Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

Taking a look at some of the most recent additions gracing the shelves of our YA department.

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

In a world where some people are born with powers and some people take them, Emil and Brighton Rey get swept up in a supernatural turf war generations in the making.

"With its raw, complex characters, Silvera's latest packs his signature high-stakes emotionalism alongside a politically charged premise. A bright spark of a promising series." -- Kirkus Reviews

The Lost Planet by Rachel Searles

Waking up on a distant planet, Chase Garrety is horrified to learn that he has no memory of his life and finds himself under the protection of a mysterious benefactor. Assigned a mission, will Chase be able to complete the task before time runs out?

"This fun, adrenaline-filled story is perfect for younger teen sci-fi fans." -- Booklist

The Stolen Moon by Rachel Searles

In this sequel to The Lost Planet, Chase has been reunited with his younger sister, Lilli. He still doesn't remember his past, but Lilli does. She remembers their parents and life before their planet was destroyed.

"Searles' action and intrigue-packed sci-fi thriller is peopled with characters who are sometimes confused, sometimes heroic, and sometimes brats. That is to say, always genuine. Star Trek for young fans of the genre, who'll be thrilled at the prospect of a sequel." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

As her senior capstone project, Pippa Fitz-Amobi is determined to find the real killer in a closed murder case. However, not everyone wants her meddling in the past.

"Fans of true crime will be hooked by the hunt for a killer, but there's more to this Guide than just a whodunit. It's a story of families, community and the ways a crisis can turn them against one another in the blink of an eye." -- BookPage

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli

Jamie Goldberg, who chokes when speaking to strangers, and Maya Rehrman, who is having the worst Ramadan ever, are paired to knock on doors and ask for votes for the local senate candidate.

"Buoyed by humor, enriched by a colorful supporting cast, and strung through with a charming (and charmingly awkward) romantic subplot, Jamie and Maya's story, their miscommunications, and their true connection will win hearts and inspire action." -- Booklist, starred review

The Blood Countess by Lana Popovic

In 1578 Hungary, sixteen-year-old Anna is elevated from scullery maid to chambermaid by the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Falling under the Countess's spell, Anna soon realizes that she is not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel and murderous Elizabeth.

"Hand to fans of dark historical fiction and powerful female characters." -- School Library Journal

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Pepper just wants to get through her senior year of high school, but her mother insists she put her powers of GIFing to use for their family burger chain's Twitter account. Jack knows he could do more for his family's diner on social media, if only his dad would let him. But when the two get locked into a genuine Twitter war over their respective restaurants' grilled-cheese recipes, things get complicated.

"A precursor to the way teen love stories will be told for years to come." -- Booklist

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

After another death, Stevie must simultaneously navigate mysterious riddles, a massive storm, and track down a missing David.

"This will be essential reading for the many fans of the first two books. The trilogy ender is fun, satisfying, and a genuine treat for teens and adult mystery fans." -- School Library Journal

Layoverland by Gabby Noone

When seventeen-year-old Beatrice arrives in Purgatory and is chosen to help others reach Heaven, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Caleb, with whom she shares a tragic history.

"Bea is a terrific antihero, as if the naysaying comic relief in a teen movie got the spotlight instead of the pretty ingenue." -- Kirkus Reviews

The Conference of the Birds by Ransom Riggs

With his dying words, H -- Jacob's final connection to his grandfather Abes's secret life -- entrusts Jacob with a mission: Deliver newly contacted peculiar Noor Pradesh to an operative known as V.

"Character relationships are interestingly developed, lost friends are found, boundaries tested, and more surprising history is revealed. Riggs, as always, adeptly integrates vintage photos to further cultivate the eerie atmosphere of the narrative." -- Booklist

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Book Review: Escaping Peril (Wings of Fire, Book 8)

Plot Summary

Poor Peril, everything she touches she burns. Peril is a firescale dragon that used to be under control by Queen Scarlet (who is supposed to be evil, but dead...right?). The new queen doesn't like Peril, but with her beloved Clay in danger, she sets off on a quest. She is joined in the quest by an odd seawing named Turtle. Before setting off they find that Scarlet has an animus dragon on her side. Peril must choose wisely. One of those choices is where her loyalties lie.


I personally love Peril. She says some really funny things and her story is sort of sad. She tries to help friends, but accidentally lets loose the big-time villain, Darkstalker. I think it was sort of surprising that Turtle was an animus dragon, but then again his sister was, too. When Peril first meets her father it's really funny because his name is Soar. She thinks it's the "sore" you get on your finger and that part is silly. I think Ruby turning out to be Tourmaline was surprising. Though was kind of scared that she would be as bad as Scarlet. Overall, I think the book was really good.


4.8 out of 5

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Reluctant YA Readers

The 2020 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list has been announced!

"For the 2020 list, team bloggers read a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction titles, in multiple formats, to establish a diverse list that reflects student interest," said coordinator Lorrie Roussin.

64 titles were selected from the 133 official nominations. The list identifies titles aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read.

Here are the Top 10:

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

Sophie's looking forward to Christmas alone. While her parents stay with her very pregnant sister, she will cuddle up to longtime boyfriend Griffin. But then she overhears Griffin telling a friend that he's tired of her. A devastated Sophie heads to her grandmother's house, where the family she grew up around is waiting with a plan: 10 family members will send her on blind dates.

Belly Up by Eva Darrows

Seventeen-year-old Serendipity hooks up with a cute stranger at a party, partially to spite her cheating ex-boyfriend, and becomes pregnant. When she decides to keep the baby, her plans to attend an Ivy League college turn to ash, but fortunately she has a strong support group of family and friends.

The Haunted by Danielle Vega

Clean slate. That's what Hendricks Becker-O'Malley's parents said when they moved their family to the tiny town of Drearfield, New York. Hendricks wants to lay low and forget her dark, traumatic past. But things don't go as planned. Hendricks learns from new friends at school that Steele House, the fixer upper her parents are so excited about, is notorious in town. Local legend says it's haunted.

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

All it takes is one prescription to kick-start a student athlete's frightening descent into opioid addiction.

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable

Amanda's seemingly perfect life is turned upside down when she realizes she has a crush on her best friend, Cat, and uncovers a secret held by her father that could tear the family apart.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. Every autumn, all through high school, they've worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole world. They say goodbye every Halloween, and they're reunited every September 1st. But this Halloween is different. Josiah and Deja are finally senior, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last goodbye. Josiah's ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn't ready to let him.

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

While true-crime aficionado Ellery and her twin brother are staying with their grandmother in a Vermont community known for murder, a new friend goes missing and Ellery may be next.

The Unfortunates by Kim Liggett

After getting away with murder, Grant Tavish plans his own form of justice. However, before he can act upon it a cave system collapse traps him and four other teenagers below the surface, where they soon discover that they aren't alone.

UNpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan

Seventeen-year-old Veronica Clarke never thought she'd want to fail a test. That is, until she finds herself staring at a piece of plastic with two solid pink lines, bringing a college-bound future in to question.

We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories From Refugee Girls Around the World by Malala

Yousafzai recounts her own refugee journey, as well as those of girls and women from political hot spots and war-torn countries. All refugees seeking a safe place to call home. Separated from family members and threatened by attack, they forge on in their struggle to survive.

Friday, January 10, 2020

2020 Great Graphic Novels

The official titles of YALSA's (Young Adult Library Services Association) 2020 Great Graphic Novels for Teens has been announced. The list consists of 103 titles and is recommended for those ages 12 to 18. Selections are nominated based on appeal and quality of literature.

Here are the Top Ten:

Cosmoknights: Book One by Hannah Templer

Pan's life used to be very small. Work in her dad's body shop, sneak out with her friend Tara to go dancing, and watch the skies for freighter ships. It didn't even matter that Tara was a princess. Until one day it very much did matter, and Pan had to say goodbye forever. Years later, when a charismatic pair of off-world gladiators show up on her doorstep, she finds that life may not be as small as she thought. On the run and off the galactic grid, Pan discovers the astonishing secrets of her neo-medieval world...and the intoxicating possibility of burning it all down.

Bloom by Kevin Panetta

Baked with love! Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band -- if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom. That is, if Ari doesn't ruin everything.

I Was Their American Dream: a Graphic Memoir by Malaka Gharib

The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigated her childhood chasing her parents' ideals, learning to code-switch between her family's Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid.

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen A. F. Venable

Amanda's seemingly perfect life is turned upside down when she realizes she has a crush on her best friend, Cat, and uncovers a secret held by her father that could tear her family apart.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki

Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend. Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy's best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it's really Laura Dean that's the problem.

The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Narrative of a Slave's Journey from Bondage to Freedom by David F. Walker

Takes you from Douglass's life as a young slave, through his forbidden education, to his escape and growing prominence as an influential cultural figure. The Life of Frederick Douglass presents a complete illustrated portrait of the man who stood up and spoke out for freedom and equality.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. Every autumn, all through high school, they've worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole world. They say goodbye every Halloween, and they're reunited every September 1st. But this Halloween is different. Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last goodbye. Josiah's ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn't read to let him.

Simon & Louise by Max de Radigues

It all begins with a relationship update on social media. Summer vacation is about to begin, and Simon discovers the change just as his supposed girlfriend leaves to spend two months in a seaside village. Determined to find out what went wrong, Simon decides to hitchhike 350 miles to find her. With just his backpack and a few snacks, he sneaks out of the house and hits the road -- but he quickly discovers that he isn't quite prepared for the journey.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei and Justin Eisinger

A stunning memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II.

Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama

In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with a gift for magic. Resigned to her un-magical life, Coco is about to give up on her dream to become a witch...until the day she meets Qifrey, a mysterious, traveling magician.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Getting to Know...Marcos

Introducing another valuable member of our YA volunteer team, Marcos Meija! A 16-year-old 11th grader, Marcos has accumulated 6.25 hours to date.

Favorite Movie: The Fast and the Furious

A Topic That I Can Talk About For An Hour: Animals

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: Homework

Favorite Sport: Soccer

Favorite Candy: Hershey's Chocolate

Person I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island: My cousin

Someone I Look Up To: Mr. Chris

My Happy Place: Home

My Spirit Animal: Zebra

Something Interesting About Myself: I like spending time on my phone. Texting, calling friends, playing Temple Run

Future Career Path: Farmer

Friday, December 27, 2019

Morris Award Finalists

Looking for selections whose criteria meets, and exceeds, standards set by an esteemed panel of judges?

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award honors a book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating new voices in YA literature. The winner is announced annually (January 27, 2020 is the next presentation) at the ALA Youth Media Awards, with a shortlist of up to five titles named the first week of December.

The award's namesake is William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for young people.

2020 Finalists

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

A tempestuous royal family, opposing clans of powerful djinn, a bustling city at the heart of the Silk Road, and the orphaned delivery girl whose magical inheritance might be enough to save them all. Fatima could not have imagined that witnessing the death of her mentor could awaken a powerful magic within her, giving her the ability to help djinn move between the human realm and their own. The Ifrit who protect her city need her help, but they are not the only djinn with an eye on her powers. When the kingdom faces both human and supernatural threats, Fatima and the women around her must harness their power, magical and otherwise, to save it.

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Moving to a new town and attending a new school sucks. At least that's what Norris Kaplan, a Black French Canadian teenager, believes when he moves to Austin, Texas. All of his knowledge about U.S. high school life comes from movies and television. He assumes that the students he meets in real life are just as one-dimensional. Norris, who can be a bit snarky, decides to write about his interactions with jocks, cheerleaders, loners, and Manic Pixie Dream Girls in a pocket journal for amusement. However, as he gets to know the people behind the labels better, Norris begins to realize that he shouldn't judge a book by its cover - or its characters, for that matter.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

What would you do if you knew your parents would disown you for dating someone of a different race? Frank Li, the son of Korean immigrants, knows what could happen when he starts dating Brit Means, a white girl. After all, his parents already cut his sister out of their lives. Frank's solution? Pretend to date the acceptably Korean Joy Song, who has a forbidden boyfriend of her own. It's the perfect plan, as long as his parents and Brit don't find out. He didn't expect to actually fall for Joy. He really didn't expect the bad news for his family or the realization he might not understand as much about his parents, identity, or love as he thought he did.

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

When one person says you aren't beautiful because of the color of your skin, perhaps it's easy to brush off. When an entire group of people, including your family, says this it isn't something you can easily ignore. Genesis is the thirteen-year-old daughter of a light-skinned mother and dark-skinned father and, much to his disappointment, her skin is the same color as his. He is a gambling addict and alcoholic, and has repeatedly made sure Genesis knows of his unhappiness. Frequently locked out of their rental units for his inability to hold down a job, Genesis' mother struggles to provide her with a normalcy that doesn't exist. Genesis simply wrestles to find her place and voice in a world that too often reminds her that she is not enough, until she meets a music teacher and new friends that encourage her to speak her truth.

There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

The Age of Darkness is upon us, so says a secret prophecy foretold generations ago by the Seven Prophets. In a land where there's a rising movement to persecute those who are Graced and have enhanced abilities, five lives intersect:

  • Hassan, an exiled prince who wants to take back his kingdom from the Hierophant, the leader of the anti-Grace movement. 
  • Ephyra, a serial killer known as the Pale Hand because she uses her healing Grace in reverse. 
  • Beru, Ephyra's terminally ill sister who is ready to die. 
  • Anton, a gambler who is on the run from his past. 
  • Jude, the paladin leader who is torn between upholding his duties to find the Last Prophet who can save the world (or destroy it) and his feelings for his best friend Hector, another paladin.
Will these five prevent the prophecy from happening or become the catalysts for its beginning?

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

Taking a look at some of the most recent additions gracing the shelves of our YA department.

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

In the summer of 1727, Quill and his friends are put ashore on a remote sea stac to harvest birds for food, and only the end of the world can explain why no boat returns to collect them.

Winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal.

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she's a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing. The rumors of his cowardice are true -- he deserted his flight during battle against the Krell. Worse, though, he turned against his team and attacked them. But Spensa also discovered a few things about herself -- and she'll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.

Sequel to the New York Times bestseller Skyward.

Catfishing on Catnet by Naomi Kritzer

Because her mother is always on the move, sixteen-year-old Steph hasn't lived anywhere longer than six months. Her only constant is an online community called CatNet -- a social-media site where users upload cat pictures -- a site whose admin is CheshireCat, a sentient AI who loves cat pictures. When a threat from Steph's past catches up to her and ChesireCat's existence is discovered, it's up to Steph and her friends -- both online and IRL -- to save them.

A Kirkus Reviews 2019 Best of the Year Selection.

Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz

Isabel has one rule: no dating. It's easier, it's safer, it's better for the other person. She's got issues. She's got secrets. She's got rheumatoid arthritis. But then she meets another sick kid. It's never felt better to consider breaking that rule for him.

"A highly recommended work that's thoughtful, funny, wise, and tender." -- Kirkus Reviews

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Be careful of the dark, dark wood. Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even. Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it's this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman -- the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago.

Kirkus Reviews "Falls Biggest YA Books of 2019."

Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Barnes

While spending a summer at the family lake house, eighteen-year-old Sawyer finally learns the full truth about her complicated family.

Sequel to Little White Lies.

Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

Lei and Wren have escaped their oppressive lives in the Hidden Palace, but soon learn that freedom comes with a terrible cost. Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn't the end of the plan -- it's just the beginning.

Sequel to the New York Times bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire.

The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey

From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother's hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.

"Book lovers will find Namey's story especially compelling because, in Darcy, they'll find a kindred spirit." -- Booklist