This week’s book trailer of the week is for Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin. Avery knows that she witnessed her parents brutal murder in the woods by her house, but she doesn’t remember what happened. When she is forced to live with her grandmother that she barely knows, Avery feels lost and doesn’t know if she wants to remember. When she meets Ben, the new guy in school, she feels a strong connection. Ben may hold the keys to Avery remembering what happened the night her parents died. Click here to find Low Red Moon in the Library!
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.
by Alyson Noël
Fated is the first book in Noël’s new Soul Seekers series. If you are a fan of Alyson Noël’s Immortals series, then you should definitely pick up her new book Fated. It is similar to the Immortals series because it has some supernatural elements to it, it has a mystery, and it has a really interesting main character with a unique ability. If you like supernatural books, then this is definitely a good one to pick up, because this novel has a heavy basis in Native American mythology. Daire, like Ever, has supernatural powers that allow her to be in the living world and also in the world of the dead–Daire is a soul seeker. Her powers as a soul seeker give her visions and the ability to help souls in the living world and the after world. She also has a spirit animal that guides her in her quests and gives her soul the ability to travel to the different worlds and in different forms.
Daire first experiences her abilities as a soul seeker through devastating visions that have her sent to a mental institution. However, her grandmother reaches out to her and moves her to a small town in New Mexico so she can teach Daire to hone her new powers. Daire comes from a long line of soul seekers on her father’s side. However, in this small town called Enchantment, there exists another family of soul seekers. This other family has set out to use their powers for evil. In this family exists a set of twins, one that Daire knows to be evil and one that she feels an instant connection to. As her powers as a soul seeker grow stronger, Daire must stop one brother from carrying out an evil act and figure out her connection to the other brother–a connection that she cannot even begin to understand.
Can’t get enough Sherlock? Try this classic movie, it will keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing whodunit. The movie takes a different spin, on a classic tale, by having Sherlock Holmes meet Dr. Watson at London’s prestigious boarding school, Bromton Academy. The light-hearted mystery, is set in the Victorian era, with plenty of fog and some gothic horror. The friends must navigate the tough social setting of boarding school, while trying to find out why seemingly ordinary men are acting crazy. A local gentleman throws himself out of a window and Holmes’ mentor, Professor Waxflatter, stabs himself while fighting some invisible force. Holmes suspects the deaths are connnected and foul play is involved. He alerts Scotland Yard, but they rebuff his claims as being ridiculous. This means that Holmes, Watson, and Waxflatter’s niece, Elizabeth, must solve the mystery of these deaths. The only clues they have are a mysterious, hooded figure with a blowpipe, a jingling noise every time the figure appears, and Waxflatter’s dying word, ”Eh-tar”. Their enemies are on to them and the school is trying to expel them, but Holmes, Watson, and Elizabeth push forward with an investigation that pits them directly against their enemies and puts them in mortal danger.
This is a fun, fast-paced movie with a great mystery and intense ending. Because the movie is set in the Victorian era, the film’s age is not a distraction to the plot line. The special effects are not as sophisticated as movies made in 2012, but they are still pretty cool. In fact, Young Sherlock Holmes had the first CGI (computer generated) character in any movie – a stainless steel knight. Fans of the character, Sherlock Holmes, will be interested in learning the origins of his pipe, his cape, his cap and and his archenemy, Professor Moriarty. Young Sherlock Holmes has mystery, adventure, and a moving love story. This is a sure hit for some indoor summer fun.
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Hi, I’m Paige, and I just recently read the book Beautiful Creatures written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This book is about a boy named Ethan Wate. In the start of the book, he has a dream about a girl he has no clue who she is. This is strange seeing someone in a dream he doesn’t know because he lives in a small town in South Carolina. Eventually, a new girl moves to the town, Lena Duchannes. She happens to be the niece of the town creep and locked up. The girl is shunned by the school, so Ethan decides to befriend her. One day in class they bump into each other and the light above them breaks. Also, when Lena went to sharpen her pencil, the window next to her shattered. Ethan starts falling for her and realizes why Lena is so different and how they have a connection. Read Beautiful Creatures to find out why Lena Duchannes is different from EVERY other girl Ethan has ever known.
review submitted by Paige
by Lissa Price
Callie lives in a world where a plague has left most middle aged people dead, but the young (the Starters) and the old (the Enders) have survived thanks to a vaccine. There is a side effect of using the vaccine, though: everyone’s life spans have been extended well into the hundreds. In this world only the rich young kids can live a normal life. The average teen has parents who are dead and are either sent to labor camps or forced to live on the streets. The senior citizens are the ruling class and the majority.
Callie is a street kid whose parents were killed by the plague. Callie also has a younger brother who she has to support. When Callie finds out about the body bank it seems like the answer to her prayers. All she has to do is let the body bank, also known as Prime Destinations, implant a chip in her head and give her an extreme makeover. Then she agrees to let a thrill-seeking senior citizen inhabit her body, via the chip, three different times and she will be paid handsomely. The first time Callie is occupied it is easy and she just feels like she went to sleep. Her second time goes just as smoothly. During her third occupation, however, Callie unexpectedly wakes up and is thrust into the middle of a life that she does not know how to live–that of a young, rich teen. To make matters worse the Ender who was occupying her is still in her head and warning her that she is in danger…
Starters is a really cool story! This is definitely not your typical dystopia. There are no average adults in this world–only senior citizens and young people! The way that the author, Lissa Price, describes the body bank and how seniors inhabit young people is so interesting. This book also reminded me of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, because Callie goes through a complete makeover with future technologies that we cannot even imagine. This novel is definitely action-packed, since Callie is not only trying to figure out why she is in danger but she also has to make sure that no one realizes that she is not being occupied while she is still pretending to be a young, rich teen. There is a great mystery in this story and at the end of the book you see the evil plan of some of the Enders unfold. Starters is definitely a great read for any age, guy or girl, and if you want a cool spin on a dystopian world.
by Jack Gantos
Dead End in Norvelt is a semi-autobiographical novel by the author Jack Gantos. So, it is not a true autobiography, rather it is a work of fiction based on real events and things from Jack Gantos’ life. At the beginning of the book, we meet Jack who is twelve-years-old in the summer of 1962. He lives with his parents in the small town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania. Jack’s summer is not off to a good start, though. He accidentally shot off his father’s Japanese rifle in the backyard and has been grounded for the entire summer. Jack is not allowed to leave his house at all for the whole summer, but there is a stipulation. He can leave to help out his elderly, arthritic neighbor Miss Volker. Due to Miss Volker’s arthritis, she has a hard time using her hands so she needs Jack to help her out around the house and also with her duties as town coroner. As the coroner, Miss Volker needs Jack to drive her to wherever there is a dead body in town and he also helps her by typing up the town’s obituaries. Jack expects that his summer is going to be a boring one. Let’s face it, how many people are going to wind up dead in one summer? But Jack’s summer is anything but boring! First, the old ladies of Norvelt are dropping dead one after another and this leads to a murder mystery investigation. Jack’s father also decides to restore an old plane, Jack has a run in with the Hell’s Angels, and there are house fires and nosebleeds galore! And that’s not even half the story!
Dead End in Norvelt is a great read for summer. It’s an easy read that is laugh out loud hilarious. If you love to laugh and enjoy weird stories, then click here to find Dead End in Norvelt at the Library!
Also, check out this interview with Jack Gantos where he describes more about writing Dead End in Norvelt and how it is based on some real things from Jack’s life and why he wanted to write this story.
If you are a fan of time travel, then you should check out these two books!
by Julie Cross
Jackson Meyer can jump through time. When we meet him at the beginning of Tempest he is nineteen-years-old in 2009 and is just starting to scratch the surface of his time travelling abilities. He believes that he can only travel to the past for a short amount of time, but that all changes when one morning a couple of strangers burst into his girlfriend’s dorm room and fatally shoot her while trying to abduct Jackson. As Jackson holds the dying Holly in his arms, he suddenly travels back in time to 2007. However, he is stuck in 2007 and has to pretend to be his seventeen-year-old self to try to figure out why he was in danger in 2009. He also begins to discover the secrets his father has hidden from him about his time travelling abilities.
Tempest is an exciting and action-packed book. The characters are really fun to read about and I found myself laughing out loud at times. This is definitely not a dramatic read, but there is a lot of drama with Jackson’s abilities. The mystery behind Jackson’s time jumping powers is very interesting to read but it is also a bit complicated. Pick this book up if you are looking for a book that has a lot of mystery, action, and twists and turns.
by Kerstin Gier
Gwenyth had grown up knowing that her more sophisticated and prettier cousin Charlotte had the genetic ability to travel through time. Gwenyth is just a normal sixteen-year-old girl who likes to hang out with her friends, gossip and talk on her phone, and who also happens to be able to see and talk to ghosts. Charlotte, however, has had extensive lessons and training for different skills that will come in handy when she starts travelling back in time–like fencing, learning German, and even self defense. It all goes wrong, though, when Gwenyth actually turns out to be the next time traveler in the family. Once The Guardians, the secret order that protects time travellers, confirms that she is “The Ruby” (the last of the time travellers) she is suddenly thrust into a world that she is very unprepared for. Will Gwenyth be able to survive travelling through time without the proper training? Will she uncover the secret of why one of her time travelling relatives ran away and took a precious device with her? And, most importantly, can she learn to tolerate her time travelling partner Gideon–an older, cuter, and very arrogant descendant of another family with the genetic ability to travel through time.
Ruby Red was a good read. The great mystery surrounding Gwenyth’s role as “The Ruby” and the missing time travel device are set up nicely in this first book in a planned trilogy. Be warned, though! The ending is quite a cliffhanger. Gwenyth is a fun character to read about, too. At first I was so frustrated at how immature she was, but I think the author did this so that she could show how much Gwenyth had to grow up when she learned that she had the time travel gene. One thing to know about this book is that it was translated into English from German, and it takes place in London, both in the current day and also in the past. It does use British terms and references, but for me this just added to the story. I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
by Andrew Lane
I admit my only exposure to Sherlock Holmes has been the action-packed Robert Downey Jr. movies and the super awesome BBC adaptation. No, I have not read the original novels. However, I do enjoy the character of Sherlock and his abundance of knowledge that always seems to come in handy at just the right moment. The mysteries and the way Sherlock uses his superb sleuthing skills are always interesting and surprising. So, I was excited to find out that Andrew Lane is writing a series that introduces us to the fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes. As an added bonus, this series is the first teen series endorsed by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate.
In the first book of the series, Death Cloud, it is 1868 and Sherlock has just been sent to live with his aunt and uncle in their large estate in Hampshire. This arrangement is only supposed to be for Sherlock’s holidays from boarding school, but with his father stationed in India and his mother unwell, Sherlock is not sure what his future holds. His brother, Mycroft, has arranged for Sherlock to be kept busy with an American tutor named Amyus Crowe. Crowe is a Texan from America with a mysterious past, but a great knowledge of many different things. Sherlock is still bored, though, living in the country. Luckily, he makes friends with a local boy named Matty. Of course, through their boredom, the two boys stumble upon a mysterious black cloud that leaves its victims dead with plague-like symptoms. Together, Matty and Sherlock risk their own lives to solve the mystery of the cloud of death.
Death Cloud is filled with tons of action and adventure. And, of course, there is a great mystery that kept me guessing throughout the entire novel. One of the best parts about this book are the things I learned while reading the book. Each aspect of the mystery and how Sherlock comes to his conclusions are explained in depth in the novel, and most of the explanations are logical scientific ones! This is definitely a great read for all teens of all ages who enjoy a good mystery with lots of action and adventure.
Once you’re finished with Death Cloud, be sure to check out the next book in the series, Rebel Fire. In this next book of the series, Sherlock and his friends intercept a plot to resurrect the Southern Cause in America with the supposedly dead John Wilkes Booth!