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Last year a student recommended I read Ruby Red, but I put it off.  However, when I did pick it up, I couldn’t put it down! This is an excellent series that combines historical fiction, romance, and timetravel.  I love the costumes and characters-which is probably why this series is constantly flying off the shelf . It is great for middle grade readers because of the purity of the romance.

There are two new series for you and one great stand alone book. Watch the video for the full review. Happy reading!


 

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Funny Books

We just got a whole bunch of funny books in the library! Lots of good toilet humor for Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans.

Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder, A Waste of Good Paper, Fourth Stall series, more N.E.R.D.S. books, My Life as a Book series, and more!  Watch my video to see all the new titles! (Click on the shushing librarian!)
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I'm really stoked about three books right now! 

The Fifth Wave, Pulse, and Sylo.  Watch my visual review by clicking below!

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PeanutPeanut by Ayun Halliday
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Halliday, Ayun, and Paul Hoppe. Peanut. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013. Print.

Moving to a new school is a nail biting experience for any teen. But what if you could ditch your nerdy ways and become popular overnight? After meeting a laid back teen with a peanut allergy, Sadie concocts a seemingly harmless plan to stand out at her new school -- a killer peanut allergy that she does not have.

First of all, I loved the quirky twist in this coming of age “I don’t know who I am” teen fiction. Sadie’s sarcastic “I hate everyone, but I want everyone to like me” narration is apropos for today’s teen with low self esteem issues.

While some of the other characters lack depth, Zoo’s anti-technology personality adds to the distinctive plot line. I only wish I knew more about him and the reasoning behind his aversion to all things technical.

Hoppe’s pen and ink drawings lend this graphic novel authenticity and make this a perfect example of what I call the “fake memoir graphic novel” similar to American Born Chinese,Level Up, and Anya s Ghost.

The touch of red on each page to show Sadie’s location is a delightful visual pun that characterizes how every teen always feels like they stand out. When something awkward, funny, or strange happens to them, most teens feel like everyone is staring at them no matter the reality of the situation.

Overall, I think middle school and high school teens will indulge in this uncontrollable lie that quickly gets out of hand.

Note: Review of Advanced Reader's Copy courtesy of Random House Books.


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I used Videolicious on my iPad to book talk a few hidden gems in the library.  Enjoy the video at the bottom of the post with the Videolicious icon.

This is a visually enhanced handout I would include on my webpage and print for students with the list of books in citation form on the back:

Bibliography:

Benton, J. (2005). Dear dumb diary: Can adults become human?. New York: Scholastic.

Cottrell, B. F., Hunter, C., & Heney, C. (2011). The unforgotten coat. Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press.

Hannigan, K. (2011). True ( -- sort of). New York: Greenwillow Books.

Kostick, Connor ( 2004). Epic. New York: Penguin.

Oldham, T. (2009). Kid made modern. Los Angeles: Ammo Books.

Palacio, R. J., & Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (2012). Wonder. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Schmatz, P. (2011). Bluefish. Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press.

Stead, R. (2012). Liar & spy. New York: Wendy Lamb Books.

Tracy, K. (2011). The reinvention of Bessica Lefter. New York: Delacorte Press.

Varon, S. (2011). Bake sale. New York: First Second.

Wolitzer, M., & Dutton Children's Books (Firm). (2011). The fingertips of Duncan Dorfman. New York: Dutton Children's Books.

Yang, G. L., & Pham, T. (2011). Level up. New York: First Second.

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Review of Legend

Legend (Legend, #1)Legend by Marie Lu

Lu, Marie. Legend. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2011. Print.

If you are on the waiting list for Divergent, this book is the library’s best kept secret!

In the future, the world is governed by a totalitarian republic. The poor are dying from an incurable plague and the military is formed with brainwashed youth willing to do whatever their leaders ask.

A young man named Day attempts to fight the republic on his own.

A young woman of the republic seeks to destroy Day.

But when they meet- what would happen if they fall in love?

This dystopian novel reminded me a lot of Stephen King’s The Running Man with a dash of Romeo and Juliet’s forbidden love. The story is divided by a female narrator and a male narrator, so all teens will love hearing the he said/ she said explanations!

The novel left room for a sequel, but I believe this is a one-stop book! It was nice to read a book that started and ended in one take!!

Great adventure, realistic romance (not over the top -blah like HG), and a good theme about a controlling government that all politically concerned teens should read!

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The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #0.5)The Kill Order by James Dashner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dashner, James. The Kill Order. New York: Delacorte Press, 2012. Print.

Did you read the The Maze Runner series? Did you feel like you were a little left out on the whole reason why everything took place? Well, this book won’t answer all of your questions, but it will explain the aftermath of an environmental apocalypse.

The plot is just as adventurous as the other books in the series and the details are just as graphic and gory. I won’t tell you much because I don’t want to spoil anything, but you will definitely need to read this prequel if you enjoyed The Death Cure.

However,I will let you know that the story line was not what I expected. I expected to read about why and how Teresa and Tom built the Maze and how the Kill Order really thought this would help the scientists to understand the immunity to the Flare. Instead, I got another added level of story to The Maze Runner which happened 15 years before Tom entered the maze! This novel explains the day the sun flares hit and the survival of a small group of teens headed by an ex-military vet.

It was disturbing (as in it gave me nightmares!), and it does not feel too out of reach with the way our society is heading environmentally.

Must read for fans of James Dashner!

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Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1)Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maberry, Jonathan. Rot & Ruin. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2010. Print.

Imagine the Zombie Apocalypse. Now imagine the world fifteen years after the Zombie Apocalypse begun. This dystopian book starts with a teen who has to begin working and earning his keep for his family and society. He tries all sorts of different jobs in this new world, fence clean up, zombified portrait artist, and bounty hunter. Benny Imura spends a day with his infamous, bounty hunter brother outside of the fence and his life begins to rapidly change. He and his friends know they can’t stay living inside the fence as if the world isn’t overrun by zombies.

My favorite thing about this book is that it is set way after the zombie apocalypse ruined the world. We get to see how life is after the “First Night.” It reminded me a lot of the adult book that was a phenomenon a few years ago called The Passage. I love zombie books like The Enemyseries by Charlie Higsonand this series has quickly become one of my favorite. It does not focus on zombies, but rather the degradation of society and the realization that it is the leftover humans we have to worry about and not the walking dead.

This is a survival novel to the extreme, so if you normally read adventure or you just love zombies, put this book on hold today!

Read Alike: The Knife of Never Letting Go

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Belly UpBelly Up by Stuart Gibbs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This adventurous murder mystery reminded me a lot of Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. FunJungle, America's as "close as you can get to the Africaan safari" theme park, has just found out it's beloved mascot, Henry the hippo, is dead. Teddy Fitzroy believes it is foul play beccause honestly, everyone hates the hippo. He immediately gets to work investigating. The only problem is.... he is twelve and the child of park employees, so no one takes him seriously!

I loved how much I learned about wild animal behavior from Teddy. I also found the disgusting habit so of hippos hilarious. This book had some good environmental vs. corporate themes much like Hoot. It was adventurous and mysterious and most of the plot was believable.

At times I felt the information about animals and the environment seemed more preachy than necessary to the plot, but I still enjoyed the book very much!

It is on the Lonestar List, so if you read five of these books, I'll make a poster of you with your favorite book and hang it in the library!


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