Recently in Young Adult Category

Bandette in Presto!

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Bandette in Presto! by Paul Tobin, art by Colleen Coover

Bandette, a très chic French thief, steals unique objects of art and literature from the undeserving rich like a modern day Robin Hood in this graphic novel. Using social media, her cute charm, and ninja abilities, Bandette is a fabulously fun role model perfect for any girl who prefers her heroes to wear sensible flats and a functional costume. Presto!

Beth @ East

Winger by Andrew Smith

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Junior year at Pine Mountain Academy (PM) is going to be rough for fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West. With a name like Ryan Dean, things don't come easy. Luckily, most of his rugby teammates called him Winger after his rugby position or Eleven after his jersey number. After Winger steals a teacher's cell phone to make long distance calls to his crush and friend Annie, he is forced to move into Opportunity Hall, aka O-Hall, with the other campus criminals. The most intimidating delinquent is Chas Becker, Winger's new roommate. Will he be able to keep his friends from last year? Can he resolve his roommate problems? Winger's ups and downs are honest, humorous and even illustrated with some doodles. You won't want to miss Winger's story! Check the catalog here for availability.

Katharina @ Central

Celebrate Black History Month with Us!

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A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson, a Coretta Scott King honor book, uses poetic verse to describe Emmett Till; a fourteen year old boy who was lynched in 1955 for whistling at a white woman while at the grocery store. The illustrations by Philippe Lardy offer powerful, bold symbols that follow the verse.

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Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till by Simeon Wright

Wright was twelve years old when he and Till went to the grocery store. He was sleeping in the same bed when Emmett was kidnapped and attended the trial of the men who killed him. A first-hand account of the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till told by the author Simeon Wright, Till's cousin.

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Scholar and author Henry Louis Gates has skillfully and superbly written an encyclopedia of African American history in Life upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008. It is an outstanding, well researched book that focuses on defining events, debates and controversies as well as important achievements of famous and lesser-known figures, in a volume complemented by reproductions of ancient maps and historical paraphernalia.

Sue @ Tippecanoe

Newbery, Caldecott & Printz Award Winners

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Winners of the American Library Association's top awards for children's and YA books, videos and audios, were announced yesterday.

Kate DiCamillo wins the Newbery Medal for Flora & Ulysses, her second Newbery win. Rescuing a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner, comic-reading cynic Flora Belle Buckman is astonished when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates astonishing powers of strength and flight after being revived.

She earned her first Newbery Medal 10 years ago for The Tale of Despereaux, and a Newbery Honor in 2001 for her first novel, Because of Winn-Dixie. DiCamillo was sworn in as the fourth National Ambassador for Young People's Literature earlier this month.

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After three Sibert Honors over the years for his picture books, Brian Floca wins the 2014 Caldecott Medal for Locomotive which presents a visual exploration of America's early railroads, examining the sounds, speed, and strength of the fledgling transcontinental locomotives and the experiences of pioneering travelers. Locomotive also received a 2014 Sibert Honor citation.


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British author Marcus Sedgwick wins the 2014 Michael L. Printz Award for Midwinterblood; seven linked vignettes of passion and love unfold on a Scandinavian island inhabited throughout various time periods by Vikings, vampires, ghosts and a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon.

For a complete list of award winners and honorees, click here.

Jacki @ Central

Scowler by Daniel Kraus

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Ry Burke was a hero when he was 10 years old. He was told to leave his mother alone that awful day but he knew something wasn't right. He rescued his mother from a horrific stunt his abusive father did to her. Their lives became normal for almost 10 years but the family was always nervous Marvin Burke would return to their family farm.

Years later when Ry was 19, his worst nightmare returns. After a meteor crashes into the nearby prison, his father escapes and expectantly returns to their home. Strangely, another meteor also lands on their land and when Marvin Burke arrives home to stop his family from leaving, he also decides he wants to claim the meteor for his own and sell it. With the help of his childhood imaginary protectors, Mr. Furrington, wise Jesus, and the bloodthirsty Scowler, Ry may be able to defeat his horrifying father.

Will this family survive the horror that Marvin Burke is causing them? Will the chaos caused by the meteor finally free the Burke's from the fear they have been living with all these years? The tension and gruesome details make Scowler a fast-paced read that grips you until the end. This is just one of the exciting Young Adult titles on the 2014 Milwaukee County Teen Book Award (MCTBA) list. Please check out the blog and follow us on Twitter @MCTBAward.

Katharina @ Central

Check out our favorite Teen Reads of 2013

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Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - In the future vampires and those infected are sent to live in coldtowns to prevent others from being bitten by vampires.



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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - Though twins, sisters take a different approach to their new found freedom as college freshmen.


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Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein - Rose Justice, an American civilian pilot in WWII, writes her accounts in a journal after surviving Ravenbruck concentration camp.


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If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch - Now living with their father, Carey and Janessa are trying to re-adjust after living for years with their drug addicted mother in hiding in a state park in Tennessee.


madnessunderneath.jpegThe Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson - Sequel to Name of the Star, Rory Devereaux is back in London hoping to help the underground police unit solve mysterious cases.



Katharina @ Central

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

lifeaswe.jpgWhat would it take to end life as we know it? Would it require all-out nuclear war? Virulent viruses that cause zombies to walk the earth? Alien invaders from far-off spiral arms of the galaxy? Or maybe something a little more close to earth: the Moon. How exactly can the Moon bring about the end of civilization, you ask? Well it turns out that Susan Beth Pfeffer has explored exactly that idea in her excellent novel Life as We Knew It.

Life as We Knew It is told in the manner of a diary, written by a sixteen year old girl named Miranda living in Pennsylvania. It begins like any other young adult novel, with a teenager girl and her problems with friends, family, school, and her hopes and dreams for the future. Yet something different is happening, not that Miranda pays too much attention. A meteor is going to hit the Moon, so big that it will be visible on the Earth. Miranda isn't too excited for the event, indeed she complains because all of her teachers are giving her extra homework based around the event.

Then, when the event occurs, everything changes. The moon's orbit shifts, ending up closer to the Earth. This, however, proves almost as disastrous as if it crashed into the Earth itself. Weather patterns change, tides surging, terrible floods, typhoons and tornadoes and tempests raging across the world. Panic ensues, but Miranda is very lucky that her mother is not only level-headed but resourceful. Miranda's family stocks up on food and other supplies, trying to prepare for what comes next. But there was no way any of them could be prepared for what comes next.

Life as We Knew It is a tremendous, gripping book about the struggle to survive in circumstances that are simultaneously apocalyptic and realistic. Pfeffer writes Miranda as utterly human, vulnerability tempered by a growing strength in the face of horrific circumstances. Once you pick this book up, you'll find it very hard to put down. You'll turn each page, following Miranda and her family utterly absorbed. Definitely check this book out as soon as possible, as you'll never know when life as we know it might end.

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