We Read To Know That We Are Not Alone

Originally posted on Saturday, 22 August 2015 at ROPL.org.

Find yourself in one of these LGBTQIA novels. Regardless of how you identify, you just might find a book, or two, that speaks to you. Choose from the list below, most of them are on display in the YA Series and Graphic Novel room, or ask a librarian for other suggestions!


Two Boys Kissing
By Levithan, David
A chorus of men who died of AIDS observes and yearns to help a cross-section of today’s gay teens who navigate new love, long-term relationships, coming out, self-acceptance, and more in a society that has changed in many ways.

When Love Comes to Town
By Lennon, Tom
Introduction by Klise, James
The year is 1990, and in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, Neil Byrne plays rugby, keeps up with the in-crowd at his school, and is just a regular guy. A guy who’s gay. It’s a secret he keeps from the wider world as he explores the city at night and struggles to figure out how to reveal his real self–and to whom.

One Man Guy
By Barakiva, Michael
When Alek’s high-achieving, Armenian-American parents send him to summer school, he thinks his summer is ruined. But then he meets free-spirited Ethan. Alek can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post
By Danforth, Emily M.
In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center.

Marco Impossible
By Moskowitz, Hannah
Stephen and Marco, two best friends and junior high students, attempt to break into the high school prom so that Marco can confess his love for Benji, the adorable bass player of the prom band.

Gone, Gone, Gone
By Moskowitz, Hannah
In the wake of the post-9/11 sniper shootings, fragile love finds a stronghold in this intense, romantic novel from the author of ‘Break’ and ‘Invincible Summer.’

Far from You
By Sharpe, Tess
After Sophie Winters survives a brutal attack in which her best friend, Mina, is murdered, she sets out to find the killer. At the same time she must proveshe is free of her past addiction and is in no way to blame for Mina’s death.

The Difference Between You and Me
By George, Madeleine
School outsider Jesse, a lesbian, is having secret trysts with Emily, the popular student council vice president, but when they find themselves on opposite sides of a major issue and Jesse becomes more involved with a student activist, they are forced to make a difficult decision.

Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story
By Wittlinger, Ellen
In this companion to the Printz Honor Book ‘Hard Love,’ Marisol Guzman falls head-over-heels for her writing class teacher. However, as Marisol’s newly out friend Lee becomes attracted to her, Marisol begins to wonder if she’s too blinded by love to see the truth.

Empress of the World
By Ryan, Sara
This groundbreaking novel tackles teen sexuality head on. Nicola Lancaster spends a summer at a program for gifted youths who live like college students for eight weeks. During that time, Nic becomes friends with beautiful blonde Battle Hall Davies. She’s everything that Nic isn’t, but startlingly, the two soon become more than friends.

Everything Leads to You
By LaCour, Nina
A talented young set designer, Emi is finding her way in competitive Hollywood. Emi is a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. But a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend introduces some intrigue, in this new novel by the award-winning author of ‘Hold Still.’

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children
By Cronn-Mills, Kirstin
Gabe has always identified as a boy, but he was born with a girl’s body. With his new public access radio show gaining in popularity, Gabe struggles with romance, friendships, and parentsNall while trying to come out as transgendered.

Fan Art
By Tregay, Sarah
From the author of ‘Love and Leftovers’ comes a sweet contemporary romance about a boy who falls in love with his best friend, and the girls who help them get together.

By Peters, Julie Anne
From as early as she can remember, Regan O’Neill has known that her brother,Liam, was different. That he was, in fact, a girl. Transgender.Having a transgender brother has never been a problem for Regan until now. Liam (or Luna, as she prefers to be called by her chosen name) is about to transition. What does it mean, transitioning? Dressing like a girl?

More Happy Than Not
By Silvera, Adam
In his twisty, gritty, profoundly moving debut called mandatory reading by the ‘New York Times’ Adam Silvera brings to life a charged, dangerous near-future summer in the Bronx. In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it.

By Moore, Perry
The executive producer of Disney and Walden Media’s film adaptation of ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ tells an unforgettable story about the coming of age of a young superhero, in a groundbreaking novel of love, loss, and redemption.

Tale of Two Summers
By Sloan, Brian
Hal and Chuck have been best friends since kindergarten, so it doesn’t really matter that Chuck is straight and Hal is gay. But this is the first summer they’ll be apart, so the boys decide to keep a private blog where they can share their experiences with each other.

Guardian of the Dead
By Healey, Karen
A debut author introduces a savvy and spirited heroine with a strong, fresh voice. Full of deliciously creepy details, this unique, incredible adventure is a deftly crafted story of Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle.

How to Say Goodbye in Robot
By Standiford, Natalie
New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the girls conspire to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn’t made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone
By Taylor, Laini
Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters–the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
By Cameron, Peter
.’Not since The Catcher in the Rye has a novel captured the deep and almost physical ache of adolescent existential sadness as trenchantly as the perfectly titled Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You. You don’t have to be eighteen to relate to James Dunfour Sveck and his sense of alienation from a world he doesn’t understand.

Not Your Average High School

Originally posted on Saturday, 22 August 2015 at ROPL.org.

It’s that time of year again — school’s starting soon. Before you hit the books, check one of these novels set in high schools. Some of these schools are so familiar they might seem like your own but some are, literally, out of this world. Science fiction, mystery, fantasy — you name and we’ve got it! Check out one of these titles — and if you want more? Ask a librarian!

Teen Novels Set in High School

Also Known as
By Benway, Robin
As the active-duty daughter of international spies, 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver never attended high school. When she and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, Maggie is introduced to cliques, school lunches, and maybe even a boyfriend.

The Real Real
By McLaughlin, Emma
Author Kraus, Nicola
This teen debut by the bestselling authors of ‘The Nanny Diaries’ takes a hilarious look at what happens when a regular girl is thrown into a whirlwind of reality TV as a popular television network uses her to find the ‘real’ Hampton Beach.

The Truth Commission
By Juby, Susan
Susan Juby’s ‘The Truth Commission’ knocked my socks off. You should read it Gayle Forman, best-selling author of ‘If I Stay’ Susan Juby is a marvel. Wise, witty, and full of heart, her writing draws you in and won’t let go. And just when you think it can’t get any better, it does.

Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders
By Herbach, Geoff
From ‘one of the most real, honest, and still funny male voices to come around in a while’ (‘YALSA’) comes a brand-new cast of quirky characters, pitting fat boy Gabe against the high school cheerleading team in a battle over control of the school’s soda machine. …More

Buzz Kill
By Fantaskey, Beth
In this fresh and funny mystery from the author of ‘Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, ‘ 17-year-old Millie joins forces with her classmate, gorgeous but mysterious Chase Albright, to try to find out who murdered Coach Killdare.

Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery
By Juby, Susan
Part comedy, part mystery, and with of all Juby’s trademark tongue-in-cheek humor, this new novel takes on one of the cruelest aspects of high school: how easy it is for an entire school to turn on someone–and how hard it can be to be the only one willing to fight back.

Hip-Hop High School
By Sitomer, Alan Lawrence
In this funny and inspiring hip-hop-flava’d sequel to ‘The Hoopster,’ Theresa Anderson takes on one of the baddest monsters of high school–the SAT.

By DeWoskin, Rachel
After a horrific fireworks accident on the Fourth of July leaves her blind, 14-year-old Emma eagerly starts high school the following fall as a sophomore. However, Emma finds that nearly everything in her life has changed and some of it is for the better.

The Sound of Letting Go
By Kehoe, Stasia Ward
For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution without consulting her Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad.

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak
By Katcher, Brian
Perfect for fans of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is Stonewall Award-winning author Brian Katcher’s hilarious he said/she said romance about two teens discovering themselves on an out-of-this-world accidental first date at a sci-fi convention.

By Waltman, Kevin
In Indiana, basketball is the next thing to religion. Especially for inner-city black kids like Derrick Bowen. He’s a 6’3′ freshman, lightning quick, and he can slam the rock. He wants to start at point guard for Marion High, but senior Nick Starks has that nailed down. Besides, the coach is old school. He thinks D-Bow needs to work on his game, his shot, and his attitude.

We All Looked Up
By Wallach, Tommy
Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
By Quintero, Isabel
Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me
By Zeitlin, Meredith
High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she’s devastated he’must’have anulterior motive.

Hate List
By Brown, Jennifer
After Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opens fire on their school cafeteria, Val is shot trying to stop him, but is implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. Now, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. A ‘School Library Journal’ Best Book of the Year.

The Vault of Dreamers
By O’Brien, Caragh M.
Rosie Sinclair attends an elite arts school where students are contestants on a high-stakes reality TV show. After she skips her sleeping pill one night, she discovers that the school is really a cover-up for the lucrative and sinister practice of dream harvesting.

Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials
By Wiseman, Rosalind
Looking for a new beginning after a terrible mean girl past, Charlie Healey realizes there’s no escaping high school drama, in this first novel for young adults by the author of ‘Queen Bees & Wannabes.’

Falling Into Place
By Zhang, Amy
One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz’s friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life. This riveting debut will appeal to fans of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, and 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.

Silent Alarm
By Banash, Jennifer
Alys’s whole world was comprised of the history project that was due, her upcoming violin audition, being held tightly in the arms of her boyfriend, Ben, and laughing with her best friend, Delilah. At least it was until she found herself on the wrong end of a shotgun in the school library.

The Walk on
By Feinstein, John
‘New York Times’-bestselling author Feinstein kicks off a new sports series. High-school freshman Alex Myers wins a spot on the varsity team as a quarterback. However, he may not play for two years since the first-string quarterback is a local heroNand the son of the corrupt head coach as well.

Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very
By Goldman, Arthur Steven
With a wickedly funny voice and a colorful cast of characters, Steven Goldman has written a novel for every reader–even those who ‘like’ high school …

Romances For the Beach

Originally posted on Saturday, 20 June 2015 at ROPL.org.

Looking for some romance for the beach? We’ve got you covered! Check out one of these titles books today. If you like these authors, stop by the reference desk for more recommendations and check out other books by the same authors!

  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  • Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  • The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
  • The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
  • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  • All I Need by Susane Colasanti
  • Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
  • The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
  • Joyride by Anna Banks
  • Both of Me by Jonathan Friesen
  • Now That You’re Here by Amy Nichols
  • Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass
  • Like No Other by Una LaMarche


The Week’s 10 Books To Read at the Beach

Originally posted on Saturday, 20 June 2015 at ROPL.org.

Check out the original article here and then check out or request one of the titles!

  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
    1. The Amulet of Samarkand
    2. The Golem’s Eye
    3. Ptolemy’s Gate
  • Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave
  • Paris Trance by Geoff Dyer  (available from another TLN library)
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Reading Revelation Responsibly by Michael J. Gorman (available through MeL)
  • The Secret Place by Tana French
  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  • Some of My Best Friends are Black by Tanner Colby (available from other TLN libraries)

7 Classic Feminist YA Books Everyone Should Read

Originally posted on Tuesday, 16 June 2015 at ROPL.org.

Margo Rabb, author of the new YA novel Kissing in America, compiled a list of Classic Feminist YA everyone should read. Check out the original article on The Huffington Post and then check out one of the books.

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, 1847
  • Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery, 1908
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, 1948
  • Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, 1952
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, 1970
  • Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume, 1981

Need Book Recommendations?

Originally posted on Wednesday, 29 April 2015 at ROPL.org.

Stumped on what to read or listen to next? We’ve got the answer! ROPL subscribes to a service called Novelist Plus (kids and parents can get recommendations through Novelist K-8 Plus, which is provided by MeL and the State of Michigan).

What is Novelist Plus?

NoveList Plus is the premiere database of reading recommendations, available through libraries around the world. It is a comprehensive source of information about books that includes expert recommendations, reviews, articles, lists and more. You can these and other online resources through the library’s website Databases page.

For more about Novelist, check out the video below.

Staff Review: Books 1 & 2 of The Lovegrove Legacy

Originally posted on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 at ROPL.org.

If you’re like me, maybe you don’t find Regency romances interesting and you avoid fantasy. If you love both of those things – and even if you don’t, keep reading. Why? Because it turns out that sometimes, when you put two things together that you don’t like – they produce something you might love.

Of course, this isn’t always true (and the opposite isn’t true – after all, I love mint and I love chocolate, but I certainly don’t like them together). But if you give me a Regency (or Edwardian/Victorian) setting and sprinkle it liberally with magic? I love it (unlike that mint chocolate chip cookie you’re thinking about right now) and maybe you will, too. If you already like those genres, together or separate, you’ll certainly find something to like in this series.

Alyxandra Harvey’s new series, The Lovegrove Legacy, is set in 1814 London (in the middle of the Regency period). It’s the story of three cousins; Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope. Unbeknownst to the three girls, they are descents of a very strong magical family, but as the three cousins soon find out – there’s a reason their abilities have been hidden.

The first book, A Breath of Frost follows the three cousins, but primarily focuses on Emma as she tries to figure out why their magic has been hidden from them. The second book, Whisper of the Dead, picks up where the first left off, but instead of focusing on Emma, we change to Gretchen. Although the primacy focus of each of the these first two books is on a particular cousin, Harvey provides us with plenty to read about the other two – along with the love interests that flit throughout their lives.

In many ways, The Lovegrove Legacy is a Regency romance — there’s a season, there’s swooning and handsome men and beautiful dresses. But there’s also magic, lots of magic, and danger. Harvey’s world is similar to our own, but with a twist of magic that will leave you excited for the third book. .

Check out both of these books from the library! If you like them, you might also enjoy the Ceclia & Kate trilogy by Patricia C. Wrede (previously reviewed on ROPL).

Staff Review: Cecelia & Kate (trilogy)

Originally posted on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 at ROPL.org.

Sometimes what you’re missing is a little magic. If you’ve ever felt that way and enjoy a good mystery (or three) plus a whole lot of fun – keep reading! Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer trilogy, Cecelia and Kate, is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. Beginning in 1817, Sorcery and Cecelia follows the story of two cousins: Kate and Cecelia and their adventures in magic, growing up and falling in love.

The first of the three books, Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, is told in letters between the two cousins. We follow Kate as she spends the season in London, while Cecelia is stuck back at home. Enduring their aunts, irritating boys, Kate’s cousin Georgy and promise of magic, the two girls write back and forth, giving us a fun and entertaining look at their daily life and adventures. The novel comes to a satisfying and fun end, good enough to stand on its own, but definitely leaving you wanting to spend more time with the two cousins.

The second novel, The Grand Tour, picks up not long after the first. Though this novel, too, is told through the written word, unlike the first, the two girls are traveling together so there’s no need for letters. Instead, we’re treated to Cecelia’s deposition and Kate’s journaling. While the format is slightly different, The Grand Tour measures up very well against Sorcery & Cecelia. Newly married, Kate and Cecelia are off on a honeymoon – across Europe! But being that they’re both intimately involved in magic (one way or another), nothing’s ever simple! But, of course, it is quite a lot of fun.

The third, and sadly final, novel of the trilogy is The Mislaid Magician: or Ten Years After. Here, as with Sorcery and Cecelia we return to the letter writing format. But unlike the previous two, we’re treated to the letters of Cecelia and Kate’s husbands, which prove to be equally entertaining as the two girls’ letters. Set back in England and ten years after the events in The Grand Tour, the third book follows up on Cecelia and her husband’s attempt to find a missing magician and a startling discovery – related both to magic and the newest mode of transportation in England – the steam engine! Kate and her husband take charge of Cecelia’s children and have their own, related, adventures. This time, though, Kate’s sister Gerogy has her own entertaining storyline.

At the heart of each of these three novels is a combination of magic and mystery. Wrede and Stevermer manage to weave these two concepts together with ease and humor. If you’re looking for a fun romp through the early 1800s, look no further.

If you like the Cecelia and Kate series, you might also like these books:

Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series:

  1. Etiquette & Espionage
  2. Curtsies & Conspiracies
  3. Waistcoats & Weaponry
  4. Manners & Mutiny (coming soon)

Kady Cross’ Steampunk Chronicles:

  1. The Girl in the Steel Corset
  2. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
  3. The Girl with the Iron Touch
  4. The Girl with the Windup Heart

Ysabeau S. Wilce’s Flora Segunda series:

  1. Flora Segunda
  2. Flora’s Dare
  3. Flora’s Fury

Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Castle series:

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle
  2. Castle in the Air
  3. House of Many Ways

Cat Valente’s The Girl Who … series:

  1. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
  2. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There
  3. The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two
  4. The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (coming soon)

Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and books by Robin McKinley and Tamora Pierce.