Monday, September 28, 2015

Teens' Top Ten

Each year, YALSA (Young Adult Library Service Association) asks teens across the country to determine the Top Ten Books for teens.  Teens are asked to vote for up to three of their favorite books from the list.  They can vote online at  Voting ends on October 24, 2015.

Teens' Top Ten Nominees

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan & Maureen Johnson
Boys Like You by Juliana Stone
Don't Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout
Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Heir of Fire by Sara J. Maas
I Become Shadow by Joe Shine
The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer
The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alasaid
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake
My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak
The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
The Shadow Throne by Jennifer E. Nielsen
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Unhinged by A.G. Howard
We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkowski
The Young Elite by Marie Lu

Check out these books at the Arnold Branch!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa is a Gracelign -- someone gifted with an amazing gift that is signaled by her two different colored eyes.  She has what is considered the most dangerous of the graces -- the gift of killing.  Her uncle, King Randa, uses her as his enforcer and bully to keep his subjects in line.  Until the day she refuses to harm someone.  Now she's left everything she knows to work with Po, a neighboring country's prince, who is searching for why his grandfather was kidnapped.

This is the first book in the Graceling Realms series.  It is a wonderful fantasy novel featuring one of the strongest female characters written for teens.  Katsa is sure of her abilities, knows her mind, and isn't afraid to be stronger than everybody else.  The villain of the book is truly evil in a way that seems completely invincible.  Yet the ending is realistic and completely believable.  This is great series for both teen girls and boys as well as adult readers of fantasy.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Times Were A-Changin'

The 1960's were a time of great change for America.  The Civil Rights movement, the Cuban Missle Crisis, the counterculture movement all occurred during those turbulent years.  Here are some great books set during the 1960's for kids . . .

Gentle's Holler by Kerry Maden
In the early 1960s, twelve-year-old songwriter Livy Two Weems dreams of seeing the world beyond the Maggie Valley, North Carolina, holler where she lives in poverty with her parents and eight brothers and sisters, but understands that she must put family first.

90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis
Julian's parents, hoping to protect him from the dangers of the turmoil in Cuba, send him to the United States in 1961 as part of Operation Pedro Pan, not realizing that life in a Miami refugee camp holds its own perils.

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
As eleven-year-old Franny Chapman deals with drama at home and with her best friend in 1962, she tries to understand the larger problems in the world after President Kennedy announces that Russia is sending nuclear missiles to Cuba. 

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father's nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African-Americans and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party.

Spitting Image by Shutta Crum
In the small town of Baylor, Kentucky, twelve-year-old Jessie K. Bovey and her friends confront some of life's questions during their summer vacation in the late 1960s.

More Novels of the 1960s --
Abby Takes a Stand by Patricia McKissack
The Crazy Man by Pamela Porter
Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
Dancing in Cadillac Light by Kimberly Willis Holt
Flying South by Laura Elliott
Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle & Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me by Nan Marino
The Private Thoughts of Amelia E. Rye by Bonnie Shimko
Sources of Light by Margaret McMullan
Spelldown by Karen Luddy
The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
When Pirates Came to Brooklyn by Phyllis Shalant

Check out these books on display at the Arnold Branch through October 9, 2015.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sometimes the Classics Are the Best

Sometimes as a library, we get so focused on the newest books that we forget about the old favorites that have been popular for so long.  Sometimes classic books are the best books to read.  So here are some of my favorite classic picture books for kids . . .

Corduroy by Don Freeman
A toy bear in a department store wants a number of things, but when a little girl finally buys him he finds what he has always wanted most of all.

Elmer by David McKee
All the elephants of the jungle were gray except Elmer, who was a patchwork of brilliant colors until the day he got tired of being different and making the other elephants laugh.

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
Tacky the penguin does not fit in with his sleek and graceful companions, but his odd behavior comes in handy when hunters come with maps and traps.

Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore by David McPhail
Pigs galore invade a house and have a wonderful party.

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
George the puppy's mother is in for a big surprise when she takes him to the veterinarian to find out why he does not bark.

More Classic Picture Books --
Absolutely, Positively Alexander: The Complete Stories by Judith Viorst
Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott
Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys by H.A Rey
Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble
Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail
Frederick by Leo Lionni
Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans
Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse
May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
Moondance by Frank Asch
Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
The Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall
The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowery
Possum Magic by Mem Fox
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
Scuffy the Tugboat by Gertrude Crampton
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

Check out these and other classic picture books at the Arnold Branch.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is back with another irreverent look at Greek mythology.

This time he's telling us about the lives of the Greek heroes.

You would think the life of a Greek hero would be great!
Giant monsters!  Deadly Warriors!  Jealous Gods and Goddesses! Murderous Kings!

Read these stories to find out what life as a Greek hero was truly like.

For added fun, try the audio version of this narrated by  Jesse Berstein.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I Want a Pet!

It's a common request from kids.  They want a pet!  Whether it is a dog, cat, fish, horse, etc.  So this week, I'm sharing picture books about pets -- both usual and unusual.

The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle
A young boy enlists the help of a dragon to persuade his mother to let him have a dog as a pet.

Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
When Lucy, a young bear, discovers a boy lost in the woods, she asks her mother if she can have him as a pet, only to find him impossible to train.

How to Train a Train by Jason Eaton
A whimsical guide to training a "pet train" instructs young enthusiasts about important issues including where trains live, what they like to eat, and how to get them to perform the best train tricks.

Me Want Pet by Tammi Sauer
When Cave Boy wants a pet, he tries a woolly mammoth, a saber-toothed tiger, and a dodo bird, but none seems suitable.

A Pet for Petunia by Paul Schmimd
Petunia so desperately wants a pet skunk that she refuses to believe her parents when they say skunks stink.

More Pet Books --
Alberto the Dancing Alligator by Richard Waring
The Birthday Pet by Ellen Javernick
The Big Bad Wolf and Me by Delphine Perret
Cats are Cats by Valeri Gorbachev
C'Mere Boy! by Sharon Jennings
Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School by  Mark Teague
Hondo & Fabian by Peter McCarty
I Need a Snake by Lynne Jonell
If I Had a Raptor by George O'Connor
The Kindhearted Crocodile by Lucia Panzieri
"Let's Get a Pup!" Said Kate by Bob Graham
Lost Cat by C. Roger Mader
Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans
Mammoth and Me by Algy Craig Hall
My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World by Gilles Bachalet
My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee
Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett
The Perfect Pet by Margie Palatini
A Pet for Miss Wright by Judy Young
Sparky! by Jenny Offill
That Pesky Rat by Lauren Child
That's My Dog! by Rick Walton
Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival by Kirby Larson
Wanted, the Perfect Pet by Fiona Roberton
What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd
Worst in Show by William Bee

Check out these and other pet picture books on display at the Arnold Branch through September 25, 2015.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

Alanna has always dreamed of being a knight and going on adventures, but she is a girl.  When her father decrees that she will go to the convent to learn to be a lady and her twin brother Thom will go to the castle to become a knight she hatches a plan -- they switch places.  Alanna is determined to hide her identity long enough to become a knight.  But it's difficult always being on guard and hiding your true identity from your friends.  Plus, there's Duke Roger who seems to be out to get her for some reason . . .

The Song of the Lioness Quartet was one of the first female empowered fantasy series for teens.  It's a wonderful story of a girl who shows that she can do anything a boy can and often can do it better.

Alanna: The First Adventure shares the story of Alanna as a page training to be a knight.
In the Hand of the Goddess tells of her years as a squire and her showdown with Duke Roger.
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man tells of her adventures after winning her shield and revealing her true identity.
The Lioness Rampant closes the series with the story of her quest for the Dominion Jewel.