Posts Tagged ‘teens’

Four ProQuest Resources on Jobs for Youth and Minimum Wage

Good news!

Summer job prospects for young people in the U.S. are looking rosier this year than in previous years and many are paying higher than the federal minimum wage.

During and after the Great Recession (2007-2009) and the years immediately following, jobs were scarce, especially for teens. But this summer, entry level positions are freeing up and youth unemployment, while still higher than the overall unemployment rate, is lower than it has been in years. And, according to a national survey conducted between February 11 and March 6, 2015 on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll, 53% of employers offering summer jobs are offering positions paying $15 or more per hour on average.

Delve into the following four ProQuest products to learn more about jobs for teens and young adults as well as the issue of minimum wage, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, disproportionately affects the young (50.4% are ages 16 to 24).

1. eLibrary 

eLibrary offers two editorially-created Research Topic pages on Summer Jobs and Teenagers and Minimum Wage. These pages include links to handpicked articles, websites, primary source documents, videos, and images. You can find these pages via keyword search or by clicking on the following link on the search page:

research topic link

Summer Jobs and Teenagers

Screenshot of eLibrary Research Topic, Summer Jobs, and Teenagers

2. ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher 

ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher contains a Minimum Wage leading issue. Inside this issue, you can find an overview, key definitions, an interactive map on minimum wage laws in the United States, articles on multiple perspectives, and much more. The Minimum Wage essential question, with supporting pro-con questions, asks the following question:

minimum wage essential question

Screenshot of SIRS Issues Researcher Essential Question for the Minimum Wage Leading Issue

3. CultureGrams

CultureGrams provides a trove of reliable, up-to-date cultural content, including an infographic of an average person for each country. Faces of the World Interviews offer an intimate glimpse into the life of an ordinary person–an adult, teen or child–within a particular country. Take a look at some of the youth interviews to glean information and discover what is involved in a typical day, including education and/or any type of job they hold.

Here is an excerpt from a CultureGrams interview with 16-year-old Ali of Mopti, Mali, when he was asked to describe a typical day of the week for him:


Screencap from CultureGrams Faces of the World Interview with Ali, age 16, Mopti, Mali

The first thing I do is feed the goats in the garden. After this, I wash myself and go to the shore of the river to see if one of the fishermen needs help in their pinasse. The pinasse is the motor boat that the fishermen use in the river to go fishing or sometimes to go to other villages and bring people or food to Mopti. There are many of those in Mopti. Sometimes there is no work, so I have to go back home and stay there, but if I find work, then I go with the fisherman and help him load the pinasse and drive it in the river. Then at the end of the day, they pay me some money. Sometimes it is not much, because it depends if they have to transport people or not. If they get a lot of fish, then they give me some of it, and I take it back home to my mother.

4. Historical Newspapers (Graphical) 

Historical Newspapers (Graphical) contains full-text historical newspaper articles covering the enactment of minimum wage laws in the United States. From either the Topics or Timeline tabs, you can click on The Great Depression and locate the Great Depression & Labor Subtopic to learn about the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established minimum wages and also set child labor guidelines.

Additionally, Historical Newspapers is an excellent resource for learning about what types of jobs teens and young adults held in decades past to compare with the typical jobs of today. A keyword search narrowed to the decades of the 1920s and 1930s and using the words “summer jobs” and “girls” and results in all sorts of interesting articles that provide a window into the past about the types of summer work done by girls or young women. Some jobs mentioned are typical — such as camp counselor or waitress — but others, such as the ones mentioned below are of a more unusual nature.

Capturing Baby Elk

Screencap of a ProQuest Historical Newspaper article from the June 24, 1928, edition of the Daily Boston Globe

1921 Historical Newspaper Article

Screencap of a ProQuest Historical Newspaper article from the June 4, 1921, edition of The Baltimore Sun

We are constantly adding new material to our products.

If you have suggestions for new topics for consideration for our products, feel free to let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

Whatcha’ Reading Now?: An Interview with Jill MacKenzie


From left to right: Jill, Michelle and Kerry (photo used with permission by Jill MacKenzie)

Whatcha’ Reading Now? is a community website that offers author interviews and book reviews for kids and teens. The reviewers on the site–Jill, Kerry and Michelle–review only books that they love and pledge “to bring you books for kids and teens that will make you think, cry, laugh out loud, or keep you at the edge of your seat.”

All three reviewers are children’s and young adult writers (Michelle publishes under the pen name Shel Delisle) and, as such, their enthusiasm and love for the craft shines through in their posts.

As a fellow avid reader (and writer!) of children’s lit, I’ve been following this site since its inception in 2010. (Disclosure: Jill was my critique group leader of a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s chapter I used to attend in South Florida.)

It’s been a while since I’d seen Jill, so I caught up with her for this interview.

Q.    How did you become interested in children’s/YA literature?

I’ve actually always been interested in children’s literature. I read voraciously as a child. When I grew up, I found that I still loved kid’s books just as much as I always had (maybe even more.) Lucky me, right? 😉

Q.    What are some unique topics addressed in the books you’ve reviewed?

I’m definitely a fan of “issues books.” That means I like reads that aren’t afraid to cover the tough subjects but present them in unique ways. In my opinion, the issues teens face today haven’t really changed since I was young(er), but the way in which we accept them and deal with them certainly have.

Q.    Do media specialists or teachers use your e-zine? If so, how have they used it in their classrooms/schools?

Lol, I hope they use it! No, in all seriousness, I have met teachers and media specialists who have told me that the e-zine is one more way to make reading cool again, which really is awesome, (because we think it is cool.) Also, it’s a resource; When I look at the reviews my partners have written, I’m always like, “wow, I’ve never heard of that book but I definitely want to read it now!” And I like to think kids use it to stay on the up-and-up on what’s hot in book-world. I mean, who wouldn’t want to know that?

Jill MacKenzie

Jill MacKenzie (photo used with permission by Jill MacKenzie)

Q.    Issues such as self-esteem and bullying are often addressed in schools. Have you ever done (or would you consider doing) a special feature in which you review books on such topics? If so, what was that feature?

We dedicated our eighth issue entirely to the topic of bullying, actually, because we all felt that this is one subject matter that can’t be over discussed, in any capacity. Not to mention, there is soooo much great literature out there written about bullying. And the topic of self-esteem enters our issues a lot, actually, although we haven’t centered a whole issue around this particular theme (although you may be on to something…)

Q. Today’s students have so many distractions, from social networking sites to cell phones and video games. What are some ways that parents and educators can help young people develop a love of reading?

I have kind of a golden rule with this one: kids learn by example. If they see their parents plunking down in front of the television or tapping away on their iPhones night after night, that’s what they’ll learn to do too. But if they see their parents taking an active interest in books themselves…well, you get the point. Same goes for educators: if kids see their teachers passionate about something they’re reading, they’ll want to know what it is, and why it is.

Q.    I recently read a statistic stating that a quarter of all public school children in the U.S. are Latino but only three percent of children’s book are by or about Latinos. Can you recommend any books or authors that reflect the experiences of this demographic?

Oh my gosh, yes! My absolute favorite YA author of all times is Mexican-American. Matt de la Pena, is his name. I will forever read anything he writes.  Anything. Others whom I especially love are Rita Williams-Garcia, Pam Munoz Ryan, Gary Soto, as well as Florida authors Christina Gonzalez and Gaby Triana. All of their works, I believe, reflect some aspect of this demographic.

Q.   Whatcha’ Reading Now?

Right now, I’m reading three books I love! The first one that I’m almost finished, is IF YOU FIND ME, by Emily Murdoch. The second, is WHAT ALICE FORGOT, by Loraine Moriarty, and the third is Gayle Forman’s JUST ONE DAY. All of them are fabulous!

Thanks, Jill!

(Readers, you can access Whatcha’ Reading Now? and other editorially-selected book review websites and more in SIRS Knowledge Source. Just type in the subject heading Books, Reviews in the search box.)

Special thanks to ProQuest Editors Michelle Sneiderman and Sarah Ruggles for contributing interview questions for this post.