Teen Blog

Cafe Book Post Oak Middle School: Top Teen Picks 2012

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Cafe Book teens at Post Oak Middle School selected the following books as their 2012 Top Teen Picks:

Top Pick:

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.
 

Other Favorites:

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz Between Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysHuman.4 by Mike Lancaster

A Tale Dark & Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Human.4 by Mike Lancaster

Cafe Book Thornburg Middle School: Top Teen Picks 2012

A Tale Dark and Grimm book cover image

Fantasy, adventure, and mystery were the winning genres at Thornburg Middle School, where students in grades seven and eight voted for their favorite books of the Café Book year. The teens voted on 20 books, selecting their Top Picks for 2012. Here are the heart-pounding winners!

Top Picks:

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz 
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk. Based in part on the Grimms' fairy tales Faithful Johannes, Hansel and Gretel, The seven ravens, Brother and sister, The robber bridegroom, and The devil and his three golden hairs.


Akata Witch
Akata Witch
by Nnedi Okorafor
Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer.

 


 

Trapped by Michael Northrop
Trapped by Michael Northrop
Seven high school students are stranded at their New England high school during a week-long blizzard that shuts down the power and heat, freezes the pipes, and leaves them wondering if they will survive.


 

 

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

 

 

Other Favorites:

The False Princess by Ellis O'NealLost in the River of GrassTrash by Andy MulliganGirl, Stolen by April Henry

The False Princess by Ellis O'Neal

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Trash by Andy Mulligan

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Check these awesome titles out with our online catalog, or visit your nearest branch and ask for them!

Cafe Book Gayle Middle School: Top Teen Picks 2012

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

The votes are in for Gayle Middle School's top teen picks. All of these titles are part of this year's Cafe Book program.

Top Picks:

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
Girl, Stolen
by April Henry
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.

 

 

 

Other Favorites:

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam GidwitzBrain Jack by Brian FalknerHero by Mike LupicaHuman.4 by Mike Lancaster

You Wish by Mandy HubbardThe False Princess by Ellis O'NealTrapped by Michael NorthropEnd of the Line by Angela Cerrito

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

Hero by Mike Lupica

Human.4 by Mike Lancaster

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

False Princess by Elis O'Neal

Trapped by Michael Northrop

End of the Line by Angela Cerrito

Interested? Click on a title to place a hold!

Cafe Book Rodney Thompson Middle School: Top Teen Picks 2012

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

The votes are in and the middle schoolers at Rodney Thompson Middle School have chosen their favorite Cafe Book titles for 2012.

Top Picks:

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.
 

The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito
The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito
In the prison-like school that is his last chance, thirteen-year-old Robbie tries to recover from events that brought him there, including his uncle's war injuries and the death of a classmate who may have been his friend.

 

 

 

Other Favorites:

The False Princess by Ellis O'NealRot and Ruin by Jonathan MaberryRuby Red by Kerstin GierA Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz True (... sort of)

The False Princess by Ellis O'Neal

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

True (... sort of) by Katherine Hannigan

Cafe Book H. H. Poole Middle School: Top Teen Picks 2012

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

The votes are in and the middle school students of H. H. Poole Middle School have spoken.  Here are their favorite titles for Cafe Book 2012:

Top Picks:

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.
 

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Kayla McHenry's sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla's secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin? do. Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year's supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla's wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend's boyfriend.


Other Favorites:

The End of the Line by Angela CerritoLost in the River of GrassRot and Ruin by Jonathan MaberryRuby Red by Kerstin GierA Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

Mahlia and Mouse are War Maggots, children orphaned by endless bloodshed across future America. The seas have risen and many of our large East-Coast cities have struggled to keep functioning. That struggle leads to violence, the kind of which leaves only the young to deal with the consequences. These child soldiers have inherited and will fight to control The Drowned Cities.

Author Paulo Bacigalupi slammed onto the young adult scene two years back with Ship Breaker. Resources are depleted. Oil is gone. New Orleans has been destroyed by hurricanes and rebuilt multiple times. Nailer, a boy hired to scavenge scrap metal in massive retired oil tankers, manages to find a path to a better life. Nailer desperately tried to take that path, despite opposition from ruthless vultures, specifically his drunken, abusive father.

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray’s yard is a zoo, literally. That’s where his dad, Mickey, keeps all of their animals, including pythons, monkeys, and an alligator named Alice. Mickey is the best animal wrangler in Florida...or he was until he got hit on the head by a frozen iguana. Since then he hasn’t been able to work. Money is so tight that Mickey accepts a job offer from the Expedition Survival TV series with Wahoo as his assistant. Things get off to a bad start when the show’s bumbling but egotistical star, Derek Badger, gets bitten by a snapping turtle and then an alligator. And that’s before he even leaves the safety of the Cray’s yard in Chomp by Carl Hiaasen.

Bidding Farewell to Maurice Sendak

Bidding Farewell to Maurice Sendak

When it first appeared in 1963, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are didn’t look like or read like any other children’s book out there. It was full of mystery and wonder--and Wild Things with attitude, including the King of all Wild Things, our hero Max.

But Max of the wolf suit wasn’t originally supposed to voyage to the Land of the Wild Things. He was first scheduled to be visiting the Land of the Wild Horses--which was how the book was planned and given to Maurice Sendak to write and illustrate. The problem was, the author/illustrator did not know how to draw horses. So his editor let him change them to Wild Things, a take on the Yiddish phrase "Vilde chaya,” meaning boisterous children.*   This changeover was magic.

African-American Experience

I had never heard of “the Talk” until a recent radio interview shared the agonizing conversation that many African-American parents have with their sons.  The mother had a son who ran track, but, as a precaution, wasn’t allowed to run in his own neighborhood. I was instantly reminded of Jacqueline Woodson’s book  “If You Come Softly” and my own skepticism at a plot development I naively mistook as contrived.  

If You Come Softly” is a love story, effectively told in alternating viewpoints that provide insight into what it’s like to be a  teen, interracial couple.  The boy, Jeremiah, “was black.  HE could feel it.  The way the sun pressed down hard and hot on his skin...He felt warm inside his skin, protected.”  Inside his neighborhood, he felt good, “but one step outside.  Just one step and somehow the weight of his skin seemed to change.  It got heavier.”  He had just started attending a fancy Manhattan prep school and collided with Ellie the first day.  Corny as it sounds, it was love at first sight.  Despite the challenges their race differences brought, they persevered, but there’s one thing neither Ellie nor I could completely comprehend: what it’s like to be a young African-American man.  Jeremiah’s parents weren’t against the relationship, but they were concerned.  In their discussions they said one thing that surprised me--never run in a white neighborhood.  In a moment of sheer joy, that advice is tragically forgotten.  As simply an ill-starred love story, the reader will weep, but knowing about “the Talk,” readers will be heartbroken at circumstances necessitating such a conversation in the first place.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Did you know that the Cinderella story is one of the world’s oldest fairy tales? The first version can be traced back to ninth-century China and was written about a heroine named Yeh-shen. Today, more than 1500 versions of the tale exist, many with a unique twist. I recently enjoyed what I consider to be the most singular version of Cinderella that I have ever come upon in Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Cinder Linh is a cyborg – part human, part robot – who knows nothing of her birth parents or history. She is a ward of her evil stepmother, Adri, who relies on Cinder’s extraordinary talent as a mechanic to support the family all the while vilifying Cinder at every opportunity. Together with two stepsisters, Pearl and Peony, they live in technologically advanced, post-World War IV “New Beijing.” Unfortunately, New Beijing is threatened by an airborn plague called letumosis, which strikes at random and has an almost 100% fatality rate.