Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dare to Be Scared! (Part 1)

In celebration of Halloween coming, I thought I would focus on horror books this month for teens.  This week, I'll be sharing collections of horror short stories . . .


On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming
In a lonely Illinois cemetery one cold October night, teen ghosts recount the stories of their deaths in different time periods, from 1870 to the present, to sixteen-year-old Mike, who unknowingly picked up a phantom hitchhiker.

Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror edited by R.L. Stine
A collection of original horror stories from authors including R.L. Stine, Meg Cabot, and Jennifer Allison.

Pretty Monsters: Stories by Kelly Link
A collection of short stories includes "The Wrong Grave," in which a boy digs up his girlfriend's corpse in order to retrieve the poems that he buried with her, and "Monster," in which a monster uses a cell phone to lure its prey.

Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories edited by Michael Sims
A treasury of Victorian-era vampire stories includes Edgar Allan Poe's "The Oval Portrait" and Guy de Maupassant's "The Horla," in an anthology complemented by Transylvanian superstitions.

Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales edited by Deborah Noyes
Drawing on dark fantasy and the fairy tale as well as horror and wild humor, ten acclaimed authors pay homage to the gothic tale in wide-ranging stories of the supernatural and surreal.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy Birthday David!

One of my favorite picture book authors is David Shannon.  His books are fun, colorful, and child friendly.  In celebration of David Shannon's birthday on October 5th, here are my favorite David Shannon books . . . .

No, David! by David Shannon
A young boy is depicted doing a variety of naughty things for which he is repeatedly admonished, but finally he gets a hug.

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
A duck decides to ride a bike and soon influences all the other animals on the farm to ride bikes too.

Alice the Fairy by David Shannon
Alice, who claims to be a Temporary Fairy, still has a lot to learn, such as how to make her clothes put themselves away in the closet.

Good Boy, Fergus! by David Shannon
Except for his bath, Fergus experiences the perfect doggy day, from chasing cats and motorcycles to being scratched on his favorite tickle spot.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fairy Tales Retold

"Once upon a time . . . "
These is one of my favorite ways for a book to start.  I love fairy tales -- whether the original Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen or new tales.  Today I thought I would share some great retellings of fairy tales for kids . . .

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
Zita, cast aside by her father and raised as a kitchen maid, learns when she is nearly twelve that she is a princess and that her twelve sisters love her, and so when she discovers they are victims of an evil enchantment, she desperately tries to save them. A retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses".

I Was a Rat! by Philip Pullman
A little boy turns life in London upside down when he appears at the house of a lonely old couple and insists he was a rat.  A retelling of "Cinderella".

The Brixen Witch by Stacy DeKeyser
Twelve-year-old Rudi stumbles upon a witch's lair while out hunting, takes a gold coin he finds there but loses it again, then must deal with the witch's servant who promises to end the town's rat infestation only if he receives that gold coin.  A retelling of "The Pied Piper".

Ugly by Donna Jo Napoli
When the rest of the ducks turn on her little duckling, Ugly, because he isn't like them, Mother Duck sadly leaves him behind in order to protect her other children. With the help of some new friends, Ugly makes his way alone, but he doesn't know where he's going or what he's looking for.  A retelling of "The Ugly Duckling".

More Fairy Tale Retellings --
Beauty and the Beast: The One Who Didn't Run Away by Wendy Mass
Fairest by Gail Carson Levin (Snow White)
The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker (The Frog Prince)
Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli (Rumpelstiltskin)
Straw Into Gold by Gary D. Schmidt (Rumpelstiltskin)
A True Princess by Diane Zahler (The Princess and the Pea)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's a Mystery!

Mystery books are one of the most common genre of books written.  Here are some great mysteries for teens . . . .

The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
New student Jade uncovers a murder mystery when she moves into a house haunted by the ghost of a beautiful, mean girl who ruled Jade's high school.

From Charlie's Point of View by Richard Scrimger
Best friends Bernadette and Charlie begin seventh grade and help unravel the mysterious case of the Stocking Bandit.

The Season by Sarah MacLean
Showing no interest in the sumptuous balls, lavish dinner parties, and country weekends enjoyed by the rest of early nineteenth-century London society, seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford seeks adventure as she investigates the puzzling murder of the Earl of Blackmoor, father of devilishly handsome Gavin.

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
When Will Halpin transfers from his all-deaf school into a mainstream Pennsylvania high school, he faces discrimination and bullying, but still manages to solve a mystery surrounding the death of a popular football player in his class.

Suspect by Kristin Nitz
As the family gathers at her grandmother's bed-and-breakfast for a murder mystery weekend, seventeen-year-old Jen confronts her ambivalent feelings about her mother, who disappeared fourteen years earlier, and about the possibility that she might be dead.

More Mysteries for Teens --
Blood Trail by Nancy Springer
Burning Blue by Paul Griffin
Creature of the Night by Kate Thompson
The Death Collector by Justin Richards
The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry
Legacies: A Shadow Grail Novel by Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Hill
Phoning a Dead Man by Gillian Cross
Something Rotten by Alan Gratz
Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas
Trash by Andy Mulligan

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Fall!

Today is the first full day of fall for the year!  It's exciting to see the cooler temperatures, the changing leaves, and the upcoming holidays.  So today, I am sharing some of my favorite books about fall . . .

Fall Leaves Fall! by Zoe Hall
When fall comes, two brothers enjoy catching the falling leaves, stomping on them, kicking them, jumping in piles of them, and using them to make pictures.  Includes a description of how leaves change through the year.

Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka
The delights of autumn are described in mixed-up verse and illustrations, and the reader is challenged to uncover the errors.

Red Are the Apples by Marc Harshman
Leads the reader through a bountiful garden in autumn while drawing particular attention to the variety of colors found within it.

Fall Is Not Easy by Marty Kelley
A tree tells why, out of all four seasons, autumn is the hardest.

Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky
Every autumn a bear shows up behind the farm, and goes through a series of routines before finding a den among the hilltop boulders where he sleeps all winter long.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Go On an Adventure with a Book

Books are the ultimate adventure.  You can go anywhere and do anything in the pages of a book.  Here are some great adventure books for kids . . .

The Death-Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean
Having been raised believing he will die before he reaches the age of fourteen, Pepper Roux runs away on his fourteenth birthday in an attempt to elude his fate, assumes another identity, and continues to try to outrun death, no matter the consequences.

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Odyssey-like adventure of two boys' incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters.

The Abernathy Boys by Laura Hunt
A fictionalized account of the adventurous 1909 journey of nine-year-old Bud Abernathy and his five-year-old brother, Temp, who traveled alone, mostly on horseback, from their home in Oklahoma to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and back again, crossing t he vast, desertlike no-man's-land in the Texas Panhandle known as the caprock.

Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson
hen Hilary Westfield escapes Miss Pim's finishing school to join a misfit pirate crew, she embarks on an unexpectedly magical swashbuckling, plank-walking, searfaring journey.

The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode by Eleanor Estes
Following a prophecy of a former resident of their Brooklyn alley, two boys discover an underground passage behind their houses.

More Adventure Stories --
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Big Book of Adventure by Alyssa Heyman
Island of Thieves by Josh Lacey
The Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis
Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew by Ursula Vernon
The Privateer's Apprentice by Susan Verrico

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Talk Like a Pirate Day - Friday, September 19

Pirate stories are just for younger kids.  There are an abundance of great pirate stories for teens . . .

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
Cursed to live the lives of 100 dogs, a seventeenth-century pirate finally returns to life as a human being and has only one thing on her mind--to recover the treasure she had buried in Jamaica three hundred years before.

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Clarke
When her parents try to marry her off to a member of another pirate clan, Ananna flees her ship and is chased by an assassin from the jilted clan.

Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
When twins Connor and Grace's ship is wrecked in a storm and Connor is rescued by pirates, he believes that Grace has been taken aboard the mythical Vampirate's ship, and he is determined to find her.

Terry and the Pirates by Julian Thompson
When sixteen-year-old Terry Talley stows away on a yacht, she doesn't expect to encounter another runaway and end up shipwrecked on a tiny island with a bunch of oddball pirates who are looking for some buried treasure.