Best Fiction for Young Adults Noms are IN! 

Do you love to read teen fiction? Would you like to influence what other teens read? Well here is your chance. Every year the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) puts out a list of the Best Fiction for Young Adults based on the comments and feedback from TEENS just like you. You can view the current list, but if your favorites aren't on there, submit a nomination form.

There is also an opportunity to give your feedback LIVE at the American Library Association conference in Anaheim this June. Space is limited to just 10 teens so if you're interested and want more details contact me at Best of the Best



Book Review Points to Ponder 

book review



  • Are you a Review Crew member?
  • Are you thinking of joining but not sure where to begin when it comes to writing book reviews?


Well here are some points to ponder when you're writing a book review from Heather Booth, Literature & Audio Service Librarian at the Downers Grove Library. The most important thing to remember is that when writing a review you're not just retelling the story. You're trying to help other readers decide if the book is worthy of their time and WHY. Move beyond "I love it/I hated it" by considering these suggestions...

  • My first impression of this book was...
  • Compared to other books in this genre, this book was...
  • The writing is similar to this author/this book...
  • Who do you think the author was trying to read?
  • Who will want to read this book?

The CHARACTERS were...believable, boring, flat, interesting, likeable, multi-dimensional, one-sided, recognizable, unrealistic

The DIALOGUE was...realistic, over-the-top, funny, witty, rough, melodramatic, subtle, serious

The PLOT was...familiar, gripping, complex, fast paced, unique, contemplative, simple, slow

Here are some DESCRIPTIVE WORDS & PHRASES you might use to describe a book... entertaining, lyrical, compelling, slice-of-life, memorable, pass-along, if you enjoyed_____, down to earth, can't put down, must-read, daring, well told, page-turner, discussable, controversial, not for fans of ______, plodding, readable, bland, high-interest.

Now go write reviews!!  And if you haven't joined the Review Crew yet, be sure to do that first!

HOT TREND ALERT: Library Haul Videos 

05/31/2011 Categories: book review videos

Are you super excited about the books you just checked out from the library?!?

These teens are! Check out these "library haul" videos and if you're inspired to create your own, you can post them to our Facebook page ( or e-mail the Youtube link to me ( and I'll post them here on the blog.


Graceling by Kirstin Cashore Book Review 

05/09/2011 Categories: book review

Graceling book cover5 Stars

This is one of the best books I've read in the last few months, and fans of Hunger Games will definitely want to check it out because I found quite a few parallels between Katniss and the heroine of Graceling, Katsa (and not just the similarity of their names).  Both are strong, wounded women who have experienced a hard life filled with loss and find themselves unwillingly being manipulated by people in positions of power over them, but they both come out winners in the end - Girl Power! Graceling isn't just for girls,'s an action, adventure, fantasy with just the right amount of suspense, tension, shock, mystery, battle, horrible unfathomable bad guys, romance (but not in the traditional sense that you would expect), and humor (I laughed out loud at some parts).  I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning for quite a few days to finish it because I literally couldn't stop reading it.  The world that the author creates is believable and the characters are all wonderfully developed and unique.
From the publisher:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. 
I loved this book so much that I immediately checked out Cashore's second book Fire which is actually a companion novel to Graceling. Stay tuned for a review of that one!

Free book for Writing Book Reviews 

05/04/2011 Categories: book review free stuff
  • Do you love to read teen fiction? 
  • Want to read books before they're even available in stores or at the library?
  • Are you at least 13 years old?


The Z Street Team is Zondervan Publishing's teen advisory board, and they need your feedback! Members of the Z Street Team get totally free access to behind-the-scenes details about the books they're planning to publish. Each month, members get to choose between two upcoming teen books to review in advance. On top of that, members will get free downloadable wallpapers, blogger badges, and exclusive access to members-only giveaways for signed teen books and invitations to events and book launches.

To sign up, visit and enter your info!  You get to choose a free book just for joining! You can also post your reviews right here on our website on the Teen Book Review blog.