unRequired Reading Blog

Empire State by Jason Shiga

Empire State by Jason Shiga

Most love stories don't end with a snowball to the face. Then again, this is no love story.

Empire State, by Jason Shiga, actually starts in the Golden State: Oakland, California. Jimmy works in a library and runs his own Web site. He finds inner peace through repairing books and geeking out over sci-fi movies. As he leaves work one day, we meet his friend Sara, who greets him...with an unprovoked punch in the arm.

Sara's sarcastic and unsatisfied world view is a million miles from Jimmy's acceptance of his uncomplicated life. Still, they both find some comfort and security in each other's presence. Unfortunately for Jimmy, Sara has a yearning to leave Oakland and enter New York City's publishing industry. When she receives an internship, the call is too powerful to resist.

Friday Book Flick: Seth 's Review of I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Seth, a Drew Middle School Cafe Book teen, reviews I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

See more teen book reviews on our YouTube channel.

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

 In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.

If you like Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

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!

Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

In September 1973, as the school year begins in his depressed Ohio town, high-school senior Kurt Shoemaker determines to be "normal," despite his chaotic home life with his volatile, alcoholic mother and the deep loyalty and affection he has for his friends in the therapy group dubbed the Madman Underground.

If you like Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes, you might like these books:

Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Going Bovine
by Libba Bray
Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen year-old who, after being diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob's (aka mad cow) disease, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital, in an attempt to find a cure. 


 

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Looking for Alaska
by John Green
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash. 

 



The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. The only friend he had killed himself, forcing him to face high school alone. But then seniors Patrick and his beautiful stepsister Sam take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love, until a repressed secret from his past threatens to destroy his newfound happiness. 

 

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Please Ignore Vera Dietz
by A.S. King
When her best friend, whom she secretly loves, betrays her and then dies under mysterious circumstances, high school senior Vera Dietz struggles with secrets that could help clear his name. 

 

Cafe Book A. G. Wright Middle School: Top Teen Picks 2012

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Here are the Top Teen Picks and Other Favorites selected by 7th and 8th grade Cafe Book teens at A. G. Wright Middle School:

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.


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.

 


A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
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.
 

 

 

Other Favorites:

Akata WitchBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysThe End of the Line by Angela CerritoThe False Princess by Ellis O'Neal

A Long Wak to WaterLost in the River of GrassHuman.4 by Mike LancasterTrapped by Michael Northrop


Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito

The False Princess by Ellis O'Neal

Human.4 by Mike Lancaster

Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Trapped by Michael Northrop

If you like Forever by Judy Blume

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.

Flip by Martyn Bedford

Flip by Martyn Bedford

When Alex wakes on a Saturday morning, everything seems different. His mom is calling for him to hurry, but she sounds odd. And why does he need to get ready for school when it's the weekend? The last thing he remembers from the night before is leaving his best friend's house and running through the street. Now Alex feels very unusual. His mom calls again.

"Philip! It's five to eight!"

Frid Book Flick: Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Dust and DecayIn honor of our recent Twitter (@crrlnews) follow by author Jonathan Maberry (@JonathanMaberry) check out this week's Friday Book Flick featuring Maberry talking about his dystopian zombie novel (are there any utopian zombie novels? .... hmmm) Rot & Ruin - a big favorite with Cafe Book teens this year.

If you liked Rot & Ruin you'll definitely want to put a hold on the sequel, Dust & Decay.

Check out Maberry's web site for more cool stuff.

Cafe Book Chancellor Middle School: Top Teen Picks 2012

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Cafe Book teens at Chancellor Middle School have spoken! Out of the 20 books they read throughout the fall (all published in 2011) Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby was their Top Pick.

Top Pick:

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

When two Florida teenagers become stranded on a tiny island in the Everglades, they attempt to walk ten miles through swampland to reach civilization.


Other Favorites:

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam GidwitzRot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz came in 2nd place

and Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry came in 3rd

Brain Jack by Brian FalknerGirl, Stolen by April HenryTrapped by Michael Northrop

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner, Girl, Stolen by April Henry, and Trapped by Michael Northrop all tied for 4th place.

Cafe Book Freedom Middle School: Top Teen Picks 2012

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

On a cold day in January, the 8th graders at Freedom Middle School heard the voting results . . . their 2012 Cafe Book Top Teen Picks! After reading and discussing a selection of 20 of the best teen books published in 2011, they picked their favorites plus two stand-outs that topped them all. Here they are!


Top Teen Picks (a tie!):

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.

and ....

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Lost in the River of Grass
by Ginny Rorby

When two Florida teenagers become stranded on a tiny island in the Everglades, they attempt to walk ten miles through swampland to reach civilization.

 



Favorites:

Akata WitchBrain Jack by Brian FalknerGirl, Stolen by April HenryRuby Red by Kerstin GierTrapped by Michael Northrop

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Trapped by Michael Northrop