The Favorite Books of Tech Giants

Teen Tech Week 2018 starts today! There will be tech themed activities in the library during lunches all week long- including vinyl stickers, Sphero robot mazes, Makey Makey banana keyboards, retro games, and more!

So what books are at the top of a tech giant’s reading list?  Keep reading to find out a few faves from the minds behind Apple, SpaceX, and modern telecommunications.

Steve Jobs needs no introduction. In Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Apple Founder we get a glimpse of the inspiring books Jobs recommends.  Click on each book title for a synopsis at


Moby Dick by Herman Melville; The Poems of Dylan Thomas; 1984 by George Orwell


Elon Musk recently wowed the world with his company SpaceX’s successful launch of the Falcon Heavy Rocket. In interviews with The New Yorker, CHM Revolutionaries, and at the D11 Confernce, and MIT, Musk highlights some inspiring reads from his childhood and beyond.

33386162Click for more information on this title

Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkein; Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsMerchants of Doubt by Oreskes and Conway ; The Moon is a Harsh Witness by Robert Heinlein


Dr. Erna Hoover not only holds claim to fame for being the first female to hold a software patent and revolutionizing modern telecommunications, but she  also helped pave the way for women in STEM. According to “Erna Hoover — Biography”,  World of Computer Science. 2012, Dr. Hoover was inspired by a biography of Marie Curie. Want to read all about a woman who paved the way? Check out the following biographies available in the LFHS library.


Marie Curie: A life by Francoise Giroud; Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie by Barbara Goldsmith; Something out of Nothing: Marie Curie and RadiumSomething out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium









Celebrating Old Abe


Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and the $5 bill are not the only ways Illinois celebrates the extraordinary life of Abe. For the young adult readers of the Land of Lincoln, there’s the Abraham Lincoln Reading Award, sponsored by the Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE).

The 2018-2019 list should be made public in the upcoming weeks, but for now, the LFHS Library has a display of this year’s “Abe list” titles located under the stairs. Check out a few descriptions here, and feel free to check out our copies to read and explore! 

22295304Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
¨Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “Lo siento” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.¨ Goodreads review



22910900The Rest of Us Live Here by Patrick Ness
¨What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.¨Goodreads synopsis


24187925These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
¨Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets.¨ From

19351043Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
¨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…¨ Goodreads review


27774758An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
¨Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free…when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.¨

New Books to Ring in the New Year


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.

Starbooks Cafe: Read a Latte


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.


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.


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.


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