Judging a Book By Its Cover: Winger

January 9th, 2014

wingerTitle: Winger

Author: Andrew Smith

What’s on the cover:  A teen boy who has OBVIOUSLY just been in some kind of fight, because he has stitches over his eyebrow and a bloody nose.  He’s wearing a sweater with a crest on it, a dress shirt, and a tie.  He also has a backpack slung over one shoulder.

What I think it’s about:  Judging by his outfit I’d say he goes to private school, and I’m guessing he’s getting bullied there based on his battered face.

Do I want to read it?:  YES!  I immediately want to know what happened to him.  It’s an intriguing cover!

What the blurb says: “Two years younger than his classmates at a prestigious boarding school, fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West grapples with living in the dorm for troublemakers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates.”

Final verdict:  Okay, so his face probably looks like that because of rugby.  I’m still intrigued though, so I’ll be picking up a copy of this one!

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

January 3rd, 2014

roomiesRoomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando is a really fun book about the ups and downs of having a roommate and leaving home for the first time.  Elizabeth and Lauren live 3,000 miles away from each other, but they’ve just been assigned to live together in the freshman dorms at UC Berkeley.  Elizabeth, an only child eager for a roomie to be BFFs with, emails Lauren right away to settle who is bringing what to their new home.  Lauren, big sister to five siblings and desperate for a room to herself, is less than pleased to hear that she’s been assigned a roommate.  Though their friendship gets off to a rocky start because of this, they keep emailing back-and-forth all summer and eventually help each other deal with all the things that will come along with going off to college: leaving behind your family, making new friends, and trying to have long-distance relationships.

The story is told in alternating chapters from Elizabeth and Lauren’s POVs, much like Will Grayson, Will Grayson or Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.  This was a light and quick read; I think I  may have breezed through it in one sitting!  Though sometimes things get a little too soap opera-ish (especially Elizabeth’s story), I really enjoyed the format and watching Elizabeth and Lauren’s friendship evolve over time.  If you enjoyed Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and are looking for more books about leaving for college, Roomies is a good pick.

Storm the Castle

December 26th, 2013


Tired of reading lists of books you’re “supposed” to like?  Ready to say something back?  Here’s your chance to speak up and be heard.  Join Storm the Castle to read new books, give your comments, and have them shared on a national listserv.  Let your voice be heard by librarians, publishers, authors, and others at Storm the Castle.

The best part?  There’s no assigned book!  You can choose from the list of Best Fiction for Young Adults, or even pick out any new teen book published since September 2013,  and read whichever one you want.  Just come back to the next meeting ready to tell everyone which book you read and what you thought of it.  Our first meeting is Thursday, January 2nd at 4:00 pm at the Fairmount Street Branch.  Hope to see you then!

Closing for the Holidays

December 23rd, 2013


Don’t forget, the three Davenport Public Library locations will all be closed on Tuesday December 24th and Wednesday December 25th.  We’ll re-open for our regular hours on Thursday, December 26th.  Have a safe and happy holiday!

Best YA of 2013, Part Two

December 19th, 2013








Our roundup of DPL staff’s favorite YA novels of the year continues!

Amber‘s favorite series of the year was The Montmaray Journals by Michelle Cooper:  “Montmaray is a (fictional) tiny island monarchy between England and Spain whose already small population was decimated during World War I, and there are only a few village families left living in the shadow of a romantic, crumbling castle when 16 year old Sophie begins keeping her journal in 1936. Oh yes, ROMANTIC, CRUMBLING CASTLE! The Montmaray Journals by Michelle Cooper (a series of three lovely books: A Brief History of MontmarayThe FitzOsbornes in Exileand The FitzOsbornes at War) are those kind of books where the narrator feels so natural, so familiar that I often forget that the stories in the book didn’t actually happen to me. Sadly, the memories are not all pleasant. These books are about a teenager’s family evolving and trying to survive World War II, all with the weight of a small country on their shoulders. It is no secret among people who know me that my favorite book is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and the Montmaray Journals share much in common with Dodie Smith’s fantastic novel (which is pretty much the highest praise I will give a book!). See my full review of the series on InfoCafe: http://blogs.davenportlibrary.com/reference/still-capturing-the-castle-the-montmaray-journals-by-michelle-cooper/

Sharon has two recommendations for fans of graphic novels.  Sailor Moon: “I have been devouring the re-releases of the Sailor Moon manga this year (now without the terrible Mixx character re-names!), and I love it every bit as much as I did when I first read them back at the turn of the millennium. Let’s not talk about the time I cried when I realized I was too old to be a sailor senshi.”  Her second pick is Alice in the Country of Hearts: “I read the first five volumes of this manga a couple years ago, but then the English distribution company went out of business—woe! However, another company picked it up and put its six volumes out in a in three mega-volumes—yay! The story is an Alice in Wonderland parody, where Alice basically runs around with a bunch of hot people, wondering why they love her so much. Sound shallow? It totally is—Alice even says so!—but it’s a super fun read.”

Bethany also read an excellent set of graphic novels this year, Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori: “Sometimes when you’re in between books you want something light with out comprising on story. And Bride’s Story was able to do that for me. And, as silly as it is, the cover of v.1 was very pretty so I needed to see what it was about. Simple story told in a time period and a people I never really thought about, which is another reason why I was drawn to it. I would highly recommend these graphic novels to anybody wanting something quick, light, but good to read.”

Cyndi read so many great YA books this year, she couldn’t pick just one!  “In no particular order: Eleanor & ParkIn ZanesvilleChaos Walking series, and Little Brother” were some of her favorites.  Click the titles to place holds on any or all of them!

And that’s it for our 2013 favorites!  What are yours?  Share in the comments!

Best YA of 2013, Part One

December 17th, 2013








It’s that time of year again!  “Best Of” lists are everywhere, and the staff here at DPL want to share some of our favorite YA books we read this year.

Lexie‘s choice is one of last year’s Printz Award honorees: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  “It’s best to go into this not knowing much, but here’s what I can tell you: this is the story of female pilots during World War II, one of whom has just been captured by the Nazis.  Under threat of torture, she is writing her confession of classified information to her captor.  This is an amazing story of friendship and strength, and it is so suspenseful and engaging that once I started it I couldn’t put it down even for one single second.”

Amanda has a recommendation for audio book listeners: “The Diviners by Libba Bray (audiobook) was the book that made me fall in love with audiobooks.  I was already a huge Libba Bray fan (Going Bovine and Beauty Queens are two of my favorite books), but I was blown away by what reader, January LaVoy did with this already entertaining read.  I can’t wait until the next book in the series, Lair of Dreams, comes out (next August!)”

Liza‘s pick is one that has been incredibly popular with the librarians here at DPL: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.  “I liked it because it was honest and truthful and didn’t pull any punches.  The book made me want to read faster than possible to gobble up the text while also making me want to slow down and savor the book while I had the chance.  I look forward to reading many more books by Rowell.”

Ann chose one of my favorites of the year, Rainbow Rowell’s second book of 2013, Fangirl:  “It’s sweet without being saccharine, witty and felt very real.  I also thought it felt very modern yet timeless – Cath’s obsession with her fandom and connections (and fame) she makes via the internet because of it are very 2013, but the emotions created from changes like falling in love, losing your best friend and learning becoming your own person are universal.”

Check back later this week for even more of our favorite reads from this year!

Book Trailer Thursday: Boxers & Saints

December 12th, 2013

Did you love American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang?  Check out the trailer for his new set of graphic novels, called Boxers & Saints!

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