Celebrating Turtles ALL the Way Down!


Anyone who’s been around here for awhile knows that I’m a Nerdfighter. Reading Looking for Alaska as a graduate student in the YA class at Kent cemented my interest in teen services as more than just an elective class. It confirmed that yeah, this is what I wanna do with my life.

(Actually, my dream job is working for Nerdfighteria and/or John & Hank’s YouTube network of free educational instruction… My resume is here…)

Anyways. So to say that I’m among the many excited for John Green’s new book, Turtles All the Way Down, is a bit of an understatement. I’ve a pre-order for one of (probably) signed copies, and the planning for our book release party is pretty much done.

I’m not sure if Penguin did it on purpose, but releasing the book during Teen Read Week was perfection. The fact that I’d already planned our annual Teen Read Week Extravaganza on October 10th was just icing on the cake. It’s like it was meant to be!!

I’m also excited to be planning any sort of fandom event. While it’s kind of fun not having One Big Fandom™ right now (there are SO MANY little ones to keep track of!), this fangirl has been pining for a big, specially-themed event. So here we go!

During our annual TRW Extravaganza, we usually give books away, play teen literature pictionary, engage in Shakespearean insult battles (with these books), create a few crafts, & top it all off with a fun treat. This year is no exception.

We’ll make turtle sundaes (vanilla ice cream with caramel & chocolate sauces, pecans optional), create turtle corner bookmarks (that three lucky attendees will get to put in their book prizes) and turtle keychains or pins, play some pictionary, and give away books. With the book being about mental illness, I really wanted to give away turtle stress balls, but alas, I can’t find any that don’t require a minimum order of less than 75. I really only need about 25. Sigh.

And yes, I am aware that the book isn’t actually about turtles. TFIOS wasn’t about clouds, but that didn’t stop us from putting those clouds onto everything!


The craft samples above can be easily manipulated to whatever your needs are. I based the turtle body template for the pin/keychain on a basic five petal blossom; feel free to resize to what you want before printing on cardstock. Add a bit of a tail if you wish, or attach a bit extra to wrap around a keychain fob. Then, all you need is a circle that matches your chosen size.

I like working with felt because it’s very forgiving – I find that many teens don’t have great tracing or scissor skills and get upset when their cuts aren’t perfect. All the supplies used for the crafts are in each image; as you can see, there’s nothing really special. Just basic stuff that, if not already in your closet, you can get at your local craft supply store.

So what are you up to this fall?

BREAKING DAWN…. part one

Now, I’m not a hater – in fact, I quite honestly enjoy the series, & it’s possible I’m among only a few that absolutely loved what Catherine Hardwicke did with the first one. But I can’t imagine I’m alone when I say I’m getting rather tired of this universe. For me, the biggest obstacle is the fact that there’s really very little to play with here – no costume contests, no silly food to recreate, very few universe-specific details. At the previous three parties, we’ve made glitter gel & created jewelry, a la what’s been available at Hot Topic, but I was getting a bit tired of doing that. So, for this movie, we created more of a wedding reception atmosphere, complete with “Save the Date!” wordage on our marketing.

What we did:
» As at all our Twilight parties, we had the soundtrack playing sprinkled with various trailers & tv spots.

» I made a wedding cake, & this was actually the first time I’ve ever decorated a cake like this, so I’m fairly pleased with it. We got the pans from a staff member, & I think the mixes, frosting, & other ingredients were less than $10.

» The guestbook was rather amusing – I think they had fun pretending to be at Bella & Edward’s wedding!

» Our major craft was a dreamcatcher. Oriental Trading has a very nice kit, less than $1 each, that makes quite a nice little dreamcatcher. The reviews over there are a bit unfairly negative, because the truth is, this isn’t something you can do with younger kids, but for teens & older, I think it’s perfect.

» I printed out a bunch of t-shirt ideas I’d seen online, & as we’ve done at all the parties, they were invited to bring along a t-shirt to design for the movie line.

» We always have a Jeopardy-style trivia game with questions taken from the book, & this party was no exception.

» We’ve had the life size standees since the New Moon Party, & I think we’ve had our money’s worth from them. Throughout the week prior to the party they help with advertising, & then everyone fauns over them at the actual party.

» Prizes included a few bookmarks, a donated copy of Breaking Dawn, & some other little vampire tidbits. Bookmarks with dreamcatcher lore, Twilight & New Moon reading maps, & Vampire Kisses READ bookmarks completed the freebie table.

For our next (& with any luck, FINAL!) Twilight party, we’ll be having cupcakes & thinking more along the lines of a baby shower. Of course, it’ll be a vampire baby shower, so darkness & candlelight will still rule the party planning.

Teen Summer Movie Nights

Last summer, I started doing “Teen Summer Movie Nights”, and I’ll continue with a few over the summer. I love doing movie nights – they’re simple, cost little, & I find them a great way to promote books.

There are so many movies out there whose origins come from teen books, & a lot of teens don’t even realize these books exist. Movie nights are great way to bring in teens who aren’t your “regulars,” & show read-a-likes as well. I usually do giveaways of the book, or something to tie it in – when we show Twilight this summer, I’m going to giveaway a copy of the Director’s Notebook.

Here are 10 ideas to get you started! More are available @ the Book to Movie set on Flickr.

If your library is supportive (or brave) enough, definitely give this is a try. It was beloved by teens & critics alike!

This movie was panned by so many, but I don’t really understand why. The audience it was intended for (teens) loved it, & I thought it was rather fun.

If you show it, they will come. If the New Moon trailer is out by the time you show it, perhaps start the show with that!

Superhero movies! Are from books! Not to mention the fact that you’ll be placed into the ‘not lame’ category if you prove you know what’s popular. But think of all the great movies you can show (& teens you’ll attract) if you accept that yes, graphic novels & comic books are legitimate books!

I usually shy away from programs with a specific audience in mind, prefering to spend my time planning events that will appeal to both girls AND guys, but if you’ll be showing some guy-friendly movies (like Spiderman – not that girls DON’T like comics & etc; goodness knows I’m never disappointed when we go see one), I see no reason why you couldn’t balance it with some girl-specific flicks as well.

I was shocked to discover that a lot of teens have never seen this. How sad!

This book is required reading around here, & to many teens’ surprise, they really like it!

An oldie by a goodie. Have today’s teens even heard of this?