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Teens Know Best

Table of Contents

Link to Review Form

Ready to submit a review? Use this Online Review Form.

Who Can Join?

Anyone between the ages of 12-18 who wants to read and review books for a prestigious national program connecting teens and their opinions about books directly with the publishers who produce them! Please note that proof of age will be required to join. The application form can be found Teens Know Best Application Form [PDF]

Complete participation guidelines [PDF].

Where and When to Meet

The second Tuesday of every month from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Dayton's Bluff branch of the St. Paul Public Library and the Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center, both located together at 645 E. 7th Street, St. Paul. Books will be available for checkout through the Metropolitan State University Library area of the building in the "Special Collections" area on the second floor, both at the meetings and during the library hours of service.

What is the YA Galley Group Project?

YA Galley is an ongoing project in which publishers of young adult books provide copies of their recent titles and forthcoming titles (many in pre-publication "galley" format, often months before they're actually made available to the open public market in their final form) to teen book discussion groups in libraries. In exchange, teen readers evaluate books for the publishers. The selected libraries will receive review and galley copies of new young adult titles from the more than 20 participating publishers (a total of more than 50 publishing imprints), in exchange for providing the publishers with important feedback. In addition, all groups play a role in nominating books for the annual "Teens' Top Ten," an award process chosen only by and for teens from around the world.

Every two years the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association (YALSA) selects fifteen teen review groups from around the United States and Canada to participate—ten as "standard" nominating groups and five as "voting" nominating groups. Teens Know "Best" was one of the ten "standard" groups chosen in this prestigious competitive process and will be eligible to apply for the "voting" group level in two years. For further information on YA Galley and the Teens' Top Ten project, visit the YALSA Teen Reading Web site at www.ala.org/teenread.

What Does Participation Involve?

  • Participants will be reading and reviewing books supplied by major publishers in the industry. While some books will already be newly available in libraries and bookstores, the majority will be "galleys" that are pre-published as part of the final editorial stage, often months before the completed product is officially published (which means changes can still occur in that interim stage in content, title, cover, or all of the above). Teens are also reading to evaluate eligibility for the annual "Teens' Top Ten" award.
  • Participants will be completing a teen book review form, assessing issues of appeal, literary quality, significance, etc., for each title they've read which they can submit in print or electronically.

Participants will meet monthly to discuss their opinions at the Dayton's Bluff branch of the St. Paul Public Library and Metropolitan State Library and Learning Center, both at 645 E. 7th Street, St. Paul.

In those meetings:

  • Everyone is encouraged to share as much or as little as they're comfortable with, and everyone has the opportunity to speak if they wish to do so.
  • There are no "wrong" responses.
  • Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
  • Respect is crucial: when someone is speaking, they should do so without interruption, even if you disagree with them.
  • Details really help! The more in-depth your assessment of a book, the more persuasive your argument is to the publishers, who are expecting thoughtful, complete, and detailed feedback on their books. Please consider a variety of factors when you discuss a book, including:
    • Appeal and Involvement
    • Literary Quality
    • Characters
    • Content and Style
    • Plot
    • Genres
  • Don't feel "stuck" with a book. If you don't like what you're reading, just exchange it for something else (but please do fill out a review form first).
  • All participants will be issued a special Metropolitan State University library card to check out books from the Teens Know "Best" collection. Only Teens Know "Best" group members will be able to access the collection. Teens will be required to show their ID cards to library staff before being allowed entry to the collection area.
  • While the discussion meetings occur monthly, you will be able to access the collection any time the Metropolitan State University Library is open.
  • Check out as many books as you like, but please remember to be realistic about the number you can handle so everyone has a fair opportunity to access books. These books are donated by the publishers and, because most are in pre-published form, are impossible to replace, so please remember that returning books in a timely manner is vital.
  • The borrowing period is 28 days with one renewal for another 28 days allowed. You will not be fined for these books, but please keep in mind these books are gifts from the publishers and cannot be easily replaced.
  • You will be able to distinguish these books by the green dot labels applied to the spines and or covers.

Teens Know Best Blog

Lots of book reviews and more on the Teens Know Best Blog.


You can reach Marika Staloch at marika.staloch@ci.stpaul.mn.us
The Dayton's Bluff library's main phone number is 651-793-1699. The Metropolitan State University Library main phone number is 651-793-1616.

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