Plan Your Teen Read Week Event

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For more great programming ideas or to share your own, visit the
Teen Read Week Wiki!



Set up a reading tournament this summer or in the month leading up to Teen Read Week. Have teens choose their favorite books that will help them read beyond reality, and have them vote each week for a winner of each match up. Find books using the downloadable
recommended reading pamphlet from ALA Graphics or the
Teens' Top Ten nominations.

Map Other Worlds

Encourage teens to create maps or models of their favorite fictional worlds: have them create a map of Hogwarts and its vicinity, Middle Earth, Panem, or the Seven Kingdoms from

Change Your Reality

Start a teen volunteer program and show teens how they can change their world and the world of others. Work with a local charity to host a book, food, or toy drive. Recruit teens to volunteer at the library and to help read to younger kids at storytime. Create booklists and displays using books nominated for the 2010 Popular Paperbacks theme
Change Your World. Do your own version of
Operation Teen Book Drop. Find tips on community service and teens on the

Great Gaming!

Go beyond reality through gaming! Host a gaming event at your library:

  • Try a board games night featuring
    Risk, Life, Stratego or similar titles
  • Host a
    Dungeons & Dragons tournament
  • Add a twist to the typical video game night and play games that have a book counterpart. For gaming systems, try
    Lord of the Rings: Conquest, Ultimate Spider-Man, Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince (due in July); for computer games, try the Nancy Drew series or
    Around the World in 80 Days.
  • Host a gaming even about virtual worlds or simulation! Play
    The Sims, Age of Mythology, Civilization, or
    Virtual Villagers.

Create New Realities

Sponsor a contest asking teens to read books that take place outside of our reality and write a paragraph about why that reality would be a better or worse place to live than our own. Start a fan fiction writing group for any popular sci-fi or fantasy TV shows and movies; you can create a contest out of the group or use it as an opportunity to teach them about copyright and fair use. Or have a themed contest for all your teens — ask them to write a short story, create artwork, or write an essay about what the world will be like in 2109. Encourage teens’ creativity by hosting a class on video game design.

Playing with Reality

Invite an actor or actress from a local theater troupe to talk about their work, what it’s like to play different people all the time. Have them talk about how important reading is to their profession. Create a display or booklist books from the 2009 Popular Paperbacks themed list,
Fame & Fortune.

At the Movies

Plan a film festival for your teens! Try a book vs. movie theme, with teens comparing them. Feature movies made from popular fantasy books (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter) or books that have won awards or been on YALSA lists (
, Coraline, Inkheart). Check the
YALSA Booklists & Awards page for more ideas. Have parents sign permission slips to approve PG or PG-13 rated flicks first. Be sure to obtain a
Public Performance License before showing any movies at the library. Looking for more ideas? Check the
Fabulous Films for Young Adults lists.

Beyond Reality Fashion Show

Teens create fashions for characters from their favorite sci-fi, fantasy, or alternate reality books such as Neil Gaiman’s
The Graveyard Book, Derek Landy’s
Skullduggery Pleasant, Shannon Hale’s
Book of a Thousand Days, Orson Scott Card’s
Ender’s Game (just to name a few) using whatever materials you have handy. (You can find titles using
YALSA Booklists & Awards page.)They can just design and draw, create three-dimensional mock-ups for sock puppets, or go whole hog and sew themselves a wearable masterpiece! Hang their work in the library, have an actual fashion show, or just let them take their creations home with them

iPod Shuffle Poetry

Provide writing materials and have teens bring iPods or mp3 players to the library (If your library has mp3 players, use them!). Hand out character biographies or have teens choose their favorite characters from their favorite sci-fi, fantasy, alternate reality books. Then, using the character as the protagonist, teens put their entire music catalog on shuffle, and start the process of creating poetry using only the first lines of each song as they cycle through their playlists. This can be a limited number of lines or not. The creativity comes in putting those random song lyrics together in a poem that describes something the character saw, felt, or thought.

Teens’ Top Ten

Teens’ Top Ten nominations come out on Support Teen Literature Day (April 16 this year). Encourage teens to read the nominees, hosting weekly discussion groups where teens give their opinions and try to persuade others to vote for their choices. Teens will be well informed when they vote in the online Teens’ Top Ten poll between Aug. 24 and Sept. 18! Winners will be announced during Teen Read week.

Go Virtual

Hold an event in
Teen Second Life! You can host an author visit, a competition, a college fair, or anything else. Hold a scavenger hunt or host a class (see the
Eye4You Alliance’s Science Friday as an example). Teens may also be interested in machinima, which is making movies in 3D virtual worlds. Teens can use Teen Second Life or games like The Sims to write, edit and make their own movies. Learn how to get started with the
Machinima FAQ. The possibilities are endless.

Get Animated

Have teens create their own animation. To get started with animation, download
Scratch, free software developed by MIT. The software allows teens to create animations, interactive stories, music, and more and to share them on the web. If it's possible, invite someone who works in animation (check with an ad agency or see if a web designer could demonstrate Flashanimation) to talk to teens about what they do.

Teen Read Week Planning Timeline


  • Register to participate at
  • Check out the
    Teens’ Top Ten nominations and work with your Teen Advisory Group (TAG) to come up with ideas to ensure that teens are reading the nominations all summer so they are ready to vote for their favorites during Teen Read Week.
  • Order
    Teens’ Top Ten nominees not already in your collection, so they will be available for check out in time for summer reading


  • Work with your TAG to create book talks (digital, audio, live) for the
    Teens’ Top Ten nominees
  • Visit teens in schools, community centers, etc. and book talk the
    Teens’ Top Ten books
  • Meet with your TAG to decide how best to celebrate Teen Read Week (TRW) in your library
  • Based on your TAG meeting(s), write up a proposal and budget to share with your supervisor
  • Communicate your plans to the library staff and get any TRW events on the library and community calendars


  • Promote the Teens’ Top Ten nominees with your summer reading program
  • Read the summer issue of

    Young Adult Library Services
    for TRW ideas and resources
  • Continue planning with your TAG. Think about what area organizations might be good to partner with. Once you know what your plans are, share them on the
    Teen Read Week Wiki.
  • Order supplies and promotional materials.
    ALA Graphics has official posters, bookmarks, digital downloads, and more.


  • Continue to promote the Teens’ Top Ten nominees along with your summer reading program
  • Contact & confirm presenters or speakers for your TRW events
  • Send VIPs invitations to attend TRW events
  • Work with your TAG to identify ways to market TRW events then create marketing materials


  • Market TRW events to area teens
  • Invite local press and media to TRW events (use the
    publicity tools on our website)
  • Find volunteers to be photographers or videographers for your TRW events
  • Work with your TAG to finalize plans
  • Update and prepare library staff for TRW
  • Work with your TAG to create a TRW display in the library, school, or community center.


  • Contact local press and media to confirm attendance at events
  • Contact VIPs to remind them of the events
  • Work with your TAG to implement events
  • Encourage teens to vote online for their
    Teens’ Top Ten favorites
  • Evaluate your efforts
  • Send thank yous to volunteers, press, VIPs
  • Send press wrap up press release, photos, and any other post-event publicity material.