Off With Her Head!

Have you noticed that a lot of YA books that are published have covers of people that are missing their heads. It's an interesting photographic and graphic design choice and I wonder what the reasoning behind it is? Don't you find that a book cover makes you want to pick up the book or pass it by? Do books without heads make you want to pick them up? In honor of this trend I've assembled a list of books with covers that have no heads. And whenever you hear "Off with her head!" don't you think of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland? These are just of the few of the books that are on display in the library. Enjoy!

13 Little Blue Envelopes
by Maureen Johnson

Would you follow the directions?

Would you travel around the world?

Would you open the envelopes one by one?

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–-though utterly romantic–-results.

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.

by Brodi Ashton

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

by Megan Miranda

Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others. 

In Honor
by Jessi Kirby

Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her. 

Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn’s last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn . . . and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

Just Listen
by Sarah Dessen

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.

This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
by Michele Hodkin

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

{Banned Books Week} Eleanor & Park

The last month has been filled with news stories of several school districts in the United States banning or challenging books, including The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, the 1952 National Book Award winner and Toni Morrison's Bluest Eye which is included in the Common Core's recommended reading list for high school juniors. It's hard to believe that we still have to fight for our First Amendment rights and our right to read.

Currently a small group of parents (Parents Action League) in a Minnesota school district are attempting to ban Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell because there are too many swear words and they find it offensive. The book is about two social outcasts who are bullied by their classmates and find the friendship and love that they develop is their refuge and safe haven from the bullies. It should be noted that the bullies are the ones using the swear words. It's a powerful book and amazing story and I find it ironic that the parents trying to ban the book are being bullies, just like the characters in the book.

“When these people call Eleanor & Park an obscene story, I feel like they’re saying that rising above your situation isn’t possible. That if you grow up in an ugly situation, your story isn’t even fit for good people’s ears. That ugly things cancel out everything beautiful.” Rainbow Rowell

{Banned Books Week} The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Every year the American Library Association celebrates Banned Books Week, a week that highlights the books that have been challenged and banned in schools and libraries throughout the United States.

While it is important that parents are involved in their child's reading and play an active role in what they deem appropriate and what their child should read, their right to choose should never prevent another parent from making decisions for their own child. By banning books and preventing access to these books it takes that decision away from everyone. Banning a book takes away your First Amendment rights by taking away your right to choose material that is appropriate for you or your family.

This week I will highlight some of the most popular young adult books that have been either challenged or banned.

Earlier this year a district in Illinois banned The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky from 8th grade classrooms because of its mature content. It is important to note that this was not an assigned reading book, but a book students could choose to read....or not. Maturity levels of students vary greatly and we should never completely ban a book from a classroom or library because one or several students may not be mature enough for some of the content when there other students in the classroom that are.

The book has over two million copies in print, spent over six months at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and inspired a major motion picture released in 2012.

Book Description from Goodreads:

Charlie is a freshman.

And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

TV Show Read-a-Likes: The Walking Dead

Do you like the tv show The Walking Dead?
Check out these read-a-like books!

Ashes, by Ilsa Bick - Alex, a resourceful seventeen-year-old running from her incurable brain tumor, Tom, who has left the war in Afghanistan, and Ellie, an angry eight-year-old, join forces after an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky and kills most of the world's population, turning some of those who remain into zombies and giving the others superhuman senses.

Death Collector, by Justin Richards - Three teens and a curator of unclassified artifacts at the British Museum match wits with a madman determined to use unorthodox methods to reanimate the dead, both humans and dinosaurs.

Zom-B, by Darren Shan - B, who does not buy into her father's racism, but goes along with it to avoid being abused, acts out at school by getting into fights and being mean, but, when zombies attack, she must try to find students with whom to team up in order to fend them off.

Boy Who Couldn't Die, by William Sleator - When his best friend dies in a plane crash, sixteen-year-old Ken has a ritual performed that will make him invulnerable, but soon learns that he had good reason to be suspicious of the woman he paid to lock his soul away.