Sunday, April 29, 2012

I dare you!

"I've left some clues for you.  If you want them, turn the page.  If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."   Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, the latest whirlwind romance by Cohn and Levithan, the same authors of Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, begins with Lily leaving a notebook with these words tucked between two J.D. Salinger books in a used book store.  A complete stranger, Dash, finds the notebook and is intrigued enough by Lily's words to leave a note back.  What follows is a week-long adventure throughout New York City.  Dash and Lily continue to exchange notes and dares, learning about each other's dreams and desires along the way.   But are they really meant for each other as the notes would suggest?  Or will it be a disaster of cosmic proportions when they finally meet? 

Enjoyable but familiar story alternately told between Lily's and Dash's viewpoints.  -KR

Friday, April 27, 2012

All In the Family

When Anya Balanchine's evil ex nearly dies after eating poisoned chocolate, Anya is the first person authorities suspect. After all, she is the daughter of the city's most notorious crime boss. And if they can't get her for attempted murder, they can arrest her for being in possession of chocolate, a substance that's illegal in this futuristic dystopia. Worse, she's falling for the son of the cop assigned to her case.

Although this book may sound like a light-hearted spoof on the numerous dystopian books that have been flooding the market since the mass popularization of The Hunger Games (Chocolate illegal? Really?!? LOL), it's not. Set in a broken and deadly dangerous New York City of the near future, this is a dark tale of one teen's struggle to track down a would-be killer, care for her broken family, and mend her own damaged reputation.  --AJL

Monday, April 23, 2012

Death by Gummy Bear

Charlotte's crush, Damen, doesn't know she's alive. And, ok, so Charlotte is a ghost now, having choked to death on a gummy bear the first day of school, thus thwarting her plans to catapault herself from invisibility to popularity. But still!! If that weren't bad enough, Charlotte is stuck attending Deadiquette classes with other deceased teens where she's still a nobody. Bummer! Determined not to let being dead stand in her way of catching Damien's eye, Charlotte skips Dead Ed to hang out at her old school. She doesn't expect to make friends with a Goth Girl or to finally figure life out.

Quirky and hilarious, but still with some deep moments, Ghostgirl is a book unlike any other. Highly recommended! --AJL 

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Story Behind the Curse

So why did the Gloamglozer take such an intense interest in Twig (in Beyond the Deepwoods)? Well, there's much, much more to that story than you'd have imagined just by reading the first book in the series. Poor Twig wasn't just random prey for the beast. In this exciting prequel, discover how, in a fit of madness, Twig's own grandfather unleashed the terrible Curse of the Gloamglozer upon the Edge! Learn of Twig's young parents' involvement in the scandal. And learn why the horrid creature may have wanted revenge on the whole family and, as a result, targeted poor Twig.

As with the first book, the Edge Chronicles continue to be exciting, and the Curse of the Gloamglozer is no exception. This is quite possibly one of the most unique and imaginative fantasy/advenrture series I've read! Although you'll find this series in the Youth area, it will appeal to readers of all ages. Highly, highly recommended! --AJL

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beyond Adventure

Twig always felt out of place among his Woodtroll clan. Then one cold night, he learns why this is so: His Woodtroll mother found him as a baby and, although she raised him and loved him as her own, he's not a Woodtroll. Thus, Twig leaves his village to seek his destiny, which he believes lies somewhere Beyond the Deepwoods. His mother's parting words warn him to stay on the path to ensure he will arrive safely at his destination. If only Twig had listened... Along the way, Twig encounters many strange creatures, some friendly, some deadly. Always he lives in fear of the dreaded Gloamglozer, the Deepwoods boogyman said to be the embodiment of one's worst fears. Finally, Twig discovers the truth about himself and learns where he is meant to be. And it's the last place he expected.

The first volume in Paul Stewart's Edge Chronicles is exciting, imaginative, and impossible to put down. The audio version, read by Clive Mantel, is awesome. However, with the audio you won't get Chris Riddell's creative illustrations (which really enhance the story). Still, an amazing book all around. --AJL

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

After a particularly nasty elbow injury, Pete learns he'll never pitch again. For someone whose entire life revolves around baseball, this news is devastating. On top of this, Pete's beloved grandfather is steadily losing his mind to Alzheimer's. Not the way Pete planned to start his Freshman year. On a whim, Pete enrolls in a photography class (a hobby he always enjoyed). Here, he meets and befriends Angelika, who might want to be more than friends. Even without baseball, Pete has it pretty good. But it takes a near tragedy for him to wake up and appreciate all he's got going for himself.
Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip is both heartwarming and humorous, the sort of book that will give you that warm and fuzzy feeling one minute and have you ROTFL the next. Don't be put off by the title. Although it sounds like a sports book, it really isn't. Nor is it a kissing book (although there is one brief instance). It's a book about figuring out who you are and finding the answer in surprising places. Check it out. It's awesome. --AJL

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Unsinkable Reads

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. In obervation of this historic tragedy, the Teen Area has set up a display of Titanic-themed books (both fiction and nonfiction). Want to read more? Check out the display! --AJL

Monday, April 9, 2012

Use The Library & Save Big $$

What is your library worth to you?
Find out here! Fill in this library calculator with the number of books, CDs, DVDs, and magazines you check out each month. Using average retail prices for these items, this website will calculate your monthly savings. Don't check things out? It still works. Enter the number of hours you spend using the library computers. Or the number of programs you attend. Or even the number of questions you've asked your friendly librarian. I tried it and discovered I save nearly $300 each month--just by using the resources and services offered by my library! (wow!) So what is your library worth to you? The answer will surprise you!

A Classic Favorite.

This was one of my favorite poetry books growing up! And it's still amazing! Not exactly a "teen book". Rather, it's a book anyone (regardless of age) can appreciate. The poems in Where the Sidewalk Ends are short, quirky, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, and always awesomely creative! And the illustrations... Just as good! Like this? OPL has lots of other books by Shel Silverstein. Check them out. --AJL

Friday, April 6, 2012

Facing Future

You may have never  heard of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (known as "Brudda IZ" to Hawaiian locals), but chances are you've heard some of his music featured in a recent movie or TV show. Best known is his rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, a highlight of his Facing Future album. But the rest of his music is just as fantastic and well worth checking out! The album is a mix of Hawaiian language songs and those sung in English. With only a few exceptions, most songs are enhansed only by ukulele and some light percussion. A total departure from the overly-produced music that's flooding on todays Billbord's charts. No matter your taste, you'll enjoy this! Check it out today! --AJL

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shopping is Heaven. Really!

After getting knocked unconscious by a rogue dodgeball, Tessa, 16, wakes up in her town's Mall. But this is really an in-between place, a place between the living world and the afterlife. Here, Tessa relives her life from birth to present day, experiencing both happy memories and those she'd like to forget. Will she find the answer to the ultimate question?

Written in verse, Heaven Looks A Lot Like The Mall isn't as lighthearted as the title may imply. Rather, it is in-depth look into the meaning of a teen's life and who she really is (not just who she wishes she was or how she tries to present herself to the world). What would you do in Tessa's situation? Would you be able to accept yourself as you really are? --AJL

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Family Values

After being expelled from boarding school, Cyd Charisse is back home in San Francisco with her doting stepfather, high-maintenance mother, and spoiled younger siblings. As punishment, Cyd is forced into community service where she befriends an elderly woman and meets the love of her life. But all is not well. When Cyd's rebellious nature gets her into trouble once more, she flees the west cost in favor of spending the summer with her estranged father's family, whom she's never met, in New York City. She believes the grass must be greener there (like, for sure!). But reality doesn't exactly match Cyd's daydreams of an idyllic family waiting for her on the east cost. But maybe she's not what they imagined either.

Gingerbread is the first in a great trilogy about growing up, learning from past mistakes, the meaning of family, and a romanticized belief in True Love. Characters are realistic and likable, although sometimes you'll wonder what Cyd sees in her pint-sized surfer boy love interest. And if you like this one, there are two more books in this charming trilogy: Shrimp and Cupcake. --AJL

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Poetry Month!

That's right, April is National Poetry Month.  Find your next great read from our large selection of fiction and non-fiction poetry books.  Try Honeybee: Poems & Short Prose.  It's one of my favorites!  Also, read a poem to a librarian and be entered to win a magnetic poetry kit.  You may enter once a day throughout the month of April.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Vote & WIN!

What's your favorite book? Stop by the Teen Area April 1-11, 2012 and nominate your favorite title (or titles) for the 2012 Teen Choice Book Awards. Your nomination can be a new book you just read and loved or an old favorite. It can be something popular or something obscure. Fiction or nonfoction. It doesn't even have to be a Teen book. We just want to see what books Oxford teens (you!) enjoy most. Winners will be randomly chosen on April 12 to receive prizes. A special bookmark will be created from all the nominations. Stop by and cast your vote today!