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Archive for April, 2011

Curse Workers series by Holly Black

Holly Black is my favorite author, and she has been my favorite author since I picked up her book Tithe about 6 years ago.  I have always been a reluctant reader, and not because I don’t enjoy reading but because I am a slow reader.  However, Holly Black has been one of a handful of authors who catch my interest right from the first page and as a result I read their work voraciously.

The problem: after her 3rd YA novel, Ironside, was published in 2007 she was not publishing a new novel until May 2010.  It was a long time to wait! Granted, she did edit some awesome short story collections (like Zombies vs. Unicorns) but I really enjoy reading her novels.  So, I was excited to get my hands on first book in the Curse Workers series, White Cat, and I am now about half way through the second book Red Glove

The Curse Workers series centers on Cassel Sharpe.  He has grown up a non-worker in a family of workers.  Workers, or curse workers, are people who have the ability to control emotions, luck, or even physically change someone all with the touch of a hand.  Most curse workers turn to organized crime to ensure their protection and also to use their abilities to their most profitable potential.  Cassel’s mother is not only an emotion curse worker she is also an expert con-woman who happens to be in jail right now.  So, Cassel is stuck in boarding school, where he is running a profitable gambling business using the tricks of the trade that his mother taught him.  Cassel, however, is scarred by the vague memory of killing his best friend, Lila, three years ago.  Lately, he can’t shake the feeling that there is something wrong, especially when a white cat shows up in his dreams and then in his reality.

Holly Black is most well known for writing about faeries (most famously for The Spiderwick Chronicles).  So, when I first heard about her new Curse Workers series, I was curious to see if she would be able to write successfully about something other than faeries.  Let me tell you, she did not disappoint.  Her concept for this new series is so interesting.  In the world she has created everyone has to wear gloves, since that is the way a curse worker “works”.  No matter what the weather or what you’re doing you have to be wearing gloves.  Even family members rarely see each other’s bare hands.  Also, in order to work someone the worker has to deal with the blowback.  So, when Cassel’s mother works another person’s emotions, she will then experience uncontrollable emotions for days after–depending on how much she worked the person.  Not only is Black’s mythology of the curse worker world so interesting, but I find myself instantly drawn into the story and mystery around Cassel and his place in his family and death of his best friend, Lila.  (Who, by the way, he also had a huge unrequited crush on…)

So, in case you couldn’t figure it out by this point I really like Holly Black’s new Curse Workers series.  Check out the series at the Library:
1) White Cat
2) Red Glove
3) Black Heart will not be out for about another year, but Black recently shared this photo of the cover on her blog:

 Black Heart

Black also shared that a jewelry designer has created a set of jewelry inspired by the Curse Workers series.  Charms are big in the world of curse workers because they can help protect someone from being worked.  Here’s an important one that Black herself loves, the Resurrection Diamond:

 Resurrection Diamond

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 27, 2011 Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery



Scholastic Publishing has launched ThisIsTeen, a program that combines Facebook, SCVNGR, and an author tour this summer featuring Meg Cabot, Libba Bray, and Maggie Stiefvater.

Visit the ThisIsTeen Facebook page to interact with Scholastic’s authors.  Also, you can watch exclusive interviews with the authors, participate in contests and giveaways, get exclusive first looks at some books, and connect with other readers.

SCVNGR is a location based mobile gaming app for your phone.  Click here to learn more.  Starting today, 4/26, if you download SCVNGR to your smartphone you can participate in book-related challenges in participating bookstores all across the country.  The more challenges you complete the more points you earn for a chance to win.

Finally, three authors Meg Cabot, Libba Bray, and Maggie Stiefvater will be on tour this summer as part of the kickoff of the ThisIsTeen program.  You have a chance to see them when they come to Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL, on June 15, 2011.

If you haven’t read any of the author’s that are part of ThisIsTeen then check them out at the Library.  I recommend Cabot’s Avalon High or Shadowland, Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty or Going Bovine, and Stiefvater’s Shiver or Lament.


By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 26, 2011 Categories: Fiction

Leverage by Joshua Cohen

Leverage Joshua Cohen pulls together the brutal, intense, harsh worlds of: football, gymnastics, bullying, horrible secrets, and meeting expectations, in excellent but painfully harsh at times read.  Leverage throws you into the world of Danny and Kurt, two completely different guys, or maybe not so different.  Danny is small, athletic, and dreams about getting himself a full ride to college for gymnastics. His moves on the uneven bars make audiences gasp.  Kurt is a beast, a football playing beast, who was recruited from another high school by his coach. But Kurt has much more to him, a nightmarish past and a future that greatly depends on his success in his new spot on the hardcore and hard hitting Oregrove Knight’s high school football team.  A team with some members, pumped full of steroids, who bully and brutalize the seemingly small and weak. When this bullying goes beyond just teasing to terrible cruelness and evil Danny and Kurt find themselves coping with the terrible repercussions and a unlikely friendship that helps them through it. 

Recommended for students in 9th grade and up

By MPPL on April 25, 2011 Categories: Fiction, High School

Happy Earth Day!

Even though it is rainy outside, be sure to celebrate Earth Day today!  Here are some simple things you can do to celebrate Earth Day:

  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Eat a vegetarian or vegan meal.
  • Reduce your water consumption by turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, cut back 10 minutes on your shower, or buy a reuse-able water bottle instead of buying bottled water.
  • Turn off your computer when you are done using it.
  • Recycle, weather it garbage or buying things second hand.

For more ideas, check out this article on

Also, if you’re looking for something to read in honor of Earth Day, check out this list of books to go green!


By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 22, 2011 Categories: Fiction, Nonfiction

2 New Additions to the Hunger Games Movie broke the news yesterday that Thresh and Rue have been cast in the movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ popular book The Hunger Games (click here to find it in the Library).  The roles of the two District 11 tributes were given to two relative new actors.  Thresh will be played by Dayo Okeniyi and Rue will be played by Amandla Stenberg.  If you remember, Thresh was the imposing male tribute from District 11 who showed mercy to Katniss because of her alliance with Rue.  Rue of course was a pivotal character in The Hunger Games as she not only was a key alliance for Katniss but she also became a driving force for Katniss to survive the games.  Need a refresher?  Check out The Hunger Games at the Library now!

Also, check out the Facebook page for The Hunger Games.  There is this awesome way to keep track of who is cast in the movie:


By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 19, 2011 Categories: Dystopian, Fiction, Movies

Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!  Want to celebrate…?

Checkout a novel in verse.  Click here for a list of Teen novels in verse.

What is a novel in verse?  Well, unlike a collection of poems, a novel in verse tells a narrative story using poetry.  If you’ve read a book by Ellen Hopkins, then you’ve read a novel in verse.  All of Hopkins’ novels are great examples of how poetry can be used to tell a very emotional and moving story.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 17, 2011 Categories: Fiction

Lemonade Mouth

Lemonade Mouth

Did you catch the premiere of Lemonade Mouth on the Disney Channel last night?  If you’re a fan, did you know that Lemonade Mouth was originally a book written by Mark Peter Hughes?  Click here to find it in the Library, and check it out to see how it compares to the movie. 

Lemonade Mouth Book If you missed the premiere, Lemonade Mouth is about five random freshmen who meet in detention and end up forming a band.  In the book, the band’s story is told through alternating chapters by each band member.  As they start to make music together and get attention that goes beyond their high school, the band mates also have to deal with some typical and not so typical life drama.

You still have a chance to watch Lemonade Mouth on the Disney Channel.  Click here to find out when it is airing next.

Also, you can check out the DVD of the movie at the Library when it is release on 5/24/11.  Click here to find it in our catalog.

In the meantime, check out this video of one of the songs from the movie:

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 16, 2011 Categories: Fiction, Movies, Music, Realistic Fiction

3 Book Reviews from Haley

Haley is one of our teen patrons who we can always count on for reviews.  Here are a few of her recent reviews:

SummerBoys I read Summer Boys by Hailey Abbott and it was about 3 girls who try to find their first guy. They try to find him and fall in love for the first time but they are in high school. This book was a good book but kind of slow in the first two chapters. I would recommend it.

Click here to find Summer Boys in our catalog.

Tuesdays I read Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch album. It was about a man named Mitch you has ALS and needs some help. It was a good book but also sad. I would recommend it.

Click here to find Tuesday’s with Morrie in our catalog.

SafeHaven I read Safe Heaven by Nicolas Sparks. It wasn’t my favorite books by him. It was about a girl and how she is trying to find the right guy to date and be with. Then she finds him and they get together. It is a good book but I would recommend all the others of his especially The Notebook, The Lucky One, The Last Song, as well as A Walk to Remember.

Click here to find Safe Haven in our catalog.

If you’re interested in submitting reviews to the Teen Talk Blog, too, then fill in your information at the top right hand side of the page and submit your review.  Don’t forget to hit Send!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 13, 2011 Categories: Fiction, Nonfiction

Movie Review–Tangled

Tangled I really like the new movie Tangled… It was about a girl named Rapunzel who has long hair and can’t leave the castle. On her birthday her family does something very special for here and this year she wasn’t able to escape the castle but she did on her birthday. There was more in the movie but it was very good and I would truly recommend it to everyone no matter what age. I thought it was very funny and had a great story line in the movie. I would rate It 4 stars because I really liked it and I know you will too when you see it…

Click here to find Tangled at the Library.

reviewed submitted by Haley

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 11, 2011 Categories: Fantasy, Movies

Soul Surfer tie-in

The movie Soul Surfer hits theaters tomorrow.  It is the true story of the surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm at 13 years old when a 14 foot tiger shark attacked her.

Here’s the trailer for the movie:

Stop by the Library and check out the books Soul Surfer: a true story of faith, family, and fighting to get back on the board by Bethany Hamilton and Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham.  Soul Surfer is Hamilton’s own account of the attack, what led up to it and how she overcame the loss of her arm.  Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham was actually written before Bethany was attacked and she attracted national media attention.  As the author, Kelly Bingham, explains here she had just finished her first draft of the book when Bethany was attacked, so she shelved the manuscript and almost never revisited it.  A year later she revised the manuscript and sold it in 2006.  It is also cool to note that Shark Girl is a novel in verse (a great way to celebrate National Poetry month!).

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 7, 2011 Categories: Fiction, Movies, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction