If you stumbled across a body in the woods, would you be horrified like Alexis, electrified like Ruby, or panicked like Nick?
In April Henry’s The Body in the Woods, high school students Alexis, Ruby, and Nick’s first official Search and Rescue (SAR) for the Portland County Sheriff’s Office did not go as planned, to say the least. They were assigned to find an autistic man in Forest Park, but found a young woman’s body instead. Realizing that she was very recently murdered, the three students reached the conclusion that one of the many park visitors they conversed with on the trail could be the killer.
David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing is a collection of stories about a variety of young gay men and their partners. There are two sides to these stories. There are the omniscient gay men of the past, who have struggled with their identities and coming out already. Then there are the gay teens of today who are attempting to come out and live their lives as they wish.
"I was unhappy for a long time, and very lonesome, living with my grandmother. Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books — where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas." (From The Big Sea, one of Hughes’ autobiographies)
The main character in Nicola Yoon’s Everything Everything, Madeline, lives in a bubble. Literally. Her house has an airlock and the very rare individuals allowed to enter must go through a decontamination process. Direct contact with anything can be potentially life-threatening, and Madeline has lived this way as long as she can remember. It’s all she knows. She has been comfortable with and understood this life. Until now. Because, when a cute boy named Olly moves in next door, she finds herself wanting more.
The 2017 Youth Media Awards, announced in January, include several awards for teen literature. Read about the winners and honorable mentions below. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) also creates multiple booklists each year for young adults, that usually have a specific theme. Check them out and read some of the winners.
What would you do to survive in wartime? What would you sacrifice? Whom would you sacrifice? Three refugees—all teens—are on the losing side of World War II. They are struggling through the German-Prussian countryside, heading for the same destination—a German evacuation camp of civilians and wounded soldiers on the Baltic Sea. They're hoping for some kind of safety from the Russians who, coming from one direction, will kill them and the Allied Forces, coming from another direction, who could do the same. But they are not even safe from their own countrymen, because all three also have secrets. Ones they are desperate to protect. Ones that could mean they are left behind in the snow by the others to die if they are not killed by the bombs first.
This May for the first time, Central Rappahannock Regional Library will be running a trebuchet contest. A trebuchet is a kind of medieval siege engine. Full-sized ones were used to smash down castle walls. This contest will be a fun, family event, and you can join in by bringing your handcrafted trebuchet and testing it against your competitors!
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.
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Belly spends the summer she turns sixteen at the beach just like every other summer of her life, but this time things are very different. (catalog summary)
You may also like these books:
99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Molly Barlow is facing one long, hot summer—99 days—with the boy whose heart she broke and the boy she broke it for: his brother. (Amazon.com)
Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen
When Auden impulsively goes to stay with her father, stepmother, and new baby sister the summer before she starts college, all the trauma of her parents' divorce is revived, even as she is making new friends and having new experiences such as learning to ride a bike and dating. (catalog summary)
The Salem Church Branch offers OurSpace, a teen social space for playing games, doing homework, and getting creative. It is for middle and high schoolers in grades 6-12, Monday-Thursday, 3:30-7:30.
Within OurSpace, teens have access to laptops, board games, art and school supplies, and more!