Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Staff Pick Tapas Platter

With spring new titles on the horizon, (if only spring weather was too!) and a plethora of fall titles to intimidate almost anyone, here are some choice picks from our chapter book room to guide you...or just make that to-read list a tad bit longer.

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
Bookseller: Rachel
Genre: creepy fantasy, short stories
Suggested reading level: ages 13 and up

Each story in this collection is a uniquely engaging world of its own -- some familiar, some utterly strange -- but all of them will give readers the best kind of chills. Matched with Shaun Tan's vivid illustrations, these stories truly have lives of their own. An especially great read for Gaiman fans!

Victory by Susan Cooper
Bookseller: Julia
Genre: historical fiction, contemporary
Suggested reading level: ages 9-12

London-native Molly Jennings is not looking forward to making America her new home. Then she makes a fateful find in an antique CT book shop and the adventure begins. Molly's life becomes personally entwined in a dramatic historical legend starring young Sam Robbins aboard the HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Action-packed and compelling, this hybrid historical mystery is a thrilling trip between two real places and two linked lives, two hundred years apart.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: science fiction; for fans of City of Ember, Feed
Suggested reading level: ages 13 and up

Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place in the Capitol's televised Hunger Games, a Survivor-style fight to the death. Constant action and edge-of-your-seat plot twists combine with disquieting, thought-provoking ideas to promise a series to stand beside other dystopian great like The Giver and 1984.

Guardian by Julius Lester
Bookseller: Bindy
Genre: historical fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 12 and up
On the heels of this most historic presidential election, Lester demands that we bear the imperative to share our memories, no matter how vexing, for the greater good. Set in the post-WWII deep South, Guardian is THE must-read following To Kill a Mockingbird.

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Bookseller: Katie

Genre: graphic memoir; for fans of Maus or Blankets
Suggested reading level: ages 15 and up

The struggles of a single teenager during the Iranian Revolution parallel those of a country asserting its independence in this heir to Spiegelman's Maus. Marjane -- in her dual roles as adolescent protagonist and adult narrator -- is witty, courageous, and poignant; the black-and-white art is breathtaking.

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