unRequired Reading

Our unRequired Reading Blog features the latest picks for teens selected by library staff and volunteers.
05/25/2010 - 10:50am

Eighth graders at Freedom Middle School will be the first to tell you that today's books for teens are hot! This year's Cafe Book club read 20 of the newest books and voted for their top 5 picks. Here are the winners!

Top Pick:  

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins  - In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.

Other Favorites:

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman- After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Word Nerd, by Susin Nielsen -When some bullies at his new school almost kill him by slipping a peanut into his sandwich, friendless nerd Ambrose, forced to be home-schooled by his overprotective mother, coerces his neighbor Cosmo into taking him to the West Side Scrabble Club, where people accept him for who he is. 

Somebody, by Nancy Springer - At the age of fifteen, a girl who has spent most of her life moving around the country with her father and brother, filling the emptiness inside her with chocolate, remembers her real name, Sherica, and searches the Internet to learn the truth about her mother and her own past.

The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams - In a polygamous cult in the desert, Kyra, not yet fourteen, sees being chosen to be the seventh wife of her uncle as just punishment for having read books and kissed a boy, in violation of Prophet Childs' teachings, and is torn between facing her fate and running away from all that she knows and loves.

04/28/2010 - 1:54pm

It's true: hunger impels an author to write. The hunger can take the form of putting food on the table, yes; or, the hunger comes from an author wanting to read a book about a topic and that book doesn't exist. Then there is the hunger for words: their similarities, their differences, and their power. These are the reasons why Donna Jo Napoli started writing.

04/09/2010 - 4:19pm

National Library Week is April 11-17, and this year's honorary chair is author Neil Gaiman, recent winner of the Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book.  Check out his main web site, www.neilgaiman.com, and his web site for younger readers, www.mousecircus.com. Neil writes for all audiences - check out some of his books for teens.

Neil Gaiman loves libraries & we love him back! Kinda have a crush actually ...

Everyday during National Library week we'll be posting a Neil Gaiman related video on our teen Facebook page.

Here's a taste of what's to come - a great interview with Neil at home!

Celebrate with these National Library Week happenings:

Food for Fines - Monday, April 12 - Sunday, April 18:
Help local families in need and get a break on your fines. Find out more.

Celebrate National Library Workers Day - Tuesday, April 13:
Want to make our day? Just tell a library employee how much you love the library!

Celebrate "Support Teen Literature Day" - Thursday, April 15:
There's more to teen lit than Harry Potter and Twilight. Stop by your library and ask our young adult librarians for a recommendation or two or three ... they know their stuff!

Spring Book Sale - Saturday, April 17 - Wednesday, April 21:
... and the cherry on top ... our BIG spring book sale starts Saturday, April 17 (Friends of the Library preview Friday, April 16). Don't miss it!

03/25/2010 - 6:34pm

If you enjoy romance, here are some titles you may like:

Confessions of a NOT IT Girl by Melissa Kantor.

High school senior Jan Miller is convinced she's destined for the world's least fabulous life because she doesn't have IT. But, maybe, just maybe, being a Not It Girl will turn out to have some major rewards.

Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw.

Cyril, an overweight boy who is good friends with Rose but wishes he could be more, helps his best friend Nick woo her with culinary masterpieces which Cyril himself secretly creates. Includes recipes from the story.

03/23/2010 - 4:00am

 “He was not sure exactly when he became a child of the forest,” but 13 year-old Samuel, the hero of Gary Paulsen’s new book Woods Runner,  has a profound gift for hunting and understanding “sign” in the wild. Not only does Samuel supply meat for his parents, but he is the main hunter for the frontier community in which he lives.

Samuel is part of two worlds – the green world of the forest, “unimaginably vast, impenetrable, mysterious and dark,” and the world of civilization, of shelter and books and contemplation. On the frontier of western Pennsylvania, life is rigorous, brutal, and often violent.  Samuel’s life as hunter and provider seems peaceful, until the fateful day when he is out hunting and smells “wrong” smoke on the wind from the direction of his home. He fears that something has happened to his parents, and runs the eight miles home in a panic.
03/22/2010 - 11:29am

We seek heat in the dark cold winter night. Sleeping, we dream of warm air, beaches, and jungles. Imagine growing up in such a place, an island: not wearing shoes until the 6th grade; not seeing snow until you were 19, (and away from home). Some people call Hawaii paradise; Graham Salisbury called Hawaii home. The islands and surrounding waters are the locale for his compelling stories and novels.