Normal Public Library Teens

  • Who We Are

    This is a space for teens and teen librarians to discuss books, library events and activities, and news related to teen services at Normal Public Library.
  • Contact Info

    Normal Public Library
    206 W. College Ave.
    Normal, IL 61761
    Teen Services Librarian: Kristi Cates
  • Post Categories

  • Archives

  • Advertisements

Archive for January, 2011

Best Animal Shelter Commercial EVER

Posted by Kristi on January 30, 2011

This is making me want to make the drive up to Winnipeg for their incredible “Buy One, Get Five Free” deal.


Posted in Videos | Leave a Comment »

Teen Advisory Council workday this Thursday

Posted by Kristi on January 25, 2011

If you’re looking for a chance to get involved with teen services at NPL, then the place you want to be this Thursday is at our TAC (Teen Advisory Council) meeting!  We’ll be downstairs in the board room this Thursday at 4:00 for snacks and a quick meeting, before heading upstairs to the teen section to do some much-needed work until 5:30.  Hope to see lots of you guys there!

Posted in Library events | Leave a Comment »

New Historical Fiction

Posted by Kristi on January 22, 2011

King of Ithaka by Tracy Barrett

Telemachos has a comfortable life on his small island of Ithaka, where his mother Penelopeia keeps the peace even though the land has been without its king, his father Odysseus, since the Trojan War began many years ago.  But now the people are demanding a new king, unless Telemachos can find Odysseus and bring him home. With only a mysterious prophecy to guide him, Telemachos sets off over sea and desert in search of the father he has never known.

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

They strip her naked, of everything—undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still seventeen—still Louisa Cosgrove, isn’t she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love…

Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner

It’s 1910, and thirteen-year-old Raisa has just traveled alone from a small Polish shtetl all the way to New York City. It’s overwhelming, awe-inspiring, and even dangerous, especially when she discovers that her sister has disappeared and she must now fend for herself. She finds work in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sewing bodices on the popular shirtwaists. Raisa makes friends and even falls in love. But then 1911 dawns, and one March day a spark ignites in the factory. One of the city’s most harrowing tragedies unfolds, and Raisa’s life is forever changed…

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

It’s 1929 and Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey have escaped their small Midwestern town to chase big dreams and even bigger secrets. Amongst the glittering metropolis of New York City, they meet Astrid Donal, a flapper who has everything she could ever want, except for the one thing Letty and Cordelia have to offer – true friendship. Set in the dizzying summer before the market crash, against the vast lawns of the glamorous Long Island mansions and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, three girls will find scandal, intrigue, and romance…

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

Lady Catherine is one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite court maidens—until her forbidden romance with Sir Walter Ralegh is discovered. In a bitter twist of irony, the jealous queen banishes Cate to Ralegh’s colony of Roanoke, in the New World. Ralegh pledges to come for Cate, but as the months stretch out, Cate begins to doubt his promise and his love. Instead it is Manteo, a Croatoan Indian, whom the colonists—and Cate—increasingly turn to. Yet just as Cate’s longings for England and Ralegh fade and she discovers a new love in Manteo, Ralegh will finally set sail for the New World.

Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza’s dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady’s maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant’s world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen?

t Taking Off by Jenny Moss

Reimagining the days surrounding this unforgettable event in history, readers are brought back to 1986 as the astronauts prepare for the Challenger mission, and Christa McAullife trains to be the first teacher in space. When a teen named Annie meets Christa, she is fascinated by Christa’s courage. Truly inspired, Annie is determined to make it to Florida to see the Challenger launch, a trip that will forever change how she thinks about herself and her secret desire for her own future. Although she is devastated when tragedy strikes, Annie honors Christa by following her own dream, despite the obstacles.

Posted in New Historical Fiction | Leave a Comment »

I hope you guys know this already, but stealing is BAD.

Posted by Kristi on January 20, 2011

YA author Saundra Mitchell posted a few days ago about a disturbing trend – the illegal downloading of ebooks, otherwise known as stealing. Here’s what she says:

I’ve been very open about the money I’ve made and not made, to help give the writing community some perspective. So I’m going to be very open about money today. I’ve told you before that I made a $15,000 advance on SHADOWED SUMMER. In two years, I’ve managed to earn back $12,000 of that.

It’s going out of print in hardcover because demand for it has dwindled to 10 or so copies a month. This means I will never get a royalty check for this book. By all appearances, nobody wants it anymore.

But those appearances are deceiving. According to one download site’s stats, people are downloading SHADOWED SUMMER at a rate of 800 copies a week. When the book first came out, it topped out at 3000+ downloads a week.

If even HALF of those people who downloaded my book that week had bought it, I would have hit the New York Times Bestseller list.

She has more about this issue here, and several other YA authors weigh in on the subject in the comments.  Basically, every time you illegally download a free copy of a book (or movie, or song, etc.), you’re robbing the creator of that content of their fair earnings.  The fewer official sales, the less money they make, and the lower the likelihood of publishers taking a chance on another book of theirs.   And if you really like an author and their books, why would you do that to them?

Now, none of us are made of money, and being a book lover would be a very expensive habit if you had to buy every book you wanted to read.  Luckily, there’s a much better option.  Here at the Normal Public Library, our goal is to provide the public with what they want to read.  As the teen librarian, I do my best to pick out the books that I think you guys are going to want, but I’m not a mindreader, so I always welcome feedback.  Let me know what books you’re into right now, and I’ll buy them.  If LOTS of people tell me they want a book, I’ll buy more copies!  This way, the books sell more, the author makes more money, and the publisher is hopefully willing to take a chance on his or her next book.  And you still get to read the book for free!

Even if it’s a book we don’t have, you’re not out of luck, because of a cool thing called interlibrary loan.  Basically, if we don’t have it, we’ll get it for you by ordering it from another library.  Our policy at NPL is that as long as the book is available at a library somewhere in the state of Illinois, we can get it for you here.  So unless you’re looking for something REALLY obscure, you should have no problem tracking down a copy to read for free.

One last thing: the author I quoted at the beginning of this post?  Her first book, Shadowed Summer, is available right here at NPL in the teen section – in fact, we have two copies.  I recently read it myself and thoroughly enjoyed it.  If you like creepy ghost stories with a little bit of romance, then I highly suggest you run in and check it out now!  Her second book, The Vespertine, comes out this March, and I’ve already preordered the library’s copy and can’t wait to read it myself.

Posted in Authors, Reading suggestions | Leave a Comment »

Canoeing through a flooded McDonalds

Posted by Kristi on January 19, 2011

If you’ve been keeping up with world news lately, then you’ve seen how crazy the flooding is in Queensland, Australia. In this video, a man actually paddles his canoe through his local McDonalds in Brisbane, flooded with several feet of water. But it’s not all fun and games there. So far at least 25 people have been killed, dozens are still missing, and of course there’s millions of dollars in property damage.
(via Boing Boing)

Posted in Videos | Leave a Comment »

New Science Fiction and Fantasy

Posted by Kristi on January 18, 2011

Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry 

In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy’s charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason’s apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next door. When the young king’s carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all…

Starcrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce 

Celyn Contrare serves as a lady-in-waiting to Merista Nemair. Her days are spent dressing in velvet, attending Lady Merista, navigating court gossip, and charming noblemen over lavish feasts.  And at night, she picks locks, steals jewels, forges documents, and collects secrets. Because Celyn isn’t really a lady-in-waiting; she’s not even really Celyn Contrare. She’s Digger, a sneak-thief on the run from the king’s Inquisition, desperate to escape its cruel instruments and hatred of magic. If she’s discovered, it will mean her certain death.

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card 

Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg’s strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him – secrets about Rigg’s own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.

Matched by Ally Condie 

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears onscreen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate…until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

The Jumbee by Pamela Keyes 

When Esti Legard starts theater school on the West Indian island of Cariba, she’s determined to step out of the shadow of her late father, a famous Shakespearean actor. But on an island rife with superstition, Esti can’t escape the darkness. In the black of the theater, an alluring phantom voice – known only as Alan – becomes her brilliant drama tutor, while in the light of day Esti struggles to resist her magnetic attraction to Rafe, the local bad boy. Toppled sets, frightening rumors of jumbee ghosts, and brewing tropical storms culminate in a tantalizingly spooky finale where romance sizzles and truths are unmasked.

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry 

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

The Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead 

It all comes down to now. Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. The Queen is dead and the Moroi world will never be the same. Now, with Rose awaiting wrongful execution and Lissa in a deadly struggle for the royal throne, the girls find themselves forced to rely upon enemies and to question those they thought they could trust…

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith 

Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s kidnapped, but manages to escape, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury. There is war in Marbury. It’s a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them. Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind. Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay. But it’s not.

Posted in New Fantasy, New Science fiction | Leave a Comment »

2011 Printz Award (and others) announced!

Posted by Kristi on January 11, 2011

Yesterday the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) announced the winners of all their major young adult book awards, including the big one, the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

I’m really excited about this year’s winner, Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.  The author has written adult science fiction, and this is his first book for teens.  It’s set in a dystopian near-future world in which the oil has run out and crews of young kids, including main character Nailer, scavenge materials from the wrecks of old ships and tankers.  I loved this one, and I’d highly encourage you all to run to the library and check this one out!

The Printz Honor winners are Stolen by Lucy Christopher, Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King, Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick, and Nothing by Janne Teller.  It’s a good bunch this year, so I hope they get lots of checkouts from you guys.

YALSA gives out lots of other awards besides the Printz, and I’m pretty happy with the results.  There are a few I haven’t read but can’t wait to get to.  Here’s the complete list of award winners and honor books for those who are curious:

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award goes to a first-time author of a young adult book:

The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston (Winner)
Hush by Eishes Chayil (Finalist)
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey (Finalist)
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride (Finalist)
Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber (Finalist)

The Coretta Scott King  Book Award goes to an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults:

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (Winner)
Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers (Honor)
Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Honor)
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri and Randy DuBurke (Honor)

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults.

Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel (Winner)
They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Honor)
Spies of Mississippi:  The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement by Rick Bowers (Honor)
The Dark Game: True Spy Stories by Paul Janeczko (Honor)
Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw (Honor)

The Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award is a new award this year, going to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experience.

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher (Winner)
Will Grayson, will grayson by John Green and David Levithan (Honor)
Love Drugged by James Klise (Honor)
Freaks and Revelations by Davida Willis Hurwin (Honor)
The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams (Honor)

Several other great awards were given out as well, including the Alex Awards for best adult books that appeal to teen audiences, the Schneider Family Book Award for best expression of the disability experience, and the Pura Belpré award for books that celebrate the Latino cultural experience.  For the full list of award winners, check out the ALA’s press release.  To see past award-winners, you can check out the booklists right here on this site, which I’m working on updating right now.

Posted in Awards, Reading suggestions | Leave a Comment »

Teen Writers’ Workshop

Posted by Kristi on January 6, 2011

Don’t forget that our monthly Teen Writers’ Workshop is this coming Monday from 4:00 to 5:00, downstairs in the boardroom.  Come shake off the winter blahs with some writing prompts and games, along with a chance to share whatever you’ve been working on lately.  We’ll have snacks and everything you need to get your creative juices flowing.  See you there!

Posted in Library events, Writing | Leave a Comment »

How Twilight Should Have Ended

Posted by Kristi on January 4, 2011

(via bookshelves of doom)

Posted in Just for fun, Videos | Leave a Comment »