New Books to Ring in the New Year

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Tis the season to be reading! Are you in the mood for something seasonal? Here are a handful of young adult stories you might want to check out as 2018 approaches:

 

 

33843251A humorous, twisted retelling of A Chrismas Carol, Cynthia Hand’s The Afterlife of Holly Chase is the newest seasonal story in our collection. Meet Holly Chase, a spoiled and rotten girl who is visited by the three ghosts of Christmas, just like Scrooge. Only unlike Ebeneezer, she doesn’t learn her lesson and is now doomed spend her afterlife as the new Ghost of Christmas Past.

16081588In Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, each author writes a story taking place in the same small Southern town hit with a freak blizzard on Christmas Eve. Some characters overlap, but each story stands on its own. With heartwarming moments, Waffle House hijinks, and a teacup pig, there’s a little something for everyone.


20309175A popular read is New York Times bestseller 
My True Love Gave to Me, edited by Stephanie Perkins. A great feature of this short story collection is that not only does it have amazing authors contributing to it covering a wide variety of genres and topics, but it also showcases Hannukah, Kwanza, and other celebrations people partake in at this time of year.

 

Books Jay AsherFrom the same author as Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher looks at life through a new lens What Light. In this story, a family has two lives as they grow Christmas trees in one town and then sell them during the holiday season in another. As she gets older, teenage Sierra feels torn between her two identities in two different towns, until one Christmas when she meets Caleb and her worlds combine.

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Starbooks Cafe: Read a Latte

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So many books, so little time! How can you make time to read all those good books? Juggling school, activities, and hobbies make life a little complicated, so figuring out how to “read a latte” takes some ingenuity.

Here are some tips from the pros:

Books on Your Phone? Yes!

LFHS Librarian Ms. Fumarolo explains, “I love the Overdrive and Nook apps – both are free! – so I can also get to my purchased or checked out e-books and audiobooks on my phone. I find I actually remember some books better when I listen to them. All I need are my phone and earbuds, and I’m good to go.”

Sound like something you want to try? Download the free OverDrive App from an app store, log in just like you’d sign into any school computer, and you’re set!

Discover Interesting Reading Places

Mrs. Nielsen, Library Assistant, explains, “I use a good book to tempt me to the gym, since the first half hour on the exercise bike helps me read the books I wouldn’t have time for normally. In warmer weather, I have “hammock time” to keep me reading my favorites – real books where I turn the page and enjoy each precious moment.”

Mrs. Mobile, Instructional Resource Manager/Testing Coordinator shares, “I spend most of my free time sitting at the ball field watching my daughter play softball…The 10 minutes more at the end of a practice, the 45 minutes between games on Saturdays or even the 2 minutes between the last out and my daughter walking up to the plate. It’s become a challenge to see just how much I can read in a short time, but it has also become a fun experience…”

Mrs. Thomas of the Art Dept. explains that as an avid runner “long training runs can be over an hour on the trail. I have found that audiobooks really help me zone out and settle into my run for the day.

E-books, Podcasts, and Audiobooks, Oh My!

Mrs. Grigg of the EdTech Studio says,Life with two little boys at home can be a bit hectic and squeezing in time to read books I enjoy isn’t easy. I have found audiobooks to be a great way to get some reading in while also taking care of life stuff that needs to get done (dishes, laundry, etc.).”

Not so sure reading is your thing?” Mr. Holmer, fellow EdTech, suggests giving podcasts a try. “I HIGHLY recommend [them], especially if reading ‘isn’t your thing.’ With a 40 minute drive each day, it makes the drive more…exciting. Being able to access the book on the go, anywhere, anytime matches my lifestyle and works for me. When it comes to paperback, it has never been my thing, so audiobooks work best.

Grab a Book-2-Go

Library Assistant Mrs. Middlebrook says, “With two elementary aged daughters I have very little time to indulge in leisurely reading… Reading for 15 minutes before bed allows me to unwind and, very slowly, chip away at a book. If I am traveling or waiting for appointments I make sure to have a book with me to help pass the time, instead of zoning out on my phone.

Ms. Turek of both the Library and Wellness Departments shares her tip: “I also try to keep a book in my bag for anytime I have to wait: while I get an oil change, before an appointment, on the train…”

Make Reading a Priority – Squeeze It In

LFHS Librarian Assistant Mrs. Roman says, “I squeeze in reading while cooking dinner for my family, also during the commute to school, I often listen to an audiobooks to make the drive a little more interesting.”

“I have a nine-month old baby at home, so free time is something of a luxury right now. Happily, now that my daughter is developing more of a routine, I can count on time in the evening to settle in with a good book. Usually this happens at about 8 pm when Isla goes to sleep, and I can sneak in about fifty pages or so before I’m zonked out myself…” says EdTech Mr. Juliano.

Nooks rock!

Ms. Fumarolo says, “As much as I love good old fashioned paper books, I’m a big fan of my e-reader. My Nook is small enough to fit in most of my bags, so no matter where I am, I always have something to read with me.”

Did you know the LFHS Library has Nooks available for check out with over 100 titles already on them to pick from? We can even download an OverDrive e-book onto a Nook for you to check out.

 

Author Caitlin Alifirenka Visits LFHS!

Those able to attend the author visit this month were treated to something extraordinary. Caitlin Alifirenka visited LFHS on October 18 and shared the true story of how one class assignment changed the course of her life. She also made LFHS students an interesting offer.

IMG_2016Here’s part of her story. In 7th grade, Caitlin’s teacher announced it was the final year of the pen-pal project and that every student in the class must pick a country they’d be interested in sending a letter to. Her interest was peaked, and wanting to break with convention, Caitlin picked the last country on the list, Zimbabwe, and her adventure began. In Africa, Martin Ganda received her letter because he was the smartest student in his class of 50, and when he responded, their friendship over the years across thousands of miles – and who knows how many letters – impacted their lives and steered them both in completely awesome directions.

IMG_1994Caitlin and Martin wrote the book I Will Always Write Back with the help of Liz Welch, sharing the actual letters they sent each other and telling the rest of their story. Caitlin offered to match LFHS students, based on age, with international students in Thailand and Zimbabwe but made it known that our students would have to initiate the letter writing. She shared how the kindness that developed between her and Martin became contagious, the theme of her talk:  Kindness is Contagious.

Her offer still stands so contact Caitlin if you’re interested in making a new international friend. Find her on social media here:
Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram. IMG_2005Are you up for the adventure?

Here’s Caitlin signing our author wall in the Silent Study Room as well as Martin and Caitlin’s podcast by PW KidsCast. You can also check out their book from our library.IMG_2018

Intro to Comics

So you want to start reading comics? It’s a huge genre, and with graphic novels getting short listed for more and more of the prestigious awards in this country, it’s not a surprise that they’re becoming more respected. Books like Maus have been on high school reading lists for years.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorites for you to look into!

NIMONA by Noelle Stevenson

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

LOCKE & KEY by Joe Hill

locke and key seriesLocke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all…

MS. MARVEL by G. Willow Wilson

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!

IN REAL LIFE by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer–a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.

V FOR VENDETTA by Alan Moore

“Remember, remember the fifth of November…”

A frightening and powerful tale of the loss of freedom and identity in a chillingly believable totalitarian world, V for Vendetta stands as one of the highest achievements of the comics medium and a defining work for creators Alan Moore and David Lloyd.

Set in an imagined future England that has given itself over to fascism, this groundbreaking story captures both the suffocating nature of life in an authoritarian police state and the redemptive power of the human spirit which rebels against it. Crafted with sterling clarity and intelligence, V for Vendettabrings an unequaled depth of characterization and verisimilitude to its unflinching account of oppression and resistance.

ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER by Frank Miller

The talents responsible for some of Batman’s greatest tales team up for the first time to bring readers Batman and Robin like they’ve never seen before, in this reinvention of these classic characters.

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. But during this Recurrence, someone is murdering the gods early. Remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

SAGA by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this subversive drama

Cover Reveal Round Up!

There are some wonderful books coming out in 2016, and they have beautiful covers! I spy a lot of contemporaries, historical mysteries, and high fantasies coming down the line.

THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi

May 3rd, 2016

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.

GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE by Paula Stokes

May 17th, 2016

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck. Continue reading

Cover Reveal Roundup

There are some amazingly beautiful books coming down the publishing pipeline. Here’s a peek at some upcoming releases to get excited for!

ILLUMINAE (The Illumine Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Release Date: October 20th, 2015

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

PASSENGER (Passenger, #1) by Alexandra Bracken

Release Date: January 5th, 2016

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever. Continue reading

Book Club Recommends

We had a fantastic book club yesterday, fueled by Dunkin Donuts and our favorite books!

Everyone brought in a book recommendation for the others to read over summer break–they have fantastic and diverse taste in books, from thrillers to comics to survivalist science fiction. We’ve compiled the long list of 17 titles over on our Goodreads account, so be sure to come check it out!

goodreads summer booklist