Childrens book reviews by StorySnoops, judge a book by more than its cover, serving fresh scoops of new books for you every day
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Archive for the ‘Our Favorite Blogs of 2010’ Category

It’s Banned Books Week–Let’s talk sex in YA Lit!

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

There is something in the air tonight!  No idea if it’s a coincidence, but in my blog browsing this week, I came across three posts on the topic of sex in YA literature.  Yowsa!  Great topic on the heels of Banned Books Week since, as I’m sure nobody would be surprised to know, sexual content is the number one reason books are challenged.  This is a tricky one for me because I have a soon-to-be thirteen year old daughter who loves to read, and is just about to jump in to the world of YA literature with both feet.  Needless to say, the thought of explicit sex scenes (okay, sorry, let’s be real—right now, ANY sex scenes) in the books she reads makes me cringe and get all jittery.  But that is my own issue!

Sex is a reality for teens and young adults; whether they are doing it, wondering about it, or being forbidden from engaging in it—sex is there, like a big giant elephant in the room, and I cannot pretend it isn’t.  While it is not an author’s job to parent my children, it IS the job of an author to write the most honest version of their story that they can, with authentic and relatable characters. This authenticity, the fabric of good YA literature, has its origin in real teens all around us.  They come from every different value system imaginable, and their sexual experiences range from none at all to the full kit and kaboodle.  As such, all of these teens are fair game as inspiration for writers, as are their variety of experiences.  So whether I like it or not, sex has a place in YA books because it has a place (of some sort or other) in teenagers’ lives.

That being said, it is a fact for authors that adding sexual authenticity to their work is controversial.  If they choose to include such content, the marketability of their books becomes more limited. Book fairs, school libraries, book clubs, etc., may opt not to purchase their work.  Teachers may opt not to teach the book in class.  Judy Blume gave a talk recently about the difficult decision she had to make about including controversial material in Here’s To You, Rachel Robinson (to be fair, her dilemma was regarding language, not sex, but the same concept applies).  She was forced to choose between what she felt was the most honest portrayal of her character, and the various marketing outlets that she might be sacrificing by including something that a mainstream audience might find offensive. She is Judy Blume—we know which way she chose!

If I accept the fact that sex in YA books is inevitable (grumble) and honest, can I go one step further and just throw out a few thoughts about how I’d like to see it portrayed? Teens are looking for characters they can relate to or experiences they can learn from.  How about letting them know that it’s not always “romance novel” perfect and can frankly be quite awkward! Perhaps the author could also make sure to touch on the social and emotional issues and consequences that surround sex.  And above all, don’t make it gratuitous or use it as a vehicle to sell more books to my kid!  We are surrounded by enough of that already. I read a great book this week where the father and son had an embarrassing and cringe-worthy “talk”, but the father managed to get his message across about birth control, disease protection and the fact that “no” always means “no”.  Now THAT was some good reality!

As always, book selection comes down to choice. Some authors will write about sex, some will not.  Some publishers will publish books with sexual content and some will not. Some kids will read books that touch on this topic, and some will not.   As long as there are options and variety out there, I am happy.  And while I’m quite certain the amount of sex in the books my daughter will read will always be pushing the limits of my comfort zone (because part of the mom in me wants to deny that she is getting older!), I hope that I can continue to maintain an open dialog with her on the topic.  I hope that will influence her choices far more than what she reads.

Then again, I’ve never parented a teen before.  What do you think?

-Eden, StorySnoop

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a (book) match!

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

To be a StorySnoop, you have to love books.  Together, we’ve read more than nine hundred of them in the past eighteen months.  But there’s more to it than just loving to read.  Secretly, we each fancy ourselves matchmakers of sorts, gaining giddy satisfaction from facilitating a successful pairing between book and reader.

While I’m no longer the go-to person for my grown-up friends who want to get their hands on the next great read, I can’t seem to resist the urge to make book matches, even with a younger crowd.  Here are a few of my recent successes.

Book Match #1

The Reader:

•      Age – eleven

•      Gender – male

•      Type of reader – reluctant!

The Book:

Flush, by Carl Hiaasen

Brief Summary:

Noah’s dad gets real mad when he finds out that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is illegally flushing raw sewage into the marina basin and polluting nearby beaches. He is so mad that he sinks the boat and winds up in jail. When the Coral Queen is quickly repaired and back to business, sixteen-year-old Noah decides to take matters into his own hands. With the help of his sister, Abbey, and a few local characters, Noah formulates an ingenious plan to catch the polluters in the act.

The Result:

Success!  This book held the attention of a very picky reader from start to finish (all 272 pages!).  The main character is clever, savvy, and irreverent enough to be cool.  Bonus: the story is filled with valuable messages about caring for the environment and standing up for what you believe in.

Book Match #2

The Reader:

•      Age – nine

•      Gender – female

•      Type of reader – tween girl reading up

The Book:

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter

Brief Summary:

Not your ordinary teenage girl, Cameron “the Chameleon” Morgan has a genius IQ, a CIA pedigree, and is a sophomore the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women – an elite boarding school for young spies. But Cammie’s genius IQ fails her when the subject is boys. Will Cammie be able stay true to herself when she starts dating a boy who is forbidden from learning the truth about her identity?

The Result:

Success!  This clever spy story about capable, independent girls was a huge hit with its tween reader, especially because the main characters are teen girls dealing with typical teen issues.  Bonus: this squeaky-clean read is filled with positive role models.

Book Match #3

The Reader:

•      Age – fourteen

•      Gender – female

•      Type of reader – voracious

The Book:

The Great Wide Sea, by M. H. Herlong

Brief Summary:

Three brothers are still mourning their mother’s tragic death when, without any warning, their father sells their home and announces that they are heading to the Bahamas for a year-long sailing trip. None of the boys wants to go, but they aren’t given a choice.  After their father disappears from the boat, the boys are faced with a fierce storm, a broken radio, and a missing emergency locator.  When the boat finally wrecks near a deserted island, they must fight for their survival against all odds.

The Result:

Success (kind of)!  The book was STOLEN from the intended reader by her mother, who devoured it.  It was then passed on to her father, who is reading it aloud to her eight-year-old brother.  The fourteen-year-old has yet to get her hands on the book, but I’m optimistic.  Bonus: family bonding.

What book matches have you made lately?

-Jen, StorySnoop

Harry Potter and the Ten Year Tradition

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Forgive me, but I’m a little weepy already.

I have blogged before and I am sure I will blog again about my love for Harry Potter. But this time, it’s sentimental.

When my oldest son was much younger, he was obsessed with all things Harry Potter. He read the books the minute they came out (12:01 A.M, first in line at the bookstore). We saw the movies (also sometimes at midnight). He wrote a report on J.K. Rowling, and dressed like Harry Potter for Halloween. When he started wearing glasses, it was an easy transition because people told him he looked like Harry Potter.

It was one of many things we did together and kind of became our thing.

My oldest is fifteen now, and alas, I have somehow become much less cool. He has traded his love of reading in for all things electronic, South Park, and Call of Duty. I am struggling to speak his language.

But Harry Potter remains our thing, the one tradition he’s kept and I cling to gratefully. When the last movie came out and we bought tickets to the midnight showing, other parents told me I was crazy. Are you kidding? Miss my requested once a year date? Never. No matter how many Diet Cokes it takes me to stay awake, I would’t miss it for the world.

Harry Potter and the Death Hallows Part I comes out on Friday, and we’ll be there for the midnight show. Wasn’t that nice of the movie people to break it into two movies for me? Part II comes out in June 2011. He’ll be sixteen by then. Ten years of Harry Potter. It’s been a good, long run.

-Shannon, StorySnoop

Let’s talk sex in YA Lit!

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

There is something in the air tonight!  No idea if it’s a coincidence, but in my blog browsing this week, I came across three posts on the topic of sex in YA literature.  Yowsa!  Great topic on the heels of Banned Books Week since, as I’m sure nobody would be surprised to know, sexual content is the number one reason books are challenged.  This is a tricky one for me because I have a soon-to-be thirteen year old daughter who loves to read, and is just about to jump in to the world of YA literature with both feet.  Needless to say, the thought of explicit sex scenes (okay, sorry, let’s be real—right now, ANY sex scenes) in the books she reads makes me cringe and get all jittery.  But that is my own issue!

Sex is a reality for teens and young adults; whether they are doing it, wondering about it, or being forbidden from engaging in it—sex is there, like a big giant elephant in the room, and I cannot pretend it isn’t.  While it is not an author’s job to parent my children, it IS the job of an author to write the most honest version of their story that they can, with authentic and relatable characters. This authenticity, the fabric of good YA literature, has its origin in real teens all around us.  They come from every different value system imaginable, and their sexual experiences range from none at all to the full kit and kaboodle.  As such, all of these teens are fair game as inspiration for writers, as are their variety of experiences.  So whether I like it or not, sex has a place in YA books because it has a place (of some sort or other) in teenagers’ lives.

That being said, it is a fact for authors that adding sexual authenticity to their work is controversial.  If they choose to include such content, the marketability of their books becomes more limited. Book fairs, school libraries, book clubs, etc., may opt not to purchase their work.  Teachers may opt not to teach the book in class.  Judy Blume gave a talk recently about the difficult decision she had to make about including controversial material in Here’s To You, Rachel Robinson (to be fair, her dilemma was regarding language, not sex, but the same concept applies).  She was forced to choose between what she felt was the most honest portrayal of her character, and the various marketing outlets that she might be sacrificing by including something that a mainstream audience might find offensive. She is Judy Blume—we know which way she chose!

If I accept the fact that sex in YA books is inevitable (grumble) and honest, can I go one step further and just throw out a few thoughts about how I’d like to see it portrayed? Teens are looking for characters they can relate to or experiences they can learn from.  How about letting them know that it’s not always “romance novel” perfect and can frankly be quite awkward! Perhaps the author could also make sure to touch on the social and emotional issues and consequences that surround sex.  And above all, don’t make it gratuitous or use it as a vehicle to sell more books to my kid!  We are surrounded by enough of that already. I read a great book this week where the father and son had an embarrassing and cringe-worthy “talk”, but the father managed to get his message across about birth control, disease protection and the fact that “no” always means “no”.  Now THAT was some good reality!

As always, book selection comes down to choice. Some authors will write about sex, some will not.  Some publishers will publish books with sexual content and some will not. Some kids will read books that touch on this topic, and some will not.   As long as there are options and variety out there, I am happy.  And while I’m quite certain the amount of sex in the books my daughter will read will always be pushing the limits of my comfort zone (because part of the mom in me wants to deny that she is getting older!), I hope that I can continue to maintain an open dialog with her on the topic.  I hope that will influence her choices far more than what she reads.

Then again, I’ve never parented a teen before.  What do you think?

-Eden, StorySnoop

Teen Read Week wraps up with guest blogger Wade Wallerstein, on Freak Show and Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

To celebrate the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Teen Read Week, StorySnoops is hosting a series of interviews with YA lit authors and enthusiasts.  Started in 1998, Teen Read Week is YALSA’s annual event encouraging teens to read just for the fun of it.  We hope you enjoy this series as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

Our friend Wade Wallerstein is our guest blogger today, wrapping up our Teen Read Week interview series.  He is a high school sophomore, who writes for his school newspaper. Currently on his nightstand? In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote. Enjoy!
-The Snoops

Usually, when it comes to literature, homosexual characters are cookie cutter stereotypes: big and flashy, abrasive and sparkly, overly feminine and ‘fabulous.’ Upon first opening Freak Show and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I was disappointed to discover that the main gay characters in both novels fit these descriptions to a tee. I myself am a gay teen, and yes I do have my rhinestone-studded ‘gay’ moments, but I often feel that the gay community in general is mis-portrayed in books. Upon further reading, however, I was immediately captivated by Billy Bloom, a seventeen-year-old drag queen, and Tiny Cooper, a 300 lb. high school junior. Billy Bloom courageously shows up at his conservative Southern school decked out in full on drag, while Tiny Cooper fearlessly presents a play of his life for the student body.

Freak Show chronicles Billy’s struggles with romance, bullying, and being fabulous on a daily basis despite threats to his health. He befriends a football player and sets out on a campaign to win the illustrious title of homecoming queen, and maintain his glitter-coated complexion – both tasks not easily completed in the deep swamps of Florida. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is the story of two Will Graysons, one a manic-depressive homo-goth, and the other a straight, laconic indie kid who is also best friends with the aforementioned Tiny Cooper. The two Wills fatefully meet on a street corner in Chicago, where immediately goth-Will and Tiny hit it off. As Tiny tries to produce a play of his life and manage a relationship with goth-Will, indie-Will also tries to find love in a fellow hipster Jane.

As I read both stories, the over-the-top portrayal of characters kept me enthralled – I read Freak Show in a day and WG,WG in two. Both are extremely uplifting tales of breaking barriers and finding love, which ultimately are things that everyone, no matter their sexuality, yearns for. As a gay teen, it was comforting to know that the struggles that I face on a daily basis could be so much worse than they actually are, and that there are others out there with similar experiences and viewpoints. L, G, B, T, Q, or A, you will ADORE Billy Bloom and his, to put it delicately, flair for the dramatic, and Tiny’s HUGE personality (and waist). As such universal characters, you may be able to see a little bit of yourself in both of them. Freak Show and Will Grayson, Will Grayson remind us to stay positive, stay fabulous, and not to take anyone’s crap!

-Wade Wallerstein

Thank you for joining us for our Teen Read Week series.  If you’d like to see all of the posts from this week, click here.  We hope you’re inspired to pick out a great book and read, just for the fun of it.

Super Scoop Friday–Shakespeare and a haiku!

Friday, October 8th, 2010

This week’s Super Scoop features two books – Shakespeare Bats Cleanup and its sequel, Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs. These smart, simple and sweet books are about a boy who steps out of his comfort zone as a jock and starts writing. Laid up at home with mono, 14-year old Kevin picks up a book of poetry his writer father has around and realizes that he really enjoys reading it. This inspires him to write his own poetry, which he is surprisingly good at. Girls, crushes, dating, and sports are all part of these two charming stories. Grief is also a key element, as Kevin’s mother has passed away, and in the second book, Kevin’s father starts dating again, which comes with its own set of issues.

I am familiar with haiku, sonnets, iambic pentameter, blank verse and limericks, but have you ever heard of pantoum, sestima, villanelle, or ghazal?? I certainly hadn’t! The two teens who are “poetry pals” in these books, Kevin and Amy, email poems back and forth to one another, their various types of poetry focusing on monsters of some sort – they even get a few published on a teen poetry website. Those who are studying the mechanics and types of poetry in school will thoroughly enjoy the witty and creative poems that Amy and Kevin come up with. Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs in particular would be a fun book for teachers to use or suggest as part of a poetry unit.

Kevin uses poetry as a cathartic and creative outlet, and he always has a notebook at the ready. He even states at one point, “I take refuge in poetry.” Pretty revolutionary for a 14-year old jock?? A refreshing message is conveyed about boys who can appreciate the written word and write creatively as well as play sports and get the girl.

I was even inspired to take a stab at poetry myself! Went with the haiku – seemed the shortest and easiest! Here you go:

Lost in a good book

All curled up warm and cozy

The best place to be.

-Tiffany, StorySnoop

BBW Day 5: Meg Cabot has lots to say, and you’ll want to read it here!

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

In the spirit of Banned Books Week, StorySnoops is hosting a series of interviews with our friends in the literary world.  BBW is the American Library Association’s annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  It highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.  We hope you enjoy reading about these different points of view!  We really enjoyed putting this series together!

Our guest today is Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author of over twenty-five series and books for teens, tweens and adults.  Just a few of her many titles are The Princess Diaries, How to be Popular, Airhead, Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls, and her latest release for adults, Insatiable.

Welcome Meg! Thanks for joining us here today.

Hi!  Thanks for having me!

Censorship and banned books are, of course, the topic of the week.  Have you ever been directly affected by censorship?

Well, as someone who grew up in a pretty conservative small town in Indiana (although it had a large college in it), of course there were incidents.  There was a mother (actually the mother of a friend of mine) who tried to get Judy Blume’s Forever banned in our school.  Of course I was the one who brought it to class.  My mom didn’t see what the big deal was.  If you didn’t like Forever, just don’t read it.  Why try to keep everyone else from enjoying it?   So my mom was the big No Book Banning! mom when I was a kid.

Now I am on the board of directors of the Authors Guild, the nation’s leading advocate for writers’ interests in free expression (sometimes working directly with the National Coalition Against Censorship).  Judy Blume is the current vice-president of the Authors Guild!  I know, small world.  She’s so fun.  (We’ve never talked about Forever, but Judy did email my mom once!  Mom was thrilled.

Is there any one title or series of yours that people have taken issue with more than any other?

My books have been challenged numerous times, especially The Princess Diaries series. It always astonishes people to hear this, considering not one of those books contains a single four letter word,  description of a character doing drugs or committing a criminal or violent act, or even having sex.

But because the heroine does, however, occasionally mention the word condom—as in, “In the unlikely case I were ever to have sex, I would use one”—pretty much from the day the Disney movie based on the first book came out, I started getting angry letters from parents who found themselves having to explain to their child what a condom is (although personally, I feel this is a conversation parents SHOULD have with their child, more than once).

I think it’s totally appropriate when I hear someone say “Your book Such and Such has been challenged in Such and Such Elementary School!” when the book is a YA. YA books are not intended for elementary school readers (although it depends on the reader, of course). I started writing a whole series, Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls series, for elementary school readers, just because so many little girls were upset that their moms and big sisters wouldn’t let them read my books for older girls!

It’s when my books for YA readers get challenged in middle and high school libraries, where they belong, that I get a bit nervous.

Have you ever felt pressure to change what you’ve written? What would you say to those who might ask you to change anything about your writing style?

Absolutely. This is a DAILY struggle, and the pressure comes from everywhere (which is why so many authors don’t open their email, because they are constantly being asked—not just by their editors, but by readers—to change their stories). That’s when, as an artist, you are left with a choice: change your story, making it more palatable to more people (so your message will reach further), or keep it as it is, reach less people, but know you stayed true to your own vision. It’s a huge problem, and one every artist, I’m sure, has faced at one time or another.

So, in answer to your question, the most difficult creative challenge for me personally in writing for a younger audience (or any audience, really) is trying to find ways to convey the messages I’m trying to get out to there to the largest number of people possible without getting shut down by The Man.  (I am not sure who He is, but I know He is out there).

But it’s also secretly the part I love most about my job.

And in the meantime, I will continue to work to support other authors in their battle against censorship.

What’s your biggest fear about censorship with regard to young people today?

My biggest fear is that due to a combination of factors—the overprotectiveness of a few; the greed of some; and fear of litigation by many–today’s young people might be kept—through no fault of their own—from ever seeing a lot of really, really good books. Instead,  the majority of them will grow into people who will fear (or fail to understand) anything that might in any way prove to be even the slightest bit edgy, intellectually challenging, or “controversial.”

The reason I say this is because once I got an email from a parent who volunteered in her child’s school library.  She wanted to let me know that she’d found the entire Princess Diaries series in the garbage under the librarian’s desk.  The librarian chose to trash it rather than deal with the hassle of a challenge brought by a parent. I am not saying this happens often.  I worship librarians.   My aunt is a librarian.  I know librarians who would stab you—literally, with a #2 pencil—before they would let you put a book in the trash.

But unfortunately library budgets everywhere are shrinking.  Librarians and media resource specialists are often the first to go when cuts are made.  The few who remain are under enormous pressure.  The last thing they need (or have time for) are book challenges, which can be time consuming (as well as costly, and can draw unwanted press). So who can blame the ones who buckle under the pressure from the higher ups simply to not to order books that might be considered controversial?

This—like throwing books that have been challenged in the trash—is a form of “passive” or “silent censorship.” If the young people never see so-called controversial books at all, neither will their parents.  In this way, the books will never be read, nor will their content ever be challenged.

Some websites (not this one!) that “warn” about potentially “controversial” material in books are now encouraging schools, teachers, and librarians to use their services when ordering their books to stock their shelves.  In this way, they can help keep these “harmful” books out of their classrooms, libraries, and even students’ homes.

These are websites that often don’t bother listing any “good stuff” at all about many of my favorite books, just the so-called “bad stuff.” The alleged “experts” who “rate” these books for age-appropriateness are oftentimes not “experts” in the field of children’s literature at all, with no traceable credentials whatsoever, whose reviews are riddled with factual errors. These websites claim this isn’t censorship, but simply “good parenting,” sanity, or even common sense.

This is probably what that librarian called it, when she put my books in the trash can.

So that’s what I’m most afraid of: An entire generation that has never been allowed to decide for themselves what’s “good stuff” and what’s “bad stuff” by a group of so-called concerned parents, educators, and “experts.”

Why let children (and teens) think at all?  Let’s just do their thinking for them by keeping books off the shelves entirely.  Books are so dangerous!  Just like thinking.

Enough serious stuff—we’re sure this almost never happens to you, but what is your favorite remedy for writer’s block?

Well, this does happen to me, and my favorite remedy is, of course, M&Ms.  But this doesn’t actually work.  What DOES work for me is a vigorous bike ride or swim or some form of exercise (even housework, ugh), then watching a movie and sleeping on it.  Usually when I wake up, the problem has somehow untangled itself while I’ve slept, and I know how to fix it.  Or not.  Repeat as necessary, sometimes for weeks.

Does your husband find your sassy sense of humor as charming as we do?

Well, thanks, but I’m not sure sassy is the word he’d use.

And because we are Snoops and we’ve heard you do all of your editing in bed:  we have to know—sweats or silky jammies?

Oh!  I wish I had silky jammies!  Now that you’re mentioning it, I’ve just realized . . . I don’t have a single pair!  I don’t know why.  Unfortunately the answer is sweats (or really, yoga pants, how unglamorous).  But I’m going to go Victoria’s Secret RIGHT NOW to rectify that!

Bye, and thanks.  StorySnoops rocks!

Love,

Meg

Thank you so much, Meg!  Check out Meg’s site for her latest releases, and the latest on her blog.

Join us tomorrow when Carol Rasco from Reading Is Fundamental stops by!  Click here to see all of our interviews in the Banned Books Week Series.

-The Snoops

How do I love the library? Let me count the ways!

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

I know – a seemingly simple and boring blog topic, but come on. The library rocks these days.

Yesterday, my kids and I left the library with three bags filled with CD’s, DVD’s, magazines and books. I couldn’t believe the librarians were actually letting me leave with all of this stuff. For free? Really? Didn’t they know about my tendency to lose things? As I was walking out the automatic doors, I found myself looking over my shoulder, feeling as though at any moment The Library Police would sound their whistles, call me over to the desk and say,  ”Ma’am, you have a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff in those bags – you can’t just take it. Hand it over.”

It got me thinking about how cool the library is. I know it sounds nerdy, but in this economy, who doesn’t love to save a buck or two? Everyone knows you can borrow books from the library, but my love affair with the library goes much deeper than that. How do I love the library? Let me count the ways:

1. The Summer Reading program makes my kids compete against each other to see how many books they can read in a summer.

2. Kids get their very own library cards.

3. The library has all the latest issues of “American Girl” and “National Geographic Kids” so I didn’t have to renew our subscriptions.

4. You can do homework with your kids argument-free.  Everyone knows you have to be quiet in the library.

5. They have 15 different books on hammerhead sharks. If you happen to have a fan of hammerhead sharks, that comes in quite handy.

6. You can check out audiobooks, which are fun to listen to in the car with your kids. I find that since they are such a captive audience in the car, I can sneak a classic or two in and they don’t notice.

7. My active seven-year-old will sit for an hour with a stack of comic books he cannot really read yet.

8. That new check out machine! You can stack a ton of books on top of each other and “BING”!–the machine checks out all the books for us and prints a receipt. It’s so easy even my kids can do it.

9.With the computers, periodicals, and encyclopedias, is there a better place to work on a high school report?

10. Reading Hour. Sadly, my kids are too old for this now, but when they were younger, they really enjoyed it.

11. Free Wi-Fi.

12. When a book I want is checked out, I put my name on a list. When it comes in, I get an email letting me know they are holding it for me. Lovely.

13. I get email reminders when my books are about to be due (which has saved me big bucks in late fees).

I could go on and on but what about you? What do you love about your library?

-Shannon, StorySnoop