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Reasons Why Books and Authors Matter


Jenn, YA librarian, with author Jay Asher!
Jenn, YA librarian, with author Jay Asher!

We were honored to host author Jay Asher the evening before he visited Casper Classical Academy & Frontier Middle School, making Wyoming the 38th state on his 50 States Against Bullying tour. #ReasonsWhyYouMatter

Both the library event and Jay’s talk at school were fabulous. I always get nervous when we have authors because you never know how big of an audience will show up, if any. But thankfully we had a packed house!

I get so excited to meet authors because in my opinion, they are rock stars. Jay was funny and sarcastic, as well as very humble, and he grabbed the attention of the audience. Jay took the time to visit with every reader, sign books, and take photos.

Excited middle school readers, and book club members, love the smell of their new copies of 13RW.

It was revitalizing for me to remember exactly why books are my passion, why I chose librarianship as my career, and why I love working with teens. I have a feeling that a few teens who met Jay will now become readers because they connected with him and he made an impact on their lives, just by sharing his time with them.

Thank you Jay Asher for the difference you made to Natrona County teens (and adults)!


Here’s a fabulous post about the evening, written by a library supporter/mom who attended the event.

Hop over to Jay’s blog and read about his time in Wyoming and his perspective of the visit, as well as catch up on past stops on his tour.

Check out more photos from the visit on our flickr account, as well as on facebook.


I’ve posted these reviews of Jay’s novels before, but will be sharing again for those who haven’t yet experience his writing.


Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I’ve read this book twice and it still haunts me. The first time I listened to the audiobook on a road trip and I would definitely recommend that readers attempt to listen to it because the audiobook is a perfect way to really deeply connect with the story and it sets the tone for the premise of the book–Clay Jensen receives a box of cassette tapes in the mail. He discovers they are from his classmate/crush, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide two weeks prior. Hannah recorded and left the tapes for the thirteen people whom she considers reasons for her choice. As you listen to the dual narrators, it is as though you are really Clay listening to Hannah’s tapes. Like Clay, you keep hoping that something or someone will stop her, even though you already know she’s gone.

Many of my teens had read this book and recommended it to me, which is why I initially chose to read it. It was also a runner up for the 2009-2010 Soaring Eagle Book Award. Many teacher/adult book clubs in Casper have also read it and we used it as the inaugural book for our Never Too Old book club. I believe it is a very powerful book and something that everyone who works with teens should read, especially since suicide is an issue that plagues our community. It is more than just a book about suicide. It is a book about how one single person can make a difference in someone’s life.
Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Check out another NCPL reader’s take on Thirteen Reasons Why.


The Future of UsThe Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Josh and Emma have been neighbors for as long as they can remember and up until the incident last November they were best friends. Now it is May 1996 and they haven’t been in each other’s houses in six months. Emma just received a computer from her father and so Josh brings over an AOL CD-ROM that she can download to get 100 hours of free Internet. What she didn’t expect was to get access to a strange website called Facebook. Sure, you know what Facebook is, but did you know it wasn’t actually launched until 2004?

As Emma and Josh begin to investigate this Facebook, they realize what they are seeing is their future selves in 2011, fifteen years in the future. And every time they log on or refresh Facebook their future is a little different.

If you could see your future, would you like it? Would it make you want to change the present? How would it affect your relationships with others, and most importantly for Josh and Emma, the future of us ?

Why I picked up the book: In May 1996, I was a sophomore in high school and did NOT have my own computer until the summer before my junior year of college in 2000! I remember going to my other parents’ house to use their computer to type papers and listening to that horrible pinging dial of the Internet when my younger brother would log on. We never used AOL but constantly got the CD-ROMs in the mail. (when did that stop anyway??) I wonder if any of my teens would even remember the sound of dial-up, which I haven’t had since 2003. I kept thinking about myself in high school and if that girl would be content with where I am today (by the way, I am!). I loved all the funny lines about why anyone would want to share what they had for lunch.
Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!

Reviews by Jenn, YA Librarian

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