September Book Discussion: Paper Towns

Join us for our book discussion on Wednesday, September 23rd at 2pm!

Paper Towns by John Green

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back in the middle of the night – dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows.

After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discver that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues – and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew. – from publisher

For Teens in grades 7-12.
Pick up a copy at the Circulation desk one month prior! Also available as a book on CD, eBook, Playaway, and sound recording download.

Explore New York! Authors V-Z

Vlahos, Len. The Scar Boys. 2014.
Harry Jones was horribly disfigured in a childhood accident and despite years of therapy, he has never been able to move beyond his scarred appearance until he plays with The Scar Boys, a punk rock band.
2015 William C. Morris Award finalist

Waid, Mark, and Paul Azaceta. Potter’s Field. 2011.
A mysterious man sets out on a mission to name the unnamed dead in New York City’s Potter’s Field cemetery.

Weeks, Sarah. As Simple As It Seems. 2010.
Eleven-year-old Verbena Polter gets through a difficult summer of turbulent emotions and the revelation of a disturbing family secret with an odd new friend she meets in her small Catskill town, who believes she is the ghost of a girl who drowned many years before.

Weil, Cynthia. I’m Glad I Did. 2015.
It’s 1963 in New York City and sixteen-year-old JJ Green defies her parents by getting a summer job at the Brill Building, the musical epicenter for rock and roll. While writing music and trying to get one of her songs recorded, JJ must content with a murder and a romance.

Wilson, Daniel H. Robopocalypse: a novel. 2011.
Two decades into the future, humans are battling for their very survival when a powerful AI computer goes rogue, and all the machines on earth rebel against their human controllers.
2012 Alex Award

Wiseman, Eva. The World Outside. 2014.
Chanie Altman, an Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn, is expected to live by many rules, but she dreams of becoming an opera singer (a forbidden profession). When a tragedy disrupts the life she has always known, she has to make a choice.

Wood, Brian and Riccardo Burchielli. DMZ. 2006.
DMZ presents the adventures of aspiring photojournalist Matty Roth. Roth lands his dream job following a veteran war correspondent who is covering the second American civil war, and the two journey into Manhattan, the heart of the DMZ.

Wood, Brian and Ryan Kelly. Local. 2008.
Local is a collection of twelve interconnected short stories, each featuring Megan McKeenan, a young woman who sets out from Portland, Oregon, with a rucksack and a bad case of wanderlust. This graphic novel is set in twelve real life cities, including New York.

Wood, Brian, Ryan Kelly, and Jared K. Fletcher. The New York Four. 2008.
Just starting her freshman year at NYU, Riley is about to find out what an adventure – and a mystery – living in New York City can be. The ultimate insider’s guide to NYC is seen through the eyes of Brooklyn-born Riley.

Woodson, Jacqueline. After Tupac & D Foster. 2010.
In 1996 Queens, two girls become friends through the music of Tupac Shakur; the music continues to touch their lives as they deal with their families and their futures.
2009 Newbery Honor

Wright, Bil. Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy. 2011.
Sixteen-year-old Carlos Duarte is on the verge of realizing his dream of becoming a famous make-up artist, but first he must face his jealous boss at a Macy’s cosmetics counter, his sister’s abusive boyfriend, and his crush on a punk-rocker classmate.
2012 Stonewall Book Award

Yolen, Jane. Briar Rose. 1992.
A deathbed promise to her grandmother takes Rebecca on a journey to discover the truth behind the woman’s claim that she is Briar Rose. A chilling variation on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale set in multiple locations, including Oswego, New York, which once served as a haven for Holocaust survivors.

Ziegelman, Jane. 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement. 2010.
Writing about food, Ziegelman relates the stories of five immigrant families who lived at 97 Orchard between 1863 and 1935. The book includes 40 recipes. 97 Orchard currently houses the Tenement Museum in New York City.

Explore New York! Authors T

Taylor, Kim. Bowery Girl. 2006.
Two orphaned teenage girls in New York’s tenements in 1883 realize that their dream of saving enough money to move to Brooklyn across the newly built bridge may be achieved if they learn new trades at a nearby settlement house, rather than continuing their lives of prostitution and stealing.

Thoms, Annie. With Their Eyes: September 11th: The View From a High School at Ground Zero. 2011.
In response to September 11, the students of New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, which is located just blocks from Ground Zero, staged a powerful theatrical event. Inspired by Anna Deavere Smith’s interview-based monologue performances, the students talked with peers, faculty, and others in their community about personal responses to the tragedy. Based on the transcripts of those conversations, the students created the monologues that are collected here with photographs of the performers, as well as excellent introductions by Smith and Thoms, the teacher who initiated the project.

Torrey, E. Fuller. Ride with the Loomis Gang. 1997.
An adaptation of the author’s Frontier Justice: Rise and Fall of the Loomis Gang. It chronicles the exploits of the legendary Loomis Gang, a group of more than 200 men who terrorized central New York State during the mid-1800s.

Trigiani, Adriana. The Shoemaker’s Wife. 2012.
Enza and Ciro meet at the turn of the 20th century as teens in the Italian Alps. Through unfortunate circumstances, both are forced to immigrate to America, and they find each other again in New York City. A wonderful depiction of the immigrant experience and of New York City during the early 20th century.


Explore New York! Authors S

Sabar, Ariel. Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York. 2011.
Nine real-life stories about couples who met in some of New York City’s iconic locations. Postscripts at the end of the book relate how the relationships turned out.

Santiago, Esmeralda. When I Was Puerto Rican. 2006.
The author recalls the hardships and joys of her life with humor and poignancy, from her childhood in Puerto Rico to her move to a very different life in Brooklyn, and, finally, to her admission to the High School of Performing Arts.

Sedgwick, Marcus. She Is Not Invisible. 2014.
A blind London teenager and her younger brother travel to New York to find their missing father, using clues from his notebook.

Serle, Rebecca. The Edge of Falling. 2014.
Caggie’s life of privilege in Manhattan seems perfect, but she blames herself from her younger sister’s death and doesn’t want to be known as a hero when she saves a classmate from suicide. A new friend, though, causes her to reexamine her past.

Sheldon, Dyan. Sophie Pitt-Turnbull Discovers America. 2005.
While spending the summer in Brooklyn with her mother’s former schoolmate, Sophie, a sheltered English teenager, makes new and unlikely friends and finds a new side to her formerly “dull and passive” personality.

Shorto, Russell. Island at the Center of the World. 2005.
This fascinating and very readable history of Manhattan draws on 17th-century Dutch records that were recently translated by scholar Charles Gehring.

Silver, Charlotte. The Summer Invitation. 2014.
When Franny and Valentine are asked to spend a summer with their aunt Theodora in New York City, they unearth secrets about Aunt Theo’s romantic past and have a few romantic adventures of their own.

Slouka, Mark. Brewster. 2013.
Teenagers Jon and Ray dream of escaping from their dysfunctional and even dangerous parents in their rural New York town in this novel set in 1969. Themes of friendship and violence reflect the tensions of the Vietnam War.
2014 Alex Award
2013 School Library Journal Best Books Adult Books for Teens

Smith, Jennifer E. The Geography of You and Me. 2014.
Lucy Patterson and Owen Buckley meet on a stuck elevator during a New York City blackout. As their lives diverge, Lucy and Owen stay in touch and try to find a way to reunite.

Spollen, Anne. Light Beneath Ferns. 2010.
Upon moving to her mother’s upstate New York home after her gambler father leaves, ninth-grader Elizah just wants to be left alone. She then meets Nathaniel in the cemetery where her mother is caretaker and feels instantly drawn to him.

Staub, Wendy Corsi. Lily Dale: Awakening. 2007.
When seventeen-year-old Calla’s mother suddenly dies, she goes to stay with her psychic grandmother in Lily Dale, a spiritualist community in western New York, where she discovers some disconcerting secrets about her practical, down-to-earth mother, and realizes that she herself may also have some psychic abilities.

Swerling, Beverly. City of Dreams: a novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and Early Manhattan. 2002.
In 1661, a brother and sister stagger off a small wooden ship after eleven perilous weeks at sea to seek a new life in the Dutch settlement of Nieuw Amsterdam. Bound to each other by blood and necessity, these gifted healers become deadly enemies as betrayal and murder enter their lives. Their descendents – dedicated physicians and surgeons, pirates and more – will shape the future of medicine and the growing city.


Explore New York! Authors R

Racculia, Kate. Bellweather Rhapsody. 2014.
A high school music festival goes awry when a young prodigy disappears from the most infamous room in the Bellweather Hotel in a town in New York State.
2015 Alex Award Winner

Raphael, Marie. Streets of Gold: a novel. 2001.
After fleeing Poland and conscription in the Russian czar’s army, Stefan and his sister Marisia begin a new life in America on the Lower East Side of New York City at the turn of the century.

Revai, Cheri. Haunted Northern New York: True, Chilling Tales of Ghosts in the North Country. 2002.
This work presents a collection of ghostly stories and strange phenomena of Upstate New York, including haunted cemeteries, Ruby’s castle in Watertown, and many more.

Reynolds, Jason. When I Was the Greatest. 2014.
Ali lives in Bed-Stuy, a Brooklyn neighborhood known for guns and drugs, but he and his sister, Jazz, and their neighbors, Needles and Noodles, stay out of trouble until they go to the wrong party, where one gets badly hurt and another leaves with a target on his back.
2015 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Winner

Rosoff, Meg. Picture Me Gone. 2013.
Mila travels with her father to upstate New York to visit friends and family, looking for clues to the whereabouts of her father’s best friend, who has gone missing.

Rostan, Andrew, Kate Kasenow, and Dave Valeza. An Elegy for Amelia Johnson. 2010.
In her thirty years on earth, Amelia Johnson has touched many lives with her compassion, intelligence, and spirit. Now, at the end of a year-long battle with cancer, she asks her two closest friends to take her final messages to the people around New York State who have touched her life the most.

Rifka Brunt, Carol. Tell the Wolves I’m Home. 2012.
This book takes place in 1987 New York, following fourteen-year-old June Elbus and her uncle, the renowned painted Finn Weiss. June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies of a mysterious illness, June’s world is turned upside down.
2013 Alex Award

Rudetsky, Seth. Seth’s Broadway Diary, Volume 1. 2014.
Seth Rudetsky has worked as the music director and/or pianist for some of Broadway’s biggest stars. He spent years as a pianist on Broadway playing such shows as Les Miz, The Producers, and Ragtime, and currently divides his time between being the afternoon deejay on the SiriusXM Broadway challen/host of “Seth Speaks” and touring North America doing his show Deconstructing Broadway.

Explore New York! Authors N-O-P-Q

Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller. 2012.
The owner of Harlem’s National Memorial African Bookstore, Lewis Michaux, was passionate about knowledge. His bookstore became a legendary influence on people worldwide.
2013 Coretta Scott King Honor

New York Times Company. Sultans of Swat: The Four Great Sluggers of the New York Yankees. 2006.
Traces the careers of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle from the perspective of their love of the game and their significant contributions to the Yankee’s history and tradition.

Ockler, Sarah. Bittersweet. 2014.
Hudson Avery gave up a promising career in figure skating after her parents divorced. Now she spends her time baking cupcakes and helping out in her mother’s upstate New York diner, but when she gets a chance at a scholarship and starts coaching the boys’ hockey team, she realizes that she is not through with skating after all.

Pfeffer, Susan Beth. The Dead and the Gone. 2010.
After a meteor hits the moon and sets off a series of horrific climate changes, seventeen-year-old Alex Morales must take care of his sisters alone in the chaos of New York City.

Preston, Caroline. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: a novel in pictures. 2011.
For her graduation from high school in 1920, Frankie Pratt receives a scrapbook and her father’s old Corona typewriter. Through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus, and more, we meet and follow Frankie on her journey in search of success and love.
2012 Alex Award

Quinonez, Ernesto. Bodega Dreams: a novel. 2000.
The book features a cast of memorable characters, including dim-witted Neno, who can’t complete a sentence without quoting a song lyric; the drug runner and possible hit man, Sapo, who would rather be flying a kite from the top of the tenement; and cameo appearances by real artists and poets. But at the heart of everything is Willie Bodega, a former Young Lord who has become the biggest drug lord of them all.


Explore New York! Authors M

Mack, Tracy. Birdland. 2003.
Thirteen-year-old Jed spends Christmas break working on a school project filming a documentary about his East Village, New York City, neighborhood, where he is continually reminded of his older brother, Zeke, a promising poet who died the summer before.

Manzano, Sonia. The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. 2012.
In New York City’s Spanish Harlem in 1969, fourteen-year-old Evelyn is trying to spread her wings and break free from her conservative family. When her activist grandmother comes to stay, she finds life getting more complicated and dangerous.
2013 Pura Belpré Award

Marshall, Paule. Brown Girl, Brownstones. 2009.
This book centers on the daughter of Barbadian immigrants living in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Selina Boyce is caught in the middle of her parents’ differing views of her future. Her mom wants Selina to get an American education, while her dad dreams of returning to Barbados. Along with her parental woes, the heroine must deal with the poverty and racism that surrounds her.

Marsico, Katie. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: Its Legacy of Labor Rights. 2010.
New York City’s garment district was at its heyday during the Industrial Revolution. Then, tragedy struck in 1911, when hundreds of laborers – mostly women – died, primarily because of their crowded and unsafe work environment. Afterward, a trial helped bring about changes for children, women, and laborers everywhere.

McCann, Jim. Mind the Gap Volume 1: Intimate Strangers TP. 2012.
This graphic novel is a mystery taking place in New York City with a paranormal twist. Elle, in a spirit form detached from her comatose body, must not only unravel the mystery of her attacker’s identity and motive, but her entire life as well. Who can she trust, in both this world and in the gap she exists that lies between life and death?

McCreight, Kimberly. Reconstructing Amelia. 2013.
In this mystery/thriller, Kate tries to prove that her fifteen-year-old daughter, Amelia, didn’t jump from the roof of her prestigious Brooklyn private school. The story is told in alternating voices, Kate’s and Amelia’s, as well as through text messages, Facebook updates, and blog posts revealing that the teen was involved with a secret club.
2013 School Library Journal Best Books Adult Books for Teens

McCulloch, Derek. Gone to Amerikay. 2012.
In this graphic novel, Ciara O’Dwyer is a young woman raising a daughter alone in the Five Points slums of 1870; Johnny McCormack is a struggling actor drawn to the nascent folk music movement in 1960 Greenwich Village; and Lewis Healy is a successful Irishman who’s come to present-day Manhattan on his wife’s anniversary-present promise to reveal a secret.

McNeal, Laura and Tom McNeal. Zipped. 2003.
At the end of their sophomore year in a small town high school outside Syracuse, New York, the lives of four teenagers are woven together as they start a tough new job, face family problems, deal with changing friendships, and find love.

Medina, Meg. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. 2014.
Piddy Sanchez’s life is turned upside down when she finds out that Yaqui Delgado wants to kick her ass. While struggling to deal with the threat on her own, Piddy explores her identity, her culture, and the role of others in her life. A powerful story about bullying and resilience, set in a Queens school.
2014 Pura Belpré Author Award Winner

Mercer, Paul and Vicki Weiss, for the Friends of the New York State Library. The New York State Capital and the Great Fire of 1911. 2011.
In the early morning hours of March 29, 1911, a fire broke out in the New York State Capital at Albany. Within the building lay the entire collection of the New York State Library, almost completely reduced to ashes. The authors have included recently discovered photographs documenting the original construction of the building, beginning in 1867, as well as eyewitness accounts of its destruction.

Miller, Barnabas. Rock God: The Legend of B.J. Levine. 2012.
After moving to New York City, thirteen-year-old B.J. Levine decides he’s going to become the next big rock star, despite his lack of musical talent.

Monir, Alexandra. Timekeeper. 2013.
Philip Walker is a new student at Michele Windsor’s high school and he seems to be the love she lost when they said goodbye during her time travels. He does not remember her or the Philip Walker of 1910. Michele must thwart her nemesis and deal with Philip’s reappearance in this sequel to Timeless.

Monir, Alexandra. Timeless. 2012.
When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with her wealthy, aristocratic grandparents. There, she discovers a diary that sends her back to the year 1910.

Montalvan, Luis Carlos with Bret Witter. Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him. 2011.
The story of how two wounded warriors, one soldier and one golden retriever, who had given so much and suffered the consequences, found salvation in each other. It is a story about war and peace, injury and recovery, psychological wounds and spiritual restoration.

Moriarty, Chris. The Watcher in the Shadows. 2013.
In early 20th-century New York, as thirteen-year-old Sacha Kessler, the Inquisitor’s apprentice, faces enemies old and new that threaten him and his family, he changes his mind about learning magic.

Myers, Walter Dean. Darius & Twig. 2013.
Darius and Twig are an unlikely pair: Darius is a writer whose only escape is his alter ego, a peregrine falcon named Fury, and Twig is a middle-distance runner striving for athletic success. But they are drawn together in the struggle to overcome the obstacles that Harlem life throws at them.
2014 Coretta Scott King Honor Book
2014 Notable Children’s Book

Myers, Walter Dean. Game. 2008.
If Harlem high school senior Drew Lawson is going to realize his dream of playing college, then professional, basketball, he will have to improve at being coached and being a team player, especially after a new – white – student threatens to take the scouts’ attention away from him.

Myers, Walter Dean. Lockdown. 2010.
Reese needs to stay on track to get early release from the Progress juvenile detention facility in the Bronx.
2011 Coretta Scott King Author Honor
2015 YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Top Ten

Myers, Walter Dean. 145th Street: Short Stories. 2000.
Myers uses ten short stories to create snapshots of a pulsing, vibrant community with diverse ethnic threads.
2001 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults


New Book Friday: July 2015

July, July! Kick off this gloriously hot and lazy month with 60 new books – nonfiction, fiction, graphic novels, all sorts of awesome stuff. Remember, if you haven’t, sign up and participate in the Teen Summer Reading Club at the library!


















Explore New York! Authors F-G

Farnsworth, Cheri. Haunted Hudson Valley: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of New York’s Sleepy Hollow Country. 2010.
Contains accounts of paranormal activity in and around New York’s Hudson River Valley, including hauntings, ghosts, and UFOs.

Finney, Jack. Time and Again. 1995.
This novel is about an experiment that causes 20th century illustrator Si Morley to step out of the Dakota apartment building into the streets of 1882 New York.

Fredericks, Mariah. The Girl in the Park. 2012.
When the body of Wendy Gellar is found in Central Park one Sunday morning, everyone is quick to blame Wendy’s notorious partying habits. Everyone, that is, except her old friend, Rain, who takes it upon herself to find out what really led to the death of her friend.

Friedman, Aimee. The Year My Sister Got Lucky. 2008.
When Katie and Michaela Wilder move from New York City to upstate rural New York, Katie has a hard time fitting in – and getting accustomed to local culture, like friendly neighbors and cows that need to be milked. Michaela, though, becomes the town’s social belle, loving her new life and her new country friends. Can they ever be as close as they once were?

Gansworth, Eric. If I Ever Get Out of Here. 2013.
Set in 1975, this coming of age story explores the cross-cultural friendship of Lewis Blake, a Native American teen living on the Tuscarora Reservation in Western New York, and George Haddonfield, a military kid from a nearby Air Force base.

Gillies, Isabel. Starry Night. 2014.
Fifteen-year-old Wren and her three lifelong best friends are celebrating the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, when Wren finds first love with her brother’s new friend, Nolan. The relationship transforms her and her life.

Godbersen, Anna. The Luxe. 2008.
In Manhattan in 1899, five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.

Greene, Meg. Elena Kagan. 2014.
This biography of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan covers her growing up in New York City to her roles at the White House and more.

Gregory, Kristiana. Stalked. 2011.
When Rikke Svendsen, a fifteen-year-old Danish servant, arrives at Ellis Island in 1912, she realizes that a fellow passenger is stalking her. In the chaos of immigration and trying to flee from him, she is unable to meet her family in Racine, Wisconsin, and ends up stranded in New York City.

Grimes, Nikki. Bronx Masquerade. 2002.
While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they’ve written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.
2003 Coretta Scott King Author Award
2003 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults

Gruber, Ruth. Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America. 2000.
Gruber, a journalist during World War II, accompanied 1,000 refugees from Nazi-controlled Europe who came to Oswego, New York, as guests of the United States government.