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Monday, September 28, 2015

Don't be afraid of BANNED BOOKS (In honor of banned books week!)


Happy Banned Books Week to you! More importantly, CONGRATULATIONS on your ability to read freely! Know what this all means? Let's let the American Library Association explain shall we? Banned Books Week is an opportunity to bring attention to "the value of free and open access to information and celebrates the freedom to seek, to publish, to read, and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship".

The photos below show some of the great products of our "fREADom" YA Banned Books Week event. We hope you stop by to check out our Banned Books Week Display to discover what popular YA novels we have that were challenged or banned across the US recently.

Also, here is a great article (and video) about one anonymous donor's effort to challenge the censorship of a popular YA novel in South Carolina.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Literary Playlist: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

According to author Jenny Han, developing a literary playlist for her books is a tool she uses repeatedly to envelop her in the story and thoughts of her protagonist as she is writing:
"For every book I write, I create a playlist that I go back to again and again to help transport me into the story and into the main character's mindset. The To All the Boys playlist is a blend of songs that Lara Jean would listen to, songs that remind me of her, and songs that score certain scenes in my head."

Jenny Han was kind enough to share the playlist she developed for her light-hearted teen romance, To All the Boys I've Loved Before!


You can find the playlist and book review at this Amazon link or see the youtube playlist below. Enjoy!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Hello and Hey from your new YA! ... Librarian

I know, I know. You are looking at this post and thinking, well this is definitely going to be a sad excuse for a literary playlist. I am also a day late. Oops! Don't fret! 1) This isn't a literary playlist at all and 2) we'll get back to those lyrical and literary wonder-posts next month!

We have a transition to note, first! We can't let the YA blog history pass without recognizing the great librarians that write all the goofy stuff on this site.

This month we had to say goodbye (and did so in a depressed and very reluctant fashion) to the wonderful Half-Crazed Librarian (the first) who started this blog. She has since moved on to other great opportunities including going to school for her very own MASTERS in Library Sciences! We didn't want to see her go, but that is one darn good reason to have to. I have no doubt she is blazing new trails and getting all As on her future reports and essays. We love you and wish you well!

This is where I come in. Someone had to step up to the plate and attempt to do justice to the great work that they Half-Crazed Librarian (the first) has done for the teen scene at Massanutten Regional Library. And here I am. I am new to YA programming but I am not new to being a teen (I was one about a decade ago... or so). I love YA literature and am a particular fan of any and all books of the magical realism genre and any and all books featuring a POC (person of color) protagonist. Combine the two and I am one happy reader! I have a lot to learn in this position, am very excited to try new things, and am looking for any and all advice, enthusiasm, and recommendations from YOU (that is if you are a teen and/or are interested in YA literature and programming).

I am going to call myself... yes, get ready...


wait for it....


The half-crazed librarian! The second. 

Ok, ok, ok. It isn't original BUT I have my reasons (technological, computer-y-type reasons to be more specific). I'll likely continue with the themed-post you saw our former half-crazed librarian but hope to put some new posts up for you to read as well.

So keep an eye out for the classics like YA book club and those beloved literary playlists but, who knows, maybe you'll see something different arise on this feed in the near future as well.

Till next post, adieu!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

August Book Club Post!

Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Copyright: 2014
Call Number: YA Fiction LU

Adelina Amouteru has been treated poorly most of her life. After the plague left her deformed, her father abused her but worshiped her sister. Adelina escapes her hometown, but not before a terrible accident leaves her wanted for murder. She runs into The Young Elites, a group of plague survivors who also have inexplicable powers.

As Adelina discovers strength she didn't know she had, she finds herself intertwined in the complicated lives of the people around her. The other Young Elites have varied histories and powers. Adelina and other malfettos--children scarred by the plague--are treated as subhuman in the city. As if her life wasn't complicated enough already, Adelina is approached by the leader of The Dagger Society, a group of government soldiers dedicated to destroying all malfettos. What can he offer her if she betrays the Young Elites?

The characters are complex, the stakes high, and the missions dangerous. Adelina becomes the antihero you didn't know you needed. Fans of The Orphan Queen, A Game of Thrones, and Midnight Thief will love the world Lu creates. The next book in the series, The Rose Society, is due in October. A sneak peek is available from Penguin Teen. (They also made the amazing chart below.)

via Penguin Teen
The Young Elites is one of our 2015 Teens' Top Ten books. See a full list of books here.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Literary Playlist: After Tupac & D Foster

I could give my own review of Jacqueline Woodson's After Tupac & D Foster, but this book trailer says it all:

[Do you have your own book trailer or an idea for one? Send it to us!]

Now hit play on this After Tupac & D Foster literary playlist to see what the girls were talking about.
[NOTE: This is a playlist of songs the author mentioned in the book. MRL is not responsible for nor does it endorse the content of non-MRL websites. Users should use critical judgment in relying on information found in these websites and determine what information is appropriate to their needs.]

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Teens' Top Ten Books!!!

You guys may remember that we received some books last year to try out. We have more this year! There are seriously hardly any on the shelf, which means that you guys love them!

1. Check out these books.
2. Read/enjoy/love them.
3. When TTT voting comes around, vote for your favorites.

That's it!

Here are the books:

  • Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
    • As Leila struggles to come to terms with her new life, she grasps for the only thing she knows is real, the northern lights. On her cross-country trip to see them, she meets four people that not only change her, but change because of her. She helps them in ways they didn't know they needed, and they help her more than she realizes.
  • Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    • Samantha's mind is a blank slate after she disappeared with her best frienemy, Cassie. However, when Cassie's dead body turns up, Samantha's memories are the only clue to what happened that night. Unfortunately, Sam not having any memories may be the only thing keeping her alive. 
  • Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
    • Kyra is a thief. A talented one at that. When the leader of the mysterious Assassin's Guild offers her a job, she isn't sure. Tristam of Brancel is a Palace knight. When his best friend is murdered by the Demon Riders, a clan of fierce warriors who ride on bloodthirsty wildcats, he vows to take them down. Each time, he is thwarted by a talented thief, one who can easily slip past the Palaces defenses. When they are thrown together on a raid, they realize that their best-if only chance at survival is to join together. Loyalties are tested and a surprising secret is learned about Kyra's past-one that threatens to reshape their lives. 
  • Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake
    • For the first time ever, Cassandra and Athena have a mutual goal: to kill the remaining gods and goddesses that have taken refuge on Mount Olympus. If they could just figure out how to work together, they might be able to accomplish it. 
  • The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
    • Magnus Bane, the mysterious High Warlock of New York, has been alive for a long time and has a mysterious past unknown to most of his companions. In this thrilling novel, secrets and stories are revealed, of lovers, of adventures, and of friendships. 
  • The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer
    • In a steampunk world, after the British Empire won the Revolutionary War, a young Patriot named Charlotte finds a boy in the woods, running from British war machines. When he claims he cannot remember anything, she and the other rebels with her decide to find his true origin by going to the heart of the Empire: New York.
  • Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
    • After the death of her older sister, Laurel tries to cope with her feelings of guilt and anger with what starts out as an English assignment: write a letter to a dead person. As Laurel adjusts to high school and makes new friends, she continues writing letters to her idols. They become more detailed and thoughtful as she tries to grieve over her sister and works up the courage to finally be able to talk about the secret of her death. 
  • Into the Dark: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
    • Haden, the disgraced son of Ren Hades, King of the Underworld, has been chosen to go to the surface and bring back Daphne Vince, his boon. Daphne's alcoholic rock star father is giving her the chance she has dreamed of to further her music career, but in California, further away from home than she's ever been. Their fates are entwined, and they're about to meet for the first time. 
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
    • Lara Jean has a teal hatbox under her bed filled with all her precious things, old feelings, and memories that should be buried forever. In that box, there are letters Lara has written to all the boys she has ever loved with no intention of ever sending them. One day, the hat box goes missing, marking the beginning of a series of confrontations she never thought she’d have to face. 
  • Unhinged by A.G. Howard
    • Finally back in the “real world” all Alyssa has left is to ignore her darker side and enjoy the normality of high school and her life with Jeb. But does Wonderland leave her alone? Can the Red Queen let Alyssa get away with what she has done? Everything would be easier if Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest.
  • The Young Elites by Marie Lu
    • Adelina Amounteru is a survivor of the plague, a Malfetto, a freak to the rest of society. The treatment of abuse over the years has caused a darkness to brew inside her. She believes there is hope for her yet as there is a group of other Malfettos, called the Young Elites. The Young Elites have not only survived the plague, but have developed unexplainable abilities. Is refuge with these people what Adelina always wanted, or are they just going to end up using her like everyone else?
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
    • Celaena, the King’s Champion, has faced many challenges throughout her life, but none compare to what she must now face. As the King of Adarlan seeks to destroy all that she cares about, Celaena must learn to control her powers while deciding who should fight back: Celaena the assassin or Aelin the Fae princess. 
  • Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
    • Emily and Sloane are the bestest friends having an amazing summer, until one day Sloane disappears. Sloane leaves behind a to-do list of 13 tasks Emily would normally never try without Sloane by her side. With the help of Frank Porter, and a few other friends, will Emily finish the list?
  • The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen
    • War is on the horizon in Carthya, and Jaron needs to protect his country. However, the ruler of Avenia has also captured Jaron’s best friend and love, Imogen. Jaron needs to save both his friend and his country, but everything that possibly could go wrong, does go wrong. 
  • My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak
    • As the perfect girl who had everything scheduled, always looked nice and studied hard, Jackie couldn't predict her parents’ accident. She also didn't see her future consisting of moving from New York to Colorado and living with twelve boys. How can she cope with her parents’ death, a dramatic change in lifestyle while still being the perfect girl she was? 
  • The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
    • As Lia tries to run from her bounty hunters, she begins uncovering one of her kingdoms deceptive secrets, hidden by the years passed. Meanwhile, she begins falling in love with two men who are not who they seem to be... 
  • The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
    • Kestrel is a noble of the vast empire Valoria. She only has two choices for her future: to become a military officer or get married. What she really wants is to be a musician. Her choice for her future becomes more complicated when she buys a slave named Arin who is in on a plot to free his people from enslavement. 
  • Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
    • Tella Holloway thought her life was bad. When she gets an invitation to save her brother Cody’s life, she learns what bad really is. Tella fights for not only Cody, but herself, her Pandora, and her growing love of a contender. It’s a fight for life, but will Tella die trying? 
  • I Become Shadow by Joe Shine
    • Ren Sharpe was abducted at fourteen, chosen by the mysterious F.A.T.E. Center to become a Shadow: an unstoppable guardian of a future leader/world changer. After four years of training, she is assigned to protect Gareth Young, one of these future beings, an easy assignment, until a team of trained and armed professionals attempt to abduct him in broad daylight. With nowhere else to turn, Ren breaks F.A.T.E. rules and tracks down the only person she can trust; a fellow Shadow named Junie Miller, and decides that her kidnappers may be able to see the future, but they are unprepared for the killing machines they've created.
  • Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
    • Grasshopper Jungle is a coming of age story revolving around three teenagers, told in layers, exploring the pitfalls and wisdom of history, complex issues of friendship and sexual confusion, and, of course, the story of how six-foot-tall man-eating praying mantises from Iowa, brought on the end of the world.
  • The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
    • Lucy and Owen get stuck in an elevator in a New York City blackout. When they finally get out of the elevator, they spend the night looking at the stars. Soon after the blackout, Lucy moves away to Scotland while Owen heads out west. With that night in-grained into their minds, they try to stay in touch with each other while trying to figure out what that night truly meant for both of them. 
  • Boys Like You by Juliana Stone
    • Monroe and Nathan are alike in so many ways. Their "one mistake" has hurt both of them and the ones they love. Can Monroe accept herself and help Nathan to do the same? 
  • We Should Hang Out Sometimes by Josh Sundquist
    • Josh is a boy who's good with math, but not with girls. He has the best pickup line- We should hang out sometime- but he never really gets a relationship out of it. Now, after many girlfriendless years, he tries to figure out why.
  • Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
    • As if being one of the first black students to attend Jefferson High School wasn't enough, Sarah Dunbar has to worry about keeping her secret. Linda Hairston, is the daughter of one of Davisburg's most vocal opponents to integration in schools. She too has a secret. When these two very different girls are forced to work together on a school project, both are forced to confront the harsh truths about race, power and love.

And here are some pictures of teens enjoying them:

Friday, July 17, 2015

2nd Annual Harry Potter Party!!!

Whoa, guys. You should be soooo stoked for the Harry Potter party on July 31 (check out the deets at the bottom). To get in the mood, here are some cool HP links to check out:

  • Daniel Radcliffe said he can't wait to see Fantastic Beasts, but will he be in the movie? He says no, but of course people are speculating that he will.
  • Speaking of Fantastic Beasts, you could be the newest star! Producers are holding a casting call in London on July 18 to find an actress for the role of Modesty. Luna Lovegood herself is signal boosting the call!
  • How much would it cost to go to Hogwarts? Research has been done, and the result is staggering. Reports say that with Galleon-to-Dollar conversion, Hogwarts tuition would be around $43,031 a year. WHOA. Makes you appreciate Ron's parents even more.
  • Fandoms collide! Here is a selfie of cast members for Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter. [If you don't know what a fandom is, check out The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Geek Girls by Sam Maggs (YA 302.23 M).]
A photo posted by @maisie_williams on

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter! @ Main Library


July 31 is Harry's birthday, and it marks when he first gets his Hogwarts letter. Come out to the Library and celebrate this super wizard's birthday with crafts, games & snacks! Don't forget to dress as your favorite character!

Main Library - downtown Harrisonburg

The director of some of the HP movies wants to make more!! Yes, please!!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Book Parody Songs!!

This is a different kind of literary playlist. Here are all kinds of book/library parody songs. Hit play and you'll be LOL'ing all the way to the library! (Yes, there are a lot of "All About Them Books" songs. Just go with it.)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July Book Club Post!

Title: Vivian Apple at the End of the World
Author: Katie Coyle
Copyright: 2015
Call Number: YA Fiction COY (at North River)

When Vivian Apple goes home the morning after the supposed apocalypse, she finds two holes in the ceiling of her parents' bedroom. In fact, a lot of people turn up missing. Most of them were devout believers in the Church of America. Vivian and her best friend, Harp, never believed, and now they've been left behind.

In this first book in a series (Vivian Apple Needs a Miracle is due out Fall 2015), Vivian sets out across the country to find the truth. Where did her parents go? Was Beaton Frick, founder of the Church of America, right about the Rapture? What should she do next?
What she discovers may be more than she can handle.

Katie Coyle does an amazing job with Vivian Apple at the End of the World. It's everything you want from a book: major character progression, complex themes relevant to today's society, nice mix of comedy and action. There also ISN'T a love triangle! How rare! Coyle also offers some extras to complete your VAatEofW (that's way too long, never mind)-reading experience. She posted a road trip playlist and excerpt of the book here, and here is the official book trailer: