It’s officially fall! It’s not really at all that relevant to the books I’m going to tell you about, I just had to share my excitement. You know what else makes me happy? Five of the six books in this blog post are about people of color. What makes me really happy is that I didn’t even try to do that—it’s just representative of what’s being published right now!
“Each of Us a Desert” by Mark Oshiro
I have loved this author ever since they started reading my favorite books and blogging about it; their reactions and insights are delightful. This is Mark’s second novel, a post-apocalyptic Latinx fantasy. Xochitl is a cuentista, a storyteller, tasked with collecting all the stories her people tell her. Taking in their stories, she then magically releases them into the desert to satisfy the god Solís. Yet this is a lonely life, and Xochitl longs for more. As she journeys into the desert in an attempt to escape her role as cuentista, she encounters horrific nightmares made real and a chance at love. Reminiscent of Lowry’s “The Giver,” but with a queer romance and immersive desert setting, this promises to be a fascinating read. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: September 2020”
Every five years, the Young Adult Library Services Association publishes its lists of “Outstanding Books for the College Bound.” These lists includes titles that span across five major subject areas: Arts and Humanities; History and Cultures; Literature and Languages; Science and Technology; and, Social Sciences. It is a combination of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and graphic novels. Titles were selected based on criteria including readability; racial and cultural diversity; and, balance of viewpoints.
These recommended books are primarily for high school students looking to strengthen their knowledge in preparation for college; however, they are also appropriate for any lifelong learner wishing to gain a deeper understanding of both classic and contemporary literature. Continue reading “Books for the College Bound”
2020 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees (PDF)
The “Teens’ Top Ten” is a “teen choice” list where young adults nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. This project is sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association.
Fifteen young adult book clubs from school and public libraries nationwide are responsible for determining a list of nominees for teens to consider. (Does your book club want to get involved? Learn how.)
Based on the recommendations of these teen book clubs, the list of this year’s 25 nominees was announced in April during National Library Week. Readers ages 12-18 are now invited to vote online through October 15 to narrow this list to the top ten selections.
The winning titles will be announced the week of October 19. Be sure to subscribe to our our email newsletter so you can stay updated!
Many thanks to the 235 area young adults who participated in our annual Teen Summer Reading Challenge! As part of this program, we invited youth ages 12-18 to share three book reviews, in addition to reading for 15 hours and completing seven fun, library-related activities.
Of the book reviews that were submitted, here are the most popular authors and series that were reviewed by our teen readers:
For more book recommendations, be sure to check out our list of the Top-Rated Teen Summer Reading Titles. These are the YA books that received a 5-star rating from those who submitted their book reviews online. There is a wide range of titles including new releases like “Stamped” by Jason Reynolds and old favorites like “City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare.
However we may feel about it, the end of summer approaches—but that doesn’t mean you have to give up reading for fun! If you need some ideas of books to squeeze in between assignments, I’ve got you covered.
“Six Angry Girls” by Adrienne Kisner
Let’s start with a senior year that isn’t going as planned. When Raina is dumped by her boyfriend of five years, she quits theater and questions all her college plans. Meanwhile, Millie is forced out of the mock trial club she helped create by the team that’s turned into an all-boys team. Seeking revenge, the two join forces and form an all-girls rival team. Full of knitting, friendship, and plenty of patriarchy smashing, prepare to feel empowered. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: August 2020”
Time for more books to add to your to-be-read list! We’ve got an exciting mix of new titles coming in. Don’t forget to check the New Book shelves in your library, and on OverDrive to see all the titles I didn’t have space to write about here!
“Salty, Bitter, Sweet” by Mayra Cuevas
Though my husband can’t stand them, I love watching cooking competition shows. I grew up watching Iron Chef and Top Chef with my dad, so when I saw this title I got pretty excited. Isabella is a teen chef who dreams of owning a restaurant someday. After her Abuela’s death and parents’ divorce, she ends up in France with her dad and his new pregnant wife. She struggles to fit in and balance her different cultures—Cuban, French and American. Instead of dealing with any of her emotions, Isabella throws herself into a prestigious and cutthroat cooking competition. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: July 2020”
2020-21 Truman Award Finalists (PDF)
The Truman Readers Award honors a book that is selected by Missouri junior high students. To be eligible to vote, students must read at least four of the finalists. Voting will occur at participating schools early next spring. While the winner won’t be announced until April 2021, this is a great list of summer reads for students in grades sixth through eighth.
“City of Ghosts” by Victoria Schwab
Ever since her near-fatal drowning, Cassidy has been able to pull back the “Veil” that separates the living from the dead and see ghosts. When the family travels to Scotland, Cass and her personal ghost companion, Jacob, are about to find out that a city of old ghosts can be a very dangerous place indeed. Continue reading “2020-21 Truman Award Finalists”
I’m back to highlighting physical books! The library is partially reopened, and we’re still offering curbside pickup. So if you’re the kind of bibliophile that needs to hold a book and turn its pages, we’ve got you covered. If you’re like me and enjoy reading at night without having to turn a light on, no worries! I’ll still be ordering plenty of digital titles as well.
It’s June, so I wanted to focus on a few LGBTQIA books.
“Girl Crushed” by Katie Heaney
Quinn and Jamie have been friends forever, and as the only two openly out students at their school, it’s unsurprising that they start dating. But when Jamie dumps Quinn the summer before senior year, Quinn has to figure out how to keep their friendship alive while still moving on. Add the stress of soccer scholarships, college admissions, an unreliable and mostly absent father, and her favorite queer coffee shop facing bankruptcy, and you’ve got a realistically overwhelming senior year. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: June 2020”
2020-21 Gateway Award Finalists (PDF)
The Gateway Readers Award honors a young adult novel that is selected by Missouri high school students. To be eligible to vote, students must read at least three of the finalists. Voting will occur at participating schools early next March, so you can use the summer months to get crack-a-lackin’ on this list! The winner will be announced in April 2021.
“A Heart in a Body in the World” by Deb Caletti
Annabelle runs from Seattle to D.C., becoming a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to her recent trauma.
“After the Shot Drops” by Randy Ribay
Bunny takes a basketball scholarship to an elite private school to help his family, leaving behind his best friend in their tough Philadelphia neighborhood.
Continue reading “2020-21 Gateway Award Finalists”
The following are just a small selection of the plethora of delightful books we have available digitally. If there’s a book you’d really love to read that we don’t have on OverDrive or Hoopla, use this form to let me know! Sometimes I can even purchase digital copies of books that are out of print in physical format. For example, I recently picked up these wonderful 1980s horror books! Seriously, if you like horror they are worth a read—there’s a haunted house populated by Dungeons & Dragons style monsters. It’s awesome. With no further ado, here are my selections for the merry month of May.
“Girls Save the World in This One” by Ash Parsons
Speaking of horror, this one gives off some major “Shaun of the Dead” vibes. June and her friends are thrilled to attend ZombieCon, a celebration of their favorite zombie apocalypse show. When the cosplayers start to get a little too into it, the girls quickly realize this zombie apocalypse is for real. The title may give away the ending, but readers will enjoy this fast-paced action comedy that pokes fun at horror tropes. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: May 2020”