Teen Think Tank

Volunteer! Join the Teen Think Tank, the Library's fun and inventive teen advisory board. The TTT is for ages 11-18, grades 6 to 12. We meet on the first Thursday of the month for 90 minutes, 6:30pm to 8:00pm. The TTT works to improve collections (books, movies, music, audiobooks, etc.) and to create programs and services designed for teens in this community. Attendance at meetings and TTT events and projects is approved for high school community service hours. Come share your bright ideas!...and don't worry about dinner; we have pizza delivered.

The membership commitment to Teen Think Tank is mainly to constructively participate for 90 minutes a month on the first Thursday of the month at the TTT meeting. Consistent monthly attendance is expected as a requirement for membership. Regular attendance is important for continuity and progress in accomplishing things. TTT members are also expected to help with 2 teen programs or projects each year in addition to attendance at the monthly 90 minute meeting. To join the TTT, please stop by the Library and talk with Kim Claire, Young Adult Librarian, or call 978-468-5577 x14, or send an email to kclaire at hwlibrary dot org.

The TTT not only supports the library through their participation in meetings and activities, they are also teens who like to read. Listed below are a few books that they recommend. This page will occasionally be updated, or you can ask the members for a recommendation in the comment box below. Replies to comments/questions will be done at the monthly TTT meetings. Videos made by the TTT are shown at the bottom of this page.

Ari  recommends manga & poetry: 
Bleach. Vol. 1, Strawberry and the Soul Reapers, by Tite Kubo, 2004. When Ichigo meets Rukia, a Soul Reaper, he absorbs her power and becomes a Soul Reaper himself, in charge of protecting the innocent from evil spirits. (First in series of 64 volumes, as of July 2015.)

Death Note. Vol. 1, Boredom, by Tsugumi Oba, 2005. When high school student Light Yagami finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a Shinigami death god, he discovers that any person whose name is written in it dies, so Light decides to use the notebook to rid the world of evil. (First in series of 12 total volumes.)

Hold Your Own, by Kate Tempest, 2015.  Based on the myth of the blind prophet Tiresias. Weaving elements of classical myth, autobiography and social commentary, Tempest uses the story of the gender-switching, clairvoyant Tiresias to create four sequences of poems, addressing childhood, manhood, womanhood, and late life.

Maximum Ride. Vol. 1, by NaRae Lee, 2009. After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "bird kids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose. (First in series of 8 volumes, as of Aug. 2014.)

Naruto, Vol.1, The Tests of the Ninja, by Masashi Kishimoto, 2003. Naruto, a mischievous ninja in training with a formidable power inside him, wants to become the greatest ninja in the village of Konohagakure. (First in series of  72 volumes, as of Oct. 2015.)

One Piece, Vol. 1, Romance Dawn, by Eiichiro Oda, 2003. When Monkey D. Luffy accidentally gains the power to stretch like rubber at the cost of never being able to swim again, he and his crew of pirate wannabes set off in search of the "One Piece," the greatest treasure in the world. (First in series of 75 volumes, as of Aug. 2015.)

Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE. 1, by Clamp (artisitic group), 2003. Sakura, the princess of Clow, has a strange power that could change the world, and lives in an alternate-reality world with her childhood friend Syaoran, with whom she begins a series of journeys to other worlds. (First in series of 28 volumes.)

Carter recommends   :

The Ruins of Gorlan, by John Flanagan, 2004. When fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battleschool, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt, and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger.  (First book in Ranger's Apprentice series.)

The Merchant of Death, by D. J. MacHale, 2002. Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal 14-year-old. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby. He is going to save the world. ...Before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution. (First book in Pendragon series.)

Scythe, by Neal Shusterman, 2016. In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ('gleaned') by professional reapers ('scythes'). Two teens must compete with each other to become a scythe--a position neither of them wants. The one who becomes a scythe must kill the one who doesn't"

Warriors Don't Cry: The Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High, by Melba Pattillo Beals, 1994. The author describes the threats and emotional abuse she endured from white students and adults along with her fears of endangering her family as she commited to being one of the first African American students to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. Autobiography/Memoir

Daniel  recommends 

Red Rising, by Pierce Brown, 2014. A tale set in a bleak future society torn by class divisions follows the experiences of secret revolutionary Darrow, who after witnessing his wife's execution by an oppressive government joins a revolutionary cell and attempts to infiltrate an elite military academy.

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, 2011. Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world's creator.

Jumper series, by Steven Gould, 1992-2014. Jumper, first book in series: Blessed with the unusual ability to "jump"--to teleport himself to any place on Earth that he has been to before--Davy is determined to locate others like himself, but interference from the government could prevent him from doing so.

Game Slavesby Gard Skinner, 2014. "A highly intelligent group of video game enemy non-player characters (NPC) begins to doubt they are merely codes in a machine. Their search for answers leads them to a gruesome discovery"-- Provided by publisher.

Ella recommends  : 

Ashes trilogy, by Ilsa J. Bick, 2011-2013. Ashes, first book in trilogy: Alex, a resourceful 17-year-old running from her incurable brain tumor, Tom, who has left the war in Afghanistan, and Ellie, an angry eight-year-old, join forces after an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky and kills most of the world's population, turning some of those who remain into zombies and giving the others superhuman senses.

The Girl With All the Gifts, by M. R. Carey, 2014. Not every gift is a blessing. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh. Melanie is a very special girl.

Walking Dead series, Robert Kirkman, 2009-2015. Police officer Rick Grimes is shot on the job and wakes up a month later to find that the world that he knows is gone. Zombies have taken over and are killing and eating those who are still alive. He sets out toward Atlanta in the hope that his family is still alive and endures many horrors along the way.

Monument 14 series, by Emmy Laybourne, 2012-2014. Monument 14first book in series: A group of kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves, as a series of disasters, from a monster hailstorm to a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world apart.

Benny Imura seriesby Jonathan Maberry, 2010-2013.  Rot & Ruinfirst book in series: In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

Jeffrey recommends 

Any title by Juliet Marillier.

Merlin series, by T.A. Barron, 1996-2015. The Lost Years of Merlin (first book in series), 1996. A young boy who has no identity nor memory of his past washes ashore on the coast of Wales and finds his true name after a series of fantastic adventures.
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, by Neil Gaiman, 2006. A collection of more than twenty-five short fictional works follows a theme of the intersections between life and death, perception and reality, and darkness and light.

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, by Neil Gaiman, 2015. A latest collection of short fiction by the #1 best-selling author of Fragile Things includes previously published stories, verses and a 50th anniversary Doctor Who tale, as well as an original short story.

Tyger Tyger: A Goblin Wars Book, by Kersten Hamilton, 2010. Soon after the mysterious and alluring Finn arrives at her family's home, 16-year-old Teagan Wylltson and her disabled brother are drawn into the battle Finn's family has fought since the 13th century, when Fionn MacCumhaill angered the goblin king. (First book in series.)

The Night She Disappeared, by April Henry, 2012. Told from various viewpoints, Gabie and Drew set out to prove that their missing co-worker Kayla is not dead, and to find her before she is, while the police search for her body and the man who abducted her. Realistic Fiction, Suspense.

Winterspellby Claire Legrande, 2014. To find her abducted father and keep her sister safe from the lecherous politicians of 1899 New York City, 17-year-old Clara must journey to the wintry kingdom of Cane, where Anise, queen of the faeries, has ousted the royal family in favor of her own totalitarian, anti-human regime. Historical Fantasy.

Bard, The Odyssey of the Irish, by Morgan Llywelyn, 1984. Amergin, a poet, harpist, and historian, and his brothers, the son of Mil, leave Spain to conquer Ireland, where they encounter the Tuatha De Danann, in a saga based in Celtic legend and history.

Second Star, by Alyssa B. Sheinmel, 2014. Seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling sets out to find her missing surfer brothers and finds herself on a secluded California beach, where she meets Pete, Belle, Jas, and others, learns to surf, helps some of them steal while avoiding the other's drug trade, and falls in love.

Summer of Night, by Dan Simmons, 1991. In the summer of 1960, in Elm Haven, Illinois, a sinister being is stalking the town's children, and when a long-silent bell peals in the middle of the night, the town residents know that it marks the end of innocence.
Josh  recommends  

V for Vendettaby Alan Moore, 2005. In a near-future Britain ruled by a totalitarian regime, Evey is rescued from certain death by a masked vigilante calling himself "V," a beguiling and charismatic figure who launches a one-man crusade against government tyranny and oppression. Suspense, Graphic Format.

Watchmen,by Alan Moore, 1987. Exceptional graphic artwork brings to life the story of the Watchmen as they race against time to find a killer, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Suspense, Graphic Format.

Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, 2003. The great-granddaughter of Iran's last emperor and the daughter of ardent Marxists describes growing up in Tehran in a country plagued by political upheaval and vast contradictions between public and private life. Autobiography, Graphic Format.

Slaughterhouse-Five: or, The Children's Crusade : A Duty-Dance with Death, by Kurt Vonnegut, 1969. Billy Pilgrim, a chaplain's assistant during the Second World War, returns home only to be kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, who teach him that time is an eternal present. Science Fiction.

Lily recommends  :

The Naming, by Alison Croggon, 2002. A manuscript from the lost civilization of Edil-Amarandah chronicles the experiences of sixteen-year-old Maerad, an orphan gifted in the magic and power of the Bards, as she escapes from slavery and begins to learn how to use her Gift to stave off the evil Darkness that threatens to consume her world.

Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare, 2013. When 17-year-old orphaned shapechanger Tessa Gray is kidnapped by the villainous Mortmain in his final bid for power, the London Institute rallies to save her, but is beset by danger and betrayal at every turn.

Book of a Thousand Day, by Shannon Hale, 2007. 15-year-old Dashti, sworn to obey her 16-year-old mistress, the Lady Saren, shares Saren's years of punishment locked in a tower, then brings her safely to the lands of her true love, where both must hide who they are as they work as kitchen maids.

Nathan G. recommends 

My Friend Dahmer: a graphic novel, by Derf Backderf, 2012. In graphic novel format, the author offers an account of growing up in the same schools as Jeffrey Dahmer, who went on to become one of the most notorious serial killers and cannibals in United States history. Biography.

Thunderer, by Felix Gilman, 2008. When an innocent wandering monk accidentally unleashes a dark power, the city of Ararat will be forever changed, as will the lives of two powerful men--Captain Arlandes, the commander of the airship patrolling the skies over Ararat, and his nemesis, Jack Silk, a rebel leader.
Avatar Chronicles series, by Conor Kostick, 2006-2011. Epicfirst book in series: On New Earth, a world based on a video role-playing game, fourteen-year-old Erik pursuades his friends to aid him in some unusual gambits in order to save Erik's father from exile and safeguard the futures of each of their families. Science Fiction, Dystopian.

Forgotten Realms. Icewind Dale trilogyby R. A. Salvatore, 1988-1990. The Crystal Shard, (the first book in this trilogy, which is within the larger Forgotten Realms series): Bruenor, a dwarf, Drizzt, a dark elf, and Wulfgar, a barbarian warrior, try to unite the people of Ten-Towns to face the dangerous magic of the crystal shard. Fantasy.

Lockstep, by Karl Schroeder, 2014. 17-year-old Toby wakes from 14,000 years of hibernation to find himself lost in space. Welcome to the Lockstep Empire, where civilization is kept alive by careful hibernation. Here cold sleeps can last decades and waking moments mere weeks. Toby is shocked to learn that the Empire is ruled by its founding family: his own. Science Fiction; Space Opera.

Skinjacker trilogyby Neal Shusterman, 2006-2011. Everlostfirst book in series: When Nick and Allie are killed in a car crash, they end up in Everlost, or limbo for lost souls, where although Nick is satisfied, Allie will stop at nothing--even skinjacking--to break free. Fantasy.

Trust Me I'm Lyingby Mary Elizabeth Summer, 2014. Having learned to be a master con artist from her father, Julep Dupree pays expenses at her exclusive high school by fixing things for fellow students, but she will need their help when her father disappears. Suspense.

California Bones series, by Greg Van Eekhout, 2014-2015. California Bonesfirst book in series: Years after swallowing a kraken bone fragment and then witnessing the killing of his magician father, Daniel endures a life of thievery until his crime-boss uncle compels him to steal his father's sword and fight a corrupt regime. Urban fantasy.

Nathan M. recommends 

The Red Badge of Courageby Stephen Crane, 1895. Henry Fleming, a young Union soldier, struggles with his conflicting emotions about violence, death, and the nature of bravery in this ironic, skeptical account of the Civil War.

The Fort: a novel of the Revolutionary War, by Bernard Cornwell, 2010. After the British establish a fort on the Penobscot River, the Massachusetts patriots--among them General Peleg Wadsworth and Colonel Paul Revere--mount an expedition to oust the redcoats.

The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, 1990. Heroic young men carry the emotional weight of their lives to war in Vietnam in a patchwork account of a modern journey into the heart of darkness.

All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, 1929. The testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I, illuminates the savagery and futility of war.

The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara, 1974. Book 2 in Civil War trilogy, by Michael Shaara. Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet tell the Southern view of the battle at Gettysburg while Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and General John Buford present the Northern view.

Public Service Announcement Videos made by the Teen Think Tank to publicize the Library's summer reading themes:


  1. What the best book you have ever read?

    1. Ella's favorite is: Ready Player One
      Nathan G's favorite is: The Crystal Shard
      Ari's favorite is: Maximum Ride Graphic Novels
      Carter's favorite is: Ranger's Apprentice series
      Sophie's favorite... she has too many to say.

  2. How would you join the Teen Think Tank

    1. The Teen Think Tank is for ages 11-18. We meet on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 PM for 90 minutes. (You can earn your high school community service hours by participating in TTT meetings.)
      The TTT works to improve collections (books, movies, music, audiobooks, etc.) and to create programs and services designed for teens in this community.
      To join, please stop by the Library and talk with Kim Claire, Young Adult Librarian, or call 978-468-5577 x14.