ages 11-18

The Fault in Our Stars Readalikes!

As we all know, the movie adaptation of John Green’s insanely popular The Fault in Our Stars was released earlier this month. If you’ve already read the book and seen the movie, you might be looking for new books to read that will satisfy your craving for stories similar to Fault. Here are some good suggestions to start with:

Eleanor and Park and Fangirl, both by Rainbow Rowell, deal with similar themes: falling in love for the first time, finding your place in the world when you feel as though you don’t always fit in, and coping with familial issues. These are great for adult readers too!

The Perks of Being a Wall Flower, by Stephen Chbosky is an “oldie but a goodie.” The book is told through the letters of 15-year-old Charlie to an anonymous friend and details the struggles of his freshman year of high school. If you missed reading this poignant, emotional novel the first time around, now is a great time to give it a shot! And, there’s a movie adaptation of this one too!

13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, opens with Clay Jensen coming home from school to find a package for him on his porch from his former classmate and crush, Hannah, who committed suicde two weeks prior. The contents of the package are 13 cassette tapes, each with Hannah’s recorded voice explaining a reason why she killed herself. If Clay listens to all of them, he will not only find out why she chose to do so, but he will also learn some fundamental truths about himself.

The Spectacular Now, by Tim Tharp, tells the story of the unexpected love between to very different teenagers: smart, quiet and somewhat clueless Aimee, and party-boy Sutter. When the two meet unexpectedly one day, they forge an immediate bond and help each other through the turmoils of their senior year of high school. Although the book is largely a love story, other tough subjects like alcoholism, familial abuse, and poverty wind their way through the story as well. In the movie version, The Fault in Ours Stars heroine Shailene Woodley stars as Aimee!

John Green also has quite a few other books in our collection, including Will Grayson, Will Grayson, An Abudance of Catherines, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska that are all wonderful reads.

Bittersweet: an enthralling, suspenseful summer read

Bittersweet, the brand new novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, had me in its suspenseful grips until the very last page! The book begins innocently enough with the introduction of the main character, shy and plain Mabel, who lives in awe of her college roommate Ev Winslow. Wealthy, beautiful and mysterious, Ev seems to barely notice Mabel until they connect one evening in their dorm room and become fast friends. Mabel is overjoyed when Ev invites her to her family’s stunning summer property on Lake Champlain, and prepares for what will surely be the best summer of her life. Readers can’t help but feel a sense of foreboding, however, even as Mabel makes new friends, lounges on the beach and flirts with Ev’s brother. How exactly does Ev’s family have so much money when none of them seem to have jobs? And why does Ev’s aging, senile aunt keep begging Mabel to “find the manila folder” in the old family archives? As Mabel becomes more and more immersed in present and past family drama, it seems as though not only her presence at the summer estate but her very life may be in danger.

Maggie Shipstead, popular author of Seating Arrangements and Astonish Me, writes of Bittersweet: “a wild New England gothic full of family secrets, mysteriously locked doors, sailboats, suntans, forbidden lust, and a few priceless works of art. An engrossing summer blast.” Indeed, Bittersweet is the kind of book you want to bring with you this summer, whether you’re laying on the beach or just curled up on the front porch.

You can read more about Bittersweet and about Beverly-Whittemore on the author’s website. She also wrote The Effects of Light, which you will find in our collection!

Suggest a Title

Suggest A Title For This Year's A Very Good Read

Read a good book lately? Suggest a book to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads planning committees and your suggestion just might be the pick for the upcoming Reads (which will take place in January & February 2015).

This year’s theme is "A Very Good Read" and the book selected can be a work of fiction or non fiction.

Committees will be meeting over the summer to consider hundreds of possible titles – and they want your help!

You can suggest a title by commenting below, or by stopping by any Ann Arbor District Library or Ypsilanti District Library location. Suggest a title by July 7 and it will be considered for selection!

Book Selection

• The writing should be engaging and thought-provoking.
• The subjects discussed should be accessible to readers throughout the community, high-school age and above.
• The length, price, and availability of the book should be suited to involvement by the general public.
• The book should be by a living author.
• Its treatment of issues should encourage readers to discuss the issues further with others, at home, work, reading clubs, and community events.
• Ideally, the subject should lead to constructive dialogues across our diverse communities.

Don't forget to submit your book suggestion in one of the libraries or as a comment below before July 7th!

Teen Stuff: How I Live Now

A film based on the 2005 Printz award winning book by Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now is set in the near future in the UK. American teenager Daisy is sent to live with her cousins in the English countryside. Full of angst she is slow to communicate and form relationships with her family members. She slowly starts to open up and crack a smile or two when suddenly the UK falls into a military state and the the kids are forced to evacuate the farm as chaos and violence continues to surround them. Daisy tries to escape and this is her story.

See this list for more movies based on books teens love.

Books & Other Fun Stuff that AADL Staff Promoted During our Annual K-12 School Visits!

If during May and June your child or teen came home from school pumped up about the Summer Game and talked about the many books, programs, events and unusual stuff at the library they were lucky enough to see one of the lively presentations our staff do annually. Each May and early June staff visit elementary, middle and high schools to promote the summer game, summer programs and the unusual variety of stuff that we check out at the library! Please find the complete lists of ALL of the books, music tools, science tools and MORE our staff shared during their school visits.

Kayla visited Bryant, Allen, Mitchell, Bach and Carpenter - find her Grade K-2 List and her Grade 3-5 List.

Laura visited Northside, Wines, Hebrew Day School, Burns Park and Dicken - find her Grade K-2 list and her Grade 3-5 list.

Amanda went to Logan, St. Paul Lutheran, King, St. Thomas Catholic and Thurston - find her Grade K-2 list and her Grade 3-5 list.

Mariah visited E. Washtenaw Multicultural Academy, Lakewood, Open and Pattengill. Find her Grade K-2 list and her Grade 3-5 list.

Rachel visited Haisley, Abbot, MI Islamic Academy and Eberwhite. Find her Grade K-1 list, her Grade 2-3 list and her Grade 4-5 list.

Lastly, Erin visited Tappan, Forsythe, Scarlett, Community and St. Thomas Catholic. Find her Grades 6-12 list.

Hike @ Argo Nature Area tonight!

Join us and a representative from Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation on an informative nature walk tonight at 7:00pm at Argo Nature Area. This lovely 22-acre park runs along the Huron River offering beautiful views of the water through the oak, hickory and willow trees. The event will be a mixture of hiking the unpaved trail that runs along the river and learning about ecological restoration and native plants and animals from the NAP representative. Remember to wear comfortable clothing and bring water!

We will meet in the parking lot by the Argo Canoe Livery, just off of Longshore Drive.

The Fault in Our Stars on the Big Screen

Okay, Nerdfighters and John Green fans… Are you ready? For the past year and half John Green’s newest book, The Fault in Our Stars, has been insanely popular. And the book has reached peak buzz since the MOVIE adaptation comes out this Friday, June 6!

Hazel is a teen fighting terminal cancer. She meets and falls in love with Gus at a cancer support group. The book and movie tell the story of their romance along with their various health issues. It sounds like a downer, and it is – I went through a box of tissues reading the book. But the story celebrates being alive and being in love and I smiled as I cried and their endearing story.

Author John Green has been on set, and has been tweeting and Instagramming over the past year during filming and he and the film crew are very excited about the outcome. If the author loves it, will we? Of course when books you love get turned into movies you have to wonder… Will it be any good? Will it compare? Will the characters live up to your expectations?! We’ll find out Friday! Drop a comment and let us know what you think after you see the film!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #460

Being released the latter part of June is Everything I Never Told You * *, the deeply-affecting debut novel by Celeste Ng, a UM grad (MFA, Helen Zell Writers' Program) and recipient of the Pushcart Prize and Hopwood Award. I expect a fair amount of buzz, not just locally. (Check out Vogue's Summer's Buzziest Beach Reads).

"Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet." - every parent's worst nightmare. All her family knows is that the 15 year-old is missing from her home. The local police treats it as a runaway while her mother refuses to accept anything other than stranger abduction of her middle and favorite child - a motivated and exceptional student, pretty, popular and well-behaved. The rest of the family is less certain and in turn, as they each reflects on the Lydia that they know and love (including Lydia herself), a fractured image emerges, casting shadows, laying bare secrets each is desperate to keep.

The narrative flashed back to 1957 in Cambridge when a premed Radcliffe freshman Marilyn Walker met James Lee, a first-generation Chinese-American who was her graduate teaching instructor. They married over her mother's objection, trading in her dreams of becoming a doctor for the anonymity of a faculty wife at a small college in nowhere Ohio where James was able to find a teaching position. Their background (his - immigrant laborers and scholarship student), (hers- single mother from the South), aspirations (his - to belong) (hers - to stand-out), and dashed dreams became means by which their children were defined and measured, but never truly understood.

"As the police try to decipher the mystery of Lydia's death, her family realize that they didn't know her at all. Lydia is remarkably imagined, her unhappy teenage life crafted without an ounce of cliché. Ng's prose is precise and sensitive, her characters richly drawn." Highly recommended as a YA crossover and book group choice.

* * = 2 starred reviews

Celeste Ng will be in Ann Arbor, July 18, 2014 @ Literati Bookstore, 124 E. Washington. Don't miss this chance to meet her. I am hoping she might touch on her take on ethnic fiction, and why she does not want to be the next Amy Tan.

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out

Those interested in personal memoirs and stories will love Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin. Six honest teens from diverse backgrounds share their inspirational and often heartbreaking experiences in trying to find and identify who they really are. Each teen describes how they first realized they were a different gender and their transitional experiences since then. With a format based on taped interviews, readers will feel as though they are having a conversation with each teen in person. In addition to providing a great introduction to readers first exploring what it means to be transgender or intersex, "Beyond Magenta" would function well in teen book clubs or group discussions on identity. An extensive glossary and resource guide are located in the back of the book for extra clarification and further research.

Susan Kuklin is well-known for her raw and informative nonfiction books, including No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row and Iqbal Masih and the Crusaders Against Child Slavery. Many of her books, including "Beyond Magenta", feature her own engaging photography. To learn more about Susan Kuklin, visit her website.

Teens Using Drugs: Education Series

The Dawn Farms Education Series, "Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do" is a free, two-part series that will be presented from 7:30-9:00 pm Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 (part one, "What to Know"), and Tuesday, June 10th (part two, "What to Do"). The programs will be held in the “Exhibition Room” at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center at 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti. The presenter will be Brian Spitsbergen, Director, Community Intervention and Treatment (CITx,) Growth Works, Inc.and will be the last one until the sessions resume in October, 2014. This program is targeted primarily to parents/caretakers of teens & young adults but is inclusive of other family members, teens, professionals, students, people who sponsor or support teens, and others interested. Please contact 734-485-8725 or info@dawnfarm.org or see the link to teens using drugs for information.

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