Friday, December 20, 2013

Teen Challenge!

Love to read but hate to write? Given a thought to writing us a book review and then said, "Nah…"? Okay, here's a challenge for you: Make us a video! Here's a fantastic example of one girl's top 10 favorite books:

December Book Club Report

I already reported (on Dec. 4) on the 10-12 Book Club meeting.

For our 6+7 Book Club, we read The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus #1), by Jonathan Stroud. With 16 votes counted, the reaction was middling--while everyone liked the snarky humor contained in the footnotes, several said the book took too long to get going and was "too talky," and others found the character of Nathaniel unsympathetic. Our rating was 7.

For January, we are reading The Peculiar, by Stefan Bachmann, a steampunk-y murder mystery/gothic fantasy. And in time for our visit in February from author Leigh Bardugo, we will be reading Shadow and Bone.

Other books we considered:

Down the Rabbit Hole, by Peter Abrahams
Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi
Skinny, by Carolyn Cooner
The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
The Golden Door, by Emily Rodda

The book we chose to read (after Shadow and Bone) is Bad Girls Don't Die, a spooky book with a creepy doll by Katie Alender.

For our 8+9 Book Club, we read I'll Be There, by Holly Goldberg Sloan, in preparation for her author visit, which will be in March. The club really loved the book--several remarked on Riddle as their favorite character, the action and suspense were satisfying, and everyone enjoyed praising Sam and reviling the unfortunate Bobby! Our final rating was a high score of 8.75.

For January, we are reading Break My Heart 1,000 Times, a ghostly futuristic paranormal murder mystery by Daniel Waters. And for February, we will read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo in this club as well.

Other books we considered:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,
          by Mark Haddon
Adaptation, by Malinda Lo
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children,
          by Ransom Riggs
The Shadow Society, by Marie Rutkowski

The book we ended up choosing is The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater, which was characterized by its book-talker as about "hot guys with fast cars." Hmmm. Not exactly how I would describe it, but those are some elements present in the story! And here is Maggie's (old) car, which was the model for the one in her book. (Notice the license plate.)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Author Visits!

We are very excited to tell you that Burbank Public Library will be receiving a visit from YA fantasy author LEIGH BARDUGO on February 5th! She is the author of the Grisha series, which started with Shadow and Bone and continued with Siege and Storm, both New York Times bestsellers. The third book, Ruin and Rising, comes out next year.

If you would like to read about the books, our librarian Daryl M. reviewed both of them for our main library blog, here and here. If you would like to read the books, please check them out from our Young Adult Fiction section at any of our three library branches! We also hope to read the first one with at least one and perhaps two of our book clubs before the event.

Ms. Bardugo will speak, answer questions, and autograph. Both books will be available for purchase.


On March 6th, HOLLY GOLDBERG SLOAN will be speaking and autographing for us! She wrote the YA realistic fiction novel I'll Be There, which was my favorite book of 2012, and won the Peggy Miller Award for Young Adult Literature from the Children's Literature Council of Southern California (CLCSC).

Her new book is Counting by 7swhich was an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a B.E.A. BUZZ Book 2013, a Junior Library Guild Selection, a Kids Indie Next List #4 of Top Ten Autumn 2013, and a Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee 2014-2015! Whew!

We are reading I'll Be There for our December meeting of 8+9 Book Club, and hope to read it in the 10-12 Club as well. You can check out both books from our Young Adult Fiction sections, and they, too, will be available for purchase at the event.


More details as the events approach!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Teen Review: Fantasy sequel

Title: The Fire Chronicle
Author: John Stephens
Number of pages: 448
Genre: Fantasy
Part of a series: Yes
Reading Level: Grades 7 up
Reviewed by: G. R., grade 9

The Fire Chronicle is the second book in The Books of Beginning series, about three siblings trying to escape the dangers of their fate. As the oldest sibling goes missing, the two younger ones are left to themselves. They have to face new dangers, and worries as they await their sister's return. All of the siblings face their own dangers, and it is left up to them to defend themselves.

This book was absolutely perfect. I loved it as much as the first one. I found the plot amazing, and I especially liked how it went into detail about things that weren't as important in the first book. Another thing I enjoyed was the fact that every chapter or so, the point of view would switch from that of the two siblings to their older, lost sibling. This gave you all angles of the story, and allowed you to know what was going on with both groups at the same time. [This is called the "omniscient" view--ed.] This story included lots of plot twists, including a few heart-wrenching ones.

I was so in love with this book, that I have read it multiple times. I would most definitely recommend this book to my friends (of course they'd have to read the first one too!). I would easily give this book a 5/5! It was so amazing! I can't wait until the last book is released, and I'm extremely excited to see what adventures it holds.

Editor's note: For those of you waiting breathlessly for the end, the third book in this series, The Black Reckoning, is due out in August of 2014, according to Goodreads.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Teen Review: Romance, mystery (zombies?)

Die for Me (Revenants #1), by Amy Plum, has 341 pages. It's the first book in an amazing trilogy. It is a fictional romance. I would say it is an 8th grade level book.

Kate Mercier and her sister Georgia have just moved to Paris. Kate has lately been depressed, and has been isolating herself from everyone. One day, at a small café, she sees a mysterious young man staring at her from afar. A few weeks later, Kate starts to notice the mysterious man everywhere she goes. One day at a art museum the boy introduces himself as Vincent. Vincent plans a date with Kate. On their first date, Vincent introduces Kate to his close friend, Jules. When Kate sees Jules jump in front of a moving train and sees that Vincent shows no remorse, she is frightened of him and breaks things off. A few days later, Kate goes to another art museum, and there she sees Jules. What can this all mean? Kate knows what she saw, and all of this is unexplainable. Kate has entered a world of questions, mystery, and danger.

I am in the 9th grade, and my best friend recommended these books to me. I was hesitant at first, but by the end of the book I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next one. This book uncovered how people will do whatever they can to protect the ones they love. The cover relates to the book by showing a girl who looks lost and alone. That's how Kate was in the beginning of the book, but she grows throughout the story. On a scale from 1-5, I would definitely rate this book a 5. I have recommended this book to many of my other friends, and we all adore them. This series is one of my favorite.

Reviewed by Anonymous

Editor's note: We have the second book in the trilogy in our library, but somehow the third got overlooked! So it's in this month's order!