Friday, March 30, 2012

Recommended (by VOYA) & Owned by FRE

Check out some of these Brand Spankin' NEW and recommended (by Voice of Youth Advocates--a great resource that I use to decide what to buy & read) books.
All of these books are available @ FRE--get 'em while they're hot!

The Disenchantments / Nina La Cour
Colby's post-high school plans have long been that he and his best friend Beth would tour with her band, then spend a year in Europe, but when she announces that she will start college just after the tour, Colby struggles to understand why she changed her mind and what losing her means for his future.

What Boys Really Want / Pete Hautman
The crumbling friendship between writer Lita and entrepreneurial Adam is compromised by unexpected jealousies over each other's romantic entanglements, stolen blog posts and a premature offer to sell a new self-help book.

Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short-Short Stories / edited by Christine Perkins-Hazuka, Toma Hazuka, and Mark Budman
Presents a collection of shorts stories about significant moments which marked a turning point in the lives of young protagonists by such authors as Anne Mazer, Alan Stewart Carl, Dave Eggers, and Peter Bacho.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Define Normal / Julie Anne Peters

Title: Define Normal
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Author Website
Owned by CCLS? Yes.

The ultimate tale of "appearances can be deceiving," so "don't judge a book by its cover."

Antonia and Jazz, who appear to be complete opposites, are paired up by the school counselor Dr. Dileo as peer counselors. Antonia is an A student who dresses, well, like an A student. Her style is nondescript and simple. On the other hand, Jazz is a rebel rouser. She has piercings, tattoos, wears leather jackets, black lipstick and her hair changes color like the weather. Jazz is the epitome of punk rock and Antonia is more of a, well, nerd. Antonia seems like she's the stable one of the group and even thinks she's there just to try and help the mess that is Jazz, but perhaps two people who appear to be so different can not only help each other, but may also have similar problems.

M's Verdict: I love Julie Anne Peters! If you've never read any of her books, you don't know what you're missing! I highly recommend starting with Luna or Between Mom and Jo.

Who can't relate to being judged based solely on your appearance? What you look like is one of the first things someone notices the first time you meet, that's why people dress up for interviews; to make a good impression. Even though the setting is a middle school, as I read, I definitely pictured that the characters were in high school. It's a story for all ages and at 196 pages, this is the perfect quick read.

Although I loved the believable characters, the great plot, and the drama, there was one thing that just didn't gel. As Antonia and Jazz go through the peer counseling process and begin to learn a few things abut one another, the reader quickly learns that Antonia's mother is suffering from debilitating depression. The depression is so bad that Antonia is essentially running the house and caring for herself and her two younger brothers. Without spoiling the ending, let me just say that I feel that the way that Antonia's story wraps up is just a bit too tidy for me. I'll leave you with this, read it and see what you think...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Harrisburg Magazine's Simply the Best

Vote for FRE--Your Library!

Each year, the readers of Harrisburg Magazine and the community vote for their favorite businesses, restaurants, medical practices, services...AND library. Thank you for SEVEN years of Simply the Best - EVERY year since the magazine had a LIBRARY category! Help us make it EIGHT for Fredricksen by voting.

Click on the Heading Link or Logo (above) and you will be redirected to the voting page.


An e-mail address is required in order to vote.
Only ballots with nominees in 30 or more categories will be counted.

Winners will appear in the August 2012 issue of Harrisburg Magazine.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hunger Games Madness Part I: The Web

Take Aim, It's Time for Some
Hunger Games Madness!

Ok, so I know I said two things that I said I would do that I didn't...

1. Post my review of The Hunger Games on the blog just as soon as FRE had our Teen HG Book Discussion. Here's the thing about that...I was under enough pressure to simply read the book and (thank goodness) I was fortunate enough to actually really get sucked in (and boy did I jump to get on that band wagon--nail polish & all!) and enjoy the story. However, I feel that it is not quite necessary for me to review such a popular and already loved (or loathed by some) by so many. We'll listen to the masses on this one and leave the lesser known or brand-spanking-new book reviews to yours truly.

2. On our FB page I said I would create a Hunger Games madness on our blog by posting fun HG-related things each day of the week leading up to the release of the Hunger Games movie, but alas, there is just not enough time in the day and sometimes I just get behind. Luckily, I have a moment of clarity and some time to type away, so I promise that I will attempt to provide you with some fun HG stuff to keep you entertained during the empty hours leading up to the release of the very anticipated movie The Hunger Games.

How about we start off with this fun tidbit:

"On Wednesday, Hunger Games cracked Fandango’s all-time top five of presellers, an elite roster made up of the final two Harry Potter films and the past three Twilight pics. Hunger Games rose to No. 4, overtaking The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, respectively." (

Now to the Official Part I: Websites

Here are some websites that I shared with my middle school students for fun and were also included in a recent Patriot News article.

Author Suzanne Collins's Website
[Info. on her books, a bio & an author interview]

Fictional Food--> The Hunger Games
[all of the food that was mentioned in the 1st book in the series including some recipes]

The Hunger Games
[the official site of the movie; a great stop for the trailers (even if you've watched them 30 million times;) or cast photos & info or posters]

The Hunger Games Wiki
[what you've been looking for... a wiki for Hunger Games fans; detailed entries on anything HG-related; anyone can add/edit and although there are quite a few typos, it's a great meeting place for HG fans]

--> About the Author:
interview & FAQs
--> About the Books:
read chapters 1 & 2 of each of the HG books for FREE!
--> Video:
Suzanne Collins' message, promos, and more!
--> Games:
--> Downloads:
watch book trailers, print posters & bookmarks, or download wallpapers

Stay posted for Hunger Games Madness Part II: ?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip / Jordan Sonnenblick

Title: Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip
Author: Jordan Sonnenblick
Author Website
Owned by CCLS? On order.

You're an all-star pitcher who loves playing baseball with your best friend. Playing gets you status, makes people take notice, and it's what you're really good at. Then during the league championship game, right before you're about to begin your freshman year of high school, you blow out your elbow. Your baseball career is over. You're in denial and find yourself unable to tell your best friend that you will never be able to play ball again (or any other sport for that matter). On top of all of that, your grandfather, who you're extremely close to and who came out to every single one of your games, is starting to show signs of Alzheimer's. Just like you with your injury, your grandfather is in denial and won't let you tell your parents that there's a problem. What would you do? (Oh yeah, and since it's high school, don't forget to add in a little boy-girl drama too.) How would you or how have you handled a similar situation? Read Curveball to find out whether or not freshman Pete Friedman was able to play ball again, save his grandfather, keep his best friend, and get the girl...

M's Verdict: Good read! Recommended to guys & girls and sports lovers or not. It's a relatable story of tragedy, disappointment, and being able to roll with the crazy punches that life sends your way, inevitably all at once. It's about being able to define yourself by your actions not by what sports you play or used to play; it's about the bigger picture. Great morals, a believable storyline, and likable characters make this a story you'll breeze through. If you read any of Sonnenblick's other stories and liked them, you'll love this one just as much if not more!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Troy High / Shana Norris

TITLE: Troy High
AUTHOR: Shana Norris
OWNED BY CCLS? Replacement copy on order.

Cassie Prince lives in the shadows of her all-star athlete brothers; Perry and Hunter. She's a band geek with decent grades and the closest she gets to being involved in a sport is playing in the marching band at Troy High football games. Her best friend Greg is a student at Lacede High (a.k.a. Troy's archenemy/rival). Cassie and Greg's friendship is put to the test when friendly school rivalry turns into an all-out-war and Cassie is forced to choose between Greg and her brothers. Will Cassie choose to be loyal to her school and brothers and give up her one true friend? Or is Cassie willing to sacrifice her new found popularity for a BFF who could become something more?

M's Verdict: Good read. I enjoyed the plot line and characters and read through the story pretty quickly. Although I never read The Iliad in high school (or at any point in time, yet) I would recommend Troy High to anyone who did read it. Whether you loved or hated it, I would think that it would be pretty cool to be able to compare and contrast the two stories and characters. It's a modern twist that is sure to leave readers salivating. It's realistic and wraps the reader up in all the drama that is high school. There's something for everyone; cheerleaders, band kids, football players, misfits, and more. Drama abounds and the rivalry between the Spartans (students @ Lacede) and the Trojans (students @ Troy) is totally entertaining and intense. How can you not want to know what happens between Cassie and Greg?

For more info, check out author Shana Norris's Website .
These are some of the cool thinks @ SN's site:
*book trailer,

*comparison of characters in The Iliad to characters in Troy High
*Troy High character quiz--which character are you?
*Troy High soundtrack! (I love this kid of stuff!!)
*and more!