• Stack of Magazines

    Freedom to read what, when, where you want!

Guys Read... Digital Magazines?

Q: Absolute best part about summer?  

A: You can read WHATEVER you feel like!  Magazines, graphic novels, read something ridiculous, tackle a tome, absorb audiobooks, or read online--you can do YOU all summer long!

One of the most frequent comments we hear from teenagers throughout the year is that either, 1) they don’t have time to read (too much homework), or, 2) the ‘classics’ that they are assigned to read and analyze for high school classes (possibly the same ones their parents read in high school) are sucking the life out of them…

This, my friends, is one of the most beautiful aspects of the sunny season (next to sleeping in of course!): the freedom to choose what, when, and how you read!  Not a “reader”?  Never fear... we have something for EVERYONE.  Have you checked out our list of incredible magazines that you can access at home--without ever leaving the comfort of your bedroom that you may or may not have cleaned like the adult(s) requested? 

Wait... FREE digital magazines accessible 24/7 from anywhere?

GQ, Car & Driver, Rolling Stone, The Economist, Outside, Popular Science, Men’s Journal, Esquire, ESPN, The Week, WIRED, National Geographic, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, iD (Ideas and Discoveries), Field & Stream, High Times, The Atlantic, Backcountry, Dirt Rag, Poets & Writers, PC Gamer, Popular Mechanics, Motor Trend, National Geographic Traveler, Four Wheeler, Guitar Player, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Newsweek

Want Access?

Follow these easy steps: 1. Click here to register on the RBdigital website, 2. Download the free app on your phone or tablet, 3. Enter your library card number, 4. Enjoy!

For anyone who asks... YES, of course enjoying magazines counts as reading!  

Don’t have internet at home?  No worries--we've got you.  Come in and check out our new Hublets (tablets) located at various branches.  You can sit in one of our comfy chairs, tablet & digital magazine in hand, and relax for as long as you wish.  Got questions or need a book recommendation?  Ask one of our friendly YA Librarians at your favorite branch of the Sonoma County Library, they're waiting to help you find exactly what you're looking for!

Created By Rosalie C. Abbott, MLIS, Sebastopol Regional Library
  • Evening Lights of Vienna photo

    Evening Lights of Vienna

Salzburg, Vienna, & Budapest? Young musicians take on the world!

Young adults across Sonoma County are constantly striving for excellence. From athletics to AP classes, from activism to community service--teens everywhere are beyond busy. We'd like to take a moment to recognize all of the young musicians in Sonoma County. From bands to orchestras, from Bodega Bay to the city of Sonoma, we have young players who are continuously working on their craft.  Most people would be shocked by the amount of practice and rehearsal time that goes into playing a concert well. Each young person who picks up an instrument and continues with it will experience an affection for music that fluctuates between torture, dedication, obsession, and addiction. Being a musician is definitely a labor of love.

Right now, many of our county's young musicians of the highest caliber, are preparing to go on a tour to Europe this summer. The Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra will be venturing to various cities in Hungary and Austria this June of 2018. This is an incredible honor and has yet again proven the unwavering dedication and focus that students can have--particularly when they are supported by phenomenal educators. 

Below is a curated list of books that are relevant to the tour... read about cities that our young adults will be visiting, check out books on the composers who lived in those areas, and more. Going on the tour?  Check them out! Wishing you were going on a tour? Why not live vicariously!


2018 Europe Tour / Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra / Reading List

Contents: Books (cities, travel, history, composers, desserts, etc.), & a few digital resources just for fun.


Hungary & Budapest: travel, historical perspective~

Hungary, by Barbara Olszanska, 2018

Budapest & Hungary, by Steve Fallon, 2017

Rick Steves' Budapest, by Rick Steves, 2017

The Rough Guide to Budapest, by Charles Hebbert, 2018

Raoul Wallenberg: the man who stopped death, by Sharon Linnea, 1993 

The Burning of the World: a memoir of 1914, by Bela Zombory-Moldovan, 2014 

Kaffeehaus: exquisite desserts from the cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague, by Rick Rodgers, 2002

Austria, Vienna, & Salzburg: travel, historical perspective~

Rick Steves' Vienna, Salzburg, & Tirol, by Rick Steves, 2017

Fodor's Vienna and the Best of Austria: with Salzburg..., by Fodor's Travel Guides, 2018

Austria, by Teresa Czerniewicz-Umer, 2018

Vienna, by Anthony Haywood, 2017

The Political Orchestra: the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics during the Thrid Reich, by Fritz Trumpi, 2016

Gustav Klimt at Home, by Patrick Bade, 2017

Vienna 1900: art, architecture, and design, by Kirk Varnedoe, 1986


Why Mahler?: how one man and ten symphonies changed our world, by Norman Lebrecht, 2010

Mahler: his life and music, by Stephen Johnson, 2007

Mozart: the man revealed, by John Suchet, 2017

Mozart: a cultural biography, by Robert Gutman, 1999

Mozart: the early years, 1756-1781, by Stanley Sadie, 2006

Mozart: his life and music, by Jeremy Siepman, 2006

The New Grove Mozart, by Stanley Sadie, 2002

Schubert's Vienna, by Raymond Erickson, 1997

Franz Schubert: an essential guide to his life and works, by Stephen Jackson, 1996

Franz Schubert, by Wendy Thompson, 1991

Sonata: a memoir of pain and the piano, by Andrea Avery, 2017 

Schubert: the music and the man, by Brian Newbould, 1997

The New Grove Haydn, by James Webster, 2002

Haydn: his life and times, by Neil Butterworth, 1980

Haydn: a creative life in music, by Carl Geiringer, 1982

Beethoven: anguish and triumph - a biography, by Jan Swafford, 2014

Beethoven: the man revealed, by John Suchet, 2013

Beethoven: the universal composer, by Edmund Morris, 2005

Beethoven's Eroica: the first great romantic symphony, by James Hamilton-Paterson, 2017

Bruchner, by Hans-Huber Schonzeler, 1970

Liszt: the artist as romantic hero, by Eleanor Perenyi, 1974

The Man Liszt; a study of the tragicomedy of a soul divided against itself, by Earnest Newman, 1970

The Lives of the Great Composers, by Harold Schoenberg, 1997

Folk Music of Hungary, by Zoltan Kodaly, 1960

And a few... Digital Resources...

(use your Sonoma County Library Card to access)

Budapest, by Steve Fallon, 2015 (Hoopla eBook)

Budapest 1900, by John Lukacs, 2012 (Hoopla eBook)

Salzburg Austria (Hoopla TV)

Franz Schubert (Hoopla eAudiobook)

Franz Schubert (Hoopla Music)

Four Symphonies in Full Score by Franz Schubert (Hoopla eBook)

Zoltan Kodaly (Hoopla Music) 


Stay tuned for the Bon Voyage Concert: Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra, Saturday, June 16 at 3:00 pm, Weill Hall, Green Music Center

For more information, or help to find additional resources, please call or visit the enthusiastically helpful librarians at your nearest branch of the Sonoma County Public Library! 

Created by Rosalie Abbott, MLIS, Sebastopol Regional Library 

  • Delicious French Fries

    “Consent is as easy as FRIES.”

#metoo, #timesup, and the Definition of Consent

”Consent is as easy as FRIES: Freely Given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, and Specific.” -Planned Parenthood

Q: What is ’consent’?

A: "Consent is not the absence of 'no', it is an enthusiastic YES!"

The answer above is a quote from What Does Consent Really Mean? a new graphic novel that has arrived in several of our Young Adult sections across the county.  

Our friend Webster (the dictionary of course), makes it seem so simple: “intransitive verbto give assent or approval: agree.”  If it’s really that basic, then how has a hashtag become a nationwide (and beyond) movement resulting in thousands upon thousands of women, trans individuals, and men all divulging long closeted secrets of abuse... and the corresponding consequences of tarnished reputations, loss of employment, court cases, and even prison sentences?

The reality is, there is no simple answer, magic wand, or bandage that will ‘make it all better’.  What we can do is read, observe, listen, educate & advocate for ourselves and each other, and move forward into a future where everyone understands that an ‘enthusiastic yes’ is an essential ingredient in our relationships of all types.

Speaking of reading................... (hint, hint!)

Interested in checking out some #metoo fiction? 

Immerse yourself in our Teen Book Lists page and scroll down to the #metoo booklist carousel for some relevant reads.

Additionally, listed below are several important resources for teens & young adults.  It might not hurt to program these numbers in your phone right now so that you will be prepared if/when a friend or someone you know needs help.

-24 Hour Suicide Prevention Hotline

-S.A.Y 24/7 Hotline, Teen Shelter, Resources

-Verity: compassion, safety, support (sexual abuse/assault hotline)

-Forestville Teen Clinic

Note: These are examples of help that is available to you—there are additional organizations accessible countywide.  If you need help/information/resources, don’t hesitate to reach out.  Ask the open-minded Young Adult Librarian at your favorite branch of the Sonoma County Library.  We’re here for you!

Post by Rosalie C. Abbott, Sebastopol Regional Library

  • Spiderman Action Figure

    Consider this your cordial invitation to LumaCon!

Our Favorite Worlds Collide at LumaCon!

Our favorite worlds will collide this Saturday at LumaCon 2018!  

Join us! 

Librarians have been furiously conspiring with young adults to create a savagely fun event for you to enjoy.  You will have the opportunity to meet authors and illustrators, enjoy chalk talks and Cosplay, FanWar, LARPing, an Artists’ Alley, activities & crafts, and check out exhibitors & vendors.

Librarians love to collaborate, especially with other community partners who are all working to make Sonoma County (and the world!) a more creative and literate place for everyone. The power players who are making it all happen are: the Petaluma Regional Library (a branch of the Sonoma County Library), the Casa Grande High School Library, and the Petaluma High School Library.  Here’s a shoutout to all of the superhero librarians, young adults, community volunteers, and Friends of the Petaluma Library who are making this fantastic event a reality for the youth of Sonoma County!

Here’s a peek at the schedule, but there is SO MUCH MORE:

(More Info: www.lumacon.net)


Date: 1/27/18

Time: 10 AM - 4 PM

Location: Lucchesi Center, Petaluma, CA

Costumes? Absolutely!

Note: 2018 LumaCon Logo Artwork by contest winner Anna D.

Got Questions?  Ask the comical Young Adult Librarian at your local branch of the Sonoma County Library.

We are here for you!

Post by Rosalie C. Abbott, Sebastopol Regional Library


  • Young man and woman doing yoga on beach at sunset.

    Try something new, all of our programs are free!

Happy New Year!

Why not try something new in 2018?

The New Year is a perfect time of year to get a fresh start.  It's a time to gain perspective, create new goals, or just try something that you've never done before.  Are you up for the adventure?  

Young Adult Librarians across the county have been conspiring to create a season of opportunity for Teens... you'll be able to have some fun, learn new skills, and get connected.  Here are a few highlights of the activities that you can expect during the month of January at various branches of the Sonoma County Library!

Project Linus @ Windsor Regional Library on 1/2:

Project Linus is a nonprofit organization that provides blankets to children in need.  This program provides an opportunity for teens to help others as well as learn a new craft.  Teens individually or in pairs create knotted fleece blankets for donation to the local Linus Project chapter.

Teen Yoga @ Rohnert Park Library on 1/3, and @ the Sebastopol Regional Library on 1/31:

This class is specifically designed for teens, giving them an opportunity to work on strength and flexibility while relieving the stress of daily life. Classes build positive self awareness and self esteem through active yoga poses, balance work, partner games, breath work, and deep relaxation with music. This is the perfect break in between the busy worlds of school, friends, family, studying and partying. Join us to de-stress and power up! All Teens welcome.

At the Rincon Valley Branch, check out these fabulous opportunities:

Chess Club & Maker Space for Teens (soft electronic circuits anyone?)

What’s happening at the Petaluma Library this month? (Besides LUMACON of course?!)

CoderDojo, Homework Help, SAT Prep, Jam Session with SoCo Music...

Are you getting ready for National History Day?  Check this out at the Central Library:

National History Day Project Rx is a research open house.

  • Conduct primary and secondary research with the guidance of library staff.
  • Get one-on-one help from a History Day staff member.
  • Attend a mini-lesson on annotated bibliographies and/or thesis statements.
  • View sample projects.
  • Get pumped up about History Day!
We’ve also got Virtual Reality & Adventures in Coding at Healdsburg.  
These are just a few examples of the programs your Librarians have been preparing for you... and we’re just talking about January—there’s more to come!  So drop by, check out our online calendar, and try something NEW!

Got Questions?  Ask the enthusiastic Teen Librarian at your local branch of the Sonoma County Library for more information, or to sign up for one of these interesting and fun programs!

Post by Rosalie C. Abbott, Sebastopol Regional Library
  • Teen with book and coffee.

    Here's the number one reason why we loved 2017!

Best (Young Adult) Books of 2017

The holiday season can be an opportunity to celebrate and spend plenty of quality time with family and friends—offering more ‘togetherness’ than you even thought was possible.  It can also be an excellent time to hide out (alone!) with an enthralling book.  Amidst a year of political, cultural, and economic upheaval... one incredibly positive thing that occurred during 2017 is that truckloads of fantastic new Young Adult fiction titles were published.  

Need to find a captivating book to read during winter break?  As always, we’ve got your back.  Use your library card and try out NovelistPlus. This powerful resource helps readers to search for their next perfect read. It allows you to use a favorite author or title as a guide to locate other authors and titles that you will love. (sonomalibrary.org->research->databases->novelistplus)

Additionally, here are a few lists of the hottest 2017 YA fiction books...  you’re welcome!

Best YA Fiction - Goodreads Choice Awards

Best YA Fiction - Vulture

Best YA Fiction - Seventeen Magazine

Best YA Fiction - YALSA

Best YA Fiction - Paste

Best YA Fiction - Time Magazine

Best YA Fiction - POPSUGAR

Best YA Fiction - Brightly

Best YA Fiction - TeenVogue

Best YA Fiction - Amazon

Best Books - NPR

Click here for the link to our Library Catalog where you can find most of these titles for free!

Got Questions?  Ask one of our approachable & attentive YA Librarians at your nearest branch of the Sonoma County Library.

Post by Rosalie C. Abbott, Sebastopol Regional Library

  • Multiple Computer screens, high tech, binary code

    The Debate Over Net Neutrality

Can You Be Neutral About ‘Net Neutrality’? (Points of View)

What is Net Neutrality:

“Internet, or "net," neutrality is the idea that Internet users should have equal access to all Internet content and that corporations and government agencies should not restrict access to Internet sites or services. The debate began in the early 2000s, and the term "net neutrality" was first coined by Columbia University law professor Tim Wu in 2003. The net neutrality debate covers both government regulations that censor Internet content and efforts by Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict or reduce access to certain sites and services to increase their profits.” (Isuit)

Why Does it Matter Now?

“The Federal Communications Commission will vote Dec. 14 on a plan to undo the landmark 2015 rules that had placed Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon under the strictest-ever regulatory oversight.” (Selyukh)

Gaining Perspective:

The Sonoma County Library has an excellent online resource where you may read about controversial topics to become more well informed. ‘Points of View’ offers topic overview, critical analysis, as well as both point and counterpoint arguements.  Go to: www.sonomalibrary.org -> Research -> Databases -> Points of View (library card & pin)

Not sure where to begin?  Ask the Young Adult Librarian at your local branch of the Sonoma County Library.  

We’re here for you.

Post By Rosalie C. Abbott / Sebastopol Regional Library

Works Consulted:

-Points of View: Internet Neutrality 9/30/2016, p1-1. 1p.

-FCC Unveils Plan to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/21/565682679/fcc-unveils-plan-to-repeal-net-neutrality-rules

Black Voices, Black Lives

Black books matter... and not just in February.

People, Woman, Happy, Black American

Did you know that books are powerful tools of social justice? 

Books hold a place in our culture as mirrors, windows, and doors.

Everyone should be able to walk into a library and see books that mirror their own life experiences.  “When [people] cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part.” (Bishop) 

Books allow the reader to look through the lens of a window and delve into a world different from their own, offering opportunities for greater understanding and empathy with others. 

Reading can also be a way of actually stepping through 'sliding glass doors' into a reality that you never even knew existed.

Below you'll find a list of various titles by/for/about black lives and experiences.  Go ahead...  look in the mirror.  Open the window, and walk through the door.  It's worth the scroll.

Purple Hibiscus

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi


Library Call Number:  ADICHIE

In the city of Egunu, Nigeria, fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a somewhat cloistered life. Their father is a wealthy businessman, they live in a beautiful home, and attend private school. But, through Kambili's eyes, we see that their home life is anything but harmonious. Her father, a fanatically religious man has impossible expectations of his children and his wife, and if things don't go his way he becomes physically abusive. Not until Kambili and Jaja are sent away from home for the very first time to visit their loving aunt, does Kambili's world begin to blossom. But when a military coup threatens to destroy the country, the tension in her family's home escalates, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.

He Said, She Said

Alexander, Kwame


Library Call Number:  Y ALEXANDER

When a popular football 'playa' and ladies man and the smartest girl in school lead a school protest, sparks fly as their social media-aided revolution grows.


Booth, Coe


Library Call Number:  Y BOOTH

Fifteen-year-old Tyrell, who is living in a Bronx homeless shelter with his spaced-out mother and his younger brother, tries to avoid temptation so he does not end up in jail like his father.

The Skin I’m In

Flake, Sharon


Library Call Number:  Y FLAKE

Thirteen-year-old Maleeka, uncomfortable because her skin is extremely dark, meets a new teacher with a birthmark on her face and makes some discoveries about how to love who she is and what she looks like.

Fake ID

Giles, L.R.


Library Call Number:  YM GILES

An African-American teen in the Witness Protection Program moves to a new town and finds himself trying to solve a murder mystery when his first friend is found dead.


Jackson, Tiffany


Library Call Number:  Y JACKSON

When Mary, a teenager living in a group home, becomes pregnant, authorities take another look at the crime for which Mary was convicted when she was nine years old.

The First Part Last

Johnson, Angela


Library Call Number:  Y JOHNSON

Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.

Don’t Fail Me Now

LaMarche, Una


Library Call Number:  Y LAMARCHE

Interracial half-siblings come together for the first time and embark on a cross-country road trip to confront their absentee father before he dies.

How It Went Down

Magoon, Kekla


Library Call Number:  Y KEKLA

When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson is shot to death, his community is thrown into an uproar because Tariq was black and the shooter, Jack Franklin, is white, and in the aftermath, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events agree.

This Way Home

Moore, Wes


Library Call Number:  Y MOORE

Elijah, seventeen, has always been sure of just one thing--basketball--and believes it will be his way out of West Baltimore, but when gang violence knocks him down, helping a veteran repair his rickety home helps Elijah see what really matters.

Not Otherwise Specified

Moskowitz, Hannah


Library Call Number:  Y MOSKOWITZ

Auditioning for a New York City performing arts high school could help Etta escape from her Nebraska all-girl school, where she's not gay enough for her former friends.


Myers, Walter Dean


Library Call Number:  Y MYERS

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

Darius & Twig

Myers, Walter Dean


Library Call Number:  Y MYERS

Two best friends, a writer, and a runner deal with bullies, family issues, social pressures, and their quest for success coming out of Harlem.


Older, Daniel Jose


Library Call Number:  Y OLDER

When the murals painted on the walls of her Brooklyn neighborhood start to change and fade in front of her, Sierra Santiago realizes that something strange is going on--then she discovers her Puerto Rican family are shadowshapers and finds herself in a battle with an evil anthropologist for the lives of her family and friends. *Book #1 in the series


Quick, Matthew


Library Call Number:  Y QUICK

Finley, an unnaturally quiet boy who is the only white player on his high school's varsity basketball team, lives in a dismal Pennsylvania town that is ruled by the Irish mob, and when his coach asks him to mentor a troubled African American student who has transferred there from an elite private school in California, he finds that they have a lot in common in spite of their apparent differences.

All American Boys

Reynolds, Jason


Library Call Number:  Y REYNOLDS

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints.

Long Way Down

Reynolds, Jason


Library Call Number:  Y REYNOLDS

As Will, at fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.

Reynolds, Jason


Library Call Number:  Y REYNOLDS

Brooklyn Visions Academy student Miles Morales may not always want to be a superhero, but he must come to terms with his identity--and deal with a villainous teacher--as the new Spider-Man.

True Story*

Simone, Ni-Ni


Library Call Number:  Y SIMONE

Just as Seven McKnight moves on from ex-boyfriend Josiah Whitaker, he steps back into her life, and Seven must decide between her old feelings and her new relationship with Zaire St. James. *Book #1 in the Ni-Ni Girl Chronicles series.

Monster:  a graphic novel

Sims, Guy

Graphic Novel

Library Call Number:  YG SIMS

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

Dear Martin

Stone, Nic


Library Call Number:  Y STONE

Writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seventeen-year-old college-bound Justyce McAllister struggles to face the reality of race relations today and how they are shaping him.


Thomas, Angie


Library Call Number:  Y THOMAS

After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

Piecing Me Together

Watson, Renee


Library Call Number:  Y WATSON

Tired of being singled out at her mostly-white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school's amazing Study Abroad program than join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.

Everything, Everything

Yoon, Nicola


Library Call Number:  Y YOON

The story of a teenage girl who's literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she's ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

American Street

Zoboi, Ibi


Library Call Number:  Y ZOBOI

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie -- a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola's mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit's west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?


The Griots of Oakland: Voices from the African American Oral History Project

Compiled and edited by Zusman, Angela


Library Call Number:  Y305.38896 GRI

What is it like being a young African American man? The media repeats the same stereotypes again and again, yet the reality is much more diverse. This eye-opening and beautifully presented book shares the voices and images of a group of young black men in Oakland, interviewed by their peers in a groundbreaking oral history project.

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: my story of the Selma Voting Rights March

by Lynda Blackmon Lowery


Library Call Number:  Y 323.1196 LOWERY

A 50th-anniversary tribute shares the story of the youngest person to complete the momentous Selma to Montgomery March, describing her frequent imprisonments for her participation in nonviolent demonstrations and how she felt about her involvement in historic Civil Rights events.

March.  Book One*

Lewis, John


Library Call Number:  Y 328.73 LEWIS

Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall. *Book #1 of a trilogy

The Port Chicago 50

by Steve Sheinkin


Library Call Number:  Y 940.54 SHEINKIN

Presents an account of the 1944 civil rights protest involving hundreds of African-American Navy servicemen who were unjustly charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after the deadly Port Chicago explosion.

Buck:  a memoir

Asante, Molefi


Library Call Number:  811 ASANTE

An account of the author's youth in Zimbabwe and in violent Philadelphia street gangs explores how his life was shaped by his father's absence, his brother's imprisonment, and his mother's and sister's struggles with mental illness.

Yummy: the last days of a Southside Shorty

By Greg Neri

Non-Fiction Graphic Novel

Library Call Number:  YG NERI

A graphic novel based on the true story of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, an eleven-year old African American gang member from Chicago who shot a young girl and was then shot by his own gang members.

People, Woman, African American, Tatoo 

Teenspace Blog References:

Post by Rosalie C. Abbott, Sebastopol Regional Library

Black Lives, Black Voices book list by Lara Mayelian, Rincon Valley Regional Library

Bishop, R.S. (1990a). Mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. Perspectives, 6(3), ix–xi.

Disaster and Resilience - A Teen Book List

Do you ever wonder what this world is coming to?  

One peek at the news or your Instagram feed, and it can feel like you just woke up to the apocalypse.  We've seen natural disasters reaching far around the globe and right here in our own backyards.  There's violence, terror, and... the list goes on.  During these times, when it seems like our reality can't possibly get any worse... it can be incredibly helpful to reach for examples of resilience, survival, strength, and courage.  Scroll down for a list of books (fiction and non-fiction) where young adults have been put to the test--mostly by natural disasters--and not only survive... they also thrive in the face of hardship and devastation.

Cover image for In darkness

In Darkness Lake, by Nick Lake, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y LAKE) "Shorty" is a Haitian boy trapped in the ruins of a hospital when the earth explodes around him. Surrounded by lifeless bodies and growing desperately weak from lack of food and water, death seems imminent. Yet as Shorty waits in darkness for a rescue that may never come, he becomes aware of another presence, one reaching out to him across two hundred years of history.

Cover image for Dark water

Dark Water, by Laura McNeal, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y MCNEAL) Living in a cottage on her uncle's southern California avocado ranch since her parent's messy divorce, fifteen-year-old Pearl Dewitt meets and falls in love with an illegal migrant worker, and is trapped with him when wildfires approach his makeshift forest home.

Cover image for All we have left

All We Have Left, by Wendy Mills, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y MILLS) In interweaving stories of sixteen-year-olds, modern-day Jesse tries to cope with the ramifications of her brother's death on 9/11, while in 2001, Alia, a Muslim, gets trapped in one of the Twin Towers and meets a boy who changes everything for her as flames rage around them.

Cover image for The memory of things

The Memory of Things, by Gae Polisner, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y POLISNER) On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first twin tower come down, then while fleeing home to safety, he finds a girl covered in ash who has no memory.

Cover image for Hurricane song

Hurricane Song, by Paul Volponi, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y VOLPONI) Twelve-year-old Miles Shaw goes to live with his father, a jazz musician, in New Orleans, and together they survive the horrors of Hurricane Katrina in the Superdome, learning about each other and growing closer through their painful experiences.

Cover image for Hold Tight, Don't Let Go

Hold tight, don't let go : a novel of Haiti, by Laura Rose Wagner, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y WAGNER) In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Nadine goes to live with her father in Miami while her cousin Magdalie, raised as her sister, remains behind in a refugee camp, dreaming of joining Nadine but wondering if she must accept that her life and future are in Port-au-Prince.

 a novel

Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward, Fiction (Library Call Number: WARD) Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.

 Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, by Don Brown, Non-Fiction (Library Call Number: Y 363.34 BROWN) On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage -- and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality.

 the true story of how I survived and escaped North Korea

Every falling star : the true story of how I survived and escaped North Korea, by Sungju Lee, Non-Fiction (Library Call Number: Y 951.9305 LEE) This is the memoir of a boy named Sungju who grew up in North Korea and, at the age of twelve, was forced to live on the streets and fend for himself after his parents disappeared. Finally, after years of being homeless and living with a gang, Sungju is reunited with his maternal grandparents and, eventually, his father.

Cover image for The bite of the mango

The Bite of the Mango, by Mariatu Kamara, Non-Fiction (Library Call Number: Y 966.404 KAMARA) When Mariatu set out for a neighborhood village in Sierra Leone, she was kidnapped and tortured, and both of her hands cut off. She turned to begging to survive. This heartrending memoir is a testament to her courage and resilience. Today she is a UNICEF Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

NOTE: This list was thoughtfully compiled for you by our *fabulous* Young Adult Librarian, Lara Mayelian, at the Rincon Valley Regional Library.  If you are looking for additional titles or need more recommendations, ask your friendly Teen Librarian at your local branch of the Sonoma County Library.  

We are here for you!

Post by Rosalie Abbott, Sebastopol Regional Library

Imagine if Teens Could Vote!

In today’s society, often times it might seem like teenagers don’t have a lot of control over their world.  Most teens have to keep their parent(s) and their teachers happy--tasks which basically add up to the equivalent of a full-time job.  Until they turn 18, voting in local & national elections isn’t possible.  So, where can young adults express their opinions and let their voices be heard?

Decorative image of shoes.

Here’s a little secret.  Young Adult Librarians across the country and all around the globe care about teens, and we always want to know what you think.  Here’s just one example.  We’ve listened to teenagers from around the world who recently voted on the top 10 young adult books from 2016… and we are happy to share the results here, check them out!

YALSA Official 2017 Teens’ Top Ten titles announced:

  1. Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan.

  1. Scythe by Neal Shusterman.

  1. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.

  1. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare.

  1. This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp.

  1. Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

  1. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West.

  1. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch.

  1. Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout.

  1. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo.

If you haven’t already read these titles, they just might be worth adding to your TBR list… at least, that’s what teens around the globe are telling us!  Meanwhile, keep reading those 2017 books so that you’ll be ready to submit your own nominations when the time is right.  

Got Questions?  

Ask your friendly Young Adult Librarian at your local branch of the Sonoma County Library!  

We are here for you.

Post by Rosalie Abbott, Sebastopol Regional Library