Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

New Books Highlight: Books that Sound Great!

Prophecy by Ellen Ohprophecy

Kira is a Demon Slayer, the Prince’s bodyguard, and the only girl in the King’s army. In short, she doesn’t have a lot of friends. She’s a complete outcast, actually. But because of what makes people fear her, her ability to see the demons who kill and then possess innocent people, she will play an important role in saving her society. Demons are growing in strength, and the prince might be the fabled savior predicted by an ancient prophecy, so it’s all Kira can do to keep him safe and try to unravel the mystery of the prophecy. Rooted in really cool Asian mythology, this book gives a new spin on the female main character who has to save the world. Plus, it’s the first in a trilogy (of course) so you have more great stories to anticipate.

Sneak Peek! “People feared Kira. They called her the Demon Slayer to her face and much worse behind her back. It didn’t matter that she was a first cousin to the crown prince or that she’d saved his life from a demon attack. Ten years was long enough for most to forget what really happened and instead to believe the rumors that began soon after.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Ellen Oh)

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Labantragedy paper

Told in alternating viewpoints by two students at the same prestigious boarding school, separated by one year, this is a riveting read that will have you hooked by the end of the first chapter. Tim’s story is that of being an outcast, and finding forbidden love in the form of the girlfriend of the most popular guy in school. Duncan’s story is that of being given the story of Tim’s senior year – a gift from Tim to Duncan, left in the small dorm room they both were assigned to in their final year at Irving. Duncan dares to turn Tim’s story into his Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of the senior thesis in which every senior must define tragedy. Their lives are intertwined in more ways than one and Duncan  must strive to understand why before he can move beyond Irving.

Sneak Peek! “As Duncan walked through the stone archway leading into the senior dorm, he had two things on his mind: what ‘treasure’ had been left behind for him and his Tragedy Paper. Well, maybe three things: he was also worried about which room he was going to get.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Elizabeth Laban)

Being Henry David by Cal Armisteadhenry david

He wakes up with no memory, no ID, alone in Penn Station with $10 and a copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. With no idea who he is, he becomes Henry David – Hank – and does all he can think to do, make his way to Walden Pond, the setting of the book, the only possession he seems to have. Hank begins to understand that his mind is blocking his past from view, but he can’t imagine what trauma caused him to purposely stop himself from knowing his own past. As he sleeps in the woods near Walden Pond and tries to begin life over, memories come back in pieces and he fears the stranger he learns about – himself.

Sneak Peek! “The last thing I remember is now. Now, coming at me with heart-pounding fists. My eyes shoot open, and there is too much. Of everything. Blurred figures, moving. White lights. Muffled waves of sound. Voices. Music. Chaos.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Cal Armistead)


TAB Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adamshitchhiker

The World has ended. Arthur Dent, the only human left, has been rescued by an alien who goes by the name Ford Perfect. To escape being killed in the Earth’s destruction, Ford and Arthur sneak on the Vogon alien’s spaceship. The Vogons find them and, after reading some of their poetry to Arthur and Ford (a painful method of torture because Vogon poetry is the third worst in the Universe), they throw them out into space. Just before they suffocate, Ford and Arthur are picked up by the Infinite Improbability Drive – a valuable spaceship stolen by the President of the Imperial Galactic Government. Ford and Arthur meet smart, levelheaded Trillian; Zaphod, the crazy President of the Imperial Galactic Government and Marvin, the depressed robot. Together they go on an exciting adventure to discover a planet and the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

This hilarious story is full of coincidence, randomness and adventure. The unique characters and unpredictable plot will take you on a journey through the universe.

–  Written by TAB member Sabine P.

New Books Highlight: Dude Lit

How about looking at some books that really have guys’ interests at heart? I mean, not every book out there has to involve a love triangle.

The Bridge by Jane Higgins

In a bleak war-ridden future world: Nik is a high school student destined for greatness as a member of ISIS, the Internal Security and Intelligence Services. But when Nik is passed over, his life changes tracks. Soon, his best friend Sol has gone missing, and Nik is on the hunt, even if it means crossing over from the relative safety of Cityside into the dangerous outside world of the Southside. But ISIS is also on the hunt, for Nik.

Carter’s Unfocused, One-Track Mind by Brent Crawford

You might remember Will Carter from Carter Finally Gets It and Carter’s Big Break. Here he is in his sophomore year at Merrian High, without having learned much from the previous year’s hilarious and socially disastrous events. Carter’s on the bench for football, in a state of confusion over his on-again off-again girlfriend, and primed and ready for a fight with just-out-of-juvie Scary Terry Moss. Brilliantly funny.

Momentum by Saci Lloyd

Set in a future less bleak but just as divided as that of The Bridge, this story is a gripping thrill ride. The privileged Citizens and struggling Outsiders of future London live completely separately. The government, run by the Citizens, is not a friendly one, but Hunter has to live with it since his father works for them. When Hunter meets, and soon teams up with, Outsider Uma, he is awoken to the secret world of the Outsiders.

History in Fact & Fiction

Situation: you’re reading the textbook for your history/social studies class when suddenly you realize you’re practically asleep and have no idea what you just read for the last hour. You yawn. You look at your cell phone and check Facebook. You cry a little inside at the fact that your grade is tied to how successfully you can get through this dry-as-dry-cereal textbook. You curse all of history for causing you such deep boredom.

Yep, history can sure be boring. But that’s really only because a lot of boring history books have been written. And so we tend to think that all of history is truly boring.The truth is, it’s boringly-written history books, not history itself, that tends towards the, ahem, less-than-interesting end of things.

I’m here to tell you that history is ridiculously fascinating if you read the right book. You can learn about history – I mean really learn about it! – from both well-researched fiction and well-written factual, or non-fiction, books. There is this under-explored genre called narrative non-fiction that I highly recommend: narrative non-fiction combines the best elements of fiction – plotline, well-developed characters, dialogue – with good research, primary source documents (like newspapers and photographs), and just plain fact.

Be prepared to expand your mind and travel back in time with a few of these historical fiction and historical fact titles from the library:

Set sail on the high seas and shiver yer timbers with…

Pirates! The True and Remarkable Adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, Female Pirates by Celia Rees (Call number: YA REES)

A Thousand Years of Pirates by William Gilkerson (Call number: Youth Non-fiction X 910.4 G474)

Take a journey to France and see a side of World War II you might not have heard about with…

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Call number: YA WEIN)

A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead (Call number: Adult Non-fiction 940.5344 M825)

Go East to Cambodia and check out a crucial 20th century story in…

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (Call number: YA MCCORMI)

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung (Call number: Adult Non-fiction 959.6042 U57)

For a list of more historical fiction and really readable non-fiction, come to the library and check out the display of Fact and Fiction.

New Books Highlight: Non-Fiction

This week let’s take a look at some of the fab new non-fiction  you can now find on the shelf at Shorewood Library.

First off: I know what you’re thinking. Non-fiction is super boring. It’s textbooks, and homework, and boring stuff like history. Not true! The non-fiction you will find in the YA section (and much of the youth and adult non-fiction, too) is mostly what is called “narrative non-fiction” which means it is written in a narrative style like fiction. It’s telling you a story, just like fiction, but the story is very much true. Plus, the books feature background information, timelines, recommendations for where to find out more, maps, quotes, pictures, images of old newspapers and other cool stuff like that. Got a time period, event, or person you need to study for school? Check out some great narrative non-fiction to have fun while learning. Or, if you just want to expand your brain in a terribly satisfying manner, narrative non-fiction is good for that, too.

Without further ado, three new highly recommended books:

To The Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement by Charlayne Hunter-Gault

For those fiction lovers who love realistic stories about strength in the face of diversity. Laced with moving images and unbelievable stories of hardship and strength, this is a must-read for anyone interested in our nation’s history. The author takes a really unique perspective and leads us backwards through history, rather than forwards as is usually the trajectory of history books. Thus, the story begins in 2008 with the election of the United States’ first black president, Barack Obama. The book is chock full of full-page spreads showing newspaper headlines from the eras discussed, sharp black-and-white images of crucial people and events, and a totally engrossing writing style that will make you forget you’re reading about history.

Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies by Marc Aronson

More of a spy thriller fan? Aronson’s thrilling true tale has got you covered. The book takes you through Hoover’s CIA – from the Cold War, through the Civil Rights movement – and his power-hungry reign over the American intelligence industry, with tons of insight into what made Hoover tick. Think of this as underground history. Who knew that J. Edgar Hoover, one of the most powerful men of the 20th century, had such a dramatic, twists-and-turns kind of life? You’ll be on the edge of your seat. Simply fascinating!

The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure by Martin W. Sandler

If you’re an adventure reader, you’ll find plenty of real-life action in this book. The Arctic – harrowing, cold, ice-filled, stormy and wet – provides a perfect backdrop for one incredible adventure. In 1897, three whaling ships were trapped in the Alaskan ice when a series of storms wreaked havoc. President McKinley ordered an overland rescue of them to be undertaken by several men, two herds of reindeer (to feed the trapped whalers) and a fleet of sled dogs, and the rest was amazing, adventurous history.

So, non-fiction doesn’t sound so boring anymore, right?

New Books Highlight: Graphic Novels

Friday is the day for new books! What’s shiny and unread on the Shorewood Library shelves this week? Graphic novels!

Cardboard written and illustrated by Doug TenNapel

In this stand-alone graphic novel, Doug TenNapel (author of other great  graphics including Bad Island and Ghostopolis) tells us the story of Cam and his hard-up and out-of-work dad who tries to create a little magic for Cam on his birthday. Cam’s dad builds a cardboard creature that comes to life, with somewhat disastrous consequences for the entire town once bad-boy neighbor Marcus gets his wily hands on it. If you like stories involving a little adventure, a little fantasy, and a little world-saving, and stories of off-kilter villains and humble heroes, you’ll love this one.

Broxo written and illustrated by Zack Giallongo

Fantasy meets zombie invasion meets graphic novel in this unique adventure story. If you are a fan of fantasy and/or zombie fic, but not yet on board with graphic novels, start with Broxo. The title character, Broxo, is the last surviving member of a band of barbarians who spends his time avoiding the walking dead that periodically try to share his deserted mountaintop with him. When a princess comes along, she and Broxo team-up to defeat the zombie-like creatures and try to unravel the mystery of Broxo’s lost band of warriors. A fun read!

Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson

Hope Larson re-imagines A Wrinkle in Time visually, creating the world of Meg Murry we have all only seen in our imaginations. If you haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time in a while, pick this up for a really great reminder, and to discover new things about the story, too. (That said, if you’ve never read A Wrinkle in Time start with the non-graphic novel version…)

Summer Reading

Looking for a great book to read this summer? Try one of these:

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
The summer after senior year brings a life changing road trip for Colby and the band he’s touring with.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
A cyborg Cinderella retelling with lots of action and romance.

The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman
A strange disc in the air above his house transports Tucker on a wild adventure.

Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
A long distance relationship may be forever broken by one mistake.

The List by Siobhan Vivian
How does making the list forever change your life?

The Scorpio Races

Every October the water horses come to the small island of Thisby.  These flesh-eating and mammoth horses are captured by locals and ridden in the annual Scorpio Races.

Kate, known as Puck, has lost her parents and with her brother moving to the mainland fears losing what little is left of her life.  Kate has no interest in the Scorpio Races, but this year, winning the race and the prize money is the only way to keep her home.  But Kate refuses to ride one of the killer water horses, instead she’ll ride her horse.

In a race for men and killer water horses, Kate finds only one ally, Sean Kendrick.  Sean and his water horse, Corr, have won several Scorpio Races.  But winning this year means freedom for Sean and Corr.

A National Book Award Honor book, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater is a stunning imagining of the water horse myth with a timeless setting, thrilling adventure, and two of the most wonderful characters I’ve met in literature.

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

It all began with a balloon. Being the youngest and lightest working on the airship, Aurora, Matt Cruse was sent across the ocean thousands of feet in the air to rescue a balloon and the injured man aboard. On the Aurora the old man soon dies, seemingly going crazy. He talked of strange creatures he saw in the sky. His last words were to Matt: “I only wish Kate could have seen them.”

So begins Kenneth Oppel’s creative, other-worldly novel, Airborn.

Matt soon meets the rich Kate De Vries, a passenger on the Aurora. She is a strong, stubborn character with a passion for science and books.

She reveals to Matt one of her many secrets: She is the balloonist’s granddaughter and is determined to see the strange creatures he spoke of to Matt and wrote about so vividly in his journal

A pirate attack causes a problem with the Aurora and things are not looking good for the airship. Matt is having trouble staying loyal to both his captain and Kate.

This is an exciting and unpredictable story. As soon as circumstances seem to be getting better, there is a turn for the worst.

Airborn also demonstrates the beauty of nature and things untouched by human civilization. As Matt and Kate discover, there are places where very few have ever been and even fewer have returned from. This plants a spark of hope and imagination in reader’s minds to hear of such places as Oppel beautifully describes.

There’s a little of everything in Airborn: romance, adventure, mystery, an exciting trip to lost islands, flying pirate ships, and many other secrets in the sky.

Reviewed by Sabine, Teen Advisory Board member

Web of Air by Philip Reeve

Fever Crumb is back and in A Web of Air is putting her skills as an engineer to work helping Arlo Thursday build a flying machine.

After leaving London, Fever spent two years on the Lyceum, a traveling theater company.  On a stop in Mayda-at-the-World’s-End, Fever discovers a young inventor who is trying to create an aeroplane.  However, Arlo believes Fever has been sent to kill him, as other inventors interested in flying are mysteriously dying.  Determined to find out what’s going on and help Arlo, Fever gets involved in a very dangerous business.

A Web of Air is the sequel to Fever Crumb.  And both are prequels to the amazing Mortal Engines series.  Philip Reeve is a tremendous author and if you’re looking for a great new fantasy/sci-fi/action adventure series I highly recommend his books.