unRequired Reading Blog

01/09/2017 - 1:00pm
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
There was a time when the world was sweeter, when the women in Beaufort, North Carolina, wore dresses, and the men donned hats. Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he'd been in love. Certainly the last person he thought he'd fall for was Jamie, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town's Baptist minister Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart-and the joy and pain of living. (catalog summary)

Check out these other teen love titles as well:




A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
by Dana Reinhardt
Sixteen-year-old atheist Simone Turner-Bloom's life changes in unexpected ways when her parents convince her to make contact with her biological mother, an agnostic from a Jewish family who is losing her battle with cancer. (catalog summary)

 



Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

01/09/2017 - 12:03am
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

What would you do to survive in wartime? What would you sacrifice? Whom would you sacrifice? Three refugees—all teens—are on the losing side of World War II. They are struggling through the German-Prussian countryside, heading for the same destination—a German evacuation camp of civilians and wounded soldiers on the Baltic Sea. They're hoping for some kind of safety from the Russians who, coming from one direction, will kill them and the Allied Forces, coming from another direction, who could do the same. But they are not even safe from their own countrymen, because all three also have secrets. Ones they are desperate to protect. Ones that could mean they are left behind in the snow by the others to die if they are not killed by the bombs first.

01/05/2017 - 3:19pm
The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.
 

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding
As Thaniel, a wych-hunter, and Cathaline, his friend and mentor, try to rid the alleys of London's Old Quarter of the terrible creatures that infest them, their lives become entwined with that of a woman who may be either mad or possessed. (catalog summary)
 

Looking for a spooky historical fiction? Look no further and check out these titles:

 

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
In post-World War I England, eleven-year-old Triss nearly drowns in a millpond known as "The Grimmer" and emerges with memory gaps, aware that something's terribly wrong, and to try to set things right, she must meet a twisted architect who has designs on her family. (catalog summary)


 



The Cure for Dreaming
by Cat Winters
In Portland, Oregon, in 1900, seventeen-year-old Olivia Mead, a suffragist, is hypnotized by the intriguing young Henri Reverie, who's paid by her father to make her more docile and womanly but who, instead, gives her the ability to see people's true natures, while she secretly continues fighting for women's rights. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

01/05/2017 - 1:20pm
Firmament by Tim Bowler

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Firmament by Tim Bowler
While struggling to cope with the death of his father, a gifted musician, fourteen-year-old Luke must deal with a dangerous bully, a lonely old woman, a blind young girl, his mother's romantic involvement, and his own musical talent. (catalog summary)
 

If you're looking for other titles involving music, check out some of these!

 


Born to Rock by Gordon Korman
High school senior Leo Caraway, a conservative Republican, learns that his biological father is a punk rock legend. (catalog summary)

 

 



Four Seasons by Jane Breskin Zalben
Over the course of a year, thirteen-year-old Allegra Katz, a student at the demanding Julliard School and the daughter of two musicians, tries to decide whether she wants to continue to pursue a career as a concert pianist or to do something else with her life. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

01/18/2017 - 1:21pm
CRRL My Librarian: The 2017 Read Harder Book Challenge

Last year, some library staff members, including myself, challenged others—and our customers—to complete the 2016 Read Harder book challenge from Book Riot. I’ve been trying to expand beyond the books I typically read within the children’s department (and outside of it), so that I will have a better base for recommending books. However, in May, we had our first child. So I did what I could, but a newborn really does eat up a lot of time and energy. Unsurprisingly, I did not read a book in every Book Riot category, although I read multiple books in some categories. Here are the books I read for Book Riot's 2016 Read Harder Challenge. If you are interested in seeing what books other staff members have read, check out our 2016 Reading Challenge Pinterest board here.

If you would like to participate in a reading challenge in 2017, look at our 2017 Reading Challenge Pinterest board, where we are featuring more than one reading challenge to try. Will I read for all of them? Will you? Let's make this a challenge accepted. 

01/03/2017 - 2:59am
The Sword of Summer

The new year brings resolutions for a lot of us, often about ways to improve ourselves. Making a reading resolution is a great way to do just that, and I have one suggestion for you or the teens in your life: start a new series! Today, I am highlighting a few teen book series that had new installments out in 2016, giving readers an opportunity to try something fresh as they start the new year.

12/28/2016 - 11:14am
Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Danica Sharedae is an avian shapeshifter, and the golden hawk's form in which she takes to the sky is as natural to her as the human one that graces her on land. The only thing more familiar to her is war: It has raged between her people and the serpiente for so long, no one can remember how the fighting began. As heir to the avian throne, she'll do anything in her power to stop this war—even accept Zane Cobriana, the terrifying leader of her kind's greatest enemy, as her pair bond and make the two royal families one. Trust. It is all Zane asks of Danica—and all they ask of their people—but it may be more than she can give. (catalog summary)

Here are some other titles you might enjoy:



Born at Midnight
by C.C. Hunter
Sixteen-year-old Kylie Galen thinks her misbehavior in the wake of her grandmother's death and her parents' separation are the reasons she has been sent to Shadow Falls Camp, but learns it is a training ground for vampires, werewolves, and other "freaky freaks," of which she may be one. (catalog summary)

 

 


Eleanor by Johnny Worthen
Shapeshifter Eleanor lives the life of a teenager in rural Wyoming until the only person who knows her secret shows up and challenges her existence and everything she hopes to be. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

12/26/2016 - 2:54am
Cover to Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt

All they want is a Homecoming.

Dicey Tillerman is the 13-year-old big sister, and it’s up to her to look after the younger kids—a situation that becomes a lot more complicated when their mentally ill mother abandons them in the parking lot of a shopping mall.

Their mother said they were going on a trip to see their rich Aunt Cilla. Maybe their mother got confused, the way she does. Maybe she is already at Aunt Cilla’s waiting for them. Maybe not.

12/21/2016 - 2:26pm
Scribbler of Dreams by Mary Pearson

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Scribbler of Dreams by Mary Pearson (audio only)
Despite her family's long feud with the Crutchfields, seventeen-year-old Kaitlin falls in love with Bram Crutchfield and weaves a tangled web of deception to conceal her identity from him. (catalog summary)


If you like suspenseful titles such as Scribbler of Dreams, check out these:



Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem
After a harrowing defection to the United States in 1982, Russian teenager Marya and her father settle in Brooklyn, where Marya is drawn into a web of intrigue involving her gift of foresight, her mother's disappearance, and a boy she cannot bring herself to trust. (catalog summary)

 



Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick
After witnessing a murder, high school senior Stella Gordon is sent to Nebraska for her own safety where she chafes at her protection, but when she meets Chet Falconer it becomes harder for her to keep her guard up, and soon she has to deal with the real threat to her life as her enemies are actually closer than she thinks. (catalog summary)

 


12/21/2016 - 2:05pm
Dead Girls Don't Write Letters by Gail Giles

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Dead Girls Don't Write Letters by Gail Giles
Fourteen-year-old Sunny is stunned when a total stranger shows up at her house posing as her older sister Jazz, who supposedly died out of town in a fire months earlier. (catalog summary)
 

If you like the mysterious intrigue of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, check out these other titles:



The Body in the Woods by April Henry
While helping the Portland County Sheriff's Search and Rescue to seek a missing autistic man, teens Alexis, Nick, and Ruby find, instead, a body and join forces to find the girl's murderer, forming an unlikely friendship, as well. (catalog summary)


 

 



Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
Nora Lopez is seventeen during the summer of 1977, when New York is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam. Meg Medina transports us to a time when tempers and temperatures ran high to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit. (catalog summary)

 

 

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