Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Off the beaten YA track - Adult book reviews (for YA of course)

I love YA lit....but there are times when I need a break from the same reading diet I consume on a normal basis, and that's where adult books come in.  You can only think of the analogies I have running through my head :)
With that said, I will tell you I didn't read anything deep and literal, more like the popular thriller on the New York Times Best Seller's List for Fiction (it spent four weeks on the top 10).  The other one was in a box, where the title jumped out loud and clear.  So here's a brief review of both with my professional opinion and yes, they can definitely be put in a high school library.

Visit Sunny Chernobyl by Andrew Blackwell, Rodale Books 2012
Just when you think man has conquered all imaginable places to be explored, there is more...and these new landscapes keep on a'comin.  Instead of calling it exploration, it is now referred to  as pollution tourism and the author of the book does just that, becoming a tourist to some of the filthiest and toxic places in the world.
In this particular non-fiction book, Blackwell discovers the beauty of nature at Chernobyl, one of the deadliest radioactive areas in the world.  Oh yes, the Geiger meter still goes off, but the awesomeness of standing so close to that famous nuclear reactor trumps all danger of getting your organs cooked.
Then there are the other places... perhaps you've heard of them, perhaps not.  Come and breathe the toxic air of beautiful South Port Arthur, Texas, where petroluem plants are king.  Visit the amazing vistas of the Alberta Oil Sands and witness the vastness of the machinery looking like Tonka trucks compared to the earth they're digging, not to mention the dead ducks in the process.  Want something with a little more tang to it?  Go to China and visit the town known for taking old computers and technology and refurbishing, melting, and scrapping them in order to make a living in a town that reminds me of Jacob Riis photographs of NYC at the turn of the century. 
Let's not forget about going on a refreshing dip in the Yamuna River in India, where you can dive for treasures but need to watch out for the turds...literally.  And then there's the enigmatic Garbage Patch, a floating flosam of the world's waste comingling somewhere out there in the Great Pacific....
This is a book that had me scrambling to the internet everytime I finished a chapter to look for pictures, more information, and the facts about these places Blackwell visited.  Now that's a sign of an excellent non-fiction book.  And what makes it even better?  Blackwell is a master of humor in the midst of a serious topic.  You'll laugh and be aghast at the same time.  HIGHLY recommended.

Zoo by James Patterson, Little Brown 2012
Jackson Oz knows something's wrong.  He knew it before anyone else, but the scientific community shunned his theories as ludicrous.  So his life of recluse in New York City is filled with monitors and video documentation, a blog, and his companion Atilla, who is a rescue chimp from a facility.  The only bright spot is his relationship with his girlfriend but things gets out of control when he travels to Botswana to help a friend out.
The animal anomalies are unprecedented...lions killing in packs, dogs from all over running amok, all types and species of animals killing humans from the remote locations to the urban cities.  Jackson knew this would happen, but doesn't know the reason why....
Flash forward three years, and the United States is in total chaos.  People are hiding, afraid of what could happen.  The government is now taking the threat more seriously, and Jackson stands on the brink of an incredible discovery.  Too little too late?
 Patterson is known mostly for his murder mysteries, but of late he's been writing novels with a definite dystopian flavor to them (I also read Toys, which has that same flair). And it's a book like this that will divide readers into really enjoying it or not.  Despite past reputation, Patterson writes a novel that is page turning, making the reader hope for the best, but knowing it may not happen.  This may be the first time a YA reader will pick up Patterson (I know mine was well over fifteen years ago) and be hooked by his new approach.  Regardless, I enjoyed the read and his departure from the killing sprees of the past.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Trailer: Miracle by Elizabeth Scott

Somtimes, I feel like my booktalk on a particular book wouldn't justify how good it is.  Such is the case with Elizabeth Scott's newest book.  So, what to do instead?  Tell it by book trailer :) 
Here's the newest one I've created:

You can also view it on Schooltube:

And download it from the NHS Library homepage book trailer list (under the Mighty Red N!)


Friday, October 26, 2012

Need a YA themed Halloween costume?

With a little creativity, it can happen!  My library aide is Tris from Divergent and this is how you make the t-shirt:
1. Must be a black t-shirt
2. Using a cutout, she made the letters and fire using cardstock
3. Place these on the shirt and spritz with a spray bottle of 1/2 bleach, 1/2 water
4. To make the ring around the fire, put a lid from a cup around the fire and dip a Q-tip with bleach water and trace around it.
And there you go!  Accessorize with some dystopian boots, belt, and jacket with accoutrements, and you're ready to rock and roll!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book Club has begun!

So, I kicked off the first meet and greet with the kids who wanted to do a book club, and I was quite surprised that I had 24 interested in doing this!
I told them that this wasn't going to be the "traditional" book club where we read one book and talk.  It was going to be so much more.  So I gave them all a glance at what we'll be doing, and thought I'd share them with you:

So now I'm thinking about December and what we'll be doing as crafty.  I went to a friends house for a party and saw this amazing wreath and thought, "Yup...that's what I'll be doing!"  So here's the link on how to create it.  I'll put these on display in the library before they take them home for the holidays :)

Now to think of a catchy name

Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price

Razorbill, 2012

Zoe doesn't remember much about the trip to Twin Birch.  All she knows is that she doesn't want to be there...but more than that, she doesn't want to be separated from Elise, her best friend.  But for the next thirty-six days, that's what's going to happen, whether she likes it or not.

When she finally makes it in, she sees the five other girls already there, and believes she doesn't belong.  Zoe doesn't have spindly arms, jutting bones, or sunken cheeks.  She sees herself as perfectly fine.  All Zoe wants is to go home, see her best friend again....but she has to first get through this "treatment."

Life at Twin Birch consists of therapy, downtime and the most dreaded part of all - the meals.  The girls not only have to make them, but they have to cook and garden as well.  It doesn't make it easier for Zoe, and the calories going in one meal is something she'd eat during three days.  She can feel the fat gelling on her body.  She also sees the circles forming between the girls.  Zoe is roomates with Caroline, but they haven't gotten along as well.  In fact, there is nothing by animosity between them. No matter where or who Zoe is with, it just doesn't seem like she belongs...

Alexandra is the therapist for Zoe, and together they begin the path toward healing.  But something is missing.  Alexandra suggests writing letters to Elise telling her about the importance of their relationship, and letting her know about her stay at Twin Birch.  Still, there is a lot Zoe needs to uncover about herself and the true reason she's here.

I've read my share of books on this disorder, but Nora Price's work strikes a different chord altogether.  The setting of the book is far different from others, as is the treatment the girls go through to get healthy.  One of the most interesting differences is that within the storyline about eating disorders, menus and recipes are scattered in the pages.  The book is written in first person, where Zoe is writing in a journal or writing letters, which gives play to the reader stepping into her shoes.  Although the storyline is somewhat predictable, the writing overcomes this and the characters and psychological look into them and the eating disorder is spot on.  Recommended. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Booktalking 101- Make it Relevant!

Fresh off my booktalking week, I was exhausted by happy.  Most of the books I talked about are checked out and a waiting list is growing.  Always a good sign! 
One thing I usually do before each booktalk is get audience participation by asking about something relevant going on in news or culture that can connect teens to the books.  So here's a list of the books and the tie-in I found for each one.

172 Hours on The Moon by Johan Harstad:  Neil Armstrong death, Moon landing controversy, aliens
Leading question: If given the opportunity, would you want to travel to the moon and live on a space station for a month?

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons: Presidential election, due process of the law
Leading question: Name a society dictated by soldiers and a police state.  Would you want to live there?

Ashfall by Mike Mullin: name some world famous volcanic eruptions
Leading question: Did you feel the tremors caused by an earthquake two weeks ago in the DFW area?

Audition Stasia Kehoe: different types of dance from ballet to Gangnum style
Leading question:  What does it take to be a famous athlete or dancer?

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson: effects of meth on a person
Leading question:  What are some physical traits of a person on meth?

Blood Red Road by Moira Young: preciousness of water in Texas, the twin bond
Leading question: Have you ever been around twins that were super close? **trailer

Dead to You by Lisa McMann: Jaycee Dugard story
Leading question: How would your life change if you were abducted but brought back?

Dearly Departed by Lia Habel: Victorian England
Leading question:  Do opposites attract?  Why? **trailer

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: cancer in a family
Leading question:  Name some of the saddest movies you've ever seen

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral: Romeo and Juliet
Leading question: Have your parents ever made decisions for you that you didn't agree with?  How about who you date?

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman: human experimentation debate, deprivation chambers
Leading question: Think about one of the worst fears in your life.... ** trailer

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts: epidemics, West Nile virus in our area
Leading question: Movie Contagion, pandemic and pandemonium ** trailer

Trafficked by Kim Purcell:  story of domestic near Mexico found tied to a tree
Leading question:  Why people get trafficked into the land of the free, home of the brave

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting: the most common languages on Earth. story of the Tower of Babel
Leading Question: Which language would be most beneficial to use?  Why?

The List by Siobhan Vivian: school traditions, October national anti-bullying awareness
Leading question:  What makes a girl pretty or ugly?

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga:  America has most serial killers than any other country
Leading question:  Can you name any famous serial killers in our country's history? ** trailer

In Too Deep by Amanda Grace: the facial signs a person may be lying
Leading question:  Have you ever lied?  Have you ever tried to cover it up but the hole kept getting deeper? ** trailer

Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay: stats of divorce in America; long distance relationships
Leading question:  How would you feel if you were forced to move across the country your junior year?  How would you keep in touch with your friends?

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler: History of the Internet
Leading question:  If you could see yours and your friends' Facebook 15 years from now, would you want to know? (Non-fiction pair: Friend Me! 600 Yearsof Social Networking in America by Francesca David DiPiazza)

Quarantine by Lex Thomas:  ebola virus; biological weapons and the government
Leading question:  Have you ever read Lord of the Flies?  How would you feel locked in high school is no adults around? ** trailer

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne: world disasters (tsunami, Japan nuclear meltdown)
Leading question:  If a major disaster happened and you had to stay somewhere for six months or more, where would you want to be?

No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz: Malls around the area, which ones are best
Leading question:  If, all of a sudden you were in lockdown at the mall and saw Hazmat suits come in, what would your reaction be?

Ripper by Stefan Petrucha: Most famous mystery in history.  What happened to him?
Leading question: Would you want your parents to be famous?  What happens if they were infamous? (Non-fiction pair:  Secret Subway by Martin Sandler) ** trailer

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One + One = Fabulous Sequels!!

I got the chance to go to Barnes and Noble to do some shopping, and came across some sequels I had no idea were out!!!  So, with that in mind, I thought I'd share with you some of the latest sequels to fab YA books already out and about!  I knew a few, but with the help of some fabulous librarians from yalsa, I got a more extensive list :)

The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson (sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox)

Unwholly by Neal Shusterman (sequel to Unwind) 

Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts (sequel to Dark Inside) 

Outpost by Ann Aguirre (sequel to Enclave) 

Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel (sequel to This Dark Endeavor) 

Shadows by Ilsa J Bick (sequel to Ashes) 

Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin (sequel to Ashfall) 

Seconds Away by Harlan Coben (sequel to Shelter) 

Feedback by Robison Wells (sequel to Variant) 

Following Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci (sequel to The Body of Christopher Creed) 

Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh (sequel to Nevermore) 

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel (sequel to Dearly, Departed) 

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns) 

Prized and Promised (two books) by Caragh O’Brien (sequel to Birthmarked) 

Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh (sequel to Nevermore) 

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel (sequel to Dearly, Departed) 

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns) 

Passenger by Andrew Smith (sequel to the Marbury Lens)

White Glove War by Katie Crouch (sequel to The Magnolia League)
Scorch by Gina Damico (sequel to Croak)
Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride (long awaited sequel to Hold Me Closer Necromancer)
Island of Silence by Lisa McMann (sequel to The Unwanteds)
Life Happens Next by Terry Trueman (sequel to Stuck in Neutral)
Thumped, sequel to Bumped by Megan McCafferty
The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton (2nd book in a planned quartet, The Faerie Ring)

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (Heroes of Olympus) 

Scorch by Gina Damico (sequel to Croak)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Fiewel and Friends, 2012
Dean didn’t say goodbye to his mom that morning.  He watched is brother Alex, in eighth grade, get on his bus and he got on the one to high school in Monument, Colorado.  It was an ordinary day for Alex – avoid the popular kids in back and try to be invisible. 
But then the hail began….

It wasn’t ordinary hail, but huge crushing hail with stones and debris caught within the ice.  It tore up cars and cracked windshields.  Dean’s ride to school is now demolished outside the Greenway superstore.  Kids are dead, and the hail is causing more injuries. Their savior is the bus driver of Alex’s bus, getting the survivors and crashing into the Greenway.
But now, the safety gates are closed, shut down and impenetrable to the outside.  Inside are six high school students, two eighth graders and over a handful of elementary school kids.  The Network is down and there is no communication to the outside world.  First hail, then an earthquake…then the terrible news of a supertsunami…then the worst news of all…

On an old television, news has reached the Dean ,Alex and the others that NORAD’s chemical storage has leaked.  And it’s turning people into monsters, building on their rage to kill.  Other are affected different ways, and all the survivors in Greenway must do everything they can to contain the catastrophe happening on the outside. 
Most of all, they wonder if their parents are still alive…and just how many survivors are left in the world that has come undone. 
This is future survival fiction at its finest!  At first, I was thinking how easy it would be to survive in a superstore, but then everyone knows about cabin fever.  Emmy Laybourne does an excellent job of making sure the reader knows each and every one of the kids in this book and their experiences throughout this disastrous time, but it’s the situation that comes alive.  The reader gets to experience how teens and children work to hold it together with the absence of all adults in a world full of danger and crazy people trying to get in.  This book just works and works well.  Look for a sequel to this incredibly fast read that will take you to the edge of your seat!
Other great fiction read pairings: Susan Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It trilogy; Michael Northrop Trapped;  Lex Thomas Quarantine


Common Core pairing:  Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson
Based on the diaries of Isaac Monroe Cline and on contemporary accounts. Tells the story of Isaac Cline, a weather scientist in Galveston, Texas in 1900, discussing his belief and assertion that nothing in the way of weather could destroy the coastal city; and looks at how Cline dealt with the aftermath of the hurricane that hit Galveston on September 8, claiming the lives of thousands of people.