unRequired Reading Blog

01/23/2017 - 9:06am
Rowan Hood: Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest

A mother's protection is a wondrous thing. When Rosemary felt her mother's powerful spell wrap around her so hard it forced her to the ground, she knew she had no reason to be worried for her own safety. But then it cut off as though cleaved with a sword, and Rosemary knew that something terrible had happened to her.

02/21/2017 - 1:17pm
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

This readalike is in response to a customer'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. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.

The Bad Beginning (Book One in A Series of Unfortunate Events) 
This series chronicles the unfortunate lives of the Baudelaire children: Violet, 14; Klaus, The Bad Beginning 12; and the infant, Sunny. In Bad Beginning, their parents and possessions perish in a fire, and the orphans must use their talents to survive as their lives move from one disastrous event to another. Surrounded by dim-witted though well-meaning adults, the Baudelaires find themselves in the care of their evil relative, Count Olaf, a disreputable actor whose main concern is getting his hands on the children's fortune. (Library Journal)

In January 2017, the movie and television Internet streaming channel Netflix released A Series of Unfortunate Events, an eight-episode series, developed by Mark Hudis and Barry Sonnenfeld. It stars Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, Malina Weissman as Violet Baudelaire, Louis Hynes as Klaus Baudelaire, K. Todd Freeman as Mr. Poe, and Presley Smith as Sunny Baudelaire. The first season follows the first four books in the series: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, and The Miserable Mill. The next season will continue with book five, The Austere Academy

01/16/2017 - 12:08am
Cover to Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey

Why didn’t Cinderella’s father protect her from the “wicked” stepmother? And surely the prince wasn’t the first handsome boy she laid eyes on! Besides all that, do wishes magically happen? In Cameron Dokey’s Before Midnight, a reworking of the Cinderella story, all of these questions are wonderfully explored.

Cendrillon’s (Cinderella’s) father and mother had a legendary love. When her mother died just hours after she was born, Etienne de Brabant took it . . . badly. He cursed his late wife’s garden, swore that he never wanted to see their baby daughter, and took off for a divided court, leaving behind another baby—a boy whose identity he did not reveal.

01/13/2017 - 10:43am
Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul: Real-life Stories by Real Teens

This readalike is in response to a customer'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. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.
 

Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul: Real-life Stories by Real Teens
Teenagers write honestly and poignantly about the issues they face and how they overcame them with strength and insight. Delving into the corners of their souls, these poems and personal experiences reveal special moments—a first kiss, the loss of a friend, a chance meeting, or that connection with a special teacher, grandparent, or even a pet. (catalog summary)
 


1 Year, 100 Pounds: My Journey to A Better, Happier Life
by Whitney Holcombe
At age fourteen, Whitney Holcombe stepped onto her bathroom scale and a number glared up at her: 230. That number controlled her life until one day she went for a walk that changed everything. A little bit memoir and a whole lot of advice, "1 Year, 100 Pounds" follows Whitney s journey to battle obesity, negative self-image, and peer ridicule. Through following a healthy diet and exercise routine, Whitney shed the pounds without pills, trainers, or surgery. And along the way, she discovered the confidence to love her body. (catalog summary)

 




Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up: Stories About Growing Up, Meeting Challenges, and Learning From Life
Collects anecdotes from teenagers about friendship, peer pressure, self-acceptance, family life, relationships, and overcoming obstacles. (catalog summary)

 

 

01/10/2017 - 10:08am
White Cat by Holly Black

This readalike is in response to a customer'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. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

White Cat by Holly Black
When Cassel Sharpe discovers that his older brothers have used him to carry out their criminal schemes and then stolen his memories, he figures out a way to turn their evil machinations against them. (catalog summary)
 

If you like books like White Cat, check out these other spooky titles:

 


The Accident Season
by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara's life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara's family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items—but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear. But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free? (catalog summary)


 

Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay. Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. Yet she spares Cas's life. (catalog summary)

 

01/10/2017 - 8:25am
Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor by Kathryn Lasky

This readalike is in response to a customer'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. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor by Kathryn Lasky
In a series of diary entries, Princess Elizabeth, the eleven-year-old daughter of King Henry VIII, celebrates holidays and birthdays, relives her mother's execution, revels in her studies, and agonizes over her father's health. (catalog summary)


Check out these other Royal Diaries titles:
 



Anacaona, Golden Flower
by Edwidge Danticat
Beginning in 1490, Anacaona keeps a record of her life as a possible successor to the supreme chief of Xaragua, as wife of the chief of Maguana, and as a warrior battling the first white men to arrive in the West Indies, ravenous for gold. (catalog summary)



 

 



Anastasia, the Last Grand Duchess
by Kathryn Lasky
A novel in diary form in which the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II describes the privileged life her family led up until the time of World War I and the tragic events that befell them. (catalog summary)

 


 

01/09/2017 - 1:02pm
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This readalike is in response to a customer'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. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
 

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Raised by a mother who's had five husbands, eighteen-year-old Remy believes in short-term, no-commitment relationships until she meets Dexter, a rock band musician. (catalog summary)
 

Since you like Sarah Dessen's book, This Lullaby, you might want to check out these other titles:



Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia
After spending her life moving from place to place with her single mother, pregnant seventeen-year-old Lemon takes a bus to San Francisco to seek the father she never knew, as well as truths about her mother and herself. (catalog summary)

 


 

 

01/09/2017 - 1:00pm
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

This readalike is in response to a customer'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. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
There was a time when the world was sweeter, when the women in Beaufort, North Carolina, wore dresses, and the men donned hats. Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he'd been in love. Certainly the last person he thought he'd fall for was Jamie, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town's Baptist minister Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart-and the joy and pain of living. (catalog summary)

Check out these other teen love titles as well:




A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
by Dana Reinhardt
Sixteen-year-old atheist Simone Turner-Bloom's life changes in unexpected ways when her parents convince her to make contact with her biological mother, an agnostic from a Jewish family who is losing her battle with cancer. (catalog summary)

 



Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

01/09/2017 - 12:03am
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

What would you do to survive in wartime? What would you sacrifice? Whom would you sacrifice? Three refugees—all teens—are on the losing side of World War II. They are struggling through the German-Prussian countryside, heading for the same destination—a German evacuation camp of civilians and wounded soldiers on the Baltic Sea. They're hoping for some kind of safety from the Russians who, coming from one direction, will kill them and the Allied Forces, coming from another direction, who could do the same. But they are not even safe from their own countrymen, because all three also have secrets. Ones they are desperate to protect. Ones that could mean they are left behind in the snow by the others to die if they are not killed by the bombs first.

01/05/2017 - 3:19pm
The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding

This readalike is in response to a customer'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. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.
 

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding
As Thaniel, a wych-hunter, and Cathaline, his friend and mentor, try to rid the alleys of London's Old Quarter of the terrible creatures that infest them, their lives become entwined with that of a woman who may be either mad or possessed. (catalog summary)
 

Looking for a spooky historical fiction? Look no further and check out these titles:

 

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
In post-World War I England, eleven-year-old Triss nearly drowns in a millpond known as "The Grimmer" and emerges with memory gaps, aware that something's terribly wrong, and to try to set things right, she must meet a twisted architect who has designs on her family. (catalog summary)


 



The Cure for Dreaming
by Cat Winters
In Portland, Oregon, in 1900, seventeen-year-old Olivia Mead, a suffragist, is hypnotized by the intriguing young Henri Reverie, who's paid by her father to make her more docile and womanly but who, instead, gives her the ability to see people's true natures, while she secretly continues fighting for women's rights. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

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