unRequired Reading Blog
"Because the day, it was school. It was the bells too loud or rattly in broken speakers that would never get fixed. It was the bad floors squeaky and footprinted, and the bang of lockers. It was writing my name in the upper-right-hand corner of the paper or Mr. Nelson would automatically deduct five points, and in the upper left-hand-corner of the paper or Mr. Peter would deduct three. "—Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
High school is a strange existence. It is a minefield of cliques, relationships, and hopefully schoolwork. There are several authors who have found a sharply accurate voice when writing as teens, John Green being the most successful.
When it does ring true, scenes and exchanges strike with the power to take us back to our most vibrant adolescent memories. These are the books that hold this ability for me. They are great high school narratives dealing with isolation, cliques, peer-pressure, and simply trying to survive.
Confession time: I am news junkie. Obsessed to the core with headlines, bylines, and editorials, I love starting my morning with a hot cup of coffee, a good podcast, and the online editions of my favorite papers.
Are you worried about being bored to death over summer vacation? You don’t have to worry any more! Thanks to Super Librarian and the staff at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, people of all ages can sign up for the Summer Reading Clubs online at librarypoint.org or at their local library branches starting on June 1.
What if Sherlock Holmes could see dead people? Well, not just ghosts, but also banshees, trolls, and other creatures of the dark? In William Ritter's Jackaby, R.F. Jackaby is a detective who specializes in the unexplained because he claims he can see these paranormal phenomena. With a nod to Dr. Who (he sports a long scarf along with his own eccentrically ugly hat), Jackaby’s quirkiness means that the townsfolk in his 1892 New England seaport town find him either unbearably odd or unexplainably useful.
Handsome, rich Percy smiled at Olivia from his seat above her in the theatre. She is sure of it. Feeling bold on this, the night of her birthday AND Halloween, she goes up on stage where his eyes must follow her—to be hypnotized by the mysteriously dashing Henri Reveri. What follows in Cat Winters’ The Cure for Dreaming is something a bit scandalous and very eye-opening as she is told to "see the world the way it truly is."
Melkorka has the best that life has to offer in 10th-century Ireland, born to a wealthy, powerful king and his queen. She and her mother often admonish her sister Brigid to Hush and not ask so many questions. In turn, Brigid demonstrates that to understand and relate to animals, one must hush as well.
Growing into womanhood is a very hard experience for Shabanu and her beautiful sister Phulan. They belong to a nomadic culture in Pakistan where it is absolutely normal for 12- and 13-year-old girls to be married off to older men.
Welcome—or not—to middle school. Laura Eboni Dyson and her best friend, Sage, are trying to make the most of a tough year. Both love fashion, and both are bigger than average. It’s hard to feel “runway ready” when the kids call you Fat Larda. But Laura and Sage are gifted in other amazing ways. And Laura discovers she is part of the incredible Laura Line.
Want a book that takes you on a leisurely journey into magical realms, punctuated by extreme fight scenes? The Ropemaker, by Peter Dickinson, is a hero quest where getting to know the characters and exploring its very detailed world are on at least an equal footing with the magic-drenched action sequences.
The last time we saw our three heroes, Anthony Lockwood, George and Lucy, they had spent a night in the most haunted house in England and conquered a feisty and persistent ghost at the bottom of the Screaming Staircase. However, six months have passed since the incident made them famous, and Lockwood & Co. are not seeing any progress toward their goal of becoming London’s (and the World’s) most successful modern-day ghost agents. To make matters worse, Fittes Agent Quill Kipps and his team of young bullies are consistently on their backs.