Pride Month Display & Book Recommendations

If you follow me on Twitter, you might’ve seen me post about my (small, inclusive, non-offensive) Pride Month display (pictured below) that I put up in the library that was taken down.

Pride Month Display


I couldn’t care less about the work I put into the display. What I care about are the teens who didn’t get to see the display before it got taken down, who didn’t get to find a book that they could find themselves in, who didn’t get to see that at least one librarian cares about them in this state. I’m sad because none of the teens who could’ve benefited from this display were asked what they thought about it. I’m sad because before the display was taken down, FOUR of the books in the display were checked out, which means at least one teen saw that display and thought, “Wow. This is for me,” but no other teens were given that option.

I can’t say much about the display or why it was taken down, unfortunately. There was a much longer post here, but all I’m going to say no is that the display was taken down. Kayla, the young adult librarian at one of the other libraries in our system, also had to take her display down (pictured below).

Kayla's display

What Kayla had to say:

What you’re saying is, “The kids who need these books, this visibility, and this support are not as important as the people who might get upset about it.”
What I just got told, by the people who refer to us all as a family, is that I can only be proud of myself if other people don’t have to see it. What I just got told, by the people who are supposed to uphold the idea of freedom of information for the public, who are supposed to serve the community as best they possibly can, is that some parts of that community matter more than others.

Good to know.

Kayla and I are not giving up and we will continue to find a way to continue to support our LGBTQIAP+ youth and ALL youth in our communities.


So while all of this was happening, someone asked me on Twitter so share a list of the books I put in my display so he could add them to his TBR. I wanted to share them with all of you, so here’s the list of books I had in my display plus a few I wanted to include but were already checked out. I hope that you’ll find at least one of them that will benefit you.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Anything Could Happen by Will Walton
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Two Boys Kissing and Every Day by David Levithan (honestly, everything by David Levithan)
In Real Life by Joey Graceffa
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Binge by Tyler Oakley
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

A Work in Progress by Connor Franta
Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator Is Changing the World by Jack Andraka
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

Far from You by Tess Sharpe
Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz
The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

Other books that I wanted in my display but they are already checked out (which is even better):

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Winger and Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

There are so many other books I wanted to include. I would also recommend checking out Dahlia Adler’s LGBTQ Reads website for more recommendations!

If you are interested in hearing about what happens with this situation, I’ll be tweeting updates, so follow me @StefaniSloma.

BEA & BookCon Recap

Hey guys! Before I get into my BEA/BookCon recap, I wanted to say sorry that I’ve been a little MIA lately. The couple of weeks since coming home from Chicago have been kind of rough for me – emotionally but also at work – and I just haven’t felt like blogging. So I took a little hiatus. I’m ready to get back to it, and I hope you’re ready too. 🙂

BEA/BookCon recap

A couple of weeks ago I went to my first-ever BEA (Book Expo America) and BookCon in Chicago. I drove 10.5 hours by myself on the Tuesday before BEA started, and it was wonderful and terrible all at the same time. 10.5 hours in a car with nothing to look at (seriously, there is nothing on the way up) and only yourself for company can get a bit monotonous. Thankfully I had the audiobook for Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (review soon) and I LOVED it. It helped pass the time quickly. But just so you know, here are a couple of pictures I took on the way up. I told you: NOTHING.

Wednesday was absolutely amazing. I FINALLY got to meet Brittany (Brittany’s Book Rambles) – one of my best blogger friends – in person, and she is just as wonderful as I thought. I also got to meet Annalisse (Hopeful Reads), Michelle (Dreaming of Alba), and Melanie (One Less Lonely Blog), and we all ended up being a BEA-crew of helping each other out and hanging out. I had so much freaking fun with these people, and I can’t wait to see them all again. I MISS YOUUUUU!

I also met Sarah K (The YA Book Traveler), Ava (Bookishness and Tea), Andye (Reading Teen) – who is just the absolute best, Mishma (Chasing Faerytales), Shannon (It Starts at Midnight), Hannah (Irish Banana), Jamie (Fiction Fare), Fallon (Seeing Double in Neverland), Morgan (Take Me Away to a Great Read), Anna, and so many more. If I forgot you, yell at me in the comments. I am so sorry!

The conference itself was amazing. Like I said, it was my first time, so I was expecting to be a bit overwhelmed, but overall, I wasn’t. Everything was so well laid out and organized, and I really enjoyed just walking around and seeing what was there. I talked to a bunch of publishers, which was really cool. I went to several booths and just asked them to tell me some of the books they were excited about, and it was fun seeing which books they picked out. I found several books I hadn’t heard of this way. Check out last week’s TTT to see some of the books I picked up on a whim.

It’s not all about the books, of course. There were a bunch of panels happening at the same time, and I’m glad I made time to attend a few of them. I think my two favorites were the ALA @ BEA one on Reader’s Advisory; I learned a bunch of cool techniques to use that I can bring back to my library. I also enjoyed the panel called “Reality Bites”, which featured John Corey Whaley, David Levithan, David Arnold, Jennifer Niven, and Nicola Yoon. Oh, and on Saturday (BookCon), I won a ticket to a meet and greet with Jazz Jennings, which was fun. She’s super adorable.

Another favorite part of the week was Friday morning. David Arnold was live tweeting from the Penguin Teen Twitter account and asked if I wanted to walk around with him while I did. Who would say no? I mean, seriously. So I met up with him and Adam Silvera and got to meet in person Eric Smith (super awesome literary agent), Mary (librarian and blogger), Katie (bookseller and blogger), Gaby (bookseller and blogger), and, for the first time, Dave Connis (author of The Temptation of Adam, which comes out next year). We hung out for a while and each got a Kids of Appetite armband (GAAAHHH I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU GUYS TO READ THIS BOOK GEEZ). It was an absolute blast, and I was really glad I got to see David again.

I met so many amazing authors, you guys! Some of them I’d already met and it was wonderful to see them again. But I met some of my favorites, including:

Oliver Jeffers (he knew who I was!!!!), Tahereh Mafi (who recognized me from Twitter!), Laini Taylor, Jay Kristoff, Justin Cronin, Mia Siegert, Siobhan Vivian, John Corey Whaley, Sam Maggs, William Ritter, Ruta Sepetys, Kerri Maniscalco, Kendare Blake, Kristen Simmons, and Hannah Hart (I randomly ran into her at the Image Comics booth – so cool!). I, unfortunately, didn’t get pictures with all of these wonderful authors, but some of my pics are below.

Mia Siegert actually joined my family and I at Giordano’s for dinner on Thursday night, which was a TON of fun! My family loved her because her book features hockey, and they are a bunch of hockey fans.

And, of course, I got a LOT of books. I tried to limit myself to books I knew I really wanted to read, and I think I did a pretty good job. The books on the left are my signed books and the ones on the right are not. Either way, I’m super excited to read ALL of these. In fact, I’ve already read two (GEMINA and THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, and I’ve started WONDER WOMEN). I’m trying really hard to read these books in publication order – so I don’t read a book that doesn’t get published until January before a book that gets published next month, but it’s taking ALL of my strength to not start HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME. Honestly, I’m pretty sure I’m starting that one next. Publication dates be damned.

The hardest part of the whole trip was the drive home. It was really hard to leave these amazing friends I made behind. Plus, I was SO EXHAUSTED and driving 10.5 hours home with no one to talk to was blaaaaah. And, of course, the audiobook I wanted to listen to downloaded wrong and the first hour of the book was missing.

I had such a great time though. I would HIGHLY recommend going to BEA if you ever have the chance!

In Which I Wish I Was on the Road (YA Road Trip Novels)

Hey guys! So I’m sure you know by now how much I LOVE traveling and being on the road to somewhere, anywhere. I love seeing new places and meeting new people and just driving. But sometimes you just can’t go and you have to see those new places in books, which, sometimes, is totally cool with me. I love living vicariously through the characters in the novels I’m reading, especially if they are on a road trip.

Road map

I found out that the first week of April was actually Read a Road Map Week (you know, one of those pointless, unnecessary “holidays” that are all over the place), and I thought it’d be fun to put together a list of some of my favorite road trip books. So here are five of my favorites as well as three I want to read. DEFINITELY recommend me road trip books if you know of any not on my list!

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold
Mississippi >>> Ohio

Let's Get Lost

LET’S GET LOST by Adi Alsaid
Louisiana >>> Alaska

Paper Towns

PAPER TOWNS by John Green
Florida >>> New York

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Swindon, England >>> London, England
(okay, this one is more of a train ride but any chance I have to mention this book, I will)

Don't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche

DON’T FAIL ME NOW by Una LaMarche
Baltimore, Maryland >>> California


AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson

Bat Appreciation Day | Batman Comics

Hey guys! So according to Holiday Insights, today is Bat Appreciation Day. Now, they definitely meant it as a day to appreciate boring old, regular bats. BUT as soon as I saw it, I immediately thought of Batman (I mean, what else would I think about?). So I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favorite Batman comics/story lines/etc. with you. Definitely know that this list is NOT meant to represent ALL of the best Batman comics out there, because there are a ton of Batman comics. These are just 8 of my favorite Batman comics and graphic novels.

8 Awesome Batman Comics

Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Dave McKean

A Death in the Family by Jim Starlin, penciller: Jim Aparo, inker: Mike DeCarlo

The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb, illustrated by Time Sale

The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, illustrated by Brian Bolland

Batman & Robin – Batman Reborn by Grant Morrison

AND Peter J. Tomasi’s run)

The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

Batman: Eternal by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and more

So happy Bat Appreciation Day! Have you guys read any of these Batman comics? 

Suicide Squad Trailer

Hey guys! So I’m sure by now you know how much I love book to movie adaptations. But do you know how much I love comic book movies too? I’m kind of obsessed. And with the recent release of some seriously awesome ones (i.e. Deadpool especially), I’m really looking forward to the upcoming releases of Captain America: Civil War (May 6) and Suicide Squad (August 5). Last night on the MTV Movie Awards, the cast of Suicide Squad shared the brand-new trailer for the movie and WOAH YES GIVE IT TO ME NOW. I’m all heart eyes over here, and I want you to be too. I’m really digging Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, which I wasn’t really expecting, and Jared Leto is definitely growing on me more and more as the Joker (I think he’s an incredible actor but who can follow Heath Ledger?). So I’m sharing the new trailer below! Let me know what you think in the comments.

What do you think of the new trailer? Also, check out how cool the movie poster is!

Suicide Squad Movie poster 2

The Serpent King | Book Playlist

If you’ve been following my blog and/or me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me
rave/cry/scream/word-vomit/profess my love for Jeff Zentner’s debut The Serpent King by Jeff ZentnerTHE SERPENT KING, which came out this month! (And if you’ve somehow missed that word-vomit, check out my review of the book.) I can sum it up for you though: I LOVE THIS BOOK AND YOU SHOULD ALL READ IT. 🙂

I saw an interview that Jeff did recently where he said that Chvrches’ song “Tether” really represents the feelings of the book. I’d heard the song before but I listened to it again with TSK in mind, and oh man, it’s perfect. So I asked Jeff if he’d put together a playlist of the book and if I could share it on my blog. He had, so of course, I’m sharing it here! I’ve listened to it and I’m pretty obsessed. I think I might have to listen to it when I reread TSK in the future because it really does represent the book well. Which isn’t really a surprise since Jeff is also a musician (one of his songs is even on the playlist).

But first: I asked Jeff to describe himself in 6 words and THE SERPENT KING in 6 words, and they are so good.

JEFF: Generally good dude who makes stuff.

THE SERPENT KING: Throwing off chains; paving new roads. 

Enjoy the playlist!

Have you read THE SERPENT KING (if not, what are you doing?)? What do you think of the playlist? 

Add THE SERPENT KING on Goodreads!

Twitter | Facebook | Website

Author-photo-jacketJeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

The Transatlantic Book Project [1]: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


I have a really fun thing to share with you guys! Two awesome bloggers – Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense and Rachel @ Confessions of a Book Geek have started the Transatlantic Book Project, which is essentially a traveling book club through the US and the UK and Ireland. Alicia and Rachel each picked a book (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, respectively) that will travel to a series of bloggers who will read and annotate the book along the way. It’s a really exciting project and allows us participants to react to the book and to each other’s reactions in a super fun way. There are more details about the project on Alicia’s blog.

The other day I got Rachel’s pick (HP) in the mail, which arrived with some sweet goodies from the book’s previous host – Lindsey @ Bring My Books – and I cannot wait to start reading. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve reread the first Harry Potter book. I’ve completely lost count. But as many times as I’ve read it and even though I pretty much have every scene memorized, I’m excited to see how the other four bloggers have reacted to the book and the notes they’ve added, which scenes were important to them and what made them happy or angry. I’ve flipped through a bit and I’m already giggling at some of the comments.


I’ll be reading the book over the next week or so and annotating as I go. I think I’ll post again about the experience and my reaction before I send it back to Alicia so she can send it over the ocean and to the bloggers in the UK and Ireland. I think it’ll be cool to see how my own reactions might come about in response to what the other bloggers have already said. Will we feel the same way? Will my favorite parts have already been annotated? Can’t wait to start!

The First Time She Drowned Pre-Order Blast


New books are amazing. New books that come with free gifts are even better!

Debut Young Adult author Kerry Kletter is giving you just that!
Pre-order THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED on or before March 14th, 2016 and you’ll get a signed poster and bookmark! Supplies are limited to 50 sets, and ship ONLY in the US.

Getting your free poster and bookmark is as easy as 1..2..3..4..

  1. Go to whatever book seller you like and pre-order THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED (links below in case you need them!)
  2. Screen shot your receipt!
  3. E-mail that receipt to meandmyshelf(at)gmail(dot)com  ATTN: TFTSD Pre-Order
  4. Fill out THIS FORM so Kerry knows where to send your goodies!


The First Time She Drowned by Kerry KletterCassie O’Malley has spent her whole life trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically. It’s been two-and-a-half years since her mother dumped Cassie in a mental institution against her will, and now, at eighteen, she enrolls in college, ready to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.

But as she struggles to find her way forward, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is the truth? And more important, whose life must she save?

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself,  The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound


“Beautiful and passionate . . . [Kletter is] a writer of great distinction and infinite promise.” —Pat Conroy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad

“A lovely and haunting keep-you-up-all-night heart-wrencher that is both beautiful and raw, painful and uplifting. An incredible read.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places

“Sentence by sentence . . . one of the most lyrical novels I’ve ever read. Haunting and exquisite.” —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

The First Time She Drowned is an exquisite and masterful dive, a brave exploration into the complexities of family, and the saving grace of friendship. Kletter’s writing is hypnotic, her characters alive, her story tragic, beautiful, hopeful. Simply put, this book is stunning.” —David Arnold, critically acclaimed author of Mosquitoland


Kerry KletterKerry Kletter has had a lifelong passion for story. She holds a degree in literature and has an extensive background in theater, having appeared in film, television, and onstage. When not writing, Kerry can be found surfing, running, working with animals, or singing loudly in her car while stuck in LA traffic. A native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Kerry now lives in Santa Monica, California, with her partner, screenwriter David Zorn. The First Time She Drowned is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @kkletter.

 Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website

Check out my interview with Kerry and her MC Cassie!

Andi’s ABCs Pocket Letter Exchange | Round 2

I had so much fun with the first round of Andi’s (from Andi’s ABCs) Pocket Letter project that I knew I had to sign up for round 2! According to Andi’s post, “Pocket Letters are penpal letters in. pocket format. Basically, you fill all the pockets of a 9 Pocket Page Protector (or similar) and send. ~Pocket Letter Pals.” As I’m sure you guys have noticed, I really love being crafty, so this pocket letter thing is a lot of fun. This round, I was paired with the wonderful Kaitlin from Vivacious Hobo and the pocket letter she sent me was SO MUCH FUN. I had to share it with you!


2016-02-14 09.17.42

As you can probably tell, it has a bit of an Alice in Wonderland theme, which I thought was REALLY CUTE! Like Alice’s Eat Me cake, I had nine pockets with instructions.


2016-02-14 09.17.34

READ ME: This was, of course, the letter. But Kaitlin had folded it into a heart, making it extra adorable!

DRINK ME: Tazo Passion tea. I can’t wait to try this! It sounds super delicious.

STICK ME: Adorable little heart foam stickers! I think I’m going to take these to the library. Some of my kids will love them.

EAT ME: DELICIOUS Ghirardelli caramel chocolate. And yes, they are both already gone.

SMASH ME: This was too cool! It was a little package that you hit with your fist. Then the balloon inside started to inflate itself and eventually broke out of the packaging. Super fun.


SOLVE ME: A cute, little 24-piece puzzle. It obviously didn’t take long to solve but it was fun. 🙂

USE ME: Tiny cupcake liners. I definitely want to make some little cupcakes soon. I’m thinking red velvet. Yummmm.

SMELL ME: Small incense cones. Burned one already and it smelled SO GOOD.

Kaitlin put so much thought and work into my pocket letter, and I love every single thing that came in it! Thank you, Kaitlin!! ❤

Thursday Thoughts: Cinder Book Club at the Library

As most of you know, I’m a Young Adult Librarian. I’ve posted about some of the programs I host and you guys always seem to enjoy when I talk more about my job. One of the things I’ve been doing is posting about the teen book clubs I do every month. Cinder by Marissa MeyerWe’ve read THE RAVEN BOYS and MOSQUITOLAND and THE YOUNG ELITES (but I realized I forgot to post about that one, so I’ll do that soon). During the book club I ask my teens to describe the book and each of the main characters using only one word. It’s a lot of fun for all of us and it gets them to use their vocabulary. Plus, I think you guys like seeing these. Right?

This month we read CINDER by Marissa Meyer. I just read this series for the first time a few months ago (and finished WINTER recently), so I was really excited to talk about this book with my teens. We talked about the persecution of cyborgs, what cyborg ability they’d like to have, the morality of what Dr. Erland did, the setting, the fairy tale parallels, and more. Everyone seemed to really like/love the book, and we had a good discussion. And then we got to our one-word part. Here we go:


beautiful // perfect // amazing // fascinating // favorite


outcast // independent // relatable // sassy // b.a. // sarcastic


This was the only response – *giggles and blushes* – literally, one of my girls giggled and blushed


sassy // adorable // fierce // sweet


wise // smart // deceptive // secretive // protective

PEONY (spoilers!!)

awwwwww // sweet // lovable // not one word, but (very seriously while also being silly): taken from this world too soon


ugly // psycho // controlling // manipulative // a witch

ADRI & PEARL (we grouped these together)

bleh // horrible // rude // not a fan // manipulative // cold

What do you think of my teens’ descriptions?