Blogroll, Community, Library Programs, Library services, Recommended Reading, Uncategorized

Graphic Novels to Read for Back-to-School

Boy with backpack

School bags ready with favourite pens and pencils, cool notebooks and gadgets?! Why not add a graphic novel or two to the mix just in time for back-to-school. Did you know there’s a fantastic teen graphic novel collection here at the Belleville Public Library? With so many to choose from here are a few stand-alone’s and series titles that have recently hit our shelves. Don’t let the images intimidate you these books cover to cover offer an interesting way to read a story. May even be a great way to motivate a reluctant reader. If the ten listed below are not enough, no worries, check out the latest here. And I have a special DIY planned for next month if you can decipher the code hidden throughout this month’s book list. Comment your answer below for a hint to next month’s cool DIY. Thanks for reading. – A

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, May 7, 2019
by Mariko Tamaki, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (Illustrator)
Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley’s dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There’s just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend. Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy’s best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it’s really Laura Dean that’s the problem. Maybe it’s Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.

Kiss Number 8 , March 12, 2019
by Colleen AF, Ellen T. Crenshaw (Illustrator)
Amanda can’t figure out what’s so exciting about kissing. It’s just a lot of teeth clanking, germ swapping, closing of eyes so you can’t see that godzilla-sized zit just inches from your own hormonal monstrosity. All of her seven kisses had been horrible in different ways, but nothing compared to the awfulness that followed kiss number eight.

Maker Comics: Bake Like a Pro! February 5, 2019
by Falynn Koch
Sage learns the simple science behind baking–and that’s the best kind of magic trick! In this DIY, you’ll learn how different combination of proteins, fats, and liquids will result in textures that lend themselves to perfect pies, breads, cookies, and more! Follow these simple recipes, and you’ll be able to bake a pizza and frost a cake–no magic necessary! With the easy step-by-step instructions you’ll make Chocolate chip cookies, Cornbread and Banana Bread and more. Also available, Maker Comics. Fix A Car

Dragon Ball Super, Volume 5 – August 1, 2019
by Akira Toriyama
Ever since Goku became Earth’s greatest hero and gathered the seven Dragon Balls to defeat the evil Boo, his life on Earth has grown a little dull. But new threats loom overhead, and Goku and his friends will have to defend the planet once again. The battle for the fate of the parallel world rages on! With Vegeta injured and his fusion with Goku failed, Goku must face off against God Zamas alone. But this enemy is unrelenting and powerful, and seems to be too strong—even for Goku! Will Goku and his friends be able to put a stop to this evil god once and for all?! View more titles to the series here.

Bloom, February 12, 2019
by Kevin Panetta, Savanna Ganucheau (Illustrator)
Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band―if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.

Fence, Volume 2- January 5, 2019
by C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad (Artist)
Nicholas Cox is determined to prove himself in the world of competitive fencing, and earn his place on the Kings Row fencing team, alongside sullen fencing prodigy, Seiji Katayama, to win the right to go up against his golden-boy half-brother. Tryouts are well underway at King’s Row for a spot on the prodigious fencing team, and scrappy fencer Nicholas isn’t sure he’s going to make the grade in the face of surly upperclassmen, nearly impossibly odds, and his seemingly unstoppable roommate, the surly, sullen Seiji Katayama. It’ll take more than sheer determination to overcome a challenge this big! Add your name to the hold list for volume 3 here!

Colorblind, April 16, 2019
by Johnathan Harris, Anthony E. Zuiker (Illustrations)
Johnathan a fifteen-year-old African American from Long Beach, California, shares his story of being physically and verbally harassed because of his race, and of overcoming the discrimination to embrace all cultures, and then to be proud of his own.

Harley Quinn Volume 2, April 2, 2019
by Sam Humphries, John Timms (Illustrations)
A new era of Harley continues here, with writer Sam Humphries! While reading a mysterious Harley Quinn comic book, H.Q. accidentally breaks all of reality. And you know the saying: if you break it, you bought it! Now it’s up to Harley to travel through both time and space to fix all the continuity errors she created. Luckily, she’ll have a little help, ‘cuz riding shotgun is none other than special guest star Jonni DC, Continuity Cop! Good thing, too, because if Harley fails, it means her own mom will be lost forever. Gulp! That doesn’t sound very funny! This new era for the DCU‘s craziest antihero continues here in Harley Quinn Vol. 2. Collects issues #50-54 and #56.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 10 – March 19, 2019
by Ryan North, Derek Charm (Artist)
The Death of Squirrel Girl! Squirrel Girl attends a funeral – her own! But how is that possible? Who is that in the coffin? Hmm, wonder if it has anything to do with all those Skrulls who have recently surfaced… for more titles click here.

Hatsu-Haru, Volume 6 – January 26, 2016
by Shizuki Fujisawa
Summer break has been full of endings and new beginnings for Kai and Riko both. Suwa’s wedding saw the conclusion of Riko’s long-held first love, but only time will tell if its departure leaves room in her heart for another. Can Kai safely navigate dating when love is involved, or will his uncalculated swing in the dark throw everything off course?
Volume 7 and 8 are on order place your name on the hold list here.

MESSAGE DECIPHER
_ _ _ : _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ? – stay tuned for next month’s blog to see what you can make with these.

Blogroll, Community, Library Programs, Library services, Recommended Reading

Books to Read this Summer

Photo Credit Anita Coe 2019
YOLO 🙂

Summer invites us to sit back and relax. So, if you can’t escape the heat… cool down and escape into one of the books suggested below. Pages of adventure and excitement await in historical fiction, sci-fi, thriller, romance, graphic novels, and more. Or grab your earbuds for titles available in sound recording also digital formats using Hoopla or Overdrive. A cold iced beverage in hand, large brimmed hat and a lounging chair or favourite nook – and there you have it, the perfect summer book escape. Comment below, what’s your favourite book reading oasis?
Or try beating the heat at the library on Friday’s from 10 am to 1 pm for Teen Gaming Drop-in or if you haven’t already done so there’s still time to sign up for the teen summer reading challenge at the Reader’s Advisory desk, play “plinko” and win awesome prizes. The fun ends August 15th. And don’t forget to save the date, Teen Book Club, is back on September 19, 2019, theme to be determined.
For more amazing recommendations from our librarians check out what’s new here or visit us at the Reader’s Advisory desk. Have a safe and happy summer teens!

🙂 Scroll down to the end of today’s blog for instructions on how to make a trendy no sew t-shirt book bag. And tag TheBellevilePublicLibrary , @bellevillepl, #bellevillepl to your cool creation.

SCIENCE-FICTION / FANTASY

Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith, 2019
Aurelia, the first princess born in Renalt in 200 years, is destined to marry the mysterious prince of Achelva, Valentin, but her treacherous lady-in-waiting, Lisette, plots to take her crown.

LGBTQ+

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk, 2018
Autumn, Shay, and Logan, whose lives intersect in complicated ways, each lose someone close to them and must work through their grief.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Always Never Yours by Austin Siegemund, 2018
Between rehearsals for the school play and managing her divided family, seventeen-year-old Megan meets aspiring playwright Owen Okita, who agrees to help her attract the attention of a cute stagehand in exchange for help writing his new script.

CONTEMPORARY REALISTIC FICTION

Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum, 2019
“The tragic 9/11 event in NYC that changed the world, altered the life of Abbi Hope Goldstein as well as that of Noah Stern. They did not know each other back then, but they know each other now, and while Abbi is trying to move forward with her life, Noah still has unanswered questions that he believes Abbi can help answer”–Provided by publisher.

GRAPHIC NOVEL

Bloom by Kevin Panetta, 2019
Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the city with his band, if he can just convince his dad to let him quit their struggling family bakery. But in the midst of interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easy-going guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it.

NON-FICTION

#notyourprincess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy, 2017
Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. #Not Your Princess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman.

THRILLER / MYSTERY

I’ll Never Tell by Abigail Haas, 2019
While on spring break in Aruba, a young girl is accused of her best friend’s death and must stand trial for murder in a foreign country.

HISTORICAL FICTION

All For One by Melissa De La Cruz, 2019, (Alex and Elisa #3)
“1785. New York, New York… The sweeping love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler comes to a close in All for One, the riveting final installment of the New York Times bestselling Alex & Eliza trilogy.”–Amazon.com

SERIES

Nexus: The Andromeda Saga by Sasha Alsberg, 2019, (Andromeda Saga #2)
Androma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.

BOOK ON CD

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, 2017
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred thousand dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

E-AUDIO

Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, 2018
Xiomara Batista has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers’. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself but in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent. Also available in these formats click here.

DID YOU KNOW? Canadians use an estimated 2.8 billion plastic bags each year. It takes a plastic grocery bag 10 to 20 years to biodegrade. And it can often be a one-time use.

Photo Credit Anita Coe 2019

Try making your very own reusable book bag.

How to Make a No-Sew T-Shirt Book Tote
You Will Need: Old t-shirt (the thicker the fabric, the sturdier the bag), preferably fabric scissors or sharp scissors, washable marker (optional)
Step1: Carefully cut both the sleeves off. I folded my t-shirt in half to cut it equally.
Step2: Cut the neckline area in a “U” shape. (I used a bowl to help trace out the cutting area.)
Step3: Turn the shirt inside out.
Step4: Trace a line across the bottom of the tee (Note the line drawn is as deep as you want the bag to be.)
Step5: Cut slits 1″ apart from the bottom of the tee to the line marking the bottom of the bag. Cut both front and back of tee at the same time.
Step6: Tie the tags (from front to back) in pairs into a double knot. Choose here to have the tags come out of the bottom or keep the ties on the inside of the bag.
Step7: Spread the ties apart – tops and bottoms.
Step8: Now tie the top tie with an opposite bottom tie. Double knot. Continue to do this all the way across.
Step9: Tie the remaining top and bottom pieces to seal the last of the holes.
Step8: Turn your t-shirt right side out, your book bag is ready to go!

Photo: Used an old tie-dye t-shirt. Reference link thanks to mommypotamus.com.

Blogroll, Community, Library Programs, Library services, Recommended Reading

Books By Canadian Authors

Books by Canadian Authors

Did you know?

A plethora of Canadian authors live among us. Greats such as L.M Montgomery, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Robert Munsch, Stephen Leacock, Yann Martel and Chris Hadfield to name a few. So, collecting the following Canadian young adult novelists from so many was no easy feat. You can enjoy them right from our shelves or give Hoopla/Overdrive a try. And in retrospect, I’ve included an interesting detail about our fellow Canadians. If there’s an author you would have included on this list please let me know about them in the comments below. Oh and see you at the next teen book club, ‘Science Fiction and Fantasy’ on May 16, 2019 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Child of Dandelions by Shenazz Nanjii

ALBERTA

Child of Dandelions by Shenaaz Nanjii, July 25, 2008

Nanji was born on the ancient island of Mombasa, Kenya, one of the oldest settlements on the East African coast.

A Thousand Shades of Blue by Robin Stevenson

BRITISH COLOMBIA

A Thousand Shades of Blue by Robin Stevenson, October 1, 2008

Stevenson often visits schools to talk about books, writing and LGBTQ+ issues.

Bad Boy by Diana Wieler

MANITOBA

Bad Boy by Diana Wieler, March 1, 1990

“The Whole World is full of stories in motion.” – Diana Wieler

Black Water Rising by Robert Rayner

NEW BRUNSWICK

Black Water Rising by Robert Rayner,

Rayner likes to listen to music and plays keyboard and saxophone in a band.

Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott

NEWFOUNDLAND

Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott, April 28, 2018

Sinnott was born in the UK and now lives in St John’s, Newfoundland.

The Lesser Blessed by Richard van Camp

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp, February 27, 2016

Van Camp’s novel, The Lesser Blessed was adapted into critically acclaimed film by director Anita Doron in 2012.

Rat by Lesley Choyce

NOVA SCOTIA

Rat by Lesley Choyce, October 12. 2012

Choyce is a year-round surfer and founding member of the 1990s spoken word rock band, The SurfPoets.

Born with Erika and Gianni by Lorna Schultz

ONTARIO

Born With Erika and Gianni by Lorna Schultz Nicholson, January 27, 2016

Nicholson worked as a Fitness and Recreation Co-ordinator at the University of Victoria where she also coached rowing.

Kira's Quest by Orysia Dawydiak

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Kira’s Quest by Orysia Dawydiak, September 1, 2015

Dawydiak enjoys writing for young people about life on a an sland sheep farm to coastal fishing communities where the possibilities of alternate life forms become real.

Shattered Glass by Teresa Toten

QUEBEC

Shattered Glass by Teresa Toten, September 29, 2015

“When the sky is purple and the writing is going really well being a writer is almost as good as being a mermaid.” – Teresa Toten

SASKATCHEWAN

Yellow Dog: A Coming Of Age Novel by Miriam Körner, October 26, 2016

Körner ran her first thousand-mile dog team and canoe expedition along the ancient routes of the North.

YUKON

The Golden Trail: The Story of the Klondike Rush by Pierre Berton, December 4, 2004

In 1971, on the Pierre Berton Show, Berton interviewed famous martial artist Bruce Lee in what is his only surviving television interview.

Other notable Canadian Authors

Not Your Princess: Voices of Native American Women by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Lisa Charleyboy, September 12, 2017

“I will not beat myself up for something someone else did to me – that poison is theirs.” – Lisa Charleyboy

Skating Over Thin Ice by Jean Mills, June 18, 2018

Mills received encouragement from the editors to continue writing even after her first book project about a young girl struggling to find acceptance as a goalie on her brother’s hockey team was never published.

Blogroll, Community, Library Programs, Library services, Recommended Reading

Books That You Can’t Stop Thinking About









Books That You Can’t Stop
Thinking About

I can’t stop thinking about it – even after all these years. It’s a state of mind or so I’m told. By definition, a person’s state: mood. Give me a large oak tree trunk to prop against or a soft chair with pillows (arms a must!) and natural light and I could be reading comfortably in any state of mind. Oh, and not the song by the way. Albeit, Mr. Piano man himself could key up a few notes here to get us thinking about this next collection of, “Books That We Can’t Stop Thinking About”. Now humming, ‘… it comes down to reality and it’s fine with me cause I’ve let it slide, it’s a New York state of mind.’ Well, it’s a Belleville Library state of mind! The teenagers last month all filed in with books in hand along with the first promising signs of Spring. It’s the right set up for some new and some old reads. Certainly, a trip down memory lane for some of us and hopefully your next favourite read as well. Let me know what you think of the following nine book suggestions. Did you try any of the books from last month’s topic, “Books That Make Your Heart Pound”? Oh, and drop me a line or two. 😉

P.S. See you at the next one,
April 18th, April Teen Book Club – Books By Canadian Authors
May 16th, May Teen Book Club – Books on Science Fiction and Fantasy

And for your viewing and listening pleasure Mr. Piano Man himself. 😉

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, October 8, 1988

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic. Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Agevedo, March 6, 2018

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

The Love and Lies of Ruksana Ali by Sabina Khan, January 29, 2019

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer. But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective. Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life? 

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume, February 12, 2005

Davey has never felt so alone in her life. Her father is dead (shot in a holdup) and now her mother is moving the family to New Mexico to try to recover. Climbing in Los Alamos Canyons, Davey meets mysterous Wolf, who seems to understand the rage and fear she feels. Slowly, with Wolf’s help, Davey realizes that she must get on with her life. But when will she be ready to leave the past behind? Will she ever stop hurting?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, September 1, 2014

Harry Potter is leaving Privet Drive for the last time. But as he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid’s motorbike and they take to the skies, he knows Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters will not be far behind. The protective charm that has kept him safe until now is broken. But the Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything he loves. And he knows he can’t keep hiding. To stop Voldemort, Harry knows he must find the remaining Horcruxes and destroy them. He will have to face his enemy in one final battle.
–jkrowling.com

Go Ask Alice by Beatrix Sparks (as Anonymous), January 1, 2006

It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth — and ultimately her life. Read her diary. Enter her world. You will never forget her.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, April 1, 2011

The first ten lies they tell you in high school. “Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.
In Laurie Halse Anderson’s powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.
Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature.

Restart by Gordon Korman, May 30, 2017

Chase’s memory just went out the window. Chase doesn’t remember falling off the roof. He doesn’t remember hitting his head. He doesn’t, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name. He knows he’s Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return. Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him. One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets. Pretty soon, it’s not only a question of who Chase is–it’s a question of who he was . . . and who he’s going to be.From the #1 bestselling author of Swindle and Slacker, Restart is the spectacular story of a kid with a messy past who has to figure out what it means to get a clean start.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, January 6, 2015

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better. Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

All book excerpts taken from www.goodreads.com

Community, Library Programs, Recommended Reading, Uncategorized

Teen Book Club

Books That Make Your Heart Pound

There’s a lot to be said about the energy you come to find from a group of enthusiastic teenagers enjoying February’s teen book club topic, “books that make your heart pound”. The teens fueled their choices with cookies and tea. Some palpitating choices were made of books we read and books we want to read. Here’s our list. Let us know if we missed any. And don’t forget to join us on March 21st at 6:30 pm in the meeting room on the third floor. This month’s topic, ‘books that you can’t stop thinking about’. For ages 12+.

March book club theme, ‘books you can’t stop thinking about’.
April book club theme, ‘books by Canadian authors’.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli, April 24, 2018 (Creekwood #2)

#1 New York Times bestseller! Goodreads Choice Award for the best young adult novel of the year!

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst. When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, February 28, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus, July 25, 2017

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this. On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, January 10, 2012

Amazon.ca Editors’ Pick: Best Books of 2012
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Worlds of Ink and Shadow, January 5, 2016

Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to descend into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters-the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna-refuse to let them go. Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ own juvenilia, Worlds of Ink & Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families in a thrilling, suspenseful fantasy.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, October 31, 2006

My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling, September 1, 2014

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin! These new editions of the classic and internationally bestselling, multi-award-winning series feature instantly pick-up-able new jackets by Jonny Duddle, with huge child appeal, to bring Harry Potter to the next generation of readers. It’s time to PASS THE MAGIC ON…

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, January 30, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.” Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour, April 18, 2013

From the award-winning, bestselling author of Hold Still and We Are Okay.
Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans – and Colby – to start college in the fall. But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next? 

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13 Scary Teen Books for Halloween

These 13 creepy books (some old, some new) are sure to haunt teen readers in all the right ways.

Carrie by Stephen King

Horror-master King’s first novel (published in 1974) is perfect for teen horror fans. A compact work told through fictionalized news stories, articles, and interviews, Carrie tells the tale of a telekinetic teenage girl so bullied at school that she destroys her entire town to get revenge on her cruel classmates. It’s one of the most frequently banned books in the United States and worth the read just for the pull-no-punches way King handles his subject matter.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

The first in a series of four zombie novels by bestselling author Maberry, Rot and Ruin is an awesome read, especially for fans of “The Walking Dead” (or anything undead, for that matter). In this first entry, Benny Imura, a resident of a post-apocalyptic, zombie-ridden U.S., must find a job by the time he turns 15 or he’ll put his family’s food supply at risk. He reluctantly learns to hunt zombies under the tutelage of his older brother, and the story that results strikes more emotional chords than just the scary ones.

Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

Many are impressed that Shelley wrote this classic when she was just 18, but even more impressive is that she wrote it as part of a friendly contest between her, her husband (Percy Shelley), Lord Byron, and John Polidori. After pondering horror stories, Shelley dreamt of a scientist who creates life and is then terrified by his own creation. The rest is history, along with years of correcting people who think the monster’s name is Frankenstein. Nope, that’s the doctor’s name.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Soon to be released as a film, this novel from Carnegie Medal-winner Ness was inspired by an idea from the late Siobhan Dowd and centers on Conor, a boy who has repeatedly had the same nightmare since his mother became sick. But the monster that eventually shows up at his window isn’t the one from his dream. It’s something different, and it demands something of Conor. Filled with darkness, magic, and a haunting message, it’s a fairy tale in the truest Brothers Grimm-sense of the term.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Without Dracula, would the glimmering, crush-worthy vampires of the Twilight series exist? Probably not. Stoker’s seductive, wealthy, and well-bred Dracula comes alive (ahem) via letters, ships’ logs, and diary entries from the novel’s protagonists, including English solicitor Jonathan Harker, who becomes Dracula’s prisoner, and teacher-turned-vampire-hunter Abraham Van Helsing. Some young readers may find Stoker’s pacing a divergence from the fast-plotted books they’re used to, but this classic is worth the read.

The Fever by Megan Abbott

This one is recommended for older teens (ages 16 and up), and they won’t be able to put it down. Abbott is masterful at getting inside the heads of teen girls, and has no fear of treading into the darkest territory. This novel, based on a real illness that manifested as uncontrollable tics in a dozen teenage girls in upstate New York, probes the creepy terrain of such an epidemic and a dangerous jealousy among these adolescent girls.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, illustrated by Thomas Ott

First published in 1962, Jackson’s extra-creepy novel centers on the kind of family whose house would make trick-or-treating more interesting (if not more terrifying). Thanks to its character development and lack of gore, the now-classic novel is excellent for those reluctant to read horror. The story of the Blackwood sisters, their fear-inducing home, and a long-ago poisoning that killed the entire family before them earns its thrills through Jackson’s brainy, brilliant prose.

The Graces by Laure Eve

What is it about cadres of beautiful, mysterious girls that makes us want to read about them? (Oh, looks like that question answers itself.) In this new dark and lyrical novel from English writer Eve, River longs to be welcomed into the lives of the Graces, a group of rumored-to-be-witches who cast a spell over everyone in town. According to Eve herself, there’s more to the book than just are-they-witches; it’s an exploration of “the endless pull between the Other — fantasy, imagination, belief, of spirits and gods and ghosts — and the colder everyday of the real, the real that we are very afraid is all there is.”

Asylum Series by Madeleine Roux

An excellent, photo-illustrated pick for fans of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the first book in this series from Roux takes place in an inherently scary place: a former psychiatric hospital, where gifted 16-year-old Dan Crawford and other students must spend their summer instead of the cushy college prep housing they’d been expecting. The haunting page-turner takes you into the kind of dark, twisted world teens can be grateful exists only in fiction (one hopes…).

The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy

Part murder mystery and part paranormal fairy tale, Sirowy’s new book not only weaves a frightful tale, but also gets under the reader’s skin as it addresses death and dying, and discovering the truth about yourself. Teens will fall hard for Lana, a formerly shy girl who grows fearless after the death of her beloved stepbrother, as she looks into her past and the scary stories her brother told her to figure out a series of murders in her town.

Chain Letter by Christopher Pike

No list of scary reads for teens would be complete without one from the master of the genre, Pike. Yes, today’s young masters of group texts and Snapchat may scoff at the very idea of a chain letter, but they won’t be laughing as they fall deeper into the creepy tale, wherein six friends bound together by a crime are the recipients of a scary screed that demands each of them take on dangerous, impossible things.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson’s classic tale exploring, in frightening fashion, the two sides of one self has influenced dozens of authors. Perhaps less well-known is that Stevenson wrote the tale in three days, after he had nightmares about his own double life — and then had to rewrite it in three days again when his wife burned the first manuscript because she thought it was too gruesome. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde might not strike young readers off the bat as the stuff to keep them up at night, but it raises questions about the duality of human nature that’ll keep them thinking long after they’ve turned the final page.

The Bad Seed by William March

First published in 1954, the focus of this bestselling novel, which also inspired the 1956 film of the same name, is ridiculously compelling: a child who is also a killer. For those among us who find themselves drawn to literary tales of creepy children (you’re not alone!), March’s novel was the forebear to many of those stories and is a case of one of the first also being one of the best.

What are your favorite scary reads? Let us know by leaving a comment!

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12 YA Book Series that Should Be Made Into TV Shows

Ever since Netflix decided to make A Series of Unfortunate Events into a very fortunate TV series, we can’t help but daydream about all the amazing YA book series that would be awesome as a TV series. Here are our top picks:

1. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

The intrigue, the dresses, the time period! The Luxe would make for a very decadent and amazing series if it was adapted for television.

About the book: Manhattan, 1899: In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

Luxe cover

2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This futuristic retelling of Cinderella as a cyborg would make for a fantastically vivid show and each season could focus on a different character, much like the books do with Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, etc.

About the book: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder cover

3. Gone by Michael Grant 

If Netflix is looking to adapt something that could be Lost-like in its mythology and multitude of characters, they don’t have to look much further.

About the book: Everyone except for the young. Teens, middle schoolers, toddlers, but not a single adult. No teachers, no police, no doctors, no parents. Gone too are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.

Gone cover

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Netflix could use more series with tough as nails heroines. We vote for THRONE OF GLASS.

About the book: In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

Throne of Glass cover

5. The Selection by Kiera Cass

If television doesn’t want to show us the pretty dresses from The Luxe series, then we’ll forgive them as long as they then show us the pretty dresses from The Selection!

About the book: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

The Selection cover

6. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

We need this as a show.

About the book: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

The Darkest Minds cover

7. Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard

In general, we want more zombies on TV, but since nothing really can beat modern-day or near-future zombies like The Walking Dead, we suggest turning the clock back a century and going with 1800s zombies.

Something Strange and Deadly cover

8. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

We’re having a grand old time just thinking about the casting process for this amazing series.

About the book: Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

The Raven Boys cover

9. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

There aren’t enough parallel universe stories out there and a show based on this book series would be done best if J.J. Abrams was producing it!

About the book: Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him. Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself.

A Thousand Pieces of You cover

10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This isn’t a traditional series, but rather a series of interconnected standalones, but it would still make for an amazing, cute, international show about finding your true love!

About the book: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Anna and the French Kiss cover

11. The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney

There are plenty of superhero shows out there (Arrow, The Flash, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) so we think The Brokenhearted would make a unique addition to that lineup. It’s sort of like The Bionic Woman meets Batman.

About the book: Anthem Fleet, talented ballerina and heir to the Fleet fortune, has always been closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. Lured by the handsome and dangerous Gavin, Anthem is drawn into the dark and exhilarating world on the wrong side of town. But when the couple runs into trouble, Gavin goes missing and Anthem winds up dead . . . only to awaken in an underground lab with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. Now she can run faster, jump higher, fight better. But the only thing that matters to her is getting Gavin back. And when she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, she is determined to use her new-found powers for the ultimate revenge.

The Broken Hearted cover

12. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This trilogy would be the must watch show of the season!

About the book: Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court where she discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world uses her new position to secretly help the growing Red rebellion. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

The Red Queen cover

What other YA series would you like to see as TV shows? Tell us in the comments below!