unRequired Reading Blog

Woods Runner

 “He was not sure exactly when he became a child of the forest,” but 13 year-old Samuel, the hero of Gary Paulsen’s new book Woods Runner,  has a profound gift for hunting and understanding “sign” in the wild. Not only does Samuel supply meat for his parents, but he is the main hunter for the frontier community in which he lives.

Samuel is part of two worlds – the green world of the forest, “unimaginably vast, impenetrable, mysterious and dark,” and the world of civilization, of shelter and books and contemplation. On the frontier of western Pennsylvania, life is rigorous, brutal, and often violent.  Samuel’s life as hunter and provider seems peaceful, until the fateful day when he is out hunting and smells “wrong” smoke on the wind from the direction of his home. He fears that something has happened to his parents, and runs the eight miles home in a panic.

Graham Salisbury: Island Boy

We seek heat in the dark cold winter night. Sleeping, we dream of warm air, beaches, and jungles. Imagine growing up in such a place, an island: not wearing shoes until the 6th grade; not seeing snow until you were 19, (and away from home). Some people call Hawaii paradise; Graham Salisbury called Hawaii home. The islands and surrounding waters are the locale for his compelling stories and novels.
 

If you like Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous.

Here are some books I hope you will like, based on your interest in Go Ask Alice.

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron.
Eighteen-year-old James living in New York City with his older sister and divorced mother struggles to find a direction for his life.

 

If you like The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliott

If you like The Pale Assassin and historical fiction, you might like these:

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner
In the late eighteenth-century, Sido, the twelve-year-old daughter of a self-indulgent marquis, and Yann, a fourteen-year-old Gypsy orphan raised to perform in a magic show, face a common enemy at the start of the French Revolution.

The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley
After the death of her foster mother, sixteen-year-old Kat goes to London to seek the answers to her parentage, and surprisingly finds herself invited into Queen Elizabeth's court.

The Luxe by Anna Gobseren
In Manhattan in 1899, five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.

"Love is a dangerous angel": Francesca Lia Block

Block was born in Los Angeles, sometimes known as "Shangri-L.A.", other times "Hell-A", depending on how the day is going. The daughter of a poet and painter, she attended the University of California at Berkeley. Francesca was a riot grrl before the term had even been invented. She read the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez while at college; his magical realism became a major influence. Block's work is grounded in urban realities, though she sees pixies and genies in that "jasmine-scented, jacaranda-purple, neon sparked city". She missed Los Angeles, and wrote her first novel to cure homesickness. That novel was Weetzie Bat, and it made a big wet splash in Young Adult literature.
 

Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers started school, looking to conquer the world. He could read well; he had discovered the powers of the written word. Words failed him, though, when it came time to speak. He had a speech impediment, one that caused him immense frustration: some words he couldn't pronounce. His frustration soon turned to anger. Luckily, a teacher recognized his problem. She told him to write words he could pronounce, and he began to write. He created poems at first, then short stories, full of words that he did not fear reading aloud. He was soon being praised for his writing: it was just a preview of the praise he would receive when he embarked on his life of writing.

If you like Wildwood Dancing, by Juliet Marillier

You were looking for books with a mix of fantasy, history, and faeries in a modern or realistic setting. I really enjoy these types of books, too, so several titles jumped right to mind. I wasn’t sure if you were still in high school or not, but these are all young adult books for older readers. I think you’ll find them as enjoyable as Wildwood Dancing!

Leviathan Trailer and Sequel News

Last month I blogged about Leviathan, an awesome new book by Scott Westerfeld in the steampunk tradition. The trailer below illustrates the Leviathan plot and setting. For fans of the first book - you'll be thrilled to hear that the second book in the series is called Behemoth and will be published in October 2010.

If you like Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon

This readalike is in response to a patron'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. See our other Book Matches.

 

Eragon by Christopher Paolini: "In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters."

 

If you like fantasies like Eragon, read these recommended titles full of action, adventure and heroics for the young-adult audience. Many of them are also available as audiobooks.

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud.
Nathaniel, an apprentice to an ineffective magician, takes matters in his own hand and summons up a djinni to help him get revenge on the evil Simon Lovelace. This is the first book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy.

 


 

Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen
Jakkin, a bond boy who works as a Keeper in a dragon nursery, secretly trains a fighting pit dragon of his own in hopes of winning his freedom.

 

 

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Experience a minute in the Forest of Hands and Teeth:

 Heart pounding yet? The Forest of Hands and Teeth, a novel by Carrie Ryan, is about a young woman named Mary and her life in her village. Sounds bucolic, doesn't it? Until you learn that the village is guarded by a high fence, which is surrounded by hordes of mindless, flesh-eating zombies called the Unconsecrated. Mary can hear their moaning all day and night, and she doesn't dare get too close to the fence, for the infection that turns you into an Unconsecrated is passed by a single bite.