This week’s book trailer of the week is for Grasshopper Jungle: a history by Andrew Smith. This novel, narrated by sixteen-year-old Austin, is pretty much about every weird thing you can imagine. Austin is chronicling the end of the world, after he and his friend Robby accidentally released a plague of six-foot-tall praying mantises. As he is relaying the account of the end, you also learn about his growing love for both his girlfriend Shann and also his best friend Robby. He is confused, and so in the midst of all the destruction Austin is also just trying to figure out life. Click here to find Grasshopper Jungle: a history in the Library!
March is Women’s History Month. If you’re looking to celebrate by reading a teen novel with a strong female lead, then check out this list!
YA AGUIRRE, A.
In a post-apocalyptic future, fifteen-year-old Deuce, a loyal Huntress, brings back meat while avoiding the Freaks outside her enclave, but when she is partnered with the mysterious outsider, Fade, she begins to see that the strict ways of the elders may be wrong–and dangerous.
YA BLOCK, F.
After a devastating earthquake destroys the West Coast, causing seventeen-year-old Penelope to lose her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother, she navigates a dark world, holding hope and love in her hands and refusing to be defeated.
YA CARRIGER, G.
In an alternate England of 1851, spirited fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is suprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.
YA CASHORE, K.
In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
YA DANFORTH, L.
In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center.
YA JORDAN, S.
When sixteen-year-old Jacinda, who can change into a dragon, is forced to move away from her community of shapeshifters and start a more normal life, she falls in love with a boy who proves to be her most dangerous enemy.
YA LAFEVERS, R.
In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Brittany, seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where she learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts–and a violent destiny.
YA LO, M.
Seventeen-year-olds Kaede and Taisin are called to go on a dangerous and unprecedented journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen, in an effort to restore the balance of nature in the human world.
YA MEAD, R.
Two years after a horrible incident made them run away, vampire princess Lissa and her guardian-in-training Rose are found and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, where one focuses on mastering magic, the other on physical training, while both try to avoid the perils of gossip, cliques, gruesome pranks, and sinister plots.
YA MOULTON, C.
A seventeen-year-old girl discovers she has the reincarnated soul of an ancient warrior destined to battle the reapers–monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell.
YA ROTH, V.
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
YA ST. CROW, L.
Sixteen-year-old Dru’s psychic abilities helped her father battle zombies and other creatures of the “Real World,” but now she must rely on herself, a “werwulf”-bitten friend, and a half-human vampire hunter to learn who murdered her parents, and why.
YA SCHREIBER, J.
Perry’s parents insist that he take Gobi, their quiet, Lithuanian exchange student, to senior prom but after an incident at the dance he learns that Gobi is actually a trained assassin who needs him as a henchman, behind the wheel of his father’s precious Jaguar, on a mission in Manhattan.
YA SEPETYS, R.
Josie, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, is striving to escape 1950 New Orleans and enroll at prestigious Smith College when she becomes entangled in a murder investigation.
YA STIEFVATER, M.
Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
YA TAYLOR, L.
Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters–the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.
YA WEIN, E.
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.
YA ZEVIN, G.
In a future where chocolate and caffeine are contraband, teenage cellphone use is illegal, and water and paper are carefully rationed, sixteen-year-old Anya Balanchine finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight as heir apparent to an important New York City crime family.
YA SF DE LA CRUZ, M.
More than a century after a catastrophic disaster wiped out most of humanity and covered much of the earth with ice, fifteen-year-old Cass yields to the voice in her head urging her to embark on a dangerous journey across a poisoned sea to the mythical land, Blue.
YA SF LU, M.
In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a famous criminal, and prodigy June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.
YA SF MEYER, M.
As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.
Pfeffer YA SF PFEFFER, S.
Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
YA GRAPH CASTELLUCCI
When transfer student Jane is forced to move from the confines of Metro City to Suburbia, she thinks her life is over. But there she finds her tribe: three other girls named Jane. The four girls form a secret art gang, but can art really save the hell that is high school? Young adult.
I love the Olympics! I don’t know what it is, but I love watching top athletes compete in various sports that you usually can’t see on TV. Another thing I like about the Olympics is that it usually introduces me to new information about the culture and customs of the host country. While watching the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, I have really enjoyed learning more about modern-day Russia. Though there is a checkered past to the country, the special looks by NBC have been pretty awesome. (One of my favorites was the look at Siberia today.)
All of this got me thinking: there have to be some pretty good books for teens about Russia or that are set in Russia. Check out the list I came up with below. Some are fiction and some are nonfiction. Some are set in modern day and some are set in what was considered the darker times of Russia’s history. Just click on the covers to find them in the Library!
YA STANDIFORD, N.
It is 1982 and nineteen-year-old Laura Reid is spending a semester in Leningrad studying Russian, but when she meets Alyosha she discovers the dissident Russia–a world of wild parties, underground books and music, love, and constant danger.
YA 947.0842 LUG
Recently unearthed in the archives of Stalin’s secret police, this diary offers rare insight into the life of a teenage girl in Stalin’s Russia, when fear of arrest was a fact of life. Nina’s diary offers today’s reader a fascinating perspective on the era in which she lived.
YA WHITCOMB, L.
After 350 years as a Fetch, or death escort, Calder breaks his vows and enters the body of Rasputin, whose spirit causes rebellion in the Land of Lost Souls while Calder struggles to convey Ana and Alexis, orphaned in the Russian Revolution, to Heaven.
YA GRAPH ABADZIS, N.
This is the journey of Laika, the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth’s first space traveler. With the blending of fact and fiction, this story intertwines three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika’s health and life.
YA BARDUGO, L.
Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.
YA 947.7708 GRI
Although the Iron Curtain is gone, the memory of the high drama, tragedy, and comedy that was life in the Soviet Union remains. Tina Grimberg brings color and perception to a life we think of as gray, impersonal, and foreboding.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
YA SEPETYS, R.
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author’s family, includes a historical note.
YA DUNLAP, S.
As world war and the looming Russian Revolution threaten all they hold dear, Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II, and her family are being held in captivity, where she falls in love with one of their captors, a young man who has espoused the ideals of Lenin.
This week’s book trailer of the week is for Uninvited by Sophie Jordan. Uninvited takes place in an alternate, modern-day world where scientists have discovered the gene that gives a person the predisposition to violence. In other words, they found the gene that causes “Homicidal Tendency Syndrome” and those who have it are supposed to be unpredictable and dangerous. Davy seems to have it all– the perfect boyfriend, a loving family, and a prestigious place in a private school where she has accepted a scholarship to Juilliard. This all disappears when she is diagnosed as a carrier of the Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. Now Davy must attend a special school with others who have HTS, but this school may be more dangerous that the students in attendance… Click here to find Uninvited in the Library!
This week’s book trailer of the week is for Ink by Amanda Sun. Katie’s still messed up from the sudden death of her mother when she is sent to live with her aunt in Japan. A native New Yorker, Katie feels very out of place in her new school and she is attracting a lot of attention, especially from the guys. Katie doesn’t waste her time with any of them, until she sees the artwork of Tomohiro. Not only is he a talented artist, but his works of art come alive before her eyes! Katie knows something is not quite right and she is determined to find out more about Tomohiro’s gift, but soon finds herself wrapped in a dangerous struggle involving the Japanese mafia and the ancient gods of Japan. Click here to find Ink in the Library!
Interesting choice for the first official clip from the upcoming Divergent movie, since it is a quiet and emotional moment between Tris and four. But it is a great look at what to expect from the two actors who will portray the two main characters. Here it is:
What did you think!? Divergent will hit movie theaters in March 2014. If you haven’t read any of the books in the trilogy or you want to re-read them, follow the links below to find them in the Library!
Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
This week’s book trailer of the week is for After the Snow by S.D. Crockett. The United States has plunged into a new Ice Age, and Willo has never known a world that hasn’t been covered in snow and ice and cold. After returning from a hunt, Willo finds that his family is missing and can only assume that they have been taken away. He sets out to find them, but he instead finds a girl about his age who has also lost her family. Willo can’t just leave her in the cold to die, so he commits to helping her just until she can get to a safe place. What Willo doesn’t know, however, is that fate will tie him to her as they discover the world is not at all what they thought it is. This is definitely a great winter read, if you’re OK with embracing the cold weather! Click here to find After the Snow in the Library!
Looking for ways to spend your days relaxing this winter break? Check out this Mental Floss post about 11 Classic Video Games You Can Play Online. Personally, we can never get tired of Pacman! Also, be sure to check in at the Library, where we have an extensive video game collection for teens. Click on some of the images below to see if some of these staff favorites are checked in today!
This week’s book trailer of the week is for Blood Red Road by Moira Young. Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent will enjoy this post-apocalyptic novel that centers on Saba, whose father has just been murdered and brother kidnapped. Saba sets off (tailed by her younger sister) to retrieve her twin brother and to do so she has to cross a brutal desert. She and her sister survive the trek, only to be captured themselves, and Saba is forced to become a female gladiator, fighting for her life in an arena for the entertainment of others. Can Saba escape and save her family? Click here to find Blood Red Road in the Library!
This week’s book trailer of the week is for The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas. Iolanthe and Titus have a great destiny. The two mages will overthrow the evil Bane. Titus has been searching and waiting to find the mage that is the key in helping him overthrow the tyrant. When he finally finds her (seeing the sign of a powerful lightning bolt) he discovers Iolanthe, who is woefully unprepared for her destiny. To keep her safe until she is ready, Titus hides her in disguise at a London school for boys, until they are both ready to do whatever it takes to fulfill their destinies. Click here to find The Burning Sky in the Library!