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Archive for the ‘Teens Top Ten Winner’ Category

YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten – 2010 list

Posted by Laura on October 19, 2010

The Teens’ Top Ten list is in for 2010 and here are the winners:

1. Collins, Suzanne. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)

Katniss is faced with the challenges of being a victor of the Games, from keeping up the image of a romantic relationship with Peeta to trying to prevent rioting in the other districts. When the Capitol announces a twist that will affect Katniss forever, will she be able to survive re-entering the world of the Games? (YA Fic SF Collins)

2. Clare, Cassandra. City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)

Still pursuing a cure for her mother’s enchantment, Clary uses all her powers and ingenuity to get into the forbidden country of the secretive shadowhunters, and to its capital, the City of Glass. There with the help of a newfound friend, she uncovers important truths that will not only help save her mother but all those that she holds most dear. (YA Fic SF Clare)

3. Carter, Ally. Heist Society

Katarina wants to get out of the family thievery business. When her father is suspected of stealing priceless artwork from an Italian mobster, she has to steal them back to save his life-and she has no idea where they are. (YA Fic M Carter)

4. Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver

In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her Minnesota home, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity. Soon, he must make a life or death decision to stay with the one he loves. (YA Fic M Stiefvater)

5. Fitzpatrick, Becca. hush, hush

Nora has always been cautious in her relationships, but when Patch, who has a dark side she can sense, enrolls at her school, she is mysteriously drawn to him, despite warnings from her best friend, the school counselor and her own instincts. (YA Fic M Fitzpatrick)

6. Garcia, Kami and Margie Stohl. Beautiful Creatures

Lena isn’t like the other girls in Gatlin, South Carolina: she is a Caster. Ethan wants to be different; he hates life in Gatlin. So when he runs into Lena, something just clicks. Can an ancient curse, a shut-in uncle, and certain doom keep them apart? (YA Fic M Garcia)

7. Dessen, Sarah. Along for the Ride

When Auden impulsively goes to stay with her father, stepmother, and new baby sister the summer before starting college, all the trauma of her parents’ divorce is revived, even as she is making new friends and having new experiences. (YA Fic Dessen)

8. Forman, Gayle. If I Stay

After a drive with her family, Mia wakes up to find the car in pieces and the bodies of her family by the side of the road. Although she is in a coma, she can see everything happening around her, almost as if she were a ghost. With her family gone, Mia has to decide if she should stay among the living or the dead. (YA Fic Forman)

9. Cashore, Kristin. Fire.

In a kingdom called the Dells, Fire is the last human-shaped monster, with unimaginable beauty and the ability to control the minds of those around her, but even with these gifts she cannot escape the strife that overcomes her world. (YA Fic SF Cashore)

10. Anderson, Laurie Halse. Wintergirls

Lia sees her eating disorder as a way to avoid so much: her stepmother’s pressure to be a role model for her new stepsister, her parents’ divorce, her mother’s constant hounding over her eating habits. Most importantly, she sees it as a means to escape the death of her best friend, the one she ignored the day she died from the same disease Lia is fighting herself. (YA Fic Anderson)

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Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater

Posted by Laura on January 7, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (pronounced “Steve-Otter” according to her website) is the first book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.

Grace lives with her neglectful parents on the edge of a wood in Mercy Falls, Minnesota.  Living in the wood are wolves.  When she was younger, the wolves attacked her as she was playing on the swings.  One wolf saved her from the others and since that time she has been fascinated by her wolf with the incredible yellow eyes.

And the wolf?  The wolf is fascinated right back.  And he isn’t always a wolf.  In the heat of summer he is a young man named Sam but when the temperature falls, he is the yellow eyed wolf who is drawn to the girl he once saved.

When finally, finally(!) they meet there is no denying their feelings for each other, and Sam must fight against the falling temperature to keep himself from turning into the wolf.  Because each year a person changes into a wolf it is harder to turn back into a human and this may be Sam’s last year.

Book two is due out in July 2010 and will be called Linger.

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Fire – Kristin Cashore

Posted by Laura on November 23, 2009

There is trouble in the Dells. The last king had been controlled by the human monster, Cansrel, and between the two of them they made a mess of the kingdom. Now there are factions who want to take the kingdom away from young King Nash and war is on the horizon.

Monsters are terribly beautiful.  They are shaped like any other animal of their species, but they come in vibrant colors.  Monsters stun their prey with their beauty, and then take over their minds, making the prey that much easier to catch.

Fire, Cansrel’s daughter,  is the last human monster.  She is beautiful beyond words with hair the color of fire.  Her appearance instills great passion in all who see her.  Non human monsters want nothing more than to consume her and humans either love her or hate her.

King Nash sends for Fire so that she might interrogate strangers, assassins and supposed supporters to find out who the enemy is, what they are planning, and how to keep the country from falling apart.  But, Fire is not like her father.  She hated what Cansrel did with his power and she is afraid that if she uses her power, she will become like him.

But, first she has to get to King City.  Imagine how hard that is when there are monster raptors dropping upon her from above, because they really, really want to eat her.  Then there are the humans in the army surrounding her who really, really love her, or really, really hate her.  (Imagine the love to be like that seen at a rock concert.  Uncontrolled hysteria.  Not everyone is effected that way, but enough are to become a problem.)  It is a good thing that she has a guard of 20 people who know how to control their own minds.

Fire by Kristin Cashore is a companion novel to Graceling (a 2009 Teens’ Top Ten winner). You can read either one first.  But, I expect that if you read one, you will really, really want to read the other.

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2009 Teens’ Top Ten Winners announced

Posted by Laura on October 19, 2009

YALSA reports that more than 11,000 teens voted for the 2009 Teens’ Top Ten and here is the list in order of votes:

1.  Green, John Paper Towns
2.  Meyer, Stephenie
Breaking Dawn
3.  Collins, Suzanne
The Hunger Games
4.  Clare, Cassandra
City of Ashes
5.  Hopkins, Ellen
Identical
6.  Gaiman, Neil
The Graveyard Book
7.  McMann, Lisa
Wake
8.  Cast,
Kristin & P.C. Untamed
9.  Lo
ckhart, E. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
10.  Cashore, Kristin
Graceling

Of the 10, I have read four and enjoyed them all.

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Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins

Posted by Laura on September 14, 2009

Catching Fire, book two in The Hunger Games trilogy, is as exciting as the first.

It is almost half a year since Katniss and Peeta survived the Hunger Games.   They live in separate homes in Victor’s Village, near Haymitch, and Katniss’ mom and sister live with her.  Once each month for the winning year each family in District 12 receives food on Parcel Day as part of the award for having sent the winning child (or children in this case) to the Hunger Games.

At the start of the novel, Katniss and Peeta are preparing to go on the Victory Tour with stops in each district and the Capitol.    This tradition keeps the horror of the Games alive.  The winners have to make a public appearance and the family members of the dead tributes are placed on a special platform so that they have to look into the face of the winner(s), the person who may have killed their child.   This is also the time for the winner(s) to thank the dead tributes for any alliances that assisted them, and the people of the district if they sent any gifts during the game.

After hunting and visiting Haymitch and Peeta, Katniss walks into her home and finds President Snow waiting for her.   He informs her that her method of keeping both of them alive at the end of the Games has been interpreted as an act of defiance in the Districts.   If during the Victory Tour, she and Peeta can’t convince everyone that their love is true and stop the idea of rebellion, their families and their own lives are at risk.

On top of all this is the forthcoming Quarter Quell – the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games.  Every 25 years a more spectacular Games is devised.  And this year’s is a doozy.

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The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman (illustrations by Dave McKean)

Posted by Laura on June 9, 2009

Nobody Owens, Bod for short, lives in the graveyard on the same street where his family was murdered when he was a toddler.  Because his family is dead, and the killer, the man Jack, is still looking for him, he is being raised by ghosts.  And a guardian.

Bod has been given the Freedom of the Graveyard and as such can see in darkness as well as a bunch of other neat and handy tricks.  He learns his alphabet and numbers with the help of  gravestones.  He learns history from those who had lived it.  But one thing the graveyard can’t give Bod is the experience of being with the living.

I always find Neil Gaiman’s writing to be wonderful, and Dave McKean’s illustrations add to the enjoyment.  I even like how the text is arranged around the art.  Unfortunately, Bod’s clothing in the book doesn’t match up with the clothing in the drawings of him.  Where is the grey winding sheet?  There.  That is my one gripe.

The Graveyard Book is on the Teens Top Ten list for 2009, because a bunch of teens loved it.   Not only that, but it won the Newbery Medal for 2009, as well. That means a lot of library people thought it was the best book written for kids and teens last year.  It also won the 2009 Hugo award (to honor excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy).

My question to you… What would you have written on your gravestone?

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Wintergirls – Laurie Halse Anderson

Posted by Laura on May 11, 2009

Lia needs to be weighed every week.  Before each weighing she gulps down as much water as she can and dons her yellow robe with the quarters sewn into the pockets.  She stands on the scale in front of her stepmother and she tips the scales at 107 pounds.  That number is too low.  (According to her stepmother.)

When she goes back to her room and uses her own scale, after peeing out the water and removing the robe, she weighs 99 pounds.  That number is too high.  (According to Lia.)  But it is goal number 1.

The book starts out with Lia being told that her old best friend Cassie was found dead in a motel room, all alone, early Sunday morning.    Lia tells no one that Cassie had called her many times starting late Saturday night.  Lia was too angry at Cassie to answer the phone.  And really, why should she answer a call from a person who abandoned her 6 months ago?

33 times Cassie called.   And now she is haunting Lia.

Lia has anorexia.  Lia is starving herself in control. Except she doesn’t know why Cassie was calling her, or what she wants now. Wintergirls is another riveting book by Laurie Halse Anderson.

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Graceling – Kristin Cashore

Posted by Laura on January 29, 2009

Some people born in Katsa’s world are Graced, which means that they have one extreme skill.  Some are Graced with swimming, running or tabulating.  Katsa is Graced with killing, and this makes her a useful weapon for her king.

The Graced have eyes of two different colors; Katsa’s are blue and green. This marking makes the Graced near impossible to hide, and Katsa’s deeds are well known and far told.

We meet Katsa when she is tired of being the king’s dog, of being ordered about and used as a threat against innocent people.  She, with the help of others, created the Council, a secret organization of spies and sympathizers from across the Seven Kingdoms that worked in secret to thwart the actions of bad rulers against those they should have been protecting.

Why would an elderly prince of a peaceful land be kidnapped and held in a dungeon of another kingdom?  As far as Katsa is concerned, there can be no good reason for it, and so he must be freed.  Welcome to page 1.  Expect hand to hand combat and arrow play.  Knives, swords, whatever.  Katsa can use them all.  But, things are not always as  first they appear to be.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore is fantastic. According to her blog a prequel, called Fire, will be published in October 2009, and she is at work on a third in the series.  I am excited.

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The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Posted by Laura on January 15, 2009

Imagine yourself standing in a crowd of twelve to 18 year-olds. In front of you is a stage with three chairs and two large glass balls filled with slips of paper. Each slip has a name written on it. One ball is for the girls, the other for the boys. Two will be chosen to go to the Capital of Panem and compete in The Hunger Games.

Each district of the Panem has a reaping.  Twenty-four contestants will compete.  The winner will be rewarded with a life of ease.  The winner’s district will be given extra grain, oil and sugar until the next reaping day.

Don’t worry about the twenty-three other contestants. They will be killed in the games. And everyone will see it live on TV.

Sixteen year-old Katniss Everdeen’s name is on twenty slips of paper.  Prim, her beloved twelve year-old sister, has her name on one.  What can Katniss do other than volunteer when the name Primrose Everdeen is pulled from the ball?

The Hunger Games is powerful.  And everyone is watching.

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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – E. Lockhart

Posted by Laura on October 27, 2008

Do you ever feel that you are being watched?  Do you alter your behavior because of that?  Or, do you feel that no one ever sees you?

Frankie is a sophomore at the Alabaster Preparatory Academy, a school where there is a secret society to which her father once belonged.    He speaks fondly of the Academy and talks about the old days with friends he still has from school.

The society is called the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds.  One day Frankie follows Matthew, a boy that she is dating, and discovers the all boy group.  They are planning a Halloween prank, but they need to think up a prank that will go down in history.

Frankie thinks back to her father’s dinner conversation, well, he and his pal’s dinner pledging, actually, and realizes that there is a hidden journal of past members and activities.  Frankie plans on finding that journal.  The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is the result.  The pranks she plans are complex and, it must be said, fantastic.  But, would anyone believe that it is Frankie who is planning them?

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