Tag Archives: young adult

Six YA Picks from HPL’s YA Librarian

31 Aug

It’s been about a year since I started my job as the Young Adult Librarian. In that year I’ve read many YA books, some good and some not so good. Here are a few that I highly recommend.

all-amer-boys

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

boy-black-suit

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

Before I started choosing Young Adult books for the library I hadn’t heard of Jason Reynolds. I’m really glad that that’s changed. Reynolds’ characters are real people. They talk like modern teenagers talk and you can hear their voices in your head when you read the dialog. Reynolds writes about tough, timely topics. Police brutality, death, first love, substance abuse, family dynamics; it’s all included in these two outstanding books.

illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I was skeptical about this one. A book told through “found” electronic messages, memos and lab reports? How exciting could it be? I was wrong. When Kady and Ezra’s planet is invaded they, and the rest of the population, are forced to escape on spaceships, but that’s just the beginning. We follow along as the two teens race against time to figure out why their ships are being targeted and what kind of fatal disease is quickly spreading among their fellow passengers. This is the start of a new series.

fallout

Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond

Lois Lane has always been one of my favorite characters. Here, she’s reimagined as a teenage journalist-in-training. She and her colleagues at the student-run “Daily Scoop” news website, and an online friend she knows only as “Smallville Guy,” investigate a gang of high school bullies. Part Nancy Drew, part science fiction, this is a fun read for anyone who’s a fan of Lois Lane or light mysteries.

love-gelato

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

How can you go wrong with Italy and ice cream? Although it starts with a tragedy, the book is mostly an entertaining, light romance/mystery set against the backdrop of beautiful Tuscany. If you’re looking for a quick read with sympathetic and likable characters give this one a try.

most-dangerous

Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin

The Vietnam War. Watergate. Although these events were covered in school, the topics are so complicated there is always more to learn. This book, about Daniel Ellsberg and why he decided to steal and reveal the secret Pentagon Papers, provides a lot of insight into this era of American history. Although very well researched and detailed, this exciting account reads more like a spy-thriller than a history book.

-Written by Kim Iacucci, Young Adult Librarian

HPL Staff Gives Thanks

25 Nov

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I asked my colleagues at the Hoboken Public Library what books or TV shows or digital media they were thankful to find this year. Following are their favorites, which are available at the library or through interlibrary loan.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

-Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

 

graduates-in-wonderland

Photo by Shannon Campbell

Shannon Campbell, Children’s Librarian
After 19 years of education, with an astronomical amount of papers, projects, and presentations, I finally graduated this year in May. I spent the entire summer knowing that in the upcoming fall, I had no professor or class to report to, no looming deadline hanging over my head for a paper or project. It felt freeing, and absolutely scary. I didn’t have the next step all laid out like I had for the previous 19 years. I looked to everyone and everything for advice and comfort, and found it in the book Graduates in Wonderland: True Dispatches from Down the Rabbit Hole, by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale. The story is constructed through a series of emails the girls send to each other the years following graduation. They talk about their successes, failures, fears, goals, dreams, people and places they have fallen in love with, and people and places they fell out of love with. It very much expressed the mindset I was in at the time. The cherry on top of the cake was my friends and I had sent the book to each other with notes in the margins reflecting our feelings on any of the topics as we read through it. It was very much like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but book-club style! Not only did I have the authors to look to for comfort, but I also had my friends through their words. That particular copy had been to NYC, Shanghai, California, and of course, Hoboken. To sum up what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving: my supportive friends, my education, and the authors of this book that perfectly express the scary (and amazing) journey of entering into adulthood.
life-on-mars
Carolyn Hartwick, Account Clerk
I am grateful for a June 24 Staff Picks – British Edition post by Clay Waters.  One of his recommendations was for the British television series Life on Mars starring the delightful John Simm.  At the time I was a bit lost with no Sherlock, Doctor Who, or Walking Dead to catch up on so I binge-watched the 16 episodes in early July and then hummed David Bowie tunes to myself for the rest of the summer.  It was a great show, delivered quickly though BCCLS interlibrary loan, and something I am glad didn’t pass me by thanks to the Hoboken Library Staff Picks blog!
wolfpack
Heidi Schwab, Emerging Technology Librarian and Program Coordinator
What I took away from the award-winning documentary The Wolfpack is that even though the brothers, their mother and sister were living in a very bad situation, there is such a sweetness and kindness to them. It is amazing how they protected their mother and were sympathetic to their mentally-ill father who kept them locked up.  After growing up basically prisoners they retained their innocence and positive look at the world. This is a perfect Thanksgiving movie because we learn that even people who grow up in terrible circumstances can grow up to be positive and relatively happy in a way.
code-name-verity
Kim Iacucci, Young Adult Librarian

This year I am thankful that I read Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I read and enjoy a lot of books every year but there are very few that live up to the phrase “page turner.” This book is so surprising that the minute I finished I wanted to start over from the beginning to see how the pieces fit together. It’s not an easy read. There’s war, torture and loss. But also friendship, love and hope. Highly recommended.

 

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Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

I’m thankful that we will be offering some great new services next month to our patrons: JobNow and HelpNow from Brainfuse.  Help Now provides students with online homework help from qualified tutors between 2 PM and 11 PM.  There are also always available video tutorials and practice tests for exams like the GED and SAT.  There is assistance for adults with skill building and who may need help with essays, business letters, or other writing.  JobNow provides assistance for job seekers with their resumes, interview coaching and more.  Check them out starting in December!

 

 

enchanted-april

Rosary Van Ingen, Adult Circulation Services Department Head

My pick for the #gratitude post is The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. This novel, set in post-WWI Europe, celebrates love, friendship and family. This book never fails to remind me of the beauty and power of friendship.

 

 

night-gardener

Sharlene Edwards, Senior Children’s Librarian

I am so happy to have recently picked up The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier. When it was published last year, I put it on my mental to-read list and continued on my adult fiction kick.  My to-read list is predictably long and unrealistic, and I would have most certainly forgotten about Auxier’s juvenile fantasy novel if I hadn’t spied HPL’s Young Adult Librarian hurriedly reading the last ten pages before starting her work day.  I brought it with me on my train ride home that night, and, by the end of page one, I knew I was going to fall completely in love with Auxier’s creepy Victorian tale about two young orphans who find themselves desperate for food and shelter at the door of an infamously strange house in the woods. Quickly the children learn that there are sinister forces at work in their new residence. The occupants, an unhappy family who is burdened by a mysterious illness, are under the dark thrall of a wishing tree. After finding myself in a bit of a reading slump, Auxier’s beautifully written novel reminded me of the power of artful storytelling.

MSCR blog 11.15

Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

This year I am thankful to have founded, with Rosary, the Mile Square City Readers book club. We have a wonderful, opinionated group that brings fresh perspectives and interesting insights to the books we read. I have tried to start a few book clubs in the past that didn’t last too long, and I’m excited to have this great club to talk books with once a month.

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