A Librarian Reads…

The Girl from Berlin by Ronald H. Balson

Gabriella Vincenzo has lived nearly her whole life on a small vineyard in the Tuscan region of Italy. But now, at 78 years old, a multi-million dollar corporation is trying to take her land, claiming to be the rightful owner. In the course of investigating, Gabi gives Catherine, her American lawyer, a memoir to read. It details the life of Ada Baumgarten, the daughter of the concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic and a gifted violinist herself. Beginning when Ada was just a child, it charts her Jewish family’s persecution by the Nazi regime in Berlin and Italy. But who is Ada? And what connection does she have to Gabi?

This novel, which is part of the 2019 Illinois Reads, is told in alternating “now” and “then” chapters, showing the horrors inflicted on Jewish families, the heroes who fought against tyrants, and the hope and passion of one young girl to achieve her dreams against all odds. Recommended for readers in high school and up who are fans of historical fiction, especially World War II, and those who enjoy stories of young people persevering in the face of injustice.



2019 Westchester Fiction Award

The Westchester Fiction Award was founded in 2009 by Suzanne Osman, a teacher librarian for the Los Angeles Unified School District in Los Angeles, California. This award honors talented authors who contribute exemplary literature to the Young Adult literary canon & the visionary publishers who bring their texts to life. When evaluating literature, the committee considers the following questions:

  1.  Does the work have immediate and widespread appeal to adolescents?
  2.  Is the theme/topic meaningful and relevant today?
  3.  If the work is part of an established series, can it stand alone?
  4.  Is there a unique quality to the work (voice, message, language, format, etc.)?
  5.  Is the writing rich, compelling, detailed?
  6.  Are the main characters and content age appropriate for high school students?
  7.  Is the work a valuable addition to the Young Adult literary canon?


2019 Winners:

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

Empress of all Seasons by Emiko Jean

Juan Pablo and the Butterflies by J. J. Flowers

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

We Are All That’s Left by Carrie Arcos


2019 Honorable Mentions:

After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

I, Claudia by Mary McCoy

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

What’s New?

Check out these new titles in the Teen Corner at the Moline Public Library. Click on the title to go to the catalog to find the book or place a hold.

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman (The Devouring Gray, Book One)
Violet doesn’t have much hope of fitting in in Four Paths, a town almost buried in rural woodlands. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders cause her new neighbors to treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

Sorry For Your Loss by Jessie Ann Foley
Pup is used to flying under the radar. The only person who ever made him feel worthwhile was his older brother Patrick, the family’s golden child. But that was before Patrick died suddenly. When Pup excels at a photography assignment he thought he’d bomb, things start to come into focus.

We Are the Perfect Girl by Ariel Kaplan
Aphra is bold and outgoing. Bethany is achingly beautiful. Individually, they could both do a little better in the self-esteem department, but together? Together, they have what it takes to win over Greg D’Agostino. What begins as an honest mistake turns into an elaborate deception. What will happen when Greg finds out? And can Aphra and Bethany’s friendship survive the fallout?

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species roam free. Ana is one of seven Fantasists, engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

Contagion by Teri Terry (Dark Matter, Book One)
Callie is missing. Her brother Kai is losing hope of ever seeing her again. Then he meets Shay, a girl who saw Callie the day she disappeared, and his hope is reignited. Their search leads them to the heart of a terrifying epidemic that is raging through the country. Can Kai and Shay escape death and find Callie?

A Librarian Reads…

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott

In the mid-fifteenth century, a girl by the name of Joan lived a quiet, obedient, and prayerful life in rural France. But France was under attack, its throne taken over by the English King Henry. And so St. Michael appeared to Joan and bade her to free France. With no education, no military training, and girl, Joan seemed completely unsuited to the task. But with the saints to guide her, she succeeded where others had failed. First praised, then feared, and finally condemned to die, Joan never lost her faith.

This book of poetry looks at the life of Joan of Arc based on accounts from her two trials. The poems vary in form and perspective, looking at Joan from the point of view of the people and even objects that were a part of her life. Recommended for readers in high school and up who enjoy various forms of poetry as well as those who have an interest in religious history.

What’s New?

Check out these new titles in the Teen Corner at the Moline Public Library. Click on the title to go to the catalog to find the book or place a hold.

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Nothing’s been the same for Beth since the day she died. Her dad is drowning in grief. He’s also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But Isobel can see Beth, too, and seems to be connected to the crime Beth’s father has been sent to investigate—a gruesome fire at a home for troubled youth that left an unidentifiable body behind. As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town.

This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura
CJ loves helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop. She even discovers a knack for arranging the perfect bouquet she never knew she had. Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII—and soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community.

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Jay plans to coast through the last semester of his senior year. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of the war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story. Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth.

The Missing Season by Gillian French
Whenever another kid goes missing in October, the Pender kids know what is really behind it: a horrific monster out in the marshes they have named the Mumbler. At least, that’s what Clara’s new friends tell her when she moves to town. She doesn’t really believe them, but as Halloween gets closer and tensions build in the town, it’s hard to shake the feeling that there really is something dark and dangerous in Pender, waiting to bring the stories to life.

Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough
Harriet is the perfect student: smart, dutiful, over-achieving. Will is a troublemaker who’s never met an injustice she didn’t fight. When their swim coach’s inappropriate behavior is swept under the rug, they reluctantly team up to expose his misdeeds by creating Amelia Westlake—an imaginary student who helps right the many wrongs of their privileged institution. But how long can they keep their secret? How far will they go to make a difference? And when will they realize they’re falling for each other?

A Librarian Reads…

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

After her mom died, Beth’s auntie promised she would see her again someday. But when Beth died, her mother wasn’t there. Her grieving police officer father was. And he could see and hear her while no one else could. Beth was sure this meant she needed to help him to get over his grief. When he is sent to investigate a fire in a remote town, Beth thinks helping him get back into work will be the ticket, even though it’s supposed to be an open-and-shut case. But the easy assignment quickly turns more complicated as more bodies are found and the town’s history comes to light. And at the center of it all is Catcher, a witness to the fire who can also see Beth and has a story too fantastic to be true, but is the truest thing Beth has ever heard.

This tale of magical realism from Australia tackles some very tough topics with insight and compassion. Catcher’s sections are told in verse, and the entire book is so captivating and fast paced that you won’t want to put it down. Recommended for readers in high school and up.

What’s New?

Check out these new titles in the Teen Corner at the Moline Public Library. Click on the title to go to the catalog to find the book or place a hold.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven (Izzy O’Neill, Book One)
Izzy is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what the malicious website flying round the school says. Izzy can try all she wants to laugh it off, but when pictures emerge of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, her life suddenly becomes the center of a national scandal. Izzy’s never been ashamed of herself before, and she’s not going to start now.

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
Reza has just moved to the city and is terrified that someone will guess his secret. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS. Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS. Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. Reza and Judy start dating, but Reza finds himself growing closer to Art.

If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
Winnie spends the summer before college working at her granny’s diner and begins spending her midnights with Dallas—the boy she loves to hate and hates that she likes. She dreams of someday inheriting the diner—but it’ll go away if they can’t make money, and fast. Her solution is to win a televised cooking competition and make bank. But Granny doesn’t want her to enter.

Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas
In Samsboro, Kalyn Spence’s name is inseparable from the brutal murder her father committed when he was a teenager. Forced to return to town, Kalyn must attend school under a pseudonym. Gus Peake has never had the luxury of redefining himself. He’s always been known as the “disabled kid” because of his cerebral palsy, or as the kid whose dad was murdered. Can the two come together to break free from a legacy of inherited lies and chart their own paths forward?

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
Marisol has always dreamed of being American, but she never imagined fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as “an illegal.” When she and her sister are caught, Marisol is sure their asylum will be denied. Then she is given a chance to be a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life.