Winger by Andrew Smith. New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013. Review copy provided by my local library.
Winger by Andrew Smith is one of those books I wanted to read because it felt like everybody was reading it. “So funny,” everyone said. “Such a great look inside a teenage boy’s head!” everyone said. (Note: by “everyone” I mean “all the other librarians I follow on Twitter.”) So I picked it up mostly due to librarian peer pressure.
“Winger” is the nickname of the book’s protagonist and narrator, Ryan Dean West. (“My name is Ryan Dean West. Ryan Dean is my first name. You don’t usually think a single name can have a space and two capitals in it, but mine does. Not a dash, a space. And I don’t really like talking about my middle name.”) Winger attends Pine Mountain Academy, which is “not only a prestigious rich kids’ school; it’s also for rich kids who get in too much trouble because they’re alone and ignored while their parents are off being congressmen or investment bankers or professional athletes.” As for why Ryan Dean himself is at Pine Mountain? “I know you’re going to ask, so I might as well tell you: it was for breaking into and trying to drive a T train. I was twelve. Boys like trains.”
I got a love letter this week! I found it at the library. It was written by a stranger, especially for me! Or for whoever happened to find it.
How delightful! I loved reading this and went to check out moreloveletters.com, the website written at the bottom of my letter. It’s basically a movement for, you guessed it, More Love Letters. I read their Starter Kit and had the idea to have my teen advisory board write some letters that we could stick into teen books for readers to find. I brought down paper, markers, pencils, stickers, and copies of More Love Letters’ guidelines for letters (no personal information, be positive, but don’t be gushy, do include the MoreLoveLetters.com address, etc) and told them about the project.
My teens LOVED the idea and we had a great time writing letters and hiding them in books! Quotes: “We should do this every month, until every book in the library has a letter in it!” and “Renata, you have to tell other libraries about this idea!”
It’s a program idea that requires little in the way of planning or supplies, and one that could have a great impact on your community. It certainly brightened my day to find this letter, and my TAB and I certainly hope that the people who find our letters will feel likewise!
All good things must come to an end, and yesterday was the last day of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library 2013 Summer Reading Club.
The good news is: today we drew the grand prize winners!
The bad news is: I can’t keep this adorable Finn & Jake set on my desk anymore, I have to give it away to a winner!
All told, we had 463 teens registered, who read a total of 5552 books and 130496 minutes. (And yet we only have 3 copies of Divergent!) Pretty impressive, everyone!
Without further ado, here’s our list of winners. Congratulations to them, and thanks to everyone who participated! (And remember, kids: the true prize is all the free books you can get from the library every day! Though a Kindle Fire is admittedly pretty nice too.)