Mrs. Carley asked me to come today and let you guys know about some fiction and non-fiction books that are too good to miss. I’ll show you covers and tell you a bit about each book – some are new, some are older, but many are here at the SRMS library and all of them are at the public library in town.
That’s where I work. I’m the teen services librarian there. And teen services means people in grades 6 to 12. That’s you!
You know there are a lot of genres out there and some folks like reading in lots of different genres, some only like certain ones. I’ll tell you about many books today in many different genres and hopefully there will beat least one or two that interest you. Let’s start with fantasy…it’s very popular now. You probably know about books like Harry Potter and Eragon or the Warriors series so I’m going to tell you about ones you man not know about.
Like Charlie Bone. Charlie has magical abilities – he can hear people’s thoughts in photographs. It turns out that he’s a descendant of someone called The Red King; and all of the Red King’s descendants have magical gifts. Charlie hears something in a very old photograph that sets him on the road searching for a missing girl.
The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Nichols Flamel was a real person, but Michael Scott has taken him and made him into a character in his novels. Scott takes a lot of historical figures as well as mythical characters and puts them together in this adventure. The end of the world is coming and twins Sophie & Josh must work with the good guys to battle the bad guys. Egyptian gods, mythical Scottish heroes, Native American deities, and infamous people like Billy The Kid all appear, along with prophecies, vegetarian vampires, time travel and treasure.
Will wants to be a knight…instead he ends up apprenticed to a ranger. No armor and jousting in tournaments – he’s now learning woodcraft, hunting, stealth and more. He wanted to be a hero and serve his country, and he will – just not in the way he thought.
Here’s the story of another apprentice: Thomas is the seventh son of a seventh son. He’s apprenticed to a magical man – The Spook – who protects people from the things that go bump in the night. But when Thomas accidentally releases a monster while the Spook is away, he needs help to recapture it!
An Australian fantasy that should be better known in the USA. Sabriel’s father is a necromancer – a magician who can send the dead further into death, or call them back from the land of the dead. He is teaching her his craft, which includes using music and bells to make magic, when he suddenly disappears. And Sabriel must find him as well as keep the dead at bay.
Alyss Heart’s family was killed by her evil Aunt Redd. Alyss escapes Wonderlandia through a pool of tears, and ends up in 1865 England where she seeks help. But people are convinced she’s insane, and only an Oxford Professor named Charles Dodgson will listen to her. Meanwhile, her enemies pursue her through the pool and into our world.
A 13 year old French girl joins the Resistance movement against the Nazis. She passes messages for adult spies and soldiers, but one day, she’s caught by the Germans! This novel is tense, exciting, and based on a true story! Kids as young as 13 were spies for the Allies! Who knew?
World War II from two points of view – an idealistic young German boy who rushes to join up & fight for his beloved country, and a patriotic but insecure young American who joins up to show he’s tougher than he seems. The book shows you everything from what motivated the tow young men to leave their homes and join the army, to their training, to their first big battle, right on the front lines.
Historical fiction does not always mean war. This story is set in 1914, when people still finding parts fo the Earth to explore for the first time. The British explorer Ernest Shackleton set off to explore Antartica, and a young man named Pierce stowed away on board the ship. (Do you know what stowaway means?) Pierce got caught, but the crew did not want to spend time turning around and setting him back ashore. They let him stay & work. But instead of a voyage of discovery, Pierce got more than he bargained for. Shackleton’s ship was crushed in the ice and the entire crew was stranded in Antartica for more than a year!
Set in a future where parents have the right to “unwind” their children (if they are between ages 13 and 17), this book follows three teens who were set to be unwound. What’s Unwound? It involves having every part of your body harvested to be donated to another person! The three kids escape while on their way to a “harvest camp.” This is fast paced, exciting, and scary.
This is real horror. Bloody, gory, frightening. Make you leave the light on at night, frightening. It’s England in the late 1800’s and monsters are real. Will is an apprentice (there’s that word again) to a Monstrumologist – a scientist who studies, and kills, monsters. Monsters mean blood, and guts, and graves, and other gruesome things. This book is not for the faint of heart.
Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, where a new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "the glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds them. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. It seems like the people who keep them captive in the maze NEED them to solve the puzzle, fast.
When Melly and Annie were almost 100 years old, they were given an experimental drug that would unage them. Reverse their ages, year by year. When they reached a “ideal” age, they were to get a second drug to stop the process. But the second drug doesn’t work. Now Melly & Annie are teens and they have to find parents to care for them – for soon they’ll be children, then infants, then unable to care for themselves!
A huge asteroid hits the moon, knocking it out of it’s orbit. Now it is a bit closer to the Earth, and this is bad. Sea levels rise enormously, causing flooding, earthquakes wreck the planet and volcanoes erupt violently, causing an ash cloud that blocks out the sun. With no sun, things get cold, and plants can’t grow, and life as we knew it ends. This is about one family’s attempts at survival in a very changed world.
In the future, you are “ugly” when you are born. But when you hit 16, you are required by law to become “pretty” thanks to cosmetic surgery. Everyone becomes pretty – and then you just party all the time. But what if you like the way you look? What if you don’t want surgery? There’s a small underground rebel movement of people who resist the government turning everyone into a plastic doll…and Tally Youngblood may just join up to fight.
Resources are scare in the future – cities gobble up everything they can get, including other cities and towns! This books opens with London chasing a small mining town across the flats of what used to be the North Sea! You see, cities have been made mobile – they are on enormous platforms with treads (like a tank) and they move around the world, looking for smaller towns to gobble up. Life on board a city is hard, but it’s the only life Tom knows. Until the day he is pushed off the city and left for dead on the flats of the North Sea! How will be survive without shelter, food, or transportation?!
This tells about 19 famous people and the unusual ways they died. This is not for the squeamish. It involves vomiting, mummified eyeballs, leeches, and many fluids. It talks about Einstein’s brain, Galileo’s fingers, King Tut’s entire body, and how much Charles Darwin vomited. There are great, funny cartoon illustrations to help lighten things up, but I would not recommend reading it over a meal.
During World War II , the USSIndianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and went down in minutes, taking more than 800 sailors with it. Several hundred survived, but only after spending days in the open sea with sharks. In an effort to make an example of the ship's captain, and in order to deflect blame from itself, the U.S. Navy unfairly court-martialed the captain! Years later, eleven-year-old Hunter Scott was watching the movie Jaws one day when he first heard about the Indianapolis. Intrigued, he investigated further and decided to make it the subject of his history fair project. Hunter’s history fair project changed history! The author based much of his text on young Hunter Scott's research, and photos allow let you see many of the men of the ship.
Did you know that submarines were used during the Civil War? This book tells about one of them. After sinking a Union ship near Charleston, South Carolina, in 1864, the HL Hunleydid not return to port. Although divers searched for more than 130 years, the sub was not found until 1995. Over the last 10 years, archaeologists have carefully raised the HLHunley and painstakingly sifted through the 20,000 pounds of sediment it contained for artifacts and human remains and, ultimately, clues to why, when, and how the vessel sank. This book was fascinating with plenty of amazing photos.
A Kakapo is a parrot. It weighs about 9 pounds, cannot fly, lives in burrows underground, and is nocturnal. Also, there are only about 90 of them left in the world. This book tells about how biologists are working to save the Kakapo on a small island off the coast of New Zealand. It is amazing the amount of work that people are willing to put in to helping these birds survive. (They are so endangered because people brought invasive species into their home – weasels and cats and stoats.)
Since the Revolutionary War, espionage has created fascinating history involving some quite unlikely participants. From Benedict Arnold and Mata Hari to the lesser-known Elizabeth Van Lew and Juan Pujol, this book delves into their stories with great detail, showing you a world of intrigue and danger. Did you ever wonder why invisible ink works? How a code breaker deciphers a message? Or whether dentistry could affect a secret agent's success? The answers to these questions and more can be found here.
This is a story about Oliver Watson, an overweight 12-year-old from Omaha, NE, who fools his family and classmates into thinking that he is slow-witted when in fact he is the world's third-richest person. He overthrows foreign dictators, owns corporations, is a successful inventor and investor, and is on the way to attaining his goal of world domination. This evil supergeniusmakes Artemis Fowl look ready for sainthood. This is also a very funny novel, told in diary format complete with pictures. Oliver runs for class president to impress his father…will he succeed?
Look at the author’s name – Neal Shusterman. Remember Unwind in the horror section? Well, this guys can write anything. This book is the funniest book I’ve ever read. Period. People sometimes say they laughed out loud at something, but with this book, I did. Eighth-grader "Antsy" Bonano tells the story ofCalvin Schwa, a classmate who has an almost supernatural knack for going completely unnoticed. When Antsy decides to become an "agent" for the "nearly invisible" Schwa, by accepting bets on what he can get away with by being able to fly almost entirely beneath the social radar, the boys enjoy greatsuccess. They keep doing more and more outrageous stunts until they accept a dare requiring "The Schwa" to enter the home of a legendary local eccentric and retrieve a dog bowl belonging to any one of his 14 Afghans hounds.
Most of these books are about a girl and a boy falling in love. Many times there are obstacles to that love that they need to overcome. Right now, paranormal romance is very very popular. But the books I’m going to tell you about have nothing to do with vampires. Other kinds of supernatural creatures though…
How about werewolves? When grace was 9, she was saved from a wolfattack by a wolf with yellow eyes. Now that she is 17, that wolf still visits her. One day she discovers he is a werewolf – a young man who loves her. These three books cover their Romeo & Juliet like romance. Can a human and a werewolf last?
Ever is the only survivor of a car crash that killed her family. She now lives with her aunt and she has the unusual power of hearing people’s thoughts. All the time. She cannot turn her power off. She lives with her iPod plugged into her ears to drown out the constant “noise”. Then she meets Damen, a guy who somehow causes her power to shut off. She is drawn to Damen because of this peace he brings, and also because he is kind, smart, and attractive.The author has created a new kind of paranormal – an “Immortal” – with unique powers all their own. It’s a neat take on this kind of book.
Luce is drawn to two guys – safe and friendly Cam and dark and dangerous Daniel. They are all at a reform boarding school for kids with troubled pasts. Luce doesn’t remember how troubled her past is, but it has to do with Daniel and how she & he find one another, only to lose one another over and over again in a story that spans centuries. You may think I’m talking about vampires, but I promised you, supernatural without the vampires, remember? These are fallen angels.
When his train stops in the middle of nowhere Montana, Ry gets out to make a phone call. Then the train continues…without him. He has no luggage, no cell phone charger, and he immediately loses a shoe. Then things get worse. His parents are away on vacation, and his grandpa, who is at home, is having troubles of his own. There is one calamity after another…and Ry ends up on quite a road trip to reconnect with his family.
Jeremy’s dad died when Jeremy was 8. Now it is one month before his 13th birthday, and Jeremy gets a gift from his dad: a wooden box with four keyholes, but no key. Jeremy has to find the missing keys to open the box. His best friend Lizzy agrees to help him, and with no clues at all, they start their search. It takes them all over New York City, where they meet many people who knew his father and who maybe able to help Jeremy find out what is in the box.
This story takes place in Ireland in December 2001. Damien finds a gym bag by the train tracks – in it is 230,000 pounds! In January 2002, they will be worthless – the new currency will be the Euro! So Damien & his brother Anthony start spending like madmen. This attracts notice, to say the least. Also, where do you think that gym bag came from? Yeah, there are some angry bank robbers looking for their money…
When Janie was in fourth grade, she convinced her parents to move to a farm & raise goats. Now that she is 14, that life has lost some of its charm. She is rarely noticed at school, except for things like manure-scented shoes. Still, Janie is hopeful about high school, and she and her friend Sarah try branching out–joining Jam Band, making new friends, and working on an intriguing local-history project about Civil Rights. There are two characters who help Janie through this transition to high school: Sarah’s cool older sister Emma who lets the freshmen girls hang out with her, and Monster Monroe – a kind senior boy who helps teach Janie to “live large!”
New to town, Marcus spends the summer before his junior year practicing football alone at a local park hoping to meet someone from the high school team. Instead, he meets an eccentric middle-aged man named Charlie who teaches Marcus more about football and tackling than he could have imagined, and the two strike up an unusual friendship. Charlie lives by no set schedule and can't seem to rememberthat Marcus's name is not Mac. Marcus tries out and makes the team, but learns that they are not a welcoming group, not only are theyfearful that the newcomer will upset their perfect record, but the star quarterback, Troy, is Charlie's son, and he is not pleased with Marcus’s friendship with his father.
Teenagetennis player Grace "Ace" Kincaid calls her mom from the U.S. Open, and tells her “I want out.” she wants to retire. He mother agrees and then things move fast. Sporting a new hairstyle, a pierced nose, and a new name--Emily O'Brien--the girl is spirited away by her Aunt Ava to a remote cabin in Alaska to avoid the paparazzi. Grace was a famous sports star and now she has to adjust to life in the wilderness with cold showers, outhouses, and cramped quarters; but Grace…I mean Emily, is obviously ready for a real life and relishes her freedom. Her first foray into town results in a bicycle crash with a moose.
Someone murdered Brian's girfriend, Amanda. The police think it was her father. Brian isn't so sure. But everyone he knows is telling him to move on, get over it, focus on the present. Focus on basketball. Focus on hitting the perfect shot. Brian hopes that the legal system will work for Amanda and her father. An innocent man couldn't be wrongly convicted, could he? But then Brian does a school project on Leo Frank, a Jewish man lynched decades ago for the murder of a teenage girl - a murder he didn't commit. Worse still, Brian's teammate Julius gets arrested for nothing more than being a black kid in the wrong place at the wrong time. Brian can't deny any longer that the system is flawed. As Amanda's father goes on trial, Brian admits to himself that he knows something that could break the case. But if he comes forward, will the real killer try for another perfect show - this time against Brian?
Duncan has a summer job working in the Lost & Found for the subway. When there’s nothing to do, he rummages through the boxes of stuff, looking for anything interesting. He finds a diary, and starts reading it. It is a rather gruesome read, and Duncan thinks it is the journal of a serial killer! On top of that, Duncan thinks, that by reading it, he’s figured out where the killer will strike next. Instead of turning to the police, Duncan tries to catch the killer himself!
When Ingrid decides to run to soccer practice rather than wait for her ride, she gets lost in a not-so-nice part of town. Luckily, Cracked-Up Katie, one of Echo Falls' oddballs, calls her a cab. Convinced that full disclosure will only cause a lecture, Ingrid keeps her secret. Imagine her shock when she learns that Katie has been murdered--and Ingrid's cleats are at the crime scene. And getting them back will mean getting tangled up in a murder investigation as complicated as the mysteries solved by her idol, Sherlock Holmes. With soccer practice, schoolwork, and the lead role in her town's production of Alice in Wonderland, Ingrid is swamped. But as things in Echo Falls keep getting curiouser and curiouser, Ingrid realizes she must solve the murder on her own -- before it's too late!
Graphic Novels are a format – not a genre. There are as many genres of graphic novels as there are traditional novels.Also, reading a graphic novel may not be easier than reading a book for everyone. Reading a graphic novel takes a special kind of literacy – and it doesn’t come easily to everyone! The images are not just illustrations, showing you something the words have already told you. The illustrations help to tell the story, to move it along, and they may show & tell you things the words do not. You have to combine reading with viewing images and let them work together to tell the story.
REALISTIC FICTION / AUTOBIOGRAPHYWhen she was in sixth grade, RainaTelgemeier tripped while running and lost her two front teeth. over the next several years, she suffered through surgery, implants, headgear, false teeth, and a rearrangement of her remaining incisors. Along with this dental treatment came adolescence & middle school. It was a tough time. BUT! This was also when she discovered how much she loved to draw and that she might be able to make her living with her art!
HISTORICAL FICTIONDo you know that the first living creature in space was not a human? Laika was the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth's first space traveler. This is her journey. Fascinating history of the space race.
ADVENTUREAfter using her hair to free herself from her prison tower, this Rapunzel ignores the pompous prince and teams up with Jack (of Beanstalk fame) in an attempt to free her birth mother and an entire kingdom from the evil witch who once moonlighted as her mother. Dogged by both the witch's henchman and Jack's outlaw past, the heroes travel across the map as they right wrongs, help the oppressed, and generally try to stay alive.
FANTASYThis book chronicles the adventures of the Bone cousins--plucky Fone Bone, scheming Phony Bone, and easygoing Smiley Bone-- who leave their home of Boneville and are swept up in a fantastic epic of royalty, dragons, and unspeakable evil forces out to conquer humankind. There’s humor, action, adventure, and magic.
REALISTIC/HUMOR/SHORT STORIESThis is a collection of seventeen short comics, all having to do with life in middle school. They are darkly humorous – they tell the truth, and try to make you laugh. The art styles of the seventeen contributors varies widely, so you’ll like some and maybe not like some others. That’s OK – it’s good to see a variety of styles!
MANGAThe Ridgefield Library offers a collection of various MANGA titles – and MANGA is it’s own sub-set of graphic novels. The word MANGA refers to the style of the art – it is usually produced by Japanese or Korean artists – and MANGA books can be action, or realistic fiction, or science fiction, or romance, or anything really. This one, Full Metal Alchemist, deals with Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg...and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders.
SUPERHEROMany people immediately think of super heros when they think about Graphic Novels. The Ridgefield Library has many of these kinds of GRAPHIC NOVELS if that it what you like. Superman, Spider-Man, the Avengers, and my favorite, Batman. In this title, Hush, Batman sets out to discover the identity of a mysterious mastermind who is using the Joker, the Riddler, Ra's al Ghul and the Batman's other enemies - and allies - as pawns in a plan to wreak havoc on Gotham city. Like most Batman books, it’s a mystery with Batman trying to solve it. Remember, Batman is the worlds greatest detective – and he’s just human – he has no superhuman powers!
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Fiction and non-fiction books too good to miss!<br />
Geri Diorio, Teen Services Librarian <br />@ The Ridgefield Library<br />