Double Dutch

cover image for Double DutchChamber, V.  (2002)  Double Dutch: A Celebration of Jump Rope, Rhyme, and Sisterhood.  New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children.




I so very much wanted to love this book, but it felt unfocused and unorganized enough that I’m having a hard time figuring out how to describe it in a way that manages to be more enlightening than its title.  There are some great parts – such as the interviews with competitive double dutch teams, the history of double dutch, and the excerpt from Mama’s Girl – and I still think many tweens would enjoy it. I just feel like it could have been so much more.  Most especially, it felt like it couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a gift book for former girls or a non-fiction book for actual girls.  Instead, it tried to both and was a weaker book overall for having done so, as much of the text would interest adults far more than tweens, and yet the reading level was geared for tweens.  It’s a respectable book, it just doesn’t quite feel worthy of the awesomeness of its topic.


Best for ages 8-12


Author website:

Serving Young Tweens and Teens: Chapter 2

[This is kind of a rant and doesn’t have much to do with the chapter, but it’s what got stuck in my head after reading it.]


I always get annoyed when people bring up tweens and their relationship to technology, but make no mention of the digital divide. People are constantly suggesting that we use technology to market libraries to tweens and teens, and while I do want to try to do more, I can’t count on my tweens and teens having reliable access to technology at home. They have some access – at home and at the library – but what they have is limited by economics. Few would want to spend any of the precious minutes they get on the computers at home (when they have them) and at the library doing anything related to books.  At least, outside of schoolwork anyway, which they already often need to spend much of their allotted computer time working on.


What we seem to have the most success with is encouraging tweens and teens to visit the library in order to have access to technology they don’t have at home – or have to share at home, or have trouble sharing at home with their friends rather than their parents or sublings. What I would like to try and do is create more programs that give my kids the opportunity to do the kinds of things that kids who have plenty of access to technology at home spend their free time doing – creative projects like making videos and writing fanfiction. I fear a lot of my tweens and teens will have to enter the adult workforce with fewer technological skills and less confidence in their ability to learn them than their more fortunate peers and I’d like to try and do something to alleviate that.

Money! Money! Money!

Last night, 0ur Friends of the Library approved the $2,500 I asked for for new stuff/replacement stuff for the kids and teens programs. Woohoo! I ❤ my FOL.

Now…to get busy buying stuff! um…if anybody sees a CriCut and/or PS3 on sale, pls lemmie know. Also, I’m taking suggestions for:

-toys and games that can* be played with quietly by 4-10 year olds and that don’t have a lot of little pieces.  bonus if it’s both educational and tons of fun.  broad values of educational are welcome.

-good video games for tweens and teens, especially games than are multiplayer or good for tournaments

-tween and teen books that have been made into movies and would be popular and interesting choices for book vs. movie discussion groups

crossposted at my elljay

*note the “CAN” – I’m just wanting to make it easy for them to do as they should, I’m not expecting miracles here.