App Alert: Teen Book Finder

TeenBookFinderAppIf you are one of those people who does not find the “thrill of the hunt” all that thrilling, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) just released a tool to help you.

YALSA’s new Teen Book Finder is available online and as an app. Both formats are conveniently searchable, but my favorite part is how easy it is to access and peruse lists of YA award winners. If you are not familiar with these awards, or just do not have time for potentially underwhelming reading material, start with these for lists of quality teen lit.

  • The Alex Awards: These awards are given to books that are technically written for adults but have particular appeal to readers ages 12-18. Ten books are honored per year.
  • The Margaret A. Edwards Award: Think of the Edwards as the lifetime achievement award for the YA literature world. Instead of specific book titles, one author and his or her whole body of work is honored per year. Some past winners include greats like Judy Blume, Gary Paulsen, and Lois Lowry.
  • The Michael L. Printz Award: The Printz Award is your basic all-around gold medal. According to YALSA, it is awarded to books that “exemplify literary excellence in young adult literature.” One winner is chosen from a short list of five titles.
  • The William C. Morris Debut YA Award: If the full title of the Morris Award led you to believe it is presented to the teen work of a first-time author, you were right!
  • The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production: If you prefer to listen to your literature, the Odyssey has you covered with one winner and three honorees per year.

If awards are not your thing, you can use the online tool and app to search non-award book lists, as well, using more standard search terms like “author” or “genre.”

Happy hunting!

New in January 2017, Vol. 2

Here are five more exciting titles to kick off 2017!

 

The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

gendergame

A toxic river divides 19-year-old Violet Bates’s world by gender. Women rule the East, and men rule the West. Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus.

Violet’s not only angry, but she’s a prisoner in her own nation, and she’s been sentenced to death for her crimes. But one decision could save her life — to enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit. Everything about the patriarchy is dangerous for a rebellious girl like Violet. She cannot break the rules if she wishes to stay alive, but abiding by rules has never been Violet’s strong suit. When she’s thrust into more danger than she could have ever predicted, Violet is forced to sacrifice many things in the forbidden kingdom, including love. In a world divided by gender, only the strongest survive.

 

 

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette

darkstarAudrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime fighter in the Twin Cities, so it’s hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she’s lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human — something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile.

Now Audrey knows the truth: Her mom doesn’t fight crime at all, but rather Harrowers — livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago, until some managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead because of who she is: one of the Kin.

To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had, including the ability to glimpse the future through the memories of those she gets close to. And when an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself that may be the key to saving herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything — and everyone — she loves.

 

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth 

carvethemarkOn a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of a brutal tyrant who exploits her currentgift, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: She is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from a peace-loving nation, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though Akos is protected by his unusual currentgift, his brother is not, and once both are captured by enemy soldiers, Akos becomes desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other survive — or destroy one another.

 

Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

lifeinafishbowlFifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumor and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.

Gone are her mom’s attention and cooking and parent-teacher conferences. Gone is her sister’s trust ever since she’s been dazzled by the cameras and her newfound infamy. Gone is her privacy. Gone is the whole family’s dignity as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be … gone. Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death.

 

 

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

underroseAt 17, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship grows deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good — or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

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New This Month: January 2017

Check out these brand-new titles!

 

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (book two of the Passenger series)

wayfarer

All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut. Instead, she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. Alone in an unknown place and time, Etta is exposed to threats from two groups that would like to see her dead. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—a man who has long been presumed dead and whose dangerous alliance with someone from Etta’s past could put them both at risk. Will time run out for Etta and those seeking to help her?

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

heartnote

Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, 16-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking — all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: Falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly realizes that falling in love isn’t always a choice you make.

 

 

 

 

 

The Runaway by Kate O’Hearn (book two of the Valkyrie series)

runaway

Fourteen-year-old Freya is a Valkyrie: a Norse goddess, a reaper of souls from human battlefields. She has the power to cause death with just one touch. But Freya has not followed in the footsteps of the legends before her. She has been to the World of Man to befriend humans, not to reap their souls. Now she must go to the World of Man again on a new quest to track down the runaway Valkyrie of legend. There she will discover a dark secret and new enemies. But this time she has friends to rely on and lots more to gain, like creating a new Valkyrie legend.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “New This Month: January 2017”

2016 in Review: Books on the Big Screen

Are there any original ideas left? So many books were made into movies in 2016. In case you missed any of them, there’s still time to catch up. But do you have to read the book first?


Continue reading “2016 in Review: Books on the Big Screen”