Archive for September 20, 2010

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen

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I just finished reading Dear George Clooney, please marry my mom by Susin Nielsen this weekend. I’ll admit it: the catchy title grabbed me. But despite the silly hook, the story actually held my attention. Violet is a spunky, not-always-likeable young teen with divorced parents, a younger sister Rosie, a new step-mom and 2 new half-sisters. She lives in Vancouver with her mom and Rosie while her father is in L.A. working as a television director with his new wife Jennica Valentine. Violet is having a hard time dealing with her new life and with her mother ‘s behavior as a single woman on a quest for “Mr. Right”. Hoping to protect her family, Violet often acts impulsively, but with good intentions. These actions lead to comedic hijinx for us readers, often at Violet’s expense. Surrounded by good friends and positive adult influences (a rarity in YA literature), Violet loses some of her cynicism about love and learns that George Clooney might be awesome, but he’s not the answer to all of her problems. (Mr. Clooney does make a brief cameo, if you were curious.) It was a light, fun read that made many current references to pop culture, the perils of Facebook and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian

New in YA nonfiction

I love non-fiction books. Not the boring ones that just present the facts in a dry manner – those are fine for reports and papers. I love the non-fiction books that catch your eye and make you want to pick them up. Browsable non-fiction about topics that interest you, shock you, and teach you something unexpected. So here are some of the awesome new ones we have in TeenSpace.
Classy: be a lady not a tramp by Derek Blasberg; design by Rodrigo Corral Design.
This handbook will provide everything you need to know about fashion, socializing, dating, and etiquette. With tons of practical tips and tools for learning to flaunt what you’ve got, dozens of specific how-tos, common no-nos, and huge blunders that even smart girls make, this tongue-in-cheek book will train you to be a lady, and not a tramp!
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Cleopatra rules!: the amazing life of the original teen queen by Vicky Alvear Shecter.
Examines the life of Cleopatra, discussing her rule at an early age, alliances, acquisition of land for Egypt, enemies, and other related topics.
They called themselves the K.K.K.: the birth of an American terrorist group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti.
Documents the history and origin of the Ku Klux Klan from its beginning in Pulaski, Tennessee, and provides personal accounts, congressional documents, diaries, and more.
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The polymer clay cookbook: tiny food jewelry to whip up and wear by Jessica Partain and Susan Partain.
The Polymer Clay Cookbook celebrates favorite foods with 20 tiny, deliciously realistic food charms to make from polymer clay and fashion into unique jewelry.
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In the driver’s seat: a girl’s guide to her first car by Erika Stalder.
Provides useful information for driving and owning an automobile, including how to buy and insure a car, solutions to minor problems, learning what’s under the hood, how to choose a mechanic, and surviving emergency situations.
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An unspeakable crime: the prosecution and persecution of Leo Frank by Elaine Marie Alphin.
In 1913, thirteen-year-old pencil factory worker Mary Phagan was found murdered at her workplace in Atlanta, Georgia. One targeted suspect was Jewish factory superintendent Leo Frank. All of the inborn prejudice against Jews rose up in a feeling of satisfaction, that here would be a victim worthy to pay for the crime. Though the case was mishandled at every turn, Leo Frank was convicted. But did he commit the crime?
These books are guaranteed to leave you thinking about new things and topics. Pick one up today!
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian

Book scramble

Can you unscramble these popular book titles?
First person to email me the correct answers at
wins a free paperback book of their choice? Good luck and happy Labor Day Weekend!
Ot ilkl a dmconbigrki
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Kgbairen Wdna
________ _______
Eht Der Ydiparm
___ ___ __________
Typtre Tillet Rasil
_______ _______ _____
Anccghit Eifr
________ _____
Eettihnr Nsraeso Ywh
________ _______ ____
Eht Ggilnniht Fiteh
___ __________ _______
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian

A Book Review of Very LeFreak

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Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
Book review by Katherine Kuang
Teenagers today probably can’t imagine life without their beloved iPods, their sleek and gorgeous Blackberries, and their humming laptops. A world without the Internet just seems preposterous. Thus, in a dangerous yet apparent way, technology has actually become their lives, and the main character of Rachel Cohn’s latest novel Very LeFreak is the ultimate representation of this idea.
Veronica aka Very (LeFreak) is a free-spirited girl who has a lot going for her: true friends, an aunt who raised Very to fulfill her mother’s dream for her, a scholarship at Columbia University, and a confidence guys find irresistible. Unfortunately, one thing has been luring her away from this seemingly perfect reality: the virtual world of technology. Very has developed an aberrant attachment to her machines: laptop, iPhone, iPod- you name it, and it is disconnecting her from everything that is near and dear, spurring an unhealthy obsession with an El Virus, the one guy she wants to but can’t be with because for all she knows, he may not exist.
Thus, Very is taken off guard when her friends stage an intervention out of sincere concern. Feeling betrayed but at the same time up for a change and perhaps an adventure, she allows them to send her to ESCAPE, a rehabilitation camp for technology addicts (like herself). There, she is at the crossroads between denial and acceptance: Will she jump back into the abyss of electronics that beckons to her or will she stand her ground and discover what is beneath all those gadgets- a girl who wants to make amends and reboot her life back under control?
Very LeFreak is a cleverly written novel by Cohn that is humorous yet emotionally moving. It will strike a chord with the teenage reader who may be all too familiar with turning to technology as a lifeline at times.
-Katherine Kuang
Thanks for the great review!
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian