Category: Books

Looking for a good mystery?

Do you enjoy mysteries? If so, you might want to check out this year’s teen Edgar nominees. The Edgar Awards are given out each year by the Mystery Writers of America. There is a section specifically for teen books. Yay!! Here are this year’s nominees. The awards will be presented April 28th.

The River, Mary Jane Beaufrand
Teenager Ronnie’s life is transformed by the murder of a ten-year-old neighbor for whom she babysat, and who had helped Ronnie adjust to living at a country inn on the banks of the Santiam River in Hoodoo, Oregon.


Please Ignore Vera Dietz, A.S. King
When her best friend, whom she secretly loves, betrays her and then dies under mysterious circumstances, high school senior Vera Dietz struggles with secrets that could help clear his name.


7 Souls, Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando
Inexplicable things have been happening to Manhattan socialite Mary since she awoke on her seventeenth birthday, and by the end of the day she has been killed, inhabited the bodies of seven people close to her, and faced some ugly truths about herself.


The Interrogation of Gabriel James, Charlie Price
As an eyewitness to two murders, a Montana teenager relates the shocking story behind the crimes in a police interrogation interspersed with flashbacks.



Dust City, Robert Paul Weston
Henry Whelp, son of the Big Bad Wolf, investigates what happened to the fairies that used to protect humans and animalia, and what role the corporation that manufactures synthetic fairy dust played in his father’s crime.


Hey sports fanatics!

Are you in love with sports? Are you a girl? Are you a girl in love with sports? 🙂 While exploring sports fiction for girls, I found these “pretty tough” (the system owns #1 Pretty Tough #2 Playing with the Boys and #3 Head Games) books. While looking for more, the back cover of one of the books told me to check out the website Pretty Tough.

Here’s more about the website:
Breaking barriers, fighting the good fight; that’s why as little girls we were told we could do anything boys could do, and likely do it better. Well here’s to all the girls (and women) who are busting stereotypes – those who prove every day they’re “Pretty Tough.”
Today girls surf 20 foot waves, dunk basketballs, do huge airs on vert ramps, beat guys on the motor track, and more.
Pretty Tough has been established as a voice for girls who kick butt on and off the field, the track, the slopes and elsewhere. We want to draw attention to the strengths girls possess and inspire them to feel beautiful because of their incredible abilities. We make strength and courage attractive and accessible to all girls – competitors, spectators, fans or simply those looking to get involved. Whether you’re looking for information or inspiration, you’ll find it here.

Sending more book love to L. K. Madigan’s novels!

If you haven’t read these excellent books, check them out! Brighton owns both in our YA collection.

LKM is currently battling the hard fight against cancer. Sending book and author love to her!

An interview with a local award-winning YA author

Shawn Goodman won the Delacorte Prize for a First YA Novel and his book, Something Like Hope, just came out in December. It’s a great story about a girl in a home for “troubled” teens. Check it out! (The author lives in Ithaca with his family.) Click here for the interview.

TBF is almost here!

Well not TOO close, but getting closer! Just 115 days to go until TBF 2011! I thought you might be interested in this. Please feel free to spread the word!

Our official TBF Blogger, Carly, is celebrating her 100th TBF post! Please help her celebrate by visiting the blog, making some comments, AND…entering to win prizes (including TBF stuff and books!). Carly’s 100th post and all details about how you can win can be found here.

2011 Top Ten Best Fiction for Teens

In addition to announcing all of those wonderful teen book awards on Monday, the Young Adult Library Services Association also released its 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults. There are 99 books on this list, so if you’re looking for some suggestions, this should keep you busy for awhile. In addition to the full list, the committee also identified the 2011 Top Ten Best Fiction for Teens. Here are the top ten (alphabetical by author) with links to the library catalog. I have read Revolution, Ship Breaker, Finnikin of the Rock, and The Things a Brother Knows. They were all great!!

Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi
In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.


Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly
An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy–Louis Charles, the lost king of France.


Finnikin of the Rock, Melina Marchetta
Now on the cusp of manhood, Finnikin, who was a child when the royal family of Lumatere was brutally murdered and replaced by an imposter, reluctantly joins forces with an enigmatic young novice and fellow-exile, who claims that her dark dreams will lead them to a surviving royal child and a way to regain the throne of Lumatere.


Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Morgan Matson
After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student, and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.


Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, Lish McBride
Sam LaCroix, a Seattle fast-food worker and college dropout, discovers that he is a necromancer, part of a world of harbingers, werewolves, satyrs, and one particular necromancer who sees Sam as a threat to his lucrative business of raising the dead.


Trash, Andy Mulligan
Fourteen-year-olds Raphael and Gardo team up with a younger boy, Rat, to figure out the mysteries surrounding a bag Raphael finds during their daily life of sorting through trash in a third-world country’s dump.


Bamboo People, Mitali Perkins
Two Burmese boys, one a Karenni refugee and the other the son of an imprisoned Burmese doctor, meet in the jungle and in order to survive they must learn to trust each other.


The Things a Brother Knows, Dana Reinhardt
Although they have never gotten along well, seventeen-year-old Levi follows his older brother Boaz, an ex-Marine, on a walking trip from Boston to Washington, D.C. in hopes of learning why Boaz is completely withdrawn.


Last Night I Sang to the Monster, Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Eighteen-year-old Zach does not remember how he came to be in a treatment center for alcoholics, but through therapy and caring friends, his amnesia fades and he learns to face his past while working toward a better future.


Revolver, Marcus Sedgwick
In an isolated cabin in an Arctic wilderness, 14-year-old Sig is alone with his father’s frozen corpse. Then, out of the Arctic darkness comes a stranger: a rough giant of a man who claims Sig’s father owes him a share of a horde of stolen gold and is threatening terrible violence if Sig doesn’t reveal its whereabouts.

Teen Literature Awards

Are you looking for a good book to read? Yesterday, winners of several prestigious teen literature awards were announced by the American Library Association. You may remember learning about the Newbery award when you were in elementary and middle school. The teen equivalent to the Newbery is the Michael L. Printz Award. It is given out every year to a book that exemplifies excellence in young adult literature. Several honor books are also named. In addition to the Printz, ALA also named winners of excellence in audiobooks, nonfiction, debut authors, and GLBTQ books. Here is a list of this year’s winners, with links to the library catalog.

Michael L. Printz Award:

Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi – In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.

Printz Honor Books:
Stolen, Lucy Christopher
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, A. S. King (Teen Book Festival 2011 Author)
Revolver, Marcus Sedgwick
Nothing, Janne Teller

Margaret A. Edwards Award (honors an author for a significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature)

Sir Terry Pratchett

William C. Morris YA Debut Award (Given to a first time author writing for teens)

Freak Observer, Blythe Woolston – Suffering from a crippling case of post-traumatic stress disorder, sixteen-year-old Loa Lindgren tries to use her problem solving skills, sharpened in physics and computer programming, to cure herself.

2011 Finalists:
Hush, Eishes Chayil
Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, Lish McBride
Crossing the Tracks, Barbara Stuber

Odyssey Award (best audiobook produced for children or young adults)

The True Meaning of Smekday, Adam Rex, Read by Bahni Turpin – In the chaotic turmoil that follows the Boov invasion of Earth, eleven-year-old Gratuity Tucci finds herself driving her mother’s car to Florida, where all of the humans are being relocated, with her cat and a renegade extraterrestiral named J. Lo as her copilots.

Odyssey Award Honor Books:
Alchemy and Meggy Swan, Karen Cushman, Read by Katherine Kellgren
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness, Read by Nick Podehl
Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly, Read by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green & David Levithan, Read by MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl

(Notice that one name appears in this list twice – Nick Podehl. He is a phenomenal audiobook reader, and I highly recommend checking his stuff out. He can make a so-so book sound great. If he was reading the telephone book, I’d listen!!!! OK, I have a minor book crush on him.)

Schneider Family Award (a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience)

Five Flavors of Dumb, Antony John – Eighteen-year-old Piper becomes the manager for her classmates’ popular rock band, called Dumb, giving her the chance to prove her capabilities to her parents and others, if only she can get the band members to get along.

Stonewall Young Adult Literature Award (books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experience)

Almost Perfect, Brian Katcher – With his mother working long hours and in pain from a romantic break-up, eighteen-year-old Logan feels alone and unloved until a zany new student arrives at his small-town Missouri high school, keeping a big secret.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult (this one is kinda obvious from the title)

Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing, Ann Angel – A biography of the rocker, Janis Joplin


Alex Awards (given to ten adult books that have special appeal to teen readers)

You can see the list of ten here.

Already sick of the snow?

I know. I know. I shouldn’t be such a baby. This is what happens when you live in the north. I could move south and live with bugs the size of small dogs. I guess I’ll take snow… although sometimes I’m not so sure. Plus I hate all the really oppressive moist heat. Gosh! I’m such a baby! Anyway, here are a couple of books that take place in summer. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read a single one, but I may have to in order to ignore all the cold and snow.

Cathy at Chili

Frozen rodeo
by Catherine Clark

High-school junior Peggy Fleming Farrell finds herself without a car, working at the Gas ‘n Git, and fantasizing about a boyfriend during the hot summer her distracted parents are expecting yet another baby to join their ice-skating family.

The Juliet club
by Suzanne Harper

When high school junior Kate wins an essay contest that sends her to Verona, Italy, to study Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” over the summer, she meets both American and Italian students and learns not just about Shakespeare, but also about star-crossed lovers–and herself.

How to steal a car
by Pete Hautman

Fifteen-year-old, suburban high school student Kelleigh, who has her learner’s permit, recounts how she began stealing cars one summer, for reasons that seem unclear even to her.

Love, Cajun style
by Diane Les Becquets

Teenage Lucy learns about life and love with the help of her friends and saucy Tante Pearl over the course of one hot Louisiana summer before her senior year of high school.

by David Lubar

While hoping to work as the clown in an amusement park dunk tank on the New Jersey shore the summer before his junior year in high school, Chad faces his best friend’s serious illness, hassles with police, and the girl that got away.

by Amanda Marrone

Rising high school senior Megan has been haunted by her twin for ten years, but now Remy is trying to warn her about terrible danger surrounding Megan’s summer job at an amusement park called the Land of Enchantment.

Peace, love, & baby ducks
by Lauren Myracle

Fifteen-year-old Carly’s summer volunteer experience makes her feel more real than her life of privilege in Atlanta ever did, but her younger sister starts high school pretending to be what she is not, and both find their relationships suffering.

Cruel summer
by Alyson Noël

Ditching her best friend to become a member of the popular clique in high school, Colby’s priorities change after spending the summer on a Greek island and sharing an intense relationship with a local boy. Told through letters and journal entries.

by Charles R. Smith, Jr

The summer before starting high school in inner-city Los Angeles, fourteen-year-old Shawn grapples with his first experience of love, the complicated bonds of friends and family, and the reality of street gang violence.

Maze Runner – The Movie

So, another popular teen book may be on its way to the theater. The Maze Runner, by James Dashner, looks to be one of the latest projects of Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first Twilight film. This is still early, so who know if it will work out. If you haven’t read the book, it’s about a group of boys trapped in the Glade, a horrible maze-like world. The story focuses on Thomas, the newest boy to enter the Glade with no memory of his life before and no idea how he got there. Each day, Runners are sent out into the maze to try to figure a way out. But the walls keep moving, and there are killing machines inside the maze. It’s a page turner, and the sequel, The Scorch Trials, was just released in October.

The Zombies Are Here!

How will I survive the zombie apocalypse? I’ll…

go straight to my library! They have a great collection of books on how I can survive the apocalypse: fishing, hunting, farming, solar energy… anything that you would need to outlive the zombies. 🙂 Here’s some of the titles I’ve collected as a start.

Plus, you’ll be awful bored when the zombies have moved on to another family. You’ll need something to entertain yourself. There won’t be any tvs, no computers, no ps3. Jeeze, will there even be a point trying to survive? Of course there will! You’ll be able to get tons of reading done!

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