unRequired Reading

Our unRequired Reading Blog features the latest picks for teens selected by library staff and volunteers.
Fri, 08/26/2016 - 9:20am
If you like the Steampunk genre

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 the book matches here.

According to UrbanDictionary.com, "Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes."

If you like the Steampunk genre, then you might be interested in the following titles:

The Affinity Bridge: A Newbury and Hobbes Investigation by George Mann
Sir Maurice Newbury and Miss Veronica Hobbes, agents of Queen Victoria, battle both physical and supernatural enemies of the crown. They are called in to investigate the wreckage of a crashed airship and its missing automaton pilot while dealing with a zombie plague in the slums of the capital and attempting to solve a string of strangulations credited to a mysterious glowing policeman. (catalog summary)

 

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Inventor Leviticus Blue creates a machine that accidentally decimates Seattle's banking district and uncovers a vein of Blight Gas that turns everyone who breathes it into the living dead. Sixteen years later Briar, Blue's widow, lives in the poor neighborhood outside the wall that's been built around the uninhabitable city. Life is tough with a ruined reputation, but she and her teenage son Ezekiel are surviving--until Zeke impetuously decides that he must reclaim his father's name from the clutches of history. (catalog summary)

 


 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Book #1 of the Luner Chronicles)
As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story. (catalog summary)

 

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 1:57pm
If you like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Divided into the four marking periods of an academic year, the novel, narrated by Melinda Sordino, begins on her first day as a high school freshman. No one will sit with Melinda on the bus. At school, students call her names and harass her; her best friends from junior high scatter to different cliques and abandon her. Yet Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy. A girl at a school pep rally offers an explanation of the heroine's pariah status when she confronts Melinda about calling the police at a summer party, resulting in several arrests. But readers do not learn why Melinda made the call until much later: a popular senior raped her that night and, because of her trauma, she barely speaks at all. Only through her work in art class, and with the support of a compassionate teacher there, does she begin to reach out to others and eventually find her voice. (catalog summary)

Here are some suggestions for books with school drama/situations and plots that keep you guessing at the ending:


 

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
Jam Gallahue, fifteen, unable to cope with the loss of her boyfriend Reeve, is sent to a therapeutic boarding school in Vermont, where a journal-writing assignment for an exclusive, mysterious English class transports her to the magical realm of Belzhar, where she and Reeve can be together. (catalog summary)

 

 


 

 

By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
High school student Daelyn Rice, who's been bullied throughout her school career and has more than once attempted suicide, again makes plans to kill herself, in spite of the persistent attempts of an unusual boy to draw her out. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 11:32am
If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid (for Teens)

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.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship. (catalog summary)
 

If you're looking for a title similar title to Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but for teens and not kids, look no further! Check out this list of humorous, young adult titles.

 

 


Boys Don't Knit (In Public) by Tom Easton
After a brush with the law, Ben, a dyed-in-the-wool worrier, must take up a new hobby and chooses knitting, an activity at which he excels but must try to keep secret from his friends, enemies, and sports-obsessed father. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

 


House Arrest by K.A. Holt
Young Timothy is sentenced to house arrest after impulsively stealing a wallet, and he is forced to keep a journal into which he pours all his thoughts, fears, and frustrations. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 12:05am
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

"We've come because of the baby," she said. "We've come to help."

The Nest appeared soon after Steve's baby brother came home from the hospital, hanging from the eaves of the roof. Steve did not know exactly what was wrong with his new sibling, but he overheard his parents use words like "poor prognosis" and "degenerative." It was not long until Steve saw the wasps in his yard . . . and in his dreams.

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 9:30am
If you like Looking for Alaska by John Green

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.

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash. (catalog summary)
 

If you like John Green's style of writing, check out these other titles similar to his works.





The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. (catalog summary)

 


 

 


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school--both teetering on the edge--it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the "natural wonders" of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 12:07pm
If you like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley is rightly considered a prophetic genius and one of the most important literary and philosophical voices of the 20th Century, and Brave New World is his masterpiece. From the author of The Doors of Perception, Island, and countless other works of fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, and poetry, comes this powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations. Brave New World remains absolutely relevant to this day as both a cautionary dystopian tale in the vein of the George Orwell classic 1984, and as thought-provoking, thoroughly satisfying entertainment. (catalog summary)

 

If you like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

 

 

Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm is the most famous by far of all twentieth-century political allegories. Its account of a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind, can fairly be said to have become a universal drama. Orwell is one of the very few modern satirists comparable to Jonathan Swift in power, artistry, and moral authority; in animal farm his spare prose and the logic of his dark comedy brilliantly highlight his stark message. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

 

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
After his youthful adventures of raping and pillaging, Alex finds himself in prison. When he volunteers for an experiment, his sentence is commuted to two weeks. The experiment leaves him physically incapable of doing wrong and releases him back into the world. However, when he repeatedly runs into people he has wronged in the past, his real suffering begins. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

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