Teen Blog

Cafe Book Thornburg Middle School: Top Teen Picks 2011

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Fantasy and realistic fiction 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. Thirty-two students voted on 20 books, selecting their Top Picks for 2011. Here they are! 

Top Picks:

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
When Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, she is exiled to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
 

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
Bruiser
by Neal Shusterman
Inexplicable events start to occur when sixteen-year-old twins Tennyson and Brontë befriend a troubled and misunderstood outcast, aptly nicknamed Bruiser, and his little brother, Cody.


 

 
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Heist Society
by Ally Carter
A group of teenagers uses their combined talents to re-steal several priceless paintings and save fifteen-year-old Kat Bishop's father, himself an international art thief, from a vengeful collector.
 

 
 

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser
Wish You Were Dead
by Todd Strasser
When anonymous blogger Str-S-d makes a list of the people in her high school she wishes were dead, it seems like just another case of bullying. But when the popular teens on the list start disappearing, high school senior Madison Archer tries to find the connection between her missing friends and her own stalker.

 

Cafe Book Rodney Thompson: Top Teen Picks 2011

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

The results are in and the 7th and 8th graders at Rodney Thompson Middle School have spoken.  Here are their top choices from their Cafe Book program this year.

Top Picks:

Bruiser
by Neal Shusterman
Inexplicable events start to occur when sixteen-year-old twins Tennyson and Brontë befriend a troubled and misunderstood outcast, aptly nicknamed Bruiser, and his little brother, Cody.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall
by Rachel Hawkins
Sophie has just been exiled to Hex Hall, a school for rebellious teens…of the supernatural sort. Witches like herself, werewolves, and even a vampire or two are her new classmates, along with a host of equally unusual teachers. As mysterious and murderous events unfold, Sophie learns about her past and a secret society that dooms them all.

 

 

Other Favorites:

Candor by Pam Bachorz


Candor
by Pam Bachorz
For a fee, "model teen" Oscar Banks has been secretly--and selectively-- sabotaging the subliminal messages that program the behavior of the residents of Candor, Florida, until his attraction to a rebellious new girl threatens to expose his subterfuge. 

 
 

Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler
Cupcake Queen
by Heather Hepler
Penny moves to Hogs Hollow from New York City with her Mom. Penny's Mom runs a cupcake store and Penny has to help out. She also had to leave her friends. In addition to that, her Dad did not move with them. But there is Marcus, the boy she sees running on the beach every night.


 

If you like Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess

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. You can browse our book matches here.

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess
Haunted by flashbacks, fifteen-year-old Meredith learns that three years in prison has not changed the abusive father who molested her.

If you like Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess, you might like these books:

Lessons from a Dead Girl by Johanna Knowles
Lessons from a Dead Girl
by Johanna Knowles
An unflinching story of a troubled friendship -- and one girl's struggle to come to terms with secrets and shame and find her own power to heal. Leah Greene is dead. For Laine, knowing what really happened and the awful feeling that she is, in some way, responsible set her on a journey of painful self-discovery. Yes, she wished for this. She hated Leah that much. Hated her for all the times in the closet, when Leah made her do those things. They were just practicing, Leah said. But why did Leah choose her? Was she special, or just easy to control? And why didn't Laine make it stop sooner?
 

Light on Snow by Anita Shreve
Light on Snow
by Anita Shreve
Written from the point of view of 30-year-old Nicky as she recalls the vivid December day, 19 years earlier, when she and her father found an abandoned infant in the snow, this is a beautiful contemporary novel about love and memory.


 

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Make Lemonade
by Virginia Euwer Wolff
LaVaughn is saving money for college, babysitting for a single mother whose life is out of control! Meanwhile, LaVaughn and her friends have other things to figure out.

 

ReachOut Reads: Books for Tough Topics

Reachout Reads web page

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Reachout.com and YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) have teamed up to offer ReachOut Reads, a selection of YA fiction titles that address tough topics like bullying, depression, eating disorders, self-mutilation and suicide. Throughout May, Reachout.com will also be hosting a series of live chats with YA authors. Visit  reachout.com/reachoutreads for more information.

If You Like Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

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. You can browse our book matches here.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
For thirty-five years, the acclaimed, bestselling first-person account of a teenage girl's harrowing decent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teen readers. As powerful -- and as timely -- today as ever, Go Ask Alice remains the definitive book on the horrors of addiction.

 If you like Go Ask Alice and Ellen Hopkins books, then you may like:

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
Fallout
by Ellen Hopkins (her latest book)
Written in free verse, explores how three teenagers try to cope with the consequences of their mother's addiction to crystal meth and its effects on their lives.
 




Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
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.

 



Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Story of a Girl
by Sara Zarr
In the three years since her father caught her in the back seat of a car with an older boy, sixteen-year-old Deanna's life at home and school has been a nightmare, but while dreaming of escaping with her brother and his family, she discovers the power of forgiveness.

Teen Poetry Night: Tuesday, April 26, 7:30pm

Teen Poetry Night: Tuesday, April 26, 7:30pm

Celebrate National Poetry Month by attending our Teen Poetry Night at the Headquarters Library, 1201 Caroline Street, downtown Fredericksburg.

Join us for poetry readings by the winners of our Teen Poetry Contest and by our host and contest judge, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Claudia Emerson.

In addition to winning the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and being a former Poet Laureate of Virginia, Emerson was recently inducted into the prestigious Fellowship of Southern Writers and awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.

We're very lucky she's still willing to find time in her busy schedule to spend with budding local teen poets!

For grades 7 to adult.  Call 372-1144 for more information.

Steampunk'd Books

Altered book - Doors

Wires were being bent, watches broken, and the scent of hot glue was in the air. The chatter of teens and a few adult artists filled the air as copiously as the junk that littered the table. The sounds and sights of books being “remade” were a little bit unnerving even to the librarians that planned the program, but there was no doubt about it – Steampunk’d Books at the Salem Church Library was a hit.

2011 Teen Poetry Contest Winners

2011 Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Each year we celebrate National Poetry Month in April with our Teen Poetry Contest.

Teens in grades 7-12 from Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Westmoreland, are invited to submit up to three originial poems. Out-of-region library cardholders may also enter.

The winners are chosen (anonymously) by University of Mary Washington professor and Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Claudia Emerson.

Entries were accepted online between April 1 - 12, 2011.
Winners are selected from participants in grades 7-9 and grades 10-12.

Winners are awarded prizes and invited to read work at Teen Poetry Night at Headquarters Library: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 7:30-9:00

We had over 350 entries this year! Here are the winners ...

If you like The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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. You can browse our book matches here.

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

If you liked The Giver, you might also enjoy the companion books (they're not exactly sequels) that Lowry has written:

Gathering Blue
Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry
Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians.



 

Messenger
Messenger
by Lois Lowry
In this novel that unites characters from "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue," Matty, a young member of a utopian community that values honesty, conceals an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand.


 

If you like these books, you might also enjoy:

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Airborn
by Kenneth Oppel
Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt's always wanted; convinced he's lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter that he realizes that the man's ravings may,in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.
 

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Hidden
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting afamily to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years inisolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong.

 

If you like Robin McKinley

Pegasus by Robin McKinley

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. You can browse our book matches here.

If you haven't read Robin McKinley's newest book Pegasus (published in 2010), you might want to check it out :

Pegasus by Robin McKinley
Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylvi is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday, but the closeness of their bond becomes a threat to the status quo and possibly to the safety of their two nations.

If you're looking for some other prolific authors, you might also enjoy Vivian Vande Velde and Donna Jo Napoli, who don't write entirely fantasy but are excellent writers in that genre and others.

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Book of a Thousand Days
by Shannon Hale
Fifteen-year-old Dashti, sworn to obey her sixteen-year-old mistress, the Lady Saren, shares Saren's years of punishment locked in a tower, then brings her safely to the lands of her true love, where both must hide who they are as they work as kitchen maids.


 

Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski
Cabinet of Wonders
by Marie Rutkoski
Twelve-year-old Petra, accompanied by her magical tin spider, goes to Prague hoping to retrieve the enchanted eyes the Prince of Bohemia took from her father, and is aided in her quest by a Roma boy and his sister. (An exciting mix of fantasy, historical fiction and adventure!)


 

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce
A Curse Dark as Gold
by Elizabeth Bunce
Upon the death of her father, seventeen-year-old Charlotte struggles to keep the family's woolen mill running in the face of an overwhelming mortgage and what the local villagers believe is a curse, but when a man capable of spinning straw into gold appears on the scene she must decide if his help is worth the price. (This is an amazing retelling of Rumplestiltskin)