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Book talks and reviews from one of Oregon's young adult librarians.


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Maya Van Wagenen’s Popularity Tips - A Selection

Maya Van Wagenen’s Popularity Tips – A Selection

Betty Cornell's Teenage Popularity Guide cover

Images courtesy of GoodReads.com

One of the elements I most enjoyed from Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen was the periodic insertion of “Maya’s Popularity Tips,” which ranged from tongue-in-cheek to hilariously specific to perfectly serious. They certainly could not be confused with the prim and proper tone of the 1951 advice she is following from author Betty Cornell.

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"Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek" by Maya Van Wagenen

“Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek” by Maya Van Wagenen

Popular cover

Images courtesy of GoodReads.com

The Facts

272 pages; published April 2014

The Basics

At age 13, Maya Van Wagenen comes across Betty Cornell’s Teenage Popularity Guidefrom 1951 and decides to take on a secret project: follow the advice for a year and see how it affects her popularity as a modern middle school student in Brownsville, Texas. Her diary from that extraordinary and sometimes…

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"I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister" by Amélie Sarn, translated by Y. Maudet

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister

Images courtesy of GoodReads.com

The Facts

152 pages; published August 2014

The Basics

Devout Muslim Sohane struggles to deal with her grief and conflicting emotions about her more worldly sister, Djelila, who has been killed by religious extremists.

The Booktalk

Heart-shredding sadness abounds in this gorgeously written story of two French sisters of Algerian descent. Sohane is older. A devout…

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Great quotes from Alice Roosevelt

Great quotes from Alice Roosevelt

Alice Lee Roosevelt photo

Photo courtesy of Project Gutenberg

By all accounts, Alice Roosevelt was not an easy daughter to raise or person to know, but she has a sharp mind and a sharper tongue and left a legacy of some delightfully snarky quotes that make a person both smile and cringe a little.

If you can’t any something good about someone, sit right here by me.

I have a simple philosophy: Fill what’s empty. Empty…

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"When Audrey Met Alice" by Rebecca Behrens

“When Audrey Met Alice” by Rebecca Behrens

When Audrey Met Alice cover

Images courtesy of GoodReads.com

The Facts

304 pages; published February 2014

The Basics

The Audrey is question is the only child of the first female president of the United States. At 13, she is chafing under the many restrictions of being the First Daughter, looking on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave as more of a prison than an honor. She finds the 1902 diary of former First Daughter Alice Roosevelt and…

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"The Story of Owen" by E.K. Johnston

“The Story of Owen” by E.K. Johnston

The Story of Owen cover

Images courtesy of GoodReads.com

The Facts

312 pages; published March 2014

The Basics

Siobhan is a gifted musician. Owen is the youngest in a line of famous Canadian dragon slayers. Siobhan enters his life as his algebra tutor, but soon finds she had really be recruited as his bard, charged with the task of helping change the way the small community of Trondheim and the world behind see the work…

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"Strange Sweet Song" by Adi Rule

“Strange Sweet Song” by Adi Rule

Strange Sweet Song cover

Images courtesy of GoodReads.com

The Facts

336 pages; published March 2014

The Basics

Promising soprano Sing de Navelli follows the footsteps of her famous parents to the remote Dunhammond Conservatory and finds herself nearly undone by the gothic atmosphere and dark mysteries that surround her.

Booktalk

For soprano Sing da Navelli, every corner of Dunhammond Conservatory contains a challenge:…

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"Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out" by Susan Kuklin

http://wp.me/p1Tu32-dN

Beyond Magenta cover

Images courtesy of GoodReads.com

The Facts

192 pages; published February 2014

The Basics

Six transgender teens tell their personal stories, covering their childhoods, their journey to understanding their transsexual identities, and their experiences living as transgender. Included photos also help tell the story.

Review

These stories are simply fascinating. To some degree, this is because Kuklin…

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"Of Metal and Wishes" by Sarah Fine

Of Metal and Wishes cover

Images courtesy of GoodReads.com

The Facts

320 pages; published August 2014

The Basics

Wen’s life is disintegrating. After her mother died and she was forced to move into the compound of a factory where her father serves as the doctor, she gets drawn into the social tension that grips the Itanyai workers when 200 Noor willing to work cheap are brought in. As illness and injury grip the compound,…

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