January 2012 New Books!

Dark of the Moon, by Tracy Barrett. Y Barrett.
Retells the story of the minotaur through the eyes of his fifteen-year-old sister, Ariadne, a lonely girl destined to become a goddess of the moon, and her new friend, Theseus, the son of Athens’ king who was sent to Crete as a sacrifice to her misshapen brother.

Death Watch, by Ari Berk. Y Berk.
When seventeen-year-old Silas Umber’s father disappears, Silas is sure it is connected to the powerful artifact he discovers, combined with his father’s hidden hometown history, which compels Silas to pursue the path leading to his destiny and ultimately, to the discovery of his father, dead or alive.

Buried Thunder, by Tim Bowles. Y Bowles.
Just after fourteen-year-old Maya’s family acquires the Rowan Tree Hotel she is drawn into the nearby woods, where she finds three bodies that disappear before police arrive, and soon Maya feels hunted by both human and supernatural forces.

Wolf Mark, by Joseph Bruchac. Y Bruchac.
When Lucas King’s covert-ops father is kidnapped and his best friend Meena is put in danger, Luke’s only chance to save them–a skin that will let him walk as a wolf–is hidden away in an abandoned mansion guarded by monsters.

First Day on Earth, by Cecil Castellucci. Y Castellucci.
A novel about the true meaning of being an alien in an equally alien world.

Girls Don’t Fly, by Kristin Chandler. Y Chandler.
Myra, a high school senior, will do almost anything to win a contest and earn money for a study trip to the Galapagos Islands, which would mean getting away from her demanding family life in Utah and ex-boyfriend Erik, but Erik is set on winning the same contest.

Sweet Venom, by Tera Childs. Y Childs.
As monsters walk the streets of San Francisco, unseen by humans, three teenaged descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned in Greek mythology, must reunite and embrace their fates.

Witchlander, by Lena Coakley. Y Coakley.
After the prediction of Ryder’s mother, once a great prophet and powerful witch, comes true and their village is destroyed by a deadly assassin, Ryder embarks on a quest that takes him into the mountains in search of the destroyer.

A Beautiful Dark, by Jocelyn Davies. Y Davies.
When Skye, who lives with her aunt in Boulder, Colorado, turns seventeen and is suddenly pursued by two boys who are polar opposites, secrets of her true identity–and destiny–begin to emerge.

Wherever You Go, by Heather Davis. Y Davis.
When Skye, who lives with her aunt in Boulder, Colorado, turns seventeen and is suddenly pursued by two boys who are polar opposites, secrets of her true identity–and destiny–begin to emerge.

The Pledge, by Kimberly Derting. Y Derting.
In a dystopian kingdom where the classes are separated by the languages they speak, Charlaina “Charlie” Hart has a secret gift that is revealed when she meets a mysterious young man named Max.

Winter Town, by Stephen Emond. Y Emond.
Evan and Lucy, childhood best friends who grew apart after years of seeing one another only during Christmas break, begin a romance at age seventeen but his choice to mindlessly follow his father’s plans for an Ivy League education rather than becoming the cartoonist he longs to be, and her more destructive choices in the wake of family problems, pull them apart.

My Name is Not Easy, by Debby Edwardson. Y Edwardson.
Alaskans Luke, Chickie, Sonny, Donna, and Amiq relate their experiences in the early 1960s when they are forced to attend a Catholic boarding school where, despite different tribal affiliations, they come to find a sort of family and home.

Unforgettable, by Loretta Ellsworth. Y Ellsworth.
When Baxter Green was three years old he developed a condition that causes him to remember absolutely everything, and now that he is fifteen, he and his mother have moved to Minnesota to escape her criminal boyfriend and, Baxter hopes, to reconnect with a girl he has been thinking about since kindergarten.

The Lost Stories (Ranger’s Apprentice), by John Flanagan. Y Flanagan.
In 1896, an archaeological dig unearths an ancient trunk containing manuscripts that confirm the existence of Araluen Rangers Will and Halt and tell of their first meeting and some of their previously unknown exploits.

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December 2011 New Books

The Future of Us, by Jay Ashes and Carolyn Mackler. Y Asher.
It’s 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Emma just got her first computer and Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on–and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

Frost, by Marianna Baer. Y Baer.
When Leena Thomas gets her wish to live in an old Victorian house with her two closest friends during their senior year at boarding school, the unexpected arrival of another roommate–a confrontational and eccentric classmate–seems to bring up old anxieties and fears for Leena that may or may not be in her own mind.

The Goblin War, by Hilari Bell. Y Bell.
After crossing over from the Otherworld where they have been trapped in mortal danger, Tobin and Makenna must figure out how to help Jeriah stop an army of barbarians from taking over their Realm.

Ashes, by Ilsa Bick. Y Bick.
In a future Manhattan devastated by environmental catastrophes and epidemics, sixteen-year-old Lucy survives alone until vicious hounds target her and force her to join Aidan and his band, but soon they learn that she is the target of Sweepers, who kidnap and infect people with plague.

Brooklyn, Burning, by Steven Brezenoff. Y Brezenoff.
Sixteen-year-old Kid, who lives on the streets of Brooklyn, loves Felix, a guitarist and junkie who disappears, leaving Kid the prime suspect in an arson investigation, but a year later Scout arrives, giving Kid a second chance to be in a band and find true love.

iBoy, by Kevin Brooks. Y Brooks.
Sixteen-year-old Tom Harvey was an ordinary Londoner until an attack that caused fragments of an iPhone to be embedded in his brain, giving him incredible knowledge and power, but using that power against the gang that attacked him and a friend could have deadly consequences.

Liar’s Moon, by Elizabeth Bunce (sequel to Starcrossed). Y Bunce.
In a quest to prove her friend, Lord Durrel Decath, innocent of the murder of his wife, pickpocket Digger stumbles into a conspiracy with far-reaching consequences for the civil war raging in Lllyvraneth, while also finding herself falling in love.

The Beginning of After, by Jennifer Castle. Y Castle.
In the aftermath of a car accident that killed her family, sixteen-year-old Laurel must face a new world of guilt, painful memories, and the possibility of new relationships.

Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices, Book Two), by Cassandra Clare. Y Clare.
As the Council attempts to strip Charlotte of her power, sixteen-year-old orphaned shapechanger Tessa Gray works with the London Shadowhunters to find the Magister and destroy his clockwork army, learning the secret of her own identity while investigating his past.

The Auslander, by Paul Dowswell. Y Dowswell.
German soldiers take Peter from a Warsaw orphanage, and soon he is adopted by Professor Kaltenbach, a prominent Nazi, but Peter forms his own ideas about what he sees and hears and decides to take a risk that is most dangerous in 1942 Berlin.

Drink, Slay, Love, by Sarah Beth Durst. Y Durst.
After sixteen-year-old vampire Pearl Sange is stabbed through the heart by a were-unicorn, she develops non-vampire-like traits that lead her to save her high school classmates from the Vampire King of New England.

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions, edited by Melissa Marr, et al. Y Enthralled.
A collection of fourteen original teen paranormal short stories from some of today’s bestselling YA talent, united with the common theme of road trips, and edited by bestselling authors Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong. Contributors include: Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Claudia Gray, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Rachel Caine, Carrie Ryan, Jessica Verday, Rachel Vincent, Jennifer Lynn Barnes and more.

Bunheads, by Sophie Flack. Y Flack.
Hannah Ward, nineteen, revels in the competition, intense rehearsals, and dazzling performances that come with being a member of Manhattan Ballet Company’s corps de ballet, but after meeting handsome musician Jacob she begins to realize there could be more to her life.

The Poisoned House, by Michael Ford. Y Ford.
As the widowed master of an elegant house in Victorian-era London slips slowly into madness and his tyrannical housekeeper takes on more power, a ghostly presence distracts a teenaged maidservant with clues to a deadly secret.

Beautiful Chaos (a Beautiful Creatures novel), by Kami Garcia. Y Garcia.
Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand and control the impact of Lena’s claiming, which is even causing her family members’ abilities to dangerously misfire.

Cold Kiss, by Amy Garvey. Y Garvey.
When her boyfriend is killed in a car accident, high school student Wren Darby uses her hidden powers to bring him back from the dead, never imagining the consequences that will result from her decision.

The Faerie Ring, by Kiki Hamilton. Y Hamilton.
Tiki, living with her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway in 1871 London, steals a ring belonging to Queen Victoria that binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace, and when a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and Tiki’s blood, Rieker secretly watches and protects her.

Bleeding Hearts (The Drake Chronicles), by Alyxandra Harvey. Y Harvey.
Lucy, her boyfriend Nicholas, and his brother Connor try to keep secret the undead drama of Violet Hill when Lucy’s cousin Christabel comes to live there, but after Christabel is kidnapped by the ruthless Hel-Blar vampires, they must let her in on the secrets and the battle.

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, Book Four), by Julie Kagawa. Y Kagawa.
Faery prince Ash–the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court–finally gets to tell his story: how he escaped the Winter Court with his life intact and the promise he made to the Iron Queen.

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2012 Youth Media Awards Madness

I had the fortune to actually attend the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards (where they announce such awesome book awards as the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz) in Dallas, TX, this Monday. This event is like the Super Bowl for writers, publishers, and librarians, and it was so wonderful to be in a huge room full of people totally invested in recognizing the power of stories to influence lives. Every time a book was announced, whether it be a winner or an honor book, people cheered, and clapped, and whistled, and called out stuff like “Yeah!”, and I felt like I was at a sporting event or a concert, but for BOOKS. It may make be a big book nerd, but it was super fun. The full list of awards announced are here at the ALA web site but below I want to highlight the Michael L. Printz award for best teen fiction and the William C. Morris award for best teen debut fiction.

This has never happened before, as far as I know, but the same amazing book won both of these big awards, and it’s one I recently highlighted on my Top Books for 2011. Here’s what I recently wrote about it: Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley, is a strange one, but its strangeness is why I love it so. This literary novel tells intertwining stories of people searching for meaning and redemption in a messed up world. Cullen Witter lives in a tiny Arkansas town that is experiencing a revival after a birdwatcher claims to have seen a woodpecker long thought to be extinct. But while the townspeople are obsessed with searching for this mythical bird, Cullen is desperately searching for his missing younger brother, who disappeared at the same time. Meanwhile, Benton Sage, a missionary traveling in Africa, becomes disillusioned with his calling and sets up a chain reaction of events that dovetails perfectly with Cullen’s story. This excellent debut novel is both funny and meaningful. I urge anyone looking for something different to give it a try.

Four other books were named as Printz honors:

Why We Broke Up, written by Daniel Handler
The Returning, written by Christine Hinwood
Jasper Jones, written by Craig Silvey
The Scorpio Races, written by Maggie Stiefvater

Also, four other books were Morris honors:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, written by Rae Carson
Paper Covers Rock, written by Jenny Hubbard
Under the Mesquite, written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Between Shades of Gray, written by Ruta Sepetys

All of these books are available at our library, so read some award winners today!

Some more excellent places to look for good, new reads:

ALA’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
ALA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens Top Ten List
ALA”s Alex Awards (best adult fiction for teen readers)

Next Program: “Date or Hate” Book Speed Dating

Date or Hate – Book Speed Dating Sunday
February 12, 2-3 p.m., Altenbach Room

When was the last time you fell in love with a book? It can be tough to find your perfect match, but life’s too short to read books you don’t like. Come fall in love with a new book at our book speed dating event, “Date or Hate”, where you’ll spend a few minutes each with several books new and old to see if you can find your perfect match. Take home the ones you want to date; leave the ones you hate. Food and drinks will be provided; you bring the attitude. For teens ages 12-18.

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My Top 2011 Teen Reads

I read close to 160 books in 2011 (I know, right?) and the majority were teens books. Here are my top five favorite teen books from 2011. If you’re looking for great reads to start our the new year, try one of these.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. Y Taylor.

Karou leads a double life: in one, she is an art student in Prague; in another, she is an errand runner for Brimstone, a chimaerae (demon) who barters teeth for wishes. Her worlds collide when she meets beautiful Akiva, who is on the other side of a centuries old war between angels and demons. This is a dark, romantic, suspenseful grown-up fairy tale, and it’s my favorite book of 2011.

The Isle of Blood (The Monstrumologist, Book Three), by Rick Yancey. Y Yancey.

Young Will Henry and his monster-hunting mentor, Dr. Warthrop, are back in their third adventure, where they travel to the Isle of Blood in search of the monster to end all monsters. If you are looking for something scary, gory, but also highly literate and thoughtful, look no further than Rick Yancey’s Monstrumologist series. A fourth book will happily be coming in the next year or so, so catch up while you still have time.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Cat Valente. Y Valente.

Twelve-year-old September leaves behind her mundane life in Omaha to travel to Fairyland with the Green Wind, where she comes into conflict with the Marquess, whose fickle rule has caused problems for Fairyland’s inhabitants. This is a truly inventive, idiosyncratic story with beautiful illustrations.

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. Y Ness.

Grab some tissues, people! This is a heartbreaking yet life-affirming story of coping with loss, and the haunting, evocative black and white illustrations elevate the story to true art. Ever since Conor’s mother has been diagnosed with cancer, Conor’s been having nightmares of a terrible monster, but when the monster finally shows at midnight, it isn’t the one he expects. This monster, full of ancient wisdom, insists on telling Conor three stories in exchange for one story of Conor’s: the one story – the truth – that he doesn’t want to tell.

Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley. Y Whaley.

This is a strange one, but its strangeness is why I love it so. This literary novel tells intertwining stories of people searching for meaning and redemption in a messed up world. Cullen Witter lives in a tiny Arkansas town that is experiencing a revival after a birdwatcher claims to have seen a woodpecker long thought to be extinct. But while the townspeople are obsessed with searching for this mythical bird, Cullen is desperately searching for his missing younger brother, who disappeared at the same time. Meanwhile, Benton Sage, a missionary traveling in Africa, becomes disillusioned with his calling and sets up a chain reaction of events that dovetails perfectly with Cullen’s story. This excellent debut novel is both funny and meaningful.

Next week I’ll post my “Best of the Rest” list — books I really loved but didn’t make the top five.

October & November 2011 New Books

Sign Language, by Amy Ackley. Y Ackley.
Teenaged Abby must deal with her feelings about her father’s cancer and its aftermath while simultaneously navigating the difficult problems of growing up.

Populazzi, by Elise Allen. Y Allen.
When awkward, socially inept Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life using “The Ladder”–a concept that will allow her to climb to the top of the social order by transforming herself into the perfect girlfriend for the most popular boy in school.

Ultraviolet, by R.J Anderson. Y Anderson.
Almost seventeen-year-old Alison, who has synesthesia, finds herself in a psychiatric facility accused of killing a classmate whose body cannot be found.

Absolute Midnight, by Clive Barker. Y Barker.
Candy Quackenbush of Chickentown, Minnesota, is the only person who can stop the evil Mater Motley who, now that the hour of midnight has come, is prepared to unleash the end of the world.

Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake. Y Blake.
For three years, seventeen-year-old Cas Lowood has carried on his father’s work of dispatching the murderous dead, traveling with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat, but everything changes when he meets Anna, a girl unlike any ghost he has faced before.

Lie, by Caroline Bock. Y Bock.
Told in several voices, a group of Long Island high school seniors conspire to protect eighteen-year-old Jimmy after he brutally assaults two Salvadoran immigrants, until they begin to see the moral implications of Jimmy’s actions and the consequences of being loyal to a violent bully.

Bronxwood, by Coe Booth. Y Booth.
Sixteen-year-old Tyrell, accustomed to being the man of the family, has mixed feelings when his father comes home from jail, but he knows he cannot just go back to being a little boy, especially after losing his younger brother to foster care, getting involved with drug dealers, learning about his mother’s infidelity, and developing a relationship with Jasmine.

The Slayer Chronicles, by Heather Brewer. Y Brewer.
The summer before ninth grade, when Joss sets off to meet his uncle and hunt down the beast that murdered his younger sister three years earlier, he learns he is destined to join the Slayer Society.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson. Y Carson.
A fearful sixteen-year-old princess discovers her heroic destiny after being married off to the king of a neighboring country in turmoil and pursued by enemies seething with dark magic.

Destined (House of Night, Book Nine), by P.C. Cast. Y Cast.
Zoey, safe at home with her guardian warrior Stark, confronts new forces at work in the House of Night, including Aurox, a devastatingly handsome teenage boy, created by Neferet as her greatest weapon.

Shelter, by Harlan Coben. Y Coben.
After tragic events tear Mickey Bolitar away from his parents, he is forced to live with his estranged Uncle Myron and switch high schools, where he finds both friends and enemies, but when his new girlfriend, Ashley, vanishes, he follows her trail into a seedy underworld that reveals she is not what she seems to be.

Crossed (Matched, Book Two), by Ally Condie. Y Condie.
Cassia, having arrived in the Outer Provinces in search of Ky, learns he has escaped from the Society and follows a series of clues he left, which result in rebellion, betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander.

The Death Cure (Maze Runner, Book Three), by James Dashner. Y Dashner.
As the third Trial draws to a close, Thomas and some of his cohorts manage to escape from WICKED, their memories having been restored, only to face new dangers as WICKED claims to be trying to protect the human race from the deadly FLARE virus.

Lost in Time (Blue Bloods, Book Six), by De la Cruz, Melissa. Y Delacruz.
Schuyler Van Alen and her love Jack Force go their separate ways after their trip to Florence, Italy, with Schuyler going to Egypt to fulfill the Van Alen legacy, while Jack returns to Manhattan to face his twin sister, Mimi, but things get even more complicated when Mimi jets off to Egypt while the Coven threatens to fall apart around her.

You Against Me, by Jenny Downham. Y Downham.
When eighteen-year-old Mikey’s younger sister claims to have been raped and he seeks to avenge the crime, he meets Ellie, the sister of the accused, and befriends her, complicating the situation considerably for all of them.

The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles, Book One), by John Flanagan. Y Flanagan.
Hal, Stig, and the other outcasts do not have the size and strength of the Skandians, but when they face off against the Wolves and the Sharks in an ultimate race for survival, they hope that their courage and cunning are enough to help them win in a game that everyone seems to think is a matter of life and death.

Check under the cut for more new books

Breaking Dawn release party winners!

The first and second place prizes for our Breaking Dawn trivia contest have been chosen, and the winners have already picked up their prizes: a $25 Regal Cinema gift card for first place, and a goodie bag of vampire-inspired treats for second place. Congrats to Rosa and Aliah for doing so well on the (pretty hard, if I do say so myself) quiz, and thanks to everyone for making our Eclipse showing a blast.