Tuesday, October 22, 2013

17 Third Quarter-ish Favorites

Here are my top 17 book picks from the 50 I read between July and October.  Out of these, the top two must not miss titles (imo) are Neal Shusterman's lastest book in his Unwind series, which stitches up more adventure with a dark thread of biological engineering horror, and Counting By 7s, by Holly Sloan, a sparkling gem of a story. In August I got hooked on the Forgotten Realms series fantasy books by R.A. Salvatore, thanks to a recommendation from a teen advisory board member.  Give Homeland, the first book in this series a try; it has adventure, battles galore, and intriguing character development. Crown of Midnight, by Sarah J. Maas, the sequel to Throne of Glass, arrived at the end of August, which was a squeee moment for me, only now, I again (sigh) must wait for the next book to be published to find out what happens with Celaena.  I am a huge fan of all the Tamora Pierce series so was very excited when her latest book Battle Magic, arrived to continue the story about Winding Circle's ambient magic mages.  Living with Jackie Chan, Pieces, and Rats Saw God, are all realistic fiction on serious topics told with humor from a teenage boy's perspective.  I had not read Jo Knowles, Jumping Off Swings, but after reading Living with Jackie Chan, I had to read that too.  Spirit and Dust is a romping paranormal/mystery road trip featuring ghosts, witches, psychics, and Egyptology.  I was amazed by Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, a well-told biographical narrative by Phillip Hoose, about a girl who ought to be as well known as Rosa Parks.  Relish was delicious graphic format nonfiction, and includes recipes.  If you pick up one of the following to read, let me know what you think.  (Book summaries are from the online catalog, just click on the title to place a hold or to see if the book is on the shelf, i.e. checked in.)


Battle Magic, by Tamora Pierce, 2013.  When messengers arrive in Gyongxe "inviting" Dedicate Initiate Rosethorn and her two young companion mages, Evumeimei and Briar, to court to celebrate the birthday of the Emperor of Yanjing, Rosethorn is eager to go, but Briar suspects that there is an ulterior motive behind the invitation.  (Third book in Circle Reforged series.)

The Bitter Kingdom, by Rae Carson, 2013.  Elisa, a fugitive in her own kingdom, faces great challenges to rescue the man she loves from her enemies, prevent a civil war, and take back her throne but as her magic grows, Elisa discovers the shocking truth about her enemy's ultimate goal.  (Third book in Fire and Thorns trilogy.)

Crown of Midnight, by Sarah J. Maas, 2013.  As the royal assassin to an evil king, 18-year-old Celaena Sardothien must decide what she will fight for--survival, love, or the future of a kingdom.  (Sequel to Throne of Glass)

Homeland, by R.A. Salvatore, 1990.  Drizzt the Dark Elf finds adventure, peril, and awesome magical power as he confronts the underground civilization of the evil race of Drow elves. (First book in Forgotten Realms Dark Elf series.)

Shadowfell, by Juliet Marillier, 2013.  Fifteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured, but when she sets out for Shadowfell, a training ground for a rebel group, she meets a mysterious soldier and the Good Folk, who tell her that she, alone, can save Alban. (First book in Shadowfell series.)

Historical Fiction

All The Truth That's In Me, by Julie Berry, 2013. Judith can't speak. But when her close-knit community of Roswell Station is attacked by enemies, Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice.

The Caged Graves, by Dianne K. Salerni, 2013.  Returning to her hometown of Catawissa, Pennsylvania, in 1867 to marry a man she has never met, 17-year-old Verity Boone gets caught up in the mystery surrounding the graves of her mother and aunt and a dangerous hunt for Revolutionary-era gold.


Spirit and Dust, by Rosemary Clement-Moore, 2013.   Raised in a family of psychics and witches, teen Daisy Goodnight is happy to help local police solve cold cases but when the FBI seeks her talents, she becomes involved in a mess that even has the spirits terrified.

Realistic Fiction

Counting By 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan, 2013.   Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, 2013.  Feeling cast off when her best friend outgrows their shared love for a favorite celebrity, Cath, a dedicated fan-fiction writer, struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words and worrying about her fragile father.
Living with Jackie Chan, by Jo Knowles, 2013.  After moving in with his karate-loving uncle in a different town, Josh struggles with regrets while practicing karate with upstairs neighbor Stella, whom Josh fears will reject him because of her jealous boyfriend and his own checkered past.  (Sequel to Jumping Off Swings.)
Pieces, by Chris Lynch, 2013.  18-year-old Eric deals with the loss of his older brother Duane by meeting three of the seven recipients of Duane's organs a year after his death, and pondering who they are to him, and he to them.

Rats Saw God, by Rob Thomas, 1996.   In hopes of graduating, Steve York agrees to complete a 100-page writing assignment which helps him to sort out his relationship with his famous astronaut father and the events that changed him from promising student to troubled teen.


Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, by Phillip M. Hoose, 2009.   Presents the life of the Alabama teenager who played an integral but little-known role in the Montgomery bus strike of 1955-1956, once by refusing to give up a bus seat, and again, by becoming a plaintiff in the landmark civil rights case against the bus company.

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, by Lucy Knisley, 2013.  Presents an illustrated memoir of the author's early life, as she describes key episodes and the foods associated with them, and the life lessons she learned from cooking and eating gourmet meals with her parents and friends.  (Graphic novel format.)

Science Fiction

Rot & Ruin, by Jonathan Maberry, 2010. 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.  (First book in Benny Imura series.)

Unsouled, by Neal Shusterman, 2013.  After the destruction of the Graveyard, Connor and Lev are on the run, seeking a woman who may be the key to bringing down unwinding forever while Cam, the rewound boy, tries to prove his love for Risa by bringing Proactive Citizenry to its knees.  (Third book in Unwind series.)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Humans vs. Zombies Game

HvZ Game
Last night the Teen Think Tank worked on the rules for a Humans versus Zombies game.  We reached a consensus for the rules. Unfortunately, the game date is now unknown.  Our partner from the Town of Hamilton Recreation Department is moving on to another job in another town as of October 18.   Soooo, the Teen Think Tank must postpone  HvZ until there is a staff person in the Recreation Department who is willing and available to partner with the Library for a HvZ game event in Pingree Park.