Author Archive

ALA 2016 Youth Media Award Winners

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

On Monday in Boston, the ALA announced the 2016 Youth Media Award Winners!laststoponmarketst

John Newbery Medal for the most Outstanding contribution to Children’s literature:

Winner: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
Honor Books:

findingwinnieRandolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

Winner: Finding Winnie illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Honor Books:

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for bonegapyoung adults:

Winner: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Honor Books:

For a complete listing of all the awards, click here.



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Space Related Teen Books

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

If you are looking for some out of this world reads, give these books a try!

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards: “2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape’, a ‘throwback’, but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix: “Khemri learns the minute he becomes a Prince that princes need to be hard to kill—for they are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Every Prince wants to become Emperor and the surest way to do so is to kill, dishonor, or sideline any potential competitor. There are rules, but as Khemri discovers, rules can be bent and even broken.

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New Year Teen Series Alert

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

willtosurviveSo January is fast approaching bringing the release of new to the series books.  So yes, if you start now, you can read the first books and still catch the release of these great books!

Will to Survive by Eric Walters:  This is the third book in the series about Adam and his neighborhoods quest for survival after a global computer failure.  They have survived armed attacks and food shortages but can they survive an attack from a former ally, someone who knows all their defense strategies?  Set to be released in January.calamity

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson:  This is also the third book in the series about David and the Reckoners fight to bring down the Epics.  After the exciting events in New York, is David ready to take on one of the most powerful Epics of all time?  And salttoseawhat exactly is Calamity?  Set to be released in February.

The last one is not exactly a series but a companion book, Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: this historical novel is about the tragedy of the Wilhelm Gustloff and the mysterious cousin mentioned by Lina in Between Shades of Gray.  Set to be released in February.

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Vera B. Williams, author and illustrator, dies at age 88

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

VeraWilliamsVera B. Williams, award-winning illustrator and author died last Friday at the age of 88.  Vera Williams received her BFA from Black Mountain college in North Caroline and worked as an artist and teacher for the first part of her career.  At the age of 46, she started illustrating children’s books.

In 2004, Vera Williams was the first U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.  She won the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009 and a Caldecott Medal in 1983 and 1991.  While Vera B. Williams wrote & illustrated many books, she is best known for A Chair For My Mother, although my personal favorite is More, More, More, Said the Baby.

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Author Henning Mankell Dies At Age 67

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Henning-MankellSwedish novelist, Henning Mankell died Monday in Sweden at the age of 67.  In terms of Scandinavian novels, Henning Mankell‘s gritty Inspector Kurt Wallander lead the way for other authors from that region to find a broader audience.  Henning Mankell did end his well loved series 2009 with the publication of “The Troubled Man“.

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Who Is Your Favorite Author?

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

As someone who works with books all day, one of the hardest questions to answer is: “Who is your favorite author?”  Truthfully, we all have more than one favorite author, that author who we will read no matter what they publish.

Combining almost 10 years of staff favorite lists and about 40 different authors, here are the two authors that stand out from the many beloved authors.










JoJo Moyes has only recently become a sensation in the United States but staff LOVE her books!  Her books are generally historical fiction with two voices, one current and one in the past.   Favorite book of staff is Me Before You with a recently published sequel called After You.

Harlan Coben has been writing for a while and is best known for mystery/suspense stand alone books.  His books are suspenseful but not too graphic and they feel like something that could actually happen.  My two personal favorites are The Woods and Hold Tight.

So, who is YOUR favorite author?

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Author Jackie Collins Dies at Age 77

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

jackie-collinsBest selling author Jackie Collins died from breast cancer last Saturday.  Her books have sold over 500 million copies in 40 different countries.  Jackie Collins was born in London but was a rebellious teenager. Rather than go to reform school at the age of 15, she moved to Hollywood where her older sister Joan was already working.

Her first book “The World is Full of Married Men” was published in 1968 and was banned in both Australia and South Africa.  Her novels generally give her readers a glimpse of the “glamorous lives of the rich and famous.”  Additional, many of her books have been adapted for movies and television series.

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Back to School Books for Teens

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

sophomoresotheroxymSurprise sequel and in time for back to school!  Sophomores and Other Oxymorons by David Lubar, is the followup book to Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie.  Scott Hudson survived last year despite his mother being pregnant but now he has a little brother and a bunch of new challenges at school.

orbitingjupiterAnd coming in October, Gary Schmidt has a new book, “Orbiting Jupiter“.  12-year old Jack has always been an only child so it is a new experience when his parents bring 14-year old Joseph to the family farm.  Joseph spent time in juvie and just wants to see his daughter Jupiter but he also has to deal with a new school and a family life very different than his own.




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True Crime Author Ann Rule Dies at 83

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Michigan born author Ann Rule, ann-rule-768who wrote true-crime stories, died Sunday at the age of 83.  Her most well known book “The Stranger Beside Me” profiled Ted Bundy, who she briefly worked with before he was arrested and admitted to killing multiple women.

She wrote over 30 books, all of which were well received because of her empathetic perspective and focus on the victims.  She attended numerous workshops on crime topics which, along with her focus on serial killers, made her a valuable resource for local law enforcement as well as the FBI and the Justice Department.





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Audiobooks for Road Trips

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Summer is a great time to travel with the whole family but it is also a great chance to listen to some great books together.  Here are some suggests to try!dealingwithdragons

Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede: This teen series features a full cast recording and four great stories featuring wizards, dragons, princesses and kings.  The first book in the series, “Dealing with Dragons“, features Princess Cimorene, who does not follow the traditional path. In fact, she decides to move in with a dragon rather than marry the prince!


walkinthewoodsFor some great humor with a book that will soon be a movie, try “A Walk In The Woods” by Bill Bryson.  Read by the author, this entertaining story is about Bryson’s own experience walking along the Appalachian Trail with his old friend Stephen Katz, along with some history and ecology too.wonder


For a little bit younger reader, try “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio.  This is an award winning book about Auggie who is about to enter 5th grade.  Not that entering the 5th grade isn’t challenging enough, but Auggie has never attend school before, partly because of his very visible facial deformities. A must read for all ages.


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