Professional Reading: Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects

Sticky FingersProfessional Reading:  Maletsky, Sophie. Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects. Zest Books, 2013. $16.99. ISBN 978-1-936976-54-6.

Check the young adult nonfiction area of your library and you may find you already own this wonderful resource. In fact, you might want to purchase another copy just for in-house use, since it is packed with projects you can offer at a tween or teen Do-It-Yourself library program.

The book begins with a detailed section on types of duct tape, supplies and tools needed, and many basic constructions like closures essential in making the items in the book. There are 58 different projects in the book, from things that take less than 10 minutes to make, to a backpack that can take two hours to construct. The chapter for each item is very detailed, with many color photos and step by step instructions. There are also lists of all the supplies and tools needed for each craft. Most of the crafts are jewelry, purses and wallets, bookmarks and book covers, and locker or desk accessories.

Any of the items would work for a craft program on making gifts, or part of a Maker space program. One of my favorites is the checkerboard, complete with checkers, which takes less than an hour to make. Nearly all of the projects could be made easily by anyone in middle or high school, and some things can be made by children age six to ten with some adult guidance.

The author Sophie Maletsky is a former actress who now teaches and specializes in party planning. She lives in San Francisco and often visits libraries to conduct craft programming for tweens and teens. To contact her, visit her website at: or her blog Her website contains a calendar showing various libraries who have booked her to conduct a program this summer:

Penny Peck, San Jose State Univ. iSchool

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STEAM Do-It-Yourself Programming Ideas

Do-It-Yourself Program Ideas:  Hands-on STEAM for Kids

STEAM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, is currently a dominant theme in education. Libraries can hold entertaining STEAM programming, offering many different experiences for a wide age group. Here are some ideas you can adapt to a library of your size:

Several games and crafts can be set up in the library’s outdoor area for this program. Each table should have at least 2 high school volunteers to run the activity at that station. If you run out of materials at a station, close it.

Community groups that could be partners: High school service clubs could be helpful in providing teen volunteers to run the various stations.

Refreshments of fruit slices and water could be provided.

Icebreaker activity: Dress in your lab coat, and open with a few fun picture books that introduce concepts of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. For example:

Rosie Revere

  • Lujan, Jorge. Groundwood, 2014.
  • Beaty, Andrea. Rosie Revere, Engineer. Abrams, 2013.


Science Crafts, Games, and Activities:

Make paper airplanes using instructions from books at the library or here:

Rocket Balloon Race: Learn about Newton’s Third Law of Motion by making rocket balloons, and then race them:

Fruit Batteries: See who can light up their light bulb first, using a citrus fruit as a battery:

Technology Crafts, Games, and Activities:

Simon Game: A fun and easy way to help younger children learn to use technology is to play with the Simon light game. Borrow the game from staff and volunteers (many families own this game). Provide new batteries for each game.

Tumblebooks and BookFlix Learning Station: Many public libraries provide the Tumblebooks or BookFlix online children’s book collections, free to their cardholders using the Internet. Set up a     station with two computers showing these two paid databases, to demonstrate how easy they are    to use.

Angry Birds Hands-On Game: Make the hands-on version of this popular videogame, using boxes and stuffed animals:

Engineering Crafts, Games, and Activities:

Marble Run: Using cardboard tubes, duct tape, and other common household items, build this cool marble run and have a race:

Marshmallow Engineering: Make these awesome marshmallow towers out of mini-marshmallows and toothpicks:

Viking Catapults: Catapults are a fun and easy engineering project, with the added element of a history lesson. Make this simple catapult with bamboo skewers, rubber bands, and other recyclables. Then, have a contest to see who can shoot their dried beans the farthest!

Arts Crafts, Games, and Activities:

Alien Craft: Make this cool Alien craft out of recyclables:

Hedgehogs: Make these fun hedgehogs out of discarded paperback books:

Woven Paper Baskets: For older children who might find the Hedgehog craft too easy, make these woven paper baskets out of newspaper, old wallpaper (obtain donations), or leftover wrapping paper:

Math Crafts, Games, and Activities:

Math Scrabble: Before the program, make two or three Math Scrabble board games by converting old Scrabble games (purchased at thrift stores or yard sales) :  . At the program, set out these Math Scrabble games and let participants play the game.

Short Path Games: Make these fun and easy board games out of construction paper, stickers, and other materials you already have on hand. Here are the instructions:

Tangrams: Tangrams combine art with math shapes. Print out the patterns seen here, as well as ideas for various items you can construct out of tangrams:

Penny Peck,  SJSU iSchool


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Review of the Week: Red: A Crayon’s Story

red a crayon's storyHall, Michael. Red: A Crayon’s Story. Michael Hall, Illus. Picture Book.
Greenwillow, 02/2015. [37]p. $17.99. 978-0-06-225207-4,
PLB $18.89 978-0-06-225209-8.
Red is a crayon who is clearly blue, but no one is able to see his true color until a special new friend shows him that it’s okay to be himself. Digitally-combined crayon drawings and cut paper tell Red’s story, with alternating b&w spreads, adding contrast and tension. The simple narrative text—told by a pencil—combines with dialogue and humorous asides from the other crayons, illustrating the frustration and despair Red feels when he disappoints his friends and family. Themes of personal doubt, the hurtful judgments of others, and ultimately self-acceptance
fill this touching and hopeful book. This title will be popular with a variety of ages; younger children will enjoy the humor, while older ones will root for Red to discover his true identity.
Melissa Morwood, Palo Alto PL

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ACL Members Elected, Jane Addams Awards, New BayNews Posted

Congratulations to our members who were elected to ALA offices! The following members of the Association of Children’s Librarians (of Northern California) were recently elected to ALA Office or Committees! Help us congratulate them!

*Pat Toney, ALA Council

*Erica Dean Glenn, 2017 Caldecott

*Ted McCoy, 2017 Sibert

separateJane Addams Awards Announced:  The 2015 Jane Addams Book Awards, celebrating peace and social justice, were announced on April 28, 2015. The winner for Younger Children is Duncan Tonatiuh’s Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation. The winner for Older Children is Teri Kanefield’s The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement. Both books were published by Abrams. Two honor books in the Older Children category were named: Revolution by Deborah Wiles (Scholastic) and Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal (HMH). Two honor books were also named in the Younger Children category: Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren (Kar-Ben) and Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by John Hendrix (Abrams).

New ACL BayNews Posted: The May 2015 BayNews (the newsletter for the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California) is now available on our website: Daddys Busy Day . You will find the the first part of our Spring Board Book Round-up, Readalikes for James Patterson’s bestselling “I Funny” series, new storytime themes on Legendary Heroes, Sidekicks, and Ballet, hands-on programming ideas for STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math) and much more. Thanks! Penny Peck

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Read-Alikes for Novels in the Form of Emails/Texts/Blogs (revised):

Tweet HeartRead-Alikes for Tween and Teen Books Written in the Form of Emails/Texts/Blogs (revised):

Amato, Mary. The Naked Mole-rat Letters.

Anderson, Jodi Lynn. Loser/Queen.

Bancks, Tristan. Mac Slater Hunts the Cool.

Bell, Cathleen D. Little Blog on the Prairie.

Black, Becca. iDrakula.

Brody, Jessica. My Life Undecided.

Brown, Jeffrey. Star Wards Jedi Academy series.

Carvell, Tim. Planet Tad.

Clark, Jay. The Edumacation of Jay Baker.

Cooper, Rose. Gossip from the Girls’ Room: a Blogtastic Novel.

Cooper, Rose. Secrets from the Sleeping Bag.

Day, Suzy. Serafina67: *Urgently Requires Life*

Goldschmidt, Judy. The Secret Blog of Raisin Rodriquez.

Gosselink, John. Free Thaddeus!

Heasley, Gwendolyn. Don’t Call Me Baby.

Holm, Jennifer L. Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff.

Johnson, Kathleen J. A Fast and Brutal Wing.

Morris, Taylor. Do’s and Don’ts.

Myracle, Lauren. Bff: a Girlfriend Book U Write 2gether.

Myracle, Lauren. L8r, G8r.

Myracle, Lauren. Love Ya Bunches.

Myracle, Lauren. TTFN.

Myracle, Lauren. TTYL.

Rivers, Karen. Finding Ruby Starling.

Rudnick, Elizabeth. Tweet heart.

Schaefer, Laura. The Secret Ingredient.

Sternberg, Julie. Friendship Over.

Strange, Jason. Text 4 Revenge.

Sugg, Zoe. Girl Online: The First Novel of Zoella.

Taylor, Chloe. “Sew Zoey” series.

Toffler-Corrie, Laura. The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz.

Vega, Denise. Access Denied.

Vega, Denise. Click Here: (to find out how I survived 7th grade).

Wells, Tina. “Mackenzie Blue” series.

Wise, Rachel. Set the Record Straight!

Wittlinger, Ellen. Heart on My Sleeve.

Penny Peck, San Jose State Univ.  iSchool

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Review of the Week: Place Hacking – Venturing Off Limits

place hackingRosen, Michael J. Place Hacking: Venturing Off Limits. Non-fiction. 21st Century, 2015. 72p. PLB $33.32.  978-1-4677-2515-6. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 8-12.

Exploration is difficult today, unless one is willing to leave the planet, but place hacking (defined as going where one is not allowed to go) gives an outlet for those feelings of discovering new places, or more specifically, rediscovering. Rosen gives a history of place hacking, the rules or lack thereof, famous place hackers, possible motives for the activity, an interview with a famous explorer, and the consequences of exploring an abandoned building (from biological hazards to getting caught by security guards). Documentation is important for place hackers, so the pages are filled with photographs from amazing heights, such as from Notre Dame or the Chrysler building. The back matter—in the form of a timeline, a glossary, a persuasive writing activity, source notes, and a For Further Information section— makes this an outstanding addition to any reader who has a thirst for exploration.

Nazli R. Ali, Daly City PL

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Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Awards

The Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Awards Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 12th biennial Awards. The awards will be presented in a ceremony on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at the White Plains (New York) Public Library. The program is open to the public.

The Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award was established in 1990 by librarians, storytellers and educators in Westchester County, New York, to honor Anne Izard, an extraordinary librarian, storyteller, and Children’s Services Consultant in the Westchester County Library System. The Award seeks to bring the riches of storytelling to greater public awareness by highlighting and promoting distinguished books on storytelling published for children and adults. Folklore, fiction, biography and historical stories must be entirely successful without consideration of graphic elements. Books which enrich a storyteller’s understanding of story, folk traditions, aesthetics, and methods of storytelling are also eligible. Books considered for the Twelfth Award were original material, reprints, or new English translations published in the United States between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

Recipients of the 12th Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Awards are:
Ol Clip ClopBeyond the Briar Patch : Affrilachian Folktales, Food and Folklore by Lyn Ford [Parkhurst Brothers 2014]
The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman [Roaring Brook Press 2013]
Every Day a Holiday: A Storyteller’s Memoir by Elizabeth Ellis [Parkhurst Brothers 2014]
The Golden Age of Folk & Fairy Tales: From the Brothers Grimm to Andrew Lang by Jack Zipes [Hackett Publishing 2013]
The Grudge Keeper by Mara Rockliff [Peachtree Publishers 2014]
The King of Little Things by Bil Lepp [Peachtree Publishers 2013]
Mysterious Traveler by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham [Candlewick Press 2013]
Ol’ Clip Clop: A Ghost Story by Patricia C. McKissack [Holiday House 2013]
Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale by Marina Warner [Oxford University Press 2014]
Story by Story: Creating a Student Storytelling Troupe… by Karen Chace [Parkhurst Brothers 2014]
Teaching with Story by Margaret Read MacDonald, Jennifer MacDonald Whitman and Nathaniel Forest Whitman [August House 2014]
Whiskers, Tails & Wings: Animal Folktales from Mexico by Judy Goldman [Charlesbridge 2013]
You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! by Jonah Winter [Schwartz & Wade Books 2013]

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