In the Stacks: new fiction for young adults

New fiction for Young Adults is meant for high school and college-age readers – look for the neon yellow stripe above the spine label on books on the New Fiction shelves at each public library.


“Three Little Words,” by Sarah N. Harvey.

Sixteen-year old Sid knows he’s lucky: he’s lived with Megan and Caleb, his foster parents, since he was two and they have given him the gifts of love, security, privacy, and the freedom to be himself, things he appreciates more with every new scared, angry foster child who arrives. He’s got a lot of good qualities: he’s patient when getting to know a new kid, keeps his anger and fear channeled into his drawing, and despite being a loner, actually likes people. So when a stranger who claims to be a friend of his birth mother’s arrives with the news that Sid has a half-brother and a request to help find him, Sid’s compassion and curiosity outweigh his sudden upwelling of anger at his birth mother. What he finds in Victoria is a broken but caring family that needs him as much as it turns out he needs them.

“Teeth,” by Hannah Moskowitz.

Rudy has moved to the island with his parents and 5-year old brother, Dylan, to give Dylan access to the rare Enki fish that are caught nearby. Given enough time, eating Enki fish will cure anything, even Dylan’s cystic fibrosis, but 16-year-old Rudy is not only bored to tears, but angry at being taken away from his normal life, with its abundance of girlfriends and worries about college. Until he meets Teeth, a teenage merman, who has taken a stand against the slaughter of his sibling Enki fish, and whose screams can be heard at night whenever the fishermen lay hands on him. And then Diana, the teenage daughter of the island’s matriarch, whose mother doesn’t allow her outside. Fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races will find much of the same raw, brutal magic here.

“Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse,” by Lucas Klauss.

Fifteen-year old Phillip’s world is undergoing a complete upending and rearrangement, though he thinks it’s just a crush at first. The lovely and well-endowed Rebekah has rescued him from an angry encounter with his track coach and in return, Phillip agrees to go to her church’s youth group meeting on Wednesday. And he soon finds himself gradually picking his life apart, looking at the years leading up to his mother’s death with new eyes and questioning the beliefs his atheist father has assumed he and Phillip share. When it comes right down to it, what does Phillip really believe? And what is it that he finds so enticing: God’s glory or Rebekah’s smile?

“Long Lankin,” by Lindsey Barraclough.

When Cora and Mimi are sent from London to stay with their elderly Great-Aunt Ida, no one is happy about it except perhaps their newly-single father. The girls are frightened by the creepy, falling-down house and their Aunt Ida sees only darkness and fear when she looks at them, sure that they will awaken an old evil that has been at bay for years. Soon Cora and Mimi have made friends with two local boys, who know that there are places kids in the village just shouldn’t go: to the graveyard, for instance, and to the abandoned church — but they do, anyway. Set in post-World War II England, all the spooky standards are here: shadowy figures glimpsed in the trees, haunted paintings, rumors of witches, old legends of monsters, and half-heard snatches of song. Lock the windows, bar the doors, and pick a nice sunny day to read this atmospheric novel.

“Prophecy,” by Ellen Oh.

Set in a fantasy Korea, this is the story of Kira, bodyguard to her cousin, the young prince Taejo. As the only woman in the king’s army, and the only person alive who can actually see demons, Kira is feared and despised, even though her talents and skills are desperately needed. A cryptic prophecy points to Taejo being the savior of the kingdom, but to save anyone, he’s got stay alive — and that’s Kira’s job. As the cousins and their entourage travel the kingdom on a quest for a ruby treasure that purports to be the key to victory against the demons, they face danger and treachery from every side. This first book in an action-packed trilogy promises a thrilling eventual conclusion.

Tomorrow, May 9, is Second Friday Tea at the Douglas Library. Be there at 5 p.m. to nibble cookies, sip tea, and talk about the care and feeding of chickens.

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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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