Monday, August 15, 2011

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser

DopeSick by Walter Dean Myers

Rucker Park Set Up by Paul Volponi

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick

Schooled by Gordon Korman

Fat Kid Rules the World by Kelly Going

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

Author Louanne Johnson portrays her character in Muchacho

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos

Heather Brewer discusses the Vladimir Todd Series

Iqbal: a novel by Francesco D'Adamo

iDrakula by Bekka Black

3 Willows: the sisterhood grows by Ann Brashares

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

Saturday, April 30, 2011

John Grisham on the value of libraries

John Grisham shares how the library and reading books were an important part of his childhood. The book Bleachers is a popular title in our library---if you like football and are a fan of John Grisham's movies, try reading one of his books!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! In the first of the series, readers will discover a plot that is somewhat reminiscent of Harry Potter. Vlad Tod is a typical eighth-grade student - with the exception that he is a vampire! His parents were killed in a mysterious fire three years earlier. Now Vlad, utterly alone in the world, must go live with his mother's best friend, Nelly. Nelly works as a nurse which enables her to bring home expired blood bags for Vlad to feast on - so he doesn't have to feed on humans. When Vlad's homeroom teacher is discovered missing, it sets off a chain of events that put Vlad on a quest to discover what really happened to his parents. In doing so, Vlad discovers that whoever murdered his parents, is now after him as well.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

Hopkins features the raw voices of five teens as their elusive search for love leads them down the dark alley of teen prostitution. These five stories are shockingly honest and graphically portrayed. A compelling read for mature readers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Muchacho: a novel by Louanne Johnson

Beneath Eddie Corazon's tough guy image and bad attitude, he's really a secret reader who just might be a great poet. Then Eddie meets Lupe who inspires and guides him, along with the caring adults in his life, to develop confidence in himself and his choices.

Yummy: the last days of a Southside shorty

This true story, told in graphic novel format, tells the tragic tale of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, an eleven-year-old boy from the Roseland neighborhood in Chicago. Yummy, nicknamed for his love of sweets, was an inner city kid who became the poster child for gang violence in1994 when he joined the Black Disciples street gang and became both a perpetrator and a victim in a shooting that made national headlines.

Year of the hare: a novel by Arto Paasilinna

A delightfully whimsical novel that explores what's really important in life. A Helsinki journalist driving through rural Finland accidentally hits a hare with his car. He gives in to the urge to abandon the car (and the surly photographer he is on assignment with) find the hare and mend its broken leg. The hare becomes his constant companion and inspires him to quit his spiritless job, end his loveless marriage, sell his beloved boat and take off for a year exploring the north of Finland, working odd jobs and getting himself involved in one mad caper after another.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Women of the Underground: music by Zora von Burden

Journalist Zora von Burden presents a series of fascinating interviews featuring 20 female performers that have blazed a trail as figures of rock's counterculture. Important to music collections as it highlights women who have opened doors both musically and culturally and tells their stories in a very personable way. 

Just Kids by Patti Smith

A sensitive, haunting memoir that describes the love affair and eventual lifelong friendship that developed between poet and musician Patti Smith and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe beginning with their chance encounter in a New York bookstore.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

Amy Nelson is having a bad day. Not only has she just met her real father for the first time, but she has just been informed that she is spending her summer vacation with him in Israel meeting a family she has never known! OMG! Though Amy has some heavy issues to deal with, Elkeles gives the story a light, romantic feel, like a pleasant summer read. As Amy reluctantly goes off to Israel with her father, readers will notice how her experiences there enable her character to grow and mature by the end of the story. 

Simone Elkeles Author Visit - West Leyden High School

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jerk, California

Jerk, California is a wonderful book about a teenage boy who faces many challenges, not the least of which is Tourette Syndrome which results in such regualar tunts as Twitch, Jerk and Freak. The author, Jonathan Friesen, does a beautiful job explaing the syndrome as well as capturing the reality of high schol life for those who are "different". Mr. Friesen draws on his own experiences with Tourette to realisticly portray the disease and its impact on teen life. I especially like the realtionship that develops between Sam Carrier, our hero with Tourettes, and Naomi, the beautiful and popular girl on campus with troubling secrets of her own.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

iDrakula by Bekka Black

This parody on Bram Stoker's Dracula is told exclusively through text messages, Web browser screens, e-mails, and various photo and PDF attachments. It's a clever, humorous, 21st century spin on the classic vampire tale.