Book Spotlight: The Ask and The Answer

ask.jpgChaos Walking Trilogy Book 2: The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness
Review by Rachel, Library Associate, Healdsburg Branch
If you haven’t read Book One in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go, stop reading this right now and read that book. If you have not read The Knife of Never Letting Go, this second book in the trilogy, The Ask and The Answer, will make absolutely no sense. If you have read the first book, the sequel is a must read. The previous book left readers at a tremendous cliff hanger moment where the next book picks up. The city now known as New Prentisstown is in a shambles as the new mayor takes control. Todd and Viola are wrenched apart, forced into separate worlds as they fight to find each other. Violent, gripping, disturbing, with heart pounding tension, this sequel doesn’t let up one bit. It’s hard to talk about the plot of this book without giving anything away – suffice to say that if you enjoy books that ask, “What if?” – books that distort your perceptions, that make you think and question what motivates people, the Chaos Walking series is for you.

Teen Book Review: Perfect Chemistry

perfect.jpg Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Review by Zoe, Rohnert Park
I loved this book so much! Simone Elkeles is an amazing author! I bought this book on a whim and I am so glad I decided to get it. It was a sweet heart warming story with twists and turns that will make you feel the emotions that the characters feel. The way this book is written allows you to see inside the two main characters heads, I normally don’t like books like that. But Simone wrote is well-enough to where I love the way its written, and I love that I know what the characters are thinking. I strongly recommend this book, it was marvelous.

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week is here!  ALA (American Library Association) celebrates the freedom to read and our 1st Amendment rights by highlighting the books that were censored in libraries  across the country.  Books are censored for various reasons and ALA provides the top 3 reasons books are banned:
1.  the material was considered to be “sexually explicit”
2.  the material contained “offensive language”
3.  the material was “unsuited to any age group”

Recently a popular author, Ellen Hopkins,  not only had her books removed from a school library in Oklahoma but the principal also canceled her school visit.  The school administration had a problem with her books because they contained drug use.  She talks about this incident on her blog at

Some very popular books are challenged and banned every year.  You can read more about this on ALA Banned Books Week Website.   Here is a sample of some of the books:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
ttfn by Lauren Myracle
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullma
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Renniso
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

 Celebrate your Freedom to Read and Read a Banned Book Today!

Book Spotlight: The Morgue and Me

index.jpgThe Morgue and Me by John C. Ford
Review by Rachel, Healdsburg Library, Library Associate
It’s the summer after graduation and Christopher needs a job to save money before he ships off to college in the fall. Christopher has some unusual interests, the least of which are spying, sleuthing and espionage. What better way to gain skills in the arts of spying than to work in a morgue? Okay, that’s a stretch, but Christopher’s new line of work quickly leads him to some strange evidence involving the death of a ne’re-do-well named Mitch Blaylock. With his trusty camera in hand and the help of a smokin’ hot newspaper reporter named Tina, Christopher discovers that the people he thought he knew in his small Michigan town are not quite what they seem. A great mystery that really keeps you guessing, The Morgue and Me might be best enjoyed by older teens and adults due to language and under aged drinking. I liked that the story was complex enough to keep me wondering how all the clues would tie up in the end but not so complicated that I lost interest.

Blogfest 2009

Blogfest 2009 has started!!  What is Blogfest 2009?  Its 40 teen authors answering 14 questions in 2 weeks on 1 blog.  Blogfest 2009 started today and runs until October 4th.  Authors have already started to answer the question “What made you start writing?”  Here is a sample of some of the questions:
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Have you ever just wanted to give up?
What hobbies do you have?

Some of the best Young Adult authors are participating in Blogfest 2009.
Holly Black author of Tithe:  a modern faerie tale
Kate Brian author of Private & Privilege Series
Deb Caletti author of Honey, Baby, Sweetheart and more
Ellen Hopkins author of Crank, Burned, Impulse and more
D.J. MacHale author of Pendragon Series
Neal Shusterman author of Unwind and more
Scott Westerfeld author of Peeps, Uglies trilogy and more

If you ever wanted to know more about your favorite author check out Blogfest 2009!

Book Spotlight: Sam Stern’s Get Cooking

sam.jpg Sam Stern’s Get Cooking
Sam Stern is a famous teenage chef in England.  He loves eating and cooking food.  Sam Stern’s Get Cooking is his third book and now available to you at the library.  This cookbook has good, easy recipes with lots of great pictures.  If you enjoy cooking you might want to take a peek at this book.

The recipes are divided into eight different sections:  Tomatoes, Cheese, Pasta, Veg, Meat, Potatoes, Chocolate and Sweet Stuff.  Some of the recipes include:  Dough Balls & Tomato-Chili Salsa, My-Style Chicken Parmigiana, Cheese & Potato Pizza, Spaghetti with Oil, Garlic & Chili, Lime Chicken, Excellent Chocolate Truffle Bars, and more.

Want to know more about Sam Stern?
Check out his website at

Book Spotlight: PostSecret

Frank Warren, the creator of PostSecret, started an art project in November 2004.  It was simple, he handed out postcards asking people to send him their secret.  It can be any secret as long as it was true and something they have never told anyone.  He was surprised when he received thousands upon thousands of postcards telling him a secret.  He has compiled some of the postcards and displayed them in art shows, other postcards are posted to a website, and others were compiled into books.  The secrets are funny, serious and sad.  Its amazing how creative the postcards are.  The library owns PostSecret, the original book and My Secret.  My Secret compiles secrets from high schoolers and college students.   Anyone can share a secret.  If you want to send your postcard to:  PostSecret, 13345 Copper Ridge Road, Germantown, Maryland 20874.  Will you send in your secret for art?!?

 post.jpg mysecret.jpg

The Press Democrat’s Teen Life

Every Tuesday The Press Democrat publishes a page in the “C” Section called Teen Life.  Teen Life features a Teen Face and Point of View, an essay written by a teen for teens.  The Rincon Valley Library has created a binder for all the Teen Life pages.  Or you can read The Teen Face online at

The Press Democrat is open to any teen nominations for Teen Face and original essays by teens for Point of View.  You can send your nominations to Teen Life c/o George Manes, The Press Democrat, P.O. Box 910, Santa Rosa, 95402.

Take a minute or two to check out what other local teens are doing in your area.