Bradley Academy’s all-girl a cappella group used to be the pride of the sunshine state, but the Nightingales have recently fallen out of harmony. When a boy comes between Nightingales co-captains Lidia and Sidney, the a cappella group appears in dire straits, until new girl Julianna hopes to bring the group back to their former glory in time for the big state final.
The plot may sound familiar- girl finds herself falling for the guy her best friend has a crush on- but the a cappella aspect of the books makes it fun to read this book anyway. If you liked Glee or Pitch Perfect, this is the book for you. Characters frequently burst into song, and spend much of their time picking out songs for their performances- you’ll need to be keeping up with music from the radio and from musicals to catch all the references. For middle school tweens looking for a light and quick read- this could be the right choice!
You can find Turn It Up! in the Young Adult Fiction section at YA CALONITA.
Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.
Originally published in 1960, this classic novel was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1961. This book has also been a part of the Battle of the Books program at the Bartlett Public Library. This story of survival and resiliency is great for late elementary school readers who enjoyed books such as Hatchet by Gary Paulsen or Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ODELL.
While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.
This classic novel was originally published in 1972, and was followed by two sequels Julie (in 1994) and Julie’s Wolf Pack (in 1997). The book was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1973. This book is for readers who enjoy adventure and survival stories as Julie (who prefers her Eskimo name Miyax) struggles to learn how to survive on the tundra by learning more about the wolf pack.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J GEORGE.
For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.
In 1842, thirteen-year-old orphan Maria Merryweather arrives at her ancestral home in an enchanted village in England’s West Country, where she discovers it is her destiny to right the wrongs of her ancestors and end an ancient feud.
This classic was originally published in 1946 and won the Carnegie Medal. Although the title sounds cute is meant for the older elementary school and middle school audience. The setting is England in 1842, and the detailed descriptions of everything from buildings to clothing to food really transports the reader to this time and place! This does lead to some very dated vocabulary which could be confusing for a young reader but could also be a great time to encourage readers to use a dictionary when they do not understand a word. I recommend this book to fantasy and animal lovers who are looking for a challenge.
Nancy Drew’s keen mind is tested when she searches for a missing will.
This is the first of the Nancy Drew mysteries! Mildred Wirt Benson who was from Iowa wrote this story in 1930 under the pseudnym Carolyn Keene. She would write nearly two dozen stories featuring Nancy Drew. The Nancy Drew mysteries have sold over 200 million copies and have been translated into 25 languages (UI Press release 2007)! This classic mysteries series is great for those who enjoy the Boxcar Children or the Hardy Boy mysteries.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Mystery section at J KEENE.
Smile is a popular graphic novel about a girl’s story of dealing with the craziness of teeth. The main character, Raina, is actually the author of the book, so it is a true story! Her two front teeth fall out, and she gets braces, so now she has to deal with a lot of pain at the dentist. Plus, her friends make fun of her looks and her teeth at school.
I really enjoyed this book. I have read it twice, and I have read many of Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novels. They are all funny, interesting and I love the art styles. I loved Smile so much, I read the book in only one day. I suggest this book to anyone who has lost adult teeth, who wears braces, or just wants to read a very awesome graphic novel.
-Elizabeth, teen blogger
You can find Smile in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC TELGEMEIER.
Today I recommend Hot Cocoa Hearts by Suzanne Nelson.
Hot Cocoa Hearts is a fictional romance novel about a high school girl, Emery who is not a fan of the holidays (especially Christmas.) To her dismay, Emery has to work at her parent’s santa photo booth at the mall, dressed as an elf! At the mall between her shifts of work, she talks to Alex from the hot cocoa shop. The more she talks to Alex, the more she doubts that she hates Christmas as much as she says she does. He is practically the opposite of Emery, he is optimistic and loves the holidays. Also, Emery has a crush on Sawyer, a brooding member of a band.
I really actually loved this book. I normally do not read romance books, but this book sucked me in. Even though it is not currently near the holiday season, it was quite interesting. My favorite parts were when Emery sent and received secret santa gifts in her first period class at school. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a small, sweet love story.
~Elizabeth, teen blogger
Aven Green was born without arms. She has always been encouraged and supported by her parents that she can achieve anything she tries. However, when her family moves from Kansas she leaves her familiar life and friends and now she is in Arizona living at a dying western theme park where her parents become the new managers.
You can imagine it is challenging to meet friends in her new school. And there are many secrets she wants to solve. The tale of Stagecoach Pass is just as compelling as the story of Aven. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J BOWLING.
Today I recommend: Enchantment Lake: A Northwoods mystery by Margi Preus.
Francie, seventeen, leaves summer school and auditions in New York City for Enchantment Lake in the woods of northern Minnesota when her great-aunts call and ask for her help investigating a mystery that centers on a road no one wants built, and on the legendary treasure said to be under enchantment.
Lovers of the Nancy Drew mysteries will enjoy this Northwoods mystery entitled Enchantment Lake by award-winning Margi Preus. Francie, a seventeen-year-old actress living in New York City, briefly played a detective on TV. When her elderly aunts call for assistance in the Northwoods of Minnesota, they mislead the residents into believing that Francie is a real detective. Now she finds herself unwillingly drawn into the role of sleuth to protect her aunts from a possible serial killer. The multiple twists and turns keep the suspense alive and readers will be anxious to discover who is the real killer before Francie becomes the next victim. You can find this book in the Young Adult section at YA PREUS.
Sophronia Temminnick is 14 and supposed to be concerning herself with becoming a lady, Sophronia however, would much rather concern herself with matters such as spying on house guests using her house’s dumbwaiter (it doesn’t end well). Sophronia’s mother decides the only thing to do with her is send her off to finishing school, Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. However, before she (and fellow new student Dimity) arrive at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s their carriage is attacked by flyaway men (like highway men, but they, you know, fly).
Upon arrival at her new (floating) finishing school Sophronia begins to realize she’ll be learning much more than just how to become a lady (although that is still part of the process). The school’s teachers include a vampire and a werewolf (who makes sure to keep his top hat on, no matter his form) and Sophronia quickly earns herself a nemesis in a far more accomplished student, Monique de Pelouse. In between learning how to curtsy properly, how to most effectively blush and flutter her eyelashes, and making sure to always have a handkerchief on her person (“not only a communication device, but it an also be dropped as a distraction, scented with various perfumes and noxious gases for discombobulation, used to wipe the forehead of a gentleman, or even bandage a wound, and of course, you may dab at the eyes or nose if it is still clean” (p124)), Sophronia is trying to figure out what Monique is up to and keep her mechanical dog Bumbersnoot fed a steady diet of coal.
Etiquette & Espionage is a fun steampunk story that isn’t too heavy handed with the steampunk. Sophronia gets stuff done and without much waffling on weather she should or not, such as scale balconies on the airship to get coal for her mechanimal, she just does it (which is quite refreshing). It’s not your typical beach read, but this book could definitely serve as an entertaining summer read.