List! List! List!

It’s that time of year again!  People across the country are examining the books that were published in 2009 and making the “best of” lists.  Since we are about to embark on a new decade, there are lists for that too.  You may find something interesting to read on any of these lists.

Ten Most Underappreciated Teen Books of 2000-2009
This list is created by Reading Rants, a blog created by a teen librarian for teen readers. Favorite Books of the Year 2009
At teens review the books.  This list is the reviewers favorite books of 2009.

2009′s Best Young Adult Fiction (Mostly)
This list is generated by NPR.

Librarian Nancy Pearl’s 2009 Under-the-Radar Books
Nancy Pearl, a very well-known librarian, gives her top 2009 books.  Some books on this list are teen books!

Sometimes when you open a newspaper or listen to the news you hear nothing but depressing stories.  However, here is a list to make you smile.  The top 10 Happiest Endings from Newsweek.

Book Spotlight: Liar

liar.jpg Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Review by Tiffany, Rincon Valley Branch, Young Adult Librarian
When you start Liar, you know one thing right off the bat.  Micah, the
narrator, is a liar.  She tells you this, but she also says that you, the
reader, can trust her, because she won’t lie to you.  Micah starts telling
you her story about how she started the 9th grade and pretended to be a
boy and how she is the secret boyfriend of popular classmate Zach.  When
Zach is found murdered, you begin to question her story.  Is Micah telling
you the truth?  Is she somehow involved with Zach’s murder?  As the reader
you have to decide how much is true or false.  Can you trust Micah’s

Book Spotlight: Jinx

jinx.jpg Jinx by Meg Cabot
Review by Janet, Volunteer, Rincon Valley Library
Jean Honeychurch arrives on the doorsteps of her aunt and uncle’s New York city home, escaping a love-sick stalker.  This is just one in a series of mishaps in Jean’s life that has earned her the nickname Jinx.  But life in a cozy Manhattan apartment isn’t all it is cracked up to be.  Her cousin Tory – or rather Torrence, as she insists on being called, is making life quite difficult for Jean.  She insists that Jean and herself are descendants of a bonafied witch, a talent for magic that passes to the first born daughter of every generation.  But thist ime, she thinks there may be two witches.  She insists that Jean join her coven, but when she refuses and seems to be growing closer to Zac, Torry’s neighbor and long time crush — things begin to get a bit ugly.  Will Jean delve into her magical past to protect herself and those she loves or will she become the victim of Torry’s dark interpretation of the craft?  Meg Cabot’s tale of witch craft, teenage love, and prep school recalls the cliquishness of Gossip Girl unified with the nineties movie on high school covens, The Craft.  The underdog driven plot is thoroughly enterataining.  Cute and compelling!

2010 Excellence in Nonfiction Award Shortlist!

Every year YALSA picks one book to represent the best nonfiction book for teens.  One of these books will be the 2010 winner!

almost.jpg Almost Astronauts:  13 Women Who Dared to Dream
by:  Tanya Lee Stone

“In the early 1960s, the doctor in charge of testing NASA’s astronauts decided to find out if female pilots were capable of passing the grueling qualification tests required of male pilots.  Feasible?  Yes.  Allowed?  No.  All testing of women’s potential for the Mercury program was done outside NASA’s purview and without their permission.  The reasons why will stun readers.”

charles.jpg Charles and Emma:  The Darwins’ Leap of Faith
by:  Deborah Heiligman

“After creating a list of pros and cons of marriage, science-minded Charles Darwin chooses to marry his strictly religious first cousin.  Little does he know that he is about to embark upon the most loving, creative, and intellectually important relationship of his life.”

Claudette Colvin:  Twice Toward Justice claudette-colvin.jpg
by:  Phillip Hoose

“Hoose recounts the largely untold story of Claudette Colvin, who was arrested and jailed at the age of 15 after refusing to relinquish her seat on a bust to a white woman.  Intereviews with Colvin create a vivid picture not only of the Montgomery bus boycott but also the Browder v. Gayle case, in which she was a key defendant.”

The Great and Only Barnum great.jpg
by:  Candace Fleming

“Thrill to the audacity!  Gasp at the hucksterism!  Come one, come all to the jaw-dropping, larger-than-life biography of expert humbugger, relentless curiosity seeker, and unparalleled showman P.T. Barnum.

written.jpg Written in Bone:  Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland
by:  Sally M. Walker

“By presenting a detailed examination into the work of different types of forensic archaeology at excavations in both Jamestown, Virginia, and Colonial Maryland, readers are rewarded with both a picture of this fascinating work and an appreciation for what it contributes to our knowledge of history.”

Book summaries are provided by YALSA at

 YALSA Contest!

YAlSA wants YOU to make a book trailer for one of these books.  What is a book trailer?!?  A book trailer is just like a movie trailer but for a book.  Its a book review in pictures.


Here’s what you need to know:

  • The winner will receive a box of books plus $100 giftcard to a bookstore!
  • Any teen or group of teens (4 maximum) aged 13 to 18 can enter.
  • All videos must be original work
  • There is no fee for submitting the entry
  • The entry form must be submitted by Jan. 29, 2010
  • Videos must be uploaded to YouTube by midnight on Jan. 17, 2010

For more information please visit:

If you decide to submit a video let teenspace know!

Book Spotlight: Split in Two

split.jpg Split in Two:  Keeping It Together When Your Parents Live Apart
by:  Karen Buscemi

Its hard when your parents get a divorce.  Its even harder when your time is split between two different houses.  Split in Two is here to help.   This thin book is divided into 8 chapters of advice and solutions to common problems that teens have when their time is divided between two parents.

  1. The Daily Shuffle:  Analyzing Your New (or Not-So-New) Arrangement
  2. The Family Bargaining Table:  Learning How to Get What You Need
  3. Your Room – and Your Other Room:  Making It Feel Like Home in Both Houses
  4. I’m Supposed to Be Where When?:  Dealing with Your Crazy Schedule
  5. The Life of an Intrepid Traveler:  Learning How to Pack and Haul It All
  6. Cash Control:  Creating Some Financial Independence
  7. Parent Patrol:  Keeping the Adults on Track
  8. Now What?:  Moving Forward with Your Life

Teen Book Review: Hush, Hush

hush-hush.jpg Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Review by Nina, Sonoma Valley, 8th grade
Hush, Hush was written by Becca Fitzpatrick.  It is a story similar to Twilight but instead of a vampire, there is a fallen angel.  The story is about Nora Grey and how she comes to love Patch.  After he becomes her biology partner she becomes attracted to him but feels uneasy.  She goes through a few experiences where it seems like she has a stalker but keeps forgetting the details.  In this story, Nora has to make decisions about who to trust and what to do.  These decisions could cost her, her life.

The story starts off a little uninteresting, but as you read the plot develops and you get drawn into it.  This book is great for people who like Twilight and others who like books about mythical creatures.  I thought this book was overall, very good and an interesting book to read.

Do you want to become a teenspace book reviewer?  Just email Tiffany at for details!

Book Spotlight: Uglies

uglies.jpg Uglies by Scott Westerfeld Review by Janet, Volunteer, Rincon Valley Library In a futuristic earth, destroyed by man's manipulation of nature, a new society emerges where all physical flaws are eradicated.  Upon their sixteenth birthday, every teenager is transformed from the "Ugly" appearance they are born with into a supermodel perfect "Pretty".  Tally Youngblood is approaching this surgical milestone, in fact she is even looking forward to it!  That is until she meets Shay, a scrawny tom-boy who rides hoverboards and likes to perform "Uglie" pranks.  Together, they pass the time before their surgeries bungee jumping off of buildings and sneaking out on hoverboards to ride the dangerous metal roller coaster in the Rusty Ruins.  On the eve of their transformations, Shay abandons Tally in pursuit of a secret society called the Smoke- a renegade band of survivors who have decided to live off the grind-and remain UGLY for life!  Moments before her surgery, Tally is taken away by cruelly disfigured special agents, whose pretty faces are stretched into menacing dimensions and whose enhanced strength and speed makes escape impossible.  Tally is given an ultimatum infiltrate and expose the citizens of the Smoke or be denied her surgery FOREVER!  Will she learn to love the freedom, hard work, and appreciation of all things natural at the Smoke or will she turn in Shay and her new friends, in the pursuit of beauty that is only skin deep.  Read Uglies, the first book in Scott Westerfeld's trilogy of the same name to find out!