Open Book: January 7, 2011

Open Book is an email newsletter of book recommendations for teens. It is sent twice a month and includes book excerpts in six teen fiction categories (realistic fiction, historical fiction, action/ adventure/fantasy/science fiction, romance, the buzz: middle school, and the buzz: high school). If you wish to subscribe to Open Book, please email or sign up in person at the Youth Services desk at the Library. Open Book email newsletters are also archived here on our blog.

Here are the picks for this week…

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Realistic Fiction

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel

Scholastic Press. 2010. 375 pages.

In 1973, when a renowned Canadian behavioral psychologist pursues his latest research project–an experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills–he brings home a baby chimp named Zan and asks his thirteen-year-old son to treat Zan like a little brother.

From the author of the popular and award-winning trilogy Airborn, Skybreaker, Starclimber

See excerpt

Historical Fiction

Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Clarion Books. 2009. 128 pages.

When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.

See excerpt

Watch trailer

Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Little, Brown and Co. 2010. 325 pages.

In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.

Ship Breaker was a finalist for the National Book Award for Young Peoples Literature this year, 2010. Bacigalupi has also a Hugo and Nebula Award (both fantasy and science fiction awards) winner.

See excerpt


How to Build a House by Dana Reindhart

Wendy Lamb Books. 2008. 227 pages.

Seventeen-year-old Harper Evans hopes to escape the effects of her father’s divorce on her family and friendships by volunteering her summer to build a house in a small Tennessee town devastated by a tornado.

See excerpt

Buzz: What’s Hot in Middle School

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson

Little, Brown and Co. 2009. 314 pages.

This is the astonishing testimonial of Wisty and Whit Allgood, a sister and brother who were torn from their family in the middle of the night, slammed into prison, and accused of being a witch and a wizard.

Book 2 was just released in December 2010 titled Witch and Wizard: The Gift. James Patterson is a famous author for adults and teens alike. His style is usually short chapters, lots of action and cliffhanger endings.

See excerpt

Listen to excerpt

Buzz: What’s Hot in High School

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Delacorte Press. 2010. 471 pages.

An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy–Louis Charles, the lost king of France.

This book which is a top contender for the Printz Award (awarded next week for the best young adult fiction book published in 2010)

See excerpt

Listen to excerpt

Watch trailer


One thought on “Open Book: January 7, 2011

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