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Archive for November, 2010

New Mystery and Thrillers

Posted by Kristi on November 29, 2010

Payback Time by Carl Deuker 

Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist—a fat high school journalist named Mitch—veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel.  When Angel shows up Lincoln High, he seems to have no past—or at least not one he is willing to discuss.  Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel’s incredible talent off the field, Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field.  Is he an undercover cop, wonders Mitch?  Or an ineligible player?  In pursuit of a killer story, Mitch decides to find out just who this player is and what he’s done.  In the end, the truth surprises everyone.

Dark Song by Gail Giles 

Ames is not the person she was a few months ago. Her father lost his job, and her family is crumbling apart. Now, all she has is Marc. Marc, who loves her more than anything. Marc, who owns a gun collection. And he’ll stop at nothing – even using his guns – to get what he wants. Ames feels her parents have betrayed her with their lies and self-absorption, but is she prepared to make the ultimate betrayal against them?

Girl, Stolen by April Henry 

Sixteen year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of a car while her mom fills her prescription at the pharmacy. Before Cheyenne realizes what’s happening, their car is being stolen – with her inside! Griffin hadn’t meant to kidnap Cheyenne, all he needed to do was steal a car for the others. But once Griffin’s dad finds out that Cheyenne’s father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes – now there’s a reason to keep her. What Griffin doesn’t know is that Cheyenne is not only sick with pneumonia, she is blind. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare, and if she does, at what price?

Dark Game: True Spy Stories by Paul B. Janeczko 

Ever since George Washington used them to help topple the British, spies and their networks have helped and hurt America at key moments in history. In this fascinating collection, Paul B. Janeczko probes such stories as that of Elizabeth Van Lew, an aristocrat whose hatred of slavery drove her to be one of the most successful spies in the Civil War; the “Choctaw code talkers,” Native Americans who were instrumental in sending secret messages during World War I; the staggering engineering behind a Cold War tunnel into East Berlin to tap Soviet phones (only to be compromised by a Soviet mole); and many more famous and less-known examples.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King 

Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything. So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

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New Fiction

Posted by Kristi on November 26, 2010

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan 

Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett 

Plum Coyle is on the edge of adolescence. Her fourteenth birthday is approaching, when her old life and her old body will fall away, and she will become graceful, powerful, and at ease. Over the next couple of weeks, Plum’s life will change. Her beautiful neighbor Maureen will begin to show Plum how she might fly. The older brothers she adores will court catastrophe in worlds that she barely knows exist. And her friends, her worst enemies, will tease and test, smelling weakness. They will try to lead her on and take her down.

Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto by Eric Luper 

Seth Baumgartner just had the worst day of his life. His girlfriend dumped him, he spied his father on a date with a woman who is not his mother, and he lost his fourth job of the year. It’s like every relationship he cares about is imploding, and he can’t figure out what’s going on. To find answers, Seth decides to start an anonymous podcast called The Love Manifesto, exploring “what love is, why love is, and why we’re stupid enough to keep going back for more.” With the help of his best friend Dimitri and Dimitri’s sister Audrey, Seth tracks down his father’s mystery date, hits the most infamous bogey in the history of golf, and discovers that sometimes love means eating the worst chicken-salad sandwich you can ever imagine.

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford 

The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die…and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless. Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year’s Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it. And so the confessions begin…

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian 

Natalie Sterling wants to be in control.  She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things. But life is messy, and it’s very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they’re no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you now want – but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.  Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices – and is going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.

Stringz by Michael Wenberg 

Jace’s mom moves them from one place to another so often that sometimes he’s been in four schools in a single year. To cope with all that instability, Jace has vowed to never let himself get attached to anyone or anything – other than his beloved cello. But when his mom takes them to Seattle, where they’re living with tough Aunt Bernice, Jace wonders if this time things might really change. Because money is tight, Jace plays his cello on the street in downtown Seattle, and one evening, someone throws a folded $100 bill with a business card attached into Jace’s open cello case. That card changes everything; it’s from a famous cello instructor who offers to take him on, giving Jace a shot at winning a large cash prize. Will he make the grade?

Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft 

Since the death of his brother, Jonathan’s been losing his grip on reality. Last year’s Best Young Poet and gifted guitarist is now Taft High School’s resident tortured artist, when he bothers to show up. He’s on track to repeat eleventh grade, but his English teacher, his principal, and his crew of Thicks (who refuse to be seniors without him) won’t sit back and let him fail.

The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston 

When her younger sister dies, Loa’s clockwork galaxy collapses. As she spins off on her own, Loa’s mind ambushes her with vivid nightmares and sadistic flashbacks – a textbook case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But there are no textbook fixes for Loa’s short-circuiting brain. If she keeps her eyes open and her neurons busy, there’s less chance for her imagination to brew up nightmares and panic attacks. Maybe then she’ll be able to pry her world from the clutches of death.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Kristi on November 23, 2010

As we head into the Thanksgiving weekend, let’s take a moment to stop and reflect on all the things we’re thankful for. I’ll go first: Among other things, I give thanks for silly animal videos on YouTube. Here’s my new favorite:

 

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New Manga and Graphic Novels

Posted by Kristi on November 17, 2010

Sand Chronicles vols. 7-8 by Hinako Ashihara 

Twelve-year-old Ann and her divorced mother move from Tokyo to her mother’s rural hometown. How will Ann survive her exile from civilization? Then, when her mother commits suicide, Ann has to grow up fast. As the years pass, Ann learns to trust and depend on her new friends – Daigo and aristocratic siblings Fuji and Shika. But when Ann moves back to Tokyo to be with her father, will she be able to maintain a long-distance relationship with Daigo? And do Fuji and Shika harbor romantic feelings of their own that might rip their childhood friendships apart…?

Hikaru no Go vol. 20 by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata 

The Young Lions Go players under the age of 18 in Japan, Korea and China are getting ready to qualify for the Hokuto Cup, and Hikaru and Akira are both in contention for the Japanese team. The preliminaries prove to be tough going, and Hikaru, stung by a reality check, focuses like never before. But will it be enough to meet the challenge of the unconventional yet formidable go of Kiyoharu Yashiro of the Kansai Go Association?

Saturn Apartments vol. 1 by Hisae Iwaoka 

Some time in the future, all of the humans are evacuated from Earth and moved to a man-made ring that now circles the planet. The luckiest people are the richest ones, because they can afford to have their windows cleaned so that they can see the planet far below them. Mitsu’s father was a window cleaner, until the day five years ago that his rope broke (or was cut) and he fell down to the planet below. Now that Mitsu has graduated from junior high, he is about to become a window washer, too. It’s a difficult and dangerous job because of the wind, meteorites, and radiation, but it’s what he was born to do.

Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks 

Neither artistic, dreamy Jenna nor surly, delinquent Lucas expected to find themselves at an invitation-only summer camp that turns problem children into prodigies. And yet, here they both are at Camp Fielding, settling in with all the other losers and misfits who’ve been shipped off by their parents in a last-ditch effort to produce a child worth bragging about.  But strange disappearances, spooky lights in the woods, and a chilling alteration that turns the rowdiest campers into docile zombie Einsteins have Jenna and Lucas feeling more than a little suspicious…and a lot afraid.

Chi’s Sweet Home vol. 2 by Kanata Konami 

In the second volume of Chi’s Sweet Home, Chi’s new world slowly begins to grow.  Now moving into the feline version of the terrible twos, Chi’s increasingly curious and independent behavior begins to wear on each member of the Yamada household.  Mom’s flowers are being shred.  Dad’s sick and little Chi needs to play with him after lunch every day.  And when Yohei doesn’t share his toys, Chi begins to use her fangs and claws on her best friend!

Maximum Ride vol. 3 by James Patterson and NaRae Lee 

The Flock members are taken under the wing of an FBI agent and try to live “normal” lives by going to school, making friends–and continuing their relentless search for their parents. But the Erasers return, forcing the Flock to abandon their search and make their escape once again. It’s also becoming more obvious to Max that her destiny is to save the world, and this is especially challenging to do when she is faced with her ultimate match: a newer and better version of herself, Maximum Ride II.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: Retreat by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, and Georges Jeanty 

Vampires have solid footing at the top of the totem and Slayers have been crushed to the bottom – in short, no one likes Buffy anymore…least of all this season’s mysterious Big Bad, Twilight, who is hot on her magical trail! Now that it’s the world against Slayers, Buffy must find a way to return to the status quo and keep her girls alive long enough to do it! Enter Oz, the only person/werewolf Buffy knows who is down with the suppression of magic, and can take the Slayer army off of Twilight’s magic-specific radar.

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Get your write on in November

Posted by Kristi on November 3, 2010

I know we have a lot of teen writers out there, and November is full of great opportunities for you guys.  First off, is anyone else out there doing NaNoWriMo?  For those who have never heard of it, NaNoWriMo is a huge writing challenge that happens every November.  You can sign up for free online, and from November 1 through 30 you write like crazy until you’ve got at least 50,000 pages of a novel.  Quality goes out the window – the goal here is quantity and speed.  It’s a great kick in the pants for those out there who, like me, keep saying they’re going to write more but never get around to it.  And even though we’re already a few days into November, it’s not too late to sign up!

(P.S. – If you think this sounds like fun but aren’t too sure about a 50,000-word goal when there are other important things like, you know, school to worry about, you can sign up for the Young Writers Program, which allows you to set a goal that works for you)

Another fun option for teen writers is the Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest 2010.  If you’re over the age of 13 and have at least 250 words of an original young adult novel written, you can send them in for a chance at getting your entire novel read and critiqued by a literary agent, plus a free 10-week writing course.  Other winners might get free commentary on their submissions by editors at some of the biggest YA publishers, or a free copy of Writing Great Books for Young Adults, by Regina Brooks.

And finally, even if you’re not quite ready to try your hand at NaNoWriMo or a writing contest yet, don’t forget there’s always our Teen Writers’ Workshop here at NPL!  Our next meeting is this coming Monday, November 8, from 4 to 5.  Bring whatever you’re working on and come ready to do some fun exercises with fellow writers.

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