Friday, December 18, 2009

Novel Notes and Teen News: Your Source for Teen Book Information and Other Teen News 12/18/09

Just an FYI: Novel Notes will return after the holidays. We wish all our teen patrons Seasons Greetings, and hope they enjoy this issue. Please feel free to comment or suggest improvements to Novel Notes, we are always looking to make this blog better.

Tell us what you are reading! What are your favorite books, and what would you recommend to others looking for a good book. Please feel free to send us your review or comment on ours. We want to hear from you!

From Page to Screen: Movie/Book Tie-ins

Sherlock Holmes movie has hit theaters with an interesting take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective. Check out the original books at the library and for more information about the movie; check this article by School Library Journal:

More and more teen books are being made into movies. Check out the Trailer for the movie Beastly due out in theaters in July 2010. The movie is based on the book Beastly by Alex Flinn. It is a modern retelling of the story of “Beauty and Beast” from the viewpoint of the Beast. Find it at the library and read it before it comes to theaters!

The movie version of the adult book, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, is due to be released in theaters January 15th, and the theaters are targeting Twilight fans, hoping to gain big numbers at the box office. The movie is said to have toned down some of the more disturbing aspects of the book. You can find out more in the following news articles from the movie’s webpage, the LA Times, MTV, and New York Times,0,5231289.story

News Sites for Tweens

Looking for news that is geared toward you, for kids, by kids? Check out this website: You have to register to get the full articles, but registration is simple and free. Choose a username, password, if your teacher is registered you can select your school, if not just check the box, choose a security question and off you go—you now have access to news geared towards teens and tweens. Here is the link:

Awards for Saving the Environment in Your Community

Action for Nature, a non-profit organization seeks to award kids ages 8-16 for their efforts in saving the environment. For more information, read School Library Journal’s article at:

What are Teens at Other Libraries Reading for Fun?

Check out this School Library Journal Article to find out what teens in other libraries are reading for fun:

Looking for Some of the Best Books of 2009?

Here are some books that School Library Journal believes should be on the list of best books in 2009. These books represent all grade levels and interest levels. See which ones you have read, and find others you might like!

Looking for Some Good Nonfiction?

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) has created a new book award for non-fiction. This is the first year and the first finalists listed by the book award committee. For more information check out this School Library Journal article or visit the YALSA webpage.

Teens! Think You Know How to Avoid Scammers, Identity Theft, and Protect Your Online Privacy

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has designed and online mall called “You Are Here” to help kids protect themselves from online scammers and advertisers who target kids. Check out “You Are Here.”

For more information about this website you can go to the FTC Press Release:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 Days Till Christmas! Are you ready?

Tis the season for family, friends, and thank goodness Christmas Break. It is also a time for gift giving which can be hard on your wallet. Here are some ideas from the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Blog, to help you find or make great gifts despite your cash crunch:

For more money saving craft ideas, baking ideas, or gift ideas, check out a book from the library!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Novel Notes: Your Source for Teen Book Info 12/11/09

I hope that this will become a regular fixture on the KHCPL Teen Scene blog. I want to use the Novel Notes to give you information in teen publishing that you might find interesting or books that you might look forward to reading. Suggestions are welcome, so please feel free to comment.

Dutton Children's Books Believes they have Signed the Next Stephenie Meyer

A Publisher's Weekly article announces the signing of a new author Ally Condie. Dutton believes that Condie's three book series will appeal to fans of Meyer's Twilight series. These books aren't published yet, and there is no release date, but this author may be something to look out for. Her first book is currently titled Matched. Read more about this new author and her 7 figure book deal on PW's site:

Scholastic Announces Release of Hunger Games book 3

In another PW article, Scholastic announces exciting news for fans of Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games series. The thrid book in this exciting series featuring the character Katnis is due to be released August 24, 2010. After Catching Fire left us all hanging on the edges of our seats, we anxiously await August and the third book in this exciting series. Read more at: Announces the Purchase of Movie Rights for Popular YA Titles

In's "In the News" section on 12/11/09 they announce popular YA books that have been optioned for movies.

  • Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr optioned by Universal Studios.
  • L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad screen wrights aquired by Temple Hill Entertainment.
  • Wings by Aprilynne Pike is being made into a movie by Disney. It will star Miley Cyrus as Laurel.
  • Beastly by Alex Flinn is being made into a movie by CBS Films. It will star Mary-Kate Olsen and Alex Prettyfer.

For more information check out's In the News Column at:

Hope you enjoyed this first edition of Novel Notes. I hope to have more exciting information about teen lit and movies next week. If you are interested in reading any of the above titles, please feel free to contact the library. (Matched by Ally Condie is still in the works, and will not be available for some time, but don't worry we will keep an eye out for it.) Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Book Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind Unwind by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Connor Lassiter is an AWOL Unwind. In a society that has eliminated abortion, they have a new solution to the problem of unwanted children. At the age of thirteen a child’s parents have the option of having their teen unwound. With unwinding, a child doesn’t die because all of the parts of him or her are harvested and used in other people. Connor wanted to keep his parts to himself, and decided the best way to do that was to escape.

Risa Ward grew up in Ohio State Home 23. As a ward of the state she knew she had to be exceptional in her chosen vocation. Who knew five small mistakes in a musical recital would have her on a bus to Harvest camp where she would be unwound.

Lev always knew his purpose. He was one of God’s chosen, and was willingly giving himself to God. Lev is his parent’s tithe of 1/10. They have 10 children and Lev is going to be their tithe to God. He planned to fulfill his role dutifully, until the freeway accident that killed a State Home bus driver led an AWOL unwind and a crazy state home girl to kidnap him for their escape. Who knew that those grand plans could change in an instant?

They are three teens on the run to keep themselves whole in a world that only wants them for their parts.

Unwind by Shusterman was an interesting read. As a parent myself, I can’t believe that parents would willingly unwind their children, so the concept of unwinding is difficult for me. Once I got past that aspect of the story, it is interesting to see the society that Conner, Risa, and Lev live in. In the beginning, you have difficulty liking Connor. You can understand his reasoning for getting away, but you can’t understand why he did the things he did that got his parents to sign the unwind order. Risa is a more sympathetic narrator. Nothing she did has gotten her into this situation—she tried to be perfect, but perfection isn’t something that comes easily to humans. Lev’s ideas were the most foreign to me, I had difficulty understanding why a child would willingly become an unwind, but Lev has had his whole life to prepare. He knows his purpose in life.

This novel is shocking, violent, alarming, and thought provoking. You keep wondering throughout the novel, how did this world get so messed up that something like unwinding would become an acceptable solution? These characters and their stories are well developed. You can’t help feeling the urgency they feel and the betrayal.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is quite a bit of violence in this book and what might be considered a graphic surgical scene. There is mild language, but no sex.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Can't Get Enough Vampires? We're Here to Help!

You've read them all, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn and now you are looking for something new. Here is a taste of some vampire favorites you might want to check out at KHCPL.

Have you seen the show Vampire Diaries on TV? It all started with a book, The Awakening by L. J. Smith. Sample the book here:

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

Looking for another book with bite? You might try Ellen Schreiber's series Vampire Kisses. Here's a taste:

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

You can also try the series Vamps by Nancy Collins.

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

Looking for something with more of a love story? Try Evernight by Claudia Gray. Here's a sample:

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

There are many more out there, see a librarian for help finding books you are interested in reading.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Review: Marked by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Marked (House of Night, #1) Marked by P.C. Cast

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
All Zoey Redbird wanted was a place to fit in. She thought that place was with her ordinary human friends at her high school until the vampyre tracker marked her as a fledgling vampyre and changed the course of her life forever. Now Zoey must try to fit in at the House of Night, a school for vampyre fledglings, but making that even more difficult is the fact that she has been specially marked by the goddess Nyx and is not the average fledgling. If she makes it through the Change she will become an adult vampyre, if not she will die.

This is the first book in the House of Night series. It is an interesting combination of two of the more popular trends in teen fiction: vampires and boarding school stories. While the book is enjoyable on a purely escapist level, it lacks depth, and is terribly predictable. The dos and don’ts of proper teenage behavior are a bit preachy at times. Other than that, if you are looking for a quick read that doesn’t require much thought, this book fits the bill. It is a fun story if you are willing to put up these flaws.

I would recommend this to teens who are fans of either the boarding school stories or of vampire stories.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is some foul language present in the book that may offend readers who don’t like bad language in their books. Since this is also a story about vampires, you can expect to find some violence and sexuality.

View all my reviews >>

Monday, November 9, 2009

Book Review: Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book is a hard one for me to review. There are parts of the book that I found intriguing, but there were times that I felt that that main character was exceedingly annoying and whiny. I guess to answer the question of whether or not I liked this book I should ask myself another question, am I willing to read the sequel Dead Tossed Waves. Surprisingly my answer is yes, I definitely want to read the sequel. I want to know what is going on. There were too many secrets in this book that were never unraveled, I hope the author will give us some of those answers in Dead Tossed Waves.

Mary lives in a village surrounded by high fences that are the only protection they have against the Unconsecrated, beings who have risen from death and hunger for human flesh—yes zombies. When her mother becomes one of the Unconsecrated, Mary’s life begins to fall apart. Her brother, angry that she let her mother become one of the walking dead, sends Mary to the Sisterhood where she is to become one of the sisters instead of getting married. Inside the walls of the Cathedral where the Sisters dwell Mary learns that both the Sisters and the Guardians have been keeping secrets from the people. They know more about what causes the Unconsecrated to return than what they have let on, and they know the secret that somewhere beyond the Forest of Hands and Teeth there may be others living. Mary’s one dream has been to see the ocean her mother spoke about, but trapped behind fences and by the confines of her society, she fears she will never see what is beyond the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

This book was intriguing. Sometimes you could really feel how trapped Mary felt she was by both the Sisterhood and her brother. Sometimes she gets a little too obsessive and unpredictable, but that can make her an interesting narrator. I did get frustrated with her obsession over Travis, despite his being taken by someone else.


Cautions for Sensitive Readers: This book can be violent and gory at times, but is definitely worth reading.

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Book Review: Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

Hope Was Here Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hope has moved around a lot in her young life. She lives with her aunt, Addie, who has basically been a mother to her since she was born. When an unscrupulous business partner takes off with her aunt’s savings and forces her to close the diner she owns, Hope and her aunt move to Mulhoney, Wisconsin to help run the Welcome Stairways, a local diner owned by G. T. Stoop. G. T. is fighting a battle with leukemia and hires Addie and Hope to run the Welcome Stairways while he focuses on his battle with cancer and winning the local Mayoral election where he is running against the unscrupulous Eli Millstone. Politics, love, and food all make an appearance in this appealing and surprisingly quick read. Bauer’s characters are well drawn and feel like old friends.

Recommended for those who like realistic fiction and are looking for a fast and entertaining read.

View all my reviews >>

Book Review: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

The Outsiders The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Although most of my reviews focus on newer books, sometimes it is good to visit the classics. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is often thought to be the first young adult realistic fiction novel. In the genre of teen literature it is a classic that still proves to be relevant to today’s teens. It is a story of growing up, dealing with consequences, and relationships.

Ponyboy lives with his brothers Darry and Sodapop. Since the death of his parents Darry has taken on the role of provider for his family working hard and sometimes coming down hard on Ponyboy. He and his brothers are greasers and are constantly being attacked by the soc’s when they are alone. One night an attack goes too far and Ponyboy and his friend and fellow greaser Johnny find themselves in over their heads and nothing will ever be the same again.

S. E. Hinton was a teenager when she wrote this novel and she demonstrates a clear knowledge of the feelings and issues of teens. This well written, quick read should be on everyone’s reading list!

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book Review: Need by Carrie Jones

Need (Need, #1) Need by Carrie Jones

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Need by Carrie Jones is in simplest terms Twilight meets Melissa Marr’s books Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange. It is another vamp…oops…I mean fairy novel about malicious fey following a helpless girl who runs into a hunky werewolf who is the sworn enemy of the fey. Personally, I am beginning to feel the vampire, fairy, werewolf thing is becoming a bit over done in today’s teen literature, but hey—vamps, werewolves, and fairies are still selling so what do I know.

Once again we are stuck with a lack luster heroine sent away from her mother to the far north (Maine this time—at least it is on the other coast). Zara is attempting to recover from her depression over the recent death of her stepfather. At a new school she meets the resident hunk who drives a nifty mini cooper and helps her out on an ice slick parking lot.... Hmmm…. this is starting to sound familiar—icy parking lot, flashy car with a fast driver….where have I heard this story before? Add in a few malevolent stalking fairies who drink blood and voila—you have another Twilight wannabe.

I would recommend this to fans who just can’t get enough Twilight type books. It does have a somewhat interesting, though predictable story, but will definitely appeal to those who like books similar to Twilight. The character development isn’t very good, and the repetition of information gets a bit redundant at times.

Cautions for sensitive readers: The book can be a bit gory at times—especially in the descriptions of the fairy behaviors. Although there is no sex in the book, there is a mention of some characters engaging in sexual activities.

View all my reviews >>

Book Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Fire Fire by Kristin Cashore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This prequel to Cashore’s first novel Graceling was a worthy addition to the world she created in Graceling. This story takes us back in time to events that occur before those of the first book. It is a standalone novel, so don’t worry if you haven’t read Graceling first, you don’t need to. Although, you will recognize a character from Graceling in Fire it doesn’t give anything away to read this book first.

Fire is a monster. She was born to a monster father and a human palace servant. As a monster, Fire must contend with attacks from other monsters and the startling effect she has on unprepared and unshielded human minds. In the Dells, monsters are common and distinct from the normal counterparts, because of their terrible and often mind altering beauty. Fire is the last human monster and with her beauty also comes the ability to control unshielded minds.

In her home in the Dells, Fire discovers strangers in the wood seemingly interested in her. To find out more about these strangers, she and her friend Archer consult with the royal family that is currently battling for control of the kingdom since the death and misrule of the last king who suffered under the control of Fire’s father. Fire becomes embroiled in a battle for the kingdom, and is a tool for the royal family to weed out the traitors in their midst.

This book is just as interesting and entertaining as Graceling. As a rule, I normally don’t like prequels, but Cashore manages to present an interesting and relevant new story for her fantasy world. I would recommend this book to teens who like fantasy and are willing to put in the time to learn the rules and politics for this interesting world. Fire is thoroughly enjoyable, and the characters are well developed and well rounded. Even the most perfect characters have flaws, and it is nice see that she is so thorough in her character development. I hope there are more books to come!

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is violence in this book due to the battles and frequent monster attacks. Some sexuality is present, although you won’t find any explicit descriptions in this book.

View all my reviews >>

Monday, September 21, 2009

Book Review: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host The Host by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I know this isn't a teen book, but since the author is so popular with teens, I thought it would be good to include a review of this title. If you are interested in checking out a copy of this book, you will find it in our adult collection.

In The Host Stephenie Meyer tells the story of life on Earth after the planet has been taken over by an alien species that steals the bodies of humans. Wanderer has been placed in the body once belonging to Melanie Stryder. In most cases the host’s mind is supposed to fade away, but Melanie refuses to leave. She fights Wanderer and shows Wanderer images of the people she loves causing Wanderer to love them too. When circumstances force Wanderer to run away, she and Melanie seek refuge with an unwilling host of humans who would just as soon see them dead than shelter them. However, Melanie and Wanderer do find the man they love and seek acceptance in this unusual community of humans.

This was an extremely long book. I think Meyer’s editor could be a little more forceful, this story did not need to be over 600 pages. That said I did really enjoy this book, more so than the Twilight Series in many ways. This book made you think from time to time and ponder moralities in these unusual circumstances. Wanda is a noble character and she is admirable in many ways, but sometimes you just found yourself wishing she would act.

This book may appeal to fans of the Twilight series, but that is not a guarantee, because it is so different. Both Wanda and Melanie are likable characters, and Uncle Jeb is an interesting treat. You will find some romance in this book, but not to the same extent as the Twilight novels.

Good read for someone looking for something different and doesn’t mind the exceptional length.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is a lot of violence and violent deaths in this book. Although there is no sex in the book it is mildly alluded to. I don’t remember any foul language, but I can’t say for certain that there isn’t any.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, September 18, 2009

Book Byte: The Unknowns: A Mystery by Benedict Carey

The Unknowns: A Mystery

When people start vanishing from a trailer park next to the Folsom Energy Plant, two eleven-year-olds investigate using mathematical clues that were hastily planted by their friend Mrs. Clarke before she disappeared.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vote Now for Your Favorite!

Have you voted in the Teens' Top Ten yet? Polls close 11:59 p.m. Pacific on Friday. Click on the button on the right hand side of the page or go to

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Book Review: Genesis Alpha by Rune Michaels

Genesis Alpha Genesis Alpha by Rune Michaels

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Josh and his brother Max have always been close. He was born to save Max’s life when cancer was killing him. Josh admires his brother and is similar to him in many ways. They look similar, they both share an interest in the same online video game, Genesis Alpha, they even meet online to play while Max is in college. Until one day when Max doesn’t show up in Genesis Alpha, and Josh finds out it is because his brother has been arrested for the brutal murder of a college girl. Josh can’t believe that his older brother could commit such a heinous crime, but as fact come forward Josh learns that everything isn’t always how it appears.

This book was a page turner. It hooks you from the beginning and draws you though the novel at breakneck pace. It raises some interesting ethical questions, and might make for an interesting book discussion. Josh is a likable character and you can see how he struggles with the idea that the brother he loves could be a vicious killer.

This book is well written and highly enterataining. I would recommend it to readers who like mysteries and thrillers. I especially found Rachel’s character interesting, and perhaps one of the scariest characters in the book.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is some violence in the book, but no sex. I don’t remember any foul language in the book.

View all my reviews >>

Monday, August 31, 2009

Book Review: Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

Stealing Heaven Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Danielle has been stealing since she was a child, and she is good at it. She and her mother have wandered from town to town, never making any permanent attachments, stealing from the wealthiest homes and moving on. It worked well for them, until Dani discovers that she wants more.

Dani, despite being a thief, is a very likable character. Her mother is a master manipulator, who you are sometimes left wondering, who she really cares for and does she really care for Dani. The characters are well developed and likable and the dialogue and banter between characters is often humorous—sometimes even laugh out loud funny.


Cautions for sensitive readers: There is some language, and some sex, although there are no graphic descriptions.

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Book Review: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5) The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In the final book in this wonderful series Percy Jackson must finally lead the other demi-gods against Kronos to save Olympus from the evil influence of the Titans.

I loved this series from start to finish. Riordan is a wonderful author and knows how to keep a series interesting. Each book was filled with wonderful friendships, surprising twists and turns, and a healthy dose of humor.

Highly recommended! (Especially for fans of Harry Potter who don’t know what to read next.)

Cautions for sensitive readers: Only cautions for this book would be the violence, but since it is intended for a middle school audience it doesn’t have any other cautions.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Teens Top Ten Voting Has Started!

Now through September 10, 2009 you can vote for your favorite books from this year's Teens' Top Ten Nominations! This is your chance to choose your favorite. Simply click on the button on the right side of our page, and you will be able to cast your vote. Hurry, there isn't much time left!

After you vote, comment on our website so we can find out what the favorite nominated book was here in Kokomo! We would love to hear what you think!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Book Review: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Wildwood Dancing Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jena is the second oldest sister in a family of five girls. She is the take charge person, family business person, and problem solver. The girls’ father, ailing and in frail health leaves their castle in the mountains for better weather and a much hoped for recovery in a better climate. While he is gone, Jena is to take care of the family finances and their merchant business while her older sister Tati helps out with household affairs. If they have any difficulty they are told they can count on their kind uncle Nicholae for counsel and help. As winter sets in and tragedy strikes the girls find themselves trapped under the domineering thumb of their cousin, Cezar, who is out for vengeance against the wildwood folk of ancient lore. Magic, mystery, romance, and true love all find a place in this novel.

The author is a wonderful writer, and the quality shows in how she builds her story. Her characters are thoughtfully developed and well rounded. And if you stick with it the story is well worth the time and effort. This book is definitely one that you appreciate more in hindsight than when you are at the beginning struggling with the foreign vocabulary. She does include a pronunciation guide and a glossary with pronunciations in it which are extremely helpful. If you like audio, you might listen to the audio version just to hear the words, places, and names said aloud—it really helped me in the beginning.

Highly recommended, but it will take a sophisticated reader who is willing to put up with the foreign names to get into this worthwhile and wonderful story.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Some violence is present, but there is no foul language or sexual descriptions.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Review: Airman by Eoin Colfer

Airman Airman by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
WOW! This was an action packed thrill ride from start to finish. Conner Broekhart was born to fly, or born flying to be more precise. Conner has always been interested in balloons, gliders, and heavier than air craft that would be able to take him into the skies. King Nicholas of the Saltee Islands has encouraged Conner’s interest and even had a tutor, Victor Vigny, teach Conner what he needs to know to be an airman. Until the unthinkable happens. The King and Victor are brutally murdered and Connor is accused of the crime and sent to the prison on Little Saltee to mine diamonds for the rest of his life. Conner struggles to survive the prison and keeps a tight hold on his dreams of flight, possibly the only way he will ever escape Little Saltee.

I loved this book, probably one of my favorites this year. Conner is a noble hero who often uses brains over brawn. The book easily takes you through many years in Conner’s life and doesn’t drag at all. The supporting characters are well developed. Fencing, flying, and daring rescues and escapes make this one exciting book. In some ways it reminded me of the Count of Monte Cristo and other classic literature, except in a more modern style.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is no foul language in this book and no sex. It does contain some violence.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book Review: Thaw by Monica M. Roe

Thaw Thaw by Monica Roe

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
First let me say that my dislike of this book is no reflection on the author’s abilities or skills. In fact, I found her writing style appealing. The story has a fascinating premise, a young man is sent to a rehab hospital in Florida to regain the use of his body after suffering from Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome. Her depictions of the syndrome were interesting as were many of her characters, with the exception of one character—our main character Dane.

Dane is an extremely caustic narrator. He is self centered and selfish, and cares for no one but himself. Although he begins to “thaw” throughout the course of the book, I found it difficult reading about this highly intelligent teen with the emotional capacity of a computer. For instance, after one of his ski teammates injures himself in a meet, Dane states that he wishes we humans were like the rest of the animal kingdom and followed Darwin’s survival of the fittest. He says, “Why can’t we just cull out the dead weight so the rest of us can achieve the way we’re meant to?” He later goes on to show that his only interest is in himself and winning when he says “In spite of Forrester’s crap, I think we’ll still win this one.” Dane shows no concern for his injured teammate, and it is ironic that he ends up being the one that becomes dead weight that others have to help to survive.

As Dane struggles to regain the use of his body, he does begin to soften and become a little more considerate, but still for the most part he is obnoxious.

The book is well written, but I found a difficult read because I didn’t like Dane. It will find it s audience, but it definitely isn’t me.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Some sex (although nothing explicit) and foul language are present in this book.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Book Byte: Scat by Carl Hiaasen


Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Book Review: Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It (Moon, #1) Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a difficult book for me to review. In many ways I enjoyed the book immensely, and up until I finished the book I probably would have given it four stars. The ending, however, really pulled that rating down, and my rating would have been lower, if not for the fact that the rest of the book was so strong.

Life as We Knew It is the story of Miranda and her family’s fight to survive after an asteroid knocks the moon into an orbit closer to the earth. The change in the moon’s orbit results in earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and eventually the complete blockage of the sun. Survivors are left without easy access to food, gas, heating oil, and electricity. It becomes a fight for survival.

This story had a way of enveloping the reader into its’ world. I often felt as if I and my family were living through this disaster and struggling to survive. This realism is actually why I finally decided to award this book three stars. It was kind of difficult to leave behind the setting of the book. A story that can pull you in and make you believe is definitely worth three stars.

Cautions for sensitive readers: This book does contain some mild language and violence. It is a struggle for the characters to survive and their world has become a hostile place. There is no sex, but there are some references to it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Book Review: How to Build a House: a Novel by Dana Reinhardt

How to Build a House How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Harper Evans has a lot on her plate. Her mother died when she was two, and her father remarried a wonderful woman with two daughter, Tess and Rose. After they marry she and Tess are the best of friends, until the divorce. Now Harper’s life seems to be shattered and she will do anything to escape the mess her life has become. To get away, Harper signs up to volunteer for Homes from the Heart Summer Program for Teens where she will help build a house for survivors of a tornado in Bailey, Tennessee. Harper must learn to open her heart and begin to trust again before she can escape the devestation of her life.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is some language in the book, although not a lot, and no violence. Sex does play a role in this book, although there are no graphic descriptions.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Duct Tape Craft Night at KHCPL Main from 7-8pm Tomorrow July 28th

Don't forget! Tomorrow is the night for our Get Creative with Duct Tape event. Come and learn the basics of this interesting craft while we make Duct Tape wallets! Once you know the basics you are unstoppable--some items that have been made out of duct tape include CD cases, purses, hats, flip flops, or for the really talented and adventurous a prom dress!

Book Byte: Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee

Check out Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee. Unhappy after his parents move to a weird subdivision and become workaholics, thirteen-year-old Travis returns to his old Salinas neighborhood and becomes actively involved in saving the John Steinbeck Library and, at the same time, begins seeing characters from Steinbeck's books who seem to have a message for him.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Book Review: Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo in the Real World Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Marcelo, a teen on the high functioning end of autism/Asberger's Syndrome, had planned to spend his summer working with the Haflinger ponies at his school, Paterson. Instead, he ends up working for his father’s law firm in the mail room in order to earn the right from his father to choose where he wants to go to school next year. His father wants him in a regular high school, while Marcelo wants to go back to Paterson. After years of being protected from the real world at Paterson, Marcelo must learn to navigate the complexities of everyday life at the law firm.

Marcelo is a likeable character, who is often mistaken for being dumb because of his condition. It is despicable how some of the people at the law firm treat him and attempt to use him, especially Wendell. Despite the belief that he is less intelligent because of his condition, we know Marcelo to be a highly intelligent and thoughtful narrator. He thinks things through, often in great detail, something we could all learn from. This intelligence is evident from the very beginning of the novel.

The issues in Marcelo in the Real World are many and complex. Interpersonal relationships are hard for Marcelo to understand, and it is interesting watching his development, as he makes more and more sense of the world around him. His special interest in religion gives him the ability to determine what is the right and moral course for his actions and his life. As the summer progresses Marcelo becomes stronger in character and his skills at reading people continue to develop.

This was a wonderful book, both interesting and complex with a completely likeable narrator in Marcelo. Definitely a must read. Highly recommended.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is some discussion of sex in this book, but there is no actual sex in this book. Some mild language is used in the book, but it is rare.

View all my reviews >>

Duct Tape Craft Night 7:00-8:00pm July 28th

Jul 28
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. KHCPL Main
“Unleash Your Creativity” with duct tape. We will be creating duct tape wallets and introducing you to the basics of the art of duct tape. If you want to try some color variations, please feel free to bring your own rolls of your favorite color duct tape. To register, please call 765.457.3242.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Along for the Ride Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Auden West has missed out on much of her childhood, including riding a bike. She is the younger daughter of her divorced parents, and has always felt pressured to be an adult. Her older brother Hollis is the irresponsible one, but Auden has always been studious and dependable, which has left her to miss out on much of growing up. Since her parent’s divorce she has been unable to sleep at night, which leaves her wandering to all night diners and shopping centers alone, until she goes to stay with her father, his new wife Heidi and their newborn daughter Thisbe, in the beach town of Colby. There she meets another insomniac loner, Eli, who encourages her on her quest to reclaim her childhood.

Dessen has created another realistic and interesting heroine in Auden. At first she is difficult to like because she is so distant, but as the novel progresses we see more and more we like about Auden. As always Dessen has great supporting characters and depicts realistic teen issues.

I definitely recommend this book to fans of Sarah Dessen, she has written another hit!

Cautions for sensitive readers: There are some mentions of sex, but nothing is described in the book. There is no violence, and only mild language.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I think about this book all I can say is WOW! This book was intense. I read reviews of other reviewers, who thought that this book was slow, and were unable to finish the book. I have to say that it is well worth the time and effort it took to get through it.

The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl who is sent to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. The story is narrated by Death, a somewhat distant character until you get to know him. Death is intrigued by Liesel's story and what happens in her life. He first meets Liesel when her brother dies on the way to the Hubermann's. What follows is the story of a poor German family trying to live through WWII. Liesel Meminger's foster parents are good people in a bad time, and do not agree with the Nazi party. Over time Liesel comes to love her foster parents, and makes friends on Himmel Street where they live. It tells the story of both the good time and the bad, and shows Liesel strength to confront both.

It is a touching story of a young girl who steals books, and finds life in reading them. The ending is heartbreaking, but definitely a wonderful read. Highly recommended!

Cautions for Sensitive Readers: There is a lot of foul language in the book, but no sex (although there is a brief story about Rudy being naked). There is some violence. This story takes place during WWII and the Nazi regime is present--there are whippings of Jews and of Liesel's foster father when he offers a Jew a piece of bread. Liesel too is beaten when she tries to save her Jewish friend Max as he is marched to the Dachau concentration camp. Some fighting and bombings.

View all my reviews.

Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling Graceling by Kristin Cashore

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Graceling is a stunning debut novel by author Kristin Cashore. According to the book flap, the story grew out of the authors daydreams about a powerful girl. Let me just say I hope she keeps daydreaming because this book was a wonderful adventure.

Katsa was born Graced. In her land many people are born with many different types of graces. Some are graced with the ability to cook, to fight, to dance, or even to read minds. Katsa’s grace has set her on a lonely path, her grace is the ability to kill. Feeling more cursed than graced, Katsa is the unwilling arm of King Randa, who uses her as a threat to any who would oppose his will. Katsa feels like a hired thug. .

In secret, Katsa created the Council to help the kingdoms from the rule of unfair kings. It is her work with the Council that leads her to cross paths with the Leinid Graceling Prince Po. When Po’s grandfather is captured, Katsa rescues him, but they struggle to find the reasons behind the kidnapping. What they find leads them on an adventure that will threaten both their lives. Can Katsa become more than a thug, can she see her grace as a gift rather than a curse?

This was well written and very entertaining. In fact, it was very difficult to put the book down. Fans of authors like Tamora Pierce and other fantasy authors with strong female characters, will find themselves drawn to this novel.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There was no language in this book, but you will find a lot of violence. The main character does have sex, but there are no explicit descriptions or detail.

View all my reviews.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Book Review: Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Sweethearts Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Jennifer Harris created a new life for herself after the death of her best friend Cameron Quick in elementary school. He was her only friend and confidant. She was an outcast, overweight, and picked on. After her mother remarries, Jennifer recreates herself. She changes her name to Jenna Voughn, loses the weight, and resolves never to cry at school again. Until the day Cameron Quick returns to her life and everything begins to unravel. Who is she really Jenna Voughn or Jennifer Harris? And how can she face the secrets of her childhood now that Cameron is back.

This book was an interesting read. The characters are well developed and the story is paced nicely. I can’t say that this book was a favorite though, because I am not sure how I feel about the main character, Jenna. She is a contradiction, and very hard to peg. Parts of her are still Jennifer Harris, while she struggles to be Jenna Voughn

Overall, I did like the book but I wouldn’t say it was a favorite—mostly because of my frustration with the main character. It is realistic though in the sense that people tend to fall in and out of our lives and they do make an impression on us.

Recommended for older teens who enjoy realistic fiction.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is some language and verbal abuse by a parent, but no violence.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Teen Sidewalk Chalk Art Pictures

Check out the pictures from yesterday's Sidewalk Chalk Art program. Thank you for everyone who braved the heat to participate! The artwork will remain outside the main library until it rains, so be sure to check it out!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book Review: Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Keeping the Moon Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sixteen year old Colie is used to being picked on. At her school she is commonly known as “hole in one,” due to a malicious rumor that one of her adversaries spread around the school. This summer, Colie is traveling to Colby, North Carolina where she will stay with her eccentric aunt Mira. There she will find friends and a job in a place that isn’t familiar with her past.

I love Sarah Dessen’s books. She has a knack for writing realistic teen characters and situations. Despite the aspects of the story that are now a little dated (i.e. Cassette tapes, and a walkman) the story is still relevant. Colie struggles with the perceptions people have of her. The story explores a teen’s search for identity and the friends she makes along the way.

This is a great book and still very relevant. Highly recommended!

Cautions for sensitive readers: There are some references to sex in this book, although nothing is depicted. Violence is not present, but there may be some mild language, although I am not recalling any at the time of this review.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Frankie Landau-Banks is a sophomore at Alabaster Preparatory Academy, a boarding school, once attended by her father and his friends. Known to her family as Bunny Rabbit, Frankie longs to show people who she really is. Frankie knows she is not Bunny Rabbit, but she can’t make anyone else see that. Her father and his friends were once members of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, a secret society that often played pranks on the grounds of the academy. After locating the secret history of the Order, entitled “The Disreputable History of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds,” Frankie concocts a plan to get people, including her senior boyfriend Matthew who sees her only as an adorable girl, to see her for her own genius and ambition.

I really don’t know where to start with this book and my feelings about it are a bit confused. Did I like the book? Yes, definitely. Did I like the setting? Yes. Did I like the main character? I think so, although this could require more though. Did I like the plot? Hmm…this is where it gets more difficult. The events in the plot and the pranks the Loyal Order plays were amusing and ingenious, but my plotting dilemma goes back to the main character Frankie. At moments I think I like her, while at others I don’t think I do. I know—I need to make up my mind!

This book was well written and entertaining. A good read. One I think teens may enjoy and appreciate especially if they are fond of boarding school fiction.

Cautions for sensitive readers: I don’t recall any foul language in the book, and there is no sex (although it is mentioned) or violence.

View all my reviews.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Make a Movie at the Library

Jun 4 to Jul 23
Make a Movie
10:00 a.m. KHCPL Main
Tired of watching movies that you know you could have done better? Then prove your talent, and make your own movie. We are looking for kids off all grade levels, from 1st through High School, who have a talent for writing, acting, construction or design, and production and directing. From start to finish, this movie will be a production made by the students. With guidance from organizations including IUK, Curtain Call, and the Library, students will learn each week the key elements of making a movie, and build on that knowledge until they have a completely finished movie to show at the Movie Premier on July 23rd. Students must be committed to multiple weeks of production, with organized classes each Thursday morning starting on June 4th at 10:00 am at the Main Library.

Book Review: Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

Bloodhound (Beka Cooper, Book 2) Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
In this long awaited sequel to Tamora Pierce's Terrier our heroine Beka Cooper is now a full-fledged dog who has difficulty keeping a partner. This new book takes her to Port Caynn to solve the mystery of the counterfeit coins that are circulating through Corus and Port Caynn. Together with her former training partner Goodwin, Beka investigates the gambling dens and the court of the Port Caynn Rogue.

Pierce has done a lot of character development in this second novel, and we begin to see more from once shy and mousy Beka. This book is definitely a worthy sequel to the first book. Highly recommended to fantasy fans and anyone who likes to see strong female characters. I just hope the wait for the third book in this series, Mastiff, isn’t quite so long.

View all my reviews.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Create-A-Palooza TONIGHT!!!

Join us tonight from 6-8 pm at KHCPL South for the Create-A-Palooza kickoff party for the Summer Reading Club!

Start off your summer of reading by discovering all the creative opportunities our community offers. Enjoy food and activities while discovering the fun and entertaining creative outlets in our area. We have theatre, music, art, crafts and much more. Come attend our art festival to see what they have to offer you so you can be your creative best all summer long, and perhaps start a lifelong hobby or career. Explore the creative booths, sign up for Unleash Your Creativity Summer Reading Club, play games and make crafts, and eat, all from 6 to 8pm. And beginning at 7pm enjoy the unique and imaginative songs and storytelling talents of Ruditoonz.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Help Needed Naming the Teen Area

We need a name for the new teen room in the remodeled library. I only have a few days to come up with something so don't wait! For example: Teen Scene, Annex, Duck Pond, Club YA, The Zone, The Closet, Twilight Zone, etc.... Get your suggestions in now! We have until Monday at 11:59pm. Email me your suggestions at .

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Book Byte: Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill

Soul Enchilada

After a demon appears to repossess her car, eighteen-year-old Bug Smoot, discovers that both the car and her soul were given as collateral in a deal made with the Devil by her irrascible grandfather. She now has two-days' grace, to find ways to outsmart the Devil and his minions.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling Graceling by Kristin Cashore

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Graceling is a stunning debut novel by author Kristin Cashore. According to the book flap, the story grew out of the authors daydreams about a powerful girl. Let me just say I hope she keeps daydreaming because this book was a wonderful adventure.

Katsa was born Graced. In her land many people are born with many different types of graces. Some are graced with the ability to cook, to fight, to dance, or even to read minds. Katsa’s grace has set her on a lonely path, her grace is the ability to kill. Feeling more cursed than graced, Katsa is the unwilling arm of King Randa, who uses her as a threat to any who would oppose his will. Katsa feels like a hired thug. .

In secret, Katsa created the Council to help the kingdoms from the rule of unfair kings. It is her work with the Council that leads her to cross paths with the Leinid Graceling Prince Po. When Po’s grandfather is captured, Katsa rescues him, but they struggle to find the reasons behind the kidnapping. What they find leads them on an adventure that will threaten both their lives. Can Katsa become more than a thug, can she see her grace as a gift rather than a curse?

This was well written and very entertaining. In fact, it was very difficult to put the book down. Fans of authors like Tamora Pierce and other fantasy authors with strong female characters, will find themselves drawn to this novel.

I look forward to her next book Fire due out in October 2009.

View all my reviews.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Book Byte: Marcelo in the Real World by Fancisco X. Stork

Marcelo in the Real World

Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm. Check it out from the KHCPL Teen Scene!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And the Winner of SLJ's 2009 Battle of the Kids Books Is...

School Library Journal has done a great job with this competition. To see the whole battle and all of the judge's comments you can visit the site linked below.

I have to say that I am thrilled with the final decision, and Judge Lowry's comment's are hilarious. I loved this book from the beginning and found it very hard to put down. Check out the winner and the book I am talking about on SLJ's website below. (Hint, hint... there is a sequel coming out this fall.)

Big Kahuna Round

Book Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, Book 1) Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Glass Houses is the first book in the Morganville Vampire series. When scholastically brilliant Claire Danvers sets off for college in Morganville, Texas, she gets more than she bargained for. Claire quickly makes an enemy of one of the most popular girls in the dorm and finds her life in danger because of this girl. After leaving the dorms, Claire finds a home in Glass House with three mysterious roommates who are willing to risk their own lives to keep her safe. In Glass House, the mystery of Morganville and its vampire heritage are slowly revealed.

Glass Houses is a fast read, and not a bad one either. Is it original or profound? No, but it was an enjoyable read and a good light vampire story. It is definitely meant to be read as a series, and ends with a cliff hanger that will have you dying for the next book. I recommend this to teens looking for the next vampire read. Entertaining.

Cautions for sensitive readers: This book contains a lot of violence and profanity is used in some of the more extreme situations. As of yet, there is no sex in the series, but I can not say what will happen in the later books.

View all my reviews.