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Teen Blog

Reading History Through Graphic Novels

Try out some of these graphic novels from the Teen collection, for a different way to read about history.

marchMarch. Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell

YA GRAPH 323.1196 LEW

A graphic novel trilogy co-authored by Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, with art by Nate Powell. March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights (including his key roles in the historic 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March), meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation.

silvenceofourfriendsThe Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long & Jim Demonakos and art by Nate Powell

YA GRAPH 323.1196 LON

This semi-autobiographical tale is set in 1968 Texas, against the backdrop of the fight for civil rights. A white family from a notoriously racist neighborhood in the suburbs and a black family from its poorest ward cross Houston’s color line, overcoming humiliation, degradation, and violence to win the freedom of five black college students unjustly charged with the murder of a policeman.

 

 

LewisClarkLewis & Clark by Nick Bertozzi

YA GRAPH 917.8042 BER

Presents, in graphic novel format, the adventures of explorers Lewis and Clark during their journey from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean.

ShackeltonShackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi

YA GRAPH 919.8904 BER

Presents, in graphic novel format, the adventures of explorer Ernest Shackleton in the Antarctic.

 

AboveDreamlessDeadAbove the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics  edited by Chris Duffy

YA GRAPH 940.3 ABO

A collection of World War I poetry interpreted by cartoonists.

 

WWIWorld War One: 1914-1918: the War to End All Wars written by Alan Cowsill; illustrated by Lalit Kumar Sharma; inking by Jagdish Kumar; colorists, Pradeep Sherawat, Vijay Sharma

YA GRAPH 940.3 COW

It was the first major conflict of the 20th century, a war that devastated the whole of Europe and expanded across the entire globe, decimating a generation. From the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo to the armistice of 1918, World War One: 1914-1918 provides a complete overview of the war that shaped the modern world from the viewpoint of the servicemen who fought in it, creating a unique graphic novel history of one of the most destructive conflicts of all time.

 

BoxerThe Boxer by Reinhard Kleist

YA GRAPH 796.8309 HAFT, H.

Poland, 1941. Sixteen-year-old Harry Haft is sent to Auschwitz. When he is forced to fight against other inmates for the amusement of the SS officers, Haft shows extraordinary strength and courage, and a determination to survive. As the Soviet Army advances in April 1945, he makes a daring escape from the Nazis. After negotiating the turmoil of postwar Poland, Haft emigrates to the United States and establishes himself as a professional prizefighter, remaining undefeated until he faces heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano in 1949. In The Boxer, Reinhard Kleist reveals another side to the steely Harry Haft: a man struggling to escape the memories of the fiancée he left behind in Poland. This is a powerful and moving graphic novel about love and the will to survive.

AuschwitzAuschwitz by Pascal Croci

YA GRAPH 940.5318 CRO

Using the fictional story of a couple named Kazik and Cessia who lose a daughter at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration camp and barely survive themselves, Pascal Croci depicts the horror and brutality of the Holocaust in grim, searing, black-and-white illustrations.

MausIMausIIMaus I and Maus II by Art Spielgelman

YA GRAPH 940.5318 SPI

A son struggles to come to terms with the horrific story of his parents and their experiences during the Holocaust and in postwar America.

HarlemHellfightersThe Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks; illustrated by Caanan White

YA GRAPH 940.5403 BRO

This is a graphic novel about the first African-American regiment to fight in World War One.

bombingnazigermanyBombing Nazi Germany: the Graphic History of the Allied Air Campaign that Defeated Hitler in World War II by Wayne Vansant

YA GRAPH 940.544 VAN

Bombing Nazi Germany tells the story of the first and second generations of airmen, soldiers, and politicians from both sides who sought to bomb the enemy into submission.

BigJimBig Jim: Jim Larkin and the 1913 Lockout by Rory McConville & Paddy Lynch

YA GRAPH 941.835 MCC

On August 26th 1913, the trams of Dublin stopped. Over the next four months, James Larkin would lead the workers of Dublin against William Martin Murphy and the Employers Federation in a conflict that would change the face of Irish society.

47RoninThe 47 Ronin by Sean Michael Wilson; illustrated by Akiko Shimojima, with lettering by Ben Dickson

YA GRAPH 952.025 WIL

In the eighteenth century, forty-seven samurai avenged the death of their master in a plot that would take over two years to complete. After succeeding in their mission, the masterless samurai–known as ronin –all committed ritual suicide. The story, which is a national legend, remains the most potent example of Japan’s deeply rooted cultural imperative of honor, persistence, loyalty, and sacrifice.

Showa1Showa2Showa: a History of Japan, 1926-1939 and Showa: a History of Japan, 1939-1944 by Shigeru Mizuki

YA GRAPH 952.033 MIZ

A look at the Showa period in Japanese history with events leading towards World War II. On a personal level, these years mark a dramatic transformation in Mizuki’s life, too.

GrantvLeeGrant vs. Lee by Wayne Vansant

YA GRAPH 973.73 VAN

Grant vs. Lee tells the dramatic story of the final year of the Civil War in Virginia – a bloody and unyielding fight for both sides – through the eyes of the two greatest Civil War generals: the North’s Ulysses S. Grant and the South’s Robert E. Lee.

WarrenCommisionReportThe Warren Commission Report by Dan Mishkin, Ernie Colón, and Jerzy Drozd ; foreword by Richard Reeves

YA GRAPH 973.922 MIS

Within days of the murder of President John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson appointed a seven-member commission to investigate the assassination. In its report, the Warren Commission determined that there was “no credible evidence” conflicting with its conclusion of a lone gunman. Artist Ernie Colón, bestselling illustrator of The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation , teams up with author Dan Mishkin to provide a unique means of testing the commission’s findings, unraveling conflicting narratives side by side through graphic-novel techniques.

great american dust bowlThe Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown

YA GRAPH 978.032 BRO

A speck of dust is a tiny thing. In fact, five of them could fit into the period at the end of this sentence. On a clear, warm Sunday, April 14, 1935, a wild wind whipped up millions upon millions of these specks of dust to form a duster–a savage storm–on America’s high southern plains. The sky turned black, sand-filled winds scoured the paint off houses and cars, trains derailed, and electricity coursed through the air. Sand and dirt fell like snow–people got lost in the gloom and suffocated. . . and that was just the beginning. Don Brown brings the Dirty Thirties to life with kinetic, highly saturated, and lively artwork in this graphic novel of one of America’s most catastrophic natural events: the Dust Bowl.

gandhiGandhi: My Life is My Message by Jason Quinn; illustrated by Sachin Nagar

YA GRAPH B GANDHI

In graphic novel format, introduces the life and accomplishments of the Indian political and spiritual leader who led his country to freedom from British rule through his policy of nonviolent resistance.

bestshotwestBest Shot in the West: the Adventures of Nat Love by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick L. McKissack, Jr.; illustrated by Randy DuBurke

YA GRAPH B LOVE, N.

Describes, in graphic novel format, the life of Nat Love, also known as Deadwood Dick, who grew up to become the most famous African-American cowboy in the Old West.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on January 21, 2015 Categories: Action/Adventure, Graphic Novel, Guys Reads, Inspirational, Issues, Multicultural, Nonfiction

Teen Reads for Veterans Day

warisWar is– : Soldiers, Survivors, and Storytellers Talk About War edited by Marc Aronson and Patty Campbell

YA 810.8035 WAR

An anthology of fiction, speeches, poems, and essays about war.

ThingsBrotherKnowsThings a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt

YA REINHARDT, D.

Although they have never gotten along well, seventeen-year-old Levi follows his older brother Boaz, an ex-Marine, on a walking trip from Boston to Washington, D.C. in hopes of learning why Boaz is completely withdrawn.

IfYoureReadingThisIf You’re Reading This by Trent Reedy

YA REEDY, T.

For a responsible sixteen-year-old, Michael Wilson has a lot of problems–his father was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, his overworked and overprotective mother will not talk about their situation, and does not want him playing football, and he has suddenly started to receive letters that his father wrote before his death.

SoldiersHeartSoldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen

YA PAULSEN, G.

Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat.

PurpleHeartPurple Heart by Patricia McCormick

YA MCCORMICK, P.

While recuperating in a Baghdad hospital from a traumatic brain injury sustained during the Iraq War, eighteen-year-old soldier Matt Duffy struggles to recall what happened to him and how it relates to his ten-year-old friend, Ali.

IPledgeAllegianceI Pledge Allegiance by Chris Lynch

YA LYNCH, C.

Four best friends serving in the Vietnam War make a pledge to one another that they will do all they can to return home safely together.

PersonalEffectsPersonal Effects by E.M. Kokie

YA KOKIE, E.

Matt has been sleepwalking through life while seeking answers about his brother T.J.’s death in Iraq, but after discovering that he may not have known his brother as well as he thought he did, Matt is able to stand up to his father, honor T.J.’s memory, and take charge of his own life.

TornTorn by David Massey

YA MASSEY, D.

Only eighteen when she is sent to Afghanistan, British army medic Elinor Nielson is continually at odds with her hard-nosed bunk-mate, Heidi Larson, but connects with a mysterious Afghan girl and local children, as well as an American lieutenant.

SoldierBoysSoldier Boys by Dean Hughes

YA HUGHES, D.

Two boys, one German and one American, are eager to join their respective armies during World War II, and their paths cross at the Battle of the Bulge.

mares warMare’s War by Tanita S. 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.

HarlemHellfightersThe Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks, illustrated by Caanan White

YA GRAPH 940.5403 BRO

This is a graphic novel about the first African-American regiment to fight in World War One.

AboveDreamlessDeadAbove the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics edited by Chris Duffy

YA GRAPH 940.3 ABO

A collection of World War I poetry interpreted by cartoonists.

Somebody PleaseSomebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis

YA MAZER, H.

Wounded in Iraq while his Army unit is on convoy and treated for many months for traumatic brain injury, the first person Ben remembers from his earlier life is his autistic brother.

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 11, 2014 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Guys Reads, Historical Fiction, Issues, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction

Books to Read the Summer After You Graduate High School

Did you just graduate high school this past Sunday?  If you did, and you are looking for something to read this summer, check out this list of novels and graphic novels about the summer before college or the first year of college.  There’s also some great nonfiction titles that can help you prep for your first year in college.

Fiction

AbundanceKatherinesAn Abundance of Katherines by John Green

YA GREEN, J.

Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.

fangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

YA ROWELL, R.

Feeling cast off when her best friend outgrows their shared love for a favorite celebrity, Cath, a dedicated fan-fiction writer, struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words and worrying about her fragile father.

DontStopNowDon’t Stop Now by Julie Halpern

YA HALPERN, J.

Recent high school graduates Lil and Josh leave Illinois for Oregon seeking Lil’s sort-of friend Penny, who faked her own kidnapping to escape problems at home and an abusive boyfriend, but Lil also wants to find out if she and Josh are meant to be more than friends.

off yearAn Off Year by Claire Zulkey

YA ZULKEY, C.

Upon arriving at her dorm room, eighteen-year-old Cecily decides to postpone her freshman year of college and return to her Chicago home, where she spends a year pondering what went wrong while forging new relationships with family and friends.

hellweekHell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore

YA CLEMENT-MOORE, R.

While working undercover on a series of stories for her campus newspaper, college freshman Maggie reluctantly endures mixers, rites, and peculiar rules, but soon learns that members of the sorority to which she has pledged have strange powers and a terrible secret.

Graphic Novels

Between GearsBetween Gears by Natalie Nourigat

YA GRAPH NOURIGAT, N.

This honest, autobiographical account of a college senior’s life will transport you to the land of Jell-O shots, term papers, job interviews, road trips, and sanguine optimism in the face of uncertainty and change.

little fishLittle Fish: a memoir from a different kind of year by Ramsey Beyer

YA GRAPH BEYER, R.

Told through real-life journals, collages, lists, and drawings, this coming-of-age story illustrates the transformation of an 18-year-old girl from a small-town teenager into an independent city-dwelling college student.

Nonfiction

TakeThisAdviceTake This Advice: the most nakedly honest graduation speeches ever given edited by Sandra Bark

YA 815.008 TAK

Bark compiles the 40 most powerful, affecting graduation speeches delivered in the last ten years by popular speakers such as Toni Morrison, Judy Blume, Mister Rogers, Al Franken, Gloria Steinem, Jon Stewart, and many others.

 

Ten Tools10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College: the know-how you need to succeed by Bill Coplin

YA 378.013 COP

Ten tools for maximizing your college years and planning for post-graduation success.

Secrets College SuccessThe Secrets of College Success by Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman

YA 378.198 JAC

Over 600 essential tips and tricks for current and future students.

What Color is Your ParachuteWhat Color is Your Parachute? for Teens: discovering yourself, defining your future by Carol Christen and Richard N. Bolles with Jean M. Blomquist

YA 331.702 CHR

New chapters on social media and sustainable jobs update the classic title that provides all the big-picture advice you need to set you up to land the job that’s perfect for who you are– and who you want to be.

collegecookingCollege Cooking: feed yourself and your friends by Megan & Jill Carle

YA 641.5 CAR

The Carle sisters (authors of Teens Cook) are off to college, where they serve up an array of tasty dishes with their usual know-how and attitude, presented in a richly photographed package.

college dorm survival guideThe College Dorm Survival Guide: how to survive and thrive in your new home away from home by Julia DeVillers

YA 378.1987 DEV

Comprehensive, humorous, and practical, this handbook to dorm living covers everything from roommates to hot plates to the Freshman 15.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on June 5, 2014 Categories: College, Drama, Fantasy, Fiction, Funny, Graphic Novel, High School, Issues, Mystery, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Supernatural/Paranormal

Get Real with Graphic Novels

Do you sometimes find is harder to read books about real people, places, or events?  Have you ever tried reading graphic novels that are about real life things?  Check out the list below of graphic novels that tell the story of real life people, places, things, or events in history:

Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor

Chronicles the rise of Hip Hop music as it grew from the streets of New York City in the 1970’s to the rise of the emcee into 1981. Additional volumes will follow.

hiphopfamilytree

The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown

The Dust Bowl is a desolate time in American history, where the earth was so ravaged that dust storms terrorized the land. What was worse about this time, was that it was caused by man. Brown describes the causes and the life of that terrible time, as well as what we can learn to prevent this from happening again.

great american dust bowl

Gandhi: My Life is My Message written by Jason Quinn and illustrated by Sachin Nagar

Renouncing wealth, ambition and comfort, Gandhi led by example, becoming one with the people he sought to free, facing imprisonment, hardship and humiliation while never raising his voice in anger. His strategy of nonviolent protest would become the model for the U.S. Civil Rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and continues to change history throughout the world.

gandhi

The Gettysburg Address written by Jonathan Hennessey, art by Aaron McConnell, and lettering by Tom Orzechowski

A graphic adaptation of the Gettysburg Address explains the events of the War, drawing on first-hand accounts from soldiers, slaves, and key figures and providing an understanding of the speech that marked America’s new path.

gettysburg address

Vietnamerica by G.B. Tran

A memoir in graphic novel format about the author’s experiences as the son of Vietnamese immigrants who fled to America during the fall of Saigon describes how he learned his tragic ancestral history and the impact of the Vietnam War on his family while visiting their homeland years later.

vietnamerica

Primates: the Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks

This is the true story of three scientists who risked their lives for research that forever changed the way we think of primates- including ourselves.

Primates

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on May 14, 2014 Categories: Graphic Novel, Music, Nonfiction

Join us for Craft with Comics for Teens on Saturday!

05_03WEB_TZ_CraftComicsWhile you are picking up your free comic at the Fiction/AV/Teen desk on Free Comic Book day, stop by and use comics to make a craft. You can collage with Modge Podge, create origami, or try other ideas for crafting with comics. Snacks and refreshments will be served. For teens in grades 6 – 12.  Click here to register for the program!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on May 1, 2014 Categories: Crafts, Events, Graphic Novel

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Strong Female Characters in Teen Lit!

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!

enclaveloveinthetimeofglobaletiquette espionageGraceling

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

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.

Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block

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.

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

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.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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.

MiseducationFirelightGrave mercyhuntress

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth

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.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

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.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

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.

Huntress by Malinda Lo

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.

Vampire AcademyAngelfireDivergentstrangeangels

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

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.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

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.

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

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.

AuRevoirOut of the EasyScorpio RacesDaughterSmokeBone

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber

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.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

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.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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.

Code NameAllTheseThingsIveDoneFrozenLegend2

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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.

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

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.

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

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.

Legend by Marie Lu

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.

Cinderlife as we knew itPlainJanes

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth

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.

Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci

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.

Enjoying the Olympics set in Sochi?

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!

boyonthebridgeThe Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

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.

I want to liveI Want to Live: the Diary of a Young Girl in Stalin’s Russia by Nina Lugovskaya; translated by Andrew Bromfield

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.

fetchThe Fetch by Laura Whitcomb

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.

LaikaLaika by Nick Abadzis

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.

shadowandboneShadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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.

out of lineOut of Line: Growing Up Soviet by Tina Grimberg

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 grayBetween 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.

Anastasias SecretAnastasia’s Secret by Susanne Dunlap

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.

 

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on February 20, 2014 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Multicultural, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance

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

Baby’s in Black by Arne Bellstorf

babys in blackBaby’s In Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and the Beatles

by Arne Bellstorf

If you are a fan of the Beatles, then you will definitely want to pick up the graphic novel, Baby’s In Black.  Through black and white drawings, Arne Bellstorf tells the story of the “Lost Beatle” Stuart Sutcliffe.  Sutcliffe was the original bass player for The Beatles when they were starting out, playing seedy clubs in Germany in 1960.  Sutcliffe is a fascinating part of The Beatles history, as he was also an accomplished artist and writer who chose to leave The Bealtes right before they made it big.  While playing with The Beatles in a dive bar in Germany, Sutcliffe met Astrid Kirchhherr, a local photographer.  Astrid also plays an important role in The Beatles history: she shot some of the most famous early portraits of The Beatles when they were in Germany, and are also some of the only photos that include Sutcliffe in the mix.  Shortly after meeting, Stuart and Astrid fell in love.  It was then that Sutcliffe  decided that The Beatles were not for him.  He wanted to stay in Germany with Astrid and focus on his painting.  Tragically, though, Sutcliffe’s life was cut short when he died from a brain hemorrhage in 1962.  He never had the chance to marry Astrid or to see how successful The Beatles would become. 

This graphical novel really does justice to the story of Sutcliffe’s time with The Beatles and his romance with Astrid.  The author, Arne Bellstorf, worked closely with Astrid to get details right and put the emotional punch in this story that only Astrid could provide.  It is also a really great snapshot of the short time that The Beatles spent in Germany, playing wherever they could, right before they became uber-famous.  Finally, the art in this book is pretty simple, but also really expressive.  I think the style of drawing was my most favorite things about this graphic novel, and I am a huge fan of The Beatles so I loved getting  a new insight to a story I know well.  Here are a couple of examples of the art in Baby’s In Black:

Babys in Black 1

This first example is of Astrid and her boss looking artwork and talking about light and expression in classic art. It’s really cool how the art is depicted here, and how they are talking about the expression and lighting which is exactly what comes through in the art of Baby’s in Black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Babys in Black 2

In this second photograph, Bellstorf recreates Astrid’s famous photos of The Beatles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 20, 2013 Categories: Art, Graphic Novel, Music, Nonfiction, Staff Pics

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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