Monday, March 31, 2014


And they would have gotten away with it too...
Hildy Biddle is a high schooler with a nose for news and a desire to make the truth known. Someday she hopes to be a famous journalist, but for now she must be content with writing for her school's paper, The Core, where the most exciting thing to report on is the year's Apple Blossom Queen suffering a bout of nasty food poisoning just before she is crowned. It's not that Hildy isn't looking for stories. It's just that nothing interesting ever happens in the tiny town of Banesville. 

That is, until the town paper starts printing some pretty sensational stories about a local house that's supposedly haunted. Soon the whole town is in an uproar. But Hildy doesn't believe any of the stories about ghosts. There's got to be more to this story, and Hildy vows to get to the bottom of it! And if she does, she just might find that big story break she's been waiting her entire life for.

Peeled, by Joan Bauer, is a fun and fast-paced mystery. You won't be able to put it down! --AJB

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Picture Me Gone

Mila has an extraordinary gift - she can read the emotions of those around her.  This becomes a blessing and maybe a curse when she and her father travel to New York from England to visit an old friend, Matt.  Just before they arrive in New York, Matt goes missing.  Mila and her father begin a quest to find him.  As Mila senses the emotions of those who knew Matt best, including her father, the mystery of his disappearance deepens.  What Mila eventually finds may test her understanding of love and family. 

In Picture Me Gone, author Meg Rosoff once again produces an unforgettable novel about the relationship between parents and children, love and loss.  Mila is a likable and realistic character you will want to get to know better.  If you are unfamiliar with Rosoff's work you should also read her first novel, How I Live Now.      KR

Monday, March 24, 2014

Better off Friends

Can a guy and girl be friends--just friends--without romantic drama getting in the way? Macallan and Levi think so. This pair has done everything together for the past five years, and they've never felt the urge to take things to the next level. Together they've faced family drama, heartbreak from boyfriends (Macallan) and girlfriends (Levi), shared a love for quirky British TV shows, and told each other everything. They're best friends. But despite what the rest of the world assumes, that's ALL they are.

Then Senior year rolls around. Things get complicated. Levi begins having feelings (romantic ones) for Macallan. And she may very well feel the same way about him. But what if getting together in that way ruins their friendship? Top that off with Levi's schedule: Sports and guy friends are eating away at the time he used to have to hang out with Macallan, and Macallan is naturally hurt by this. It all adds up to a lot of confusion and drama for them both. 

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulburg (author of Lonely Hearts Club) is an adorably fun story about what it means to be a friend and what it can mean when you and your best friend fall in love. This one is predictable, yes (of course you know how it will end before you even begin), but with this book it doesn't matter. You want it to turn out the way you predict. And it does. Perfect for the beach or for reading while curled up with a favorite blanket on a chilly, early Spring day. Fans of Susane Colasanti and Sarah Dessen will gobble this one up!

Better Off Friends can currently be found on the New Book shelf. --AJB

Thursday, March 20, 2014

This Star Won't Go Out

Picking up a biography/autobiography about a teen battling cancer is, in a way, like picking up a novel that prominently features a lovable animal character (see: Where the Red Fern Grows, Old Yeller, A Mango-Shaped Space, Marley, Dewey the Library Cat, etc.). Even before you begin reading, you know how it's going to end. And you know the ending will make you cry buckets. But even that is too simple a comparison for this incredible book.

However, This Star Won't Go Out, the story of Esther Earl (whose story became the inspiration for John Green's The Fault in Our Stars), is surprisingly upbeat for a memoir about a teen with terminal cancer. Yes, it's still extremely sad, but it's not all gloom and doom. Not at all. No way. Through letters, journal entries, photos, sketches, poems, and stories, you really get to know Esther. She was a very friendly, generous, and upbeat girl. She was involved with her friends, family, and community. She loved Harry Potter, her cats, and pizza. As much as possible, she lived life to the fullest. And even at the darkest moments of her cancer, she never lost hope. In short, Esther Earl was a very cool person.

This Star Won't Go Out is currently on our New Book Shelf. And it's very much worth reading. But be warned: Keep a box or two of tissues handy. You'll need them! --AJB

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sacred Stiff!

Everyone's afraid of something! There are the usual suspects like fear of heights (Acrophobia), clowns (Coulrophobia), thunderstorms (Astraphobia), the dark (Nyctophobia), or insects (Entomophobia). There are some truly unusual fears, like fear of buttons (Koumpounophobia) or of left-handed people (Sinistrophobia). There are even fears that only cropped up recently, like Nomophobia (fear of going anywhere without your cell phone).

Curious? Check out Scared Stiff: Everything You Need to Know About 50 Famous Phobias. Inside this insightful and interesting volume you'll find a list of common and not-so-common phobias, an explanation of each (and the history behind them), and famous phobic moments in history (and the famous people behind them). There's even a special section on how to treat the various phobias. 

Whether you're looking for information about your own phobia or are just curious, you'll definitely want to check this one out! Unless, of course, you're a Bibliophobe! --AJB

Stick Man's Really Bad Day

You know Stick Man. Everyone does. Even if you think you don't know him, you actually do. He's the friendly, helpful guy who appears on signs found all over: He shows you where to find the crosswalks, saves you from the embarrassment of entering the wrong bathroom, encourages you to recycle, warns against things like speed bumps, and warns you what NOT to do when going about your daily life. But as nice a guy as Stick Man is, he often has bad days. He's exceptionally accident prone. In fact, if something bad can happen to Stick Man, it will.

Told entirely in pictures taken from various signs, Stick Man's Really Bad Day is the story of a typical day in the life of Stick Man. There's sorrow, there's tragedy, there's horrific accidentes. But despite all the bad things that happen, maybe there's a happy ending for Stick Man after all! You'll have to read the book to find out! --AJB

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hope Closet

Thank you to everyone who donated formal dresses, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories to this year's Hope Closet collection site. We will still be collecting for a few more days, so there's still a chance to make sure that gently used formal dress hanging in your closet goes to a good cause.

Hope closet is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing students (regardless of income) with free formal attire so they can attend prom. A student only need show proof they are in school (a school ID or recent report card) to "shop" at Hope Closet's annual boutique.

p.s. Need a receipt for a donation? Simply leave a self-addressed and stamped envelope with your donation.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dawn of the Bunny Suicides

They're baaaaack! Those adorable yet suicidally depressed bunnies who can't find enough morbidly creative ways to say, "Goodbye cruel world." Dawn of the Bunny Suicides (featuring all new deaths) by Andy Riley isn't as funny as the original, but maybe that's just because it's not a new concept and the shock value has partially worn off. In fact, this is the third Bunny Suicides book (see also The Book of Bunny Suicides & Return of the Bunny Suicides). But make no mistake: There are still a few good laughs to be found within these pages! 

Warning: If you want something traditionally funny or are an animal lover, avoid this one. However, all three Bunny Suicides are ideal for those with a twisted sense of humor. --AJB

Thrice Told Tales

Everyone's familiar with the tale (tail?) of the Three Blind Mice: They run after the farmer's wife and, as a result, get their tails chopped off (Yikes! Such a violent conclusion for a children's story!). But Thrice Told Tales by Catherine Lewis puts an entirely new spin on this familiar story. Hear the story from different viewpoints, learn what happened before the fateful chase scene, discover why the mice are blind... Hear the story retold as a mystery, a comedy, a superhero story.... Find out how it would sound translated into different languages... And much more! And, in the process, it learn (in a FUN way) about all sorts of literary, writing, and language elements. What's an oxymoron? The difference between a simile and a metaphor? How do you write from the perspective of an unreliable narrator? It's all inside!

Thrice Told Tales isn't just educational, it's entertaining too! You'll find this book (T803L) on our new book shelf, nonfiction area. --AJB

Friday, March 7, 2014

Modern Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction doesn't have to mean ancient history. Books set in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and even the 1990s count as "historical fiction" as well. Inspired by a recent patron request for modern historical fiction, we in the Teen Department have dreamed up a display of historical books set in more recent times. True you won't find anything here about medieval castles or ancient battles. But you will be able to read about the era of peace & love, big hair, and that Gen-X "Whatever" attitude.
So Stop by the Teen Area's magazine room and check out our display of Modern Historical Fiction books. Need a title from a specific era? The books are grouped by decade for browsing ease. Remember, we couldn't fit everything we have on the display shelf, so we've included a bookmark listing more titles. Don't see what you want? Ask us! --AJB

Monday, March 3, 2014


CC has come a long way since her days as "the little hellion" (so nicknamed by her stepfather). She's graduated high school with passing grades, made peace with her mother, managed to find balance between her east coast and west coast families, and cultivated some awesome and lasting friendships. She's even agreed to take some classes at the local culinary school. Plus, she's found a job doing exactly what she loves. Life seems perfect.

But there's a little matter that refuses to resolve itself: CC's ex-boyfriend and maybe (maybe not) true love, Shrimp, who left her without so much as a backward glance so he could go surfing in Australia, suddenly re-appears in her life without warning. Shrimp (if that's even his real name) claims to be a changed man who can't live without CC. In short, he wants her back. And, at first, CC is thrilled! But CC is not the same girl she was three years ago when she and Shrimp first became a hot item. Sure, she's still a romantic at heart, but she's wiser too. She's been burnt by Shrimp more than once, and she's not sure she can trust his claims of maturity. Has he really gotten all that wanderlust out of his system? And is he really ready to settle down with her? CC isn't sure. Besides, all that time as a single girl has given CC the chance to think about what she really wants out of life. And maybe what she wants isn't a life following Shrimp around. CC has a lot of soul searching to do and not much time to do it.

Cupcake, the third and final book in Rachel Cohn's Gingerbread trilogy, is fantastic! CC shows tremendous growth throughout the trilogy, transforming from a spoiled, self-absorbed brat who is dangerously obsessed with the wrong sort of boy into a well-adjusted and likable young woman who knows where she's going in life (and where she's going is not following some slacker guy to the ends of the earth). 

True, the Gingerbread books may be older, but they're definitely worth a read. If you like realistic, sort of edgy romances populated by unique and quirky characters, these books are for you. --AJB