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Teen Blog

Fairytales Retold

Looking for an interesting spin on a classic fairytale?  Check out some of these novels in the Teen collection!

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in ZombielandLooking Glass WarsSplintered

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Bluebeard

StrandsBronzeGold

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Cinderella

ashCinderThroneGlass

Ash by Malinda Lo

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Beauty and the Beast

BeastlyCrazyBeautifulCruelBeauty

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hedge

 

The Frog Prince

cloakedenchanted
Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Enchanted by Althea Kontis

 

The Little Mermaid

FathomlessMonstrousBeautySeptemberGirls

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

September Girls by Bennett Madison

 

Peter Pan

TigerLilyWendy

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Wendy by Karen Wallace

 

Rapunzel

Towering

Towering by Alex Flinn

 

Red Riding Hood

Sisters-Red

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

 

Robin Hood

Scarlet

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

 

Rumpelstiltskin

CurseDarkGold

A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

 

Sleeping Beauty

BriarRoseKingdomLittleWoundsKissinTimeLongLongSleepPrincessThorns

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susan Cokal

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Princess of Thorns by Stacy Jay

 

Snow White

NamelessSnow

Nameless by Lili St. Crow

Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Tracy Lynn

 

Snow White and Rose Red

TenderMorsels
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

 

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

entwined

Entwined by Heather Dixon

 

Various Fairytales Retold

BewitchingGrimgrimmlegacyPoisonApplesRagsBonesThroughWoodsTwisted Fairy Tales

Bewitching by Alex Flinn

Grim edited by Christine Johnson

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

The Poison Apples by Lily Archer

Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Twisted Fairy Tales: 20 Classic Stories With a Dark and Dangerous Heart by Maura McHugh and illustrated by Jane Laurie

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on December 18, 2014 Categories: Action/Adventure, Drama, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, GLBTQ, Historical Fiction, Horror, Romance, Science Fiction, Staff Pics, Supernatural/Paranormal, Zombies

Teen How To: Fashion for the Holidays

Need some fashion-spiration for the holidays this year? Check out some of these titles from the Library to help you dress your best for any occasion!

BookofStylingThe Book of Styling: An Insider’s Guide to Creating Your Own Look by Somer Flaherty
YA 646.3083 FLA
Features information on style through the decades and tips for budget shopping in a guide that counsels readers on how to identify a personal image, tailor a look to a particular body type, and prepare for fashion emergencies.

17StyleGuideSeventeen Ultimate Guide to Style: How to Find Your Perfect Look by Ann Shoket
YA 646.34 SHO
Provides details on six different looks–girly, edgy, boho, classic, glam, and indie–and how to customize them; offers advice on accessories; and discusses finding jeans, swimsuits, bras, and underwear to fit one’s body type.

HandmadeChicHandmade Chic: Fashionable Projects That Look High-End, Not Homespun by Laura Bennett
YA 646.48 BEN
In Handmade Chic, Laura shares simple strategies for creating 40 small luxuries and high-fashion accessories, from a smart leather iPad portfolio to a feather-embellished evening bag. With sections organized in skill-building order and based on type of accessory—small leather goods, agendas and notepads, electronics, bags and wallets, and evening items—Laura offers patterns, easy-to-follow diagrams, and detailed instructions for fabricating each glamorous project, whether it involves sewing from scratch or embellishing a pre-purchased garment.

Learn to Speak FashionLearn to Speak Fashion: A Guide to Creating, Showcasing, and Promoting Your Style by Laura deCarufel
YA 746.92 DEC
By starting with the most basic formula (clothes + art = fashion), Learn To Speak Fashion strips away the anxiety and artifice to get to the heart of what makes clothing so much more than what we put on our bodies. The lessons within these pages range from understanding how to dress every part of the body and how to make your own pair of pants, to learning how to harness your design ideas with an inspiration board, or hold a fashion show in your backyard.

FashionBookThe Fashion Book by Alexandra Black

YA 391.009 BLA

A sassy style guide for teenage girls shares insight into the fashion world and how to personalize one’s appearance for best results, chronicling fashion trends throughout history while sharing practical tips from top designers and models.

 

 

 

LookBookThe Look Book: 50 iconic beauties and how to achieve their signature styles by Erika Stadler with Christopher Fulton and Cameron Cohen

YA 646.72 STA

Presents instructions for recreating the iconic hairstyles and makeup of fifty beauty icons, from Audrey Hepburn’s eyes to Veronica Lake’s curls and Marilyn Monroe’s lips.

Fashion101Fashion 101: a crash course in clothing by Erika Stalder, illustrations by Ariel Krietzman

YA 646.34 STA

300+ illustrated wardrobe items. What they look like and how to wear them — The eras that inspired them — The designers who made them — The celebs who made them hot!

SecondTimeCoolSecond-Time Cool: the art of chopping up a sweater by Anna-Stina Lindén Ivarsson, Katarina Brieditis, Katarina Evans, translated by Maria Lundin

YA 646.408 LIN

Create unique fashion styles using old sweaters! Here’s a book for anyone interested in designing a wardrobe that expresses individuality in fun and creative ways. Second-Time Cool shows how easy it can be to recycle knitted sweaters and strike a dazzling look.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 19, 2014 Categories: Fashion, Nonfiction, Staff Pics

Achieving Dreams–Inspirational Teen Reads

Running DreamThe Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

YA VAN DRAANEN, W.

When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.

StargirlStargirl by Jerry Spinelli

YA SPINELLI, J.
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.

CardturnerThe Cardturner by Lois Sachar

YA SACHAR, L.

When his wealthy uncle, a champion bridge player who has lost his vision, asks seventeen-year-old Alton to be a cardturner for him, Alton has no idea how much he will ultimately learn from his eccentric relative. Includes appendix by Syd Fox with information about bridge.

DairyQueenDairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

YA MURDOCK, C.

After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school’s rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.

deadlineDeadline by Chris Crutcher

YA CRUTCHER, C.

Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life’s purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as “Hey-Soos.”

CurveballCurveball: the Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

YA SONNENBLICK, J.

After an injury ends former star pitcher Peter Friedman’s athletic dreams, he concentrates on photography which leads him to a girlfriend, new fame as a high school sports photographer, and a deeper relationship with the beloved grandfather who, when he realizes he’s becoming senile, gives Pete all of his professional camera gear.

SharkGirlShark Girl by Kelly Bingham

YA BINGHAM, K.

After a shark attack causes the amputation of her right arm, fifteen-year-old Jane, an aspiring artist, struggles to come to terms with her loss and the changes it imposes on her day-to-day life and her plans for the future.

saywhatyouwillSay What You Will by Cammie McGovern

YA MCGOVERN, C.
Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized. When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

LockKeyLock and Key by Sarah Dessen

YA DESSEN, S.

When she is abandoned by her alcoholic mother, high school senior Ruby winds up living with Cora, the sister she has not seen for ten years, and learns about Cora’s new life, what makes a family, how to allow people to help her when she needs it, and that she too has something to offer others.

hatchetHatchet by Gary Paulsen

YA PAULSEN, G.

After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents’ divorce.

 

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on October 15, 2014 Categories: Action/Adventure, Drama, Fiction, Funny, Guys Reads, High School, Inspirational, Realistic Fiction, Staff Pics

It’s Teen Read Week!–Turn Dreams into Reality!

TRW14_lowreslogo

This week is Teen Read Week!! It’s a nationally celebrated week where we celebrate all things teen and reading (click here to read more about Teen Read Week).  This year’s theme is Turn Dreams into Reality @ your Library!

So… how can you turn dreams into reality @ the Library?

Library programs and events

Attend some of our programs! We offer Open Creations where you can create almost anything you can think of and learn new skills for creating.  You can learn to knit or crochet at our Teen Knitting/Crocheting club.  Some upcoming programs include our Open Drawing Session in December and we will have the author Mike Mullin visiting the Library on November, 4.  Maybe one of your dreams is to meet a famous author!?

The MPPL Teen Advisory Board

If you dream is to make a difference in your community, be sure to check out our Teen Advisory Board.  Our TAB does volunteer projects that help our community, as well as make a difference with the teen community at our Library.  Our next meeting is October 27, from 4:30-5:30 p.m.  If you interested, just stop by and try it out!

Online tools

Our Library’s extensive web resources can also help you achieve your dreams!

Tutor-com

Tutor.com is live homework help where you get one-on-one help from a tutor, 2 – 9 p.m., or you can use the Skills Center, 24/7.

lynda

Lynda.com helps you learn software, technology, creative, and business skills through video tutorials.

mango_icon

Want to learn a new language? Mango helps you learn over 50 languages, including ESL.

How-to Books

You can also check out some of our nonfiction books to help you achieve whatever your dream may be right now:

Secrets of Top StudentsThe Secrets of Top Students by Stefanie Weisman

YA 371.3028 WEI

Offers strategies for studying, learning, and staying motivated in high school and college, featuring advice on managing time, writing essays, taking tests, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

RockinInTheNewWorldRockin’ In the New World by Bob Tulipan

YA 780.68 TUL
Part field guide, part artistic coaching session, this book explains the ins and outs of the music industry. Bob Tulipan shares his expertise to help musicians protect their art and their interests. Filled with anecdotes, interviews, sample templates for budgets and contracts, it addresses the hurdles every band faces.

YesYouCanYes You Can: Your Guide to Becoming an Activist by Jane Drake

YA 361.2083 DRA

Guides readers through nine steps to social change and discusses strategies on running an effective meeting, writing a petition, and lobbying governments.

ThisIsNotWritingManualThis is Not a Writing Manual by Kerri Majors

YA 808.3 MAJ

Focuses on the skills and techniques necessary for good writing and combines inspirational anecdotes and writing prompts with practical writing guidance on how to develop characters and plot, make revisions, and overcome writer’s block.

SoComicArtistSo You Want to Be a Comic Book Artist? by Philip Amara

YA 741.51 AMA

Presents a step-by-step guide to creating, publishing and marketing comic books, including developing compelling characters, approaching publishers, and adapting storylines for video games and movies.

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on October 14, 2014 Categories: Events, High School, Nonfiction, Staff Pics, Trending

Permanent Record by Leslie Stella

permanent recordPermanent Record

by Leslie Stella

Badi Hessamizadeh has just voluntarily left his public high school because his solution to ending the everyday, intense bullying he experienced was to blow up a toilet. Badi’s reputation as a terrorist after the toilet explosion, has made the bullying against him unbearable. So, Badi’s father changed his name– now Badi is known as Bud Hess– and transferred Badi to a private academy. Can life be different for Badi, now Bud, at his new school or will he face the same prejudices as before?

Permanent Record is a pretty compelling read, not only because it deals with the issue of racial profiling and bullying, but also because Badi is a flawed character.  He doesn’t make the right decisions, and while at first it is hard to understand Badi’s reasoning for acting out, as you continue reading you get to know Badi.  You understand that he is struggling with anxiety and depression, and the bullying that he has to endure at school is horrible.  Added to all of his struggles is that Badi has as Iranian-American is a post-911 world.  I was surprised at how much this book moved me, and also how much I got to know the character of Badi and his struggles.  By the end of the novel, I didn’t expect it to end the way that it did, but now I can think of no way that I would have rather it ended.  If you are in the mood for a realistic and thought-provoking read, you should definitely pick up Permanent Record.  Click here to find it in the Library!

permanent record event

Permanent Record is also this year’s Suburban Mosaic Teen Novel.  To learn more about the Suburban Mosaic Reading program, which “seeks to confront issues of racial and social justice and promote cross-cultural understanding through literature”, then click here to be directed to the website.  To celebrate the selection of Permanent Record as the 2014 Suburban Mosaic Teen Novel, the Library will be hosting An Evening with Leslie Stella on Monday, September 15.  Leslie Stella will talk about her novel, writing, and there will also be a book signing.  Click here to register for the program and find out more information.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on September 9, 2014 Categories: Award Winning, Bullying, Fiction, Guys Reads, High School, Issues, Multicultural, Realistic Fiction, Staff Pics

Find books to help you DIY!

TTW14_FB

Sunday, March 9 – Saturday, March 15 is Teen Tech Week!!! Teen Tech week is the annual celebration of all things teens and technology at the Library. The 2014 theme is “DIY @ Your Library,” and we’re going to show you all the things you can do yourself when you visit us in person or online.  Check out the list below of some great nonfiction titles that can help you find things to DIY!

Stick It! : 99 DIY duct tape projects by T.L. Bonaddio

YA 745.5 BON

Stick It

It’s Your World–If You Don’t Like it, Change it: activism for teenagers by Mikki Halpin

YA 371.81 HAL

It's Your World

97 Things to Do Before You Finish High School by Steven Jenkins and Erika Stalder

YA 646.7008 JEN

97 Things

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things : how to turn a penny into a radio, make a flood alarm with an aspirin, change milk into plastic, extract water and electricity from thin air, turn on a TV with your ring, and other amazing feats by Cy Tymony

YA 608 TYM

Sneaky Uses

Wonderbook : an illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction by Jeff VanderMeer

YA 808.3 VAN

Wonderbook

Learn to Speak Fashion : a guide to creating, showcasing & promoting your style by Laura deCarufel

YA 746.92 DEC

Learn to Speak Fashion

Eat Fresh Food : awesome recipes for teen chefs by Rozanne Gold and her all-star team

YA 641.5 GOL

Eat Fresh Food

Show Off : how to do absolutely everything one step at a time by Sarah Hines Stephens and Bethany Mann 

YA 790.1922 HIN

ShowOff

World of Geekcraft : step-by-step instructions for 25 super-cool craft projects by Susan Beal

YA 745.5 BEA

World of Geekcraft

Punk Rock Etiquette : the ultimate how-to guide for punk, underground, DIY, and indie bands by Travis Nichols

YA 781.6602 NIC

Punk Rock Etiquette

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on March 12, 2014 Categories: Crafts, Nonfiction, Staff Pics

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Strong Female Characters in Teen Lit!

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!

enclaveloveinthetimeofglobaletiquette espionageGraceling

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

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.

Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block

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.

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

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.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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.

MiseducationFirelightGrave mercyhuntress

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth

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.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

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.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

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.

Huntress by Malinda Lo

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.

Vampire AcademyAngelfireDivergentstrangeangels

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

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.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

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.

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

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.

AuRevoirOut of the EasyScorpio RacesDaughterSmokeBone

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber

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.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

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.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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.

Code NameAllTheseThingsIveDoneFrozenLegend2

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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.

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

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.

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

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.

Legend by Marie Lu

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.

Cinderlife as we knew itPlainJanes

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth

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.

Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci

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.

Winter Break is coming up– check out some of our gaming suggestions for teens!

Looking for ways to spend your days relaxing this winter break?  Check out this Mental Floss post about 11 Classic Video Games You Can Play Online.  Personally, we can never get tired of Pacman! Also, be sure to check in at the Library, where we have an extensive video game collection for teens.  Click on some of the images below to see if some of these staff favorites are checked in today!

WWE-Smackdown-vs-Raw-2010SuperSmashBrosBrawlBeatles Rock BandLegend of Zelda

batman arkham originsMortal Kombat vs DC UniverseInjusticeSuper Street Fighter Arcade edNeed For Speed Most Wanted

Sims3Dragon ball zJust Dance 2014

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on December 12, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Staff Pics, Trending

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

TestingThe Testing

by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing is not your average dystopian– I have been reading plenty of dystopian novels lately and when  I came across The Testing, I knew I had to check it out.  Yes, there is a strict and some may say corrupt government in place which puts its young people through trials, however this is where this dystopian differs from the rest.  In order to attend college, those who live in the United Commonwealth must participate in the Testing.  For Cia, who desperately wants to attend college, her chances of qualifying for the Testing are very limited, since there have been no candidates from her colony selected to take part in the Testing for years. This year, however, there are four and Cia is one of them.  Cia knows she will never see her family again, but she hopes that it is because she has passed the Testing and enters college and not because she failed.  Cia knows that if someone fails they are never seen again.  Cia’s father participated and passed the Testing.  Before she leaves he warns her to not trust anyone.  It is then that Cia knows the Testing is more dangerous than she ever could have imagined.

This novel really picks up when Cia enters Tosu City to participate in the series of exams to determine her fate.  At first they just seem rigorous, but as Cia continues to advance, the tests become more and more intense and soon it is not a fight to attend college, but a fight to stay alive.  As Cia progresses, she also begins to make allies and enemies.  Her strongest ally is Tomas, who is from her colony but who she barely knew while growing up.  As they get closer and rely on each other more, a romance forms, and when they enter the last test– a physical show of force as students fight to survive a trek through dangerous territories riddle with traps and deadly competition–Cia and Tomas will do everything they can to be sure each survives. 

I would definitely recommend The Testing to anyone that likes dystopian fiction, especially fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.  It’s also a good read for those who like a lot of action and adventure, but be warned: there are some gruesome scenes in this novel!  Also be sure to look out for the sequel to The Testing, Independent Study, which hits bookshelves in January!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 25, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Dystopian, Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Staff Pics

Baby’s in Black by Arne Bellstorf

babys in blackBaby’s In Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and the Beatles

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:

Babys in Black 1

This first example is of Astrid and her boss looking artwork and talking about light and expression in classic art. It’s really cool how the art is depicted here, and how they are talking about the expression and lighting which is exactly what comes through in the art of Baby’s in Black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Babys in Black 2

In this second photograph, Bellstorf recreates Astrid’s famous photos of The Beatles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 20, 2013 Categories: Art, Graphic Novel, Music, Nonfiction, Staff Pics