Friday, September 5, 2014

New Book Recommendation--In The Shadows

In The Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo

"AWESOME! Unique alternating chapters of text and graphics. Mystery that keeps you guessing until the end....great job by White and Di Bartolo. Will be highly recommending this one to our teens and YA readers."

Those were my initial reactions upon finishing this book.  I am not a regular reader of graphic novel materials but I have been recently exploring them.  I had this book requested before I truly understood that it was a collaboration between author White and artist, Di Bartolo.

The book unfolds like a puzzle. The reader is left guessing until the conclusion so none of the characters are "safe" for the reader.  Di Bartolo's illustrations give an extra component of mystery as well as plot. White is an already established mega-author and this book will not disappoint her fans.

reviewed by Beth-Teen Librarian

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Divergent: the Movie

I finally got to sit down and watch Divergent.  I loved it!  I don't say that very often with a movie that was based off a book.  The book is always better.  I have to say that they did a very good job on adapting this excellent book onto film.  I'm sure they missed some things people loved from the book but personally I couldn't find anything lacking.

The only thing I found distracting were the boys that Shailene Woodley had kissed before in other movies, like her brother Caleb in "The Fault in Our Stars" and Peter in "The Spectacular Now".  Talk about 3 degrees of separation or whatever that phrase is! 

Anyway I digress.  Now I can't wait to see the next movie, but before than I need to finish the second book!

Has anyone else seen the movie?  How did you like it compared to the book?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Teen Summer review by Max

Minecraft Redstone teaches you how to build things out of redstone.

Big Nate keeps getting a detention slip.

Teen Summer Reading review by Elliandra

Edmund, Lucy and Eustace travel to Narnia to help Caspian.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Teen Summer Reading review by Elliandra

Josh tries to figure out what career he's going to be working in, but until then her works on hsi family's farm.

Teen Summer Reading Reviews by Daniel

Officer Spence Likes solving crimes.

Mr. Harrison does electrical work.

Miss Child likes animals alot.

Teen Summer Reading Review by Max

Chase has finally reached the village and the volcano is ready to erupt.

Summer Reading Review by Jerry

I loved this book.  I couldn't keep my off of the book.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Teen Summer Reading Reviews by Jenna

Reviewed by Jenna

My favorite Manga, right now!

Library has 1-14

Teen Summer Reading Reviews by Alyssa

Review by Alyssa

It really makes you think!

Teen Summer Reading Reviews by Yvette

Review by Yvette

Isabell tries to help her mom with the cupcake shop.

Teen Summer Reading Reviews by Jerry

Reviewed by Jerry

I loved this book!  It was one of those books that you do not want to put down.

Teen Summer Reading Reviews by Elliandra

Reviewed by Elliandra

Nancy Drew is trying to find a glass-stained window that dates back to 1850 Virginia.

Cassandra moved with her husband, Dr. Samuel, to the West where her life completely changed.

Kathleen sails to America from England to marry a man she's never met.

Danielle Conner's horse, Redman, is home for the holidays, but him and Raven aren't getting along.

Kendra has lived in the wilderness with her grandfather, then she takes on the big city.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Teen Summer Reading

June 9-August 2

Receive an entry for every 100 pages read, magazine and audio book listened to

Each week two winners will be chosen at each branch and will choose from a $5 gift card or a free book

At the end of the eight weeks one grand prize winner will be chosen at each branch and will receive a backpack filled with candy, popcorn, water bottle, a light and a $20 gift card!

Check out your local branch for more information and see what programs will be offered this summer. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Book Trailer Thursday

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This was filmed by a group of teens for a school project.  I thought they did a very nice job.  Rumor has it that Thirteen Reasons Why may be coming to the big screen.  We might be seeing an announcement for that soon.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Inexcusable by Chris Lynch - YA Book Review

I rate this YA novel 2/5

Keir Sarafian is a good guy. At least that's what he believes of himself. But as the reader follows his first person narration leading up to a life altering event, it becomes clear that everything is not as he would like it to seem. He describes over and over again the things hr finds 'inexcusable', but can never see that what he does is the most inexcusable thing of all.

Reading this book was like putting on a pair of drunk goggles and then trying to tide a unicycle in a straight line. Not to say it was badly written or that I couldn't get through the book. Quite the contrary I finished it in a day or two, partly due to shortness. However, reading this story through the delusional haze that the main character lives in is exceedingly difficult. I felt like I was trying to get a handle on characters and plot with a layer of thick fog over my eyes and three layers of cotton balls in my ears. I kept getting a headache from reading it simply because of how purposely thick this person was. By the end of this book I felt like I'd glimpsed into the mind of a psychopath. For someone to really not understand that they have done a truly heinous thing was pretty disturbing and sickening. On the other hand it was also kind of an eye opener text. There is a lot to be said of how his family members and friends react to his behavior leading up to and then in encountering his final transgression.

I think the topic was relevant and carries a good cautionary message. However I didn't really like the book itself. Keir drove me up the wall, the choppy back and forth between flashback and present action was disorienting and distracting, the ending was kind of anti-climatic, and to be honest I have never been a fan of stream of consciousness narration, which this pretty much is. As a novel it has a decent amount of acclaim and authors I really like have recommended it, but I can't really say the same. I was hoping this would be a really great novel that I could get into but I'm left feeling disappointed and unsettled.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book Trailer Thursday err Movie Trailer

I hate to say this but I didn't read the book.  I know, I know shame on me.  I am sure that the book was better than the movie but I did really like the movie.  I am liking both Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.  That is probably a good thing since they are going to be in so many movies coming out soon.  Both are in Divergent.  I am a little sad that Miles is playing Peter and Peter is such a meanie!  Rumor has it that he will be Mr. Fantastic in the Fantastic Four movie.  Shailene is going to be in the much anticipated The Fault in our Stars movie.  If Divergent does well there will be the sequels.  They have a lot going on.  So read the book, watch the movie.

This National Book Award Finalist is now a major motion picture -- one of the most buzzed-about films at Sundance 2013, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller. SUTTER KEELY. HE'S the guy you want at your party. He'll get everyone dancing. He' ll get everyone in your parents' pool. Okay, so he's not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men's shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram's V.O., life's pretty fabuloso, actually. Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee's clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it's up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee's not like other girls, and before long he's in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else's life--or ruin it forever. From the Hardcover edition.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Review

Reading Level: Young Adult
(4 out of 5)

I finally jumped on the Divergent band wagon, or should I say train since they are highly referenced in the book, and read it.  Also here is a new cover that I really like with Shailene Woodley on it.  I think that she is a great choice to play Tris.  Anyway  I really liked that the setting is Chicago and I knew a lot of the places Ms. Roth talked about.  I like to think I have a great imagination and can create what authors describe but I didn't have to think to hard about the landscape in this book.

With that said Veronica Roth tackles a subject that many have done before her, a dystopian world.  Much like in the Hunger Games you don't know why the world is the way it is, it just is that way.  In Roth's world people are separated into five factions or virtues: Abnegation (The Selfless), Erudite (The Intelligent), Dauntless (The Brave), Amity (The Peaceful), and Candor (The Honest).  You are born into one of the factions and on your sixteenth birthday you are tested to see which faction you should spend the rest of your life in.  But you don't have to go with what the test says, you can choose differently.  For those that are Divergent the test can't determine which faction you should be in.

Beatrice Prior is Abnegation but her test results come back Divergent.  She has never felt selfless enough to stay with her faction so she chooses Dauntless.  Dauntless is a brutal faction that isn't quite what it seems.  There she meets Four and several other people that will become friends and enemies.  Some people in their society are no longer happy with the way things are of course trouble is coming!

I really enjoyed this book and the twists and turns the author took me on.  I just couldn't help think while reading, especially during the initiation training, how violent some of the scenes were.  Eric, their leader, was one cruel puppy.  I know that I would not have made it in the Dauntless society.  I really don't think I would fit very well into any of the factions but I think that is really the point.  We can have a little of all the virtues.  I am eagerly awaiting the movie which comes out on March 21 and until then I have started reading Insurgent.

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Geocaching at the Libraries

What's Geocaching?
A compass is helpful when geocaching - or a GPS deviceGeocaching is a scavenger hunt-like hobby that takes people to all sorts of interesting locations hunting for treasures (called caches). After hiding the cache, the hider records the longitude and latitude of the location for seekers to use. Seekers use GPS devices to get them as close as possible to the cache and then hunt for it.

Once you find the cache, you sign the logbook contained inside. You might find some cool swag to take with you, too!

The official geocaching site is It's free for anyone to join and to hunt caches all over the world. When you find a cache, you can log on to and leave a message in the online logbook for each cache, too, or share pictures of your adventure searching for the cache. The library's geocaching profile (including all of our hides) can be found here.

Need more info?
Read the official guide.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Shade of the Moon by Susan Pfeffer - Book Review

Jon is a claver, one of the elite few granted permission to live ensconced in the protected world of the Sexton enclave. Using the passes Alex gave to Jon's family, Jon, his step-mother Lisa, and Lisa's young son Gabe slipped into this community. It is a place where people have homes, education, purified air and, always enough to eat. It is a humanity moving on pass the catastrophe that changed all their lives as they knew it. But beneath the careful safety of his world lays a poison and everything is shifting. The community of Sexton is supported on the degradation and near slave labor of those unlucky enough not to have admittance to enclave life. The enclave feeds on the 'grubs' as they are called; taking advantage of their hard work, hard lives, and especially their pain. As the enclave pushes the grubs further into the mud, they near a line they might not want to cross. Jon is stuck in the middle. Should he support his grubber family, or his claver one? In a world gone so terribly awry where is the line between good and bad, and which side will Jon take? As a Slip, his future is far from safe. The wrong words or actions could get himself and his loved ones killed, but how far can he go before there is no turning back?

The Shade of the Moon is the fourth book in this YA best-seller series that started with Life As We Knew It which documented the story of a world thrown into catastrophe when the moon is hit by an asteroid and pushed closer to the earth. This newest edition continues the story of Miranda and Alex's lives from the past three stories, this time from the point of view of Miranda's younger brother. He lives the privileged life in a world come to its end. The rest of Jon's family have not been this lucky. The reader sees the character's they came to love living in the city slums outside of Sexton, doomed to being grubs.

Reading this story I was reminded of the atrocities you read about in history: America's slave history, the discrimination of Jewish people and other minorities during the Holocaust, etc. The things described in this book are both disturbing and eye-opening, though not unbelievable. People could, would, and have done things as horrible as what is described in this book, and probably much worse. Books like this can really open the reader's eyes to the dark side of the world and it makes me feel like the book was very aptly named. This is a world thrown back into darkness.

As was the case with the preceding three books, this wasn't just a story of survival. This was a narrative that explores humanity in all its spectrum: the good, the evil, and the many shades in between. I was gripped by the story and it only took me a very few days to read it. I did not care much for Jon as a narrator. He was a selfish and often deeply misguided boy. However, the story is playing on these flaws of his, not excusing them. I can't stand it when an author excuses bad behavior on a characters part and just lets the plot give the impression that the bad behavior exhibited is okay. In Pfeffer's story however, the reader is acutely aware of how wrong Jon often is. The tone of the story coupled with other characters input makes sure the reader knows Jon's bad actions are not condoned. It was an interesting move on her part, giving us such a distinctly flawed protagonist, but it definitely made the story more interesting. So often we see the story through the eyes of the oppressed, but in this case it is the oppressor who tells all.

Pfeffer's writing style is fair to middling in this novel. I remember having the same issues with her other three books. She gives far too little detail for my tastes and skips over things I would have liked to know more about. Dialogue has also never been a strong point for her. It always ends up coming out stiff and bland, making the emotions the lines are supposed to convey awkward and without chemistry. However, the story overall is attractive enough that these problems didn't deter me from the book. I highly recommend that fans of the series finish this end cap. As far as post-apocalyptic stories go, this series is a pretty good one and worth looking into.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Review Thursday

From Gerti - Review of Veronica Roth’s “Divergent”

I’m so proud of Northwestern University graduate Veronica Roth for this brilliant debut YA novel. Although teens consider it this year’s “Hunger Games”, that comparison does not mean it is bad. “The Hunger Games” is the story of a young woman’s struggle to survive in a dystopian world, and so is “Divergent,” but in Veronica Roth’s novel, the setting is Chicago, which makes this an even more interesting read for someone familiar with the city and its sights like Navy Pier and Millennium Park. Also in Roth’s favor is the fact that her heroine, Beatrice Prior, has a normal name. Sorry, Suzanne Collins. I think Katniss is a mouthful.

In THG, the brave new world is divided into 12-ish districts, and just about any teen can tell you which tribute comes from which district, and what that district makes or grows. In Roth’s world, there are five factions instead, and they are divided into specific virtues that the survivors of a war decided were important to keep around. Protagonist Beatrice (or Tris, as she becomes later) is from Abnegation, a grey-wearing, Amishesque group who believe that being selfless is the path to true peace. The other groups are Candor (for the painfully honest), Dauntless (for the insanely brave), Amity (for the friendly), and Erudite (for those who like research and reading). But there is movement between the groups.

Just as in THG, teenaged Tris is at this turning point in her life where she must choose what to be. In the Hunger Games, the districts have to send tributes to the eponymous “games”. In Roth’s world, each 16 year old has to undergo a series of mental tests which determine (to a large extent) to which faction they truly belong. Tris has had a hard time being selfless like her parent’s in Abnegation, and her test shows it. But she is something even rarer called Divergent (hence the title), which means that she has elements of various factions. Her test giver changes the results so this fact isn’t automatically known to her superiors, and warns Tris that she should tell no one about the results (not even her family), as being Divergent can be deadly.

Despite some qualms about leaving her family, Tris chooses Dauntless, and her new name comes with her introduction there as a Transfer. Like THG again, there is some training, there are some tests, but like Katniss Everdeen, Tris is able to learn and move from the bottom to the top of the ranks of new Dauntless candidates by playing to her own peculiar strengths. Like any young adult novel, Tris makes friends, faces down enemies, and has several opportunities for romance within her new faction. Of course there are symbols for each faction (think marketing opportunities!) and Tris gets a few tattoos which reflect her heritage and choices. The final scenes of the book involve her foiling an Erudite revolution against Abnegation involving a Dauntless army… and if that sounds too confusing, you must read the book! It is a thrilling trip into a dystopian post-war Chicagoland filled with teenaged angst and adventure. Can’t wait to read the next one!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Monday Madness: Is it summer Yet?

With all this cold and snowy weather I'm ready for warmer temperatures.  Short of hopping on a plane to a warm destination I'm going to have to make due with some fun summer reads and wish I was at the beach reading them!  To help you through the cold days ahead check out some of these fun beach reads!

Place a Hold HERE

Anna is dreading another tourist-filled summer on Dune Island that follows the same routine: beach, ice cream, friends, repeat. That is, until she locks eyes with Will, the gorgeous and sweet guy visiting from New York. Soon, her summer is filled with flirtatious fun as Anna falls head over heels in love. But with every perfect afternoon, sweet kiss, and walk on the beach, Anna can't ignore that the days are quickly growing shorter, and Will has to leave at the end of August. Anna's never felt anything like this before, but when forever isn't even a possibility, one summer doesn't feel worth the promise of her heart breaking....(From LCPL's website)

Place a Hold HERE

Spending the summer in the Tuscany region of Italy on a secret mission to solve a family mystery, English teenager Violet is distracted by exciting American roommates and sexy Italian boys on Vespa scooters.(From LCPL's website)

 Place a Hold HERE

There Are Some Summers You'll Always Remember Sometimes I wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life. My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Madness: The Fault in Out Stars by John Green

For those who have read TFIOS and loved it you are all waiting impatiently for the movie to come out on June 6.  Here is a behind the scenes on the set with John Green to tide you over.  It has to be pretty cool for him to be on the set watching his work come to life.

Now I have to say I like this movie poster but I'm not crazy about the tagline.  What are your thoughts?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Book Trailer Thursday

Place a hold HERE

In this sequel to How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, EVERYTHING in sixteen-year-old Amy Nelson Barak's life is going wrong! Her mom got married and moved to the suburbs, and now they are going to have a baby. Amy moves in with her dad in Chicago and signs him up for an online dating service. His first four dates are that night . . . What else? Her dog Mutt impregnated her grumpy neighbor's prized poodle, so Amy will actually have to get a part-time job to pay for half the veterinary bill. And there's this totally annoying boy, Nathan Rubin, who just moved into her apartment building. Luckily, Amy has a cute boyfriend named Avi. Only he's more like a non-boyfriend considering Avi is in the Israeli army for the next three years. What's a girl to do when everyone is conspiring to ruin her life?

Since this is a trilogy and this is the second book the first and third are below.  No need to thank me!

 Book One, place a hold HERE

YALSA 2007 Teens' Top Ten "A breezy read." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Fresh, fun and fabulous! Guaranteed NOT to ruin your summer vacation!" --Mari Mancusi, author of Boys that Bite How To Ruin a Summer Vacation Moshav? What's a moshav? Is it "shopping mall" in Hebrew? I mean, from what Jessica was telling me, Israeli stores have the latest fashions from Europe. That black dress Jessica has is really awesome. I know I'd be selling out if I go to a mall with Ron (my biological father), but I keep thinking about all the great stuff I could bring back home. Unfortunately for 16-year-old Amy Nelson, "moshav" is not Hebrew for "shopping mall." Not even close. Think goats, not Gucci. Going to Israel with her estranged Israeli father is the last thing Amy wants to do this summer. She's got a serious grudge against her dad for showing up so rarely in her life. Now he's dragging her to a war zone to meet a family she's never known, where she'll probably be drafted into the army. At the very least, she'll be stuck in a house with no AC and only one bathroom for seven people all summer--no best friend, no boyfriend, no shopping, no cell phone... Goodbye pride--hello Israel.

 Book Three, place a hold HERE

"A great read-alike for fans of Meg Cabot, Melissa Kantor, and Sarah Dessen." --VOYA Guess who's jetting off to the Holy Land this summer! Yes, it's me--Amy Nelson-Barak. I've volunteered for ten days of military training in Israel with my friends. The Sababa brochure said it would be a "fun" summer experience. Okay, so I didn't sign up to prove I'm not a princess...I did it to surprise my hot Israeli boyfriend stationed at the same base. Too bad nobody told me: - It's hot in the Negev, so hot your makeup melts off and you get under-boob sweat spots. - You can't sleep in until 11 a.m. - You shouldn't kill bees with your flatiron--don't ask. - Peeing in a hole isn't easy (when you're a girl)--double don't ask. When I find out our team leader is my boyfriend Avi, I'm totally psyched...until I learn he has to treat me like all the other recruits. Can you say OY VEY!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Day: Library Closed

All locations of LCPL will be closed on New Year's Day.  Happy New Year!  Regular hours will resume on Thursday 1/2/14.