Monday, October 16, 2017

Kooky, Spooky, and Ooky

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, Mysterious and spooky, They’re altogether ooky, Haunting YA reads.

I know, I know, this sounds vaguely like the musical introduction to The Addams Family. Okay, perhaps exactly like it, minus the last line. You got me. But with Halloween right around the corner, what better way to set the mood for this week’s blog conversation: Young Adult book recommendations that just might result in a few chills up the ol’ spine.


Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Three teens at a summer program for gifted students uncover shocking secrets in the sanatorium-turned-dorm where they're staying -- secrets that link them all to the asylum's dark past.


I Hunt Killers by Barry LygaJazz is a likable teenager, a charmer. But he's also the son of an infamous serial killer, and "Dear Old Dad" has taught Jazz everything he knows. What Jazz hasn’t figured out, though, is whether or not he is destined to follow in his father's footsteps. In an effort to right his father's wrongs, Jazz decides to assist the police in hunting down a mysterious threat.

The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanNobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.

Rotters by Daniel KrausSixteen-year-old Joey's life takes a very strange turn when his mother's tragic death forces him to move from Chicago to rural Iowa with the father he has never known.

Alice in Zombieland by Gena ShowalterHad anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that's all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone. Her father was right. The monsters are real. To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare BlakeFor three years, seventeen-year-old Cas Lowood has carried on his father's work of dispatching the murderous dead whilst traveling with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Everything changes, however, when he meets Anna, a girl unlike any ghost he has faced before.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie RyanThrough twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest. This is where the Unconsecrated dwell, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.

A Monster Calls by Patrick NessThirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill -- an ancient creature that wants him to face truth and loss.

This readers advisory brought to you by YA Librarian, Chris.

Friday, October 13, 2017

YA Book Quiz II Answers

Answers to this week’s quiz, where you guess the book based upon the first sentence:

(   “The afternoon my parents died, I was out shoplifting with Irene Klauson.”

The Miseducation of Cameron Post – Emily M. Danforth
Goodbye, Rebel Blue – Shelley Coriell
The Truth of Right Now – Kara Lee Corthron
Reality Check – Jen Calonita


(    “It was totally surreal: There I was in the midst of a dizzying, glittering collage of designer duds being pushed around on racks by leggy black-clad editors, with a soundtrack of whirring modems, ringing phones, and French accents playing in the background.”

I See London, I See France – Sarah Mlynowski
Summer Interns – Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman
The Square Root of Summer – Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Welcome to Wahoo – Denise & Elise Carr


(    “My name is Reed Walton, I’m seventeen years old, I live in New Jersey, and I’ve never had a girlfriend.”

This is the Part Where You Laugh – Peter Brown Hoffmeister
The Truth – Jeffry W. Johnston
Maybe One Day – Melissa Kantor
The Girlfriend Project – Robin Friedman


(    “Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster.”

My Life in Black and White – Natasha Friend
The Beginning of Everything – Robyn Schneider
Comedy Girl – Ellen Schreiber
Geek Girl – Holly Smale


     "Would the defendant please rise.”

Saint Anything – Sarah Dessen
The Trials of Kate Hope – Wick Downing
The Butterfly Clues – Kate Ellison
The Real Question – Adrian Fogelin


"    “This is the part where I die.”

The Vanishing Game – Kate Kae Myers
Panic – Lauren Oliver
No One Else Can Have You – Kathleen Hale
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids – Sarah Ockler


(    “The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help.”

No More Confessions – Louise Rozett
Are You Still There – Sarah Lynn Scheerger
Monster – Walter Dean Myers
Learning Not to Drown – Anna Shinoda


     “My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.”

My Double Life – Janette Rallison
Seven Ways We Lie – Riley Redgate
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
I Woke Up Dead at the Mall – Judy Sheehan

Monday, October 9, 2017

YA Book Quiz II

You’ll get the first sentence and have to guess which popular YA book it’s from. Submit your answers in the comment section. Have fun and good luck!


“The afternoon my parents died, I was out shoplifting with Irene Klauson.”

The Miseducation of Cameron Post – Emily M. Danforth

Goodbye, Rebel Blue – Shelley Coriell

The Truth of Right Now – Kara Lee Corthron

Reality Check – Jen Calonita


“It was totally surreal: There I was in the midst of a dizzying, glittering collage of designer duds being pushed around on racks by leggy black-clad editors, with a soundtrack of whirring modems, ringing phones, and French accents playing in the background.”

I See London, I See France – Sarah Mlynowski

Summer Interns
– Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman

The Square Root of Summer – Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Welcome to Wahoo – Denise & Elise Carr


“My name is Reed Walton, I’m seventeen years old, I live in New Jersey, and I’ve never had a girlfriend.”

This is the Part Where You Laugh – Peter Brown Hoffmeister

The Truth – Jeffry W. Johnston

Maybe One Day – Melissa Kantor

The Girlfriend Project – Robin Friedman


“Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster.”

My Life in Black and White – Natasha Friend

The Beginning of Everything – Robyn Schneider

Comedy Girl – Ellen Schreiber

Geek Girl – Holly Smale


“Would the defendant please rise.”

Saint Anything – Sarah Dessen

The Trials of Kate Hope – Wick Downing

The Butterfly Clues – Kate Ellison

The Real Question – Adrian Fogelin


“This is the part where I die.”

The Vanishing Game – Kate Kae Myers

Panic – Lauren Oliver

No One Else Can Have You – Kathleen Hale

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids – Sarah Ockler


“The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help.”

No More Confessions – Louise Rozett

Are You Still There – Sarah Lynn Scheerger

Monster – Walter Dean Myers

Learning Not to Drown – Anna Shinoda


“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.”

My Double Life – Janette Rallison

Seven Ways We Lie – Riley Redgate

The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall – Judy Sheehan

Monday, October 2, 2017

Getting to Know ... Ellen

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Ellen Fox! A college freshman, Ellen plans to major in legal studies and English at Ball State. She has been volunteering at Bremen Public Library since June 2016 and has completed 28.5 hours to date.

FAVORITE BOOK GENRE:  Historical
FAVORITE TV SHOWS:  MASH, The Wonder Years, The Waltons
AN INVENTION SHE WOULD UNINVENT:  Hairspray
A TOPIC SHE COULD DISCUSS FOR AN HOUR:  Books and sewing
ROLE MODEL: Her sister
HAPPY PLACE: The pool
SPIRIT ANIMAL: Whale
DESERTED ISLAND FRIEND:  Nikki
INTERESTING FACT:  She's a swimmer
FAVORITE QUOTE:  "Courage is grace under pressure." Ernest Hemmingway

Monday, September 25, 2017

Recommended Read


One Second After by William R. Forstchen

Several years ago I read a book that changed my perception of civilization. That book was One Second After by William Forstchen. I know what you're going to ask (I'm good like that), "With such an extended passage of time, why go about writing a review now?" Let me start by complimenting the relevancy of this query; here, have a cookie. Now comes the backstory.

A few days ago I was browsing the BPL collection in search of a novel to satisfy my literary appetite. A couple of titles actually made their way in to my hands, but a further browsing of our catalog was necessary before hitting the checkout desk. Low and behold, it was at this point that a great discovery occurred. Somehow, without my knowledge, a sequel to One Second After had been written (One Year After). I feel a bit embarrassed in this admission. After all, as a librarian, shouldn't I be more aware of the latest and greatest titles? While I could offer up a myriad of excuses, some better than others, it would still leave me having to admit that a third book has been released in the series (The Final Day).

One Second After gives the fictitious, yet plausibly real, account of an Electromagnetic Pulse which is unleashed by terrorists above the United States. Transported to the region of Black Mountain, North Carolina, we bear witness to events as they transpire over the duration of 1 year. A crippling act which disables nearly every electrical device in this great country yields devastating consequences. Life is reduced beyond merely adapting in order to survive. It’s as if society is transported two hundred years in to the past. Now multiply the situation to the nth degree. Looting, gangs, cults, starvation, disease, all become the norm. Neighbors become adversaries, protective boundary lines are drawn between towns to protect precious resources. A new world order is established.

An apocalyptic tale, One Second After is a terrifying window to glance through. Yet with all its potential realities, the book is highly entertaining. Rather odd, I realize, considering the dark themes of subject matter. Perhaps because in some fashion the story is used as a makeshift wakeup call. We’re allowed a futuristic glimpse of ‘what could be’ before such a scenario actually transpires. To prepare, as much as one can feasibly do so. Of course, there is much that remains out of our hands as individuals. Citizens must unite and to continue encouraging our leaders to work towards the greater good. The merits of a quality story aren’t necessarily veiled in warm-fuzzy-feelings, but in thought-provoking lessons learned.

Rating: 4.8 out of 5
This readers advisory brought to you by YA Librarian, Chris. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Recommended Read

Aqua by Tracy Korn


The Earth’s atmosphere, economy, and air quality are all failing, so government personnel and the highest echelons of civilization have moved under the sea to a society of biodomes called Gaia Sur. Each year, after months of preparation, the top students of the graduating class are sent to continue training, develop special skills, and to serve in government forces. For everyone left behind, time is coming to an end. This year, Jazz, her brother Jax, Arco, and 12 other students descend into the depths only to discover that something isn’t quite right.

Great world building, fun characters (even the annoying ones!), good dialogue and editing. This is a fast-paced story that gets right to the action. If you enjoy sci-fi or dystopians, you’ll love the series!

Rating:  3.75 out of 5

This book review brought to you by Adult Department Assistant, Melissa.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Recommended Read

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar


A personal appreciation for books extends back to childhood (no old jokes), as much a part of my youth as watching He-Man on television and playing with G.I. Joe action figures. Many a memory of traveling to the River Park branch library in South Bend, two sisters in tow, and emerging from the stacks with a smile and collection of the latest Garfield comics. It really wasn’t until the high school era, however, that an affinity for specific authors emerged; in particular, Stephen King. The influence of Mr. King, in fact, is what had me daydreaming of becoming a bestselling author someday. It’s also what kick-started my college career as an English major. While that particular road in life hasn’t come to fruition (yet), my fondness for the written word and SK remains unmatched.

Over the course of many years (again, no jokes about being old), I’ve done an adequate job in covering the ground of his extensive literary works; perhaps in the ballpark of 20 novels read. Nominating a favorite, without a doubt would be The Stand. When it comes to tales of Good vs. Evil, few writers can hold a candle. Trying to rank his other stories, that’s where it becomes increasingly difficult, and this isn’t the blog for attempting such a task. This week’s entry is to tout King’s latest release (co-authored with Richard Chizmar), Gwendy’s Button Box.

Gwendy Peterson is a 12-year-old girl growing up in the town of Castle Rock (that idyllic town which will ring a familiar bell for loyal readers). A life of relative normalcy is about to change, which is the crux of this narrative, when mysterious Mr. Farris appears (and disappears) from her life. Though Gwendy is familiar with the well-intentioned parental lecture about speaking with, much less accepting gifts from strangers, Farris and his shadowy persona yield a magnetic draw. A simple box is presented to her, an irony in that rarely is anything ‘simple’ in King’s world. A container that possesses little in the way of explanation, slightly more in terms of instruction, and a great magnitude when it comes to consequences. Gwendy’s bestowed upon task: protect the box and make good choices.

Gwendy’s Button Box is a quick-paced and enthralling read. At a mere 164 pages, I had half the book completed in a single afternoon. Notoriously a slow reader (pausing regularly for thought and consideration), this is one instance where I ravenously moved through the (brief) chapters. While it won’t require you to have all the lights on, or hide under covers, it fits King’s regular mantra of characters facing something much bigger than themselves. In previous incarnations, the monster is recognizable (think It or Pet Sematary). In others, lines become blurred when some of that darkness is what resides within (The Shining). The themes in Gwendy highlight familiar lessons that’re easily relatable. From the trials and tribulations of teenage years, falling in love, making and losing friends. Of course, there’s a twist to be had. There’s always a twist.

Rating: 4.7 out of 5


This review is brought to you courtesy of YA Librarian, Chris.