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Teen Blog

Award Winning Books!

This morning the American Library Association’s Young Adult division, YALSA, announced this year’s award winning books and audiobooks.  Click here to get to official press release of the winners.  Here’s a list of the teen titles that won.  Just click on the title to see if you can find it at the Library!

Prinz Award for Excellence in YA Literature
Winner: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley 
Honor: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler 
Honor: The Returning by Christine Hinwood 
Honor: Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey         
Honor: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award (Honoring a significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature)
Awarded to: Susan Cooper

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
Winner: The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin
Finalist: Sugar Changed the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos
Finalist: Bootleg by Karen Blumenthal
Finalist: Wheels of Change by Sue Macy
Finalist: Music it Was by Susan Goldman Rubin

William C. Morris Award (Honoring a work by a first time author)
Winner: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Finalist: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Finalist: Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
Finalist: Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Finalist: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Alex Awards (Given to ten books written for adults that have teen appeal) 
Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin 
In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard 
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan 
The New Kids by Brooke Hauser 
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson 
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward 
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston 
The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo

The Odyssey Award (Awarded to the best audiobooks for children and/or young adults)
Honor: Rotters by Daniel Kraus, narrated by Kirby Heyborne
Honor: Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri, narrated by JD Jackson
Honor: Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, narrated by Lincoln Hoppe
Honor: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, narrated by Steve West and Fiona Hardingham
Honor: Young Fredle by Cynthia Voight, narrated by Wendy Carter

Pura Beleré Award (Presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work celebrates the Latino cultural experience)
Winner: Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Honor: Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle
Honor: Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel by Xavier Garza

Schneider Family Book Awards (Honoring a work that emphasizes children or teens with a disability) 
Teen: The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

Stonewall Book Awards for Children and Young Adult Literature (This award is sponsored by ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table)
Winner: Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright
Honor book: a + e 4everby Ilike Merey
Honor book: Money Boyby Paul Yee
Honor book: Pink by Lili Wilkinson
Honor book: With or Without Youby Brian Farrey

The 2012 Rainbow List was also announced today.  Here are the Top 10 Titles, and click here for the complete list.
I am J by Cris Beam
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Brooklyn Burning by Steve Brezenoff
Sister Mischief by Laura Goode
Huntress by Malinda Lo
Shine by Lauren Myracle
Donovan’s Big Day by Leslea Newman
She Loves You, She Loves You Not by Julie Ann Peters
Gemini Bites by Patrick Ryan
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on January 23, 2012 Categories: Award Winning, Fiction, Nonfiction

How They Croaked by Georgia Bragg

How They Croaked

by Georgia Bragg

If you want to read some “toe-curling” nastiness this October then make sure to check out How They Croaked asap!  This book is filled with all the stomach turning grossness involved with a selection of famous historical figures and how they kicked the bucket.  There’s poisoning, explosions, autopsies, and all kinds of other gory tidbits.  So if you have taste for some history mixed with repulsive deaths then pick up this book today!

By MPPL on October 24, 2011 Categories: Nonfiction, Staff Pics

No Choirboy by Susan Kuklin

No Choirboy

by Susan Kuklin

In 2005 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the death sentence for juveniles (under the age 18) was unconstitutional- until that time teenagers like yourself  (in some states) weren’t sitting in class they were sitting on death row instead.  Author Susan Kuklin gave these prisoners or their families a chance to share their stories with the world in her book, No Choirboy.

In these eye opening accounts, you  may question whether the teen deserved their sentence.  Like Roy, who was involved in a murder with 3 other guys who all got off, while he received the death penalty.  Or there are others like Mark and Nanon, who openly admit their crimes. There are teens who didn’t make it off death row who’s stories are shared by their family members

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on October 21, 2011 Categories: Nonfiction, Staff Pics

10 Reviews by You

 Airborn Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Airborn is a terrific book with a take on the past with a fantasy twist.  This book pulls the reader in with tales of pirates, airships, and mysterious creatures known to the main characters as “cloud cats”.

review submitted by Marie

 Ttfn ttfn by Lauren Myracle

This book has a lot of drama.  It also is the sequel to ttyl.  Maddie, Angela, and Zoe all just turned 16 and have been having a fun time.  Until one day Angela gets very bad family news.  Also, Zoe has a big secret she told Maddie but never Angela, and Zoe just can’t tell her.

review submitted by Carrie

 My sisters keeper My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

This was a sad but touching novel.  It showed how important family is in a crisis, and how not many things can break the bond made from parents to their child.  This book made me very emotional and it was very well written.

review submitted by Pooja

 Leviathan    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan takes place during WWI.  Alek is on the run, trying to escape the Germans alive.  Deryn, disguised as a boy, joins the British air force.  Together they try to escape both of their pasts.

review submitted by Ariel

 Bone Handbook Bone Handbook by Jeff Smith

This book was cool because you get to learn the stories behind everything in the Bone series.

review submitted by Keandrea

Shug Shug by Jenny Han

I liked this book because it was well written with emotion and I could really relate to the 12 year old girl.  The girl is discovering the changes in middle school and in life.  She starts to learn the true meaning of friendship and to always be yourself.

review submitted by Clara

 Listen Listen by Rene Gutteridge

Listen is a book about what happens in a small town when people’s conversations they had were recorded and posted on a website.  It shows how the little things one says in private can turn friends against each other and also how harmful words can be.

reviews submitted by Joshua

 Iqbal Iqbal by Francesco D’Adamo

Fatima works in a carpet factory and then a boy Iqbal comes along.  Iqbal shows Fatima the truth about her life to come, and teaches her many things.  This interesting book is based on a true story and is a must read this summer.

review submitted by Madden

 HungerGames The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games, part of a series, is an amazing book.  It is thrilling, romantic, and adventurous.  This book would satisfy even the most picky readers with it’s great plot.

review submitted by Jimmy

 Bad Girls dont Die Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

This book is great for readers who love haunted-ness.  I know I was scared to go into our basement alone for days, but I didn’t regret reading this book.  You’re sister is possessed and wants to kill you–not only you but your mom, too. There’s also at least 20 more girls and women she wants to kill.  Why?  You know you have to find out why, to save your life, your mom’s life, the other girls’ lives, and your sister’s life.

review submitted by Pooja

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on September 21, 2011 Categories: Fiction, Nonfiction

10 Reviews by You

 Secretariat Secretariat

I saw the movie Secretariat, which was really good. It is a true story about a horse named Secretariat who competes in horse races all over and tries to win. I would definitely recommend this movie to everyone no matter the age… It is rated PG and is a really good true story about the life of owning horses. It just came out on DVD recently and I just saw it for the first time.

review submitted by Haley

 Misscongenialitydvdcover Miss Congeniality

Miss Congeniality is a hilarious Sandra Bullock movie.  It has action, violence, humor, fashion, and a girly touch.  I’d recommend this movie to a group of girls that want to laugh out loud.  That’s a wrap!

review submitted by Sara

 Keys to the Demon Prison Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull

Keys to the Demon Prison is the fifth book in the Fablehaven series
This book was about an adventure that two teenagers went on that get them mixed into a magical world with evil demons lurking about.  They team uo with magical creatures to stop the opening of Zzyzx, the demon prison.  I really like this book because it was practically overflowing with action, adventure, humor, heroism, and fun.

review submitted by Michael

 LongWay Gone  A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

In this amazing autobiography of the author’s unfortunate childhood in Sierra Leone, he finds himself in the middle of a civil war.  When his family perishes by the rebels, he is forced to become a boy soldier in order to survive.  This book will make you want to keep reading until the very end.

review submitted by Brian

 Swim the Fly Swim the Fly by Don Calame

Swim the Fly is about three friends who want to get better at swimming so they can impress a girl.  It was a good story and a quick read.

review submitted by Eric

 PromKings DramaQueens Prom Kings and Drama Queens by Dorian Cirrone

I thought the book Prom Kings and Drama Queens was very good.  Once I started, it was hard to stop, and it made me feel good at the end.  At the beginning, the main character almost gets arrested.  The way she deals with this surprised me.  Also, she has to make a hard decision towards the end of the book, that I wasn’t expecting.

review submitted by Ivanka

 Answer Book Answer Book: fast facts about our world by the National Geographic Society

If you dream about learning more, like me, the Answer Book is perfect for you.  Whether you want to read about maps, space, human history, or life on earth, the Answer Book has it all.  I think it is unique because not only does it talk about earth in the past and today, but it also has an atlas in the back and tells you how to get more information about what you’re reading online.  I would recommend this for fifth graders to adults who want to know more about the world around them.

review submitted by Matthew

 Shade Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade is the story of a girl who lives in a world where everyone sees ghosts, everyone, that is, who were born after the Shift.  After her boyfriend dies, Aura has a hard time letting his ghost go, while she starts having feelings for the new student at her school.  Shade is an exciting story that’s hard to put down, especially when the secret of the Shift is revealed.

review submitted by Natalie

 Origins Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s diaries: v. 1: Origins by L.J. Smith

Stefan Salvatore lived in Mystic Falls with his father and his brother, Damon.  When he meets Katherine, his life turns upside down and he betrays his family.  While there is mysterious killings, Stefan finds out Katherine’s big secret.  What does he do?

review submitted by Stephanie

 Forgotten Garden The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

This suspenseful mystery surprised me with twists and turns at every corner.  The main character is trying to finish discovering her grandmother Nell’s past, that leads her from Australia to the Cornish coast.  This novel was a thrilling read, but was often hard to follow as it changed perspective every chapter.  Four Stars.

review submitted by Elizabeth

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on September 13, 2011 Categories: Fiction, Movies, Nonfiction

Remembering September 11th

This Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of September 11th.  If you want to reflect and remember 9-11, check out some of the materials below at the Library.  Just click on the cover image or the title to find it at the Library and read more about it:

9-11  9-11: the world’s finest comic book writers and artists tell stories to remember 


9-11 er relief 9-11 Emergency Relief 


With Thier Eyes  With Their Eyes: September 11th the view from a high school at Ground Zero 

YA 812.045 WIT

Ask me no questions  Ask Me No Questions

by Marina Budhos


Usual Rules  The Usual Rules

by Joyce Maynard


Cinnamon Girl  Cinnamon Girl: letters found inside a cereal box 

by Juan Felipe Herrera


Love is the Higher Law  Love is the Higher Law 

by David Levithan


9-11 Report  The 9-11 Report: a graphic adaptation 

GRAPH 973.931 JAC

Extremely Loud  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 

by Jonathan Safran Foer


By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on September 8, 2011 Categories: Fiction, Nonfiction

10 Reviews by You

KissinTime A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

I liked the book, A Kiss in Time.  It was a modern day version of Sleeping Beauty.  I learned a lot from it!  I would recommend it!

review submitted by Sara

MangoShapedSpace A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

A Mango-Shaped Space is a great book that teaches readers about the difficult life of a child that is somewhat different from most everyone around her.  Mia was very strong through her journey of self-discovery, even when a tragedy makes its way into her life.

review submitted by Marie

SmellsLikeDog Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors

I recently read an awesome book called Smells Like Dog.  Homer Pudding inherits a dog whose name is Dog, because he couldn’t figure out a good name for him.  Homer’s best hobby is searching for things for absolutely no reason at all. He is interested in a Galileo Compass that his uncle gave to him, before he got digested by a large turtle leading to his sudden death.  After a punishment by Homer’s parents, Homer cannot search for anything anymore.  He decides to sneak into the library to read some of the books he is now forbidden to read. He brings a candle in through the window to read.  After a little while, Homer falls asleep, and the candle falls from his hand, setting the library on fire.  Homer is in a lot of trouble.  To find out how this crazy story is finally going to end in less than 300 pages, I suggest you read the rest of this book.  I read it a little while ago and was clearly impressed by the plot of the book.  I would recommend this for adventure seekers, boys and girls alike.  I enjoyed this book and I hope you will like it too!

review submitted by Caitlyn

HungerGames The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

A girl named Katniss has volunteered to go into the Hunger Games for her sister.  Once the games start, she makes an alliance that could win her the game.  Should she let love lead the way, or go with her instincts and fight.

review submitted by Zack

NeverDieEasy Never Die easy: the autobiography of Walter Payton by Walter Payton with Don Yaeger

Never Die Easyis an inspirational book about Walter Payton and his life.  I liked this book because it goes throughout his life and tells what he went through.  It goes from his childhood, to high school, to the NFL.  This book is good and I think you should read it too!

review submitted by Sean

OhYuck     Oh, Yuck!: the encyclopedia of everything nasty by Joy Masoff

This book is about all icky stuff people don’t like to read about.  These passages include boogers, poop, pee, vomit, and lice.  This book makes learning cool!  It tells you different words to say the word vomit.  My favorite vomit words are praising the porcelain king, puke, and upchuck.  There is also a sequel to the book called Oh Yikes!.  It’s a cool book as well!

review submitted by Sam

AmongTheHidden Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This book is about a third child, when you can only have 2 children.  I can relate to most of his feelings.  His life is hard because he is illegal and he has to come out of hiding.  When new families move in, his life gets harder because he is forbidden to go outside, even though he lives on a farm.  It was a good book and it was well written.

review submitted by Lucas

Plague Plague by Michael Grant

Plauge is the fourth book in the Gone series.Life in the FAYZ is getting worse.  A plague is going around and the Darkness is becoming more of a threat.  Plauge is a great addition to the Gone series, filled with action and many surprises.  I’d recommend Plague and the other books in the Gone series to anyone who can handle the disturbing yet exciting life of the FAYZ.

review submitted by Natalie

BoyWhoDared The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

A boy named Helmuth is in the middle of World War II.  In jail!  This story tells about a boy who dares to talk in front of judges!  This story is a life-changing and true story of a boy who dared.

review submitted by David

JerkCalifornia Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen

A kid named Sam Carrier has a disease called Tourettes that makes him jerk.  His dad died and now his mom remarried a guy who treats him badly. Sam meets one of his dad’s best friends, George.  George tells him about his dad, and he sends Sam on a journey that helps him understand his dad more.

review submitted by Sonia

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on August 17, 2011 Categories: Fiction, Nonfiction

Stitches by David Small

Stitches book cover Do you ever remember reading Imogene’s Antlers as a child? It’s about a girl who wakes up with an enormous pair of antlers on her head one morning?  Well David Small the author and illustrator of that book, woke up one morning when he was fourteen and found that instead of antlers on his head – he couldn’t speak.  Turns out that his parents had decided not to tell him he had cancer and could die, which is why he had to have surgery to remove one of his vocal cords. 

In his graphic novel memoir, Stitches, David Small reflects on his childhood and how his parents’ unhappiness in their own lives was transferred on to his own, from how they approached his cancer – with his dad,  who was a doctor, trying his very own treatments of radiation for David’s cancer, to his mother’s anger which was often released in rages at David.  What’s a boy to do in a family like this? David Small shows how he survived his family, overcame all the craziness life brought him, and how a little artistic expression can work wonders.

By MPPL on August 1, 2011 Categories: Fiction, High School, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction

It Gets Better Project

It September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage and his partner Terry made a YouTube video for LGBT teens and youth as a reaction to the number of young people who took their lives the past year because of being bullied.

Following this posting, they began the It Gets Better Project, which accepts YouTube videos with inspiring messages for those who need it.   Click here to check out the site.  Celebrities and everyday people have posted more than 10,000 videos.  In March 2011 they were also able to publish a book that contains inspiring essays and other materials, and all the proceeds from the book are being donated to LGBT youth charities.  It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living can be found on our shelves in the Library.

Recently, the band Rise Against has collaborated with the It Gets Better Project to use clips from the video submissions in their newest music video for their song Make It Stop (September’s Children), and the video was released this week. The song draws its inspiration from the rash of suicides of bullied teens.  Make It Stop (September’s Children) is on their latest album Endgame, which you can find in the Library’s collection.  Also, an interesting note, the band filmed the music video at lead singer Tim McIlrath’s former high school, Rolling Meadows High School.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on June 22, 2011 Categories: Music, Nonfiction

Happy Earth Day!

Even though it is rainy outside, be sure to celebrate Earth Day today!  Here are some simple things you can do to celebrate Earth Day:

  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Eat a vegetarian or vegan meal.
  • Reduce your water consumption by turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, cut back 10 minutes on your shower, or buy a reuse-able water bottle instead of buying bottled water.
  • Turn off your computer when you are done using it.
  • Recycle, weather it garbage or buying things second hand.

For more ideas, check out this article on

Also, if you’re looking for something to read in honor of Earth Day, check out this list of books to go green!


By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 22, 2011 Categories: Fiction, Nonfiction