The Old Man and the Sea

May 25, 2016 by

Product DetailsTitle: The Old Man and the Sea

Author/Artist: Ernest Hemingway

Why I picked it up: A book by Ernest Hemingway is one that you will never want to miss. Hemingway has a very unique style of writing, where he uses less long sentences, and splits them into shorter smaller sentences. This book was also recommended by a few of my friends, so I decided that I should give it a read. Plus, it is a pretty short book, which you can finish in one session.

Why I finished it: This book definitely was worth my time. It had a lot of meaning behind each character, which you have to put into consideration in order to understand the book. It was very weird at first, as I didn’t understand the story, but as I kept on reading I realized the similarities between some of the characters and objects in the book.

I’d give it to: I would give this book to anyone who would like to read an interesting book.

Star rating: 5 stars

Reviewer: Justin (Plano teen)

Seven Ways We Lie

May 23, 2016 by

by Riley Redgate

Seven Ways We Lie isn’t an in-depth study on why we lie, it’s a study on how our secrets make us human.  Riley Redgate’s deft prose twines and twists between graceful and gritty, weaving seven unique characters into a story with threads so universal yet variegated, it could belong to any one of us.  Don’t expect a fairy tale.  This is reality at its most raw, most poignant, and most relatable.  Art imitating life… fiction perfected.”  -A. G. Howard, author of New York Times – bestselling Splintered series (back of book)

I couldn’t have said it better than A. G. Howard.  Reality at its finest!  A book that gives you such a realistic portrayal of high school and how lives can so easily be shaped by lies.  Lies we tell ourselves as well as others which can often define the person we become.  A must read for high school students.

I’d give it 5 stars


The Forbidden Wish

May 20, 2016 by

The forbidden wishThe Forbidden Wish

by Jessica Khoury

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world… 

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years — a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart? (Summary taken from the cover flap)

Why I picked it up:

I love the Aladdin stories and this one with a female jinni was not to be missed!

Why I finished it:

If you have ever seen the 1960’s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, this is NOT it! (Thank goodness!) This is a lushly told tale of deception, forbidden love and dangerous magic with a clever thief and a powerful yet vulnerable jinni.  As The Forbidden Wish is told in the first person with Zahra as narrator, I couldn’t help but be immersed in this distinctive fantasy world of the jinni and thoroughly engaged in Zahra and Aladdin’s fate.

 I’d give it to:

Anyone who enjoys fairy-tale retellings in faraway lands.

I’d give it: 4 stars

 Reviewed by: Connie (Parr Library)




Teen Street Team

May 18, 2016 by

Our Teen Street Team split up and created two videos to promote our Summer Reading Program this year. One video was meant for younger kids:

And the other was created with older kids in mind:

All this after WINNING for the state of Texas in the 2016 Teen Video Challenge. You can view all the winners here.

We had a pretty talented group of teens this year!!

If you’re interested in joining the 2016-2017 Teen Street Team, keep an eye out here for the application which should come out on June 1st!

The Haters

May 16, 2016 by


The Haters

by Jesse Andrews

For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.

And talk about road trips from hell! These three over the course of their journey experience the absolute worst of each other–embarrassing bodily functions, self destructive behavior, and just all three of them in general acting like total jerks to each other. They also experience some pretty strange places and people, and learn a little more about themselves as musicians (and people) than they might prefer to know. But in the end, they all manage to really do some growing up. They learn to have real conversations with each other, and talk about real issues. They learn that maybe they’re stronger together than they are separated. And they learn to stop caring so much about what other people think about what they like. They learn that they’re all haters…but that can change!

If you’ve read Jesse Andrews’ first book, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, you probably already know a little of what to expect: friends that don’t always act like friends, characters that don’t follow the stereotypes, and some definite pushing against the tropes of young adult literature. Plus, of course, much hilarity!

Recommended for older teen fans of realistic fiction and music, and for all the haters out there.

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

May 11, 2016 by



Jennifer Mathieu


Rachel Walker is devoted to God. 

She prays every day, attends church with her family, helps care for her 5 younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy.

But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her home school education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.

Why I picked it up:  I guess the role that religion plays in people’s lives has always fascinated me.  My daughter, knowing this and having read it herself, recommended it to me.

Why I finished it:  I found Rachel to be a very believable character and was interested in learning how much she would be willing to sacrifice in order to be true to herself.

I’d give it to anyone interested in well-written, coming-of-age ya novels with well developed characters.

I’d give it:


May 9, 2016 by

Pull_anne riley









Title: Pull

Author/Artist: Anne Riley

Why I picked it up: I picked up this book because the idea of time travelling teen set in London seemed interesting. It’s a story about a girl who discovers that she shares with others the power to rewind time enough to undo a crime and help change the outcome.

Why I finished it: It wasn’t a very long book and, at the very least, I wanted to find out what happened to Rosie.

I’d give it to: I would give to anyone who is very invested in stories set in London or the idea of time-traveling fighting heroes.

Star rating: 3 stars

Reviewer: Andrea H (Haggard Library)


May 4, 2016 by

ScorpiaTitle: Scorpia

Author/Artist: Anthony Horowitz

Why I picked it up: I picked up this book as a continuation of the Alex Rider series and each book that he made motivated me to read this book (5th in series).

Why I finished it: I finished this book because of the suspense and action in this book. It was very interesting to see how this book being the penultimate book in the Alex Rider series, would end.

I’d give it to: I would give it to teenagers primarily and also for people who have enjoyed mystery novels and the Alex Rider series.

Star rating: 4 stars

Reviewer: Sriram (Plano teen)

Where You’ll Find Me

May 2, 2016 by

Where you'll find meTitle: Where You’ll Find Me

Author: Nathasha Friend

The first month of school, thirteen-year-old Anna Collette finds herself… DUMPED by her best friend Dani, who suddenly wants to spend eighth grade “hanging out with different people.”  DESERTED by her mom, who’s in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt.  TRAPPED in a house with her dad, a new baby sister, and a stepmother young enough to wear her Delta Delta Delta sweatshirt with pride. STUCK at a lunch table with Shawna the Eyebrow Plucker and Sarabeth the Irish Stepper because she has no one else to sit with.

But what if all isn’t lost? What if Anna’s mom didn’t exactly mean to leave her? What if Anna’s stepmother is cooler than she thought? What if the misfit lunch table isn’t such a bad fit after all? With help from some unlikely sources, including a crazy girl-band talent show act, Anna just may find herself on the road to okay. (Taken from the publisher).

Why I picked it up: I read a review of this book in a journal and immediately put it on hold because it sounded like a type of book that I would enjoy.

Why I finished it: Anna’s first-person narration blends heartache and humor. I felt Anna’s pain when her mother was hospitalized and I felt her anxiety when she had to move in with her distant father. The author did an excellent job of creating a memorable main character who is extremely relatable.

I’d give it to: Anyone who enjoys well-written, realistic fiction.

Star Rating:   Five stars

Reviewer: Renee (Parr library)


A Drop of Night

April 29, 2016 by

Stefan Bachmann

Just imagine getting a personal invitation to visit an archaeological site in France.  It will involve a subterranean palace dating from the time of the French Revolution.  You have been personally selected and everything is paid for.  You do need your parent’s signature but after all do they really care?  You know you are gifted, 17 years old and stuck with the weirdest name ever, Anouk.  Why would your adopted parents stick you with a name like that.  Your considered rather weird at school and your home life is nonexistent.  Just give me any reason why I shouldn’t go?

You might have guessed that Anouk  forged her parent’s signature and away she went.  She met four other gifted and chosen students at the airport.  The ride to France would be rated above first class and their rooms at the palace were unforgettable.  All seemed to good to be true and believe me it was.  A Drop of Night is a thriller.  I was intrigued from the moment I read the inside of the book.  You will be pulled into this mysterious adventure that is filled with strange and mystical creatures that twist reality and logic until the very end.

I’d give it: 4 stars