New Fiction – June 2009

awakeningThe Awakening (Darkest Powers Book 2). Kelley Armstrong. YA Armstrong. Fifteen-year-old necromancer Chloe, having escaped from Lyle House with Derek, Simon, and Rae, finds herself imprisoned in a laboratory run by a sinister organization determined to control her and her supernatural friends.

the warded manThe Warded Man. Peter Brett. YA Brett. As darkness falls each night, demons known as the corelings rise, and three young survivors of demon attacks risk everything to recover the secrets of the past to defeat the corelings and stop their relentless assault against humans. This is a novel published for adults, but perfect for teens too!

the rule of clawThe Rule of Claw. John Brindley. YA Brindley. Ash and her friends live in a future where they are the only human teenagers left, but when Ash is kidnapped and becomes a pawn in a power struggle among the formidable Raptors who captured her, she begins to reconsider her own humanity.

being nikkiBeing Nikki. Meg Cabot. YA Cabot. Studious, socially conscious Emerson Watts learns startling news about the family of Nikki Howard, the teen supermodel into whose body Emerson’s brain was transplanted by the nefarious Stark Corporation.

the september sistersThe September Sisters. Jillian Cantor. YA Cantor. Abigail Reed and her younger sister, Becky, are always at each other’s throats. Their mother calls them the September Sisters, because their birthdays are only a day apart. Then Becky disappears and a torn gold chain with a sapphire heart charm is the only clue to the mystery of her kidnapping.

highway to hellHighway to Hell (Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil). Rosemary Clement-Moore. YA Clement-Moore. On their way to spend spring break on a Texas beach, college freshmen Maggie Quinn and D&D Lisa are stranded in a town where some believe a chupacabra is killing animals, and as the girls investigate they get help from diverse and unexpected sources.

everything is fineEverything is Fine. Ann Dee Ellis. YA Ellis. Stuck at home caring for her severely depressed mother and abandoned by her father, Mazzy has only the day-to-day dramas of her neighborhood to keep her busy. Soon, however, Mazzy has to face the fact that her mom is emotionally paralyzed by a family tragedy.

if i stayIf I Stay. Gayle Forman. YA Forman. While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.

More new fiction

Program Friday (tomorrow) – Be Your Own Rock Star!

andyAndy Hackbarth, Colorado native singer/songwriter and guitarist, is leading this interactive course on songwriting. He’ll cover everything you need to know to write hit songs, including the difference between poetry and lyrics, writing a “hook”, how to rhyme, structuring your song, and more. No instruments or musical knowledge is needed. Andy’s doing this program all over Colorado so don’t miss out! It’ll be Friday (tomorrow), June 26, at 2 p.m. in the library’s Anderson room.

Check out Andy’s MySpace page to hear his music for free! (Or download his new album on iTunes.) We still have spots available, so please call us at 303-762-2555 to register or stop by before the program begins.

The War at Ellsmere, by Faith Erin Hicks

ellsmere

Publisher: SLG Publishing
Genre: Graphic novel, YA
Call number: J Hicks

Juniper is a scholarship student at the posh, academically rigorous boarding school, Ellsmere Academy. She already knows she isn’t going to fit in when she sees her incredibly fancy dorm room and thinks, “Apparently I’m going to school in a Disneyland postcard.” She has a smart mouth and a whole lotta attitude, which helps her when she incurs the wrath of Emily, a rich, snobbish but equally clever student. Of course, her smart mouth is also what gets her into trouble with Emily in the first place. Luckily, she makes friends with her roommate Cassie, who is sweet-natured and a little kooky; she often mentions things like alien abductions, and she’s the one who tells Jun all the crazy stories about the school’s mysterious history and the creature said to roam the nearby woods punishing evil. (This story turns out to be somewhat true.)

This graphic novels melds a lot of great elements: there’s the “misfit at boarding school” story, the developing friendship between Cassie and Jun, the rivalry between Emily and Jun, and the weird hints of magic on the school grounds. The dialog is snappy and realistic and the characters are real — even Emily, who could develop “stock-evil-rich-girl” syndrome but somehow doesn’t. (Maybe because she’s so cunning in her evil plans.) Juniper makes for a great heroine — she’s smart, determined, and sarcastic, always a great combo. Finally, the black and white art is fantastic. It’s quirky and offbeat, like the characters and the story, but not so much that it gets really cartoony.

I haven’t read anything by Faith Erin Hicks before, but she has other graphic novels out, including one called Zombies Calling that is about a group of teens that have to fight off zombies with only the rules of zombie horror movies to help them survive. Sounds fantastic.

Troll’s Eye View, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

trollPublisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Juvenile Fantasy, Short Stories
Pages: 200
Call number: J Troll’s (currently in new books)

I have a weakness for retold fairy tales and for short stories, so this collection of fairy tales told from the villains’ point of view was a must-read for me. Also, Datlow and Windling consistently helm the best anthologies out there, for kids and adults, and I read every one I can get my hands on. This collection has 15 stories by well-known fantasy authors for children and adults, almost all of which I’ve read at least something earlier, whether it be a short story or two or a novel or two, and it makes for quite the collection. Like all anthologies, there are a few weak stories, or maybe I should say a few stories I didn’t enjoy as much as the others, and a few stories that really stood out.

Continue the review

New Book List

gearup_graphicNow that it’s summer reading time, I posted a great booklist of steampunk books to go along with our theme, Gear Up and Read. It’s full of Victorian settings, mechanical dragons, strange devices, fantasy and science fiction adventure, alternate history, and more.

Check it out here:
Steampunk for Summer Reading 2009

Program Friday – Marble Magnets

Why have I never made marble magnets before? They are so addictive and fun, I think I will now be making them constantly. My fridge had better beware, for soon it will be covered with crazy magnets!

In prep for the craft I’m leading this Friday (June 12, 2 p.m. in the Perrin Room, for those of you interested), I made a bunch to make sure my craft-deficient self could actually do them. And now I have learned: they are super easy, they look awesome, and they have unlimited potential (you can make these marbles into game counters, tacks, and wearable pins as easily as you can make them into magnets).

This program doesn’t require registration so you can just show up to eat, drink, and make magnets! Come to the program Friday and let me show you the wonders of marble magnets! You won’t be disappointed.

Here’s a couple more sites to show how popular and easy these are:

From Curious Girl: http://quidnunc.org/marbles.html

From DIY Life: http://www.diylife.com/2007/09/13/making-magnets-from-flat-glass-marbles/

Starclimber, by Kenneth Oppel

starclimberThis is the third book in a great series, after Airborn and Skybreaker. Matt Cruse is still a pilot-in-training at the Academy, and he’s moonlighting as an aerotug pilot in Paris, working on the Celestial Tower that will one day allow people to travel into outer space. Kate is also in Paris, attempting to earn scientific credibility despite her research on life forms that some scientists still refuse to believe exist. Their relationship has grown more serious and yet their class issues are becoming an even bigger roadblock — though Kate meets Matt’s working-class family, she still hasn’t told her wealthy parents about Matt. When Matt foils a terrorist attack on the Celestial Tower (as he is wont to do), he’s invited to return to Canada to train for a new, top-secret mission: the first flight into outer space. Kate is also invited on this mission, as part of the scientific team who will observe life in outer space. Matt undergoes rigorous training to become an astralnaut, but he almost doesn’t make it aboard; at the same time, Kate’s parents tell her she is only allowed to go if she agrees to marry a man of their choice. Matt, being supremely lucky as always, manages to secure himself a place on the ship, and Kate, being as hard-headed as she is, agrees to marry this man but doesn’t intend to follow-through. (Does she tell Matt this? What do you think?) During the journey, there’s tension between Matt and Kate; between Kate and the other scientist on board, who happens to be her most vocal dissenter; and between Matt and an older, dismissive astralnaut, but none of that matters when the astral cable supporting their ship breaks, putting them all at risk.

Review behind the cut