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Teen Blog

Reviews by You!

ttylTtyl by Lauren Myracle
YA MYRACLE, L.
This book is a wonderful story about three best friends and their ups and downs through high school. Told in the form of instant messaging, this book is very modern and fun.
Review by Jenefer

scarboysThe Scar Boys by Len Vlahos
YA VLAHOS, L.
This was an awesome book about a new band getting more well-known through every gig and adversity they go through. The book is written through the guitarist’s, Harry, point of view.
Review by Emma

downsidersDownsiders by Neal Shusterman
YA SHUSTERMAN, N.
This was a good book. It was about a civilization under the streets of New York and what unfolded when a girl from the Topside found that place. Overall, I would give this book an eight out of ten.
Review by Ravi

nilNil by Lenne Matson
YA SF MATSON, L.
I really enjoyed this book because it was new and brought a different perspective to the table. The story felt real because the author used actual facts from history.
Review by Abi

MockingjayMockingjay by Suzanne Collins
YA COLLINS, S.
Although a little depressing at times, an overall good finish to an incredible series.
Review by Lia

fault in our starsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
YA GREEN, J.
This book was amazing. It showed the emotion and thoughts that went through kids’ heads with cancers.  Not only that, it showed a cute love story with of course some comedy. I would recommend this book to all teens. This was one of the best books I’ve read.
Review by Mary

readyplayeroneReady Player One by Ernest Cline
YA CLINE, E.
Overall, a really in depth book which includes references to the 80′s along with a twisting plot that keeps readers on edge for the duration of the entire plot. I recommend this book for anyone possessing some knowledge of the 80′s video game era.
Review by Michael

Carrie DiariesThe Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
YA BUSHNELL, C.
The Carrie Diaries was a very good book. Told from the point of view of Carrie Bradshaw, a high school senior, The Carrie Diaries is a story of friendship, love, heartbreak, and the pursuit of one’s dreams. The Carrie Diaries is a must read.
Review by KeAndrea

yotsuba9Yotsuba&!, Volume 9 by Kiyohiko Azuma
YA GRAPH AZUMA, K.
In this funny book, Yotsuba once again has fun with her neighbors, dad, and uncle. Yotsuba is a light, funny story and I recommend it for anyone who wants a quick funny read.
Review by Abby

stayingfatsarahbynresStaying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
YA CRUTCHER, C.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is a great book. It teaches you what true friends do for each other. Lastly, it is a great lesson for friends and family.
Review by Anthony

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on July 15, 2014 Categories: Action/Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Fiction, Funny, Guys Reads, Issues, Manga, Realistic Fiction, Reviews By You, Romance, Science Fiction

Book Trailer of the Week– 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues

This week’s book trailer of the week is for 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues. Jess has just discovered a box filled with scraps of 34 pieces of paper that contain the secrets of her older sister’s life and death.  Ellie recently died when she overdosed.  Was it on purpose?  Ellie’s best friend, Sarah, might know the truth and so might Ellie’s brother Jake.  Just like in the novel 13 Reasons Why, readers are left with clues to determine just what happened in Ellie’s life that drove her to a possible suicide.  Click here to find 34 Pieces of You in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on July 3, 2014 Categories: Book Trailer, Drama, Fiction, Issues, Mystery, Realistic Fiction

Reviews by You!

fault in our starsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
YA GREEN, J.
This book was very interesting and captivating. The author’s detailed descriptions and storytelling led me to finish it in only two sittings. I really enjoyed the development of the characters and by the end, I felt like I knew Hazel and Augustus personally.
Review by Stephanie

DivergentDivergent by Veronica Roth
YA ROTH, V.
This book was very engaging. It was a quick read and fast paced. I fell in love with Tris and Four. I thought the five factions were interesting and the fact that Tris didn’t belong in one single faction made her very relate-able.
Review by Natalia

yotsuba3Yotsuba&! Volume 3 by Kiyohiko Azuma
YA GRAPH AZUMA, K. V.3
I found Yotsuba&! Volume 3 very funny and light. It was an easy read but still very enjoyable. In Volume 3, Yotsuba, a six year old girl, goes on small adventures with her dad, uncle, and neighbors. This was very fun to read and you should also read it.
Review by Abby

MemoirsMemoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
YA ZEVIN, G.
I really enjoyed this book. I felt like some parts of the book were slow, but near the end the pace picked up and I thought that the book ended in a good way. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.
Review by Natalia

markofathenaThe Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
YA RIORDAN, R.
This book was like an adventure! There is always something dramatic going on. You feel like turning the page because of the incredible adventures. The characters are also really well developed and have very awesome powers. The teamwork makes this book even more fun.
Review by Jill

DarknessFallsDarkness Falls by Cate Tiernan
YA TIERNAN, C.
Like the first book, this book has a slow beginning and draws more into Nat’s past with Incy. This book goes more into the fight between good and evil. Overall, it was an okay book and good for those who liked the Beautiful Creatures series and I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Review by Sarah

ashAsh by Malinda Lo
YA LO, M.
I give the book 5 stars! It was really good and I couldn’t put it down. I recommend this book to people who like romance, action, fantasy, and sadness.
Review by Alexandra

deadlyDeadly by Sara Shepard
YA SHEPARD, S.
This book was so intense. Even when you think A is revealed, another crazy twist happens. Pretty Little Liars [the series] is a great read that is sure to keep you hooked from beginning to end!
Review by Kendall

pandemoniumPandemonium by Lauren Oliver
YA OLIVER, L.
Better than the first book, fast paced, interesting, lots of action to keep you on your toes. I liked how the author shows Lena exploring other areas and cities within the dystopia. The love triangle is dull and unoriginal. However, the cliff hanger ending will make you read Requiem.
Review by Ellie

PerksThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
YA CHBOSKY, S.
I love the characters. They give you insight into a life you may have never had before, they will give you a new world view. Also this book can help you understand and relate to others better.
Review by Rhiannon

Book Trailer of the Week– This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This week’s book trailer of the week is for This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales.  Elise has always been an outcast, no matter how hard she tries to fit it.  On one particular bad day, where she just feels like there is no hope, she attempts suicide.  Realizing that she is not serious about trying to end her life, Elise just keeps on going through the motions until she discovers and hidden dance club.  It is there that something sparks inside of her.  Always having a love of music, Elise discovers new friends and even a love interest.  Things are easy navigating this new scene, but Elise slowly becomes more comfortable in herself who she wants to be.  Click here to find This Song Will Save Your Life in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on June 20, 2014 Categories: Book Trailer, Bullying, Fiction, Issues, Music, 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

Book Trailer of the Week– Fat Angie by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

This week’s book trailer of the week is for Fat Angie by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo.  Angie’s life sucks.  Her sister, the only person who seems to understand her, has been captured as a soldier in Iraq.  Then there is the family that she has left, after a father that abandoned her family, there is her mother who is too busy to care and her adopted brother who is always getting into trouble.  At school Angie is subject to relentless bullying, especially from the mean girls, and has even attempted (but failed) suicide. Things begin to change for Angie, however, when new girl KC Romance shows up at school.  KC takes an interest in Angie and what begins as a good friendship blossoms into more as Angie finds the confidence she needs to start turning her life around.  Click here to find Fat Angie in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on February 14, 2014 Categories: Book Trailer, Fiction, GLBTQ, High School, Issues, Realistic Fiction, Romance

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

If you like The Fault in Our Stars

fault in our starsWere you as impressed as we were by the release of the first movie trailer for The Fault in Our Stars by John Green?  Are you looking for something to read that is similar to TFIOS?   Of course, you can go on and read Green’s other fabulous works–and you should–but if you want to read a novel similar to TFIOS that deals themes like young people struggling with terminal illness, check out these titles:

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

Somebody Up There

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Before I Die

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Probabilty of Mirackes

The F-It List by Julie Halpern

F It List

First Love by James Patterson and Emily Raymond

First Love

Deadline by Chris Crutcher

deadline

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

second chance summer

Poster Boy by Dede Crane

poster boy

You may also want to check out Eleanor & Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.  Both were published this year and John Green had a lot of great things to say about both her novels.

fangirleleanor and park

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on January 30, 2014 Categories: Fiction, Issues, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Trending

Book Trailer of the Week– Paper Towns by John Green

This week’s book trailer of the week is for Paper Towns by John GreenPaper Towns is not a new novel by John Green, it was published in 2008, but Bloomsbury Publishing just released a pretty cool trailer for the novel.  So, if you really liked The Fault in Our Stars, then you should definitely check out Paper Towns.  It centers on Quinten or Q, who has been in love with his next store neighbor, Margo, since they were kids.  So when she disappears, Q is determined to follow the clues she has left to find out whether or not she has just run away or if she has actually committed suicide.  Click here to find Paper Towns in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on January 10, 2014 Categories: Book Trailer, Fiction, High School, Issues, Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Romance

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