Thursday, August 29, 2013

Teen Reviewer

Teen reviewer Olivia Upham, 14, recently devoured an advance reader copy (ARC) of The Darkest Path, by Jeff Hirseh. She loved, loved, loved this dystopian adventure:
"The Darkest Path is honestly one of my favorite books. Dystopian novels were getting a little dry because it was always the same thing: The government failed. But this book actually had a back story, and I loved that. Callum Roe, a defiant yet lost soldier of the Glorious Path, runs away with a dog after he kills the kennel worker. Every chapter has a plot twist, and there was not a dull moment in the novel.  It's the most intense book I've read, and he made even minor characters memorable. I'm truly at a loss for words. The ending left me speechless. I've already recommended this book to other people!" --Olivia Upham, teen reviewer.
The Darkest Path is scheduled for release September 24, 2013.
Olivia, if you enjoyed this ARC, you might want to try Safekeeping, by Karen Hesse, in which Radley, a teen missionary, returns home to find the US has dissolved into total anarchy while she was out of the country. Hoping to find her missing parents, she plans to flee to Canada. Along the way, she befriends a pregnant teen (also on the run). The story is not so much about what's going on with the government (or lack of), but of the girls' journey to safety and the bond they form out of necessity. Illustrating the story are some very cool photos taken by the author. 

What do you mean you don't have The City of Bones?

Oh No!!
The book you wanted isn't checked in!

"wut u meen u not haz book i wants?"
You know that One Book? That super-hyped book all your friends told you is awesome, the one Hollywood is making a movie about, the one that's all over the news, the one you absolutely can't wait to get your hands on and read for yourself? Yeah, that one. Well, there's nothing more frustrating than coming to the library, expecting to walk away with that One Special Book, and discovering it's not only checked out, but there's also a months-long waiting list for it. (At least there's nothing more frustrating in the library world). 

Oh No! What do you read now?

True that we at the Oxford Public Library Teen Department try to stay on top of what's currently popular. Whether it's The Mortal Instruments series, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, or anything by John Green. But, unfortunately, we cannot have unlimited supplies of these titles. However, we do sympathize with the above situation and try to make sure no one leaves our building unsatisfied--even if they don't get the exact book they came to get. Therefore, we've set up a display of great books for you to read while you wait for that One Book to come in. You'll find it above the curved fiction shelf (just look for the sign featuring the begging kitty cat). 

Still don't see what you want? Ask the librarian on desk for recommendations.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Teen Reviewer

Teen reviewer Olivia, 14, read Shooting Stars, by Allison Rushby. Although she was mildly entertained by this romance, she felt the book was missing its target audience.

"First thing I have to say is I 100% would have enjoyed this book more if I'd been younger. So this review is a little biased because of the fact that I'm older. In Shooting Stars, sixteen year old ZoJo goes undercover for a paparazzi gig in a rehab center to take photos of celebrity Ned Hartnett, who she's in love with. Having the main character be 16 in a book meant for a 12 year old was a bad idea. When I read a book, I want to be able to relate to the characters, and 12 year olds will not relate to a 16 year old main character.  The author made Jo (act) way too old in some areas of the book and way to young in others. She never felt like a real 16 year old. Rushby had some witty, sarcastic, laugh out loud material in the book even I enjoyed. But besides that, there was nothing in the book to amuse or touch me. No character development:( However, I must say if I was 12, I would probably have loved this book. The idea is original with some very interesting concepts and morals/perspectives, which I did enjoy learning about.".

Although Olivia probably wouldn't recommend this to her friends or peers, she might give it to a younger tween.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Teen Reviewer

Teen Reviewer Annie, 14, read and enjoyed Through the Ever Night, sequel to Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky. Here is her review:

"Through the Ever Night picks up right where Under the Never Sky left off. Perry and Aria reunite, but not for long. With Talon and many others still in danger, Aria and Roar take off to the Horn's to get Liv back and get the location of the Still Blue. The Tides didn't accept Aria anyway, so to protect Perry's Bloodlord status, she and Roar leave without him. The book was well-paced and intriguing. Even though Perry and Aria were apart for most of the time, I thought that strengthened their relationship. There was a lot of Roar and Liv development, which was important considering the ending. They find out where the Still Blue is, but they lose Cinder because of it. I hope in the next book they get Cinder back and move the Tides to the Still Blue. Overall, the book was entertaining and better than the first." 

Annie recommends this series for teens 13 and up. The third and final book in this trilogy, Into the Still Blue, is due out in January 2014.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Book of the Day

Stop by the Teen Area and check out our newest feature: The Teen Book of the Day! 

You'll find this prominently displayed on top of the New Book Shelves. Unlike our other displays, which stay in place for a month or more, the Teen Book of the Day is a way for us to spotlight a large number of books in a very short time: One book for each 24-hour period. Sometimes they'll be new books, other times they'll be books we've had in the collection for a while. Sometimes they'll be popular books, other times they'll be what we like to call "hidden treasures." Fantasy, realistic, sci-fi, dystopian, horror, graphic novels, classics, audio books, pretty covers, plain covers... All are possibilities. As long as we've read and liked a book, it has the potential to be featured as a Teen Book of the Day.

But this shouldn't just be a staff choice. We want the help of you, our patrons and blog followers! Let us know about YOUR favorite books and why you love them, and we'll consider them for a Teen Book of the Day.--AJB

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Waiting for John Green? Check This Out!

YA Author John Green is...well, he's made of awesome! Ask any teen. Or anyone even remotely familiar with the YA genre, for that matter. Chances are they've read (and loved) at least one of John Green's books. And, unlike many hyped-up things, these books deserve every iota of raving they get! Yeah, they're that good!


The good news is Oxford Public Library owns every book John Green has ever written--in both print and audio and downloadable formats. The bad news is these books so popular they're hardly ever checked in--and the wait list for them is likely longer than the one for the most recent book-to-movie adaption book. Bummer, huh? 

Not really.

We at the Teen Department sincerely sympathize with your jonsing for John Green Books. That's why we've created an entire display devoted to John Green read-alikes for you to read while you wait. While these titles may not have been penned by John Green, they're worth reading...and will satisfy your John Green craving until your holds come in. 

So stop by the Teen Area and check out this display! We promise you'll find something awesome here!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Another Teen Review

Reviewer Annie, 14, read Altered by Jennifer Rush. She heard about this sci-fi adventure through Goodreads and was entertained by it. Here is her review: "Altered is told from Anna's point of view, a 16 year old girl whose dad works for 'The Branch,' conducting experiments on four boys in her basement. When the boys escape, she goes with them. A side effect of the experiments is none of the boys remember life from before. Anna goes with them as Sam, the leader of the boys, tries to find more information about The Branch and about himself. The book itself was very well-rounded. Nothing was left unsaid, which leads me to wonder what will happen in the next book. Altered would be OK as a stand-alone novel. There were a lot of unexpected turns that kept the story interesting. A lot of things happened that I didn't see coming. I loved Cas's character because he kept everything light in an otherwise dark situation. Overall, Altered was very entertaining and thought-provoking." Altered is the first book in a new series. It's sequel, Erased, is due out in January

Teen Reviewers:

Teen reviewer Jillian Wolf read Starlighter, part of Bryan Davis' Dragons of Starlight series. She really enjoyed this fantasy adventure: "Jason Masters' brother has always told him about a dragon world where humans are being held captive as slaves. The reality of this slaps him in the face when he meets Koren, a strong-willed, beaten-down slave girl with a special voice. Jason and his friends, Elyssa and Randall, venture into this strange dragon world, risking everything for thousands of people they don't know. In Starlighter, Bryan Davis does it again, writing a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Although some characters are most certainly different and unique, they struggle like anyone would. Readers instantly bond with characters and will find themselves cheering for them as they overcome challenges and yelling a warning when danger is near.  If you are in need of a good read, here's your next one!"

Sixth grader Libby Hartman came across Wonder, by R.J. Palacio because she had to read it. She ended up loving this story: "Wonder follows the struggles of Auggie as he begins 5th grade at a 'normal' school. It is a story of trying to fit in when everyone sees you as different. Wonder really makes you think of how we look at others (who are different) and the way we treat them." Libby recommends this realistic story for all ages

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Teen Summer Reading Winner 2013

Congratulations to Margaret Skylis, Grand Prize Winner of the Teen Summer Reading 2013 program. Margaret received a $125 Visa Gift Card and a special certificate. She earned points toward the final drawing by reading, writing book reviews, and participating in TSRP activities. 

Also recognized was Megan Klinger, who turned in 99 tickets toward the final drawing, more than any other TSRP participant.

Congratulations to Margaret and Megan! DOES pay to read!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Staff Reviewer

OPL's Adult Services Head, Sandy Gilmore, took a moment from her busy schedule to write a review of an adult area book she thought teens might like:

The "Age of Miracles" by Karen Thompson Walker is the August Adult Book Discussion selection, but I think this is a book that teens would enjoy. In "Age of Miracles," the earth's rotation is slowing, causing changes in time, weather, and gravity. Julia, a middle-school student, must deal with all the issues a young teen has to deal with while also coping with major changes in the world around her. This book reminds me of "Life As We Knew It," by Susan Beth Pfeffer, a 2006 teen pick.--Sandy Gilmore, guest reviewer.

In light of our recent Zombie Apocalypse/Disaster Prepardness-themed lock-in, the Teen Area is this month spotlighting similar books about surviving global (or at least widespread) natural disasters (& zombie invasions). While browsing the books on this display, be sure to pick up some literature on how to survive such incidents if they really happen--'cause, really, you never really know. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Trends Survey

At the beginning of July, we asked you to vote for "which popular book trend you're sick of." A total of 41 of you participated in this helpful survey--many voting for more than one category--and the results are in! The book trend Oxford Teens are most sick of is.... Love Triangles with 16 votes! Coming in second is Paranormal Romance (14 votes). Following closely are Zombies (13 votes), Faeries (12 votes), Dystopians & Post-Apocalyptic (11 votes), and Dragons (9 votes). Coming in last are Angles & Demons (4 votes).
The winning participant of this poll is Kate Marsh.
Congratulations Kate, and thank you to all who voted!