CRRL Staff

05/02/2012 - 1:06pm
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
This is the story of a quiet boy who embarks on a dangerous quest in order to fulfill his destiny -- and find his father -- in a strange world beneath New York City. When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.
 

This is the first book in the Underland Chronicles, followed by Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods, Gregor and the Marks of the Secret, Gregor and the Code of the Claw:

Gregor and the Prophecy of BaneGregor and the Curse of the WarmbloodsGregor and the Marks of the SecretGregor and the Code of the Claw

If you like Collins' Gregor books, you may have heard of her other series ... The Hunger Games.

If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, be sure to check it out!

You might also like one of these books - they are all the first in a series:

Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
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.

 


 

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl
by Eoin Colfer
When a twelve-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology, and a particularly nasty troll.


 

 

City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau
City of Ember
by Jeanne Duprau
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.


 

 

These are good too!:

Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson
Island of the Aunts
by Eva Ibbotson
As they get older, several sisters decide that they must kidnap children and bring them to their secluded island home to help with the work of caring for an assortment of unusual sea creatures.


 

 

Magyk by Angie Sage
Magyk
by Angie Sage
After learning that she is the Princess, Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard, those she always believed were her father and brother, and a young guard known only as Boy 412--pursued by agents of those who killed her mother ten years earlier.

 

 

Want more reading recommendations? Request a Book Match or browse our Book Match archive for suggestions.

04/25/2014 - 11:57am
Forever by Judy Blume

This readalike is in response to a patron's Book Match request. Interested in your own personalized reading  recommendations from our librarians? Then, fill out the Request a Book Match form, and one of our librarians will send you an email with hand-picked  titles. See more Book Matches!

Forever by Judy Blume

Awkward, sweet, passionate, innocent, secretive . . . Do you remember your first time?Katherine and Michael won't ever forget theirs. They were seniors in high school. Totally crazy for each other, they thought they had foundthe one. It was first love, and it was perfect: long talks on the phone, ski trips, and double dates when they simply couldn't wait to be alone.But was Katherine and Michael's relationship the love of a lifetime, or merely the beginning of a lifetime of love?

If you like Forever by Judy Blume you might like these titles:

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
13 Little Blue Envelopes
by Maureen Johnson

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.
 

Angus, Thongs and Full-fontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison
Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson
by Louise Rennison

It is a funny story of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals and win the love of a handsome hunk named Robbie.


 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins
When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.


 

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow
Bitter Melon
by Cara Chow
With the encouragement of one of her teachers, a Chinese American high school senior asserts herself against her demanding, old-school mother and carves out an identity for herself in late 1980s San Francisco.

10/12/2011 - 12:08pm
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

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. See our other Book Matches.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.

If you like Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series you might like these books too!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

 

 

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging
by Louise Rennison (and any others in this series!)
Presents the humorous journal of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome hunk Robbie.


 

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
Dork Diaries
by Rachel Renee Russell
Fourteen-year-old Nikki Maxwell writes in her diary of her struggle to be popular at her exclusive new private school, then of finding her place after she gives up on being part of the elite group.

 

 

Happyface by Stephen Emond
Happyface
by Stephen Emond
After going through traumatic times, a troubled, socially awkward teenager moves to a new school where he tries to reinvent himself. (This one's funny, but a little sad too.)

 

 

How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen
How Angel Peterson Got His Name
by Gary Paulsen
Author Gary Paulsen relates tales from his youth in a small town in northwestern Minnesota in the late 1940s and early 1950s, such as skiing behind a souped-up car and imitating daredevil Evel Knievel.

 

 

I am the Wallpaper by Mark Peter Hughes
I am the Wallpaper
by Mark Peter Hughes
Thirteen-year-old Floey Packer, jealous of her attractive and popular older sister, shares her home with two younger cousins and experiences a summer vacation filled with embarrassing events, with herself as the star.


 

Lawn Boy by Paulsen Gary
Lawn Boy
by Paulsen Gary
Things get out of hand for a twelve-year-old boy when a neighbor convinces him to expand his summer lawn mowing business.

 

10/05/2011 - 4:13pm
The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

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. See our other Book Matches.

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Feeling like she does not fit in with the other members of her family,who are all thin, brilliant, and good-looking, fifteen-year-old Virginia tries to deal with her self-image, her first physical relationship, and her disillusionment with some of the people closest to her.
 

Alt Ed by Catherin Atkins
Alt Ed
by Catherine Atkins
Participating in a special after-school counseling class with other troubled students, including a sensitive gay classmate, helps Susan, an overweight tenth grader, develop a better sense of herself.

 

 

Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson
by Louise Rennison
Presents the humorous journal of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome hunk Robbie.


 

Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski
Bras and Broomsticks
by Sarah Mlynowski
Living in New York City with her mother and her younger sister, Miri, fourteen-year-old Rachel tries to persuade Miri, who has recently become a witch, to help her become popular at school and to try to stop their divorced father's wedding.

 


Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Dairy Queen
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.

 

07/20/2011 - 6:44pm
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

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 Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
The summer following her father's death, Macy plans to work at the library and wait for her brainy boyfriend to return from camp, but instead she goes to work at a catering business where she makes new friends and finally faces her grief.

If you like The Truth About Forever you might like these books: 

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
The Boyfriend List
by E. Lockhart
A Seattle fifteen-year-old explains some of the reasons for her recent panic attacks, including breaking up with her boyfriend, losing all her girlfriends, tensions between her performance-artist mother and her father, and more. Read the sequel, The Boy Book, too!

 


The Earth, My Butt, and Other, Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
The Earth, My Butt, and Other, Big Round Things
by Carolyn Mackler
Feeling like she does not fit in with the other members of her family, who are all thin, brilliant, and good-looking, fifteen-year-old Virginia tries to deal with her self-image, her first physical relationship, and her disillusionment with some of the people closest to her.


 

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
How I Live Now
by Meg Rosoff
To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land.

07/13/2011 - 1:35pm
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

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. See our other Book Matches.

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
When wealthy, seemingly perfect Brittany and Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, develop a relationship after Alex discovers that Brittany is not exactly who she seems to be, they must face the disapproval of their schoolmates--and others.

Try these other books by Simone Elkeles:

Rules of Attraction
Rules of Attraction
by Simone Elkeles
(The sequel to Perfect Chemistry) Living on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus with his older brother Alex, a college student and ex-gang member, high school senior Carlos is not ready to give up his wild ways until he meets a shy classmate named Kiara and becomes unwillingly involved in a drug ring.

 

Leaving Paradise
Leaving Paradise
by Simone Elkeles
Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk and crashed into Maggie Armstrong. One year later, both teenagers have become outsiders in their small community. Pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak," Caleb and Maggie end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

 


If you like Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles then you might like:

Along for the Ride
Along for the Ride
by Sarah Dessen
When Auden impulsively goes to stay with her father, stepmother, and new baby sister the summer before she starts college, all the trauma of her parents' divorce is revived, even as she is making new friends and having new experiences such as learning to ride a bike and dating.

  

 
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
North of Beautiful
by Justina Chen Headley
Terra, a sensitive, artistic high school senior born with a facial port-wine stain, struggles with issues of inner and outer beauty with the help of her Goth classmate Jacob.

06/06/2011 - 10:47am

The ever-popular CRRL summer event - Music on the Steps - returns tonight on the steps at Headquarters Library.  Every Monday evening in June, July and August, talented musicians bring their craft to the library for a free concert.  And it has been going on for 26 years!

Check out what the Free Lance-Star says about the series and see the full schedule of acts on our Music on the Steps page.

03/16/2011 - 3:31am
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)

09/06/2011 - 5:21pm
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in high school.

Here are some suggestions for books with school drama/situations and plots that keep you guessing at the ending:
 

Amandine by Adele Griffin
Amandine
by Adele Griffin
Her first week at a new school, shy, plain Delia befriends Amandine, not anticipating the dangerous turns their friendship would take.

 

 

The Boyfriend List: (15 guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Roby Oliver) by E. Lockhart
The Boyfriend List: (15 guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Roby Oliver)
by E. Lockhart
A Seattle fifteen-year-old explains some of the reasons for her recent panic attacks, including breaking up with her boyfriend, losing all her girlfriends, tension between her performance-artist mother and her father, and more.
 

 

Cut by Patricia McCormick
Cut
by Patricia McCormick
While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better.

02/23/2011 - 3:31am
ttyl by Lauren Myracle

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.

ttyl by Lauren Myracle
Chronicles, in "instant message" format, the day-to-day experiences, feelings, and plans of three friends, Zoe, Maddie and Angela, as they begin tenth grade.

If you like ttyl you'll definitely want to read the sequels ttfn and l8r, g8r which follow Zoe, Maddie and Angela through their junior and senior years of high school.

ttfn by Lauren Myraclel8r g8r by Lauren Myracle

Another novel that uses Instant Messages to tell a story is:

24 Girls in Seven Days by Alex Bradley
24 Girls in Seven Days
by Alex Bradley
There are few things sadder than Jack Grammar's love life. So when his friends take it upon themselves to get him a date to the prom by placing an intensely humiliating ad in the school paper, they think they are doing him a favor. Jack doesn't agree. But then the most amazing thing happens: responses to the ad are overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that Jack must narrow the list down. A lot. Not an easy task. Turns out, the girls at City High are quite competitive. From drive-by flashings to breaking and entering to cell phone stalkers, these potential prom dates will stop at nothing to snag the suddenly popular Jack. How will he ever choose just one? (From BN.com)

You may also like:

All Alone in the Universe by Lynne Rae Perkins
All Alone in the Universe
by Lynne Rae Perkins
A book that captures the exquisite pain that comes from being dumped by your best friend when you are thirteen.

 

 

The Boyfriend List: (15 guys, 11 shrink appointments, 4 ceramic frogs, and me, Ruby Oliver) by E. Lockhart
The Boyfriend List: (15 guys, 11 shrink appointments, 4 ceramic frogs, and me, Ruby Oliver)
by E. Lockhart
A Seattle fifteen-year-old explains some of the reasons for her recent panic attacks, including breaking up with her boyfriend, losing all her girlfriends, tensions between her performance-artist mother and her father, and more.
 

 

Confessions of a Not It Girl by Melissa Kantor
Confessions of a Not It Girl
by Melissa Kantor
High School senior, Jan Miller is convinced she is destined for the world's least fabulous life.

 

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