Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 30, 2014 Titles

Abawi, Atia. The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan. Born of Afghan parents and inspired by the author’s time spent in Afghanistan as a foreign correspondent, Abawi tells the story of Fatima, an Hazara girl whose destiny is to remain barely literate and marry someone she does not know. That all changes when after three years in an Islamic religious school, Samiullah, her best friend since childhood but Pashtun, returns a grown man.  Their society, cultures, family, and friends fight to keep them apart. Multicultural literature.

Lockhart, E. We Were Liars. The Sinclairs are old money and spend their summers on their very own private island off the coast of Massachusetts until a fire destroys their old world life. Johnny, Mirren, Gat, and Cadence are cousins who are called the Liars. They can lie to their relatives; they can lie to each other, but they can’t lie to themselves. Mystery thriller.

Lubar, David. Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge. The title says it all!!

Myers, Suzanne. Stone Cold Island.  When seventeen year old Eliza Elliott begins to investigate the decades old murder of Bess Linsky, everyone on the island seems to want to hide the story. She has no clue that not only the entire island of Stone Cove Island is involved, but both her father and her mother are involved. She soon finds out that the island people will go to any length to keep the secret buried.

Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park. Sixteen year olds Eleanor & Park couldn’t possibly be right for each other, but love doesn’t always allow us to choose.  This is a heartrending tale of love and hope for two misfits who make a lifetime connection. Language.

Rutkoski, Marie. The Winner’s Curse.  Seventeen year old Kestrel, daughter of the Valorian general, knows that she has only two choices when she turns twenty—become a wife or a soldier. Defying custom, she is sucked into a political rebellion when she buys an Herrani slave and falls in love with him. Although Arin is one of the leaders of the uprising, she defies the demands of society and is determined to do what she thinks is right. Follow Kestrel’s struggles in the second book of the trilogy, The Winner’s Crime which is due out in March of 2015, when she is forced into an engagement with the emperor’s son and charged with treason. Fantasy.

Wallace, Rich and Sandra Neil Wallace. Babe Conquers the World: The legendary Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Bullied by competitors, snubbed by teammates, harassed by family, Mildred Elda Didrikson was a naturally talented athlete driven to become the best. Meticulously researched, this book tells the story of Babe Didrikson Zaharias who fought not only to become the greatest woman athlete of the twentieth century but fought for women’s rights. Nonfiction.

OELMA Conference Presentation: October 24, 2014

OELMA CONFERENCE: October 24, 2014
presented by
Krista Taracuk,
Retired high school librarian/State Library of Ohio Board Member

1.      Alexander, Kwame.  Crossover.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 978-0-544-10771-7. On-the-court action is interspersed with real life tensions in this novel in verse. Twins Josh and Jordan Bell are basketball phenoms. As they grow older, they begin to grow apart. One shaves his head; one has long locks. One is more serious; one is more immature. One has a girlfriend; one is jealous of the girlfriend. Reluctant readers.

2.      Anderson, Laurie Halse. The Impossible Knife of Memory. Penguin Group. 978-1922182227. Hayley Rose says, "It was enough to make me want to flee into the mountains and live out my life as a hermit, as long as I could find a hideaway that had a decent public library within walking distance.” Hayley and her war hero father have hopscotched from town to town and have finally settled in one spot, but both live with the constant pain of her father’s PTSD.

3.      Armentrout, Jennifer L.  Don’t Look Back. Hyperion. 978-142317512-4. High school senior Samantha Franco was found wandering along the roadside. Bloody and dazed, she has no recollection of her previous life as a “Mean Girl.”  Most importantly, she has no idea where she left her best friend Cassie. Even when Cassie’s body is found, Sam can not remember anything—but the killer does. And he doesn’t want Sam to remember. Mystery thriller.

4.      Binns, Barbara A.  Minority of One.  AllTheColorsofLove Press.  9780988182127. Alone and lonely, Neill and Sheila are looking for someone who understands them when they connect in the least likely place, French classroom. Sheila is trying to find her way around her father’s suicide while Neill is trying to overcome his boyfriend’s rejection. Barbara Binns is one of the featured authors at this year’s OELMA conference.  LGBT. Reluctant readers.

5.      Brown, Pierce. Red Rising. Del Rey. 978-0-345-53978-6. For generations, the Reds have been told that they are the pioneers of Mars, making way for habitation. Sixteen year-old Darrow and his family know no other life than mining and Darrow is a highly touted driller called a Helldiver. After the death of his wife Eo, Darrow has the opportunity to seek revenge and finds out that for five hundred years his people have been slaves mining for fuel for all of mankind. For fans of The Hunger Games. Science fiction.

6.      Cardi, Annie. The Chance You Won’t Return. Candlewick Press. 978-0-7636-6292-9. Alex is struggling trying to keep the family together because her mom has had a nervous breakdown and thinks she’s Amelia Earhart. To top it off, she needs help passing driver’s ed.

7.      Casella, Jody. Thin Space. Simon Pulse/Beyond Words. 978-1582703923. Marshall Windsor is devastated over the loss of his twin brother in a car accident where Marsh was the driver.  Marsh has been trapped in a foggy haze of grief and remorse since that fateful night. The tension builds as Marsh frantically searches for that sliver of space between the living and the dead to meet up with Austin once again and make things right.  Identical twins often switch places so all Marsh has to do is convince Austin to switch places with him one more time.  Buy multiple copies of this supernatural thriller! Jody Casella is one of the featured authors at this year’s OELMA conference.

8.      Coben, Harlan.  Missing You. Dutton. 978-0-525-95349-4. For twenty years as a cop and a daughter, Kat Donovan has searched for her hero father’s murderer. Little does she know that a case involving almost 40 missing people will bring her to the very doorsteps of the killer. The reader won’t guess the identity of the killer until the very end of the book. Good choice for older readers (as well as adults) because of the size of the book.

9.      Cotugno, Katie.  How To Love.  Balzar + Bray.  978-0-06-221635-9.  Serena Montero has always loved Sawyer LaGrande, but has never let him really know.  She has also always wanted to travel and write, but those dreams are put on hold when sixteen year old Serena becomes pregnant with Sawyer’s baby. Addicted to pain killers, Sawyer suddenly leaves town and disappears completely. Just as Reena is finally getting her life together, Sawyer returns after an absence of two years.

10.  Ford, Gabrielle with Sarah Thomson.  Gabe & Izzy: Standing Up For America’s Bullied.  Puffin Books. 978-0-8037-4062-4.  Gabrielle Ford lived a normal until the age of 13 when she was diagnosed with the rare Friedreich’s Ataxia, a life-threatening disease of the nervous system. This book is for the bullied, the bully, a witness to bullying, or dog lovers in general as Gabe takes her story on the road.

11.  Grant, AnnaLisa. The Lake.  Layla has been orphaned twice and is once again relocating, this time from Florida to North Carolina to live with her unknown aunt and uncle. Although the main character, Layla Weston, is a 17 year old senior, the content and the situations of this book are very appropriate for a freshman. She falls in love with the first boy she meets in this simple romance. First book in the Lake Trilogy. Reluctant readers. FREE DOWNLOAD FROM AMAZON.

12.  Landers, Melissa. Alienated. Hyperion. 978-1-4231-7028-0. The term foreign exchange student takes on a whole new meaning when that person is a Liehr alien. Two years ago Liehr made contact with Earth; now they want to set up a student exchange program. The Liehrs need human emotion while humans need the scientific advances provided. Cara Sweeney has earned a scholarship and been chosen as one of the hosts but she must fight HALO (Humans Against Liehr Occupation). Can love overcome treachery and paranoia? Readers will eagerly anticipate the sequel. Science fiction.

13.  Maciel, Amanda. Tease. Balzer + Bray. 978-0-06-230530-5. So what’s the big deal that during junior year new student Emma Sluts-A-Lot Putnam killed herself? “Everyone” knew she was a boyfriend-stealing bitch and even after her death, she’s ruining Sara Wharton’s life. Sara doesn’t understand why she and four of her classmates have been charged in the death of Emma.  Now Sara must spend the summer before her senior year meeting with lawyers, seeing a therapist, attending summer school, and defending herself to the entire town.

14.  McGovern, Cammie. Say What You Will. Harper Teen. 978-0-06-227110-5. High school senior Amy has spent seventeen years trapped in a body because of cerebral palsy while Matthew has disabilities on the inside. Trapped by his obsessive compulsive behavior, Matt becomes an aide for his classmate Amy. What starts out as a job for Matt grows into friendship with each overlooking the physical and emotional hurdles in each other.

15.  Nelson, Jandy. I’ll Give you the Sun. Dial Books. 978-0-8037-3496-8. Inseparable twins Jude and Noah are torn apart by the tragic death of their mother.  The story is told in two parts, first by Jude and then by Noah. Each is hiding secrets from the other and they struggle to maintain their closeness. LGBT. Language. Situations.

16.  Oliver, Lauren. PanicEpicreads.  978-0-06-201455-9. Graduating seniors in the small town of Carp hold an annual challenge with a prize of $67,000. With the chance to escape their stifling small town, the contestants are challenged to such tasks as a walk across a plank between two water towers. Secrets, alliances, and fear will overcome the entire town as candidates are pushed to their limits.

17.  Prestsater, Julie. So I’m A Double Threat. Freshman Megan Miller and her three best buddies are super excited to start high school and experience everything it offers, especially when they make it into the IN crowd by being both smart and popular. Unfortunately, they hadn’t figured on the daily angst involved in high school life.  Language and realistic situations. Reluctant readers. (First book in Double Threat Series) FREE DOWNLOAD FROM AMAZON.

18.  Roberts, Robin with Veronica Chambers. Everybody’s Got Something. Grand Central Publishing. 978-1-4555-7845-0. Her mother always said, “Everybody’s got something, but they also have something to give.” Robin Roberts does just that by giving us a glimpse into her fight with breast cancer five years ago, the loss of her mother, and her fight with a rare blood disorder. Robin is a former college athlete, a former ESPN announcer and anchor, and now anchor for the number one morning show, Good Morning America.  In this wonderfully uplifting memoir, she talks about her faith, her family, her gay partner, and her friends. Memoir.

19.  Scott, Elizabeth.  Heart Beat. Harlequin Teen.  978-0-373-21096-1.  Seventeen year old Emma, the valedictorian candidate who always did the right thing, has realized that none of that matters.  All that matters is that her stepfather is keeping her dead mother hooked to give birth to their unborn son. Emma is barely operating through the fog of her grief when she runs into bad boy, Caleb Harrison, who is wading through his own struggle with anger and grief.

20.  Scottoline, Lisa.  Keep Quiet. St. Martin’s Press. 978-1-250-01009-4. Jake Buckman is hoping to reconnect with his 16 year old son, Ryan, and lets him illegally drive home from the movies. After Ryan hits and kills a woman, Jake decides that they should leave the scene and not tell anyone what happened. Mystery thriller.

21.  Shecter, Vicky Alverar.  Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii. Arthur A. Levine Books. 978-0-545-50993-0.  Lucia is a pawn in her father’s plan to get out of debt, while Tag is a slave whose only dream is to become a famous gladiator. The childhood friends are reunited as the city is beset with tremors of the forthcoming earthquake.  Historical fiction.

22.  Wolitzer, Meg. Belzhar.  Dutton. 978-0-525-42305-8. Devastated by the death of her boyfriend Reeve, Jam (short for Jamaica) is overcome with grief. Because they are unable to reach Jam during the following year, the Gallahue family has run out of options and sends her to The Wooden Barn to recuperate.  Jam has been assigned to the legendary class Special Topics in English with four other students.  The five students are assigned readings and journal writings on Sylvia Plath for the first semester. With no Internet and nowhere to go, the students delve into their journals, only to find another world opens to them. Fantasy.

New Titles

DeWoskin, Rachel. Blind. At age 15, Emma is blinded in a freak accident when she is struck by a defective bottle rocket so instead of being an average freshman girl, her life revolves around her white cane. Once she was the invisible child in a large family; now everyone stares. With the suicide of a classmate, Emma must decide that her life is worthwhile after all.  Language.

Recommendations from Ann Pechacek, Head YA Librarian at Worthington’s Northwest Library and committee member of the 2016 Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature:

Auxier, Jonathan. Night Garden: A Scary Story. Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house. Follow-up to Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes.  Victorian ghost story.

Blankman, Anne. Prisoner of Night and Fog. In 1930s Munich, the favorite niece of rising political leader Adolph Hitler is torn between duty and love after meeting a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter. Historical fiction.

Fleming, Candace. The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia. He was Tsar Nicholas II of Russia: the wealthiest monarch in the world, who ruled over 130 million people and one-sixth of the earth's land surface, yet turned a blind eye to the abject poverty of his subjects. She was Empress Alexandra: stern, reclusive, and painfully shy, a deeply religious woman obsessed with the corrupt mystic Rasputin. Their daughters were the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia: completely isolated and immature, girls who wore identical white dresses and often signed joint letters as OTMA, the initials of their first names. Their only son was Tsarevich Alexei: youngest of the Romanovs, heir to the throne, a hemophiliac whose debilitating illness was kept secret from the rest of the world. In a world of starving peasant farmers, the factory workers toiling long hours for little pay, and the disillusioned soldiers fighting in the trenches of World War I, follow the Romanovs from opulent upbringings, to the crumbling of their massive empire, and finally to their tragic murders. Non-fiction.

Portes, Andrea. Anatomy of a Misfit. The third most popular girl in school's choice between the hottest boy in town and a lonely but romantic misfit ends in tragedy and self-realization.

Whaley, John Corey. Noggin. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 978-1442458727. After dying of cancer at age sixteen, Travis Coates' head was removed and frozen for five years before being attached to another body, and now the old Travis and the new Travis must find a way to coexist while figuring out changes in his relationships. Science fiction.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming.  This is the moving story of Woodson’s childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Titles!

1)                  Anderson, Laurie Halse. The Impossible Knife of Memory. Viking Juvenile. 978-0670012091. After being on the road for five years, Hayley Rose Kincaid and her father Andy have finally settled in a small town where Hayley will attend school full time and hopes to find a normal life, but both Hayley and her war hero father live with the constant pain of PTSD.  Hayley says, "It was enough to make me want to flee into the mountains and live out my life as a hermit, as long as I could find a hideaway that had a decent public library within walking distance.

2)                  Bascomb, Neal. The Nazi Hunters. 2013. Arthur A. Levine Books. 9780545430999. The hunt for Adolf Eichmann, Nazi leader responsible for organizing the deportation and extermination of millions of Holocaust victims.  Includes background information about Eichmann and the establishment of Israel and the Israeli Mosad. Winner of the 2014 Excellence in Nonfiction Award.

3)                  Binns, Barbara A.  Minority of One.  AllTheColorsofLove Press.  9780988182127.
Sheila is the new kid in town while is Neill is an openly gay orphan with an ex-boyfriend who has gone straight.  Sheila’s father ran an international Ponzi scheme that cheated hundreds of their money. While Neil wants to become a teacher, Neill’s brother wants him to become a doctor like him. Both Sheila and Neill are struggling to find happiness—and then they are confronted with a mystery that will break them or make them stronger.  Barbara Binns is one of the featured authors at this year’s OELMA conference. GLBTSA (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Straight Alliance). Reluctant readers.

4)                  Casella, Jody. Thin Space. Simon Pulse/Beyond Words. 978-1582703923. Marshall Windsor is devastated over the loss of his twin brother in a car accident where Marsh was the driver.  Marsh has been trapped in a foggy haze of grief and remorse since that fateful night. The tension builds as Marsh frantically searches for that sliver of space between the living and the dead to meet up with Austin once again and make things right.  Identical twins often switch places so all Marsh has to do is convince Austin to switch places with him one more time.  Buy multiple copies of this supernatural thriller! Jody Casella is one of the Ohio authors featured at this year’s OELMA conference.

5)                  Chan, Crystal. Bird. Bound Galley.  9781442478794. Nothing matters but Bird, the five year old brother who died on her birth date. Twelve year old Jewel constantly lives in the shadow of Bird in a house filled with anger, superstition, emotional pain, and personal demons, Jewel must try to find her place in the world.  When she suddenly meets a boy who is visiting his uncle and coincidentally has her dead brother’s name, the world crashes in. Readers will empathize with the constant bewilderment and heartbreaking loss felt by Jewel who just wants a normal family.

6)                  Chiaverini, Jennifer. Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival.  Dutton. 978-0-525-95428-6. Kate Chase is the beautiful, well-educated, and politically savvy daughter of the Presidential hopeful and member of Lincoln’s cabinet, Salmon P. Chase. Described as the “most brilliant woman of her day,” Kate established a salon in their home to rival all others, becoming the queen of Washington political society, but gaining the jealousy and enmity of the infamous Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln. Kate married William Sprague, the governor of Rhode Island, only to courageously divorce him after 20+ years of his alcoholic abuse and infidelities, even legally reclaiming the Chase name. Historical fiction.

7)                  Culbertson, Kim.  Catch A Falling Star.  Point (Scholastic) 978-0-545-62704-7.  During the summer before her senior year, Carter Moon expects to spend a relaxing summer hanging out with her friends and working at her parents’ restaurant.  Her plans are disrupted by the arrival of a movie company with star and teenage heart throb Adam Jakes. When she is hired by the company to act as Adam’s girlfriend during the shoot to help clean up Adam’s nightmare image, Carter must decide what’s real and what’s for the rolling cameras. Released on April 29, 2014.

8)                  Fantaskey, Beth. Buzz Kill. HMH Books. 9780547393100. While investigating a story for her high school paper Millie stumbles upon a dead body, the head football coach and her dad the mayor is the main suspect. Millie, a Nancy Drew fan, decides she is going to solve who really murdered the coach. Fun, light mystery.

9)                  Ford, Gabrielle with Sarah Thomson.  Gabe & Izzy: Standing Up For America’s Bullied.  Puffin Books. 978-0-8037-4062-4.  Gabrielle Ford lived a normal until the age of 13 when she was diagnosed with the rare Friedreich’s Ataxia, a life-threatening disease of the nervous system. This book is for the bullied, the bully, a witness to bullying, or dog lovers in general as Gabe takes her story on the road.

10)              Grant, AnnaLisa. The Lake.  Layla has been orphaned twice and is once again relocating, this time from Florida to North Carolina to live with her unknown aunt and uncle. Although the main character, Layla Weston, is a 17 year old senior, the content and the situations of this book are very appropriate for a freshman. She falls in love with the first boy she meets in this simple romance. First book in the Lake Trilogy. Reluctant readers. FREE DOWNLOAD FROM AMAZON.

11)              Johnson, Jaleigh. The Mark of the Dragonfly. Delacorte Books. 9780385376150. A new steampunkish fantasy set in an alternate world. Piper is trying to survive and save as much money as she can to get out of the Meteor Fields and move to Dragonfly territory to revenge her dad’s death. The last meteor storm brings her more trouble than she ever bargained for and now she is on the run with a young woman who can’t remember who she is or how she got to the fields.

12)              Kerr, Philip.  The Winter Horses. Alfred A. Knopf. 978-0-385-75544-3.  Kalinka’s entire family has been killed by the Nazis; she has barely survived the horrors and the dangers of 1941 as she wanders through the Ukraine trying to keep one step ahead of the Germans. On her way, she is befriended by two Przewalski’s horses, a rare and almost extinct breed of wild horse from Mongolia, who are also being hunted by the Nazis.  Middle school girls who love horses will especially appreciate this story. Holocaust literature.

13)               Longshore, Katherine. Manor of Secrets. Point Press. 9780545567589. Charlotte is bored with tea parties and banal talk about the weather. Janie is fine with her position downstairs in the kitchen. Their lives intersect when Charlotte challenges the boundaries between the upstairs and the downstairs.

14)              Miranda, Megan. Vengeance. Bloomsburyteens. 978-0-8027-3503-4. Falcon Lake is not one to forgive and forget or give up its dead.  In Fracture, Delaney was rescued from Falcon Lake; the Lake had reluctantly given her up but grabbed another. Now the Lake is searching for another. When Decker’s dad dies and Decker realizes that Delaney knew but did not tell him, he can’t seem to forgive her.  Language.

15)              Oppel, Kenneth. Boundless. Simon & Schuster Books. 9781442472884. Will and his father take the maiden voyage on the biggest train ever built, Boundless. As the train heads west across Canada Will witnesses a murder and to stop the next murder, his own, he hooks up with the circus troupe hooked to train.

16)              Patterson, James. First Love. Little, Brown, and Co. 9780316239998. Axi is a good girl. She doesn’t skip class or cheat but she also knows she is running out of time with her best friend Robinson. Axi decides it is time to take the trip of a lifetime with Robinson and out they head on the next great adventure. Will it be her last and will Robinson ever find out she is in love with him?

17)              Philbrick, Rodman. Zane and the Hurricane: a story of Katrina. Blue Sky Press. The very first time Zane visits his long lost Great Grandmother, Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans. He and his dog Bandy are stranded in Ward Nine when the wind and rain kick in. Short quick chapters. Middle school appropriate.

18)              Prestsater, Julie. So I’m A Double Threat. Freshman Megan Miller and her three best buddies are super excited to start high school and experience everything it offers, especially when they make it into the IN crowd by being both smart and popular. Unfortunately, they hadn’t figured on the daily angst involved in high school life.  Language and realistic situations. Reluctant readers. (First book in Double Threat Series) FREE DOWNLOAD FROM AMAZON.

19)              Ross, Elizabeth. Belle Epoque. 2013. Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 9780385741460. Maude wants to escape her small village for a new life in Paris but once she arrives she finds that it is not as easy to make a living as she thought. To survive Maude answers an ad for a position at the Durandeau Agency and ends up chosen to be the “plain friend” to a young woman of society.

20)              Scott, Victoria. Fire & Flood. Scholastic. 978-0-545-53746-9. Hoping to improve her brother’s failing health from a mysterious illness, Tella Holloway’s family moves from Boston to the middle of nowhere in Montana. But someone has found Tella in the middle of nowhere and sent her a mysterious blue box with an invitation to be a Contender in the three month Brimstone Bleed, a race through the four ecosystems of the desert, ocean, mountains, and jungle. Tella would give anything to see her brother healthy again and now she has that chance as the winner will receive a cure for any disease for any one single person.  For fans of The Hunger Games.  Released March 25, 2014.

21)              Sheinkin, Steve. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights. Roaring Brook Press. 9781596439832.  During World War II, African American soldiers were allowed to be in the military, but they weren’t allowed to have jobs other than in the kitchen.  They were not allowed in combat, though their bravery had been proven over and over again.  After a disastrous explosion in Port Chicago (in California) killed more than 300 servicemen and when survivors were transferred to a new base, 244 servicemen refused to work unless unsafe and unfair conditions were addressed.  The Navy called this mutiny.  194 backed down.  50 did not.  Descendants are still trying to clear their ancestors’ names.  Impeccably researched and sourced.

22)              Smith, Lindsay. Sekret. Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children's. 9781596438927. It is the 1960s the Cold War is as cold as ever. Kennedy is in office. Khrushchev is head of the Soviet Union and the space race is on. One day Yulia comes back from trading at the market to find her mother and brother have vanished and the KGB wants to use her for her psychic skills. She along with a small group of teens with psychic ability are thrust into the world of espionage, betrayal and devastating power.  First book in the Sekret trilogy.

23)              Strasser, Todd. No Place. Simon & Schuster. 9781442457218. Dan seems to have it all. He is a star on the high school baseball team, has a popular girlfriend and some great friends. His life turns upside down when his family loses their house and end up homeless living in the town’s tent city, Dignityville. High school readers.

24)              Tougias, Michael J.  & Casey Sherman.  The Finest Hours: The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue.  Henry Holt & Co. 978-0-8050-9764-1. In 1952, two oil tankers collided off the coast of New England. In a tiny rowboat, four members of the Coast Guard set out to rescue anyone they can find in one of the worst storms of the century.  They end up rescuing 30 people in a death-defying struggle. This middle school adaptation of the original nonfiction book will be made into a major motion picture by Disney Studios.  Middle school readers.

25)              Winters, Cat. In the Shadow of Blackbirds. 2013. Amulet Books. 9781419705304. Mary Shelley Black’s world is in chaos; her father has been arrested for treason, her childhood sweetheart is in Europe fighting in WWI, the Spanish Flu has already taken thousands of lives and now she is on her way to San Francisco to stay with her aunt. Mary’s life in San Francisco is filled with ghosts, séances and possible murder. The black and white photos included in the book are haunting.

26)              Yocum, Robin.  The Essay.  Arcade Publishing. 978-1-61145-766-7. James Leland Hickam comes from a long line of social outcasts known for their exploits on the wrong side of the law. Because of that history, Jimmy Lee is so low in the social strata that he’s not considered “white trash.” He’s a dogger, a resident of Red Dog Road that leads to the county’s dump. Raised by parents who are appallingly nonchalant in their neglect, Jimmy Lee only has hopes of being the first of his family to possibly graduate from high school and finding a steady job in the mines of Vinton County. School is not important because it leads nowhere, just like his life and the lives of everyone around him. Students who liked The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie will be mesmerized by this tautly written, powerful, and insightful book.  Language.  Highly recommended. Robin Yocum is one of Ohio’s featured authors at this year’s OELMA conference.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thin Space by Jody Cassella

Cassella, Jody.  Thin Space.  Simon Pulse/Beyond Words. 978-1582703923. Marshall Windsor is devastated over the loss of his twin brother in a car accident where Marsh was the driver.  Marsh has been trapped in a foggy haze of grief and remorse since that fateful night. The tension builds as Marsh frantically searches for that sliver of space between the living and the dead to meet up with Austin once again and make things right.  Identical twins often switch places so all Marsh has to do is convince Austin to switch places with him one more time.  Buy multiple copies of this supernatural thriller!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


1.                  Binns, Barbara A.  Being God.  AllTheColorsofLove Press.  9780988182110.  Seventeen year old Malik is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, uncle, and older brother as the biggest and baddest bully in the local high school. Booze is his escape until he is faced with court-ordered community service for someone else’s crime and meets Barney who wants nothing to do with him.  Forced to work together in mentoring a 10 year old whose older brother Lamont is a gang leader, Malik and Barney foster an uneasy truce in an attempt to save T’Shawn from Lamont’s gang life.  Malik finally realizes that he can’t save the world, but he can make it a better place one day at a time. Reluctant readers.

2.                  Miranda, Megan.  Hysteria. Walker & Company. 978-0-8027-2310-9. Mallory “knows” that she killed her boyfriend Brian, but cannot seem to get away from Brian’s presence at every turn. Readers will be drawn in by the spooky and mysterious events as Mallory tries to come to terms with a night that she cannot remember. Thriller.

3.                  Yancey, Rick.  The 5th Wave.  Putnam.  978-0-399-16241-1. The first wave is a massive electromagnetic pulse that wipes out all power, followed by three more waves of terror from the aliens.  Then it gets really bad and Cassie is on her own.  As Stephen Hawking said, “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”  The book has been optioned by Sony Pictures so expect a sequel. Language.  Science Fiction.

4.                  Yovanoff, Brenna.  Paper Valentine.  Razorbill. 978-1-59514-599-4.  Hannah has been struggling with trying to keep her head above water ever since her best friend Lillian died from anorexia—and is haunting her bedroom.  With a serial killer on the loose in her small town, Hannah can’t seem to gain any balance in her life. To top it off, bad boy Finny Boone enters the picture.  When the dead girls begin to appear to Hannah, she searches for their murderer. Paranormal/romance/thriller.

5.                  Levithan, David. Two Boys Kissing. Alfred A. Knopf. 978-0-307-93190-0. A chorus of men who died of AIDS observes and yearns to help a cross-section of today's gay teens who navigate new love, long-term relationships, coming out, self-acceptance, and more in a society that has changed in many ways. Beautifully written and so many thought provoking passages. GLTBQ.

6.                  Quick, Matthew. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Little Brown and Company. 978-0-316-22133-7.  It’s Leonard’s birthday today and he is ready to make a change. He has his grandfather’s gun from WWII and has decided to shot a former friend and himself. Told in short quick chapters with footnotes, Leonard says goodbye to his friends and contemplates on how he got to this point. Matthew Quick is the author of Silver Linings Playbook. Language throughout the book. Realistic Fiction. 

7.                  Sepetys, Ruta. Out of the Easy. Philomel. 978-0-399-25692-9.  From the author of Between Shades of Grey comes a historical novel set in the 1950s New Orleans. Josie, daughter of a woman of ill repute, works for the madam cleaning rooms and lives on the second floor of a bookshop. Great look into the underbelly of New Orleans with a mystery tossed in to keep you guessing. Though it deals with prostitutes it is done tastefully and the reader roots for Josie to come out on top. Historical fiction.
8.                  Blagden, Scott. Dear Life, You Suck.  978-0-547-90431-3. As the oldest kid stuck in a group home in the middle of nowhere, Cricket Cherpin has an ugly past and no future with limited prospects ranging from fighting to drug dealing. Cricket is complex and funny and tough and in love with Wynona Bidaban who is dating the school bully. This is a heartbreaking story of a young man with no future—but with a much better life than he thought. Language.

9.                  Brian, Kate.  Shadowlands.  Hyperion.  978-1-4231-6483-8. Because she has been targeted by a serial killer, the FBI has relocated Rory Miller and her family.  The vacation getaway of Juniper Landing seems like the perfect spot--until Rory realizes that the serial killer has followed her and is now targeting both her sister Darcy and her. Teens will love the twists, the turns, and the shocking ending. First book in a thrilling trilogy. Paranormal thriller.

10.              Brown, Jennifer.  Thousand Words.  Little, Brown and Company. 978-0-316-20972-4.  A picture is worth a 1000 words and a picture of a naked Ashleigh is worth her life’s reputation. After their breakup, college freshman Kaleb forwards a photo of a naked Ashleigh to his friends. The photo goes viral and Ashleigh’s life begins to circle the drain. The scandal involves the media, students, parents, the school board, the local police, and everyone in the community—but Mack.

11.              Byrne, Eugene & Simon Gurr. Darwin: A Graphic Biography.  Smithsonian Books.  978-1-58834-352-9.  What do you get when you combine a history buff and a cartoonist?  A humorous historical fiction/graphic novel.  This is an excellent portrayal of a man and his struggles in a time period filled with questions.  It’s a very readable book but should not be considered for factual research. Graphic novel.

12.               Barson, K.A. 45 Pounds (More or Less). Viking. 978-0-670-78482-0.  “16 year old Ann has battled with her weight for as long as she can remember.  Diets? You name it, she’s tried it.  Her mother, on the other hand, is picture perfect: thin, beautiful, and athletic.  When Ann’s Aunt Jackie gets engaged, Ann is determined to lose 45 pounds in two months before the wedding and prove to her mom (and herself) that she can lose the extra weight once and for all.  Light language; teenage drinking; adultery; anorexia. Realistic Fiction.

13.              Black, Holly. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 978-0-316-21310-3. After a vampire outbreak, the infected, possibly infected and those already cold are quarantined into walled towns, or Coldtowns. After a night of partying Tana wakes up to find her friends are dead and her ex-boyfriend infected only thing to do is take him to Coldtown. A new vampire story in the vein of Anne Rice and not Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. Horror/Paranormal Fiction.

14.              Castor, H.M. VIII. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 978-1-442-47418-5. The life of King Henry VIII starts when “Hal” is a youngster and gets it into his head that he is ordained to become the next great King of England, problem is he is second in line. Events happen, brother dies, father dies, and he is made King. Henry wants to be righteous but he is spoiled and he makes excuses. Teens will like the short chapters and action scenes. VIII is a great way to introduce teens to the Tudor dynasty. Historical Fiction.

15.              Chiaverini, Jennifer. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker. Dutton.  978-0-525-95361-6. Elizabeth Keckley became the dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln during Lincoln’s first term in office, but became a friend and confidant of the First Lady over the years. Elizabeth had purchased freedom for herself and her beloved son who eventually enlists as a white man in the Union Army. This is a well-researched book that covers the behind-the-scenes world of a freed slave as well as the family dynamics in the Lincoln household.  This book is not for the casual student reader, but is definitely a welcome addition to any historical fiction list as it’s told from the perspective of a strong woman who moved from slavery in the Deep South to the political backstabbing in Washington politics. Excellent companion to the movie Lincoln. Historical fiction.

16.              Ellison, Kate.  Notes From Ghost Town. Egmont. 978-1-60684-264-5.  Sixteen year old art student Olivia Tithe’s life turns upside down with her parents’ divorce and her mother’s arrest for the murder of Olivia’s best friend. Olivia has gone colorblind just like her schizophrenic mother and fears that she too will become schizophrenic. At the risk of her own life, Olivia tries to find the real killer. Language. Paranormal thriller.

17.              Elston, Ashely. Rules for Disappearing. Hyperion. 978-1-4231-6897-3.  Madeline, Isabelle, Avery, Olivia, Gabrielle.  Meg no longer knows who she is. After multiple relocations in the witness protection program, her family is falling apart. Her father is growing more distant while her mother is slipping deeper and deeper into alcoholism. Meg is falling in love with a classmate named Ethan whose observations are getting too close to the truth. What could her father have done that was so horrible that her entire family had to be relocated?  Meg’s nightmares suddenly reveal there is more to the entire story than she formerly believes.  In fact, she realizes that SHE, Anna Boyd, is the reason for her family’s relocation.  Sequel?

18.              Fichera, Liz. Hooked.  Harlequin Teen. 9780-373-21072-5.  Fred Oday’s problems are just beginning when another player is kicked off the golf team to make room for Fred. Fred is a poor Native American girl who has multiple obstacles to overcome, including jealousy and prejudice from classmates, life on the reservation, and romance with a rich white boy who clearly doesn’t understand her world. Readers will become “hooked” by Fred’s struggles in a very realistic situation. Multicultural literature.

19.              Finneyfrock, Karen.  The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door.  Viking. 978-0-670-01275-6. Freshman Celia Door is determined to leave everything from middle school behind but to get revenge on her former friend/now enemy Sandy Firestone. Through her poetry, Celia debates the good and the bad of her plan but when she meets new kid Drake who shares his deepest secret with her, Celia must find a way to change. LGBT.

20.              Estep, Jennifer. Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy Bk. 1) 978-0-758-26692-7.  After Gwen’s mother dies in a car accident, her grandmother sends her to Mythos Academy a school for daughters and sons of Vikings, Spartans, Amazons, and more. Gwen is a gypsy and hasn’t been trained for anything. When the mean girl on campus is murdered Gwen tries to use what power she has to solve the mystery. Percy Jackson for girls. Fantasy/Paranormal fiction.

21.              Konigsburg, Bill. Openly Straight. Arthur A. Levine Books. 978-0-545-50989-3.  As an openly gay teen living in the liberal town of Boulder, Colorado, Rafe is living a pretty great life.  He plays soccer, has supportive parents, and is accepted for who he is by his peers.  But after years of being out and speaking to other high schools about tolerance, Rafe is tired of being known as “that GAY guy. He decides to move to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England and keep his sexuality a secret in the hopes of having a clean slate – no labels.  Language; teenage drinking; sexuality; drug references (marijuana). Realistic fiction. GLTBQ.

22.              Lange, Erin Jade. Dead Ends. Bloomsbury. 978-1-619-63080-2.  When Dane, a bully, refuses to hit Billy D because he has Down Syndrome, Billy takes that as a sign of friendship and enlists Dane's help in solving riddles left in an atlas by his missing father, sending the pair on a risky adventure. Realistic Fiction.

23.              LeBan, Elizabeth. The Tragedy Paper. Alfred A. Knopf. 978-0-375-87040-8.  Tim, a senior transfer, just wants to get through the year without any issues but it is hard when you are new and the only albino in the school. Tim ends up falling for the most popular girl in school but his fellow classmates don’t like the romance. The story is told via CDs Tim has left Duncan, an entering senior who has been assigned Tim’s old dorm room. Duncan doesn’t want to remember what happened the last month of school year when tragedy struck the boarding school and changed both his life and Tim’s life. Realistic Fiction.

24.              Morgan, Kass. The 100. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 978-0-316-23447-4. Humanity has lived on spaceships for hundreds of years following a nuclear war on Earth but the resources are dwindling. In an effort to create a better future for humanity, 100 convicted teens are sent back to Earth to be the first humans to populate the planet since the nuclear devastation. The story is told from the perspective of four teens and has romance and action. The 100 is being made into a TV series on the CW Network. The first book in the dystopian series.

25.              Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park. St. Martin’s Griffin. 978-1-250-01257-9. Eleanor boards the school bus for the first time and ends up finding a seat next to a boy who doesn’t want to talk to her. Eleanor dresses all wrong, is harassed daily and has a horrible family life but she and Park bond over graphic novels and music become friends and then find love. This is a wonderful first love romance between two high school students set in 1986. Historical Fiction.

26.              Gratz, Alan.  Prisoner N-3087. Scholastic Press. 978090545-45901-3. Based on the true story of Jack Gruener, a young Jewish boy who survived years of hell in ten different concentration camps across Europe. Yanek (who later becomes Jack Gruener) must find ways to survive both physically and emotionally the loss of his entire family, the brutality of the camps, and find little joys in everyday life. Historical Fiction. Reluctant readers.

27.              Hathaway, Jill.  Impostor. Balzar + Bray. 978-0-06-207798-1. Sylvia, known as Vee, has the ability to slide into other people’s bodies. Unfortunately, she soon finds herself in unknown situations and realizes that someone is sliding into HER body and is trying to exact revenge. This is a sequel to Slide. Readers will want to read Slide first. Paranormal/Fantasy/Thriller.

28.              Leavitt, Lindsey. Going Vintage. 978-1-59990-787-1.  Mallory decides to go retro and swears off boys and modern technology when she finds her boyfriend cheating on her with an online girlfriend. She decides to revert back to the simplicity of the 1960s and follow a list of goals her grandmother had made in 1962. As Mallory fights both the pros and cons of the past and her present, she realizes that every family has depth that no one can see and that love and heartache are present for every generation.

29.              Joseph, Lynn. Flowers in the Sky.  HarperTeen. 978-0-06-029794-7. Shipped off from the only home that she has ever known in the Dominican Republic to the “perfect” world of New York City, Nina Perez must overcome the emotional and physical obstacles set up by her family and her surroundings.  Nina is trying to find her way in this foreign environment as well as navigate her family’s high expectations. Multicultural literature.
30.              Shan, Darren. Zom-B. (Zom-B Series Bk.1 ) Little Brown & Company. 978-0-316-21440-7. B doesn’t believe in the rumors that something strange has taken over neighboring towns. B is just trying to survive her own life let along the horror show that is being reported on the news. When the zombie attack happens at her own school B has to make some tough choices. Horror fiction.

31.              Skovron, Jon. Man Made Boy. Viking Penguin.  978-0-670-78620-6. Tired of being sheltered from humans, seventeen-year-old Boy, son of Frankenstein's monster and the Bride of Frankenstein, runs away from home and embarks on a wild road trip that takes him across the country and deep into the heart of America. 

32.              Smith, Andrew. Winger. Simon & Schuster BFYR. 978-1-442-44492-8.  Ryan Dean is a 14 year old who's a junior at a private boarding school. While this makes him an excellent winger for his school's rugby team (hence his nickname and the title of the book) it does not make him popular with the ladies, especially his BFF and super crush, Annie. When Ryan Dean's antics land him in O-Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, he decides to toughen up and take some risks, ensuing in a hilarious, coming-of-age story. Realistic Fiction

33.              Wendig, Chuck. Under the Empyrean Sky. Skyscape. 978-1-477-81720-9.  Angry with the oppressive dictates of the Empyrean government, Heartlander and Captain of the Big Sky Scavengers Cael McAvoy discovers a secret, illegal garden and Cael, together with his crew, decides to make his own luck ... a choice that will bring down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and change life in the Heartland forever. First book in The Heartland Trilogy. Science Fiction

34.              Zadoff, Allen. Boy Nobody. Little, Brown and Company. 978-0-316-19968-1.  Sixteen-year-old Boy Nobody, an assassin controlled by a shadowy government organization, The Program, considers sabotaging his latest mission because his target reminds him of the normal life he craves. Suspense Fiction.
35.              Kade, Stacey. Project Paper Doll: The Rules. Hyperion. 978-142315328-3. Technically, Ariane is a dead girl.  She escaped from the GTX Labs where she was a ground-breaking science experiment. Ariane has a dead girl’s identity and a dead girl’s family but the only way to really survive is to remain anonymous, which works reasonably well until she makes the mistake of crossing paths with Mean Girl Rachel. Science fiction/romance.  Fans will demand the sequel.

36.              Kline, Christina Baker. Orphan Train. William Morrow.  0-978-06-195072-8. An orphaned Irish girl is sent on an orphan train from New York to Minnesota where she will hopefully be found a home.  Hunger, cold, lies, disease, the Depression, human predators, and worst of all, loneliness, all take their toll on Vivian’s soul, but somehow the brave and resilient Vivian learns to survive.  She is able to share her story with a modern day orphan, Penobscot Indian Molly, meets the 91 year old Vivian through a court-ordered community service project. Told in alternating chapters, this is a powerful story of the thousands of orphan children who were sent West for over 75 years. Historical fiction.

37.              Lawson, Shandy.  The Loop.  Hyperion. 978-142316089-2.  Sixteen year old Ben and Maggie are not aging because they are trapped inside the loop and continue to live the same two days over and over---only to be gunned down over and over. Each time they circle through the loop, they learn something new and try to break free. Science Fiction.

38.              Murdoch, Emily. If You Find Me. St. Martin’s Griffin.  978-1-250-0215206.  Carey Blackburn has spent the last six years of her life taking care of her younger sister, Jennessa, because their mother is a meth addict hiding them in a national forest. When a social worker and her biological father find them, Carey realizes that everything she believed is wrong but worst of all, she must hide a catastrophic secret.  Readers who liked The Glass Castle will be fascinatingly horrified at the physical, emotional and sexual abuse suffered by the children but will be mesmerized by the strength and resilience shown by the children.

39.              Schroeder, Lisa.  Falling For You. Simon Pulse. 978-1-4424-6121-5. Rae writes poetry to escape her home life and carefully guards her heart with friends and colleagues but she quickly falls for new student Nathan who is handsome, charming, and nothing like her abusive stepfather.  He may seem different, but he’s not good for Rae. She soon finds that nowhere is safe; home, school, work, or even time with friends isn’t safe as Nathan’s love turns into obsession. Rae starts an anonymous poetry revolution through the school newspaper in an attempt to fight her way through the darkness.
40.              BOOKS TO WATCH:  Elkeles, Simone. Wild Cards. Bloomsbury. 978-0-802-73437-2. Brand new title from the always popular author Elkeles, author of Perfect Chemistry series. Romance, football, betrayal what more can a teen reader want?

41.              King, A.S. Reality Boy. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 978-0-316-22270-9. In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child "star" struggling to break free of his anger. Publication date October 22, 2013.

42.              Lyons, C.J. Broken. Sourcebooks Fire.  978-1-402-28545-5. The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now... or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does. Publication date November 5, 2013.

43.              Ness, Patrick. More Than This. Candlewick. 978-0-763-66258-5.  Seth dies and then wakes up in what he believes to be hell, but it is more, so much more. Patrick Ness is the author of Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls.

44.              Rowell, Rainbow. Fangirl. St. Martin's Griffin. 978-1-250-03095-5. Online, Cath is famous.  In real life, at her first year in college she is a nobody.  Can she navigate being just Cath without her fan fiction to hide behind?

45.              Wein, Elizabeth. Rose Under Fire. Disney-Hyperion. 978-1-423-18309-9. Companion novel to the award winning Code Name Verity (2013 Printz Honor).
46.              Skilton, Sarah. Bruised. Amulet Books. 978-1-4197-0387-4.  Sixteen-year-old Imogen witnesses a robbery gone wrong.  Because she’s a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, she feels guilty that she should have done something—anything----to have stopped the robbery because she thought that her black belt meant that she was stronger and more courageous than anyone around.  Unfortunately, her entire world is shattered by what she learns about herself and she must rebuild her life. Language.

47.              Strohm, Stephanie Kate.  Confederates Don’t Wear Couture.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  978-0-547-97258-9.  Libby Kelting’s plans for the summer are turned upside down when her best friend, Dev, decides that they should leave their home in Minnesota and model period costumes at Civil War reenactments in Alabama.  Libby, who loves history, finds romance, ghosts, and lots of history in this light-hearted romp.  LGBT. Reluctant readers.

48.              Walls, Jeannette. The Silver Star.  Scribner.  978-1-4516-6150-7. Fifteen year old Liz and her twelve year old sister Bean have moved around the country whenever their mother needed a fresh start.  In 1970 when their dreamer mother takes off for the big stage and leaves them alone for two months, they end up with living with their Uncle Tinsley.  In the small town of Byler, Virginia, Liz and Bean learn about integration, adversity, adult bullies, and family.  Another psychological adventure from Jeannette Walls.

49.              Winters, Cat.  In the Shadow of Blackbirds.  Amulet Books.  978-1-4197-0530-4.  It’s 1918 with the Spanish Flu is raging across America and panic running rampant. With her mother dead and her father imprisoned, sixteen year old Mary Shelley Black goes to live with her Aunt Eva. She is missing her childhood friend and unrequited love Stephen Embers who is fighting the Germans somewhere in Europe. Mary has never believed in ghosts until Stephen begins showing up in her nightmares. Historical fiction/romance.

50.              West, Kasie.  Pivot Point.  HarperTeen. 978-0-06-211737-3. Addison Coleman has the paranormal ability to see potential futures so when her parents decide to divorce, she must choose between her alternate futures of living with one parent or the other.  Chapters alternate between her choices. As a Searcher living in a compound with other gifted individuals, Addison is not sure that she can live outside in the normal world. Paranormal/science fiction.