Fiction

  1. Thank You for Smoking

    Thank You for Smoking (1994)

    The main character of this novel is one of the most despised people in America: he’s a lobbyist for the smoking industry. He’s not friendless, however. His frequent lunch companions include the chief representatives for the gun industry and the alcohol lobby. They privately refer to themselves as “The MOD Squad” (as in Merchants of Death). In this hilarious novel, Buckley not only skewers the tobacco industry, but Washington, Hollywood, the press, and modern society in general. The book is also the source of an excellent movie of the same name.

  2. The Absolute Value of Mike

    The Absolute Value of Mike

    Fourteen-year-old Mike, a mathematically-challenged young man with dyscalculia, unfortunately has a brilliant engineer/professor father. Mike is forced to live with relatives he has never met for six weeks in summer while his father teaches in Romania. Mike’s father hopes that his son will improve his math and engineering skills by working on a local project.

  3. Cold Case

    Cold Case book cover

    The story is a typical who-done-it mystery. The story begins with 13 year-old, Oz Keiller opening the refrigerator door at his family's restaurant and discovering the body of Aaron Sneider, a journalist. He discovers that Sneider was a reporter who had accused his deceased father of being a spy and a traitor. His father was accused of stealing nuclear secrets from the company he had worked for. If this isn’t bad enough his older brother is arrested for the murder and Oz jumps into action to save him.

  4. The Last Dragonslayer

    Image: Last Dragonslayer book cover

    The quick version: The most fun fantasy story--perhaps the most fun novel--that I've read all year, and despite it's "young adult" label, it doesn't feel like a YA novel. Keep reading for the detailed review.

    Why is this series not simultaneously published in the US?

  5. The No. 1 Car Spotter

    The No. 1 Car Spotter (2012)

    Oluwalase Babatunde Benson is the Number One car spotter in his tiny African village, hence his nickname, No. 1. (In his free time, No. 1 and his grandfather like to identify cars by their sounds before they drive past). While he knows that things like skyscrapers, tap water, and electricity exists, in his village they can only dream of such luxuries. When the village's market cart breaks down, No. 1 comes up with a plan that saves the village and allows them to get to the market to sell their goods, involving an old broken-down Toyota Camry.

  6. The Age of Miracles

    The Age of Miracles

    A co-worker gave this to me to read because she thought it was my kind of book. I had never heard of it, but boy am I glad she thought of me, this book is amazing! Julia, an 11 year old girl in California, is the narrator of the story and the tale she has to tell is riveting. The days on earth are inexplicably getting longer, what they refer to in the book as "the slowing". There is no explanation for why this is happening, but it is soon apparent that this is not an illusion and it also is not temporary. Each day is longer, as are the nights.

  7. Bad Glass

    Bad Glass

    Bad Glass has a great premise, especially if you are a fan of “what if” science fiction. The science here is physics, or perhaps metaphysics. We never find out. But weird things are happening in Spokane, WA. The military has separated the phenomena into 4 categories: things that appear that should not be there, things that disappear that should be there, voices/noises that have no apparent origin and “all else”. Most fall into the “all else” category; especially the human body parts that meld into inanimate materials, or that become part of other bodies.

  8. Tomorrow is a River

    Tomorrow is a River

    Tomorrow is a River is the story of Caroline, who, with her preacher husband Adam, settled a homestead near the Tomorrow River in Northeastern WI in the late 1800s.  After being abandoned by her husband, Caroline and her 2 young children struggle to survive the rugged wilderness of pioneer Wisconsin with the help of a Menominee Indian woman who befriends them. Together they weather many storms, the most terrifying of all, the Peshtigo Fire of 1871.

  9. Bird in a Box

    Life wasn't easy for anyone during the Great Depression, but it could be even harder if you were African American. In this work of historical fiction, Hibernia a preacher's daughter, dreams of becoming a singer.  Willie is recovering from a burn that will keep him from fulfilling his dream of becoming a boxer. Otis, an orphan, is struggling to find happiness but finds comfort in his family's radio and the sense of humor that was passed down to him from his father.

  10. A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

    A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

    In 1923 two sisters set off on a mission to Kashgar, located on the Silk Road, though they speak little or none of the languages in the region.  Lizzie is on fire with religious conviction instilled by Millicent, who is in charge of the mission.  Evangeline is not convinced of the value of their work, but is coming along to protect her sister as well as to travel and experience the world, riding her green bicycle for hundreds of miles as they travel through deathly heat in the desert, and extreme cold in the passes of the Celestial Mountains. 

  11. The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise

    The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise

    A delightful tale of life within the walls of the Tower of London including nuggets of Tower history.

  12. The Emerald Atlas

    The Emerald Atlas book cover

    Book 1 of the Books of Beginning Series. This fantasy adventure story starts off with the main characters, Kate - 14, Michael-12, and Emma – 11 left as orphans when they were taken from their home at night during Christmas. The children are passed from one orphanage to another within a ten year span until they end up at a secluded orphanage operated by Dr. Stanislaus Pym. The mansion is located in the remote town of Cambridge Falls and the children find out they are the only ones there.

  13. Paper Towns

    Image: Paper Towns book cover

    John Green’s Paper Towns imagines a unique high school queen bee named Margo Roth Spiegelman and the mystery of finding her. Quentin Jacobsen narrates the story, beginning with a childhood memory of finding a dead body in the neighborhood park with Margo. While Quentin and Margo grew apart over the years, he holds a flame for her and she holds the high school’s ruling class back from bullying Quentin too much.

  14. Bunny Drop

    Every so often, I'll try a manga. As the young adult librarian, I feel like that's something I should do. I'll hear from teen patrons that they love a title more than life itself and give it a try. Then, often, I'll miss whatever it was that made the manga so great--it's okay, I'm at a different place in life than the teens I work with, but I'd prefer to relate to them through shared love of a story.

  15. The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan

    The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan

    This is a goofy book, a fast and fun read for young graphic novel fans.  Ace and Bub are beaver brothers, who enjoy life on Beaver Island.  While Ace prepares for the Beaver Island Surfboard Competition, his board is suddenly stolen by strange penguins, who escape to the deep waters offshore.  In hot pursuit, Ace gets only a glimpse of their underwater hideout, but he knows that the penguins are up to something, and it doesn’t look good.   Without his surfboard, he can’t hope to beat the island’s brawny hot shot, Bruce.  So Ace and Bub decide to do some deep-se

  16. Ready Player One

    Ready Player One takes place in a stark, near future where people hide from their dark reality in the OASIS, a virtual world created by James Halliday. As the story takes off lifelong gamer and game creator Halliday has just died and left behind one last game for the ages.

  17. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

    Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend Book Cover

    Budo is six years old, but he looks like an adult. To the people who can see him, that is--he is an imaginary friend, visible only to his human imaginer Max and to other imaginary friends. Imaginary friends are born from people's, pimarily chilrden's, minds and come out looking like pretty much anything--a fully formed person like Budo, a spot on a wall, a robot, whatever. One day, they're imagined and exist, knowing what their humans think they know.

  18. A Surrey State of Affairs

    A Surrey State of Affairs (2012)

    Loved this book! A BBC British comedy in print. The main character is drawn to perfection; Constance Harding is a totally clueless but well meaning, well-bred, English lady. Her home is "a comfortable five-bedroom Georgian house located on the outskirts of a pleasant village in Surrey." She defines herself as wife to Jeffrey, mother to Rupert (a 25 year old IT consultant) and Sophie (a slightly directionless adolescent); she dotes on her Eclectus parrot Darcy. This book is a year in her life, told through her blog entries.

  19. Chloe and the Lion

    Chloe and the Lion (2012)

    Mac Barnett, author of the Brixton Brothers chapter book series, offers up an unusual look into how a book is written and illustrated. He writes about a girl named Chloe who is wandering through the forest. When illustrator Adam Rex decides to draw a dragon instead of the lion Mac has written about, Mac calls him out and fires him. He hires a new illustrator, Hank, who draws a lion which promptly eats Adam.

  20. Hidden

    Author, Helen Frost elegantly hides poetic verse within a three part story told through the internal monologues of two girls whose paths will coincidentally cross twice in life. Darra and Wren, both ages 14, recognize each other at summer camp.

  21. Going Bovine

    Going Bovine book cover

    When Cameron is diagnosed with Mad Cow disease his life changes drastically. No longer is he the social pariah shunned by his twin sister, nor is he an embarrassment to his parents. The school he hates puts on a pep rally especially for him that he gets to watch on his living room television, just before he passes out and is taken to the hospital. 

  22. Minette's Feast

    Young children will delight in this charming story of the famous American cook Julia Child living in Paris with her husband Paul and her mischievous tortoiseshell cat, Minette. Julia Child learns to cook with passion and endless energy. Minette inhales the delicious aromas and dines on the most scrumptious meals, yet being a cat, still prefers a good fresh mouse.

  23. The Kommandant's Girl

    The Kommandant's Girl is the story of what an ordinary person will do in impossible circumstances. Nineteen-year-old Emma has been married three weeks then the Nazis invade Poland. Her young husband leaves her alone to go underground with the resistance, and when she returns to her parents' home in the Jewish ghetto she is imprisoned there with the rest of the city's Jews. Late one night she is smuggled out and taken to her husband's Catholic cousin. In order to remain safe, she must assume a gentile identity, the single girl Anna.

  24. King Hugo's Huge Ego

    King Hugo's Huge Ego

    A clever fairy tale told in rhyme about a very short king who boasts constantly and forces his subjects to bow down to him. He meets his match in a common girl who turns out to be a sorceress. She casts a spell on him so that his head expands every time he proclaims his grandness. Young children will love to listen to this funny tale and to experience the bright colorful illustrations.

  25. City of Orphans

    City of Orphans

    Newbery award winner Avi (2003 for Crispin: The Cross of Lead) creates a captivating adventure set in his hometown of New York City in 1893. Life is a hardscrabble existence for Maks and his immigrant family: poverty, illness, threats of gangs, shortage of food, filthy living conditions, and dependence on an unfamiliar society. Thirteen-year-old Maks sells newspapers to earn a few pennies a day which sets him up as a target of the Plug Ugly Gang.

  26. Flat Broke

    Flat Broke

    In this sequel to Liar, Liar by Gary Paulsen, fourteen year old Kevin is broke from having to forfeit his allowance because of his earlier habit of lying. He now schemes to get rich fast by any idea that pops into his head such as starting a poker club, “borrowing” a golf cart that is in the repair shop to do nightly snack runs to college students, convincing his sister to charge her friends for beauty services, cleaning garages for pay and throwing the contents illegally into a company dumpster.

  27. Secrets at Sea

    Secrets at Sea

    Newbery medalist (for A Year Down Yonder) Richard Peck pens an exciting, humorous mouse adventure - - a nonstop entertaining run of mice at sea, sailing with their people, the Cranstons, to England in search of a husband for daughter, Olive Cranston. Helena, the eldest mouse sister, and her family fear discovery, the perils of open water, and the menace of the ship’s cat. Helena narrates the story from mouse perspective (“. . . We mice dream of nothing but cheese and time running out.” p.

  28. Zero to Hero

    Zero to Hero

    This first book in the new Ghost Buddy series by authors Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver will capture readers with its genuine, good guy, but clumsy, protagonist Billy Broccoli. Moving into a new house, Billy finds teenage ghost Hoove in his room and learns to accept him and his suggestions. Hoove is determined to help Billy gain confidence and become cool. When Billy is totally embarrassed by the school bully, Hoove conspires with Billy to get even, yet Billy manages to maintain his ethics while coming out ahead.

  29. Artemis Fowl series

    Artemis Fowl (series)

    This summer the latest and most-likely last (hopefully not!) installment of the Artemis Fowl series, by Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen), was released. The 8 books follow Artemis’ adventures with the Fairy world: dwarves, trolls, goblins, centaurs, pixies, and more; they all live under the earth’s surface but pop up every now and then. Artemis is a young, criminal mastermind, determined to steal Fairy gold to fund the search for his missing father and to refill the family fortune’s rapidly emptying coffers.

  30. Winter Pony

    Winter Pony

    This is a tragic story of a wild, white Manchurian pony’s capture by men and his forced life of serving cruel owners, and later becoming part of an historic journey--the 1910 Terra Nova polar expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Robert Scott. James Pigg, as he is named after a book character, tells his story from his pony point of view. He finds kindness and friendship in Patrick, one of Scott’s men, and decides to work hard to help men accomplish their goal.

  31. Guinea Dog

    Guinea Dog

    What young boy wouldn’t want a dog? Rufus, a fifth grader, argues persistently to justify his need for a dog. His dad stubbornly lists the many reasons why dogs are forbidden in their house: “They infest the house with blood-sucking fleas” and “They drag dead animals into the house” (p. 3). In an attempt to compromise, Mom brings home a guinea pig.  “Fido” turns out to be no ordinary guinea pig. In fact, she does everything a dog would do! She plays Frisbee, obeys commands, licks faces and fetches sticks.

  32. The Resisters

    The Resisters book cover

    This is the first book in a series designed for young readers who like fast-paced, space, science fiction adventures.  There are many elements of space machines, large fighting insects, and alien interactions. 

  33. Young Fredle

    Young Fredle

    Fredle, a small house mouse, indulges in a delicious peppermint pattie, becomes ill, and is pushed out of the family nest. Tossed outside from the farmer’s wife’s dust pan, he is left to die or survive on his own. He befriends Sadie the dog (Sadie, a simple-minded border collie from Voigt’s earlier book, Angus and Sadie in the Davis Farm series) and a few field mice, who become valuable allies. New dangers await—owls, the barnyard snake, and an outlaw gang of raccoons planning to fatten him for their feast.

  34. The Secret of Rover

    The Secret of Rover book cover

    This fast-paced thriller includes intriguing characters, realistic events, and many surprising story twists.  Pre-teens and teenagers who like spy stories with a lot of intrigue and action will enjoy this book.

  35. The Unwanteds

    The Unwanteds book cover

    The story is an enjoyable dystopian fantasy centering around the city of Quill and the hidden magical city of Artimé. In the city of Quill, every year the thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the Wanteds – the strong, intelligent children that attend the University; the Necessary – the children who do manual labor; and the Unwanteds – the artistic, creative children who are sent to the “Death Farm”. Alex and Aaron Stowe are twins who are separated into different categories.

  36. You’ll Like It Here

    You’ll Like It Here (Everybody Does) book cover

    This book is a typical science fiction story about aliens living on earth for a number of years and the co-existence of an alternate world.

  37. Oh, What a Christmas!

    Oh, What a Christmas!

    It’s Christmas Eve and Santa is on his way to deliver toys around the world. Suddenly his reindeer harness breaks, sending him downward “like a BIG, FAT, JOLLY RED SKYROCKET!” Santa crashes into a barn and recruits the barnyard animals. A magical journey ensues with an old dog, cows, sheep, a goat, a horse, and a pig pulling his sleigh. Bright, colorful, luminous pictures draw young children into this riotous tale.

  38. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

    The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
    Origami Yoda Puppet

    Tommy is not one of the cool kids in his school, but of all of his classmates, the weirdest has to be Dwight. When Dwight comes to school with a folded paper finger puppet resembling Yoda from “Star Wars,” it’s strange enough; but when he starts giving his classmates advice, tidbits of insight and wisdom--or correctly predicts happenings like pop quizzes--in screechy Yoda-speak, while holding the origami puppet, Tommy takes notice. Does Origami Yoda have mystical powers, or is he just a “paper wad” as his friend Harvey says? Is Dwight not as dorky as he appears to be?

  39. Middleworld

    Middleworld cover
    Middleworld is book 1 of The Jaguar Stones Trilogy.  
     
  40. The Magical Christmas Horse

    The Magical Christmas Horse

    Heart-warming story of eight year old Johnny’s love for his grandparents’ Connecticut tree farm and a very special antique toy horse. He dreams of giving the toy horse to his little brother, Liam, but the horse is lost. Wishing for a Christmas miracle, Johnny realizes that no gift will equal that little white horse, but he searches for another just in case. A loving, family story to share during the Christmas season.

  41. Savvy

    Savvy

    Turning thirteen is not just about becoming a teenager for Mibs Beaumont. It is a milestone for her family members who turn the magical thirteen because it is the beginning of their unique savvy. Grandma Bomba can move mountains. Grandma cans radio waves to preserve her favorite songs in mason jars. Mother is perfect. Brother Fish creates wind, rain and hurricanes equal to the intensity of his anger and brother Rocket can spark electricity. What will Mibs’ special supernatural gift be?

  42. Merry Christmas, Mr. Snowman!

    Merry Christmas, Mr. Snowman! cover

    A delightful story about two mice, Pip and Squeak, who build a snowman on Christmas Day. When it's time to come inside, they worry about leaving their snowman all alone outside in the cold. They quietly sneak him inside and hide him behind the Christmas tree. When this doesn't work out, the whole family go outside and keep Mr. Snowman company. Soon the whole neighborhood is outside singing and playing in the snow.

  43. Stormbreaker

    Stormbreaker cover

    If you like a James Bond mystery you will definitely like Alex Rider, a 14 year old miniature James Bond spy. After finding out that his uncle was killed and not in a car accident, Alex is reluctantly recruited by M16, a British intelligence agency. Equipped with his own special gadgets Alex is off on his first mission. He is sent to Cornwall to investigate a new computer system which Darrius Sayle has created. Sayle is donating a free Stormbreaker mega-computer to every school in Britain.

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