Scar Boys

Laura : 24 March, 2014 10:00 am : Books

scar Scar Boys by Len Vlahos. A severely burned teenager. A guitar. Punk rock. The chords of a rock ‘n’ roll road trip in a coming-of-age novel that is a must-read story about finding your place in the world…even if you carry scars inside and out.

In attempting to describe himself in his college application essay, Harbinger (Harry) Jones goes way beyond the 250-word limit and gives a full account of his life.

The first defining moment: the day the neighborhood goons tied him to a tree during a lightning storm when he was 8 years old, and the tree was struck and caught fire. Harry was badly burned and has had to live with the physical and emotional scars, reactions from strangers, bullying, and loneliness that instantly became his everyday reality.

The second defining moment: the day in 8th grade when the handsome, charismatic Johnny rescued him from the bullies and then made the startling suggestion that they start a band together. Harry discovered that playing music transported him out of his nightmare of a world, and he finally had something that compelled people to look beyond his physical appearance. Harry’s description of his life in his essay is both humorous and heart-wrenching.

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No Obligation Book Discussion for March

Laura : 14 March, 2014 6:33 pm : Books

enchantedDon’t have time for a traditional book club but you’d still like to talk books? Try our online book discussion, the No Obligation Book Group on Goodreads. This month we’re talking about Enchanted by Alethea Kontis.

What’s the Story…

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises. The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo.

If you liked this book, try

  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • Tiger Lily by Jodi Anderson
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon
  • Graceling  by Kristin Cashore
  • Far Far Away  by Tom McNeal


Join us next month to read:

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

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Live Long and Prosper!

Meghann : 8 March, 2014 12:26 pm : Books, contest, DVD, Fun stuff, Library program, Movie

Do you frequently envision yourself sitting in the captain’s chair of a great star ship? Do you stop at every doorway and make a whoosh sound before entering? Have you ever shaved your eyebrows and drawn them in at an angle like Dr. Spock? If yes, then you my friend, are a trekkie.

There’s no need to be ashamed. Wear your one piece, original Star Trek: Enterprise red jumpsuit with pride. You’re not alone. Trekkies have been making a comeback in both books and movies.

Just recently theaters have seen the release of a new brand of Star Trek in Star Trek and Star Trek into Darkness  starring Chris Pine as the new Captain James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock. These films have drawn new audiences and appeased many old fans of the show, but if you enjoy these blockbusters, might I suggest checking out a few of the older shows including the original Star Trek, Star Trek: the Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager.

[slickquiz id=1]

Good luck!


Sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Laura : 27 February, 2014 8:21 pm : Books

hollowcityWere you a fan of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the paranormal story accompanied by creepy black and white photos of very,  very odd children? Then get excited because the long-awaited sequel, Hollow City is coming soon! In 1940, Jacob and his new friends escape from Miss Peregrine’s island and travel to London where they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

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Lauren Oliver Readalikes

Laura : 24 February, 2014 10:00 am : Authors, Books

oliverIf you like Lauren Oliver, you might enjoy:

Matched by Ally Condie. All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, who to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn’t be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky’s face show up on her match disk as well?

Maze Runner by James Dashner. Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

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.

Evermore by Alyson Noel. Since the car accident that claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras and hear people’s thoughts, and she goes out of her way to hide from other people until she meets Damen, another psychic teenager who is hiding even more mysteries.

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.

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin. In a future where chocolate and caffeine are contraband, teenage cellphone use is illegal, and water and paper are carefully rationed, sixteen-year-old Anya Balanchine finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight as heir apparent to an important New York City crime family.

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New Dystopian Fiction

Laura : 20 February, 2014 8:16 pm : Books

redrisingIf you’re a fan of dystopian fiction (think Hunger Games and Divergent), you might enjoy Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Darrow is a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. He sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.

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Cassandra Clare Readalikes

Laura : 17 February, 2014 10:00 am : Authors, Books

citybonesIf you enjoy Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series,  you might also like:

Tithe by Holly Black. Sixteen-year-old Kaye, who has been visited by faeries since childhood, discovers that she herself is a magical faerie creature with a special destiny.

Dangerous Angles: The Weetzie Bat Books by Francesca Lia Block. Presents five novels of life in modern Los Angeles, where Weetzie Bat and her friends and family interact with ghosts from their past and with each other as they search for love, connection, and acceptance in a glittery, gauzy world of wonder.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.

Marked: A House of Night Novel by PC Cast. 16-year-old Zoey Redbird, a fledgling vampire, enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire–that is, if she makes it through the Change.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia.  In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.  Transformation into a super beauty on her sixteenth birthday and reuniting with her friend Peris will only happen if Tally Youngblood’s friend Shay also agrees to the operation.


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Laura : 14 February, 2014 2:30 pm : Books

heartHappily, romance novels aren’t what they used be – a helpless heroine swooning into the overly brawny arms of the hero as he sweeps her off into the sunset. Now we get well fleshed out, capable heroines, full of awesome,  who just happen to meet brainy, cute guys. Yay for progress!

Some of my favorites:

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Told in the alternating voices of Dash and Lily, challenge each other to a wintry scavenger hunt at Christmas-time in New York, neither knowing quite what–or who–they will find. It all starts in a bookstore  (perfect way to start a relationship, imo) when Dash finds this in a book, “I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia. If you’d like something with a paranormal bent, try this. In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. Sam LaCroix, a Seattle fast-food worker and college dropout, discovers that he is a necromancer, part of a world of harbingers, werewolves, satyrs, and one particular necromancer who sees Sam as a threat to his lucrative business of raising the dead. Romance isn’t the main focus but Sam is thoroughly adorkable when he starts crushing on werewolf Brid.

Eleanor and 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. Just read it.


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John Green Readalikes

Laura : 6 February, 2014 10:00 am : Books, BooksMoviesMusic

greenIf you’re a fan of John Green’s books, try one of these:

Deadline by Chris Crutcher. Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life’s purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as “Hey-Soos.”

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Told in the alternating voices of Dash and Lily, two sixteen-year-olds carry on a wintry scavenger hunt at Christmas-time in New York, neither knowing quite what–or who–they will find.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. Isolated from friends who believe the worst because she has not been truthful with them, sixteen-year-old Annabel finds an ally in classmate Owen, whose honesty and passion for music help her to face and share what really happened at the end-of-the-year party that changed her life.

Reality Boy by A.S. King. An emotionally damaged seventeen-year-old boy in Pennsylvania who was once an infamous reality television show star, meets a girl from another dysfunctional family, and she helps him out of his angry shell.

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick. After an injury ends former star pitcher Peter Friedman’s athletic dreams, he concentrates on photography which leads him to a girlfriend, new fame as a high school sports photographer, and a deeper relationship with the beloved grandfather who, when he realizes he’s becoming senile, gives Pete all of his professional camera gear.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. A humorous account of a New York City teenager’s battle with depression and his time spent in a psychiatric hospital.

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Catapults & Marshmallows

Laura : 3 February, 2014 10:00 am : Books, Library program

Learn how to make marshmallows soar through the air by building your own handheld catapults at the New Richmond Branch on Monday, Feb. 10 at 6:45pm. We’ll use rubber bands, tongue depressors, and a few office supplies to build our catapults. Test your aim, but if you don’t want to munch marshmallows…we’ve got you covered with loads of other snacks!

For more information or to register, stop by the branch or call 553-0570. Or register online.

Books about catapults.

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Author Visit from Richard Crawford

Laura : 26 September, 2013 7:20 pm : Authors, Library program

Join us at the Owensville Branch on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m. to hear Richard Crawford, local author and Clermont County historian speak. Mr. Crawford, an expert about the paranormal. will talk about the true ghost stories of Clermont County!

Sign Up Now! Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by visiting the branch, calling 732-6084, or registering online.

Books Richard Crawford.

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25 Years Young

Meghann : 22 March, 2013 2:11 pm : Authors, Books, DVD, Fun stuff, Library program, Movie, music

amanniversaryOn 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.

Crocodile Dundee II, Die Hard, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Beetlejuice appeared in theaters.

Sweet Child of Mine by Guns n’ Roses and Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin topped the music charts.

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.

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Witches of East End

Laura : 12 October, 2011 7:28 pm : Authors, Books

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.

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Do you feel lucky, punk?

Laura : 30 August, 2011 4:56 pm : Authors, Books, DVD, Movie

clockwork angel coverSteampunk, 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:

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.

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.

So what kind of punk are you?

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Are you Dauntless?

Laura : 25 July, 2011 1:37 pm : Authors, Books

DivergentHave 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?
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New Series by Nick & Norah Author

Laura : 3 March, 2011 6:03 pm : Authors

nick and norah's infinite playlistRachel Cohn, author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (which if you haven’t already, READ it!), has been signed to write a new series about a girl and her clone who fall in love with the same boy. Read the entire interview.

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Sir Terry Honored

Laura : 7 February, 2011 10:30 pm : Authors

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.

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Lauren Kate

Laura : 17 November, 2010 6:03 pm : Authors

Watch an interview with author Lauren Kate creator of the amazing series, Fallen.

fallen Torment

Read an excerpt of Torment.

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TRW Video

Laura : 20 October, 2010 12:39 pm : Authors

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Teens’ Top Ten Winners Announced!

Laura : 19 October, 2010 4:13 pm : Authors, Books

More than 8,000 teens voted and this year’s Teens’ Top Ten are:

  1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  2. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  3. Heist Society by Ally Carter
  4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  5. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  6. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  7. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  8. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  9. Fire by Kristin Cashore
  10. 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!)

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