Monday, December 31, 2012

Three Top Circulating E-books for Teens in 2012

And here they are - the three top teen e-books that circulated at libraries (three of the top circulating titles out of the top ten were teen titles - not bad!).

According to Annie Suhy of Overdrive, 2012 was the year of the YA novel, as teens and adults gobbled up the latest additions to popular series.  The Kill Order is the "prequel" to the popular Maze Runner series by James Dashner, Rapture is the 4th book in the Fallen series by Lauren Kate, and Entice is the second book in Jessica Shirvington's Violet Eden series. 

Did you get a nook, kindle, or iPad for Christmas?  Did you know that you can check out books for your e-reader if you own a library card?  Access the instruction booklet for how to download a library book here

Search the Monroe County Library's catalog of e-books and audiobooks here: E-book catalog

Here's a few FAQ about the library's overdrive, and downloading e-books to your device:

1. What is required before downloading an eBook to a device?
  • An MCLS library card in good standing
  • Access to the Internet
  • An email address that will be used to register the device, create an Adobe ID or Amazon account, and (in the case of a Kindle),it should match the email address registered to the patron on CARL X.
  • An Adobe ID for Nooks, iPads, Kindle Fires. An Amazon account for non-tablet Kindles
  • For non-tablet Nooks and other Android eReaders, Adobe Digital Editions must be downloaded to the PC that is managing the device.

2. Are all eReaders and Tablets compatible with OverDrive?

Most are compatible, but not all. For a complete list, see the Overdrive page..

3. How many items can be checked out to a patron at any given time?

A patron is limited to 4 title checkouts and 4 titles on their waiting list. The "Wish List" is not limited.

4. Can OverDrive titles be returned early?

Yes, most can be returned early. With the exception of some audiobooks (in WMA format), all ebooks as well as audiobooks in MP3 format may be returned early. For directions on returning an item early, see the OverDrive brochure on the portal.
If you still have questions, please stop in and see us at the Greece Public Library.  We will do our best to answer your questions. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My favorite Books Published in 2012

My Top 10 Reads of 2012

Well, I fell short of my goal to read 100 books in 2012.  I think starting graduate school took my time than I anticipated!  As of today, I have read 65 books - and there were many that I really enjoyed, and I'll share some of my favorites with you.  If you like reading lists of good books, here is a link to the Kirkus list of the top 100 teen titles for 2012:  Happy Reading!

 Favorite non fiction:   Lincoln's Last Days - an adapted version of Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln for teens. 

click here for catalog access

An excellent adaptation of the shocking assasination that changed the face of our nation.  This version includes many interesting photographs and drawings of Lincoln and his family.

"Lincoln’s inaugural speech is a performance worthy of a great dramatic actor. And indeed, one of America’s most famous actors stands just yards away as the president speaks. Twenty-six-year-old John Wilkes Booth is inspired by the president’s words—though not in the way Lincoln intends.
The president has ambitious plans for his second term in office. Ending the war and healing the war-torn nation are Lincoln’s overriding ambitions. He will use every last bit of his trademark determination to see these goals realized; nothing must stand in his way.
But evil knows no boundaries. And a most powerful evil—in the person of John Wilkes Booth and his fellow conspirators—is now focused on Abraham Lincoln."
Reprinted from "Lincoln's Last Days" by Bill O'Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman © 2012 by Bill O'Reilly. Used with permission of the publisher, Henry Holt and Company, a division of Macmillan.

Historical Fiction:  Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 

A memorable story of war and friendship that stayed with me!

Favorite Realistic Teen Fiction:  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

click here for catalog access Review
Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2012: In The Fault in Our Stars, John Green has created a soulful novel that tackles big subjects--life, death, love--with the perfect blend of levity and heart-swelling emotion. Hazel is sixteen, with terminal cancer, when she meets Augustus at her kids-with-cancer support group. The two are kindred spirits, sharing an irreverent sense of humor and immense charm, and watching them fall in love even as they face universal questions of the human condition--How will I be remembered? Does my life, and will my death, have meaning?--has a raw honesty that is deeply moving. --Seira Wilson
Favorite Romance:  Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
click here for catalog access
Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last... (from Goodreads)
Cupcakes?  Love?  set  in our neighboring city of Buffalo, NY?  What's not to like?

Favorite Sequel:  Days of  Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

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OK.  I have a confession to make.  I am getting a little tired of the "trilogy" that has become a standard in teen fiction, and the classic love triangle routine.  I liked Days of Blood & Starlight because although very romantic in the first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the second book describes the war, revenge, and angst that Karou feels since she has lost her family.  She does annoy me at times with her reluctance to believe in Akiva, but not nearly as much as some other book characters in sequels I read this past year! 

Favorite Cover Art:  The Selection by Kiera Cass

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I guess I am a sucker for a pretty dress - this is gorgeous.  And the crown artwork?  Perfect!

Favorite Dystopian Novel:  Tie!  for Article 5 by Kristen Simmons and Starters by Lissa Price

click here for catalog access

click here for catalog access

Article 5
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. That life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.


Following the Spore Wars, 16-year-old Callie struggles to carve an existence for herself and her younger brother, Tyler, in a California where everyone between the ages of 20 and 60 has perished. Although many in this near-future society eke out meager, hopeless existences, an elderly, wealthy Beverly Hills population and their grandchildren continue their lavish lifestyles. Medical advances ensure that entitled adults live beyond the century mark, creating a self-absorbed, controlling "Ender"class. Too young to work, Callie is a "Starter" on the run, in constant danger of arrest by the marshals and attack by renegades. Adding to her desperation is Tyler's rare lung disorder, making finding a stable home environment imperative. Unable to legally earn money, Callie registers with Prime Destinations, a clandestine service where Enders can re-experience youth by renting the bodies of teenage Starters via brain implants and computer interfaces. Although Callie's instincts scream danger, several rentals of her body proceed smoothly. But a malfunction during a third rental causes Callie to regain consciousness while being inhabited, immersing her in the lives of the rich and powerful, providing a love interest, and propelling her to the center of the sinister schemes unfolding at Prime Destinations.

Favorite Book for Middle School:  The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

click for catalog access here

The One and Only Ivan is a story about a silverback gorilla who has spent almost his entire life in a small mall circus, with a handful of other captive animals for friends.  He has suppressed his memories of his real family and life in the jungle.  He does have an unusual talent - expressing himself through art, and his pictures are sold in a mall gift store.  When a baby elephant is brought to the menagerie to live, Ivan decides it is time to become the silverback he was meant to be, and uses his creativity to obtain a better life for his new friend.   Although I recommend this book for middle schoolers, animal lovers of all ages will love Ivan.  What makes it even better is Ivan is based on a true story!

Favorite Mystery:  The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

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Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she?

Favorite Adult Books I read that might appeal to Teens:

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click here for catalog access



Thursday, December 20, 2012

The YALSA Top Ten Teen Titles of 2012

The YALSA Teens Top Ten Nominees - How many have you read, and do you know the top ten?
(click on the book cover to access the library catalog!)

1.   Divergent by Veronica Roth.  Beatrice lives in a society where she must choose either to remain with her family's faction or set off towards independence and her own beliefs. 

2.  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  Hazel and Augustus meet and forge a relationship at a support group for kids battling cancer.  As Hazel and Augustus struggle with the "side effects of dying", they come to learn the strength of wishes, the complexities of human lives, and the wondrous ways of the universe. 

3.  Legend by Marie Lu.  June, a fifteen-year-old military prodigy, is hunting Day, the outlaw she believes is responsible for her brother's death.  What will happen when the two meet and discover the government is corrupt?

4.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.  When Jacob was little, his grandfather would tell him stories of the fantastic children's home where he grew up and the seemingly magical kids who lived there with him.  When his grandfather is killed, Jacob sets out to find the home where these children lived, unearthing a magical secret and uncovering his true heritage. 

5.  What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. Ever since Mclean's parents divorced, she has lived in four towns in two years - each time taking on a new persona.  Mclean expects to leave Lakeview in six months, but soon finds that she doesn't want to - she just wants to be herself.

6.  Across the Universe by Beth Revis.  Cryogenically frozen centuries ago, Amy and her parents are on their way to a new planet aboard the spaceship, Godspeed.  Unplugged from her cryo chamber, Amy discovers she has been awoken 50 years early, in a failed murder attempt.  With Elder, the future leader of the ship by her side, they begin an adventure filled with murder, lies, dreams, and stars. 

7.  Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  A futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella.  Cinder, a cyborg and talented mechanic, lives with her cruel stepmother and two stepsisters in the plague-ridden New Beijing.  Soon after meeting Prince Kai, Cinder must find the truths of her past, which may help to save the future. 

8.  The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.  Every November, the beaches of Thisby come alive with the Scorpio Races.  The water horses are vicious, the terrain is treacherous, and death is a likely outcome.  However, the reward can be beyond anything you can imagine.  Puck Connolly is racing for her family, Sean Kendrick for his passion --but only one can win the Scorpio Races. 

9.  Where She Went by Gayle Forman.  This sequel to If I Stay is narrated by Adam, Mia's ex-boyfriend.  Shortly after the devastating accident that killed Mia's family, the talented cellist moves to New York, where an accidental meeting brings Adam and Mia back together.

10.  Abandon by Meg Cabot.  Pierce has experienced death before and barely escaped.  When she moves from her old town to a town called Isla Huesos - Island of Bones - for a new start, she realizes that death wants her back.  Can she escape death once again?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Too Much Technology?

Our society loves technology, but have you ever wondered what would happen if we got too much of a good thing?  What would happen if one day we didn't interact on a personal basis anymore?  What if we were ruled by our technology?  The books Awaken and Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky depict that world.  Here is what Kimberly on has to say about the books.  "The year is 2060.  For four weeks, Maddie Freeman has been living in Los Angeles trying to be good and behave. But one night when she and her friends go out to a virtual club, she says how she feels about Digital School. Her thoughts and actions at the club backfire when she is ratted out and it lands her in the one place she fears most...the Los Angeles Detention Center (LADC). There she is forced to undergo secretive treatment to quiet her rebellious streak. The workers at the LADC call it rehabilitation but in reality it is mental and physical torture. Alone, Maddie wants to give up but with the help of her friends, a way to fight and hope emerges within her as she serves her sentence.

I loved Awaken and was excited to start Middle Ground. It did not disappoint. Maddie and her group of friends are very likable characters. Maddie herself is strong-willed, funny, sarcastic, and can take care of herself. 2/3rds of the book is spent at the LADC. Basically imagine a mental hospital/asylum, mix it with a prison and add in a little technology. You get the LADC. Another thing that I like about this book and series in general is that there is no annoying love triangle! Maddie knows she loves Justin. No other guy really attempts to persuade her otherwise even though there are many other male characters in the book that she considers friends. This is one of the few dystopias I've read where our society could actually end up like the world portrayed in this series. Online classes in colleges are becoming very popular and my brother himself graduated from an online high school. Some people nowadays are so addicted to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. The book shows what could happen if the government decided to make the digital life a law. The entire book is a really quick read....especially the last third for the events that occur in those pages. Middle Ground ends in a way that it sets up a third book but it doesn't have a huge cliffhanger. It has some sense of closure that I found satisfying." 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Middle School Monday: The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

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The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

In the good old days, magic was indispensable—it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Teen Tuesday pick: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

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Teen Tuesday Pick:  Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to be, or not meant to be...that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Meant to Be is Lauren Morrill's first novel - visit her website at  I am looking forward to reading this one myself - and let's me honest, isn't the cover fabulous?  Robin Benway, author says this about the book, "Star-crossed characters, hilarious dalogue, and a perfect London setting.  I loved Meant to Be!"

Monday, December 10, 2012

Middle School Monday: The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

From the author's website:  "
Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.
Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he's seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.
Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it's up to Ivan to make it a change for the better."

Ivan at Zoo AtlantaPhoto of the real Ivan by TammyJo Dallas

The book The One and Only Ivan is fiction, but the story of Ivan is based on a true story!

Ivan, a real gorilla, lived at Zoo Atlanta, but on the way to that happy ending, he spent almost three decades without seeing another of his own kind before being moved to Zoo Atlanta in 1994.
After being captured as in infant in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ivan’s female companion, reported to have been his twin, died en route to the US or shortly thereafter), Ivan was raised in a home until he became unmanageable. At that point he was added to an odd collection of animals housed at a circus-themed mall in Washington state.
Ivan spent twenty-seven years of his life alone in a cage. Over time, as an understanding of primate needs and behavior grew, public discomfort with Ivan's lonely state grew as well, particularly after he was featured in a National Geographic special entitled "The Urban Gorilla." A public outcry followed, including heartfelt letters from children. When the mall where Ivan lived went bankrupt, he was placed on permanent loan to Zoo Atlanta, which houses the largest group of captive western lowland gorillas in the nation.
Ivan became a beloved celebrity at Zoo Atlanta, where he lived contentedly with other gorillas, although he never sired any offspring. He was known for his paintings, which were often "signed" with his thumbprint. Ivan died on August 20, 2012 at the age of 50.
Ivan and Kinyani were real gorillas — and so, by the way, was Jambo, whose story is recounted in the book. But all other characters and situations in the novel are entirely the product of my imagination. When I started to write about the grim facts of Ivan's solitary existence, a new tale slowly began to take shape. At least on the page, where anything is possible, I wanted to give Ivan (even while captive behind the walls of his tiny cage) a voice of his own and a story to tell.
"I wanted to give him someone to protect, and the chance to be the mighty silverback he was always meant to be."  Katherine Applegate from her website:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thanks, Walt Disney! My 15 Favorite Disney Movies

Walt Disney, along with his brother, Roy O. Disney founded Walt Disney Productions, which later became one of the best-know motion picture producers in the world.  Walt Disney Productions (excluding subsidiaries) has released over 300 motion pictures!  Here's a list of my favorite 15 Disney films, both animated and "real". 

1.  The Little Mermaid.  Ok, when I was little, I wanted to BE a mermaid.  Plus, who doesn't like the song "Under the Sea"?

2.  Beauty and the Beast.  I'm a librarian.  How can I NOT love Belle and her love of books?

3.  Toy Story.  All of them - I cried when Andy went to college!

4.  The Lion King - MacBeth for kids - a classic!

5.  Pirates of the Caribbean - I loved the first one, and the music, and Johnny Depp. 

6.  Cinderella - another classic, and a great Princess story!

7.  Mulan - a strong female character, and Eddie Murphy.

8.  George of the Jungle - no matter how many times I watch it, I still laugh!

9.  Remember the Titans.  One of my favorite sports movies - ever.

10.  the Santa Clause.  A holiday favorite.

11.  Mary Poppins - the voice of Julie Andrews.  Amazing.

12.  The Parent Trap (remake).  When Lindsay Lohan was cute!

13.  Freaky Friday (see above) and Jamie Lee Curtis was a hoot!

14.  Pocahontas - Because it was my daughter's first movie, and "Colors of the Wind"

15.  Aladin - because of Robin William's Genie.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Middle School Monday - The Time Traveling Fashionista

click on the book to access the catalog

The Time Traveling Fashionista Series by Bianca Turetsky

Have you ever felt bored or restless and wished you were living someone else’s life? Imagine the possibilities, then, if you could slip on an exquisite vintage dress and fall back in time into the life of the person who wore the dress before you. A life of secrets, drama, and decadence . . .

The latest book At the Palace of Marie Antoinette
Louise Lambert's best friend's thirteenth birthday party is fast approaching, so of course the most important question on her mind is, "What am I going to wear?!" Slipping on an exquisite robin's egg blue gown during another visit to the mysterious Traveling Fashionista Vintage Sale, Louise finds herself back in time once again, swept up in the glory of palace life, fancy parties, and enormous hair as a member of the court of France's most infamous queen, Marie Antoinette.
But between cute commoner boys and glamorous trips to Paris, life in the palace isn't all cake and couture. Can Louise keep her cool-and her head!-as she races against the clock to get home?

click on the book to access the catalog
In her debut young adult series, The Time-Traveling Fashionista, talented first-time author Bianca Turetsky introduces readers to seventh-grader Louise Lambert, who has always dreamed of movie starlets and magnificent gowns. Louise’s normal suburban life is magically transformed into a time-travel adventure when she receives a mysterious invitation to a vintage fashion sale in the mail, and suddenly finds herself on board a luxurious cruise ship in the early 1900s. Louise relishes the glamorous life of this opulent era—until she discovers that the cruise ship is the infamous Titanic.