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Halloween Horror Reads for Teens

30 Oct

There is no better way to get into the Halloween spirit then to borrow some Horror-themed YA reads for FREE at the Hoboken Public Library. Below are four suggested reads that are great for Halloween, Day of the Dead, and even all year round. If you like to feel the anxiety and adrenaline that comes with being a little scared and comfortable at home, CHECK OUT these awesome reads!

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds
by Gwenda Bond
Stranger Things Suspicious Minds
The hit thriller Netflix series has a prequel!!! In the series, we are familiar with curious characters like Eleven. Like most things in the series, Eleven’s past is still a mystery. This book investigates Eleven’s mother’s past and the moments that set things in motion for the original series. The author, Gwenda Bond, makes the story her own with respect to the show by introducing new characters and following along with the original story. If you are a fan of Stranger Things, this is the book for you.

For Grades: Middle and High School

Theme: Science Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Mystery, Horror

by Neil Gaiman
Leaving your friends and moving away is tough, and there are no siblings to bother in Caroline’s case. She is not afraid to tell her parents that it was not fair that they had to move. But her parents do not care to acknowledge it or her for that matter. She is the only kid in the building of weird neighbors like Mr. Bobo, the mouse trainer, and Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, the building’s fortune-tellers. Even they could not keep boredom away. She counted the windows and the doors to fill in time but stumbles on a small door in the wall. This door happens to open to another dimension where the “other mother” lived. The other mother was the replica of her birth mother, except she gave her the attention she craved, and she had the TWO BLACK BUTTONS for eyes. The reader can get a virtual taste of the story’s setting through the black and white illustrations sporadically throughout the book. Coraline could not wait to go through the door and hang out with her “other mother and father.” But the day came when the “other mother” asked her to stay with her at the price of letting her sew buttons into Coraline’s eyes. Coraline escapes, the other mother is not happy, and kidnaps her birth parents. What can Coraline do now?  You can also borrow the movie adaptation.  You can also check out a previous post about Neil Gaiman here.

Grades: Middle and High School

Theme: Paranormal, Horror, Graphic Novels

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
In Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar ChildrenJacob grew up listening to his grandfather, Abraham’s, stories. He told stories of surviving monsters of human and mystical forms during World War II. Jacob always looked up to him, but as he grew into a teenager, he started to doubt his grandfather’s stories where true. When his grandfather is found brutally murdered, he ventures out to the island setting of his grandfather’s stories to find out more about him and his death. He stumbles upon to an orphanage of children with peculiar abilities. There is a boy with bees in of him and a floating girl which are displayed in old fashioned style pictures throughout the book. Little did he know was that his presence made the children valuable to the murderous monster’s that lark in the shadows.  A movie adaptation is also available.

Grades: Middle and High School

Theme: Orphanages, Mystery, Supernatural, Monsters

by Pam Smy
The Thornhill orphanage intertwines the lives of two girls. Mary was a mistreated orphan of Thornhill 35 years before Ella moved into the neighborhood. How do they connect all those years apart? The secret is a diary and dolls! In this book of traditional text and haunting grayscale illustrations, the reader cannot help but wonder what became of Mary and if she wants Ella to join her.

Grades: Middle and High School

Theme: Bullying, Orphanages, Ghosts, Supernatural

By Elbie A. Love
Young Adult Library Associate

Want more Halloween suggestions?  Check out our Halloween Urban Fantasy post and favorite Horror movies.


Celebrate Your Freedom to Read: Banned Book Week

27 Sep

One of the things we love about the current state of young adult literature is that authors aren’t afraid to address difficult topics with their readers. Whether it is mental illness, sexual assault, police brutality, LGBT rights, or any of the other issues that young people are faced with, young adult authors have a deep respect for their readers’ abilities to navigate life’s challenges.

Because there have been so many wonderful young adult books over the past decade that have explored controversial issues, the genre still faces censorship challenges. While it may seem antiquated that anyone would try and ban a book in the United States in the year 2019, these challenges still occur all the time. For example, as children’s and young adult literature has become more inclusive of LGBT characters, there has been a relentless backlash faced against authors of these books.

While Amazon and the internet have created almost limitless opportunities for acquiring information, across the country books are still quietly removed the shelves of public and school libraries. When people ask if it Banned Books Week is still relevant, we need to remember that much of this “quiet” censorship of materials goes by unnoticed and has the greatest effect on children, people in poverty, and people from other marginalized communities who don’t have the resources to acquire information elsewhere.

As we celebrate Banned Books Week at the Hoboken Public Library, we reaffirm our commitment to providing our young adult readers with the choice to explore their passions without the fear they will be denied access to any of our titles. Below are just several of the titles we have on display this month in our teen room to promote the freedom to read without censorship.

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
The book tells the story of two boys who attempt to break a Guinness World by kissing for 32-hours straight. In 2019, a petition circulated in Orange City, Iowa to have the book removed from the town’s public library. Leviathan has been on the cutting edge of introducing LGBT characters into young adult literature and his novels have faced frequent censorship because of it.

Shout and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Long before the #MeToo movement, Laurie Halse Anderson wrote a groundbreaking novel, Speak, for teens about the trauma of sexual assault. Twenty years later, she followed up her critically acclaimed novel, with Shout, a poetic memoir, about her own trauma as a survivor. While Anderson has been an unflinching voice for survivors of assault, her books have been the frequent target of censors for their frank discussions about sexual abuse.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian written by Sherman Alexie
Alexie’s book focuses on the story of Junior, a young Native American who wants to leave the reservation he was born on. He sees how life on the “rez” has resulted in addiction, early death, and lifelong poverty for many residents. When he is given the chance to go to a school outside the reservation, he becomes an enemy to many people back home who see him as disloyal to their struggles. The book has been challenged for profanity, violence, and alcoholism and frequently shows up on lists of the most banned books of all time.

Written by:
Karl Schwarz, Young Adult Librarian
and Elbie Love, Young Adult Library Assistant

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