Young Adult Blog

Series Starters: The Mediator Series

The Mediator series by Meg Cabot is by far one of my most favorite series for young adults. There are seven books and a two short stories in the series, with the most recent book having been published last year.

The series starts out with sixteen-year-old Susannah Simon moving from New York City to California, where her mother has relocated after remarrying. Suze is already unhappy about the move, but she is hoping for a fresh start in sunny California after her struggles in New York with the undead. Suze is a mediator; she can see, hear, and touch ghosts, and it’s her job to help the dead with their unfinished business so they can move on to the afterlife. She hopes the ghosts won’t follower her to her new house, but she’s sorely mistaken when she finds out her new bedroom is haunted by a 150-year-old ghost.

Throughout the series, Suze makes friends and enemies who are dead and alive, meets fellow mediators who are both benevolent and evil, and falls more in love with Jesse de Silva, the ghost who haunts her bedroom. She has typical teenage issues, like friend and boy drama, but with the added twist of being able to talk to the dead. First published in 2000, the conclusion of the series takes place years later with (spoiler alert) the happily ever after fans had been rooting for all along.

If you’re looking for a quick young adult series to read that will make you laugh out loud or cry in despair, The Mediator series is perfect for you.

Sarah J. Maas

Recently, I just finished reading A Court of Thorns and Roses.I’d seen this book on the shelves here at the library and on my recommended Goodreads shelves. I’d recently read a book from an uncommon area of books called New Adult. In my curiosity, I searched New Adult on Goodreads and saw that A Court of Thorns and Roses was included with that list.

 

Let me just start this blog post by saying…..OH BLESS MY HEART!

A Court of Thorns and Roses is probably my favorite series in the entire world at this moment. It was a beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Ms. Maas created such a bright and a tantalizing world for us to read and enjoy. She captured the very essence of writing that I had been searching for and entertained me until the very end of her second book, A Court of Thorns and Roses. She’s a writer to remember and her books are those books that you finish and feel lost at the ending because you don’t know what to do with your life anymore.

Nineteen year old, Feyre (Fay-ruh) is the sole provider for her family, due to a promise she made her mother on her deathbed. As we are first introduced to Feyre, she is hunting in the woods during winter for food for her family. As she is hunting, we learn that they once worshiped the High Fae and were enslaved by them. A war waged between the two and a treaty was formed between the two, as well as a wall. Feyre comes across a doe being hunted by a wolf, so she uses an ash arrow that she’d bought with the very few extra money they had and shot the wolf. The wolf dies and she skins the wolf and carries the doe back to her home. Since she killed the wolf, she unknowingly killed a faerie and is caught and forced to go past the wall and live with Faeries.

Sarah J. Maas captured my mind, heart, and soul with just 421 pages of words. I’ve fallen madly in love with her writing, her stories, and her words. It was a beautiful love story that demanded sacrifices.

Sarah Maas was born on March 5, 1986 in New York City. She attended Hamilton College where she majored in creative writing and minored in religious studies. She married and now resides in Pennsylvania.

She began writing her first novel Throne of Glass, when she was sixteen years old. After writing several chapters of the novel, (which was then titled Queen of Glass), she posted them on FictionPress.com where it became one of the most popular stories on the site. It was later removed when she made the decision to try to get the novel published.

She began sending the story to agents in 2008 and finally landed one in 2009. Throne of Glass was purchased in March of 2010 by Bloomsbury, who later purchased two additional books in the series. The series is now available in 15 countries and 23 languages. Sarah is contracted to write six books in the series.

Throne of Glass is loosely based on Cinderella with the idea of Cinderella being an Assassin and instead of attending a ball to meet the prince, she has to kill him instead.

In September 2015, Mark Gordon and Company announced that they acquired television right for Throne of Glass.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, is Sarah’s second series. The book was first written in 2009 but wasn’t published until 2015.

The third book of her A Court of Thorns and Roses Series is called A Court of Wings and Ruin will be published May 2. The sixth book in her Throne of Glass series will be published September 5.

Though we don’t have all the books within her Throne of Glass series, it is possible to get them through InterLibrary loan if you are a patron in good standing. This means you have a fine lower than five dollars and that we can borrow the book or books from another library for you.

At this moment, I am reading A Court of Mist and Fury, and it is capable that I will do a Series Selection blog on here because of the perfection of this series!

 

 

 

Pictures Courtesy of: Read at Midnight.

 

A Monster Calls

“The monster showed up at midnight. As they do.”

There are some books that stick with you long after you close the back cover. For me, one of those books was A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, inspired by Siobhan Dowd, and illustrated by Jim Kay.

Through context clues, the reader realizes that thirteen-year-old Conor O’Malley is struggling with his mother’s deteriorating health and has alienated himself from his friends, family, teachers, and other classmates. Throughout the book, it becomes clear that Conor feels a tremendous amount of guilt and believes he deserves to be punished, but the reader does not find out “the truth” until the last few pages of the book. We are lead to believe that the monster has “come walking” in order to heal Conor’s mother, as the monster takes the form of a yew tree, which has incredible healing properties. However, to the reader it becomes clear that the monster has come to help Conor.

Conor’s mother has a form of cancer, and treatments just aren’t working anymore. She keeps a brave face for Conor, who is in denial and believes that she will get better, even as he notices her getting much worse. Ness’s story is about a boy who is forced to grow up a lot faster than other children his age. Conor is handling a grown-up situation as well as he knows how; he has been strong and holding on tightly to his mother and his belief that she will bounce back that it is so hard for him to realize that he has to let her go.

Ness’s book is an important read for any tween, teen, or young adult who is going through any kind of tough circumstance. And even if you aren’t going through a tough situation at the moment, this is an important book to read for everyone. Ness creates an intense, meaningful story complete with illustrations in 216 pages that can be read in one sitting. This book is incredibly significant and one that I would recommend to everyone.

LGBTQ+ Community Within Our Shelves

It’s a thing of controversy in today’s world. The LGBTQ+ community is a strong and withstanding part of our society. Authors are taking it upon themselves to intertwine this community within their own lives by writing their own stories with this community included. It’s a big jump in society for books to include this community and what they represent. Some authors get hate and some authors get love.

The point most authors see as they write their LGBTQ+ stories is to empower their readers to accept themselves for who they are and even to empower them not to be afraid to ‘come out of the closet.’

The Aurora Public Library has several fantastic LGBTQ+ stories within their shelves, one amazing book that I’ve recently read was ‘Of Fire and Stars’, by Audrey Coulthurst.

“Of Fire and Stars” is an enchanting story of a princess with a touch of fire and another princess who has a unique relationship with horses. Princess Dennaleia has been betrothed to Prince Thandi since childhood. As she arrives at his kingdom, she meets his sister, Princess Amaranthine. Princess Amaranthine isn’t your typical Princess who does princess-y things. She prefers to be called ‘Mare’, she walks around in breeches, is outspoken, and prefers to work with horses than to work with people. Princess Dennaleia is drawn to Mare, wanting…no, needing to make an ally in a different kingdom away from her family. While struggling with trying to make Mare like her, Princess Dennaleia also struggles with controlling her affinity for fire. After all, magic is outlawed in this kingdom. With turmoil threatening and mysterious deaths, Princess Dennaleia and Mare must find out who’s behind it all and not let their kingdoms’ alliance be threatened anymore than it already has. In doing so, they must fight with the feelings that are growing between them. Will they choose duty or will they choose their hearts?

 

 

 

Just a few great LGBTQ+ stories our shelves house….

 

 

Let’s Take a Moment: When the Moon Was Ours

When The Moon Was Ours, is a beautiful book from the dedication page and to the Author’s note at the ending. It was a unique and enchanting read, a read that captures your soul and makes you think about who you really are.

To the boys who get called girls,
the girls who get called boys,
and those who live outside these words.
To those called names
and those searching for names of their own.
To those who live on the edges,
and in the spaces in between.
I wish for you every light in the sky.

-Dedication from When the Moon was Ours

 

Miel has roses growing out of her wrists and Sam has secrets that could ruin who he really is. The Bonner girls are four sisters that are believed to be witches. They want Miel’s roses, believing they have powers in them. Miel, cuts off her roses in remembrance of her mother who drowned trying to save her, refuses to give the Bonner sisters the roses. Sam works on the Bonner’s farm, struggling with who he is while he and Miel find that their love for each other isn’t platonic. Throughout the story, we learn more about how Miel came from the water tower that the town had gotten together to push down. We learn that Sam is from Pakistan and in order for his mother and him to have more freedom, he becomes a bascha posh, a young girl who lives as a boy until marrying age. Miel and Sam have been friends ever since Miel fell from the water tower. He paints moons for her and she lets him be him. It’s a simple enough exchange until the Bonner sisters come around wanting Miel’s roses and blackmailing her for them. They even go as far as to punish her for not giving them to her.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters. Anna kept me captivated from the dedication page all the way to the Author’s Note, and for that I give her a five out of five.

 

Reviews:

“Magical realism as its most exquisite. McLemore’s breathtaking story is the most unique and magical book I’ve read in years.”

-Laura Resau, Americas Award-winning author of Red Glass

“Lushly written and surprisingly suspenseful….a story of the courage it takes to reveal our authentic selves to each other and to the world.”

-Laura Ruby, Printz Award-wining author of Bone Gap

 

Amazing artwork by: Read at Midnight

 

Location:

This is currently one of our newer books and will be in the Young Adult section on the New Release shelves.

Once it is no longer part of our New Releases, it will be placed in alphabetical order in the Young Adult section.

 

Science Fiction

Science Fiction is a genre of fiction in which the stories being told are deeply immersed in science and technology, generally futuristic science and technology. Common themes featured in Science Fiction novels are space and time travel, extraterrestrial life, and parallel universes. Science Fiction has become especially popular in YA novels, where futuristic, technological, dystopian societies are the premise for many books. Oftentimes, Science Fiction and Fantasy Fiction will merge into each other, making the novel belong in both genres.

ya-scfi-2

If you are new to and are wanting to explore the Science Fiction genre, my suggestion is to start with some YA authors, such as Lauren Oliver, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Scott Westerfeld. Let the Aurora Public Library District help you discover your next favorite Science Fiction read.

200000-leagues-verne

Jules Verne is considered to be the father of Science Fiction. Having passed away in 1905, most of the future that Verne imagined for his novels has come to pass. However, you’ll find many of his classics on our shelves. Start with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

time-machine-wells

Another founding father of modern Science Fiction is H.G. Wells, who later dismissed his Science Fiction works when compared with his later novels. Wells is probably most-known for The War of the Worlds, but other novels of his include The Invisible Man and The Time Machine.

i-robot-asimov

Isaac Asimov is another classic Science Fiction writer who is known for creating the “Three Laws of Robotics.” Asimov’s novels are considered to be “hard” Science Fiction, which means that he paid acute attention to scientific details to make his novels as realistic and accurate as possible. Start with I, Robot.

enders-game-card

Orson Scott Card’s novels are filled with familiar themes of moral dilemmas, family, duty, and sacrifice. Many of his novels include children as the main characters. He is probably best known for his Ender’s Saga that reaches a wide audience of teens and adults. Card also writes hard Science Fiction. Start with Ender’s Game.

the-hunger-strieber

Whitley Strieber writes many Science Fiction novels that can also be considered Horror, Thriller and Suspense Fiction. His novels often feature apocalyptic situations. Start with The Hunger.

You might have noticed that several of these Science Fiction titles have been made (and remade) into movies throughout the years. Science Fiction is a genre that really can appeal and encompass all kinds of people. Even if you have never before read a Science Fiction novel, I wholeheartedly encourage you to try.

Other notable Science Fiction authors the Aurora Public Library District has on its shelves are Michael Crichton, Douglas Adams, Robert DohertyMary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and Margaret Atwood. And don’t forget to check out the Indiana Digital Download Center for more Science Fiction titles.

Happy Reading!

The Rosies are Here!

What are the Eliot Rosewater Books? Each year approximately 20 Young Adult books are nominated for the Eliot Rosewater Award. The nominations are made by school librarians across the state of Indiana and must represent a variety of genres. These titles are promoted across the state in high schools and public libraries. Students vote for their favorite in April and the winner receives the Eliot Rosewater Book Award. If you’re familiar with the Young Hoosier Awards, this program is similar, but just for high school students. The Eliot Rosewater program is sponsored by the Association for Indiana School Library Educators and the Indiana Library Federation.

This year’s selections look fantastic and we have most of them ready to be checked out. We also have most of the titles available through the Indiana Digital Download Center!

You may have one more question before you start to browse the titles. Who was Eliot Rosewater? Eliot Rosewater is a recurring fictional character in Kurt Vonnegut’s novels, including God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Vonnegut is a famous Hoosier author who grew up in Indianapolis. This award was named to honor him and all Indiana writers. The award is often referred to as the “Rosie Award”.

Don’t make the mistake that these are just for Teens! Give one a try and you might find a new favorite author.

all-the-bright-places avalon belzhar dear-killer

dont-look-back fake-id faking-normal family-romanov

gabi half-bad in-real-life kiss-of-deception

next nil nogin one-man-guy

positive shadow-and-bone since-youve-been-gone slated

some-assembly-required the-beginning-of-everything the-naturals time-to-dance

trough-the-woods

 

Travel Back in Time with Teen Fiction

I admit that lots of our Teen books are fantasy or paranormal romance, but hidden among the seemingly endless trilogies are some real gems that can transport you back in time. You won’t be traveling with the use of a time travel machine, but with the help of compelling, thought-provoking historical fiction. These books cover a wide range of time periods and can vary from traditional perspectives to the unexpected to the very strange. As a life-long fan of historical fiction, here are some great choices!

Author M.T. Anderson won accolades in 2015 for his non-fiction Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Seige of Leningrad, but his Young Adult novel The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: the Pox Party won both a National Book Award and a Michael Prinz Award the year it was published.

octavian nothing

Yes, this title is a mouthful, but it is the fascinating and weird story of a slave boy in Boston immediately before the American Revolution. The story was continued in the second volume The Kingdom on the Waves. These books may very well spur you to read more about the plight of American slaves during the Revolution.

Bloodline by Katy Moran and the companion novel Bloodline Rising are set in England during the time of the Angle invasion. Don’t get these confused with the Bloodlines by Richelle Mead which is a vampire series!

bloodline    Bloodline Rising

Geraldine Brooks’ first novel, Year of Wonders, is based on the true story of English villagers who decide to quarantine their town to avoid spreading the Black Plague.

year of wonders

Meghan Nuttal Sayres addresses the role of women in  19th century Iran in the wonderful book Anahita’s Woven Riddle.

anahita's

If you’re a fan of survival stories, nothing can match this retelling of the 1910 Shackleton Expedition to Antarctica.

emperors

Here are some of the best of our Teen World War II novels. After the publication of Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein wrote Rose Under Fire, another story of a female pilot in the war. Ruth Sepetys’ novel Between Shades of Gray was a finalist for the Carnegie Medal, Great Britain’s equivalent of the Newbery and Prinz Awards. Tamar, by Mal Peet won the Carnegie Medal in 2005.

verity     boxing club

between shades     Tamar

History, as taught in schools, focuses heavily on events that had a major impact on the U.S., but historical fiction can open your eyes to things that happened around the world – things you may not have heard of in school.

child of dandelions     disappeared

More and more non-fiction is being published in Graphic Novel format. The 2 book set by Gene Yang about the Boxer Rebellion, Boxers and Saints is truly outstanding!

boxerssaints

 

Oldenburg Summer Reading

Oldenburg Academy Summer Reading REAL

Watch out!

Did you know that the Aurora Public Library District carries two different books called This I Believe? That’s right, that means you have a 50/50 chance of picking up the wrong one for your summer reading. Imagine if you spent all summer reading a book, then when you get to school you find out that everyone else read a different book! Don’t be that person. So, if you’re an O.A. student looking for your summer reading, look for This I Believe: Life Lessons by Dan Gediman. Happy reading!

Geocaching adventure!

geocache2

What is geocaching? Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. It is the world’s largest treasure hunt. There are actual rules and etiquette when it comes to this game. Most important rules are:

  • If you take something from the geocache (or “cache”), leave something of equal or greater value.
  • Write about your find in the cache logbook.
  • Log your experience

geocachecache

What does a geocache look like? It’s a surprise, it could be something as small as a fake screw with a note inside to a fishing box of items.  It can be anything…there are many types of geocaches ranging from an earth cache to traditional. Hordes of people are geocaching around the world. While the GPS may give you the coordinates of your cache, it’s up to your sleuthing skills to find it. They can be hidden in fake objects, tied to a tree, underneath a rock…the possibilities are endless!

You can find out more about geocaching here.

Teens can come to the library on Thursday, June 23rd for a geocaching experience of their own! Call the library for more details.

 

Go on your own adventure, get geocaching!

creative-caches