Thursday, April 17, 2014

smells like teen spirit

One of my favorite parts of being the teen librarian is buying materials for the teen collection.  I have been reading a lot of teen angst lately and I am really enjoying it. 

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban intrigued me because it takes place at a tony boarding school in Westchester County, NY and the author happened to attend a tony boarding school in Westchester County that was not far from my home. 

As school tradition dictates, Duncan arrives for his senior year and receives a package from his room's former resident. Tim MacBeth was an albino and senior year transfer.  Tim has left Duncan a series of cd's that explain in great detail what occurred during Tim's senior year at the Irving School, in particular how the traditional senior prank went very wrong, Tim's love for Vanessa, a bright, popular girl and the girlfriend of the most popular boy on campus.  It's a story within a story- with Tim and Duncan alternating the storytelling.  Tying everything together is the Tragedy Paper, the lengthy and weighty senior project Duncan needs to complete to graduate.  This was an engrossing and quick read. Full of love triangles, rivalries and plenty of teen angst. 

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott is a quick read but a story that stayed with me for a long while. Emma is reeling from tragedy.  Her mother is brain dead but being kept alive by Emma's step-father because she is pregnant and the baby is still viable.  Emma is devastated over the death of her mother and irate at her once beloved step-father who prolonging the agony of her mother's death.  Emma feels he is selfish and cruel and this makes their living situation unbearable.  At the hospital Emma runs into Caleb, the local high school bad boy working off his community service hours. Emma's problems at home and developing friendship with Caleb, drives a wedge between Emma and her bestie, Olivia. Since he is aware of her mom's condition, Caleb is one of the few people from Emma's school life who understands her sadness.  As their friendship and eventual romance develops, Emma learns that Caleb too, has experienced tragedy and is hurting and misunderstood.  Emma and Caleb are real and their emotions are right on the surface.  A sad but wonderful book.  


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Picture Books

I am always on the search for some new fun picture books, for the collection, for story time or for outreach.  Here are some that I have been getting a lot of use out of lately.

Maple, the debut of author Lori Nichols is a sweet and lovely portrait of a fun-loving, free-spirited girl.  Maple's parents plant a tree in her honor when she is born.  As they both grow, Maple looks on her tree as a friend, seeking her in happy times and sad times.  A great story!

With Paul meets Bernadette, author/illustrator Rosy Lamb gives us Paul, a goldfish whose life is a rather hum-drum existence until, of course, Bernadette moves in to the bowl!  Bernadette and her exciting take on everything shows Paul a whole new world right outside his bowl.

Found, by author/illustrator Salina Yoon is a wonderful story about lost objects and found love.  Bear finds a lost toy Bunny in the woods.  He feels terrible that somebody may have lost their favorite toy and he is determined to reunite them.  While Bear posts flyers and searches for Bunny's owner, he finds himself growing attached.  What will he do when Bunny's owner is found?  So sweet. 

In Sophie's Squash, written Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf, Sophie finds a unique friend at the farm market, a squash she names Bernice.  Sophie discovers the many joys of friendship as well as the many pitfalls of befriending a vegetable.  A sweet and funny story that had me laughing out loud.