In the Stacks: Youth fiction fills shelves at Juneau library

Posted: Friday, September 02, 2005

"Jude," by Kate Morgenroth. When Jude's drug-dealing father is gunned down in their squalid neighborhood, Jude's world is turned upside down. Reunited with his mother who is a district attorney, he hopes for a peaceful future and a happy family, until he finds himself blamed for a schoolmate's overdose. His mother, who is running for reelection, tries to convince him to plead guilty for the sake of her anti-drug campaign platform, and his step-father promises to get him out of jail as soon as she's elected. But can Jude trust people he hardly knows - even if they are family - with such a momentous decision?

"Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman?" by Eleanor Updale. While petty thief Montmorency is in prison yet again, he overhears some career-enhancing information. Upon his release, he begins using the sewers to creep in and out of homes unnoticed, and soon steals enough to create an alter-ego and join the upper classes, but maintains his thieving by night to keep his income and skills up. The double life is tough to maintain and soon it becomes clear that one of his identities has to go - but which one?

"The Cry of the Icemark," by Stuart Hill. When her father is killed in battle, Princess Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield finds herself in charge of a kingdom under attack. Fortunately, she has a knack for making friends and has as allies wolfwolves, vampires, snow leopards, and forest kings, as well as the loyalty of a young warlock. But, at only thirteen, does she have the wisdom and stamina to control her army and bring the invaders down?

"The Secret Under my Skin," by Janet McNaughton. Set in a future in which the government has convinced the populace that technology is dangerous, this is the story of thirteen-year-old Blay Raytee, plucked from a government workcamp to work for a candidate for one of the most important jobs in the world. Bioindicators are like canaries in coal mines: they register changes in the environment before the environments become toxic to everyone else. Marella, the latest Bioindicator, is anxious for the prestige of the job, but not interested in the studying required. Blay, on the other hand, finds that she's particularly gifted at science, but the more she learns, the more disturbing she finds her world and those who rule it.

"Who am I without him?" by Sharon Flake. Flake is well-known for her sensitive novels about growing up poor and black in America, and in this set of short stories, focuses on the relationships between teens of both sexes. Read about a young teenage mother who thinks she knows how to handle the advances of a mentally-impaired neighbor boy. Laugh with Mookie and his resourceful girlfriend who find a way to get Mookie's nine aunts off his back. The final story is a letter from a man who realizes he'll never be rich - the inheritance he chooses to leave to the daughter he ran out on is one of knowledge instead.

"A Fast and Brutal Wing," by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson. Readers will either love or hate this riveting mix of fantasy, horror, and realism that starts out on a Halloween night when a famous writer disappears in the woods after attacking three teenagers - or did they attack him? Was a hawk and a cat involved, or does one of the teens just imagine that she and her brother can transform into animals at will? With Emmet institutionalized, Doug denying that anything happened, and Niki lost in the depths of her transformation fantasies, is it possible to puzzle out what really happened?

"The Sphere of Secrets," by Catherine Fisher. This sequel to "The Oracle Betrayed" opens with a meeting between the Oracle and emissaries from the neighboring country, which traps Mirany in a web of political intrigue, unsure of whom to trust. Though the god speaks to her, she is not its mouthpiece, and she listens in surprise to the lies of the one who is. She's worried about other things, too: someone is trying to poison her, the country is still caught in a drought, her friend Oblek is missing, and another friend, Alexos, is planning a journey to the Well of Songs, a place from which no one has ever returned. Intricately plotted and evocatively written, this is reminiscent of Megan Whalen Turner's "The Thief" and "The Queen of Attolia."

Join Youth Services staff on Friday, September 9th at the Valley Library for our very popular Bedtime Stories program! And don't forget, storytimes at all branches begin after Labor Day - call or stop in to any library for more information.

• Placing a hold on our material is easy: call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249, or, if you have internet access, your library card, and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our website ( and looking at our catalog or at the In the Stacks column on our site. The columns are hyperlinked to the catalog: simply click on the title you want, and you will be ready to place a hold.

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