Program Descriptions


Reading On The Veranda

In these lively seminars, Kathleen Odean introduces highly recommended books for young adults in middle school and high school. One seminar highlights the Best New Books of 2021 for grades 6-12 while the other three seminars recommend  the Best Diverse Books of 2015-2021 for grades 6-9, 9-12, or 6-12.  Kathleen brings the books to life with descriptions, quotes, and analysis. Kathleen also shares practical activities and strategies for promoting the books to teens and integrating them into your program. Participants have opportunities to chat briefly with each other about books and ideas. Everyone receives a handout with booklists and resources. This is Kathleen’s 19th year of presenting seminars that receive excellent evaluations from participants. Join her in celebrating wonderful young adult books!


The Best New Young Adult Books of 2021 (Grades 6-12)

Spend an enjoyable, productive day in person or online, learning about the best new books for grades six through twelve. Hear about outstanding new titles and ways to add them to your program and promote them to teens. Learn about great nonfiction for libraries, classrooms, and independent reading. Get tips on activities, strategies, display ideas, and websites to motivate teens to read these and other books. Chat briefly with fellow educators about their ideas and experiences. Receive a practical handout with additional titles, lists, and ideas. Steep yourself in the most exciting area of book publishing today: novels, nonfiction, and poetry aimed at teens.


The Best Diverse Young Adult Books of 2015-2021  (Grades 6-9, 9-12, or 6-12)

We are in an exciting golden age for diversity in young adult books. In these online seminars, learn about outstanding fiction with diverse characters in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. Expand your knowledge of diverse nonfiction and poetry. Get tips on activities, strategies, and websites to motivate teens to read these and similar books. Chat briefly with fellow educators about their ideas and experiences. Receive a practical handout with additional titles, annotated lists, and ideas. Attend a one-day online seminar on middle school books, high school books, or a combination of both.

Seminar Highlights

  • Top novels for classroom use or independent reading
  • Titles in favorite teen genres of fantasy, humor, romance & mystery
  • A sampling of graphic novels
  • Outstanding nonfiction for STEM and across the curriculum
  • New poetry collections and verse novels
  • Extensive handbook with booklists, ideas, and resources

Practical Resources and Activities

  • Useful websites that tie in with the recommended books
  • An array of activities to promote books to teens
  • Recommended books and strategies to reach developing readers
  • Catchy display strategies to attract teens’ attention
  • Short periods of time to share stimulating ideas with colleagues
  • Many of the new books on display for you to see at in-person seminars

Extensive Handbook of Booklists & Resources

  • Many fiction booklists to share with colleagues and students
  • An array of nonfiction booklists across the curriculum
  • Carefully chosen websites to make your work easier
  • The latest award-winning books and resources about them
  • Resources for keeping up with graphic novels