If you haven’t, maybe you should. What it’s about: The year is 2044 and the world is in near-ruins. The Internet and gaming culture have evolved into a creation known as OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets, created by James Halliday and Ogden Morrow.
Halliday, with no heirs or other living family, suddenly dies and leaves a video will to those in OASIS. Whoever can collect three keys that are hidden throughout OASIS and pass through the matching gates will receive his fortune. This becomes known as The Hunt and people immediately begin the search for Halliday’s keys.
Years have passed since Halliday’s video will. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS. One day, Wade stumbles upon the first key, and the whole world turns its attention to him, which puts him in the spotlight, and in danger.
If you liked this book, try:
Test your winter, wilderness survival IQ and learn how to stay alive in subzero weather at the Owensville Branch on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 6:30pm. A naturalist from the Clermont County Park District will be here to present basic winter survival skills. We will also learn how to make a collapsible cup from duct tape that you can use to drink melted snow or ice. For more information or to register, call the library at 732-6084 or register online.
Wilderness survival manuals in our collection.
Ever dream you were in a different place? A different universe? Ever imagine that something spectacular would come and take you away from the everyday humdrum of your life? Then you, my friend, are a fan of alternate universes. The idea of being whisked away into a grand adventure out of this world isn’t a new theme in books, but it is a reoccurring trend. Which is why we brilliant library people have created a contest all about alternate universes.
Submit your 200 word description of your favorite alternate dimensions between January 6th and January 31st for a chance to win a Doon poster signed by the authors. Our super intelligent computer will pick a winner at random on Monday, February 3rd.
In the meantime, check out these alternate universe books recommended by our awesome library staff members.
The Giver by Lois Lowry – Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman – Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.
Divergent by Veronica Roth – In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
Cinder by Marissa Marr – As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis – Four English school children find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch who has cursed the land with eternal winter.
Alternate history or parallel universe describe books that take place in a world similar to ours but one in which intergalactic travel is a reality or that vampires roam the night. Most steampunk and urban fantasies fit into the alternate reality category. Alternate histories ask “What if?” What if JFK wasn’t assassinated? What if the Allies had lost WWII? Interested in exploring a new reality? Try one of these:
Parallel by Lauren Miller. A collision of parallel universes leaves 18-year-old Abby Barnes living in a new version of her life every day, and she must race to control her destiny without losing the future she planned and the boy she loves.
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth. When a teen boy loses the love of his life in a car accident, he’ll do anything to get her back–even travel to another universe.
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris. Perhaps Janelle was distracted, but as she leaves her friends on the beach to cross to her car, she doesn’t see the faded blue pickup until it’s too late. She dies, right there in the road. Then mysterious Ben arrives and lays hands on her, and she is alive and completely unharmed. At home, she finds some strange pictures in her FBI-agent father’s study, pictures of apparently melted bodies, each noted with a time stamp. Janelle sets off to pursue both mysteries and begins to suspect that two opposite phenomena, the loner boy with his healing abilities and the perpetual disintegration of strangers, may be related. And related, somehow, to her.
Pivot Point by Kasie West. A girl with the power to see alternate futures lives out six weeks of two different lives in alternating chapters and ultimately she is forced to choose which reality she’s willing to live through and who she can’t live without.
Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger. In an alternate England of 1851, spirited fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is suprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.
Blythewood by Carol Goodman. At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. And she suspects the answers she seeks lie at Blythewood.
But nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Haunted by dreams of a winged boy and pursued by visions of a sinister man who breathes smoke, Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. And the more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.
Vivid and atmospheric, full of mystery and magic, this romantic page-turner by bestselling author Carol Goodman tells the story of a world on the brink of change and the girl who is the catalyst for it all.
Ok, so the new year is only two weeks away from us now and we all know what is coming…so prepare yourself for:
New Year Resolutions!
If you are looking for ideas, then here is a website that totally can help you find the resolution that is right for you.
Here is a few topics to choose from with a nice list of books for support.
Good luck and enjoy a better New Year!
Below by Meg McKinlay. On the day Cassie was born, they drowned her town. The mayor flipped a lever and everyone cheered as Old Lower Grange was submerged beneath five thousand swimming pools’ worth of water. Now, twelve years later, Cassie feels drawn to the manmade lake and the mysteries it hides — and she’s not the only one. Her classmate Liam, who wears oversized swim trunks to cover the scars on his legs, joins Cassie in her daily swims across the off-limits side of the lake. As the summer heats up, the water drops lower and lower, offering them glimpses of the ghostly town and uncovering secrets one prominent town figure seems anxious to keep submerged. But like a swimmer who ventures too far from shore, Cassie realizes she can’t turn back. Can she bring their suspicions to light before it’s too late — and does she dare?
Have you ever thought about your name and what it means? I do all the time. When you think of my name, Emily, what comes to mind? According to most websites and name books, the name Emily simply means “hard-working” or “industrious.” (My favorite of these, behindthename.com, takes a different approach, saying its roots come from Aemilius, meaning “rival”!) Either way, it’s been around a long time, and to most people sounds charmingly old-fashioned. As far as famous Emilys go, Emily Dickinson or Emily Post seem to be at the top of everyone’s consciousness.
And there’s where the clichés start to take hold. While those two most famous of Emilys are certainly interesting and admirable figures, to me they don’t exactly inspire butt-kicking awesomeness like, say, Xena, Elektra, or Raven. (A lament my mother heard quite a bit during my teenage years, when I wanted to change my name to Zelda or Selina or the like, depending on the week.) It’s a name designated for delicate ladies, not sorceresses or pirate queens. But as the one-time most popular girls’ name in America, there’s definitely some room for shaking up that stereotype.
So I went on a quest to find some fictional Emilys with a little more punch. In my search I found quite a few Emilys who get possessed and/or killed right at the beginning of the story, and whether a side or main character, it seems Emilys in fiction are destined to be unlucky in love. I was surprised to find a few mean girls named Emily in the sidelines too. Among the handful of heroine Emilys I found mostly bookish types, like Emily of New Moon and Lady Emily Ashton. I could relate to them (and of course there’s nothing wrong with being bookish!), but they were reinforcing the Emily cliché more than they were breaking it. Fortunately among these I also found one spunky half-mermaid and my current favorite, a goth inventor/musician. We’re getting warmer.
Of course your name doesn’t dictate who you are—though some books might argue otherwise—and if you’re one of those lucky people who have always loved their name (or managed to convince your parents to let you change it), good for you! Still, it can’t hurt to find a namesake that inspires you. As for me, there are still plenty more Emilys to read about out there, and I’m still holding out for a world-famous rock star Emily or an Emily the Vampire Slayer!
Clermont County Public Library is offering many options for Gingerbread building programs this December. If you are interested in bringing your children to make a candy-covered house of yum, then why not sign up right away? Remember, gingerbread has a tendency of going rather fast.
December 14, 2013 Holiday Sweets and Treats 11:00pm, 1:00pm, 3:00pm
December 2, 2013 Gingerbread House 6:30-7:30pm
December 7, 2013 Down Home Christmas Celebration & Gingerbread Houses 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm
December 2, 2013 Gingerbread House Decorating and Open House 5:00pm, 5:45pm, 6:30pm
December 14, 2013 Gingerbread Houses 10:30am & 2:00pm
December 7, 2013 Gingerbread Houses 12:30pm-4:00pm
December 14, 2013 Holiday Open House 10:00am-12:00pm
December 7, 2013 Gingerbread Houses 10:00am, 11:00am, 2:00pm, 3:00pm
For those of you who would rather watch a performance for the Holiday festivities, Owensville Branch is offering an Old Fashioned Holiday Celebration December 14, 2013 from 2:00pm-4:00pm and Williamsburg Branch is having a Holiday Open House & 25th Anniversary Celebration on December 6, 2013 from 5:30pm-8:00pm.
If you are interested in fantasy you will love the Caster Chronicles by Margaret Stohl. The books follow a young caster named Lena and her relationships before and after she is “claimed” by the light or the dark.
Maybe you like reading sci fi novels to make the time fly by. In this case I would try Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card or Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis. Both offer a future world that is not exactly what it seems.
If you prefer romance try Every Day by David Levithan. This book follows A, who wakes in a different person’s body, in a different person’s life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon.
On March 26th the Amelia Branch Library will be celebrating its 25th birthday. For some unfamiliar with all that the Amelia Branch has to offer that may seem a long time – too long to stay relevant. Blasphemy! I say to them.
The library is wearing its age well. At the Amelia Branch you can download the latest e-book to your device, put a hold on the new Hobbit movie, make a work of art from Peeps, and listen to some creepy cold case stories from a local author. We have computers with internet access, Playaway Views which allow you to take television shows anywhere on a preloaded player and databases that connect you to everything from your ancestors with Ancestry Library Edition to a fixed lawn mower with Small Engine Repair Reference Center.
The Amelia Branch Library has never looked so good! In fact 25 isn’t so bad. Check out these other things that are also 25 years young.
“A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking.
The Hubble Space Telescope is used for the first time.
Laser Eye Surgery is invented.
If you’re a fan of our library, or if you just want to see some old goofy pictures of us, stop by the Amelia Branch on March 26th for our birthday open house.
Engaged to Bran, the heir to Fair Haven and Gardiners Island, Freya, a bartender and witch who has a potion to cure every kind of heartache, finds her life spiraling out of control when she is drawn to Bran’s brother and a young girl goes missing after taking one of her irresistible cocktails.
Melissa de la Cruz’s latest book, Witches of East End – reserve your copy today.
Steampunk, Cyberbpunk, Genepunk–what are all these punks doing in teen lit? Here’s a quick guide to these genres, and some books and movies to get you started!
Steampunk: Imagine the past, with the future’s technology. Want to fly? Take a hot air balloon, or maybe a steam-powered airship. Top hats and crinolines rule, but look out for mechanical umbrellas and the occasional jet pack. Get started with a few of these:
- Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
- The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger
- Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
- Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
- Sherlock Holmes (DVD, 2009)
Cyberpunk: Computers are a part of everything–every waking moment is monitored or enhanced or connected, somehow, to technology. Sounds pretty close to reality, huh? Cyberpunk gets into the gritty underground of a techno-society, with hackers and revolutionaries working to survive.
- Neuromancer by William Gibson (a cyberpunk classic)
- Feed by M. T. Anderson
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
- Epic by Conor Kostick
- Tron and Tron Legacy (DVD)
Genepunk: Also called biopunk, this is what happens when genetic engineering takes over. From giant whales that serve as airships to human beings grown in pods, this genre often features mad scientists.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (proto-genepunk)
- The Gardener by S. A. Bodeen
- The Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
- Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (yep, it’s biopunk and steampunk at the same time!)
- Dark Angel (DVD)
So what kind of punk are you?
Have you read The Hunger Games yet? Maybe you’re still on that mile-long waiting list. Either way, here are a few similar series-starters to hold you over until the first movie comes out in March 2012.
- Divergent by Veronica Roth. Society is divided into five factions; when you choose your faction at age 16, you leave behind everyone in your old life. Tris was raised in the selfless faction of Abnegation, but she chooses the Dauntless, who leap on and off of moving trains for fun. But being fearless isn’t as easy as it looks, especially when you have a deadly secret to keep.
- Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. On a dusty outer-space colony, a germ called the Noise has made everyone’s thoughts audible. Todd, on the run from a crazy preacher with only his talking dog for company, faces secrets that make him question everything he’s ever been taught.
- Wither by Lauren DeStefano. A virus has infected the population: Now girls die at the age of 20, and boys at 25. To keep the human race alive, girls are often kidnapped and married off—sometimes as young as 13. Rhine finds herself married to Linden along with two other girls, and she never stops plotting her escape. But is it worth it to run away when you’ve only got a few more years to live?
- Matched by Allie Condie. Cassia is happy to be Matched to her best friend, Xander, when she turns 17. But an error in her Match file shows the face of another teenager before suddenly being deleted. Ky is an Aberration who can never be Matched, so why would his face be in her file? Suddenly Cassia has questions that no one will answer—what do those pills do? Why does her grandfather have to die? And what does the Society have planned for them all?
Sir Terry Pratchett is the recipient of the 2011 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens.
Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2009 for services to literature, Pratchett published his first short story when he was thirteen. A resident of Somerset, England, Pratchett has one daughter, a wife, and many cats. He has published over fifty books and his works have been translated into thirty six languages.
Pratchett’s tales of Discworld have won over generations of teen readers with intelligence, heart, and undeniable wit. Comic adventures that fondly mock the fantasy genre, the Discworld novels expose the hypocrisies of contemporary society in an intricate, ever-expanding universe. With satisfyingly multi-layered plots, Pratchett’s humor honors the intelligence of the reader. Teens eagerly lose themselves in a universe with no maps.
Readers first encountered Discworld with The Color of Magic.
The adventures of young witch Tiffany Aching begin in The Wee Free Men.
“Pratchett’s work draws teens into a world where humor, perseverance and hope are the order of the day,” said Edwards Committee Chair Robin Brenner.
More than 8,000 teens voted and this year’s Teens’ Top Ten are:
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
- City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
- Heist Society by Ally Carter
- Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
- Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
- Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
- Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
- If I Stay by Gayle Forman
- Fire by Kristin Cashore
- Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Did your favorite books make the cut? Check out the YALSA website for more information about the Teens’ Top Ten or click here for a chance to win one of this fall’s hottest new YA releases (and future nominee for Teens’ Top Ten!)