Whats New Category: Staff Picks

Notes From a Totally Lame Vampire by Tim Collins

Notes From a Totally Lame Vampire book coverNotes From a Totally Lame Vampire by Tim Collins

If you’re a fan of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, then you’re in luck there’s another great series out like it, Notes From a Totally Lame Vampire by Tim Collins. Nigel, is the totally lame vampire, and like Diary of Wimpy Kid, this book is journal and is complete with pictures and some pretty terrible poems too. The big difference between Nigel and Greg Heffley is that Nigel is a vampire, and while he’s stuck living as a teen he’s really been around for 100 years. Now most people think being a vampire involves super human strength, being speedy, picking up the ladies with your irresistible looks, and more, but if you’re completely lame like Nigel, it means being pimply, angsty, awkward, wussy, and not so smooth with the ladies. Nigel vents about his frustration about lacking all the typical vampire skills and also the trials of dealing with school and his oh-so-embarrassing family. Filled with humorous reflections on living as a teen for 100 years, the social pains of school, wooing his new classmate Chloe, and some great twists Notes From a Totally Lame Vampire is a great quick and laugh out loud read.

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Maggie Armstrong had a crush on her best friend’s twin brother, Caleb Becker.  That is until one night,  at a party, Caleb hit Maggie with his car and left her broken in the street.  It’s a year later and Caleb is being released from juvenile detention, convicted of a hit and run while driving drunk.  Maggie has spent the past year in recovery from a devastating leg injury that has left her scarred, with a severe limp, and an outcast.  Caleb is returning home, hoping to find that nothing has changed.  His family, however, is falling apart at the seams.  His girlfriend has moved on to his best friend, and  one moment his friends treat him like he’s the same old Caleb and the next like he’s trash.  Both Maggie and Caleb have lost everything.  Their friends and families have changed because of the accident and no one will ever look at the two of them as they did before.

Maggie and Caleb are keeping secrets about that night, however, secrets that could change everything.  Told in alternating chapters, Leaving Paradise, is a fast and emotion filled read.  It’s not a cry out loud book, but there is a strong undertone of emotion that takes you on a ride.  You feel the anger in both Maggie and Caleb, but you also feel the hopelessness and frustration of each situation.  Yes, there is a romance here, but it’s not the center of the book and it is added in at just the right places.  Though the ending was not what I expected, I was definitely left satisfied.  You’ll love the characters of Maggie and Caleb and feel empowered by how each overcame other peoples’ perceptions of them and in turn became stronger in their own selves.

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!

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