March 2011 New Books

I Am J, by Cris Beam. Y Beam.
J, who feels like a boy mistakenly born as a girl, runs away from his best friend who has rejected him and the parents he thinks do not understand him when he finally decides that it is time to be who he really is.

Roses & Bones, by Francesca Lia Block. Y Block.
What happens when a girl finds herself at the crossroads between worlds–where the angels and ghosts, gods and demons, and beauties and beasts of myth are real? What does she do and who does she become? This captures the best Francesca Lia Block has to offer: extravagantly imaginative tales, dark landscapes, fierce poetry, and storytelling that is nothing short of magical.

Draw the Dark, by Ilsa Bick. Y Bick.
Seventeen-year-old Christian Cage lives with his uncle in Winter, Wisconsin, where his nightmares, visions, and strange paintings draw him into a mystery involving German prisoners of war, a mysterious corpse, and Winter’s last surviving Jew.

Dark Goddess (Devil’s Kiss, Book Two), by Sarwat Chadda. Y Chadda.
Billi SanGreal, a teenaged member of the Knights Templar, must prevent a young girl, who is being hunted by werewolves because of the dangerous powers she possesses, from falling into the hands of the ancient Russian witch, Baba Yaga.

Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro. Y Chibbaro.
In the early nineteen-hundreds, sixteen-year-old Prudence Galewski leaves school to take a job assisting the head epidemiologist at New York’s Department of Health and Sanitation, investigating the intriguing case of “Typhoid Mary,” a seemingly healthy woman who is infecting others with typhoid fever. Includes a historical note by the author.

Night School: The Weirn Books Book 4, by Svetlana Chmakova. Y Chmakova.
Alex finds herself caught in the middle with the Sohrem rising and the hunters on the move, but she worries that her real enemy may be the one inside her. Graphic novel.

Night School: The Weirn Books Book 3, by Svetlana Chmakova. Y Chmakova.
Alex is determined to get to the bottom of her sister’s disappearance, but is she prepared for what she might find? Graphic novel.

Night School: The Weirn Books Book 2, by Svetlana Chmakova. Y Chmakova.
When Alex’s sister, Sarah, vanishes and all memory and evidence of her existence is erased, Alex is determined to get to the bottom of her sister’s disappearance. What better place to start her investigations than the Nightschool itself? Graphic novel.

Night School: The Weirn Books Book 1, by Svetlana Chmakova. Y Chmakova.
Normal schools may close for the night, but the Nightschool offers an education for a very different crowd–vampires, demons, and weirns, a special breed of witches. When Alex, a young weirn, enrolls to learn what has become of her sister, will she be prepared for what she finds there? Graphic novel.

Leverage, by Joshua Cohen. Y Cohen.
High school sophomore Danny excels at gymnastics but is bullied, like the rest of the gymnasts, by members of the football team, until an emotionally and physically scarred new student joins the football team and forms an unlikely friendship with Danny.

The Education of Hailey Kendrick, by Eileen Cook. Y Cook.
Dating a popular boy and adhering to every rule ever written, a high school senior at an elite Vermont boarding school begins to shed her good girl identity after an angry incident with her distant father.

Haven, by Kristi Cook. Y Cook.
Violet McKenna’s life started falling apart when a premonition of her father’s murder came true, but at a new school, Winterhaven, she finds friends with psychic gifts and an alluring boy whose destiny is entwined with hers in a critical–and deadly–way.

Desires of the Dead (sequel to The Body Finder), by Kimberly Derting. Y Derting.
Sixteen-year-old Violet Ambrose’s ability to find murder victims and their killers draws the attention of the FBI just as her relationship with Jay, her best-friend-turned-boyfriend, heats up.

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Wii Gaming in April

Our next gaming after-school event will be Thursday, April 28! We’ll be here from  about 3:45 to 5:30 with a variety of Wii games, card games, and board games. Snacks will be provided.

Our next program will be Free Comic Book Day on May 7. Check out the programs tab in the upper right corner of this blog to find more information, and keep watching this space for further updates.

Meet the Faces Behind the Books!

On Sunday, April 17, over 70 Colorado authors will be mingling here in the library from 1-3 p.m. for our 12th annual Author Open House. Several young adult authors will be available to chat about books and their writing: Amy Efaw, author of After and Battle Dress; Julie Anne Peters, author of Rage and By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead; Denise Vega, author of Fact of Life #31 and Access Denied, and Sarah Ockler, author of Twenty Boy Summer. All of their books are also available for check out. Hope to see you there!

For a full list of all the adult, young adult, and children’s authors attending the open house, check out our page on the Englewood Public Library’s web site.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride

Author: Lish McBride
Genre: YA Paranormal (Horror-Comedy)
Pages: 352 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Call number: Y McBride

Summary (from Goodreads): Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

My thoughts: This is a hysterical, scary, offbeat story about a slacker discovering his necromancer powers. It contains: a talking head, a (benign) zombie panda, a talking cat (who is actually a mini-dragon), homicidal lawn ornaments, sassy ghosts who love waffles, witches, weres, and an evil necromancer who makes his revenants do calisthenics just to prove a point. The book could have been a disaster, with too many quirky elements to succeed, but it has such heart that it works. It’s so good it was a finalist for the Morris Award in 2010.

I know this is terrible, but I often think of books in relation to television and movies. Probably because the only thing I do more than read is watch stuff. I think this is a mix of other witty but frightening and surprisingly touching horror-comedies, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Reaper, and Dead Like Me. I’m sure I could come up with more, but you get the point.

One minute Sam is deep-frying inappropriate things at Plumpy’s, the fast food joint where he works, and playing potato hockey with his co-workers and friends Ramon, Brooke, and Frank; the next, he’s being called out by a necromancer (Douglas, who Sam calls a “madman in pressed jeans”) and forced to deal with the fact that his mother has lied to him for years about his powers as a “death wrangler”.

Right from the outset, Sam was my kind of guy, when he wondered at how humankind spent thousands of years developing complex language systems only to create a cash register with pictures on it, “just in case the cashier didn’t finish second grade”. My feelings of love were cemented when he meets Douglas at the zoo to discuss necromancy, when Sam mentions that he never watches the news because “they just don’t make very good episodes of it anymore”. His deadpan, wise guy humor and pop culture references is what makes him so fun to read, but his underlying sweetness – his love for his friends and family – and his “why me?” plaintiveness is what makes him relatable. The other characters — Sam’s friends, his mother and sister, and a were-hybrid named Brid — are all equally developed and interesting.

The ending makes it clear that there will be (or at least, should be) sequels, which fills my heart with glee. This is a highly recommended book for lovers of paranormal thrillers and who are looking from something different from the standard formula.