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    by Cindy H | Dec 09, 2016
    Did you enjoy reading the Harry Potter series or watching the movies? Then check out these books!

    The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
    golden compass
    Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jodan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle-a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle. (Book 1 in His Dark Materials series) There is also a movie version of this book!

    The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
    lightning thief
    After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus. (Book 1 in Percy Jackson series) There is also a movie version of this book!

    How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
    howtotraindragon
    Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon. (Book 1 in How to Train Your Dragon series) There is also an animated movie version of this book!

    Magyk by Angie Sage
    magyk
    Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son, disappears the night he is born, pronounced dead by the midwife. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across an abandoned child in the snow—a newborn girl with violet eyes. Who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to the Heaps' beloved son Septimus? (Book 1 in Septimus Heap series)

    Inkheart by Cornelia Coraline Funke
    inkheart
    One cruel night, Meggie's father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART-- and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever. (Book 1 in Inkworld series) There is also a movie version of this book!

    Winterling by Sarah Prineas
    winterling
    Deeply connected to the earth, Fer grows up learning about herbs and their healing properties from her grandmother. Grand-Jane has worked hard to protect her granddaughter, but her homey magic cannot keep Fer from accidentally opening the portal between the human and fairy worlds. Once opened, Fer tumbles into a dangerous world of alliances and treachery. With the help of a puck, whose own loyalty is deeply divided, she attempts to discover the truth about her parents’ fate and the identity of the Lady who rules the land. Out of her element, in a world with different rules than her own, Fer must rely on her wits, strong character, and knowledge of herbs to see through enchantments, discover the truth, and heal the land. (Book 1 in Winterling series)

    Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
    fablehaven
    Unaware that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven, Kendra and her brother, Seth, venture into this magical land filled with dangerous and plotting witches, imps, and fairies. (Book 1 in Fablehaven series)

    by SM | Dec 05, 2016

    More new teen paranormal and horror fiction novels just in time for snowy days...

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Dec 02, 2016

    Did you enjoy reading The Hunger Games series or watching the movies? Then check out these books!

    Legend
    by Marie Lu
    legend

    What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. (Book 1 in Legend series)

    Reboot by Amy Tintera
    reboot

    A seventeen-year-old girl returns from death as a Reboot and is trained as an elite crime-fighting soldier…until she is given an order she refuses to obey. Wren Connolly died five years ago, only to Reboot after 178 minutes. Now she is one of the deadliest Reboots around . . . unlike her newest trainee, Callum 22, who is practically still human. As Wren tries to teach Callum how to be a soldier, his hopeful smile works its way past her defenses. Unfortunately, Callum’s big heart also makes him a liability, and Wren is ordered to eliminate him. To save Callum, Wren will have to risk it all. (Book 1 in Reboot series)

    The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
    scorpio

    It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
    enders

    The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation. Is Ender the general Earth so desperately needs? The only way to find out is to throw him into ever-harsher training at Battle School, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when his training begins. He will grow up fast. But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. His two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Among the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives. (Book 1 in Ender Quintet) There is also a movie version of this book!

    Divergent by Veronica Roth
    divergent
    One choice can transform you.
     Beatrice Prior's society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she's determined to keep hidden, because in this worldwhat makes you different makes you dangerous. (Book 1 in Divergent series) Check out the movies, too!

    by Cindy H | Nov 25, 2016
    maradyer
    Mara Dyer does not know what's happening to her. She wakes up in the hospital to find out that her boyfriend and best friend died in a horrible accident that only she survived. She cannot remember what happened and she is so traumatized her family decides to move from Rhode Island to Miami, Florida so she can have a fresh start. It seems clear from the beginning that she is going to have a hard time fitting in and strange things seem to keep happening to her that she can't explain. Will she be able to overcome the horrible events of her past? Will she ever feel at home in Miami? And why does it seem like the mysterious boy with the English accent is the only one who might be able to understand her?

    I was absolutely riveted by this book. I immediately picked up the next book in the series, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, so I could find out what happened next. The books are written in the first person, by Mara, and it really makes you feel like you are experiencing her feelings and confusion with her. I think that anyone who likes stories with a bit of mystery and fantasy to them will really enjoy this story. And if you enjoy the first book, make sure to check out the rest of the series!
    by SM | Nov 21, 2016

    New teen paranormal and horror fiction novels just in time for the Holidays...

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Nov 18, 2016
    gutless
    Gutless is a story told from the perspective of a teen named Brock, who is entering high school and trying to overcome his tendency to back down in fear whenever challenges arise, whether that be in sports or personal conflicts. A boy he idolizes, Hunter, the star quarterback of the football team, is a jerk and bully to everyone outside of his circle. Brock still wants to be in that circle, so when he has the chance to be the wide receiver on the football team he tries to give it all he's got. He's fast and is great at catching the ball, but when things get tough he chickens out at the last minute every time. Enter the new kid at school, Richie Fang. Richie was born in China, and now he's here to make a name for himself; a star chess player, violinist, and star student, Richie's outgoing personality makes him the target of Hunter's cruelty. Brock and Richie become great friends, but it continues to be clear that Hunter is not going to back off Richie. Brock has some ideas on how to get Richie in the circle, but will it be enough? And finally, when the going gets tough can Brock learn to stand up for himself and what he believes in, to no longer be Gutless?

    I really loved this book. I am not really a fan of football, but even though football is a central component of the book I did not have a hard time following and getting deeply engrossed in Brock's story. I think everyone will be able to relate to dealing with bullying and feelings of insecurity. Whether you are interested in sports or not you will still have a hard time putting this book down once you get started, it's full of action and suspense while dealing with some tough topics. I highly recommend it!​

    by SM | Nov 14, 2016

    Check out these new teen mystery novels for reading in these cold and long dark nights...
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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Nov 11, 2016
    dessertfirst
    This book tells the story of a girl, Kat, whose young brother is suffering cancer. She tries to fight through her pain by using wit and sarcasm, but that only seems to alienate her from her friends and family. She has an online identity, Cipher, that she can escape to when things get tough, but sometimes it can be hard to separate her two selves. She is the best match in her family for a bone marrow transplant. Will her bone marrow be able to save her brother? Will she be able to focus on homework long enough to pass her sophomore year of high school? Will she be able to repair the relationships that have suffered while she was trying to take care of her brother and family?

    Although it is very sad at times, I really enjoyed this book. Kat is going through something that everyone hopes they never have to, watching a loved one suffer from a horrible illness. She tries to be the rock for her family but sometimes needs to remember to take care of herself and let others be there for her. I think everyone will find something to relate to in this book, even if you have never known anyone that was diagnosed with cancer.
    by Becky C | Nov 11, 2016
    Book Review:  The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud

    “Much to his annoyance, Bartimaeus the djinni has been enslaved by King Solomon the Great, who commands his empire with an all-powerful magic ring. But things get even worse for him when he meets Asmira, a young Sheban girl sent to Jerusalem on a deadly errand.” 
    Book description.

    The Ring of SolomonDon’t read this book if you dislike authors taking significant liberty with biblical characters: while Stroud’s Solomon is wise, there is no mention of God’s assistance and lots of mention of various spirits’ endeavors.  If you’re open to an alternative version of events though, this is a fun, albeit dark read.  Bartimaeus is dangerous: he is a slave and he’s generally treated horribly treated by his magician masters.  He’s also one of the most outrageously funny characters ever:  he’s snarky, he digresses from the story often, and like Izzy Spellman these detours are delivered via footnote.  Aside of always looking for a way to escape his bondage, he’s also always looking for a way to have a good time: hence, while working on Solomon’s new temple, he opts to do so in the shape of a hippo while singing ribald songs about the King himself.  Even better than his sense of humor though is his generally ethical nature; despite the things done to him and the things he’s forced to do, Bartimaeus can still recognize and respond to goodness.

    I loved the original series so I was delighted to discover this prequel.  Published between 2003 and 2005, it’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed the 4th level djinni’s insolent wit and shenanigans.  I remember Faquarl so it was fun to see the rivalry between him and Bartimaeus again.  If memory serves, Bartimaeus often took the form of a young Solomon in the original trilogy which had me thinking that he had a longer relationship with the king than the prequel indicates – but it has been awhile, so I may not be remembering correctly.


    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by SM | Nov 07, 2016

    Here are even more new teen romance novels to read while the leaves fall...

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Nov 04, 2016

    chemicalhearts
    Henry hasn't ever really had a crush before. His first kiss was his best friend Lola, who happens to be a lesbian. His parents have a fairy tale love story, so he feels like whenever he does fall in love for the first time he has to make it count. When a mysterious new student, Grace, walks in to class for the first time he definitely does not think she will be the future love of his life; she is wearing all boys' clothes, it looks like she's never combed her hair, and it seems like personal hygiene is a skill she hasn't quite mastered yet. When they are both chosen to be editors of the school newspaper, however, there might just be a spark between them that cannot be ignored. What Henry doesn't know is that Grace has experiences from her past that she may never be able to overcome. Can Henry break down the walls Grace has around her to see who she really is? Will Grace ever be able to let go of her past so she can have a future with him?

    Henry has a great group of friends and their witty banter is really entertaining, and I think many people will be able to relate to the feelings of angst that come with falling in love for the first time. Fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green particularly will enjoy this book. If you are looking for a story about high school friendship, romance, and finding yourself this may be a good choice for you!
    by SM | Oct 31, 2016

    Here are yet some more new teen romance before October fades...

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Oct 28, 2016
    hp
    Harry Potter fans rejoice! There is a new story about Harry and all of the characters you know and love, except that now they are adults. We are also introduced to the next generation of witches and wizards. At first I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this story because it is written in the format of a play. I must admit it took a little getting used to. I quickly found myself engrossed in the lives of my all-time favorite fictional characters, however, and couldn't put it down. The play format actually makes the story fast-paced, making this a relatively quick read. I would recommend that any Harry Potter fan read this book, I don't think you will be disappointed!

    by SM | Oct 24, 2016

    Here are some more new teen romance for cold Fall days and nights....

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Oct 21, 2016
    Matched
    Cassia is so excited because she is finally going to discover who her Match is for the first time. Cassia lives in a world where everything is dictated by the Society, from what you eat, to where you work, to who you spend the rest of your life with. She has been waiting for this day her entire life. When her Match is revealed she is ecstatic, the person is everything she could have hoped for. Unfortunately it seems that the Society has more in store for her, however, and things will never go back to the simplicity she once knew.

    I enjoyed this book. I really like books about worlds that are like our own but slightly different (often called dystopian novels). This book reminds me of a mixture of Lois Lowry's "The Giver" and Kiera Cass' "Selection" series. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a great story about life, romance, growing up, and making difficult choices. This book is part of a series, so if you enjoy it you should check out the next book, "Crossed".
    by Cindy H | Oct 14, 2016
    HighlyIllogicalBehavior_OnlineOnly
    In middle school an agoraphobic teenager named Solomon tried to calm himself down by submerging himself in a fountain, in front of everyone at school. That was the last day anyone saw him and most people forgot he existed. Lisa, however, did not forget about him. She has a dream of going to the second-best psychology school in the country, but she needs a scholarship to go. If she can write an amazing essay about her experience with someone with mental illness she has a chance of finally getting out of Upland, California. Her boyfriend, Clark, thinks it's wrong to use Solomon's illness for her essay, but she is determined. It is soon clear that what started out as a simple experiment for a college essay is going to change all of their lives drastically.

    This book switches between Solomon's and Lisa's perspectives. I like books written like that because I think it helps you understand where each character is coming from. I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a great story about mental illness, friendship and relationships, and growing up.
    by Scott M | Oct 10, 2016

    Here are some more new teen romance book to fall in love with....

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Oct 07, 2016
    Most Dangerous
    If you have ever wanted to know more about the Vietnam War and all of the controversy surrounding it, this is the book for you. You can’t help but get sucked in with all of the intrigue, suspense, and drama surrounding the first war the United States ever lost. As a government insider, Daniel Ellsberg saw firsthand the great differences between how the war was being portrayed to U.S. citizens and what was actually going on. Through his perspective and the recollections of soldiers in the field, taped recordings of presidents and other major government figures, and photographs from the time you really feel like you are watching the events surrounding the Vietnam War unfold. You see how Ellsberg’s perceptions change and he becomes a voice for peace and the leader in exposing the truth behind the government’s actions. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about the seedier details surrounding the Vietnam War and the United States’ involvement.
    by sm | Oct 03, 2016

    Here are some new teen romance novels for Fall ...or just to fall in love with...

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Sep 30, 2016
    Family Romanov
    This narrative nonfiction book tells the story of how the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their children came to power and ultimately lost it by being horrifically executed in 1918 after a revolution had changed the country forever. The book focuses not only on the imperial family but on the other people living in Russia at the time, including the peasants and nobles. It was very interesting to see how differently people lived depending on their station and I found many ways to relate to this book in terms of our own time with the great divide between rich and poor in the United States. The book provides plenty of facts and descriptions so you feel like you understand all of the rather complex social and political happenings of this tumultuous time. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history and historical figures, particularly of imperial Russia. Russia is often in the news so it is fascinating to see how much the country has changed over the past century.

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