In the Stacks: New young adult fiction

New Young Adult fiction — look for the yellow labels on the spine when browsing — you’ll find exciting slice-of-life, science fiction, romance, mystery, and more aimed at teens and young adults.


“Happy Families,” by Tanita Davis.

Twins Ysabel and Justin think they live in the best family ever — one of comfortable privilege, close family ties, and the unspoken promise that it will continue forever. But one day it all falls apart. They arrive home to discover their father, Christopher, is gone and in his place is a stranger named Christine. They are not strangers to her, though, and that makes it very awkward. Even worse is when their mom and dad divorce and Christine moves away - Ysabel and Justin wonder who in their circle of friends and church family know the real reason why. When spring break comes, Ysabel and Justin are sent off to stay with their - Dad? Mom? That woman? Everything seems to be changing without any input from them. And their dad has a plan to help them all adjust to Christine: a week of therapy and activities with other transgendered families, where no one and nothing is as it seems. Told in alternating chapters by Ysabel and Justin, this is the story of a strong family working through heartbreak and confusion.

“The Wild Queen,” by Carolyn Meyer.

This delightful, if a little staid, fictional biography of Mary, Queen of Scots, begins with her father’s death, for which Mary feels much guilt. King James V of Scotland, she is told, died of heartbreak and disappointment upon finding his heir was a girl. It ends, forty-five years later, with her beheading, following 19 years of imprisonment. In the beginning, Mary’s mother fears that the king of England will not let the heir to the Scots throne live and so Mary is betrothed to the Dauphin of France when she is five. She is sent to the French Court to be brought up and has a happy and fulfilling childhood. But by the time Mary is forty, she has been widowed, divorced, exiled from France, removed from Scotland, denied her rightful role as Queen, and estranged from her son, before being beheaded - a most unhappy end to a promising life.

“The Book of Blood and Shadow,” by Robin Wasserman.

Three best friends. Two true loves. An uncrackable code in a 700-year old book. And blood, lots of blood. Nora’s a senior in high school who volunteers at the nearby university as a research assistant, set to translating the letters of a seventeen-year old girl in the hopes that they contain a clue to the code. Her best friend, Chris, is working on the book itself, alongside his roommate, Max, under Professor Hoffpauer’s eagle eye, when Nora finds what may be the key to the puzzle. But others are working to break the code, too, and the professor ends up in the hospital, notes, book and letters missing. And then Chris is murdered and Max is accused and Nora is left on her own, looking for the killer and the solution to the centuries-old mystery. Smart and challenging, this is an intense read with unexpected twists.

“Partials,” by Dan Wells.

Since the RM virus swept the earth 14 years ago, no babies have lived longer than a week. The last schools are closing, sending the remaining kids, none younger than 14, into trades. In an effort to combat the rapidly dwindling population, the mandatory pregnancy age has dropped to 18. But nothing is helping and it looks like – thanks to the semi- human androids, or Partials, created to fight the Isolation War twenty years ago - humanity is going extinct. Kira is sixteen and training to be a medic, wondering whether she’ll be the first to bear a baby who lives, when she comes to a realization: the only beings truly immune to RM are the Partials. And since the government isn’t interested finding one to experiment on, she’s going to have to find one for herself. Chillingly dystopian, this is a story that will stick with readers for a long time.


All public libraries will be closed today, Oct.18, in honor of Alaska Day.

Coming up this Saturday Oct. 20, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. storyteller Roblin Davis will conduct a workshop for young adults and adults on using body language, breathing, and vocal range to developing a compelling performance. No sign-up necessary, come to the Douglas Library with a 7 minute or less story to share.

For information about upcoming programs, or to place a hold, visit or call 586-5249.


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Margaret Brady Fund scholarship applications now accepted

Area students pursuing artistic excellence may apply for scholarships as part of the Margaret Frans Brady Fund.

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