Teen Book Review: The Book Thief


The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Review by Fallon, Northwest Branch

     Living in Nazi Germany hasn't been easy for Liesel Meminger. With both her parents gone and brother dead, she is adopted by the Hubberman's at the age of ten. She finds a friend in blond Rudy Steiner, along with a few enemies. Her adoptive father, Hans, begins teaching her to read using a book she stole from the snow beside her brother's grave. Told from the perspective of a not-so malicios death, The Book Thief chronicles the next four years of Liesel's life, from simple childhood joys to the danger of the war.

     This book is one of my favorites. It gave an insight to Germans who were not pleased with Hitler's plans but were still suppressed with violence and other threats. The book also described some of the propaganda used by the Nazis, but what I liked most about this book was the balance. While it talked about the dark times Germany and the rest f the world faced, a portion of the book was about Liesel growing up and her adventures with Rudy. I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of what genre you read.


Sign Up for Teen Read 2013!!


    Tuesday, June 4, is the first day to sign up for the Teen Summer Reading Program!  We have a new game card this year where you earn stamps and prizes.  We still want book reviews and will be giving out raffle tickets again this year.  Each branch will be giving away a kindle for the raffle prize - so make sure you read lots of books and collect those tickets!

Click here to see our teen events programs and calendar

Book Spotlight: Son by Lois Lowry

giver     Everyone remembers The Giver, that dystopian book by Lois Lowry that we all had to read in school? Children receive their lifetime assignments at the ceremony of 12 years.  When Jonas becomes the community's Receiver of memories, he discovers a terrible truth about the community he lives in.  20 years later, Lois Lowry has answered questions about what happened to Jonas and the baby he was protecting in a sequel called Son.

son   In Son by Lois Lowry, Claire has been assigned the job of Birthmother in her small community but unlike the other birthmothers, she becomes attached to her baby and feels a terrible loss when he is taken away.  When things don't go as planned for the child, Claire goes to extreme measures to find and rescue her son.  You can't go wrong with Lois Lowry and this book is well-written, unpredictable, and exciting!  Claire's life has such a roller-coaster of feelings, it is impossible to put the book down.  Read or re-read The Giver first if you can - to better understand Claire's community.

This book was nominated for the YALSA Top Ten books of 2013!

To learn more about YALSA's Top Ten books, click here

To see the list of nominated books, click here

Rohnert Park's Teen Read Display

The Rohnert Park library has a Sneak Peek display set up for summer reading. Teens can scope out the newly designed game card and rules for Teen Read 2013 where a kindle is the grand prize!

Rohnert Park is also hosting their third Teen Challenge where teens can examine books that have been hacked up and placed in jars and try to guess which books they are.RPTeenread

The Hunt Series by Andrew Fukuda

hunt     1. The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

     17-year-old Gene has lived alone since he was 10.  His family was killed by vampires who have taken over civilization.  It is only by his careful planning and following of society rules that he has managed to live among them, undetected.  Now he has been selected to participate in a hunt for the few remaining humans in captivity.  This exciting and fast-paced book kept me turning pages and sneaking every chance to read on.  I had to read the sequel, too!

prey     2. The Prey by Andrew Fukuda

     Now Gene finds himself running for his life along with the other humans from the hunt.  Is there anywhere safe from the vampires who have taken over civilization?  Gene and the others find a place that seems like the answer until more and more sinister things keep happening.  I rarely like sequels as much as the first book but this one was just as exciting with lots of plot twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat!

trap     3. The Trap by Andrew Fukuda

     This book comes out in November and I can't wait!  I will certainly be buying it for the library and, hopefully, among the first to put a hold on it!  If the first two books in this Trilogy were any indication, this one is bound to be a page-turner and full of surprises.


Safari Animals!

Do you love safari animals?!?  If you do, this oversize coffee book is for you!


Teen Book Review: Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe

welcomechloe Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

Review by Anna, Sonoma Valley Branch

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelly Coriell is about a popular and bubbly girl that gets kicked to the curb from her supposedly best friends. Chloe, who’s had a golden ticket to high school the whole time she’s been there, now is forced to find some new friends– and fast. When her great idea for her Junior Independent Study Project gets shot down, she’s forced to help the school radio station. Chloe finds strength in herself and learns that not everything is picture perfect, but that you can still laugh in any situation.

            I thought I wouldn’t like this book, but it surprised me in a good way. On first glance it may seem like it’s just about some popular girl’s petty problems, but it turned out to be deeper and more significant. Chloe really grew and matured during the course of the book, and I liked her much better at the end than I did in the beginning. I would recommend this to girls who like books about the usual high school drama. If you’re looking for a high-suspense novel, this isn’t it.


Teen Book Review: The Kill Order


The Kill Order by James Dashner

Review by Fallon, Northwest Branch

 In this sequel to The Maze Runner series, the sun flares hit the earth and the world falls into chaos. Teenage neighbors Mark and Trina are right in the the middle of. The Kill Order relates their struggle for survival from the time the sun flares hit to the present, a year later when an air ship comes down and kills the people in their village.
Why I picked it up: I was a huge fan of The Maze Runner series and my friend and I were super excited about the prequel coming out.
Why I finished it: I had to see if Mark and Trina(who are great characters) would survive the harsh conditions.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone who liked The Maze Runner series or any dystopian fiction.



Book Spotlights: Code Name Verity

codenameverity Book           codenameverityaudio Audio

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity on 9 CD's

Audio Book Review by Kathy, Library Branch Manager, Northwest Branch

Excellent historical fiction--ww2, two women's unlikely friendship but for the war; brought together--one a English "civilian" pilot for the war effort, the other an undercover agent/radio code operator, one of whom is captured by the nazis, the other finds herself working for the French resistance. Plausible, touching, with multiple plot twists conveyed via diary-like entries. Two strong female characters, who share laughter, tears and friendship.

I loved this book, the readers are excellent.

For those who liked "Between Shades of Gray" I'd recommend this.

2013 Teens' Top Ten Nominations

Read, read, read,
and then

for YOUR favorite book!!

YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association) has just announced this year's list of nominations for the Teen's Top Ten contest for 2013!

Teen book groups across the country have nominated their choices for this list, and now YOU, the teens of America, have until the end of summer to read, read, read them, in preparation for the VOTE.  During the months of August and September, voting is open (don't worry, we'll remind you).  Then the WINNERS of the Teens Top Ten will be announced during Teen Read Week in October.  Start reading today so you can have your say in August!

Here's the list of nominees:

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Albin, Gennifer. Crewel.
In a futuristic world, Spinsters are women with the power to weave everything into form, whether it be food, buildings, or peoples’ very lives. Adelice Lewys has this talent, and she is whisked away into a world of luxury and elegance because of it. Although it is often advertised at the perfect life, it is far from it as things are never how they seem.

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Banks, Anna. Of Poseidon
Emma has never really questioned her ability to communicate with fish, her strange violet eyes, or her awkwardness on land, but when her best friend, Chloe, dies in a shark attack and the attractive, mysterious Galen keeps showing up in her life, Emma soon learns that she belongs in a different world – one that is underwater. In the meantime, Galen, the prince of the Syrena, must learn why Emma seems to not quite fit in with either the humans or the Syrena while battling the strong attraction he feels towards her. As the relationship between the two develops, they are faced with difficult decisions between duty and desire that could lead to a huge change of Syrena history.

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Cabot, Meg. Underworld.  
In the second book of the Abandon series, Pierce Oliviera has been, yet again, kidnapped by John Hayden, the ruler of the Underworld. However, this time she can’t escape, and when she gets a video on her phone predicting her cousin, Alex’s, death, Pierce panics and begs John for help. She will do anything if only he will help her cousin out, including staying with him forever in the Underworld.

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Cashore, Kristin. Bitterblue.  
When her evil father King Leck dies, Bitterblue is made queen of a kingdom she knows nothing about. As she struggles to come to terms with both who she is and the legacy her father left on the city, Bitterblue tries to discover the secrets of her father's crimes by walking the streets of her own city in disguise. Filled with struggle, suspense and surprises,  will she be able to turn her kingdom into a better place?

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Cole, Kresley. Poison Princess. 
What really happens at the end of the world? Cannibals, Baggers, people try to sell you—and in this world, sixteen year old Evie is one of the few healthy teen girls. Evie sets out on a quest to find herself, all the while things heat up between her and Jackson, the troubled bad boy from across the tracks. She knows life will get even worse as she comes to realize that she isn’t like other people. Luckily or maybe unluckily for her, Jackson is the only one that can help her survive.

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Cooner, Donna. Skinny
Ever had always wanted to live in a fairy tale but with 302lbs weighing her down it's difficult to achieve. It's even harder with Skinny, her own private critic constantly belittling her. In this inspirational tale, Ever discovers the truth of learning how to overcome and accept the issues that plague her.

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Cross, Sarah. Kill Me Softly
After being raised her whole life by her fairy godmothers, Mirabelle runs away to the town where they said her parents had died at. But when she gets there, she starts to notice that this isn’t any ordinary town and that the teens that live here are fated to play out the Grimm’s fairy tales. So when Mira finds out that she, too has a role to play, it’s only a matter of time before her story could lose its happy ending.

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Damico, Gina. Croak
Lexington “Lex” Battleby is a juvenile delinquent who is sent to her uncle Mort’s after her latest stunt. Once there she discovers that she is a Grimm Reaper. She was born to have the ability to take the souls from dead bodies and send them to the afterlife. On the job, she feels the need for justice for the poor people, and as they aren’t allowed to do anything but transport the souls. As she deals with this struggle, her limits are tested as she discovers how far she will go to help the souls and herself.

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Fukuda, Andrew. The Hunt
For as long as he can remember, Gene’s father has always taught him how to keep a low profile so no one can notice that he’s different. He can't run as fast, he can go outside in the daytime, and he doesn't have a lust for blood. Gene is human and each day is a battle to keep his secret locked away or be devoured by everyone around him. When he is chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last few remaining humans, he is thrust into the fight of his life and into the orbit of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible. Little does he know however, she has a few secrets of her own.

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Harstad, Johan. 172 Hours on the Moon
When NASA holds a world-wide contest for returning to the moon, no one - not even the three teenage participants - can fathom what is really in store for them up on the airless, empty gray mass. Or is it truly empty...? Unbeknownst to them, what they find up there will change not only their lives, but the lives of everyone on Earth.

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Hartman, Rachel. Seraphina. 
Dragons and humans have finally achieved peace, and the anniversary celebration is fast approaching. For Seraphina Dombegh who is half dragon and half human, life is about blending in. However, a series of events will place her in the path of the Prince Lucian, Captain of the Queen’s Guard, and a hunt for a killer determined to start a war.

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Hocking, Amanda. Wake
Three mysterious girls have just blown into town and everyone has their eyes on them. Little does everyone know, they also have their eyes on the towns’ residences. Gemma in particular has caught their eyes and they want her. Little does Gemma know, she’s about to be thrown into a situation she might not be able to get out.

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Hopkins, Ellen. Tilt.  
Tilt tells the story of 3 teenagers, all wondering about who they are and how they fit into the world. One struggles with a teen pregnancy, another deals with AIDS while the last must overcome an abusive relationship. As things begin to change drastically, with them not in control, all they can do is hang on for the ride.

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Kontis, Alethea. Enchanted
Sunday loves to write stories, the only problem is that when she reads them aloud, they tend to come true. So when a frog claiming to be a cursed human comes along, he asks her to do two things, to read a few stories that won’t harm anyone and to kiss him. When you kiss an enchanted animal, or in this case- a frog, the enchanted will return to his true self. What Sunday doesn’t know is that if she kisses him, her life will change forever.

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LaFevers, Robin. Grave Mercy
Ismae is the daughter of the God of Death. After a near escape from her arranged marriage to a convent, Ismae is trained in the arts of a handmaiden of Death- assassination. Sent to the household of a possible traitor, Gavriel, Ismae begins to see glimpses of faults within her convent, and honor in the man she is sent to spy on. Despite any feelings or doubts, she knows her first duty is to Death, but she has to wonder, what will her duty cost her and the man she is coming to love?

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Lange, Erin Jade. Butter
Butter is a morbidly obese teenager who is sick of being invisible but who doesn’t really want to make a splash either. One day, he’s finally pushed over the edge, and he posts a blog about his last meal, the one that he plans will kill him. This blog post brings him instant popularity, making Butter happy for once in his life. But Butter knows that his life is still far from perfect, and he must struggle with himself to determine who he will be and what course his life will take.

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Laybourne, Emmy. Monument 14. 
Monument 14 is a book filled with terror, fear, and love, all inside a supermarket where 14 kids are trapped inside. They are unable to leave as a monster hailstorm has hit leading to variety of other disasters like a chemical weapon spill. Now they must find a way to escape their town Monument and get to safety in Alaska.

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Levithan, David. Every Day. 
A wakes up in a different body every day. It has always been that way for A and A has rules to live by, like not getting too involved in the person's life. Then A meets Rhiannon, the girlfriend of Justin, the boy whose body he is inhabiting. Suddenly, none of the rules apply because A has found himself falling for Rhiannon and she won’t leave A’s mind even after A has left Justin’s body…

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Lowry, Lois. Son.  
In this new branch of the dystopian story started by The Giver, we follow the life of Claire, a birthmother in Jonas’s community. When Claire gives birth and her baby is taken from her we see the first signs of emotion from someone besides Jonas in the community. In this riveting tale about the strength of a mother’s love, you’ll be whisked through an epic adventure of good vs. evil that explores the concepts of freedom, love, and sacrifice.

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Lyga, Barry. I Hunt Killers
Jazz is the son of an infamous serial killer and has witnessed crime scenes from the killer’s point of view. So when a body is discovered, Jazz wants to use the skills he knows to help find the killer. However, he’s not just trying to prove to other people that he’s not like his father; he’s also trying to prove it to himself despite what he already knows.

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McGarry, Katie. Pushing the Limits
Echo is a high school girl with “freaky” scars on her arms and no memory of how it happened. Noah is the high school stoner who uses girls and has no future. Over the course of their senior year, their lives will intersect in a way they never could have imagined, going through a journey that will prove to thems and each other that they are more than what their reputations demand.

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Nielsen, Jennifer. The False Prince
In a faraway land, civil war is brewing. To unify his kingdoms divided people, a nobleman named Conner devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him on the throne. Four orphans are forced to compete for the role, including a defiant and clever boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a swords point - he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. His rivals have their own agendas as well, so Sage must trust no one and keep his thoughts hidden. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of lies unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that may very well prove more dangerous than all the lies taken together.

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Picoult, Jodi. Between the Lines
Delilah is a lonely, straight-A, freshman student who is shunned by nearly everyone at her school except for her punk best friend, Jules. Her mother pushes her to get out more by making her join the swim team even though she always gets last place. Her father left her for another family and never visits. So it’s no wonder she would rather spend her days reading. She finds a fairy tale that she can’t stop reading and falls in the love with the prince of the story. Too bad he’s not real… or is he?

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Rhodes, Morgan. Falling Kingdoms. 
War is brewing and unrest is wide spread. The breaking point is a single incident in the dying nation of Paelsia. While three kingdoms battle for power, four young people find themselves greatly affected by it as they experience things like betrayal and war.

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Roth, Veronica. Insurgent
In the sequel to Divergent, Tris Prior is safe housing at the Amity compounds with her fellow survivors. With the whole city at war with its self and Jeannine looking for all the divergent, Tris must learn to embrace her own divergence and understand it, though it might prove a dangerous task.

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Speer, Scott. Immortal City
The Immortal City, where guardian angels only protect the richest people and it’s the hottest, trendiest thing to be an angel. Maddy doesn’t quite understand what all the hype on angels is about, but when the most desired angel, Jacks asks her for help, she finds out more about angels then she ever expected possible. Soon after, they immediately fall in love. But when someone threatens this love, what will they do about it?

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Stiefvater, Maggie. The Raven Boys
The Raven Boys is a thrilling adventure that captures you and takes you down the supernatural path with a daring girl named Blue, four complicated guys and one life-altering quest and mystery of finding the Glendower King. 

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Wein, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity
Verity is held captive by the Gestapo in 1943. She is told to reveal the secrets of the pilot who brought her to France or face the brutal consequences. As she does this, she weaves a story of an unlikely friendship and the bonds formed by it. Their tales intertwined form a suspenseful, breathtaking narrative of espionage - hope - horror - and friendship that spans untold secrets!