Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Event Preview: Kresley Cole

Join us for romance novelist Kresley Cole's debut young adult novel!


Evie Greene is a rich, pretty cheerleader, loved by everyone in her Louisiana high school.  But how would they feel if they knew she didn't spend the summer at a deportment academy, but a mental institution?  You see, Evie's been experiencing horrific nightmares, topped off by sudden hallucinations.  At least, that's what she thinks they are.  Until the apocalypse, when her visions turn into reality.  Soon, it looks like Evie's only salvation might be her grandmother--also long thought to be insane for her Tarot-based theories of Evie's special powers--and Jackson Deveaux, the menacing bad boy from the poor side of the bayou.  Find out what happens in the first installment of the Arcana Chronicles!

Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 4, at Left Bank Books--Central West End for a discussion and signing of Poison Princess with Kresley Cole.  If you can't make it to the event, you can still get a signed, personalized copy of the book by calling the store at 314-367-6731, ext. 1.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Event Preview: Cory Doctorow

Join us for a discussion of tech blogger Cory Doctorow's latest young adult story of technological activism!


In the near future, online piracy is being cracked down on more than ever.  That's bad news for Trent, whose favorite pastime is re-editing films he downloads.  He thinks he'll outsmart law enforcement forever, until he's caught, and his entire family loses their internet for a year.  With his life in ruins, Trent runs away to London, where he connects with a group of artist-activists who are campaigning against a new law that would mean even more restrictions.  Can the get back control of the government from the media corporations, or will everyone soon be an internet felon?

Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, at St. Louis County Library--Headquarters (1640 S. Lindbergh, 63131) for a discussion and signing of Pirate Cinema with Cory Doctorow!  If you can't make it to the event, you can still get a signed and personalized copy of the book by calling the store at 314-367-6731, ext. 1.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's version at Teach Mentor Texts.

Last week I finished Flesh and Bone, the third book in Jonathan Maberry's Rot and Ruin series.  This is  my favorite installment so far, thanks in part to the creepiest villains yet.  Maberry is really using the zombie apocalypse scenario to explore some fascinating aspects of our current society.  I can't wait for the final book, which is set up very well.

Next I read Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, the first book in the Necromancer series by Lish McBride. It's a really fun take on the supernatural trend in YA with some truly great characters.  A lot of this book was set-up for the future of the series, so I'm looking forward to reading the next books to build on what's already been established.

After that came The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron.  I don't think I could possibly love this book more.  The best way I can describe it is as a middle grade plot and setting with YA emotions and sensibilities.  It's laced with fantasy and dastardly plots that must be foiled, but there's a strong heroine coming into her own as an independent young woman and discovering all the emotions and potential that have always been inside her.  Cameron does so many brilliant things with the narrative that it's tempting to tell you all of them, but then you wouldn't get to discover them yourself.  Do yourself a favor, just read this book.

Lastly, I started Smile by Raina Telgemeier for her author visit.  I like the style, but I literally just started it, so I can't really say more than that.

This week, I'll be finishing Smile, then starting on Drama, also by Raina Telgemeier.

What are you reading?

Event Preview: Raina Telgemeier

Join us for a discussion of Raina Telgemeier's latest middle grade graphic novel!


Callie loves theatre.  She has big ideas for the set design for her middle school play, from a tree with real falling leaves to a cannon that actually fires.  But when all the boys in her life start acting weird, the drama moves backstage.  Can Callie keep her head straight, her friends happy and confetti flying through the air?

Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 1, at Left Bank Books--Central West End for a discussion and signing of Drama with Raina Telgemeier!  If you aren't able to attend the event, you can still get a signed and personalized copy of the book by calling the store at 314-367-6731, ext. 1.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Event Preview: Matthea Harvey

Join us for a very special Storytime with special guest reader Matthea Harvey!


Ruby would like nothing more than to be normal, which is hard when your parents make tiaras and topiary for a living.  When they finally go on the vacation (to Norway.  Not normal!) she's been looking forward to, her dreams of a nice pet dog are dashed after a small glacier follows her home.  Can Ruby come to appreciate what makes her (and Cecil) unique?  Come find out!

Matthea Harvey will be reading and signing her picture book Cecil the Pet Glacier (illustrated by Giselle Potter, who will not be present) at a special Storytime event Saturday, September 29, at 10:30 a.m. at Left Bank Books--Downtown!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Storytime Preview

It's Storytime again!


This week, we'll start with the classic picture book The Story of Babar the Little Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff.  A little elephant escapes the hunters that killed his mother and is raised in the city by the Old Lady.  When he returns to the jungle, he is crowned King of the Elephants and goes on to have many more adventures.


We'll follow up Babar's story with the giant board book I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow.  Every kid's been told not to paint the walls, but how many decide the solution is to paint themselves instead?  Find out what happens with some bonus sing-along fun!

Storytime with Miss Jonesey is Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Left Bank Books--Downtown.  Titles are subject to change.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's version at Teach Mentor Texts.

Last week I started out by finishing Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts for her author event.  My opinion didn't change much from last week's post.  There are some nice surprises in the plot and characters (as well as some that are frustrating) and I'm left wanting to know what happens next.  It's very much the second book in a series.

Then I read Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry for his author event.  This is the second book in the Rot and Ruin series, and while I do think the books should be read in order for character development reasons (not to mention spoilers for the previous books), they are much more episodic than the Dark Inside series.  I enjoyed delving deeper into the effect the zombie plague has had on some people's psyche.  I'm also very impressed with the use of violence in the series.  Maberry doesn't pull any punches (some scenes are not for the weak of stomach), but none of it feels gratuitous.  Instead it helps to further immerse you in the character's world.

Finally, I started Flesh and Bone, the third book in the Rot and Ruin series.  This may be my favorite so far. The inside look at the most extreme reactions to the sudden presence of zombies is something you don't get very often and it's scary to realize that many of Maberry's scenarios are entirely too realistic.










This week, I'll be finishing Flesh and Bone and starting on Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride for the Fierce Reads Tour.

What are you reading?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Event Preview: Fierce Reads Tour

Join us for five--count 'em, five!--fabulous young adult authors with the Fierce Reads Tour!


In the Razorland series, Ann Aguirre follows Deuce, a fifteen-year-old Huntress, through a post-apocalyptic world and the societies that now inhabit it.  She must fight the dangers not only of monstrous Freaks who eat human flesh and ruthlessly violent gang members, but close-minded civilians and power-mad leaders, all while trying to discover if she is really the person she was raised to be, or if there is more to her than a trained warrior.

Enclave is available in hardcover and paperback while its sequel, Outpost, was released in hardcover on September 4th.  Both will be available for purchase at the event.


In 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, Jessica Brody introduces us to Lexi, the daughter of billionaire media mogul Richard Larrabee.  She's been dreaming for years of the day she turns 18, gets her $25 million trust fund, and gets out from under the thumb of her cold and distant dad.  But after she crashes her car into a convenience store, she's told she must spend her 18th year somewhere very different than the European vacation she was planning.  In order to earn her trust fund, she has to complete 52 weeks at 52 minimum wage jobs.

52 Reasons to Hate My Father was released in hardcover on July 3rd.  It will be available for purchase at the event.


In Monstrous Beauty, Elizabeth Fama tells a chilling tale spanning seven generations of women, all of whom have died shortly after childbirth of unknown causes--all except 17-year-old Hester, who is determined to end the line.  She plans on never having children or falling in love, but when a chance encounter on the beach challenges the latter, she delves into her community's past, discovering that the legends of the sea people may have some truth to them and those who died in a town tragedy almost 150 years prior may not be entirely gone.

Monstrous Beauty was released in hardcover on September 4th.  It will be available for purchase at the event.


In the Necromancer series, Lish McBride uses quirky humor to tell the story of Sam, just your typical teen who finds out he can raise the dead.  Soon enough he'll discover his hometown is full of supernaturals, some of whom turn out to be his best friends, and others his worst enemies.  Once he discovers his latent powers, things become dangerous for Sam and everyone close to him.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is available in both hardcover and paperback while its sequel, Necromancing the Stone, comes out in hardcover on September 18th.  Both will be available for purchase at the event.


In the Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer takes fairy tale retelling to a new level with her story of an adopted cyborg living in a plague-ridden New Beijing.  When her family falls victim to the illness and her stepmother offers her up for medical testing, Cinder doesn't expect to survive very long.  But soon her unexpected connection with Prince Kai and dangerous negotiations with a separately-evolved, formerly-human race living on the moon mean Cinder may be a lot more important than she ever could have imagined.

Cinder was released in hardcover on January 3rd.  It will be available for purchase at the event.

Ann Aguirre, Jessica Brody, Elizabeth Fama, Lish McBride and Marissa Meyer will discuss, read from and sign their books at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, at Ethical Society of St. Louis.  If you aren't able to attend the event, call the store to order personalized, signed copies at 314-367-6731, ext. 1.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Event Preview: Jonathan Maberry and Jeyn Roberts

Join us for a post-apocalyptic evening with Jonathan Maberry and Jeyn Roberts!


In the Rot and Ruin series, Maberry explores the world of Benny Imura, a fifteen-year-old boy living fourteen years after the zombie outbreak that wiped out most of the population and left the world's infrastructure in shambles.  Benny lives in the fortified town of Mountainside in the shadow of his older brother, Tom, a renowned bounty hunter.  When he reluctantly agrees to apprentice with Tom, Benny gets a look at life outside the fence and realizes good and evil might not be as black and white as he thought and that there might be something even more dangerous than zombies lurking in the woods.

Rot and Ruin and Dust and Decay are now available in paperback and hardcover, while the latest in the series, Flesh and Bone, came out in hardcover on September 11th.  All will be available for purchase at the event.

In Roberts's Dark Inside series, a ragtag group of teen survivors find themselves fighting a different sort of monster. In the aftermath of a series of devastating earthquakes felt around the world, it soon became clear that an evil had been unleashed.  All over, people were giving in to their darkest impulses, slaughtering innocents in mass executions and ruthlessly hunting down those who managed to escape.  The novels' split narrative follows four teens seeking a safe haven and one of the ruthless killers battling for control of his own mind.

Dark Inside is now available in hardcover and paperback while its sequel, Rage Within, was released in hardcover on September 4th.  Both will be available for purchase at the event.

Jonathan Maberry and Jeyn Roberts will discuss, read from and sign their books at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19, at Left Bank Books--Central West End.  If you can't make it to the event, you can order signed, personalized copies by calling the store at 314-367-6731, ext. 1.

Storytime Preview

This week at Storytime, it's back to business as usual.


Our first book of the week is Bobo's Smile by Seymour Chwast.  When he loses his smile after the circus closes, Bobo doesn't sit around and mope.  He sets out on a worldwide quest to get it back.  Just when it looks like his smile may be gone forever, the unexpected happens...


Next, there are more horizons being expanded when Maisy Goes on a Sleepover in the book by Lucy Cousins.  Friends of all kinds should enjoy the antics when Maisy's gang gets together in their first overnight visit!


Finally, in Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson, when a bear wanders into a city apartment, he can't seem to find anything that's just right.  But he does think this situation sounds a little familiar...

Storytime with Miss Jonesey is Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Left Bank Books--Downtown.  Titles are subject to change.

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's version at Teach Mentor Texts.

Last week, I finished Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry for his author event.  Since I only had about 30 pages left when I last wrote about it, my opinion hasn't changed much.  It's a good bet for horror fans and gets pretty darn creepy with some very memorable villains.







Next I read Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts for her author event.  I was under the misconception that this was another zombie book when I started, but it managed to be even disturbing.  Congratulations, Jeyn Roberts.  You have created the post-apocalyptic landscape I would least like to live in.  It's also one of the most nerve-wracking books I've read in recent memory.  The characters never get to relax and neither does the reader.  It took me a while to really connect with the characters since the story is told through a split narrative and almost no one is together until the end of the book, so the development was more stunted than usual, but by the end I wanted to know where everyone would end up.  Also there's a nice little twist that I didn't see coming.

Lastly, I started Rage Within, the sequel to Dark Inside.  This one is a bit more relaxed (although that's not saying much).  While the characters have taken some unexpected turns, this very much feels like the second book in a series:  The initial rush of activity of the first book is over, now we're setting up the high stakes for the finale.

Next week, I'll be finishing Rage Within and starting Dust and Decay, the sequel to Rot and Ruin.

What are you reading?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Storytime Preview

This week Storytime is going on the road!  Saturday, September 8, at 10:30 a.m. Miss Jonesey will be sharing her stories at Lucas Park Playground Build, hosted by Friends of Lucas Park.  The event will also include an 8:30 a.m storytime with the St. Louis Public Library, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. activities led by the Downtown YMCA, and lots of other all-day activities.  Priya will be taking over Storytime in the store, doubling your Storytime options for Saturday morning!


We'll start off our Storytime with Bear in Love by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand.  Bear has a secret friend who leaves long, pointy, crunchy orange things outside his cave every day.  Who could it be?  Kids will have fun guessing.


Next up is The Neighborhood Mother Goose in which Nina Crews transports everyone's favorite nursery rhymes to an urban setting city kids can relate to.  What better for a Downtown Build Day?


Last is P.D. Eastman's classic beginning reader Go, Dog, Go!  Kids will delight at the wide variety dogs using all kinds of vehicles to get to their very own dog party!

Storytime is 10:30 a.m. at Left Bank Books--Downtown on Thursdays and Saturdays.  All titles are subject to change.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's version at Teach Mentor Texts.

Last week I finished Outpost by Ann Aguirre for the Fierce Reads Tour.  I really loved how this second installment of the series brought up entirely new issues, fueled more by the development of the characters than the mechanics of the plot.  This is quite possibly one of my favorite second-in-a-series books out there. My copy of Outpost is an ARC provided by the publisher.
Next I read Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama, also for the Fierce Reads Tour.  I will say right now that the cover designers have done this book a grave disservice.  Yes, there are mermaids, but they're scary and at times disgusting, while simultaneously being beautiful and captivating in the most dangerous ways.  However, it's almost more of a ghost story than a mermaid story.  I'm going to call it a mermaid-fueled ghost story.  It's told by alternating between the current-day and 1872, which works surprisingly well.  There is a lot of violence and graphic depictions, so this may not be for the weak of stomach, but if you're looking for something slightly creepy, but slightly sexy (did I mention there's a fair amount of romance?), check it out.  My copy of Monstrous Beauty is an ARC provided by the publisher.

Finally, I started Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry for his author visit.  It manages to be both a thoughtful look at the ethical implications of being a surviving human in a world of zombies while still being filled with action.  These zombies are some of the best developed and most creepy I've read, but there are human bad guys that outdo even them.  This would be a great read for fans of The Walking Dead since it takes place 14 years after the original zombie outbreak and deals a lot more with continued survival than initial impact.
I also got two more picture books from Penguin in, both in the form of BLADs from the publisher.

Ollie and Claire by Tiffany Strelitz Haber, illustrated by Matthew Cordell
A cute story about friendship and shaking up your routine.  Kind of a kids version of The Pina Colada Song.





Otis and the Puppy by Loren Long
It's called Otis and the Puppy.  How could it not be adorably awesome?








This week I'll be finishing Rot and Ruin and starting on Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts for her author visit.

What are you reading?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Teen Reads: September 2012

This month, Teen Reads, a reading group for ages 12 to 18, will be discussing The Maze Runner by James Dashner.


Let's see what the publisher has to say:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name.  His memory is blank.  But he's not alone.  When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade--a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade.  All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have been opened.  Every night they've closed tight.  And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected.  But the next day, a girl is sent up--the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade.  And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess.  If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Join us at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 26, at Left Bank Books--Central West End to discuss The Maze Runner, including what might be next for Thomas and the Gladers in the rest of the trilogy.  As always, reading group picks are 20% for all customers at both Left Bank Books locations and online.