Teen Picks

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Sep 29, 2014 by claytonc

Post-apocalyptic zombie fiction at its finest - rich in story but not so gruesome that you have to rush to turn the page lest too much uggliness root in your brain. It all begins 14 years after the rise of the dead. Benny was very young when his parents turned and he has always blamed his significanly older brother Tom for running away from them. Tom is now a bounty hunter, or as he prefers to refer to his occupation, a closure specialist. Benny is now of an age that he has to choose a profession and he really doesn’t want to follow his brother’s foot steps, but then his worldview gets seriously rocked in a short period of time. Benny’s lived his entire life in a small mountain enclave, surrounded by feaful people who have hunkered down and accepted very limited horizons. This story explores what it really means to human. What are our responsbilities to our selves and the rest of the human race? This is the beginning of what promises to be a great series. Check our catalog

Sep 15, 2014 by claytonc

This is a mysterious and strange tale of a boy who hears voices, a fearless girl, and the ghost of Jacob Grimm. In their seemingly sleepy town of Never Better, a harmless teenage prank sets off a chain reaction of life-changing events that might only be seen in fairy tales. Part mystery and part fairy tale, this book is whimsical, but also an edge-of-your-seat page turner. Check our catalog.

Sep 11, 2014 by claytonc

Rich is fifteen and plays a mean guitar. One night he is magically transported back in time to the Woodstock Music Festival where he meets many of his idols, including Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. More life shaking, he meets the young man who years later would become his father - and his father’s brother, who died before Rich was even conceived. This is a great book for fans of classic rock music, but its also good for anyone who’s trying to get some perspective on the complex lives that make our parents act the way they do. Rich’s parents never let him do any of the crazy things they enjoyed doing as teenagers. This book isn’t preachy either - there are plenty of things his parents used to do that are acknowledged and not judged overly harshly (revolving specifically around matters of sex and drugs). Check Our Catalog

Jul 14, 2014 by claytonc

This excellent, disturbing, debut novel really gets inside the experience of what it is like to have horrible secrets that influence your life in haunting ways. Andrew Winston Winters has at least two sides. One is lonely Win, a teenager who’s been exiled to a remote boarding school after a horrific family tragedy. Another is angry Drew who has serious violent impulses that he doesn’t understand or know how to control. Very real and accessible, this is also a book about mental illness that can help build empathy for people suffering from this affliction. This award winning book may even connect with people who are facing their own demons. Check our catalog.

Jun 2, 2014 by claytonc

This fantastic flight into high fantasy starts out very grounded. Karou is a young art student in Prague. She draws wonderful pictures of beautiful, monstrous creatures. She recently broke up with her boyfriend, Kaz, a goth who leads campy vampire tours. What starts as the thinnest plot line - her attraction to a too-perfect soldier/angel develops into a rich story of good, evil, life, death, rebirth, love, and family. Well written with plenty of action to keep the pages turning, this beginning of a trilogy will make you hungry for more. Check our catalog.

May 21, 2014 by theresat

Eleanor and Park are teenagers from two wildly different backgrounds.  Eleanor is trying to cope with a difficult home situation, while Park struggles with his biracial identity.  Enemies at first, they slowly bond over a shared seat on the bus and a passion for comic books and mix tapes (it’s 1986).  What starts out as a tentative friendship quickly turns into love, and they face a series of challenges that threaten to break them apart.  Heartbreaking, endearing, and beautifully written, this Printz Award honorable mention will captivate you from beginning to end. Check Our Catalog

May 13, 2014 by julier

Lane lives a life of protection and privilege behind the 700 foot Titan wall.  One night she finds out that her father is not the mild mannered art dealer she thinks he is, learns that his bedtime stories of the Feral Zone are true, and discovers that the survival classes he has been making her take for years weren’t just for exercise.  Forced to go into the Zone to find her father, Lane has more adventures and faces more danger than the little girl in her father’s bedtime stories could ever imagine.  Kat Falls’ story unspools at a breakneck pace like an action adventure movie, complete with a bit of romance and a lot of mayhem.  There are some truly terrifying and bloody scenes that are not for the faint of heart. Read the first three cpaters here.  Check Our Catalog.

Mar 19, 2014 by theresat

Ginny Blackstone is a shy seventeen-year-old about to enter her senior year of high school when she receives a packet of envelopes from her "Runaway Aunt Peg," an artist who disappeared from her New York apartment in search of adventures abroad.  The envelopes are numbered, and Ginny has to complete the task included in each letter before moving on to the next.  The first letter brings her to London, where she meets Richard, her aunt's best friend who works for the world famous Harrod's, and Keith, a former bad-boy turned aspiring playwright.  The letters lead her across Europe to Scotland, Paris, Amsterdam, and Greece, and the cast of characters becomes more fascinating with each stop.  Ginny's exploits prove to be funny, entertaining, and at times frustrating as she deals with her aunt's disappearance and learns to come out of her shell.  The delightful and unexpected ending will leave you wanting more (luckily, there's a sequel!).  Check Our Catalog

Mar 5, 2014 by julier

If you are looking for a story of love at first sight then you need to read these two books, together.  Allyson and Willem meet and have one amazingly glorious day and night in Paris. In the morning Willem is gone.  Where is he? Has he just run off, has something happened?  In a regular story you would get the answers right away but not here.  Allyson makes her way home and goes off to college as expected but none of it matters she doesn’t care about school and she keeps wondering what happened to Willem. Willem can’t forget her either but while they seemed to have talked about everything under the sun they didn’t exchange the usual first meeting chitchat. The whole thing seems hopeless she doesn’t even know his last name and having jokingly nicknamed her Lulu he doesn’t know her name at all.  The rest of the story is about how they each find themselves while looking for each other. Check Our Catalog

2014 Printz Award

The Michael L. Printz Award is an American Library Association literary award that annually recognizes the "best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit."

Winner: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool


In the wake of tragic lovers Marc Antony and Cleopatra’s deaths, their twins Selene and Alexander kneel before the new emperor Octavian. In the foreign land of Rome, the siblings learn to navigate the treacherous diplomacies behind the all-too-wide smiles and honeyed lies. As Cleopatra’s children, they represent a significant claim to power…when they’re together. As new love and opportunities arise to pull Alexander away from Selene, this brave young woman defies tradition and endures  stinging rebukes to escape from the decadent trappings of Rome. Freedom and a return to her ancestral lands are her goals but who can she turn to in this city of deceit? Her allies may be closer than she thinks and they would do anything to see her rise to power. Bringing ancient Rome to vivid life, this historical fiction novel is a great read for teens and adults. Check Our Catalog

She could feel it worming its way up her throat, choking her, scraping her esophagus, digging relentless into her uvula. Athena pushed back her gag reflex, reached into her mouth and yanked the bloody feather out. Surveying it with narrowed grey eyes, she knew that another feather would soon grow past the open sore in her throat. They were filling her lungs – these feathers – and they would suffocate her one day. The reign of the gods had ended, but she never expected that they would all begin to die, each in their own way. Her brother Hermes is thinning by the day, his body being eaten from the inside out. Her stepmother Hera is slowly turning to stone, while her sister Aphrodite has been driven insane with the madness of love. The most monstrous of them all is Poseidon, polluted as the world’s oceans and relying on cannibalism to sustain his grotesque body. As Athena rushes to find a cure, Demeter imparts her last piece of advice – the answer lies with Cassandra, the prophetess that Athena fought against in the Trojan War. A great young adult novel for fans of Greek mythology! Check Our Catalog

176…177…178…Wren’s eyes wrench open, revealing eerie blue irises not altogether human. The doctors halt in their tracks, not entirely sure how to handle this…creature. No one had stayed dead that long …and came back to tell the tale, that is. Wren is the latest child to be “rebooted” – having succumbed to the viral plague and fallen dead for 178 minutes before reviving. Now more machine than human and nigh indestructible, Wren-178 is chained and dragged off to the facility to await training as part of the government’s elite reboot army. The years pass and she rises from novice to master, in turn teaching the newly rebooted. Cold and apathetic, Wren’s entire world flips when she agrees to train Callum-22, a reboot whose short deadtime has retained almost all of his human effusiveness and warmth. Just as her frozen exterior begins to crack, Wren has to choose between following the little humanity she has left and following orders as she has always done. An interesting dystopian novel for teens! Check Our Catalog

The glass castle has many more secrets steeped in its transparent walls. When Celaena Sardothien emerged victorious as the King’s Champion and new royal assassin from the previous book’s competition, she never imagined her life would be as dismal as the slave mines at Endovier. Forced to kill rebel leaders, Celaena offers them a deal – either die at her blade or fake their death and flee the country. In her small acts of rebellion, she uncovers a larger plot to overthrow the king. Growing closer to the gruff Captain Chaol while balancing her tenuous friendship with Prince Dorian, Celaena’s personal relationships soon become the least of her problems. As she discovers the root of the corrupt king’s power over the land, she must embrace her true identity and come into her birthright to topple the empire. A beautifully written world comes to life with this young adult novel. Check Our Catalog

In the land of the seven kingdoms, a person born with two different colored eyes possesses a unique ability, from speaking with animals to manipulating fire. Katsa is blessedly cursed with the Grace of killing and she serves her uncle as the royal assassin. On an ambassador visit, she meets Prince Po from the neighboring kingdom. He is blessed with a grace not seemingly apparent until he begins answering her unspoken questions…As Katsa comes to terms that her thoughts are no longer private, both of them will have to work together to uncover the greatest corruption in the seven kingdoms, one that’s been lurking beneath their feet for decades. Katsa must confront her own bloody heritage and reevaluate her grace to save the kingdoms from the one person who is closest to her. Check Our Catalog

Beauty and the Beast taken up a few lines of latitude in a sweet retelling of the classic story, mixed with elements of Bluebeard’s tale. Rose is a loved member of her small family, especially dear to her ailing father. In return for medicine and supplies for her family, Rose agrees to follow an enormous polar bear king straight from her childhood stories to his castle in the north. She grows affectionate for the bear who keeps her company during the day, and curious for the stranger who rests at the foot of her bed every night. As she realizes the dual state of her keeper, can she break his curse and restore him to his rightful throne? Check Our Catalog

Aria’s world is a safe, synthetic cocoon protecting her from the horrors of a storm-ravaged ravaged earth. But when the Reverie Dome begins to tremble and break down, Aria is cast out of her haven and into the unwilling arms of Peregrine, an outsider who is searching for his kidnapped nephew. As Aria compiles her mother’s scientific study of outsider genes and her recent disappearance with Perry’s experience of outsider children being taken by the Reverie patrols, they discover a shocking genetic study that could potentially allow Reverie citizens to coexist outside the Dome using outsiders’ natural immunity. But neither race is capable of withstanding the brutal storms that traverse the earth’s surface. Can they reach a solution before the Reverie Dome is destroyed?  Check Our Catalog

Centuries after Edgar Allan Poe died of mysterious circumstances, Varen Nethers picks up an old notebook and begins to write. His words spin the diaphanous dreams of a lonely boy, isolated and achingly vulnerable to the devil’s whispers. Soon enmeshed into a net he can no longer untangle, Varen struggles to keep demon Lilith at bay and away from Isobel, a girl that has come too close to the truth… and too close to him. In a dream world where Poe’s twisted imagination brings nightmares to life, Varen and Isobel struggle to overcome their own reality and return home safely, but Lilith is not one to take lightly. She plays for keeps…

A beautifully dark tale that evokes the gothic air of Poe’s works, Nevermore is an unusual young adult book remarkable for its imagery and literary references. 

Ash Fisher lives without a heart, literally. He simply doesn’t need one – the symbiotic bacteria in his blood exchange gases with the environment and perform circulation all on their own. They also charge his hair with electricity and fill the poison sacs behind his fangs – which are both perks of being a half-Darkling. In a post-apocalyptic world, Darklings and humans war for blood and money, kept separate by a nearly useless wall. To support his stricken human father and plague-ridden Darkling mother, Ash deals hallucinogenic Haze from his fangs, but his dark world is shattered when an inexplicable thrum begins in his chest during one of his nightly jobs. Check Our Catalog

Gaia has ninety minutes to take the newborn child from his mother. Fifteen minutes to make tea to calm the mother. Ten minutes to mark four freckles on the baby’s ankle – a tribute to her lost brothers. Five minutes to explain how her baby would be advanced to a better life inside the Enclave as part of every midwife’s monthly quota – three tributes sent inside the wall. Thirty minutes to deliver the baby, with half an hour left to spare. Only everything shatters when she returns home to find her parents gone and Sargent Leon Grey waiting to interrogate her for crimes of treason against the Enclave. As she manages to breach the wall and come to the Protectorate’s attention, Gaia begins to question the Enclave’s motives and to see the true decadence inside the wall’s façade – a rising consolidation of recessive genetic disorders resulting from a limited gene pool.

In a gripping story set in a dystopian future, Gaia Stone strives to circumvent the Enclave to rescue her parents, but just what did her mother and father do to incite the Protectorate’s wrath and does it have something to do with those four distinctive freckles?  Check Our Catalog

© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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