtime, if you like. Fridays are great for that. Want Maggie to advertise it? Pop in to make the arrangements.
- It’s helpful if you pick a day and time of the week when you’ll meet during the summer and put it onto your calendars (Every other Thursday all summer at 10 am? Fridays, noon each week in July?)
- Share contact information with one another.
- Pick a location where you’ll meet (at the public library? at Dunkin’ Donuts? at specific homes?)
- Consider picking a theme that would draw in like-minded readers. (For example: “Fans of Fantasy and Sci Fi” or “World War II Fiction for middle schoolers.”)
- You want to give your members the chance to nominate and then vote on the books for discussion if you’re all to read and discuss the same title. Alternatively, you can gather regularly simply to share on WHATEVER books you are reading.
- Make a goal for your group: “We’ll read and discuss 3 books by Sept. 4.”
- Give members enough time to find the books in the library or order them for delivery.
- Take turns “running” the meeting if you think people will enjoy structure by applying ideas such as these Tips for Book Discussions. (It often helps to think of questions to ask before the meeting starts.) If one person is “hosting” the meeting and might get distracted with such duties, consider having someone else run the actual discussion.
- If the group agrees, open your discussions to parents and friends to participate.
- Last, but vital: It can be fun to put names on the schedule who who is bringing “treats” if, for example, you want to have snacks each meeting.