Celebrate Your Freedom to READ.

BAN Books? Let’s NOT!

At our Libraries, we’re always celebrating the freedom to read.  Did you know that Librarians are on the front lines of our democracy, standing up and fighting for open access to information and intellectual freedom on the daily?

Check this out.

You may have heard about this book…



Did you know that this was one of the most banned and challenged books of 2017?!

This is how one student took matters into her own hands:

‘Students are increasingly defending challenged material. When The Hate U Give was removed from shelves in Katy, Texas, 15-year-old Ny’Shira Lundy started a petition that garnered nearly 4,000 signatures and helped restore the book. “I feel like children should have the power to learn about what they want to learn about,” Lundy told the National Coalition Against Censorship. “But by [removing a book], we don’t have intellectual freedom, we don’t open the door to learn about the things that we would like to learn about.” - Ny’Shira Lundy, Literary Activist, bannedbooksweek.org

(NOTE: Read the book before you see the movie on or after 10/5! 

Find or Request The Hate U Give at the Sonoma County Library--or download it!  Bonus: Movie trailer)

Curious about becoming a Literary Activist… but not quite sure where to start?

TAKE ACTION: Inform YourselfReport CensorshipStand for the BannedDear Banned AuthorREAD.

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom - Top Ten Most Challenged Books

(Most of the titles below are considered Young Adult novels, however,

a few are meant for a younger audience…  younger siblings anyone?)

The Hate U Give, written by Angie Thomas

(Access: actual book, actual book Large Type, eAudiobook, eBook, book on CD)

Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for book on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curriculums because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug use, profanity, and offensive language.

Thirteen Reasons Why, written by Jay Asher

(Access: actual book, actual book in Spanish, eBook, eAudiobook, book on CD, DVD)

Originally published in 2007, this New York Times bestseller has resurfaced as a controversial book after Netflix aired a TV series by the same name. This YA novel was challenged and banned in multiple school districts because it discusses suicide.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, written by Sherman Alexie

(Access: actual book, eAudiobook, book on CD)

Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curriculums because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.

Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier

(Access: actual book, actual graphic novel, eBook).

This Stonewall Honor Award-winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”

The Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hosseini

(Access: actual book, actual graphic novel, actual book Large Type, eAudiobook, book on CD, DVD)

This critically acclaimed, multigenerational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”

George, written by Alex Gino

(Access: actual book, eAudiobook, eBook, book on CD)

Written for elementary-age children, this Lambda Literary Award winner was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.

Sex is a Funny Word, written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth.*

(Access: 10 copies of the actual book)

This 2015 informational children’s book written by a certified sex educator was challenged because it addresses sex education and is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”

To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee

(Access: actual book, eAudiobook, eBook, book on CD, book on Cassette, DVD)

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.

And Tango Makes Three, written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole

(Access: actual book, actual book in Spanish, eBook, book and CD)

Returning after a brief hiatus from the Top Ten Most Challenged list, this ALA Notable Children’s Book, published in 2005, was challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.

I Am Jazz, written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

(Access: 13 copies of the actual book)

This autobiographical picture book co-written by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.


Banned Books Week 2018 - Sonoma County Library

Created by Rosalie C. Abbott, MLIS, Sebastopol Regional Library


  • Teen with many books

What Books Rock Your World? Vote Now!

Adults have plenty of ideas about what Teen books are *fabulous*.  Ask any Young Adult Librarian. They will most likely enthusiastically share reviews and recommendations of every fantastic YA title that they have read so far this year--and last year... and the list could go ON AND ON!

BUT, have you ever been curious about which books rock the worlds of high school students across the nation?  Now is your chance to get a glimpse of the hottest YA Fiction--from the TEEN PERSPECTIVE. Listed below are titles nominated by teens from across the country who chose their favorite Young Adult titles of the previous year.  Interesting right?!  Not only that, you can also let the world know what your favorite YA books are by casting your vote online (link below).  Have you read all of the books that have been nominated to win bragging rights as potential TEENS' TOP TEN?

TEENS!  Vote for your favorite YA books now through October 13th (Vote Here!)

Take a peek at the Teens' Top Ten Nominees Here (video)!

Check them out and/or download them from the Sonoma County Library (links below).

Got Questions?
Find a friendly YA Librarian at your favorite branch of the Sonoma County Library--we are here for you!
Created by Rosalie Abbott, MLIS, Sebastopol Regional Library
  • 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

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