Friday, December 27, 2013

20 Titles to Watch for in 2014

January 7
Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

From the Publisher:
For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own. 
January 7
Splintered Book 2
Unhinged by A.G. Howard

From the Publisher:
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole. She was crowned Queen of the Red Court and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the boy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly appealing Morpheus. Now all she has to do is graduate high school.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

Could she leave Jeb and her parents behind again, for the sake of a man she knows has manipulated her before? Will her mother and Jeb trust her to do what’s right? Readers will swoon over the satisfying return to Howard’s bold, sensual reimagining of Carroll’s classic.
January 7
Defy by Sara B. Larson

From the Publisher:
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?
January 14
Miss Peregrine's 
Book 2
The Hollow City by Ransom Rigs

From the Publisher:
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.
January 21

Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle

From the Publisher:
In the sequel to Better Nate Than Ever, Nate Foster’s Broadway dreams are finally coming true.

Armed with a one-way ticket to New York City, small-town theater geek Nate is off to start rehearsals for E.T.: The Broadway Musical. It’s everything he ever practiced his autograph for! But as thrilling as Broadway is, rehearsals are nothing like Nate expects: full of intimidating child stars, cut-throat understudies, and a director who can’t even remember Nate’s name.

Now, as the countdown to opening night is starting to feel more like a time bomb, Nate is going to need more than his lucky rabbit’s foot if he ever wants to see his name in lights. He may even need a showbiz miracle.

The companion novel to Better Nate Than Ever, which The New York Times called “inspired and inspiring,” Five, Six, Seven, Nate! is full of secret admirers, surprise reunions, and twice the drama of middle school...with a lot more glitter.
January 23
Fragile Spirits by Mary Lindsey

From the Publisher:
Paul has always known he was a Protector, fated to serve a Speaker who could hear the voices of spirits lingering after death and help those souls find peace.

Vivienne ignores the voices of the dead.

Paul has always followed the Protector’s rule book, preparing diligently for the day when he’d be matched with his Speaker and fulfill his destiny.

Vivienne never does what she’s told.

So when Paul is matched with Vivienne, they both find the pairing less than satisfactory. But a kidnapping, a malevolent spirit and a power stronger than both of them may just prove that they are two halves of the same whole.

In a stunning story about the beauty of fate and the power of secrets, Mary Lindsey returns to the world of Shattered Souls with a breathtaking thrill ride of a novel.
January 28
The Archive Book 2
Unbound by Victoria Schwab

From the Publisher:
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?
January 28
Madman's Daughter
Book 2
Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

From the Publisher:
Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.
February 4
Lunar Chronicles
Book 3
Cress by Marissa Meyer

From the Publisher:
In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker – unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
February 4
Shatter Me Book 3
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

From the Publisher:
With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.”
February 11
Pivot Point Book 2
Split Second by Kasie West

From the Publisher:
Addie has always been able to see the future when faced with a choice, but that doesn't make her present any easier. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. So when Addie's dad invites her to spend her winter break with him in the Norm world, she jumps at the chance. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He's a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. She wants to change that.

Laila, her best friend, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie's memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don't want this to happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
February 25
Grim edited by Christine Johnson

From the Publisher:
Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today: Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking, Julie Kagawa, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, & Jon Skrovron.
March 4
Panic by Lauren Oliver

From the Publisher:
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
March 4
Stung Book 2
Cured by Bethany Wiggins

From the Publisher:
Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way--until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers.
March 11
The Mirk and Midnight by Jane Nickerson

From the Publisher:
Seventeen-year-old Violet Dancey has been left at home in Mississippi with a laudanum-addicted stepmother and love-crazed stepsister while her father fights in the war—a war that has already claimed her twin brother.

When she comes across a severely injured Union soldier lying in an abandoned lodge deep in the woods, things begin to change. Thomas is the enemy—one of the men who might have killed her own brother—and yet she's drawn to him. But Violet isn't Thomas's only visitor; someone has been tending to his wounds—keeping him alive—and it becomes chillingly clear that this care hasn't been out of compassion. Against the dangers of war and ominous powers of voodoo, Violet must fight to protect her home and the people she loves.
April 15
House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

From the Publisher:
Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.
April 22
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

From the Publisher:
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?
May 13
Reboot Book 2
Rebel by Amy Tintera

From the Publisher:
After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn't what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren's instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he's underestimated Wren and Callum.

July 22
Strange and Deadly
Book 3
Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

Book three of the Something Strange and Deadly books. The publisher's playing it close to the chest with this one, but we'll definitely get to see more of Eleanor, Daniel and the rest of the gang!
Summer 2014
Born of Illusion
Book 2
Born of Deception by Teri Brown

From the Publisher:
After scoring a spot on a European vaudeville tour, Anna Van Housen is moving to London to chase her dream and to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil—one of its members has been kidnapped, and members of the society are starting to turn on one another. With her life in danger and her relationship with her boyfriend, Cole, fizzling, can Anna track down the kidnapper before he makes her his next victim—or will she be forced to pay the ultimate price for her powers?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November Update: I'm Not Dead Yet!

I apologise most emphatically for the radio silence. Here is a quick update on my Heath (reason for current hiatus) and a (hopeful) idea of when I'll return to regular blogging. Feel free to skip the health stuff and go right to the blogging information farther down the page if the other grosses you out or is TMI. (I've discussed my diagnosis/Heath stuff with so many doctors, friends, family and curious people in waiting rooms at MD Anderson that I may have lost my sense of when/what is acceptable to share on this issue!)

On October 15 I underwent an intense abdominal surgery that lasted several hours. The purpose of the surgery was to test several areas of my abdominal cavity for cancer cells. (In July I was diagnosed with appendix cancer and it was discovered that the mucin produced by the tumor in my appendix had managed to perforate the wall of my appendix and flooded my abdominal cavity with mucin - which will be hereafter referred to as "The Snot Monster".) 

The reason for the sampling from various sections of my abdomen was due to the face that my Snot Monster could potentially carry cancerous cells and 'seed' those cells in various cracks and crannies of my abdominal cavity. (Booooo! Hissss!)

Good news! During the biopsy phase of surgery all the samples returned cancer free. So then the surgeon opened me up all the way (samples were taken via laparoscopic incision) to remove part of my colon (joy) and clean the Snot Monster from my abdominal cavity. Final pathology results have come in and I am now CANCER FREE! *happy dance*

My recovery is going well in general. I've never had to recover from a 10in incision through all the fat and muscle of my abdomen, but my doctors seem pleased. I'm, personally, starting to get a bit stir crazy from all the restrictions of healing. But hey, I am cancer free, so I guess I just need to suck it up and be thankful. I see my doc next week and will be discussing when I can return to work. But have a feeling it will be several more weeks as I had a minor setback about 10 days ago when part of my incision reopened. And yes, it is JUST as traumatic and gross as it sounds. So now I have this small, but rather deep wound that I can see preventing my doctor from giving me the "green light" back to Libraryland.  So that's where I stand health-wise, on the blogging. 

All of this cancer diagnosis, surgery and recover have really killed free time. Currently I exhaust myself merely sleeping and reading. Sad, I know. So I believe the smart this is to put my blog on hiatus until at least mid-December. The reality may be more like January 2014, but I really hope to get at least a couple posts in before then.

Again, I am very sorry for the lack of current posts but also flattered and thankful for all of your support and well-wishes.  Thank you.  

I look forward to supplying you all with quality reviews, teen programming, letters from the frontlines, and more Book Posters and Bookmarks in the near future!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Creepy Reads for Teens Poster

Image available on Resource Page.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Hiatus

Dear Readers,

I am undergoing surgery in October to fix a rare form of appendix cancer. (Who knew that appendix cancer was even a thing?!) This condition is curable, but does require surgery to fix. Right now I'm hoping for a single surgery to get me healthy but may require a later, secondary surgery depending on test results from initial surgery.  Do to doctors appointments, surgery and recovery I will be taking a break from blogging until early November.

Until then, here are several resources to keep you going:

Teen Librarian Toolbox - Blog run by four YA Librarians and generally awesome ladies.
Manga Bookshelf - Reviews & resources for graphic novels.
YA Program Ideas - My Pinterest board of program ideas.

Wishing everyone a Happy October and may everyone have a SPOOKTASTIC Halloween!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

3 More Book Posters - Easy Readers' Advisory

JPEG files for these Book Posters are available here.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

2 New Book Posters on Resource Page

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Review: The Clockwork Girl by Sean O'Reilly & Kevin Hanna

He had to make me different...
Different is why I can be here
with you. Right now.

In a far away land, two rival scientists try to create the ultimate invention - one by melding different organisms together, the other using pure machinery.  The results are the Clockwork Girl and the Wolfboy who develop a friendship that defies logic.

The Clockwork Girl was originally published as a limited run comic series between 2007 and 2008. All five volumes of the series are combined in a full-color,  hardcover edition that includes an introduction by the creators.  The colors are rich and the lines are clear; each character is given individual detail.  There are some minor inconsistencies between the cover art and the characters within the graphic novel (Tesla's nose is different) but readers are unlikely to be bothered.

The plot of forbidden friendship is not original and the reader will likely be able to see how the story will end. However, this graphic novel is not about the destination but rather the journey to friendship. The weakest area of this graphic novel is the dialogue between characters.  There is almost no character development and dialogue seems to be an afterthought.  Given the richness of the illustration, perhaps the creators would have been better served to make this a story told solely with pictures.  Younger readers will enjoy this graphic novel, but those looking for a deeper story should give it a pass.

Book Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 10+
Recommended for Readers of:

Monday, September 9, 2013

20 Teen Writing Contests

Creative Communication
Type: Poetry & Essay
Ages: Students in grades K-12 in the United States and Canada.
Deadline: Varies (3 Times a Year)

Type: Varies
Ages: Varies
Deadline: Varies

Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration
Type: Family History Story/Essay
Ages: U.S. Grades 4-8 or International students ages 9-14
Deadline: Ongoing

"It's All Write!"
Type: Short Story
Ages: Grades 6-12
Deadline: January to March

Type: Poetry
Ages: Ages 9-21 (multiple categories)
Deadline: January

The Legacy Project's Listen to a Life Contest
Type: Interview a Senior Citizen (50+) and write essay based on interview.
Ages: 8-18 years
Deadline: September

Letters About Literature
Type: Write a letter to an author (living or dead).
Ages: Grades 4-12
Deadline: Ongoing

NANO Fiction
Type: Fiction 300 words or less
Ages: All
Deadline: September

The National WWII Museum Annual Essay Contest
Type: Essay
Ages: Student
Deadline: Unknown. Details announced January.

One Teen Story
Type: Fiction
Ages: 14-19 years
Deadline: May-June 2014

Optimist Club
Type: Essay Contest
Ages: Current students under 19 years of age
Deadline: February

Ralph Munn Creative Writing Contest
Type: Fiction
Ages: Teen
Deadline: Contact contest for details

Type: Varies (Comic Book, Novel, Essay etc.)
Ages: Grades 7-10
Deadline: Varies

Texas Book Festival Annual Fiction Contest
Type: Fiction
Grades: 6-12 (Texas students)
Deadline: Contact contest for details

Teen Ink Contests
Type: Fiction, Poetry & Non-Fiction
Ages: Teen
Deadline: N/A

Teen Summer Writing Contest - HCPL
Type: Poetry & Short Story
Ages: Grades 6-12
Deadline: July
Contact "cc teen at hcpl dot net" for details.

The Writing Conference, Inc
Type: Poem, a Narrative, or an Essay
Ages: Elementary, Middle & High School Students
Deadline: January

Write Loud, Right Now
Type: Play
Ages: Younger than 18 years
Deadline: January

YC Teen Essay Contest
Type: Non-Fiction/Essay
Ages: 14-19 years
Deadline: September

Young Voices Foundation: Mentoring Young Writers
Type: Short Story
Ages: Grades K-12
Deadline: August

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Stick a Pin in It: Pinterest Program for Teens

This is an inexpensive, passive program that engages teens' imaginations
 and encourages social media participation.

5 Easy Steps:
I'm a QR code!
  1. Set up a Pinterest profile for your library.
  2. Create a QR code that links to your Pinterest page. Free QR codes can be created at a number of websites such as QR Stuff or Go QR.
  3. Print out quarter-sheet fliers advertising the activity. Include the QR code on flier and the instructions for getting approved to pin on specific boards (see below).
  4. Advertise your program on social media sights and wait for the follows.
  5. When a teen follows your library's Pinterest board invite them to pin on YA specific boards to create YA lit collages.
Instructions for program flier:
  • Follow *Pinterest Profile Name* on Pinterest
  • Accept the invitation to pin that *Pinterest Profile Name* will send you
  • Pin YA Literature related items to appropriate boards. Note: Pinning of inappropriate materials will result in Pinner's account being blocked and reported.
Don't know how to invite people to pin on a group board?  Check out Pinterest's Help page.

Suggested Ideas/Themes for YA Group Boards:
  • Dystopian Future
  • Favorite Teen Reads or Favorite Authors
  • Hunger Games
  • Manga
  • Mortal Instruments
  • Paranormal
  • Percy Jackson
  • Program Ideas/Suggestions
  • First Love