Monday, January 14, 2019

Best Books of 2018 - Teen Books

This week, I am sharing some of the best teen books from 2018.  Here are a few of my favorites . . . .

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it's that the universe can deliver romance when you least expect it--like meeting Ben at the post office.

Layover by Amy Andelson & Emily Meyer
During a layover at LAX, Flynn, her older stepbrother Amos, and their sister Poppy decide to ditch their family Christmas vacation in Bora Bora, where their parents plan to announce their divorce, and the three siblings instead spend three days in Los Angeles.

Fruits Basket Another, v. 1 by Natsuki Takaya
Sawa Mitoma, a nervous, skittish girl who prefers minimal human interaction, has just started high school, and it's already not going well... until she meets the "it" boys--the "prince-like" Mutsuki and the sharp-tongued Hajime. But little does she know, they're Sohmas?! It's Fruits Basket... again!

Save the Date by Morgan Matson
When seventeen-year-old Charlie Grant's four older siblings reunite for a wedding, she is determined they will have a perfect weekend before the family home is sold, but last-minute disasters abound.

Royals by Rachel Hawkins
When Daisy's older sister gets engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland, Daisy makes the royal rule-book all her own.


More Best Teen Books --
#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil
The Belles by Dhonielle J. Clayton
The Button War by Avi
The Cheerleaders by Karta Thomas
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi
Everless by Sara Holland
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely
Light Years by Kass Morgan
Meet Cute by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
Ship It by Britta Lundin
That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger


Check these and more books out on display at the Arnold Branch through January 18, 2019.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Drift & Dagger by Kendall Kulper

Mal used to have a home.  It might not have been the greatest home with everyone on Prince Island looking down on him for being a penniless orphan but it was still a place to call his own. 

Then his best friend Essie reveals that he is a blank -- a person unaffected by magic -- and he loses that home. 

Now he travels the world, hiding his secret to stay safe, while hunting for magical creatures to sell. 

Then he hears rumors of a knife that steals magic from those it cuts and Mal decides it will be the perfect revenge.



This is a book set in the same world at Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper.  This was an interesting take on a person in a magical world that has no magic.  It's also a great book about revenge. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Best Books of 2018 - Chapter Books

This week, I'm sharing some of the best chapter books of 2018 for children.  Here are a few of my favorites . . .

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
In nineteenth-century England, after her father's disappearance Nan Sparrow, ten, works as a "climbing boy," aiding chimney sweeps, but when her most treasured possessions end up in a fireplace, she unwittingly creates a golem.

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis
When his poor sharecropper father is killed in an accident and leaves the family in debt, twelve-year-old Little Charlie agrees to accompany fearsome plantation overseer Cap'n Buck north in pursuit of people who have stolen from him.

Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
When an inkblot, who can write, listen, learn, and draw, jumps out of Mr. Rylance's sketchbook, Ethan believes he may be the answer to their problems and names him Inkling.

My Father's Words by Patricia MacLachlan
Declan O'Brien always had a gentle word to share, odd phrases he liked to repeat, and songs to sing. His family loved him deeply and always knew they were loved in return, but a terrible accident one day changes their lives forever. What words are there to guide them through such overwhelming grief?


More Best Chapter Books --
The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods
Denis Ever After by Tony Abbott
The Key to Everything by Pat Schmatz
Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans by Russell Ginns
The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
The Serpent's Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta
The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
Very Rich by Polly Horvath

Check these and more books out on display at the Arnold Branch through January 11, 2019.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

My Life With the Walter Boys by Ali Novak

After her family is killed in a car accident, Jackie moves from New York City to rural Colorado to live with her mother's best friend and family.  It's complete culture shock made worse by the fact that there are 12 children in the Walter family -- all boys.


This is basically a love triangle story.  While there is a lot of grief over the loss of her family, most of Jackie's time is consumed with how to deal with the two brothers that want to date her. 

This was a novel written by a 15-year-old on Wattpad that eventually was published.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Best Books of 2018 - Picture Books

This week, I am sharing some of what we consider the best picture books of 2018.  Here are a few of my favorites from this past year . . .

The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee
A knight who feels secure on his side of the wall that divides his book discovers that his side is not as safe as he thought, and the other side is not as threatening.

I'm Sad by Michael Ian Black
Flamingo learns that it is okay to be sad sometimes and that her friends, the little girl and Potato, will stand by her no matter how she feels.

Do You Believe in Unicorns? by Bethanie Murguia
Is it a unicorn or a horse in a hat? It's up to readers to decide!

Honey by David Ezra Stein
A young bear wakes from hibernation craving honey, but soon recalls the many things he can enjoy while waiting for his favorite food to be ready.


More Best Picture Books --
And There Was Evening and There Was Morning by Harriet Cohen Helfrand
Dog on a Digger by Kate Prendergast
Grow Up, David! by David Shannon
Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel
How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk
I Really Want to See You Grandma by Taro Gomi
Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson
Love by Matt de la Pena
Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman
Niblet and Ralph by Zacharia Ohora
Night Train, Night Train by Robert Burleigh
People Don't Bite People by Lisa Wheeler
Sloth at the Zoom by Helaine Becker
Twig by Aura Parker
The Visitor by Antje Damm
When Sophie Thinks She Can't . . . by Molly Bang
Winter Is Here by Kevin Henkes


Check these and more books out on display at the Arnold Branch through January 11, 2019.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Devils Within by S.F. Henson


Nate was 8 years old the first time he stabbed someone.  
He was 11 years old when he earned his red laces for spilling blood for his father's "cause".  
He was 14 years old when he murdered his father, the leader of the white supremacist group The Fort.  

Nearly two years later, he's being sent to live with his uncle who hates him in a town that ignores him.  

Then he meets Brandon, a person The Fort taught Nate to hate on sight.  

Brandon can never know Nate's past . . .


While this is a difficult book to read it is also a very well written book that draws you into the story and into caring for Nate.  This is a book that looks at hate and how it is indoctrinated into people without their even realizing it.  I would recommend this to teens looking for a realistic and gritty book that is also about redemption.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake


Hadley's life has been in turmoil ever since it was discovered that her father had been having an affair.  

They moved to a new town.  
Her mother has withdrawn.  
Her father is constantly trying to reconnect with Hadley.  

Then she meets Sam.  

He seems to get her -- her grief, her sorrow, and her anger.  

Hadley begins to fall in love with Sam.  

However, Sam has a secret that he hasn't told her . . .



This is a great story about how a single incident can change the lives of many people.  It's also a great story of forgiveness and hope.  I would recommend this to teens who enjoy Sarah Dessen, Jennifer E. Smith, or Morgan Matson.