Monday, February 8, 2016

Make a Date with a Book

Valentine's Day will be here is just one week.  Don't have plans for the day yet?

No problem!
Pick one of these great teen romance books to read this Valentine's Day . . .







The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
In Seattle in 1937 two seventeen-year-olds, Henry, who is white, and Flora, who is African-American, become the unwitting pawns in a game played by two immortal figures, Love and Death, where they must choose each other at the end, or one of them will die.

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
When Lord Death comes to claim sixteen-year-old Keturah while she is lost in the King's Forest, she charms him with her story and is granted a twenty-four hour reprieve in which to seek her one true love.

There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff
When the beautiful Lucy prays to fall in love, God, an irresponsible youth named Bob, chooses to answer her prayer personally, to the dismay of this assistant, Mr. B who must try to clean up the resulting catastrophes.

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman
Seventeen-year-old Vince's life is constantly complicated by the fact that he is the son of a powerful Mafia boss, a relationship that threatens to destroy his romance with the daughter of an FBI agent.

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl
In order to support her family and maintain their ancient castle in Lesser Hoo, seventeen-year-old Althea bears the burden of finding a wealthy suitor who can remedy their financial problems.


More Teen Romances --
Anna Dressed in Blood by  Kendare Blake
As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott
Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
Crash Into You by Kate McGarry
Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire by Juilius Lester
Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
Love by the Morning Star by Laura Sullivan
The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matswon
The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Time Between Us by Tamara Stone
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh


Check out these books on display at the Arnold Branch through February 27, 2016.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel by Melissa de la Cruz

Once upon a time . . .

All the evil villains of Disney fame were exiled to the Isle of the Lost.  There they are trapped without magic for all of time.

Sixteen years have passed and now these villain's children are trying to live up to their parents' evil deeds.

Jay is the son of Jafar who tried to rule all of Agrabah, is a pickpocket and thief who finds the merchandise for his father's store.

Carlos, the son of Cruella de Vil, lives in terror of his mother and her rages.

Evie, daughter of Snow White's Wicked Stepmother, has been taught by her mother to be beautiful and to capture a prince.

And Mal, Maleficent's daughter, is the undisputed "queen" of the kids just as her mother rules the island and its villains.

Together they go on a quest to find the Dragon Eye Sceptre in the hopes of breaking the dome keeping all magic out of the Isle of the Lost . . .


This is the prequel novel to the Disney movie The Descendants.  It was a fairly well done novel.  The premise is intriguing the and book does better than the movie with character and plot development.  It's a fun read for anyone who ever thought the villains seemed more interesting than the heroes of the Disney movies.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

A queen goes on a quest.  She has heard that the neighboring kingdom across the mountains has fallen asleep.  First it was just the castle.  But now it's creeping through the kingdom, a few miles every day, causing everyone to fall asleep.  She sets out with three dwarfs to discover the cause of the sleeping and to break the curse.

This is a great little retelling of Sleeping Beauty for teens.  It has enough familiar details and twists to make it interesting.   This is also available as a full-cast audio for listening.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

The villain Blackheart is surprised when one day a young man appears at his door claiming to be his new sidekick.  Turns out its a shapeshifter -- Nimona.

Nimona wants to help Blackheart get revenge against his nemesis Goldenloin and the Institute of Law Inforcement and Heroics.  Together they finally be able to defeat them.


This was a great graphic novel on heroism, villainy and what they both mean.  The twists and turns are unexpected and fun to read.  Nimona is a great book for all teens!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson

Seeking bold, courageous youths to become tomorrow's princesses and knights . . .

Come One, Come All!

A girl from the forest, with no name and no idea why she is there, finds herself in a world at war with witches.  She enrolls at Pennyroyal Academy where princess are trained to fight witches and knights are trained to fight dragons.  The girl, now named "Evie", must endure harsh training exercises while navigating a world of friends and enemies.

As Evie learns what it truly means to be a princess, she realizes that she is more closely ensnared in this war than she could have ever thought.  Surprises about her past and her family reveal just how much a part of this war she really is.


This is a great new take on the princess story.  These princesses are meek girls waiting to be rescued.  They are brave, strong girls training to fight evil.  They are the only defense against the witches wanting to destroy the world.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Winter Wonderland of Reading

This past weekend saw our first snowfall of the season.  While the snow didn't last but an hour or two, it did bring back fond memories of some of my favorite children's books that take place during the winter . . .

The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.

The Leanin' Dog by K.A. Nuzum
In wintry Colorado during the 1930s, eleven-year-old Dessa Dean mourns the death of her beloved mother, but the arrival of an injured dog and the friendship they form is just what they need to change their lives forever.

North by Donna Jo Napoli
Tired of his mother's overprotectiveness and intrigued by the life of African American explorer Matthew Henson, twelve-year-old Alvin travels north and spends a season with a trapper near the Arctic Circle.

Help! I'm a Prisoner in the Library by Eth Clifford
Two girls spend an adventurous night trapped inside the public library during a terrible blizzard.

Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed
From the first ice, a thin skin on a bucket of water, through thickly-iced fields, streams, and gardens, a girl, her family, and friends anticipate and enjoy a winter of skating, ending with an ice show complete with costumes, refreshments, and clowns.


More Winter Stories --
Blackwater Ben by William Durbin
The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin
The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Winter According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birtney
The Winter Pony by Iain Lawrence

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is the "Chosen One".  He is the magician that will save the world of magic from the Insidious Humdrum who is draining magic and leaving dead spots all over England.

Only one problem . . . he's not a very good magician.

Yes, he has power!  Lots of power!  But he doesn't have control over that power.  In fact, his main defense against the Humdrum is to "go off" and explode.

Baz, his arch nemesis and roommate at school, mocks him continuously about this.  Baz who is a vampire although no one seems to know except Simon.  Baz who didn't even bother to show up to school this year.



Rainbow Rowell previously wrote the novel Fan Girl about a character that was obsessed over a fantasy book series about Simon Snow.  This is the final story in that fictional series.  Even though it is a parody of fantasy books for teens, it is actually a great fantasy story for teens.

I would recommend this book to any fans of Rainbow Rowell's books and to those fantasy fans of Harry Potter, Charlie Bone and more.