Friday, July 10, 2015

Ouachita Parish New Book Releases!

Recent Releases
Crimson Bound
by Rosamund Hodge

Fantasy. Despite knowing the dangers of the dark forest, apprentice woodwife Rachelle strays from the path and pays the price: she is marked as "bloodbound" to the wolfish, supernatural forestborn and forced to become a killer. As penance, Rachelle pledges to use her deadly new powers to protect  the kingdom from evil. The king, however, orders her to guard his son, Armand, which not only gets in the way of Rachelle's personal mission, but also kicks off an angsty love triangle involving fellow bloodbound Erec. This "unusual, intricately woven story" (Kirkus Reviews) based on Red Riding Hood is sure to captivate fans of the author's previous fairy tale retelling, Cruel Beauty.
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak
by Brian Katcher

Fiction. Overachiever Ana couldn't care less that this year's Washingcon sci-fi convention conflicts with her quiz bowl team's championship, but geeky Zak, a reluctant quiz bowl alternate, is disappointed to miss the con. So when Ana's brother (and teammate) Clayton ditches the quiz bowl for Washingcon, Ana enlists Zak to help her find him. The two of them take turns narrating their wild night-long search, which includes cosplayers, gamers, card collectors, felons, a Star Wars/Star Trek wedding...and a growing attraction that Zak and Ana can't ignore. Similar to Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, this opposites-attract romance offers both genuine emotions and pop culture-inspired humor.
The Porcupine of Truth
by Bill Konigsberg

Fiction. Carson hasn't seen his alcoholic father in years, but now that the guy is dying, 17-year-old Carson is forced to spend the summer with him in Billings, Montana. There, Carson meets Aisha, who's been sleeping at the local zoo since her ultra-conservative father kicked her out for being a lesbian. The two quickly become friends, and after they discover some surprising clues regarding Carson's long-absent grandfather, they take off on a road trip to learn the truth and bring Carson's dad some closure. If you prefer realistic fiction that's both funny and unflinching, don't miss this bittersweet story about prejudice, forgiveness, and family.
Scarlett Undercover
by Jennifer Latham

Supernatural Mystery. At 16, talented sleuth Scarlett has already finished high school and started her own detective agency. Though her latest job seems normal enough, it leads to an ancient supernatural conspiracy in Scarlett's family history; to crack the case, Scarlett will have to re-examine not only her personal beliefs, but also her father's unsolved murder. Told in a tough-talking, hard-boiled style, this debut novel introduces a memorable teen detective and a suspenseful, mythology-infused mystery. Readers who want another smart Muslim American heroine may enjoy G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel comics, while those looking for another teen gumshoe should try Sean Beaudoin's You Killed Wesley Payne.
by Noelle Stevenson

Graphic Fantasy. When exuberant, gleefully violent Nimona first offers to be his sidekick, villainous Lord Ballister Blackheart turns her down. Once she reveals that she's a shapeshifter, however, Blackheart is intrigued. And Nimona does have some good ideas for overthrowing Blackheart's archenemies, Sir Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics... But does she really have her powers under control? Adorably edgy cartoons provide the perfect visuals for this witty and heartfelt fantasy that overturns stereotypes about good and evil. Whether you're a new fan or you've been following Nimona since its beginning as a webcomic, you may find it hard to resist the adventures of this irrepressible anti-heroine. 
If You Like: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Combining humor, profanity, and insight, these unconventional reads about friendship, creativity, and the things that change (or don't change) your life will appeal to fans of Jesse Andrews' Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. The movie of Me and Earl opened in U.S. theaters in June.
Dear Life, You Suck
by Scott Blagden

Fiction. Outspoken, irreverent, and a little too quick with his fists, 17-year-old Cricket doesn't see a lot of options for himself once he leaves the Naskeag Home for Boys. He might survive on his boxing skills, or by taking over for a local drug dealer, but with such a bleak future and an unthinkable past, Cricket's not even sure that life is worth living anymore. Enter Wynona Bidaban, the girl who offers Cricket unexpected new perspectives. Like Me and Earl's Greg, Cricket confronts both the excitement and the bitter unfairness of life with sarcasm, self-awareness, and lots of movie references.
Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film About the Grapes of Wrath
by Steven Goldman

Fiction. Junior year is turning out to be eventful for Mitchell Wells: his best friend has just come out to him (and only him); he's turned in a somewhat obscene claymation short film instead of a paper about The Grapes of Wrath (didn't go over so well); and one of the most popular girls at school suddenly likes him (?!?!). Prom is coming up, and at this rate, there's no predicting what will happen. If you liked Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, it's a pretty good bet that you'll like Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about The Grapes of Wrath, a drily hilarious and painfully honest slice of high school life.
An Abundance of Katherines
by John Green

Fiction. Recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin Singleton falls in love easily. Since third grade, he's had a grand total of 19 girlfriends, all named Katherine, who have all dumped him. Freshly rejected by Katherine XIX, Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend Hassan, a chubby, Judge Judy-obsessed Muslim with dreams of becoming a stand-up comic. They make it as far as Gutshot, Tennessee, where they befriend a girl who is NOT named Katherine, and where Colin works to perfect a mathematical formula that can predict how long romantic relationships will last. This offbeat male-bonding story should appeal to anyone who thinks that math is fun, road trips have curative powers, or that everyone's story matters.
Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II
by Ronald Koertge

Fiction. Having been ditched one too many times by his flaky sort-of girlfriend, Colleen, aspiring filmmaker Ben Bancroft wonders whether someone his overbearing grandmother approves of -- like popular, pretty, academically driven A.J., who is just as big of a film nut as Ben -- might be a better match for him. But can A.J. really see past Ben's cerebral palsy like Colleen does? Fans of the 1st book, Stoner & Spaz (and other all-about-the-attiude novels like Barry Lyga's The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl), will be pleased to find the same sort of witty, electric banter in Now Playing, and film buffs will appreciate the movies that are mentioned throughout.
King Dork
by Frank Portman

Fiction. Smart, cynical Tom Henderson is a typical high school loser whose pastimes include coming up with band names (never mind the fact that he's not in a band) and trying to attract "semihot girls." Tom is baffled and annoyed by his teachers' cultish allegiance to The Catcher in the Rye, a book that changed their lives when they were teenagers. But Tom's own life is about to be changed by a copy of the same book -- the copy that his recently deceased father filled with cryptic notes that might explain his mysterious death. Tom's sardonic humor and esoteric musical references continue in the sequel, King Dork Approximately.  

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Tween Reads @ Your Library

Tween Reads
July 2015
"No matter how 'normal' people look, living 'ordinary' lives, everyone has a story to tell. And may be, just like you, everyone else is a misfit too."
~ Sanhita Baruah, Indian poet and novelist
Recent Releases
Wild Boy & The Black Terror
by Rob Lloyd Jones

Historical Fiction. They may have escaped from the freak show where they used to perform, but it's still hard for acrobat Clarissa and fur-covered, aspiring detective Wild Boy to blend into everyday life in Victorian England. The two friends find allies in the secret crime-fighting society known as the Gentlemen, and are soon handed a perilous case: to find the source and the antidote for a rare poison that’s spreading death and terror throughout London -- all the way to the queen herself. This "thrilling, gory, head-rushing" (Kirkus Reviews) sequel to Wild Boy is perfect for readers who like steampunk-style historical adventures.
I Am Princess X
by Cherie Priest

Thriller. Princess X, the sword-swinging, sneaker-clad comic book superheroine created by fifth-grade friends May and Libby, died on the day that Libby was killed in a car crash. So why is May, now 16, suddenly seeing stickers and graffiti featuring Princess X? It all leads back to a recent underground webcomic about the princess – a webcomic full of cryptic details which indicate that Libby might be alive, in danger, and purposefully leaving clues for May to find. Alternating between Princess X's illustrated exploits and May's investigation (both on the internet and in real-life Seattle), this techno-thriller is short, savvy, and satisfying. 
How to Speak Dolphin
by Ginny Rorby

Fiction. Since her mom died, 12-year-old Lily spends a lot of time taking care of her four-year-old brother, Adam. Though it seems clear that Adam is on the autism spectrum, Lily's stepdad doesn't want to admit it, or seek out support for Adam. When Adam meets and bonds with Nori, a wild dolphin being treated for cancer at a local marine park, Lily is excited that Adam has found a friend. But she can't help but wonder: is continuing Adam's dolphin-assisted therapy worth keeping Nori in captivity? For another realistically complicated look at family and human-animal relationships, try Hurt Go Happy, also by Ginny Rorby.
The Disappearance of Emily H.
by Barrie Summy

Mystery. You'd think that the ability to see memories attached to objects would be useful when starting a new school, but it's not much help to eighth-grader Raine. She still has to put up with the school's mean-girl clique, whose bullying seems more sinister when memories reveal that they know more than they're telling about the recent disappearance of fellow student Emily. Though following Emily's memories becomes increasingly risky, Raine feels compelled to find the missing girl. Combining authentic middle school social drama with supernatural mystery, Raine's dogged search for the truth is bound to keep you turning pages. 
Focus on: Misfits, Loners, and Outsiders
If I Ever Get Out of Here
by Eric L. Gansworth

Historical Fiction. As the only American Indian kid in the gifted program at a mostly white school, seventh-grader Lewis Blake feels like he may as well be from a different planet. He's just about given up hope of making friends when he and new student George connect over their shared love of the Beatles. Still, Lewis is afraid that he can never be honest with George about his messed up family and their life on the poverty-stricken reservation. Set in 1975 against a backdrop of classic rock (there's even a playlist included), If I Ever Get Out of Here is an unhurried, authentic story of unlikely friendship.
There Will Be Bears
by Ryan Gebhart

Fiction. Breaking Gramps out of the nursing home wasn't the original plan. It's just the result of several disappointments for awkward, eccentric Tyson. First, his best friend ditched him because Tyson likes Taylor Swift more than football. Then, his long-awaited hunting trip with Gramps was cancelled due to Gramps' failing health (and some recent grizzly bear attacks in the area). These setbacks only made Tyson more determined to prove his worth as an outdoorsman, which is why he and Gramps are sneaking off for some illicit elk hunting. But is Gramps' health -- or Tyson's courage -- up to the challenge? Similar to Jack Gantos or Jordan Sonnenblick, debut author Ryan Gebhart skillfully balances realistic emotions with irreverent humor.
How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied
by Jess Keating

Fiction. It's not exaggerating to say that Ana's life feels like a zoo -- after all, her family lives in one. Moved there by her zookeeper parents, Ana doesn't want her seventh grade classmates to know about her unorthodox new neighborhood. Too bad her famous grandfather is making a reality show about the family! Facing unwanted fame and missing her best friend (who recently moved away), Ana copes by making zoological "creature files" about her classmates. Honest, funny, and poignant, Ana's story continues in the sequel, How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel. If a zoo sounds like your ideal habitat, you might also enjoy Stuart Gibb's Belly Up and Poached
13 Gifts
by Wendy Mass

Fiction. Shortly before her 13th birthday, usually timid Tara gets caught trying to steal a goat -- the school's mascot -- from the principal's office. As punishment, Tara's parents send her to spend the summer with her aunt and uncle in tiny Willow Falls rather than taking her to Madagascar with them. But instead of the boredom she expects, Tara finds mystery and a bit of magic in the charmed little town and its unusual inhabitants. While she may be shy, Tara has a lot of personality, and her wry narration is a highlight of this companion novel to 11 Birthdays and Finally. For more birthday tales full of colorful characters, but touched by a good bit more magic, check out Ingrid Law's Savvy and Scumble.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Local 12-year-old girl writes novel


Local 12-year-old girl writes novel

There’s no need to wait until you’re an adult to chase your dreams.
That’s the message that 13-year-old Chrishana Rodgers gives when she’s asked to speak at other schools about her experience writing a book at the age of 12.
“I’ve been going around to different schools and school districts and telling the kids their imagination has value,” she told the Ouachita Parish Police Jury on Monday night. “Basically, it’s like a person walking down the street with gold and not knowing the worth of it until later on in life when you get word that it has value.”
The Police Jury honored Rodgers and her father, Chris Rodgers, with two separate proclamations. Chrishana Rodgers was honored for writing her book, Daughter of the Unknown: A Concrete Princess. Her father was recognized for taking a year off of work to publish his daughter’s book.
“You two exemplify what happens when a father invests totally … into his family,” Juror Ollibeth Reddix said. “I thought it was so inspiring that you took a whole year off to actually discover and create the publishing of this book. It’s absolutely a wonderful novel.”
The book, which is available for purchase on Amazon, is a 220-page coming-of-age thriller.
“I want to say how much I appreciate you being a part of this for my daughter,” Chris Rodgers told the jury. “She’s appreciating it and she’s loving it.”
Chrishana Rodgers and her family will launch the book locally at the main branch of Ouachita Parish Public Library at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Chris Rodgers said he hopes his daughter’s accomplishments will motivate other children to take a risk.
“I hope it’s the first step in inspiring another kid that might have something on their hard drive, some book, some poem,” he said. “And they’ll say, ‘OK Ouachita Parish. They’re ready for me.’ This act says to those kids that we’re waiting for you. We want you to take that one step. We’re going to take 50 on their behalf.”
Chrishana Rodgers said the time is now for her generation.
“A little story could mean so much,” she said. “Do what you want to. You don’t have to be 28 or 55 to do what you want to do. You can start out now if you know what you want to do.”
Follow @Kaleb_Causey on Twitter.

Read the book description on Amazon:
Somewhere on the continent of North America, there lies a mystical world unto itself called...Harlem. Among its diverse and proud people, and amid the hustle and bustle of the city's never-sleeping streets, we find Gloria. In many ways, Gloria is your typical teenage girl: intelligent, creative, athletic, and a bit insecure. She's tough and beautiful too; but she doesn't always see herself that way. She sees herself as no one particularly special; just another person out here, trying to figure out what this thing called life is really about. Anyway... One day, in the recent past, a misunderstanding with a teacher unexpectedly gets Gloria suspended from school. She has no idea how she's going to explain this to her dad. Little does she know, she'll soon find that getting kicked out of school is the least of her problems; for you see, when she gets home, her dad will share with her a secret that will shatter both of their lives forever... In Daughter of the Unknown, Chrishana Rodgers has penned a suspenseful coming-of-age thriller that will have you wondering... How far would you go for someone you love?