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Stuff millennials like

alessio_year of programs for millennials and moreAt The Horn Book we review books for children and young adults. That said, adult books still end up in our mail on a pretty regular basis. A Year of Programs for Millennials and and More by Amy J. Alessio, Katie Lamantia, and Emily Vinci (ALA Editions, May 2015) just passed across my desk.

Now, I knew enough to know that millennials are not children, which meant this book wasn’t for us. But I didn’t know what a millennial actually was. I looked it up.

Google’s definition:

millennial (n.): a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000; a Generation Yer.

Guys! I am a millennial. Me my own self.

Which is probably why I find this book so funny.

Now, I’m not a librarian. I imagine programming for an adult audience is tough, and I’m pretty sure the smart people at ALA Editions are giving a many hard-working librarians a hand with their A Year of Programs series.

But what I find hilarious about this book: the millennial stereotypes. Stereotypes that hit awfully close to home, actually…

what you looking at

I’ll share my favorites.

1. ’80s Night!
Millennials love nostalgia items. They especially love nostalgia items when used or worn ironically. I was born in the ’80s. I was six when they ended. I did not grow up in the ’80s. But does that mean I won’t play the hell out of some Battleship? Or decide that I very much want to wear a ring pop? No. No, it does not.

A note: there is also a ’90s Night program which suggests participants can make “dirt cups” with pudding snack cups, gummy worms, and crumbled Oreos. To which I ask, “IS THIS NOT A THING KIDS DO NOW?” And then I wail for the loss of childhood joy.

jennifer lawrence wailing2. Craft Brewing!
Millennials like craft beer. We all know this because we’ve seen the Budweiser ad. As the Bud commercial shows, millennials are basically just nerds who hang around in their plaid shirts with their big mustaches and their tattoos, fussily drinking microbrews and talking about their bikes and vegan lifestyles and city chickens and stuff. “THAT’S WHAT THE YOUTH IS DOING TODAY!” this book proclaims, “THE MILLENNIALS LIKE THE BEERS. GIVE THEM THE BEERS.” And thus, the Craft Brewing program (suggested age range: 21 to 40s).

A note (or several):

a. I work in a craft beer bar.
b. I’m totally serious, I do. We have something like a hundred beers in the bottle and thirty drafts. (@thepublickhouse)
c. I also have a half sleeve (and ::mumbles:: maybe some other tattoos and piercings ::cough::).
d. don't judge me

 e. Also, a small brewery made their own commercial to respond to Bud. It’s pretty good.

3. Summer Reading Program!
The librarian is warned about the problems of a summer reading program with this age group because “it’s difficult to generalize what constitutes ‘particular appeal’ for this demographic.” They suggest that this group of craft-beer-swilling, nostalgia-loving youngsters might like books “by authors who don’t have huge commercial appeal and who write about topics that might not be covered in more traditional library book clubs. In other words, think about ‘safe’ book discussion books and go in the opposite direction.” Millennials are all about weird things! They ride ridiculously tall bikes! They like kombucha! They love Mac products! They don’t want any of your normal books — they want non-traditional books!

A note: It appears I am our resident “weird book” reviewer and I love it. Does it feature a protagonist who is androgynous, and also possibly a lizard? Do the kids live in an abandoned laundromat while forced to work for The Man in a future in which everything is controlled by big companies? Is there an invisible helicopter?

give it to me now

Librarians: get this book.

Get out there. Brew some beer. Dance to some Whitney Houston. Read some weird books. Bring in the millennials.


Siân Gaetano About Siân Gaetano

Siân Gaetano is assistant editor for The Horn Book, Inc. Follow her on Twitter @KidLitChick.



  1. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:

    Millennials also like gifs, I guess. 😉


  2. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:

    …or should I say


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