Saturday, September 25, 2010

New fiction and non-fiction for teens

From Stonehenge to baseball, alchemy to fantasy, there's bound to be a book here to keep you turning the pages! Here's a wide selection of new fiction and non-fiction books for teens -- look for any of them on the World Catalog / Amazon search boxes here at BookBag ....

If Stones Could Speak, by Marc Aronson with Mike Parker Pearson (National Geographic) Nonfiction. When author Marc Aronson was in middle school, he was entranced by archaeologists and their adventures in digging up history's secrets, but he feared that "everything important [...] had already been found." However, in this clearly written and fascinating book, Aronson explains archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson's work interpreting Stonehenge and uses it as an example of how scientists are constantly looking for (and often find) information that adds to or completely changes our understanding of historical artifacts. So, what IS Stonehenge? Is it a Druid temple? A calendar? Or something else? Read the evidence presented in If Stones Could Speak and decide for yourself.

The Line, by Teri Hall (Dial Books) Science Fiction. Rachel and her mother live and work on a property that abuts the Line, an invisible barrier between the totalitarian Unified States and the no-man's land known as Away. Populated by the mysterious Others, the forbidden land has always fascinated Rachel...and when she stumbles upon a desperate message from an Other, she can't resist trying to help. This suspenseful story of a frightening possible future starts out slowly, but it builds to a cliffhanger ending that will have science fiction and thriller fans alike clamoring for the next volume in this new series.

Alchemy and Meggy Swann, by Karen Cushman (Clarion Books) Historical Fiction. After living with her indifferent mother in a small English village for 13 years, Margret ("Meggy") Swann has come to grimy, bustling London to live with her father, an alchemist whom she's never met--and who, as it turns out, doesn't want her any more than her mother did. But despite her father's rejection and a physical disability that makes people wary of her, Meggy is determined to make a better life for herself. Combining a resilient heroine, vivid depictions of Elizabethan England, and a bit of a mystery (plus loads of colorful period insults!), Alchemy and Meggy Swann is a memorable tale that history buffs will savor.

Falling In, by Frances O'Roark Dowell (Atheneum Books) Fantasy. When she is sent to the principal's office one day for daydreaming in class, oddball sixth-grader Isabelle Bean opens a supply-closet door...and falls into a completely different world! More curious than frightened, she begins exploring and meets a group of children who are fleeing from a supposedly murderous witch. Isabelle, intrigued, marches off in the exact direction that the children warned her to avoid, hoping that she will meet the witch. Suspenseful, often funny, and (like Isabelle) surprising, Falling In is a novel that even those who don't typically like fantasy might enjoy.

Roberto & Me, by Dan Gutman (Harper) Fiction. In this 10th volume of the Baseball Card Adventures series (which began with Honus & Me), Joe "Stosh" Stoshack uses a baseball card to travel back in time to 1969. He means to prevent the untimely death of baseball legend Roberto Clemente by warning him not to board a plane that's doomed to crash, but there are surprises in store for Stosh -- as well as for series fans -- on this journey. With exciting on-field action, humor, and tantalizing bits of history, this fun, fast-paced read knocks it out of the park.

Forget-Her-Nots, by Amy Brecount White (Greenwillow Books) Fiction. Laurel, a new student at Avondale boarding school, has been studying the Victorian language of flowers and handing out bouquets that have ... consequences. The flowers that she arranges for a class project seem to cause her spinster teacher to fall in love, while a classmate starts attracting boys like crazy after receiving one of Laurel's "tussie-mussies." And, as Laurel tries to harness her newfound power, she stirs up enough chaos to make for an extremely interesting prom. This light romance has a magical feel and will charm anyone with an interest in flowers' hidden meanings.

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