Posted on January 20th, 2013 by Becky.
If you’ve read a teen book in the past, oh, 20 years, you’ve proooobably read (or at least heard of) Caroline B. Cooney’s The Face on the Milk Carton. When Janie is a teenager, she sees one of those “Missing Children” pictures on a carton of milk — and recognizes it as herself (!!!). Several other books followed that one, as readers demanded to know more of Janie’s story: Whatever Happened to Janie?, The Voice on the Radio, and What Janie Found. Well, Caroline B. Cooney was planning to stop there, but a question from her editor, Beverly Horowitz, got her wheels turning again:
I said to Caroline, ‘Gee, whatever happened to Janie and Reeve? By now they’d be in college,’ ” Horowitz recalls. “She said, ‘I’m finished with that.’ And then a few weeks later she called me and said, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m not finished with them.’
And so, the final book in the series, Janie Face to Face, came to be. Read more about it here! (Some spoilers if you haven’t read the rest of the series!) Curious? Browse and reserve all the Janie books (they even have spiffy new covers!).
Airy, another avid reader at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out her thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!
Author: Laura Buzo
What did you think of the cover? I think that the cover is okay.
Did you think it matched the story? Okay.
What did you think of the book?
The book was very interesting, and my favorite part is when Amelia and Chris’s relationship intensifies.
How would you rate this book? 4 stars — Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.
Jayla, another voracious reader at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out her thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!
Title: Out of the Easy
Author: Ruta Sepetys
What did you think of the cover? I loved the book cover design of the ARC and definitely wouldn’t change it. It’s artistic and I think the birdcage is a metaphor relating to Josie Moraine’s (the main character) life.
What did you think of the book?
I thought “Out of the Easy” was very distinctive from most YA novels. While reading, it was easy to get lost in the story. I really liked Josie – she was a tough heroine, but also had her flaws which made her seem more real than fictitious. And the setting for the story, New Orleans, was perfect. The only things I disliked were the mystery elements (which were too weak and made me lose a little interest in the story) and the supporting characters could have had much more depth to them.
I would definitely recommend this to a friend who enjoys historical fiction, but not to someone who is use to fast-paced novels.
How would you rate this book? 3 stars – Pretty good. I wanted to see how it ended.
Can’t wait to get your hands on the super anticipated Halo 4? I know many of you are pretty darn excited and have lots of questions about what is going to happen with Master Chief and the gang… Will Cortana go rampant? What will humanity and the UNSC *do* with all that Forerunner technology?
Sorry–I don’t have the answers, but I can suggest some books to read while you wait!
Posted on October 31st, 2012 by Mickie.
What are you dressing up as this year? Let me see your costume and I’ll predict your next good read…
Ah, the classically misunderstood female character! Persecuted throughout history for not meeting social norms, you have seriously Feminist leanings and are good at chemistry! You should read:
The hero/scoundrel scourge of the sea is a wonderful choice for those who like adventure and struggle with the complexities of grammar…you should read:
Oh, geesh…really? A sexy firefighter? A sexy Abe Lincoln!? What is WRONG with you? You should be spending more time with the witch and your parents should roll back your curfew. Here…read about how to be sexy and still wear a ton of clothes:
Poor vampires–they think they want to drink blood like the creatures of the night, but what is really going on? Iron deficiency! Make a sammy!
Wow…phone it in much? You can’t wear your regular clothes for Halloween–that is cheating! Get a real costume…like a MICHIGAN sweatshirt, then we will all know that you are in disguise. Read about someone who is a classic geek masquerading as a successful actor, writer, director and cool guy extraordinaire!
Oh a spooky ghos—what? you aren’t dressed as a ghost…you are a goth? Oh. uh…sorry *awkward silence* HERE–read this!
Aren’t you precious? You secretly suspect that you were adopted by peasants to hid your identity! Too bad you have to put up with pretending you are just an average Jo….read this:
Those of you who came to this month’s Beta Books meeting got to pick the brain of a special guest speaker: YA writer Jody Casella! Her book Thin Space will be out in September 2013, so she was the perfect person to talk to us about the real world of generating ideas, writing books, revising them (and revising again…and again…and again!), getting published, and — a topic that never gets old with us — what makes the best cover art?!
Jody wrote an awesome post about her visit on her blog — be sure to hop over and check it out. As she writes,
These kids were smart and talkative and interested, with their own stories to tell. We talked about unreliable narrators and books we liked and things that got stuck up our noses. Also, how to come up with titles and unlikely names for killers and what to do if the middle of your story starts getting boring. (Answer: make a character die.)
Aw, shucks! Thanks, Jody, for sharing your book and your wisdom with us (and playing along with our crazy nametags and icebreaker games!). Beta Books will be counting down to the release of Thin Space right along with you…and then, of course, we would love to have you back to gab about the final cover.
Posted on October 18th, 2012 by Becky.
So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know alllll about The Hunger Games book series and movie. (And if not, oh no! It seems you have a giant rock on top of your life! Get out from under there and get some fresh air — quick!) We’ve blogged about books you’ll like if you liked the HG series, and we’ve tagged a bunch of readalikes in our library catalog, too.
But what I really want to mention today is the series that came before all the HG madness: The Giver series, by Lois Lowry. That’s right: long before Katniss strung her first arrow, Ms. Lowry penned a novel about a dystopian community in which authoritative control wasn’t doing the people all that much good. Sound like a familiar theme? The book was so amazing that it won the 1994 Newbery Medal, and the recent publication of Son joins Gathering Blue and Messenger to complete what is now called The Giver Quartet. Lois Lowry talks about it, and the inevitable Hunger Games comparisons, in this article in The New York Times Magazine.
So whether you read The Giver back in the day, or are just discovering it as you realize what a cool lens dystopias offer for speculating about our world and what it could become, it’s time to pick it up and see the apple again (read it and you’ll know what I mean).
Posted on October 17th, 2012 by Mickie.
Is life in this after-the-boy-who-lived time getting you down? Are you feeling less magical and more Muggle? Are your friends planning an intervention if you don’t stop inspecting the school bathroom sinks for “The Chamber of Secrets part II?” If any of these things describe you, you may be suffering from Post Potter Problems or PPP for short.
We feel your feel–it is sad knowing that the fun is over, but believe us–there are other GREAT magical reads waiting to be asked to dance. So stop shouting, “Accio Book 8!” to the heavens and check out these other great magical reads!
It’s a happy day when there’s a new book by Raina Telgemeier! Lots of readers at WPL loved her graphic novel Smile, about her own experience as a girl when she fell and knocked out her two front teeth, resulting in years of braces, headgear, and surgery.
She’s just released her latest book, Drama, in which main character Callie does the set design for her middle school play — and as much of the drama happens off-stage as on-stage! Check out the trailer below! Have you read it yet? Tell us what you thought in the comments!
Are you a math geek? I’m not, but I still appreciate a good equation now and then…and I love a good math doodle. Have you seen this cool doodle video by math-fun guru Vi Hart? Check it out – you’ll never look at your in-class doodles the same way again.
All excited about math now? Go read these! Ok, ok – these aren’t all “math” books, but hey sometimes math is the story and sometimes math just makes the story better!
Posted on September 29th, 2012 by Mickie.
Banned Books Week is upon us! But why should you care? Everyone should care about book banning or, more commonly, book challenges. What am I talking about? Here is how The American Library Association explains it:
A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.
Choosing what to read is a personal thing and if you are a teen–personal decisions may still involve discussion with your parents, your religious leader, your friends, your teachers or anyone else whom you look to for guidance. Most librarians take your freedom to read really seriously–that is why we celebrate Banned Books Week. It is a way to bring awareness to issues of censorship and have community discussions about books and why every citizen should value his or her freedom to read them.
You might be surprised by which books have been challenged or banned–often they are considered classics! Frankly, once I hear that a book has been banned, I can’t WAIT to read it! Can you name these famously banned books by their descriptions? Give me your answers in the comments and be entered to win a signed copy of Ship Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi. It hasn’t been challenged that I know of…it is just a wicked good book!!
Posted on September 12th, 2012 by Mickie.
After watching this video today from the Vlogbrothers about an abandoned Ferris Wheel that still turns….10 years after the park closed, I started thinking about how creepy a carnival can be. I have never actually had a bad experience at one so why can they seem so creepy? Is it because it is so “other-worldly” to have garish lights and music going at all hours? Maybe because it is unnatural for our bodies to fly and twist they way they do on rides? Maybe. But those are also the reasons that make carnivals and theme parks SO MUCH FUN!
How do you feel about it? Have a story to share? Let me hear your best and worst carnival story in the comments and enjoy these top 5 YA carnival books….got one to add? Give me a shout back in the comments.
#5 The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
#4 Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman
#3 The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe
#2 The Likes of Me by Randall Platt
#1 Something Wicked This Way Comes: Graphic Novel Adaptation by Ray Bradbury
BONUS BOOKS! Like adult reads? Check out these two creepy carnivals from the adult section…
Edrictheninja, another book fan at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out his thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!
Author: Marty Kelley
What did you think of the cover? It definetly made attracted your attention and the way he wrote the title made it clear that it takes place in elementary school.
What did you think of the book? the book was good and also pretty funny but had a lot of big words I understood most of them but i dont know if the target audience (young peaple according to holiday house a part of the marketing campiagn) would understand it. also the title made it sound as though it was more focused on bran muffins of doom versus the fame and fortune part
How would you rate this book? 3 stars – Pretty good. I wanted to see how it ended.
Posted on August 10th, 2012 by Mickie.
You probably hate school (but I hope you don’t). School is something that we all try to live through and hopefully you make it to the other side with some self esteem intact and the ability to count back change.
On the bright side, school is where your friends are and that is cool, right? But on the dark side, school is where your frenemies are. *shudders* Back on the bright side, school means tater tots for lunch. Yes! But it also means homework. *sigh*
Do you often wish your school life had more drama? It isn’t all that it is cracked up to be…just ask these books.
Still not sure you want to go back? Take a peek at popular author and Grand Pooh-bah Nerdfighter John Green‘s “An Open Letter to Students” and as they say in John’s hometown,”Don’t forget to be awesome!”