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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

Teens–If you like Downton Abbey, check out these books!

Season 4 of Downton Abbey just premiered a couple of weeks ago.  If you are looking for a good Downton-esque read to pass your time while you eagerly await next week’s episode, check out some of the books listed below.  Just click on the cover and find them in the Library!

Fateful by Claudia Gray

Fateful

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

private peaceful

The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick

Foreshadowing

The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf

Watch that ends the night

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Luxe

Wither by Lauren Destefano

Wither

Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

Manor of Secrets

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on January 16, 2014 Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Trending

Book Trailer of the Week– Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

This week’s book trailer of the week is for Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross.  Set in Paris in the late 1800′s, this novel centers on Maude, who is so plain and even some would say ugly, that she lands a job as a repoussoir.  As a repoussoir, Maude is hired to be friend to Isabel by her mother to make Isabel appear, in contrast to Maude,  more attractive and appealing to suitors.  However, it is hard for Maude to separate her job from the friendship and soon she is tangled in drama and deceit.  Click here to find Belle Epoque in the Library today!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on December 20, 2013 Categories: Book Trailer, Fiction, Historical 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

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!

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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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!

etiquette espionage Etiquette & Espionage
by Gail Carriger
Comical and adventure packed! You will fall in love with all of the characters and see yourself through Sophronia’s exciting adventure.
Review submitted by Ariel.
DiaryWimpyKid Diary of a Wimpy Kid
by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (the 1st book of the series) is about Greg Heffley dealing with a wimpy life and the cheese touch, but this diary is no “dear diary” this and “dear diary” that, just read to find out.
Review submitted by Michael.
Marley Me Marley & Me
by John Gragan
Marley & Me is a great book about the true story of a family and their crazy dog. I really enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to other teens.
Review submitted by Jackie.
Freak the Mighty Freak the Mighty
by Rodman Philbrick
Freak the Mighty is a really good book because it shows all about two different boys who do everything for each other for friendship.
Review submitted by Rosalva.
Lost Stories The Lost Stories
by John Flanagan
The Lost Stories was cool because it gave you answers to the questions you still might have about the Ranger’s Apprentice series. It was very detailed, especially in one about Tug, Will, and a wolf. It has very interesting facts about all the characters.
Review submitted by Mia.
Eye of the World The Eye of the World
by Robert Jordan
I really enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. For one, Jordan gets into immense detail on basically everything in the book. Also, the world Jordan created is extremely huge and filled with multiple races and cultures. The book reminded me a bit of Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings series.
Review submitted by Nick.
ABC Murders The ABC Murders
by Agatha Christie
Really exciting with a surprise ending! A must read for anyone!
Review submitted by Vanika.
Only the Good Spy Young Only the Good Spy Young
by Ally Carter
Such a great book! I loved it so much! The new character, Zach, was a nice touch and truly added more to the story. The new missions Cammie had and the funny encounters from the people from the first book were great. This was such a great book!
Review submitted by Tania.
Starclimber Starclimber
by Kenneth Oppel
A stunning and remarkable ending to an enchanting trilogy. My original assumption was that the story was tacky and other unoriginal. As it turned out, the conclusion took me into the unknown of space with great vigilance, though the romantic elements were more than I usually take to.
Review submitted by Marie.
Streams to the River Streams to River, River to the Sea
by Scott O’Dell
A novel about Sacagawea’s travel with Lewis and Clark on their way to the sea along the Mississippi River, the hardship, the tribes, and the adventures of Sacagawea.
Review submitted by Ghanika.

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By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on October 16, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Funny, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction, Reviews By You

Reviews by You!

Running Dream The Running Dream
by Wendelin Van Draanen
The Running Dream is an amazing book. One reason I like this book is because I can relate to the main character, Jessica. Jessica loves to run and so do I. Another reason I love this book is because there is always an interesting climax going on. It is not one of those books that you have to break into. I would rate this book 5/5 stars.
Review submitted by Jenna.
Troy High Troy High
by Shana Norris
A book about two friends who go to rivaling schools. They work together to try to save their friendship while being loyal to their school.
Review submitted by Karina.
Marked Marked
by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Although it is a book about vampires, it was very enjoyable to read and almost seemed realistic. This book begins with Zoey’s unusual marking as a vampire and continues through her change from a fledgling to a full adult vampire.
Review submitted by Sonia.
January Conspiracy 365: January
by Gabrielle Lord
This is the first of twelve books in the Conspiracy 365 series. It’s an action packed story of a 15-year-old fugitive accused of attempted murder. A family heritage causes all this chaos along the way.
Review submitted by Emma.
Ugly Truth The Ugly Truth
by Jeff Kinney
I enjoyed The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney very much. My favorite part was when the senior citizens came to the Valentine’s Day dance and ruined it. I liked how the story was very suspenseful.
Review submitted by Irene.
Mad About Super Heroes Mad About Super Heroes
Edited by Nick Meglin & John Ficarra
This book was really fun and made fun of Batman a lot. The small strips were the best or the classic art with the super heroes added.
Review submitted by Kathleen.
lastolymppian The Last Olympian
by Rick Riordian
I think this book was really great because it was full of action and suspense. This book kept me wanting to read more… one of my favorites!
Review submitted by Grace.
Emblaze Emblaze
by Jessica Shirvington
Violet is an angel and she is in love with an exile Phoenix and another angel Lincoln. Phoenix betrayed her and she can’t be with Lincoln. Phoenix is trying to get the scriptures from her and is threatening her family and friends to get it.
Review submitted by Stephanie.
Belle Epoque Belle Epoque
by Elizabeth Ross
Just as a foil is placed under a jewel to make it shine, a Repoussoir is a companion to a beautiful girl just to make her stand out more. In France, Maude desperately needs a job to survive, so she becomes a Repoussoir. She is a “hideous” girl who is hired by an aristocratic family to accompany their daughter for her season. But is the feeling of rejection and ignorance worth the thousands of dollars and glamor?
Review submitted by Nida.
Enemy The Enemy
by Charlie Higson
All the zombies (grown ups) have been diseased 16 years ago and their offsprings were not harmed. So now only kids rule the world and it’s up to the kids to survive and not get eaten by the zombies.
Review submitted by Atit.

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By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on September 17, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Funny, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction, Reviews By You, Romance, Supernatural/Paranormal

Reviews by You!

Delirium Delirium
by Lauren Oliver
The USA has been full of lies. Lies that love is a terrible disease that can lead to death. Wilds and Invalids from outside the borders will kill. Later on in the story, one group of kids makes it across to the Wilds.
Review submitted by Sofia.
Tenth Circle The Tenth Circle
by Jodi Picoult
Trixie lives in a small twon in New Hampshire, but when she gets date raped by the hockey star of her school, most people don’t believe hr story, especially when big holes are found in it. So is Trixie telling the truth or lying to get back at her ex?
Review submitted by Paige.
Found Found
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Found is this really great book that involves time travel and is kind of complicated with a spectacular cliff hanger of an ending. I think there is a whole seris so read them all!
Review submitted by Lia.
Lions of Little Rock The Lions of Little Rock
by Kristine Levine
The Lions of Little Rock was a great book. Many of the plots happened unexpectedly, making you want to keep reading. This is a book I would recommend to people who like historical fiction and realistic fiction.
Review submitted by Jenna.
Al Capone Shine Shoes Al Capone Shines My Shoes
by Gennifer Choldenko
I really enjoyed the book Al Capone Shines My Shoes. It had a lot of action and suspense in the right places. It was also cool to see Alcatraz from the view of Moose who is my age. The ending had some twists I loved and I think you would enjoy, including a stolen baby.
Review submitted by Mia.
Speak Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Very good book.  It is interesting about how the point is getting to explain what happened.
Review submitted by Emma.
HungerGames The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
It’s about 12 districts tht fight to the death for a final winner. Katniss gets inolved in a love triangle with Peeta and Gale.
Review submitted by Becca.
Breaking Through Breaking Through
by Fransisco Jimenez
It is about a boy who is an immigrant and comes to America. He has many struggles but finds his way.
Review submitted by Samantha.
Pharohs secret The Pharaoh’s Secret
by Marissa Moss
Talibah and Adom accompany her father to Egypt. Someone has tried to erase King Hatchesput from history. Adom and Talibah go through an adventure to stop this person from taking King Hatchesput from history.
Review submitted by Sofia.
Behemoth Behemoth
by Scott Westerfeld
I think you should read this book and the book before this one because this book is action packed and suspenceful at every turn. I can’t wait to read the next book and hope you pick up this one.
Review submitted by Cameron.

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By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on August 28, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Multicultural, Realistic Fiction, Reviews By You