Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Here are 14 of 30 new audiobooks that were recently selected and purchased for the Young Adult collection.  They can be requested via the online catalog, though they are currently still in Technical Services (acquiring all their stamps and inoculations for travel:).  Click on the title, and request it now, to be first in line to listen to one of these stories.  You will need your library card barcode number and your PIN (the last 4 digits of your telephone number) to make a request.  (Don't miss The Call of Cthulhu and Other Stories, specially requested by a Teen Think Tank member during our December 2 meeting.)

After Tupac & D Foster, by Jacqueline Woodson, 2009. Realistic Fiction, Social Issues  Summary: In the New York City borough of Queens in 1996, three girls bond over their shared love of Tupac Shakur's music, as together they try to make sense of the unpredictable world in which they live.
Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, 2010.  Personal Conduct Fiction  Summary: After she dies in a car crash, teenage Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Stories, by H. P. Lovecraft, 2010.  Horror Fiction   Summary: A collection of creepy, gripping tales of madness & cosmic terror by one of America's finest horror authors. At the heart of these stories is the belief that the Earth was once inhabited by powerful & evil gods, just waiting for the chance to recolonise their planet.

Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins, 2009.  Science Fiction, Survival  (Hunger Games, Book 2)  Summary: By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss & Peeta have secured a life of safety & plenty for themselves & their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion.

Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire, by Julius Lester, 2007.  Mythology, Romance  Summary: Cupid, the spoiled & mischievous god of love, is attracted to & marries the beautiful mortal, Psyche, & both learn many lessons about the nature of love.

Dairy Queen, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, 2006.  Realistic Fiction, Football  Summary: After spending her summer running the family farm & training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, 16 year old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.

Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2010.  Historical Fiction (Sequel to: Chains.)  Summary: Separated from his friend Isabel after their daring escape from slavery, 15 year old Curzon serves as a free man in the Continental Army at Valley Forge until he and Isabel are thrown together again, as slaves once more.

I Am The Messenger, by Markus Zusak, 2006. Realistic Fiction, Mystery, Heroes  Summary: After capturing a bank robber, 19 year old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, & he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness. (author of The Book Thief)

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865.  Non-Fiction, Debates   Summary: Richard Dreyfuss & David Strathairn reenact the 7 debates of the 1858 Illinois senatorial race. The main theme was slavery. Douglas argued for popular sovereignty, with the people of each territory deciding the slavery question for themselves.  In Lincoln's view, this approach would nationalize & perpetuate slavery.

Milkweed, by Jerry Spinelli, 2003.  Historical Fiction   Summary: A tale of heartbreak, hope, and survival through the bright eyes of a young orphan in Nazi-occupied Warsaw during World War II.

Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins, 2010.  Science Fiction, Survival  (Hunger Games, Book 3)  Summary: Against all odds, Katniss has survived the Hunger Games twice. However, she is far from safe. With the Capitol & President Snow blaming her for the strife plaguing District 12, Katniss must sacrifice herself to protect her loved ones.

Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood, by Jame Richards, 2010.  Historical Fiction   Summary: A novel that explores a cross-class romance amid a tragic event in U.S. history--the 1889 flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt, 2007.  Historical Fiction, Family Life  Summary: During 1967, on Wednesday afternoons Holling's 7th grade classmates, half of whom are Jewish, the other half Catholic, leave early to attend religious training.  As the sole Presbyterian, he finds himself stranded with his teacher, Mrs. Baker where they read the plays of William Shakespeare.

When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead, 2009.  Science Fiction, Space & Time  Summary: As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a 12 year old NYC girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010



To Dance : A Memoir,  by Siena Cherson Siegel, 2006.  Summary: The author describes how she first decided she wanted to be a ballerina at the age of six, & how that dream carried her from her home in Puerto Rico to dance class in Boston to performing with the New York City Ballet.

The 14th Dalai Lama : A Manga Biography, by Tetsu Saiwai, 2010.  Summary: At age two, Tenzin Gyatso was recognized as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama-the manifestation of the Buddha of Compassion. This is the story of his extraordinary life, told vividly through the art of manga.

Yummy : The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, by G. Neri, 2010.  Summary:  A graphic novel based on the true story of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, an eleven-year old African American gang member from Chicago who shot a young girl and was then shot by his own gang members.


Christmas Classics, edited by Tom Pomplun, 2010.  Summary:  Ghosts, cowboys, and killer dolls!  Seven classic stories and poems to make your holiday season brighter.

Shadoweyes, written & illustrated by Ross Campbell, 2010.  Summary: In the dystopian city of Dranac, moody teenager Scout Montana is an aspiring vigilante, but her first attempt is halted when she's hit in the head with a brick & knocked unconscious. When she awakens, she discovers that she's able to transform into a strange, blue, clawed, superhuman creature. In this new body she becomes the vigilante Shadoweyes...

Side-Scrollers, by writer and artist, Matthew Loux, 2006.  Summary:  Brian, Brad & Matt are launched off of their lazy rears & forced into a grand adventure.  Determined to steer Amber away from Richard, chased by an irate football team, a vengeful troop of Girl Scouts, and a stalking evil cat that may actually be possessed by Satan, our heroes are thrust into a giant rock 'n' roll video game adventure.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier, 2010.  Summary: Raina just wants to be a normal 6th grader. But one night she trips & falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. And on top of that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, & friends who turn out to be not so friendly. This true story will resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, & especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.


Hetalia : Axis Powers. volume 1, by Hidekaz Himaruya, 2010.  Summary: Offers a collection of four-panel comic strips which, depicting the world's powers as stereotypes, presents a politically incorrect comedy of the relationships between the Axis and Allied powers during the World Wars.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Featured Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse (rhymes with waltz) Anderson has been publishing books since the mid 90's.  She writes both historical fiction and realistic contemporary fiction.  Regardless of genre, her stories are issue-oriented, serious with a small sprinkle of humor, and are hard wired to the heart and soul of a character.
Another author whose issue-oriented books tackle similar subjects such as family problems, emotional problems, death, anorexia, rape, step-families, and best friends, is Sarah Dessen
If you like Anderson's or Dessen's writing, you may also like:
Chris Crutcher, Sharon Draper, or Carol Plum-Ucci.

Forge, by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2010. (historical fiction)  Book 2 in the Seeds of America trilogy.  Catalog Summary: Separated from his friend Isabel after their daring escape from slavery, fifteen-year-old Curzon serves as a free man in the Continental Army at Valley Forge until he and Isabel are thrown together again, as slaves once more.

Chains: Seeds of America, by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2008. (historical fiction)  Book 1 in the Seeds of America trilogy.  Catalog Summary:  After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2009. (realistic fiction)
My Review:  This is the story of two friends, Cassie and Lia.  Cassie is dead, and Lia now struggles with anorexia, and with the memories and the death of her friend Cassie.  Cassie's death was the end result of bulimia.  She called Lia 33 times on the night she died, and Lia did not answer.  I really did not want to read this book.  I was not in a frame of mind to read a story on the subject of eating disorders, so I kept passing this book up in favor of an adventurous fantasy or a humorous contemporary novel.  However, when it was voted onto the Teens' Top Ten for 2010 this past October, it was time to put my squeamish feelings aside and check it out.  Happily I discovered that although I felt the pain of the characters, I wasn't dragged down by the story.  Anderson incorporates just enough distance in this very interior story, so that you are moved to want to understand, but are not wrung out by the distressing feelings and events, i.e. this book is emotionally intense but not completely bleak.  It is a compelling story - a worthwhile and recommended read for anyone interested in these issues, or who enjoys realistic, character-driven, problem-solving, engrossing fiction.   My rating: 4 stars.

The following video is part of an AdLit.org interview with Laurie Halse Anderson talking about her book Wintergirls :

Twisted, by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2007.  (realistic fiction)  Catalog Summary: After finally getting noticed by someone other than school bullies and his ever-angry father, seventeen-year-old Tyler enjoys his tough new reputation and the attentions of a popular girl, but when life starts to go bad again, he must choose between transforming himself or giving in to his destructive thoughts.

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2006.  (realistic fiction)  Catalog Summary:  A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in high school.

View Item DetailsProm, by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2005.  (realistic fiction)  Catalog Summary:  Eighteen-year-old Ash wants nothing to do with senior prom, but when disaster strikes and her desperate friend, Nat, needs her help to get it back on track, Ash's involvement transforms her life.View Item Details 

Catalyst, by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2003.  (realistic fiction)  Catalog Summary:  Eighteen-year-old Kate, who sometimes chafes at being a preacher's daughter, finds herself losing control in her senior year as she faces difficult neighbors, the possibility that she may not be accepted by the college of her choice, and an unexpected death.

Fever, 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2000.  (historical fiction)  Catalog Summary:  In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Are you a teen who works as a babysitter? 

Do you have babysitter advice for parents?  
Now is your opportunity to be heard.  

An editor from Boston Parents Paper is writing a story for parents about babysitting from the babysitter's perspective.  For more information please see the email from Boston Parents Paper Associate Editor, Susan Flynn, which is reproduced here   ------------------------>
Sign up now for the Beverly Hospital Babysitting Course scheduled here at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library during the February school break.                                                   You must come to the Library to sign up, and to pick up the Beverly Hospital registration form.  Babysitting classes fill up fast so don't wait too long to register.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


The year has rolled round to the 7th grade classic fiction assignment.  Bringing the question once again to a quiet simmer: which of the books in the Young Adult collection are classics?  It is probably easier for most teens to confidently identify a classic car than to find a classic book.  It used to be that a classic was a literary work from ancient Greece or Rome, such as The Iliad, or The Odyssey, or Ovid's Metamorphoses.  I might be wrong, however I don't think those illustrious titles are what the seventh grade teachers had in mind when they launched their students on the worthy quest to find and read a classic book.  Never fear!  There are many classic book lists, hibernating in cyberspace, and in reference books, which, after study, boils down to this:  a classic book is one with recognized excellence (usually a book with an award), and is timeless (a book that has not gone out of print for half a century, or has stood the test of time). There are classic childhood favorites such as:  Around the World in Eighty Days; Pinocchio; The Wheel on the School; Winnie the Pooh; The Secret Garden; Black Beauty; Heidi; The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, and many more (see the Must Read Classics for Older Kids link below).  Did you miss one of these wonderful stories?  Perhaps now is your chance to check one out to read, and get credit for a school assignment.

Currently there is a display of classic books on one of the counter tops in the Library's Young Adult area.  Below are a few of the choices arranged by genre. What's your ride?:
Adventure classic: The Call of the Wild; Kidnapped 
Fantasy classic: The Hobbit; Watership Down; AWizard of Earthsea
Historical Fiction classic: The Red Badge of Courage
Mystery classic: Rebecca; The Hound of the Baskervilles
Romance classic: Jane Eyre
Science Fiction classic: The Giver, A Wrinkle in Time; The Left Hand of Darkness, War of the Worlds, 1984
Supernatural classic: Dracula; The Picture of Dorian Gray

Here are a few classics in the Young Adult collection that are in Graphic Novel format:  Beowulf, Fahrenheit 451, The Merchant of Venice; The Tempest, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Odyssey  (Please ask your teacher if a graphic format classic is okay to choose for the reading assignment)

For more choices check out these classic lists from EBSCO's NoveList Plus database:
NoveList Must Read Classics for Teens
NoveList Must Read Classics for Older Kids

Monday, October 25, 2010

Boston Book Festival and National Novel Writing Month

It took me a week, but at last there is time to share my experience attending the very worthwhile, and fun, 2nd annual (free and open to the public) Boston Book Festival. Choosing which BBF event to attend was difficult, there were so many that were tempting.  I picked three: True Story: The Art of Non-Fiction; My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me; and It Books: YA Authors Discuss What's Hot.  I was rewarded with entertaining, and enlightening, windows into the writing process, and the quirkiness of authors; their worries and success. Here (in no particular order) are a few highlights and ideas from the events I attended:
It is an essential exercise for any writer to be able to say what his/her book is about, while generating interest in reading the book, on nothing larger than a 2 inch square paper (or in a 140 character tweet), even if the novel is about the history of the sun or Being WrongKristin Cashore writes all her books using a pen (and sometimes pencil because then she doesn't have to press as hard) and notebooks (which she numbers), and then she uses word recognition software to put them in electronic format (oh, and she hides from the mailman);  do we really only want perfect (seeming) (and consequently bland) people serving us in the world of politics and law? or do we need, and can we tolerate flawed risk takers?;  fairy tales are mini-myths;  Kathryn Lasky is writing a new series about wolves that takes place in the same world as the Guardians of Ga'Hoole;  Francisco Stork (a personal favorite) goes to bookstores in June to see what is on the summer reading table, and he hopes to one day find one of his books among the chosen;  Noni Carter, a 19 year old at Harvard, just published her first book, Good Fortune.

Which brings me to the second part of this post: National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo) starts November 1.  The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel by midnight November 30.  Teens are welcome to participate in all of the nanowrimo write-in sessions scheduled on Saturdays here at the Library.  Come when you can, leave when you like, snack, socialize, and boost your word count.  You can sign up in the Young Writer's Program of the National Novel Writing website, and set your own word count goal.  Sarah Lauderdale, our Reference Librarian, is organizing and running the nanowrimo write-ins here.  Stop by the Reference desk or call her at 978-468-5577 x19, if you want more information.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) announced the 2010 Teens' Top Ten winners yesterday; nominated and selected by teens from libraries across the country :  "More than 8,000 teens voted in the 2010 Teens' Top Ten, with Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins topping the list. Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year (published in 2009). (Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country.)  Nominations are then posted (online) on Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week (in April), and teens across the country (read and) vote on their favorite titles (from May to September) each year."  The 2010 winning titles listed below are linked to the library catalog to make it easy to find and request these books.

The 2010 Teens' Top Ten Winners are
  1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  2. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  3. Heist Society by Ally Carter
  4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  5. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  6. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  7. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  8. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  9. Fire by Kristin Cashore
  10. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
What do you think about this list?  Have you read these books?  Do you agree or is your favorite missing?  Did you vote?  Post your comment or review below.  I have read all but 2 of the books on this list. Wintergirls and Heist Society are on my list to read next.  What's on your list to read?
To see the list of all 2010 nominations click here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Young Adult Library Collection Circulates!

The graph below reveals a dramatic 4 year increase (from October 2006 to September 2010) in the Young Adult fiction collection circulation at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library - a 93% increase.  Over the same 4 year period, teen nonfiction circulation has increased 37%, and graphic/manga book circulation has increased 60%.  Overall, the circulation in the Young Adult collection has increased 78% in 4 years. (Numbers on graph are total number of items in a category in the Young Adult collection that circulated over a 12 month period, Oct.-Sept.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Winter Shadows by Margaret Buffie

Winter Shadows, by Margaret Buffie, 2010.  
Connected by family, situation, and location, Cass and Beatrice find and help each other across the space of 150 years.  Both girls have lost their mothers, and are struggling with a new stepmother, and the loss of their secure place in the family home.  It is the beginning of winter in Canada, a few weeks before Christmas, and the holiday brings troubles to a boil for both girls.  Fortunately, Cass and Beatrice both receive support from other family members, from each other across time, and from budding romances.  Beatrice has her Cree grandmother and lives during a time of frontier and social integration, and Cass who lives in the present time has her mother's sister nearby.  This book is a little predictable but is very enjoyable on many levels particularly for the historical information that is interwoven through the story about the life of the people living in Canada during the 19th century.  There are many Cree Indian words sprinkled throughout the book with a glossary at the back.  Though I could guess that everything would resolve positively I still wanted to know who Beatrice finally marries, and whether life at home improves for sassy Cass.
My rating 3 and a half stars.

Books by Margaret Buffie available through the Library's online catalog.
Margaret Buffie's website.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Featured Author: Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare, 2010.  
Clockwork Angel is the beginning of a new series called The Infernal Devices, by Cassandra Clare.  It takes place 150 years before Clare's Mortal Instruments series:  City of Bones, City of Ashes, & City of Glass. The fourth book in the Mortal Instrument series: City of Fallen Angels is scheduled for publication in April 2011.  If you liked Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series you may also enjoy reading Cassandra Clare's books.  Personally I like The Mortal Instruments series more than the Twilight series.  Compared to the Twilight series the Mortal Instruments are similarly dark and romantic (with a love triangle), however, there are more twists, mystery, and magic in the Mortal Instruments, with a large cast of characters including vampires, warlocks, werewolves, shadowhunters, and demons.

Clockwork Angel is a supernatural urban fantasy, and since it is set in the Victorian era with futuristic technology, in this case automatons (robots), it also falls into the steampunk genre.  The story begins with 16 year old Tessa Gray, who has traveled from New York to London in search of her older brother.  As soon as she steps off the ship in London she is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters.  The Sisters force her to begin training to use a rare ability to shape shift; an ability of which she was previously unaware. Tessa is soon rescued from the Dark Sisters by the Shadowhunters.  Shadowhunters are warriors, half angel and half human, dedicated to ridding the world of demons.  Tessa is sheltered by the Shadowhunters in their hidden London Institute, where she continues the search for her brother, her own identity, and battles further abduction attempts. Clockwork Angel is like an excellent box of dark chocolates, with just the right amount of crunchy and smooth filling.  My rating 4 stars.

Cassandra Clare books and audiobooks available through the Library Consortium.
Cassandra Clare's website

Holly Black interviews Cassandra Clare. July 28, 2009:

Cassandra Clare answers questions from her fans. October 9, 2009:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


The Poetry Slam was canceled due to low sign up.

The Poetry Slam is open to both teens (ages 13-19) and adults.  
There will be a winning teen entrant and a winning adult entrant.  
Winners will receive a prize.
Participation is limited to 20 contestants.
Sign up in advance at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor of the Library,
or send an email to Kim at kclaire@mvlc.org
or call the Library at 978-468-5577 x14
Bring 3 original poems no longer than 3 minutes each.
Three judges will be chosen randomly from the audience.
Slam is judged on content and performance.
No props or accompaniment of any kind allowed, just you, your poem, and the microphone.
Everyone participates in the first round; advancement to the next round depends on score and/or number of participants.

Poetry Slam Poster
click here to see:  Pictures from the Library's April 2010 Poetry Slam 

For inspiration you may like to watch this film:
Documentary Film of the National Poetry Slam 
(Director's Cut), 14:08 minutes
The National Poetry Slam is the largest performance poetry festival in the world, and in 2005, 75 teams from the US, Canada and Europe decended on Albuquerque, New Mexico to compete for the title of National Poetry Slam Champion. Orginally broadcast on New Mexico PBS station KNME. 

Friday, August 20, 2010


POD, by Stephen Wallenfels, 2009.  One morning at 5 AM gray black spheres dot the sky, and any human or car outside is instantly zapped in a flash light "no explosion, no ball of flame, just gone".  Strangely animals and plants are not affected.  Those who are caught in buildings must find a way to survive, like 16 year old Josh and his father trapped in their house in Washington, and 12 year old Megs caught in the parking garage of a hotel in California.  Although the pods seem menacing, the human beings in the story are often more scary.  If you like Science Fiction straight up, (no fantasy funny business), or you like survival stories this book will dish it out.  The ending is surprising, and satisfying.  This is Mr. Wallenfels first book.  According to his website, he is currently working on POD 2.  My rating: 4 stars
Stephen Wallenfels website

Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi, 2010.
Nailer Lopez lives on a Gulf Coast beach in a dystopian future.  To survive he works on a crew that scavenges beached ships and oil tankers for wire, scrap metal, and fuel.  It is a harsh, primitive, and dangerous way of life.  Out in the distance Nailer can see the modern clipper ships that fly over the waves, and longs to be on one.  In this future world there are also human/dog hybrid slaves, crews who salvage body parts, the very wealthy "swank", and the very poor.  At the center of the story is Nailer's love/hate relationship with his abusive drug-addicted father.  One day a storm shipwrecks one of the clipper ships.  The wreck could be Nailer's "Lucky Strike", however, he discovers the owner, a girl, still alive in the wreck.  Thus begins a series of events that require Nailer to make life and death decisions, in this fast paced gritty Sci-Fi adventure story.  My rating: 4 stars

Monday, August 9, 2010

Seeing Beauty : An Art and Photography Reception in the Young Adult Area

Seeing Beauty: An Exploration of the Aesthetics of Beauty, 
Expressed Through the Lens of a Photographer and the Pencil of an Artist

In preparation for next week's exhibit, the new hanging system arrived and was installed in the Young Adult area today.  The Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School Business Club is hosting an exhibit here at the Library to showcase the work of student visual artists and photographers.  Come enjoy an exhibit of art and photography at the reception on Thursday, August 19, in the Young Adult area of the Library, from 6:30pm to 8pm.  Meet the artists and enjoy some refreshments.  Art and photography will be for sale.  Artwork will be on view until September 30th.

Business Club Art Exhibit Information

Friday, July 30, 2010

Featured Author: Neal Shusterman

Mr. Shusterman's books reward the reader with a rich bounty of things to think or wonder about that are sometimes intense, sometimes humorous:

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman, 2010.
In Bruiser, Mr. Shusterman has taken an intriguing concept and built a supernatural story that may leave you thinking long after the final page is turned.  What happens when any pain, physical or emotional, is taken away?  While reading this book I kept thinking of the Bible phrase, "he taketh away the sins of the world."  And then wondering - Is there a flip side, a dark side, to salvation?  Brewster Rawlins aka Bruiser is described as a sasquatch, a hulking teenager of 16 years, with eyes that are an ugly pea green.  Voted by his classmates as "Most Likely to Receive the Death Penalty."  What no one knows, since Brewster keeps to himself, is that if he cares about you, he automatically takes away your injuries or pain as his own.  Bruiser is told from four points of view; Tennyson and Bronte who are twins, and Brewster and his brother Cody.  Tennyson and Bronte live with parents on the verge of divorce, and Brewster and Cody live with their abusive Uncle Hoyt.  Brewster's point of view is told in free verse.  The first chapter starts with Tennyson's point of view when Brewster asks his sister Bronte out on a date to play miniature golf.  Every book I've read by Neal Shusterman has been a thought-generating, and a gratifying read.  Bruiser is no exception.  My rating: 3 and a half stars

Everlost by Neal Shusterman published in 2006 is the first book in the Skinjacker Trilogy. Everfound, the third book in the Skinjacker Trilogy, is scheduled for publication in May 2011. Everlost begins with two cars that accidentally crash.  A passenger in each car dies; Nick and Allie. As they feel themselves moving through a tunnel towards a light, they bump each other off course and don't get to where they are going.  They wake up in Everlost, an in between place for lost souls where there are only children and teenagers.  Nick and Allie take different approaches to the people and circumstances of their new existence.  Will they choose complacency, choose to be in Everlost, or will they find the strength to get to where they are going?  Everlost is a terrific adventure-fantasy in an unpredictable setting.  My rating, so far, for this trilogy: 4 stars

Unwind by Neal Shusterman, 2007.  Unwind takes place in a dystopian society where organ harvesting of every part of the body is not viewed as death for the donor.  In this future society a war was fought between the Pro-life and the Pro-choice armies over reproductive rights, and now there is no abortion.  A "Bill of Life" was passed that ended the war.  The Bill of Life gives parents the right to choose, when their child is between the ages of 13 and 18, to have them "unwound".  Every part of the body is used to help someone else, including brain parts, skin, nerves, limbs, etc. so that technically the unwound person is still living.  One of the horrifying parts of this story is that that the person being unwound is awake and conscious (pain-free) during the whole procedure.  Sometimes the body parts retain a memory of skills, thoughts, or emotions, that the recipient then experiences.  This is a story of dismembering as well as remembering.  Three teens, Connor, Risa, and Lev, who do not want to be "unwound" try to escape. Unwind is a science fiction thriller that gives one serious moral issues to think about as we move out of the current infancy of organ harvesting.  My rating: 4 stars   Unwind movie website

Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman, 2008.
I have not read this - write your review in the comments section below.  Library Catalog Summary:  Fourteen-year-old Anthony "Antsy" Bonano learns about life, death, and a lot more when he tries to help a friend with a terminal illness feel hopeful about the future.

Darkness Creeping: Twenty Twisted Tales by Neal Shusterman, 2007.   A collection of horror tales. Tell your tale, write your review in the comments below!  Library Catalog Summary: Imagine being trapped forever in someone else's nightmare, with no means of escape. Or caught on one of the most terrifying roller coasters of all time, when suddenly the tracks ahead just disappear. Enter the world of Darkness Creeping, where hollow-eyed skulls arrive in the mail and nothing is as it seems... a collection of masterfully creepy stories so horrifying, you may have to read them twice to remind yourself they're not real.

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman, 2004.
I have not yet had a chance to read this book.  It won the 2005 Boston Globe Horn Book Award.  Library Catalog Summary: A Brooklyn eighth-grader nicknamed Antsy befriends the Schwa, an "invisible-ish" boy who is tired of blending into his surroundings and going unnoticed by nearly everyone.  Write your review in the comments section below.

Neal Shusterman Books & Audiobooks in the Library Consortium
Neal Shusterman website

Neal Shusterman conducts a tour of his home including his awards, where he writes, art work, and home theater, May 15, 2009.