Tuesday, July 26, 2011

10 Favorite Fiction Books

Since the start of 2011, I have read 71 Young Adult fiction books.  So, instead of another (fourth) travel related book list this week, I thought I would post my top ten favorite Young Adult fiction reads from the past six months.  Some of the books on the list are newly published, and others are older titles that I have just gotten around to reading.  The descriptive terms beneath the title are my quick thoughts about the book.  The story abstract's (except for Abhorsen Trilogy) are from the Library's online catalog.  I gave all of these books a minimum of 4 stars, or the max (5 stars), in Library Thing.

Kim's 6 Months Top 10 YA Fiction Reads :
Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix.   Fantasy, Adventure, Necromancer, the line between good and evil, life and death, magic and mundane.  Over the course of three books, a family of necromancers battle against evil by entering the land of the dead.
BADD by Tim Tharp.  Contemporary Realistic, PTSD, Iraq War, Brother-Sister relationship, Humorous.  A teen girl's beloved brother returns home from the Iraq War completely unlike the person she remembers.
Blink and Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones.  Suspense, Crime, Runaways, Contemporary, set in Canada.  Two teenagers who are living on the streets and barely getting by become involved in a complicated criminal plot, and make an unexpected connection with each other.

Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce.  Fantasy, Supernatural, touch of Science Fiction, some Horror (Vampire, Wraiths, Gargoyles), Romance.  The servant girl Aeriel must choose between destroying her vampire master for his evil deeds or saving him for the sake of his beauty and the spark of goodness she has seen in him.

Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge.  Steampunk Fantasy, 1950s alternate history, Supernatural, set in Boston.  In an alternate 1950s, mechanically gifted 15-year-old Aoife Grayson, whose family has a history of going mad at sixteen, must leave the totalitarian city of Lovecraft and venture into the world of magic to solve the mystery of her brother's disappearance and the mysteries surrounding her father and the Land of Thorn.

The Luxe series, by Anna Godbersen.
Historical Romance, social classes, set in New York and California.  
In Manhattan in 1899, five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.

Orchards by Holly Thompson.  Contemporary Realistic, Bullying, Suicide, bi-polar, written in free verse, set in States and Japan.  Sent to Japan for the summer after an eighth-grade classmate's suicide, half-Japanese, half-Jewish Kana Goldberg tries to fit in with relatives she barely knows and reflects on the guilt she feels over the tragedy back home.

Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt.  Contemporary Realistic, Road Trip, Iraq War, Marines, PTSD, Brother-Brother relationship, set in Massachusetts.  Although they have never gotten along well, seventeen-year-old Levi follows his older brother Boaz, an ex-Marine, on a walking trip from Boston to Washington, D.C. in hopes of learning why Boaz is completely withdrawn.

Trash by Andy Mulligan.  Mystery, Adventure, Poverty, Corruption, Friendship, set in Phillipines.  Fourteen-year-olds Raphael and Gardo team up with a younger boy, Rat, to figure out the mysteries surrounding a bag Raphael finds during their daily life of sorthing through trash in a third-world country's dump.

You Don't Know About Me by Brian Meehl.  Contemporary Realistic, Road Trip, Humorous, Doubt vs. Faith, Mark Twain, Homophobia, Geochaching, Mother-Son relationship.  Billy has spent his almost-sixteen years with four cardinal points--Mother, Christ, Bible, and Home-school--but when he sets off on a wild road trip to find the father he thought was dead, he learns much about himself and life.

Friday, July 22, 2011


  It’s our birthday—we’re turning 10, and you can help celebrate in a contest 
that features your favorite book or series.

The Hanging Mobile Contest is open
to teens entering grades 6 to 12, and Adults.
Contest begins August 1, 2011,
and ends October 24, 2011.
Three winning categories:
grades 6-8, grades 9-12, and College/Adult.
Prizes will be awarded at the
Library’s 10th Anniversary Gala
on Sunday, November 6, 2011
  For contest rules & entry form click here

mo·bile: a piece of kinetic sculpture having balanced objects/shapes, suspended in midair by wire or twine, from a number of rods, so that the individual parts can move independently, as when stirred by a breeze.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


You Are Here summer book list #3 is Non-Fiction Travel, or true tales of travels around the world.  Place a hold on one of the books below by clicking on the title, which will take you to the online catalog.  You will need your library card barcode, and your PIN (last 4 digits of your telephone number).

by Glynis Ridley, 2010.
In a deeply researched and engagingly written narrative of science, adventure, love, and a voyage of discovery, Ridley tells the true story of Jeanne Baret, the first woman to circumnavigate the globe.
An account of an astonishing feat of exploration and human courage. In August of 1914, the British ship, Endurance, set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, were castaways, drifting on ice packs.
edited by Mark Pearson and Martin Westerman, 2004.  
A collection of short essays by students who made the trek across the ocean in search of adventures. Maps.
The quest: to be the first people to drive cross-country in a french-fry car. Part adventure, part investigation, of what we're doing (or not doing) to preserve the planet.  Upbeat, funny, and full of surprising information.

by writer & artist, Sarah Glidden, 2010.  
A graphic memoir that chronicles the author's Israeli government sponsored trip through Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and Masada and a non-chaperoned trip into the West Bank.
An Indian Winter, by Russell Freedman, 1992.
  The experiences of a German prince, his servant, and a young Swiss artist as they traveled through the Missouri River Valley in 1833 learning about the territory and its inhabitants.

by Jon Krakauer, 1997.  
The story of a disastrous expedition that claimed the lives of eight climbers.  Krakauer describes his spring 1996 trek to Mt. Everest, and explains why he survived. 
by Emmanuel Guibert, 2009.  
In 1986, Afghanistan was torn apart by a war with the Soviet Union.  This graphic novel/photo-journal is a record of one reporter’s arduous & dangerous journey through Afghanistan, accompanying the Doctors Without Borders.

edited by Lisa Johnson, 2003.  
Backpackers on their first visit to Europe tell it like it really is. They describe crossing the language barrier in Corfu, meeting locals in Prague, hostel life in London, finding love in Paris & overindulging in Greece.

by Casey Scieszka, 2011.   
Covers the nearly two-year odyssey that Casey & Steven embarked on, after graduating from college in 2006.  Explores each nation's language, politics, traditions, & food.  Illustrated by Steven Weinberg.
by Skye Moody, 2006.   
The travels of marine debris.  From rubber ducks and beeswax to refrigerators and dead whales. 
by Andrew Mueller, 2007. 
Wanting to find out why people in ravaged-torn countries turned to war as a resolution, a rock journalist heads to Kabul, Belfast, Gaza, and other war-ridden nations to get the stories straight from the source.