Thursday, January 28, 2010

Novel Notes and Teen News: Your Source for Teen Book Information and Other Teen News 01/29/2010

Catcher in the Rye Author, J. D. Salinger Dies at 91

The Catcher in the Rye
Many of us have had to read the book Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger in school with its caustic narrator, Holden Caulfield. Find out more about the author who died Wednesday at the age of 91 in this New York Times obituary.

Legal Website for Teens and Their Parents

Looking for interesting legal info? Check out this page that has legal issues regarding teens from around the country.

Here is a review of the website by YPULSE:

The questions and the discussions are interesting, but keep in mind, they may not be able to answer specific legal questions and if you have a question you may be asked to speak with an attorney in your area.

Eight YA Authors Who Have Shaped YA Lit Over the Last Decade

Check out this blog post from Omnivoracious that discusses some of the most influential authors of the last ten years.

Talk Back: Let us know what you think! Who do you think should be on the list of most influential authors for teens in the last 10 years! Post your responses in our comments. Do you agree with the picks of the author above, or do you have someone better?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Novel Notes and Teen News: Your Source for Teen Book Information and Other Teen News 01/22/2010

Special Awards Edition

American Library Association Book Award Winners Announced

Every year in January the American Library Association (ALA) announces its list of award winning books for the previous year. These book awards include the Newbury for the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” (, and the Caldecott, the Siebert, the Geisel, and the Laura Ingles Wilder awards all awarded for various different reasons. For a complete list of Children’s book awards and winners visit:

Although less well known than some of the awards listed above because of their relative newness to the field, the awards that I look forward to seeing each year are the ones that honor Young Adult literature. Most notably, the first list I always check is that of the Michael L. Printz Award for “excellence in young adult literature” ( We (librarians) spend much time debating which books should make this important list, we spend months speculating and guessing (usually to find out we are wrong in the end). We don’t always agree with the book that is chosen (admittedly we all have our favorites), but I don’t believe we have ever been able to say that the chosen book isn’t worthy of the prestigious title. Last year’s book, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta was one of my favorite books that I read last year.* This year’s winner, Going Bovine by Libba Bray, looks like a dynamite read. Admittedly I haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet, but it just jumped to the top of my list. It features a young man who discovers that he has Mad Cow disease and his unusual quest for a cure. (I promise I will review it as soon as I read it.)

2010 Michael L. Printz Award Winner and Honorees:


Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Honor Books:

Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Punkzilla by Adam Rapp

Tales of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance, 1973 by John Barnes

I love the excitement these awards stir up and I hope you are as excited by the winners as I am. This link will provide you with a list of Awards. By clicking on the Award you can see both the Winners and the Honorees for the ALA Young Adult Book Awards including the brand new award for nonfiction the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.
Check them out online, and then reserve your copy at the library.

*For a complete list of books that I read and reviewed last year you can go to and search for me by my email address While you are there join Goodreads and share your reading with your friends. You can also become a friend of KHCPL Teen Scene on Goodreads by searching for the email

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Byte: Going Bovine by Libba Bray

I know it has been a long time since we have posted a Book Byte, so I thought today would be a great opportunity. On Monday the winner of the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature was announced. Congratulations are in order for Libba Bray and her book Going Bovine. Libba Bray is the author of the popular Gemma Doyle Trilogy which consists of the books A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and A Sweet Far Thing.

And now the Book Byte for Going Bovine...

Going Bovine

Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen year-old who, after being diagnosed with Creutzfeld Jakob's (aka mad cow) disease, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital in an attempt to find a cure.

Twilight Read-alikes

Looking for more Twilight Read-alikes or read-alikes that are appropriate for a middle school reader? Try some of the titles on this list from School Library Journals. All are available at KHCPL!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Love books and bargains? Then mark your calendar for the upcoming FRIENDS of the Library One-Day Book Sale on Saturday, January 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The sale will be held in the FRIENDS of the Library’s temporary location: 413 N. Washington St. in Kokomo. Look for the sidewalk sign out front; parking is available in a lot immediately north of the building.

At this special One-Day Sale, buy one book and get the second book of equal value for free! Proceeds from the book sales help support programs at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library (KHCPL), purchase items needed to improve library service, and fund annual scholarships. If you would like to learn more about the FRIENDS of the Library, please contact Peg Harmon at KHCPL Main, 765.457.3242, during business hours.

For other upcoming KHCPL events, visit the library’s website:, or stop by your favorite library location and pick up a copy of the KHCPL newsletter.

Book Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly Beastly by Alex Flinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are many different versions of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale out there and many of them have been novelized. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley is probably my favorite one, but there are a number of others. It seems like every time you open a review journal these days you see another retold fairytale, be it Beauty and the Beast, or some other one. Stories like this are timeless and that is why we continue to rework and retell them, even setting some of them in our time and world rather than the far off time and place of the originals.

Beastly is another retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but unlike many of its processors, this novel is told from the perspective of the Beast. We finally find out, what he did that caused him to become the Beast. Set in modern day New York City, Beastly is the story of the young man who is cursed by a witch to be a beast until he finds his true love, and can make her love him in return. Kyle Kingsbury had everything, wealth, power, and good looks, until one fateful night when a witch sees him for what he really is and curses him.

I do like these retold fairy tales. I like to see how authors can take a story that I am completely familiar with and create a new story, or tell me things I didn’t know about the old one. I do admit, however, there has been one exception to my fascination with these retold tales. I have never really been fond of any that take place in modern times. I found combining magical with the mundane world a daunting task for most authors, and had trouble believing it. In many cases I have trouble following the story—I want my fairytales to be “once upon a time” not the here and now. Alex Flinn, however, just might have converted me. It seemed so natural the way she incorporated the magical in to our modern world. I could even believe that a frog could be part of a discussion forum.

In the end, I loved this story. It was interesting to see the story from a new perspective, and it seemed natural that it should be set in the modern world. Alex Flinn did an excellent job!

On another note, they are making Beastly into a movie by CBS Films. It should be out in theaters in July 2010. Here is the link for the movie trailer from Alex Flinn’s website:

Beastly Movie Trailer from Alex Flinn's Website

Cautions for sensitive readers: I don’t recall any offensive language in this book, but there is some mild sexuality. Kyle is a teenage boy and he briefly mentions encounters and urges—no descriptions are given though.
View all my reviews >>

Friday, January 15, 2010

Novel Notes and Teen News: Your Source for Teen Book Information and Other Teen News 01/15/2010

Coming Soon To A Library Near You:

An order for some new teen books was placed this week and here are some of the titles. Get your holds in now to be the first to see some of these great books!

If I should fall / Lauren Oliver
Malice / Chris Wooding
Pretty dead / Francesca Lia Block
Sweet little lies : an L.A. Candy novel / Lauren Conrad
Wanderlust : a Beautiful Americans novel / Lucy Silag
Gone / by Lisa McMann.
Scarlett fever / by Maureen Johnson
Heist society / Ally Carter
Beautiful creatures / by Kami Garcia
This world we live in / Susan Beth Pfeffer
Captivate / Carrie Jones
Dead Tossed Waves / Carrie Ryan
Elphame’s Choice / P. C. Cast

Book News:

The Babysitter’s Club is back! For all you fans of the original series, the publishers are now recreating this series, for an even younger crowd. Check out this article from YPULSE:

Read an excerpt of Lauren Conrad’s new novel Sweet Little Lies before it arrives at the library by going to this link from

Want to read some of the newest books from Simon Pulse Teen publishing. Are you good at reviewing? Then you might want to join Pulse It. Where you will have access to read new teen novels online and review them first! Here is the link for more information:

Rick Riordan’s New Series Features a Different Type of Mythology

Good news for Percy Jackson fans! Author Rick Riordan will be releasing a new book, this time focusing on Egyptian mythology. The book titled, The Red Pyramid is due out in May. For your first look at the cover, check out this article from “Publisher’s Weekly” and don’t forget to check out the links in the article to Disney’s website dedicated to this new book!

That’s the news for this week!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Digital Camera Class this Week!

Digital Camera Class
Thursday, January 14
5:00 to 7:45 p.m.

Spectrum Photography's Curt Alexander will be on hand to show you the many possibilities you have with a digital camera. He will give techniques and tips to get the most out of your photographs.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Novel Notes and Teen News: Your Source for Teen Book Information and Other Teen News 01/08/2010

In the Movies

Movie goers have been flocking to theaters to see James Cameron’s new movie Avatar. Check out this teen’s review of Avatar at YPULSE:

Best and Worst Books of 2009

One YPULSE Review shares her picks for the best and worst books of 2009:
Tell us what you think! What were your best and worst reads of 2009?

Good News for Fans of Holes Author Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar is publishing his next YA Novel titled The Cardturner. For more information chceck out this link to Publisher’s Weekly:

From Page to Screen: Movie/Book Tie-ins

Fans of the series Diary of a Wimpy Kid have a new movie to look forward to. The movie is due to be released on April second and is based on these bestselling novels by author Jeff Kinney. Also being released is a movie diary for the making of the movie title The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary. Read the complete story at the Publisher’s Weekly website:

According to a number of news sources, the script for the movie Eclipse has been leaked. Many are upset by this news, but since they are following the events of the books does a leaked script really matter? What do you think? Let us know by commenting on our blog. For more information about the leaked script, check out this article:

Children’s and Teens Book Reviews from Publisher’s Weekly

Check out these book reviews from the Publisher’s Weekly Website for a head up on what is new in books.

Books in the Digital Age

In the first link author John Green speculates about the publishing world and the future of books in our electronic society listing librarians as gatekeepers to the best books.

A YPULSE columnist also takes an interest in this topic this week.

Author Katherine Paterson Named Ambassador