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Celebrate African American History Month with Books!

February is African American History Month.  There are a ton of books, movies, and music that you can easily find to celebrate this month.  However, to help you with your search, here is a great list we put together of some teen titles that are perfect to read to celebrate African American History month.  They center on the African American experience both past and present and include books that are dramatic, sports-themed, realistic, have a touch of fantasy, and even moving nonfiction titles or memoirs.

bronx masquerade47hoopstermake lemonade

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes

YA GRIMES, N.

While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they’ve written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.

47 by Walter Mosley

YA MOSLEY, W.

Number 47, a fourteen-year-old slave boy growing up under the watchful eye of a brutal master in 1832, meets the mysterious Tall John, who introduces him to a magical science and also teaches him the meaning of freedom.

The Hoopster by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

YA SITOMER, A.

Andre Anderson, an African-American teenager who loves to play basketball, is happy about his summer internship at a magazine, but his life is unexpectedly changed by a random act of violence.

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff

YA WOLFF, V.

In order to earn money for college, fourteen-year-old LaVaughn babysits for a teenage mother of two. Written in 66 chapters, with text lines that break at natural speaking phrases.

rose that grew from concreteWhen I Was The Greatesthe said she saidchains

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rose That Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur

YA 811.54 SHA

A collection of verse by the late hip-hop star Tupac Shakur includes more than one hundred poems confronting such wide-ranging topics as poverty, motherhood, Van Gogh, and Mandela.

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

YA REYNOLDS, J.

Ali lives in Bed-Stuy, a Brooklyn neighborhood known for guns and drugs, but he and his sister, Jazz, and their neighbors, Needles and Noodles, stay out of trouble until they go to the wrong party, where one gets badly hurt and another leaves with a target on his back.

He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander

YA ALEXANDER, K.

When a popular football ‘playa’ and ladies man and the smartest girl in school lead a school protest, sparks fly as their social media-aided revolution grows.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

YA HALSE, L.

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

color of watermares wara la carteChameleon

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

YA 305.8092 MCBRIDE

A young African American man describes growing up as one of twelve children of a white mother and Black father, and discusses his mother’s contributions to his life and his confusion over his own identity.

Mare’s War by Tanita Davis

YA DAVIS, T.

Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women’s Army Corps.

A la Carte by Tanita Davis

YA DAVIS, T.

With such a shortage of cooking shows hosted by African-American female chefs, seventeen-year-old Lainey has high hopes that her dream will be fulfilled through her hard work and unique creations, but when her best friend and secret crush suddenly moves away, Lainey must find a way to deal with the painful loss in order to keep her focus.

Chameleon by Charles Smith

YA SMITH, C.

The summer before starting high school in inner-city Los Angeles, fourteen-year-old Shawn grapples with his first experience of love, the complicated bonds of friends and family, and the reality of street gang violence.

goodfortunerock and the riverstanding against the windafter tupac and d foster

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Fortune by Noni Carter

YA CARTER, N.

Brutally kidnapped from her African village and shipped to America, a young girl struggles to come to terms with her new life as a slave, gradually rising from working in the fields to the master’s house, secretly learning to read and write, until, risking everything, she escapes to seek freedom in the North.

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

YA MAGOON, K.

In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father’s nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African Americans and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party.

Standing against the Wind by Traci Jones

YA JONES, T.

As she tries to escape her poor Chicago neighborhood by winning a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school, shy and studious eighth-grader Patrice discovers that she has more options in life than she previously realized.

After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson

YA WOODSON, J.

In the New York City borough of Queens in 1996, three girls bond over their shared love of Tupac Shakur’s music, as together they try to make sense of the unpredictable world in which they live.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on February 13, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Guys Reads, Historical Fiction, Issues, Multicultural, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction

Book Trailer of the Week– Ink by Amanda Sun

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!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on January 24, 2014 Categories: Action/Adventure, Book Trailer, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Supernatural/Paranormal

Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama

AttackonTitanAttack on Titan

by Hajime Isayama, translated and adapted by Sheldon Drzka, lettered by Steve Wands

Attack on Titan is a relatively new manga and anime series.  The manga was first published in Japan in 2010, it hit stateside in 2012 and the series currently is in its eleventh volume, published this month.  It is much better known as an anime series, apparently the art is better, but I have yet to figure out how to watch it (apparently you can stream it online) so I decided to start out by reading the manga.  I have been hearing a lot of good things about it and I was not disappointed!

The basic storyline of Attack on Titan (summarized from my reading of volumes 1 and 2) is that world has been overrun by Titans.  They are scary, ugly, creepy, and destructive giants.  They eat humans, though they don’t seem to need to eat humans to stay alive, and the only way to kill them is to attack the back of the base of their neck–hacking away until you have killed them.  Trying to kill them any other way only leads to the titan’s regeneration.  To survive, the remaining humans have built a large structure of different levels of walls.  Think of it like a bullseye–each wall protecting different classes of citizens, and a military force to protect the walls with a lot of high tech gear.  In the first volume, we meet Eren, Armin, and Mikasa three teens who have never seen outside the wall.  Eren longs to explore the outside world, however, as he is on the verge of leaving the city the three teens are almost killed when a colossus titan destroys the first wall and allows the smaller titans to invade and eat the humans. Narrowly escaping, the teens end up training for military service and the series continues to follow the three as they battle the titans.

I have read the first two volumes in this series, and I can’t wait to read the rest!  It is really a fascinating story, and I think the most appealing thing is learning more and more about the Titans, their history, and what the humans can do to try and survive and destroy the titans.  Yes, some of the art of this manga is pretty basic, and I have seen some stills from the anime so I can understand why it is the better of the two when it comes to the art.  But some of the manga art really makes the titans seem even more creepy.  Check out a couple below:

attackonTitan2

Here’s a look at the Colossus Titan.

 

 

 

AttackonTitan3

Here’s a Titan about to eat Eren’s mother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, if you like manga with high action, some sci-fi and fantasy, some scary elements, and a really good story, then you should definitely check out Attack on TitanClick here to find the first book in the series at the Library!

 

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on January 8, 2014 Categories: Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction, Supernatural/Paranormal

Book Trailer of the Week– Teardrop by Lauren Kate

This week’s book trailer of the week is for Teardrop by Lauren Kate.  Eureka’s world changed when she and her mother were involved in a freak accident that left her mother dead.  Left to try and make sense of her new life living with her stepmother and father, Eureka is both physically and emotionally scarred.  As she tries to heal, Eureka finds solace in two different guys.  One, her childhood best friend, Brooks, has always been there for her.  Another, is the mysterious new guy, Ander, who Eureka can’t help feeling connected to.  Ander also leads Eureka to a discovery about her family’s history that will change her life forever.  Click here to find Teardrop in the Library today!

https://youtu.be/zgXvaAjEK1E

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on January 4, 2014 Categories: Book Trailer, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Supernatural/Paranormal

Book Trailer of the Week– The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

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!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 29, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Book Trailer, Fantasy, Fiction, Supernatural/Paranormal

Reviews by You!

CatchingFire Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins
Katniss Everdeen gets put back into the Hunger Games with the victors from the last 25 years. All of the victors then have to fight to the death.
Review submitted by Anthony.
CupcakeQueen The Cupcake Queen
by Heather Hepler
It’s a great book for middle grade students. Very interesting. Great book for passing time.
Review submitted by Veronika.
BlackDuck Black Duck
by Janet Lisle
This is a book when an ordinary 14-year-old boy is surrounded by the Prohibition. He must decide between following or breaking the law.
Review submitted by Emma.
Ghosts Grave The Ghost’s Grave
by Peg Kehret
He is haunted by a ghost telling him to dig up his body because his location of burial is not where he wanted.
Review submitted by Atit.
Angel Experiment The Angel Experiment
by James Patterson
I loved the book, it is action packed with adventure and humor. Join Max and the gang for an epic journey and possibly saving the world.
Review submitted by Ariel.
Wolf Brother Wolf Brother
by Michelle Paver
Wolf Brother is about a boy named Tomak, and how he saves the world 6,000 years ago. The threat to the world is a bear with a demon stuck inside of it.
Review submitted by Kurt.
Smile Smile
by Raina Telgemeier
This book is about a girl who can never get her smile right. When she comes back from Girl Scouts and she races her friends back home, she trips and falls and breaks her 2 front teeth. It took 3.5 years to repair! Read the book to find out!!!
Review submitted by Jacob.
persepolis Persepolis
by Marjane Satrapi
It was great. It was also fun to read since it was a comic. Funny and it tells about Iran war.
Review submitted by Linda.
lion witch wardrobe The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis
Lucy goes into a magic wardrobe and meets a fawn. She goes again with her brothers and sister, and they become kings and queens of the land inside the wardrobe. Lucy and her family have many adventures together.
Review submitted by Brandi.
Stargirl Stargirl
by Jerry Spinelli
I really liked the book Stargirl. This book was full of suspense and difficult decisions. The book is about a mysterious girl who is new at public school, and expresses her true original self.
Review submitted by MaryKate.

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Reviews by You!

13 Reasons Why 13 Reasons Why
by Jay Asher
This book tells the sad story of why Hannah Baker killed herself. It’s a marvelous read and the suspense makes you want to know what happened to Hannah. Although sad, this book is a great read. Read it now to learn the 13 reasons why.
Review submitted by Sarah.
Downriver Downriver
by Will Hobbs
After reading this book I really wanted to go white water rafting. I’ve done it before but nothing as extreme as the characters in Downriver were doing. They did the big stuff when they weren’t supposed to.
Review submitted by Abi.
HP3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
by J.K. Rowling
This was such a great book! There was a lot of action and some secrets were revealed. I loved the early Christmas present Fred and George gave Harry (The Marauder’s Map). Overall this book was amazing!
Review submitted by Tania.
HIVE H.I.V.E.
by Mark Walden
This book is a must have! It has action on every turn. From a martial arts expert to a computer genius, this book has it all. I give it a 9.5/10.
Review submitted by Rasheed.
13Gifts 13 Gifts
by Wendy Mass
12 Finally was a spectacular book. I enjoyed it very much and I couldn’t put it down. 13 Gifts is a funny story about friendship and everyone should read it.
Review submitted by Patricia.
Room Room
by Emma Donghue
I really liked it but it was very sad. It made me question whether I really need all the luxuries I take for granted. It was horrifying to know the little boy Jack went through all of this and didn’t know how bad it was.
Review submitted by Kathleen.
Divergent Divergent
by Veronica Roth
A book very similar to The Hunger Games, in which the narrator (Tris) is to choose between the different factions: Dauntless, Abnegation, Candor, Amity, and Erudite. In which, she chooses Dauntless and she had to work really hard. And it is her story to fit in to her new society and, finally, of her fighting to survive and keep her friends and family safe.
Review submitted by Feba.
100 Things Cubs Fans Should Know 100 Things Cubs Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die
by Jimmy Greenfield
I loved this book because I am a die-hard Cubs fan and it told me so many cool facts I didn’t know.
Review submitted by Steven.
Ruins of Gorlan The Ruins of Gorlan
by John Flanagan
If you love fantasy, adventure, and the medieval times, you will read this book and imagine the details without any thought. Read it already! 5/5 stars!
Review submitted by Dev.
light Light
by Michael Grant
An amazing conclusion to the Gone series! The enthralling events kept the pages turning until the end. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who enjoys sci-fi and suspense.
Review submitted by Marie.

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By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 6, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction, Reviews By You, Science Fiction

Book Trailer of the Week– Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

This week’s book trailer of the week is for Curtsies  & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger.  This is the sequel to Carriger’s first book in the Finishing School series, Etiquette & Espionage.  In this second book Sophronia is thriving at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy.  However, Sophronia’s inquisitive nature takes over once again as she tries to get to the bottom of why the school is travelling to London.  Of course, her digging and spying get her in a lot of trouble when she uncovers a big conspiracy.  Click here to find Curtsies and Conspiracies in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 1, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Book Trailer, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Supernatural/Paranormal

Reviews by You!

sky on fire Sky on Fire
by Emmy Laybourne
This is a fast-paced, action adventure novel with lively characters. If you like action movies this is a book for you.
Review submitted by Abi.
Red scarf girl Red Scarf Girl
by Ji-li Jiang
Red Scarf Girl is a great book about standing up for what you believe in and being strong. The book focuses on the communism in China. Overall, it’s an excellent book.
Review submitted by Amanda.
Keeping Faith Keeping Faith
by Jodi Picoult
After her parents’ divorce, Faith starts talking to imaginary friends and one call her “God” is helping her perform miracles and repeat Bible verses when she has no religious upbringing. When a reality TV show tries to debunk her claims, will they finally believe her?
Review submitted by Paige.
red_pyramid The Red Pyramid
by Rick Riordan
Riordan has yet again given readers a book that is a genuine page-turner. Carter and Sadie Kane are descendants of two ancient blood lines. Their lives are turned upside down when their father is trapped. This book is a mystifying tale that will please everyone.
Review submitted by Tania.
Diary of a Young Girl The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne and Otto Frank
This is the touching diary of a fourteen-year-old Jew in the Second World War. When her family goes into hiding in an attic, she records her brave life.
Review submitted by Lea.
Delirium Delirium
by Lauren Oliver
Delirium is set in a time when people in the USA believed that love was a disease. Thus they found a cure. Now, when anyone turns eighteen they have to get the cure. Lena always wanted the cure but when she meets a boy she finds true love. I would recommend this book to all of my friends.
Review submitted by Christina.
Alchemist The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist draws deep emotions and sparks and thoughts about what is destiny. Learn about your personal legend and Santiago on his journey.
Review submitted by Ariel.
Flawless Flawless
by Sara Shepard
Flawless was the sequel to Pretty Little Liars. The books are really different than the TV show. The end was also really surprising. I really liked this book.
Review submitted by Nicole.
Island of Blue Dolphins Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O’Dell
Karana’s tribe left her with her brother. Three were killed from a pack of wolves. Karana survives years on the island alone, until she finally gets found.
Review submitted by Sofia.
Insurgent Insurgent
by Veronica Roth
I love this book. Probably mostly because I loved Divergent and I was dying to know what happened next. And now I’m just waiting for the third book. (I hate cliffhangers) x(
Review submitted by Rhiannon.

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Reviews by You!

Prodigy Prodigy
by Marie Lu
I really like Lu’s idea of what the USA could be like in the future. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this for people who like action and futuristic stuff.
Review submitted by Tim.
Tale Dark and Grimm A Tale Dark and Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz
This book was easy, yet really fun to read. It was easy to read because it was divided into small stories instead of a big one. This book is really great for people who like fantasy and adventure together!!!
Review submitted by Jill.
MissPeregrine Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
After witnessing his grandfather’s death, Jacob travels to a remote Welsh island hoping to find answers. As Jacob searches for answers, he meets a peculiar group of friends and finds the peculiar within him.
Review submitted by Emma.
finally Finally
by Wendy Mass
Rory has finally turned 12! She has made a long list of things she wants to do. One problem – everything keeps going wrong! I found this book exciting to read.
Review submitted by Caitlyn.
DeadEndNorvelt2 Dead End in Norvelt
by Jack Gantos
This book was very good because it has a good moral. The moral is that you have to learn from your mistakes so you don’t repeat your mistakes. 4.5/5 stars.
Review submitted by Jonny.
Whatever Happened Janie Whatever Happened to Janie
by Caroline B. Cooney
I really enjoyed this book. I think it had a great plot and it makes me want to read more of the series. I think it is very intriguing and it kept me very interested. Overall this book was great, and I would recommend this to other readers.
Review submitted by Katie.
perfect you Perfect You
by Elizabeth Scott
I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down. It was very interesting. The book was all about Kate, a girl in high school, who has to deal with trouble in school, with friends, and her family. The worst thing is her dad sells vitamins and humiliates her.
Review submitted by Victoria.
Lightning Thief The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan
I recently finished Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief. I LOVED IT! The ending is very thrilling. The Greek mythology concept made the book even more interesting. I LOVED this book!
Review submitted by Claire.
HP and the Half Blood Prince Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
by J.K. Rowling
I thought that this book was very good. The ending was very surprising and I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed this book from the series.
Review submitted by Nicole.
Wild Roses Wild Roses
by Deb Caletti
When Cassie’s parents divorce her mother quickly remarries the crazy violinist Dino Cavalli, but she and her father are the only people who see his craziness. Will Cassie keep his secret, or spill it?
Review submitted by Paige.

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By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on October 23, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Funny, Guys Reads, Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Reviews By You, Romance, Science Fiction, Supernatural/Paranormal