Lucy and her friends have decided to spend graduation night searching for Shadow, the elusive but talented graffiti artist. Ed and his friends just want to kill time until they can carry out their real plans for the evening. In the meantime, Ed joins Lucy in her quest, racing to all of Shadow’s artwork while thawing their prickly relationship through their stories and hopes. Lucy shares her obsession with Shadow and his art, unaware of how close he really is. Graffiti Moon is a fun young adult novel with great characters and an artistic twist.
What would you take? When the Soviet police come to take her family away, fifteen year old Lina has 20 minutes to pack to leave her home in Lithuania. She chooses a few clothes, a family photograph, and drawing paper and pencils, leaving the loaf of bread cooling on the counter. She cherishes her treasures, but can’t help wishing she had also brought the bread. She and her mother and little brother are shipped to Siberia packed in train cars, always worrying about and missing her father. Through the book more and more of their dignity is stripped away as they experience horrible hunger, cold, and back-breaking work under the watchful eye of the completely unpredictable Soviet police force. But in the midst of this extremely grim story, we also get glimpses of the humanity that Lina and her fellow prisoners cling to; moments of sharing, kindness, and celebration together. And through it all, Lina draws with whatever she can get ahold of including dirt and ashes. The other prisoners smuggle bits of paper for her to use, having seen her special gift for expressing the truth of their experiences.
Between Shades of Gray brings to light a part of history that is often neglected. Powell’s story examines the basis of what it means to be human, expressing the best and worst of those in difficult situations, equally present in the police as in the prisoners. The subject matter is somewhat grim, but Lina’s determination to live and draw and the moments of kindness add enough light to make it a truly rewarding read.
“I Geek Kansas Libraries”
That was the theme of the 2012 Kansas Library Association Conference in Wichita, which took place last Wednesday through Friday. The annual convention is touted as the state’s premier opportunity for librarians to gather, learn, and network, then “return to your library recharged and energized.”
I hope you will endulge me while I take today’s column to walk you through a few of the highlights from Day 1 for me at this year’s convention.
7:12 Car loaded, breakfast eaten, car gassed up and audiobook cued up. Guess I’m ready to go.
I’m listening to The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. A Young Adult book that I still haven’t quite figured out but is a little paranormal, a little science fiction and some fantasy. A long trip will be great for seeing how this thing turns out.
9:25 Conference registration complete. Unfortunately, I chose to enter at the completely opposite of the end of the convention center. I’m sure I’ve already gotten a mile of walking in for the day. The trek did, however, allow me to see several friends and colleagues along the way.
9:33 Putting the convention badge around my neck is an action that always instantly gets me excited for the upcoming days.
This year’s theme “I Geek Kansas Libraries” is derived from the national awareness campaign sponsored by OCLC, a nonprofit library cooperative, and by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The campaign is dedicated to spreading the word about the vital role of public libraries and raising awareness about the funding issues many public libraries face. The State Library of Kansas has co-sponsored the initiative since December 2010.
9:36 Stopped by the Gift Basket Raffle table on my way and drop a few bucks to support Kansas Library Association Educational Foundation, and take a stab at possibly winning some good loot (I really would enjoy that relaxation-themed basket!).
10:08 First session of the day has begun. Listening to the very in-depth introduction of Cory Doctorow. This guy is smart, accomplished, and busy!
Doctorow is the author of the best-selling YA book Little Brother. His biography says he considers himself a science fiction author, activist, journalist, and blogger (he is the co-editor of boingboing.net). He is known for speaking out about copyright, technology issues, and other hot-button topics relating to information sharing.
10:22 Cory says when writing, finishing in the middle of a sentence gives you a starting point for the next day. All authors have their own methodology and it is always interesting to hear how a writer works.
10:42 Realized Cory is wearing some pretty quirky black and white striped slacks. A little whim that makes me appreciate him just a little more.
11:35 A panel of authors (including Doctorow) tout the importance of libraries in the art of “hand-selling” a book. It is reassuring to hear author appreciation for librarians’ efforts to get books into the hands of those who may not otherwise access them.
12:52 Finished eating at Ty’s Diner just west of downtown with some co-workers. Great burger and fresh-cut fries. I recommend it if you like a little bit of a dive, hometown, old-school burger joint.
1:27 Networking with other Young Adult/Teen Services Librarians from across the state at the Young Adult Roundtable Meeting. It is always reassuring to know there are others out there trying to accomplish the same things as you.
2:14 Hearing how Pittsburg Public Library reorganized their non-fiction into categories based on subject. It’s such an interesting concept. Not without it’s ups and downs though. Listening to the presenter, PPL’s Director, is fun. She’s really energetic and inspiring.
3:18 I’m getting all sorts of great ideas of new and fun ways to approach reader’s advisory for teens. Look out Manhattan Middle School kids – this year’s pre-summer visits are going to be different and fun!
3:35 “Life is too short to read books you don’t like.” One of my favorite rules of thumb regarding books.
4:41 In the past half an hour I’ve been mistaken for a Hotel manager and been called ‘young miss’. I’m not sure which one I was more flattered by – looking like I could be in charge or being thought of as young by someone around my same age. A nice change from all of the teens who think I’m “old”.
5:02 Trying not to spill my popcorn all over the table as I munch and type. Whoever decided popcorn and lemonade would make a good pre-supper snack is brilliant! Now, if we could just pull that huge container with the cheesy popcorn over to our table without anybody noticing…
7:15 Pull into the hotel room for the night. Kick off shoes, dump bags, and hook up the laptop to check email and Facebook. Then get down to work – have to make sure I’m ready for both of my presentation sessions tomorrow.
10:28 Done with a last run-through for tomorrow’s presentations. It’s not the actual presenting I worry about, it is wanting to make sure the audience is engaged and entertained and that the presentation is the right length. It’s the little things that make or break presentations like this. If all else fails – the candy I’m providing should smooth over the rough parts.
11:18 Put the finishing touches on this column. Now it is time for bed. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings and find lots of good ideas to bring back to do my part in making Manhattan Public Library an even better place.
Thanks for joining me in my day at KLA.
Have a new E-Reader? Want to know how to use your E-Reader? Want to download e-books and audio books to your mobile device? Manhattan Public Library scheduled four help sessions in April which, to our delight, filled quickly! If you didn’t get the news in time to schedule one of these sessions, please let us know at 776-4741, ext. 200, weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. , or e-mail Marc Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org . If people indicate an interest, another training session may be scheduled in May. We also offer individual help sessions.
Manhattan Public Library offers free downloadable e-books, audio books, music, and videos on our homepage at www.manhattan.lib.ks.us. Click on the Sunflower E-Library icon and log in with your Manhattan Public Library card. In the “Getting Started” box, you will find “Help/FAQs” which offer a tour, help with downloading, and information about lending periods. The many compatible devices are listed on the website with helpful explanations. You can download available items, keep a “wish” list for future use, or place items on hold for future downloads.
Manhattan Public Library also offers one-hour computer use classes, one-on-one with a librarian, to learn Mouse Basics, Beginning Computers, Intro to E-mail, using the Internet, and navigating Manhattan Public Library’s online catalog. We will also help you learn to use the library’s online resources listed under the Research tab on the MPL website, covering subjects like basic auto repair, genealogy searches, learning another language, business and investment, career resources, test preparation, and more . World Book Encyclopedia is also free online, and phone numbers and addresses nationwide are available on Reference USA. You can make an appointment for a class at the Information Desk on 1st floor, or by calling 785-776-4741, ext. 173, or via e-mail: email@example.com.
For local history research, Manhattan and some Riley County newspapers are available on microfilm at the library, beginning in the late 1850’s. Many microfilms are now indexed, which makes name-searching easier. Manhattan Public Library has new computerized microfilm readers which allow much better viewing, adjustment of the image for darkness and size, and the ability to isolate specific articles for printing. Articles may be printed in the library, or may be e-mailed to your home computer or added to a flash drive. Library staff are available to help you get started.
If MPL does not own an item you want, you have two options. For recently published materials, you may place a Request for Purchase at the Information or Reference Desk or from the Manhattan Public Library website. For other items, you may fill out an Interlibrary Loan request at the Information or Reference Desks or on the library’s website. To place your own interlibrary loan requests online, you will first need to register in person at the Information Desk, at the Reference Desk or by calling 785-776-4742, ext . 141 or ext. 173. If the item is available from other libraries in Kansas, there is no charge for the service. If the item is requested from a library in another state, the lending library may charge for the service. An active MPL Library card is required.
Homebound Book delivery services are available if you have physical limitations and are unable to come to the library. Once a month, an Adult Services librarian will bring a selection of books based on your reading preferences and pick them up the following month. There is a simple application form which can be mailed to you. Again, you will need an active MPL card. Please call 785-776-4741, ext. 141 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Your Manhattan Library Card Patron Account offers a number of services—by logging into your account with your library card number and your pin number (the last four digits of your phone number), you can review your account, renew books if no one else has a hold on the item, check due dates , check on your “hold requests” and any fines or fees. Did you know that you have the option to keep a list of the books you check out? You can also make your own lists of interesting items for the future. Adult Services staff will be happy to show you how to use any of these options.
For the past 5000 years, one million souls have inhabited Range, reincarnated in a new body each time they die. Ana is the first newsoul in all that time, and her existence raises questions others don’t want to think about. Her own mother calls her a nosoul and removed her from civilization to raise her in the woods away from people. After years of abuse from a woman who denies her ability to experience emotions, she sets off for the city to search for answers.
Ana is not necessarily welcome in the capital, Heart, either. Her curiosity and impulsive nature don’t endear her to the many people who have lived thousands of years and are unsettled by the change she represents.
One man who finds her fascinating and welcomes change is Sam, the most well-known musician on Range. Her own love of music draws the two of them together, and she enlists him in her mission to find out why she suddenly appeared and what happened to the soul her’s replaced. Others are not as pleased about her rejoining civilization and her search for answers. When she was out of sight, those who were disturbed by her existence could forget about her.
In a hard world filled with dragons, sylph, trolls, centaurs and other dangerous creatures, Ana must also worry about humans who see her as a threat to be eliminated.
Incarnate is Jodi Meadows’ debut novel and the first book in a planned trilogy.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is not a book I would have picked up on my own, but once I started reading I couldn’t put it down till the very end.
Arnold Spirit, 14 year old Native American, has grown up on the Spokane reservation in Washington. Born with water on the brain and sporting thick and unfashionable glasses, he has learned to cope with the challenges of his life by allying himself with one of the toughest kids around and by drawing. “I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.” Then one day the injustice around him becomes a bit too clear and he is inspired to transfer to a nearby all-white and better funded school, which of course presents new challenges. His friends from the reservation see his school change as a betrayal and the white kids in his new school don’t know what to do with him.
This book made me laugh out loud. Arthur is a keen observer of the world and survives his situation with a keen wit. At the same time his life and his awareness of the unfairness of it all are heart-breaking. Alexie has shared that the book is semi-autobiographical, and that knowledge does give the novel an extra element of hopefulness. This book challenged my perceptions of Native Americans and growing up, as well as provided inspiration to face the challenges in my own life.
There’s no Breaking this Spring at Manhattan Public Library! While there are no regular storytimes this week, several events have been planned for all ages to help keep the family occupied while school is out.
Events begin this afternoon as a Saxophone Quartet from Fort Riley’s 1st Division Band performs at MPL. This is the third time a group from the Band has made an appearance at the library and performances are always enjoyable. The quartet performs in the Auditorium beginning at 2 p.m.
Also today, the weekly R.E.A.D. With Dogs program takes place in the Storytime Room of the Children’s Department from 2 to 4 p.m. During this program, children can read to a certified therapy dog which gives them the opportunity to practice and enjoy reading in a fun, non-judgmental environment. Pre-registration is not required, but participants are asked to sign up for a time slot upon arrival.
Tuesday, children are invited to join K-State Riley County Extension staff, Gregg Eyestone and Ginny Barnard, for the How Does Your Garden Grow? event at 2 p.m. in the Auditorium. Kids will hear fun stories and learn how plants grow. Participants will also get to make a garden craft and seed tape.
Wednesday the fun with a G-rated Kids’ Movie beginning at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium. In this movie, a bear named Pooh wakes up absolutely famished, but has no honey. Pooh is joined in the Hundred Acre Wood by friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo, and Eeyore, who has lost his tail.
Everyone can participate in Make & Take Crafts on Wednesday afternoon. This come-and-go event takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Auditorium. Crafting stations will be set up for preschoolers through teens. Parents are welcome to join in the fun.
For the older crowd, the Young Adult Department hosts a Hunger Games Event on Thursday beginning at 6:30 p.m. The evening will include trivia, a Cornucopia Challenge, themed snacks, Tribute Training activities, and door prize drawings for books, a poster, and movie tickets. Hunger Games fans of all ages are welcome.
The week winds down on Friday as Lightning McQueen and his best friend Mater travel overseas for the World Grand Prix. This Kids’ Movie is rated G and begins at 2 p.m. in the Auditorium.
Call for Teen Volunteers
Teen Volunteers play an important role in the success of Summer Reading Programs at Manhattan Public Library. Having teen volunteers throughout the summer makes the experience more fun for participants and less stressful for staff. Kids are proud to speak and interact with the teenagers and staff are ever-grateful for the priceless assistance of the teens.
While being a vital attribute to the summer’s success, volunteers are expected to be dependable, responsible workers who are able to work independently and/or with minimal supervision. Teens gain valuable work experience while having fun, earning service hours, making professional contacts, and learning about the library. Many volunteers also experience a boost of self-esteem and sense of involvement through their work at the library.
Duties vary throughout the summer, but most notably, volunteers work at the Summer Reading Prize Desks where they help children and teens register for Summer Reading and pick up prizes throughout the summer.
Other tasks include a variety of things such as assisting with preparations for storytimes and clubs, assisting with programs and clubs, helping keep book shelves organized and cleaned, along with numerous other responsibilities.
Teen Volunteers must be between the ages of 13 and 17 as of May 25, 2012. Workers may be on duty 2 to 10 hours per week from the last week of May through the last week of July.
Other qualifications and expectations are listed on the Informational Brochure.
Applications must be completed and turned in at the Information Desk by Monday, May 7. Candidates will be required to participate in an interview prior to being offered a position in the program. A maximum of 15 volunteers will be accepted as MPL Summer Teen Volunteers.
Questions about the program can be directed to Janene Hill, Young Adult Librarian at email@example.com or 785-776-4741 ext. 170.
By Janene Hill
Manhattan Public Library was honored again this year to host and help sponsor the Martin Luther King, Jr. Art and Writing Contest. This year’s contest garnered 150 entries, 64 artwork submissions and 86 written pieces.
With the theme “Looking Back, Looking Forward: 50 Years of Change”, this year’s entries acknowledge the importance of integration and cooperation as highlighted by Dr. King’s messages.
Submissions for the contest were accepted at Manhattan Public Library beginning in December, with judging taking place January 9.
Winning entries honor Dr. King and encourage us to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as we strive toward a brighter future in our community and world. All of the participants in this year’s contest understood the importance of Dr. King’s place in the world that still resonates throughout society today.
This year’s artwork came in the form of nail art, photography, chalk drawings, watercolor painting, and drawn artwork in pencil and crayon. Writing included a wide variety of formats including poetry, letters to Dr. King, creative writing pieces, and narratives.
Winning entries were displayed at Manhattan Town Center Mall during Martin Luther King Day activities, and are now on display at Manhattan Public Library (MPL) and on the library website, where they will remain for the next month. Several non-winning entries are also on display at the library in the Children’s Room.
With a grant from the Manhattan Fund of the Caroline F. Peine Foundation and matching funds from the The Gallery for Peace and Justice, along with other contributions, the contest committee is able to award over $1200 in prizes to this year’s winners.
Prizes included gift certificates from Varney’s and, for Best of Show winners, gift certificates from Manhattan Town Center Mall. They also received a book and bag from MPL and the Manhattan Library Association, t-shirts and certificates courtesy of HandsOn Kansas State, and a certificate of recognition from the MLK Art & Writing Contest Committee.
A huge thanks goes out to the Contest Committee Members and judges for this year’s contest. These individuals contribute valuable time and effort into making the contest a meaningful community event.
MLK Art & Writing Contest Committee Members include: Jennifer Adams, Susan Withee, Laura Miles, and Janene Hill, all of MPL; and Cindy Burr, Director of the Gallery for Peace and Justice.
Judges for the 2012 contest included, writing judges: Dr. Peter Pellegrin, Instructor of English at Cloud County Community College, Geary County Campus; Marcia Allen, Technical Services Manager at MPL; and John Pecararo, Assistant Director at MPL. Art judges were: Jay Nelson, Director of the Strecker-Nelson Art Gallery; Amanda Hedrick, Education & Marketing Director at the Manhattan Arts Center; and Grace Benedick, a student at Kansas State University.
Award winners were invited to participate in two community ceremonies recognizing their achievement. The first was the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Celebration” sponsored by HandsOn Kansas State. Which took place on Sunday, January 15 at the KSU Leadership Studies building. The second took place during community MLK celebration at Manhattan Town Center Mall on Monday, January 16. Manhattan Mayor Jim Sherow announced the winners in the annual recognition ceremony.
Selected entries may be published or broadcast in or through local media outlets as schedules allow. Winning entries may also be used for development into greeting cards through The Gallery for Peace and Justice. More information is available through Cindy Burr at the Gallery. Last year’s winning art entries are currently available as note cards, on sale at all Varney’s locations.
MLK, Jr. Art and Writing Contest Winners
Best of Show: Vonnie Neyhart (Adult)
Grades K-2nd: Ava Bahr, Manhattan Catholic School, first grade
Grades 3-5th: Colin Hohenbary, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, third grade
Grades 6-8th: Kaitlyn French and Nicki Keller, Amanda Arnold Elementary School, sixth grade
Grades 9-12th: Heather Goodenow, Rock Creek High School, sophomore
Adult: Mary Gordon, Kansas State University
Honorable Mentions: Mason Camera, Manhattan Catholic School, fourth grade; Jazmin Gantt, Lee Elementary School, third grade; and Erin Logan (Adult)
Best of Show: Karis Ryu, Manhattan Catholic School, seventh grade
Grades K-2nd: Rachel Corn, Manhattan Catholic School, second grade
Grades 3-5th: Elizabeth Hohn, Amanda Arnold Elementary School, fourth grade
Grades 6-8th: Macie Frakes, Manhattan Catholic School, eighth grade
Adult: Christy Sauer
Honorable Mentions: Breigh Brockman, Manhattan Catholic School, second grade; and Carly Smith, Manhattan Catholic School, eighth grade
Paper Covers Rock is a new Young Adult novel by Jenny Hubbard. It has recently been named a finalist for the William C. Morris Award which honors first-time authors that write for teens. The setting of the book is an all boys’ boarding school on the east coast in 1982. It is narrated by Alex, a 17 year old boy who has just witnessed the drowning of one of his friends, Thomas. The reader is privy to all of Alex’s thoughts which he records in his journal that he keeps hidden behind a copy of Moby Dick in the school’s library. It is obvious from the first couple of pages that there is more to the drowning than meets the eye. Although the drowning has been ruled accidental, there is way more to the story than Alex and his friend Glenn are telling. The reader watches as Alex struggles with guilt and must decide whether to keep secrets and protect himself and Glenn or to confide in his teacher, Miss Dovecott who recognizes that Alex is withholding the truth. The secrets that Alex is keeping are gradually revealed in his journal over the course of the book. However, the reader is kept guessing up until the very end which direction Alex will choose to take. As an added bonus, the book is filled with original poetry that Alex writes in his journal which is quite good even aside from the rest of the book. If you enjoyed A Separate Peace by John Knowles give this book a try.
In 1962, Manhattan’s Douglass School was closed, allowing for the complete integration of Manhattan elementary schools. The 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Writing, and Video contests focuses that 50-year anniversary with the theme: Looking Back, Looking Forward: 50 Years of Change. This theme encourages contest participants to look at their community, their family, and their lives and how the past 50 years have changed, or not changed, in regards of Dr. King’s overriding message of non-violence, social justice, and building bridges between racial and ethnic divisions.
Each year, the MLK Contest Committee directs the contest with support from Manhattan’s MLK Memorial Committee and sponsored by Manhattan Public Library, the Caroline Peine Charitable Foundation, Manhattan Library Association, and The Gallery for Peace and Justice.
For 2012, the Contest Committee decided to add two new aspects to the contest: 1) a video category, and 2) a group entry option.
Video submissions will be accepted written to disc to be played on computer or DVD player. Three to five minute videos can be in any style. While the Contest Committee envisioned short narratives, interviews, reenactments, or even something set to music, this category will allow budding videographers to express their creativeness in numerous ways.
Group entries will be allowed for the first time, allowing for small groups or classrooms to work on a project together and submit the work. After much consideration, the Contest Committee decided group entries could, in many cases, be the easiest way for teachers or group leaders to get many kids involved in a teachable project at the same time. All members must be listed on the entry form but only one prize will awarded per entry. The group should enter grade category based on average participant age.
As always, all participants must live or attend school in Riley or adjacent counties in Kansas.
Participants of all ages are encouraged! This includes KSU students, parents, teachers, and community members who can enter the post-High School age group. Entries will be judged in five age groups: K-2nd grade, 3rd-5th, 6-8th, 9th-12th grade, and post High School.
Entry deadline for all entries is 6 p.m., Sunday, January 8, 2012 at Manhattan Public Library, 629 Poyntz Avenue. Entries will not be accepted after this time as judging will take place the following day.
All submissions must be original works created by the entrant. A completed entry form must be attached to the work. Only one writing in each category will be accepted by any person or group.
Entries can be in any medium on a two-dimensional scale and must be no larger than 20 inches by 30 inches.
Artwork is judged based on: artistic quality, originality, creativity, presentation of theme, content, and relevance.
May be a letter, poem, memoir, story of a personal experience, or other appropriate form no longer than 500 words. Entries must be typed or legibly written. Writing is judged based on: writing style, originality, creativity, presentation of theme, content, and relevance. Writing entries will be subject to plagiarism checks.
A three to five minute piece, which may be an interview, reenactment, musical or theatrical performance, movie short, animation, or other appropriate form. Entry should be written to disc to be played on computer or DVD player. Copyright laws must be followed and all persons appearing must give consent.
Videos are judged based on: production value, originality, creativity, presentation of theme, content, and relevance. Video entries will be subject to copyright checks.
First place and honorable mention awards given in each of the five age groups, with one Best of Show winner recognized from all entries for each of the three categories.
Winners will be contacted by Wednesday, January 11. Creators of winning entries will be asked to participate in the MLK Youth Celebration sponsored by HandsOn Kansas State on Sunday, January 15, and an awards ceremony during the Martin Luther King, Jr. community celebration on Monday, January 16 at Manhattan Town Center.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Caroline Peine Charitable Foundation, over $1000 worth of prizes will be awarded through individual prizes and educational supplies for winners’ classrooms.
With signed permission, selected entries may be published, broadcast and/or displayed throughout the Manhattan community. Winning and selected entries may also be used for publishing in a calendar and/or greeting cards developed and distributed by The Gallery for Peace and Justice.
For more information, click the MLK Contest link on the MPL homepage, or call 776-4741 ext. 170.
The United States of America no longer exists. The western states are now known as the Republic and the east is known as the Colonies. The two have been fighting for as long as anyone in the Republic can remember and all resources are devoted to the war effort. June was born into privilege and had all possible advantages growing up. She is a military prodigy and will likely achieve a high military post when her training is completed. Day was born into the slums of Los Angeles and is now a wanted criminal for his activities hindering the military.
June and Day are thrown together when June’s first assignment is tracking and catching Day. June may be certain she wants to catch Day in the beginning, but as time goes on, it becomes less and less clear to her that the Republic is always right and Day is the one committing the most serious crimes.
Legend is Lu’s debut and is a taut dystopian thriller, the first in a planned trilogy. The book has received positive reviews from The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. This one will appeal to readers who liked the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. Definitely a series to watch. Fast-paced, exciting, and has the potential to make a great trilogy.
It’s 1996 and Emma Nelson is the proud new owner of a personal computer. Her neighbor and one-time best friend, Josh, brings over an AOL CD-ROM so Emma can use the internet on her computer. When Emma connects she is redirected to a website called Facebook, where she finds the profile of a woman who looks remarkably like an older version of herself, who has the same birth date and graduated from her high school. At first thinking this is a virus or prank loaded on the CD-ROM, Josh and Emma are skeptical, but as their actions change what is happening to the pages of their future selves, they come to realize that it’s not a prank. Emma becomes obsessed with changing her future so she’ll be happier and Josh wants her to stop changing things because he likes what he sees.
As their actions change things for both better and worse for their future selves, Josh and Emma become more aware of the choices they are making in their present.
This original new novel is an interesting look at how a teenager in 1996 would react to seeing something like Facebook years before its time. It also explores how decisions made on a daily basis can change an entire life and how a person might react if they could know what actions would change their future for the better (or the worse). If you liked Before I Fall or Gimme a Call, you’ll probably like this one.
Sixteen-year-old Cat’s best childhood friend, openly gay Patrick, is in a coma, a victim of a brutal hate crime. The local sheriff is ready to pin the crime on out-of-towners, but Cat’ssuspicions lie elsewhere. For the past three years, Cat has retreated from most of her friends after being sexually abused by one of her brother’s friends. Cat slowly learns about her old friends in the meth-addled underbelly of her hill-country Southern town. Despite ominous warnings to leave it be, Catfinds the will to expose the homegrown hatred that gave rise to Patrick’sattack. Shine is a bleak story leavened by the things Cat learns about herself (and the attack) in the course of her investigation.
If you’re waiting for Inheritance, the newest Christopher Paolini featuring Eragon and Saphira, you have some choices of other books to read while you wait.
One wonderful series that has been overlooked by many is the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix. Sabriel, the first book in the series, was published in 1996, two years before the first Harry Potter and before children’s/young adult literature captured popular attention. Sabriel is the daughter of the Abhorsen, a necromancer who puts the dead to rest and prevents the restless Dead from returning to Life. When Sabriel receives a message from him while she is away at school in Ancelstierre (where magic does not work), she must return to the Old Kingdom (where magic works) to take up his duties and try to free him from where he is trapped in Death. Sabriel is followed by Lirael and Abhorsen.
In an Asian-inspired fantasy realm, young Eon is in a fierce competition to apprentice to the Rat Dragon, one of twelve dragons who guard the realm. Twelve-year-old Eon is actually 16-year-old Eona in disguise. Hiding her sex is the only way for Eona to study Dragon magic, a pursuit forbidden to girls. If she is caught, she will face disembowelment. Eona is not chosen by the Rat Dragon, but that is, of course, not the end of the story. Eon is a fast-paced novel that will have you racing to pick up Eona, the conclusion to this complex and well-crafted story.
Princess Raisa is on the cusp of her sixteenth birthday, when she will be of age to make a politically advantageous arranged marriage. Han is a young man living in poverty and supporting his family through odd jobs after leaving his street gang. The two meet when Raisa is out in disguise investigating discontent in her kingdom and Han is fleeing from the authorities who believe he is guilty of a crime he didn’t commit. Chima weaves together a number of complex story lines in this tale of intrigue and politics. The Demon King is followed by The Exiled Queen and The Gray Wolf Throne. The fourth book in the series, The Crimson Crown, will be released in fall of 2012, according to the author’s website.
And if none of these books look to be to your taste, stop by the young adult section of the library and pick up one of the handouts of suggestions for those who liked Eragon, created by our talented YA librarian.