Chloe: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Katie: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Movies and TV
Reese: Duck Dynasty
Chloe: Earth to Echo
Matt: Black Ops (XBOX 360)
Will: Oblivion (XBOX 360)
Reese: The Escapists (PC game)
Check out the books, movies, TV shows, and music that come highly recommended by our Teen Advisory Board Members!
Will: 1984 by George Orwell
Veronika: Empty by Suzanne Weyn
Ashley: Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Movies & TV
Will: Once Upon a Time
Julia: Law & Order
Chloe: If I Stay
Barbara: FourFiveSeconds by Rhianna, Kanye, and Paul McCartney; I Need You by M83
Kelsey: Symphony Soldier by The Cab, Pirates of the Caribbean film scores by Hans Zimmer
Julia: The Big Bang by Rock Mafia
Katie: The Heart Wants What it Wants and My Dilemma 2.0 by Selena Gomez; Sledgehammer by Fifth Harmony; Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake; Something Big by Shawn Mendes
Here’s what our Teen Advisory Board picked as the best books, movies, and music that they have read, watched, and listened to this year!
Katie: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Will: The Mortal Instruments series
Kelsey: The Maze Runner and Mockingjay
Katie: If I Stay, Big Hero 6
Gabby: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Will: Guardians of the Galaxy
Gabby: The Beatles
Want to watch the whole movie? Click here to find The Nightmare Before Christmas in the Library!
YA MATTISON, B.
Fifteen-year-old Tory Tyson dreams of producing hip hop records, and as he rapidly begins to experience success doing just that, he finds that he must make choices between the way he has been raised by his single, God-fearing mother and the folks he meets in the music world.
YA SALES, L.
Nearly a year after a failed suicide attempt, sixteen-year-old Elise discovers that she has the passion, and the talent, to be a disc jockey.
YA KELLY, T.
When privileged seventeen-year-old Jasmine Kiss gets kicked out of her house by her father, she takes what is left of her meager savings and flees to Santa Cruz, California, to pursue her dream of becoming a rock musician.
YA GOODE, L.
As members of teen hip-hop band Sister Mischief, Esme Rockett, also known as MC Ferocious, rocks her suburban Minnesota Christian high school with more than the hip-hop music she makes with best friends Marcy (DJ SheStorm) and Tess (The ConTessa) when she develops feelings for her co-MC, Rowie (MC Rohini).
YA KROVATIN, C.
High schooler Sam begins losing himself when he falls for a preppy girl who wants him to give up getting wasted with his best friends and even his passion for heavy metal music in order to become a better person.
YA BROTHERS, B.
When Johnny completes an alcohol rehabilitation program and his mother sends him to live with his uncle in North Carolina, he meets Maria, who seems to understand his fascination with the new wave band Blondie, and he learns about his deceased father’s youthful forays into “glam rock,” which gives him perspective on himself, his past, and his current life.
YA GOING, K.
Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a genius on guitar wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band.
YA PRINZ, Y.
Allie, a sixteen-year-old who is obsessed with LPs, works at the used record store on Telegraph Ave. and deals with crushes–her own and her mother’s–her increasingly popular blog and zine, and generally grows up over the course of one summer in her hometown of Berkeley, California.
YA LOVE, M.
Sixteen-year-old Marley Diego-Dylan’s career as ‘DJ Ice’ is skyrocketing, but his mother’s heroin addiction keeps dragging him back to earth.
YA VLAHOS, L.
Written as a college admission essay, eighteen-year-old Harry Jones recounts a childhood defined by the hideous scars he hid behind, and how forming a band brought self-confidence, friendship, and his first kiss.
YA LORD, E.
Follows seventeen-year-old Reagan as she tries to escape heartbreak and a bad reputation by going on tour with her country superstar best friend–only to find more trouble as she falls for the surprisingly sweet guy hired to pose as the singer’s boyfriend.
YA TAYLOR, G.
Regina Bloomsbury, a sixteen-year-old, Beatles-obsessed rocker, takes a trip to an alternate reality where the Beatles never existed and her band, the Caverns, are the rock-and-roll superstars.
YA SKOVRON, J.
Sammy wants to be a musician, as was his grandfather, but while the band he is in is self-destructing, Sammy is too distracted by his grandfather’s decline and confused feelings about his best friend to fix it–and his mother stays too busy to help.
YA JOHN, A.
Eighteen-year-old Piper becomes the manager for her classmates’ popular rock band, called Dumb, giving her the chance to prove her capabilities to her parents and others, if only she can get the band members to get along.
YA BRIANT, E.
As the singer and bass player for a Beatles cover band, Toby embarks on a quest to increase his sex appeal, a plan that derails when he finds a mysterious note inside his old bass guitar.
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
YA CREMER, A.
When I got this book, I only looked at the cover and assumed it was going to be about an invisible boy falling in love with a visible girl. Then I actually started reading it… this book had me reading! Stephen is an invisible boy who is cursed by his curse-caster grandfather. Maxwell Arbus is the wicked curse-caster who is invisible as well but when he is around, it gets crazy. Elizabeth is an ordinary visible girl who can see curses but hasn’t really figured that out YET.
Review by Elizabeth
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
YA ANDERSON, L.
Speak is about a girl named Melinda who is entering high school with a bad reputation. She was at a summer party and got raped and didn’t know what to do so she called the cops. At school now Melinda has no friends but throughout her year she finds herself with the help of a tree.
Review by Valerie
DJ Rising by Love Maia
YA MAIA, L.
This is the first book in a long time that I’ve read and truly didn’t want someone to tell me how it ends. It started a little slow, but after that it took off! After reading DJ Rising, my love of music has grown even more than before! Definitely recommend this book!
Review by Susanna
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Emily Franklin
YA FRANKLIN, E.
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom is about a girl who is lesbian and gos to prom with another girl in a tux. Prom is cancelled and there is some major controversy.
Review by Bianca
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
YA SF DASHNER, J.
This book kept me at the edge of my seat from the very first word. I kept wondering what would happen to Thomas. He is thrown into this world and no one is giving him answers. I cannot wait until the movie comes out!
Review by Emily
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
YA SF SANDERSON, B.
It was a great read. The book is good for kids just entering their teen years. It was so intense. I like David for his determination. I like this book because the author made it seem so real.
Review by Emmanuel
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
YA SANDERSON, B.
The Rithmatist is an amazing book about a non-rithmatist (Joel) discovers a crime happening in Armedius. His dream is to become a rithmatist but he is not meant to be one. Instead, he works with his rithmatist friend (Melody). This book has a great unexpected ending. This is now my favorite book.
Review by Sofia
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
YA ACHEBE, C.
Good book relating to Ibo culture and language. It talked about his life falling apart due to his attachment to the clan. I would recommend this bok to 6th-12th graders.
Review by Sara
The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
YA MY GLEASON, C.
This book is about two girls (both having famous families that deal with investigation) discovering why girls have been murdered. The murders are related to an Egyptian statue. Along the way of their investigation, they meet a boy (Dylan) from 2016. Miss Holmes, Miss Stoker, and Dylan help discover the reason for the killings.
Review by Sofia
Do you sometimes find is harder to read books about real people, places, or events? Have you ever tried reading graphic novels that are about real life things? Check out the list below of graphic novels that tell the story of real life people, places, things, or events in history:
Chronicles the rise of Hip Hop music as it grew from the streets of New York City in the 1970’s to the rise of the emcee into 1981. Additional volumes will follow.
The Dust Bowl is a desolate time in American history, where the earth was so ravaged that dust storms terrorized the land. What was worse about this time, was that it was caused by man. Brown describes the causes and the life of that terrible time, as well as what we can learn to prevent this from happening again.
Renouncing wealth, ambition and comfort, Gandhi led by example, becoming one with the people he sought to free, facing imprisonment, hardship and humiliation while never raising his voice in anger. His strategy of nonviolent protest would become the model for the U.S. Civil Rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and continues to change history throughout the world.
A graphic adaptation of the Gettysburg Address explains the events of the War, drawing on first-hand accounts from soldiers, slaves, and key figures and providing an understanding of the speech that marked America’s new path.
A memoir in graphic novel format about the author’s experiences as the son of Vietnamese immigrants who fled to America during the fall of Saigon describes how he learned his tragic ancestral history and the impact of the Vietnam War on his family while visiting their homeland years later.
This is the true story of three scientists who risked their lives for research that forever changed the way we think of primates- including ourselves.
by Arne Bellstorf
If you are a fan of the Beatles, then you will definitely want to pick up the graphic novel, Baby’s In Black. Through black and white drawings, Arne Bellstorf tells the story of the “Lost Beatle” Stuart Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe was the original bass player for The Beatles when they were starting out, playing seedy clubs in Germany in 1960. Sutcliffe is a fascinating part of The Beatles history, as he was also an accomplished artist and writer who chose to leave The Bealtes right before they made it big. While playing with The Beatles in a dive bar in Germany, Sutcliffe met Astrid Kirchhherr, a local photographer. Astrid also plays an important role in The Beatles history: she shot some of the most famous early portraits of The Beatles when they were in Germany, and are also some of the only photos that include Sutcliffe in the mix. Shortly after meeting, Stuart and Astrid fell in love. It was then that Sutcliffe decided that The Beatles were not for him. He wanted to stay in Germany with Astrid and focus on his painting. Tragically, though, Sutcliffe’s life was cut short when he died from a brain hemorrhage in 1962. He never had the chance to marry Astrid or to see how successful The Beatles would become.
This graphical novel really does justice to the story of Sutcliffe’s time with The Beatles and his romance with Astrid. The author, Arne Bellstorf, worked closely with Astrid to get details right and put the emotional punch in this story that only Astrid could provide. It is also a really great snapshot of the short time that The Beatles spent in Germany, playing wherever they could, right before they became uber-famous. Finally, the art in this book is pretty simple, but also really expressive. I think the style of drawing was my most favorite things about this graphic novel, and I am a huge fan of The Beatles so I loved getting a new insight to a story I know well. Here are a couple of examples of the art in Baby’s In Black: