unRequired Reading Blog

03/23/2010 - 4:00am

 “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.
03/22/2010 - 11:29am

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.
 

03/03/2010 - 10:51am

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.

08/16/2010 - 4:46pm

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.

08/09/2016 - 10:23am
If you like Eragon by Christopher Paolini

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. (catalog summary)

 

If you are a teen, and enjoyed Eragon here are a few other titles to look into:

 

 

 

Dragon Rider by Cornelia C. Funke
After learning that humans are headed toward his hidden home, Firedrake, a silver dragon, is joined by a brownie and an orphan boy in a quest to find the legendary valley known as the Rim of Heaven, encountering friendly and unfriendly creatures along the way, and struggling to evade the relentless pursuit of an old enemy. (catalog summary)

 

 

 


Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Sixteen-year-old Eon hopes to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune and learn to be its main interpreter, but to do so will require much, including keeping secret that she is a girl. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

08/16/2010 - 4:48pm

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.

08/16/2010 - 4:49pm

Five Scenes from David Small's "Stitches" from Stitches: A Memoir... on Vimeo.

As if David Small's graphic autobiography Stitches:--A Memoir wasn't powerful enough on its own, five scenes have been turned into eleven minutes of heart-wrenching video.  If you've read the novel, is it worth it?  Absolutely.  Hearing 'mama's little cough," slamming of cupboards and moving her "fork a half inch to the right" further enhances the viewers understanding of David Small's traumatic, childhood home.  If you haven't read this book, which was nominated for the 2009 Young People's Literature Award by the National Book Foundation, place a hold today!  It's worth enjoying in all formats! 

12/09/2010 - 4:20pm

The Lightning Thief, Graceling, The Hunger Games... these hot titles are jumping off the shelves in our teen section, but they also have a long wait list. What to read while you wait? At a recent Lit Bistro meeting, we discussed these hot books and what you might enjoy if you have to wait to get your hands on a copy.

01/31/2011 - 11:25am
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The votes are in! Cafe  Book teens at Walker Grant Middle School have picked their favorites books from a list of 20 books.

Top Pick: 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.

Other Favorites:

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Messed Up by Janet Nichols Lynch
Scat by Carl Hiassen
Somebody by Nancy Springer
The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner
Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen

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