unRequired Reading Blog
Eighth graders at Freedom Middle School will be the first to tell you that today's books for teens are hot! This year's Cafe Book club read 20 of the newest books and voted for their top 5 picks. Here are the winners!
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins - In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman- After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Word Nerd, by Susin Nielsen -When some bullies at his new school almost kill him by slipping a peanut into his sandwich, friendless nerd Ambrose, forced to be home-schooled by his overprotective mother, coerces his neighbor Cosmo into taking him to the West Side Scrabble Club, where people accept him for who he is.
Somebody, by Nancy Springer - At the age of fifteen, a girl who has spent most of her life moving around the country with her father and brother, filling the emptiness inside her with chocolate, remembers her real name, Sherica, and searches the Internet to learn the truth about her mother and her own past.
The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams - In a polygamous cult in the desert, Kyra, not yet fourteen, sees being chosen to be the seventh wife of her uncle as just punishment for having read books and kissed a boy, in violation of Prophet Childs' teachings, and is torn between facing her fate and running away from all that she knows and loves.
It's true: hunger impels an author to write. The hunger can take the form of putting food on the table, yes; or, the hunger comes from an author wanting to read a book about a topic and that book doesn't exist. Then there is the hunger for words: their similarities, their differences, and their power. These are the reasons why Donna Jo Napoli started writing.
National Library Week is April 11-17, and this year's honorary chair is author Neil Gaiman, recent winner of the Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book. Check out his main web site, www.neilgaiman.com, and his web site for younger readers, www.mousecircus.com. Neil writes for all audiences - check out some of his books for teens.
Neil Gaiman loves libraries & we love him back! Kinda have a crush actually ...
Everyday during National Library week we'll be posting a Neil Gaiman related video on our teen Facebook page.
Here's a taste of what's to come - a great interview with Neil at home!
Celebrate with these National Library Week happenings:
Food for Fines - Monday, April 12 - Sunday, April 18:
Help local families in need and get a break on your fines. Find out more.
Celebrate National Library Workers Day - Tuesday, April 13:
Want to make our day? Just tell a library employee how much you love the library!
Celebrate "Support Teen Literature Day" - Thursday, April 15:
There's more to teen lit than Harry Potter and Twilight. Stop by your library and ask our young adult librarians for a recommendation or two or three ... they know their stuff!
Spring Book Sale - Saturday, April 17 - Wednesday, April 21:
... and the cherry on top ... our BIG spring book sale starts Saturday, April 17 (Friends of the Library preview Friday, April 16). Don't miss it!
If you enjoy romance, here are some titles you may like:
Confessions of a NOT IT Girl by Melissa Kantor.
High school senior Jan Miller is convinced she's destined for the world's least fabulous life because she doesn't have IT. But, maybe, just maybe, being a Not It Girl will turn out to have some major rewards.
Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw.
Cyril, an overweight boy who is good friends with Rose but wishes he could be more, helps his best friend Nick woo her with culinary masterpieces which Cyril himself secretly creates. Includes recipes from the story.
“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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.