Wednesday, December 27, 2017

New Teen Fiction for Teens and Teens at Heart

There is always something new and engaging to read on PWPL’s New Teen book shelf. Here are a few recent arrivals that come highly recommended for adults, as well as teens.
Philip Pullman fans are celebrating the long-awaited release of The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, a companion to Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, in which we first met the magnetic heroine Lyra. La Belle Sauvage, set both before and after His Dark Materials, offers a thrilling return to Lyra’s parallel Oxford, where eleven-year-old Malcolm’s father runs an inn on the banks of the Thames, and the relentless rain has become a deluge. A secret message about a dangerous substance called Dust propels Malcolm into an adventure that will test him in ways he has never imagined.

The Librarian of Auschwitz, by Antonio Iturbe, is based on the real life experiences of Dita Kraus, a fourteen-year-old girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust. Dita and her parents are taken from Prague’s Terezin ghetto to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, where a Jewish leader asks Dita to take charge of the eight books prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards for their “school.” Because knowledge is power, the Nazis forbid school or any other learning activities, but the prisoners choose not to abide by that rule. The eight precious books Dita fiercely protects, along with the “living books” - teachers who retell stories from past books they have read and reread – keep hope alive in a very frightening and uncertain world.

You Bring the Distant Near, by Mitali Perkins, gives readers a fresh perspective on the challenges of immigration in our modern world. Five Bengali-American women, across three generations, struggle to find their identities as cultures blend and often collide – a funny, slice-of-life story that feels both personal and universal at the same time. You Bring the Distant Near has earned a place on multiple “Best of 2017” lists, including my own.  Check it out and become intimately acquainted with the remarkable Das women, in just 320 pages.

Turtles All the Way Down, by rock star author John Green, will likely fly off the library shelf. Go ahead and place that hold, because this book is worth the wait. Aza and her best friend Daisy set out to solve the mystery of a missing billionaire, motivated by the promise of a $100,000 reward. Along the way Aza collects a charming love interest. Davis Pickett, who happens to be the son of the missing man. This isn’t a simple mystery/romance; Aza is afflicted with severe anxiety and OCD, which sends her thoughts spiraling out of control.  In a press release, John Green said, “This is my first attempt to write directly about the kind of mental illness that has affected my life since childhood, so while the story is fictional, it is also quite personal.”

Sharon Huss Roat’s How to Disappear offers a somewhat lighter look at social anxiety, and the power of social media for good or ill. Vicky Decker has become a champ at remaining invisible as she navigates her high school hallways. After her lifelong best friend moves away, Vicky’s social anxiety is impossible to hide – so she applies her prodigious Photoshop talent to creating a secret alter-ego for herself on Instagram, #Vicurious. As Vicurious gains a following, and even inspires an anti-bullying movement at her school, Vicky realizes she is not the only person feeling all alone in the world. Vicky’s story is heart-wrenching, witty, and thoroughly engrossing. Plan to read this book in one sitting.

--Mary Schneeberger, Teen Services Coordinator

Books for Crafters

The holidays are looming and we are all looking forward to the perfect gift for that certain someone. The Peter White Public Library can help inspire you with the following new books which can be found on the main floor of the library in our New Nonfiction collection.
If you love to cook, Savory Sweet by Beth Dooley and Mette Nielsen has some wonderful suggestions for culinary gifts you can make in your own kitchen. Detailed recipes accompanied by mouthwatering full color photographs will help you prepare just the right preserves, pickles and chutneys sure to please the most discriminating palate. 641.5977 DO
Woodworkers looking for a new project that will make someone happy should check out Heirloom Wood by Max Bainbridge. Using only an electric jigsaw and drill plus some low-tech hand tools, the author describes the process of carving wooden spoons, bowls, cutting boards and other useful household items that will surely become family heirlooms. Many color photographs accompany Bainbridge’s instructions which also detail how to create unique but simple finishes. 736.4 BA
Knitters will have a field day with two of the library’s new books. The Knitted Hat Book features 20 different patterns and styles of hats that you can make to keep your loved ones warm and stylish. Cloches, tams, beanies and slouch hats are included for all genders and ages along with color photos and all the directions you need to make a variety of fancy toppers. 746.432 KN
Also on the new nonfiction shelf is You Can Knit That by Amy Herzog. This how-to book features directions for 24 different fabulous sweaters for all body shapes and sizes accompanied by, according to the author, foolproof instructions. Herzog is also the author of Knit to Flatter and Knit Wear Love both of which can be requested through the library’s online catalog. 746.432 HE
Switching to a different medium, do-it-yourselfers will be inspired by Folded Book Art by Clare Youngs which recycles used hardcover books to create unique home d├ęcor. The author showcases various techniques of folding and carving pages to create three dimensional sculptures of paper and the printed word. Other projects utilize individual book pages to create animals, villages, dolls, wall hangings and lampshades, and much more, to dress up your own personal space.  There is even a project that involves knitting with paper yarn-the possibilities are endless! 745.54 YO
If there doesn’t seem to be enough time left this season to make holiday gifts, keep these books in mind for fun winter projects during the short, dark days as we move into 2018.
Happy crafting and happy holidays!  
--Margaret Boyle, Circulation Services

To Your Health

Here’s a list of five non-fiction books available here at the library offering health-related information.

A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman, is a fascinating, funny and courageous story of one woman’s experiment with micro doses of LSD to treat a debilitating mood disorder. She has tried so many different kinds of medications and is desperate to find one that will help her have a really good day. Just a note: I am not promoting the use of LSD or any other drug; I am merely letting you know that there is a great book on the subject of mood disorders and how this one person found relief.

Many think of dirt as well, dirty, unhealthy, unclean and so on. This book, Dirt is Good, written by authors and top scientists, Jack Gilbert and Rob Knight, is an authoritative, accessible guide into the world of dirt and germs, or as the writers call it, the human microbiome. Many have misconceptions about microbes, the various types of bacteria, and our health. You will be surprised to learn about how beneficial many of the bacteria that resides in and on our bodies are.  They're not just friendly but  they're essential for keeping us alive.

Here’s a guide to balancing your hormones naturally: Nourishing Menopause by Marge King, Holistic Menopause Health Coach. The book includes 21 hormone-balancing recipes you may want to try. The author provides much information for those that want to avoid hormone replacement therapy and other drugs while going through “The Change”.  Great tips on how to control hot flashes and night sweats, build stronger bones, and beat mood swings and depression.

Speaking of depression, the book by Kelly Brogan, MD, A Mind of Your Own, talks about how women can heal their bodies and feel better emotionally and physically. This book is a science-based and holistic approach that shatters the mythology of conventional medicine concerning depression. The author provides a step-by-step, 30-day action plan that includes nutrient techniques, detoxification, sleep and stress-reframing techniques to help heal one's body without a single prescription.

Last on my list, Kinesiology for Dummies by Stephen Glass, PhD, FACSM, Brian Hatzel, PhD, AT, ATC, and Rick Albrecht, PhD is a great way to learn all about kinesiology, the science of movement. It covers the nuts and bolts of movement, keeping the big wheel turning as they called it. It also contains a lot of information about muscles, joints, and bones and gives the reader encouragement to stick with it and move. You will definitely come away from this book with a greater knowledge about mind-body connection, biomechanics, exercise metabolism and the role of the cardiovascular system. It's not just another book about exercising, but it defines Kinesiology and explains how movement is important to how our mind and body work together.

--Nicki Malave. Network Coordinator

Terrifying Titles for Teens

If Halloween has put you in the mood for books that offer suspense, thrills and chills, or just good old-fashioned murder and mayhem, here are a few terrifying titles currently shelved in PWPL’s New Teen section.

The Wrong Train, by British author Jeremy de Quidt, is more than just a random collection of creepy short stories. A young boy barely manages to catch his train and then realizes it’s the wrong one. Hoping to catch a train back the way he came, he gets off at the next station only to find it empty. An aged stranger arrives with a dog by his side and begins to tell the boy stories to pass the time…stories that turn out to be the spine-tingling stuff of nightmares.

Popular teen romance author Stephanie Perkins has switched gears to scare us silly with her new slasher novel, There’s Someone Inside Your House. Makani Young is adjusting to life with her grandma in landlocked Nebraska but is haunted by her dark past in Hawaii. When students at her new high school begin to die in a series of brutal murders, terror rules the school. The setting is creepy: a high school performance of the bloody musical “Sweeney Todd”, dilapidated porches that creak and groan, and those vast Nebraska corn fields. As the body count rises and each murder becomes increasingly grotesque, the search for the serial killer intensifies – but the burning question is not so much “Who?” as “Why?”

Whose stories are more terrifying than the master of horror, Edgar Allan Poe? In Poe: Stories and Poems: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Gareth Hinds, the acclaimed adaptor/illustrator enhances Poe’s most popular works with haunting illustrations of anguished faces and disturbing scenes. Hinds salutes Poe’s dark genius through pictures, historical and thematic notes, and faithfulness to the author’s original words and language.

Kerri Maniscalco offers delightfully creepy history along with mystery in Stalking Jack the Ripper. Audrey Rose’s parents expect her to behave like a fine young Victorian lady, but she prefers hanging out in the morgue dissecting corpses under her uncle’s tutelage. Forensic science is infinitely more interesting to Audrey than needlepoint. Drawn into the investigation of Jack the Ripper, Audrey’s sleuthing takes her frighteningly close to her own sheltered home. Readers who enjoy this atmospheric tale of horror, starring a decidedly strong heroine and her cheeky male sidekick, will want to check out its hot-off-the-press sequel, Hunting Prince Dracula.

Fans of thrillers with a dose of romance might enjoy Breaker by Kat Ellis. After Kyle Henry’s father, a convicted serial killer nicknamed the Bonebreaker, is executed, Kyle and his mother move to a new state and establish brand new identities in an attempt to escape the stigma. Starting over at his new boarding school fills Kyle with hope, until he recognizes a girl in his homeroom. Naomi Steadman feels an immediate connection to Kyle, not realizing he is the son of the man who murdered her mother. Soon the death count at school begins to rise and items tied to the Bonebreaker appear, forcing Kyle and Naomi to relive the horrors of their past.

--Mary Schneeberger, Teen Services Coordinator