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

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Getting to Know...Fayth

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Fayth Wagner! An 11-year-old 6th grader, Fayth completed her first hour of service today!

Favorite Book Genres: Fantasy (Wings of Fire, Harry Potter)

Someone That I Look Up To: Mrs. Jesswein

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

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: Homework

My Happy Place: Small Spaces

My Spirit Animal: Dragon

Favorite Movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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

Possible Career Path: Biologist

Monday, November 25, 2019

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

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

Crying Laughing by Lance Rubin

Winnie Friedman has been waiting for the world to catch on to what she already knows: she's hilarious. It might be a long wait, though. After bombing a stand-up set at her own bat mitzvah, Winnie has kept her jokes to herself. Well, to herself and her dad, a former comedian and her inspiration. Then, on the second day of tenth grade, the funniest guy in school actually laughs at a comment she makes in the lunch line and asks her to join the improv troupe. Maybe he's even...flirting?

"A touching look into one girl's high school experience as she seeks the funny moments even in the midst of tragedy. Charming and affecting." -- Kirkus Reviews

I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson

Sixteen-year-old Jemma, who has severe cerebral palsy, must grapple with dark truths that only she knows, and is unable to communicate.

"Joelson writes a compelling, emotional story with a mystery tied in...Hand to fans of character-driven thrillers." -- Booklist

Hero by Michael Grant

When an alien-virus infested rock hits New York, giving rise to a powerful rockborn sociopath, the Rockborn gang members race to prevent him from spreading deadly disease while uncovering truths about the Rock Watchers and the Fourth Dimension.

"New characters and old favorites abound in this follow-up. The cast is fairly diverse, covering a wide variety of skin colors, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Longtime fans will surely be excited by the novel's final moments. A bombastic, engaging start to a sequel series full of potential." -- Kirkus Reviews

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Sent by a banished Merlin to protect King Arthur, a sixteen-year-old impersonating the deceased Guinevere struggles to fit in at Camelot where the magic she practices is banished.

"With immersive prose, White captures the spirit of Arthurian legend while adding diversity and a bit of powerful feminist flair in this appealing series opener...Leaves much to be explored in future installments." -- Publishers Weekly

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality. Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it. Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer...and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed.

"We have not yet finished loving these characters and exploring their world." The Bulletin, Starred Review

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

In the finale of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, dictator, prophets, and tensions rise. In a world that's conquered death, will humanity finally be torn asunder by the immortal beings it created?

"Shusterman weaves together story lines of old and new characters to create an explosive series end...Fans of the first two books will be (and have been) clamoring for this finale. Get it to them as soon as possible." -- School Library Journal, Starred Review

Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters by Emily Roberson

In a reality TV retelling of the myth of the Minotaur, seventeen-year-old Ariadne fights to save her brother, Asterion, and make her own destiny in a world of celebrity, surveillance, and feigned authenticity.

"Roberson expertly modernizes Greek mythology with a very Kardashian twist." -- Publishers Weekly

Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia

Zora Novak is framed for a crime she didn't commit--in a town obsessed with ghosts, will she be able to find the culprit and clear her name before it's too late?

"Doesn't skimp on supernatural spookiness, slapstick, or teenage snark...A darkly humorous, rapid-fire read in which the living are sometimes scarier than the dead." -- Kirkus Reviews

Conceal, Don't Feel: A Twisted Tale by Jen Calonita

What if Anna and Elsa never knew each other? As the future Queen of Arendelle, Princess Elsa's life is full of expectations and responsibilities--not to mention, questions. What type of ruler will she be? When will she have to pick a suitor? And why has she always harbored the feeling that some critical piece of herself is missing?

"Dive back into the world of Frozen with stories that twist and turn and go far to explore Arendelle and beyond in new ways." -- Disney Press

Rebel by Marie Lu

In this fourth installment of the Legend series, Lu revisits Daniel "Day" Altan Wing; his brilliant younger brother, Eden Bataar Wing; and Day's love interest, June Iparis.

"This tale of intrigue, alliances, and love will draw Legend fans and new readers into a fascinating world whose combined layers of privilege and surveillance draws comparisons to many present-day social ills." -- Publishers Weekly

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

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

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Tierney James, sixteen, struggles to endure the year in which she and other young women are banished to the wild until, purified, the survivors are allowed to return home and marry.

"Liggett's immersive storytelling effortlessly weaves horror elements with a harrowing and surprising survival story." -- Kirkus, starred review

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

In 19th century New Orleans, Celine, a dressmaker from Paris, becomes embroiled in a murder mystery that's connected to a glamorous supernatural cohort.

"The Beautiful, which kicks off a new series, returns the vampire novel to popular form, evoking the style of Anne Rice and breathing fresh life into the genre." -- Entertainment Weekly

Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart

One year after the fire that claimed her parents' and cousin's lives and left her severely disfigured, sixteen-year-old Ava faces the return to high school.

"A tender, frank coming-of-age story about the pain and power of survival." -- Kirkus Reviews

The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

Twenty-year-old college undergraduate Lyra is once again thrown together with Malcom Polstead, now a professor, after Lyra and her daemon, Pantalaimon, receive secrets from a dying man about a daemon-haunted city and the origins of Dust.

"The Secret Commonwealth reasserts Pullman's affection for the wondrous and those pieces of reality which can be seen only by those willing to see." -- Newsweek

The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future by Veronica Roth

A collection of six short stories imagines future lands with new technologies and beings, where in spite of advanced capabilities, people still must confront deeply human problems.

"In these stories, Roth invokes romance, action, family, revenge, and loss. They serve as an introduction to Roth's work and a showcase of her versatility, though existing fans will get the most out of these offerings." -- Publishers Weekly

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler

Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave. That is, until Red Paladins slaughter her entire village, and Nimue's fate is forever altered.

Soon to be a Netflix original series.

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

When Frankie's mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago, it was supposed to be only temporary -- just long enough for him to get back on his feet and be able to provide for them once again. That's why she is not prepared for the day when he arrives for his weekend visit with a new woman on his arm and out-of-state train tickets in his pocket.

National Book Award 2019 Finalist!

The Tyrant's Tomb by Rick Riordan

A devastated but determined Apollo travels to Camp Jupiter, where he must learn what it is to be a hero, or die trying.

The Trials of Apollo, Book Four

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Hunger Games

On October 4th, fans of Suzanne Collins bestselling Hunger Games trilogy were given an epic treat.

With the latest installment in the series set for release on May 19, 2020, the long-awaited title and cover were unveiled!

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will greet the public to the tune of 2.5 million copies. Furthermore, the title will be published simultaneously in print, digital, and audio formats.

The prequel takes place in the fictional country of Panem, 64 years prior to the events of the Hunger Games. When announcing the book, publishing house Scholastic noted Collins' desire "to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival."

The cover of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes spotlights a green target with what appears to be a gleaming gold mockingjay pin in the center; a pin differing from the one Katniss wears in the original books. As further described in Publishers Weekly, "this new-to-readers rendition of the pin features an upright mockingjay encircled by a thorny branch and a tongue-flicking snake slithering at its feet."

Spring can't get here soon enough!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Young Adults Recommend

Dorcas Plank recommends...

Shattered (Alaskan Courage) - Volume 2 by Dani Pettrey

Piper McKenna's brother returns home after years of being gone, then gets arrested for murder almost right away. Piper is determined to prove his innocence and won't stop for anything. The biggest problem is that the police officer working on the case is good friends with her family and she has started falling for him.

I like how this book keeps you in suspense. There's always something interesting happening.

Brylee Murphy recommends...

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

In this book, a boy named Christopher is caught in a mystery when discovering his neighbor's dog has been killed. Even though his father wants him to have nothing to do with it, Christopher can't help but do some detective work to solve the murder. However, along the way he discovers some truths that rock his world and lead him to travel by train to an unfamiliar place.

I thought this was a very good book that was written in a visual, yet intriguing, way.

Yahaira Valderrama recommends...

Evan Almighty

Evan Baxter is all under control. He just moved to Prestige Crest, VA with his family. His new job as a congressman makes him remember his promise to change the world. So he prays one night, asking God to help him. God must have heard his prayer because a shipping of wood and tools end up at his doorstep. Plus, animals in pairs of two start following him. A man claiming he is God asks him to build an ark. Evan is shocked. Soon the man is doing miraculous things and then Evan knows he is God! But will he build the ark? You will be swept away by this heartwarming film!

I thought that the movie was touching because you could tell how much the Baxter family cares for each other. The setting is a suburban neighborhood with ginormous houses! Evan Baxter was a news reporter before he moved and became a congressman. When Evan starts building the ark, his wife thinks he is crazy and questions why he believes. The movie made me feel happy because there were jokes and funny scenes. One quote I enjoyed is, "One random act of kindness at a time." There are lots more, though!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

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

Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick

Ash has lived in eight states in as many years. Mom has gone walkabout, but stepdad Jack is like a father, and stepbrother Bly the best anyone could wish for. When Bly goes missing, too, Ash sets off to search for him and finds something much bigger: the sickness of the world.

"An ominous, relevant, and uniquely compelling read." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Torn between his love for his white girlfriend and his sense of duty to the matchmaking parents who made hard sacrifices to move to the United States, a Korean American teen looks for solutions along with a friend who has a similar problem.

New York Times Bestseller
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Summer/Fall 2019 Indies Introduce Title

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

Nineteen-year-old Pablo Neruda Rind is working in an upscale health food store in New York City when pop star Leanna Smart rushes in and turns his life upside-down.

"Choi has penned a smart and funny read that is as much about finding your path as it is about falling in love." -- Booklist, starred review

American Royals by Katharine McGee

In an alternate America, princesses Beatrice and Samantha Washington and the two girls wooing their brother, Prince Jeffrey, become embroiled in high drama in the most glorious court in the world.

"For readers looking for intrigue - and for those who like their royal fever with a twist - this is a quick and delicious read." -- Booklist 

Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

After the banishment of his only friend, the sorceress Amora, to Earth, a young Loki travels to nineteenth-century London to investigate a string of murders but finds much more than he expects.

"This deft, nuanced examination of identity, destiny, and agency is a surprisingly tender addition to the Marvel canon." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review 

Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez

Branwen has a secret mighty enough to destroy two kingdoms. Her ancient magic led to a terrible betrayal by both her best friend, the princess Essy, and her first love, Tristan. Now this same magic is changing Branwen.

"The female characters are vivid, powerful, and passionate...a thrilling roller coaster." -- Kirkus Reviews

Song of the Abyss by Makiia Lucier

As the granddaughter of a famed navigator, seventeen-year-old Reyna has always lived life on her own terms, despite those who say a girl could never be an explorer for the royal house of St. John del Mar. She is determined to prove them wrong, and as she returns home after a year-long expedition, she knows her dream is within reach.

Teen Magazine Best YA Books of 2019
Barnes & Noble Teen Best YA Books of August 10 Most Anticipated YA Sequels
Book Riot 10 New Enemies-to-Lovers YA Books You Need to Read

Mind Games by Shana Silver

Arden sells memories. Whether it's becoming homecoming queen or studying for that all important test, Arden can hack into a classmate's memories and upload the experience for you just as you'd lived it yourself. Business is great, right up until the day Arden whites out, losing fifteen minutes of her life and all her memories of the boy across the school yard.

"An edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep readers guessing. The complex plot, the occasional twists, and the quick pacing make this a difficult read to put down." -- School Library Journal

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Getting to Know...RJ

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Richard Steven Hamby Jr.! A 16-year-old 10th grader, RJ has accumulated 5 hours to date.

Favorite Book Series: Science Fiction

Someone I Look Up To: My mom

Favorite TV Show: Bunk'd

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

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: Bullying

My Happy Place: Magical Unicorn Place

My Spirit Animal: Squirrel

Possible Career Path: Welder

Favorite Quote: "Don't let people take your passion, show them you are strong." -- RJ Hamby

Monday, September 23, 2019

Keep the Light On

Banned Books Week (September 22-28) is a yearly event celebrating the freedom to read. It shines a spotlight on current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. The entire book community - librarians, publishers, journalists, teachers, booksellers, readers - is brought together in shared support of the right to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Top 10 Frequently Challenged Books of 2018 (source: American Library Association) -

1. George by Alex Gino

Reasons: Believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, for mentioning "dirty magazines," describing male anatomy, "creating confusion," and including a transgender character.

2. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, political and religious viewpoints.

3. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey

Reason: Perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior.

4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Reasons: Deemed "anti-cop," and for profanity, drug use, sexual references.

5. Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ characters and themes.

6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Reason: Addresses teen suicide.

7. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

Reasons: Profanity, sexual references, certain illustrations.

8. Skippyjon Jones (series) by Judy Schachner

Reasons: Depicting stereotypes of Mexican culture.

9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: Sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, underage drinking, and religious viewpoint.

10. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman

Reason: LGBTQIA+ content.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Getting to Know...Kaylee

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Kaylee Ann Richardson! A 17-year-old 12th grader, Kaylee has accumulated 5.5 hours to date.

Favorite Book Series: Junie B. Jones

Someone I Look Up To: My mom

Favorite TV Show: Two and a Half Men

Person I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island: Shawn Mendes

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: School

Happy Place: My room

Spirit Animal: Goat

Something Interesting About Myself: I like to draw

Possible Career Path: Veterinarian

Favorite Quote: "It's everyday bro!" -- Jake Paul

Friday, September 6, 2019

Rock the Vote

Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country.

Nominations are posted on the Thursday of National Library Week. Readers age 12 to 18 will vote online between August 15th and October 15th on the Teens' Top Ten site.

The winners will be announced the week after.

Make your vote count!

How many 2018 Teens' Top Ten have you read? Answers welcome in the comments section.

1. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
2. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
3. Warcross by Marie Lu
4. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
5. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
6. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
7. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez
8. Paper Hearts by Ali Novak
9. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
10. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

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

How We Became Wicked by Alex Yates 

When an insect-borne plague begins to envelop the world, three sixteen-year-olds struggle to survive amongst the healthy "trues" and the infected "wickeds" in this gripping dystopian tale. 

"This vividly imagined and haunting landscape is not unlike the post-apocalypse world of The Walking Dead. Promptly hand this one to lovers of smart, tense fiction." -- Booklist, starred review

The Arrival of Someday by Jen Malone

After the liver disease she was born with flares up unexpectedly, roller derby star Amelia must come to terms with the brevity of life while hoping for an organ transplant. 

"Malone frankly traces the changes in [her character's] physical and psychological states in this meticulously researched, grimly realistic portrait of a teen living with terminal illness. Convincing, empathetic...touches of humor and hope." -- Publishers Weekly

Soul of Stars by Ashley Poston

Once Ana was an orphaned space outlaw. Then she was the Empress of the Iron Kingdom. Now, thought dead by most of the galaxy after she escaped from the dark AI program called the HIVE, Ana is desperate for a way to save Di from the HIVE's evil clutches and take back her kingdom. 

"A great choice for fans of Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen trilogy and for young readers looking for a hint of Game of Thrones." -- School Library Journal

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job. 

"With strong storytelling, characterization, and a pleasing romance, this will have broad appeal." -- Kirkus

The Traitor's Kingdom by Erin Beaty

Once a spy and counselor to the throne, Sage Fowler has secured victory for her kingdom at a terrible cost. Now an ambassador representing Demora, Sage is about to face her greatest challenge to avoid a war with a rival kingdom.

"Like a PG-13 Game of Thrones...a satisfying and suspenseful end to a solid political fantasy series." -- Kirkus Reviews

Thursday, August 15, 2019

At The Movies

with Brianna Justice!

Movie: Midnight Sun
Starring: Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger

Plot Summary

So Katie was diagnosed with a very rare disease. She wasn't able to go into the daylight without dying. She could only go out during the night. She only had one friend because everyone else called her things, like vampire. There was a guy named Charlie that passed her house on a skateboard every single day. He never knew who Katie was. But when she was out one night playing her guitar, Charlie happened to be there. She was shy and didn't know what to say. But Katie's friend found out a way to have them meet again since Katie blew the first time. She would always tell Charlie, "I'm busy during the day but I'm free at night." She never told him about her disease. She wanted to feel normal for once. Some tragic stuff happened then. They were hanging out all night and she got home a little too late. He didn't think it was a big deal because he didn't know about her disease. But he found out the hard way.


This movie was a love story. In this story, you don't know what's coming next. There are some sad parts, but overall this movie was very enjoyable and I'm glad i chose to watch it. It is unforgettable. The movie is not a true story, however it is a real disease that some people in the world suffer from. I think if you are into romance movies that can possibly make you cry, you should watch this one.

Quality of Story: 5
Pace: 5
Plot Development: 5
Characters: 5
Enjoyability: 5

Rating Total: 5 stars

Movie: Five Feet Apart
Starring: Cole Sprouse, Haley Lu Richardson

Plot Summary

There were three people in the hospital who had the disease Cystic Fibrosis: Stella, Will, and Poe. Poe was Stella's best friend. Will was someone who kept to himself. He didn't take his medicine for his disease until he met Stella. They hung out every day. They annoyed each other so much and things got risky. Stella and Will wanted to be able to do things that normal couples could do, but touching each other could risk death. So they invented the pool stick idea. They kept a pool stick between them that was five feet. Touching the end of the pool stick meant that they were holding hands. They didn't care who tried keeping them apart. In the end, all Will wanted for Stella was for her to stay safe.


There were teenagers who had to give up their life and live in a hospital for long periods of time. This disease got in the way of a lot of activities. Five Feet Apart is a love story. Two people who had CF wanted to be with each other. They were both very brave. I love how they both cared for one another but also cared a lot for their disease. Their love story was unforgettable. This movie was very good and I recommend watching it. You won't regret it!

Quality of Story: 5
Pace: 5
Plot Development: 5
Characters: 5
Enjoyability: 5

Rating Total: 5 stars

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

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

Your Brain Needs a Hug by Rae Earl

Rae Earl offers her personalized advice on the A to Zs of mental health, social media, family and friendship. 

"A validating, hopeful, and practical guide to mental health...heartfelt and honest...teens struggling with mental illness will find comfort and valuable information in this superlative guide." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed. Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last -- the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge -- and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. 

"Equal parts gothic fairy tale and romance...compulsively readable." -- School Library Journal

Vow of Thieves by Mary Pearson

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them -- the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor's Watch will be a kingdom, and Kazi and Jase will meet all challenges side by side, together at last. 

"This breathtaking sequel to Dance of Thieves delivers." -- Booklist, starred review

Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

Jeremy Heere is your average high school dork. Day after day, he stares at beautiful Christine, the girl he can never have, and dryly notes the small humiliations that come his way. Until the day he learns about the "squip." A pill-sized supercomputer that you swallow, the squip is guaranteed to bring you whatever you most desire in life. 

2004 Today Show Book Club Pick
2004 Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books for Teens
2005 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers
2005 New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Friends Hetty, Byatt, and Reece go to extremes trying to uncover the dark truth about the mysterious disease that has had them quarantined at their boarding school on a Maine island.

"Power's evocative, haunting, and occasionally gruesome debut will challenge readers to ignore its bewitching presence." -- Booklist, Starred Review

Maybe This Time by Kasie West

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to...fall in love? 

"A tender story about friendship and love." -- Kirkus Reviews 

We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fiedler 

Seventeen-year-old Victoria escapes an abusive father by joining the VanDrexel Family Circus in 1965, and fifty years later her writings guide her granddaughter, sixteen-year-old Callie, in facing the uncharted waters of public high school.

"A compelling story of identity and family that resonates most powerfully in its historical voice." -- Kirkus Reviews

Queen of Ruin by Tracy E. Banghart

Nomi Tessaro joins her sister, Serena, on the volcanic prison island of Mount Ruin for a fight to usher in a new age of freedom for all.

"The nonstop action of the second installment makes this novel very hard to put down. Each hard-won battle seems destined to fail." -- VOYA 

Return to Zero by Pittacus Lore

When the United Nations takes drastic measures against the Human Garde to keep them in check, the students at the Academy must go on the offensive while those who have defected face off against a new and equally dangerous threat.

The final book in the epic New York Times bestselling Lorien Legacies Reborn series 

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Once-popular Rob and overachiever Maegan, both dealing with serious family issues, quickly form a bond that is threatened when Rob confides plans to repair damage his father caused. 

"A heartfelt read." -- Booklist

Monday, August 5, 2019

Getting to Know...Abby

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Abby Byer! A 12-year-old 7th grader, Abby has accumulated 8.5 hours to date.

Favorite Book Genres: Comedy and Mysteries

Someone I Look Up To: Mom

Favorite TV Shows: Stuck in the Middle, Dog with a Blog

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

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: Electronics

Person I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island: Paisley Welborn

My Happy Place: Back porch at home

My Spirit Animal: Fox

Something Interesting About Myself: I play the French Horn

Future Plans: Go to Notre Dame, become a doctor

Favorite Quote: "Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, July 8, 2019

Getting to Know...Brylee

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Brylee Murphy! A 16-year-old 12th grader, Brylee has accumulated 11.25 hours to date.

Favorite Book Genres: Realistic fiction and non-fiction Christianity books

Someone I Look Up To: My mom and Mrs. Hudkins

Favorite TV Shows: Friends, Gilmore Girls, The Fosters

A Topic That I Can Talk About For An Hour: Why women should be allowed to preach

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: Roller coasters - they're horrible

Person I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island: My friend Hannah or Hailey

My Happy Place: Mrs. Hudkins' classroom, reading on my porch

My Spirit Animal: A squirrel, definitely

Something Interesting About Myself: I've been in my school's color guard and winter guard since 5th grade

Future Plans, Possible Career Paths: College somewhere, elementary teacher

Favorite Quote: "I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun. Not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else." - C.S. Lewis