Featured reads

A few of the new teen fiction books

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Title/Author APL Call No.  
Deadville
by Ron Koertge
Candlewick Press
240 p.

YA FIC KOE

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Synopsis
Ron Koertge's spot-on repartee highlights the wry, poignant tale of a teen who is numbed by loss but finds an unusual route to reclaiming his life. Listening to music 24/7. Hanging out with his slacker-stoner friend, Andy. Basically, Ryan's been sleepwalking through life since his younger sister died of cancer two years ago. But when Charlotte Silano, a gorgeous, popular senior way out of his league has a riding accident and falls into a coma, Ryan finds himself drawn to her hospital room almost every day, long after her friends stop coming around. And oddly enough, Ryan seems to be slowly snapping out of his own brand of coma working out at the gym, adopting a cool vintage hat, even easing into a relationship with Betty, a classmate who has her own reasons for visiting Charlotte. With his incisive humor and quick-fire repartee, Ron Koertge explores the unpredictable workings of grief and the healing power of self-reinvention.

Heroes of the Valley
by Jonathan Stroud
Hyperion Press
496 p.

A new series begins....

YA FIC STR

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You may want to visit the official UK site for this Stroud series.

Synopsis
Halli Sveinsson has grown up in the House of Svein, listening to the legends of the heroes as all his forefathers did. His is a peaceful society where the violence of the past has been outlawed and disputes are settled by the Council. But young Halli has never quite seemed to fit in with the others. For starters, he was not at allhandsome or tall, like his attractive blond siblings. He's stumpy and swarthy, with a quick mind and aptitude for getting in trouble. Bored with the everyday chores and sheep herding, he can't help himself from playing practical jokes on everyone, from Eyjolf the old servant, to his brother and sister. But when he plays a trick on Ragnor of the House of Hakonsson, he goes too far, setting in motion a chain of events that will forever alter his destiny. Because of it, Halli will have to leave home and go on a hero's quest. Along the way, he will encounter highway robbers, terrifying monsters, and a girl who may finally be his match. In the end, he will discover the truth about the legends, his family, and himself. Jonathan Stroud's new novel is a hero's saga and coming-of-age--as well as a surprising look at what bravery really means.

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception
by Maggie Stiefvater
Llewellyn Publications
336 p.

YA PB STI

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Synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand-one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass-a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky-and equally dangerous-dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . . Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey.

Parties & Potions
by Sarah Mlynowski
Random House
352 p.

Series: Magic in Manhattan, #4

YA FIC MLY

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Synopsis
Perfect hair, cute clothes, healthy tans...life's a breeze when you're a witch! Even special witchcraft classes Rachel agrees to attend with Miri turn out to be fun. The sisters meet other teen witches just like them...who knew? Everyone's preparing for a magical party called a Samsortaa debutante ball for witches. And it wouldn't be a ball without warlocks. Cute ones. Like Adam, who wants to slow dance with Rachel, and ski with her in the Rockies on a school night! Of course, Rachel is madly in love with her boyfriend, Raf. So why cant she bring herself to tell Adam (funny, charming Adam) that Raf exists? Rachel knows Raf likes her. Maybe even, gulp, loves her. But Raf doesn't know her secret. Unlike Adam, Raf doesn't know who she really is. And she can never tell him. Or can she....?

Tales from Outer Suburbia
by Shaun Tan
Scholastic
96 p.

YA GR TAN

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Synopsis
After teaching the graphic form a thing or two about its own potential for elegance with The Arrival (2007), Tan follows up with this array of 15 extraordinary illustrated tales. But here is an achievement in diametic opposition to his silent masterpiece, as Tan combines spare words and weirdly dazzling images -- in styles ranging from painting to doodles to collage -- to create a unity that holds complexities of emotion seldom found in even the most mature works. The story of a water buffalo who sits in a vacant lot mysteriously pointing children "in the right direction" is whimsical but also ominous. The centerpiece, "Grandpa's Story," recalling a ceremonial marriage journey and the unnameable perils faced therein, captures a tone of aching melancholy and longing, but also, ultimately, a sense of deep, deep happiness. And the errie "Stick Fingers" is both a poignant and rather disturbing narrative that plays out in the washed-out daylight of suburban streets where curious, tortured creatures wait at the ends of pathways and behind bus stops. The thoughtful and engaged reader will take from these stories an experience as deep and profound as anything he or she has ever read.

     
10-Jan-2009