Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - P.S. I Like You

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine

P.S. I Like You - Kasie West

From Goodreads:

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she is falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could ever imagined it to be. Now Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Middle Grade New Releases - May 24, 2016

Clatter of Jars - Lisa Graff
It's summertime and everyone is heading off to camp. For talented kids, the place to be is Camp Atropos, where they can sings songs by the campfire, practice for the Talent show, and take some nice long dips in the lake. But what the kids don'e know is that they've been gathered for a reason -- one that the camp's director want to keep hidden at all costs. Companion to A Tangle of Knots (Junior Library Guild Selection)

Exile for Dreamers - Kathleen Baldwin
Tess can't get away from her dreams. They bring nothing but death and grief, and she refuses to accept that she may be destines for the same madness that destroyed her mother. Until her dreams become the only means of saving Lord Ravencross, the man she loves. Book 2. (For library programming for book 1, visit Spirit of Texas - Kathleen Baldwin)

Mayday - Karen Harrington
Wayne Kovok lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice.

Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate. Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It's not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn't say.

Return to the Isle of the Lost - Melissa de la Cruz
Mal's an expert at intimidating her enemies, but she's broken the habit since leaving her villainous roots behind. So when she and her friends Evie, Carlos, and Jay all receive threatening messages demanding they return home, Mal can't believe it. Sure, she's King Ben's girlfriend now, and she's usually nice to her classmates, but she still didn't think anyone would be silly enough to try and push her around. Book 2

Summer of the Lost and Found - Rebecca Behrens
Nell Dare expected to spend her summer vacation hanging out with friends in New York City. That is, until her botanist mom dragged her all the way to Roanoke Island for a research trip. To make matters worse, her father suddenly and mysteriously leaves town, leaving no explanation or clues as where he went -- or why?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Everland - Wendy Spinale

Everland - Wendy Spinale

Gwen, Joanna, and Mikey Darling had survived the bombings and disease of London. Gwen takes care of her siblings by finding food while avoiding the Marauders and their leader Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer (Captain HOOK).

Captain Hook is searching for a cure and believes it can be found in an Immune, a survivor. He captures survivors and experiment on them. Joanna is one of their captors. Gwen sets out to save her. Along the way, she meets Pete. Gwen, Pete, his band of Lost Boys, and Bella set out to outsmart Captain Hook and save Joanna.

Suggested Level: Middle School & High School

Every Exquisite Thing - Matthew Quick

Every Exquisite Thing - Matthew Quick

The book The Bubblegum Reaper has changed Nanette O'Hare's life. She was once quiet and did what was expected of her until reading the book and meeting the author, Nigel Booker. He introduces her to Alex. Alex is a poet her age. He introduces her to a younger boy named Oliver, who was bullied at school. Together, they try to solve the real life mysteries of the The Bubblegum Reaper. 

Alex stands up to Oliver's bullies and is arrested. Nanette falls apart and does not make good decisions.

Release Date: May 31, 2016
ARC received from Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Suggested Level: High School

Every Exquisite Thing is not my typical read. I wasn't a fan. It wasn't a bad book. In fact, I really enjoyed the beginning and couldn't put it down. It lost me about half way through.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - The Last Cherry Blossom

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine

The Last Cherry Blossom - Kathleen Burkinshaw

From Goodreads: 
Following the seventieth anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, this is a new very personal story to join Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. 

Yuriko was happy growing up in Hiroshima when it was just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan's fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden from its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and the air-raid drills, but things start to feel more realwhen the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home. When the bomb hits Hiroshima, it's through Yuriko's twelve -year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror. 

Release Date: August 2, 2016 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Middle Grade New Releases - May 17, 2016

Billy Sure Kid Entrepreneur and the Haywire Hovercraft - Luke Sharpe
Billy Sure, inventor and CEO of Sure Things Inc., must track down a haywire hovercraft that's gone missing with his sister on board. Book 7.

Platypus Police Squad: Never Say Narwhal - Jarrett Krosoczka
Frank Pandini Jr. is the mayor of Kalamazoo City, and everyone is celebrating--everyone except for Zengo, O'Malley, and Cooper, who can't seem to close a single case. To make matters worse, a mysterious hulking shadow has appeared in waters around KC. Could this spell the end for the Platypus Police Squad? Book 4

Some Kind of Happiness - Claire Legrand
Things Finley Hart Doesn't Want to Talk About

  • Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they're not.)
  • Being Sent to her grandparents' house for the summer.
  • Never having met said grandparents.
  • Her blue days - when life feels overwhelming, and it's hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)
Finley;s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents' house and realizes the Everwood is read and hold more mysteries than she'd ever imagines.

What Elephants Know - Eric Dinerstein
Abandoned in the jungle of the Nepalese Borderlands, two-year-old Nandu us found living under the protective watch of a pack of wild dogs. From his mysterious beginnings, fate delivers him to the King's elephant stable, where he is raised by unlikely parents-the wise head of the stable Subba-sahib and Devi Kali, a fierce and affectionate female elephant. (Junior Library Guild Selection)

Friday, May 13, 2016

March: Book One & Two - John Lewis

March: Book One &  March: Book Two - John Lewis

Graphic novels tell the story of Congressmen John Lewis and his role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Book One shows John's childhood in Alabama, his first years in college, his meeting with Martin Luther King Jr.,  his role in the Nashville Student Movement, and their nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins that ended on the steps of City Hall.

Book Two continues the story with the Freedom Riders and their bus trips into southern cities. John Lewis' election to chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and becoming one of the "Big Six" leaders in the civil rights movement.

Book Three: Scheduled to be released August 2, 2016

Recommended Level: Upper Middle School & High School

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Nimona - Noelle Stevenson

Nimona - Noelle Stevenson

Nimona, a shapeshifter, is a self-promoted sidekick to Lord Blackheart. They don't always see eye to eye in their villainous ways. Nimona is spunky and wants to destroy and kill everything. Lord Blackheart believes in the rules and that you can't go around doing that. He is curious about Nimona's past and her wild side.

Together, they set out to prove that the Institution of Law Enforcement and Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin aren't the heroes that they portray to be.

Suggested Level: Middle School & High School

I don't usually read graphic novels. I'd heard nothing but good things about Nimona. (That's what prompted me to read it.) I did enjoy it.

Draw the Line - Laurent Linn

Draw the Line - Laurent Linn

The Adrian Piper isn't necessarily the run of the mill high school student. He is an artist with his own website superhero, Graphite. Graphite gives him a place to express himself and what is going on in his life without revealing his identity.

Adrian is caught up in the events of a hate crime. He goes from being the quite, closeted boy in school to being vocal and out.

The book contains illustrations of Graphite.

Release Date: May 17, 2016
Received an ARC at Texas Library Association Annual Conference

Suggested Level: High School (language, violence, off page sex, LGBT)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday 5.11 - The Fate of the Tearling

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine

The Fate of the Tearling -Erika Johansen
Book #3

From Goodreads:
The thrilling conclusion to the New York times bestselling Tearling trilogy. 

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies--including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear.

To protect her people from a devastating invasion Kelsea did the unthinkable -- she gave herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy-- and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign, imprisoned in Mortmesne.

Now, as the suspenseful endgame begins, the fate of Queen Kelsea-- and the Tearling itself--will finally be revealed.

Release date: November 29, 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Middle Grade New Releases - May 10, 2016

Magic Mirror - Susan Hill Long
A founding girl with a crooked leg and a crutch doesn't expect life to be easy. Indeed, Maggie's dearest wish is to simply not feel so alone. So when she spies a man behind bars in a magic mirror said to show one's truest desire, she feels sure he is the father she's always longed for -- and she sets off on a quest to find him. 

Royal Wedding Disaster - Meg Cabot
Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonete Harrison still finds it hard to believe she's a real live princess of Genovia who gets to live in an actual palace with a loving family, two poodles, and her very own pony! Of course things aren't going exactly like she imagined. Being a princess is way more complicated tham she expected. Fortunately, Grandmere is always happy to help...but her half sister, Mia, is so busy ruling the country, she barely has time for her own wedding. Book 2

Save Me a Seat - Sarah Weeks
Ravi has just moved to the United States from India and has always been at the top of his class; Joe has lived in the same town his whole life and has learning problems--but when their lives intersect int he first week of fifth grade they are brought together by a common enemy and the need to take control of their lives. (Junior Library Guild Selection)

Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat - Gary Paulsen
It seemed like a normal school day, until a horrible storm forced the very cautious school administration to make everyone hole up in a safe place. Six students find themselves stuck in a tiny, questionably smelly space--a school bathroom--with a stuffed cat for entertainment. Hijinks ensue and the unexpected happens. 

Theodore Boone: The Scandal - John Grisham
When an anonymous tip leads the school board to investigate a suspicious increase in scores at another local middle school, Theo finds himself thrust in the middle of a cheating scandal. With insider knowledge and his future on the line, Theo must follow his keen instincts to do what's right in the newest case for clever kid lawyer Theo Boone. Book 6

Waiting for Augusta - Jessica Lawson
In early 1960 Alabama, eleven-year-old Ben, carrying an urn with his father's ashes, sets out on an eventful journey to the Augusta National, "the Sistine Chapel of golf courses," to make peace with this father. (Junior Library Guild Selection)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Beware That Girl - Teresa Toten

Beware That Girl - Teresa Toten

Kate O'Brian is a liar. She's good at it. She's smart. Kate is a scholarship student at Waverly School in New York City. Her goal is to make friends with the "right" girls and get into Yale.

Olivia has secrets of her own. Kate weasels her way into Olivia's life and they become friends. (Chapters switch between the two girls revealing the secrets they are keeping from the other.)

Enter Mark Redkin, Waverly administration. Mark and Olivia become close, and he is a threat to Kate.

Release Date: May 31, 2016
ARC Received from Texas Library Association Annual Conference

Suggested Level: High School

We Were Liars
Pretty Little Liars

Friday, May 6, 2016

Free Audio Books

SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+.

SYNC 2016 will give away 30 titles - two paired audiobook downloads a week.

There is a Google Slide presentation. Feel free to share it with your students. 

The Crown - Kiera Cass

The Crown - Kiera Cass
The last book in the Selection series.

Eadlyn has narrowed the Selection down to the Elite. There are five young men still there wanting to marry her...maybe. Things don't go as planned. Eadlyn must decide what is best for her country is the same as what is best for her.

This was a satisfying ending to the series. I had figured out who Eadlyn would end up with before it happened. There was still a surprise character.

Suggested Level: Middle School & High School

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Wolf Hollow - Lauren Wolk

Wolf Hollow - Lauren Wolk

It is after World War I and the Great Depression, before World War II. Annabelle lives in the small town of Wolf Hollow, Pennsylvania. She leads a quiet, normal life until Betty Glengarry shows up at school.

Betty is a bully. She picks on Annabelle. She is mean and vicious. Her antics greatly effect the lives of those in her path. Toby, a World War I vet, becomes a victim of Betty's attacks.

One day, Toby and Betty go missing. The worse is thought, that Toby has taken Betty. A man hunt has begun for the two. Annabelle knows the truth, but will everyone listen to her?

ARC received from TLA Annual Conference

Suggested Level: Middle School

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Little House on the Prairie series - Laura Ingalls Wilder

This book is beautifully written. I had a hard time putting it down.

My Lady Jane - Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane - Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

Sixteen year old Lady Jane Grey is known as the Nine Day Queen. She was left the throne on her cousin King Edward's deathbed. Edward's sister Mary did not agree with his decision and overthrew Jane. Jane was sentenced to death for high treason.

That's the real story of Lady Jane Grey. The fictionalized version is so much better!

Lady Jane Grey is set to marry. Her cousin, King Edward, has picked out the perfect man for her. Unfortunately, Jane has no idea that her future husband spends his days as a horse. Gifford Dudley, who prefers to be called G, is an Edian, someone who turns into an animal.  Jane is not...

Edward escapes being poisoned by his confidant, but the kingdom believes him dead. Lady Jane Grey is announced as queen and dethroned by Mary. Together, Jane, G, Edward, his sister Elizabeth, and several other Edians plot to take the throne back from Mary.

Release Date: June 7, 2016
ARC Received from Texas Library Association Annual Conference

Suggested Level: Middle School & High School

I adore this book! It is smart and funny. The humor begins with the dedication and doesn't stop.
Ladies, please, PLEASE rewrite more history!

I was explaining it to my 7th grade daughter who told me that people changing into animals is preposterous. I told her that there are people in Harry Potter who turn into animals...

Wax - Gina Damico

Wax - Gina Damico

Paraffin,Vermont is home to the Grosholtz Candle Factory and all of its secrets.

Poppy Palladino is known around town for her terrible accident on national television. (Think American Idol gone wrong. Yes, there was blood.) She's picked on by Dud. One day there is an exact replica of her made out of wax left outside. Poppy knows it has to have come from Grosholtz Candle Factory. While snooping around during a factory tour, Poppy stumbles upon an old woman making candle figurines. She's given an unusual candle as she runs out of the room.

That evening, Poppy discovers a naked young man in the trunk of her car. He's made of wax and is alive. (She tells her parents that she's found a foreign exchange student for them.) There is also a fire at the candle factory that evening and Poppy is seen on the tape running from the building.

Poppy and Dud team up to find out what is really going on in their town.

Release Date: August 2, 2016
eARC received from Edelweiss

Suggested Level: Middle School & High School

Readalikes: Cloak series - Gina Damico

P.S. I love this cover!

Firsts - Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Firsts - Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Seventeen year old Mercedes Ayres has set out to help the boys at her school give their girlfriends the perfect first time. It is a service she provides free of charge to help the girls have a better first than she did.

Mercedes has been able to keep this secret for awhile. Her mother is never around. Mercedes even has a steady guy, Zach, that does like her for more than their hook ups. Her super conservative friend Angela would never guess what Mercedes does UNTIL Angela's boyfriend tries to force himself upon her and makes it look like it was her idea. Mercedes secret is out.

How can Mercedes get her life back in order? Is it a case of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons?

Suggested Level: High School

Borden Murders - Sarah Miller

Borden Murders - Sarah Miller

Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. 
When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.

Lizzie Borden seems to be everywhere nowadays. There is a television series as well as several new books about her. Sweet Madness by Trisha Leaver is a YA historical fiction book about Lizzie and her maid. 

Borden Murders is a nonfiction book about just that, the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden. Lizzie Borden is accused and put on trial for murdering her father and step-mother. Borden Murders is an interesting look into Lizzie, her family, and their town. It includes newspaper clippings and photos from the time period. 

Thank goodness for nonfiction that is written like fiction. I believe that more tweens/teens are reading nonfiction because of the books written this way. 

Suggested Level: Middle School & High School 

A Week of Mondays - Jessica Brody

A Week of Mondays - Jessica Brody

Mondays are awful! Ellison Sparks has had the worst Monday of her life. She gets a ticket for running a red light, has a horrible school picture, blows her softball tryouts and her class election speech, and to top it all off her boyfriend unexpectedly breaks up with her. Ellison wants a do over.

She gets a chance to have a better Monday and make things right. Except she doesn't. It takes her several Mondays to get things right. Along the way, she learns that maybe how she thinks things ought to be aren't necessarily how they should be.

Release Date: August 2, 2016

Received an eARC from NetGalley

Suggested Level: Middle School & High School

Karma Club - Jessica Brody

Orbiting Jupiter - Gary D. Schmidt

Orbiting Jupiter - Gary D. Schmidt

The story is told by 12 year old Jack.

Fourteen year old Joseph has just been moved to a foster home from prison. He has his mind set on finding the daughter he's never seen.

Make sure you have a box of Kleenex handy for this heart wrenching and warm story. Unfortunately, I did not and was a blubbering mess sitting in a hotel lobby during TCEA. Thank goodness I was around other librarians. I'm sure they understood.

Suggested Level: Middle School & High School

Diary of a Waitress: The Not-So-Glamorous Life of a Harvey Girl - Carolyn Meyer

Diary of a Waitress: The Not-So-Glamorous Life of a Harvey Girl - Carolyn Meyer

Kitty Evans was bound for college and a major in journalism until her father broke the news that they couldn't afford to send her. His suggestion, she should become a shoe salesperson. Kitty wanted no part of that. She lied about her age and became a Harvey girl instead.

In 1926, Harvey Houses were located all across the west. Travelers would stop at them to have their meals, served by well-trained, attentive waitresses.

Kitty takes this opportunity to write about her experiences as a Harvey Girl. She becomes a free-lance writer.

Suggested Level: Middle School & High School

Disclaimer: I love musicals. I have seen The Harvey Girls with Judy Garland a few times. Having seen that movie made me want to read  Diary of a Waitress. If you have not seen it, I recommend the movie too. Yes, that is Angela Lansbury playing the saloon girl.

Shadow Prince - Bree Despain

Shadow Prince (Into the Dark series #1)- Bree Despain 

Haden Lord is a not-so-prince charming to the Underrealm. He's been sent land side to bring the lovely and talented Daphne Raines back with him.

Daphne has just moved from small town Utah to Olympus Hills, California with her rock star father. She's attending the prestigious Olympus Hills High and is a member of their musical group.

It doesn't take her long to realize that she's not the only one who doesn't belong. Haden has fallen in love with her. Neither really understands what their relationship could mean for their worlds.

Suggested Level: Middle School & High School 
Everneath series - Ashton Brodi
Solstice - PJ Hoover

It's been awhile...

OK- It's been over 3 years since I've posted anything. It doesn't feel like it has been that long.
No excuses, BUT I've been in three different schools in the past three years. I've closed a library, split the collection, moved books, updated collections, etc.

Things have calmed down and I plan on blogging again.

I haven't stopped reading.(Links to Goodreads Reading Challenge for that year.)
I read 88 books in 2013.
I read 114 books in 2014.
I read 77 books in 2015.

I've already read 38 books this year.

I'll blog about some of my favorites in another post.

I also plan on talking about some of the library lessons that I have.