2007 Supernaturalist

2007 Winner - The Supernaturalist 
by Eoin Colfer

Imagine a not-so-distant future where corporations own cities. You could live in Nike Town, shop in Fruit Loopville, and party in Nintendo Park. But corporations expect to make money. So each city has to find a way to earn a profit. Satellite City has found a way make up the money they spend each day on housing “the parentally challenged.” Orphans can test all the latest products before real consumers buy them. So what if the products are dangerous? If a kid without family dies before he is 15, who’s gonna miss him?

Cosmo Hill is 14 and fed up. He knows if he’s going to survive he’s got to get away from the Clarissa Frayne Institute for the Parentally Challenged. A freak accident and a crazy marshal offer Cosmo a chance of escape, only to leave him near death on a rooftop.

Does an angel appear in Cosmo's final moments? No such luck: A strange blue parasite just landed on his chest. The pain and energy are being sucked away. It's killing him.

But wait, who are those three kids? And why are they carrying weapons? Cosmo is about to be saved by a renegade hunters called The Supernaturalists.

If you want non-stop action, lots of laughs, believable characters, and a solid mystery, check out Eoin Colfer’s science-fiction hit, The Supernaturalist.

Booktalk by Sarah Evans, Teen Librarian
Sno-Isle Library System

The Year of Secret Assignments 
by Jaclyn Moriarty

[Just read the first page to the “money back guarantee” (don’t forget to include the *conditions apply footnote). ]

Lydia interacts with the “writer’s notebook” throughout the story, even though it began as a thoughtless gift from her absent father, not necessarily the way the notebook’s authors expect, but always with keen and hilarious observations.

[Then read starting with “Okay time for your first Quick Flick” and response.]

Lydia and her friends, Emma and Cassie, interact with a notebook, a diary, and ultimately, through letters they are forced to exchange with the neighboring public school. In fact, even Cassie’s dad interacts with the family through letters. Pranks are requested and pulled,; some people really click; some get stalked; and some get even. Finally, all correspondents come together to pull one last prank, making for hilarity, some really excellent kissing, and always laugh out loud funny!

A note to younger students: this book contains explicit language and some more mature situations!

The Year of Secret Assignments 
by Jaclyn Moriarty - Booktalk #2

Note this contains bad language when read aloud.

Before the booktalk, create “letters” by copying from the book, then highlighting the parts you want to read.


1. Emily’s first letter, reading from the beginning to just before chocolate, followed by the response from Charlie through the second paragraph, even though it is out of order.
1. Lydia’s first letter Dear Person at Brookfield, reading from the beginning to just before her birthday. Follow with the response from Seb through “Suggest a place to meet.” 
3. Cassie’s letter from the “You couldn’t believe it either,” skipping the teacher part, and of course, the whole response from Matthew.

Open the letters in front of the students and read the selected parts, cautioning students on the language and being able to handle this.

Then introduce the story:

Lydia and her friends, Emma and Cassie, interact with a notebook, a diary, and ultimately, through letters they are forced to exchange with the neighboring public school. In fact, even Cassie’s dad interacts with the family through letters. Pranks are requested and pulled; some people really click; some get stalked; and some get even. Finally, all correspondents come together to pull one last prank, making for hilarity, some really excellent kissing, and always laugh out loud funny!

Booktalks by Mary Jo Heller, Teacher-Librarian
Einstein Middle School

by Kenneth Oppel

Matt Cruise didn’t believe in mysterious creatures. He was cabin boy on the Aurora, a nine hundred foot long dirigible-like airship that carried people long distances between cities. Matt loved being airborn. He could name all the constellations and he saw in the stars and on the bridge of the Aurora all the adventure he could imagine.

Matt’s dream was to become a sailmaker. Matt’s father had been a sailmaker. Sailmakers kept the huge hydrium filled airships ready for flying and repaired them if necessary in flight. Sailmakers had real dangers to deal with like pirates and weather.

Then one day Matt helped rescue a crippled balloon and heard the dying words of its pilot. The old man spoke of magnificent creatures, an undiscovered species, he had seen flying around an unknown island. Of course, he was delirious. Matt knew that, everybody knew that. Until a year later when his granddaughter, Kate, showed up as a passenger on the Aurora, carrying her grandfather’s log, and determined to see what he had seen.

When Matt examines the log he finds an amazing, unbelievable story. And he becomes involved in a search for creatures that may rival or surpass anything airborn in his world?

Booktalk by Tom Reynolds, Teen Librarian
Sno-Isle Regional Library System

by Kenneth Oppel - Booktalk #2

Matt Cruse lives, breaths, and love his life on the airship Aurora…a giant blimp that travels the world, delivering cargo and entertaining wealthy passengers. Though Matt is a lowly cabin boy, he dreams of the day he can follow in his father's footsteps and become a full crewmember. While he is pretty sure he has what it takes to become a sailmaker, he secretly aspires to be Captain one day, leading a crew of his own. What Matt wants is a simple life, with good honest work, and to never have to sleep on the land. Little does Matt know the adventure in store for him, with mystery, murder, pirates, shipwrecks, romance, and a fantastic discovery in the skies.

Booktalk by Dawn Rutherford, Teen Librarian
King County Library System

Who's Your Daddy? 
by Lynda Sandoval

So, what does YOUR daddy do? Has that ever gotten in the way of your social life? 
What if your daddy was:
• the chief of police?
• the vice pricipal of your high school, the football coach, and the driver’s ed instructor all rolled into one?
• a famous and fabulously wealthy musician?

That’s the dilemma shared by Lila, Meryl and Caressa, three social outcasts in White Peaks, Colorado all because of their daddies. They are all cute enough, bright enough, and talented enough, but what boy in his right mind would be BRAVE enough to date one of them when the girls have fathers like that?

These three desperate girls decide to take their dateless matters into their own hands. At midnight on the night of Homecoming, they convene to conduct a Dumb Supper- dumb as in silent-which is a traditional ritual from 17th century England. They hope to reveal the identities of potential boyfriends- maybe even prom dates. But, despite their excellent planning, everything goes wrong. They are interrupted before they can carry out the supper. Yet… three guys are revealed. But, how could that be? And, perplexingly, some of the guys are not who the girls wished for at all. Did the supper somehow work, or was it fate?

It may surprise you to find out that the author, Linda Sandoval, is a police officer-turned-writer. Nevertheless, you will laugh out loud with this book, and hope for a sequel!

Booktalk by Kathy Caldwell, Teacher-Librarian
Woodward Middle School Library

Chanda's Secrets 
by Allan Stratton

When Chanda’s Secrets starts out, Chanda is sitting in a Funeral Home. She is only 16 but her step-father is off drinking and her mother can’t seem to get herself up off the floor, so it is up to Chanda to arrange for a funeral for her baby sister. 

The funeral home used to be a building supply store but lately in Chanda’s town there is “more money in death than in construction.” 

If you think this is going to be one of those books where so many bad things keep happening to one person that it just isn’t believable, then you are right. Sorta. This story is fiction, so it is not true but it is based on a reality that is very true. That reality exists in sub-Saharan Africa where in some countries over 20% of the people have AIDS or are HIV positive. You can read a lot of books about the statistics about what is happening with this epidemic in Africa but they won’t tell you the story like this book does. 

It seems that people all around Chanda are dying of AIDS, but no one will talk about it. The cemeteries are filling up as fast as they are being built, but every time someone dies people say the death was from TB or pneumonia or Cancer. Because AIDS is too scary to say out loud and if you have it and you live in Chanda’s town, you could lose your job or your friends and even your family might toss you out. 

This is Chanda’s reality and she doesn’t know what her baby sister died from or what her mother keeps getting sick from. And Chanda isn’t sure she wants to find out, because knowing the truth may be too big of a secret to have to keep.

Booktalk by Jane Wheeler, Teen Librarian
Whatcom County Library System

Chanda's Secrets 
by Allan Stratton - Booktalk #2

What would it be like to live in world where going to the hospital or visiting a doctor was a mark of shame: A sign that you or your family was wicked, evil?

You really wouldn't want to get sick would you? And if you did, you'd keep it a secret.

Chanda lives in sub-Saharan Africa. Her family is really poor—ever since her father went off to work in the South African diamond mines and never came back. Her mom had remarried three times—once to a man who abused Chanda badly, another time to a drunken loser.

But Chanda won't give up. She protects her little sister and brother as best she can, and she goes to school. A good education could change everything in her life!

And then they get sick. Really sick.

Chanda hopes for a brighter future, a better life: But her secrets may kill that hope—and Chanda, herself.

Read Chanda's Secret – but don't forget a box of Kleenex.

Booktalk by Kirsten Edwards, Teen Librarian
King County Library System

Runaways No. 1: Pride and Joy 
by Brian Vaughan et al.

Do you think your parents overbearing? Jerks? Or just really, really, really annoying?

[wait for responses]

Teenagers Alex, Karolina, Gert, Chase, Molly, and Nico, would probably agree—sometimes—but mostly mom and dad are just, well, parents, and they love them.
They're typical teenagers: goth chick, smart kid, jock—and they mostly get along because their parents are friends.

So it's a bit of shock when they attend what's supposed to be a dinner party thing—a boring "just parents" get-together and they witness mom and dad murdering someone—and not just murder—human sacrifice.

Mom and dad aren't just kind of irritating. They're greedy, overbearing—and EVIL.

What do you do? Pretend you don't know anything? What if you let something slip? What if their parents were only pretending to care about them, and they actually plan to use their kids in some completely evil scheme—?

Alex, Karolina, Gert, Chase, Molly, and Nico have to run away. And of course their parents—and their evil henchmen—come after them. Luckily for these teenagers, they're no more "normal" than their parents, and life on the run brings out strange new talents. Mutants, aliens, werewolves—their whole world has gone crazy and they're in the middle of it.

What do you do when you discover your parents are super-villains?

Read Runaways: Volume 1, "Pride and Joy" and find out!

Booktalk by Matt Laxton, Lynnwood Library & Kirsten Edwards, King County Library System 

 by Jude Watson

[Read from the first page]

I think I was a nice person before my mom died. I have a hard time connecting that person to the person I am now. It's going on a year and a half since the accident, and I think I'm running out of leeway. People, like teachers, aren't giving me slack any more. One of these days, I'm going to have to decide on a personality. I am mean to my best friend, Emily, that day. And no, it isn't the first time. But I'm not the first person in her life to let her down. So that's not why she disappears.

Ever since her parents' death, Grace has had premonitions. Strange moments when she sees things, hears things that couldn't be real… but are. Not that anyone believes Grace. She begged her mom not to board the plane, begged her, but her mom wouldn't believe and died when the plane crashed.

Uprooted from everything she's ever known, mourning her mom, sent to live with an Aunt she hardly knows on an island here in Washington, Grace shuts everyone out. Until she has visions of her friend's kidnapping—and Emily disappears. When the visions continue, she realizes that Emily must still be alive—but terrible things are happening to the girl.

Grace has to reach out—to try share her strange abilities, understand and master them, if she has any hope of saving Emily. Grace is afraid people won't believe her, will laugh at her, and think she's crazy. What Grace doesn't realize is that she's unless she's very, very lucky that's far from the worst thing that can happen to her—or will.

I love twists and turns. Sneaky plots that trick you into thinking you know what's going down—then completely surprise you.

Read Premonitions for a story that will keep you guessing right up to the end!

Booktalk by Kirsten Edwards, Teen Librarian
King County Library System

Double Helix 
by Nancy Werlin

Eli just cannot face college right after graduation, and takes a job at Wyatt Transgenics, famous for its biogenetic research. This company is run by Dr. Quincy Wyatt. Eli knows his mother knew him years ago, and also knows his father hates him now. But, why does his father hate Dr. Wyatt? Eli’s father won’t tell him, and he cannot ask his mother because she is dying and in the final debilitating stages of Huntington disease. The longer Eli works for Dr. Wyatt, the more puzzled he becomes. Why was the doctor so eager to give him a good job, and why has he been so friendly to Eli? Why does Dr. Wyatt’s houseguest, Kayla, look so much like Eli’s mother at eighteen? Why has Eli always felt superior- smarter at school, and more athletic- to the point that he purposely avoids competing? Mesmerizing answers to all these questions are slowly revealed in this chilling book.

Do you have any questions like Eli’s--?!

Booktalk by Kathy Caldwell, Teacher-Librarian
Woodward Middle School Library

Double Helix 
by Nancy Werlin - Booktalk #2

Eli is smart, really smart. After he graduates from high school, he is supposed to go to a really good college, but Eli puts school off. Instead he is offered a job in a genetics lab with a legendary scientist, named Quincy Wyatt. In the science world this is a little like when a basketball player gets drafted out of high school straight into the NBA. 

Life could be almost perfect for Eli. He is getting paid big bucks. Quincy Wyatt has taken a special interest in him, buying him expensive dinners and introducing him to interesting people. 

There is just a little problem with the situation. Eli’s father seems to hate Quincy Wyatt and is completely against Eli working at the lab. At some point in the past something happened between Eli’s parents and Mr. Wyatt but Eli’s father won’t say what it is. And Eli’s mother is debilitated with Huntington’s disease. She is in a nursing home and can no longer talk.

Eli tries to unravel the mystery on his own. He starts snooping around at the lab. As Eli gets deeper into the mystery he begins to realize that he is actually at the center of the big secret. And his father, mother and Mr. Wyatt may not be exactly the type of people that they appear to be.

Booktalk by Jane Wheeler, Librarian
Whatcom County Library System

The Secret Hour: Midnighters Vol. 1
 by Scott Westerfeld

Nobody is safe in the secret hour.

Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma.

Time freezes.

Nobody moves.

For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt the shadows. Only a small group of people know about the secret hour -- only they are free to move about the midnight time.

These people call themselves Midnighters. Each one has a different power that is strongest at midnight: Seer, Mindcaster, Acrobat, Polymath. For years the Midnighters and the dark creatures have shared the secret hour, uneasily avoiding one another. All that changes when the new girl with an unmistakable midnight aura appears at Bixby High School.

Jessica Day is not an outsider like the other Midnighters. She acts perfectly normal in every way. But it soon becomes clear that the dark creatures sense a hidden power in Jessica . . . and they're determined to stop her before she can use it.

A story of courage, shadowy perils, and unexpected destiny, the secret hour is the first volume of the mesmerizing Midnighters trilogy by acclaimed author Scott Westerfeld.

Booktalk from the front flap.

The Secret Hour: Midnighters Vol. 1 by 
Scott Westerfeld - Booktalk #2

Funny thing about Rex, class dweeb: When he wears his glasses, some things go blurry, instead of clear. And when he takes them off, and the whole world goes soft-focus, some things; special things, jump right out.

When Rex sees the new girl, after he's just been pounded by the local bullies, he's not wearing his glasses.

[Read from p. 4 – 5]

"He nodded. As she walked away, Rex pulled off his glasses again, and again she jumped into clarity as the rest of the world became a blur.

Rex finally allowed himself to believe it, and smiled. Another one, and from somewhere beyond Bixby, Oklahoma.

Maybe this year was going to be different."

The new girl, fifteen-year-old Jessica doesn't know it, but she's a midnighter. When the clock strikes twelve in her new hometown, for one secret hour, everyone in freezes but her, and the other midnighters, like Rex.

Jessica's about to find out though.

Because the creatures in the Midnight Hour are coming looking for her.

Find out what happens in: The Secret Hour, book 1 of the Midnighters by Scott Westerfeld. 

So Yesterday 
by Scott Westerfeld

They’re all around you.

The trendsetters like me, Hunter Braque. We participate on product focus groups, or “cool tastings” as my boss Mandy calls them. We tell clients whether their products and commercials are cool or uncool.

Most people think they can spot cool but they really can’t. Most people are just consumers. What consumers think is cool is generally “so yesterday.” That is why I like being a trendsetter. Consumers depend on trendsetters to guide them to what is cool. Most people don’t see us. We don’t wear signs around our necks. Rather we work our magic from the shadows through the messages we help craft.

Trendsetters are number two on the cool pyramid. On top are the innovators. Every new product has a beginning and an innovator. What every trendsetter wants to find is an innovator with the next big idea. But innovators can be hard to spot. There is often just one thing that sets them apart, one little thing that is revolutionary.

I knew Jen was an innovator when I saw the shoelaces on her black runners.

Are you an innovator, a trendsetter, or a consumer?

Maybe you are not on the cool pyramid at all. Maybe you are one of the others. People who want to destroy this system. Most people think such groups don’t exist. But I know they do. They are called the Jammers, and they are all around you too. Their agenda is to make trendsetting obsolete. They want the cool system to become so yesterday.

Jen and I have met them. This is that story.

Booktalk by Tom Reynolds, Teen Librarian
Sno-Isle Library System