Staff Pick: Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
From goodreads.com:

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

Pick it: if you've spent any part of your teen years on stage or behind the scenes - you know the drama is not saved for when the curtain rises! 

Pair with: Smile for Raina Telgemeier's graphic novel braceface goodness or Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan for another story about high school theatre. 

Reviewed by: Deena


Staff Pick: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
From goodreads.com:
When Cameron Post's parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they'll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief doesn't last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship--one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to "fix" her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self--even if she's not exactly sure who that is.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.

Pick it: for a beautiful look at growing up, figuring out who you are, and working past tough feelings. The book is split into two parts, and I honestly wish there was a part three.

Skip it: if you can't stand a book that leaves you wanting more. The ending provided closure on one important point, but there was a lot of story left to be told. I need to know what happened to Cam!

Pair with: Rapture Practice: A True Story by Aaron Hartzler, a memoir about a gay teen growing up in a fundamentalist family. 


Staff Pick: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson
From goodreads.com:
It sounds like a fairy tale. He is a boy dressed in silks and white wigs and given the finest of classical educations. Raised by a group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, the boy and his mother -- a princess in exile from a faraway land -- are the only persons in their household assigned names. As the boy's regal mother, Cassiopeia, entertains the house scholars with her beauty and wit, young Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians' fanatical studies. Only after he dares to open a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments -- and his own chilling role in them. Set against the disquiet of Revolutionary Boston, M. T. Anderson's extraordinary novel takes place at a time when American Patriots rioted and battled to win liberty while African slaves were entreated to risk their lives for a freedom they would never claim. The first of two parts, this deeply provocative novel reimagines the past as an eerie place that has startling resonance for readers today.

Pick it: for a fascinating alternate reality look at Revolutionary War-era America. I was captivated by the world-building and the mix of fact and fiction.

Skip it: if you like to keep your history and your fiction solidly separate.

Pair with: The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution by Gary B. Nash for a non-fiction look at the experiences of African American men and women at this point in history.

Reviewed by: Deena


YALSA's Teen Book Finder for Android & iOS

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has launched a cool new app for iOS and Android. YALSA's Teen Book Finder gives you easy access to the past three years of YALSA's award winners and lists like their picks for best nonfiction books, audiobooks (Odyssey Awards), debut teen novels (Morris), and more. You can also save your favorites onto an individual booklist for later browsing, and share your picks on Twitter and Facebook. 

Scan the QR code below or check out the YALSA page for links to the app on the App Store and Google Play.


Prose and Cons

"Writing." Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Find your muse and get inspired! Beat that writer's block into submission and join us for "Prose and Cons." We'll have writing games and creative story starters to get your ideas flowing.

Wednesday, August 20, 6:30 - 8:30PM
Children's Story & Craft Room, Upper Level
Open to grades 7 - 12.

Paying for College Without Breaking the Bank

"College". Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Let's face it...college is expensive. Are you aware that each year millions of dollars towards scholarships are unused because students aren't applying for them? Come learn not only how to get accepted into the school of your choice but also how to make sure it doesn't break the bank. Presented by Kaplan.

Wednesday, August 20, 6 - 8PM
Half Conference Center, Lower Level
Open to grades 9 - 12.


Staff Pick: The Borden Tragedy: A Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder at Fall River, Mass., 1892 by Rick Geary

 From goodreads.com:
"Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one!" In this third volume of Geary's Treasury, the famous Lizzie Borden double murder is explored with as much attention to well -researched detail as in his Jack the Ripper. This is another celebrated murder of last century, the one that lead to the infamous school rhyme.
The parallel between this old case and OJ Simpson's is striking: both defendants had unblemished reputations; the double murders were gruesome; there were no witnesses and no weapons found; the cases took the media by storm. Both wealthy defendants hired expensive lawyers who convinced the jury of reasonable doubt. Both remain under a cloud of suspicion...
Pick it: if you like YA that combines true crime, history, murder, and scandalous women in a graphic novel format (and then come talk to me!). 
Skip it: if you like more romance and less bloodshed in your Victorian era reading.
Pair with: any of Rick Geary's other Treasury of Victorian Murder books, like The Mystery of Mary Rogers - that story inspired Edgar Allan Poe. 
Reviewed by: Deena