Barbie I Can Be . . . YA Books to Read Based on Your Favorite Career Barbie
Like many kids, I used to play with Barbies. And one of my favorite things to do was to make up a fantastical life for Barbie and her friends. According to Barbie Media, Barbie has had more than 200 careers. They include things like astronaut, beekeeper, teacher, fashion designer and more. She has had careers in the arts, sciences, judicial system, sports industry, etc. You can read about some of them in the DK book Barbie Career Girl. Or you can read about them here: Barbie (barbiemedia.com)
The other day at work, I started working on an RA tool that helped kids find picture books depending on what their favorite Barbie career was. And I had so much fun, I thought I would do it here using YA as well. So below you will find some book recommendations for readers of YA depending on what your favorite Barbie career is. This list is not 200 books long, so not all of her careers are covered. But if I could, I would make that list just for the challenge of it. And can you imagine the display?
Ice Cream Barbie
Barbie once had a job at an ice cream shop and snack stand. The perfect book for this Barbie is Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian. It is about two best friends who get a summer job at an ice cream stand. There’s romance, drama, and a bit of friendship being tested.
Barbie has, of course, been a cheerleader. And there are professional cheerleaders, so I’m running with it. There are a ton of great YA cheerleading books and it was hard for me to pick just one for this post, but I did. Why We Fly is about cheerleading, friendship, racism and coming of age. You can read more here: Cheerleading (teenlibrariantoolbox.com)
There are a lot of great babysitting books and resources that libraries can share. One of my favorite, fun babysitting books is A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, which you can also watch now on Netflix as a movie. It has everything you would want: teens, babysitting and monster hunting.
Despite the fact that millions of kids and teens play soccer in the United States, you would be suprised to know how few books there are about soccer playing teens. This is also, by the way, true about high school marching band. But if you want sports and romance you can’t go wrong with Miranda Kennealy, and Defending Taylor is the book for you. Part of the Hundred Oaks series, Defending Taylor tells the story of Taylor, a senator’s daughter, who tells a lie and gets kicked out of private school and has to pick up the pieces. There is also some smooching.
Books that take place in space are some of my favorites. So, once again, I had a hard time choosing. But Contagion is a banger in which a small crew receive an SOS message and when they go to help they find themselves under attack.
This is such a fun concept, I am leaving the comments open for you to share your favorite Career Barbie and the YA book you would pair with it.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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