This week’s book trailer of the week is for The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher. Everyone thinks Emily’s dad is a murderer. However, Emily’s dad is suffering from PTSD, as a veteran of war, and Emily believes he is innocent. She will stop at nothing to prove he’s not guilty, despite how others will treat her because of this. What really happened in the woods that night that Emily’s father was found carrying the body of a dead girl? Click here to find The Killing Woods in the Library to find out!
March is Women’s History Month. If you’re looking to celebrate by reading a teen novel with a strong female lead, then check out this list!
YA AGUIRRE, A.
In a post-apocalyptic future, fifteen-year-old Deuce, a loyal Huntress, brings back meat while avoiding the Freaks outside her enclave, but when she is partnered with the mysterious outsider, Fade, she begins to see that the strict ways of the elders may be wrong–and dangerous.
YA BLOCK, F.
After a devastating earthquake destroys the West Coast, causing seventeen-year-old Penelope to lose her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother, she navigates a dark world, holding hope and love in her hands and refusing to be defeated.
YA CARRIGER, G.
In an alternate England of 1851, spirited fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is suprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.
YA CASHORE, K.
In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
YA DANFORTH, L.
In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center.
YA JORDAN, S.
When sixteen-year-old Jacinda, who can change into a dragon, is forced to move away from her community of shapeshifters and start a more normal life, she falls in love with a boy who proves to be her most dangerous enemy.
YA LAFEVERS, R.
In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Brittany, seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where she learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts–and a violent destiny.
YA LO, M.
Seventeen-year-olds Kaede and Taisin are called to go on a dangerous and unprecedented journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen, in an effort to restore the balance of nature in the human world.
YA MEAD, R.
Two years after a horrible incident made them run away, vampire princess Lissa and her guardian-in-training Rose are found and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, where one focuses on mastering magic, the other on physical training, while both try to avoid the perils of gossip, cliques, gruesome pranks, and sinister plots.
YA MOULTON, C.
A seventeen-year-old girl discovers she has the reincarnated soul of an ancient warrior destined to battle the reapers–monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell.
YA ROTH, V.
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
YA ST. CROW, L.
Sixteen-year-old Dru’s psychic abilities helped her father battle zombies and other creatures of the “Real World,” but now she must rely on herself, a “werwulf”-bitten friend, and a half-human vampire hunter to learn who murdered her parents, and why.
YA SCHREIBER, J.
Perry’s parents insist that he take Gobi, their quiet, Lithuanian exchange student, to senior prom but after an incident at the dance he learns that Gobi is actually a trained assassin who needs him as a henchman, behind the wheel of his father’s precious Jaguar, on a mission in Manhattan.
YA SEPETYS, R.
Josie, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, is striving to escape 1950 New Orleans and enroll at prestigious Smith College when she becomes entangled in a murder investigation.
YA STIEFVATER, M.
Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
YA TAYLOR, L.
Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters–the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.
YA WEIN, E.
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.
YA ZEVIN, G.
In a future where chocolate and caffeine are contraband, teenage cellphone use is illegal, and water and paper are carefully rationed, sixteen-year-old Anya Balanchine finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight as heir apparent to an important New York City crime family.
YA SF DE LA CRUZ, M.
More than a century after a catastrophic disaster wiped out most of humanity and covered much of the earth with ice, fifteen-year-old Cass yields to the voice in her head urging her to embark on a dangerous journey across a poisoned sea to the mythical land, Blue.
YA SF LU, M.
In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a famous criminal, and prodigy June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.
YA SF MEYER, M.
As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.
Pfeffer YA SF PFEFFER, S.
Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
YA GRAPH CASTELLUCCI
When transfer student Jane is forced to move from the confines of Metro City to Suburbia, she thinks her life is over. But there she finds her tribe: three other girls named Jane. The four girls form a secret art gang, but can art really save the hell that is high school? Young adult.
This week’s book trailer of the week is for Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King. Vera’s trying not to let the death of her ex-best friend Charlie change her life. After all, they weren’t best friends when he died. However, Vera is practically haunted by Charlie and the need to clear his name and the rumors surrounding his death. It doesn’t help that Vera was also falling in love with Charlie before their friendship fell apart. Along with the details of Charlie and Vera’s friendship and the breakup leading up to his death, readers also gain insight to Vera’s current life and the other stuff she has to deal with while at the same time trying to clear Charlie’s name. A great work of realistic fiction that will definitely make you think. Click here to find Please Ignore Vera Dietz in the Library!
I love the Olympics! I don’t know what it is, but I love watching top athletes compete in various sports that you usually can’t see on TV. Another thing I like about the Olympics is that it usually introduces me to new information about the culture and customs of the host country. While watching the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, I have really enjoyed learning more about modern-day Russia. Though there is a checkered past to the country, the special looks by NBC have been pretty awesome. (One of my favorites was the look at Siberia today.)
All of this got me thinking: there have to be some pretty good books for teens about Russia or that are set in Russia. Check out the list I came up with below. Some are fiction and some are nonfiction. Some are set in modern day and some are set in what was considered the darker times of Russia’s history. Just click on the covers to find them in the Library!
YA STANDIFORD, N.
It is 1982 and nineteen-year-old Laura Reid is spending a semester in Leningrad studying Russian, but when she meets Alyosha she discovers the dissident Russia–a world of wild parties, underground books and music, love, and constant danger.
YA 947.0842 LUG
Recently unearthed in the archives of Stalin’s secret police, this diary offers rare insight into the life of a teenage girl in Stalin’s Russia, when fear of arrest was a fact of life. Nina’s diary offers today’s reader a fascinating perspective on the era in which she lived.
YA WHITCOMB, L.
After 350 years as a Fetch, or death escort, Calder breaks his vows and enters the body of Rasputin, whose spirit causes rebellion in the Land of Lost Souls while Calder struggles to convey Ana and Alexis, orphaned in the Russian Revolution, to Heaven.
YA GRAPH ABADZIS, N.
This is the journey of Laika, the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth’s first space traveler. With the blending of fact and fiction, this story intertwines three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika’s health and life.
YA BARDUGO, L.
Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.
YA 947.7708 GRI
Although the Iron Curtain is gone, the memory of the high drama, tragedy, and comedy that was life in the Soviet Union remains. Tina Grimberg brings color and perception to a life we think of as gray, impersonal, and foreboding.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
YA SEPETYS, R.
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author’s family, includes a historical note.
YA DUNLAP, S.
As world war and the looming Russian Revolution threaten all they hold dear, Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II, and her family are being held in captivity, where she falls in love with one of their captors, a young man who has espoused the ideals of Lenin.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Were 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:
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.
This week’s book trailer of the week is for Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher. Originally published in the UK, this novel centers on 15-year-old Zoe. She writes to a Death Row inmate in Texas, because she believes she is also a murderer and wants to tell someone about it. Her letters chronicle her relationships with two brothers, Max and Aaron, and how the romances she developed with each brother ended in tragedy. It isn’t until the end of the novel that you find out what happened, which brother dies, and if Zoe is really a murderer. Click here to find Ketchup Clouds in the Library!
This week’s book trailer of the week is for Paper Towns by John Green. Paper 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!