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A Study in Scarlet – A Review

Posted on June 30th, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Read by: Anna/Central Teen Room

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous literary detectives of all time and this is the book that introduced him to the world in 1887. It’s hard to believe that this character, along with his sidekick Dr. John Watson, continue to be just as popular over 100 years later, but two current television shows and many movies easily prove that these characters are as enduring as time itself.

A Study in Scarlet starts us off with Dr. John Watson, having returned to London from the war in Afghanistan he is in need of a place to live and can’t afford one on his own. A friend of his recommends Sherlock Holmes as someone who is also seeking a roommate. John knows nothing about the police profession or the science of deduction, but he’s about to learn when the local police ask for Sherlock’s assistance in solving a most bizarre murder. A man is found dead, with no apparent wounds on his person. Just how did he die? And who is the murderer? Sherlock doesn’t reveal his clues until the end, but the story takes us all the way to Salt Lake City, Utah and back to London again before the end.

This was a fantastic murder mystery that easily shows just how important all the little details at a crime scene are. Through John Watson, we learn how Sherlock solves crimes using what he terms the Science of Deduction. It’s also a very short book, split into two parts, each seven chapters long. It was a breeze to read. The only thing I’m still not sure about, was the abrupt shift from London to Utah without any heads up. Then we’re stuck in Utah for five chapters before we get back to London. However, everything does tie neatly together in the end. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys reading murder mysteries. This is not a book to miss out on!

This book is also on the Boston Public Schools Grade 9-12 summer reading mystery list, for anyone searching for a good read for school.

 

 

TBOM Spring and Summer 2014

Posted on March 23rd, 2014 by Anna in Books, Events, Programs

 

Here’s our new and improved Spring and Summer 2014 schedule! We’ve decided to split books in half to give everyone time enough to read them.

Incarceron

March 27th 3pm Chapters 1-17

April 24th 3pm Chapters 18-end

Incarceron — a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology — a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber — chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison — a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device — a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn’s escape is born …

Study in Scarlet

May 29th 3pm Chapters 1-7

June 26th 3pm 8-14

This is the genre-defining work with which popular crime fiction was born. A potent mix of serial murder, suspense, cryptic clues, red herrings, and revenge, the novel introduces us to the world-famous characters of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Inspector Lestrade and sees Sherlock and Dr. Watson meet and join forces for the first time as they track a mysterious killer that stalks London’s streets.

Crystal Cave

July 31st 3pm Chapters TBD

August 28th 3pm Chapters TBD

Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myridden Emrys — or as he would later be known, Merlin — leads a perilous childhood, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man’s-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of Uther Pendragon . . . and the conception of Arthur — king for once and always.

TBOM Spring Reads!

Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Anna in Books, Programs

Hi all! Interested in joining our Teen Book of the Month book discussion group held in the Central Library’s Teen Room? Below are the novels we’ll be reading from January – April. Once we select books for May and beyond we’ll list them in another blog post, but if you want a say in what we read, you’ve got to join the group! What does it take to join our group? 1) get the book we’re reading next. 2) read said book 3) come to the book discussion and talk about why you liked or didn’t like it. It’s that easy and it’s a lot of fun! Plus, we have snack food at all of our discussions!

Rootless

Rootless by Chris Howard

Book discussion on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 3pm

17-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using scrap metal and salvaged junk, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan’s never seen a real tree—they were destroyed more than a century ago—his father used to tell him stories about the Old World. But that was before his father was taken . . .

Everything changes when Banyan meets a woman with a strange tattoo—a clue to the whereabouts of the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can’t escape the locusts—the locusts that now feed on human flesh.

But Banyan isn’t the only one looking for the trees, and he’s running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he’s forced to make an uneasy alliance with Alpha, an alluring, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might only be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.

Incarceron

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Book discussion on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 3pm

Incarceron — a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology — a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber — chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison — a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device — a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn’s escape is born …

Born of Illusion

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Book discussion on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 3pm

A gifted illusionist, Anna assists her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums, and mentalists in 1920’s New York. As the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini—or so Marguerite claims—sleight of hand illusions have never been a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her own gifts secret from her opportunistic mother. Because while Marguerite’s own powers may be a sham, Anna possesses a true ability to sense people’s feelings and foretell the future.

But as Anna’s powers intensify, she begins to experience frightening visions of her mother in peril, which leads her to explore the powers she’s tried so long to hide. And when a mysterious young man named Cole moves into the flat downstairs, introducing Anna to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, she is forced to confront her past and rethink everything she’s ever known. Is her mother truly in danger, or are Anna’s visions merely illusion? And could the great Houdini really be her father, or is it just another of Marguerite’s tricks?

Push

Push by Sapphire

Book discussion on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 3pm

Relentless, remorseless, and inspirational, this “horrific, hope-filled story” (Newsday) is certain to haunt a generation of readers. Precious Jones, 16 years old and pregnant by her father with her second child, meets a determined and highly radical teacher who takes her on a journey of transformation and redemption.

Burning Blue – A Review

Posted on September 27th, 2013 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Teens

burning blue

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Read by: Anna/Central Library Teen Room

Nicole Castro was a rich, beautiful girl. Everyone thought so. She’d recently won a beauty contest for a scholarship. But she was also smart and kind. People said those things about her too. Then one day while she was rushing to class someone popped up out of nowhere and squirted acid into her face, into her left eye, leaving her scarred for life. But the question is, who did it? And why? Enter Jay Nazzaro, rhymes with Sbarro. He has epilepsy and knows what it’s like to be embarrassed in front of the entire school while unconsciously flopping around on the floor while everyone takes pictures and videos to post online of his public seizure. He’s intent on making everyone think he’s stupid by using an old flip phone and asking the cute girl behind the Starbucks counter how to text his father back.  But looks can be deceiving. Jay is a hacker who likes to keep his computer parts looking cheap and worthless. His flip phone is smarter than any smart phone around and he’s determined to figure out who is the cruelest person in his hometown. Who would burn Nicole Castro? Is it her boyfriend? One of the teachers? One of Nicole’s rich tennis friends? Or someone else entirely? Jay and Nicole have never even talked to each other before but they may just become the best of friends, if not something more.

I picked up this book and right away I couldn’t put it down. There is a romance in it, but it’s very understated. Jay continually tells people he and Nicole are not in a relationship. The medical issues in the book, Jay’s seizures and Nicole’s acid burns, are spot on well researched and written to be easily understood. It helps that the author, Paul Griffin, is a volunteer EMT who also works with at-risk , special needs, and incarcerated teens, which brings a realness to his writing. This is not your typical mystery. There is no dead body. No murder. Instead, Jay is trying to figure out who would want to burn Nicole’s face. Half of her face is gone. She’s having to go to the hospital for skin grafts, where the doctor takes skin from another part of her body and uses it to cover her face. Never-the-less, her face won’t be the same again. She won’t be the same again. And the truth of what happened will astound you. You won’t see it coming. This is a fast read, but make sure you’ve got the time to read it cover to cover. You won’t want to put this one down.

Our TBOM book discussion group will be talking about it on October 1st, next Tuesday! Come in and get your copy today so you can join us next week for snack food and a good conversation!

Teen Book of the Month (TBOM) Dates Changed

Posted on September 25th, 2013 by Anna in Books, Programs

emergency exclamation point

The Teen book discussion group meets in the Central Library Teen Room and all teens are welcome. Throughout the fall we’ll be planning what to read during the spring months, so if anyone would like to join our group and help pick out the next books we read, we would love for you to join us. Snacks are always provided so come hungry!

Please note that some of our TBOM dates have changed for the upcoming months. Below are the new dates for the fall.

 

burning blue

Tuesday, October 1st 2013 at 3pm: Burning Blue by Paul Griffen

rogue

Wednesday, November 13th 2013 at 3pm: Rogue by Gina Damico (Croak and Scorch are the first two books in this trilogy.)

This date has NOT changed due to the fact that the author, Gina Damico, will be coming to our book discussion! YEAH!

the hallowed ones

Tuesday, December 10th 2013 at 3pm: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle