Library Blog

Teens Just Don't Wanna Be Quarantined!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Last week the Children’s Library started a list of educational resources families might find useful during self-quarantine. We will be updating that list as our physical location remains closed, and hope that children of all ages will find something on it of interest.

Nevertheless, we realize that some resources are particularly suited to older children and parents of older children. Many tweens and teens are already accustomed to virtual learning, and may face different challenges than younger children while making the transition from learning at school to learning at home. Furthermore, older children are often just beginning to enjoy newfound independence and suddenly being cooped up at home may feel, to them, particularly difficult.

The following is a grouping of resources older children and their families may find useful during the coming days and weeks. These resources will be updated periodically as we become aware of more resources. Please let us know if you find something other families may find useful. In addition, we are asking members to fill out our 2 Question Survey regarding what kinds of resources you might find helpful at this time.


Educational (and Fun!) Things for Tweens and Teens To Do Online


- Kelly Yang, the author of Front Desk, is teaching writing classes specifically geared for teens on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3:00 to 3:30 PM E.S.T.

- The University of Vermont Extension office is hosting "QuaranTeen Virtual Science Cafes" via Zoom on May 27, June 3, and June 10 at 3 PM E.S.T.

- The Brooklyn Public Library is offering a variety of virtual programs for teens.

- The Smithsonian Institution is currently allowing free access to Smithsonian Open Access, an online database filled with millions of images. The Library of Congress' website is also worth checking out. 

- Lauren Gunderson is teaching a playwriting class via Facebook.

- The New York Public Library has a plethora of online resources for teens.

- offers free, online computer science lessons.

- Pure Belpré Award-winning author (and Library member!) Carlos Hernandez is hosting a writing class on YouTube called "Volcanic Writing."

- J.K. Rowling, along with other assorted Harry Potter-adjacent entities, has started a "Harry Potter At Home" website featuring a variety of content from the wizarding world. Google Arts and Culture has also curated a page highlighting some neat Harry Potter pages from around the web.

- Babbel, an app that can help someone learn a new language, is now free for students in grades K through 12 until mid-June.

- June 20 and 21 is International Virtual Queer Kidlit Pride Weekend. Visit the official website if you have an idea for a panel or would like to participate!

- The National Theatre is showing some of its performances for free on its YouTube page under the moniker the "National Theatre at Home."

- Although a little pricey, The Writing Barn is offering a writing retreat for teens called "Putting Pen To Paper: ONLINE Creative Writing for Teens" from July 13 to July 24.

- Award-winning author (and Library member!) Carlos Hernandez taught an online writing workshop called "Volcanic Writing."

- Facebook Watch has begun airing a new show called Letters to _____, where children's and YA authors surprise their fans with personal visits via Zoom calls.

- Curious Jane, a STEM- and creativity-focused summer camp offering programs for girls in grades K through 6, is offering virtual summer camp programming under the moniker "CA/MP: Creative Art / Make Projects."


"Offline" Activities for Tweens and Teens


 - Keep a journal. Begin blogging. Start a podcast.

 - Gather family interviews using The Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide

 - The Queens Public Library is having a March Madness-style "Battle of the Books," where readers are  choosing between favorite Young Adult titles in order to determine the overall favorite. Read the books and make sure to vote in each week's head-to-head matchup!

- Literary Safari has started producing an intriguing new podcast called "The Story Seeds Podcast." Children ages 6 to 12 can apply to appear on an episode and contribute towards the show's creative output. Literary Safari is also producing an "Imagination Lab" e-zine that accompanies each episode. These free e-zines feature activities that build off of the podcast episode's content.

- The British Library invites its users to make your own miniature books! Directions are towards the bottom of the page, below the short history lesson about miniature books and The Infant's Library.

- Spotify users can now listen to a free audiobook version of Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning.

- Rex Ogle, author of Free Lunch, has been writing a new book, Aiden Tyler, Quaran-Teen, posted here in serial format.


Helpful Reading for Parents, Guardians, and Older Children


Bay Area Parent has an insightful interview with Christine Carter of the University of California-Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center offering tips on how to parent teenagers during the coronavirus crisis.

-The New York Times published a similar article.

- Here is a list from Mahnaz Dar of the School Library Journal of "19 Webcomics To Keep Kids and Teens Engaged."

- A helpful article from The Clay Center For Young Healthy Minds discusses the ways adults should act around kids and teens during the crisis.

- Unicef has suggestions for teens on how to cope with the outbreak.

- Here is a reading list from Elliot Riley of the School Library Journal of "9 Adult Books with Teen Appeal."

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