Reading Room Blog

06/08/2011 - 1:27pm
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches.

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy. Here hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelter runaways and children with incredible secrets....After escaping from their cruel aunt and uncle, orphans Prosper and Bo meet a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Clever and charming, the Thief Lord leads a band of street children who enjoy making mischief. But the Thief Lord also has a dark secret. And suddenly Prosper and Bo find themselves on a fantastical journey to a forgotten place. What they discover there will change the course of their destiny ... forever.

If you like The Thief Lord then you might like:

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
The Amulet of Samarkand
by Jonathan Stroud
Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.

 

 

Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton
Endymion Spring
by Matthew Skelton
Having reluctantly accompanied his academic mother and pesky younger sister to Oxford, twelve-year-old Blake Winters is at loose ends until he stumbles across an ancient and magical book, secretly brought to England in 1453 by Gutenberg's mute apprentice to save it from evil forces, and which now draws Blake into a dangerous and  life-threatening quest. 

 

Troll Fell by Katherine Langrish
Troll Fell
by Katherine Langrish
Forced to live with his evil identical-twin uncles after his father's death, Peer tries to find a way to stop their plan to sell the neighbor's children to the trolls.

 

 

Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Wee Free Men
by Terry Pratchett
A young witch-to-be named Tiffany teams up with the Wee Free Men, a clan of six-inch-high blue men, to rescue her baby brother and ward off a sinister invasion from Fairyland.

 


 

06/07/2011 - 3:16pm
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches.

Twillight by Stephenie Meyer
Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. When she meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen--a vampire--her life takes a thrilling and terrifying romantic turn.


Of course, you'll want to read the next three books if you haven't yet: New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.

New MoonEclipseBreaking Dawn

 

 

 

 

 

If you like the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer here are other titles you might enjoy:

Avalon High by Meg Cabot
Avalon High
by Meg Cabot
Having moved to Annapolis, Maryland, with her medievalist parents, high school junior Ellie enrolls at Avalon High School where several students may or may not be reincarnations of King Arthur and his court.


 

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Blood and Chocolate
by Annette Curtis Klause
Having fallen for a human boy, a beautiful teenage werewolf must battle both her packmates and the fear of the townspeople to decide where she belongs and with whom.

 

 

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Blue Bloods
by Melissa de la Cruz
Schuyler Van Alen, 15, the last of the line in a distinguished family, is being raised by her distant and forbidding grandmother. Schuyler, her friend Oliver, and their new friend Dylan are treated like outsiders by the clique of popular, athletic, and beautiful teens made up of Mimi Force, her twin brother, and her best friend. What they have in common is the fact that they are all Blue Bloods, or vampires. (School Library Journal Review)
 

05/10/2011 - 1:29pm
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
For thirty-five years, the acclaimed, bestselling first-person account of a teenage girl's harrowing decent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teen readers. As powerful -- and as timely -- today as ever, Go Ask Alice remains the definitive book on the horrors of addiction.

 If you like Go Ask Alice and Ellen Hopkins books, then you may like:

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
Fallout
by Ellen Hopkins (her latest book)
Written in free verse, explores how three teenagers try to cope with the consequences of their mother's addiction to crystal meth and its effects on their lives.
 




Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
by Peter Cameron
Eighteen-year-old James living in New York City with his older sister and divorced mother struggles to find a direction for his life.

 



Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Story of a Girl
by Sara Zarr
In the three years since her father caught her in the back seat of a car with an older boy, sixteen-year-old Deanna's life at home and school has been a nightmare, but while dreaming of escaping with her brother and his family, she discovers the power of forgiveness.

04/29/2011 - 6:27am
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume: "The story concerns rather implausibly a friendship begun when Caitlin and Vix (for Victoria) are 12. Caitlin, daughter of wealthy, divorced parents, declares that Vix, eldest daughter in a blue-collar family, will be her best friend. Caitlin invites Vix to spend the summer at the family home on Martha's Vineyard. Vix is taken in by Caitlin's family, who arrange for her scholarship to private school and then support her Harvard education. Summers on the Vineyard are filled with sun and adolescent sexual encounters. The girls' friendship endures betrayal, love for the same man, and diverging career paths." (Library Journal)

If you enjoyed Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, these stories about women and friendship may appeal to you:

Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
“For Katherine Givens and the four women about to become her best friends, the adventure begins with a UPS package. Inside is a pair of red sneakers filled with ashes and a note that will forever change their lives. Katherine's oldest and dearest friend, the irrepressible Annie Freeman, left one final request - a traveling funeral - and she wants the most important women in her life as ‘pallbearers’."—summary from book jacket


Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes.
Anna Walsh returns to her Dublin family after a serious and disfiguring accident. She wants to return to her life in New York City, but she has more than physical healing to do.





 

03/22/2012 - 1:57pm
The Alienist by Caleb Carr

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

The Alienist by Caleb Carr: "The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels. The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over." (Book description)
 
These titles are literary, well-written and match the mood of Caleb Carr's The Alienist.
 
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Sarah Dunant's gorgeous and mesmerizing novel, Birth of Venus, draws readers into a turbulent 15th-century Florence, a time when the lavish city, steeped in years of Medici family luxury, is suddenly besieged by plague, threat of invasion, and the righteous wrath of a fundamentalist monk. Dunant masterfully blends fact and fiction, seamlessly interweaving Florentine history with the coming-of-age story of a spirited 14-year-old girl. As Florence struggles in Savonarola's grip, a serial killer stalks the streets, the French invaders creep closer, and young Alessandra Cecchi must surrender her "childish" dreams andnavigate her way into womanhood. (amazon.com)
 
Buckskin Line by Elmer Kelton
”From a six-time Spur Award winner comes the story of a Texas Ranger who carries heavy burdens. The father and brother of the woman he loves have been lynched, and he is fated to meet the Comanche warrior whose band killed his family.”—catalog summary
 
 
 
 
04/26/2011 - 1:44pm
The Giver by Lois Lowry

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

If you liked The Giver, you might also enjoy the companion books (they're not exactly sequels) that Lowry has written:

Gathering Blue
Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry
Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians.



 

Messenger
Messenger
by Lois Lowry
In this novel that unites characters from "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue," Matty, a young member of a utopian community that values honesty, conceals an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand.


 

If you like these books, you might also enjoy:

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Airborn
by Kenneth Oppel
Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt's always wanted; convinced he's lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter that he realizes that the man's ravings may,in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.
 

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Hidden
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting afamily to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years inisolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong.

 

04/07/2011 - 7:51am
A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea

We’ve probably all had the fantasy of seeing a Pig Parade flicker in our mind at one time or another. Don’t deny it. The orchestra of oinks matched up with little hooves marching down the street, it all just sounds so fun. Well…forget about it.

A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea, by Michael Ian Black, is a point by point dismissal of what at first seems like an incredibly delightful idea. Pigs are whimsical, funny, and intelligent creatures, but Black, a comedian best known for his commentary on VH1 shows, has found his niche in the picture book world by being the ultimate bearer of bad news.

04/13/2011 - 10:33am
Claudia Emerson

Claudia Emerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and English professor at the University of Mary Washington, will be inducted into the prestigious Fellowship of Southern Writers during its biennial meeting at the Conference on Southern Literature.  Emerson won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Late Wife. She has written five books of poetry, with a sixth forthcoming, and has won numerous other honors.  We are fortunate that each April she has helped our library system by judging  the Teen Poetry Contest and acting as presenter for Teen Poetry Night.

03/30/2011 - 2:31am
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Eldest of three sisters, in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared Wizard Howl.

If you like Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, you might like:

Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones
Dark Lord of Derkholm
by Diana Wynne Jones
Derk, an unconventional wizard, and his magical family become involved in a plan to put a stop to the devastating tours of their world arranged by the tyrannical Mr. Chesney.

 

 

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass
by Philip Pullman
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

 

 

Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl
Goose Chase
by Patrice Kindl
Rather than marry a cruel king or a seemingly dim-witted prince, an enchanted goose girl endures imprisonment, capture by several ogresses, and other dangers, before learning exactly who she is.

 
 

03/16/2011 - 2:31am
Kate Brian's Private series

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

Private by Kate Brian
Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in. Until she meets the Billings Girls.

Since you like Kate Brian's Private series, here are some other books filled with school drama and the lives
of the "in-crowds:"

The A-List (series) by Zoey Dean
The A-List (series)
by Zoey Dean
Seventeen-year-old blueblood Anna Percy leaves Manhattan to spend the second half of her senior year with her father in Los Angeles and quickly becomes involved in the lives of the rich and famous at Beverly Hills High School. 


 

The Au Pairs (series) by Melissa de la CruzThe Au Pairs (series) by Melissa de la Cruz
Designer labels and movie star names fall like hailstones in this trendy story of three girls spending a summer in the Hamptons, taking care of a superwealthy couple's kids. Actually, Eliza was once rich herself--until her father got busted for illegal financial activities. Forced to move to Buffalo, she's eager to be back on the scene, though she's afraid people will learn she's a worker not a player. Jacqui, from Brazil, hopes to reunite with the love of her life, and Mara is a hard worker from Sturbridge who doesn't know her Gucci from her Pucci. (from Booklist review)
 

The Clique (series) by Lisi Harrison
The Clique (series)
by Lisi Harrison
Head-to-toe Calvin Klein is in. So is Ralph Lauren. Burberry is so out. And as for Claire's platform navy Keds and two-year-old, white Gap jeans--doesn't she know that clothes are like milk or cheese with a "best-before date" and a limited shelf life? Claire is clueless when she enters seventh grade, a newcomer and total outsider when it comes to Massie's friends at an exclusive private girls' school. Massie leads her clique in humiliating Claire and the instant  messaging is very mean. (from Booklist review)