Miss Kyrie’s Picks! | Fiction for Tweens & Teens

Miss Kyrie from the Youth Services Department has hand-picked a selection of her current favorite books, movies, and audiobooks for tweens & teens! Do you like fantasy reads? Graphic novels? Tried-and-true classics? Miss Kyrie has something for you! 

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Miss Kyrie Recommends...

Cinder

by Kathryn Otoshi

As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.

AGES: Teens

Sailor Moon R: The Movie

Long before Mamoru found his destiny with Usagi, he gave a single rose in thanks to a lonely boy who helped him recover from the crash that claimed his parents. This long-forgotten friend, Fiore, has been searching the galaxy for a flower worthy of that sweet gesture long ago. The mysterious flower he finds is beautiful, but has a dark side- it has the power to take over planets! To make matters worse, the strange plant is tied to an ominous new asteroid near Earth!

AGES: Teens

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley — a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry — and anyone who reads about him — will find unforgettable.

AGES: Grade school & tweens

The Little Prince

by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince is a classic tale of equal appeal to children and adults. On one level it is the story of an airman’s discovery, in the desert, of a small boy from another planet – the Little Prince of the title – and his stories of intergalactic travel, while on the other hand it is a thought-provoking allegory of the human condition.

AGES: Tweens & teens

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

AGES: Teens

His Dark Materials Omnibus

by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass are available together in one volume perfect for any fan or newcomer to this modern fantasy classic series. These thrilling adventures tell the story of Lyra and Will—two ordinary children on a perilous journey through shimmering haunted otherworlds. They will meet witches and armored bears, fallen angels and soul-eating specters. And in the end, the fate of both the living—and the dead—will rely on them.

AGES: Tweens & teens

5 Worlds. Book 1: The Sand Warrior

by Mark Seigel

Think Star Wars meets Avatar: The Last Airbender! The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves—and more to their worlds—than meets the eye. . . .

AGES: Grade school

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story

by Mary Downing Hahn

The spine-chilling tale begins when twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, learn that they’ll be moving to a refurbished old church in rural Maryland with their mother’s new husband, Dave, and their younger stepsister, Heather. Heather is an insufferable brat, but that turns out to be the least of the family’s worries. When she strikes up a friendship with Helen, the malevolent ghost of a seven-year-old girl who died in a mysterious fire more than a hundred years ago, things really heat up . . . and Heather’s unsettling threat, “Wait till Helen comes,” becomes a grim reality.

AGES: Grade school

Refugee

by Alan Gratz

Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.

AGES: Tweens & teens

Read It, Then Watch It! | Book-to-Streaming Adaptations

Did you know that some of the most popular recent streaming titles are adaptations based on books? We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite book-to-streaming adaptations, and we’ll leave you to answer… Which was better: the book or the movie/series?

All of the books featured here we have in our collection! To see if a book is available to check out or place on hold, click the image or the “Find it!” button under each book. A subscription may be required to watch the movie or TV titles below.

In the backwoods of Ohio, Willard Russell’s wife is at death’s door, no matter how much he drinks, prays, or sacrifices animals at his “prayer log.” Meanwhile, his son Arvin is growing up, form a kid bullied at school into a man who knows when to take action. Around them swirl a nefarious cast of characters–a demented team of serial killers, a spider-eating preacher, and a corrupt local sheriff–all braided into a riveting narrative of the grittiest American grain.

Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular, well-adjusted, star of the school football team, while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. When Connell stops by Marianne’s house, a strange connection grows between the two teenagers, one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while shy Connell hangs at the sidelines. Throughout the years, they circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Their case seems ironclad. But Maitland has an alibi, and it turns out that his story has incontrovertible evidence of its own. How can two opposing stories be true? What happens to a family when an accusation of this magnitude is delivered? When must reason be abandoned in order to explain the inexplicable? Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face?

The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy. Chicago, 1954. When his father goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George, publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide, and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite, heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’s ancestors, they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits. A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism, the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area. Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called ‘the Golden State Killer.’ Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

In an extraordinary feat of narrative invention, Philip Roth imagines an alternate history where Franklin D. Roosevelt loses the 1940 presidential election to heroic aviator and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh. Shortly thereafter, Lindbergh negotiates a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism. For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh’s election is the first in a series of ruptures that threaten to destroy his small, safe corner of America-and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.

In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born by women who had previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, ‘To save the world.’ These seven children form The Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again.

With one week until the end of all crime in the United States, can the last heist in American history be pulled off? In the not-too-distant future as a final response to terrorism and crime, the US government plans in secret to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts.

*A subscription may be required to watch this title on the streaming service.

Priscyla’s Picks!

Miss Priscyla from the Youth Services Department has hand-picked a selection of her current favorite books!

Check out her list of books about crossing the border and understanding what it means to be from neither this side nor that side of the border, ni de aqui o de alla. She’s also got a list of novels that she enjoyed reading when she was growing up!

  • All of the books featured here are books that we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Priscyla Recommends… Crossing the Border

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

An immigration story of a mother and son entering a new world with no form of communication, until this mother and son discover the many wonders of a library.

ALL AGES

Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez

When other children and their parents keep asking a young girl where she is from, she puts the same question to her grandfather who describes the land and people from which her family originated.

ALL AGES

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale
by Duncan Tonatiuh

When Papa Rabbit does not return home as expected from many seasons of working in the great carrot and lettuce fields of El Norte, his son Pancho sets out
on a dangerous trek to find him, guided by a coyote.

ALL AGES

The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

In this poignant memoir about her childhood in Mexico, Reyna Grande skillfully depicts another side of the immigrant experience—the hardships and heartbreaks of the children who are left behind.

TEEN/ADULT

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L. Sánchez

Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role. Then a tragic accident on the
busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. But it’s not long before Julia discovers that
Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out.

TEEN/ADULT

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will
always be there.

ALL AGES

Carmelo by Sandra Cisneros

A story of a family who travels every year from Chicago to Mexico City as Celaya “Lela” Reyes experiences the reality of being Mexican American while processing the many memories of her awful grandmother and family in Mexico. Caramelo is
alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love.

ADULT

Priscyla Recommends… Favorites from Growing Up

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity.

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Fifteen-year-old necromancer Chloe, having escaped from Lyle House with Derek, Simon, and Rae, finds herself imprisoned in a laboratory run by a sinister organization determined to control her and her supernatural friends.

Incantation by Alice Hoffman

Estrella is a Marrano: During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, she is one of a community of Spanish Jews living double lives as Catholics. And she is living in a house of secrets, raised by a family who practices underground the ancient and mysterious way of wisdom known as kabbalah. When Estrella discovers her family’s true identity–and her family’s secrets are made public–she confronts a world she’s never imagined, where new love burns and where friendship ends in flame and ash, where trust is all but vanquished and betrayal has tragic and bitter consequences.

Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone

In a small, Virginia town, sixth-grader Jessie Lou Ferguson has a crush on the hugely popular Conrad Parker Smith, and when he suddenly develops a medical problem and the teacher asks Jessie Lou to help him, they become friends, to her surprise.

Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne

Overweight thirteen-year-old Celeste begins a campaign to lose weight in order to make sure she does not win the Miss Huskey Peach modeling challenge, in which her mother and aunt have entered her — against her wishes.

Night World by L.J. Smith

Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World. In “Secret Vampire”, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy’s only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal.

My Life in Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald

When the family’s drugstore is failing, seventh-grader Lucy uses her problem solving talents to come up with a solution that might resuscitate the business, along with helping the environment.

My Life in Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald

In this continuation of the Cinderella story, fifteen-year-old Ella finds that accepting Prince Charming’s proposal ensnares her in a suffocating tangle of palace rules and royal etiquette, so she plots to escape.

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Sixteen-year-old Katrina’s kindness to a man she finds sleeping behind her grandmother’s coffeehouse leads to a strange reward as Malcolm, who is actually a teenage guardian angel, insists on rewarding her by granting her deepest wish.

Gothic Works for Fans of “Rebecca”

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

Netflix’s new film adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic novel Rebecca is now streaming (and in select theaters)! Whether you are a fan of the new reimagining, loved the original 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name, or preferred the book the best, look no further for more gothic suspense!

Here you’ll find 5 classic gothic novels as well as 5 contemporary gothic works that are perfect for fans of Rebecca.

  • All of the titles featured below we have in our collection or within the SWAN consortium. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image.

Gothic Classics

Contemporary Gothics

Penny’s Picks: Part 2 | A Booklist For Kids & Teens

Miss Penny from the Youth Services Department has hand-picked a selection of her current favorite books — and there’s something for a range of ages!

  • All of the books featured here are books that we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Penny Recommends...

When We Were Magic

by Sarah Gailey

A great story about group of friends entering their senior year in high school. The focus is on all the changes and stresses that their relationships go through. It is a sweet, funny, scary and tense story about the power of friendships. 

AGES: Young adults

Hostile Territory

by Paul Greci

A devastating earthquake strands four teens in the Alaskan wilderness. The situation is complicated by the fact that there is no civilization to return to. Gripping story of adventure and survival. Paul Greci has lived in Alaska for 25 years and speaks from experience about the environment and wildlife of the region. A suspenseful, survival and self preservation story.

AGES: Young adults

Yes, No, Maybe So

by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

A young adult book about romance that includes political, ethical and cultural issues. The story is told in alternating chapters with references to national issues. The main characters are quirky but very relatable. The characters have different points of view, but are still connect through their common goal to change things that matter.

AGES: Young adults

Lovely War

by Julie Berry

A story of romance set in the days of World War l, where Greek Gods hold the fates of four mortals in their hands. The reader follows Hazel, James, Aubrey and Colette four every different people from different backgrounds as the find and lose love. Beautiful writing, thrilling battle scenes and the inclusion of Greek mythology. Unique premise , a fantastic read, more than just a romance an accurate historical fiction book that also deals with racial prejudice.

AGES: Young adults

Do I Have to Wear a Coat?

by Rachel Isadora

A sweet story that highlights all the adventures that kids enjoy as the seasons cycle through the year. The illustrations are beautifully done with watercolors. Highlights each season not just through outerwear, but through all the fun kids have in each particular season. A joyful story that would be a great tool to help teach the seasons.

AGES: Preschool – Kindergarten

No More Naps!

by Chris Grabenstein

A funny story centered around the age old question, “Will my child EVER take a nap?” Readers will love the amusing idea that naps are really just opportunities to be seized! Adults try to encourage sleepiness but Annalise will have nothing to do with their ideas. This book captures the toddlers emotional highs and lows of nap taking as well as how the parents feel.

AGES: Preschool

Fritzy Finds a Hat

by Scott Hamilton

A heart warming book that uses a gentle touch to talk about cancer. Fritzy’s mom is diagnosed with cancer and he begins a search to find her the perfect hat to wear to her treatments. The book teaches children a powerful message that love and support can sometimes be the best message. The illustrations are done by singer Brad Paisley who depicts Fritzy’s mom perfectly.

AGES: 8 to 12 years old

New Contemporary Romance for 2020

Contemporary romance is broadly described as the time period for romance set after World War II, and is sometimes referred to as “modern romance” — whisking readers from small-town settings to bustling cities, and featuring a variety of delightful storylines. Below are our picks for the best new contemporary romance reads of 2020, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Love Her or Lose Her

by Tessa Bailey

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp. 

The Happy Ever After Playlist

by Abby Jimenez

Sloan Monroe can’t catch a break. Two years after losing her fiance, her life consists of cemetery visits, unorthodox art projects, and drinking sessions with her best friend, Kristen. So when a dog dashes in front of her car and gets her a ticket for obstructing traffic, Sloan is at her wits’ end. But after meeting the ridiculously attractive and charming owner of the trouble-making retriever, she begins to think that maybe her luck has finally started to turn around… When Jason Larsen — a.k.a. Jaxon Waters, rock n’ roll’s newest prodigy — turns on his phone after a two-week hiking trip in Australia, he’s shocked to find out that his beloved dog Tucker escaped his babysitter and is being held hostage by a beautiful woman. As Jason and Sloan begin to fall for each other, past traumas and rising tensions prove that their seemingly perfect match may just go to the dogs.

Girl Gone Viral

by Alisha Rai

In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for.

The Honey-Don’t List

by Christina Lauren

From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.

Marriage on Madison Avenue

by Lauren Layne

Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother-announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey. But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?

The Worst Best Man

by Mia Sosa

A wedding planner left at the altar? Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials. Marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning–absolutely off-limits–ex-fiancée. And she loathes him. If they can nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own. Soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again.

Been There, Married That

by Gigi Levangie Grazer

In a world where therapist look like the Real Housewives of Equinox, where friends dispense Xanax like Pez, and where a woman’s status is directly linked to the how few carbs she eats…can one Hollywood wife take back her life?

The Worst Best Man

by Mia Sosa

Perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day—a striking, powerful, and moving love story following an ambitious lawyer who experiences an astonishing vision that could change her life forever.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Oktoberfest 2020: German cooking at home

Don your lederhosen and dirndls! Strike up the accordions and clarinets and DIY your own Oktoberfest celebration this fall with good German food and gemütlichkeit! Prosit!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. Hover over each book to read a brief description. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image.

A glossary of Oktoberfest terms

  • Dirndls | A traditional feminine dress which originated in German-speaking areas of the Alps. Developed during the 18th century, based on the traditional clothing of Alpine peasants, dirndls today are generally considered the traditional dress for women and girls in the Alps. Dirndls often have particular designs associated with different regions.
  • Gemütlichkeit | This word doesn’t have a direct English translation. It is a heady mix of coziness, cheerfulness, friendliness, and social acceptance. This feeling encompasses the atmosphere of a successful Oktoberfest.
  • Lederhosen | Short or knee-length leather breeches that are worn as traditional garments in some regions of German-speaking countries. The longer ones are generally called Bundhosen or Kniebundhosen. Once common workwear across Central Europe, these clothes—or Tracht—are particularly associated with Bavaria and the Tyrol region.
  • München | The German name for Munich. The city is the capital of Bavaria and the third largest city in Germany behind Berlin and Hamburg.
  • Bayern | Known as “Bavaria” to English speakers, Bayern is the largest of the 16 German Bundesländer (states) with its capital in Munich (München).
  • Lebkuchen | A honey-sweetened German cake or molded cookie that has become part of Germany’s Christmas traditions and regional fairs. It is similar to gingerbread. The lebkuchenherzen — the more specific name for heart-shaped lebkuchen — are popular at Oktoberfest.
  • Prosit/Prost | At Oktoberfest it is polite have a toast before drinking. Your neighbor at the table will often say “Prost” or “Prosit” (meaning “cheers”) or “Zum Wohl” (meaning “to your wellbeing”) while clinking glasses with everyone in reach.

More about Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest: Definition, History, Facts — Britannica | Oktoberfest is an annual festival in Munich, Germany, held over a two-week period and ending on the first Sunday in October. The festival originated on October 12, 1810, in celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, who later became King Louis I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Read more…

10 Oktoberfest Traditions: Frommer’s |  Believe it or not, there’s much more to Oktoberfest than beer. From chicken dances and sing-alongs to giant pretzels and gingerbread necklaces, these traditions at Munich’s favorite fall festival go beyond the brew—though there’s plenty of that, too. Read more…

Favorite Oktoberfest Recipes: Taste of Home | Looking for more Oktoberfest food recipes? Celebrate with these German recipes, including sauerbraten and spaetzle, that will fill out your Oktoberfest menu. Read more…

Read It, Then Watch It! | YA Edition

Did you know that these YA reads are based on books? We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite YA books with movie adaptations. Then the ultimate question… Which was better: the book or the movie?

All of the books and movies featured here we have in our collection! To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or the “Find it!” button under each book or movie.

Book: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Movie: "The Hate U Give"

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Book: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Movie: "Love, Simon"

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

Book: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Movie: "Beastly"

A modern retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form.

Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Movie: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"

A haunting coming of age novel told in a series of letters to an unknown correspondent reveals the life of Charlie, a freshman in high school who is a wallflower, shy and introspective, and very intelligent, it’s a story of what it’s like to grow up in high school, tracing a course through uncharted territory in the world of first dates, family dramas and new friends.

Book: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Movie: "The Book Thief"

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Book: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Movie: "Five Feet Apart"

Seventeen-year-olds Stella and Will, both suffering from cystic fibrosis, realize the only way to stay alive is to stay apart, but their love for each other is slowly pushing the boundaries of physical and emotional safety.

Book: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Movie: "Everything, Everything"

The story of a teenage girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known.

Book: Every Day by David Levithan

Movie: "Every Day"

Every morning “A” wakes in a different person’s body, in a different person’s life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon.

Parish’s Staff Picks!

Hey hey… You know Parish from the Youth Services Department! He’s put together a list of some of his favorite books — picture books for little ones, fiction reads for kids and teens, and graphic novels!

  • All of the books featured here are books that we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Parish's Picture Book Picks

by Ged Adamson

Meet Douglas, a dog with a big problem: he needs eyeglasses but doesn’t know it, and his bad eyesight tends to land him in some pretty hairy situations.  

From Parish: This is one of my favorite picture books. It follows Douglas, a dog, who doesn’t know that he needs glasses! It takes his friend to convince him that he needs them when Douglas confused her for a fire hydrant. This story is full of laughs and beautiful illustration.

by Naseem Hrab

Ira and Malcolm are best friends: they always make each other laugh, always eat lunch together, and always play together. But one day, a disagreement about whether to play tag or hide-and-seek sees the suddenly über-popular Malcolm run off with a crowd of tag-loving  kids―and Ira all alone.  

From Parish: I LOVE THIS BOOK! It’s a great book for teaching kids that it’s normal to be in our feelings when we have a disagreement with our friends or family, but we shouldn’t let that bring us down. Expressing ourselves and sharing a good fart joke makes everything better! 

by Oliver Jeffers

What is a boy to do when a lost penguin shows up at his door? Find out where it comes from, of course, and return it. But the journey to the South Pole is long and difficult in the boy’s rowboat. To pass the time, the boy tells the penguin stories. Finally, they arrive. Yet instead of being happy, both are sad.  That’s when the boy realizes: The penguin hadn’t been lost, it had merely been lonely.  

From Parish: Oliver Jeffers is one of my favorite picture book authors! The adventure that the boy embarks on to return the penguin is adorable, but also a challenging adventure. Once you read the book, check out the short movie which shares the same name. 

Parish's Fiction Book Picks — Y and YA

by John August

When Arlo Finch moves to Pine Mountain, Colorado, he has no idea what’s in store for him in this  tiny town full of mystery and magic. When he joins the Rangers, Pine Mountain’s version of the  Boy Scouts, it leads him into adventures he never thought possible. Wilderness and magical pow ers collide throughout the beautiful, dense forest surrounding his new home, and as Arlo begins to  learn the way of the Rangers, he also discovers courage, strength, and a destiny he never knew he  possessed.  

From Parish: This is a book I highly recommend. I love the fantasy genre, so I was instantly hooked on the Arlo Finch series. If you love Percy Jackson, you’ll love this! It is filled with magic, mystical creatures, and mystery.

by Michael Dante DiMartino

In twelve-year-old Giacomo’s Renaissance-inspired world, art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed. Every artist possesses a Genius, a birdlike creature that is the living embodiment of an artist’s creative spirit. Those caught with one face severe punishment, so when Giacomo discovers he has a Genius, he knows he’s in big trouble.

by Adam Silvera

On September 5, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure — to live a lifetime in a single day.

From Parish: This is a must read if you, like me, are wondering if they really do die at the end! Honestly, this book is one of my favorites; it reminds us all that we don’t know how much of our lives are guaranteed — why not take chances!

Parish's Picks: Youth Graphic Novels

by Joe Todd-Stanton

Imagine a vault so cavernous that it could contain all the world’s greatest treasures and relics, from mummified remains of ancient monarchs to glistening swords brandished by legendary warriors. Who could be in charge of such a vault and how did he come into possession of such a unique collection? Who is Professor Brownstone?  

From Parish: Joe Todd-Stanton is another one of my favorite authors! I love his storytelling, but also his beautiful illustrations. Arthur and the Golden Rope is the first book in its series that explores the life of Arthur and, the life of each Brownstone. 

by Emily Tetri

Tiger has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it’s time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger — that’s not what best friends do. But Monster needs to scare someone … it’s a monster, after all. So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. But waiting in the darkness is a nightmare so big and mean that Monster can’t fight it alone. Only teamwork and a lot of bravery can chase this nightmare away.  

From Parish: This is a fast read, but an adorable graphic novel about a tiger and her monster friend who needs to fight the nightmare that’s scaring them both!

by Julie Kim

Searching for their missing grandmother, two Korean children follow tracks into a fantastic world filled with beings from folklore who speak in Korean. Includes translations and information about the folkloric characters.  

From Parish: I like this book because at the end you can see the translations of the words that were said in Korean!

Parish's Picks: Young Adult Graphic Novels

by Ichigo Takano

Taiyou is a high-school musician with dreams of stardom, but when his bandmates quit in order to focus on school, it feels like Taiyou’s dreams are slipping away. In an act of desperation, Taiyou strong-arms his sullen classmate Hikari into forming a band with him. The two boys are total opposites, but together they might just be able to create something amazing. 

From Parish: When I first read this book, I wanted something that wasn’t the normal fantasy that I normally read. After reading it, it became one of my favorite slice of life Graphic Novels with hint of drama. Now I’m not going to lie… I love drama!

by Kousuke Oono

He was the fiercest member of the yakuza, a man who left countless underworld legends in his wake. They called him ‘the Immortal Dragon’. But one day he walked away from it all to walk another path — the path of the househusband!  

From Parish: I love this laugh-out-loud comedy! It follow the life of an ex-yakuza, mob member, who marries the love of his life and becomes a househusband! I definitely recommend its one of my favorites and full of laughs!

by Ryan Andrews

Ben and his friends are determined to find out where the paper lanterns of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival go, so they follow the river as far as they can until the only followers left are Ben and Nathaniel. 

From Parish: MUST READ! This is one of my favorite graphic novels that I read last year! Beautiful visuals, great storytelling, and a talking bear! I highly recommend this book to anyone! 

by Hideyuki Furuhashi

Koichi Haimawari couldn’t make the cut to be an official hero, so he uses his modest powers to do good deeds in his spare time. Teamed with two other unlikely and unofficial vigilantes, he’s about to find out that being a hero takes more than just courage… 

From Parish: A spin off of the popular “My Hero Academia”. Full of action and tons of superheroes with awesome quirks! It’s one of my favorites to read when the main series is checked out! 

If You Liked… “Normal People”

Did you love Normal People by Sally Rooney? Now an nominated Hulu original series, Normal People is a stunning novel about the transformative power of relationships. Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship. If you’re looking for more reads like this one, check out this list of read-alikes.

A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life follows four college classmates—broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition—as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara’s stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves.

One Day

by David Nicholls

Over twenty years, snapshots of an unlikely relationship are revealed on the same day — July 15th — of each year. Dex Mayhew and Em Morley face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself. 

Trust Exercise

by Susan Choi

In 1982 in a southern city, David and Sarah, two freshmen at a highly competitive performing arts high school, thrive alongside their school peers in a rarified bubble, ambitiously devoting themselves to their studies–to music, to movement, to Shakespeare and, particularly, to classes taught by the magnetic acting teacher Mr. Kingsley. It is here in these halls that David and Sarah fall innocently and powerfully into first love. And also where, as this class of students rises through the ranks of high school, the outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and the future, does not affect them–until it does–in a sudden spiral of events that brings a startling close to the first part of this novel.

Call Me By Your Name

by Andre Aciman

The story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ house, a cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference to the other. But during the warm, languorous summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and on a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

Ordinary People

by Diana Evans

In a crooked house in South London, Melissa feels increasingly that she’s defined solely by motherhood, while Michael mourns the former thrill of their romance. In the suburbs, Stephanie’s aspirations for bliss on the commuter belt, coupled with her white middle-class upbringing, compound Damian’s itch for a bigger life catalyzed by the death of his activist father. Longtime friends from the years when passion seemed permanent, the couples have stayed in touch, gathering for births and anniversaries, bonding over discussions of politics, race, and art. But as bonds fray, the lines once clearly marked by wedding bands aren’t so simply defined. Ordinary People is a moving examination of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, and the fragile architecture of love.

Fates and Furies

by Lauren Groff

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.

The Marriage Plot

by Jeffrey Eugenides

It’s the early 1980s. In American colleges, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes—the charismatic and intense Leonard Bankhead, and her old friend the mystically inclined Mitchell Grammaticus. As all three of them face life in the real world they will have to reevaluate everything they have learned. 

An American Marriage

by Tayari Jones

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

The Interestings

by Meg Wolitzer

The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

The Idiot

by Elif Batuman

With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood. Her prose is a rare and inimitable combination of tenderness and wisdom; its logic as natural and inscrutable as that of memory itself. The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman’s fiction is unguarded against both life’s affronts and its beauty–and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling which they entail.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!