Friday, December 9, 2011


McCafferty, Megan. Bumped. New York: Balzer+Bray: 2011.

Annotation: Melody was raised to be a teen surrogate to infertile adults trading a life for money, cars, and tuition, her twin Harmony was raised as a Christian against getting bumped. These two lives change as they reunite and discover that they’re not as different as they believed.

Book Talk:
What if being a pregnant teen came with tons of perks including an increased social status rather than hardship and snickers? In Melody’s world it does. After 18 people are infertile and that means when you’re a teenager pregging is the thing to do and adults pay you to have their babies.

Why not? I won’t be using my uterus for anything else during those nine months! So that’s how I was the first girl in my class to go pro and sign on to be a surrogate. About a dozen girls at my school followed my lead so far, with more trying to land contracts every day.”

But Melody can’t bump with anyone, she has to get matched, feelings don’t matter- or do they? Maybe it’s different for her twin sister, Harmony, who grew up in a God loving society. With no concern of getting bumped for someone else she is engaged. Harmony found her sister with the hope of introducing her to God, but what happens when these two reunite? Who converts who? Find out in Bumped.

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Look for the sequel Thumped in April 2012!

What does Megan McCafferty have to say about Bumped?

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Westerfeld, Scott. UGLIES. New York: Simon Pulse, 2005.

Annotation: Right before her surgery to become a pretty, Tally meets Shay who opens her eyes to the ugly side of the pretty world. Tally now faces a tough decision of staying ugly forever or acting like a spy for the authorities against the Smoke, where her friend Shay escaped to avoid her surgery.

Book Talk:
Your 16th birthday is a big deal and Tally can’t wait for hers. Tally is an Ugly who will receive her birthday surgery to become a Pretty. Before her surgery she meets Shay who plans on running away to avoid the surgery to become Pretty. Tally has been looking forward to becoming a New Pretty, but she can’t get Shay’s ideas out of her head. Being a Pretty might not be all it’s cut out to be, but will she risk being forever one of the UGLIES?

Garden State Book Award (Teen Fiction Grades 6-8), 2008
VA Readers Choice Book, 2008
Abraham Lincoln Award Winner, 2007
Golden Duck, Hal Clement Award for Young Adult, 2006
ALA Best Books for Young Adults, 2006
ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (2006.04|Books That Don’t Make You Blush), 2006
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, 2005

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The City of Ember

DuPrau, Jeanne. The City of Ember. New York: Yearling, 2003.

Annotation: The builders of the City of Ember designed it to sustain life for 200 years until it was safe to return to the outside world. The builders left instructions that were eventually lost, no one knew of their existence, but when Lina finds them torn as they were she knows she has something important and decides to figure them out.

Book Talk:
Lina finds a box that holds an important message for the City of Ember. Their city was always losing power and fear was settling in that the lights may one day go out and never return. Even though she doesn’t know it, with her friend Doon they decipher its meaning to find a way out of their deteriorating city. Will the others believe they’ve found a way to the outside world, will they understand they’ve been living underground, and can they do it before the lights go out forever in The City of Ember?

Mark Twain Award, 2006
William Allen White Children's Book Award, 2006
Child Magazine's Best Children's Book, 2003
Kirkus Editor's Choice, 2003

Check out The books of Ember:
The City of Ember, The People of Sparks, The Prophet of Yonwood, The Diamond of Darkhold


Anderson, M.T. Feed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2002.

Annotation: Titus and his friends are connected to the constant feed in their brains, which keeps them wirelessly connected. After meeting Violet whose feed has gone wrong Titus begins to question his feelings about the feed.

Book Talk:
What if your brain could receive your Facebook newsfeed directly and silent chat with your friends? What if you could be online without using any technology, pretty cool right? But what if in this feed you receive all the spam and advertisement out on the web too? That’s the world Titus lives in, and it’s not a big deal. Until a hacker messes with the Feed causing some problems. You see for Titus and his friends the feed is a rooted in their everyday lives…

“The whole brain is tied in to the feed. The whole brain, like the memory and the part that makes you move and the part for your emotions.”

So when he meets Violet, whose feed has been damaged by the hacker, he realizes things aren’t as great as they seem.

ALA Outstanding Books for the College Bound (2009.4|Science & Technology), 2009
ALA Outstanding Books for the College Bound (2004.3|Literature & Language Arts), 2004
ALA's Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults, 2003
Book Sense Summer Pick Teen Readers, 2003
National Book Award Nominee for Young People's Literature, 2002
Los Angeles Times Book Prize, 2002

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Hunger Games

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press, 2008.

Annotation: Peeta and Katniss are tributes of the Capitol of Panem’s yearly Hunger Games. They fight each other and 22 others to the death as it plays out on TV as entertainment.

Book Talk:
Katniss has been taking care of her family since her dad died, sneaking out of District 12 with her friend Gale to hunt for food. At 16 she’s managed to stay out of the Hunger Games set by the Capitol of Panem, but when her sister Primrose is picked as the tribute Katniss volunteers in her place. She joins Peeta as the tribute to District 12 to fight to death against 22 others, all while the Capitol and other districts watch for sport. With greater survival skills than others can Katniss avoid being killed and can she find it in herself to kill others? Can she be a pawn in this twisted game? Read this first book of an increasingly popular trilogy to find out if Katniss’ rebellious spirit helps her win the Hunger Games or if it leads to her demise.

Amelia Bloomer List, 2009
ALA Best Books for Young Adults, 2009
ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2009
Cybils Award (Fantasy and Science Fiction - Young Adult), 2008
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, 2008
Locus Recommended Reading - Young Adult, 2008
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book, 2008

Trilogy Order: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay

This book’s popularity led to the making of a movie. The book is ALWAYS better than the movie, but take a look at the movie trailer to see what all the hype is about!

The Declaration

Malley, Gemma. The Declaration. New York: Bloomsbury, 2007.

Annotation: In a world where people chose Longetivity medication to make them live forever new life is illegal, The Declaration bounds people to not having children, those born are Surplus bred to serve Legals. Anna and new Surplus, Peter, decide to escape to the pro-children Underground Movement.

Book Talk:
Anna hates her parents for breaking The Declaration, they knew they weren’t supposed to have children and now she is a burden on society learning how to be an efficient servant to the Legals. She is Surplus Anna living amongst other illegal surplus children hoping to be deemed a Valuable Asset, good enough to work for a Legal until death. Anna wants nothing more than to be a Valuable Asset, until Peter, a new Surplus is brought to Grange Halls. Peter claims to know Anna’s parents. He says they love her and have been searching for her since the Catcher took her from them. Ideas like that are unnatural, but Anna can’t help but believe Peter. If they escape Grange Hall together she can be reunited with her parents and live her life in the Underground Movement as Anna Covey rather than an illegal Surplus Anna, but does she dare do it?

Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, 2009

If you liked The Declaration check out the sequel The Resistance!

Watch this video to find out what Gemma Malley thinks about whether or not this can really happen in our the future of our world.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Pearson, Mary. The Adoration of Jenna Fox. New York: Henry Holt, 2008.

Annotation: After waking up from a coma Jenna tries to figure out why her life seems so strange and uncover the secrets of her identity.

Book Talk:
Losing a year of her life Jenna wakes up from a coma after an accident she had at 16. But she has no memory of who she is. Disoriented Jenna watches home videos of her life trying to regain a sense of identity.

“I see Jenna, smiling, laughing, and chattering. And falling. When you are perfect, is there anywhere else to go? I ache for her like she is someone else. She is. I am not the perfect Jenna Fox anymore.”

When Jenna sneaks into a locked closet and gets a cut on her hand, she discovers the awful truth about her amnesia. Something her family has been keeping from her- all for their Adoration of Jenna Fox.

California Young Reader Medal nominee, 2010-2011
International Reading Association Young Adult Choice Book, 2010
Heartland Award Honor Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, 2010
ALA Best Books for Young Adults, 2009
Winner Distinguished Work of Fiction CLCSC, 2009
NYPL Best Books, 2009
Golden Kite Honor Award, 2008
Capitol Choices for Teens, 2009


Oliver, Lauren. Delirium. New York: Harper, 2011.

Annotation: Magdalena finds herself counting down the days for her procedure to cure her from contracting the disease, love, until she meets Alex who opens her eyes an entirely different life she never knew existed.

Book Talk:
Lena is nearing her 18th birthday and is waiting to receive the cure that will prevent her from contracting amor deliria nervosa, love. Soon she’ll be paired with a husband the scientists see fit for her and assigned a life to live free of pain. Until she meets Alex and discovers what amor deliria nervosa really is.

“It’s not until I’ve been lying in bed for a long time, shivering, aching, missing him already, that I realize my aunt and teachers and the scientists are right about the deliria. As I lie there with the hurt driving through my chest and the sick, anxious feeling churning through me and the desire for Alex is so strong inside of me it’s like a razor blade edging its way through my organs, shredding me, all I can think is: It will me, it will kill me, it will kill me, And I don’t care.”

Now Lena must face the choice of living her assigned life or trying to escape her world, something punishable by death, but is living a life free of love or pain really living at all?

Amazon’s Best YA Novel, 2011
Amazon’s Best Teen Book of the Month, February 2011 Book of the Month, March 2011
New Atlantic Independent
Delirium is the 1st book in the trilogy. Keep an eye out for Pandemonium (out in 2012) and Requiem (out in 2013). 

Take a look at this book trailer for Delirium.

Brave New World

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper & Row, 1989.

Annotation: In the brave new world people are controlled through the World State in an attempt to keep them content.

Book Talk:
People often say that you’ll find your lives path. Well in the World State people’s paths get determined from the time they are embryos. Your life depends on what caste the World State chooses to put your embryo in, forget choosing a career you were bred to fit into a certain type of work by making each caste slightly less intelligent. After traveling to the Savage Reservation Lenina and Bernard bring back John who doesn’t understand this world without emotions or relationships. Life is easier when someone else controls it and taking a dose of soma makes it possible to not feel. Would you pop a soma pill to avoid feeling or throw out the Soma and rebel? Find out what happens in this Brave New World.

American Academy of Arts and Letters Award of Merit, 1959
ALA Notable Books