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Teen Blog

Reviews by You!

Macbeth Macbeth
by Shakespeare
Macbeth and his wife seek a great amount of power. They will do anything to get it, including murder and other horrified crimes, making them criminals. Do they achieve their goal? Find out!
Review submitted by Atit.
All Your Base All Your Base Are Belong to Us
by Harold Goldberg
If you grew up with video games or just like to play them, then this is definitely the book for you! It gives you the amazing history of many famous video games and systems that changed our lives forever! 5/5 stars!
Review submitted by Dev.
Change of heart Change of Heart
by Shari Maurer
Athletic Emmi learns horrible news: her heart is failing. Throughout the story Emmi meets Abe, who already had heart surgery, and they instantly bond. Emmi goes through many tough times in her high school years.
Review submitted by Brandi.
Shug Shug
by Jenny Han
This book was about a girl named Anne Marie, and she likes Mark. But Mark likes Celia. Celia is Anne Marie’s older sister. Also, Anne Marie told her mom about Mark so the mom said try it out.
Review submitted by Kimberly.
homecoming Homecoming
by Cynthia Voigt
In Homecoming, Dicey, James, Maybeth, and Sammy are abandoned by their mother. They go all over the country searching for a loving home. I love this book because it shows really good friendship, motivation, and kindness.
Review submitted by Alice.
Kimmie66 Kimmie66
by Aaron Alexovich
It’s about a girl named Telly and her friend committed suicide and she’s trying to figure out why she did this and what was the point of it. At the end, Kimmie was still her friend and Telly was not mad at her.
Review submitted by Kaitlyn.
Tale Dark and Grimm A Tale Dark and Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz
The book was suspenseful, adventurous, and creative. There are dragons and enchanted things. There are freaky parts, like when Hansel and Gretel hide in a closet when there is screaming in the kitchen and a devil in the house.
Review submitted by Anthony.
Wednesday Wars The Wednesday Wars
by Gary Schmidt
If you don’t like Shakespeare, you might want to take a look at this. Holling thinks his teacher hates him, especially when his teacher makes him read Shakespeare outside of school.
Review submitted by Jenefer.
Beware Beware!
by R.L. Stine
It’s really scary especially when you read it at night. The slightest creek or something falling will make you jump.
Review submitted by Gabriella.
Between Mom and Jo Between Mom and Jo
by Julie Anne Peters
This book was well written and about how the main character struggles to face the cruelty of kids while having two moms. This book was exciting and thrilling. I highly recommend it.
Review submitted by Emma.

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By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on July 3, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, GLBTQ, Graphic Novel, Guys Reads, Horror, Issues, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction, Reviews By You

Inifinite Kung Fu by Kagan McLeod

Infinite Kung FuInfinite Kung Fu

by Kagan McLeod

If you are a fan of martial arts or kung fu movies, then you should read Infinite Kung Fu by Kagan McLeod.  Infinite Kung Fu is a collection of McLeod’s self published comics.  What McLeod has put together is a story that centers on main character, Lei Kung, who is the chosen one to defeat the evil emperor.  Lei Kung’s journey to attaining the skills to defeat the emperor is set against the backdrop of a world where technology is gone, people have returned back to the old ways, and zombies ravage the land.  Along the way he finds help and guidance from many, but the one who helps him the most is the Moog Joogular.  He is a smooth talking, butt kicking, super cool dude, and a great throw back character that is reminiscent of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and other African American martial artists that became popular in the 1960′s and 1970′s.  The Moog Joogular character is one of the biggest reasons you should read this book.  He is awesome!

In addition to some great characters, McLeod also really hit on some good points of martial arts and what practicing should mean to someone, through the character of Lei Kung. My favorite scene is when he is talking with Li Zhao over a meal. Lei Kung says, “With a basic knowledge and respect for all styles, one can always hope to counter any technique!” and “A kung fu instructor’s greatest accomplishment is to have his student surpass him. It’s a pity for some students their teachers keep their best techniques to themselves.”  Check out what that scene looks like (obviously Li Zhao does not like what Lei Kung has to say):

Infinite Kung Fu layout

I think this is a great message to send to those who love martial arts: patience and dedication pay off and martial art forms should be shared and not hidden away as some unattainable knowledge.  Infinite Kung Fu is an excellent read for any age.  Click here to find it in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 23, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Guys Reads

March Madness is upon us

March is the ultimate month to be a basketball fan!  If you can break yourself away from NCAA tournament, then check out some of these basketball themed books (click on the cover to find it in the Library!):

The Final Four

by Paul Volponi

YA VOLPONI, P.

Alternating chapters center on four different players on the two teams that meet in a semi-final game of the NCAA Final Four Tournament.

  Last Shot

by John Feinstein

YA MY FEINSTEIN, J.

Two eighth grade students win the opportunity to cover the NCAA Final Four first hand as journalists, but while reporting live at the tournament they uncover a scandal that involves blackmail.

  Game

by Walter Dean Myers

YA MYERS, W.

Drew is a senior living in Harlem and has dreams of making it in the NBA, but he has to learn to control his anger issues first.

  Boy21

by Matthew Quick

YA QUICK, M.

Two basketball teammates, one black and one white, form a connection through tutoring and find that they have a lot more in common than they had first thought.

  The Pick-Up Game: a Full Day of Full Court

YA SS PICK-UP

This collection of short stories focuses on different perspectives of one pick up game played on a hot day in July in New York City.

  Girl Got Game

by Shizuru Seino

YA GRAPH SEINO, S. V.1

This manga series centers on Kyo, whose father is determined to live out his NBA dreams through his daughter.  Her father signs her up for the boy’s basketball team and Kyo masquerades as a boy on the team to make her father happy.

  Basketball Slave

by Mark Johnson

YA 796.323 JOHNSON, A.

Andy Johnson’s son, Mark Johnson, tells his father’s story of how Andy became one of the original Harlem Globetrotters.

  In the Paint: Tattoos of the NBA and the Stories Behind Them

by Andrew Gottlieb

YA 796.323 GOTTLIEB, A.

This is a collection of high res photos of some of the more unique NBA tattoos and the first hand stories by the players about why they got them.

 

  When March Went Mad

by Seth Davis

796.3236 DAVIS, S.

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are famous for one of the most well known basketball games in history: the 1979 NCAA Championship game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Indiana State Sycamores.  Davis retells the events that led up to the famous game.

  Longshot

by Lance Allred

796.323 ALLRED, L.

Lance Allred is the NBA’s first deaf player.  In this memoir he tells his story of growing up in a fundamentalist Mormon household, realizing his dream of being in the NBA, and how hard it was to get there.

  The Ultimate Book of March Madness

by Tom Hager

796.3236 HAGER, T.

This book includes a history of every NCAA tournament from 1930 to present and provides an analysis of the top 100 games played in the tournament.

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on March 7, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Guys Reads, Mystery, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction, Staff Pics

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow

Pirate Cinema

by Cory Doctorow

Set in a near future dystopian Britain, Pirate Cinema centers on Trent McCauley.  Trent is an average teenage guy, with an obsession for creating movies.  Not the regular “point the camera and action!” movies, though.  Trent takes footage from old movies (his favorite are old films starring the popular actor, Scot Colford) and splices them together to create a new movie.  What Trent does is technically illegal under copyright law.  But Trent just can’t stop making his movies, and he knows what he creates are really good.  Trent just assumes that since everyone illegally downloads movies, music, and whatever else, as long as he is careful he will be fine.  However, Trent is not careful and he gets caught.  As punishment, his entire family cannot access the Internet for an entire year.  This means his sister can’t do her homework and continue to be an A student, his mom can’t get her medical prescriptions, and worst of all his dad cannot work.  Trent is ashamed and feels so guilty that he runs away from home to the streets of London.

One his first day on the streets he meets Jem, a street kid that helps him survive.  Jem and Trent actually do pretty well for themselves.  They find food for free from the dumpsters of grocery stores and restaurants and they find an abandoned pub that they refurbish and are able to live in (illegally).  They are so comfortable, in fact, that Trent is able to start making his movies again and soon he finds himself being recognized in the underground  pirating culture of London.  Trent’s underground fame, however, gets him involved with a political movement that wants to legalize downloading and copying licensed works for creative use.  Is Trent in over his head, or is he just the right person to take this movement all the way to Parliament?

The main focus of this Pirate Cinema is technology, piracy, fair use, and the right to creative expression.  However, this  novel is packed with a  ton of interesting issues.  There’s the drama of Trent living on the streets and learning how to survive, the family issues that Trent has to deal with, and there is even a love interest for Trent.  You should definitely pick this book up if you are interested in technology, especially when it comes to fair use and creative expression.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 16, 2012 Categories: Dystopian, Fiction, Guys Reads, Staff Pics

Book Trailer of the Week– The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost

This week’s book trailer of the week is for The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost.  Will has always been told by his parents to keep a low profile because of his unique abilities.  When his parents are no longer his parents, having been lost to mind control by strange forces, Will reveals his abilities and joins The Center for Integrated Learning.  The Center is a prep school for the gifted, and the only place that Will feels safe.  Soon, however, Will is targeted by an evil secret society and has to discover the extent of his abilities in order to survive.  Click here to find The Paladin Prophecy in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on October 12, 2012 Categories: Book Trailer, Fantasy, Fiction, Guys Reads, Science Fiction

Astonishing X-Men: Gifted by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday

Astonishing X-Men: Gifted

by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday

If you’re like me, then you can’t get enough of X-Men.  Instead of going back and watching all the movies again, I suggest picking up Astonishing X-Men: Gifted by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday.  Yes, Joss Whedon is the guy that brought you The Avengers movie earlier this year, and is most famous for his TV show Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.  

The story of the first volume, Gifted, is this:  Professor X is on sabbatical and Jean Grey is dead.  Cyclops and Emma Frost are acting as heads of Xavier’s School.  Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, and Beast are joining the faculty and make up the new X-Men team.  Most of the story in Gifted is told through Kitty Pryde’s point of view.  News breaks of a possible cure for the mutant strain, while at the same time the X-Men encounter a new enemy–Ord.  But, the new cure and new enemy may be one in the same…

Before reading Gifted, I had not known much about Kitty Pryde (only that she was from Deerfield, IL!).  As soon as I got into the story, though, she definitely became my new favorite X-Men character!  The way that Whedon and Cassaday portrayed her made her a really relatable character.  I also really got into the storyline that developed with her and Colossus (Peter Rasputin) .  Also, there’s Lockheed, Kitty Pryde’s pet X-Dragon, and for that alone you’ll want to pick this book up!

The story had me hooked from the beginning but Cassaday’s artwork in this comic is also really well done.  It conveys the emotion of the action.  A lot of strips are done in single colored tones that fits the mood of what’s happening on the page.  One of the best examples of this is where Kitty sees Colossus (Peter Rasputin) for the first time after she believes him dead. All the strips are done in all red tones and are interlaced with black and white memories. It is really visually appealing.  Check it out:

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on September 17, 2012 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Guys Reads, Staff Pics, Supernatural/Paranormal

Curveball: the Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

Curveball: the Year I Lost My Grip

by Jordan Sonnenblick

The summer before Peter’s Freshmen year, he suffers a serious arm injury while pitching in his little league championship game.  The game was a critical one, because it would have shown his soon to be high school baseball coaches that he was a gifted pitcher that could easily make the JV team.  Now, however, Peter’s pitching days are over.  The injury to his arm required surgery and Peter seems to has lost any idea of what to do with himself now that he can’t play baseball.

Peter’s only other passion in life has been photography.  His interest has been cultivated through years of spending time with his grandfather, who is a professional photographer.  Peter has learned all the ins and outs of a camera, both old school and digital.  When he walks into his first day of Introducton to Photography, he is clearly ahead of the class.  Both Peter and another student, Angelika, are sent to the Advanced Photogtraphy class.  Being the only two Freshmen in a class of upperclassmen instantly creates a friendship between Peter and Angelika. 

Peter and Angelika’s friendship becomes something more, however, when they begin working together taking photos for the yearbook.  Things seem to be changing for Peter as he begins to find out who he is when he can no longer be the star pitcher.  However, as Peter begins to find himself, his grandfather seems to be losing himself.  Can Peter get his family to recognize that their grandfather needs help before it is too late?

Curveball has a lot going on in its pages.  At first this novel seems pretty simple: a guy has to figure out who he is when he can no longer be a sports star.  However, with the addition of a possible new girlfriend, a best friend who truly believes Peter will pitch again, and a grandfather whose mind is slipping, Peter’s life is complicated.  When you’re reading Curveball, though, you never feel like you are overwhelmed with Peter’s problems.  It is a really good read that never feels like there is too much drama.  I also really liked Peter.  He was relatable and is a character who had flaws that he was able to overcome. 

You should definitely pick this book up if you are looking for a good, realistic read that has a cast of characters that feel like your own friends and family.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on August 20, 2012 Categories: Fiction, Guys Reads, High School, Realistic Fiction, Staff Pics

Book Trailer of the Week– Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

This week’s book trailer is for Insignia by S.J. Kincaid.  Tom’s only been good at one thing in his life: video games.  So, when he gets recruited by an elite military power to use his gaming skills to fight for America in World War III, Tom jumps at the chance to do something important with his life.  But Tom doesn’t know what’s at risk.  Click here to find Insignia in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on August 16, 2012 Categories: Action/Adventure, Book Trailer, Fiction, Guys Reads, Science Fiction

Come to the Library to Discuss Things Not Seen!

What would you do if you were invisible? One day fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and discovers that no one can see him. Doing his best to adapt, he ventures out of the house to the library, where he befriends Alicia, a blind girl. Together they try to figure out how to make Bobby visible again. Join this lively book discussion of Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements, sponsored by the Teen Advisory Board. Refreshments will be served.

Copies of the book will be available to registered teens at the Fiction/AV/Teen desk one month prior to the discussion.

Click here to register for the Teen book discussion.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on August 12, 2012 Categories: Events, Fantasy, Fiction, Guys Reads, Supernatural/Paranormal

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Little Brother

by Cory Doctorow

Marcus is an expert with a computer, and he has to be.  In his school computers rule.  They are not only for doing schoolwork, but technology is being used to keep track of and spy on the students.  In Marcus’ near-future world, technology is slightly more advanced than it is today.  In order to have some sort of  freedom and control while being online, Marcus has figured out how to maintain his privacy online while staying under the radar, mostly through hacking. 

This all changes one afternoon when Marcus and his friends skip class to join in a scavenger hunt as part of one of their favorite online games.  San Francisco comes under attack from terrorists and Marcus and his friends finds themselves close to the attack.  So close, in fact, the he and his friends are taken in by the Department of Homeland Security as possible threats.  Even though they had nothing to do with the attacks on San Francisco, Marcus and his friends are interrogated for days in an unknown prison about their involvement.  When they are finally set free, their lives are changed forever.  Marcus is scarred by the interrogation and to make matters worse his best friend Darryl was never released.

Marcus takes to the net determined to fight against all the new restrictions, curfews, and increased DHS presence in San Francisco as a result of the terrorist attacks.   Marcus feels that his story must be told and that people must fight back against Big Brother.  However, by fighting back, he risks everything… even his life. 

Little Brother is a great book for any reader.  There is a lot of action in this book and a good mystery.  Little Brother also makes you question if this could really be our future.  It is really believable that this world could one day be ours, and if it is, we all need to be better informed about how to maintain our privacy online.  This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and also give you a lot to think about.

Click here to find Little Brother in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on July 30, 2012 Categories: Dystopian, Fiction, Guys Reads, Mystery, Science Fiction, Staff Pics