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The Best of YA in 2015

by Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is more than half over already! It’s a good time to review some of the hottest YA books of the year so far. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but here are a few books generating a lot of buzz:

“A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah Maas

the court of thorns and roses coverThe human world is in danger. After generations of hostility, faeries and humans live apart, separated by a wall. One day, 19-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the woods near her home hoping it will help her family survive the harsh winter. Instead, a monstrous creature shows up at her door demanding her life in exchange for killing the wolf. Feyre returns with him to the Fae realm as payment, and she soon realizes that the Fae are not what she expects. This book is a good choice for fairy tale fans. For similar books try “Cruel Beauty” and its sequel, the recently released “Crimson Bound” by Rosamund Hodge.

“Finding Audrey” by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey coverThis is Kinsella’s YA debut after her popular “Shopaholic” series for adults, and it is a winner. Audrey is struggling with depression and an anxiety disorder. She has recently been released from the hospital and refuses to leave her house or interact with others outside of her family. With the support of her therapist, comically dysfunctional parents, two brothers, and a new love interest, Audrey begins to heal. This book is an excellent choice for fans of Jenni Han’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” or her latest book, “P.S. I Still Love You.”

“Ghosts of Heaven” by Marcus Sedgwick

Ghosts of Heaven coverPrintz award-winning author Sedgwick creates another winner. This unique novel is told in four separate stories over a span of centuries. The stories are linked by one single element, the spiral, and can be read in any order. If you are looking for a haunting and thought-provoking choice, this one is for you. Also, try “More Than This” by Patrick Ness, or my favorite by Marcus Sedgwick, “Revolver.”

 

 

“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places coverSeniors Theodore and Violet run into each other at the top of their school bell tower where both are contemplating suicide. “Theodore Freak, “as he is known to classmates, is impulsive, unpredictable, and eccentric. Bullied by classmates and his own father, suicide is on his mind a lot. Violet, a popular cheerleader, is grief stricken after the death of her sister in a car crash. The two teens, who tell their stories in alternating chapters, form an unlikely relationship. Read this if you liked “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green.

 

“The Walls Around Us” by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us coverAt first glance, Amber and Violet have nothing in common. Amber is an inmate at Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center. Violet is a ballet dancer bound for Julliard. Orianna is the one who ties their two lives together. Ori, Violet’s friend and also a dancer, is sent to Aurora Hills after committing murder to protect Violet. The suspense builds as all the girls’ secrets are gradually revealed. This is a great read alike for “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart.

 

“Ink and Bone: The Great Library” by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone coverIn a near future world, the library at Alexandria still exists, and the Great Library controls the flow of all knowledge. In this world, you can read books, but it is illegal to own them. Individuals can be fined, jailed, or worse if found with an original book.  Even though Jess comes from a family of black market book dealers, he still believes in the value of the Library. But when Jess begins training to become part of the Library, he uncovers sinister secrets that endanger his life. Fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series will devour this new series.

There are many other excellent new YA books, as well. Check out the New Books Display in the YA area, or ask a librarian for more ideas. If you missed last year’s outstanding titles, choose a book from the Teens’ Top Ten Display or the Award Winners Display.

Posted in: Mercury Column, News, Uncategorized, Young Adult Dept

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Baby Birds Come to Zoofari!

ZoofariJoin us this month for stories and rhymes all about baby birds and nesting! Children – and even adults – can flap their wings, shake their tail feathers, and even sing sweetly! Books read will include “Mama Built a Little Nest” “A Nest full of Eggs” and “I Hatched!“. After storytime, children can also explore various bird biofacts provided by zoo docents. Storytime will be held this Friday – in the storytime room! We will begin several minutes after 10:00, to allow time to find parking, and get everyone settled, and comfortable. We hope to see you there!

 

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Holiday Happenings in Manhattan

snowman ornament with snowy backgroundThe recent cold weather and snow flurries are good reminders that the holiday season is quickly approaching! Participating in holiday events can help make the season bright. Here is a list of holiday activities in town that will be fun for the whole family.

Books, movies, and music

The library has holiday music CDs and holiday movies on display to help you get in the spirit. Look for the library’s holiday decorations soon–we love to deck the halls!

Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Join friends and neighbors on Thanksgiving Day for a community dinner being held this year at Old Chicago from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Dinner is free of charge but donations are appreciated. Call (785) 537-0730 for more information.

Festival of Lights at Blue Earth Plaza Nov. 28-Dec. 31

The lighting ceremony (with a special appearance by Santa!) will be held Friday, November 28 at 7:00 pm. The music and lights will dazzle viewers this holiday season!

Small Business Saturday Nov. 29

Shop locally and support Manhattan businesses.

College Musicum Free Concert – Monday, Dec. 1

Enjoy a free concert from K-State’s historical performance ensemble on Monday, December 1 at 7:30 pm in Kirmser Hall at McCain Auditorium.

Winterdance ’14 – Thrusday, Dec. 4- Monday, Dec. 6

WinterDance is K-State Dance’s annual fall concert that features faculty dance choreography. Jazz, modern, tap, ballet, movement theatre, and African dance styles will be shown. The performances will be in the Chapman Theater in Nichols Hall at 7:30 each evening December 4 through 6. Call for tickets 785-532-6428 or check their web site at http://www.k-state.edu/dance

Mayor’s Holiday Parade – Friday, Dec. 5

This festive parade starts at 5:30 at the mall and ends with a tree-lighting ceremony in Aggieville’s triangle park. You’ll see lighted floats and might even catch a special appearance by Santa Claus!

Family Holiday Workshop – Sunday, Dec. 7

The Beach Museum of Art is hosting a workshop on Sunday, December 7 from 2:00-3:30 pm, with winter-themed art projects for the whole family. For For more information, go to http://beach.k-state.edu. Fee charged.

KSU Orchestra – Sunday, Dec. 7

Get into the holiday spirit with beautiful music at this free concert at McCain Auditorium Sunday, December 7 at 3:00 pm.

Horse-drawn Carriage Rides Dec. 6-21

On Saturday and Sunday evenings December 6-21, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride around downtown Manhattan free with a donation of cash or goods for the Manhattan Emergency Shelter. Start at 3rd and Poyntz.

Helping those in need

• The Mayor’s Holiday Food and Fund Drive assists the Flint Hills Breadbasket in collecting food for needy families. A donation of $40 provides a food basket for a family of four. Food donations, or cash donations, are always welcomed at the Breadbasket either in person at 905 Yuma Street on online. Don’t let families go hungry this holiday season!
• Individuals, families or businesses may adopt a family in order to provide gifts for a family that otherwise might not celebrate the holidays. The Junior League of the Flint Hills is sponsoring the Adopt-A-Family Program this year and matches donors to families. Call 785-410-5086 or email jlfhadoptafamily@gmail.com to offer your help.

Posted in: For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, News, Uncategorized

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Book Sale

spring book sale logoFriday, February 28th, is a very important date at Manhattan Public Library. That’s the scheduled kick-off for the Manhattan Library Association’s annual book sale. For those unfamiliar with the event, it’s a three-day sale of gently used books, dvd’s, audiobooks, and more.  With hardcover books going for $1.50 and dvd’s  for $2, browsers are sure to discover stacks of treasures destined for home shelves.

Where and when does the sale take place?  The library auditorium holds a majority of the materials, while the Groesbeck Room houses paperbacks, cd’s, lp’s and dvd’s.  Hundreds of children’s books can also be found on tables near the auditorium.  The sale is open to Manhattan Library Association members only from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday’s kick-off night, but memberships (starting at $10) are available at the door for those who wish to purchase on that first night.  Saturday, March 1st, is open to all shoppers, and materials can be purchased from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday’s sale is highlighted by the Teen Library Advisory Board’s Annual Bake Sale from 10:00 to 2:00, so shoppers can also select some fantastic snacks.  Sunday’s sale on March 2nd runs from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., with last-minute markdowns on remaining materials.

Why attend?  Beyond the fact that shoppers can locate some terrific buys, there’s the angle of replenishing resources for the library.  Manhattan Library Association collects materials, either those donated by library users or those removed from the library’s many collections, all year long.  Rosie’s Corner, which is located near the library’s Tech Center, offers sale materials throughout the year, and next week’s annual book sale attracts hundreds of shoppers.  The beauty of the sale process is that all proceeds go right back to the library, whether offsetting program expenses, paying for library fixtures, or funding collection purchases.  Library users who have enrolled in summer reading or TALK book discussions have benefitted from MLA’s efforts.  Library users who have admired the Aesop’s Fables Trellis or who have relaxed on the library’s lovely wooden benches have enjoyed MLA’s largesse.   Manhattan Library Association’s role in library enhancement is crucial, and staff members are grateful for the ongoing support.

Elaine sorting through books at the 2013 book sale

Who makes the arrangements for the sale?  Some might think that this is an effort by library staff, but that would be wrong.  A selfless group of MLA volunteers makes the event possible.  Gary Jeffrey, who has been a devoted friend of the library for many years, is the chairman of the library sale.  Gary goes far beyond ordinary volunteer efforts as he plans the layout of the sale, organizes a full staff of other volunteers to work during the three-day event, and answers any questions people might have.  Wilma Schmeller and her crew of volunteers sort donations and price items, in addition to keeping Rosie’s Corner stocked with fresh materials all year long.  And other kind friends, like Carol Oukrop, Cindy Jeffrey and Rosalie King, donate countless hours of work to this event.

Please plan to join us for some browsing at this year’s sale.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised by all the wonderful bargains.

Posted in: Mercury Column, Uncategorized

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