Monday, December 19, 2011

Warm Up with Hot Cocoa Cones: Dec 21-22

Need a last minute gift?
Back by popular demand, Hot Cocoa Cones. Stop by the Teen Area and make a Hot Cocoa Cone. Give as a stocking stuffer or keep for yourself.

Program Times:
Wednesday, Dec. 21: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 22: 3-7 p.m.

This is a drop-in program, so registration is not necessary. However, as with all Teen programs, Hot Cocoa Cones is for teens grades 6-12 only. Why? all teen programs are geared toward & developed for this age group.

Monday, December 5, 2011

$$$ For College: December 8 @ 6:30 p.m.

Planing for college doesn't have to be stressful or confusing. To help prospective students in their quest for that degree, OPL is offering Dollars ($$$) For College this Thursday (December 8) @ 6:30 p.m. For this free program, college planning expert Sheryl Krasnow of College & Career Counseling Associates, Inc. will tell all there is to know about financial aid, grants, scholarships, and other $$$-related topics. She will answer all the questions you have--and probably bring up a few points you didn't even know about. With the price of a college education on the rise, this program is a must for both students and parents.

Space is limited, so registration is required. To sign up, call or visit the Teen area. Or register online through the library website.


It has been a year since things in Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl ended badly for both Stargirl and Leo. Stargirl and her family have moved from Arizona to Pennsylvania, but she still thinks of the boy she left behind. The boy who broke her heart and caused her to question everything about herself.

Love, Stargirl is an uplifting contunuation of the story that, previously, ended on a very depressing note. In it, Stargirl begins the "world's longest letter" to her former boyfriend, Leo, in which she confesses just how much he hurt her. At first, all Stargirl can do is mope and empty the pebbles from her happy wagon. But slowly and surely over the course of the novel Stargirl's old quirky self begins to resurface. She makes new unique friends around her neighborhood, finds new goals that don't involve getting back together with Leo, and even discovers a possible new love interest with a neighborhood boy. Best of all, Stargirl learns she doesn't need Leo (or any boy) to have a happy and fulfilling life. Just the same, will she find the courage to mail her letter? And will there ever be an answer to the question she asks each day at sunrise?

Find out.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Teen Classic Movie: December 3 @ Noon

"You'll shoot your eye out!" A now-familiar holiday catch phrase from an even more familiar holiday movie, A Christmas Story. Stop by the Teen Area on Saturday December 3 @ Noon and watch this classic (again).

Join Ralphie in his quest for his most-wanted Christmas present: A Red Rider BB Gun ("with a compass and a stock and this thing which tells time"). His requests are blocked at each turn by his parents, his teacher, and even Jolly Ol' St. Nick, each uttering the dreaded excuse of "You'll shoot your eye out." Will Ralphie's Christmas wish ever come true?

Also discover what happens when a neighborhood bully takes things too far! Find out what sort of triple dog dare causes the fire department (and the cops) to be called! Learn what happens when one gets soap poisoning!And discover how to celebrate Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant (in style)! And just what sort of atrocity is inside that crate marked "Fragile"?

Find out Saturday December 3 @ Noon.--AJL

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Teen Book Reviews by Teens

The Dark Power Trilogy

Chloe Saunders is a troubled teen, but not in the way most would think. She sees dead people all the time. Thinking herself to be crazy, she finds herself confined to Lyle House, a halfway house for troubled teens. Little did she know they were all like her.

Soon wierd things begin to happen. Friends disappear. This leads Chloe on a search to try and understand what's going on at Lyle House. With the help of two other inmates, Simon and Derek, Chloe begins to investigate the dark and mysterious past of Lyle House. Learning about a world she never knew existed, Chloe is drawn not only into her past, but her future as well. A future no one sees coming.

There is so much more to this story, but I don't want to ruin it for you. But trust me. It's worth the read! And don't forget to pick up the other two books in the trilogy: The Awakening (book 2) and The Reckoning (book 3). --Rachel Young, teen reviewer

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Fame Monster

Wonder Blake never felt she measured up to her uber talented older sister Lucky, who was on the way to becoming a pop star before she died. Wonder and her family are left to deal with the tragedy. What happens next is straight out of a made-for-TV movie: While singing along with the radio while mopping the floor of the local Dairy Queen, where she works, Wonder is discovered by a big-time talent scout. Before Wonder knows it, she is thrown into the life of a pop diva. At first it's fun, but the more she lives the life, the more she's sure it's not the life for her.

Pop Princess may appear to be light and fluffy. And parts of it are. But deeper down it's about discovering your own identity, your own dreams and goals, and making them happen--even though they may not be what everyone else thinks is best for you. A fun, thoughtful read. --AJL

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cause a Scene--This Sunday!

Whose Line is it Anyway? Yours! Stop in at the Teen Area this Sunday (November 19) and experience the fun and spontaneity of We Cause Scenes, OPL's new Teen-Run improv group. Try your hand at acting, play interactive games, and be prepared for the unexpected.

We Cause Scenes will be held 2-4 p.m. Sunday November 19. No registration necessary. Just stop in. Snacks will be served.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Not a Disney Ending

Happily Ever After? Hardly! In Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand, Louise Hawes re-imagines several well-known fairy tales to much darker ends. Find out what happend after Cinderella married the Prince--and why she never really found her happy ending. Learn who the real victim was in the story of Rapuzel. Discover the sinister truth about the seven dwarfs (or, rather, one dwarf in particular) and read of the disturbing horror the helpless Snow White was subjected to again and again when left alone with this warped little man. And more.

If you're looking for light and fluffy fairy tales, pass on this one. But fans of dark fantasy will devour Black Pearls. --AJL

Pants On Fire

Everything Micah tells readers is the truth. But that could be a lie. Or is it? A compulsive Liar, Micah has tricked everyone she encounters: peers, teachers, her parents--and she's always managed to keep good track of her lies. Until now. Micah's boyfriend turns up dead, a victim of possible murder, and Micah is the number one suspect. Trouble is, she's lied so much no one knows if they can believe her claim to innocence.

Here is her story. Believe it--or don't.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


In Laini Taylor's newest novel, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, a seemingly ordinary teenager is caught up in a deadly otherworldly war--and learns she plays a more important role in that war than she ever could have imagined. Karou was lovingly raised by the Chimera magician Brimstone, for whom she travles the world collecting teeth. When the Seraphim, enemy to the Chimera, burn the portals linking Earth and Elsewhere (the Chimera's world), Karou finds herself exiled from the only family she has ever known. Desperate to get back to them, Karou enlists the help of Akiva, a renegade angel who, after falling in love with a Chimera, has been harboring a secret dream of peace between the races. The two rediscover love and Karou will finally learn the answer to the greatest question of all: Who she really is. But can she handle the truth? Or will it destroy her?   Daughter of Smoke and Bone is not your typical tale of romance between human and paranormal creature. There is true creativity here. Taylor does an awesome job creating fully-rounded characters and setting the scenes in which they interact.  Check this one out if you're looking for an awesome fantasy. Just be prepared for the crazy plot twist! --AJL

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Saying Goodbye In Robot

Don't be fooled by the pink cover-- How to Say Goodbye in Robot is no girly, sentimental romance story. In fact, main character Beatrice is so unemotional that her mother actually refers to her as a robot-- hard, cold, and unfeeling.  

It is because of her stoic nature that Beatrice doesn't exactly fit in with the gossip-obsessed girls at her new school. Instead, she finds herself drawn to Jonah, a quiet, ghost-like loner who seems to be as impressed with his classmates as Beatrice is. As Beatrice slowly learns more about the mysterious Jonah, she discovers that everything that has made her an outcast before, such as a love of bizarre late-night radio, also brings her and Jonah closer together. 

The only question is, how close does she want to get? --OEO

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Get Ready for the Apocalypse!

Who knew the cello could rock so hard? New to Oxford Public Library's music collection is Amplified by Apocalyptica. Not your typical string quartet, this band is perhaps best known for their instrumental covers of Metallica's hits. But they do other, more classically-inspired songs as well--with a metal edge, of course. Check out their head-banging rendition of Hall of the Mountain King. You may forget you're actually listening to music played on instruments typically reserved for orchestras. A bonus disc features vocals by some of today's hottest metal bands. You can find Amplified in the Hard Rock drawer of the library's newly re-organized music collection. Why that category and not "classical"? Check it out today and find out!  --AJL

A Comedy of Errors

It's the year 4022, more than 2,000 years after a global catastrophe wiped out most of civilization. The story centers around Howard Carson, an amateur archaeologist. One day, Howard stumbles through a hole in the ground and makes a fantastic discovery: In front of him is door to an ancient burial chamber, perfectly preserved. Inside is a treasure trove of ancient wonders and mysterious artifacts from a time long past. Read how Howard and his team carefully catalog the strange objects found inside the burial chamber and try to guess how each one was used by the ancient civilization of their studies. And how very wrong their guesses are!

The Motel of Mysteries is part dystopia, part science fiction, and part satire. And keep in mind this last part. This book is not meant to be taken seriously (example: the everyday object the archaeologists believe was used as a Sacred Headdress by our society). Along with the humor is an interesting message about how wrong we can be in our assumptions about societies and cultures we actually know nothing about. And it begs the question: In our real-life studies about peoples long gone (Aztecs or Incas, for example), how accurate are we really when it comes to knowing about them from the artifacts they left behind? We could be as wrong as Howard and his team. Makes you think, doesn't it? --AJL

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's Always Summer Here

The weather outside might be chilly, but Jenny Han's Summer trilogy will make you feel as though you've stepped onto the beach.

In Summer I Turned Pretty, readers are introduced to Belly and the two boys in her life, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has always spent her summers at the Cousins Beach house with the brothers, her mother, and Suzanna. But this summer is different. This summer Belly is 15, and the boys are finally beginning to notice her in that way. Trouble is, the one boyBelly loves may or may not feel the same way.

In the second installment, It's Not Summer Without You, Belly is dreading her first summer away from the beach house and away from the boys. Most of all, she is torn up by Suzanna's death earlier that year. Belly's not sure she could have faced the familiar place anyway--especially after what happened between her and Conrad after prom. But when Jeremiah calls with the news that Conrad has disappeared, Belly jumps at the chance to help track him down. But what is her real motive behind this offer?

The final book, We'll Always Have Summer,  finds Belly at college, a freshman. She and Jeremiah have been exclusive ever since that night at the motel where Conrad broke her heart yet again. One night at a party, Belly discovers Jeremiah did something forbidden over spring break. Of course she breaks up with him, but then Jeremiah apologizes--and proposes. Suddenly Belly is thrown into the world of planning a wedding, a wedding neither set of parents approve of. But Belly is determined to marry Jeremiah. But she soon finds herself questioning whether this is the right boy for her--especially when Conrad comes back into the picture.

The Summer Trilogy is everything a reader could ask for in a chick-lit romance. Which boy will Belly end up with? Read to find out. --AJL

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hidden Treasure

Where do fads begin? Who or what determines what music, fashion, ideas (etc) will be popular and which will fall into the black hole of oblivion? Sandy Foster, a scientist at Hi-Tek Corp, is studying just this. She has seemingly hit a brick wall in her research when an accident (or is it?) has her throwing her lot in with Bennett O'Reilly, a chaos theorist working elsewhere in the building. Eventually, the two unexpectedly hit upon a common thread that allows each of their research projects to be surprisingly successful--but not before a whole mess of chaoitic and humorous situations happen.

Connie Willis' Bellwether is packed with humor, satire, and interesting facts about historical fads. The inevitable romance that happens between Sandy and Bennett is predictable, but the story is oh-so-good. Those who liked the quirkiness of Libba Bray's Going Bovine will enjoy this one. Check it out! --AJL

When Nightmares Walk

Connor wakes at 12:07 a.m. from a terrifying nightmare, screaming. It's the same nightmare he's had each night since his mother began her chemotherapy treatments. But tonight is different. Tonight a monster stands outside his window, waiting to talk to him. Over the next few nights, the monster arrives at the exact same time (12:07) and tells Connor three twisted true tales, each designed to illustrate some sort of lesson. On the fourth night, the monster demands a true tale from Connor. But will Connor be able to give voice to the truth he won't even admit privately to himself? 

Developed from Siobhan Dowd's final story outline and penned by Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls is part horror, part coming-of-age, part parable, and part story of grief and, finally, of acceptance. Although fairly short, this story is a powerful one. Read it at midnight by flashlight. Creepy illustrations by Jim Kay further enhance the eeriness of this tale. --AJL

Sunday, October 23, 2011

To Chill Your Bones...

In Harvest Cove, a remote tourist town in northern Canada, sightings of bears, wolves, and other predatory animals are not uncommon. But none of these creatures is what attacks Danny on his way home one winter night. As the town freezes over, Danny and his friends discover there is an ancient evil plaguing their home. An evil that is part of winter itself. This creature has marked Danny--and if he does not stop it, he will become the next victim.

For those of you who are sick of werewolves, vampires, zombies, and other typical, predictable horror movie creatures, Bonechiller by Graham McNamee will be terrifyingly welcome. Give it a try.

Just remember: Winter is coming... --AJL 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Something Rotten

Nearly 15 years ago, the dead rose and Zombies took over the world. Now what remains of humanity live in small protected settlements, fearful of another invasion. Beyond is the great Rot & Ruin. This is the only life Benny has ever really known, a life spent hating the zoms that destroyed the world. Benny, like all teens, must find work upon turning 15 or have his rations cut. After several failed tries at landing cushy, effortless jobs, Benny signs on as an apprentice to his famous zombie-hunting brother, Tom. But there's more to hunting zoms than Benny first thought. Benny and his friends soon find themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time: Mixed up in the dangerous and malicious games played by a rival zombie hunter. Turns out there's more to the Rot & Ruin than meets the eye.

Think you've read one zombie story you've read them all? Not so. Jonathan Mayberry's Rot & Ruin is not your typical brainless tale of the walking dead. Also look for the exciting sequel, Dust & Decay, where the adventures of Benny, Nix, Chong, Tom and Lilah continue. --AJL 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Exceptionally Creepy

Perfect for Halloween is Rotters, by Daniel Kraus. Shortly after Joey's mom dies, he is sent to rural Iowa to live with his father--whom Joey discovers is a grave robber (a.k.a. a "Digger.") Soon Joey is joining his father on Digs, where he learns more than he ever thought he wanted to know about this melinnea-old vocation that was once honored and respected: The history, the philosophy, the stages of decomposition... If you're easily grossed out, this book is not for you (warning: contains graphic details). But the fantastic writing and unique subject matter makes Rotters a worthwhile read.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Banned Book Week: September 24-30

In celebration of Banned & Challenged Book Week, I'd like to take the opportunity to do a shameless plug for one of my favorite Banned & Challenged Books: The Golden Compass, the first book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

Set in a highly-imaginative alternate world that is both similar to and very different from our own, The Golden Compass introduces readers to Lyra Belaqua, a very strong female character who is hungry for adventure. And adventure she gets! Lyra has happily lived all her life at Jordan College in Oxford, but then her uncle visits and brings with him some shocking news from a recent expedition to the North: Existing alongside Lyra's world are numerous other worlds (Lyra's uncle has even photographed one of them!). The reader is introduced to the concept of Dust, a mysterious celestial particle that effects grownups but not children (this is further fleshed out later in the series). Seemingly connected to this Dust has been the mysterious disappearance of several children. When Lyra's friend Roger is kidnapped, she sets out on a grand and dangerous adventure to find him.

Be prepared for talking armored polar bears, witches, magic, and shocking plot twists. The Golden Compass is not to be missed! --AJL

Monday, September 26, 2011

An epic adventure worth reading!

Looking for your next epic adventure? Look no further than Allison Croggon's The Naming, the first book in the Books of Pellinor quartet. In it, we meet 16-year-old Maerad, a slave in Gilman's Cot. When a mysterious visitor arrives at the Cot, Maerad learns she has a great destiny: She is a Bard, one of the Starpeople who are possessed of a great magical gift. Further, she is also The Chosen One, foretold to stop The Nameless One, an ancient and powerful evil that is threatening the land. Thus, Maerad and her mentor Cadvan embark on a great quest to unravel the mystery of the Treesong, an ancient and powerful magic, long lost, said to be what will overcome this great evil. Along the way, they make great friends and terrible enemies, and Maerad begins to learn the extent of her own powers.

This truly amazing book is full of gorgeous imagry and strong characters. It is sure to rank up there with such epic fantasies as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. It is definitely worth checking out! --AJL

Creepy Alert!

What if you discovered your favorite scary books were real? Eddie begins to ponder the true horror of this question after he and his family move to Gatesweed, hometown of the famous horror author Nathaniel Olmstead, who vanished mysteriously several years earlier. While cleaning an old shed, Eddie discovers a strange unpublished manuscript, written in code, he suspects was penned (and then hidden) by Olmstead just before the author's disappearance. As Eddie and his new friends begin to decode the manuscript, strange and horrifying monsters begin appearing to terrorize the town--monsters straight out of the pages of Olmstead's books. Can Eddie and his friends solve this mystery before the most terrifying monster of all is unleashed?

The Stone Child is definitely an 8 or 9 on the creepy scale! Please do not attempt to read this one late at night, during a thunderstorm, or while home alone. And if you do, and it gives you nightmares, don't say you weren't warned. --AJL

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Kiss is Just a Kiss--or is it?

A very unlikely cast of characters come together in Wisdom's Kiss, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of Dairy Queen and Princess Ben. The power hungry Dutchess of Froglock has an evil plan to take over the Kingdom of Montagne: Have her son marry Princess Wisdom (a.k.a. Dizzy). While en route to her wedding, Dizzy's ladies-in-waiting consume some bad shellfish and contract food poisoning. This is how the princess meets Trudy, a psychic chambermaid working at the inn where her entourage has been delayed. Trudy is enlisted to be Wisdom's right-hand-woman and the procession continues to Froglock, where Trudy's childhood sweetheart Tips has been staying under an assumed identity. Following is much drama, intrigue, action, and adventure. With the help of a very special cat, Wisdom, Trudy, and Tips all make their dreams come true. And oh yes, they outsmart the bad guys. Fans of The Princess Bride will especially like this unique fairy tale.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Five Stars for Every Soul a Star

Ally, Bree, and Jack couldn't be more different. And in any other situation they probably wouldn't even hang out together, let alone become friends. But something truly magical happens when these three teens meet up at the Moon Shadow Campground to watch the Great Eclipse. And by the time the event is over, all three lives will be changed forever.

Author Wendy Mass delivers yet another amazing story with Every Soul a Star. Each character (nature girl Ally, glamorous Bree, and shy Jack) is exceptionally well-crafted and each demonstrates a tremendous amount of growth over the course of the story. The setting is gorgeous, and readers will find themselves wanting to visit the Moon Shadow to see The Unusuals. This book will make you want to track down the next eclipse and witness the spectacle for yourself. And it might even awaken your inner science geek--in the best possible way.  Every Soul a Star is not to be missed! --AJL

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Buried Secrets

Unable to sleep, 11-year-old Tom sneaks out of his house and heads down to the river that runs through the cliffs near his home. Here, he climbs onto a large piece of packing foam (leftover from the new refrigerator that was delivered earlier that day) and embarks on what he believes will be nothing more than a leisurely float down the river. Little does Tom suspect, he is about to go on the ride of his life! The foam raft sweeps Tom down the river and deposits him into a series of underground caves rumored to hold buried treasure. Here, in the depths of the earth, Tom encounters a stray dog with a knack for disappearing, a long-trapped explorer, ancient artifacts, and deadly secrets that will change his life forever.

Fast-paced, exciting, and uniquely imaginative, N.D. Wilson's  Leepike Ridge will appeal to the adventurous spirit in all who pick it up. --AJL

Friday, August 19, 2011

Three Fantastic Stories

Kizzy, an outcast teenager, wishes more than anything for boys to notice her. Then one day one does notice. Too bad kissing the handsome Jack Husk could cost Kizzy her soul. Kizzy should have been more careful what she wished for... Anamique has gone her whole life without uttering a single word. She fears what will happen if she does speak. Because of a curse, the sound of Anamique's voice is said to bring destruction and death to all who hear it. Then James arrives in Anamique's life and tempts her to test the so-called curse. Maybe it's all just a terrible rumor. Maybe it's not... Young Esme and her mother live a strange life apart from the rest of society. One night Esme hears the howling of wolves outside her bedroom window. Soon afterward, a strange man begins trailing their every move. It's only a matter of time before Esme learns of the horrid, otherworldly nightmare she and her mother have been hiding from all these years...

With Lips Touch Three Times, author Laini Taylor offers three exquisitely-written short stories about demons, devils, goblins, and the transformative power of a single kiss. Gorgeous pen and ink drawings by Jim Di Bartolo enhance each tale beautifully. This one is truly exceptional! Don't miss it! --AJL

Paranormal Whodunit

When you live in a town populated by mythical and paranormal beings, life is sure to be a little, well, odd. Add in a mystery and things can get downright strange. This is how it is for teenage psychic sleuth Daisy Giordano. As if she isn't stressed out enough by college applications, someone has been committing attacks of violence against Nightshade's vampire and werewolf populations. Daisy is positive there's more to these attacks than just the usual prejudices either side has for the other. And when her nemesis Circe Silvertongue returns to town, Daisy is positive the sorceress is involved somehow. But what is Circe's motive? Then signs point to an evil Scourge plot. It's up to Daisy to track down the Scourge's leader and stop the group from eradicating Nightshade's paranormal population. She also needs to figure out how to release Lil and Bam from their decades-old prisons. With a little help from her friends and her psychic skills, Daisy saves the day once again.

Although readers will likely crack this case long before Daisy pieces the clues together, this paranormal whodunit is a lot of fun and an exceptional pleasure to read.  Dead Is Not An Option is the fifth and final book in Marlene Perez's "Dead Is..." series. Although the last in the series, enough background is given that it is not necessaty to read the previous four books before delving into this one. Still, after enjoying this book, you'll want to read about Daisy's other adventures. -- AJL

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What "Team" are YOU on?

Whether expelling rainbow-colored flatulence or drooling mindlessly over the flavor of your brain, you've got to admit that Zombies and Unicorns are both pretty cool. But they can't both be rated equally so. One's GOT to be better than the other. For those of you still undecided about which "Team" to devote your loyalties to, Zombies vs. Unicorns is for you! In this thick volume, you will find many short stories written by some of today's favorite teen authors. Some argue for Team Zombie. Others for Team Unicorn. But in the end it'll be up to YOU, the reader, to decide which side to invest in. But choose wisely...--AJL 

Tiger Style

Not a day goes by that Varjak Paw isn't reminded of how different he is--and not in a good way.  Although Varjak, like all the other cats who live in the house on the hill, is a Mesopotamian Blue, his eyes are an odd yellow instead of the normal green. This makes poor Varjak an outsider among his own clan. One day a strange man appears in his house accompanied by two even stranger cats. Immediately sensing his family is in danger, Varjak escapes the house and ventures into the Outside World in search of help. There, he learns that cats have been mysteriously disappearing all over the city. The only cat who can save the day is one who knows The Way, an ancient feline martial art founded and practiced by legendary Jalal. But only The Chosen One is able to learn The Way. Varjak Paw, misfit, outcast, learns he is more important to his clan (and to all the cats of the city) than he could ever have imagined.

S.F. Said's short novel about an ordinary cat finding something extraordinary within himself is as inspiring as it is entertaining. Formatted after pretty much every martial arts movie ever made (except with critters), this one will find an audience with fans of kung fu and animal fiction. The ending is predictable, but it'll make you happy just the same--AJL

Bad to the Bone

Alexis is a bad girl. She skips class, dyes her hair odd colors, has a hate out on cheerleaders, and walks around with a chip on her shoulder. She's more comfortable when she's seeing the world through a lens of a camera than she is participating in it. Although Bad Girls Don't Die (Katie Alender) begins as a typical high school misfit-type story, the plot quickly turns to mystery--then to horror. Shortly after her family moves to the creepy old house, Alexis's normally sweet younger sister Kasey begins to act strangely sinister. And it's more than just approaching adolescence. Kasey sometimes seems like two different people (her eyes even seem to change color). She loses whole chunks of time. She makes veiled threats. Then people who have angered Kasey begin to have accidents. Something dark and dangerous and deadly is definitely afoot. Through careful research, and the help from a very unexpected friend, Alexis learns Kasey is possessed by the vengeful spirit of a young girl who died mysteriously in her home many decades earlier. Now Alexis must find a way to save Kasey--and her family--before it's too late.

A deliciously creepy book that is impossible to put down. A word of warning: You may want to sleep with the lights on after reading this one. Not that lights really drives away monsters and nightmares, but it's nice to think it does... --AJL

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Have you ever noticed that listening to music just makes life... better? Andi's life could sorely use some improvement-- after the recent death of her younger brother, everything seems seriously messed up. She can't live up to anyone's expectations, it seems-- not her father's, not her friends', not her demanding private school's. The only time she feels stable is when she is playing her guitar or listening to her iPod. So, when her father insists that she turn away from her music to focus on academics, Andi's problems seem insurmountable. That is, until she stumbles, like magic, across a mysterious diary written centuries ago by a young Parisian girl. Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution tells Andi's story-- her grief, her intelligence, and her passion for music-- through her own eyes. 

Great for older teens, especially those interested in history. OEO

Two Guys. One Name. Lots of Drama.

Cast of Characters
Will Grayson: Teenage guy. Average height. Average weight. Number one goal: Manage crazy best friend without going crazy in the process. 
Quote: "I don't really want to be the costar of anyone's life."

Will Grayson: Teenage guy. Average height. Average weight. Number one goal: Survive high school. 
Quote: "everyone in our school has afterschool activities. mine is going home." 

Tiny Cooper:  Teenage guy. Above average height and weight. Will find love, interfere with Will Grayson's life, and put on the most memorable musical in the history of high school, no matter what the cost. 
Quote: "Compromise is when you do what I tell you and I do what I want." 

Jane: Teenage girl. Poofy hair. Likes underground music and Will Grayson. Hates the word "cute."
Quote: "You should always make sure no one's watching when you unlock your locker." 

Maura: Teenage girl. Pale skin. Likes black eyeliner and Will Grayson. 
Quote: "hey, loser. i'm so bored i'm calling you." 

Cue drama of epic proportions. OEO

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

"Mr. Jeavons said that I liked maths because it was safe... This is because Mr. Jeavons doesn't understand numbers." Christopher Boone sees everything and remembers everything. At fifteen years old, he can solve complicated math problems in his head, name every capital city in the world, and comprehend intricate scientific findings with ease. He could tell you exactly what color shirt he was wearing on any day of any year without hesitation. He's not a robot or a superhero-- he's autistic, which means his brain is able to process, organize, and store details with computer-like accuracy. So, when a murder mystery presents itself in his neighborhood, who better to investigate?

A great read for older teens, Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time follows Christopher as he searches the neighborhood for clues and consequently finds out a great deal more than he imagined. OEO

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Girl Power

Sometime over the summer between freshman and sophomore years, the formerly geeky and gawky Frankie Landau-Banks has transformed--seemingly overnight--into a gorgeous girl.  Her new figure has caught the attention of Matthew, one of the hottest guys at Alabaster Prep. But Matthew is a member of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hound, an all-male (absolutely NO girls allowed, NO exceptions) secret society that pulls pranks without consequences and pretty much rules the school.  Outraged by the unfairness of this, Frankie devises a most clever plot to infultrate and humiliate the Order. In the end, Frankie makes her point--and then some.

E. Lockhart's expertly-crafted novel, Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, is about being true to yourself and your beliefs--even though it may cost you popularity. Readers will laugh, cry, and cheer for the exceptionally likable Frankie as she gets the better of some very dumb dogs and sticks up for what she knows in her heart to be right. A must read! --AJL

Love Happens

True love is a myth. Real love, though... It may not always be hearts, flowers, and happily ever after, but it's a million times better than any fantasy. And sometimes, love happens in the most unexpected places.  Susane Colasanti's debut novel, When it Happens, is about exactly this.

Sara is thrilled when longtime crush, the popular Dave, finally asks her out. But dating Dave isn't anywhere near as awesome as Sara has been imagining: They have nothing in common. Besides, Sara is searching for "something real" and Dave only wants one thing. Meanwhile, Tobey has been watching and waiting for his chance with Sara. Although the two couldn't be more different, the relationship works and the two get together mid-book. But different goals and ghosts of relationships past threaten to divide this seemingly golden couple. Both Sara and Tobey learn important lessons about the reality of love and how to make real relationships work. When it Happens is a sweet story peopled with realistic, rateable characters. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han's Summer trilogy will especially enjoy this one. --AJL

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grand Theft Auto

Kelleigh seems like the average American fifteen-year-old. She goes to school, hangs out with friends, fights with her parents, and... steals cars. Lots of cars. She just can't help it, really-- she's addicted to the gentle roar of an engine left unattended, the perfect silence inside a Mercedes Benz, and the thrill of knowing that she's always only one small step ahead of a whole lot of trouble. Whether it's her parents, the law, or her own conscious chasing her, she can't avoid getting caught forever... can she? 

To find out, read Pete Hautman's How to Steal a Car. It's sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always thrilling, and never, ever boring. -OEO

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Secrets and Lies

Lucy's mom is a hoarder. She never throws anything away, and flies into a rage at the mere suggestion of cleaning up. Over the past several years, Lucy's home has become something resembling a garbage dump. Lucy is humiliated by this. She can't even invite friends over. If anyone found out about Lucy's living condition, her social life would be over. Or worse. Then one day Lucy arrives home to find her mother is dead, her body half buried underneath a pile of old magazines.  Lucy knows she should call 9-1-1, but she fears what others will think when they see how messy her home is. So Lucy makes a decision: Before she calls anyone, she will clean up the house the best she can. But the task is much more complicated (and much more disgusting) than she ever could have imagined. As the day passes, Lucy realizes the extent of her mother's illness. Finally, Lucy makes the hardest decision of her life. C.J. Omololu's novel Dirty Little Secrets is both fascinating and disturbing. As is the case with a horrible accident or reality TV, you simply can't look away. Those with a weak stomach might want to skip this one (there are some really icky parts). Overall, though, Lucy is a believable character and readers will likely sympathize with her struggle: Doing what's right vs. maintaining an image to the world. --AJL  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dystopian Fantasy is a Dream Come True

In Laura's world, people don't create their own individual dreams. Rather, they are told what to dream by an elite group called Dreamhunters. Only a Dreamhunter possess the unique ability to enter The Place, a desolate shadow dimension boarding the real world where various dreams (both pleasant and disturbing) are collected. These dreams are then shared with the general public at The Rainbow Opera, a huge sleeping center at the heart of the city. Now Laura has been chosen as a Dreamhunter and will soon have her chance to collect and perform a dream. But when her father vanishes mysteriously, Laura suspects foul play. She ventures alone into The Place to find him. There, she discovers the government's dream regulatory body has been using dreams to control the general public, lull them into a false sense of security, and cover up some serious wrongs. Laura knows exactly how she can expose these lies. But will she risk it? The first book in Elizabeth Knox's Dreamhunter Duet is exciting and exceptionally unique. Readers will be swept into Laura's world and not want to leave. And luckily, they won't have to just yet. For more of Laura's adventures, check out the sequel, Dreamquake. --AJL

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Perfect for the Beach

Jessi Kirby crafts the perfect beach read with Moonglass, her first novel. When Anna was a young child, her mother committed suicide by drowning herself in the ocean. Soon afterward, Anna privately crafted a mythology about what she believed really happened that fateful night: Her mother is still out there somewhere, swimming beneath the waves in her true mermaid form. Nine years later, at age 16, Anna and her still-grieving father move to a beachfront cottage near Crystal Cove where her father has accepted a position as lifeguard. But Crystal Cove isn't just any beach. It carries with it the history of Anna's family: It is the place where her parents first met and fell in love. Over the course of the book, Anna slowly uncovers the truth about her family she has been denied for so long. She also comes to terms with her mother's death and lets go of the anger, resentment, and abandonment issues she has carried for so many years. Add in a crushworthy lifeguard, a gorgeous setting, and a cast of interesting characters. If you liked Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler, you'll love Moonglass! --AJL

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chiller Alert!

Author Rachel Klein delivers a deliciously spooky read with her debut novel, The Moth Diaries. Set in the late 1960s at an exclusive all-girl's boarding school and told through diary entries of an anonomyous narrator, The Moth Diaries is a startling snapshot of a young teen's slow descent into madness. When the narrator returns to Brangwyn School in the fall, she discovers her best friend Lucy has befriended mysterious new girl Ernessa. Overcome with jealousy, the narrator convinces herself Ernessa is a vampire who is sucking the life out of her former best friend. She feels her suspicions are confirmed when Lucy becomes strangely ill. Add to this the deaths of two other students who had encounters with Ernessa. As the year progresses, the diary entries become more obsessive and more twisted until not even the reader is certain of what is real and what is imagined. Is Ernessa really a vampire? Or is she just a regular girl whose image has been twisted by a highly-disturbed young lady? Read it and decide for yourself. --AJL

Monday, July 11, 2011

Incredible Read!

Briony keeps a terrible secret buried beneath a facade of self-loathing. Briony believes she is a witch and that her uncontrolled powers killed her Stepmother, destroyed her twin sister Rose's mind, and ravaged her home. Stepmother said as much right before she died. Keeping such a secret causes Briony great personal pain, but there's no one she can even talk to because, in her village on the edge of the swamp, witches are hanged until dead. Then Eldric comes to stay with her family, and everything changes for Briony. Suddenly, she longs to open her heart to someone for the first time. As it turns out Briony does have incredible powers at her disposal, but those powers don't necessarily mean she's a witch. Or do they? Someone else knows the whole truth about Briony, but will they confess what they know before it's too late? Chime is part romance, part mystery, and part suspenseful adventure. Unique language, vivid imagry, and, of course, magic make this one impossible to put down. Also, check out the audio version. --AJL

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New @ OPL Teen

Fans of Shiver will want to check out The Gathering, the first book in Kelley Armstrong's exciting new trilogy. Something strange is happening in Maya's tight-knit Canadian community of Salmon Creek. Her best friend, a champion swimmer, mysteriously drowns. And now bodies are turining up in the woods. The authorities claim these deaths are nothing to worry about, attributing them to accidents or cougar attacks. But there's a lot more to it. Shortly after she turns 16, Maya learns she is a Skin-Walker, an ancient race of shapeshifters once believed extinct. Now Skin-Walkers are back thanks to a top-secret genetic experiment. But something is going wrong with the teens whose Skin-Walker gene was awakened: They are losing control of their ability to shift, reverting back to their wild animal nature. With the help of Rafe, a sexy new boy who shares this secret, Maya begins to learn the truth about her past. But can Rafe be trusted? What other secrets are being hidden from her? As a wildfire blazes dangerously close to Salmon Creek and the time of her first shift draws near, Maya must decide what to do before it's too late. --AJL

Friday, July 1, 2011

Overlooked & Under-rated

Looking for the next Great Read? Look no further than Marc Acito's hilarious novel, How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater! Set in suburban New Jersey, summer of 1983, this hidden gem introduces readers to the very likable Edward Zanni, a 17-year-old Theater Geek who dreams of attending the prestigious Julliard and someday making a name for himself. But for now he'll content himself with enjoying a Summer of Mischief and Mayhem with his quirky circle of friends. Edward's plans are thwarted when his money-obsessed father remarries and, thanks to the influence of the evil new stepmother, refuses to pay for Edward to go to college. Homeless, jobless, and, now, future-less, Edward turns to his friends. And they're happy to help. When Edward discovers his new stepmother has been embezzling money from his father, he and his friends devise an elaborate plot to steal said money back and use it to pay for Edward's continuing education. Because it's not really stealing if it's already stolen, right? Disguised as clergy and nuns, Edward and Co. visit Julliard and set up a scholarship with very specific requirements. Requirements only Edward could fill. Or so they thought. If things go wrong, and of course they do, they'll need a Plan B. And a Plan C. Over the course of this hilarious romp, Edward and friends blunder their way through money laundering, forgery, identity theft, blackmail, and other less-than-legal activities. They also learn the true meaning of friendship (awww!). Stop by the Teen Department and check this one out. You'll be glad you did! --AJL

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hidden Treasure of the Week:

Growing up in medieval England, Catherine would rather master the fine art of wind-breaking than the more gentle skills of weaving or spinning. In hopes of helping Catherine overcome her overly-willful, tomboyish nature and grow into a proper Lady, Catherine's brother, Edward, gives her the daunting task of keeping a daily journal. What follows is a hilarious account of English manor life seen through the eyes of the book's spunky, opioniated heroine as she invents cuss words, takes near daily joy in pinching Perkin the goat boy, pens off-color songs, and artfully foils her Father's plans to marry her off ("sell her like cheese") to some highly unsuitable suitors. And that doesn't even include that whole disaster with the privy...  Catherine Called Birdy is an exceptionally entertaining gem that will have you LOL-ing throughout. This one's not to be missed! Check it out today! --AJL

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teen Summer Reading 2011

Read Books, Attend Programs, Win Cool Prizes!
Hey Teens! If you are going into 6th Grade or higher in the fall, you can sign up for OPL's Teen Summer Reading program. This summer's theme is You Are Here, and we've got some awesome programs and crafts inspired by cultures from around the world. We'll also be showing Blockbuster films set in some of the most well-known fantasy worlds including Hogwarts, Wonderland, and Middle Earth. The more books you read and the more programs you attend, the greater your chances of winning one of the fantastic prizes we will be offering. You may also win an EXCLUSIVE invitation to the end-of-summer Lock-In, where we will have games and activities based on Suzanne Collins' popular Hunger Games trilogy. Remember, you must register to win! You can register for Teen Summer Reading online or at the Teen Reference Desk (if you sign up online, be sure to visit the Teen Depart. to pick up your TSRP reading materials).