Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tween Reads February 2016

Tween Reads
February 2016
"By the time I was fifteen years old, I had been in jail nine times."
~ from Lynda Blackmon Lowery's Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom 
Recent Releases
The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Century
by Sarah Miller

Nonfiction. Gruesome hatchet murders are usually the subject of mysteries or horror stories, but the bloody tale of Lizzie Borden is 100% true. Or is it? Newspaper accounts of the 1892 slaying of Andrew and Abby Borden, Lizzie's father and stepmother, were so sensational that it was hard to tell fact from fiction. Lizzie's suspicious behavior, which led to her trial for the murders, only led to more rumors and misinformation. This intriguing book presents the evidence from the Borden case in you-are-there detail, allowing fans of courtroom drama and true crime to cut through the hype and draw their own conclusions about these famous -- and still unsolved -- murders.  
Going Where It's Dark
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Fiction. The most important rule of cave exploration is to never go alone, but since his best friend and caving partner David moved away, 13-year-old Buck has no one to join him on his trips into the newly discovered tunnels beneath his rural hometown. Buck carefully hides his solo caving from his family, just like he hides the fact that he's viciously bullied at school because of his stutter. Both situations are dangerous, and when one of them turns almost deadly, Buck has no one to rely on but himself. If you're moved by this emotionally authentic survival story, you might also enjoy Dan Gemeinhart's The Honest Truth; if you want another take on growing up with a stutter, check out Vince Vawter's Paperboy.
The Night Parade
by Kathryn Tanquary

Fantasy. Though Saki Yamamoto would much rather be back in Tokyo with her friends, her family insists that she travel to her grandmother's remote village for the Obon festival honoring the spirits of their ancestors. As if being stuck without a decent phone signal wasn't enough of a nightmare, Saki accidentally brings down a death curse on her family. To break it, she'll have to join the supernatural Night Parade and follow three guides -- a four-tailed fox, a raccoon-like tanuki, and a feathery tengu -- into the perilous spirit world. With "an entertaining mix of Japanese folklore and teen angst" (School Library Journal), The Night Parade will charm readers of all kinds.  
The Rosemary Spell
by Virginia Zimmerman

Fantasy. Named after a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Rosemary "Rosie" Bennett has grown up surrounded by books, and has always longed for the magical adventures inside them. Her reality is certainly more challenging than it used to be: her dad has left, and her friend Shelby seems to be drifting away. So when Rosie and Adam, Shelby's brother, discover an old book of spells, they eagerly give it a try -- and accidentally cause Shelby to vanish. An "addictive flow of magic and suspense" (Kirkus Reviews) will keep book lovers and fantasy fans turning pages as Rosie and Adam desperately piece together the literary puzzles that will help them reverse the spell. 
Books You Might Have Missed in 2015
The Underground Abductor: An Abolitionist Tale
by Nathan Hale

Graphic Biography. She would later become a nurse, a spy, and an abolitionist, but first, Araminta Ross had to survive an enslaved childhood in 1820s Delaware. Growing up to be brave and determined, Ross risked her life to escape to the northern U.S., where slavery was illegal. Once she was finally free, however, she felt compelled to return in secret, guiding others out of slavery on the Underground Railroad. She also changed her name to one you might recognize: Harriet Tubman. Like the other books in the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series, The Underground Abductor uses a funny frame story to help you understand how the life of one bold American fits into the nation's complicated history.
The Forget-Me-Not Summer
by Leila Howland

Fiction. Even without TV, internet, or phone reception, it's hard for the Los Angeles-dwelling Silver sisters -- 12-year-old Marigold, 11-year-old Zinnia, and five-year-old Lily -- to be upset about spending the summer with their Aunt Sunny on Cape Cod. Zinnia and Lily ease right into lazy, sunshine-drenched days on the beach, while the more motivated Marigold makes plans to further her blossoming acting career (and her first crush). If you love upbeat realistic fiction with a sweetly nostalgic feel, don't miss this 1st book in the Silver Sisters series (and keep an eye out for the next book, The Brightest Stars of Summer, due out in May 2016).
Paper Things
by Jennifer Jacobson

Fiction. Eleven-year-old orphan Arianna knows that she's too old to play with paper dolls. Still, she finds comfort in her beloved paper "family," because the only relative she's got left is Gage, her 19-year-old brother. But Gage doesn't have a job or an apartment, which means that he and Ari are constantly couch surfing or sneaking into shelters. As the stress of hiding their situation begins to strain her friendships and her schoolwork, Ari is forced to consider how much she's willing to lose to stay loyal to her brother. Those who enjoy this honest, bittersweet story about family homelessness may also appreciate Katherine Applegate's Crenshaw.
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March
by Lynda Blackmon Lowery as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley

Memoir. The youngest person to complete the Selma-to-Montgomery March in 1965 Alabama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery was one of many students who risked her own safety to participate in the American Civil Rights Movement. She relates her experiences through words, photos, and illustrations, using an easy, matter-of-fact style to describe brutal beatings and grueling imprisonment as well as the warmth of a strong community with a common cause. Ending with an epilogue about current voting rights in the U.S., this award-winning book provides vivid insight into the past and perspective on the present. 
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Ouachita Parish Public Library
1800 Stubbs Avenue
Monroe, Louisiana 71201
(318) 327-1490

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

New Teen Books

Teen Scene
February 2016
"I didn’t destroy young love. I just sped up the inevitable."
~ from Philip Siegel's The Break-Up Artist
Recent Releases
by Susan Dennard

Fantasy. Though Safi and Iseult have different magical gifts -- Truthwitch Safi sees truth or lies in speech, while Threadwitch Iseult sees human relationships -- they're bound together by fierce friendship. When the Twenty Year Truce ends and the Witchlands erupt into war, three clashing empires all seek to control Safi's valuable power, forcing Safi and Iseult to flee. Pursued by a deadly Bloodwitch mercenary, the girls set sail with Merik, a Windwitch privateer whose loyalties might not align with their own. Alternating points of view add even more depth to the compelling characters, intricate world-building, and breathtaking adventure in this series debut. 
This Raging Light
by Estelle Laure

Fiction. A few months ago, Lucille's dad attacked her mom and was institutionalized. A few weeks ago, Lucille's mom left and didn't come back. Now, too scared and too stubborn to ask for help, Lucille is stuck paying the bills and taking care of her 10-year-old sister Wren. Thankfully, she's got her best friend Eden to lean on. But even that relationship gets complicated when Lucille begins to fall painfully, inconveniently in love with Digby, Eden's twin brother. Pairing Lucille's poetic voice with her tough situation, This Raging Light is an emotionally charged story about strength, loss, and finding first love when you least expect it.
The Trouble with Destiny
by Lauren Morrill

Fiction. Drum major Liza and her high school marching band aren't on a Destiny cruise ship for fun -- they're there to win the $25,000 Ship of Dreams performing arts prize before school budget cuts force them to disband. Energetic Liza feels upbeat about her band's chances... at least until her ex-friend Demi shows up with an annoyingly talented dance team, and Liza is distracted by confusing feelings for both bandmate Russ AND former crush Lenny. Bursting with breezy romance and slapstick humor, this comedy about competing to save beloved school activities is perfect for fans of Prudence Chen's Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong.
This Is Where It Ends
by Marieke Nijkamp

Fiction. It's the first day of classes at Opportunity High School, which means that everyone is gathered in the auditorium when the shooting starts. Tyler, a former student, has returned with a gun, and the next 54 minutes of terror unspool from the perspective of four students: Autumn, Tyler's sister; Sylv, her secret girlfriend; Tomás, Sylv's brother; and Claire, Tyler's ex-girlfriend. Though this unflinching, minute-by-minute account of a school shooting may be overwhelming for some, those who are drawn to raw, all-too-realistic fiction won't be able to put it down. For a broader range of reactions to similar events, try the short story collection Violent Ends.
The Devil's Engine: Hellraisers
by Alexander Gordon Smith

Horror. Asthmatic 15-year-old Marlow Green may be a petty criminal with a nose for trouble, but he never expected to face a deal with the devil: he just stumbled into a fight and tried to help a girl. But this particular girl, Pan, is an Engineer, part of a secret army who've sold their souls to the arcane Devil's Engine in exchange for superpowers. And now that Marlow knows about the Engineers, he has no choice but join in their battle to prevent hell on earth. If you like your horror stories overflowing with darkness, demons, and gritty action, don’t miss this 1st book in the Devil's Engine series. 
Never Getting Back Together?
From burnt bridges to the hope of reunion, these books for fans of realistic romance all depict the angst and drama of dealing with break-ups and exes.
Audrey, Wait!
by Robin Benway

Fiction. Audrey Cuttler had no idea that dumping her boyfriend would make her famous. But when her erstwhile beau, Evan, poured his heartbreak into a song, it catapulted his band to the big-time -- and, being that the song was written about Audrey, it dragged her along for the ride. How will she ever get a second chance at love now? Music lovers will appreciate the (actual) song lyrics that open each chapter, and readers who like great characters, snappy dialogue, and romance will adore this hilarious novel.
Down to the Bone
by Mayra Lazara Dole

Fiction. Laura Amores, a 17-old Cuban-American living in Miami, is blissfully in love with her girlfriend, Marlena. But after Laura is caught reading a love letter from Marlena during class, she's expelled from her Catholic high school and kicked out of her mom's house. She moves in with a friend, gets a job, and manages okay until Marlena, who's been sent back to Puerto Rico, renounces her feelings for Laura and marries a hometown boy. Heartbroken, Laura thinks that perhaps her life will be easier if she pretends to be straight, too...but can she be happy living a lie? This story's vibrantly described Miami setting, ample comic relief, and infusion of Cuban culture make it a standout.
Why We Broke Up
by Daniel Handler; illustrated by Maira Kalman

Fiction. Min Green is awkward, sincere, romantic, and loves classic cinema; Ed Stapleton has simple tastes (basketball, girls) and is crazy-popular. Their relationship may have been doomed from the start, but the story -- about how they got together, the details of their forays into each other's worlds, and yes, the reasons why they broke up -- is chock full of the indefinable stuff that makes fans of artsy, offbeat fiction swoon. Memorable characters, quirky situations, cynical humor, and honest emotion make Why We Broke Up a superb choice for fans of John Green's An Abundance of Katherines (or Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which Green co-authored with David Levithan).
Past Perfect
by Leila Sales

Fiction. Now that she's finally 16, Chelsea could get a normal job. Instead, she lets her best friend talk her into one more petticoat-wearing, tourist-wrangling summer as a junior interpreter at Colonial Essex Village in Virginia. It's a decision that Chelsea quickly begins to regret, especially after Ezra, the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, turns up at orientation. Dealing with Ezra becomes even more complicated when Chelsea starts crushing on Dan, one of the "farbs" (aka unskilled reenactors) at Civil War Reenactmentland, the rival historical attraction across the street.  Smart, snarky humor and an unusual setting make Past Perfect a charming read for history geeks and romance fans alike.
The Break-Up Artist
by Philip Siegel

Fiction. For a mere $100 via Paypal, high schooler Becca Williamson will create drama, expose weakness, and generally do whatever it takes to break up a couple. After losing her best friend to a popular boyfriend and seeing her sister abandoned at the altar, Becca knows the damage that love can do. In her eyes, it's only practical to destroy the delusion of true love sooner rather than later. A mysterious request to break up the school's power couple, however, combined with a forbidden romance of her own, leaves Becca questioning the wisdom of ruining others' relationships and wondering if she might have been wrong about love after all. 
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Ouachita Parish Public Library
1800 Stubbs Avenue
Monroe, Louisiana 71201
(318) 327-1490

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tween Reads

Tween Reads
January 2016
"Always check for traps, left is always right unless there's a middle, always put your healer in the best armor and wear your magic rings on your toes instead of your fingers."
~ from Kate Milford's Greenglass House
Recent Releases
On the Run
by Tristan Bancks

Suspense. If you knew your parents had committed a crime, would you turn them in? It's a question that 12-year-old Ben never thought he'd have to answer. But after his parents drag him and his younger sister Olive on a surprise "vacation" to the Australian bush, he follows the clues to the disturbing truth: his parents are hiding millions in stolen cash. Now, instead of quietly writing crime stories, Ben is stuck inside one, and he has to figure out how to escape with his sister before their particular story becomes a tragedy. Combining action, suspense, and survival, this high-stakes thriller will keep you turning pages right up until the end.
by Eve Bunting

Historical Fiction. Sixteen-year-old Josie feels a tingle of foreboding when she arrives in the seaside Scottish town of Brindle, and not just because of her aunt and uncle's chilly welcome. Everything about the place is unsettling, from the gloomy landscape to the secretive behavior of the townspeople (including the alluring but off-limits Eli). Though she's forbidden from asking questions, Josie can't control her curiosity…not even when it puts her in danger. Set in 1807, Forbidden will satisfy fans of historical mystery, as well as readers who relish atmospheric tales with hints of the paranormal. For a similar story with a different setting, try Laura Amy Schlitz's A Drowned Maiden's Hair.
Fast Break
by Mike Lupica

Sports Fiction. Though he's gotten pretty good at stealing food, Jayson gets collared when he tries to shoplift a new pair of sneakers. A talented middle school basketball player, Jayson needs the shoes to keep playing, but he can't afford them since his mom died and her boyfriend took off. Once it's revealed that he's living on his own, Jayson is taken in by the Lawtons, a wealthy older couple Though he resists being sent to a fancy private school, he doesn't hesitate to join the basketball team, channeling his grief and anger into the game. On-the-court action and authentic emotions make Fast Break a perfect pick for sports fans, as well as anyone looking for a quick, upbeat read.
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse
by Joseph Marshall III

Fiction. Jimmy McClean is three-quarters Lakota and one-quarter white, but his light hair and blue eyes make him a target for the bullies at his school on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. Seeing Jimmy's frustration at having to constantly defend his heritage, Grandpa Nyles decides to take him on a "vision journey" to explore the life of another light-haired Lakota: the famous leader Crazy Horse. As they travel across the Great Plains, stopping along the way for Grandpa Nyles to tell intriguing stories about Crazy Horse's victories and struggles, Jimmy gradually discovers a sense of pride -- not just in himself, but in the pain and power of his people's history. 
Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert
by Marc Aronson

Nonfiction. Imagine: you're stuck thousands of feet below the surface of the earth. There's hardly any food. It's brutally hot, and it gets harder to breathe every day. Those were the conditions that 33 Chilean miners endured for 69 days in 2010. Trapped is the astonishing account of their ordeal, as well as the heroic (and sometime bizarre) efforts of their rescuers. Alongside fascinating insights into the history, science, politics, and mythology of mining, author Marc Aronson vividly describes the miners' suspenseful struggles and the increasingly desperate attempts to save them. Eye-catching photos, diagrams, and quotations drive home the drama of this real-life survival story.
Zebra Forest
by Adina Rishe Gewirtz

Fiction. In their isolated house at the edge of a forest, Annie, her younger brother Rew, and their mentally unstable Gran are held hostage by an escaped convict. Their terror turns to shock, however, when they learn that the convict is the children's father, who they believed to be dead. Gran is too far gone to help, Rew is disbelieving and furious, but Annie is strangely reluctant to let go of this unexpected chance to know her father. If you love intense, character-driven stories about imperfect families and uneasy truths, don't miss this poignant and poetic debut novel.
Greenglass House
by Kate Milford

Mystery. In the midst of a wild snowstorm, five unusual guests turn up unannounced at the creaky old Greenglass Inn. Milo, the innkeepers' son, is annoyed by the interruption to his winter break, but his frustration turns to intrigue when several items go missing from the guests' rooms. Encouraged by his friend Meddy, Milo draws on the skills of Negret (his character from the role-playing game Odd Trails) to investigate the strange thefts. Offbeat and vividly written, Greenglass House is loaded with tension, twists, and touches of fantasy. If you like this multilayered mystery, you should check out Chris Grabenstein's Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, which also features young gamers in puzzling circumstances.
by Todd Strasser

Suspense. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, many Americans braced for a nuclear attack that never occurred. But in Fallout, the bomb actually does drop, trapping 11-year-old Scott -- along with his family and several of their neighbors -- in an underground bomb shelter. As the food supply runs low, tensions run high, exposing guilt, fear, and prejudice among the survivors, who begin to wonder if they'll ever make it out alive. Contrasting the familiar concerns of Scott's life before the bomb with the horror of the aftermath, this thought-provoking read is the perfect pick for those who enjoy  speculating about what might have been.