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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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

After Arthur Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway, he travels the galaxy with his pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and wreaking hilarious havoc. (A/YA)

Thwonk by Joan Bauer

Imagine having a personal cupid – an actual winged being – pop into your life and offer to make your dreams come true. That’s what happens to aspiring photographer Allison Jean (A. J.) McCreary. A. J. knows she should concentrate on getting into a top-notch art school. But she’s spent five torturous months obsessed with handsome hunk Peter Terris. Just one shot from the cupid’s bow and thwonk, A. J. will have the undying devotion of handsome Peter…forever. (M, S)

Geektastic, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci

This collection of stories from some of the best YA authors covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. (S)

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!,” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous! Now rabid fans are invading her school, and all the gossip magazines and the Internet are documenting her every move.  Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is. (S)

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Mia, trying to lead a normal life as a teenage girl in New York City, is shocked to learn that her father is the Prince of Genovia, a small European principality, and that she is a princess and the heir to the throne. (M, S)

Swim the Fly by Don Calame

In a desperate attempt to impress the new girl, Matt agrees to swim the butterfly at championships, despite the fact that he can barely tread water. At the same time, he’s dealing with his horny grandpa, a sadistic swim instructor, and his pals’ wacky schemes to catch a glimpse of bare female skin. (S)

Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford

Will Carter, just starting high school, isn’t exactly smooth. He’s got ADD and tends to stutter, but he has a great group of friends and a wise sister who’ll help him stumble through his freshman year, find his first love, face down the school bully, and learn who he really is. (S)

Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis

Wannabe philosopher Luther T. Farrell knows a few things about life. He knows the Sarge (aka his mother) is tougher than nails and that he better not cross her. And he knows that despite his goal to attend Harvard, he may end up stuck in Flint, Michigan, cleaning toilets in his mom’s loathsome empire. (M, S)

Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film About the Grapes of Wrath by Steven Goldman

Mitchell Wells may not survive eleventh grade. He only has one friend. His normally decent grade point average is in limbo due to a somewhat inappropriate claymation film. Then his friend reveals he’s gay, one of the most popular girls in school decides she must date Mitchell, and—oh right—prom’s coming up… (S)

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Washed-up child prodigy Colin Singleton has been dated (and dumped) by 19 girls named Katherine.  When Katherine the nineteenth breaks his heart, Colin’s Judge Judy-loving best friend Hassan decides it’s time for a wild road trip to cheer him up. (S)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical. (S)

Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe

Meet Jasmine, forensic supersleuth, aspiring Model Daughter, and friend to animals. One second she’s trying to enjoy her Vegas Vacation, the next she’s tangled up in an outrageous adventure and has to outwit a crazed killer before he ends ten lives, one of them her own.  (M, S)

Alice, I Think by Susan Juby

Poor Alice. She went to kindergarten dressed as a hobbit, and life has gone downhill ever since. Now, at 15, she is about to enter alternative high school after being homeschooled by her aging hippie mother and a father who attempts to write “bodice rippers.” Naturally, all the angst is recorded in her diary, as Alice tries to make friends, meet boys, get a good haircut, and make her counselor feel like he’s accomplishing something. (M, S)

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

Best friends and unofficial brothers since they were six, ninth-graders T.C. and Augie have got the world figured out. But that all changes when both friends fall in love for the first time. T.C. falls hard for Alé, but she’s playing hard to get. Meanwhile, Augie realizes that he’s got a crush on a boy. It’s not so clear to him, but to his family and friends, it’s totally obvious. Told in alternating perspectives, this is the story of three friends who discover love, themselves, and how a little magic and Mary Poppins can go a long way. (M, S)

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman

Seventeen-year-old Vince’s life is constantly complicated by the fact that he is the son of a powerful Mafia boss, a relationship that threatens to destroy his romance with the daughter of an FBI agent. (M, S)

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman

For expressing his true views of assigned reading Old Shep, My Pal, football hero Wallace earns a detention that takes him off the team and plunks him down in the auditorium, where his English teacher is directing a theatrical version of—you guessed it. (M)

I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

Oliver Watson’s got the IQ of a grilled cheese sandwich. Or so everyone in Omaha thinks. In reality, Oliver’s an evil genius on his way to world domination, and he’s used his brain to make himself the third-richest person on earth! Then Oliver’s father—and archnemesis—makes a crack about the upcoming middle school election, and Oliver takes it as a personal challenge. He’ll run, and he’ll win! Turns out, though, that overthrowing foreign dictators is actually way easier than getting kids to like you…Can this evil genius win the class presidency and keep his true identity a secret, all in time to impress his dad? (M)

Girl, 15, Charming But Insane by Sue Limb

Like any girl her age, Jess wants to be gorgeous, popular, and intelligent. But unfortunately, her best friend, Flora, has beaten her to it. With her particular combination of charm and insanity, Jess heroically tries to keep it all together—with hilarious results. (M, S)

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banksby E. Lockhart

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14 is a mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school. At 15, she’s got a knockout figure, a chip on her shoulder, and a gorgeous new senior boyfriend. And she’s no longer the kind of girl to take no for an answer. Especially when no means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society. Especially when she knows she’s smarter than any of them. And especially when there are so many, many pranks to be done. (M, S)

Slot Machine by Chris Lynch

What do you do if you hate sports but accidentally wind up at a sports summer camp filled with psycho jocks? Overweight Elvin decides to fail miserably at every sport, thus preventing the sadistic coaches from putting him into a sports “slot.” Sarcastic, irreverent, and funny, Elvin is an inspiration to smart-aleck outsiders everywhere. (M, S)

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Virginia’s mum is an exercise fiend, her dad whistles at skinny women, and her siblings are gorgeous, clever, and impossible to live up to. They’re all people Virginia thinks the world of. In fact, Virginia thinks the world of everyone but herself. Then, a phone call changes everything… (S)

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty – Three female students from Ashbury High write to three male students from rival Brookfield High as part of a pen pal program, leading to romance, humiliation, revenge plots, and war between the schools. (M, S)

You Are SO Cursed by Naomi Nash

Vickie, a street magician, protects herself and her misfit friends from bullies by pretending to be a curse-slinging witch. When the guy of her dreams finds out her little secret, Vickie is plunged into a series of misadventures. (M, S)

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

The humorous journal of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome hunk Robbie. (M, S)

Holes by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is unjustly sent to Camp Green Lake where he and other boys are sentenced to dig holes to build character. Stanley learns the warden has them digging holes for something else- but what? (M)

Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw

Cyril, an overweight boy who is good friends with Rose but wishes he could be more, helps his best friend Nick woo her with culinary masterpieces which Cyril himself secretly creates. Includes recipes from the story. (M, S)

Tribes by Arthur Slade

Percy’s following in the footsteps of his late anthropologist father by cataloging high school culture. He and best pal Elissa make hilarious observations on various “tribes,” including the Jock Tribe, the Logo Tribe, and the Lipstick/Hairspray Tribe. (M, S)

The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian

Seventeen-year-old Josh, an anti-consumerist loner-philosopher who wants to make a difference in the world, tries to maintain his secret identity as the author of a web site that is receiving national attention. (S)

Spud by John van de Ruit

It’s 1990 in South Africa. Apartheid is crumbling.  And Spud Milton is about to start his first year at an elite boarding school. Armed with only his wits and his diary, Spud embarks on a boarding school romp full of illegal midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays. (M, S)

My Cup Runneth Over: The Life of Angelica Cookson Potts by Cherry Whytock

Angelica feels like a big wobbly whale whenever she is around her perfectly divine—not to mention skinny—friends and family. But Angelica knows that if she can just get school hottie Adam to notice her, he’ll fall hopelessly in love, and realize that she’s rather divine herself! (M, S)

Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner

Shakespeare Shapiro has always hated his name. His parents gave it to him as ajoke when he was born, and his life has gone downhill from there, one embarrassing incident after another. Entering his senior year of high school, Shakespeare has never had a girlfriend, his younger brother is cooler than he is, and his best friend’s favorite topic of conversation is his bowel movements. But Shakespeare will have the last laugh. He is chronicling every mortifying detail in his memoir, the writing project each senior at Shakespeare’s high school must complete. And he is doing it brilliantly. And, just maybe, a prize-winning memoir will bring him respect, admiration, and a girlfriend…or at least a prom date.  (S)


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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