Here's something you might not know about librarians--we want to help you with more than just finding your next favorite book. We have the honor and privilege of being invited into hundreds, even thousands of lives as part of our day-to-day work.  We get to know some of you so well, in fact, that we celebrate your births, graduations, and promotions.  We feel your lost loves, your confusion over the future, and your struggles to find your own way in the world.  So, when we realize someone we know--maybe that someone is you--is struggling with a personal crisis, we want to help.

Many times you don't want others to know about what's going on, though.  That's understandable.  Maybe you're embarrassed or shamed or afraid.  But maybe you still want or need a little help.  If you find yourself facing any of the issues listed below, please check out these books.  They might not change your life...but then again, maybe they will.



Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano –Thriller
Nearly Boswell lives in a trailer park with her exotic dancing mother and is obsessed with newspaper ads. When a serial killer begins leaving cryptic clues in newspaper ads, Nearly maybe the one one who can solve them and the case.

Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick – Humor
Amber lives on a bus but is a glass half full kinda person but when a tragic event occurs, will that event threaten her optimism?

Tyrell by Coe Booth –Urban
Tyrell lives in a homeless shelter with his mother and brother. His father is in jail, his love life is complicated, and he feels the pressure to get out of the shelter. Will his means to an end land him in jail like his father?


Sexual Identity

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli– Humor
Simon isn’t quite out of the closet and neither is Blue, his anonymous email friend. When Martin accidentally sees Simon’s emails, Simon finds himself on the other side of blackmail and is forced to hook up Martin and his friend Abby.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith- Science Fiction (2015 Printz Honoree)
Austin loves his girlfriend or maybe he’s in love with his best friend, Robbie. Meanwhile, man-sized praying mantises have taking over his little town.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray –Humor (2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults) (2012 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults)
What happens when a plane crashes with twelve teen beauty queens? Will get along? Will they survive? Will they learn the opening dance number in time?


Eating Disorders

Paperweight by Meg Haston –Contemporary
Stevie’s life is upside down. Her mother is gone, she drinks too much, she starves herself, and she killed her brother. She now finds herself in an eating disorder rehab facility where she must deal with her mother’s abandonment, her eating disorder, and her brother’s death.

Elena Vanishing by Elena Dunkle and Clara B. Dunkle– Non Fiction/Memoir
Elena has a daily goal to reduce calories. Elena is vanishing. This story was co-written by Elena’s mother, Clara, and is told over a five year period.



The Dogs by Allan Stratton – Thriller/Mystery
Cameron and his mother are always on the run from their abusive father/husband. After a suspicious car shows up by their house, they are on the move again and end up in a small town in a creepy farmhouse. After a couple of taunting remarks from his new classmates, Cameron decides to do some research on his new house and uncovers a possible murder 50 years prior.

Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn –Paranormal (2013 Morris Award Winner) (2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults)
Andrew is a loner and he sits and waits to shift into a werewolf. Told in the present and the past, Drew flashes back to a tumultuous summer with his siblings and cousins.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell –Romance (2014 Printz Honoree) (2014 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults) (2014 Best Fiction For Young Adults) (2014 Teens’ Top Ten)
Eleanor is the new girl. She has frizzy red hair, she wears baggy men’s clothes, and lives with her 4 brothers and sisters and her mother and stepfather in a two bedroom house. Park is half white, half Korean boy who lives in the shadow of his taller younger brother. Together, Eleanor and Park find love for comics, music, and each other.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch –Mystery
Carey and her younger sister sit in a trailer deep in the woods and wait for their mentally ill mother to return. They are filthy, hungry, and scared when a stranger comes to rescue them. Living with her new family, Carey must learn how to survive in the suburbs while desperately trying to keep a secret.

Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater –Paranormal/Romance (2013 Teens’ Top Ten) (2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
Blue has been told that she will cause her true love to die. When she befriends four private school boys and joins their hunt for a mythical king that promises one wish, Blue finds herself in love. What is she to do?


Finding Yourself

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales -Music
Since the fourth grade, Elise has been ignored by her peers. The summer before her junior year, Elise spend hours trying to become a new person so she can be liked. But when the plan fails she discovers a new passion, DJing.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon -Romance
Madeline suffers from the bubble boy syndrome where she’s allergic to everything and can’t go outside. Her only human contact are her mother and her nurse. One day a new family moves in and she fall in love with Olly.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby –Magical Realism
Bone Gap Illinois is a little town that has gaps where one can fall into and never find their way out. When Roza goes missing and creepy Finn doesn’t help her, the town suspects Finn but Finn suspects a mysterious stranger.

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid –Road Trip/Romance
Leila is on a road trip to the Northern Lights and along the way she meets Hudson, Bree, Elliot, and Sonia. As Leila sets on a journey to find herself, the lives of these four teens have been greatly impacted by her friendship.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman –Romance (2014 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults)
Allyson and her best friend are on a European trip the summer before their freshman year in college when Allyson spends one adventurous day, and night, with a charming actor named Willem. When Allyson awakens the next morning and Willem isn’t there and doesn’t contact her after she arrives back in the states, the mystery of his disappearance consumes her life. Did Willem use her or did something tragic happen? Allyson decides to save enough money to return to Paris for answers and discovers a lot about herself along the way.


Mental Disorders

Challenger Deep by Neal Schusterman –Schizophrenia & Fantasy
Caden is a lot of things. He’s an artist, he’s a sophomore, he’s a member of the crew on a sea vessel.

Mosquitoland by David Arnold –Depression & Road Trip/Humor
Mim is not okay. Her father thinks she’s depressed and needs to be medicated, she hates her new step mother, and now something maybe wrong with her real mother. At this news, Mim gets on the next bus where she befriends a handsome photographer and a homeless down-syndrome boy.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven –Depression & Romance
Violet, the popular girl, is counting the days for high school to end so she can begin a new life. Finn, the weird kid, is counting the days that he stays “awake.” When Violet and Finn become partners in a history project, Finn saves Violet as she comes to term with her sister’s death but can Violet save Finn?

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness -OCD & Romance
Have you ever wondered what the teens from District 3 were doing while Katniss and Peeta were saving the world? Well, wonder no more. 

Flyer for Blackout Poetry Project

Teen Read Week (TRW, October 18-24)  is just around the corner!

TRW is a national literacy inintiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. During the third week of October every year, libraries celebrate reading for fun while encouraging teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms--books, magazines, e-books, audiobooks, and more!

This year the library is celebrating with special events and opportunities:

  •  Teens who submit book reviews to be shared on the library's Facebook page and blog can earn Teen Initiative points. The person with the most viewed and/or liked review will win an additional prize!  Please turn in your review(s) at the main desk or email them to Kyla at kylaw[at]
  •  Join us on Tuesday, October 20 at 6:00 PM to create blackout poetry. Examples of this fun and easy activity can be found here. Please sign up by calling the library at 618-344-1112.

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) celebrates the heritage and culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans. September 15th is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this month.The term Hispanic or Latino refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

To commemorate this month, here are some of the recent and forthcoming YA books either written by, or about, Hispanic and Latino fictional or real characters.  More can be found on YALSA's The Hub blog.

Cover for The LivingCover for The Hunted

The Living and The Hunted by Matt De La Pena
Matt De La Peña’s The Hunted (published in May) is the sequel to the 2014 Pura Belpre Honor winner The Living (2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults). A tsunami has sunk the cruise ship Mexican-American teen Shy Espinoza was working on for the summer. He and teens Marcus and Carmen and their adult guide Shoeshine have survived the sinking ship; escaped an island harboring a deadly secret and survived over a month at sea. They have discovered that some of the passengers were working for an evil biotech company responsible for a deadly contagion ravaging Southern California. In an area of California patrolled by rival gangs, the dead and dying, and those desperate to survive, they struggle to make it to the nearest operating laboratory in Arizona. By bringing the chemical formula and samples of the vaccine there, they hope scientists will be able to duplicate the vaccine samples and save the population.


Cover for Becoming Maria

Becoming Maria by Sonia Manzano
Sonia Manzano, beloved Sesame Street star and 2013 Pura Belpre Honor winner for The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, recently published her memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx. In it she recounts her life growing up in the 50s and 60 in the Bronx living with her large, noisy and often troubled extended Puerto Rican family. She seeks release in daydreaming of a better life to avoid the reality of living with an often abusive and alcoholic father and to escape her less than ideal living conditions. Mixed in with the darker moments are a lot of lighter ones filled with warmth and humor that show how all of these experiences shaped her life and who she would later become.


Cover for Dream Things True

Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt
The recent September release of Marie Marquardt’s Dream Things True is about two teens – Evan and Alma – who live world’s apart in the same Georgia town. Evan’s from a wealthy, but dysfunctional family. Alma’s from a large Mexican family that has lived there since she was very young. They both want out. His way out is through soccer and her’s is through academic success. They meet and fall in love but then Immigration and Customs Enforcement comes. Alma knows that she needs to share her secret with Evan that she and almost everyone she’s close to are undocumented immigrants. Theirs is a bittersweet love story against a backdrop of US-Mexican immigration policies. (Marie E. Andreu’s 2014 book The Secret Side of Empty also explores the story of an undocumented teen whose family is from Argentina.)

As we gear up for tonight's Splatoon tournament, we encourage you to mark your calendar for our other gaming events.

Ultra Street Fighter IV
Thursday, October 15 @ 6:00 PM
Continuing the tradition of excellence the series is known for, the Street Fighter world evolves to a whole new level with Ultra Street Fighter IV.  The game is rated T for Teen and will be played on the Xbox 360.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
Thursday, November 12 @ 6:00 PM
The popular Call of Duty series is back! Play along as part of a team of black ops supersoldiers in the year 2065, where science and technology have radically changed both the landscape and the future the human race.  This game is rated M for Mature. Gameplay will be on the Xbox 360.

Super Smash Bros for Wii U
Thursday, December 10 @ 6:00 PM
Face off against the biggest roster of Nintendo all-stars ever assembled!  Send your rivals flying for a chance to win a prize.  This game is rated E for Everyone.

All of these tournaments are free to play.  We ask that you please sign up in advance by calling the library at 618-344-1112 or visiting the main desk.

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