Teen Read Week is celebrated annually during the third week of October at many libraries and bookstores across the country. This initiative of the American Library Association's young adult library services division encourages teens to read for the fun of it and become regular library users. We hope to accomplish both goals by highlighting new teen fiction.
"SHADOW AND BONE" BY LEIGH BARDUGO
War orphan and junior cartographer Alina is sent away to join an army with the mission of crossing a land of the Volcra. Their claws, wings and sharp teeth are enough to scare anyone, but Alina stuns the soldiers and herself by accidentally emitting a blinding light that saves their lives.
A mysterious man called The Darkling discovers Alina's gift and forces her to join the Grishna (those thought to have magical powers), a decision that brings adventure, betrayal and danger. Readers will root for Alina and look forward to the next book in this new trilogy.
"ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND" BY GENA SHOWALTER Everyone thinks Alice's father is a crazy alcoholic who constantly worries about monsters and never lets the family go out after dark until the night of Alice's sister's dance recital. On the way home, the family is in a car wreck that kills everyone except Alice -- and that's when she discovers that monsters are real.
"UNGIFTED" BY GORDON KORMAN
Contrary to popular belief, there are teen fiction books that are light, fun reads. They're just hiding among the dark, gloomy, paranormal romance titles. The first line from "Ungifted" is, "I want a refund from ancestry.com." It hooks readers and tells us right away that Donovan, the boy voted Most Likely to Wind Up In Jail, is unlike anyone else. This fish-out-of-water story finds the poster-boy for "don't try this at home" accidentally transferred to a school for gifted students. Even reluctant readers will enjoy this quick read.
"SUCH WICKED INTENT" BY KENNETH OPPEL
As Halloween nears, many readers get in the mood for dark sinister tales.
Try Kenneth Oppel's newest, "Such Wicked Intent," the sequel to "This Dark Endeavor."
The tension and suspense builds from the very first sentence, "The books flew open like startled birds trying to escape the flames ..." Apprentice Victor Frankenstein destroys the Dark Library that includes books of alchemy and remedies and in the process discovers a book that enables communication with the dead.
Ancient myth, forbidden knowledge, disobedient youth -- what could go wrong?
"THE MARK OF ATHENA" BY RICK RIORDAN
If your kids enjoyed the Percy Jackson books, then they're sure to enjoy the "Heroes of Olympus" series. Mythological creatures? Check. Fast-paced adventure? Check. A seemingly impossible quest? Check.
Book No. 3 is action-packed with adventures of the Greek gods' children of Camp Half-Blood and the Roman gods' children of Camp Jupiter who struggle to overcome the natural inclination to be at war with each other and attempt to combine forces to save the world from the evil goddess Gaea.
Like Riordan's other mythology-based titles, this book grabs the reader's attention immediately and most likely will appeal to a broad audience of readers who like fantasy, readers who like adventure stories and even readers who don't usually enjoy reading.
Watch for other series' new titles this month: "Promised" (Birthmakred trilogy); "Beautiful Redemption" (Beautiful Creatures); and "Ruins" (Pathfinder).
Teen Read Week is a great time to encourage teens to visit the library, so we're hosting several events through Saturday, including our annual film festival, a murder-mystery party and a haunted library event.
We're also continuing our "One County Reads Once Country" programming series that includes a teen book discussion featuring "In the Sea There Are Crocodiles."
Melinda Vest is the children's manager at the Bluffton library, 120 Palmetto Way, Bluffton.