Normal Public Library Teens

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    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.
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    Normal Public Library
    206 W. College Ave.
    Normal, IL 61761
    Teen Services Librarian: Kristi Cates
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Action and Adventure

The Malifex by Steve Alton 

In the English countryside on a family vacation, a video game fanatic reluctantly embarks on a quest to battle an ancient evil, aided by the daughter of a Wiccan and a man once apprenticed to Merlin. (M)

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi 

Charlotte Doyle leaves England a spoiled thirteen-year-old striving to become a lady, and arrives in America as captain of her own ship and a convicted murderer. (M)

Nick of Time by Ted Bell 

The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his sister, Kate, begin gathering vital information for Winston Churchill as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion. But the Nazis become the least of Nick’s problems after he discovers a time machine hidden in a cove. Unfortunately, the evil pirate Captain Billy Blood, who travels through time capturing little children and holding them for ransom, will stop at nothing to possess the priceless machine. (M)

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter 

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a secret spy academy.  Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl.  Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her? (M, S)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

Katniss lives in the poorest district of Panem, what used to be the United States.  Every year, each district sends one boy and one girl to appear in a televised event called the Hunger Games—a competition in which only one participant can survive.  When Kat’s little sister is chosen by lottery for the games, Kat steps up to go in her place. (M, S)

Flight #116 is Down by Caroline B. Cooney 

When a 747 crashes into the deep woods on Heidi’s family’s estate, she at first believes herself incapable of helping the survivors; she’s convinced that her every action is a disappointment to her wealthy, ever-busy parents, who happen to be out of town. But as the night unfolds and she becomes involved in a massive rescue effort and the minute details of human survival, Heidi locates a well of unexpected inner strength and shares no small part in the saving of lives. (M, S)

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe 

Robinson Crusoe could have had a comfortable life in his native England. But the call of the sea and his hunger for adventure were too strong. As the sole survivor of a tragic shipwreck, he ends up a lonely castaway on a deserted island. After years of praying for human company, his prayers are answered–by the arrival of a group of cannibals. Crusoe’s story is the classic tale of a man coming to terms with nature and his own rebellious spirit. (A/YA)

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George 

To her small Eskimo village, she is known as Miyax; to her friend in San Francisco, she is Julie. When her life in the village becomes dangerous, Miyax runs away, only to find herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness.  Without food and time running out, Miyax tries to survive by copying the ways of a pack of wolves. Accepted by their leader and befriended by a feisty pup named Kapu, she soon grows to love her new wolf family. Life in the wilderness is a struggle, but when she finds her way back to civilization, Miyax is torn between her old and new lives. Is she Miyax of the Eskimos – or Julie of the wolves?  (M)

Silverfin by Charlie Higson  

Thirteen year-old James Bond cannot wait to get away from Eton, his stuffy boarding school, and visit his aunt and uncle in the Highlands of Scotland.  Upon arriving, he learns that a local boy, Alfie Kelly, has gone missing.  James teams up with the boy’s cousin, Red, to investigate the disappearance.  The clues lead them to the castle of Lord Hellebore, a madman with a thirst for power.  Despite unknown dangers, James is determined to find the lost boy.  But what he discovers in the dark basement of Hellebore’s estate will forever change his life.  (M)

Downriver by Will Hobbs  

No adults, no permit, no river map. Just some “borrowed” gear from Discovery Unlimited, the outdoor education program Jessie and her new companions have just ditched. Jessie and the others are having the time of their lives floating beneath sheer red walls, exploring unknown caves and dangerous waterfalls, and plunging through the Grand Canyon’s roaring rapids. No one, including Troy, who emerges as the group’s magnetic and ultimately frightening leader, can forsee the challenges and conflicts.  (M, S)

Far North by Will Hobbs 

When the engine of their float plane fails during a water landing near the head of Canada’s monumental Virginia Falls, what began as a sightseeing detour turns into a survival mission for two high school students and their elderly companion. (M)

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz 

When his guardian dies in suspicious circumstances, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider finds his world turned upside down. Forcibly recruited into MI6, Alex has to take part in gruelling SAS training exercises. Then, armed with his own special set of secret gadgets, he’s off on his first mission to Cornwall, where multi-billionaire Herod Sayle is producing his state-of-the-art Stormbreaker computers. Sayle has offered to give one free to every school in the country – but there’s more to the gift than meets the eye. (M)

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman 

Vince is just like any other high school guy—except his father happens to be the head of a powerful crime organization.  When Vince meets the love of his life, her family turns out to be a huge problem.  Because her father is an FBI agent who wants to put his father away for good. (M, S)

The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence 

On the coast of Cornwall lived a community who lured ships to crash upon the sharp rocks of their shore.  Most never questioned their murderous way of life.  Then, John Spencer’s ship wrecks upon that shore.  Can he escape the wreckers? (M)

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden 

When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they’re leaving their old lives behind forever. But when they return home a week later, they find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured – including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight. (S)

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer 

Life as a ship’s boy is a dream come true for Jacky Faber.  Gone are the days of fighting for survival on the streets of London.  There’s only one problem: Jacky is a girl.  And she must use every bit of her wit and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. (M)

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelson 

After his anger erupts into violence, Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the Native American Circle Justice.  He is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life. (M, S)

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell 

This is the story of Karana, an Indian girl abandoned on a Pacific island.  Year after year, she watches the seas, waiting for a ship to take her away.  But while she waits, she keeps herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. (M)

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel 

Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship.  One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies.  It is only after Matt meets the balloonist’s granddaughter that he realizes that the man’s ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious. (M, S)

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson 

Maximum Ride is the 14-year-old leader of a band of winged kids who have escaped the lab where they were bred and tortured.  Now Max and her cohorts are forced to rescue one of their own from a pack of mutant wolf-human hybrids called Erasers. (M, S)

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen 

Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present – and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair – it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive. (M)

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver 

Six thousand years ago, evil stalks the land.  According to legend, only Torak and his wolf-cub companion can defeat it.  Their journey together takes them through deep forests, across giant glaciers, and into dangers they never imagined. (M)

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer 

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove. In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource – hope. (M, S)

Nation by Terry Pratchett 

Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away.  Somewhere in the jungle Daphne is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave.  Together, the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. (M, S)

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralson 

Hiker and mountaineer Aron Ralson describes his days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home. (A/YA)

Pirates! by Celia Rees 

After arriving with her brother at the family’s Jamaican plantation where she is to be married off, Nancy Kington escapes with her slave friend, Minerva Sharpe, and together they become pirates traveling the world in search of treasure. (M, S)

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 

When Percy Jackson’s mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods, he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea, and that it is up to him to prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. (M)

Peak by Roland Smith 

After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he’s left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. (S)

Vampirates by Justin Somper 

Twins Conner and Grace are shipwrecked and separated, with Connor taken aboard a pirate ship, and Grace facing great danger aboard a ship of vampire pirates.  What will it take for them to find each other? (M)

Rowan Hood by Nancy Springer 

In her quest to connect with Robin Hood, the father she has never met, thirteen-year-old Rosemary disguises herself as a boy, befriends a half-wolf, half-dog, a runaway princess, and an overgrown boy whose singing is hypnotic, and makes peace with her elfin heritage. (M)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson 

The epic tale of a young man’s quest to capture a hidden treasure on the open seas—one of the best-loved adventure stories of all time. (M, S)

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Rick Yancey 

Alfred Kropp is the last person you’d think could save the world. But when he gets roped into a suspicious get-rich-quick scheme, his life takes a turn for the extraordinary. Little does Alfred know he has been tricked into stealing Excalibur – the legendary sword of King Arthur – and the most powerful weapon ever wielded by man.  With an ancient order of knights in hot cars, thugs on motorcycles, and a mysterious international organization following his every step, Alfred undertakes a quest to unravel a thousand-year-old mystery and return the sword to its rightful place.  (M)


Grade Level Interest
M Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

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