Book Review Form

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sign Up for March Programs Now!

It's not too early to sign up for these great programs in March!  Registration is required.  You can register in person, by phone at 973-835-5044, or online by clicking here.

Teen Movie Night
Wed. Mar. 6
5:30-7:45 p.m

Come hang out with friends and enjoy popcorn and the film of the month.  In March, go back in time to solve alien crime with Will Smith in "Men in Black 3"!

Teen Advisory Board
Thurs. Mar. 7
5:00-6:00 p.m.

Spend time with friends and help with planning programs and choosing library materials while possibly earning community service hours.

Teen Book Discussion Club
Wed. Mar. 20
6:00-7:00 p.m.

Join us for pizza as we discuss the book of the month.  Next month we're reading Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork.  Pick up your free copy at the Circulation Desk.

Teen Crocheting
Wed. Mar. 27
6:00-7:00 p.m.

Come learn basic patterns and techniques to impress your friends and make them gifts!  Yarn and hooks provided.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Alex Awards

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) recently announced the 2013 winners of the Alex Award.  The Alex Award is given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults. 

Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross:  The photographs in Juvenile in Justice open our eyes to the world of the incarceration of American youth. The nearly 150 images in this book were made over five years of visiting more than 1,000 youth confined in more than 200 juvenile detention institutions in 31 states. These riveting photographs, accompanied by the life stories that these young people in custody shared with Ross, give voice to imprisoned children from families that have no resources in communities that have no power. Not currently available

Caring is Creepy by David Zimmerman:  Fifteen-year-old Lynn Marie Sugrue is doing her best to make it through a difficult summer. Her mother works long hours as a nurse, and Lynn suspects that her mother’s pill-popping boyfriend has enlisted her in his petty criminal enterprises. Lynn finds refuge in online flirtations, eventually meeting up with a troubled young soldier, Logan Loy, and inviting him home. When he’s forced to stay over in a storage space accessible through her closet, and the Army subsequently lists him as AWOL, she realizes that he’s the one thing in her life that she can control. Meanwhile, her mother’s boyfriend is on the receiving end of a series of increasingly violent threats, which places Lynn squarely in the cross-hairs.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan:  The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and luck has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the strange Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.  New Adult Fiction Sloan

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf:  You only think you know this story:  In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer—the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper—seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, "Jeff" was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides. In My Friend Dahmer, a haunting and original graphic novel, writer-artist Backderf creates a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young man struggling against the morbid urges emanating from the deep recesses of his psyche—a shy kid, a teenage alcoholic, and a goofball who never quite fit in with his classmates. With profound insight, what emerges is a Jeffrey Dahmer that few ever really knew, and one readers will never forget. Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard:  In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to become the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands. There, sporting long hair, and warming up to "Jesus Christ Superstar," the Ironmen would play a dramatic game against a Chicago powerhouse that would change their lives forever.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

Pure by Julianna Baggott:  Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost--how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.  New Teen Fiction Baggott

The Round House by Louise Erdrich:  One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.  While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning. The Round House was the 2012 National Book Award winner.  New Adult Fiction Erdrich

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt:  1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood  14-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.  At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple: Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.  Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.  To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.  New Adult Fiction Semple

Monday, February 18, 2013

Printz Awards

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) recently announced the winner and nominees for the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award for Distinguished Young Adult Literature.


In Darkness by Nick Lake:  Fifteen-year-old Shorty awakens beneath the ruins of a crumbled hospital in Haiti, where his weakening mind begins flashing back through his own violent history, the loss of his twin sister, and his mystical connection to Toussaint Louverture, the nineteenth-century revolutionary who helped liberate his country.  New Teen Fiction Lake


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz:  Teenager Aristotle finds himself changed when he meets precocious Dante, whose open and intense friendship over a fateful summer compels Ari to question love, art, adulthood and even the secrets of the universe.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein:  Two young women find their friendship tested while fighting to save themselves and their secrets when caught behind enemy lines in occupied France during World War II.  Teen Fiction Wein

 Dodger by Terry Pratchett:  In this wild historical adventure, 17-year-old Dodger rescues a young woman from an attack, is appointed assistant detective to Charlie Dickens, encounters the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, obtains his first tailored suit, and learns from his mentor Solomon how to navigate a wide range of social and political circles.  New Teen Fiction Pratchett

 The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna:  A summer spent as a “personal care assistant” in the French countryside turns into a journey of self-realization and independence as 19-year-old Taylor Jane, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, tells in her own distinctive voice how she has the skills and heart to live life on her own terms.  Not currently available

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Top Ten Romance Books for Teens

Happy Valentine's Day!  What better way to celebrate than with a heartwarming story.  Here are the top ten romance books for young adults, from Booklist, September 2012:

a + e 4ever by Ilike Merey: Ash is a shy, bisexual pretty boy, and Eu is a strident lesbian.  Their brief but intense relationship unfolds over the course of this graphic novel, revealing much about human nature.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin:  Sixteen-year-old Anya, whose family is involved in organized crime, meets Win, the son of the state's district attorney, and the result is a jolting high-wire romance set in New York City in the year 2083.  Teen Fiction Zevin

The Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone: In this deeply affecting novel, seventh-grader Louise Terrace receives a note from a secret admirer--"I am your biggest fan"--and, in spite of the pain in her life, allows herself to get swept up in the mystery.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony: The story of piano prodigy Glory Fleming and Argentinian teen Francisco Mendoza's mutual obsession is played out over photographs, sketches, scrap paper, IMs, and other visual imagery.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

Every Day by David Levithan:  It's a compelling premise: A (his only name) wakes up in a different body every day, which he accepts...until he meets Rhiannon and falls in love.  New Teen Fiction Levithan

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green:  This ambitious, beautifully conceived book explores the weighty issues of life, love, and death through the relationship between cancers survivors Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters.  Teen Fiction Green

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl: A witty take on classic Regency romances, this Pride and Prejudice-inspired novel introduces 17-year-old Althea Crawley, who needs to marry rich in order to secure the family's only inheritance--a dilapidated castle on the North Sea.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen:  Scar's distinctive first-person voice leads readers deep into the heart of a troubled girl as well as the labyrinth of Sherwood Forest, resulting in a rip-roaring--and romantic--take on an old story from a debut author.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti: Over the course of a single weekend, everygirl Cricket offers up  heartbreaking meditations on the nature of love and loss, partially through letters to her long-term boyfriend, Janssen, whom she has pushed away.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler: Senior Ed Slaterton and junior Min Green fall into a halting, breathless love affair in this 2012 Printz Honor Book.  Their breakup is told from Min's perspective and structured around objects of varying importance--from a matchbook to love letter--that she intends to return to her ex.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

You can put books from other libraries on hold here.  Have you library card and pin number on hand.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February Teen Book Club/Going Bovine

It's not too late to sign up for February's Teen Book Discussion Club. This month we've chosen Going Bovine by best-selling author Libba Bray.

All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally stinks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

Going Bovine was the 2010 winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for Distinguished Young Adult Literature.

Come enjoy a pizza party and a chance to discuss what you did (or didn't) like about the book on Wednesday, February 20 from 6-7 p.m. Free copies are available at the Circulation Desk. Registration is required. You can sign up in person at the library, by phone at 973-835-5044, by email at, or online by clicking here

Friday, February 8, 2013

New Books for February!

Look for these great new books coming soon to Riverdale Public Library!

What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard:  Allie Kim suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum: a fatal allergy to sunlight that confines her and her two best friends, Rob and Juliet, to the night. When freewheeling Juliet takes up Parkour—the stunt-sport of scaling and leaping off tall buildings—Allie and Rob have no choice but to join her, if only to protect her. Though potentially deadly, Parkour after dark makes Allie feel truly alive, and for the first time equal to the “daytimers.”  On a random summer night, the trio catches a glimpse of what appears to be murder. Allie alone takes it upon herself to investigate, and the truth comes at an unthinkable price. Navigating the shadowy world of specialized XP care, extreme sports, and forbidden love, Allie ultimately uncovers a secret that upends everything she believes about the people she trusts the most.  New Teen Fiction Mitchard

In Darkness by Nick Lake:  "Shorty" is a Haitian boy trapped in the ruins of a hospital when the earth explodes around him.  Surrounded by lifeless bodies and growing desperately weak from lack of food and water, death seems inevitable. Yet as Shorty waits in darkness for a rescue that may never come, he becomes aware of another presence, one reaching out to him across two hundred years of history. It is the presence of slave and revolutionary leader Toussaint L'Ouverture, whose life was marred by violence, and whose own end came in darkness. What unites a child of the slums with the man who would shake a troubled country out of slavery?  Is it the darkness they share...or is it hope?  In Darkness won the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award for Distinguished Contribution to Young Adult Literature.  New Teen Fiction Lake

Prodigy: A Legend Novel by Marie Lu:  In this sequel to the best-selling Legend, June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.  It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.  But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?  New Teen Fiction Lu

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool:  At the end of World War II, Jack Baker, a landlocked Kansas boy, is suddenly uprooted after his mother's death and placed in a boy's boarding school in Maine.  There, Jack encounters Early Auden, the strangest of boys, who reads the number pi as a story and collects clippings about the sightings of a great black bear in the nearby mountains. Newcomer Jack feels lost yet can't help being drawn to Early, who won't believe what everyone accepts to be the truth about the Great Appalachian Bear, Timber Rattlesnakes, and the legendary school hero known as The Fish, who never returned from the war. When the boys find themselves unexpectedly alone at school, they embark on a quest on the Appalachian Trail in search of the great black bear.  But what they are searching for is sometimes different from what they find. They will meet truly strange characters, each of whom figures into the pi story Early weaves as they travel, while discovering things they never realized about themselves and others in their lives.   New Teen Fiction Vanderpool

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris:  On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly soon-to-be stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family's trip to Florence, Italy is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits...right into Renaissance Firenze.  Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?   New Teen Fiction Harris

Girl With Borrowed Wings by Rinsai Rossetti:  Controlled by her father and bound by the desert, Frenenqer Paje's life is tediously the same, until a small act of rebellion explodes her world and she meets a boy, but not just a boy--a Free person, a winged person, a shape-shifter. He has everything Frenenqer doesn't. No family, no attachments, no rules.  At night, he flies them to the far-flung places of their childhoods to retrace their pasts. But when the delicate balance of their friendship threatens to rupture into something more, Frenenqer must confront her isolation, her father, and her very sense of identity, breaking all the rules of her life to become free.  A stunningly written tale of an isolated girl and the shape-shifting boy who shows her what freedom could be--if only she has the courage to take it.  New Teen Fiction Rossetti
Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin:  In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: when placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two.  That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned three continents.  In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community.  In Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing.  And deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos.  This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.   Bomb was a 2012 National Book Awards finalist for Young People's Literature.  New Teen Non-Fiction 623.4 SHE

Monday, February 4, 2013

Library Lovers Month

Not only is February the most romantic month of the year, it's also Library Lover's Month!  Here is a poem to celebrate everyone's love of the library!

My Library
by Varda One
It's only a room with shelves and books,
but it's far more magical than it looks.
It's a jet on which I soar
to lands that exist no more.
Or a key with which I find
answer to questions crowding my mind.
Building my habit of learning and growing,
asking and researching till I reach knowing.
I think that I shall never see
a place that's been more useful to me.
With encouraging, kind friends with wit
Who tell me to dream big and never quit.
It's only a room shelves and books,
but it's far more magical than it looks.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Best Adult Books for Young Adults

If you're a great reader, you probably enjoy novels written for adults.  Here are the best adult books for young adults of 2012, chosen by Booklist:

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker:  A coming-of-age story and a tale of a frightening possible future, this gem of a novel features 12-year-old Julia, who is living in a world that is coming to an end as the earth's rotation gradually slows.  New Adult Fiction Walker

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson:  This frenzied novel features a young hacker-for-hire who becomes an enemy of the state after his computer program catches the eye of the iron-clad security prescence known as the Hand.  New Adult Fiction Wilson

The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau:  No, not the Jonas Brothers.  With its spare writing and subtle story, Dau's debut vividly demonstrates the cost of war through 15-year-old Jonas, who moves from a conflict-ridden Middle Eastern country to Pittsburgh.  Adult Fiction Dau

Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale:  Set in the 1930s, this dark, fast-paced, coming-of-age mysery follows teens Sue Ellen, Jinx, and Terry, who are transporting their friend and once-aspiring star Mary Lynn's ashes from East Texas to Hollywood.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman:  Hassman's inventive and utterly believable debut takes place in a 1980's Reno trailer park, where narrator Rory Dawn lives with her alcoholic and mentally ill mother and suffers abuse at the hands of incompetent babysitters.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson:  A mesmerizing tale of how an exposed family secret changes the lives of three generations of women in the Slocumb family, including 30-year-old Liza, a former drug addict, and Liza's gangly and awkward 15-year-old daughter, Mosey.  Adult Fiction Jackson

Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist:  This title begins when an abusive former recording artist and his meek wife discover a musically talented baby in the woods.  As the novel progresses, the oddball protagonists offer up a chilling, disturbing portrait of adolescence.  New Adult Fiction Ajvide

Pure by Julianna Baggott:  Thanks to something called the Detonations, civilization has been destroyed and survivors are horribly burned, scarred, and fused to whatever they happened to be near when the Detonations occurred.  A postapocalyptic novel for Hunger Games fans.  New Teen Fiction Baggott

So Far Away by Meg Mitchell:  Miserable 13-year-old cyberbullied Natalie Gallagher and lonely archivist Kathleen Lynch make a life-changing connection at the Massachussetts State Archives when Natalie bring in an old journal for a school project in this compassionate novel of human connection.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka:  This novel is a beautifully bittersweet mix of heartbreak and hope as 14-year-old June Elbus reels from the death of beloved Uncle Finn, a famous painter who has succumbed to AIDS, in 1987.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

That's Not a Feeling by Dan Josefson:  At the Roaring Orchards Schools for Troubled Teens in upstate New York, the cult leader-like headmaster insists on structure and limits, but interpreting his rules isn't easy for students like Benjamin and Tidbit, whose friendship, confusion, and longing anchor this noteworthy debut.  Available at other libraries through interlibrary loan

When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man by Nick Dybek:  This compelling variation on Treasure Island feature a boy named Cal, a sensitive and courageous guide to the cruel mysteries of adult life, who finds himself thrust in a complex and moral dilemma.  Adult Fiction Dybek

Click here to place interlibrary loans.  Have your library card and pin number on hand.