Thursday, April 19, 2018


Congrats to this year's winners!

Iowa Teen Award: The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander

Iowa High School Book Award: Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

Monday, April 16, 2018

Book Spotlight: The Mark of the Dragonfly, by Jaleigh Johnson

Piper keeps to herself after her father dies. Until she finds a girl in the meteor fields on a scrap dig and pledges to protect her.

Piper and Anna are on the run from “the wolf.” They catch a ride on the 401 train after Anna shows her dragonfly tattoo, a mark of protection by the King. But on their journey to escape, they also have to fight against slavers and raiders. 

Will Piper and Anna ever find a safe place?

Find out more in:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Book Review: Refugee, by Alan Gratz

Three families, three countries, three time periods.

Josef and his family are a Jewish family living in Nazi Germany.  His father is sent to a 
concentration camp, but is later given a 14-day release, on the condition that he will leave 
the country.  The family rushes to catch a ship called the St. Louis to take them to Cuba, 
who may offer them asylum.

Isabel is living in Cuba with her family in 1994, during the time of Fidel Castro. Food and 
money are scarce, and her father has already been thrown in prison once for political 
dissidence.  Castro announces that Cubans will be allowed to leave the island with no 
penalty for a short time, so Isabel and her family join their neighbors on a boat they 
constructed to try to make it to Florida.

Mahmoud is living in Syria in 2015 with his family when they lose their home and all 
their belongings in a bombing.  They strike out with the clothes on their back to try to 
make it to Germany, a country that is taking in refugees. But first they have to make it 
out of Syria and through Turkey, Greece, Hungary, and other countries that deny them 
help or refugee status.

Refugee, by Alan Gratz, is a peek into periods of time throughout history where refugees struggle with violence in their home countries and try to find a place to call home.  Although they are from different times and places, their stories are tied together. If you’re looking for a new historical fiction book that brings the past to life in our current time, try Refugee, by Alan Gratz.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Book Spotlight: SYLO, by D.J. MacHale

Tucker lives a quiet life on the island of Penderwick. Until people start dying and the island is quarantined by SYLO.

SYLO says there’s a deadly virus, but Tucker witnesses them killing people that try to escape, along with other mysteries: a drug that gives superhuman abilities, a weapon that vaporizes, and no communication off the island.  

What is happening on Penderwick Island?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Book Spotlight: Swagger, by Carl Deuker

Jonas is ready to work hard for a basketball scholarship, on & off the court. Until his family moves & everything changes.

Jonas has to start over his senior year at a new school and a new team with a set starting lineup. Will his fast-break speed fit in with his new coach’s methods?  

Will Jonas fit in with his new team? Will he get his scholarship? Or will the worst happen...outside the court?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Book Review: Someone to Love

Liv is the daughter of a U.S. Congressman.  She is the sister of two over-achieving brothers, one of whom overcame addiction.  She is a good student, taking all AP courses.  
She is an exceptional artist, with an opportunity to show at a youth exhibit.  And she is 
also bulimic. She has been trying to lose weight since her boyfriend dumped her on the 
way to the Homecoming Dance freshman year, but she hides from everyone how she is 
achieving this weight loss--her family, her friends, her crush, her teachers.  Will someone 
notice what’s happening before it’s too late?

Someone to Love, by Mellssa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods), is a book about a girl who has 
lost herself through bulimia, anorexia, and cutting, as well as alcohol.  She feels alone 
in the world, even though she has a support system all around her that she doesn’t see, 
or at least can’t feel.  She is wrapped up in her own world of judging herself through the 
scale, but when she reaches her “goal weight,” she finds she isn’t suddenly happy like 
she thought she would be.  Although Someone to Love does give insight into the mind 
of someone with these issues, at times the book seems to try to do too much.  The 
timeline was confusing, especially toward the end of the book, and could have used 
some substantial editing.  However, there are definitely readers for this book that would 
not only appreciate but need to hear the message of the book.  If you are interested in 
characters struggling to overcome their demons, try Someone to Love, by Melissa de la 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Last chance to vote!

Don't forget to vote for the 2017-18 Iowa Teen Award and Iowa High School Book Award!  Current leaders are The Girl Who was Supposed to Die, by April Henry, for the Iowa Teen Award, and Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon, for the Iowa High School Book Award.  

Vote using this link OR paper ballots are available in the library by the end of the day Friday (3/23). (Madrid students only, please)