Teen Blog Archives - Great ideas for your next book to read!

Thursday
Jan312013

Pick a Sport, Any Sport

Is football your favorite sport or do you like tennis the best? Maybe you’re a gymnast or a runner. Whichever sport you prefer, we’ve got a book for you.

Freitas, Donna. Gold Medal Summer. YA FRE – [gymnastics] Thirteen year old Joey is a gymnast with her eyes on a gold medal and a lot of distractions standing in her way.

Scaletta, Kurtis. Mudville. YA SCA – [baseball] It started raining in Moundville, now nicknamed Mudville, during a rival baseball game. It continued to rain for twenty-two years. When it finally stops, twelve year old Roy McGuire decides to put a team together and have a game in Moundville for the first time in over two decades. 

Lynch, Janet. Racing California. YA LYN – [bicycle racing] Evan is a high school senior with a love for cycling. So when the Tour de France winner asks Evan to join his team for the Tour of California race he is compelled to say yes.

Sitomer, Alan Lawrence. The Hoopster. YA SIT – [basketball] Andre Anderson is an inner-city teenager with a love for basketball and an amazing jump shot. Can his dreams and skills survive the difficulties in his life?

Feintstein, John. Cover-up. YA FEI – [football] Stevie is a reporter for a kid’s sports program. When he and his co-host, Susan, go to Indianapolis to cover the Super Bowl they get tangled up in a mystery involving the defensive line of one of the teams.

Wells, Rosemary. When No One Was Looking. YA WEL – [tennis] Kathy is a fourteen year old who is under a lot of pressure to win a teen tennis championship. To add to her stress she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a real life murder mystery. 

Bruchac, Joseph. Lay-ups and Long Shots. YA BRU – In this collection of short stories you’ll find characters who enjoy BMX riding, surfing, ping-pong, wrestling, basketball, football, soccer and kayaking.

Myers, Walter Dean. Kick. YA MYE – [soccer] Kevin has run into some trouble with the law, despite never having caused problems before. While Kevin deals with a lot of things in his personal life he is also on a soccer team that is fighting for the State Championship. 

Van Draanen, Wendelin. The Running Dream. YA VAN – [running] There is nothing that Jessica loves more than running. She’s a track star and expects to go to college on a sports scholarship. When her right leg is crushed in a car accident she is devastated. Suddenly, she is being taught to walk with a prosthetic leg. Will she learn to run again?

Voigt, Cynthia. Tell me if the Lovers are Losers. YA VOI – [volleyball] Three young women become college roommates their freshman year and, despite their many differences, bond over volleyball.

Crutcher, Chris. Whale Talk. YA CRU – [swimming] T.J. hates organized sports and feels that his school puts too much emphasis on them. But when his English teacher asks him to be part of the new swim team he agrees and finds himself attempting to put together a decent team, filled with other misfits like him.

Saturday
Dec082012

Deck the Halls, Swab the Deck

Add even more excitement to your holiday season with some of these swashbuckling adventures.

Vaughn, Carrie. Steel. YA VAU – Pirates, sword fights, and hard work are not what Jill Archer expected on her family’s vacation to the Bahamas. But that’s what she gets after she picks up a rusty old sword on the beach and is transported to a pirate ship from centuries ago. 

Flanagan, John. The Outcasts. YA FLA – In this spinoff from the Ranger’s Apprentice series, Hal and his friends adventure through the seas on a Skandian Wolfship. They battle against other bands and have run-ins with a notorious pirate. (Book 1 in the Brotherband Chronicles.)

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. YA STE – This classic pirate tale is the story of Jim Hawkins, a cabin boy who ends up with a treasure map. It takes him on a swashbuckling adventure full of characters that are courageous, entertaining, and villainous. 

Renier, Aaron. The Unsinkable Walker Bean. YA REN – Walker Bean is given the task of removing a curse that was placed on his grandfather by a couple of sea witches. His mission puts him through way more danger and excitement than he ever wanted.

Aguiar, Nadia. The Lost Island of Tamarind. YA AGU – 13 year old Maya has lived her entire life sailing the ocean on a ship. When a storm hits, her parents are washed overboard and Maya lands on a mysterious and magical island. 

Bell, Ted. Nick of Time. YA BEL – At the cusp of World War II, 12 year old Nick finds a sea chest that transports him back in time where he comes up against the evil pirate Billy Blood.

Parker, Jade. To Catch a Pirate. YA PAR – It’s 1720 and Annalisa is sailing from England to the Caribbean when her ship is attacked by pirates. They steal her father’s treasure and she makes it her personal mission to get it back.

Hart, James. Capt. Hook: the adventures of a villainous youth. YA HAR – We all know that Captain Hook is the villain of Neverland and the arch enemy of Peter Pan. But how did he get to be that way? Find out in this book about his teenage years.

Meyer, L.A. Bloody Jack. YA MEY – Mary Faber is an orphan girl living on the streets by wits and courage alone. Chance and opportunity find her on a British Navy ship called the HMS Dolphin, disguised as a cabin boy and in pursuit of pirates.  (Book 1 in the Bloody Jack Adventures.)

Lee, Tanith. Piratica. YA LEE – Stuck at a boarding school in 19th century England, Artemsia Fitz-Willoughby decides she’s had enough etiquette classes to last a lifetime. She escapes, assumes the alias Art Blastside and takes the life of a pirate. (Book 1 in the Piratica Trilogy.)

 

Thursday
Dec062012

Get In The Groove

Here are some groovy books that will take you back to the 1960s and ‘70s right along with our Pumpkin Festival theme.

Oppel, Kenneth. Half Brother. YA OPP – In the early 1970s Ben’s family goes through a lot of changes. His family moves from one part of Canada to another where he has to go to a new school and make new friends. On top of that they have also adopted Zan, a chimpanzee which they are to treat as a human as part of an experiment. 

Holt Willis, Kimberly. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. YA HOL – 1971: The year Toby turns thirteen. The year he loses someone to the Vietnam War. The year his mom leaves to pursue a singing career. And the year that Zachary Beaver comes to town and changes everything.

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Criss Cross. YA PER – A leisure read about a small town and the life of its teenagers during a summer in the 1960s.  

Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. YA HIN – For Ponyboy Curtis, high school is not an easy place. It’s not because of the school work however, but the  tension between social classes. Set in the late 1960s.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons go to Birmingham. YA CUR – Kenny Watson is the middle child  and narrator of this story. His family decides to leave their home in Michigan to live in Burmingham, Alabama where his grandmother is.  The year is 1963 and the Civil Rights Movement is just beginning

Kadhota, Cynthia. Cracker! YA KAD – Cracker is a German Shepherd and was the pet of a boy named Willie. But when the Army needs dogs to help them in the war that is going on in Vietnam, Cracker becomes part of the U.S. Military. Much of the book is told from the dog’s point of view.

Jones, Traci L. Finding my Place. YA JON – In 1975 fourteen year old Tiphanie Baker moves with her parents to the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. She starts a new school where she is the only black girl. Her parents were very active during the Civil Rights era and encourage her to be like minded. But Tiphanie just wants to have a normal high school experience without so much racial tension. She does make friends with Jackie, an outcast hippie, and attempts to fit in with the rest of her classmates just fifteen years after desegregation. 

Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. YA STE – The year is 1978. Miranda is in sixth grade, lives in New York City with her mother, and her favorite book is A Wrinkle in Time. She starts receiving cryptic notes that she believes are from someone in the future. The notes say they are trying to save her life.

Thursday
Aug092012

Travel Through the (P)Ages

If you had a time machine, where would you go? A brief stay on the Titanic? Or maybe you would visit your great grandparents to see how life was back then. What about a pirate ship filled with danger and adventure? Try some of these books, whose characters go back in time to various periods and places. 

Falkner, Brian. The Project. YA FAL – Luke and Tommy find what they believe to be the most boring book in the world. But their discovery sets off a chain of events that is anything but boring. It seems that the book contains a design for a time travel machine and they become embroiled in a plot to change history.

Turetsky, Bianca. The Time Traveling Fashionista. YA TUR – Louise Lambert, who has a passion for vintage clothing, accepts an invitation to the Traveling Fashionista Vintage Sale. She falls in love with a dress, tries it on, and wakes up as a passenger on the Titanic. Suddenly, she is living the life of Alice Baxter, who owned the dress before. Although this is very exciting and the clothes are great, Louise knows that she must figure out how to get back to her own time period and fast. (Sequel coming out this September: The Time Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette).

Monir, Alexandra. Timeless. YA MON – Michele Windsor has never met her wealthy, Manhattan grandparents. But when tragedy strikes she is uprooted from her home in California to live in their mansion. One day she finds the diary of her great-great aunt Clara. When she starts reading it she is suddenly transported back to the time it was written, the 1910s.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Found. YA HAD – Thirteen years ago, Jonah and Chip were infant passengers on a mysterious plane. There was no sign of the plane until is landed and there were no adults on board, not even a pilot. When the boys start to receive foreboding letters they try to figure out what’s going on. Their search leads them right into a time travel journey. (first book in the Missing Series).

Twain, Mark. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. YA TWA – In this classic time travel story, a young man who lives in Connecticut during the 1800s is suddenly transported back medieval England during the time King Arthur.

Bell, Ted. Nick of Time. YA BEL – Right before the beginning of World War II, twelve year old Nick happens upon a sea chest that contains small, glowing orbs. He soon finds out that the orbs are used for time travel. He jumps back in time and encounters pirates and a Spanish fleet and even has the opportunity to help his great-great grandfather. (first book in the Nick McIver Series).

Hoffman, Mary. Stravaganza: City of Masks. YA HOF – Not only is Lucien a time traveler, but he travels between worlds as well. He spends part of his life as a chemo patient, unable to get out of bed. But he also has a life in a city called Bellezza, similar to 16th century Venice, where he is mobile, healthy and influential. The city is full of magic and adventure.  (first book in the Stravaganza Series).

Curley, Marianne. Old Magic. YA CUR – Jarrod may not realize that he has strong paranormal powers. But when he walks into a new school and crosses paths with Kate Warren, she senses the magic in him immediately. Kate was raised by her grandmother, a practicing witch, and is a witch in training herself. With help from her grandma, Jarrod’s powers take them back to a 13th century English castle were he can confront an age old curse that was placed on his family.

Cooper, Susan. Victory. YA COO – Present day: Molly’s family has moved from Connecticut to London and she is horribly homesick. 1803: Sam, from England, is serving in the kitchen aboard the H.M.S. Victory - a battleship. When Molly uncovers a small piece of the Victory’s flag she starts to see snippets of Sam’s life. The connection between them grows stronger until Molly’s visions of Sam become quite real. 

 

 

Tuesday
Jun122012

Summertime Books

Summer is here, school is out, and there’s no homework. So kick back, relax and enjoy a good book about summertime. Here are some to get you started. You’ll find everything from road trips to summer jobs and life on a yacht or digging holes in the desert. 

  1. Brashares, Ann. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. YA BRA – For the first time in fifteen years four best friends have to go their separate ways for the summer. They are bummed out to be apart but the summer turns out to be a magical one when they discover a very special pair of pants that conforms to fit each of them. They take turns wearing them and writing details about their summer on the fabric. Each girl sends the pants on after a couple of weeks until they’ve all had a turn and a summer they’ll never forget. (If you enjoy this book, look for the others in the series: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood; Girls in Pants; Forever in Blue.)
  2. Dessen, Sarah. Along for the Ride. YA DES – Auden decides to spend the summer before her senior year of high school at her dad and stepmother’s house at the beach. Auden missed out on a lot of childhood things because of her parent’s divorce and clung to academics and college ambitions. But over the summer she makes some friends, starts to relax a little and even learns how to ride a bike!
  3. Johnson, Maureen. Girl at Sea. YA JOH – Seventeen year old Clio gets a summer job at an art store before realizing that her mother has summer plans of her own that involve Clio living with her father for the summer. On a yacht in Italy. She’s not thrilled to be spending so much time with her father but as it turns out, her summer is filled with mystery, adventure, and a little bit of romance.
  4. Perkins, Lynne Rae. Criss Cross. YA PER – Debbie, a teenager living in the small town of Seldom, wishes that something would happen this summer. She doesn’t know what she wants to happen, just something. The story crisscrosses between multiple characters, their hopes and dreams, and interactions with each other. And by the end of the book Debbie’s wish comes true, though not all in the way she would have expected. 
  5. Hoffman, Alice. Aquamarine. YA HOF – Best friends Hailey and Claire are trying to cherish every moment of their last summer together before Claire has to move to Florida with her grandparents. What they don’t count on is a storm that washes a mermaid into the beach club pool where they hang out every day. What do you do with a mermaid trapped in a pool? Help her get back to the ocean, of course! But not until you’ve helped her get a date with her crush. 
  6. Caletti, Deb. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart. YA CAL – Ruby McQueen is a quiet girl. That seems to define her. But when she starts dating rich, bad boy Travis Becker during the summer of her junior year, her life becomes a little more exciting but also a little more dangerous. Her mom is concerned about the relationship and gets Ruby involved in a reading group for the elderly. What Ruby finds there is a group of women that she can look up to and gain confidence from. 
  7. Sachar, Louis. Holes. YA SAC – Stanley Yelnats is the unlikely hero of this book about juvenile detention. Camp Green Lake is a juvenile delinquent center where the kids have to dig holes in the desert as punishment for their crimes. But the question is, why are they digging all of these holes and what are they looking for. As Stanley starts to unravel parts of the mystery he also starts to gain his own courage and finds the strength to stand up for his newfound friends.
  8. Greene, Bette. The Summer of My German Soldier. YA GRE – During World War II, the military set up a camp in Arkansas for German prisoners of war. Anton escapes from the camp and against all odds finds refuge a Jewish girl named Patty. She hides him above the family garage and the two become very fond of each other. Now there is always one question on their minds: Will Anton be discovered?
  9. Blundell, Judy. What I Saw and How I Lied. YA BLU – The summer of 1947 takes fifteen year old Evie from her home in Brooklyn to Palm Beach, Florida with her mom and stepfather. Joe has been acting strange ever since he got back from the war and it was a spur of the moment decision to go to Florida. At Palm Beach, they meet the Graysons, a fun, vivacious couple who have a secret of their own. Evie develops her first crush on a boy that was in the war with her stepfather. This agitates Joe and his mysterious behavior gets worse until disaster hits and Evie is left with a very big decision to make.
  10. Hiaasen, Carl. Flush. YA HIA – Noah’s father is in prison for sinking a casino boat that was sailing around the Florida Keys where he lives. He learned it was dumping sewage into the ocean around the Florida Keys, but the authorities could find no proof of the dumping. So Noah and his younger sister, Abby, take it upon themselves to find the proof to get their father out of jail. The plan they come up with is crazy, but it just might work. 
  11. Ockler, Sarah. Twenty Boy Summer. YA OCK – Anna goes on summer vacation with her best friend Frankie and her parents. Frankie has challenged Anna to flirt with twenty boys while they’re on vacation. What she doesn’t know is that Anna had a romance with Matt, Frankie’s older brother. Matt died the previous year of a heart condition and they never told Frankie of their relationship. Anna must work through her grief in secret as Frankie unknowingly pushes her to move on. 
  12. Gehram, Jody Elizabeth. Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty. YA GEH – Sixteen year old Geena get’s a summer job at Triple Shot Betty, the local coffee shop. It may not be her idea of a fun summer but it helps that her cousin, Hero, and her best friend, Amber, are working there with her. However, when the two girls don’t really hit it off Geena fears that the summer is ruined … until Hero and Amber decide to set their differences aside and join forces to get a little revenge on the town bully.
  13. Wolff, Virginia Euwer. The Mozart Season. YA WOL – Summertime for Allegra Shapiro means one thing: violin lessons. She is very talented and has been selected as a finalist for a competition of young musicians where she must play a complicated Mozart Concerto. But she gets more than violin music out of her summer as different people make an impact on her life.
  14. Wittlinger, Ellen.  Zigzag. YA WIT – When Robin’s boyfriend goes to Rome for the summer before he starts college she is brokenhearted. So when she gets an invitation to join her aunt and two cousins on a summer road trip around the western part of the United States she decides to accept. She has very low expectations for the trip. She only decided to go because she has nothing else to do. What she discovers along the way, though, is her own strength and independence. 

 

 

 

Thursday
May102012

Sleuth Through These Pages

Spies are mysterious, secretive, stealthy, and all around fascinating. So sneak into the library and investigate some of these top secret books: 

  1. Carter, Ally. I’d Tell you I love you, But Then I’d have to Kill You. YA CAR – What would you do if your mom, a former spy, was the head of an elite academy that trained young women to become experts in espionage? Well, if you’re Cammie Morgan you learn fourteen languages and take classes in Covert Operations. At the Gallagher Academy, Cammie and her friends live a top secret life of excitement, adventure, intrigue and hard work.  (Gallagher Girls series : 5 books)
  2. Brennan, Herbie. The Shadow Project. YA BRE – Danny Lipman, thief extraordinaire, finds himself mixed up in a lot more adventure than he ever anticipated when he tries to rob the wrong house. It happened to be the headquarters of a government organization that trains teenage spies using a top-secret, highly classified experiment. When they observe Danny’s natural talent they decide to recruit him. (If you enjoy this book try the sequel: The Doomsday Box)
  3. Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker. YA HOR – Alex Rider is fourteen years old when his uncle, and guardian, is assassinated. Alex had no idea that his uncle was part of an undercover world full of danger and is shocked by his death. But it doesn’t take long for Alex to be forced into that world and after a very brief training period he becomes an MI6 agent. (Alex Rider series : 9 books)
  4. Bradbury, Jennifer. Wrapped. YA BRA – The year is 1815 and sixteen year old Agnes Wilkins would rather be an Egyptologist than a debutante in London society. She attends Lord Showalter’s mummy-unwrapping party and gets more than she bargained for. She stumbles upon an ancient artifact and a message intended for a spy.
  5. Bruchac, Joseph. Wolf Mark. YA BRU – Luke has spent years learning martial arts and acquiring the skills of a spy from his black-ops father. Luke is still grieving the recent death of his mother when his dad gets kidnapped and he must use everything he has learned in order to get his father back. He makes some surprising discoveries about his heritage along the way.
  6. Heath, Jack. The Lab. YA HEA – ChaoSonic is a future city that remains isolated from the rest of the world and controls the people who live there. One group, called the Deck, causes trouble for the city. They have Agent Six of Hearts, who has superhuman abilities from genetic experiments that were carried out in the Lab of ChaoSonic. He escaped as a child but is being sent back in as a spy to put an end to their testing. (Check out Remote Control to continue the story.)
  7. Higson, Charles. SilverFin. YA HIG – James Bond is the quintessential spy. He’s charming, self assured, and capable. At least, that’s what he becomes as an adult. But what was he like when he was a teenager? This first book in  the James Bond adventures gives a chance to see what he was like before he became Bond. James Bond.
  8. Higgins, Jack. Sure Fire. YA HIG – Jade and Rich are twins who live in London. After their mother is killed in a car accident, the father they’ve never known anything about makes an appearance in their lives. Then he disappears. They discover that he’s a British Secret Agent and they immerse themselves in the world of intrigue and espionage in order to find their father. (This is the first book in the Rich and Jade series.)
  9. Janeczko, Paul B. The Dark Game: True Spy Stories. 327.73 JAN – This book shares true spy stories from the time of the Revolutionary War up to the Cold War. Many elements of a spy’s life, such as gadgets, secret codes, surveillance and training are discussed. 

 

Wednesday
Feb292012

"Geek Out" at Morton Library

The official theme for Teen Tech Week earlier this month was "Geek Out @ Your Library." Here are some fun ways that you can 'geek out' at MPL, whether it's in the building at 315 W. Pershing or through our website:

  • Freegal Music - This is a cool new service that the library has just started to subscribe to. Log in with your library card # and PIN to download free music. You can download three songs a week and keep them permanently. The catalog has thousands of songs by popular artists like Adele, John Mayer, Kelly Clarkson, The Fray, Carry Underwood and many more.
  • Playaways - A playaway is a book that is preloaded on its own individual MP3 player. All you have to do is plug in your headphones (or buy earbuds here for 50¢) and press play. Enjoy titles like Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voight, The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and Call of the Wild by Jack London. (Also, don’t forget that we also have a good selection of Young Adult books on CD located at the end of the New Young Adult books). 
  • Alliance Digital Media Library (ADML) – This is a great way to read or listen to the books you want. If you have a Nook, Kindle, iPod, MP3 player or other various devices you can use your library card to download books to read or listen to. They check out for two weeks and are automatically returned after that time. The collection is growing regularly and there are plenty of teen titles to spark your interest.
  • eReaders - Did you know that the library has a Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader and iPad that you can come in and look at? A librarian can explain the pros and cons of each and you can try them out in the library to see which you like the feel of best.
  • Wi-Fi – Come into the library and enjoy our free Wi-Fi! Stop at the Help Desk for hot chocolate, coffee, or tea ($1 each) and then head over to the booth or table in the Young Adult section.
  • Wii – With Spring Break coming up in April don’t forget that you can make an appointment to come in and play the Wii here at the library. Invite a couple of friends for an hour of fun.
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. 
Thursday
Feb022012

Falling for Graphic Novels

February 14th is a day devoted to love. So why not take the time to discover graphic novels and fall in love with the wonderful illustrations and fun format? Here are a few of our favorites to get you started:

  • Hinds, Gareth. The Odyssey. YA HIN (GRAPHICNVL) – This is a graphic novel adaptation of the classic epic story originally by Homer. It is exciting to see the journey and struggles of Odysseus jump off the page.
  • Telgemeier, Raina. Smile. YA TEL (GRAPHICNVL) – As a middle school student, Raina trips and falls, knocking out her two front teeth. This is a graphic novel about the author’s own experiences. Not only does she have to deal with the normal uncertainties that come with being a teenager but she must endure surgeries and false teeth as well. 
  • Dembicki, Matt. Trickster. YA 398.2 TRI (GRAPHICNVL) – Various Native American folktales come to life in Trickster. Storytellers were matched with different artists in order to create this collection. 
  • Renier, Aaron. The Unsinkable Walker Bean. YA REN (GRAPHICNVL) - Quiet, geeky Walker Bean enjoys helping out in his grandfather’s workshop of inventions.  But when his grandfather returns from a trip with a cursed skull he gets caught up in adventures that put him directly in the path of pirates and sea witches.
  • Siddell, Thomas. Gunnerkrigg Court. YA SID (GRAPHICNVL) – Antinomy Carver starts her first year at the boarding school Gunnerkrigg Court where things are very mysterious. She and her friend Kat make many strange discoveries and have some unexpected experiences as they begin to unravel some of its mysteries.
  • Mori, Kaoru. Emma. YA MOR (GRAPHICNVL) – Set in the Victorian Era, this follows the story of Emma, a young maid who falls in love with a man whose social status is much higher than her own.
  • Butler, Janet. Pride and Prejudice. YA BUT (GRAPHICNVL) – This is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s much loved classic.
  • Hale, Shannon. Rapunzel’s Revenge. YA HAL (GRAPHICNVL) – From the author of Goose Girl and The Princess Academy, this is a very creative retelling of the Rapunzel fairytale with detailed artwork by Nathan Hale.
  • Shiga, Jason. Meanwhile. YA SHI (GRAPHICNVL) – If you enjoyed the Choose-your-own-adventure books then this complex graphic novel will be fun to try out. Your first choice is chocolate or vanilla ice cream but soon you will be making decisions that have a lot more impact than what flavor you want. In order to find out what page to turn to next you follow the thin, color coded tubes in the pictures. The front cover boasts “3,856 possibilities.”
  • Lee, Tony. Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood. YA LEE (GRAPHICNVL) – Enjoy the adventures of Robin Hood all over again, complete with colorful artwork.
  • Gulledge, Laura Lee. Page by Paige. YA GUL (GRAPHICNVL) – When sixteen year old Paige Turner moves to Brooklyn from her home in Virginia she doesn’t know anyone. So she put more emphasis on the thing she loves most: art. The pages of her sketchbook start to fill up. As she connects with people her age who also have a love for art we get to see her thoughts and feelings drawn out on the page.
Friday
Dec162011

'Tis the Season...

'Tis the season for reading! If you like to fill your holiday wish list with books, come into the library and check out some of the popular young adult series. Here's some to get you started:

  • Clare, Cassandra. Mortal Instruments Series. YA CLA – A Shadowhunter is someone who battles the demons that most people don’t even see. Clary Fray is a fifteen year old who seems to stumble upon this supernatural part of the world. Then she realizes that she can see things that most people simply can’t and mysterious aspects of her life begin to unfold. The fifth book in this series will come out in May 2012.
    1. City of Bones
    2. City of Ashes
    3. City of Glass
    4. City of Fallen Angels
    5. City of Lost Souls 

    Also, check out her other series, Infernal Devices.

  • Armstrong, Kelley. Darkness Rising Trilogy. YA ARM – Starting with The Gathering, this series takes place in the same supernatural turmoil as the Darkest Powers Trilogy. It introduces new characters with new paranormal abilities and the author keeps the adventures going. Look for the second book, The Calling, in April 2012.
  • Collins, Suzanne. Hunger Games Trilogy. YA COL – Living in a future America that has been all but destroyed and then rebuilt with oppressive control, Katniss does all she can just to survive and support her mother and younger sister. The country is now split up into twelve districts that must each send two tributes a year to compete in the hunger games. Each participant is drawn out of a lottery, is younger than eighteen, and if they don’t win they don’t come back alive. Find out what happens when Katniss’s beloved younger sister, Prim, is picked as the female tribute from District 12.
    1. Hunger Games
    2. Catching Fire
    3. Mockingjay
  • Flanagan, John. Ranger’s Apprentice. YA FLA – This is an eleven book series that follows the adventures of Will, a clever Ranger’s Apprentice and his best friend Horace, a brave knight in training. It is set in a medieval time period in a world similar to ours. Each book is filled with humor, friendship, bravery, and adventure with never a dull moment.
    1. The Ruins of Gorlan
    2. The Burning Bridge
    3. The Icebound Land
    4. The Battle for Skandia
    5. The Sorcerer of the North
    6. The Siege of Macindaw
    7. Erak’s Ransom
    8. The Kings of Clonmel
    9. Halt’s Peril
    10. The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
    11. The Lost Stories

    And don’t miss The Outcasts, the beginning of the new Brotherband Chronicles that is set in the same world as Ranger’s Apprentice.

  • Pierce, Tamora. Beka Cooper Trilogy. YA PIE – In the Tortall Realms, a world completely separate from our own, lives Beka Cooper. As a child, Beka displayed extraordinary talent in law enforcement. Now, as a sixteen year old she’s a trainee in the Provost’s Guard and is working on her first assignment. With a lot of action and adventure Beka uses her wit and talent to fight against crime. 
    1. Terrier
    2. Bloodhound
    3. Mastiff

    Other medieval fantasy series’ by Tamora Pierce include: Song of the Lioness Series, Circle of Magic Series, and Protector of the Small Series.

  • Riordan, Rick. The Kane Chronicles. YA RIO – If you enjoy a lot of adventure and ancient Egyptian mythology, this is the series for you. Start with The Red Pyramid, where we meet Sadie, the daughter of a renowned Egyptologist. It’s Sadie’s brother Carter, though, who gets to travel with their father. Sadie rarely sees either of them until their father releases Egyptian gods during a trip to the British Museum and then disappears. Now Sadie and Carter have to work together to save their father. Book 2, The Throne of Fire, came out last May and book 3 will be published in spring of 2012. Rick Riordan has also written the Heroes of Olympus Series and Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
  • Stiefvater, Maggie. Wolves of Mercy Falls. YA STI – When Grace Brisbane was a child she was attacked by wolves and then saved by one of them. She watches the yellow-eyed wolf every winter. When she meets Sam in a book store one summer she can’t help but notice his yellow eyes. Grace doesn’t realize how connected she is with the wolves, but her life becomes more entwined with them in each book in the trilogy.
    1. Shiver
    2. Linger
    3. Forever
  • Roth, Veronica. Divergent Series. YA ROT – Divergent is a dystopian novel that takes place in a future Chicago. When a person turns sixteen they must choose which faction, out of five, they will join for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior, whose family all belongs to the constrained Abnegation faction, makes a surprising decision to join Dauntless. She needs great courage and strength to survive this faction. She also has a dangerous secret that she needs to keep hidden. The second book in the series, Insurgent, will be published in May. 
  • Condie, Ally. Matched Trilogy. YA CON – In a future world, the society’s officials study statistics and choose who each person will marry when they come of age. When it’s Cassia’s turn to be matched she is paired with her best friend Xander. Everything makes sense until a computer glitch shows her another face to be matched with. His name is Ky and he’s not supposed to be matched with anyone. As a result, Cassia starts having a lot of doubts about her perfect life. What will she do? Find out in Matched and continue the story with Crossed, which just came out in November. 
  • Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight Saga. YA MEY – Vampires, werewolves, paranormal romance, movie tie-in. This series has been popular since Twilight hit the market five years ago. If you’ve already read all four you don’t have to stop there. Find the companion books: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, and The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide. Or come check out the Graphic Novel versions just for fun.
    1. Twilight
    2. New Moon
    3. Eclipse
    4. Breaking Dawn
Wednesday
Nov162011

Team Edward vs. Team Jacob

If you’re a fan of the Twilight Saga and have already read the series, try some of these other paranormal romances. 

What to read if you’re Team Edward:

  • Fantaskey, Beth. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.  YA FAN – Jessica Packwood is a high school student. She’s involved with 4-H, really good at math, and has been raised by vegan parents. Oh yeah, and by the way, she’s a vampire princess. At least that is what the new guy at school, Lucius Vladescu from Romania keeps insisting. And he is the vampire prince whom she is   betrothed to.
  • Pike, Christopher. Thirst.  YA PIK – Alisa has been a vampire for five thousand years. After all that time she is suddenly faced with the threat of being hunted by the one who turned her into what she is. She befriends Ray and takes advantage of his help. But then she starts to fall in love with him and her own life is not all she has to worry about.
  • Gray, Claudia. Evernight. YA GRA – Evernight Academy is a boarding school attended by rich vampires (and some humans). Bianca Olivier does not want to go there but her parents have both taken teaching jobs at the academy.  Bianca is determined to make her escape, until she meets Lucas. (Book #1 in the Evernight Series)
  • Smith, L.J. The Awakening. YA SMI – Elena Gilbert is a beautiful, self assured high school student dealing with the tragedy of losing both of her parents. Stefan and Damon are two vampire brothers who add a lot of mystery and secrets to the small town where she lives.  Elena finds herself receiving attention from both of them. (Book #1 in The Vampire Diaries)
  • Cast, P.C. Marked. YA CAS – The House of Night is a special school. Vampyres mark exceptional humans to go there so that they can become vampyres as well. Zoey feels like an outcast, never fitting in until she is marked. Even though she’s a little unsure at first, she is ready for a new life. (Book #1 in The House of Night series)
  • De la Cruz, Melissa. Blue Bloods.  YA DEL – Schuyler Van Alen is fifteen, lives in New York City, and her family is rich. She starts experiencing some strange things (her veins are turning blue, she craves raw meat) and discovers that she is a vampire. Her life feels a little more dangerous when she learns that vampires are being hunted. (Book #1 in the Blue Bloods series)
  • Pauley, Kimberly. Sucks to be Me. YA PAU – Sixteen year old Mina’s parents are both vampires. When the Vampire Council discovers that her parents have a human daughter that they have been keeping secret they are not happy. Now, Mina must decide by her seventeenth birthday whether to become a vampire herself or remain human.

What to read if you’re Team Jacob:

  • Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver. YA STI – When Grace was a child she was attacked by wolves. And then she was saved by one of them. She watches the yellow-eyed wolf every winter. When she meets Sam in a book store one summer she can’t help but notice his yellow eyes. (Book #1 in Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy)
  • Cremer, Andrea. Nightshade.  YA CRE – Calla is the Alpha female of a werewolf pack. It has been arranged for her to marry Ren, the Alpha male of another, in order to combine the two packs. But then she takes on the responsibility of protecting the human Shay and he starts to steal her heart. (Book #1 in the Nightshade series)
  • Despain, Bree. The Dark Divine. YA DES – Mysterious things happen in Grace Divine’s life. In one night her brother Jude comes home with unexplained injuries and their best friend Daniel disappears. Now, years later, Daniel has returned. Grace becomes more and more attracted to Daniel as strange things start happening in their neighborhood.
  • Johnson, Christine. Claire de Lune.  YA JOH – Claire is a werewolf, but it is kept secret from her until her sixteenth birthday, when her transformations will begin. Unfortunately, it is not a great time to be a werewolf. People in town are being attacked and killed by a rogue wolf which pushes the human protection agency to go after them. Claire is falling in love with Matthew, who seems to like her just as much. But it is Matthew’s father who is the head of the agency that is trying to gain control over the werewolves.
  • Barnes, Jennifer.  Raised by Wolves.  YA BAR – When Bryn was four she was orphaned, then taken in and raised by werewolves. She is loyal to the pack and especially Callum, the alpha male and a father figure to her. But then she starts unearthing secrets, one of which is a boy named Chase who was locked in Callum’s basement. (Book #1 in the Raised by Wolves series)
  • Delany, Shannon. 13 to Life. YA DEL – Jessie is still learning to cope after the death of her mother when things start changing in her small hometown.  She has always had a crush on Derek but now there is a mysterious new guy in town who is interested in her, Pietr Rusakov. At first Jessie resists his attentions because her best friend, Sarah, has her eye on him. But it is Jessie who discovers Pietr’s big secret.
  • Davis, Heather. Never Cry Werewolf.  YA DAV – Shelby and her new stepmother don’t get along. She has no desire to go to summer camp but her stepmom persuades her father that it’s necessary. When Shelby gets to camp she meets Austin, the attractive son of a famous rock star and she starts to feel better about being there. But she soon discovers there is a lot more to Austin than meets the eye. He has a dangerous secret. 
Thursday
Nov032011

Travel the World

Taking a trip to another country can be a fun and exciting experience. There are always different customs and cultures to learn about. No travel plans in the immediate future? Pick up one of these 11 books and find yourself in Asia, Europe, South America, or Africa. 

  • Resau, Laura. The Indigo Notebook. YA RES – Travel is a way of life for fifteen year old Zeeta. Every year her mother picks a new country for them to live in.  For every location Zeeta gets a different colored notebook to write down her experiences. In Ecuador, where she fills out her indigo notebook, she learns about the country and its culture, but also discovers a lot about herself.
  • Carter, Ally. Heist Society. YA CAR – Kat Bishop’s father is an international art thief. In fact, it’s a family business that she’s learned from an early age. But she wants a more normal life and has immersed herself in a distinguished boarding school. When her father gets into some trouble though, she reenters the world of elaborate heists and travels to five different countries (Italy, Austria, Poland, England, and France) in two weeks.
  • Dixon, Franklin W. Endangered Species. YA DIX – Hardy boys, Frank and Joe, start an investigation that takes them on an adventure to Kenya. The mystery involves poachers, smugglers, and a lot of African wildlife.
  • Brashares, Ann. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. YA BRA – Four best friends reluctantly go their own separate ways over the summer. Although their locations range from Greece, Mexico, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C. they stay connected and share their experiences through a magical pair of pants.
  • Donnelly, Jennifer. Revolution. YA DON – Andi Alpers is having a hard time coping at her private school in Brooklyn.  When the school contacts her father he decides to bring her to Paris where he is doing research. While staying at the home of a distinguished historian she finds a diary and buries herself in the story of a young woman from the eighteenth century.
  • Perkins, Stephanie. Anna and the French Kiss. YA PER – A boarding school in Paris is not where Anna had planned on spending her senior year of high school. In fact, all of her plans involved staying in Atlanta. Nonetheless, her father sends her to Paris and Anna is not thrilled. But when she is befriended by handsome Etienne St. Clair things start to feel a lot better. Too bad he already has a girlfriend.
  • Watson, Sasha. Vidalia in Paris. YA WAT – Summertime in Paris is a dream come true for Vidalia. The summer before her senior year of high school she wins a scholarship to study art there. When she meets handsome Marco and starts spending time with him studying art turns into stealing art. Vidalia has to work through her feelings for Marco and guilt over the art thefts. 
  • Ibbotson, Eva. A Company of Swans. YA IBB – Growing up in Cambridge, England with her father, Professor Morton, has been a little bleak for Harriet. When the Russian Ballet comes through town Harriet decides to follow them to their next performance site, the Amazon. She runs away from home and makes her way to Brazil. There she discovers a world of beauty, excitement and love. But how long will it take for her strict, overbearing father to find her?
  • McDonald, Abby. Sophomore Switch. YA MCD – Tasha and Emily, two very different girls who live on different continents, have one thing in common: they are college students who both need a change. Both girls enroll in a student exchange program and ultimately switch places with each other. Tasha ends up at distinguished Oxford University in the United Kingdom, while Emily goes to sunny California to attend UC Santa Barbara.
  • Meehan, Kieran. Hannah’s Winter. YA MEE – Twelve year old Hannah is not thrilled to leave her home in Australia and travel to Japan so that her mother can do research for a book she’s writing. But she quickly makes friends with Miki, a girl her age, and they become wrapped up in a mystery that involves a toy box, a riddle, and some fun destinations.
  • Jensen, Melissa. Falling in Love with English Boys. YA JEN – For Cat Vernon, spending the summer in London is not exciting. Her friends aren’t there, she doesn’t know anybody, and there’s nothing to do. Then she starts reading the diary of Katherine Percival, a young woman from the early 19th century. Cat starts to see some parallels between Katherine’s life and her own. To top it off, she meets William Percival, Katherine’s very attractive descendant. 
Monday
Oct242011

Ghostly Good Reads

Halloween is drawing near. If the library is one of your favorite haunts, come in and check out one of our many ghost stories. It’s the perfect time to grab a chilling (or not-so-chilling) book of suspense and curl up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.  For a good scare, a spooky mystery, or just a fun paranormal romance try some of these titles:

  • Cypess, Leah. Nightspell. YA CYP  - Prince Vari of Raelli is determined to create an alliance with the kingdom of Ghostland, a place where ghosts mingle freely with the living. He has sent his youngest sister, Callie, into the strange land to marry their prince. But Callie’s older sister, Darri, assured her that she would save her.  After a murder and a change of plans though, Darri suddenly finds herself as the new bride-to-be in place of her sister with a ghost for a groom. 
  • Smith-Ready, Jeri. Shade. YA SMI – The world has gone through a shift. Everybody who was born after a certain date can see and talk to ghosts. Sixteen year old Aura was the first child born after the shift. She tries to avoid ghosts as much as possible, until her boyfriend Logan dies and becomes a ghost himself.  Aura is searching for the answers to a lot of questions and Zachary, the new transfer student, wants to help. Aura feels torn between the living and the dead. 
  • Hurley, Tanya. Ghostgirl. YA HUR – All Charlotte Usher wanted was to be popular and for her crush, Damen Dylan, to notice her.  So it is very inconvenient when she chokes on a gummy bear and dies before her first day of freshman year is even over.  After the incident, she finds herself in a very unexpected place: Dead Ed. It is a school to help kids move on after death. But Charlotte isn’t ready to give up the world of the living and embarks on a series of comical escapades to achieve her goals.
  • Nichols, Lee. Deception: haunting Emma. YA NIC – Seventeen year old Emma Vaile has been abandoned by her family, leaving her alone in their San Francisco home. To top it off, her best friend won’t have anything to do with her.  Just when social workers are about to step in her older brother’s best friend, Bennett Stern, shows up and takes charge. She is swept away to his family’s home in Massachusetts and promptly put into a private school. When she starts seeing visions she is afraid that she is going crazy so she confides in Bennett who informs her that they are both able to communicate with ghosts.  
  • Kade, Stacey. The Ghost and the Goth.  YA KAD – When popular Alona Dare is hit by a school bus and becomes a ghost she is distressed to discover it didn’t take her fellow classmates long to move on. Then she realizes that Will Killian, a loner at school, can see and hear her. Alona badgers Will until he agrees to help her figure out how to move on. 
  • Gibson, Marley.  Ghost Huntress. Book 1, The awakening. YA GIB – Kendall, age 16, has grown up in Chicago. Her life changes drastically when her family moves to Radisson, Georgia and she starts seeing ghosts. The ghosts realize she can see them and they all want her attention. 
  • Armstrong, Kelley. The Summoning. YA ARM – Chloe Saunders has never liked basements. Until recently she didn’t remember the reason for that: basements are where ghosts tend to hang out and she can see them.  An incident at school leads to Chloe being sent to Lyle House with other troubled teens. It soon becomes obvious that Lyle House is just trying to cover up the truth about the teens that are sent there.
  • Crewe, Megan. Give up the Ghost. YA CRE – Cass McKenna is a loner and she likes it just fine. After all, she can see and speak to ghosts, who are full of all sorts of information and secrets. Her sister Paige, who is a ghost, is her only friend. When Tim, the student council vice president discovers her ability he seeks her help in contacting his mother.
  • Avi. The Seer of Shadows.  YA AVI – Horace lives in New York just after the civil war. When he becomes the apprentice to a spirit photographer he soon learns that he actually can see ghosts and can capture their images in his photos. When he becomes connected with the ghost of a young woman who is out for revenge he tries to do the right thing.
  • Dahme, Joanne. Creepers. YA DAH – Courtney, age 13, moves right next door to a cemetery that has been there since the 1700s. Making the setting even creepier is the ivy that climbs over everything. Then Courtney befriends Margaret Geyer who is trying to unearth old family secrets and they both become wrapped up in the mystery.
  • Cabot, Meg. Shadowland. YA CAB – Suze does not like old places. They are always more populated with ghosts, who she can see and talk to but would prefer to just ignore. They always want her help with something though. So she is not thrilled when her mother remarries and they move into a big old house that was built in the 1800s. She is even less thrilled to find a ghost living in her bedroom. But Jesse is different and doesn’t seem to want her help with anything.
  • Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book. YA GAI – Bod, short for Nobody, was orphaned as a baby and adopted by a very nice old couple. They love him very much but they just happen to be ghosts, which means that Bod has to live in a graveyard. As long as he stays there the ghosts are able to protect him. But Bod longs to leave the cemetery and see what the outside world is like.
Thursday
Sep222011

Step Back in Time

Homecoming is a time for many to look back and reminisce about the past 10, 20 or even 50 years. Since you don't have any old high school days to look back at yet, check out these YA titles that will take you back in time.

  • Anderson, Laurie Halse. Chains. YA AND. A fast paced novel about Isabel, a teenage slave trapped in New York City at the beginning of the American Revolution. Sold to ruthless, wealthy loyalists in Manhattan, Isabel is promised her freedom by the rebels if she agrees to spy. Impeccably researched with historical details that will transport the reader back to the 18th century.
  • Anderson, M.T. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation. YA AND.  Octavian’s mother may be royalty, and Octavian may receive the best education Boston has to offer in the years before the American Revolution, but Octavian comes to learn that his nobility and fine living is all a hoax: he and his mother are actually slaves, part of a terrible experiment being performed on African Americans.
  • Alvarez, Julia. Before We Were Free. YA ALV. Living in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s, 11-year-old Anita grows up quickly as trouble brews and she experiences the reign of a ruthless dictator and the rise of the Dominican Revolution.
  • Auch, Mary Jane. Ashes of Roses. YA AUC. Rather than returning to Ireland with the rest of her family, sixteen-year-old Rose stays to create a new life in New York and finds work at the Triangle Waist Company. But, when the factory catches fire in one of the worst industrial disasters in history, Rose is trapped and must fight for her life.
  • Avi, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. YA AVI. In 1802, prim and privileged twelve-year-old Charlotte joins a ship and its riotous crew for a transatlantic journey from England to Rhode Island. Her tough and rebellious personality suits the ship, but it’s exactly what gets her in trouble when the captain accuses her of murder.
  • Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker. YA BRU. At the age of six, Ned leaves his Navajo home to go to an English-speaking boarding school. Ten years later, he enlists in the U.S. Marines as a code talker, using his native Navajo language to communicate important information in a top-secret code during World War II.
  • Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham. YA CUR. Ten-year-old Kenny’s family is funny, feisty, and, to Kenny, totally weird. Since his brother, Byron, is on his way to becoming an “official delinquent,” his parents decide to move him from their home in Flint, Michigan, to Birmingham, Alabama, where life looks very different for the Watson family.
  • Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light. (Donnelly, Jennifer. Revolution.)
  • Godbersen, Anna. The Luxe. YA GOD. The first novel of this engrossing series follows several teens from different social classes, all living in Manhattan in 1899, and all involved in intertwining, scandalous, and captivating situations.
  • Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. YA HES. Fourteen-year-old Billie relates the hardships and hope of living through the Dust Bowl in this enjoyable and powerful novel in poems.
  • Hughes, Pat Raccio. Five 4ths of July. YA HUG (new). Jake learns to be careful what he wishes for when he spends July 4, 1777, wishing he had more adventure in his life. For the next four years, Jake finds intense adventure in battling the British army and fighting for his life.
  • Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky. YA LAR. With her future looking bleak, Hattie jumps at the chance to move from Iowa to Montana to tend to a homestead left to her by a deceased relative. As she embarks on this new adventure all by herself, she runs into a few surprises along the way, including the unexpected effects of World War I.
  • Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels. YA MYE. In this graphically realistic portrayal of the Vietnam War, seventeen-year-old Richie joins the service after his college plans fall through, detailing how war affects his friendships, his beliefs, and himself.
  • Na, An. A Step from Heaven. YA NA. Although Young Ju’s parents told her they moved from Korea to America to have a better life, both Young Ju and her parents are struggling to realize that dream in the States. With vivid details about what it’s like to be an immigrant, this novel follows Young Ju’s struggle to fit in and live the life her parents promised. 
  • Stuber, Barbara. Crossing the Tracks. YA STU (new). Fifteen-year-old Iris, who lives in Missouri in 1926, feels rejected by her father after her mother dies. She feels even more rejected when he sends her to be a caregiver for an elderly, sickly woman during the summer. While she doesn’t have high hopes for the summer, she learns valuable and often beautiful lessons about love, family, tragedy, and  growing up.
  • Zusak, Marcus. The Book Thief. YA ZUS.
Wednesday
Aug102011

Back to School

Some of you may have been waiting for this since the beginning of June, while others of you may still find it an unwelcome topic. No matter how you feel, it’s bound to happen: school is starting in just a few short days. We hope you’ve had a great summer full of books, relaxing, sun, and swimming, and to help you ease back into the school mindset, take some time to check out these books about high school, middle school, and the joys and woes of being a student. Here’s to a great school year!

  • Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. YA ALE. Although he feels like a sell-out for doing so, Junior decides to transfer from the high school on the Indian reservation where he lives to a rich, predominantly white school. Junior, already unpopular, now has to deal with receiving guilt from his tribe and trying to fit into a place where he can’t help but stand out.
  • Cabot, Meg. Shadowland. YA CAB. After moving from New York to California, it’s time for Suze to start her new school, make new friends, and try to avoid talking to ghosts. Literally. Suze is a mediator between the living and the dead, and just when she thought that was bad enough, she finds out her new school is run by a vengeful ghost, and her new room is inhabited by a cute ghost named Jesse.
  • Crutcher, Chris. Whale Talk. YA CRU. T.J. is an adopted, mixed-race high school senior with a positive attitude. He’s smart and athletic, but he hates organizes sports--that is, until he is asked to put together a swim team, an opportunity he uses to gather the underdogs of the school and put the school’s jocks in their place.
  • Green, John. Looking for Alaska. YA GRE. Sixteen-year-old Miles is ready for a change, ready to start leading a life full of more adventure than monotony. After he transfers to an Alabama boarding school, he meets beautiful, eccentric Alaska, who fills his life in more ways than he could have ever expected.
  • Hawkins, Rachel. Hex Hall. YA HAW. After a string of small catastrophes, Sophie is sent to Hex Hall, a boarding school full of mystery, humor, romance...and also trouble-making witches, warlocks, faeries, vampires, and shape-shifters.
  • Knowles, John. A Separate Peace. YA KNO. Fifteen years after he graduated, Gene returns to his old all-boys prep school, visiting places that conjure particularly vivid memories. He reminisces about friendships, rivals, tragedies, trust, secret societies, and growing up on the brink of WWII.
  • Korman, Gordon. Schooled. YA KOR. Thirteen-year-old Cap has been home schooled on an “alternate farm commune” by his hippie grandmother for his entire educational career. When she is hospitalized, Cap is sent to a local middle school, where he quickly realizes that learning about Zen Buddhism and produce farming have far from prepared him to navigate public school.
  • Leck, James. The Adventures of Jack Lime. YA LEC. Whenever students at Iona High have a problem, they turn to the same person: Jack Lime. High-school student Jack Lime is a new kid in town, but his private eye business and knack for detective work gets him noticed quickly.
  • Madigan, L.K. Flash Burnout. YA MAD. With Shannon and Marissa, Blake has it all: a great girlfriend and a great best friend. But when Blake photographs a homeless woman who turns out to be Marissa’s mother, Blake’s life gets a little less tidy and a lot more complicated.
  • Schmidt, Gary D. The Wednesday Wars. YA SCH. Every Wednesday at Holling’s school, all of the students are dismissed to attend either Catechism or Hebrew school...all except Holling, that is. As the only Presbyterian at the school, it’s just Holling and Mrs. Baker in the classroom, studying Shakespeare week after week during the 1967 school year. Holling comes to learn that Shakespeare may have more to teach him about middle school and life than he thinks.
  • Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl. YA SPI. In Leo’s stick-to-the-status-quo high school, it’s especially hard not to notice Stargirl, a new student who dances without music and serenades her classmates with a ukulele. When Leo realizes he’s in love with her, he has to make the tough choice  between being the brunt of cruel jokes along with Stargirl, or changing what makes her special in order to fit in.
Wednesday
Jul272011

Discovering Dystopias

You may have heard it a thousand times, but in dystopias, it’s true: things aren’t always what they seem. And for the characters in these books, that always seems to be a lesson learned the hard way. In dystopian books, characters live in completely different worlds with completely different rules. Pick up one of these dystopian novels and join the characters in discovering what makes their worlds far less than perfect.

(Just a heads up—because of the themes in dystopian books and the alternate worlds in which these characters live, some of these titles are prone to mature content.)

  • Anderson, M.T. Feed. YA AND. In Titus’s futuristic world, everyone is constantly bombarded with information through their feeds, which are computer brain implants that stream ads and commercials all day long. Titus meets a rebellious friend, Violet, whose feed is shutting down. As her feed shuts down, so does her mind and body—and no one is willing to save her.
  • Bacigalupi, Paolo. Ship Breaker. YA BAC (new). Living in a world with depleted fossil fuels and drowned cities, 15-year-old Nailer salvages scrap metal from oil tankers in order to make a living. When he discovers a survivor from the wreck of a wealthy ship, Nailer must decide whether to save the girl or take the valuables and run.
  • Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. SCI-FI BRA. Guy Montag is a fireman who burns books and loves it. But everything changes for Guy when he meets a young girl who mysteriously disappears, forcing Guy to reconsider everything he thought he knew about his society and what he believes.
  • Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. YA COL. Katniss lives in Panem, a nation with a cruel yet shining Capitol and twelve other districts. Based on the Capitol’s ruling, each district must send a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to the Hunger Games, a brutal competition and a literal fight to the death—and it’s Katniss’s turn to play.
  • Condie, Allyson. Matched. YA CON (new). In Cassia’s world, Society is the ultimate—and only—matchmaker, dictating who belongs with whom for the rest of their 80-year lives. It’s Cassia’s turn to be matched, and she’s shocked to see she’s been matched with not one, but two people. Who’s her real match, and how did Society make such a mistake?
  • Dashner, James. The Maze Runner. YA DAS. What would you do if you woke up in the middle of a maze with absolutely no idea how you got there and no clue how to leave? Welcome to Thomas’s life.
  • DeStefano, Lauren. Wither. (audio book) CD BOOK YA WEST. When scientists genetically engineered perfect children, everyone was sure it would work out brilliantly. Wrong. Now, because a virus causes almost all females to die at the age of 20, girls are kidnapped, sold, and married off to repopulate the world—and that’s exactly what happened to 16-year-old Rhine.
  • Farmer, Nancy. House of the Scorpion. YA FAR. When Matt first interacts with the outside world at the age of six, he discovers that he’s a clone living in a world that despises clones. Matt’s not just any clone either...he’s the clone of El Patron, the leader of an enormous drug empire.
  • Grant, Michael. Gone. YA GRA. Strange things happen in Sam’s world...everyone over the age of 14 disappears, and everyone left develops strange, supernatural, often unwelcome powers. Not to mention the mutating animals and giant, impassable wall that encircles his community. Now, Sam has to figure out what’s going on before his upcoming 14th birthday.
  • Lanagan, Margo. Black Juice. YA LAN. In this set of ten short stories, the author takes readers through significant events in peculiar worlds that are sometimes filled with more evil than good and more darkness than light.
  • Lowry, Lois. The Giver. YA LOW. After turning 12, Jonas is ready to receive his lifetime assignment, an occupation he’ll have for the rest of his life. At the Ceremony, Jonas is named Receiver, the keeper of the community’s memories. Through an intense training process, Jonas starts to learn that the world he lives in may not be as great as he thought.
  • O’Brien, Caragh M. Birthmarked. YA OBR. Sixteen-year-old Gaia lives and works in an outside community called Enclave. Being a midwife, Gaia’s job is to send babies to privileged families who live within the walls. While she doesn’t have as many luxuries as those people inside the walls, Gaia has been loyal to her community; that is, until her parents disappear and she discovers startling secrets about the Enclave.
  • Oliver, Lauren. Delirium. YA OLI (new). Lena is afraid of catching a terrible disease: love. In her world, love is an awful delirium that leads to nothing but bad things. So, young people get an operation to cure the illness. Days before her surgery, Lena experiences what she dreaded—she falls in love.
  • Orwell, George. 1984. YA ORW. In this classic dystopian tale, Winston Smith knows that Big Brothers is watching, yet he rebels against his strict, totalitarian government and is arrested by the Thought Police.
  • Rosoff, Meg. How I Live Now. YA ROS. After 15-year-old Daisy moves to London with her aunt and cousins, war breaks out—without warning and without mercy. With her aunt out of the country, it’s up to Daisy and her cousins to survive. But, among all the war and violence, Daisy may find love where she least expects it.
  • Roth, Veronica. Divergent. YA ROT (new). The Chicago where Beatrice lives is not the Chicago we know. In her world, citizens must belong to one of five factions; without belonging to a faction, you might as well not exist. After a test reveals some rare information about Beatrice, she joins a new faction—Dauntless. To prove her recklessness, Beatrice must go through an intense, brutal initiation competition.
  • Westerfield, Scott. Uglies. YA WES. Tally is almost 16, which means she’s about to have the same surgery everyone gets at that age, an operation to turn her from an Ugly to a Pretty. But, when a friend decides to run away and not become a Pretty, Tally is forced into following, leading her down a path of secrets and betrayal.
Friday
Jul152011

On the Big Screen

This week marks the end of an era: the last Harry Potter movie is being released in theaters! While you’re recovering from the midnight showing, or if you and your friends need something to read and watch instead of the latest Potter installment, check out these other teen titles that made it to the big screen.

  • Boyne, John. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. YA BOY (DVD BOY): After moving to “Out-With,” Germany, Bruno decides to cure his boredom by exploring the area. When he meets a boy named Shmuel living on the other side of a wire fence, he begins a friendship that touches and haunts him for the rest of his life.
  • Brashares, Ann. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. YA BRA (DVD SIST): Four best friends are heading their separate ways for the summer, but during one last shopping trip before they part, the girls discover a pair of seemingly magic jeans that keeps them connected.
  • Cabot, Meg. Princess Diaries. YA CAB (VHS PRIN): In the first installment of the Princess Diaries series, Mia gets quite the shock when she learns that she’s not just an average teen—she’s a teen who happens to be the only heir of a prince, making her the princess of a small country.
  • Cross, Shauna. Whip It. YA CRO (DVD WHIP): Bliss is just a small town girl...whose mom wants her to compete in beauty pageants. Bliss has a different idea, and in a spurt of rebellion, she tries out for a local roller derby team.
  • Doyle, Larry. I Love You Beth Cooper. FIC DOY (DVD I): Denis decides to declare his love for the most popular girl in school during his valedictorian speech. His plan backfires, leading to a graduation night that’s far from what they expected.
  • Flinn, Alex. Beastly. YA FLI: In this retelling of Beauty and the Beast, popular high-school student Kyle embarrasses the wrong girl at a school dance. She casts a spell on Kyle, turning him into a beast until he falls in love with someone who will also love him for what’s on the inside.
  • Gaiman, Neil. Coraline. YA GAI (DVD CORA): As the victim of extreme boredom, Coraline decides to explore her new home, a choice that leads her to discover an alternate, disturbing world that presents her with a frightening challenge.
  • Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot. YA HIA (DVD HOOT) YA HIA: As the new kid school, Roy’s life in his new home in Florida starts off pretty boring. But, after he sees a mysterious running boy, things get a little more interesting. Soon, he and his eccentric new friends set out to save an endangered group of owls.
  • Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. YA HIN: After their parents die, three brothers are forced to find a new identity for themselves, learning about rival gangs, uncovering the truth about different social groups, and truly knowing what it means to be an outsider.
  • Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. J LEW (DVD CHRO): Lucy and her three brothers and sisters discover a magic world within the doors of a wardrobe. In Narnia, the four children are asked to help Aslan the lion conquer the White Witch and lift the curse on the land.
  • Lore, Pittacus. I Am Number Four. (DVD I) YA LOR (new): John has been hiding on Earth for years, trying to avoid the aliens who are determined to destroy him and the other surviving Loric children. But, when he stops in Ohio, he finds it hard to leave the happy life he’s created and move on to fulfill his original task.
  • Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. (DVD TWI) YA MEY: After Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington, she becomes lab partners with one of the most mysterious people in school: Edward Cullen. She soon learns the truth about Edward, and soon their romance puts her life in danger in more ways than one.
  • Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. SCI FI PAO: After finding a blue stone, Eragon starts his adventure as a Dragon Rider. In this first installment of the Inheritance series, Eragon begins a journey in which he encounters magic, tragedy, and action-packed battles.
  • Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. (DVD PERC) YA RIO: Percy Jackson is in trouble: he’s getting kicked out of school, mythical monsters keep showing up, and he learns he’s the son of the god of the sea. Now, it’s up to him and his new friends to stop war from erupting between the gods.
  • Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (DVD HARR) J ROW: After Harry Potter’s parents died, he was sent to live with his miserable relatives. Things start looking up (and also very confusing) for Harry when he discovers that he’s actually a wizard.
  • Sachar, Louis. Holes. (DVD HOLE) YA SAC: Stanley becomes the brunt of his family’s curse when he is sent to Camp Green Lake, a camp for juvenile offenders that revolves around one activity, and one activity only: digging holes.
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring. (DVD LORD) YA TOL: In this first part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, learn about the power of the One ring and the ultimate clash between good and evil.
  • Van Draanen, Wendelin. Flipped. (DVD FLIP) YA VAN: Juli adores Bryce; Bryce avoids Juli. After knowing each other for six years, the two teens’ feelings start to drastically change. Learn each side of the story through alternating chapters told from both characters’ points of view.
Wednesday
Jul062011

Books that Rock

If you’ve ever made playlists for different moods, if you’ve gotten lost in playing an instrument for hours, or if nothing makes you more excited than discovering a new band, you have something in common with the characters of these books. While each of these books plays to a different beat, music is at the heart of this book playlist. 

  • Angel, Ann. Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing. (2010) BIO JOP – New: Get to know music icon Janis Joplin in this lively biography, which follows the life of the rebellious musician from her early days in Texas to her rock and roll success and the sad truth of why her career was cut short. With pictures, timelines, and quotes, this isn’t only a book for Joplin fans, but for any older reader who loves music.
  • Benway, Robin. Audrey, Wait! (2008) YA BEN: After music-obsessed Audrey breaks up with her boyfriend, Evan, he writes a song about it…a song that soon becomes the most popular song in the country. Not too happy with her new celebrity status (and the fact that everything she does shows up on the Internet or in a magazine), Audrey must deal with the ins and outs of high school, exes, best friends, and boyfriends—all while dodging the paparazzi. (suited for mature readers)
  • Cohn, Rachel and David Levithan. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. (2006) YA COH: Nick is a bass guitar player who wants to make his ex-girlfriend jealous; Norah is the daughter of a record executive who helps Nick get back at his ex. After pretending to be in a relationship, the two music fans begin an all-night adventure through New York City. This edgy and fast-paced novel is full of music and romance and is best suited for older teens.
  • Dessen, Sarah. Just Listen. (2006) YA DES: After Annabel hides the truth about what happened between her and her best friend’s boyfriend, she ends up friendless and alone. As she attempts to deal with some heavy issues all on her own, she becomes friends with Owen, an unpopular classmate with an amazing passion for music. Through their friendship and Owen’s love for music, Annabel learns about herself, friendship, and honesty.
  • John, Antony. Five Flavors of Dumb. (2010) YA JOH: Piper’s parents just used her college fund to pay for her sister’s cochlear implants, and Piper is not happy about it. Fueled by anger, she accepts a challenge and agrees to manage a popular rock band. What makes this challenge even greater? Piper is deaf. As she takes on this task, Piper learns about music, what it takes to make a successful rock band, and what it takes to be in a family.
  • Lindner, April. Jane. (2010) YA LIN: In this retelling of Jane Eyre, Jane is an orphaned student trying to pay for college. She takes a job as a nanny, oblivious to the fact that her employer is a has-been musician trying to make a comeback. This love story stays true to the original while still throwing in plenty of surprises and staying rooted in rock and roll culture.
  • Ostow, Micol. So Punk Rock (and other ways to disappoint your mother). (2009) YA OST: Ari is on a mission to be cooler, and part of his plan is to start a punk rock band with his best friend from Jewish Day School. With artwork scattered throughout the book, So Punk Rock follows the band’s ups and downs, friendships and romances in a witty, colorful way.
  • Sachar, Louis. Small Steps. (2006) YA SAC: If you loved Holes, you’ll love this sequel with a musical twist. Armpit is having a hard time adjusting to the world outside of Camp Green Lake, and things don’t get any easier when he joins X-Ray in a plan to get rich quick. X-Ray and Armpit find nothing but trouble when they start scalping concert tickets, but you’ll find yourself rooting for Armpit throughout the entire book.
  • Woodson, Jacqueline. After Tupac & D Foster. (2008) YA WOO: D Foster and her two best friends love Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics—but they don’t know much about his life. This story about friendship and family follows the tragedy and hope connected to the rapper’s death as well as another event that hits even closer to home for one of the girls.
Tuesday
Jun142011

Road Trip!

School’s out, the weather is warm, and summertime is finally here. You know what that means…road trips! Nothing passes the time on the way to your vacation destination better than a good book. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, think about reading these titles that also feature characters getting ready to go on a journey or embark on an adventure.

  • Bray, Libba. Going Bovine. (2009) YA BRA. When sixteen-year-old Cameron is diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease, his life takes a huge turn. Cameron and his hospital roommate (who happens to be a hypochondriac dwarf) leave on a fantastical road trip to find a cure and to discover what makes life worth living. Complete with punk rock angels, talking yard gnomes and everything in between, this book is packed with fantasy, humor, and even more heart.
  • Johnson, Maureen. 13 Little Blue Envelopes. (2005) YA JOH. Ginny receives 13 envelopes from her aunt, each including a letter and a task that she is to complete before opening the next envelope. The letters take her from London to Rome and everywhere in between, and readers (especially fans of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) will enjoy Ginny’s funny, thoughtful, and life-changing journey.
  • Kerouac, Jack. On the Road. (1957) FIC KER. Sal drives from coast to coast with Dean Moriarty, a slightly mad, hip, amateur philosopher. Written in a free flowing style, this book is well suited for mature readers looking for a literary adventure or a classic road trip tale.
  • Matson, Morgan. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. (2010) YA MAT. After Amy’s father died in a car accident, Amy won’t get behind the wheel at all. So, Roger, a college sophomore and friend of the family, offers to drive Amy across the country to her new home in Connecticut. Amy and Roger take off on an epic road trip, meeting colorful people, visiting new places, dealing with loss, and eventually starting a new relationship. You'll enjoy following their entertaining trip, complete with maps, playlists, and photos.
  • Pearson, Mary. The Miles Between. (2010) YA PEA. All Destiny wants is “one fair day”—when things would go her way for once and life would just be fair. Feeling more than fed up with her life in boarding school, she sees the perfect opportunity to escape when she comes across an abandoned car. Destiny and three other classmates decide to make this their fair day, which takes them on an unforgettable road trip. Likeable characters and a touch of magic will make you wish you were on the road trip, too.
  • Perkins, Lynne Rae. As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth. (2010) YA PER. After missing his train in Montana, Ry is stuck in the middle of nowhere with no one to call and nowhere to go. While everything is going wrong for Ry, he meets Del, who offers to drive him across the country so he can get home. Written in poetic yet readable and entertaining language, this book’s smart and witty characters will hook you.
  • Tan, Shaun. The Arrival. (2007) YA TAN (Graphic Novel). This graphic novel isn’t only a story—it’s a piece of art. The story follows an immigrant who leaves his family to start a new life in a new world. Through Tan’s detailed and beautiful artwork, you'll understand every aspect of the man’s journey, from his memories, friendships, worries, and even interesting details of the time period.
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit. (1937) YA TOL. Bilbo Baggins is a small hobbit who enjoys a life of leisure in his small hobbit hole. So, imagine his surprise as 13 dwarves show up on his doorstep, dragging him along on their dangerous quest to get a precious treasure back from Smaug, the dragon. Bilbo’s journey will take readers through the Lonely Mountains, meeting spiders, wolves, elves, and Gollum along the way. Fans of The Lord of the Rings, fantasy adventures, and even fairy tales shouldn’t miss The Hobbit.
Friday
Jun032011

Royal Reads & Nobel Novels

'Tis a most splendid thing that summer reading has begun! We travelled back in time for A Midsummer Knight's Read for our 2011 Summer Reading Program. You may not have your own set of knight's armor or any ball gowns stashed in your basement, and you won't find too many jousters on the streets of Morton these days; but, if you'd like to be transported to the medieval days of royalty, peasants, round tables, and other grand adventures (and perhaps encounter some magic and enchantment along the way), check out these young adult reads:

  • Cabot, Meg. Avalon High. YA CAB. After starting a new high school, Elaine, the daughter of medieval scholars, is accused of being a reincarnation of a medieval maid in this clever and quick novel.
  • Cashore, Kristin. Graceling. YA CAS. Katsa has been born with a unique Grace--she has a talent for killing. As she comes to terms with her skill and seeks to use it for good, Katsa takes part on an epic journey with romance and adventure in this book suited for mature readers.
  • Cushman, Karen. Catherine, Called Birdy. YA CUS. Written as rebellious Catherine's diary, this novel recounts vivid details of medieval life for a 13-year-old, from daily household activities to her adventures in avoiding an arranged marriage.
  • Flanagan, John. The Ruins of Gorlan. YA FLA. Although he wants to be a knight, Will is chosen to be a student of the mysterious Ranger Halt. In the first action-filled book of the Ranger's Apprentice series, Will must learn the skills he needs to help save his kingdom.
  • George, Jessica Day. Princess of the Midnight Ball. YA GEO. Twelve princesses are forced to dance against their will. Filled with magic knitting, an exciting escape, romance, and evil, this is an interesting twisted take on a classic fairy tale.
  • Hale, Shannon. Book of a Thousand Days. YA HAL. While Dashti, a peasant girl with special powers, is locked in a tower for seven years, she journals about the visitors that come and events that take place. This bright fairy tale is fast paced with a hint of romance.
  • Hale, Shannon. Princess Academy. YA HAL. After leaving her village quarry, Miri enters Princess Academy with other village girls, all hoping to be the prince's wife. Miri faces trials and learns life lessons that readers will find insightful and enjoyable.
  • Lewis, C.S. Prince Caspian: the Return to Narnia. YA LEW. A year after they stepped through the wardrobe, the four children must help free Narnia from evil reign in this installment of the classic series.
  • Marchetta, Melina. Finnikin of the Rock. YA MAR. Ten years after the royal family dies, Finnikin returns to his kingdom (partly out of devious persuasion) to restore order. This tale is exciting and suspenseful, and is suitable for mature readers.
  • McKinley, Robin. Spindle's End. YA MCK. This enchanting novel takes Sleeping Beauty a few steps further, following Princess Rosie as she grows into a powerful heroine.
  • Morris, Gerald. The Quest of the Fair Unknown. New YA MOR. Setting out on an epic quest, Beaufils travels to Camelot, intent on joining the Knights of the Round Table and discovering the true identify of his father. This Arthurian legend is a witty addition to Morris's Squires Tales series.
  • Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. SCI FI PAO. After finding a blue stone, Eragon starts his adventure as a Dragon Rider. In this first installment of the Inheritance series, Eragon begins a journey in which he encounters magic, tragedy, and action-packed battles.

Teens can sign up for the summer reading program at the adult Help Desk. Let us know what you're looking forward to reading this summer, or ask if you need some recommendations. Fare-thee-well!

Wednesday
Apr202011

Celebrate Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day with a book, some windmills, and lots of inspiration

How will you celebrate Earth Day in April? If you’re looking for some extra inspiration, check out The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. It's an amazing true story about how thirteen-year-old William built a windmill for his family with limited resources (he uses parts of a bicycle and other seemingly random materials) and little encouragement (the townspeople think he’s crazy).

After a terrible drought strikes his country of Malawi in Africa, William’s family doesn't have enough food to eat, and they don’t have any money to send him to school. To keep his mind active, William visits the library and comes across books on physics and energy. The only problem? The books are written in English. Having to rely on the pictures, diagrams, and what he’s figured out on his own about electricity, William realizes that the subjects in the book—explanations of electricity and energy—can help save his family.

As soon as you finish this book (probably even before) you’ll be asking for more books about windmills, how they work, and how you can use a few recycled materials and some wind energy to help families like William’s.

Find this book at the Morton Public Library!