unRequired Reading Blog

10/24/2016 - 12:46am
Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush by Virginia Hamilton

Theresa, better known as Tree, is just at the age when guys are starting to notice her. She doesn’t have any time for them, though. She’s got to get home after school. With her mom working and living somewhere else and no dad they can remember, it’s up to Tree to look after her brother Dab. Dab might be older in years than Tree, but he’s younger inside. Always been that way.

No, Tree doesn’t have time for the boys and men who call her name on the street—until she sees the finest looking young man ever. He doesn’t call her name. He doesn’t say anything at all. The truth of the matter is, Brother Rush, for that is his name, is a ghost.

10/18/2016 - 11:21am
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Orphaned Kit Tyler had found life with her rich grandfather in Barbados to be wonderful. But her grandfather’s death revealed that their life of tropical splendor was nothing more than an illusion. In debt and desperate, the 17-year-old had very few options.

Running away from an arranged marriage to a much older man, she and her many trunks of expensive clothes board the Dolphin on a voyage to Wethersfield, a Puritan village in Connecticut. She goes to meet her Aunt Rachel, her Uncle Matthew and their daughters—the only relatives she has.

While traveling, she catches the eye of John, a kind, poor student on his way to Wethersfield, and Nat, the captain’s son, who teases Kit about her aristocratic upbringing. She truly enjoys being at sea, but even before she steps foot on the New England shore, she is accused of being a witch by yet another passenger heading to Wethersfield.

10/10/2016 - 8:27am
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Imagine a world where books are black market. Where the written word on printed paper is so illegal you could be killed for owning or sharing it. Sure, you can have eBooks delivered to you freely, but the chance that you are reading the author's original words are slim. For the Great Library, in order to make information available to many people and to protect the printed books themselves, controls the dissemmination of every last word.

10/31/2016 - 9:02am

The most famed and prolific area of science fiction is the planetary adventure, featuring strange environments, exotic alien races, and massive battle scenes. Many of the most popular science fiction universes, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and Avatar, take place in these environments. Most of these universes owe their existence to the adventure fiction of one author.

10/04/2016 - 10:39am
Adventuring by the Book

Sometimes we want to have an adventure without leaving the comforts of home. Maybe we want to experience what it is like to live in the rainforest but don’t want to suffer the insects or tropical diseases. Maybe we want to experience what it is like to travel the world but don’t have the money and time to do so. Many teens (and adults) long for the excitement of travel, exploring the world, being challenged by nature, or meeting new people, and reading can be the ticket to those experiences. A well-written book can drop us into different parts of the world or different ways of life and allows us to feel like we are there, experiencing the excitement, the dangers, and the challenges—even if we haven’t left our sofas.

09/28/2016 - 11:47am
One by Sarah Crossan

Looking for some reading recommendations for your book club? Why not mix things up with a Young Adult (YA) title!

09/26/2016 - 12:26am
Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

When sixteen year-old Jacob Portman stumbles upon the deserted island and crumbling mansion in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, he never expected that he would become so involved with the island’s strange and interesting young inhabitants.

09/19/2016 - 8:59am
The Squire's Tale by Gerald Morris

Gawain of Orkney doesn't need a squire. He's yet to make it to King Arthur's court to be knighted, and, if he does need a squire later, he has a few brothers in the hinterlands who will do. For his part, Terence is perfectly happy taking care of his foster father, the hermit Trevisant. He is a kind boy and an excellent cook, though granted a bit confused at present. Just recently the trees had started talking to him.

Trevisant, however, has other ideas. After a shared pot of excellent stewed rabbit, the hermit tells the pair that they are destined to achieve great things together. Terence tells Gawain that it must be so, since Trevisant has the gift to see the future as if it were the past.

09/19/2016 - 11:20am
Cover to Boy by Roald Dahl

Novelists have bills like the rest of us. They could be writing novels and need auto repairs but cannot wait until they get the advances on the novels. What to do? Short pieces, book reviews, and articles in magazines help a bit. Writers with a journalism background will publish a collection of pieces filed from a war front; others have something they cannot work into novels and publish the ideas separately, as essays. Either way, readers win. 

09/12/2016 - 9:20am
A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories by Robin McKinley

From the moment she was born, the black-haired girl with the sad eyes never made a sound. When she was a child, her parents discovered that her true talent lay with quickening the mending of bones and quieting fevers. The local healer Jolin noticed as well, and, as she had no daughter to teach, she took Lily as her apprentice.

That was going well enough until Lily met a mage-marked stranger who brought the hope of a cure—and perhaps of happiness for them both. But what would be the cost?

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