2014 Young People's National Book Award Longlist Announced!

It's that time of year again - book award season! This year the National Book Award for Young People has listed ten youth and teen fiction and non-fiction titles in the running for the 2014 National Book Awards. The titles in contention are:
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Girls Like Us by Gail Giles
Skink-No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Threatened by Eliot Schrefer
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy, Book Two by Deborah Wiles
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
A few of these titles are on order and should appear in our catalog shortly so that holds may be placed.

Ghost Stories

If your kids are anything like mine they’re already planning for Halloween. It just can’t be helped with the feel of fall in the air and the local stores already stocking spooky decorations and treats. The Ann Arbor District Library has a plethora of books to help feed your ghostly appetite and really get the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end. The books Ghosts of the Alamo, Ghosts of Alcatraz, Ghosts of Gettysburg, and Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery will send readers on trips through different parts of the United States that claim to have ghostly inhabitants. Each book has eerie pictures and real life accounts of ghostly sightings and spooky encounters. You'll visit the sights of haunted hotels, creepy caves, ghastly graveyards and more. The series isn't too scary for the timid, but eerie enough that ghost-lovers will want to read the whole set!

NEW Picture Book: Don't Play with Your Food!

Bob Shea has come out with another silly and fun picture book: Don't Play with Your Food! Buddy is just like any other monster. He hates flowers, feels angry at the sun, and loves to scare animals with his loud RAWR! It is just in his monster nature that he wants to eat a group of cute little bunnies, but when they tell him they were just about to make cupcakes, he is not so sure about eating them anymore. Soon he finds himself swimming at the pool and even visiting the carnival with them! Is it possible that what once started as a deflection from being eaten could end in...friendship? Find out in "Don't Play with Your Food!"

Do you love Bob Shea and his wacky sense of humor? Check out some of his other books at AADL: Dinosaur vs. Bedtime, New Socks, and I'm a Shark. If you've already read everything by Bob Shea, some other hilarious picture book authors include Jan Thomas, David Shannon, and Mo Willems.

New Teen Fiction!

Strange and Ever After is the third and final book of the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy, by Susan Dennard. This fun and unique series blends together lots of great elements: fantasy, romance, steampunk, historical fiction…and zombies! In this final installment, main character Eleanor Fitt travels to Egypt to track down and battle the evil necromancer who kidnapped her mother, brother, and friends. The conclusion of this pursuit causes unexpected consequences that will change Eleanor, and the world, forever. Haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy? Start with Something Strange and Deadly and follow with A Darkness Strange and Lovely, before finding out how it all ends in Strange and Ever After.

Touted as a combination of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, Cammie McGovern’s new book Say What You Will is a heartfelt and honest story. Amy, who was born with cerebral palsy, has struggled her whole life to move, communicate and even control her facial expressions. When she finally decides to hire student aides to assist her during her senior year of high school, Matthew, who suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder and crippling fears, is thrust into her life. Despite their physical, psychological and emotional differences, a friendship blossoms between the two. Readers will fly through this book eager to find out if the teens’ unique connection may grow into something more.

The Ring and the Crown, by prolific teen author Melissa de la Cruz, is set in an alternate 19th century world in which the Franco-British empire controls the only source of magic. Told from the perspective of five different characters related to the royal court, the story is a light and fun historical fantasy/romance. In order to protect the empire, Princess Marie-Victoria must enter into a loveless marriage with the heir to the Prussian throne. With the aid of her childhood friend Aelwyn, Marie conspires to escaper her fate… and potentially changes the fate of the entire world while she’s at it!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #483 - The Ann Arbor Connection

Ann Arbor author Julie Lawson Timmer's debut novel Five Days Left * * is part of the Penguin First Flights program. If you missed her live chat on Sept. 10th, click on this link for an archived edition.

Wife, mother, and top-notch Texas lawyer, Mara Nichols is losing her battle with a rapidly-progressing case of Huntington's disease. She has set a date to end her life to cut short a decline she believes will destroy her family. Now she has five days left in which to prepare herself, tidy her affairs, and say goodbye to her loved ones. While in Royal Oak (MI) middle-school teacher Scott Coffman dreads having to part with his foster son, eight-year-old Curtis. In five days, he will have to relinquish Curtis back to his junkie mother when she is release from prison. Mara and Scoot meet anonymously in an online therapy forum, and through their daily posts, Timmer deftly compares their shared dilemmas of when and how to let go.

"Absorbing, deeply affecting, and ultimately uplifting, it heralds the arrival of an author to watch." Perfect for fans of thoughtful, issue-driven fiction of Carol Rifka Brunt; Jacquelyn Mitchard; and Jodi Picoult.

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street * by Susan Jane Gilman (UM, MFA in Creative Writing, and author of several well-received nonfiction titles) is "an ambitious and lavish immigrant rags-to-riches-to-rags first novel rife with humor and moxie."

At 75, American businesswoman Lillian Dunkle (think Leona Helmsley) is facing federal tax evasion charges, and no one is shedding any tears. This abrasive and ruthless entrepreneur started life as Malka Treynovsky, the youngest of 4 daughters in a poor Russian Jewish immigrant family. Soon after their arrival in New York, she was quickly abandoned and taken in by a kindly Italian ices peddler, and renamed Lillian Maria Dinello. Through grit, wits, and some luck, she, along with her husband Albert Dunkle, built the successful Dunkle's Famous Ice Cream empire.

"Gilman's numerous strengths are showcased, such as character-driven narrative, a ready sense of wit, and a rich historical canvas, in this case based on the unlikely subject of the 20th-century American ice cream industry. "

Readalikes: Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies; My Notorious Life by Kate Manning; and The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani.

* * = 2 starred reviews
* = starred review

A Princess and a Pig Switch Places...

What would happen if a princess and a pig switched places? If you guessed a lot of laughs, you’re right! Check out Jonathan Emmett’s hilarious picture book The Princess and the Pig to find out exactly what happens when a princess is raised by pig farmers and a pig is raised… as a princess! Perfect for fans of Robert Munsch’s classic picture book The Paper Bag Princess, and my favorite picture book discovery this year.

Fantastic New Picture Books

If you have little ones that are searching for great new reads, look no further than our New Picture Book section! We have a wonderful array of books for you to enjoy, but here are my current favorites:

In the hilarious Weasels, by Elys Dolan, the weasels’ plot to take over the world is thwarted by a machine malfunction. With incredibly detailed drawings and funny side plots, this book is perfect for both kids and grownups.

If your little one can’t read yet, but loves to pour over books anyway, then The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000, by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński, is the perfect choice This book boasts gorgeous illustrations that will keep little minds captivated as they search for different objects and make up their own stories to go along. If your child likes this book, you should also look at their beautiful book of illustrated world maps, Maps.

Barnes & Noble: Nonfiction Book Club

The Nonfiction Book Club at Barnes & Noble in Ann Arbor will discuss the book The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball on Monday Sept. 15 at 7 pm. The book is the author's memoir about working with her husband to set up a CSA (community supported agriculture) cooperative farm on Lake Champlain in New York. Barnes & Noble is located in Huron Village, 3235 Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor, near the intersection of Huron Parkway and Washtenaw Avenue. Library Journal compares this book with other titles including Ree Drummond's book The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl. All are welcome at the upcoming meeting of the Barnes & Noble Nonfiction Book Club.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #482

Winner of the 2010 Oe Prize, Japan's prestigious literary award, established to honor Kenzaburō Ōe; and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize - The Thief is the first novel by Fuminori Nakamura (in audio format) to be translated into English.

The nameless titular character is a deft Tokyo pickpocket, a loner who moves anonymously at the fringe of society. Through his mentor, he was drafted into an armed robbery by Kizaki, a vicious gangster. A simple job turned deadly when he learned that the old man they robbed was a prominent politician, and that he was brutally killed after the robbery. Meanwhile, his last tenuous connection to society is a desperate young boy forced into clumsy shoplifting by his addicted, prostitute mother. With nowhere left to run, the thief must barter his life with a labyrinthine test of his thieving prowess.

"Mystery/crime aficionados with exacting literary standards, as well as fans of Miyuki Miyabe; Natsuo Kirino; and Keigo Higashino" will find much to like here.

Watch for the October release of Nakamura's next novel to reach these shores - Last Winter We Parted is a "creepy if elegantly-crafted" standalone. The narrator, a nameless writer, gets assigned to pen an exposé of Yudai Kiharazaka, a 35-year-old Tokyo art photographer awaiting execution for burning two models to death.

Sleep Tight, Little Monsters!

Do you know a little monster who would like some sweet and silly (and maybe slightly icky) bedtime stories? Here are just a few of those included in AADL's picture book collection!

Hush, Baby Ghostling by Andrea Beaty
I'll simply remember all my gross ghostly things, and then I won't feel so bad! Baby Ghostling is scared for bedtime, but Mama has all the right tricks up her sleeve- she finds her little one's favorite skeleton doll, makes sure to "turn the darkness on" and evokes images of delightfully ghoulish beasties. Bright and enchanting illustrations will soothe even most apprehensive sleepers.

Goodnight, Little Monster by Helen Ketteman
Getting ready for bed could not be more adorable and gross! A cute monster child does everything he is supposed to- he eats his buggy nighttime snack, puts on his pajamas, and brushes his fangs. The illustrations are soft, with a perfect mix of cute and creepy.

Yeti, Turn Out the Light! by Greg Long
You would never expect such a big monster to be so scared of the dark! Yeti is the most nervous of sleepers, and turns the light back on whenever he sees a menacing shadow creeping up the wall. Luckily, he finds what caused the shadows- and it is not so scary after all!

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