Library catalog subject headings are amazing to me. For the most part, they are useful to librarians who are trying to locate books for patrons. Out of context, though, they can make little or no sense. Because their purpose is to organize information contained within a book (or movie or tv show or anything else being cataloged), they distill something complex into something much more simplistic. They’re also constrained — there are designated subject headings, meaning that cataloging is consistent across libraries, rather than tagged by individuals who may choose to describe the contents of an item in a different way. There are other tools within individual catalogs to do that.
I used to play a game on Twitter periodically, where I’d share a handful of a television show’s subject headings from WorldCat and ask people to guess what it was. It’s not as easy as it sounds, since it requires thinking about a piece of art differently than you normally would. I thought I’d try doing this game on STACKED, but with YA. So without further ado, how good are you at identifying a YA book from its library subject headings? I’ll copy and paste the screen shot of the catalog headings from WorldCat and you’ll try your best at guessing what book is being described. I’m sticking with more well-known books, since even those aren’t easily recognized by their headings only. Answers are at the bottom of the post, so don’t scroll down unless you’re ready to get your answers.
I’d love to know how you do, too, so feel free to share in the comments which ones you got right away and which ones were challenging.
1. Forever . . . by Judy Blume, 2. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, 3. Feed by M. T. Anderson, 4. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, 5. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, 6. Legend by Marie Lu, 7. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, 8. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, 9. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, 10. Monster by Walter Dean Myers