Earth Day (Friday, April 22) is just around the corner! This is a day celebrated around the globe to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day is great time to reevaluate the impact that we are having on the planet. In honor of Earth Day, enjoy these nonfiction and fiction titles that explore a variety of aspects of environmental issues and conservation actions (for the full list, visit The Hub's website.
The Story of Seeds: From Mendel's Garden to Your Plate, and How There's More of Less to Eat by Nancy F. Castaldo
A look at the impact that food production has on the environment with the importance of plant biodiversity prolonged by seed preservation. It also explores the impact of monocultures and genetic engineering on food production.
Unstoppable: Harnassing Science to Change the World by Bill Nye (the Science Guy!)
Nye applies his scientific rigorous understanding of the world to climate change, showing opportunities in today’s environmental crisis as a new beginning to create a cleaner and healthier world.
World Without Fish: How Could We Let This Happen? by Mark Kurlansy
Could it be possible that the main fish we eat, tuna, salmon, cod, and swordfish, could become extinct within fifty years? Kurlansky shows the environmental state of our oceans and the dwindling supply of our oceanic food supply, and what we can do to help preserve our seas.
We Are the Weather Makers: The History of Climate Change by Tim Flannery
An adaptation by Sally Walker of Tim Flannery’s adult book Weather Makers. This book looks at climate change and gives suggestions for how you can reduce the carbon emissions in your homes, schools, and communities.
Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future by Greg Melville
A humorous road-trip from Vermont to California fueled by leftover vegetable oil collected from restaurant grease and dumpsters along the way. Many stops on the way look at institutions seeking alternative energy options for a greener future.
The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking, and the Search for Lost Species by Scott Weidensaul
A look at the approximately 30,000 species of animals and plants that go extinct every year, and those rare occurrences when a supposedly extinct species makes a surprise reappearance.
Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
You'll appreciate this fictional and thrilling account of biotechnology gone awry, and what the frightening implications could be if ever an event was to occur.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
A look into the potential future where we need to scavenge our oil from grounded oil tankers. Young Nailer spends his days dismantling toxic waste heaps, until he finds a girl on a shipwrecked tanker, and has to make the choice to strip the tanker or save the girl.
The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd
In this eco-thriller, England is the first country to start carbon dioxide rationing in an attempt to combat global warming. Sixteen-year-old Laura documents the first year with rationing as things spiral in and out of control.
Don't miss out on next week's opportunity to build and battle boxing robots! Building starts at 6:00 PM on Wednesdy, April 13.
Space is limited for this free teen event. Please sign up for this program in advance by registering online, calling the library at 618-344-1112, or visiting one of the library's service desks.
The Teen Initiative program encourages teens to learn more about science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM). It all starts with a Teen Initiative library card, which allows you to earn points by visiting the library, checking out items, attending programs, bringing friends, and more. With those points you can pay overdue fines or buy special items such as robotics kits and drawing tablets that are only available to Teen Initiative participants. Teen Initiative cardholders also gain entry to special STEAM-related programs throughout the year, plus bonus events like lock-ins. For more information, visit our Teen Initiative page.
Funding for this grant was awarded by the Illinois State Library, a Department of the Office of the Secretary of State, using funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
If you enjoy Shakespeare's stories, but prefer reading them in modern-day English, you may enjoy some of these retellings of his biggest hits! These are also fun introductions to The Bard if you haven't read any of his works before. Click on the titles to request a copy!
Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub
This is the story of what happens after Romeo & Juliet. Their families are still fighting and no one seems to know how to end their feud. Then the prince comes up with a plan. One member of each family must marry, ending the rivalry. When Romeo’s best friend, Benvolio, and Juliet’s cousin, Rosaline, are chosen they are quite skeptical. Can they save Verona and their families?
Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Gehrman
A contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this story takes place over summer break. Geena thinks her break spent with her cousin and her best friend will be one for the ages, but unfortunately things do not go as planned. This tale is full of mistaken identities, romance, and crazy schemes, making it a fun, modern day equivalent to Shakespeare’s famous play.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Another contemporary story with parallels to Shakespeare’s work, this time being King Lear. Cady comes from a privileged family, the Sinclairs. They have their own island where they summer, but one year everything changes and Cady is trying to figure out what truly happened to her that previous summer. E. Lockhart writes a twisting tale that would make the Bard proud.
Loving Will Shakespeare by Carolyn Meyer
This is the fictionalized story of how Shakespeare met his real life wife, Anne Hathaway. Anne is a simple farmer’s daughter and is quickly becoming distressed about her marriage prospects. When the much younger Will Shakespeare kisses her, their lives change forever. Read how Shakespeare’s own love story was fit for a play!
The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees
Part retelling, part period piece, The Fool’s Girl is quite an interesting novel! Taking themes and ideas from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, this story is a grand adventure. Violetta, from a crumbling kingdom, finds her way to London on a mysterious quest. She is not sure where she is being led until she meets William Shakespeare, who just might have the answers that she is looking for.
Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney
This tale, from one of teen fiction's most popular authors, is a take on Macbeth that you have not seen before. Lady Mary, a ward of Lord and Lady Macbeth, tells the infamous story while being trapped inside their castle. Amidst violence and bloodshed, can Mary save not only herself, but everyone else?
Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine
This retelling of Romeo & Juliet is from the perspective of Romeo’s cousin, Benvolio, the great thief of Verona. With the focus on supporting characters from the play as well as language and setting of the original, this will please fans of Shakespeare’s version.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
This recent release reimagines The Winter’s Tale in a contemporary setting with cheerleaders. Hermione is drugged and raped while at cheer camp, and with the help of her supportive best friend, parents, and law enforcement, works to uncover her rapist’s identity in this thought-provoking, character driven novel.
The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
Set in the 1920s, this Hamlet retelling centers around the daughter of an interracial couple whose father was murdered. With all the intrigue and even the ghosts of the original, this is an update fans should check out.
The New York Public Library recently shared a list of feminist fiction for teens. For the full list and article, check out their website.
Here are some of highlights (click on the titles to request a copy):
Young Adult literature is filled with smart, strong, brave, butt-kicking female characters. So when I say "feminist" I don’t just mean fiction with strong, female characters—that’s a given. What I mean are novels that feature strong, female characters who either confront sexism, defy the patriarchal order, subvert gender expectations or celebrate female solidarity, or all of the above. These characters are often flawed and don’t always come out the other end unscathed but they are warriors and heroes all the same.
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
A year after she was raped at a party, Romy is still dealing with the aftermath and being called "liar" and "slut". When a girl in town goes missing Romy has good reason to suspect her rapist.
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Football-loving, farm girl D.J does a lot of the heavy work at her family's dairy farm—her father has broken his hip and her brothers are off to college. When she gets the chance to fitness train a rival team's star quarterback she jumps at it. Tired of always doing what's expected, she decides to try out for her high school football and surprises everyone by winning a place as a linebacker.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart
When Frankie's boyfriend refuses to tell her about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to at their boarding school, she calls their bluff and ups the ante. She infiltrates the society and proves that girls are the equals to boys when it comes to pranks—if not better.
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
Gabi, a high school senior, finds solace and empowerment through her journal writing and poetry as she deals with personal problems, her family and friends and forging her own identity.
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
Best friends Sahar and Nasrin have been in love with each other for years, but in modern day Iran being homosexual could get them arrested or killed. When Nasrin's parents arrange a marriage for her, Sahar decides to take desperate action so they can be together. She will get gender reassignment surgery and become a man so that she can marry her friend, but will she lose herself in the process?
Science Fiction/ Fantasy
Ash by Malinda Lo
In this retelling of Cinderella, Ash is a servant to her wicked stepmother and stepsisters but escapes as often as she can to the fairy wood behind her old house. When she gets the chance to attend a ball, the Prince finds her irresistible but it is the King's huntress Kaisa who has captured her heart.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
In the Seven Kingdoms, some people are born with “graces” or special talents, Katsa’s specialty is killing. Used and abused by her corrupt, royal uncle to be his “enforcer,” she balances this out by doing secret rescue missions where she dispenses her own form of justice.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
In 2025 California the world is in utter chaos. When the gated community where she lives is overrun, Lauren, who can literally feel someone else's pain, ventures into the savage unknown in search of safety. As people start traveling with her she begins to find a new family and even more importantly, forge a new destiny for herself and the people around her.
Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce
Starting with Alanna: The First Adventure, 11 year old Alanna lives in a world where young women are treated more like chattel, so she trades places with her twin brother and disguises herself as a boy so she can train as a knight. Follow her adventures as she grows up and struggles to be true to herself and true to the country she has vowed to protect.
Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Odilia, 16, and her four younger sisters must work together to return the body of a drowned man, they found while swimming in the Rio Grande, to his home across the border in Mexico. Their real mission, however, is to find their father who abandoned the family a year before. Along their journey, they are guided by heroes and monsters of Mexican mythology, including the evil sorceress La Llorona who may not be as evil as they previously thought.
Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Raised as brother and sister, Emilia's and Teo's mothers, Rhoda and Delia were an all female, black and white stunt pilot team. When Delia is killed, Rhoda takes the children to live in Ethiopia to escape the prejudices of 1930s America and so Teo can to get to know his Ethiopian heritage. As WW2 breaks out, Teo and Em's own talent for flying comes into play and with her brother soon missing in action, Emilia must navigate the politics of war all on her own.
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
It's 1969 and 12 year old Mimi has just moved from Berkeley, California to an all-white small town in Vermont. Being half black and half Japanese, she's already an odd girl out but her love of science and goal of being an astronaut makes her even more of an outsider. She soon finds allies in a teacher who encourages her to enter the science fair and new friends who help her protest the school rule that only girls can take home ec and boys can take shop.
A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
In 1909 London, Victoria Darling has just been sent home in scandal from her French finishing school for getting caught posing nude during a life drawing class. Her parents are eager to marry her off to someone rich and boring but what Victoria really wants is to attend the Royal College of Art and become an artist. As she secretly applies to the school, she gets involved with the suffragettes and meets a handsome, young constable who is sympathetic to their cause.
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
In 19th century New York City, Jo Montfort is a rose of high society—a girl who is destined for nothing more than attending balls and tea parties, all in the hope of marrying well. However, what Jo really wants is to become a newspaper reporter just like her hero Nellie Bly. When her father mysteriously dies, Jo knows it can't have been an accident and that he must've been murdered. When Jo sets out to prove her theory she will risk everything to get at the truth.
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
The cynical and ironic Enid and Rebecca are life-long best friends but now that they have graduated from high school they are feeling the strains on their relationship. As they weather dead-end jobs, going off to college and boys, they wonder if their friendship will survive long distance, growing up and possibly growing apart.
Lumberjanes series by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis
Join Jo, Molly, Mal, April, and Ripley for an awesome, butt-kicking summer at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Girls Hardcore Lady Types. You'll help them earn their "Friendship to the Max" badge as they have late night investigations of mysterious light houses, trap-laden secret caves and suspicious goings on at the boys camp and more.
Ms. Marvel series by G. Willow Wilson
Kamala Khan is an ordinary Pakistani girl from Jersey City with pretty strict Muslim parents who is tired of being caught between their world and her world of school and parties. When she sneaks out the house one night, she's given special powers and transformed into Ms. Marvel. But does she need to be blonde and wear skimpy clothing to be a superhero or can she just be herself?
The Plain Janes by Cecil Castelluci
New to suburbia, after being injured in an explosion in the city, Jane forms a disparate group of outsider girls into a team of "art terrorists" called "People Loving Art in Neighborhoods" (P.L.A.I.N.). Defiant and unified, together they shake-up their conservative town and confound the authorities by performing art attacks such as putting bubbles in water fountains and wrapping objects on the street like Christmas presents.