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Tag: geoff herbach

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, June 16 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Cracking the Bell by Geoff Herbach
Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
ISBN: 978-0062453167

Football is the thing that turned Isaiah’s life around, but after he suffers a potentially dangerous concussion, will he continue to risk his life in order to have the future that football offers him?

2015 Amazing Audiobooks Top Ten Listen-a-Likes

Photo by Flickr User jeff_golden
Photo by Flickr User jeff_golden

This past year I had the immense pleasure to serve as chair for the 2015 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults committee. It was a really great year for audiobooks and my committee was fortunate to consider a total of 395 audiobooks for our selection list!  After hours and hours of listening, we had to whittle down a list of no more than 30 selections that were the year’s best.  If you have not yet had a chance to checkout our list you can see it here.  It was released last week, after the Midwinter Conference.

We also had the even more difficult task of selecting our Top Ten Audiobooks of the year. Below are our Top Ten titles for 2015, along with a suggested listen-a-like, in case you are ahead of the game and have already listened to these Top Ten selections.

2015 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Top Ten

  • ACID by Emma Pass, read by Fiona Hardingham with Nicholas Guy Smith and Suzan Crowley. Listening Library, 2014. 10 hours, 48 minutes; 9 discs. 978-0-8041-6832-8.

The brutal police state ACID rules all, so when Jenna is broken out of prison by a rebel group she has to fight to survive as ACID’s most-wanted fugitive.  Unique ACID reports and recordings read by Smith and Hardingham’s excellent pace combine with her authentic teen voice to highlight this exciting story.


The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Steve West and Fiona Hardingham: For those listeners who are looking for another title narrated by Fiona Hardingham that is packed with action and adventure and that has a strong female main character. (Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 2012,  2012 Odyssey Honor  Audiobook)


  • Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger, read by Moira Quick.  Hachette Audio, 2013.  9 hours, 30 minutes, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4789-2648-1.

In the second installment of the Finishing School series, Sophronia and her classmates use their training to search for a dangerous device that may have fallen into the wrong hands.  Quick’s lively narration highlights the wit and humor in Carriger’s story.


The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, read by Miranda Raison: The Finishing School series, narrated by Quirk, is filled with sly humor but also packs a punch with Sophronia’s adventures.  Likewise, The Screaming Staircase is not only is an action-packed steampunk mystery, but Raison brings variety to her narration by highlighting the nuances of the quirky cast of characters characters, including the darkly comedic Anthony Lockwood. (Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 2014)

curtsies and conspiracies audio  screaming staircase audio

Want to Read S’more? Have Some Ooey Gooey Delicious Books in Threes


Summer is the perfect time for reading for fun and making s’mores. In fact, yesterday was National S’mores Day.

So I decided to combine these two concepts and give you three books on the same topic – think of them as the graham cracker, the marshmallow, and the chocolate of a s’more- all deliciously good.


Hub 1

Thrillers:hub 2

Is This the Real Life? Parental Abandonment

Instead of reading for the Morris/Non-Fiction Challenge, I was reading other books. Ooops. But one of the books I read spawned this month’s contemporary theme: parental abandonment. These books don’t necessarily address homelessness (Molly Wetta already tackled that subject), but teens that were left on their own by their parents for whatever reasons. I know there has to be more, so let me know in the comments! First up, the book that inspired this list:

If You Find MeIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (2014 BFYA Nominee)

Carey and her younger sister Janessa live in a broken down trailer in the woods. They don’t go to school, they don’t go into town much (if at all), and they are anxiously awaiting the return of their mother. Instead they are met with a stranger and someone who Carey recalls being her father. They have come to take the girls away since their mother has informed the state she is unable to take of them anymore. What seems like a nightmare to Carey is actually a blessing in disguise as she is forced to come to terms of what really happened in the woods and adjusts to living in civilization.

Jellicoe RoadJellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (2009 Printz Award Winner)

Taylor was abandoned by her mother at 11 at a 7/11 and was found by Hannah. Now, at 17, she is the leader of the boarders at Jellicoe School. Amidst the struggle of trying to keep the upper hand in a territory war at her school, Taylor has to deal with the disappearance of Hannah who was the adult she came to rely on. All that is left of Hannah is a manuscript that she had written. Taylor needs to find out more but this means she will have to confront her own story and find her own mother.

Books For Every Class In Your Schedule (Part 2)

Photo by naosuke ii. CC BY 2.0.
Photo by naosuke ii. CC BY 2.0.

Welcome back for the second post in our back-to-school schedule series!

Period 3: English – Laura Perenic
Today’s curriculum theme is “Humanity Through Diversity.”

Historical Fiction: Brotherhood by A.B. Westrick
In reconstruction Richmond, Virginia, brothers Shad and Jeremiah learn different lessons from attending KKK rallies.

Realistic: Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson
Laurel Daneau hides from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina by immersing herself in drugs. Estranged from her family and her own emotions, Laurel meets street artist Moses who has a more effective way to dealing with pain.

Debuting in June

June: for most librarians serving teens, it’s either the start of summer reading or the end of a school year. It’s also the reminder that the year’s nearly half over, and for avid readers, it’s time to reflect on the first six months of reading and consider potential award-worthy books. So take a few minutes at the end of this month and think about those books written by debut authors that might be worthy of being nominated for the William C Morris Award and submit your own nomination. But before diving in, check out these debut titles making their way to shelves this month.

Blood Red Road by Moira Young (Margaret McElderry/Simon and Schuster, 9781442429984) is another worthy entry into the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre. Twin brother and sister Lugh and Saba live with their father and younger sister Emmi in a desolate world that’s frequently ravaged by dust stories. From the beginning of the book, readers are thrown into this storm that kills their father and brings with it a band of men who steal Lugh to places unknown. Unwilling to sit back and let her life be ruined before her life, Saba takes Emmi and herself on a quest through their world to find Lugh. Little did she anticipate that Lugh would be used as a pawn in a vicious world of drug cartels, and Saba now must fight for her life and the lives of those she loves. Fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth will no doubt love the high stakes action in this fast-paced novel. The book’s written in a dialect that gives real place to the world and real voice to Saba, who might be even more of a hard-fisted girl than Katniss.