unRequired Reading Blog

05/24/2012 - 3:31am
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola

From the time she was quite young, Sylvia Earle loved the outdoors. She spent her early childhood on a farm in New Jersey exploring the animals and plants around her. Her family moved to Florida when Sylvia was twelve, to a home with a backyard on the Gulf of Mexico. Once Sylvia began exploring the waters of the Gulf, she found her life’s calling. Throughout her career as an oceanographer, Sylvia has been driven to push the boundaries of the possible in order to find out more about the underwater world she loves so much.

05/22/2012 - 3:34pm
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Here are the Top Teen Picks for 2012 chosen by Spotsylvania Middle School Cafe Book participants:

Top Pick:

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.
 

Other Favorites:

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz The False Princess by Ellis O'NealRuby Red by Kerstin GierBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

The False Princess by Ellis O'Neal

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

05/22/2012 - 3:24pm
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Cafe Book teens at Post Oak Middle School selected the following books as their 2012 Top Teen Picks:

Top Pick:

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.
 

Other Favorites:

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz Between Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysHuman.4 by Mike Lancaster

A Tale Dark & Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Human.4 by Mike Lancaster

05/30/2012 - 4:19pm
A Tale Dark and Grimm book cover image

Fantasy, adventure, and mystery were the winning genres at Thornburg Middle School, where students in grades seven and eight voted for their favorite books of the Café Book year. The teens voted on 20 books, selecting their Top Picks for 2012. Here are the heart-pounding winners!

Top Picks:

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz 
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk. Based in part on the Grimms' fairy tales Faithful Johannes, Hansel and Gretel, The seven ravens, Brother and sister, The robber bridegroom, and The devil and his three golden hairs.


Akata Witch
Akata Witch
by Nnedi Okorafor
Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer.

 


 

Trapped by Michael Northrop
Trapped by Michael Northrop
Seven high school students are stranded at their New England high school during a week-long blizzard that shuts down the power and heat, freezes the pipes, and leaves them wondering if they will survive.


 

 

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

 

 

Other Favorites:

The False Princess by Ellis O'NealLost in the River of GrassTrash by Andy MulliganGirl, Stolen by April Henry

The False Princess by Ellis O'Neal

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Trash by Andy Mulligan

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Check these awesome titles out with our online catalog, or visit your nearest branch and ask for them!

05/22/2012 - 12:39pm
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

The votes are in for Gayle Middle School's top teen picks. All of these titles are part of this year's Cafe Book program.

Top Picks:

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
Girl, Stolen
by April Henry
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.

 

 

 

Other Favorites:

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam GidwitzBrain Jack by Brian FalknerHero by Mike LupicaHuman.4 by Mike Lancaster

You Wish by Mandy HubbardThe False Princess by Ellis O'NealTrapped by Michael NorthropEnd of the Line by Angela Cerrito

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

Hero by Mike Lupica

Human.4 by Mike Lancaster

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

False Princess by Elis O'Neal

Trapped by Michael Northrop

End of the Line by Angela Cerrito

Interested? Click on a title to place a hold!

05/22/2012 - 12:40pm
Girl, Stolen by April Henry

The votes are in and the middle schoolers at Rodney Thompson Middle School have chosen their favorite Cafe Book titles for 2012.

Top Picks:

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.
 

The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito
The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito
In the prison-like school that is his last chance, thirteen-year-old Robbie tries to recover from events that brought him there, including his uncle's war injuries and the death of a classmate who may have been his friend.

 

 

 

Other Favorites:

The False Princess by Ellis O'NealRot and Ruin by Jonathan MaberryRuby Red by Kerstin GierA Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz True (... sort of)

The False Princess by Ellis O'Neal

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

True (... sort of) by Katherine Hannigan

05/22/2012 - 12:43pm
Girl, Stolen by April Henry

The votes are in and the middle school students of H. H. Poole Middle School have spoken.  Here are their favorite titles for Cafe Book 2012:

Top Picks:

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.
 

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Kayla McHenry's sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla's secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin? do. Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year's supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla's wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend's boyfriend.


Other Favorites:

The End of the Line by Angela CerritoLost in the River of GrassRot and Ruin by Jonathan MaberryRuby Red by Kerstin GierA Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

05/21/2012 - 3:30am
The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

Mahlia and Mouse are War Maggots, children orphaned by endless bloodshed across future America. The seas have risen and many of our large East-Coast cities have struggled to keep functioning. That struggle leads to violence, the kind of which leaves only the young to deal with the consequences. These child soldiers have inherited and will fight to control The Drowned Cities.

Author Paulo Bacigalupi slammed onto the young adult scene two years back with Ship Breaker. Resources are depleted. Oil is gone. New Orleans has been destroyed by hurricanes and rebuilt multiple times. Nailer, a boy hired to scavenge scrap metal in massive retired oil tankers, manages to find a path to a better life. Nailer desperately tried to take that path, despite opposition from ruthless vultures, specifically his drunken, abusive father.

05/17/2012 - 3:31am
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray’s yard is a zoo, literally. That’s where his dad, Mickey, keeps all of their animals, including pythons, monkeys, and an alligator named Alice. Mickey is the best animal wrangler in Florida...or he was until he got hit on the head by a frozen iguana. Since then he hasn’t been able to work. Money is so tight that Mickey accepts a job offer from the Expedition Survival TV series with Wahoo as his assistant. Things get off to a bad start when the show’s bumbling but egotistical star, Derek Badger, gets bitten by a snapping turtle and then an alligator. And that’s before he even leaves the safety of the Cray’s yard in Chomp by Carl Hiaasen.

05/14/2012 - 8:02am
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent is the sequel to the science fiction bestseller Divergent and picks up Tris Prior’s story immediately where the first book left off. Tris, Tobias, and the other Dauntless members who have not allied with the Erudites after the massacre of the Abnegation faction seek shelter with other factions, trying to find a place to regroup and recover. But Jeanine, the Erudite leader, and the Dauntless “traitors” give them no peace. One by one, their potential allies fall away until the only remaining option is to join forces with the previously despised Factionless.

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