FanTABulous Reads

Divergent, Hunger Games, City of Bones -- been there, done that, right? Our Teen Activity Board put together this list of their favorite teen titles and we think it's a great guide if you want to read something a bit less... overexposed. Read on to learn about each book in the TAB member's own words.

Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison
Gilda Joyce has been determined to connect with the “other side” ever since her dad died. An opportunity just happens to come up when Gilda invites herself over to a strange relative’s house in San Francisco. People who love mysteries should read this book!
Recommended by: Maya S. 

 The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes
Ever since Paige and her best friends -- high school royalty -- got into a car accident on their way home from a party, Paige has been doubting herself and her way of life. This book has great character development and accurately depicts high school relationships!
Recommended by: Maya J.

 The Mediator: Shadowland by Meg Cabot
Suze is a mediator -- a liason between the living and the dead. She thought her life would get easier after her family moved , but there’s a ghost with revenge on her mind, and Suze is in the way. People who love fantasy, romance, and mystery should try this title!
Recommended by: Maya S. 

 The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
A high school student discovers that he is a member of a magical society. People who enjoy the fantasy genre should check out this book.
Recommended by: Meghna 

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
During World War I, 16-year-old Hattie Brooks attempts to work the land willed to her from her uncle while trying to combat excessive nationalism and the communist scare sweeping across the U.S. My favorite historical fiction novel (and a clean read!)
Recommended by: Daria

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
A skillful thief is hand-selected from the king’s prison to go on a perilous journey and steal an ancient treasure for the king’s scholar. Anyone interested in a series filled with fantasy and adventure should read this book.
Recommended by: Daria

The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer
A girl’s sister is accused of murder. In the process of protecting her, she uncovers many secrets about the victim and his twisted relationships. If you love murder mysteries, you should give this book a try.
Recommended by: Meghna

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
For the past six months, Hannah’s dead best friend Lillian has been haunting her. Now it’s one of the hottest summers in history and Hannah’s group of friends is collapsing, she’s falling for a local delinquent, and to top it all off, there’s a serial killer on the loose. Not a typical YA novel! This one will keep you entertained and make you think while it does it.
Recommended by: Maya J.


Read any of these? Let us know what you thought of them in the comments!


Summer Reading Club 2013 is Live!

Whether it's for fun or because you're one of the lucky ones who was assigned The Grapes of Wrath as your summer reading book, we're willing to bet you're reading up a storm this summer! Don't just sit there - register for our Summer Reading Program, log your minutes, and EARN PRIZES for all that page-turning you're doing! It's super simple:

1) Read! Duh. What counts as reading? Books, audiobooks, comics/graphic novels, manga, magazines & newspapers -- any deliberate act of reading works for us!

2) Track your minutes here: Read. Track. Win! (Create an account by clicking "Sign Me Up")

3) Nothing left to do but wait! For every 30 minutes you read, you'll be entered into our weekly prize raffle, where you could win awesome prizes like gift cards, free books, or coupons for free DVD/video game rentals at the library.

Bonus step: Submit online reviews to earn extra entries!

Good luck and happy reading!

P.S. Looking for information about teen events this summer? Check out our Summer Events Flyer.


What's Coming Up In Comics!

As summer approaches, so does our 2nd annual CHPL Comic Con! Last year's inaugural event was a big hit, and this year will be bigger and better. We've got awesome vendors, tons of activities for all ages, art on display, and tons more. In order to get you in the Comic Con mood, we're bringing you lots of exciting news!

The movie world is EXPLODING with superhero movie releases. You've got Man of Steel coming out June 14th, and The Wolverine coming out July 26th! All in all, it's a cinema summer that will be wrought with action, intense stares, and eye candy. While those are just the releases that will be in theaters this summer, there are also plenty more exciting movies coming out as well. The Avengers 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, just to name a FEW. Which raises the question, what interesting characters will we see in the future?

There's been quite a stir surrounding this wily duo. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are Magneto's powerful twin children. Quicksilver has the power of super speed while Scarlet Witch has the power of probability manipulation, which is just as cool as it sounds. They've got an origin story of epic proportions, a crazy family, and to top it all off, are hormone-crazy teenagers. So I'm hoping to see something very interesting from these characters when their movies come out. If you're like me and can't wait, come to the library and check out some X-Men graphic novels to get started!

This summer is gonna be super, pardon the pun. So all you have to do is kick back relax, and come to the Comic Con. Bonus points if you suit up.


Tween Read Thursday: How Mirka Met a Meteorite

It's high time we started reviewing more middle grade reads on this blog, don't you think? Welcome to our first Tween Read Thursday! Up first is a graphic novel that two of our librarians read and loved:

Hereville #2: How Mirka Met a Meteorite

An eleven-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl makes an unusual hero, but Mirka Herschberg is anything but usual. Committed to her family and her faith, Mirka also dreams of being a sword wielding dragon slayer. In this second installment of Mirka’s adventures, Mirka find herself facing off against a meteorite who has been transformed into her identical twin. At first, Mirka thinks having a meteorite doppelganger is pretty awesome and agrees to splitting her life in half. But doppelganger Mirka is not content with half a life and soon Mirka finds herself fighting to reclaim her place in Hereville. Check out this and the first book, Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword today!

Reviewed by: Alia


Comic-Con 2013 is June 29!

Stay tuned for more news about events, appearances, and vendors!


Around the Library 4.15.13

The gnome army is ready for summer O__O

You can't run a tabletop game series without Catan! Come play with us at our next Table Top Trials next Thursday, 4/25 at 6:00pm.

Crunching numbers and making plans for Summer Reading 2013!
This is Michelle's "EVERYTHING IS FINE" face :P


Staff Pick: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

From goodreads:

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives. And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

Pick it: for the true-to-life narrative voice. I had trouble remembering that the book was not a memoir!

Skip it: if you're looking for a cry-fest. In fact, expect the opposite.This book had me in stitches. Seriously! I know a book about a girl dying of cancer doesn't sound like it would be hilarious, but it is. Trust me.

Pair with: It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, another hybrid funny/sad book with a narrator so real you'll feel like he could walk through the door at any moment.

Reviewed by: Melissa


Books on the Big Screen: Wishlist Edition

2013 is the year of YA Books on the silver screen! Beautiful Creatures, Ender's Game, Divergent, The Mortal Instruments and more are all due to be released this year, and whole slew of others are on their way -- The Maze Runner, The Fault in Our Stars, Maximum Ride... we can't keep up with them!

We decided to play movie producer and pick out the YA books that we think should have movie deals, but don't. Enjoy -- and chime in with your picks (and any casting decisions for our picks!)

 Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
We're picturing something directed by Judd Apatow, screenplay by Kristin Wiig and
a cameo appearance by Tina Fey as Ladybird Hope. You'd totally see it!

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Action, romance, murderous plots, vast conspiracies -- this book has it all! It's basically The Bourne Identity... with a female lead... set in a seaside kingdom... in a fantasy world.

 Looking for Alaska by John Green
We know The Fault in Our Stars is already Hollywood-bound, but this script has been stuck in some movie studio's vault for so long and we just NEED TO KNOW what it'd be like.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
This probably seems like a really weird pick, we know. But just envision a quirky-indie 1970's period piece with yellow-orange cinematography directed by Wes Anderson or something. It totally works. Trust us.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
We are so sick of paranormal romances being turned into movies... we want a
YA fantasy epic! This one about an expert thief who is ordered to steal something that may or may not exist (like Lord of the Rings, but reversed) would certainly suffice.

 Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
We pick Chloe Moretz to star in this tragic and surreal story about a popular girl who dies in a car crash and must relive her last day over and over again. Think Mean Girls meets Virgin Suicides meets Groundhog's Day.

 Across the Universe by Beth Revis
We don't think it'll be long before Hollywood jumps all over this sci-fi thriller set in
deep space, but at least we'll be able to say you saw it here first :P

 Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
We're not the firsts (by a long shot) to intensely wish for a movie version of
this funny and deeply romantic book, and we want to know: who's your dream cast?


Around the Library: 3.7.2013

This is a giant display for our 4th Annual Teen Peep-o-Rama event. And boy, is it eye-catching. We're taking votes on what the giant yellow chick's name should be.

Rachel Moani ain't got nothin' on Ms. Michelle! (We'll keep telling ourselves that...)

Inspired by the Washington Post's annual Peep Show, our Peep-o-rama is a diorama building contest where the only limit is your imagination and the only requirement is that you use Peeps! This year it will be on Saturday, March 23rd from 3:00pm - 4:30pm. Register now!


Scholarship Opportunities from the Friends of the Library

Attention all graduating seniors! Once again, the Friends of the Library is offering scholarships for seniors with strong school and community involvement. You can download the application here to see the eligibility requirements and the application procedure/deadline.

For more information, contact Erin Breck at scholarship.chplnj@gmail.com.

For more information about the Friends of the Library, click here.
To find out about joining the Jr. Friends of the Library (the Friends' youth branch), click here.


Staff Pick: Butter by Erin Jade Lange

From goodreads:
A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death -- live on the Internet -- and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans?

Pick it: if you’re looking for an emotional, fast-paced read. Once this book got going I couldn’t put it down.

Skip it: if you’re squeamish! Let’s just say the author pulls no punches while describing Butter’s binges.

Pair with: Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher, another intense read with a less-than-svelte narrator.

Reviewed by: Melissa


Love is in the Air: Our Romance Recommendations

 We've got the perfect list for all you hopeless romantics! These sigh-worthy reads will put you in the Valentine's mood, whether you like your love stories straight up or with a twist!
Classically Romantic

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Fifteen-year-old Scarlett Marvin is stuck in New York City for the summer working at her quirky family's historic hotel, but her out-of-work actor brother's attractive new friend and a seasonal guest who offers her an intriguing and challenging writing project improve her outlook.

Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot
Having become a proficient liar in order to keep everyone happy, rising high school senior Katie Ellison is stunned when her old middle school friend and local pariah Tommy Sullivan returns to town, and suddenly things start looking a lot different to her.
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Raised by a mother who has had five husbands, eighteen-year-old Remy believes in short-term, no-commitment relationships until she meets Dexter, a rock band musician.

Boy Gets The Girl (or Boy)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
When two teens, one gay and one straight, meet accidentally and discover that they share the same name, their lives become intertwined as one begins dating the other's best friend, who produces a play revealing his relationship with them both.

Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford
Awkward freshman Will Carter endures many painful moments during his first year of high school before realizing that nothing good comes easily, focus is everything, and the payoff is usually incredible.

Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
In hopes of graduating, Steve York agrees to complete a hundred-page writing assignment which helps him to sort out his relationship with his famous astronaut father and the events that changed him from promising student to
troubled teen.

Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
In a world where some people are born with a unique and sometimes uncanny gift, Katsa was certainly no exception. At an early age, she demonstrated an uncomfortable gift for killing. This makes her the perfect tool for her uncle, King Randa. But Katsa detests being used and decides to stand against the injustice surrounding her.

 Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Cupid by Julius Lester
Cupid, the spoiled and mischievous god of love, is attracted to and marries the beautiful mortal, Psyche, and both learn many lessons about the nature of love.

Offbeat Couples

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
After moving to Baltimore and enrolling in a private school, high school senior Beatrice befriends a quiet loner
with a troubled family history.
Charles & Emma by Deborah Heligman
 Even today, Darwin's theory of evolution creates tension between the scientific and religious communities. This same debate raged within Darwin himself and played an important part in his marriage: Emma's faith gave Charles a lot to think about as he worked on his controversial theory. His wife's religious convictions made him rethink how the world would receive his ideas.


Staff Pick: The Diviners by Libba Bray

From goodreads:
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-tute-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

Pick it: if you love a good mystery with plenty of spooky-ghosty overtones.

Skip it: if you're quick to blush. Evie is a wild child to say the least!

Pair with: a nonfiction title about the Roaring 20s. We recommend Flapper: A madcap story of sex, style, celebrity, and the women who made American modern by Joshua Zeitz. That's Evie to a tee!

Reviewed by: Melissa


Printz Honor Book and Medalists

Each year, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) awards The Michael Printz Award to the best book written for young adults. In addition, the organization names up to four honor books. The books are judged entirely on literary merit rather than popularity and are thus a great place to start if you're looking for something new and different to read!

Honor Books:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alide Sáenz

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna

And the Printz Award medalist is:

In Darkness by Nick Lake

You can see all the Youth Media Award winners, including the YALSA Nonfiction Award, the Morris Award for Best YA Debut, and the Caldecott and Newbery Medalists right here.


Meet Your Librarians!

Name: Melissa Brinn
Title: Youth Services Librarian - Young Adult
Education: Cherry Hill East (!), then The College of New Jersey, then Rutgers for grad school.
Favorite booksAlice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Paper Towns by John Green,The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Most likely to: Have a figurine of Harry Styles on her desk
Programs I run: Middle School TAB, Writers Block
Ask me about: Graphic novels, video games, and sci-fi & fantasy titles. Also, Bridges! Ask me about Bridges!

Name: Michelle Yeager
Title: Youth Services Supervisor - Young Adult
Education: Rowan University followed by Rutgers New Brunswick for a master’s degree in Library Science (YES, it’s a real thing!)
Favorite books:  Recent faves include Hush by Eishes Chayil, The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, A Stolen Life by Jaycee Duggard, Everybody See the Ants by A.S. King, Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whales
Most likely to: Perform two jobs at once (She's currently the acting Director of the library!)
Programs I run: High School TAB, Table Top Trials, Anime Day, and more….
Ask me about: Realistic Fiction, True Crime & Biographies. Also, fiction about teens facing crazy-tough issues: think religion, kidnappings, drugs, pregnancy…you know, the stuff you’d see on Dateline.