Friday, January 29, 2010

The next huge wave in YA

Well, it's already reared its head, but that's just the ripple in what I think will be a tsunami of books written about this in YA fiction. Ready?


Yes, tried and true, this, I do believe, is the newest YA trend. But only time will tell if my prediction is true. Is it on the downslide or just heating up? (I think the latter)... Has it happened before? Yes (remember The Blooding? How about Blood and Chocolate?) Is it after-effects from the whole vampire vs. werewolves thing because of Teams Jake and Edward? Maybe... Or maybe it's just another theme, like fairies, vampires, ghosts, demons, loup garous, and ghouls that are on the merry-go-round of YA fictional characters that makes a cycle, ends quietly, and returns with a rip-roaring start later.

And with that in mind, I had a great idea!! Instead of the traditional themes of him loving her, how about a team Jake and team Edward display, with vampires and werewolves split down the stacks on display?

Of course, there's Stephanie Meyer, but don't forget Cynthia Leitech Smith's Tantalize or Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver. Anyone else out there know some great werewolf books besides the ones mentioned here? I'm currently reading one that's amazing (purple cover, title on the tip of my tongue but it's in the truck and it's too cold to go outside for this blog entry right now! But the review will be up this weekend!!) If so, post a response to help us all out

Oh, and then there's the angel books that are coming out of the woodwork of YA fic as well...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A question that's been bothering me...

I've been reading with interest about publishers and the covers they choose for books. Now, I have to say that covers play a VERY important role in my choice of books I'll pick up and read, and I can tell you, there are some ugly covers out there that are always overlooked because of it. For instance, Siberia by Ann Halam (which is actually a GREAT read!) has been hanging out on displays for about two weeks but people consistently overlook it because, face has an ugly cover. Same could be said for Kissing the Bee by Kathe Koja - excellent read about friendship triangles, but the cover...doesn't make me want to pick up the book at all...I even booktalked this heavily and created a booktrailer for it, but very few takers.

But think about that for a sec - one of the most compelling and verifiably eye-catching bookcovers out there is Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy. That is the entire reason why I picked it up, but the story really hasn't drawn me in or held my interest. So, when we start to question the validity of quality of a YA book, does it start with the cover first? Are those the ones that reviewers pick out of their boxes of ARCs from publishers and go, "Oooohhh!! Aaaahhh!! Can't wait to read this -IT LOOKS GOOD!" thus already judging this book?

And always interesting to look at is when the paperback version comes out and the cover has changed to something more interesting than the previous one. Same goes for the good old classics. The only classic I know that hasn't changed with the times is the iconic Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

Just some thoughts....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm Down by Mishna Wolff

Oh, we’re movin’ on up (movin’ on up)
To the top (to the top)
To a deluxe apartment in the sky-y-y…

Remember the sitcom to that song? It seems like there has been plenty of media around the premise of African-Americans invading the Anglo culture trying to assimilate. But rarely does one read about the opposite – how a white family tries to assimilate into the black culture….and this is the book that tells you how…

Mishna Wolff grew up in the poorer and blacker neighborhood of Rainier Valley. Her father left his hippie ways and days behind to hang with the “brothers” and be down with the whole scene, including getting an afro. Her little sister Anora fit in just well with the kids, but Mishna wasn’t as down, and she spent a vast amount of time trying to fit in with the black kids.

The first thing she became skilled at was roastin’ and cappin’. Going to summer camp at the local “Government Subsidized Charity Club” was a lesson in hard knocks, but Mishna learned. After getting capped so many times, the Wonderbread sister started practicing her cappin’ and one day, she roasted her tormentor by telling her, “Am I being talked to by a burnt chocolate chip cookie?” complete with head roll. And Wonderbread girl started slowly making it.

But when Mishna was moved to a new school replete with the wealthy and the privileged, she had to once again socially adjust to being the poor kid, the one with the free lunches and the smelly clothes from Value Village. But always in the corner of her mind she was thinking, “What is wrong with these white people?”

But the pull of two different cultures, a father who wasn’t around a lot, taking care of her dad’s wife’s kids, and a mother who worked 70 hours a week caused a lot of mental and physical stress on her and she knew she had to make drastic choices, even if they were ones that wouldn’t make her father, whom she wanted to please the most, happy…

It takes a certain talent to write about the darkest times in your life while making people laugh, and Wolff writes her memoirs with quick wit and hilarity by looking back at her life of struggle and making her spots brighter. One can’t help laughing hard when reading how she got through obstacles but also be amazed as well that she overcame them. This is a great read about a white kid in a black world, where every opportunity was a wall she had to climb over, whether from sheer luck, determination, or by accident. And boy, how Wolff climbed! A quick read and an extremely enjoyable memoir that looks at one girl’s life in the ghetto living with a dysfunctional family.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Romance List

You get it first! I'll post this to the listserv later, but those who actually look at my blog posts, here you go! I linked it to another great list created on so I wouldn't have to "reinvent" the wheel.
Enjoy :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

February Display

I liked the idea someone posted about the Love Me, Love Me Not display for their library, and am using that as a theme as well. I'm also thinking about putting on there, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, Can I Love Him? (those books with the supernatural bent in them).
And then on the non-fiction display, I'll be displaying books on China and their culture...did you know that Chinese New Year is the same day as Valentine's Day?

I'll post my list tomorrow : )

images: (heart) (dragon)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lockdown: Escape from the Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith

It's a dark world teens in England live in now. There's a no tolerance policy, and Alex knows this now. If he could go back in time, he wouldn't have done so stupid...
It was a set-up but he didn't see it coming. What started out as petty thieving turned into bigger and better jobs with more money to be had. Alex knew what would happen, but he did is anyway. And that's what landed him in the Furnace.

What is the Furnace? It's unlike any penitentiary ever built. More secure that Super Max, scaries that your worst nightmare...built three miles below the surface, this is a place teen criminals go when they're caught, or more often than not, falsely accused. And it'll be the last place many of the prisoners will see before they die, if not through the aggressions of other inmates, than through the furless and skinless hell hounds, or even worse...the prison guiards themselves...

But with all secure facilities, there's always a tiny crack in the facade. And Alex has found it. But will it be too late for him? Can he even survive the unthinkable escape he has conjured up?

For those teens who love the gory and nightmarish qualities found in popular YA series fiction, they'll relish every detail and word of this first book by Gordon Smith. The author caputres in rich detail the hell and horror found in the pages as well as the emotional and mental torture the inmates must overcome in The Furnace. If you have fans of Shan's Demonata series, you need toadd this to your collection ASAP. Great read.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Zach knows two things - his past life and where he is now.

In his past life, he had a father who was alcoholic, a mother who was clinically depressed, and a brother who ruled with his anger. In order to avoid this, Zach would disappear with his friends, getting drunk and using drugs to escape. He also remembers people his in past life. He remembers Mr. Garcia, who saw the potential in him, but Zach never believed it. He does remember that Mr. Garcia showed him kindness and acceptance, which is smoething he never got from anyone.

And Zach knows where he is now. He's in rehab for his drinking problem. He knows he's been there for awhile and also realizes that he doesn't have to be there since he's eighteen years old. He knows it's a place he needs to be. He also knows that the people in there with him have affected him, even though he doesn't want it. There's his therapist Adam, who seems to see right through him but won't give him the answers he wants. And there's Rafael, an older man who truly see him when others may not.

What Zach doesn't know is how he came to be in rehab in the first place. Something went down, and he's repressed those memories...the other thing he doesn't see too well but knows it's real are the monsters that chase him, haunt him...want to tear him apart, perhaps not physically, but hurt him nonetheless.

What is he hiding, even from himself? And who or what are the monsters that want to hurt him?

Saenz has written an extremely realistic novel about a young man and his journey through rehab, but it's more than that. Saenz not only makes the main character stand out, but the secondary characters are just as real and important. Without them, not only would Zach's world fall apart, but so would the storyline. Beautifully written around one life, stories of other lives begin to speak to the reader as well. Strong written and emotionally charged, readers will be drawn in. Highly recommended.

Beastly by Alex Flinn is now...

a movie!! Here's the MOVIE trailer for the book...can't wait to see it!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Annotations for my spring booktalk

I am SERIOUSLY enjoying 22books! It was one of those days when I was stumbling through the W(ide)W(onderful)W(World) of the internet and happened to find it. Can't believe how this is going to change my life and my excel spreadsheet lists!
Here's one I just posted. It's for my booktalk this spring. Some of the trailers can be found on schooltube, but I put my annotations there if anyone needs them.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Get ready for some workshops this summer!

I am working with several ESC's to do workshops this summer and am still doing one on how to create booktrailers (this seems to be a perennial favorite, of mine as well!) but I'm also gearing up for brand new, hot out of the oven, fresh-baked web 2.0 for libraries and educators! I'm working on my presentation with one now and it's AMAZING!! We are going to have some fun!!

And the websites? You'll find out soon enough, grasshopper...

Here's where the schedule stands, as of today:

May 18 - Region X Dallas; booktrailers

June 23 - Region XI Ft. Worth; web 2.0

June 25 - Region III; Victoria; booktrailers

June 29-30 - Region IX; Wichita Falls; web 2.0 AND booktrailers!!

I've met so many people, and groups with personality....San Antonio, do you remember the limerick, "There once was a man from Verona..."? We'll have another great summer!!!

So, not only do I have to gear up with web 2.0, but I also have to start creating some trailers to reveal during workshop days. Hmmmmmm...what to read, what to read....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Secret Subway by Martin W. Sandler

I have always and will always be a fan of non-fiction, especially if it deals with American history at the turn of the century in big cities like New York. Can you imagine how much progress was made during this time? It was amazing....and here's a book devoted to the inventiveness of Americans, especially one in New York City.

Downtown New York in the mid 1800's - full of horses and carriages, pedestrians, was a city full of grandeur in its department stores, music, artists and architecture, but public transportation was the only fracture in this marvelous of all cities in the world. With the ingenuity of a young man named Alfred Beach, NYC would start its first journey in the United States of tunneling underground for public transportation, and not with coal, not with electricty...but with pneumatics...

Beach had a lot to overcome. It was something he had done so many other times before. First was when he was given a foundering magazine called Scientific American and made it into the most respectable scientific journal, even at today's standards. Next, he outwitted Boss Tweed with finesse and cunning, but with complete honesty to begin his tunneling and kept the project secret longer than anyone thought possible.

But with big dreams founded on financial bankers, all it would take was a depression to kill Beach's plans for reliable, clean transportation. And although he would never see his dream, his plans would move forward.

Amazing images, stories within stories, this is a book that those teens who enjoy a fast non-fiction will swim through. It will fascinate readers with a taste for life in the 19th and early 20th century and the combination of images and wording is a perfect fit even for those reluctant readers. Although the reading level is more suited to junior high, this would be a welcome edition at the high school level. Recommended.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm one hour behind schedule but another trailer is born!!

Here's the newest for Numbers...check it out! Will post on schooltube later for your embedding enjoyment.

Currently working on a booktrailer for...

Numbers by Rachel Ward. I thought it would be retribution for the lame pseudo-review I posted last night. Should have it done by 10 pm tonight and posted...hopefully sooner!
In the interim, here's what Chicken House and Scholastic has posted:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

And you thought I'd forget to post one...

Nope! Remembered late tonight! So, here's my post.
Coming out in February is a book from Chicken House (imprint of Scholastic) called Numbers by Rachel Ward.
Read's GOOD!

Okay, okay...not exactly the book review you're wanting, so I'll post the formal one tomorrow. I just couldn't skip a day, but hanging out with friends playing Wii and trying the lotus game to beat my daughter is way too addictive right now!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Playing with my blog...

Wanted something more than the standard templates, so please excuse if you can't get to this...test driving templates today : )
Okay....settled for this one. Kind of pink, isn't it? Wanted the more professional look, but sometimes color adds some spice.

Speaking of spice, I've been reading this interesting books about Sweets. An interesting comment I read in this book says that the taste of sweet is very specific to each person. When you go to a restaurant, you don't ask for specific salt or olive oil (if available) or even vinegar. But automatically when given a drink or something you want to sweeten, it becomes very very specific. You'll ask for the white, pink, blue or yellow packet specifically, not just for sweetener....

Interesting, isn't it? I thought it intriguing...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Another compilation coming up!

Monday we celebrate MLK Jr. birthday, so I'm busily working on a list of book that reflects this. I'll post it this weekend, because right now, I'm looking forward to finally watching I Love You Beth Cooper (read the book - it was HILARIOUS!) with my man and children.

Had a good time at the Cowtown Book Festival! As promised I'm going to post my powerpoint for anyone to use. Uploading it tonight and will have a link in a jiff! Look at the bottom of the screen for it. The links won't work, but you know where to find them on schooltube!!

Did I tell anyone this? I've now been posting my trailers to When you go there, search for school and type "Northwest High School." I'm the one on Texan Drive in Justin, TX. I'll be posting all of my newest works here. The old trailers will still be on my library webpage because, frankly, I've forgotten where I've saved them all!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The many facets of booktalking

When you really think about it, it takes a lot of time, patience, effort and that certain je ne sais quoi, to pull off a great booktalk. Here are my steps. Of course, everyone's are different, but this is my tried and true method:

Step 1: Pick some books, but not just any books! I have a mix of all types, from girls to guys; mystery to thriller, fantasy to science fiction, even adult.

Step 2: Start reading and start weeding. Not all the books I read go on the list - just the ones I know will catch attention!

Step 3: Think in book trailer mode. I mix up 20% of a booktalk with trailers vs. traditional.


Step 5: Create different types of media for booktalking - from glogster to animtot to powerpoint to digital displays in the library to hardcopy displays...time to start!

Step 6: Spend a moderate amount of time annotating all the books without trailers you're going to booktalk

Step 7: PRACTICE. And if you don't have time, consider your first class practice and keep adding and adding and modifying and modifying. But always go in with confidence

And so, I'm booktalking tomorrow to ADULTS....which is way scarier than wish me luck! I'll post some of my annotations tomorrow :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Whit and Wisty...typical big brother and little sister. They live with their parents and life is the way it's always been - school, home, friends...until the New Order takes place. And their lives are impacted when the police come to Whit's and Wisty's house to imprison them for not following directives. The only thing they take with them? Something their parents shove into their hands - an old drum stick and a blank book. They don't understand, but these are the only things linking them to home.

Whit and Wisty are imprisoned and found guilty. Whit will be the first one put to death, and when Wisty reaches eighteen, her time will be up...if she can survive the terror they both are going through now. But before things get worse, they both discover something unique about them. The names of witch and wizard imposed on them begin to come to fruition, and both brother and sister are slowly beginning to harness this power. But is it too late?

James Patterson has dived in head-first in YA fiction, starting with his Maximum Ride series and following up with his Daniel X series, and now this (which will have a sequel if not a series behind it). A talented adult author, the resonance of his storytelling doesn't transfer across lines as clearly. Although this book had moments of jaw-clenching tension and the dystopic future of the United States is intriguing, it still lacked the punch found in dynamically written YA novels such as Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth or Shusterman's Unwind. But Patterson does know how to cross YA lines - this could easily be put in a middle school library as well as a senior high library.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine

Rowan looks back at her life and realizes how great it was. Mum was happy, Dad was home, Jack glued the family together, and Stroma, her little sister, was...well, just Stroma. But that all changed when Jack died.

Rowan looks at her life now and realizes how impossibly hard it's getting. Mum doesn't talk, eat or even recognize she has other children. Dad moved about a few months ago, Jack...well, he's dead and Rowan can't think about that because now she has to care for her six-year old precocious little sister Stroma in everything.

But one day, that all changes when a stranger with a lop-sided grin gives her a negative that he believes belongs to her. And that one act of kindess begins a chain reaction of lives intersecting, all through chance, and how one lost life impacts so many.

Rowan looks at her days and doesn't see breakfast, a beautiful concoction of lovely flowers, hot toast, oatmeal, and orange juice in a clean glass cup, but rather she sees everything floating together, mashed up, messed up, mixed up...broken soup...

What a great read!! Valentine's characters float off the pages and into your heart. Bee, Sonny, Carl; Stroma, Harper and Rowan; even Jack are enormously full characters that will grab at your heart strings and have you hoping against hope for good things to happen. This is a fast read but one that will continue to shape characters into their true selves to the very end. Highly recommended.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My pile is beginning to grow....

And I'm hoping to CATCH UP with all of them before my next order comes in! I have WD Myers new book Lockdown on my lap as I type and will review this week. Also have to get through Little Black Lies, Beautiful Creatures and nearly nearly done with Hush Hush.
Here's a great trailer posted on youtube for Beautiful Creatures. Enticed me enough to pick it up...

PS - if anyone can give me the tip to how to embed a youtube video so everything will show, please let me know!!! I've tried for 30 freakin minutes, and nothing will work! to see it in full screen, double click on the trailer : )

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Winter/Cold Weather Booklist

Here are some books I've put up for display during these C-c-c-cold weather days!
They'll be up through this month:

My Personal List
Sorted by Call Number / Author
613.6 KEA Kearns, David A. Where hell freezes over. 1st ed. New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2005.
Documents the 1946 survival story of six Navy officers whose Martin Mariner Seaplane crashed in the Antarctic during a "white-out" snowstorm, describing the harrowing conditions from which they escaped over the course of thirteen days.

910.4 A Alexander, Caroline, 1956-. The Endurance : Shackleton's legendary Antarctic expedition. 1st ed. New York : Knopf in association with the American Museum of Natural History :, 1998.
Provides an account of the Shackleton expedition of 1914, during which explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven set out to cross the Antarctic continent on foot, only to have their ship, Endurance, break up eighty-five miles short of their destination, leaving them stranded for close to two years. Includes a photographic record of the adventure.

917.9804 KRA Krakauer, Jon. Into the wild. 1st ed. New York : Villard Books, c1996.
Tells the story of Chris McCandless, a twenty-four-year-old who walked into the Alaskan wilderness on an idealistic journey and was found dead of starvation four months later. Attempts to discover what led the young man to that point.

940.4 MUR Murphy, Jim, 1947-. Truce : the day the soldiers stopped fighting. New York : Scholastic Press, c2009.
Tells the story of the December 25, 1914 truce between German and British soldiers as they laid down their weapons and met in No Man's Land to celebrate Christmas.

974.7 MUR Murphy, Jim, 1947-. Blizzard! : the storm that changed America. 1st ed. New York : Scholastic, 2000.
Presents a history, based on personal accounts and newspaper articles, of the massive snow storm that hit the Northeast in 1888, focusing on the events in New York City.

979.7 KRI Krist, Gary. The white cascade : the true story of America's deadliest avalanche. New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2007.
A detailed chronicle of one of America's worst rail disasters describes how, in 1910, two trainloads of people, trapped in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State by a fierce February blizzard, were swept into a mountain ravine by the nation's deadliest avalanche.

982 REA Read, Piers Paul, 1941-. Alive : the story of the Andes survivors. [1st ed.]. Philadelphia : Lippincott, [1974].
Discusses the ordeal of the survivors of an airplane crash in 1972 in the Andes wilderness.

FIC ABR Abrahams, Peter, 1947-. Reality check. 1st ed. New York : Laura Geringer Books/HarperTeen, c2009.
After a knee injury destroys sixteen-year-old Cody's college hopes, he drops out of high school and gets a job in his small Montana town; but when his ex-girlfriend disappears from her Vermont boarding school, Cody travels cross-country to join the search.

FIC AND Anderson, Laurie Halse. Wintergirls. New York : Viking, 2009.
Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.

FIC AYA Ayarbe, Heidi. Freeze frame. 1st ed. New York : Laura Geringer Books/HarperTeen, c2008.
Fifteen-year-old Kyle believes he does not deserve to live after accidentally shooting and killing his best friend.

FIC BOW Bowler, Tim. Frozen fire. 1st American ed. New York, NY : Philomel Books, 2008.
Fifteen-year-old Dusty gets a mysterious call from a boy who says he is going to kill himself, and while he claims to have called her randomly, he seems to know her intimately.

FIC BRO Brooks, Kevin. The road of the dead. 1st American ed. New York : Chicken House, 2006.
Two brothers, sons of an incarcerated gypsy, leave London traveling to an isolated and desolate village, in search of the brutal killer of their sister.

FIC CAL Caletti, Deb. Wild roses. 1st ed. New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2005.
In Washington State, seventeen-year-old Cassie learns about the good and bad sides of both love and genius while living with her mother and brilliant, yet disturbed, violinist stepfather and falling in love with a gifted young musician.

FIC CAV Cave, Patrick. Sharp North. New York : Simon & Schuster, 2004.
In a futuristic world, Great Families rule Britain through a caste system where reproduction is seriously restricted, while the families keep illegal clones of "spares" of themselves.

FIC FEL Felin, M. Sindy. Touching snow. 1st ed. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2007.
After her stepfather is arrested for child abuse, thirteen-year-old Karina's home life improves but while the severity of her older sister's injuries and the urging of her younger sister, their uncle, and a friend tempt her to testify against him, her mother and other well-meaning adults persuade her to claim responsibility.

FIC FER Ferguson, Alane. The Christopher killer : a forensic mystery. New York : Sleuth/Viking, 2006.
On the payroll as an assistant to her coroner father, seventeen-year-old Cameryn Mahoney uses her knowledge of forensic medicine to catch the killer of a friend while putting herself in terrible danger.

FIC FIS Fisher, Catherine, 1957-. Snow-walker. 1st ed. New York : Greenwillow, 2004.
The snow-walker Gudrun came from the swirling mists and icy depths beyond the edge of the world to rule the Jarl's people with fear and sorcery, but a small band of outlaws will fight to the death to restore the land to its rightful leader.

FIC FRA Frazier, Charles, 1950-. Cold mountain. 1st ed. New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c1997.
Inman, a wounded Confederate soldier, leaves the hospital where he is being treated and determines to walk home to his sweetheart Ada, only to find the land and the girl he remembers as changed by the war as he.

FIC GAL Galloway, Gregory. As simple as snow. New York : Putnam's, c2005.
After his eccentric girlfriend mysteriously disappears, a young man must unravel the puzzle she left behind in her cryptic, riddle-filled letters and in the obituaries she created for every living person in town.

FIC GOI Going, K. L. (Kelly L.). Saint Iggy. 1st ed. Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, c2006.
Iggy Corso, who lives in city public housing, is caught physically and spiritually between good and bad when he is kicked out of high school, goes searching for his missing mother, and causes his friend to get involved with the same dangerous drug dealer who deals to his parents.

FIC GOL Golden, Christopher. The myth hunters. New York : Bantam Books, 2006.
Oliver Bascombe abandons his dream of being an actor to join the family law firm and marry a respectable woman, but on the eve of his wedding, Oliver is lost in a blizzard and encounters Jack Frost, who needs Oliver's help to save both himself and his world, an alternate reality where fairy tales come true.

FIC HAL Halam, Ann. Siberia : a novel. New York : Wendy Lamb Books, c2005.
After spending two years at a prison school, thirteen-year-old Sloe sets off on a trek across frozen wastelands, tending to the secret "seeds" of wild animals her mother left in her care, trying to reach a new life for all of them.

FIC HAU Hautman, Pete. Rash. New York : Simon and Schuster, 2006.
In a future society that has decided it would "rather be safe than be free", sixteen-year-old Bo's anger control problems land him in a tundra jail where he survives with the help of his running skills and an artificial intelligence program named Bork.

FIC HOB Hobbs, Will. Far North. New York : Morrow Junior Books, c1996.
After the destruction of their floatplane, sixteen-year-old Gabe and his Dene friend, Raymond, struggle to survive a winter in the wilderness of the Northwest Territories of Canada.

FIC HOL Holt, Simon. Soulstice. 1st ed. New York : Little, Brown, 2009.
As the summer solstice approaches, fifteen-year-old Reggie, horrified to learn that the Vours are still intent on harming her family and her best friend Aaron, finds help from an unlikely source.

FIC HOL Holt, Simon. The devouring. 1st ed. New York : Little, Brown, 2008.
The existence of Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, becomes a terrifying reality for fifteen-year-old Reggie when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims.

FIC JOH Johnson, Peter, 1951-. What happened. 1st ed. Asheville, N.C. : Front Street, c2007.
A sixteen-year-old boy tries to come to grips after he and his brother go for a joyride that ends in a hit-and-run.

FIC JON Jones, Carrie. Need. 1st U.S. ed. New York : Bloomsbury, 2009.
Depressed after the death of her stepfather, high school junior Zara goes to live with her grandmother in a small Maine town, where new friends tell Zara the strange man she keeps seeing may be a pixie king, and that only "were" creatures can stop him from taking souls.

FIC LER Lerangis, Peter. Smiler's bones. 1st ed. New York : Scholastic Press, 2005.
Presents a fictionalized account of the life of Minik, a Polar Eskimo taken by explorer Robert Peary, along with Minik's father, Smiler, and four others, to be presented as exhibits to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

FIC LEV Levithan, David. Are We There Yet? New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.
Tricked by their parents into taking a trip to Italy together, two brothers--one in high school and the other recently graduated from college--reflect on the directions of their own lives and on the distance that has grown between them.

FIC LYN Lynn, Tracy. Snow : a retelling of Snow White and the seven dwarfs. 1st Simon Pulse ed. New York, NY : Simon Pulse, 2006, c2003.
When her father, the duke, decides to remarry in the hopes of producing an heir to the throne, the young princess must learn to cope with her jealous and evil stepmother, but when the situation becomes dangerous, the princess flees to London.

FIC MCC McCaughrean, Geraldine. The white darkness : a novel. 1st U.S. ed. New York : HarperTempest, 2007, c2005.
Taken to Antarctica by the man she thinks of as her uncle for what she believes to be a vacation, Symone--a troubled fourteen year old--discovers that he is dangerously obsessed with seeking Symme's Hole, an opening that supposedly leads into the center of a hollow Earth.

FIC MCK McKernan, Victoria. Shackleton's stowaway. 1st ed. New York : Knopf :, c2005.
A fictionalized account of the adventures of eighteen-year-old Perce Blackborow, who stowed away for the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition and, after their ship Endurance was crushed by ice, endured many hardships, including the loss of his toes to frostbite, during the nearly two-year return journey across sea and ice.

FIC MCN McNish, Cliff. Angel. 1st American ed. Minneapolis, MN : Carolrhoda Books, 2008.
An unlikely friendship develops between fourteen-year-olds Stephanie, an angel-obsessed social outcast, and Freya, a popular student whose visions of angels sent her to a mental institution and who is now seeing a dark angel at every turn.

FIC MIL Miller, Mary Beth, 1964-. On the head of a pin. 1st ed. New York : Dutton Books, c2006.
Andy, a teenage boy, accidentally shoots and kills another student while drinking at a party at his father's isolated cabin, and after trying to conceal her death, Andy and his friends have to deal with the consequences.

FIC PRA Pratchett, Terry. Wintersmith. 1st ed. New York : HarperTempest, c2006.
Witch-in-training Tiffany Aching accidentally interrupts the Dance of the Seasons and awakens the interest of the elemental spirit of Winter, forcing her to turn to the six-inch-high, sword-wielding, sheep-stealing Wee Free Men to put the seasons aright.

FIC RIO Riordan, Rick. The Titan's curse. 1st ed. New York : Miramax Books/Hyperion Books for Children, c2007.
The disappearance of the goddess Artemis while out hunting a rare, ancient monster, prompts a group of her followers to join Percy and his friends in an attempt to find and rescue her before the winter solstice, when her influence is needed to sway the Olympian Council regarding the war with the Titans.

FIC SCH Schrefer, Eliot, 1978-. The school for dangerous girls. 1st ed. New York : Scholastic Press, 2009.
Sent to a remote, run-down reform school in Colorado, fifteen-year-old Angela is placed with the better girls, but upon learning that her "dangerous" friends are being isolated and left to live as animals, she takes radical steps to join them and help them escape.

FIC SCH Schroeder, Lisa. Far from you. 1st Simon Pulse ed. New York : Simon Pulse, 2009.
A novel-in-verse about sixteen-year-old Ali's reluctant road trip with her stepmother and new baby sister, and the terror that ensues after they end up lost in the snow-covered woods.

FIC SED Sedgwick, Marcus. The book of Dead Days. New York : Wendy Lamb Books, c2004.
A magician named Valerian has only the days between Christmas and New Years to save his own life after making a pact with the devil years before and seeks the help of a servant boy and an orphan girl named Willow.

FIC SEL Selfors, Suzanne. Coffeehouse angel. New York : Walker & Co., 2009.
Sixteen-year-old Katrina's kindness to a man she finds sleeping behind her grandmother's coffeehouse leads to a strange reward as Malcolm, who is actually a teenage guardian angel, insists on rewarding her by granting her deepest wish.

FIC SME Smelcer, John E., 1963-. The trap. 1st ed. New York : Henry Holt and Co., c2006.
In alternating chapters, seventeen-year-old Johnny Least-Weasel, who is better known for brains than brawn, worries about his missing grandfather, and the grandfather, Albert Least-Weasel, struggles to survive, caught in his own steel trap in the Alaskan winter.

FIC SOR Sorrells, Walter. Whiteout. 1st ed. New York : Dutton Children's Books, 2009.
Sixteen-year-old Chass makes her way through a Minnesota blizzard, seeking not only the murderer of a beloved music teacher, but also something belonging to the killer who has been chasing her mother and herself around the country.

FIC STI Stiefvater, Maggie, 1981-. Shiver. 1st ed. New York : Scholastic, 2009.
In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity.

FIC VRE Vrettos, Adrienne Maria. Sight. 1st ed. New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, c2007.
Sixteen-year-old Dylan uses her psychic abilities to help police solve crimes against children, but keeps her extracurricular activities secret from her friends at school.

FIC WHI White, Andrea, 1953-. Surviving Antarctica : reality TV 2083. 1st ed. New York : Eos, c2005.
In the year 2083, five fourteen-year-olds who were deprived by chance of the opportunity to continue their educations reenact Scott's 1910-1913 expedition to the South Pole as contestants on a reality television show, secretly aided by a Department of Entertainment employee.

SC LET Let it snow : three holiday romances. New York : Speak, 2008.
The Jubilee express -- A cheertastic Christmas miracle -- The patron saint of pigs. Contains three interconnected holiday stories of love, romance, and kisses in a small town, by popular teen authors John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This is a FUNNY take on librarians!!

I was going to post tomorrow, but will post this today....couldn't help it : )
I'm not a big television watcher, but when you're on a treadmill in the gym and the choices are:
1. UT vs. Clemson; or
2. Parks and Recreation rerun with Amy Poehler (think Baby Mama)
it's a tough choice! BUT...this is the clip that made me nearly die, literally, on a treadmill. I was laughing SO HARD I nearly tripped and fell backwards!!
Here's the full episode, but scroll to around the 2 minute mark and I dare you not to laugh!!

Booktrailer: Sleepless by Thomas Fahy

I had fun making this one!! Gave me the shivers when I watched it- not really, but it is kinda spooky : ) NO SCHOOL TODAY!! Yippee!!!! We have ice on the roads, so I get to stay in and read some more and then play some Farkle with my daughter and host daughter. So I'll try to upload this trailer, crossing my fingers... enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We have a celebrity in our midst!!

I am serious about this....
Came home yesterday and was watching HGTV's Income Property. This episode was focused on a lady who needed to remodel her basement for extra income for her mortgage. Guess who it was? A SCHOOL LIBRARIAN!!! Now, I don't know anything more than that, but I was thinking, "Wow...she could be on the LM_NET listserv or even Yalsa-bk!"
So, anyone know who the mystery librarian celebrity is and where she's from? One thing I do know....she only has to pay 300.00 for her mortgage now! : )

Check it out here:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfours

Need a book to read during the coldest part of the year? Something to add to your winter fiction? Here's one to display, read and booktalk!

Katrina lives in a part of Washington state known for its Scandinavian heritage, quaint shops, and people who still eat traditional Scandinavian dishes that one doesn't see just anywhere. But amidst all this quaintness, lies a girl who doesn't really know what to do with herself and has no direction but to work beside her grandmother toting old-world coffee to even older men. And what really gets her worked up is the updated, modern Starbucks-esque coffeeshop right next door, where everyone goes for the latest macchiatto, latte, and cappuccino, as well as free wi-fi.

But Katrina has loyal friends, especially Vincent, the star swimmer at school. They've been friends forever, but things are beginning to change...

One night Katrina helps a street bum out with some hot coffee and old danish, and the next day the bum (aka Malcolm, a hot guy in a kilt!) shows up at school embarrassing Katrina with his duty to grant her deepest desire in the middle of a pep rally. And then the fun begins....

What does a person desire most? Fame? Wealth? Love? Katrina has to make some tough choices, and three little coffee beans are the only thing that can give her what she desires most. Is it revenge against the mega coffee-opolis next door? How about breaking up Vincent and his barbie girlfriend, Heather? What about Grandma's health or her rising debt?

Selfours has written a light, frothy, foamy, cup of chick lit that has some substance beneath the froth. Selfours combines elements of modern-day romance that girls crave with some fairy-tale (think Jack and the Beanstalk) mixed in, all centering around relationships and entrepreneurship. Angels, best friends, huge rats, and competition make for an enjoyable read. The message is simple: Follow the golden rule and you never know...there may be angels among us...

Monday, January 4, 2010


That's how I feel when I deliberately read a book and use someone else's trailer in my booktalks. I KNOW that's what they're there for, and I hope I've helped someone out there use mine, but why do I feel so weird about it? Even the word "weird" is a strange word....wierd or weird? My mind is wandering tonight...

Just posted Shiver onto Schooltube. If anyone wants to, you can subscribe to my channel. That's where I'll post other ones I make as well as on my library webpage. Here are the addresses:

NHS Library Digital booktalks:

And now I'm going to reveal a secret...the person who makes the most AMAZING booktrailers ever...she even makes mine look so this chick on youtube whose moniker is "signingupagain" You've GOT to take a look at hers! She's the reason why I went to something more sophisticated than moviemaker, and buying royalty-free music. I can only aspire to be as good as signingupagain, although I don't know if I'll ever achieve that status. But I'm happy playing with my new toys and making them at my leisure - still a passion of mine and will continue to be.

Speaking of, that's what I did part of the day today. Start looking for images and music for my next trailer for Sleepless. Horror, suspense and the supernatural make for much easier trailers than romance, love and friendship. I've tried both, and it takes more time and panache to create a romantic chick lit book than something dark and evil. Oh. My. Gods. took longer than Shiver by far, I think because you have to catch that certain personality of the characters, mood and theme and find the perfect song to match it. My best (I think) so far was Suzanne Selfours's Saving Juliet. And speaking of, I'll be blogging her newest book, Coffeehouse Angel tomorrow!!!

Another weird word is "squirt." Say that a couple of times and you'll know what I'm talking about!! : )

PS- Reading Hush, Hush because I saw the trailer online and will use it in my booktalk, hence the whole reason for this blasted long blog!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sleepless by Thomas Fahy

Something is happening to the students at Saint Opportuna High in the small town of Sea Cliff. But they don't know it yet....

Emma has just moved to the small town of Sea Cliff after her mother died. After ten months, she has adjusted to life there, tutoring a cheerleader, crushing on the local mechanic guy, Jake, living next door to spooky Mrs. Dupre, a fortuneteller, and trying hard to understand why she sleepwalks. She and Jake also hold a terrible secret with Lily, Duncan, Caitlin and their teacher, Dr. Beecher. It happened when they went to New Orleans for a Habitat service project, and it's a secret they've sworn to keep. Each week they meet at Dr. Beecher's house to discuss art and its messages, but everyone still has their own personal nightmares they harbor.

Their nightmares soon take second seat to what is happening in front of them to the students at their high school. One dies in a fatal car wreck, then not long afterward, two more die...and a lot of students confess they can't sleep as well. But when one of their friends in Emma and Jake's inner circle dies, the feeling of horror and nightmare come full force right in front of them. Questions they keep asking are what is causing this? Did something from New Orleans follow them home? Can any of what's happening be fully and rationally explained? But the closer they come to those questions, the more dangerous they put their lives on the line...and for one, it may be too late.

Thomas Fahy has easily transitioned himself from adult to young adult author without "dummying down" his work. Like his first YA novel, Unspoken, Fahy's style never loses its suspense, but keeps the reader turning the pages until the finale. What readers may see when they open an adult horror suspense is still found within the pages of Fahy's YA novels, but not as openly graphic as an adult novel. But the essence is still there.... Teens who enjoy reading horror and losing themselves to the gripping nature of suspense will find this novel perfect for them.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What I'll be booktalking...

The Cowtown Book Festival is coming up, and I've been asked to present a booktalk for YA books. So here's a rundown of what I've got so far...plan to add a few more, but this is the basic list:
Witch and Wizard
Coffeehouse Angel
Last Night I Sang to the Monster
Shiver (trailer)
Dope Sick (trailer)
Reality Check
Lost Symbol
Oh. My. Gods. (trailer)
Bad Girls Don't Die
Freeze Frame
Lock Down
Wish You Were Dead (trailer)
Black Box
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (trailer)
Little Black Lies
The Hourglass Door

That should fill about 45 minutes, which is also what I have at school. Be booktalking more right before spring break of the students. Want to read Leviathan and I tried to get through Monstrumologist but having a hard time with it. It's one I have to put down and try again. Also, can't wait to pick up Stephen King's Dome!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Have your read the graphic novels yet?

I admit...I'm a geek. When I was a kid, I LOVED watching Star Trek and the Twilight Zone. Now, many years later, TZ has resurrected itself for today's YA through graphic novels. I devoured the first three and eagerly await the rest!! What's most interesting is that the first page covers biographical info on Rod Serling as well as a social impact it had on the episodes created through what was happening in current events back then. But instead of watching something about racism, it recreated itself into something with a more science fiction bend. What an eye-opener for me! Didn't realize I was watching something deeper than 30 minutes of fascination from my UHF channel to my living room. I think teens will snap these up with a little help from booktalking. So, here's something to help! A small video I put together to throw into a booktalk. I'll put it on schooltube, along with my others for your enjoyment and download : )