unRequired Reading Blog

01/05/2017 - 1:20pm
Firmament by Tim Bowler

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.

Firmament by Tim Bowler
While struggling to cope with the death of his father, a gifted musician, fourteen-year-old Luke must deal with a dangerous bully, a lonely old woman, a blind young girl, his mother's romantic involvement, and his own musical talent. (catalog summary)
 

If you're looking for other titles involving music, check out some of these!

 


Born to Rock by Gordon Korman
High school senior Leo Caraway, a conservative Republican, learns that his biological father is a punk rock legend. (catalog summary)

 

 



Four Seasons by Jane Breskin Zalben
Over the course of a year, thirteen-year-old Allegra Katz, a student at the demanding Julliard School and the daughter of two musicians, tries to decide whether she wants to continue to pursue a career as a concert pianist or to do something else with her life. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

01/18/2017 - 1:21pm
CRRL My Librarian: The 2017 Read Harder Book Challenge

Last year, some library staff members, including myself, challenged others—and our customers—to complete the 2016 Read Harder book challenge from Book Riot. I’ve been trying to expand beyond the books I typically read within the children’s department (and outside of it), so that I will have a better base for recommending books. However, in May, we had our first child. So I did what I could, but a newborn really does eat up a lot of time and energy. Unsurprisingly, I did not read a book in every Book Riot category, although I read multiple books in some categories. Here are the books I read for Book Riot's 2016 Read Harder Challenge. If you are interested in seeing what books other staff members have read, check out our 2016 Reading Challenge Pinterest board here.

If you would like to participate in a reading challenge in 2017, look at our 2017 Reading Challenge Pinterest board, where we are featuring more than one reading challenge to try. Will I read for all of them? Will you? Let's make this a challenge accepted. 

01/03/2017 - 2:59am
The Sword of Summer

The new year brings resolutions for a lot of us, often about ways to improve ourselves. Making a reading resolution is a great way to do just that, and I have one suggestion for you or the teens in your life: start a new series! Today, I am highlighting a few teen book series that had new installments out in 2016, giving readers an opportunity to try something fresh as they start the new year.

12/28/2016 - 11:14am
Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

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.

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Danica Sharedae is an avian shapeshifter, and the golden hawk's form in which she takes to the sky is as natural to her as the human one that graces her on land. The only thing more familiar to her is war: It has raged between her people and the serpiente for so long, no one can remember how the fighting began. As heir to the avian throne, she'll do anything in her power to stop this war—even accept Zane Cobriana, the terrifying leader of her kind's greatest enemy, as her pair bond and make the two royal families one. Trust. It is all Zane asks of Danica—and all they ask of their people—but it may be more than she can give. (catalog summary)

Here are some other titles you might enjoy:



Born at Midnight
by C.C. Hunter
Sixteen-year-old Kylie Galen thinks her misbehavior in the wake of her grandmother's death and her parents' separation are the reasons she has been sent to Shadow Falls Camp, but learns it is a training ground for vampires, werewolves, and other "freaky freaks," of which she may be one. (catalog summary)

 

 


Eleanor by Johnny Worthen
Shapeshifter Eleanor lives the life of a teenager in rural Wyoming until the only person who knows her secret shows up and challenges her existence and everything she hopes to be. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

12/26/2016 - 2:54am
Cover to Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt

All they want is a Homecoming.

Dicey Tillerman is the 13-year-old big sister, and it’s up to her to look after the younger kids—a situation that becomes a lot more complicated when their mentally ill mother abandons them in the parking lot of a shopping mall.

Their mother said they were going on a trip to see their rich Aunt Cilla. Maybe their mother got confused, the way she does. Maybe she is already at Aunt Cilla’s waiting for them. Maybe not.

12/21/2016 - 2:26pm
Scribbler of Dreams by Mary Pearson

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.

Scribbler of Dreams by Mary Pearson (audio only)
Despite her family's long feud with the Crutchfields, seventeen-year-old Kaitlin falls in love with Bram Crutchfield and weaves a tangled web of deception to conceal her identity from him. (catalog summary)


If you like suspenseful titles such as Scribbler of Dreams, check out these:



Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem
After a harrowing defection to the United States in 1982, Russian teenager Marya and her father settle in Brooklyn, where Marya is drawn into a web of intrigue involving her gift of foresight, her mother's disappearance, and a boy she cannot bring herself to trust. (catalog summary)

 



Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick
After witnessing a murder, high school senior Stella Gordon is sent to Nebraska for her own safety where she chafes at her protection, but when she meets Chet Falconer it becomes harder for her to keep her guard up, and soon she has to deal with the real threat to her life as her enemies are actually closer than she thinks. (catalog summary)

 


12/21/2016 - 2:05pm
Dead Girls Don't Write Letters by Gail Giles

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.

Dead Girls Don't Write Letters by Gail Giles
Fourteen-year-old Sunny is stunned when a total stranger shows up at her house posing as her older sister Jazz, who supposedly died out of town in a fire months earlier. (catalog summary)
 

If you like the mysterious intrigue of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, check out these other titles:



The Body in the Woods by April Henry
While helping the Portland County Sheriff's Search and Rescue to seek a missing autistic man, teens Alexis, Nick, and Ruby find, instead, a body and join forces to find the girl's murderer, forming an unlikely friendship, as well. (catalog summary)


 

 



Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
Nora Lopez is seventeen during the summer of 1977, when New York is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam. Meg Medina transports us to a time when tempers and temperatures ran high to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit. (catalog summary)

 

 

12/21/2016 - 1:37pm
Good Girls by Laura Ruby

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.

Good Girls by Laura Ruby
Sixteen-year-old high school senior Audrey is humiliated when a compromising photograph of her is sent around her school, but she discovers a toughness within her that she never knew she had. (catalog summary)

If you like books like Good Girls, check out these other titles as well:



A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva all get mixed up with a senior boy who can talk them into doing almost anything he wants. In a blur of high school hormones and personal doubt, each girl struggles with how much to give up and what ultimately to keep for herself. (catalog summary)

 

 




Dramarama
by E. Lockhart
Spending their summer at Wildewood Academy, an elite boarding school for the performing arts, tests the bond between teens Sadye and her best friend Demi. (catalog summary)

 

 

12/21/2016 - 1:07pm
Tangerine by Edward Bloor

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.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor
Paul Fisher sees the world from behind glasses so thick he looks like a bug-eyed alien. But he's not so blind that he can't see there are some very unusual things about his family's new home in Tangerine County, Florida. Where else does a sinkhole swallow the local school, fire burn underground for years, and lightning strike at the same time every day? The chaos is compounded by constant harassment from his football-star brother, and adjusting to life in Tangerine isn't easy for Paul—until he joins the soccer team at his middle school. With the help of his new teammates, Paul begins to discover what lies beneath the surface of his strange new hometown. And he also gains the courage to face up to some secrets his family has been keeping from him for far too long. In Tangerine, it seems, anything is possible. (catalog summary)

If you like stories with sports, check out these other titles:



Blow Out by M.G. Higgins
Lacy Sheridan is doing her best to get over the fear she still feels after a knee injury from last season, but tough Raven McAlister is competing for Lacy's starting position and sees a chance to exploit Lacy's fear for her own benefit. (catalog summary)

 

 

 


Booked by Kwame Alexander
Twelve-year-old Nick loves soccer and hates books, but soon learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. (catalog summary)

 

 

12/21/2016 - 12:21pm
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass

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

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
Just before his thirteenth birthday, Jeremy Fink receives a keyless locked box—set aside by his father before his death five years earlier—that purportedly contains the meaning of life. (catalog summary)

If you like Jeremy Fink, check out these other titles about growing up:



Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family. (catalog summary)

 



Eggs
by Jerry Spinelli
Mourning the loss of his mother, nine-year-old David forms an unlikely friendship with independent, quirky thirteen-year-old Primrose, as the two help each other deal with what is missing in their lives. (catalog summary)


 

 

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