Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars First Movie Trailer!

The first official trailer for The Fault In Our Stars (based on the novel by John Green) has been released!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 Printz Award Winner and Honors

The 2014 Michael L Printz Award (for a book the exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature) winner and honors are:


Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined in this tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice. An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking.  What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood?


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says. "So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers. "I'm not kidding," he says. "You should be," she say, "we're 16."
Set over the course of one school year in 1986 this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
On the eve of Princess Sophia's wedding, the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches. Yet beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. When a single errant prick of a needle sets off a series of events that will alter the course of history, the fates of seamstress Ava Bingen and mute nursemaid Midi Sorte become irrevocably intertwined with that of mad Queen Isabel. As they navigate a tangled web, Ava and Midi must carve out their own survival any way they can.

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Julian Crouch
Set in a ruthless regime, an unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing.

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
An adventure of two boys' incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters. At the end of World War II, Jack Baker is uprooted and placed in a boy's boarding school where, he encounters Early Auden. Early won't believe what everyone accepts to be the truth about the Great Appalachian Bear, Timber Rattlesnakes, and the legendary school hero known as The Fish, who never returned from the war. When the boys find themselves alone at school, they embark on a quest on the Appalachian Trail.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014 YA Edgar Award Nominees

The 2014 Edgar Nominees have been announced.  The Edgar Award recognizes outstanding mysteries. The nominees in the Young Adult category are:

All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry
Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who has owned her heart as long as she can remember--even if he doesn't know it--her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
Jeremy Johnson Johnson hears voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of The Brothers Grimm. Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from an unknown dark evil whispered about in the space between this world and the next. But Jacob can't protect Jeremy from everything. When coltish, copper-haired Ginger Boultinghouse takes a bite of a cake so delicious it's rumored to be bewitched, she falls in love with the first person she sees: Jeremy. In any other place, this would be a turn for the better for Jeremy, but not in Never Better, where the Finder of Occasions--whose identity and evil intentions nobody knows--is watching and waiting, waiting and watching. . . And as anyone familiar with the Brothers Grimm know, not all fairy tales have happy endings.

Criminal by Terra McVoy
Nikki's life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can't imagine herself without him. He's hot, he's dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There's nothing Nikki wouldn't do for Dee. Absolutely nothing. So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime--a crime that ends in murder--Nikki tells herself that it's all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him. But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki's love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional...but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kristen Miller
A Meth Dealer. A Prostitute. A Serial Killer. Anywhere else, they'd be vermin. At the Mandel Academy, they're called prodigies. The most exclusive school in New York City has been training young criminals for over a century. Only the most ruthless students are allowed to graduate. The rest disappear. Flick, a teenage pickpocket, has risen to the top of his class. But then Mandel recruits a fierce new competitor who also happens to be Flick's old flame. They've been told only one of them will make it out of the Mandel Academy. Will they find a way to save each other--or will the school destroy them both?

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Dear Mr. S. Harris, Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It's jam, not blood, though I don't think I need to tell you the difference. It wasn't your wife's jam the police found on your shoe. . . . Zoe has an unconventional pen pal-Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other. . Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe's letters, but at least somebody will know her story-somebody who knows what it's like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian

Evan Carter has spent most of his teenage years moving from one town to another, never staying long enough to make connections.  This makes it incredibly easy to jump from one girl to the next, and Evan has become an expert in finding the right type of girl.  While Evan might be free of emotional complications, but the people he goes to school with are not and the latest girl he hooks up with results in Evan getting seriously assaulted, leaving him without a spleen and a sense of security.

His father decides to take Evan to rural Minnesota to help him heal.  The majority of Sex & Violence takes place here, the summer before Evan's senior year of college.  He works to come to terms with what happened to him and tentatively begins making actual friends, rather than just acquaintances.  Girls, especially a certain one, comes heavily into play, but the focus is on Evan figuring out how to become comfortable in his own skin again, not any one girl or any one friend making everything okay for him.  However, even though the bulk of the novel takes place over the summer the last 50 pages cover nearly all of Evan's senior year of high school.  The important parts of the novel clearly take place during that summer, but to spend 200 pages going over 3 months to give the next 9 months only 25% of that, could be seen as a little uneven (almost as if that last chunk wasn't completely necessary).

Mesrobian's novel can be harsh and raw, but also comes off as genuine and even heartfelt (at times).  Sex & Violence is a Morris Award Finalist.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow is set in the near future in England where those caught illegally downloading movies can face punishments such as losing their internet service or time in jail. Trent, the book’s main character, is one of those caught illegally downloading. He loses internet access for himself and his family. This has disastrous results for his sister, who has trouble doing her school work without the internet, and Trent’s sickly mother, who has difficulties setting up doctor’s appointments without being able to go online.

Disgraced and feeling guilty, Trent leaves his family for London and falls in with a group of squatters, freegans, and general non-conformists. He learns ways to resume downloading films without getting caught, but Trent, who starts going by the nickname Cecil B. Devil, never downloads films in order to sell them. Trent makes no money off his films, which consist of clips from other films he cuts together. His films are funny and sometimes poignant. Soon, Trent and his London friends find themselves fighting to change Britain’s laws on downloading.

Pirate Cinema has slow pacing compared to Little Brother, one of Docotorow’s earlier YA novels. Too much time is spent on all the wild characters Trent runs into in London as well as on details about the technology they are using. But if you’re patient, Pirate Cinema is worth sticking with. It is also a somewhat frightening novel in that some of the laws the characters fight in the book have already been proposed or implemented.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Volunteering Applications Now Available

Teens in grades 7-12 can apply to be one of our volunteers beginning today.  The volunteer session will run from January 27th - May 11th. All applications are due back to the library by January 20th.  Don't want to brave the cold to pick up an application (because it's supposed to be ridiculous)?  You will be able to find and print off a copy of the application from our Get Involved page on our website.

Email Lisa:
Call the Youth and Teen Services Department: 630-837-3348

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

Maude Pichon has recently run away from her provincial home in Brittany, and the life her father had planned for her (which included marriage to a middle age butcher) to Paris.  It's 1888 and Paris is getting ready for the Exposition Universelle, and its most well known landmark (the Eiffel Tower) is in the process of being built.  However, the city is more expensive (and less dream-like) than Maude anticipated and soon she is out of money and food.  Desperate for work, she becomes a repoussoir, an unremarkable or ugly woman who is hired out to beautiful socialites in order to make the socialites stand out and "become" more desirable by comparison.  Maude is humiliated, but without any other options she is hired by a Countess.  Unfortunately, the Countess has hired Maude to be a repoussoir for her daughter, Isabelle, who not only has no idea Maude is more than a poor relation, but also has no interest in society events or marriage.  This bought friendship begins to develop into a real one, but the closer Maude grows to Isabelle the more she begins to deceive both Isabelle and her employer.

Maude and Isabelle are both young woman who want more than the life that has been planned out for them by others, but they have grown up worlds apart.  Belle Epoque is a novel about friendship, the future, and Maude figuring out who she can be.  Being hired for being ugly has shaken her grasp on her own self worth, but it is the girl she has been hired to accentuate that helps her get a hold of who she is and what she wants again.

At times there is some awkwardly placed French ("...repousser? To push away, to repel or repulse" - general this type of breakdown of a word in your own language is saved for the ACT) as it's what they should already just be speaking, but not enough to be truly annoying, and much of it is smooth enough to not get in the way.

An entertaining historical fiction novel, that is a lighter read, filled with smart and interesting characters.

A Morris Award Finalist

Looking for more Parisian historical fiction?  Check out Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.