Thursday, December 20, 2012

Our Top 10 in 2012: Karen Steps in With a Lucky Seven

Karen is another new librarian at Cherrydale Branch Library! We're thrilled that she's willing to chime in with a few of her opinions on young adult lit. Welcome Karen!

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (see more)
Have you ever been shocked by the sheer genius of a book?  At first glance, I was certain that Beauty Queens was not for me but as I tore through the 396 pages, I was smacked in the face with the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover.”  I fell in the love with the way Libba Bray takes female stereotypes and explodes them!

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormack
Never Fall Down is a poignant account of a young Cambodian boy’s harrowing experience with the Khmer Rouge.  Arn’s motto is “never fall down.”  It is what keeps him moving as he witnesses and takes part in atrocities that will shape his life.

Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys (see more posts here)
Have I mentioned that I am obsessed with the improbable, with the impossible?  Lina, the main character, is only 15 when Soviet soldiers send her family to Siberia.  This is a story that weaves a glimmer of hope into the unthinkable events of World War II.

The Good Braider by Terry Farish
The simple free verse form takes you straight into the heart of a Sudanese immigrant.  The story weaves the cultural intricacies between Viola’s life in Sudan and her new one in Portland, Maine.  Things that the average American takes for granted, Viola constantly questions: is it safe to wear a short skirt?  What about spending time alone with a boy?  Is it fair that she escaped while so many are still in Sudan?  Terry Farish gives an eye-opening glimpse into the complexities of starting a new life in a world miles from home.

As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott
Have you ever felt like you were living a life that wasn’t real?  Ava Hanson certainly feels that way.  Friends and family are familiar but the memories they share with her aren’t the ones she remembers.  As the pieces of her life start to come together, she has to decide…between what is real and what is ideal.  I love that as the story unfolds you become just as torn as Ava and you wonder who you can trust.

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 edited by David Eggers
Where do I start?  The shorts in this book are selected by high school students.  The items included in this collection challenge the traditional sense of what it means to read.  Is a tweet a story?  How about the transcripts from “Jeff, one lonely guy,” a guy who pastes his number all over New York City saying, “if anyone wants to talk about anything, call me.”  This is proof that reading is a living and evolving art.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (see our full review here)
Think that falling in love is tough?  Meet Blue.  Since she can remember, she’s been told she’ll cause her true love’s death so she decides that she’ll never fall in love.  So far so good, but can it last?  When she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys, who is looking for a lost Welsh King, she’ll need to use all she’s learned from her psychic family to answer his questions and hers.  Filled with the supernatural and myths of old, it looks to be the start of a promising series.

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