Fiction 2010


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Fiction 2010

  1. 1. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 Adventure *Crocodile Tears. Anthony Horowitz. New York: Philomel Books, 2009. HC $17.99, PBK $7.99 (11/10.) Alex’s latest adventure with MI6 doesn’t even seem worthy of Alex’s considerable espionage skills. All MI6 needs Alex to do is download some computer data while he is on a school field trip to a lab that specializes in the genetic engineering of plants. Unfortunately, Alex doesn’t get away with the information without alerting the lab’s security force. Instead, his small job for MI6 makes the guy producing the genetically modified, and also fatal, corn plants suspicious of what Alex might know. So suspicious that Alex is kidnapped from London and held against his will in Africa to play the one-person audience for the scientist gone bad. Knowing Alex though, you realize that this is all he needs. A little time and the resources at hand are all Alex ever needs to get himself and the rest of the world out of an impossibly tight situation. Although surviving the lake full of hungry crocodiles he finds himself dangling over will take all of his strength and ingenuity. -–Laura Kettering Erak's Ransom. John Flanagan. New York: Philomel Books, 2010. HC $17.99. Erak’s Ransom actually backtracks and takes place in the timeline before Will becomes a full-fledged ranger prior to books five and six, The Sorcerer in the North and The Siege of Macindaw. Will, Halt, and Evanlyn must use all their resources and cunning in this installment of the Ranger’s Apprentice to arrange the release of the captured and ransomed Erak, leader of the Skandians and ally to the Araluens. What’s worse is that Erak has been captured by a dangerous tribe, and even with Halt’s extensive knowledge, they know very little of their enemies in this case. Confused by sandstorms, oppressed by the unrelenting heat, and tricked by another desert tribe that plays by its own rules, the Araluens begin to realize that just as a desert mirage nothing is as it seems to be. –-Laura Kettering *Heist Society. Ally Carter. New York: Disney/Hyperion, 2010. HC $16.99. On her first family vacation Kat can remember, her mom and dad took her to the Louvre to case it. As a gift for her seventh birthday, her uncle Eddie took Kat to Austria to steal the crown jewels. Now Kat is fifteen, and she is planning her own successful cons. Kat has managed to scam her way into the most prestigious boarding school in the country. Her plan was to leave the family business. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding involving the headmaster’s mint- condition 1958 Porsche Speedster and the fountain in the quad leaves her with her bags packed at the front gate. The worst part is that she isn’t even the one responsible for the stunt with the Porsche, in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But that’s where her best friend, Hale, comes into the picture. Hale has gotten her expelled all because he needs to deliver a message to her. It seems that a collection of priceless art has been stolen from a powerful mobster, and the only one who could have possibly done the job was her father. There’s just one small *also available in audio 1
  2. 2. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 problem with that suspect list. Kat’s father has an airtight alibi. The night in question, he was busy with a totally different heist. Unfortunately, the powerful mobster won’t take no for an answer. He wants his paintings back in two weeks, or else. With her father under surveillance by Interpol, Kat can only come up with one solution. She must find the paintings herself and steal them back. –-Laura Kettering *Only the Good Spy Young. Ally Carter. New York: Hyperion Books, 2010. HC $16.99. At the end of the third book, Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover, the Gallagher Girls are in a really difficult situation. Cammie as just found out that she, not Macey McHenry, has been the target all along. And the most frustrating thing is that no one has any idea why the bad guys are after her. Although it might have something to do with her father, but he died so many years ago, and no one is talking. The one person, who goes to great lengths to speak with her, Joe Solomon, her covert ops teacher from the Gallagher Academy, leaves her with the most cryptic message of all. “You have to follow the pigeons,” he says. (page 17) And then he turns and runs for his life. It appears, from what the authorities are telling Cammie, that Mr. Solomon is a rogue double-agent. So as Cammie returns to school for the spring semester, she no longer has any idea who she can trust. Even her teachers and classmates are not exempt anymore. -–Laura Kettering *Red Pyramid. Rick Riordan. New York: Disney/Hyperion Books, 2010. HC $17.99, PBK $8.99 (4/11). From the author that brought us the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series comes an all-new series featuring the brother and sister team of Carter and Sadie Kane. Since the death of their mother six years before, Carter and Sadie have been separated. Carter has been living out of a suitcase, being homeschooled, and traveling the world with his famous Egyptologist father, Dr. Julius Kane, while his sister has been living with their grandparents in London. But that all changes when Carter and his father pick up Sadie on one of their rare visits and head to the British Museum for a private tour where their father promises to “make things right.” If by making things right, Dr. Kane meant blowing up the Rosetta Stone and causing his own disappearance, then he was definitely successful. But Carter and Sadie think that all did not go according to plan. Now it is up to them to battle the forces of chaos, sort out their growing powers, and rescue their dad, all before the ancient Egyptian god, Set, conquers and destroys the modern world. -–Laura Kettering *also available in audio 2
  3. 3. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 Award Winners Newbery Award Winner *When You Reach Me. Rebecca Stead. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2009. HC $15.99, PBK $6.99 (3/11). Every day after school, best friends Sal and Miranda walk to her tired Manhattan apartment. Miranda, a latch key kid, lets herself in and usually curls up with her favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time. She spends her evenings practicing knot tying or quizzing her mom, who hopes to get on the $20,000 Pyramid game show. Everything changes when Sal is beaten up by a classmate. Afterwards, he can barely look at Miranda. She realizes that she is without friends and faces the task of making new ones. One day a cryptic note arrives—followed by a series of others, all very mysterious. The notes talk about saving her friend's life as well as the life of the person sending the notes. Miranda is warned that she must write back. She feels like she is being watched. And just as things get down-right scary, a deranged homeless man appears—Miranda’s mother calls him the “laughing man.” But Miranda just wants to know--where is she sending the letters? --Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award 2010-2011 Printz Award Winner *Going Bovine. Libba Bray. New York: Delacorte Press, 2009. HC $17.99, PBK $9.99. When the best day of your life happened when you were five and almost drowned in the Disney ride, It's a Small World, shouldn't things be looking up? But for 16-year-old Cameron, it isn't meant to be. Instead he finds out he's dying of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - better known as mad cow disease. Now his life - what's left of it - takes on a curious parallel to the novel his English class is reading, Don Quixote. A punk rock angel Dulcie acts as his guide and gives him hope in the form of Dr. X. However, Dr X disappeared years ago and Cameron sets off on a road trip to find him. And what's a road trip without buddies? Cameron's include a high school buddy who happens to be a dwarf, and a talking yard gnome who claims to be a Norse god. Cameron's reality is trying to find a cure, but is his real world just going bovine? --Librarians @ Random Booktalks *also available in audio 3
  4. 4. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 Printz Honor Book *The Monstrumologist. Richard Yancey. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009. HC $17.99, PBK $9.99. “’These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me...and the one who cursed me.’ (page 3) So begins the journal of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.” --Rick Yancey’s website Historical Fiction Countdown. Deborah Wiles. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. HC $17.99. --Booktalk by Anne Rhodes Humor *Scarlett Fever. Maureen Johnson. New York: Point, 2010. HC $16.99, PBK $9.99 (2/11). Picking up where Suite Scarlett left off, Scarlett Martin is trying to balance high school, her responsibilities at the Hopewell Hotel, and her job at Mrs. Amberson’s talent agency. Now Mrs. Amberson has her sights set on Chelsea, the fifteen-year-old star of a bad Broadway play —and she’ll do anything to book her as a client, even if it means dispatching Scarlett to spy on Chelsea’s older brother Max (when poor Scarlett is still getting over Eric, her failed crush.) When you throw in the fact that her little sister Marlene has suddenly transformed from pure evil into…nice, the never-ending drama of her older sister Lola’s, relationship with rich kid, Chip, and the fact that her big brother’s Spenser’s steady acting job on television has made him more infamous than famous, Scarlett’s in for a quite a year… --Shannin Bailey *Season of Gifts. Richard Peck. New York: Dial Books, 2009. HC $16.99, PBK $6.99 (10/10). If you’ve read A Long Way from Chicago or A Year Down Yonder, you will definitely remember Grandma Dowdel. And for those of you who might be new to this character, she is not the cookie-baking, scarf-knitting, crawl-into-your-lap-for-a-story type of grandma. The year is now 1958, and a new family has moved in next door to Grandma Dowdel. Things are not going well for the new family until Grandma Dowdel unearths the remains of the Kickapoo Princess in her backyard, and she asks the new preacher next door to give the Kickapoo Princess “a good church funeral so the public will know she’s not adrift around the back of” (p. 73) Grandma Dowdel’s place. And this is just the first of many gifts Grandma Dowdel bestows on her new neighbors. -–Laura Kettering *also available in audio 4
  5. 5. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 Mystery/Suspense/Horror *Bullet Point. Peter Abrahams. New York: Harper Teen, 2010. HC $16.99. The only thing about high school that Wyatt even remotely cares about has been cut. Baseball, along with the rest of the sports programs, is no longer an option for him at his high school in East Canton due to the economy. But after the coach relays this news to his team, he asks Wyatt to stick around for a few minutes. It seems the coach thinks that Wyatt might be good enough to get into college by playing baseball, but without a program, that just won’t work. So the coach suggests that Wyatt transfer to a more affluent high school in Silver City with a good baseball coach and team. It just so happens that Wyatt’s father, gone from Wyatt’s life before Wyatt was even born, lives just on the other side of the river from Silver City, in the Sweetwater Penitentiary. Sentenced to life for armed robbery, Sonny Racine, makes contact with his nearby son. And the more Wyatt comes to know about his biological father, the more Wyatt questions his father’s guilt. But if Wyatt gets involved in Sonny’s mess of a life now, it just might be the worst decision Wyatt will have ever made. –-Laura Kettering They Never Came Back. Caroline B. Cooney. New York: Delacorte Press, 2010. HC $16.99. Abandoned by her parents who hurt innocent people in a marketing scam, ten-year-old Murielle does her best to transform herself into someone else. Removed from the custody of her aunt and one foster home after another she eventually becomes Cathy Ferris instead of Murielle Lyman and no one who knew about the scandal knows what happened to her. Until five years later when her cousin Tommy recognizes her at summer school. The FBI agent reopens the case, kids at school can’t stop talking about it, news reporters come out of the woodwork, and her aunt and uncle want her to move back in with them. But where are Murielle’s parents and why didn’t they come back? --Librarians @ Random Booktalks Wish You Were Dead. Todd Strasser. New York: Egmont USA, 2009. HC $16.99, PBK $8.99. This book begins with five posts by anonymous blogger Str-S-d, and ends with: “I’ll begin with Lucy. She is definitely first on the list. You can’t believe how it feels to be in the cafeteria and turn around and there she is staring at me like I’m some disgusting bug or vermin. Does she really think I WANT to be this way? I hate you, Lucy. I really hate you. You are my #1 pick. I wish you were dead.” (p.5) And then the next day, Lucy disappears. A couple of days later Str-S-d wishes that Adam, Lucy’s boyfriend, would die, and the very next day he vanishes too. Madison, a friend to both Lucy and Adam, is especially scared. She was actually the last person to see both Lucy and Adam before they went missing. Madison also has a cyberstalker and is receiving notes that imply that she may be the next to disappear. The clock is ticking and time is running out for both Lucy and Adam. Can Madison unmask the kidnapper before her name turns up on Str-S-d’s blog? --Laura Kettering *also available in audio 5
  6. 6. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 Realistic Fiction *After. Amy Efaw. New York: Viking, 2009. HC $17.99, PBK $8.99 (12/10). Lying on her couch, home sick from school, sixteen-year-old Devon Davenport is shocked when the police arrive and arrest her for attempted murder. In pain and nearly unconscious, she is taken to a hospital where an examination shows she has just given birth to a baby. A baby that was found wrapped in a garbage bag and thrown into a trash bin. Disconnected, frozen, and shattered, Devon doesn't remember any of it. It is Dominique, her court-appointed attorney, who is able to help Devon unbury bit by bit the whole story of the pregnancy. She lied to her doctor, coach, friends, and mom—and denies it even to herself. Disgusted by the one and only time she allowed a boy to make love to her, Devon recreated reality and cut herself off from all help. As Devon gradually begins to remember, she recounts the nightmarish birth alone in her bathroom. In intense denial about her predicament, she refuses to follow in the footsteps of her messed-up single mom. When the baby cries, she panics and tries to erase its existence. Is Devon an attempted murderer or a victim of her own decisions? Does she deserve prison or compassion? --Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award 2010-2011 After Ever After. Jordan Sonnenblick. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. HC $16.99. Jeff has passed the five-year mark. He's free. Cancer-free. When he was four years old, Jeff was diagnosed with leukemia. His hair fell out, he threw up a lot, and he went through different kinds of treatment in order to be cured. Now that Jeff is cancer-free, he can finally live a normal life and hopefully not be considered just "The Boy with Cancer." 8th grade gets off to a great start. He meets Lindsey, a beautiful new transfer student from California. And Jeff is shocked to find out that she actually likes him. Not just as a friend, but as something more! And he has a bunch of classes with his best friend Tad, who's also a cancer survivor. Of course, not everything is perfect. Jeff spaces out at school because of his cancer treatment and walks with a limp. His big brother Steven, who was always there for him, has dropped out of college and moved to Africa. And Jeff is still terrible at math. Then the bad news arrives. . . Every 8th grader is being forced to take a state-wide standardized test. If Jeff doesn't pass that test, he won't move onto high school with his girlfriend and best friend. But Tad and Lindsey have a plan to make sure that Jeff doesn't fail the test. This plan is so big, so secretive and so crazy that there is no way it will work. . . will it? Read After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick so you can find out if they pull off the plan of the century! --Scholastic Booktalks *also available in audio 6
  7. 7. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 *Along for the Ride. Sarah Dessen. New York: Viking, 2009. HC $19.99, PBK $8.99 (4/11). It's a snap decision. Reclusive Auden is not going to spend her last summer before going to college with her control-freak professor mom. Auden is tired of her mom's hobby—bringing home male grad students! Instead Auden heads for the beach front community of Colby to spend the summer with her novelist dad, his young wife Heidi, and their new baby, Thisbe. She plans on sticking to her room, pre-reading all her college texts. But colicky Thisbe quiets only when walked, so Auden explores the town with her little stepsister. When stressed- out Heidi asks Auden to help at her fashion boutique, Auden suddenly finds herself surrounded by giggling girls and the hunky boys from the bike shop next door. Especially hunky Eli. A fellow loner and insomniac, Eli coaxes Auden into doing the things her parents never had time to share with her—bike riding, bowling, and food fights. But Eli hides secrets. It is a summer of transitions for Auden. Will she be able to cope with first love, making and keeping friends, and accepting her parents' flaws and divorce? --Texas Tayshas High School Reading List 2010-2011 Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots. Abby McDonald. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2010. HC $16.99. Jenna’s life is her Green Teens organization in suburban New Jersey where she organizes petitions and protests to save what little green space remains. When it looks like her mom and dad may split up and decide to spend the summer apart, Jenna advocates for herself to spend the summer in the wilds of Canada with her godmother, Suzie, enjoying all the wildlife she so fervently tries to protect. But from the very first minute of her arrival in nowhere Canada, Jenna is made to feel unwelcome. Suzie’s very angry step-daughter is a couple hours late picking Jenna up from her bus stop, and after trekking down the one road, hopefully in the right direction, with all her worldly possessions in an overstuffed suitcase, Jenna is hot, tired, sore, and desperately in need of a bathroom. Later that night trying to make a positive impression with the local boys at a bonfire, Jenna somehow manages to alienate them too. Jenna’s only hope is an ancient guide she finds called The Modern Mountain Man's Survival Guide. -–Laura Kettering *also available in audio 7
  8. 8. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials. Rosalind Wiseman. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2010. HC $17.99, PBK $8.99 (1/11). Trying to escape her middle school history with two treacherous frenemies, Charlie Healy enrolls in the neighboring high school, Harmony Falls, for her freshman year. This is Charlie’s chance for a clean slate. Unfortunately, her plan goes awry. One of the first people she meets at her new school is Will, Charlie’s best friend from childhood. Now he is popular and hot, adding a whole new difficult dimension to renewing their friendship. And then Charlie runs into Nidhi, the girl Charlie had a hand in humiliating back in eighth grade with her two frenemies. The drama Charlie was trying to escape by changing schools seems to have followed her. And it just gets worse when Charlie and Will start hanging out together again. Will is on the lacrosse team, and as a freshman trying out for varsity, he is enduring more than his fair share of ritual humiliations. In fact, the lacrosse team’s behavior off the field is being called into question, leaving Charlie with a dilemma. Does she do what’s right, or because of her feelings for Will, should she protect him even knowing what he’s done? --Laura Kettering By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead. Julie Anne Peters. New York: Hyperion/DBG, 2010. HC $16.99. By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead. That is the promise that Daelyn makes to herself at the beginning of the book. Being bullied since kindergarten and attempting suicide more than once because of that hasn’t improved Daelyn’s outlook on life. So when she stumbles across a web site called Through-the-Light, a site for completers, she registers herself. Now she has 23 days, the minimum the site will allow, to prepare for her death. But just as she is severing what few ties she has to the people in her life, a boy named Santana begins the process of befriending her. The trouble is that he is persistent; he won’t take no for an answer. Just when Daelyn can’t be letting people into her life, she finds herself tempted by Santana. -–Laura Kettering Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have. Allen Zadoff. New York: Egmont USA, 2009. HC $16.99, PBK $8.99 (2/11). Andy Zansky is actually only the second fattest kid in his high school weighing in at 306 pounds. On the very first day of his sophomore year, Andy discovers, much to his relief that he actually fits in the new desks at school, just barely. He also runs into new girl, April, who treats him like a real person and not just some fat tub of lard. Things seem to be looking up for Andy, especially when the popular football quarterback, O. Douglas, personally invites Andy to try out for the team. Perhaps Andy will be able to turn his bulk to his advantage on the football field. But sometimes things are just too good to be true, and when Andy starts doing a little investigating, he discovers just why O. Douglas wants him on the team. -–Laura Kettering *also available in audio 8
  9. 9. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 *Front and Center. Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. HC $16.00. In this final book of the Dairy Queen trilogy, D.J. Schwenk needs to decide what happens in her life after her senior year. But all she really wants is for things to get back to normal. Her version of an okay future involves returning to high school and playing basketball after a month or so spent rehabbing with her older brother. She just wants to fade into the background. But there are others in her life that have different plans for her. Knowing that D.J.’s college plans hinge on which school gives her a free ride in exchange for basketball, D.J.’s coach begins lining up college coaches to come see her play. He also insists that D.J. take more of a leadership role with her team, something she isn’t good at and doesn’t feel comfortable doing. Leadership requires communication, and that just isn’t something that Schwenks do very well if at all. D.J. just wants to close her eyes and wish all these decisions away. But when she isn’t on the court, she’s getting harassed by her older brother, Win, who sees it as his personal mission to get her into college on a basketball scholarship. So is D.J. up to the competition at a Big Ten school, so should she just choose a smaller school where everyone’s expectations would be much lower and easier to fulfill? -–Laura Kettering Into the Wild Nerd Yonder. Julie Halpern. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2009. HC $16.99, PBK $9.99 (4/11). Jessie is starting her sophomore year of high school, and on her first day of school, she discovers that her two best friends, Bizza and Char, have transformed themselves into punks without ever mentioning this to her. All this transformation is just so they can hang out with Jessie’s brother’s punk band, and Bizza can date Van, Jessie’s longtime crush in the band. So where does this leave Jessie? Basically friendless, floating through various high school cliques trying to find her niche. After helping a dork study for a math test, Jessie suddenly panics, wondering if that makes her an even bigger dork. But when one of the class nerd’s introduces Jessie to the world of Dungeons & Dragons, Jessie scores some of the coolest nerd friends ever. But Jessie still wonders if you go into the wild nerd yonder, can you ever come back? --Laura Kettering *Jumped. Rita Williams-Garcia. New York: HarperTeen, 2009. HC $16.99, PBK $8.99 (1/11). The only thing Dominique wants is to be back playing basketball with her team. But after an impassioned plea goes unheard, and she is still benched because of poor grades, Dominique is seething with rage early one school morning. Enter Trina, a girl in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not realizing the seriousness of the slight, Trina zips between Dominique and her girls in the school hallway. Trina, on her way to display her masterpieces of art in another hallway, is completely oblivious to Dominique’s threat, “I’m gonna kick that ass at 2:45.” (page 21) But there is one other witness to this before school scene. Leticia, coming down the stairs, cannot believe she saw and heard what she did. As she waffles between getting involved in Trina’s life *also available in audio 9
  10. 10. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 and wondering if maybe she hadn’t misunderstood Dominique, Leticia discovers that sometimes what you don’t say means more than what you do. -–Laura Kettering *Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks. Lauren Myracle. New York: Dutton Books, 2009. HC $16.99, PBK $8.99. Just returning from a summer spent trail breaking in the Tennessee mountains, Carly is ready to challenge the privileged world of her wealthy Atlanta suburb. Upon returning home though, Carly discovers that her little sister, Anna, has blossomed into a beautiful young woman, one that guys are immediately drawn to, leaving Carly with some uncomfortable twinges of jealousy. As the school year begins at Holy Redeemer High School, the most prestigious prep school in the South, Anna still relies on Carly to show her the ropes in high school and, in some cases, even fight her battles for her. But as the school year drags on, their relationship degrades even further, ending with an out-of-control party at their unchaperoned house involving alcohol, live baby ducks, and the ultimate in sister betrayal. –-Laura Kettering Pop. Gordon Korman. New York: Balzer & Bray, 2009. HC $16.99, PBK $8.99 (1/11). Marcus is not happy about being dragged to a new town and school. At least the school has an undefeated football team—and Marcus intends to be the varsity quarterback. Only one person stands in his way, Troy Popovich. While practicing in the park, Marcus meets Charlie, a quirky middle-aged man who is also an incredible football player. He finds out that Charlie was a pro, an NFL linebacker! Charlie becomes Marcus's mentor, teaching him how to take a hard tackle and love the imaginary sound of “pop” that comes with the intense contact. As much as he respects Charlie, Marcus finds him strange. Marcus eventually learns that Charlie suffers from early-onset Alzheimer's caused by the repeated pops during his football career. Marcus wants to help Charlie out as well as win the quarterback spot. And, oh yes, he also wants to win Troy's girlfriend's heart! To complicate things even more, Charlie turns out to be more than he seems. -–Texas Lone Star List 2010-2011 Romance *Fire. Kristin Cashore. New York: Dial Books, 2009. HC $17.99. Fire is the last of her kind. On the opposite side of the world that was inhabited by Katsa and Po in Graceling, they do not have gracelings. Instead in the Dells, they have monsters which are exceptionally beautiful versions of the various animals, all with the ability to take over and control your mind. And Fire is the last of the human monsters, so named by her father because of her startlingly red hair. Raised far from the capital by her guardian, Lord Brocker, an out-of-favor military commander, Fire is perfectly happy with her quiet, backwoods life. But King Nash and his younger brother, Brigan, his military advisor, need Fire’s talents to reestablish peace and stability within a kingdom on the edge of ruin. But after so many years spent squelching her *also available in audio 10
  11. 11. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 talents, will Fire to able to use her ability to read and cajole minds to aid in the royal intelligence missions, or will she buckle under the pressure? --Laura Kettering *Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. Beth Fantaskey. Orlando: Harcourt, 2009. HC $17.00, PBK $8.99. Now seventeen years old, Jessica Packwood was adopted as an infant and raised by a socially conscious vegan couple in rural Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. Enter Romanian exchange student, Lucius Vladescu, who shows up claiming that he and Jessica are both vampire royalty. He also insists that the two were pledged to each other as infants in a pact to unite warring vampire clans. When she turns 18, she must marry him. This is all too much for Jess, who already has a love interest and has been looking forward to a normal fun senior year. She finds Lucius to be arrogant and overbearing, and she refuses to believe his story. Lucius, a very refined, princely vampire, is forced to endure American high school and the seemingly bizarre eating habits of his host family, the Packwoods, in order to get close to Jessica. However, Jessica cannot ignore the facts—after all, Lucius does have fangs, as well as incredible healing abilities. And as her uncertainty turns to belief, she realizes that she is falling in love with him. But Lucius has enjoyed being a normal high-school student. Is he still interested in her? --Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award 2010-2011 Science Fiction/Fantasy Candor. Pam Bachorz. New York: Egmont USA, 2009. HC $16.99, PBK $8.99 (12/10). In Candor, Florida, ALL the teens are perfect--respectful, courteous, studious, obedient, and chaste. Sounds like every parent's dream! It would be…except that all the adults in Candor are also perfect. Their behavior conforms to very strict rules. Music filled with subliminal messages is broadcast throughout the community, resulting in mass brainwashing. If people behave inappropriately, they are taken to the Listening Room, and all their memories are erased. According to Candor's founder, Campbell Banks, it is the perfect utopian community. Campbell's son, Oscar, hiding under the facade of the model perfect teen, is secretly using his own subliminal messages to sabotage his father's system. For a huge fee, he helps teens escape the community before they are completely programmed. Everything is going according to Oscar's plans. But then a new girl arrives. Nia is gorgeous and free-spirited, a skateboarding graffiti artist with a very bad attitude—and she has Oscar's hormones raging! If Oscar saves her from the brainwashing, she'll have to leave Candor and Oscar will lose her. If she stays, she'll become a totally different person and his whole operation will probably be exposed. How can he make the perfect decision? --Florida Teens Read List 2010-2011 *also available in audio 11
  12. 12. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 *Demon King. Cinda Williams Chima. New York: Hyperion Books, 2009. HC $17.99, PBK $9.99. A thousand years ago, the Demon King almost destroyed the land. Ever since a warrior queen defeated him, the clans and wizards have lived in uneasy peace. But that peace may not last. In a royal court filled with conspiracies, Princess Raisa dreams of being a fierce warrior. The queen, her mother, is weak. The wizards are gaining power. To make matters worse, Raisa faces an unwanted arranged marriage. Meanwhile, street-wise Han struggles to support his family. He used to lead a gang and still battles with the troubles from his past life. One day, while stopping three wizards from setting a fire, Han takes an ancient amulet from them. The amulet, once a talisman for the Demon King, is powerful, and the wizards will do anything to get it back. Young Raisa and Han make an unlikely pair. Can a princess and a gang leader unite to stop the wizards and protect the land and people they love? --Texas Lone Star List 2010-2011 *Devil’s Kiss. Sarwat Chadda. New York: Disney/Hyperion Books, 2009. HC $17.99, PBK $8.99. Billi SanGreal is not your ordinary teen. As the only female member of a much reduced secret order of the Knights Templar, Billi has been schooled to fight and kill anything Unholy. Since her father, Arthur, is the head of this remnant of the famous Knights Templar and his standards are impossibly high, Billi is always training. But when her only childhood friend, Kay, returns to London after several years in Jerusalem and wants to pick up their relationship right where they left off, Billi has other ideas. Before she gets too caught up in a certain amber- eyed boy who understands her as no one else can, Billi is thrust into a battle with one of the order’s most ancient enemies. And it will be Billi who will be called to sacrifice more than she could have possibly imagined to save the lives of thousands in this fight. -–Laura Kettering Epitaph Road. David Patneaude. New York: Egmont USA, 2010. HC $16.99, PBK $8.99 (3/11). The world of 2097 is completely changed from today’s society. Women rule the world. All wars have ceased. Crime rates are nearly nonexistent, and prisons are a thing of the past. With less money devoted to those government spending areas, more resources are now available for health care, medical research, education, and environmental issues. And all it took to get to this point was a global plague that nearly wiped out all the male population 30 years ago. Kellen, one of the few male births permitted by the administration’s population control agency, is not exactly happy with his lot in life. He can tolerate spending all of his time in the presence of females. But he would much rather live with his outcast father near Afterlight, a small community of men living outside of the government’s territory. Then one day after school, Kellen overhears his mother discussing the plague with her supervisor, a highly placed political official. Realizing that most of the world has been led to believe a lie, Kellen and his two friends, Tia and Sunday, head straight for the Afterlight community to warn them of an intentional resurgence of the plague. -–Laura Kettering *also available in audio 12
  13. 13. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 Finnikin of the Rock. Melina Marchetta. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2010. HC $18.99. “A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamed that he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere. … Finnikin told his friends Prince Balthazar and Lucian of the Monts about the dream the next morning as they spat olive pits into the river. … And so they climbed the rock of the three wonders at the crest of Finnikin’s village, and they cut flesh from their bodies and tugged a strand of hair from the weeping Isaboe’s head {the youngest princess} to make a sacrifice to their goddess. Balthazar pledged to die defending his royal house of Lumatere. Finnikin swore to be their protector and guide for as long as he lived. Lucian vowed he would be the light whom they traveled toward in times of need. … They were indeed blessed as no other kingdom in the land. Until the five days of the unspeakable. When the king and queen and their three oldest daughters were slaughtered in the palace and Princess Isaboe was slain in the Forest of Lumatere. When Balthazar’s bloody handprints were found splattered on the kingdom walls and the people of Lumatere, seeking someone to blame, turned on one another.” (Prologue pages 1-3) And so begins Finnikin’s ten-year journey to reestablish the country of Lumatere and place its rightful heir on the throne once again. -–Laura Kettering *Incarceron. Catherine Fisher. New York: Dial Books, 2010. HC $17.99. Incarceron is a prison so vast that no one really knows the extent of it. Designed as a grand experiment, Incarceron was created with cutting-edge technology to house all the undesirables in the world and to give them all they would need resulting in a utopia rather than a prison. Unfortunately, plans go wrong, and in this case, Incarceron became a self-aware tyrannical prison, watching its jailed occupants with all-knowing eyes and keeping them contained within itself at all costs. When Finn, a member of a gang of violent thieves and renegades, comes into possession of a crystal key, he is sure it is his ticket out of Incarceron. Finn actually has no memory of his childhood and is absolutely certain that he comes from the outside. While at the same time Finn is looking to escape Incarceron, Claudia, the warden of Incarceron’s daughter, is plotting her escape from an arranged marriage with Caspar, the pleasure-seeking, dimwitted heir to the throne. Borrowing her father’s crystal key enables Finn and Claudia to communicate and use one another to further their escape plans. But those escapes may come at far greater prices than either of them realizes. –-Laura Kettering *also available in audio 13
  14. 14. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 *Leviathan. Scott Westerfeld. New York: Simon Pulse, 2009. HC $19.99, PBK $9.99. The world is on the brink of its first world war, but the details are not exactly what you’ve learned in history class. Sure, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife have been assassinated, and a global conflict is brewing. But this one is between two very different factions: The Clankers, who build war machines; and The Darwinists, who rely on the development of new species. Young Prince Aleksander, the would-be heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne, is pulled from his bed in the middle of the night following his parents’ murder. As a Clanker, he pilots a war machine—the Cyklop Stormwalker—to escape his own countryfolk who have turned on him. Facing enemies at every turn, he finds that uncovering loyalties or foes becomes even more difficult. Then he meets Deryn, who has recently joined the air service and is serving aboard the Leviathan, the Darwinists’ flying whale ship. Like Aleksander, Deryn is also in constant danger. She has disguised herself as a boy in order to join the service, and is in constant fear of being discovered. Although from warring factions, is it possible for these two teenagers to be more than enemies? The answer is found in a fantastical voyage in this very different world history. – Rhode Island Teen Book Award 2010-2011 *Maze Runner. James Dashner. New York: Delacorte Press, 2009. HC $16.99, PBK $9.99. Thomas emerges from an elevator into a Glade surrounded by an enormous maze. All he remembers is his name. He doesn't know why he is here or where he is from. His first discovery is that he is one of 60 other “Gladers”—all of them boys who came to the Glade the same way he did. For the last two years, one boy has arrived in the elevator every 30 days. Each day runners are sent out to search the constantly shifting maze for an exit. Every day, the runners try to evade the bizarre Grievers, technological monsters that patrol the pathways of the maze. It is deadly when a boy and a Griever meet. By the time Thomas arrives, the boys are giving up hope of ever escaping from the maze. With his memory trickling back, Thomas thinks he recalls more about the outside world than he should. When the doors of the elevator open to reveal an unconscious girl with an ominous note, Thomas must decide what he should tell the others and what he should withhold. The rules of the game are changing and the situation is becoming more desperate. Thomas hopes his memories will help them find an exit from the maze. But if there is an opening, will they be able to battle their way through the Grievers—and get out? --Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award 2010-2011 Ship Breaker. Paolo Bacigalupi. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2010. HC $17.99. --Booktalk by Anne Rhodes *also available in audio 14
  15. 15. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 *This World We Live In. Susan Beth Pfeffer. Boston: Harcourt, 2010. HC $17.00, PBK $8.99 (4/11). As you may know from Life As We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone, Alex and Julie Morales, and Miranda and her family continue to struggle for survival in an environment ravaged by having the moon in closer orbit to the earth, for more than a year now. The new normal involves no sunlight, being hungry most of the time, and working to locate items you may need from the homes of those who are dead or gone. While Miranda, her mother, and two brothers have been living in their home in Pennsylvania barely surviving on food rations, her father, his new wife, and brand new baby, along with a motley assortment of others in their traveling band return from the West. With more mouths to feed than they probably can, Miranda’s mother still welcomes them all into her home much to Miranda’s annoyance. But by the end of the book, where everyone will sleep and what they will eat will be the last of Miranda’s worries. -–Laura Kettering *White Cat. Holly Black. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010. HC $17.99, PBK $9.99 (2/11). “I wake up barefoot, standing on cold slate tiles. Looking dizzily down. I suck in a breath of icy air. Above me are stars. Below me, the bronze statue of Colonel Wallingford makes me realize I’m seeing the quad from the peak of Smythe Hall, my dorm. I have no memory of climbing the stairs up to the roof. I don’t even know how to get where I am, which is a problem since I’m going to have to get down, ideally in a way that doesn’t involve dying. Teetering, I will myself to be as still as possible. Not to inhale too sharply. To grip the slate with my toes. The night is quiet, the kind of hushed middle-of-the-night quiet that makes every shuffle or nervous panting breath echo. When the black outlines of trees overhead rustle, I jerk in surprise. My foot slides on something slick. Moss. I try to steady myself, but my legs go out from under me. I scrabble for something to hold on to as my bare chest slams down on the slate. My palm comes down hard on a sharp bit of copper flashing, but I hardly feel the pain. Kicking out, my foot finds a snow guard, and I press my toes against it, steadying myself. I laugh with relief, even though I am shaking so badly that climbing is out of the question.” (pages 1-2) Cassel, while dreaming of a white cat, has somehow ended up on the roof of his dorm in the middle of the night. This incident is going to destroy all of the hard work he has done creating a façade of normalcy about him, so that he can just blend in with the crowd. And Cassel has to put a lot of work into that façade for several reasons. He is actually the youngest in a family of curse workers, people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, and your luck with just the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they are all criminals. All, except for Cassel, since it appears that he is completely without the magic that makes curse work possible. But you would need to overlook that one time three years ago when *also available in audio 15
  16. 16. Books and Brunch Fiction 2010 Cassel killed his best friend, Lila. Or did he? And what was that white cat trying to tell him? --Laura Kettering *also available in audio 16