This October has been a time for change at the Rodgers Memorial Library. We have a new teen services librarian at the desk (yours truly) and as we look ahead to the new things coming down the pipe, it’s also a good time to look back at what we’ve added to the collection. Now, because of the volume of items and their popularity, this is by no means an exhaustive list. We’re also planning on doing a summary like this every week when new materials are added, so stay tuned!
As you check out our new books below, if you see something you like, just click on the title. The link will take you to that book’s catalog entry, where you can see if we have it available. If it’s checked out, just click the “Place Hold” button to the right and follow the prompts to put your name on the item. When it comes back, we’ll notify you, and you’ll have three days to pick it up.
The Power, by Naomi Alderman.
Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
“In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: there’s a rich Nigerian boy who lounged around the family pool, a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature, an ambitious American politician, a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls and women now have immense physical power—with a flick of their fingers, they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, everything changes drastically.” From the publisher.
We’ve all wished to have more power in our lives. Sometimes it’s the simple power of being able to control our own schedules or go where we like, but other times we like to fantasize about a more profound kind of power. Naomi Alderman explores that daydream in a darkly fascinating new way: what if girls and women had the power over life and death for the people around them? How would the world bend or even break under the strain of such a change? And breaking the world necessarily a bad thing?
This book comes at a critical time for young women, and as such I would recommend it to any teenage girl (or indeed, anyone in general) who’s frustrated with how the world is treating them.
The Silver Mask, by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare.
Scholastic Press, 2017.
“A generation ago, Constantine Madden came close to achieving what no magician has ever achieved: the ability to bring back the dead. He didn’t succeed… but he did find a way to keep himself alive, inside a young child named Callum Hunt.
“Now Call is one of the most feared and reviled students in the history of the Magisterium, thought to be responsible for a devastating death and an ever-present threat of war. As a result, Call has been imprisoned and interrogated. Everyone wants to know what Constantine was up to—and how he lives on.
“But Call has no idea.
“It is only when he’s broken out of prison that the full potential of Constantine’s plan is suddenly in his hands… and he must decide what to do with his power.” From the publisher.
The fourth book in the stunning Magisterium series, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare are raising the stakes even higher here than they did in The Bronze Key. The events from that book ripple throughout The Silver Mask, forcing the heroes to face the consequences of their earlier adventures. There are no easy choices in this book, and by the end you’ll be left wondering where it can all go from here. Fans will be compelled to pick up the latest installment, but this is no place to begin for newcomers. I recommend starting with the first book, The Iron Trial.
Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green.
Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2017.
“Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
“Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.” From John Green’s website.
This is the big one this month, from the best-selling author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. John Green writes in a very emotional style, capturing the struggle between who we are and who we want to be without resorting to overly poetic descriptions of his characters’ mental states. Obviously anyone who enjoys Green’s other books will want to check this one out, but I would recommend this to anybody who’s ever chosen to be there for a friend, even when “there” isn’t really where they want to be.
Alex Rider: Never Say Die, by Anthony Horowitz.
Philomel Books, 2017.
“Five weeks after the events of Scorpia Rising, Alex is living in San Francisco, slowly recovering from the death of his best friend and caregiver, Jack Starbright, at the hands of terrorists. Alex feels lost and alone, but then, out of the blue, he receives a mysterious email. It’s just three words long—but it’s enough to make him believe that Jack may be alive after all. Armed with this tiny glimmer of hope, Alex boards a flight bound for Egypt.
“But the deadly organization Scorpia isn’t finished yet. As Alex searches for Jack, the pieces of a dangerous puzzle start to emerge… The theft of the world’s most powerful helicopter; evil twin brothers brought up in the Mafia; an operation called ‘Steel Claw.’ Somehow they’re connected and Alex has to find out how if he is to prevent a new terrorist plot.” From the publisher.
The long-running Alex Rider series is going strong in Anthony Horowitz’s latest installment. The evolving story continues to echo some of the thriller genre’s finest franchises, such as James Bond, Jason Bourne, and most of the oeuvre of Tom Clancy. Here, Alex is caught up in a personal crusade of hope and desperation, while Scorpia is still working towards its own evil ends. Because of the nature of the story, this isn’t a great book for new readers to start with, but fans of the previous books won’t have any problems jumping back into the world of Alex Rider.
Ringer, by Lauren Oliver.
“After discovering the uncomfortable truth about her connection to the Haven Institute, Gemma struggles to return to her normal life. But when she learns that her controlling and powerful father has new plans for Lyra and Caelum, Gemma and her boyfriend, Pete, leave in the middle of the night to warn them of the danger they face.
“When an accident strands them on the side of the road, they are mistaken for the escaped replicas and seized by strangers hired to capture them. Driven to a teeming facility housed in an abandoned airport, Gemma comes face-to-face with the hundreds of replicas who survived the explosion on Spruce Island. The Haven Institute wasn’t destroyed after all, and now Gemma is the one behind the walls.
“In the world outside the Haven Institute, Lyra and Caelum are finding it hard to be human. Though free from the guards, doctors, fences, and probing experiments, they feel more trapped than ever. Lyra, infected at Haven with a terrible disease, finds her symptoms are growing worse. Caelum regrets their escape. And neither of them knows where they belong or who they can trust. Even Gemma, who swore to help, seems to have forgotten them.
“When Caelum leaves without warning, Lyra follows him, seeking a pioneering organization in Philadelphia that might have a cure for the illness that is slowly consuming her mind. But what they uncover is a shocking connection to their past—even as their future seems in danger of collapsing.” From the publisher.
Billed as a companion piece to Lauren Oliver’s Replica, this is really more of a straight sequel as the characters of Gemma and Lyra try to live their lives following the destruction of the Haven Institute. The book itself flips, so you can read their stories one at a time or go chapter-by-chapter, though the latter is likely to be disorienting as you have to keep rotating the book after each chapter. (Also, you’ll have bookmarks sticking out of the top and the bottom.) Ringer relies heavily on the events of Replica, so it’s better to start with the first book than try to muddle through.
La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman.
Alfred A. Knopff, 2017.
“Malcolm Polstead is the kind of boy who notices everything but is not much noticed himself. And so perhaps it was inevitable that he would become a spy…
“Malcolm’s father runs an inn called the Trout, on the banks of the river Thames, and all of Oxford passes through its doors. Malcolm and his daemon, Asta, routinely overhear news and gossip, and the occasional scandal, but during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm catches wind of something new: intrigue.
“He finds a secret message, inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust—and the spy it was intended for finds him.
“When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, Malcolm sees suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a daemon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl—just a baby—named Lyra.
“Lyra is the kind of person who draws people in like magnets. And Malcolm will brave any danger, and make shocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through the storm.” From the publisher.
All right, so many John Green isn’t the biggest deal on this list, if you’re a fan of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. He returns to the world of Dust and daemons in a new trilogy, which he calls The Book of Dust. Despite what the description sounds like, it’s not a prequel. Rather, Mr. Pullman has promised this series will unfold parallel to Lyra’s tale. This book is packed with adventure and the familiar mythology of Pullman’s classic. As the start of a new series, it is perfectly approachable for most readers, but it will be resonant with fans of the original books.
All the Crooked Saints, by Maggie Stiefvater.
Scholastic Press, 2017.
“Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado, is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.
“At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.
“They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.” From the publisher.
There’s a flavor of magical realism in Maggie Stiefvater’s latest novel, like an American spin on the Central American works of Julia Alvarez or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This is a family drama full of exceptional characters told with beautiful, straightforward prose. It’s definitely a departure from The Raven Cycle, so try not to let any expectations from those books color your approach to this one, but readers who enjoy realistic fiction or light fantasy should find an enjoyable experience in Bicho Raro.
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Secret Crush Catastrophe, by Rachel Renee Russell.
“In Nikki Maxwell’s newest diary, it’s the countdown to the end of the school year, and Nikki’s juggling some big questions about how she’ll spend her summer. She’s also facing an unexpected crush catastrophe—there’s a new kid interested in Nikki, but the last thing she wants to do is accidentally hurt Brandon! It all comes down to a big decision Nikki has to make, and drama like she’s never faced before!” From the publisher.
Hey dude, crushes are hard. It’s not easy to tell someone you like them, you’re never sure if they like you back, and it’s easy for someone to get the wrong idea. But no matter how hard you might try, you can’t avoid getting a crush in the first place—even if there’s somebody you already like! Nikki has to struggle with social media, the rumor mill, and her own feelings.
Fans of Rachel Renee Russell’s ongoing Dork Diaries series will find this a good entry, but it should stand well enough on its own that any reader interested in the subject of crushes and drama can jump right in.
Night of Cake and Puppets, by Laini Taylor.
Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
“Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for her timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her ‘rabid fairy,’ her ‘voodoo eyes’ are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to her crush, Mik, also known as Violin Boy, her courage deserts her.
“Now enough is enough! Zuzana is determined to seize the night, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before finally leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.” From the publisher.
This book is intended as a companion piece to Laini Taylor’s Daughters of Smoke and Bone series, supposedly being #2.5 of the trilogy. It’s a short jaunt (compared to the books in the rest of the series) largely focused on just one night and the playful and lightly neurotic courting by Zuzana. It’s a welcome change from the decidedly more fraught tone of Taylor’s novels, featuring animated marionettes and, yes, cake.
Formerly, Night of Cake and Puppets was only available as an e-book, but this print version includes illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo. Fans of the series should absolutely pick this one up, but for newcomers be sure to read at least the first entry, Daughters of Smoke and Bone, before checking this out.