Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

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

They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman

At an exclusive prep school on Long Island, Jill Newman looks forward to her senior year as a member of the school's most elite clique, the Players, until new evidence surfaces about the murder of her close friend Shaila.

"This debut murder mystery is filled with twists and turns that will keep its pages turning." -- Booklist

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From by Jennifer De Leon

Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school, but when family secrets come out and racism at school gets worse than ever, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand.

"Familiar territory for readers who straddle two cultures, for anyone who has had to be a newcomer, and, in this era, anyone who has ever worried about the impact of deportation on families. A timely addition to most collections." -- School Library Journal

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward's past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

An Amazon Best Book of August 2020

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Throughout the years both Rowan and Neil have been at competition with one another on everything from who has the best ideas for school functions to which one will be their graduating class's valedictorian. However, in the twenty-four hours left they have as high school students, the two learn they share something much deeper than a rivalry.

"This funny, tender, and romantic book is fresh and wholly satisfying." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin has returned from her journey to a kingdom on the brink of war; the boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor's bride-to-be to keep the peace.

"Elements of Chinese culture enrich the nail-biter plot, and the beautifully written prose delivers a satisfying conclusion to a standout duology." -- Booklist

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Soraya has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family. She is a princess, and her touch is poisonous. As the day of her twin brother's wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she is willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time.

A lovely entwining of Persian culture and myth with well-known fairy tales. One of the best books of the year, hands down." -- BuzzFeed

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

Working as a nanny in the Hamptons before starting college, Anna learns of her weird connection to a missing girl, but after she confesses to manslaughter a podcast producer helps reveal life-changing truths.

"Strong heroines and an intriguing flip of whodunnit tropes will keep readers engaged to the surprising resolution." -- School Library Journal

Geese Are Never Swans by Kobe Bryant and Eva Clark

Gus channels all his emotions, about his older brother and his death by suicide, into training to earn a spot on the Olympic swim team.

"This emotional novel contains lyrical prose that beautifully captures the energy of swimming." -- Kirkus Reviews

Little Creeping Things by Chelsea Ichaso

Tormented by her guilt and classmate's taunts since she accidentally set a lethal fire as a child, Cassidy is implicated in her worst bully's murder and must find the killer before someone else dies.

"Thrilling...Guaranteed to keep young readers guessing until the final pages...will satisfy the appetites of all manner of mystery fans." -- Booklist

What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

Lex was taken, trafficked, and now she's Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn't quite know how to be Lex again.

"This story of resilience and recovery is gritty and heavy but ultimately hopeful...A gut-punch story with an uplifting ending." -- Kirkus

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

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

A Peculiar Peril by Jeff VanderMeer

Jonathan Lamshead stands to inherit his deceased grandfather's overstuffed mansion -- a veritable cabinet of curiosities -- once he and two schoolmates catalog its contents. But the three soon discover that the house is filled with far more than just oddities. It holds clues linking to an alt-Earth called Aurora.

"VanderMeer's sprawling YA debut offers a riotous, slyly sophisticated take on the hero's journey. Boldly drawn characters, sublimely ridiculous worldbuilding, and a witty, prismatic narrative further distinguish the unique tale." -- Publishers Weekly

Hawk by James Patterson

Maximum Ride's seventeen-year-old daughter, Hawk, is living under the radar in post-apocalyptic New York City until a destiny that is perilously close to her mother's forces her to take flight.

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Girl, Unframed by Deb Caletti

While spending a summer with her famous mother and her criminal boyfriend, Sydney Reilly, age fifteen, finds love with Nicco. But her premonition of something bad coming proves dreadfully accurate.

"Syd's story outlines important, uncomfortable experiences many girls face without either flinching or offering a picture-perfect ending...A frank, engrossing examination of the ways society complicates young women's burgeoning sexuality." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

My Eyes Are Up Here by Laura Zimmerman

Greer Walsh doesn't want to hide in her oversized gray hoodie all of the time. She wants to wear the same type of clothes that her classmates do, and the clothes that her mother (a very enthusiastic relocation specialist) wants her to. But no one wants to talk about what Greer is concealing, not even most of her friends.

"Many girls will resonate with this story of trying to learn to love your body and be comfortable with the skin you're in. We are both so glad that this book exists and it brought about a lot of important, meaningful dialogue for us both. Highly recommended." -- SLJ's Teen Librarian Toolbox

The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae

In the magical kingdom of Orkena, a teenaged girl is chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown.

"Mae has crafted a fascinating world with a unique magic structure that is wholly believable because of the vibrant characters within it. With characters to love, to hate, and to love to hate, plus a plot full of adventure skillfully woven with suspense, this is a must-purchase for all YA collections." -- School Library Journal, starred review

Rage and Ruin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-angel Trinity and her bonded gargoyle protector, Zayne, have been working with demons to stop the apocalypse while falling in love. The Harbinger is coming...but who or what is it? All of humankind may fall if Trinity and Zayne can't win the race against time as dark forces gather.

Book two of the Harbinger trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

Again Again by E. Lockhart

Rising high school senior Adelaide Buchwald grapples with a family catastrophe and romantic upheaval while confronting secrets she keeps, her ideas about love, and the weird grandiosity of the human mind.

"Lockhart takes her penchant for plot twists to a new level, with a narrative that explores the idea of the multiverse...An iterative feast of ideas about art, possibility, and the creative process for readers hungry for big concepts. Others will simply luxuriate in the storytelling." -- Publishers Weekly

Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky

On a secret compound in the Washington wilderness, Honey Juniper and her sisters are training to hunt, homestead, and protect their own.

"A twisting, suspenseful YA thriller about sisterhood, survival, and family secrets set in the world of doomsday prepping." -- The Children's Book Council

Friday, June 26, 2020

Songbirds and Snakes

Set decades before the Hunger Games trilogy, "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" takes readers back to the 10th Hunger Games, featuring none other than Coriolanus Snow, who readers will recognize as the villainous president of Panem.

Author Suzanne Collins' decision to use the trilogy's villain as a potential "hero" in the prequel had some readers unsure about their excitement. A character already established as evil, Snow becoming the protagonist for the prequel makes this a villain origin story few would have been able to predict. Many readers took to social media to express their disappointment; nonetheless, it seems readers are just excited to delve back into the world Collins created, as many who reacted negatively to the premise still said they were planning to read it when it was released in May.

For the 10th Hunger Games, Snow was tapped to be a mentor to Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute selected from District 12 to fight in the battle-royale-style competition.

Back in June 2019, Lionsgate announced their interest in turning the prequel into a movie, an intent that was confirmed in April. It will be directed by Francis Lawrence, who has directed all of the Hunger Games movies.

More details have yet to be announced, so you still have plenty of time to get your hands on the book. Pick up a copy at BPL Click Here, or you can find ebook and audiobook copies on OverDrive and Hoopla.

This writing brought to you by Courtney Dobrzykowski

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Alex Awards

The 2020 Alex Awards were celebrated virtually last week. Administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, and sponsored by the Margaret E. Edwards trust, the Alex Awards honor the top 10 adult books published during the previous year with appeal to readers between the ages of 12 and 18.

In case you missed it, here are the recipients:

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher

In a dystopian future, where the world's population is believed to be only in the thousands, Griz lives on an isolated island. When a charismatic stranger arrives and absconds with one of the family's beloved dogs, the 16-year-old embarks on a quest to get her back.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two by Temi Oh

A crew of 10 astronauts, 6 of whom are teens, set off on a 23-year journey to begin settling an uninhabited planet known as Terra-Two. This character driven sci-fi novel will draw teens into its orbit with interpersonal conflict.

Dominicana by Angie Cruz

In 1965, 15-year-old Ana Cancion leaves the Dominican Republic married to a man twice her age and eventually discovers her own voice in Washington Heights, New York. Though historical fiction, this powerful immigrant story is increasingly relevant today.

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe

Kobabe's path to understanding gender and sexuality comes into beautiful focus in this graphic memoir, expressively illustrated with retro colors and simple lines. Readers will recognize a kindred spirit in Kobabe and/or gain insight into what it's like to identify outside of the cisgender/heterosexual norm.

High School by Sara Quin and Tegan Quin

Critically acclaimed indie rock duo Tegan and Sara Quin lay bare their teenage experiences, the oscillating euphoria and scintillation of first love, the jarring process of finding one's identity, and early forays into making music in this gorgeous dual memoir.

In Waves by AJ Dungo

In this beautiful graphic memoir, perfectly cast in muted beach tones, Dungo interweaves his story of first love with his girlfriend's passion for surfing, her heroism in the face of cancer, and a primer on the history of surfing.

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Roger and Dodger are twins, created in a lab in order to bestow their creator with the power to shape reality - but only if they don't figure out how to manifest that power for themselves first.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Idealistic Elwood and cynical Turner form an unlikely bond at Nickel Academy, a corrupt 1960s reform school, as they endure the abuse meted out by the sadistic warden. Their hear-wrenching story of physical and mental survival is based on the real-life experiences of children at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

In this quirky political rom-com, First Son Alex fakes a friendship with longtime rival Prince Henry of Britain when an incendiary photo of them is leaked to the tabloids. A genuine romance blossoms between the two, but it must be kept secret for the sake of Alex's mother's presidential reelection campaign.

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz

The arrival of a new teacher with a complicated past ignites a student rebellion against Stonebridge Academy's misogynistic culture, which has gone unchecked for years.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

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

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

"This concluding volume in Collins's Hunger Games trilogy accomplishes a rare feat, the last installment being the best yet, a beautifully orchestrated and intelligent novel that succeeds on every level." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration - museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself!

"Fans of classics, romance, and feminism will be glad to see that Jo March has not lost her feisty essence. New readers and admirers of the original will cheer." -- School Library Journal

The Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson

Red Sparkle Stone is a foundling orphan with an odd name, a veiled past, and a mark of magic in her hair. But finally - after years and years of running, of fighting - she is about to be adopted into the royal family by Empress Elisa herself. She'll have a home, a family. Sixteen-year-old Red can hardly believe her luck. Then, in a stunning political masterstroke, the empress's greatest rival blocks the adoption, and everything Red has worked for crumbles before her eyes.

"A rewarding stand-alone novel with effortless plotting and deft characterizations." -- Kirkus Reviews

So This is Love: A Twisted Tale by Elizabeth Lim

What if Cinderella never tried on the glass slipper? Unable to prove that she's the missing princess, and unable to bear life under Lady Tremaine any longer, Cinderella attempts a fresh start, looking for work at the palace as a seamstress. But when the Grand Duke appoints her to serve under the king's visiting sister, Cinderella becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to take the king - and the prince - out of power, as well as a longstanding prejudice against fairies, including Cinderella's own Fairy Godmother.

"This book has all the expected elements of a Disney film: magic, romance and compelling characters. Lim has created a world reminiscent of our own through its politics and its expanded alternate universes." -- Daily Titan

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

A desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial daughter find a connection on the high seas in a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic.

"A strikingly original and accomplished debut, The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea reads like an undiscovered classic with impressively modern flair." -- BookPage, starred review

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet - those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

"Magic and romance steeped in blood and betrayal...fans of the first volume will be pleased to have more of the same, with higher stakes and increasingly complicated questions of power and divinity." -- Kirkus Reviews

They Went Left by Monica Hesse

Zofia, a teenage Holocaust survivor, travels across post-war Europe as she searches for her younger brother and seeks to rebuild her shattered life.

"A heartbreaking and heartwarming story of survival, loss, and renewal. Sure to please a variety of readers; those interested in historical fiction, romance, and mystery will not be able to put this book down." -- School Library Journal, starred review

Hunting November by Adriana Mather

Surviving a few weeks at the world's most lethal boarding school was one thing. But now comes the real test: Can November Adley find her missing father before her enemies find her? Subterfuge is the name of the game in this thrilling sequel to Killing November.

"Mather has built a dark, intriguing universe. Between the boarding-school setting, the lessons in espionage, and the murder mystery, there's plenty to grab readers." -- Booklist

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked - and thrilled. After all, she's grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king's attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true. But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be.

"A headstrong heroine whom Cass's loyal following will champion." -- Publishers Weekly

The Burning by Laura Bates

Anna and her mother have moved hundreds of miles to put the past behind them. Anna hopes to make a fresh start and escape the harassment she's been subjected to. But then rumors and whispers start, and Anna tries to ignore what is happening by immersing herself in learning about Maggie, a local woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. A woman who was shamed. Silenced. And whose story has unsettling parallels to Anna's own.

"A painfully realistic, spellbinding novel." -- Shelf Awareness

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Black Canary

Dinah Lance - AKA superhero Black Canary - has a slew of appearances in comic books, TV shows and movies, but "Black Canary: Breaking Silence" will be her first novel.

Introduced in 1947 by DC Comics, Black Canary has been a role model for breaking gender barriers and changing Gotham City's laws against women's rights. This novel will also be the first time Black Canary is the main character of an adaptation, with all past appearances as a secondary character to another DC hero.

Author Alexandra Monir has taken on the task of sharing the story of Black Canary as she discovers her superpower: her voice. Using the "canary cry," Black Canary is able to create ultrasonic vibrations when she screams to cause damage to anything in its path, and is a master in several styles of hand-to-hand combat.

Taking place in the near-future under the dictatorship of the Court of Owls, Gotham City has become a society where women are forbidden to further their education or work, even going so far as refusing them the right to create music.

The origin of Black Canary has changed in adaptations over the year - from gaining them after a wizard curses her to being born with the inhuman power - so Monir will be able to begin Dinah's journey in a multitude of ways.

What we do know is that the story will follow Dinah as a 17-year-old student with a goal of taking down the rules that are in place against women. Also featured is her blossoming romance with fellow student Oliver Queen, who DC fans will recognize better by his alter ego, Green Arrow.

As she struggles with her identity in her high school years, Dinah hopes to find her voice and let her song of freedom be loud enough to effect change.

This is the fifth book Random House Books is publishing in the DC Icons series and is scheduled for a Dec. 29 release.

This writing brought to you by Courtney Dobrzykowski

Friday, June 5, 2020

Anti-Racism Books For Teens

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Harlem sophomore Xiomara Batista isn't saintly like her virtuous twin brother. And her tough exterior - she's always ready to fend off unwelcome advances and unkind words - hides questions and insecurities. As her confirmation nears (after two failed attempts), Xiomara begins to voice her uncertainties about the Catholic faith and patriarchal piety pressed on her by her mother and the church.

Winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the Michael L. Printz Award

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend.

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children's Literature

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend - but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

A New York Times Bestseller and a William C. Morris Award Finalist

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.

#1 New York Times Bestseller, Printz Honor Book, and Coretta Scott King Honor Book

Black Enough Edited by Ibi Aanu Zoboi

An essential collection of captivating stories about what it's like to be young and Black in America.

"A breath of fresh air...nuanced and necessary." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

Some bodies won't stay buried. Some stories need to be told. When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family's property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past...and the present.

A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of the Year Pick and a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers

Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson

Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission -- they're sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women's Rights club. They post their work online and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by trolls. When things escalate in real life, the principal shuts the club down. Not willing to be silenced, Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices to heard.

2018 Newbery Honor Book and 2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award

How I Resist by Maureen Johnson

A collection of essays, songs, illustrations, and interviews about activism and hope.

"[Maureen Johnson] has done an exceptional job calling on different voices to share their wisdom and thoughts on making a difference." -- School Library Journal

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system.

An American Library Association Notable Book and Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

Stamped by Jason Reynolds

A history of racist and anti-racist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today.

#1 New York Times Bestseller and a USA Today Bestseller

Sunday, May 31, 2020

JK Rowling and The Ickabog

On May 26th, J.K. Rowling announced on Twitter that she would be releasing an unpublished manuscript online, chapter by chapter, every weekday through July 10th.  The Ickabog is a standalone fairy tale and has nothing to do with the Harry Potter universe, according to the bestselling author.

"The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power. To forestall one obvious question: the idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it isn't intended to be read as a response to anything that's happening in the world right now. The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country."

Not only that, The Ickabog will be traditionally published in November 2020, and Rowling is conducting an international competition for children to illustrate it.

"Having decided to publish, I thought how wonderful it would be if children in lockdown, or otherwise needing distraction during the strange and difficult time we're passing through, illustrated the story for me. There will be suggestions about the illustrations we might need for each chapter on The Ickabog website, but nobody should feel constrained by these ideas. I want to see imaginations run wild! Creativity, inventiveness and effort are the most important things: we aren't necessarily looking for the most technical skill!"

Royalties from the sold copies will go to organizations helping those impacted by COVID-19.

Read the Story

Friday, May 29, 2020

Getting to Know...Mady

Introducing another valuable member of our YA volunteer team, Mady Blakely! An 11-year-old 6th grader, Mady has accumulated 19 hours to date.

My Favorite Book Genre: Fiction

Someone I Look Up To: My mom

My Favorite TV Show: The Worst Witch

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

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: Music

Person I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island: Emma

My Happy Place: Home

My Spirit Animal: Bunny

Something Interesting About Myself: I Am Scared of Dogs

Future Plans: I want to be a cartographer.

Favorite Quote: "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, May 22, 2020

Book Writing for Teens

Calling all writers! CreativINDIE is hosting a FREE virtual summer camp for teens. The creator, Derek Murphy, is a successful Young Adult author with a doctorate in literature.

Important details...

Class begins June 1st and runs approximately 3 months.

You'll learn:

  • How to write compelling fiction readers love
  • How to outline a book and hit the right turning points
  • How to increase stakes, drama and conflict
  • How to design characters readers can't help but love
  • How to keep pacing tight so readers are glued to every page
  • How to revise and edit your manuscript to make it perfect
  • How to breathe life into your writing.
You'll be expected to keep up with the video assignments, and invest an hour or two a day working on your project. The schedule will follow a "plot, write, edit" format.

Your goal will be a clean manuscript of roughly 50,000 words.


CreativINDIE is looking to support an amazing story through their imprint Urban Epics. The winner will get a $500 cash bonus, all publishing costs waived, and developmental edit from a bestselling author. More details to come on that front.

Click Here to Learn More!

Monday, May 18, 2020

YA(Y) For Takeout

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

Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette Ferrars. Ella Sommers. Which is the truth and which is the lie? Now that Ella knows who Juliette is and what she was created for, things have only become more complicated. As she struggles to understand the past that haunts her and looks to a future more uncertain than ever, the lines between right and wrong -- between Ella and Juliette -- blur. And with old enemies looming, her destiny may not be her own to control.

The explosive finale to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shatter Me series.

Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell

It starts before you can even remember. You learn the rules for being a girl. Marin has always been good at navigating these unspoken guidelines. A star student and editor of the school papter, she dreams of getting into Brown University. Marin's future seems bright -- and her young, charismatic English teacher, Mr. Beckett, is always quick to admire her writing and talk books with her. But when "Bex" takes things too far and comes on to Marin, she's shocked and horrified. Had she somehow led him on? Was it her fault?

"The book shines a light on the pressures of being a girl and the double standards that readers will immediately recognize and appreciate or learn from." -- Kirkus Reviews

Cursed by Jen Calonita

The evil Rumpelstiltskin is planning to cast a curse that will erase Enchantasia as the world knows it, and a fairy prophecy declares that Gilly Cobbler will play a key role. Never one to shy away from adventure, Gilly and her friends embark on an epic, swashbuckling journey to stop Stiltskin from getting the ingredients he needs before it's too late.

The sixth installment in the beloved Fairy Tale Reform School series where the teachers are (former) villains.

Crave by Tracy Wolff

Grace's world changed when she joined the academy. At the academy she is a mere mortal among gods...or monsters. She can't decide which faction she should join, or if she should join any of them. The one thing that unites them is their hatred of her. Then there's Jaxon Vega, a vampire with deadly secrets who hasn't felt anything for a hundred years. Jaxon has walled himself off for a reason. Does someone want to wake the sleeping monster in him? Is Grace the bait?

Top #1 Pick for Best YA of 2020 -- Glitter Magazine.

Votes of Confidence: A Young Person's Guide to American Elections by Jeff Fleischer

Every four years, coverage of the presidential elections turns into a horse-race story about who is leading, and who said what. Fleischer explains the past, present, and future of American elections; how the election process actually works and why it matters; and how young people can become involved - not just this year, but for years to come.

"Recommended for middle to high school students, educators, and others interested in becoming civically informed and engaged." -- School Library Journal

Click Here For More New Releases!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Harry Potter at Home

As part of its "Harry Potter at Home" series, Wizarding World is giving Harry Potter lovers a new way to experience the first book in the series.

Celebrities from the franchise and beyond have come on board to read aloud one chapter each of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

The first chapter was read by Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe.

Videos are being posted to wizardingworld.com every week.

Anyone interested in just the audio can find the Harry Potter at Home Reading Podcast on Spotify.

More Harry Potter actors on the roster to read future chapters include: Stephen Fry (Mr. Dursley), Claudia Kim (Nagini, Fantastic Beasts), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione, Cursed Child), Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts). Non-Potter celebrities on board with the project include David Beckham and Dakota Fanning.

Wizarding World promises that "more surprises and special appearances" are to come.

Besides just watching the actors read their chapters aloud, special artwork created by fans is being showcased. Looking ahead for the next 16 chapters, the Wizarding World team is asking for fans to continue submitting original artwork to its social media pages using the #HarryPotterAtHome tag and mentioning @wizardingworld.

Guidelines for submitting your artwork can be found here.

Anyone new to the Wizarding World website can also join to be sorted into their Hogwarts house, learn what your Patronus is, and more!

This writing brought to you by Courtney Dobrzykowski

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

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

Havenfall by Sara Holland

Deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Haverfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return. For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are an escape from reality. It's where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it's where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle. But this summer a body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for.

"A suspenseful, engaging tale of a young woman trying to unravel her past to save her future." -- School Library Journal

Wished by Jen Calonita

Maxine, with the help of an over-enthusiastic genie, makes a wish that has everyone at the Fairy Tale Reform School focusing on producing a musical rather than figuring out how to combat Rumpelstiltskin.

The fifth installment in the beloved Fairy Tale Reform School series where the teachers are (former) villains.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds

This is NOT a history book. This is a book about the here and now. A book to help us better understand why we are where we are. A book about race.

"Readers who want to truly understand how deeply embedded racism is in the very fabric of the U.S., its history, and its systems will come away educated and enlightened. Worth of inclusion in every home and in curricula and libraries everywhere. Impressive and much needed." -- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Moment of Truth by Kasie West

At sixteen, Hadley Moore knows exactly who she is -- a swimmer who will earn a scholarship to college. Totally worth all the hard work, even if her aching shoulders don't agree. So when a guy dressed as Hollywood's latest action hero, Heath Hall, crashes her swim meet, she isn't amused. Instead, she's determined to make sure he doesn't bother her again. Only she's not sure exactly who he is.

Kasie West is a GoodReads Choice Awards nominee.

Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Many years ago the magical kingdom of Avalon was left desolate, encased in ice when the evil Snow Queen waged war. The refugees of Avalon -- including Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family -- are stuck in Arizona. His friend, Tala Warnock, knows his secret -- and has a few of her own. The appearance of the Firebird, Avalon's deadliest weapon, ignites the refugees' desire to journey back to Avalon. But the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, wants nothing more than to take the Firebird's magic for her own.

"An enchanting story that is both a feast for the senses and a unique spin on the hero's journey." -- Publishers Weekly

Monday, April 13, 2020

Nextflix Adaptation

Over the weekend, Netflix announced that a film adaptation of "The Selection" by Kiera Cass is in the works.

No details about casting have been released, but the streaming service announced the film will be directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, who also directed Netflix's 2018 film adaptation of the novel "Nappily Ever After" by Trisha R. Thomas.

"The Selection," the first novel in Cass' five-book series, can best be described as "The Hunger Games" meets "The Bachelor." Set in a futuristic America, now known as Illéa, the country is ruled by a royal line and citizens are divided into eight castes -- with Ones being the most wealthy and Eights comprising outcasts and orphans. As a gesture of goodwill to its citizens, when each prince comes of age a nationwide contest is held to search for the next Queen of Illéa, with 35 young women chosen from an audition process across the nation.

We follow the story of America Singer, a young woman in the artistic-dominated Caste Five who is selected against her wises to compete for the crown. Knowing her heart lies with her secret boyfriend, Aspen, America goes to the capital to meet Prince Maxon Schreaves and the other selected contestants. Motivated by the weekly stipend being sent back to her underprivileged family, America strikes up friendships and tries to stay in the contest as long as possible.

But in a contest dominated by love and manipulation, there's plenty to go wrong.

"The Selection" has a wide fandom, with followers voicing their desire for an adaptation for years. The series has been picked u by networks twice in the last decade, but hopefully the third time's the charm and the wait will have been worth it in the end!

In the meantime, fans of the series can look forward to the first book in Cass' new series, "The Betrothed," which is scheduled to come out in May.

"The Selection" series can be borrowed as audiobooks or ebooks through the Overdrive app.

This writing brought to you by Courtney Dobrzykowski

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Getting to Know...Madison

Introducing another valuable member of our YA volunteer team, Maddy Youngman! A 16-year-old 10th grader, Maddy has accumulated 19.5 hours to date.

My Favorite Book Genre: Dystopian

Someone I Look Up To: My Family, Ellen Pompeo

My Favorite TV Show: Grey's Anatomy

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

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: Plastic

Person I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island: Owen Bickel

My Happy Place: Basketball court or my home

My Spirit Animal: Anteater

Something Interesting About Myself: Up until about age 10 I always wanted to be a country singer

Future Plans: Culinary Arts or Elementary Teaching

Favorite Quote: "I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Disney Adaptations

Being stuck at home makes for a great chance to revisit your favorite childhood movies, and for a lot of us, that means Disney.

But just rewatching the movies on Disney+ can only go so far. Thankfully there are several authors who have taken inspiration from the franchise, from novelizations of the films themselves to twisted retellings and villain backstories. And many of those are available on the Overdrive app, free to access on your mobile devices using your library card number!

Just searching "Disney" in the app will show you hundreds of ebooks and audiobooks. Warning: picture books, biographies on Walt Disney and guides for the theme parks will be mixed in with these results! But scrolling through, you'll find plenty of books following your favorite films and characters.

Not in the mood to browse? Here are some of our favorite books and series to get you started:

1. Twisted Tales

What would happen if one key aspect of your favorite Disney films were switched? Authors of the Twisted Tales series create retellings of the films they were inspired by -- and some are more wild than others. What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? What if Mulan had to travel to the underworld? There are seven of these novels available on Overdrive, but more are being released every year, with twisted retellings of Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella currently in the works.

  • Aladdin: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
  • Beauty and the Beast: As Old As Time by Liz Braswell
  • Frozen: Conceal Don't Feel by Jen Calonita
  • The Little Mermaid: Part of Your World by Liz Braswell
  • Mulan: Reflection by Elizabeth Lim
  • Sleeping Beauty: Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell
  • Snow White: Mirror, Mirror by Jen Calonita

2. Villains

We just love to hate Disney villains, but were they always so terrible? Author Serena Valentino creates unique backstories for Disney villains old and new, and she'll have you empathizing with them in no time -- whether you like it or not! All six of the released books are available on Overdrive, but Evil Thing, featuring Cruella deVil, is slated to come out this summer.

  • The Evil Queen, the Beast and Ursula - A Villains Collection contains the first three novels in one audiobook: Fairest of All, The Beast Within, and Poor Unfortunate Souls. The latter two are also available on ebook.
  • Maleficent - Mistress of All Evil
  • Mother Gothel - Mother Knows Best
  • The Three Witches - The Odd Sisters. Note: This novel follows the history of three sister witches who have significant roles in the previous works and are not classic Disney villains themselves.
3. Movie-to-Book Adaptations

Experience your favorite Disney movies in a new way by reading them! Disney created novelizations of many of its movies from over the years, though not for many classics. Here is a list of some movies you can read.
  • Frozen
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Tangled
  • Finding Nemo
  • Pete's Dragon
  • Monsters Inc., and Monsters University
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Inside Out
  • Up
  • Tinker Bell
  • Mary Poppins Returns
Other titles have been inspired by their Disney movie equivalents, but have created side stories and continuations.
  • Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
  • Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel

This writing brought to you by Courtney Dobrzykowski

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Youth Preview

A preview of notable new titles for YA readers that are scheduled to be published this spring and summer...

Again Again by E. Lockhart

If you could live your life again, what would you do differently? After a near-fatal family catastrophe and an unexpected romantic upheaval, Adelaide Buchwald finds herself catapulted into a summer of wild possibility, during which she will fall in and out of love a thousand times--while finally confronting the secrets she keeps, her ideas about love, and the weird grandiosity of the human mind.

Release: June 2

A Cloud of Outrageous Blue by Vesper Stamper

Edyth grew up in a quiet village with a loving family, before losing everything she holds dear in the blink of an eye. Suddenly sent to live in a priory and work with ancient texts, Edyth must come to terms with her new life and the gifts she discovers in herself.

Release: August 25

Everything's Not Fine by Sarah Carlson

Seventeen-year-old Rose Hemmersbach aspires to break out of small town Sparta, Wisconsin and achieve her artistic dreams, just like her aunt Colleen. Rose's love of Friday Kahlo fuels her paint brush and her dreams to attend a prestigious art school. Painting is Rose's escape from her annoying younger siblings and her family's one rule: ignore the elephant in the room, because talking about it makes it real.

Release: May 26

My Eyes Are Up Here by Laura Zimmerman

If Greer Walsh could only live inside her head, life would be easier. She'd be able to focus on excelling at math or negotiating peace talks between her best friend and...everyone else. But you can't play volleyball inside your head. Or go to the pool. Or have confusingly date-like encounters with the charming new boy. You need an actual body for all of those things. And Greer is entirely uncomfortable in hers.

Release: June 23

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people.

Release: May 5

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it's not just a story.

Release: July 7

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

They're called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the United States while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she'd be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California.

Release: May 26

Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy

Faith Herbert is a pretty regular teen. When she's not hanging out with her two best friends, Matt and Ches, she's volunteering at the local animal shelter or obsessing over the long-running teen drama The Grove. So far, her senior year has been spent trying to sort out her feelings for her maybe-crush Johnny and making plans to stay close to Grandma Lou after graduation. Of course, there's also that small matter of recently discovering that she can fly.

Release: July 7

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Getting to Know...Owen

Introducing another valuable member of our YA volunteer team, Owen Bickel! A 12-year-old 7th grader, Owen has accumulated 23.5 hours to date.

Favorite Book Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Someone I Look Up To: My mom

Favorite TV Show: Grey's Anatomy

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

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: Plastic, particularly plastic bags

Person I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island: Bear Grylls

My Happy Place: My bedroom

My Spirit Animal: Bear

Something Interesting About Myself: I have my own tractor, a CASE 930

Future Plans: Mechanic and Farmer

Favorite Quote: No act of kindness is ever wasted.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Young Adult Book Quiz IV

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!

Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood.

Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling

There is only one mirror in my house.

Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
The Host - Stephenie Meyer
Divergent - Veronica Roth
Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

Josh is Margot's boyfriend, but I guess you could say my whole family is a little in love with him.

Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli
To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen

Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.

Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
My Heart and Other Black Holes - Jasmine Warga
I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson

There was a boy in her room.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart
The Selection - Kiera Cass

I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling
I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
Looking for Alaska - John Green

I shouldn't have come to this party.

The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Don't Look Back - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Confessions of a Murder Suspect - James Patterson

Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater
Cinder - Marissa Meyer
City of Bones - Cassandra Clare

Sometimes it seems like all I ever do is lie.

The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard

My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.

Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein
On the Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You - Ally Carter
Since You've Been Gone - Morgan Matson

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Getting to Know...Emma

Introducing another valuable member of our YA volunteer team, Emma Davidhizar! A 13-year-old 7th grader, Emma has accumulated 8 hours to date.

Favorite Book Genre: Science Fiction

Someone I Look Up To: My mom

Favorite TV Shows: Survivor and The Amazing Race

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

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: Coronavirus

Person I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island: Katniss Everdeen

My Happy Place: With friends

My Spirit Animal: Monkey

Something Interesting About Myself: I do quite a few after-school sports/activities. Cross country, swimming, robotics, track

Future Plans: Own a business

Favorite Quote: "The purpose of our lives is to be happy." - Dalai Lama

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Activities for COVID-19

Can't leave the house? There are an abundance of activities and resources to keep you busy while
maintaining social-distancing. We're in this together!


Amazon - audiblehttps://stories.audible.com/start-listen
No log-ins, credit card or passwords are needed as long as schools are closed


Day by day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing

Science at Homehttps://thchildrensmuseum.com/scienceathome/
Terre Haute Children's Museum

Learn a language for free

Imagineering in a Box

Virtual Tours

Houston Zoohttps://www.houstonzoo.org/explore/webcams/
Animal webcams

The Louvrehttps://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne
Visit the museum's exhibition room and galleries


PBS Kidshttps://www.pbs.org/parents/pbskidsdaily?source=tw
Educational games and videos

Games, videos, and books for kids

Story Time

Storyline Onlinehttps://www.storylineonline.net/
Books read by celebrities

Thursday, March 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.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish, to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she'll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. Until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true, but his help may cost her everything.

"A beautifully composed historical fantasy that will enthrall readers, especially those with music in their hearts." -- School Library Journal

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Cordelia Carstairs, a Shadowhunter trained to battle demons, travels with her brother to London where they reconnect with childhood friends, but soon must face devastating demon attacks in the quarantined city.

"Clare delivers a richly imagined fantasy rife with action, intrigue, and smoldering romance." -- Publishers Weekly

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power. 1) Woo the Shadow King. 2) Marry him. 3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

"A viciously satisfying romance featuring two well-matched opponents." -- Booklist

Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus

Two years after the disappearance of her father, seventeen-year-old Liv and her friend capture an alien in the Iowa countryside. Instead of turning him over to the authorities, however, they choose a different path.

"Beautiful prose does little to mask the anger of this powerful narrative. Readers will have a hard time putting this down." -- School Library Journal, Starred Review

The Queen's Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz

The Queen's Assassin is forced to take on a mysterious apprentice on his most dangerous mission yet, pulling them both into a vicious web of secrets and lies.

"The action-packed narrative captures readers' attention from the start, expertly weaving plot twists, betrayal, magical elements, and traces of humor throughout." -- School Library Journal

Ember Queen by Laura Sebastian

With Astrea under the rule of a new leader, Theo returns to fight for her land and her people. But her enemies are more powerful than ever before and, if she is to win once and for all, she must risk  everything and everyone if she is to reclaim her throne.

"For fantasy fans, especially those who enjoy strong female protagonists, this book will be an easy sell. Theo is tough, honorable, and relatable in her emotions [and] Sebastian has built a beautiful and complex world." -- VOYA

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer, the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it's never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy's dangerous soul magic.

"This fast-paced duology opener excels in its careful consideration of the responsibilities that come with power." -- Publishers Weekly

What Kind of Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel

When popular Mike Parker's girlfriend informs North Bay Academy's principal that he has been hitting her, students react differently, revealing their own insecurities and problems.

"This book is powerful and would definitely make a great addition to any high school library or classroom. It would also be perfect for high school counselors to use as a book study for both students and staff in support of social and emotional learning standards." -- School Library Connection

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

March Madness - Round 2

March Madness continues at Bremen Public Library! Cast your votes in the comment section.
Second-round matchups include:

Throne of Glass vs. Cinder

Dumplin' vs. Eragon

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Guardians of the Galaxy vs. DC:Women of Action

Monday, March 9, 2020

March Madness

It's March Madness at the Bremen Public Library! Cast your votes in the comment section. First-round matchups include:

Throne of Glass vs. A Court of Thorns and Roses

The Diviners vs. Cinder

To All the Boys I've Loved Before vs. Dumplin'

Ranger's Apprentice vs. Eragon

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time vs. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

My Hero Academia vs. Tokyo Ghoul

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra vs. Guardians of the Galaxy

Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy vs. DC: Women of Action

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Brick Club

Brick Club is an exciting endeavor at the Bremen Public Library. In contrast to the "free build" LEGO table featured in our Children's Department, Brick Club is centered around specific subjects of construction.

Themes of the past include: Interplanetary Travel, Robots, Camping, Halloween, Minecraft, Star Wars, Brick Town, Tallest Tower, Unsinkable Ships, DC and Marvel, Medieval Times, Marble Maze, Ninjago, Back to School, LEGO Friends, LEGO City, LEGO Creator, LEGO Movie, Mission Moon, Habitats, 30 Challenge, to name (quite a) few!

On April 10th we will be gathering for a LEGO Education. Participants will work together to design and create stories about transportation. Kits include elements to build an airport, shuttle, helicopters, bus, mail truck, front loader, and much more!

In the meantime, get in the mode for spring with these amazing bird designs that you can build at home. See you soon!