Teen Picks

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Nov 21, 2017 by dorothyc

Flora Banks has no short-term memory. To get by in the world, she writes notes to herself: in journals, on scraps of paper, and all over her arms and hands. Flora has adapted pretty well to life without memories, so when one moment becomes lodged in her mind -- a kiss with her best friend's boyfriend -- she decides to act. Flora finds herself on an incredible adventure in the Arctic, all to get to the root of why this memory alone has stuck with her and whether it might be the key to her regaining the ability to remember. Check Our Catalog

Oct 24, 2017 by dorothyc

Susan Juby has written two of the most endearing, hilarious, and smart characters I've read in a while. Driven fashionista Charlie Dean and metal sculptor John Thomas-Smith are both vying for a scholarship to a prestigious art high school. Charlie lives and breathes fashion, while John could not care less. Both, however, know that attending the exclusive Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design high school will be a life changer. Told through the characters' alternating journal entries, this book is perfect for anyone who loves fashion, art, or reading about funny, hard-working teens. Check our catalog

Sep 26, 2017 by kerrid

David Mitchell is known for building very intricate worlds and writing novels that span sixty years or more. However, with just as much intrigue and detail, Black Swan Green takes course over only one year, between Jason Taylor's thirteenth and fourteenth birthdays. Jason's world is one made up of eighties pop music, dreaming of lush girls, avoiding hordes of school bullies, understanding parent and politics and trying to hide his stammer.

Like any British thirteen year old boy, Jason describes events as being bloody, ace and epic and his voice really makes the coming-of-age novel come alive.

In addition, I've read other books by Mitchell before, but this time when I met Jason's cousin, Hugo Lamb, I realized that everything Mitchell writes takes place in the same universe with overlapping characters. (Hugo Lamb also appreas in The Bone Clocks.) Definitely leaves me wanting to read more. E. Fuchs (teen reviewer). Check Our Catalog

4/5 Stars.


Aug 27, 2017 by kerrid

I was blessed enough to read an ARC of Maggie Stiefvater's newest book, All the Crooked Saints (to be published in October), and I was not disappointed. It takes place in the middle of a desert in 1962, a place where real miracles happen at the hands of the Saints of the Moria family. These miracles physically change the pilgrim who comes to receive it in order to teach them a lesson mentally.

This well crafted magical realism sweeps you into their world and its strange characters. Now, it's debatable who the main character is as it focuses on several characters, all of them quirky and lovable. There is strong familial love between the Morias, there's new romantic love, forbidden love, love fizzled out and renewed, and found love between lost pilgrims that make you ache for these characters. I also love the theme of self reflection, learning, and change Steifvater shows with all these characters and their miracles, even Saints themselves changing views. The fact that the Moria family is from Mexico and clearly not white is pretty cool, too. Another thing I noticed were kind of Vonnegut-esque techniques like short vignettes of characters that seemed almost irrelevant but added to the world building and a somewhat detached tone.

My only critic is that this detached tone makes it hard to really feel for these characters at first. It does make them sound intriguing but it takes a lot more time and effort to feel their emotions through their actions more than the narrator's words. But overall, this was a really cool book with interesting concepts (miracles at the hands of what seem like ordinary people in an ordinary world), characters (emotionless Saints and wolf-headed priests), and wholesome themes (change and growth for the better, learning, helping, and love). - Teen reviewer T. Lo Check Our Catalog

Dec 18, 2016 by kerrid

Teen review: I was really excited to pick up The Hidden Oracle (by Rick Riordan) after learning that Apollo would be openly bisexual. I'm all for LGBTQ+ characters in literature. But on to the plot of the book - as much as I loved Apollo's character development, I felt that the plot was lacking. I'm sure a vast number of readers are returning Percy Jackson fans (myself included) and so I found that Riordan wrote as if that was the case. He did not spend much time world-building and instead he "fast forwarded" to the adventure. He did utilize Meg's character to lay some helpful reminders and hints to explain the events of the previous series though.

This dependency of the PJO series fortunately did not take away from how enjoyable Apollo's narrative was however. Honestly, I think Riordan's writing is evolving and I mean this in a good way. I've found that Riordan is putting more effort into tackling social issues that plague society today and I enjoyed this aspect of The Hidden Oracle more than the adventure.

Bottom line: Though The Hidden Oracle may at times lack suspense and well-built adventure, it makes up for that with the character development of the lovable Apollo. N. Setow (teen reviewer). Check Our Catalog


Feb 17, 2016 by kerrid

Teen Review: Sarah J. Maas has definitely DONE IT AGAIN! I'm a big fan of Throne of Glass series and I'm a fan of this, now, too. ACoRaT is pushing the border into new adult, but is still considered young adult. Sarah J. Maas's new book is still set in a magical, high fantasy world where anything can happen. The plot was excellent. The plot twists went undetected by me until they happened. The book tells a story about Feyre, a nineteen year-old huntress. Feyre kills a beast creature in the woods one day and as retribution for that she must go and live with Tamlin, "one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world". This book is based on the fairytale of Beauty and the Beast. Bam, bam, bam things start to happen and before I knew it, I was already emotionally attached to the characters. THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ! PICK IT UP ASAP! C. Trac (teen reviewer). Check Our Catalog

Nov 30, 2015 by claytonc

The popular reading site GoodReads recently posted their users' choices for the top Teen books published in 2015 and asked people to vote for their favorite. Here are the top 10 fiction and fantasy / science fiction books for teens, at least according to the masses. What do you think?

Nov 19, 2015 by claytonc

Yesteday, November 18, the National Book Awards were announced. Founded in 1950, these awards are intended to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America.

The top winners in each category are:

This page has a complete list with short descriptions and catalog links of all of this year's winners, finalists, and close contenders in each category.

Nov 18, 2015 by kerrid

Teen Review: Elisa, our main character, is an extremely overweight princess and the bearer of some sort of magical gemstone. She learns how to become a more confident, better leader when she is kidnapped from her court and forced to go on dangerous missions. Elisa was married to the king (Alejandro) in this book, but they had no chemistry at all. While the young king was physically appealing, Elisa later found out she was in love with a shepherd boy named Humberto who was later killed. What I personally did not like about this book was the fact that Elisa was portrayed as an imperfect, clumsy, and unimportant person when she was overweight, but was suddenly perfect and a lot more liked when she lost all the weight. I understand that the author showed the readers that Elisa was accepted by a few people whether she was overweight or not, but I still think Rae Carson could have made the story a lot better if she properly executed the use of an overweight protagonist in this story (I hope that makes sense?). I found the first half of this book to be dull and slow. I felt as if I was being dragged through a swimming pool filled with caramel syrup. The most action you will see in this book is bottled up in the last few chapters. M. Khan (teen reviewer) Check Our Catalog

Nov 17, 2015 by eileenf

It's 1987 and 15-year-old Ari has withdrawn from his family and is getting into fights. He wants to know why his older brother was sent to prison, but his parents won't speak of it. His father is haunted from his time fighting in Vietnam and is emotionally distant. He drifts through his days until he meets Dante at his local pool. The two Mexican-American boys form a deep connection, strengthened by their mutual social isolation. As time passes, they realize their friendship could deepen into something more. This book has an intimate feel, which really draws the reader into the complexity of Ari's mind. Sáenz's simple writing style is beautiful and poetic. Their winding road to self discovery is a trip well worth taking with them. Check Our Catalog

Oct 15, 2015 by kerrid

I loved this book!!! Stephanie Perkins truly captures the feeling of being in love. It is an extraordinary story of a girl named Anna, set in the City of Lights (Paris). She at first is reluctant to do anything but Etienne St. Clair changes her mind. Etienne St. Clair is the MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD. Anna meets a lot of people at School of America in Paris. Meredith is a great girl with a great personality. She is eventually Anna's best friend. Rashmi is a bit judgmental but a well thought out character. Then there is playful Josh. He is Etienne's best friend. All of these characters change immensely throughout the book. Now I won't give out any spoilers but lets say that Anna gets her "happily ever after" after going through a ton of drama. I totally recommend this book because it makes you believe that love at first sight is real. Stephanie Perkins out did herself in this book. It is just wonderful and extraordinary. Happy Reading!!! From this fangirl to you, Silvianna (teen reviewer) Check Our Catalog

Sep 24, 2015 by eileenf

The first novel in Caine’s new series, called The Great Library, starts out with some lovely world building. Set in the not-so-distant future, the premise is that the ancient Library at Alexandria was never destroyed and grew to be the most powerful - and oppressive - force in the world. In this world, personal ownership of books is illegal. So when book smuggler Jess Brightwell becomes a Librarian, things get a bit awkward with his family. We learn how he and his fellow new recruits struggle against the library’s tough training, find romance, go to war, and, ultimately, create a machine that could destroy the center of the Library’s authority. But the Library won’t stand idly by and let that happen … Readers will find out more next year when the second book comes out. I’ll definitely be one of the ones eagerly awaiting its appearance. Check Our Catalog

Sep 22, 2015 by kerrid

The prologue, guys and gals, starts the book with a bang or in this case, a dive off a cliff. One tragic car accident takes the life of Em and Navin's father. Two years go by when their mom decides to move the family to this supposedly haunted house in the middle of nowhere that once belonged to their great-grandfather. Their first night there Em hears a noise. Scared, her mom goes to check it out. She expects to find a raccoon or some other thing. What she doesn't expect to find is this globby alien creature that swallows her and takes her away. The story tells a tale of how two siblings and their band of robotic helpers, created by their great-grandfather, use an amulet as a guide to save their mom and potentially a whole kingdom (but that doesn't get explained until the second volume). I really liked the art style of this graphic novel. As I should, considering I found the new covers of the Harry Potter books to be beautiful. Kazu Kibuishi is one talented dude. The whole plot about Em becoming a stonekeeper was pretty cool. However, I did feel as if everything went by so fast. One minute they were cleaning and the next they're trying to save their mom from a glob monster. But that just might be due to my lack of comic book/graphic novel reading in the last few months. I found Miskit and the rest of the robots to be adorable and cool (especially that vacuum cleaner one) even though the vibe of the book was mostly serious the entire time. As a whole, I enjoyed reading the novel. Not as much as others, but I still enjoyed it. The plot was okay, a bit predictable at times. But there were some really cool elements throughout the book. For instance, the house's transformation into a robot? Mind blown. *Explosion sound effects* Anywho! Until the Next (Not-So) Sporadic Review, C.T. (Teen reviewer) Check Our Catalog

Jul 24, 2015 by amandap

While post-apocalyptic books are a dime a dozen these days, mid-apocalpse books aren't quite so common. Originally published in the UK as The Rain, this book shows just how fast things can go downhill when a disaster strikes the entire planet. A deadly bacteria renders the rain itself deadly and contaminates every open water source. Even a single tiny drop spells an agonizing death. And there is no treatment or cure. Boiling doesn't kill it and neither does chlorine. People panic, traps are set, there are raids on supermarkets and the homes of those who died early. And through it all Ruby manages to survive. Ruby is selfish and spoiled and utterly unprepared for what the future holds, and who of us would be? With almost everyone around her dead and her survival skills nonexistant, Ruby is still determined to get herself to London and find her father. If he's survived, that is. Check Our Catalog

Jul 20, 2015 by claytonc

Even though this book is not being published until October 6, I got my hands on an advance copy and was so excited. First, if you haven’t read the Chaos Walking series, I strongly encurage you to find time ASAP and get on it. Ness is really good at writing characters that I can engage with. This book is very different than Chaos Walking (it takes place on this planet for starters), but that’s not a bad thing - it’s a new book after all! Every chapter starts with a paragraph about some crazy sci-fi/fantasy story that is happening with all the “indie kids”. With that out of the way the story then focuses on Mikey and his friends in their last semester in high school. Crushes, misunderstandings, sexual tension and confusion, and lots of humor. Very imaginative and still very grounded and real. You are in for a treat when you can get your hands on this one! Check Our Catalog (as of the writing of this post, the library doesn't even have a record for this book, so check back closer to October, and go read the Chaos Walking series now!)

Jun 26, 2015 by claytonc

Summer time - the perfect moment to compile an impossibly long list of books to read, right? I agreed to help read in a read-a-thon of To Kill A Mockingbird, the day before Harper Lee's new novel (Go Set a Watchman) is released (let me know if you'd like to pariticpate too, or just come to the read-a-thon). Are you looking for a good book to read? Just planning on re-reading old favorites, like Rule of the Bone, or the Chaos Walking series? Here's a list of books coming out in July that just might require immediate attention!

Jun 10, 2015 by kerrid

In this light-hearted romance, Lucy and Owen meet in an elevator that gets stuck during a city-wide blackout. Over the course of one night they form a bond that both time and distance can't break. Just days after that night, Lucy moves across the ocean to Scotland and Owen sets off on a cross-country journey with his father to recover from his mother's sudden death. Despite their distance, Lucy and Owen try to keep in touch in the form of postcards, but as time goes on they lose touch. However, both Lucy and Owen find that in spite of their separation neither can move on from the other. Deciding to try one last time to connect, both decide to meet where it all began. This touching romance shows that home isn't necessarily where you live, but rather the people you surround yourself with. Check Our Catalog

Jun 9, 2015 by claytonc

book jacketsTeens read! Just as picture books have been highlighted for young readers this year, 2015 marks the first time the Massachusetts Center for the Book has published a list of must-read "middle reader/young adult" books that were either written by a Massachusetts author or that had subject matter related to this great state. Here is the list with links so you can reserve your next favorite right now!

Apr 27, 2015 by claytonc

Papina is a young female rhesus monkey living peacefully with her family in an old cemetary in Kolkata (India) when a band of langur monkeys savagely attack. Mico is a young, priveledged male langur when his clan kicks out the rhesus, and he witnesses attrocities that give him good reason to question the authority of his clan's leaders. Full of intrigue, some light romance, betrayals, and family loyalty, this is a captivating fable. Told entirely from the monkeys' perspective it is also an interesting portrayal of modern urban India and the class tensions that continue to dominate so many lives. Check Our Catalog

Apr 8, 2015 by claytonc

Massachusetts’ own bestselling fantasy writer has brought another captivating story to life. I will not be surprised if this is made into a movie someday soon. Deep fantasy and an unconvential love trianble are the cornerstone of this tale. Hazel is the lead character, and she is a girl character who rocks! Growing up she always played the knight and I can not imagine her as a damsel in distress. Her brother Ben is blessed with a musical talent that, like all blessings, brings nearly as many problems as it solves. Ben has also been “out of the closet” for a few years, and is comfortable, albeit a little lonley with the limited dating options in their small town. They are both in love with a prince who lies in a glass casket in the woods, where teens have been going to party for generations. The prince has become a turist attraction, so the mayor is really concerned when one day the casket is shattered and the prince is missing. Guess who ends up tangled in the prince’s affairs - affairs Hazel and Ben’s family’s actions in the past basically guaranteed future complications? Love, shifting loyalties, betrayal, and plenty of well-paced action. What’s not to like? Check Out Catalog

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