2006 Eragon

2006 Winner - Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Imagine you’re taking a walk in the woods, minding your own business, when you find a beautiful pure blue gem—a sapphire or a blue diamond. What would you do? [Wait for answers] Would you keep it? Sell it on E-bay? Give it to someone you love?

Eragon is a teenager like you – he’s nobody special, not rich or famous. In fact, his family may have a tough time surviving the next winter. So when he stumbles on a gem that is obviously very valuable he knows what he has to do: hawk it quickly and quietly. But before he has a chance to find a buyer, something terrible and wonderful happens… the stone hatches.

Turns out that the stone is an egg and from it emerges Saphira, a majestic dragon – a beast that was thought to be extinct but has somehow survived. Eragon and the dragon bond, and Eragon’s life is never going to be the same again. He is now a Dragon Rider with great new powers and possibilities. And when his uncle is killed by servants of the evil King Galbatorix he also learns that he has great new responsibilities. Eragon and Saphira begin a quest for justice that will entangles them in politics, evil and danger to an entire world.

Booktalk by Jane Wheeler, Whatcom County Library System

Acceleration by Graham McNamee

If you found someone’s diary on the school bus, would you read it, or would you turn it into the school’s lost and found unopened? [Wait for response:] What if you worked at the school’s lost and found? And nobody was ever looking…

Duncan had a summer job with the Toronto Subway. He worked in the always-cold “Lost and Found” deep underground the city. It was pretty boring. Pretty much unsupervised, so… Duncan read the diary. It was pretty sicko. Some guy writing about his fantasies about stalking girls. Hurting them. He seemed obsessed with this one pretty girl who rode the Toronto subway.

Slowly Duncan realized that this sicko wasn't just fantasizing. He was going to kill the girl… and the last diary entry was only a couple weeks old! 

How far would you go to stop a serial killer?

Booktalk by Kirsten Edwards, King County Library System

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

Like Harry Potter & wizards on the rampages? Have we got a treat for you! Nathaniel may be only a scrawny 11-year-old wizard’s apprentice but he’s got the magical chops to summon a powerful 5,000-year-old Djinni! And control him.

The Djinni is Bartimeus, he’s powerful, grumpy, sarcastic and has seen it ALL. Like the dad from “That ‘70s Show” there’s NO way he’s going to be the slave of some punk apprentice! He’ll bide his time and wait for the boy to make a mistake—and then he’ll take a bloody revenge!

But Nathanial has other plans. He’s going to use Bartimeus to get revenge against Simon Lovelace by stealing Simon’s magical amulet – the amulet of Samarkand. If Simon Lovelace thinks Nathaniel is just another apprentice to be mocked and embarrassed he can think again! Unfortunately for Bartimeus, Nathanial IS the Harry Potter of this dark, alternate world where magic is as commonplace as science and the country is run by dark wizards. Bartimeus is going to wait a LONG, LONG time before Nathanial makes a mistake. And that’s lucky for Nathanial because he’s going to need all his power AND Bartimeus – the amulet is no minor trinket – it’s power will attract every dark wizard in London. If Nathanial and Bartimeus can’t work together, they’ll both be destroyed.

Booktalk by Kirsten Edwards, King County Library System & Jane Wheeler, Whatcom County Library System

Dangerous Girls by R. L. Stine

Some summer camps are more exciting than others. You've heard of the ones where all the counselors are just so amazingly hot. (I never got to go to one of those) or the ones where monsters like Jason or Freddy or some THING chow down on all the teenagers? Camp Blue Moon, where sisters Destiny and Livvy have summer jobs is just a little bit of both.

See, there is a monster stalking the camp. But he’s a totally hot monster: He’s Lorenzo Angelini, a tall, dark, exceptionally good looking vampire. And this particular vampire been taking free samples from the young ladies working at Camp Blue Moon. Unfortunately for Destiny and Livvy, he decides to follow them home from camp, and make their lives in small town Dark Springs really interesting.

Because it’s not bad enough that Destiny and Livvy suddenly don’t like chocolate any more, have a hard time staying up during the day, and develop a taste for very rare, very bloody steaks. Lorenzo has decided that Destiny (or maybe Livvy) is the reincarnation of his first love and that Livvy (or maybe Destiny) is going to become a vampire and live with him forever. Whether she likes it or not.

Fat Kid Rules the World by K. L. Going

Troy Billings, high school senior, 6’ 1”, 296 lbs, is standing at the edge of a subway platform, seriously contemplating suicide, when he meets Curt MacCrae-an emaciated, semi-homeless punk guitar genius who’s also a dropout legend at Troy’s high school in Manhattan. If anyone knows who Curt Cobain was, well, there’s a strong resemblance.

“I saved your life,” Curt tells Troy. “You owe me lunch.” Troy can’t imagine refusing; after all, think of the headline: FAT KID ARGUES WITH PIECE OF TWINE.

But lunch with Curt involves more than French fries. Curt recruits Troy as the drummer for his new band. “We’ll be called Rage/Tectonic. Sort of a punk rock, Clash sort of thing,” Curt tells him. Never mind that Troy doesn't know how to play the drums. There’s a lot to be said for having someone believe in you. Of course, Troy’s father thinks Curt is a drug addict, although that doesn't stop him from giving Curt dinner. Sometimes your friends get along with your parents better than you do. Oh, and Troy’s brother thinks Troy is a loser. 

But with Curt, anything’s possible. “You’ll see,” says Curt, “We’re going to be HUGE.” And he means huge in a good way. Mercurial Curt has energy and enthusiasm to spare, when he’s not crashing. And Troy, newly baptized “T”, really wants to be everything Curt believes he can be. Funny, sad, real and ultimately, hopeful.

Booktalk by Cindy Claypool, King County Library System

The Geography Club by Brent Hartinger

Does your school have a Save the Adverb Support Group? How about an Algebra Team? Geography Club?

No? Would any of you want to join any of these clubs?

Well, that’s the idea. See, Russell has a crush on Kevin, a popular football jock. Admitting that he likes guys doesn’t seem like a smart move, until he finds out that Kevin is gay too. Then he discovers that his best gal pal – his best friend, really - Min, likes girls. It’s this big secret thing they all share so…

They start an after-school club that no-one, no-one would ever want to join, a place where they can hang out without having to pretend. It seems really great until
You knew that “until” was coming, right? Until Russell refuses to go all the way with a girl and she tells everyone that he’s gay. Kevin chooses his football career over Russell’s love and Min, well, she’s got problems too.

It’s a funny, sad, romantic story about best friends, true love, and secrets.

Booktalk by Kirsten Edwards, King County Library System

High Heat by Carl Deuker

Shane Hunter’s life had fallen apart. A star relief pitcher for Shorelake Academy’s winner baseball team, Shane had lived in a fancy house and seemed a shoe-in for college during his sophomore year. But now he was in his junior year at Whitman, one Seattle high school with a reputation for being a dead end. What had happened?

Shane’s father had committed suicide after being arrested for money laundering. Shane, his mother and sister had to move out of their fancy house, and Shane had been forced to enroll in a cheaper public high school. Feeling betrayed, Shane had started drinking, stealing, and let his grades slide.He joined the Whitman baseball team only to loose his confidence and ability to throw the fastball after he hit a player on his former team during a mid-season game. It seemed like Shane’s baseball career and his goal of going to college were things of the past.

Shane thought he was through playing baseball. But in his heart he was still a pitcher. The only question was could he ever throw the fastball again.

Booktalk by Tom Reynolds, Sno-Isle Library System

Inside Out by Terry Trueman

When are the things that happen in your mind scarier then the things that happen around you? When you have Schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a severe brain disorder that affects the way people see and understand things, and the way they act. Sixteen-year-old Zack is a schizophrenic. He is waiting at a coffee shop for his mother to arrive with his medication so the voices in his head will not stop when 2 kids walk in with guns and start barking orders. Are they real, or are they like Rat and Dirtbag--two enemies who appear to him sometimes when his brain goes haywire? They yell at him, call him names, and tell him he should kill himself.

Zack is one of nine hostages held in the coffee houses storeroom by two young robbers after a botched robbery. A SWAT team has surrounded the coffee house and nobody can get in or out—nobody, including Zack’s mother. It’s a standoff and as time goes buy Zack hears more and more voices—some real, some in his mind. Zack knows he must get his medication before his mind goes haywire and he turns inside out.

Bootkalk by Tom Reynolds, Sno-Isle Library System

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas sees dead people. The person might be Elvis, who occasionally visits him. Or, he might be Tom Jedd, a local stonemason who dies in a car crash and now wanders about Tire World, scratching himself and waving to Odd with his severed arm. But, as Odd says, when he sees one, he tries to do something that will help the spirit move on.

Odd knows he has a gift. But, this twenty-year-old short order cook from Pico Mundo, California also sees ghost-like shades he calls bodachs. He sees them right about the same time as something violent is about to occur. The more bodachs, the worse the impending doom.

And, Odd is seeing more bodachs than he has ever seen before.

They seem to have arrived in this hot, sleepy little town along with the pasty-faced stranger Odd calls Fungus Man. Searching for why, Odd will enlist the help from many friends, including the police chief and his beloved girlfriend Stormy. He reveals utter evil, yet his actions will demonstrate the pure qualities of loyalty and true love.

Did I mention that what Odd finds is not for the faint of heart? Do not read this book if you are squeamish or have an aversion to violence.
Do read this book if you enjoy a bone-rattling mystery, filled with quirky characters, a healthy dose of humor, and tightly-strung suspense

Booktalk by Kathy Caldwell, Bainbridge Island High School

Pirates by Celia Rees

Did you see the movie Pirates of the Caribbean with Johnny Depp? If you did, and you like romance, daring battles, and high seas adventure, you will really like reading Pirates! by Celia Rees! Meet Nancy Kington, a sixteen-year-old, and discover her father’s promise to the wicked Bartholome. Is this why Nancy and Minerva Sharpe, a Jamaican plantation slave, forged a friendship that led them to run away and become pirates? Dive into the pages of this book to find out!

Booktalk by Sandy Bailey (South Caroline Book Awards, 2006)