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Teen Blog

Spring Break Reads for Teens

It’s spring break, but it is not exactly spring-like weather right now.  If you are looking for a good read to keep you busy during this week of mild temperatures, check out some spring break themed books– from teens involved in a mystery while on spring break or teens playing baseball (Opening Day is March 31, after all!):

FeatheredFeathered by Laura Kasischke

YA KASISCHKE, L.

While on spring break in Cancun, Mexico, high-school seniors and best friends Anne and Michelle accept the wrong ride and Michelle is lost–seemingly forever.

feedFeed by M.T. Anderson

YA SF ANDERSON, M.

In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble while taking a trip to the moon for spring break.

Mexican White BoyMexican White Boy by Matt de la Peña

YA PENA, M.

Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being half-Mexican and half-white while spending a summer with his cousin and new friends on the baseball fields and back alleys of San Diego County, California.

Little Miss RedLittle Miss Red by Robin Palmer

YA PALMER, R.

Sixteen-year-old Sophie’s dream of meeting her soul mate during spring break in Florida seems to have come true, but she must determine if Jack is really the romantic hero he seems to be, or if ex-boyfriend Michael could be.

center fieldCenter Field by Robert Lipsyte

YA LIPSYTE, R.

Mike lives for baseball and hopes to follow his idol into the major leagues one day, but he is distracted by a new player who might take his place in center field, an ankle injury, problems at home, and a growing awareness that something sinister is happening at school.

Also, take a look at some of the new titles we’ve just added to the Teen collection:

InsanityInsanity by Susan Vaught

NEW YA VAUGHT, S.

This novel intertwines the stories of four teenagers who find themselves haunted beyond imagining in the depths of a Kentucky mental institution.

Hero WorshipHero Worship by Christopher E. Long

NEW YA LONG, C.

When homeless teenager Marvin realizes his dream of working for the Core, an elite squad of costumed heroes, he discovers that the superstars he’s idolized for so long aren’t the people he thought they were.

This Star Wont Go OutThis Star Won’t Go Out: the life and words of Esther Grace Earl by Esther Earl with Lori and Wayne Earl

NEW YA 362.1969 EAR

A memoir told through the journals, letters, and stories of young cancer patient Esther Earl–the inspiration for John Green’s latest novel The Fault in Our Stars.

 

Half BadHalf Bad by Sally Green

NEW YA GREEN, S.

In modern-day England, where witches live alongside humans, Nathan, son of a White witch and the most powerful Black witch, must escape captivity before his seventeenth birthday and receive the gifts that will determine his future.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on March 26, 2014 Categories: Action/Adventure, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Guys Reads, Mystery, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Supernatural/Paranormal

If you like The Maze Runner…

Maze RunnerIn honor of the release of the awesome movie trailer for The Maze Runner, here are a few books to pick up if you liked The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

 

IncarceronIncarceron by Catherine Fisher

YA FISHER, C.

Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a 17-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl who claims to live on the Outside.

 

lockdownLockdown: Escape from the Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith

YA SF SMITH, A.

When fourteen-year-old Alex is framed for murder, he becomes an inmate in the Furnace Penitentiary, where brutal inmates and sadistic guards reign, boys who disappear in the middle of the night sometimes return weirdly altered, and escape might just be possible.

 

KnifeThe Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

YA SF NESS, P.

Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony’s true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.

 

compoundThe Compound by S.A. Bodeen

YA BODEEN, S.

After his parents, two sisters, and he have spent six years in a vast underground compound built by his wealthy father to protect them from a nuclear holocaust, fifteen-year-old Eli, whose twin brother and grandmother were left behind, discovers that his father has perpetrated a monstrous hoax on them all.

 

enclaveEnclave 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.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on March 20, 2014 Categories: Action/Adventure, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Guys Reads, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction

Book Trailer of the Week– Grasshopper Jungle: a history by Andrew Smith

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!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on March 14, 2014 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Funny, GLBTQ, Guys Reads, High School, Horror, Romance, Science Fiction

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

Reviews by You!

We'll Always Have summer We’ll Always Have Summer
by Jenny Han
Belly has always loved Conrad, but dated his brother Jeremiah. When Jeremiah proposes she expects although she doesn’t love him like she should. The wedding gets closer and Belly keeps waiting for Conrad’s love. Will she ever be loved by him?
Review submitted by Paige.
Confederacy of Dunces A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
This book is hilarious, one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. The characters are so well developed.
Review submitted by Jake.
HungerGames The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
I thought this book was amazing! I’ve read it many times before and I just couldn’t put it down!
Review submitted by Josephine.
Digital Fortress Digital Fortress
by Dan Brown
This book follows NSA employee Susan Fletcher and fiancé David Becher as the agency struggles to crack a seemingly unbreakable code. I enjoyed this book because it has plenty of twists and action and makes you keep reading.
Review submitted by Ellen.
Crossing the Wire Crossing the Wire
by Will Hobbs
This book is packed with adventure as a boy tries to cross the border into the U.S. to work and support his family in his hometown in Mexico. I would highly recommend this book for anyone entering 8th grade or higher.
Review submitted by Michael.
Running Dream The Running Dream
by Wendelin Van Draanen
A book that proves you can do what others think impossible. 5 stars!
Review submitted by Sydney.
I Emma Freke I, Emma Freke
by Elizabeth Atkinson
This book was about a girl named Emma. She never really fit in and only had one friend. She doesn’t know who her dad is or that side of the family. She was invited to a reunion from her dad’s side. When Emma comes back she is a new person. I thought this was a great book.
Review submitted by Kendall.
HungerGames The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
This book is amazing! It’s romantic, gross, a cliff hanger, adventurous, and more! I loved it!
Review submitted by Julia.
It Happened to Nancy It Happened to Nancy
by Anonymous
When Nancy is raped, her attacker leaves something behind that Nancy will never be able to forget, the HIV virus. As the virus rages through her body, Nancy must come to terms with herself before it is too late.
Review submitted by Paige.
flowers for algernon Flowers for Algernon
by Daniel Keyes
Imagine a dream of yours. Imagine that you have it but then it is taken away from you. This is what happened to the main character in Flowers for Algernon. His dream was to be smart, and he was smart until it was taken away from him. This book would be best for 8th graders and older.
Review submitted by Michael

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By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 21, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Dystopian, Fiction, Funny, Guys Reads, Historical Fiction, Issues, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction, Reviews By You, Romance

Book Trailer of the Week– Muckers by Sandra Neil Wallace

This week’s book trailer of the week is for Muckers by Sandra Neil Wallace.  This novel is based on true events and is set in the small town of Hatley, Arizona, in 1950.  Red O’Sullivan is the high school quarterback that is desperately trying to make something of his football team.  Since the town numbers are dwindling, due to the nearby mine closing, he’s losing teammates left and right.  His team also doesn’t have that many resources, and racial tensions are also making it hard on the team.  Can Red and the team be the rallying underdog that the town needs?  Click here to find Muckers in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on October 25, 2013 Categories: Book Trailer, Guys Reads, High School, Historical Fiction

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

Reviews by You!

 

Holes Holes
by Louis Sachar
Holes is about Stanley Yelnats who is accused of stealing a famous baseball player’s shoes and goes to Camp Green Lake, a desert where they dig holes. The Warden is looking for something, that Kate Barlow (a criminal) stole.
Review submitted by Michael.
Shards and Ashes Shards & Ashes
edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong
I would definitely recommend this book to people who like sci-fi. I liked the fact that it was different short stories all in one book. I would give it 4/5 stars.
Review submitted by Izabella.
If You Find Me If You Find Me
by Emily Murdoch
In If You Find Me, the main character Carey lives within a national forest questioning and blocking the fact if she is real or not. Then Carey and Jenessa (her sister) find out that their mom disappears, but then is found by her father. In this book, Carey tries to figure out why her mother left her and to keep her own secrets to her as well.
Review submitted by Rahul.
Harry Potter Goblet of Fire Harry Potter Year and the Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling
This book is my favorite book from the series so far. It had many different twists and turns that keep me reading really late at night. This was an awesome book and I’d recommend to anyone reading Harry Potter books that they should read the whole series.
Review submitted by Nicole.
So Punk Rock So Punk Rock
by Micol Ostow
I think this book was great. Ari does something different and does something other than get good grades. Ari’s story was great. 4.5/5 stars!
Review submitted by Peter.
Peanut Peanut
by Ayun Halliday & Paul Hoppe
This book is a graphic novel where a girl moves and lies that she has a very serious peanut allergy. Her friend from her old school doesn’t talk to her anymore. Read the book to find out what happens!
Review submitted by Rebecca.
Drums Girls Dangerous Pie Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie
by Jordan Sonnenblick
This is a great book about a boy who is troubled about his brother having cancer. Funny, serious, and romantic book all in one! Don’t let the title fool you. It’s a great book!
Review submitted by Lea.
Schwa The Schwa was Here
by Neal Shusterman
I found this book very interesting. All the characters have unique personalities. The Schwa, also known as Calvin, faces many challenges. This story mixes a mystery with adventure. I would definitely recommend it.
Review submitted by Brianna.
homecoming Homecoming
by Cynthia Voigt
I really like this book! It is an adventurous story about four children: Dicey, James, Maybeth, and Sammy Tillerman. Their parents both ran off, and the book is about the children trying to find their Aunt Cilia’s house so that they can live there.
Review submitted by Rachel.
Roll of Thunder Roll of Thunder, Here My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor
I thought the book was ok. It showed how you should stand up for yourself and what you believe in.
Review submitted by Mary.

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By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on July 17, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Funny, Guys Reads, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Reviews By You, Science Fiction

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