Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New children's and YA e-books added to NCLS!

All We Have is Now, by Lisa Schroeder.

There are 27 hours and fifteen minutes left until an asteroid strikes North America, and, for Emerson and everyone else who didn't leave, the world will end. But Emerson's world already ended when she ran away from home last year. Since then she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat.

The city's quieter now that most people are gone, and no one seems to know what to do as the end approaches. But then Emerson and Vince meet Carl, who tells them that he has been granting people's wishes. He gave his car away so a woman could take her son to see the ocean for the first time, and he gives Emerson and Vince all the money he has in his wallet. Suddenly this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in 27 hours - maybe even their own.

Fuzzy Mud, by Louis Sachar. (Also available in audio, narrated by Kathleen McInerney with a full cast.) **

Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.

In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.

The Heartbreakers, by Ali Novak. **

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD...for four hours. She's totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she'll never see him again.

Except, Stella's life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry—lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver—dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band—when her sister could be dying of cancer?
No Such Person, by Caroline B. Cooney.  (Also available in audio, narrated by Erin Spencer.)

Miranda and Lander Allerdon are sisters. Miranda is younger, a dreamer, and floating her way through life. Lander is older, focused, and determined to succeed. As the girls and their parents begin another summer at their cottage on the Connecticut River, Miranda and Lander's sibling rivalry is in high gear. Lander plans to start medical school in the fall, and Miranda feels cast in her shadow.

When the Allerdons become entangled in an unimaginable tragedy, the playing field is suddenly leveled. As facts are revealed, the significance of what has happened weighs heavily on all. How can the family prepare for what the future may hold?

Shingaling: A Wonder Story, by R.J. Palacio.

Over 2 million people have read the New York Times bestseller Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Readers have also been given a special look at another side of Auggie's story with The Julian Chapter and a peek at his life before Beecher Prep in Pluto.

In Shingaling, the third Wonder Story, they'll read about life as a fifth grader at Beecher Prep through the eyes of Charlotte, the girl who had been chosen to be Auggie's "welcome" buddy. Readers will not only learn more about Charlotte and her budding friendship with reader-favorite, Summer (they solve a mystery together), but how the girls at Beecher Prep react to Auggie attending their school for the first time, and how Charlotte came to write the precept she used at the end of Wonder, "It's not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend."

What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss. (Audio, narrated by Rainn Wilson.)

This new book by Dr. Seuss about making up one's mind is the literary equivalent of buried treasure! What happens when a brother and sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they can't choose just one! The tale captures a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and uses it to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it!

Told in Dr. Seuss's signature rhyming style, this is a must-have for Seuss fans and book collectors, and a perfect choice for the holidays, birthdays, and happy occasions of all kinds.

**Available 8/4. Place yer holds now! 

(All descriptions from OverDrive.) 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New children's and YA e-books added to NCLS!

Chasing Secrets, by Gennifer Choldenko. (Also available in audio, narrated by Karissa Vacker.)*

San Francisco, 1900. The Gilded Age. A fantastic time to be alive for lots of people... but not thirteen-year-old Lizzie Kennedy, stuck at Miss Barstow's snobby school for girls. Lizzie's secret passion is science, an unsuitable subject for finishing-school girls. Lizzie lives to go on house calls with her physician father. On those visits to his patients, she discovers a hidden dark side of the city--a side that's full of secrets, rats, and rumors of the plague.

The newspapers, her powerful uncle, and her beloved papa all deny that the plague has reached San Francisco. So why is the heart of the city under quarantine? Why are angry mobs trying to burn Chinatown to the ground? Why is Noah, the Chinese cook's son, suddenly making Lizzie question everything she has known to be true? Ignoring the rules of race and class, Lizzie and Noah must put the pieces together in a heart-stopping race to save the people they love.

Nowhere but Here (Thunder Road #1), by Katie McGarry. (Also available in audio, narrated by Marguerite Gavin and Sean Pratt.)

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father--the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent--but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns into an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're...family. And while Emily--the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member--is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Pretending to be Erica, by Michelle Painchaud.

Seventeen-year-old Violet's entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet's father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision.

Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body, and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans' lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And then, when the time is right, she "reappears"—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle. But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world.

Walking a razor's edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, and Pretending to be Erica is a killer debut.
Ruby on the Outside, by Nora Raleigh Baskin.

Ruby’s mom is in prison, and to tell anyone the truth is to risk true friendship in this novel from the author of The Summer Before Boys that accurately and sensitively addresses a subject too often overlooked.

Eleven-year-old Ruby Danes is about to start middle school, and only her aunt knows her deepest, darkest, most secret secret: her mother is in prison.

Then Margalit Tipps moves into Ruby’s condo complex, and the two immediately hit it off. Ruby thinks she’s found her first true-blue friend—but can she tell Margalit the truth about her mom? Maybe not. Because it turns out that Margalit’s family history seems closely connected to the very event that put her mother in prison, and if Ruby comes clean, she could lose everything she cares about most.

(All descriptions from OverDrive.)

*This is a pre-release title. Since every children's book in this history of the world is being released on August 4, I thought I'd order some in advance to share the wealth a bit. So, the bad news is that you have to wait a few weeks for this one, but the good news is, you can place a hold right this very moment. Go now! Place yer hold! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Guest Post: Library on the Green

It's summer in the North Country, and that means taking advantage of the mild weather while we have the chance. Rebecca Donnelly of the Norwood Public Library has been doing just that with Library on the Green. Today, she gives this blog the scoop:

Parachute play is a big hit during Norwood's Library on the Green program.

So, tell me a little about this program. 

I ran a preschool music & movement program at the Norwood Beach last summer, and while we had fun, attendance was low because there wasn't any drive-by traffic. It was too windy to be outside, so we ended up using the dimly-lit arena, which didn't really offer the fun and breezy atmosphere I was looking for. So this year I moved over to the Village Green in the center of Norwood's downtown and added something I've been dreaming about for a while now: a pop-up library. I set up a canopy and a table with my laptop, information about the library, and a selection of picture books, and I invite families to browse and check out books after the program. It's running for 6 weeks, and the first two have been pretty successful.

That sounds wonderful! So far, what have been the benefits of moving outdoors? 

It's all about visibility and access. I set up near the excellent village green playground, so I can easily reel in participants who just showed up to hang out there. (Guerrilla librarianship is another of my long-term goals.) We're also visible from the street, and I'm hoping that people who see us do parachute play and all that will go, Hey, I didn't know the library did that! Because we're a special district library, I'm always trying to think of ways to show the community what we're doing. So far, I've seen some of my very best regulars and many more whom I've never seen in the library. The weather has been perfect (knock wood, spin three times). I could keep this thing going year-round, right? Winter's not too bad up here?

Not too bad, no. *side-eye*

What challenges - apart from potentially rotten weather - should someone hoping to duplicate your program expect?

It takes a little capital to get started with a music and movement program of any stripe (plug for NCLS summer mini-grant from last year!). I have a 12' parachute, egg shakers, bean bags, bells, and some new tambourines. But there are plenty of things you can do with just some music and some homemade instruments, if that's all you have. I love using the Wiggleworms' CD, Wiggleworms Love You, because it's got some great classics for moving around (Skidamarink) and fun new ones, too. I read a couple of stories, and then we get into a circle and do some movement guiding songs (like "If You're Happy and You Know It"), then instruments, then parachute time. I'm not exactly the Nancy Pearl of the musical world, as you well know, but I refuse to let ignorance stop me. I can't sing, I don't even know what real dancing looks like, and I have fun anyway.

The pop-up library part is a work-in-progress. I use the laptop, but I forgot to charge it the first week, so that part was a bust. The second week, I forgot to bring library cards with me to register new users. The village has kindly let me use their wifi, so I have to make sure I'm set up close enough to the municipal building that I can get signal to use WorkFlows. I bought a really cool canvas utility wagon and some waterproof boxes for my books & equipment, and I was going to walk the few blocks downtown with my library-in-a-cart, but I find I'm bringing more than the wagon can hold (canopy, table, etc). So I drive, and then I set up the wagon as a mini-library, because that's more fun than just using the table. The kids love that it's at their level!

I did ask permission to hold a program on the green. I'm not selling anything, and I'm not attracting a crowd of thousands, but I wanted to be safe. It helps to have volunteers for set up, but it's not essential. And bring more than you think you'll need--tape, pens, calendars, whatever. Better to have and not need...

Too true. Thanks for sharing, and good luck with the rest of your summer!

Rebecca Donnelly is the Director of the Norwood Public Library. She spent six years as a children's librarian in New Mexico and then moved to the North Country because she enjoys seeing the color green. She occasionally tweets about her #tinylibrary from @_becca_donnelly

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New children's and YA books added to NCLS!

The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden, by Emma Trevayne.

Grave robbing is a messy business.

A bad business. And for Thomas Marsden, on what was previously an unremarkable spring night in London, it becomes a very spooky business. For lying in an unmarked grave and half covered with dirt is a boy the spitting image of Thomas himself. This is only the first clue that something very strange is happening. Others follow, but it is a fortune-teller’s frightened screams that lead Thomas into a strange world of spiritualists, death, and faery folk. Faery folk with whom Thomas’s life is bizarrely linked. Faery folk who need his help.

Desperate to unearth the truth about himself and where he comes from, Thomas is about to discover magic, ritual, and the uncanny truth that sometimes the things that make a boy ordinary are what make him extraordinary.

Alive (Generations #1), by Scott Sigler.

A teenage girl awakens to find herself trapped in a coffin. She has no idea who she is, where she is, or how she got there. Fighting her way free brings little relief--she discovers only a room lined with caskets and a handful of equally mystified survivors. Beyond their room lies a corridor filled with bones and dust, but no people . . . and no answers.

She knows only one thing about herself--her name, M. Savage, which was engraved on the foot of her coffin--yet she finds herself in charge. She is not the biggest among them, or the boldest, but for some reason the others trust her. Now, if they're to have any chance, she must get them to trust each other.

Whatever the truth is, she is determined to find it and confront it. If she has to lead, she will make sure they survive. Maybe there's a way out, a rational explanation, and a fighting chance against the dangers to come. Or maybe a reality they cannot comprehend lies just beyond the next turn.

Another Kind of Hurricane, by Tamara Ellis Smith.

In this stunning debut novel, two very different characters--a black boy who loses his home in Hurricane Katrina and a white boy in Vermont who loses his best friend in a tragic accident--come together to find healing.

A hurricane, a tragic death, two boys, one marble. How they intertwine is at the heart of this beautiful, poignant book. When ten-year-old Zavion loses his home in Hurricane Katrina, he and his father are forced to flee to Baton Rouge. And when Henry, a ten-year-old boy in northern Vermont, tragically loses his best friend, Wayne, he flees to ravaged New Orleans to help with hurricane relief efforts--and to search for a marble that was in the pocket of a pair of jeans donated to the Red Cross.

Rich with imagery and crackling with hope, this is the unforgettable story of how lives connect in unexpected, even magical, ways.

Dad's First Day, by  Mike Wohnoutka.

All summer Oliver and his dad played together, laughed together, sang together, and read together.
Now it's time for Oliver to start school!

On the first day, Oliver's dad isn't quite ready...Suddenly he feels nervous. His tummy hurts, and he would rather stay home.

But Oliver isn't convinced. What if the first day is really fun? What if it's the start of an exciting year?

In this charming story of first-day jitters, acclaimed author and illustrator Mike Wohnoutka perfectly captures the mixed emotions felt by kids and their parents when big changes are afoot.

I'm with Cupid (Switched at First Kiss #1), by Anna Staniszewski.

Dared to kiss the adorkable Marcus Torelli at a party, Lena thinks it's the perfect opportunity to cross First Kiss off her list of "Things to Accomplish Before I Turn Fourteen."

It's only when she gets sent on an assignment the next day she realizes something went horribly wrong. That ZING she felt wasn't the thrill of her first kiss—she and Marcus have swapped powers!

Lena is not your average eighth grader, she's a soul collector with an serious job to do. And Marcus turns out to be a supernatural matchmaker (like Cupid, but without the diaper).

Now logical Lena finds herself with the love touch, and sweet, sentimental Marcus has death at his fingertips. The truth is that Lena should never have taken that dare...because one little kiss has Lena and Marcus in a whole lotta trouble.

The Moon is Going to Addy's House, by Ida Pearle.

After a play date in the city, Addy heads home to the country with her family. And through the long drive, the moon seems to be following them closely—Addy's faithful guardian and friend.

The comforting sense that the moon is your own personal companion is universal to childhood, and Ida Pearle has depicted it beautifully through her lyrical text and soft, sleepy cut-paper collage illustrations. This is a book that children will ask to hear every night at bedtime.

A School for Brides: A Story of Maidens, Mystery, and Matrimony, by Patrice Kindl.

The Winthrop Hopkins Female Academy of Lesser Hoo, Yorkshire, has one goal: to train its students in the feminine arts with an eye toward getting them married off. This year, there are five girls of marriageable age. There's only one problem: the school is in the middle of nowhere, and there are no men.

Set in the same English town as Keeping the Castle, and featuring a few of the same characters, here's the kind of witty tribute to the classic Regency novel that could only come from the pen of Patrice Kindl!

The Six, by Mark Alpert.

Adam's muscular dystrophy has stolen his mobility, his friends, and in a few short years, it will take his life. Virtual reality games are Adam's only escape from his wheelchair. In his alternate world, he can defeat anyone. Running, jumping, scoring touchdowns: Adam is always the hero.

Then an artificial intelligence program, Sigma, hacks into Adam's game. Created by Adam's computer-genius father, Sigma has gone rogue, threatening Adam's life—and world domination. Their one chance to stop Sigma is using technology Adam's dad developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son.

Along with a select group of other terminally ill teens, Adam becomes one of the Six who have forfeited their bodies to inhabit weaponized robots. But with time running short, the Six must learn to manipulate their new mechanical forms and work together to train for epic combat...before Sigma destroys humanity.

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights, by Ann Bausum.

In 1969 being gay in the United States was a criminal offense. It meant living a closeted life or surviving on the fringes of society. People went to jail, lost jobs, and were disowned by their families for being gay. Most doctors considered homosexuality a mental illness. There were few safe havens. The Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-run, filthy, overpriced bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, was one of them.

Police raids on gay bars happened regularly in this era. But one hot June night, when cops pounded on the door of the Stonewall, almost nothing went as planned. Tensions were high. The crowd refused to go away. Anger and frustration boiled over.

The raid became a riot. The riot became a catalyst. The catalyst triggered an explosive demand for gay rights.

Ann Bausum's riveting exploration of the Stonewall Riots and the national Gay Rights movement that followed is eye-opening, unflinching, and inspiring. 

(All descriptions from OverDrive.)

YA programming roundtable

Last week, NCLS hosted our annual roundtable discussion and cookout, and I had the pleasure of moderating the session on YA programming. Our participants ran the gamut from veteran practitioners to those who had never done any teen programming before but were looking to start. For those of you unable to attend, here are some highlights from that discussion.

How can we best serve teens?

*Make sure you have library staff or volunteers who have a genuine affinity for teens. Saying we want teens in the library falls a little flat if they get the stink-eye upon actually showing up.*

*It definitely helps when library staff working with teens are tuned into pop culture and geek culture. "Anything you can be over-the-top passionate about - that's what they're into."

*A library's teen space should be inviting - but sometimes it can be a little too inviting and attract adults and small children. Floor-centric furniture is one way to keep adults (but not small children) from commandeering a teen space.

How do we/can we reach them?

*Start with a core group and encourage them to invite their friends.

*If you don't have a core group, reach out to other youth-serving organizations (such as schools, the YMCA, scouting groups, etc.) to build one.

*If you're trying to reach teens on social media, make it a point to know which social media platforms your teens are using. Some teens are on Facebook, but Instagram and Vine are also popular.

*But don't discount traditional media sources like the newspaper!

Some successful library programs/innovative ideas discussed:

*Anime club. A timeless classic in YA library programming. But a word to the wise: Changing the name of your anime club does not work. Just call it anime club.
*Doctor Who night / a mini comic-con / anime karaoke / cosplay fashion show.
*A teen-led book club. (And in general, the more input teens have into their programming, the more successful it will be.)
*Gaming - From board games to video games (especially dancing games), games are perennially popular with our teens. 
*An off-to-college cooking class, where the teens learn the basics of how to cook for themselves.
*Writing programs. One library shared a fan-fic contest to rewrite the ending of the Hunger Games trilogy. (I can see this working with the Divergent trilogy as well, and don't even get me started on Harry Potter.) National Novel Writing Month was also mentioned - their Young Writers Program is a great resource for libraries.

And now, my favorite take-away from the discussion:

Remember that not all teen programs have to be located at the library. During the summer, when teens may be on vacation with family or have trouble getting to the library (especially in our rural communities), think about moving your programming online with an art or writing contest. That way, your teens can still be connected with their library crew, even if geography is working against them all meeting in person.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the roundtable discussion. I look forward to having another one soon! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Guest Post: Cosplay Fashion Show!

If there's one thing I look forward to, it's tales of creative library programs.* This week, Teen Services Specialist Krista Briggs of the Canton Free Library talks about her recent Cosplay Fashion Show.

Tell us a little about the program. How did this event come about?

The teens in my current Anime Club love to dress up. Many of them went to Girl Scouts together and had built a cosplay club of their own. Occasionally they would come to Anime Club dressed up or talk about which characters from the anime we're watching they would like to cosplay. Most shows result in the assignment of characters to everyone in the group. Knowing that, an event dedicated to them cosplaying was kind of a no-brainer, and seemed like a great way to represent this year's CSLP theme.

The Anime Club of Canton Free Library.

(Which, for those of you following along at home, is Every Hero Has a Story.)

We hired a professional photographer (who happened to be an alumni of our Anime Club herself!), I made an anime karaoke playlist on YouTube, and the teens dressed up, in some cases bringing multiple costumes. They danced, and sang, and had a really great time!

Here's a link to the Facebook album of the pictures so far.

Here and here are links to the videos of them dancing. They have since added one or two new dances to their performance, but I don't have videos of that yet. Hopefully soon!

I know next to nothing about cosplay, but it looks like you've got some Doctor Who fans in Anime Club. Do you find a lot of crossover between fandoms?

There is a great deal of crossover. Often teens who think they have only anime in common are thrilled to learn they also share a love of Doctor Who, or Supernatural, or The Avengers, or (of course) Harry Potter. The Tardis you see in a couple of the photos was actually our photographer. Being an Anime Club alum, she came to the photo shoot appropriately dressed, much to the delight of the Eleventh Doctor!

We had two Steven Universe cosplayers as well, which is a world with which I was unfamiliar. One was a little boy who came with his teen sister because he wanted to show off the Steven Universe costume she made for him. He was very nervous at first until the teens absolutely geeked out over him. One of the girls played a YouTube video of her brother performing a cover of a song from the show and he felt much more comfortable showing off his costume. It was adorable!

The Cosplay Fashion Show was basically just an opportunity for them to express their fandoms and their creativity by dressing up. More than a few of the costumes were homemade. 

Well, it sounds like a great program. Any plans to repeat? Any advice for others? 

It was such a success, that I think it must repeat at least annually. My advice to others would be: have snacks and water, have air conditioning. Some of the costumes are many layers and the teens get hot, especially if they are changing costumes.

The photographer was a little pricey, but worth it. It gave them a purpose and made them feel special, which was the whole point, after all. I wasn't sure what to expect when putting this together. Frankly, I couldn't get my head around the utility of a fashion show, so I wasn't sure what they, or I for that matter, should do. I wondered if I should invite an audience, but worried that some of the less outgoing teens may not feel comfortable. In the end, I decided against an audience, though the library staff was invited to poke their heads in to admire the costumes. The teens even performed their dance routine for them (they're such rockstars!).

The audience dilemma may not play out the same way for everyone, but I'm glad I decided against it. An introverted teen, who I'd hoped would come but did not expect to dress up, came in costume and was very self-conscious. She eventually found comfort in the fact that there was no possible way to stand out in that room, but an audience may have ruined her good time.

Thanks again to Krista and her teens, who are always up to something interesting. (And in this case, glamorous!)

*Also, inclement weather. Also, seasonal fruit. Also, birthday mail. There's quite a lot in this world to look forward to, actually. 

New e-books added to NCLS!

Bob and Flo, by Rebecca Ashdown.

It's Flo's first day of preschool. She has her lunch in a bucket and a new bow—but soon her bucket disappears! Does her classmate Bob have anything to do with the bucket mystery?

How two irresistible little penguins find both Flo's bucket and a new friendship makes for a preschool charmer. Bob and Flo is sure to ease any back-to-school jitters. 

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly.

Whether wrangling a rogue armadillo or stray dog, a guileless younger brother or standoffish cousin, Callie Vee and her escapades will have readers laughing and crying in this return to Fentress, Texas. Travis keeps bringing home strays. And Callie has her hands full keeping the animals—her brother included—away from her mother's critical eye. Will she succeed? 

The Dinosaur Disaster (Mad Scientist Academy #1), by Matthew McElligott.

Welcome to Mad Scientist Academy! The first day of school is always exciting, and Dr. Cosmic's new students can't wait to get started. After their teacher reveals that their school pet, Oscar, is a dinosaur, they quickly realize Dr. Cosmic has an unusual teaching style. To find Oscar, the class has to follow the clues through the realistic dinosaur exhibit Dr. Cosmic designed and built over the summer. But when a malfunction causes the robotic dinosaurs to come alive, this prehistoric exhibit feels a little too real!

With a mad genius for a teacher, things don't always go as planned. Armed with high-tech handbooks and the scientific method, Dr. Cosmic's class is ready to solve their way out of any disaster.

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks #6), by Miranda Kenneally.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she'd get to shadow the Jesse Scott, Nashville's teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He's as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he's accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya's lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse's pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya's playing back up to other people's dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older.

Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world. Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come. Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaper introduces a heroine and magic unlike anything else in fantasy fiction, and marks the YA debut of a bold new voice. 

Silver in the Blood, by Jessica Day George.

As spoiled society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about their mysterious Romanian relatives, the Florescus. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their family, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, bound by a centuries-old tradition to do the bidding of the royal Dracula family and it is time for Dacia and Lou to take their place among the ranks. But when the devilish heir Mihai Dracula sets his sights on Dacia as part of his plan to secure power over all of Europe, the girls choose to fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.

Only the dashing Lord Johnny Hardcastle and the mysterious Theophilus Arkady—members of a secret society charged with ridding the world of monsters—can help Dacia and Lou, but breaking the shackles of their upbringing will require more courage than the girls ever imagined.

The thrilling start to a richly drawn, romance-filled series, this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives will have readers coming back for more.

Tommy: The Gun that Changed America, by Karen Blumenthal.

John Taliaferro Thompson had a mission: to develop a lightweight, fast-firing weapon that would help Americans win on the battlefield. His Thompson submachine gun could deliver a hundred bullets in a matter of seconds—but didn't find a market in the U.S. military. Instead, the Tommy gun became the weapon of choice for a generation of bootleggers and bank-robbing outlaws, and became a deadly American icon. Following a bloody decade—and eighty years before the mass shootings of our own time—Congress moved to take this weapon off the streets, igniting a national debate about gun control. Critically-acclaimed author Karen Blumenthal tells the fascinating story of this famous and deadly weapon—of the lives it changed, the debate it sparked, and the unprecedented response it inspired.

(All descriptions from OverDrive.)