Month: September 2019

by Luke Wahlmeier Luke Wahlmeier No Comments

Books for the Transition Between Juvenile and Young Adult Literature

Books for the Transition Between Juvenile and Young Adult Literature

By Hannah Atchison, Children’s Librarian

Transitions are uncomfortable and difficult. The transition between child and young adult is probably one of the hardest. How do you find a book to read when you are done with children’s books, but are not sure where to begin in our teen section? The difference between our children’s books and our young adult books is that the books in our teen section have more mature themes. Mature, here, meaning that the story contains violent, romantic, or morally complex themes that are considered to be more than what a child is capable of understanding.

Here are a few recommendations for you:


  • Eragonby Christopher PaoliniThis is the first book in a series about a fifteen-year-old boy named Eragon whose adventures begin when he discovers a dragon egg.


  • The Lightning Thief -First in a series that follows the adventures of Percy Jackson, a boy who finds out he is a demigod, the son of Poseidon.


  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare -Fifteen-year-old Clary discovers a world that exits within our world where there are monsters and demons and those that hunt them: the Shadowhunters.


Science Fiction

  • Fullmetal Alchemistby Hiromu Arakawa -This is a graphic novel about Fullmetal, the codename of Edward Elric, a boy with the gift of alchemy. A ritual left Edward with mechanical limbs and his brother a walking, talking suit of armor. They seek the Philosopher’s Stone, convinced it can help them.


  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer -A retelling of Cinderella that takes place in New Beijing where humans and androids live together. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic involved in an intergalactic conflict threatening everyone on Earth.



  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner -Thomas wakes in a large outdoor space surrounded by high walls with his memory almost blank. Several boys are there, all of whom lost their memories. Doors open in the wall in the mornings revealing the maze surrounding them. One day a girl arrives with a message.


  • The Giver by Lois Lowry -At age twelve, during the Ceremony, Jonas is given his job as the receiver of memories for his community. Jonas learns secrets and uncomfortable truths about the community he once loved, and he decides to escape.



  • I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter -There is a boarding school for girls, which is actually a secret spy school. Cammie Morgan, the daughter of the headmistress, has fallen for a completely normal boy. She is incredibly smart and capable, but has no idea how to have a normal relationship.


  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro -Jamie Watson is at Sherringford Prep School in Connecticut where he meets Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great-granddaughter of the detective Sherlock Holmes who has inherited his talents. The two work to solve the mysterious death of a student.

Realistic Fiction

  • One Week Friends by Matcha Hazuki -In this graphic novel, Yuuki notices that his classmate Kaori is always alone. They become friends, but he finds out that she loses her memories at the end of every week. Yuuki decides to become friends with her every week, even though she forgets him.


  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas -Starr Carter is a sixteen-year-old navigating the disparities between the poor black neighborhood she lives in and her suburban prep school. Starr witnesses the death of her best friend, Khalil. When his reputation is destroyed, and the police aren’t giving his death the attention it deserves, Starr takes the case into her own hands.


  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez -Julia left home after high school, but her sister Olga stayed home with the family. When Olga is killed in an accident, Julia comes back home to her family, but her mother is not happy with her.


  • Paper Towns by John Green -Quentin Jacobsen has been head over heels for the enigma Margo Roth Spiegelman since they were kids. When Margo climbs through Q’s window one night and asks him to help her he jumps at the chance, but the next day she disappears. Q bravely sets out to find her, convinced they are meant to be together.


Hopefully, these suggestions will help make at least one part of the transition between child and young adult a little bit easier.

by Luke Wahlmeier Luke Wahlmeier No Comments

Humanities Kansas TALK About Literature in Kansas

Humanities Kansas TALK About Literature in Kansas

By Linda Henderson, Learning and Information Services Librarian

When so much in life denies people a way to feel belonging, when love and compassion seem forgotten, when a search for purpose seems absurd, how have people around the world come to experience strong spiritual faith?

This fall, the Manhattan Library Association, along with Humanities Kansas, will host a series of three lively, deep-reaching BookTALK discussions with the theme: “Faiths in Fiction: World Faiths.”  Readers will encounter characters who have shaped their lives through the experience of faith, both as inherited religious tradition, and in personal struggles with doubt, free will, and redemption.

Join us for lively discussions.  Copies of each month’s BookTALK title are ready now for patrons at the Manhattan Public Library’s second floor reference desk and no registration is necessary for the Thursday afternoon events.

James Baldwin’s “Go Tell It on the Mountain begins the fall season in September. In a semi-autobiographical novel, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy’s struggle for identity as the stepson of a tyrannical Pentecostal minister of a storefront church in 1935 Harlem. John is supposed to become a preacher like his father, Gabriel, but at 14 he feels morally betrayed and wrestles with rejecting the strict teachings of a family and community that have sabotaged his sense of worth.

Nicholas Shump will lead the discussion September 26, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in the Groesbeck Room on the 2nd floor of Manhattan Public Library.  Nick teaches humanities, history, and political science for the Barstow School and the Hybrid Learning Consortium in Kansas City, Missouri. He has taught Humanities and Western Civilization and American Studies courses at KU and has served as a volunteer coordinator of Adult Education in Lawrence.

For October, “Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya, relates the story of a peasant woman in developing India.  A child bride to a tenant farmer she had never met, Rukmani works side by side in the field with her husband to wrest a living from a land alternately ravaged by monsoon floods, ruinous drought, and insect swarms.  Yet, she perseveres, meeting changing times and fighting poverty and disaster. Throughout it all, Rukmani never loses her faith in life or her love – and hope – for her family.

Miranda Ericsson will lead the discussion of “Nectar in a Sieve on October 24, at 2:00 p.m. in the Groesbeck Room. Miranda Ericsson is the Readers Librarian for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, where she specializes in programs for readers and writers. Ericsson earned her Masters of Library & Information Science from Emporia State University. In her role at the Topeka and Shawnee Public Library, she leads programs and discussion groups that engage readers and writers.

The last presentation of the fall season is “The Romance Reader” by Pearl Abraham.  Abraham, who grew up in a Hasidic community herself, presents the story of Rachel, a girl caught between the strictly-regimented world of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and the yearnings of her own heart. Rachel comes to find a more enticing world in the pages of her forbidden paperback books, giving her a window into the larger world she lacked in her limited exposure to secular people.  “The Romance Reader” is both a coming-of-age story and a brave, beautifully rendered expose of a hidden, insular world.

Rosemary Kolich will lead a discussion of “The Romance Reader” at 2:00 p.m. on December 5, 2019, in Manhattan Public Library’s Groesbeck Room.   Sister Rosemary Kolich teaches English for the University of Saint Mary at both the main campus in Leavenworth and the Overland Park campus.  Kolich joined the TALK program in 2008.

Humanities Kansas (formerly Kansas Humanities Council) connects communities with history, traditions, and ideas to strengthen civic life. Last year, the Kansas Humanities Council supported 610 events in 119 communities across the state, reaching nearly one in six Kansans. “Humanities Kansas is a familiar face with a new name,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director.