Tag Archives: literature

Promoting New Reading Interests

I am not sure if you have noticed but when students find a genre they like they stick to it.  They rarely deviate, and never glance at other books that in a different genre.  And let us be quite honest, we as adults fall into this category as well.  My husband for the longest time would only read memoirs or biographies about ex-drug addicts, biker gangs, skateboarders or rock legends.  It took a little prodding, but now he has several fiction titles on his iPad.  Well if he was  tough, imagine what it is like to try to get a middle school student to look at something different?  Most of the boys are Rick Riordan fans and only read his work. Or they have read ever sports book the library can hold. Meanwhile, the girls are falling over  the Twilight series, The Pretty Little Liars series, or The Clique series.  Currently the book that is flying into the hands of each student is…can you guess???  Say it with me everyone. THE HUNGER GAMES! Thank you Suzanne Collins and Scholastic (my old company by the way) for bringing yet another series to the limelight that is attracting all readers.

Now I can not house multiply copies of The Hunger Games. I have several copies but the students would like me to have one available at all times. Well that doesn’t happen.  But I don’t want to see them leave without a book in hand, I would show them other titles that are similar in nature to The Hunger Games, but most of the time they say I’ll just wait or go to the public library.  This got me thinking.  Several students have read the first book in the series, others have read two of the three and some have read all three; my problem was, how to do I get them reading other books that might not be the hot item at the time?  I have posters and links on websites set up to promote titles similar to TheHunger Games. I even spoke about it here.  But that can only go so far. So I came up with a new plan.  Why not tie in the theme, or some element of the popular series to get the students interested in other books, in other genres and even some nonfiction titles as well?

Allow me to introduce District 14: Your School Library! Some might be saying, “What?”  Allow me to explain, for those who have not read the series: the United States has been divided into 13 Districts, with each district specializing in a particular field/skill.  There is also the Capitol, which oversees all of them.  Some districts are wealthy, others are poor; and in one such case completely destroyed.  That is basically the gist.  So I decided, why not use these 13 Districts and their skills to promote books?  Here is what I came up with.  Each district is represented on a display through images and text around the library.  And we provide call numbers on where to find the books being promoted.  Here is an example of each of the posters.

District 1: Luxury– specializes in producing luxury items such as jewelry. We promote nonfiction titles about jewelry making, fashion and the wealthier side of life. We also promote fiction titles such as:





District 2: War and Weapons– specializes in training peacekeepers, or the Capitol’s army.We promote nonfiction titles army, marines, and other outfits as well as machines used during the wars. We also promote fiction titles such as:






District 3: Technology– specializes in engineering.We promote nonfiction titles about computers and how technology has advanced over the years. We also promote fiction titles such as:





District 4: Aquatic specializes in fishing.We promote nonfiction titles about sea life and oceans. We also promote fiction titles such as:




District 5: Power- specializes in electricity We mainly promote nonfiction titles here and mostly about electricity and electrical products.

District 6: Transportation- specializes in basically transporting of materials and people. We mainly promote nonfiction titles here and mostly about different means of transportation.

District 7: Lumber- specializes in wood and wood related products.We promote nonfiction titles about forests and wood art. We also promote fiction titles such as:





District 8: Textiles- specializes in clothing. We promote nonfiction titles about famous fashion designers and the fashion industry. We also promote fiction titles such as:

District 9: Grain- specializes in food sources.  We mainly promote nonfiction titles here and mostly about different food sources and farming.

District 10: Livestock- specializes in cattle and raising animals..  We mainly promote nonfiction titles here and mostly about how to raise animals.

District 11: Agriculture- specializes in growing food.   We promote nonfiction titles about growing food sources. We also promote fiction titles such as:





District 12: Mining- specializes in mining mainly coal.  We mainly promote nonfiction titles here and mostly about the coal mining industry and other minerals found through mining. We also mention this is where Katniss, Peeta and Gale are from.

District 13: Nuclear Weapons- specializes in nuclear technology.   This was the district that was destroyed. We promote nonfiction titles about nuclear weapons and who designed them. We also promote fiction titles such as:





Capitol: oversees all districts and lives the life of excess. They also control everything that happens tot he members of the districts.  We promote nonfiction titles about monarchies and rulers and the culture around it. We also promote fiction titles such as:




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Hungry for More???

With the one of the most anticipated movies opening today (psst it’s The Hunger Games for those who have been living under a rock), I wanted to give you a list of books that would be the perfect follow-up read to the popular series. These YA novels are only some of the amazing series and stand alone books out there for teenagers, and adults.  I would suggest parents, teachers, and librarians to look over them first before  recommending them to certain age groups. 

The Maze Runner series

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.  Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.  Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.   Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

The Barcode Tattoo

Individuality vs. Conformity
Identity vs. Access
Freedom vs. Control
The bar code tattoo. Everybody’s getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity.
But what if you say no? What if you don’t want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There’s no option but to run…for her life.

The Uglies series

Set in a future post-scarcity dystopian world in which everyone if turned “Pretty” by extreme cosmetic surgery upon reaching the age of 16.

Tomorrow series

The Tomorrow series is a series of seven young adult invasion novels written by Australian writer John Mardsen, detailing a high-intensity invansion and occupation  of Australia by a foreign power.  The novels are told from the prespective of Ellie Linton, a teenage girl who is part of a small band of teenagers waging a guerrilla war on the enemy soliders in the region around their fictional home town of Wirrawee.  Though this series was first published in 1993-1999 it has a very Hunger Games quality to it.  It also reminds me of the 1980’s movie Red Dawn.


The Elevent Plague

In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving. In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing–and their lives–forever.

Divergent series

One choice can transform you. Pass initiation. Do not fail! Thrilling urban dystopian fiction debut from exciting young author. In sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior’s world, society is divided into five factions — Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) — each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a “perfect society.” At the age of sixteen, teens must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives. On her Choosing Day, Beatrice renames herself Tris, rejects her family’s group, and chooses another faction. After surviving a brutal initiation, Tris finds romance with a super-hot boy, but also discovers unrest and growing conflict in their seemingly “perfect society.” To survive and save those they love, they must use their strengths to uncover the truths about their identities, their families, and the order of their society itself.

The Gone series

The series is centred around the fictional Californian town of Perdido Beach. Every human over the age of 15 vanishes and the town and surrounding areas (later named the FAYZ) are encased within an impenetrable bubble. Many of the people and wildlife develop unnatural powers.

The Mortal Instruaments series

In The Mortal Instruments series, Clary Fray discovers the world of the Shadowhunters as they fight to protect the world from demons. This is a six book series with the sixth book coming out in October of 2014.

Infernal Devices series

This series takes place in Victorian England, ten years after the peace treaties between the demon-fighting Shadowhunters and Downworlders (vampires, faeries, werewolves, and warlocks) was signed. As Shadowhunters consider themselves superior or purer than Downworlders or demons, they may have no qualms about killing either. The first book in The Infernal Devices is entitled Clockwork Angel  and begins the story of Tessa, an orphaned teenage girl who discovers she is an Eidolon, or shape-changer, with unique powers. But these new-found abilities plunge her into a world she never knew existed, and she will have to learn to master them if she wants to find her brother, and to do this she will have to forge an alliance with some Shadowhunters if she wants to survive in this dangerous world. Many of the family names of the shadow hunters used in the first series are introduced in this series. Another character, Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn, plays a part in this Victorian England series. 145 years later, he is a part of the Mortal Instrument series.

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