Monday, April 27, 2015

Don't Make Me Blush: Clean Reads for Teens

Are you looking for some teen books?  How about teen books that don't contain more explicit or graphic language?  Here are some suggestions for "clean" teen reads . . . .

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
Sydelle , an unusually talented weaver, must master her mysterious power and join a young wizard in stopping an imminent war in her land.

Variant by Robison E. Wells
After years in foster homes, Benson applies to the Maxfield Academy in hopes of securing a brighter future, but instead he finds that the school is a prison and no one is what he or she seems.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
In an alternate 1914 Europe, Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.

The Squire's Tale by Gerald Morris
In medieval England, Terence finds his tranquil existence suddenly changed when he becomes the squire of the young Gawain of Orkney and accompanies him on a long quest, proving Gawain's worth as a knight and revealing an important secret about his own true identity.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.

More "Clean" Teen Reads --
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins
Dangerous by Shannon Hale
Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal
Forgotten: A Novel by Cat Patrick
The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Mistwood by Leah Cypess
My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
Reckless by Cornelia Funke
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Tamar by Mal Peet
Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Check out these books on display at the Arnold Branch through May 15, 2015.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Have you ever wanted to know the real story of the Greek gods and goddesses?  Not what the stories they tell about themselves, but the real truth?

Then you definitely have to read Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.

Percy Jackson, of Lightning Thief fame, reveals the true stories.
While he doesn't want to offend them, because you never know what they'll do to you in retribution, he does want to make sure you are properly warned about their true natures.  And he reveals all in his own hilarious style.

This is a definite must read for anyone who likes mythology.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Could You? Would You? Survive

One of the most popular responses when I ask what type of book a kids wants is . . . survival stories.  It seems to particularly popular with reluctant readers.  So this week I am sharing some of my favorite survival stories for kids . . . .

Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury
In 1975, eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami.

Fallout by Todd Strasser
When an unthinkable nuclear attack occurs in an alternate-reality 1962, Scott is forced into his father's bomb shelter with his family and neighbors, where they rapidly consume limited supplies and fear the worst about the fate of the world outside.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
A young boy relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship.

Prisoner 88 by Leah Pileggi
In 1885, ten-year-old Jake is sent to prison for killing a man who threatened his father, and struggles to survive the harsh realities of prison life in the Idaho Territory.

More Survival Stories --
The Boy Who Spoke Dog by Clay Morgan
The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 by Laurence Yep
Emma's River by Alison Hart
Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick
Getting Air by Dan Gutman
Hurricane: A Novel by Terry Trueman
Ice Drift by Theodore Taylor
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods
Small As an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements

Check out these books on display at the Arnold Branch through May 8, 2015.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Would You Like to Read a Book? Here Are Some -- Take a Look! Books in Rhyme

Children love rhyming books.  They love the rhythm they tend to have and the way they sound.  They love to point out once they notice that it is a rhyming book.  So here are some of my favorite rhyming picture books . . . .

Beware of Tigers by Dave Horowitz
Despite being warned, two birds are deceived by a smiling tiger.

Bears in the Bath by Shirley Parenteau
When Big Brown Bear tries to get four very dirty, little bears into the bath tub, they resist his efforts, until he shows them how much fun baths can be.

Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
One small act of love blossoms into something more dazzling than Little Miss could have ever imagined, in this journey about life, kindness, and giving.

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
As three dust bunnies, Ed, Ned, and Ted, are demonstrating how much they love to rhyme, a fourth, Bob, is trying to warn them of approaching danger.

My Pet Book by Bob Staake
A boy's search for the perfect pet leads him to the bookstore, where he finds a bright red book that becomes his best friend.

More Rhyming Books --
All of Baby Nose to Toes by Victoria Adler
A Bear and His Boy by Sean Bryan
Bounce by Doreen Cronin
Chicken Butt! by Erica Perl
Chicken in the Kitchen by Tony  Johnston
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan Shea
Don't Say That Word! by Alan Katz
How Do You Wokka-Wokka? by Elizabeth Bluemle
Pierre the Penguin: A True Story by Jean Marzollo
Planes Fly by George Ella Lyon
Pugs in a Bug by Carolyn Crimi
Race You to Bed by Bob Shea
Roar of a Snore by Marsha Diane Arnold
Scuba Bunnies by Christine Loomis
Take Me to Your BBQ by Kathy Duval
Toys Galore by Peter Stein
Who's Who? by Ken Geist
Zoom, Rocket, Zoom! by Margaret Mayo

These and more rhyming picture books will be on display at the Arnold Branch through May 1, 2015.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward

Mama built a little nest . . .

So begins a stanza on each spread detailing how and what kind of nest different birds build.

This is a great bird to read with preschool and early elementary children during spring.  Not only does it give an amazing amount of information about the nests in the four-line stanzas, but the author also gave additional information about the birds in a caption on the side of each page.  It is up to the author how much they want to read or share with their audience.

Monday, April 6, 2015

April Is National Poetry Month

This month, we celebrate our love of language in poetry.  A growing genre is novels written in verse.  So here are some of my favorite Novels in Verse for teens . . . .

Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge
Praying for help after the sudden death of his brother, Walker is astonished by the appearance of an irreverent Jesus in his bedroom who imparts unexpected strength and comfort while helping him understand some of life's biggest questions.

One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
Fifteen-year-old Ruby Milliken leaves her best friend, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her mother's grave in Boston and reluctantly flies to Los Angeles to live with her father, a famous movie star who divorced her mother before Ruby was born.

Keesha's House by Helen Frost
Seven teens facing such problems as pregnancy, closeted homosexuality, and abuse each describe in poetic forms what caused them to leave home and where they found home again.

Cold Skin by Steven Herrick
In a rural Australian coal mining town shortly after World War II, teenaged Eddie makes a startling discovery when he investigates the murder of a local high school girl.

More Teen Novels in Verse --
The Brimstone Journals by Ronald Koertge
Burned by Ellen Hopkins
By the River by Steven Herrick
Crossing Stones by Helen Frost
Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses by Ronald Koertge
Nothing by Robin Friedman
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman
Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham
The Taking of Room 113: A Hostage Drama in Poems by Mel Glenn
Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood by Jame Richards
Walking on Glass by Alma Fullerton
What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill
The Wolf by Steven Herrick

Check these books on display at the Arnold Branch through April 25, 2015.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Leonard Peacock has big plans for today!
It's his 18th birthday and he's going to celebrate.

Instead of getting presents from others, he plans to give presents to his four "best" friends.

Then he's going to give a gift to himself.  He's going to take his grandfather's World War II Nazi gun and shoot his former best friend Asher Beal.

This book was a fascinating to read.  The dilemna of what Leonard would do plays out throughout the entire novel.  Will he?  Or won't he?  As he recalls moments with his friends, anticipates how people will react, and even reads letters from the "future" -- you're kept in suspense.  The reader is living the day with Leonard.  What kind of birthday will he have in the end?