Archive for the ‘Young Adult fiction’ Category

Guest Post from one of our Library Teens: Five Feet Apart by Mikki Daughtry, Rachael Lippincott, and Tobias Iaconis

June 10, 2021

[Guest post by Bhumika Prem]

Seventeen-year old Stella Grant has been a patient at Saint Grace’s Regional Hospital since she was a child. She likes being in control of her life, but her out of control lungs are the complete opposite. With her lungs functioning at35%, she can’t risk contracting any disease that could jeopardize her from getting a lung transplant, from being a normal and healthy teenager. That means staying six feet apart from any other patient with cystic fibrosis. No exceptions.Will Newman, a fellow patient with cystic fibrosis, has been counting down the days to his eighteenth birthday so he can finally get away from hospitals, and actually see the places he’s been, not just their hospitals. He just wants to be in charge of his life, and not let his condition stop him from living.Stella and Will spend more time together and learn that they love each other. They can’t be together, or go within 6 feet of each other because Will has a bacteria in his lungs, that if he so much as breathes on Stella, she could die. But they decide to steal back one of the many things that their disease that taken from them; one whole foot of space.Could five feet kill Stella? Would stealing back one foot of space worsen their broken lungs? But also, would five feet save them from heartbreak?
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to middle school kids who enjoy touching, heartfelt, and realistic books. I would give this book a five out of five star review because it’s well-written and it gives awareness about life with cystic fibrosis.

Five Feet Apart is available at the Library and as an eBook on Libby/Overdrive.

Five Feet Apart

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

April 27, 2021


This vibrant, rich debut YA fantasy novel tells the story of Tarisai, who we first meet as a lonely, isolated child. Tarisai is the daughter of The Lady, a mysterious woman who drops in and out of Tarisai’s life. Tarisai has the gift of being able to read, change and erase people’s memories when she touches them, which leads to a childhood of people avoiding her touch. She is eventually brought to the Capitol to compete to become part of the Prince’s Council of 11, a council of gifted children who will swear loyalty to the Crown Prince for life, and form a family in which they are able to telepathically communicate. This is the dream for Tarisai – to have this kind of closeness and connection with others. However, her mother has implanted in her an order to kill the Crown Prince if and when she is anointed as part of his Council.

I loved the world building of this book, which is rich and vivid and inspired by pre-colonial West African history and folklore. I was immediately drawn into this world and Tarisai’s story. The book does a nice job of weaving in broader issues of imperialism and the role of culture, with Tarisai’s personal struggles with trust and loyalty, and finding her voice and her purpose. I also appreciated the nuances in the positions and beliefs of the characters, where things are more complicated than just good vs evil. This is a highly readable and enjoyable book – I gobbled up the audiobook in a couple of days. I’m really excited to read book 2 when it comes out!

You can find this book at the Library and both the eBook and the audiobook on Hoopla.

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, by Garth Nix

March 21, 2021


More, please! I loved this book — I would read 100 more in a booksellers series. Are you listening Garth Nix??

I’m a librarian, so any weapon-wielding, superhero, secret book people society is going to be right up my alley. Then throw in that the first left-handed bookseller that Susan (more about her in a minute) meets is named Merlin and his sister (a right-handed bookseller) is Vivien and I’m in.

It’s 1980’s London and when Susan Arkshaw sets out to track down the father she’s never meant with only her nearly untethered mother’s “clues” she stumbles into the shadowy realm of the booksellers. Or maybe it is more that they stumble into her, it’s hard to say. Merlin and Vivien are the generation that is starting to push back against the old way of doing things and teaming up with Susan speeds it up.

Merlin is completely hilarious – he can barely get out of his own way – and Vivien is the total opposite, always in control and super capable. Yet neither one could succeed (or survive) without the other – and it turns out they both need Susan. One reviewer said this reads like Derek Landy, Lev Grossman, and Neil Gaiman all in one — I already thought Garth Nix was in this camp, and it’s a decent way to describe his writing. I do think this is quite a bit lighter than I expect from Grossman or Gaiman but the humor, playfulness, and sharp dialog are here.

Will Susan learn who, or what, her father was/is? Are the booksellers on the side of good or evil – or somewhere in between? And, what about Susan’s mother? There are a lot of questions and mysteries in this book and the ride is so fast and so fun I wasn’t in a hurry to get the answers! You can find this book at the Library, and as an ebook and audiobook on Libby/Overdrive.

20 Titles of 2020 (Print edition)

December 22, 2020


I said it last year, and while a lot of things have changed, this particular sentiment of mine has not. So let me state once again that I’m not a big fan of creating best of lists, because I’m far too literal a person to declare anything “the best of 2020.” That being said, I have read all kinds of really wonderful books published this year. And I’ve read them in many of different formats. In this post I’ll focus on books we have physical copies of in the library, and in the next one I’ll do a round up of some 2020 favorites from overdrive and Hoopla. So as we head into the new year, here are 20 of my favorite titles published in 2020.

Young Adult Books

Just a boy and a girl in a little canoe by Sarah Mlynowski

The gravity of us by Phil Stamper

You should see me in a crown by Leah Johnson

Yes no maybe so by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

The voting booth by Brandy Colbert

Mind the gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

10 things I hate about Pinky by Sandhya Menon


She came to slay : the life and times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Lifting as we climb : black women’s battle for the ballot box by Evette Dionne

True or false : a CIA analyst’s guide to spotting fake news by Cindy L. Otis.

Big friendship : how we keep each other close by Aminatou Sow, Ann Friedman.

Why we’re polarized / Ezra Klein

Kids Books

Kenzie kickstarts a team by Kit Rosewater

Ice breaker : how Mabel Fairbanks changed figure skating by Rose Viña

Finish the fight! : the brave and revolutionary women who fought for the right to vote by Veronica Chambers 


Primer : a superhero graphic novel written by Jennifer Muro & Thomas Krajewski

Check, Please! 2 : Sticks & Scones by Ngozi  Ukazu

Drawing the vote : an illustrated guide to voting in America by Tommy Jenkins 


Party of two by Jasmine Guillory

Party of Two: Guillory, Jasmine: 9780593100813: Books


Everything comes next : collected and new poems  by Naomi Shihab Nye

Everything Comes Next: Collected and New Poems: Nye, Naomi Shihab:  9780063013452: Books

Great Teen books for Adults

April 21, 2020


Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Available as an ebook in Libby/Overdrive and in audio on Hoopla


The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys. Available on Libby/Overdrive

The Fountains of Silence - ebook

Warcross Series by Marie Lu Available on Libby/Overdrive

Title details for Warcross by Marie Lu - Available

One of us is next by Karen McManus. Available on Libby/Overdrive

One of Us Is Next - ebook

The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Susan McBride Available in audio on Hoopla

The Good Girl's Guide to Murder

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Available on Libby/Overdrive

The Hate U Give - Audiobook

Woven in Moonlight, by Isabel Ibañez

February 21, 2020


Social upheaval, political unrest, colonialism, revenge and subterfuge, and ultimately, redemption, all set in the fantastical world of Inkasisa (loosely based on Bolivia and its history). Our hero, Ximena, is the Condesa’s decoy, and her one job is to protect the true Condesa of the Illustrians at any cost. When Atoc, the king of the Llacsans, comes with a “peace” offering in the form of a marriage proposal to the Condesa, it must be Ximena who crosses enemy lines to fulfill this duty. It doesn’t hurt that she’ll be able to search for the enchanted stone that can help them finally win the war, retake their city, and reach peace at last.

But, the longer Ximena stays with the Llacsans, the more she is challenged to question stereotypes. The violence and abuse of the king is easy to hate, but the kindness she receives from her guards and helpers confuses her. Not wanting to be disloyal to the true Condesa, but wanting to remain true to her budding beliefs, Ximena finds herself confronted with impossible choices.

I loved how the magic felt so organic to the story–Ximena’s talent is weaving, but it is made more beautiful (and powerful, and useful!) by her magic. And her weaving is so central to the story, that the way it changes and grows feels earned and satisfying. The relationships felt strong and the frequent conflicts were familiar, though heightened. The descriptions of the foods were absolutely mouthwatering!

Highly, highly recommend this awesome YA for fans of fantasy, strong female heroes, and action/adventure.

Check it out through ILL!

40877706. sy475

19 Titles of 2019

December 12, 2019


I’m not a big fan of creating best of lists, because I’m far too literal a person to declare anything “the best of 2019.” That being said, I have read all kinds of really wonderful books published this year. So as we head into the new year, here are 19 of my favorite titles published in 2019.




Kids Books

Children of Blood and Bone / Tomi Adeyemi

April 24, 2019


This book is the first in a YA (young adult) fantasy trilogy (I seem to be really into fantasy trilogies recently). It is the first novel by this Nigerian-American author, and she has done some fantastic world-building in this book. Adeyemi weaves in aspects of West African mythology to create the world of Orisha, where there is rising tension between the oppressed maji, and the Kingdom that has outlawed magic and nearly destroyed the maji population. The book deals with issues of oppression and prejudice, as well as teenage struggles of identity and young love. I particularly liked the friendship between the two main characters -Zelie and Amari – a maji and a royal respectively – young women from very different backgrounds who are each interesting and strong in their own ways.

The book is violent at times, and occasionally a little predictable, but it is really engrossing, and the audiobook is excellent. The book ends on a pretty major cliff hanger, but the second one is due out late 2019 so there won’t be too long to wait.

Children of Blood and Bone is available as an audiobook on Hoopla

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

August 2, 2018


I have thoroughly enjoyed several Alice Hoffman books for adults so I figured I’d give this one a try. I liked it a lot! Even though it is not as complex a story as her longer, more epic works, it is a beautiful story of family, understanding, and belonging. It contains just a hint of magic, enough to please those fans of her more witchy books, but leans more on the realistic elements. This makes it not only accessible to readers of different ages, but those of us who are not usually inclined to read fantasy or magical realism. Don’t judge this book by its cover 😉

Check for availability in Wiggin catalog

Check for availability in OverDrive

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

January 8, 2018


I actually picked up this book after reading Dark Tower #6 because of the title phrase “Turtles All the Way Down.” This bit of philosophical thought plays heavily into both these stories despite their vastly different content.

John Green does a good job delving into the main character’s psyche, making her relatable despite her severe anxiety and nauseating compulsions. This YA novel is great for an adult to pick up too despite featuring teenage characters– Green’s excellent writing brings you right into this girl’s life from her perspective. He presented her world in a way that was reminiscent of high school for me despite taking place (presumably) in 2017. (Age Disclaimer: I was not in high school during this millennium)

A page-turner, interesting. This book can be found on Libby/Overdrive.

Find this book in the Wiggin catalog to check availability or place a hold