Wednesday, November 30, 2011

YALLFest Read-Alikes

Y'all Loved YALLFest!

Judging by the crowds and lines of book-wielding fans, YALLFest was a huge success. Now that you've met the authors you love, try these read-alikes -- and don't forget to click on the titles to reserve them!

If you like this YALLFest book:                                                                                                  Then try:

Every You, Every Me
By David Levithan

Evan is haunted by the loss of his best friend, so when mysterious photos appear, he begins to fall apart.

As Simple As Snow
By Gregory Galloway

The narrator is left with unanswered questions after goth girl Anastasia disappears.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Everybody Loves A Smackdown


One more reason to hit YALLFest on Saturday (drum roll): the YA Smackdown!!! Featuring zombies, vampires, witches, evil unicorns, werewolves and bullies (not really...just the people who create them, yikes!).

Which authors will be crowned the inaugural YALLFest Kudzu Queens and Kings?

Just who has the guts, the talent, the sheer hilarity or freakishness to win this unparalleled competition?

Kaleb Nation
The YALLFest authors will be divided into viciously competitive teams: Team Supernatural, Team Dystopia, Team Reality and so on. Then, we here at CCPL and you, the pumped up audience and fans, will attempt to stump, dismay and otherwise rattle these superstars of the YA writing world.

Just who are the most clever, most creative, most deserving storytellers? You and our specially chosen judge will bestow the prestigious KUDZU CROWNS of 2011!!

Kaleb Nation will moderate -- yes, he of You Tube fame, author of YA books and launcher of a new reality TV show that will be filming during YALLFest. The show, Kaleb's Nation, will follow him as he concocts the parodies and pop culture commentaries that have lured 28 million views to his YouTube channel. So, wipe that barbecue off your face after dinner and keep an eye out for the cameras as you race down King Street for the YA Smackdown.

Who knows what calamities might ensue with Kaleb at the mic and 30 or so of the nation's top YA writers on one stage...and, of course with you in the audience cheering for your all-time favorites!!

Hilarity will ensue. Tickets cost $5. Be there.

PS: This event comes to you from the young adult department of the Charleston County Public Library because we love these authors, and we love that you love them, too!

Join us at 6 p.m. Saturday at the American Theater for this YALLFest grand finale.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Author Interview: Melissa de la Cruz!

Author Interview: Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz writes the bestselling teen vampire series, the Blue Bloods, as well as The Ashleys and The Au Pairs series. On top of all that, she has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has appeared on TV shows as a trend expert. Whew! She even writes great adult fiction, including the Witches of East End.

Melissa grew up in Manila, capital of the Phillipines, and moved to San Francisco, where she graduated salutatorian of The Convent of the Sacred Heart. Then, she majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and says she minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

Read our interview with her below and then come meet her at YALLFest:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Author Interview: Victoria Schwab

Author Interview: Victoria Schwab

Victoria Schwab is the product of a British mother and a Beverly Hills father. She grew up on the west coast but went to high school in the South at a girls' prep school, complete with plaid skirts that she used to doodle on during math. Talk about contrasts!

Today, she loves fairy tales, folklore and books that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems. Which might be why her debut novel, The Near Witch, is so creepily beautiful. It's about Lexi, a girl who lives on an enchanted moor and gets stuck solving a big mystery when, the day after an intriguing boy appears in town, children start disappearing. Ooohhh!

Read our interview with Victoria below before meeting her at YALLFest!

We’re all excited that you’ll be at YALLFest! What made you decide to come?

How could I resist? I’m a transplant in the South (originally from California), but I’ve lived here long enough for it to feel like home. Also, being a new author, I’m still adjusting to the idea that I get to see some of my favorite writers, not only as a fan, but as a colleague! That blows my mind.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Books, Get Them First

We're Bursting With New Teen Titles!

Here at CCPL, we've just received a slew of fantastic new teen books from bestselling authors, including Elizabeth Scott and Susan Beth Pfeffer, along with some great debut writers. Click on titles to get your hands on them first!

As I Wake
By Elizabeth Scott

Ava wakes up in a house she doesn't know, into a life she doesn't recognize. Recently released from the hospital, she's welcomed home by family and friends. But Ava can't remember any of them -- and she can't shake the strange feeling that she's not who they say she is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Author Interview: Sarah Rees Brennan

Author Interview: Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan grew up in Ireland by the sea where her teachers valiantly tried to make her fluent in Irish. She chose to read books under her desk instead -- mostly Jane Austen, Margaret Mahy, Anthony Trollope, Robin McKinley and Diana Wynne Jones. (She still loves them all!).

Sarah began work on The Demon’s Lexicon while doing a creative writing master's and library work in England. She has returned to Ireland to write but is traveling all the way to Charleston for YALLFest! Read our interview with this hilarious writer:

We’re all excited that you're coming to Charleston for YALLFest! What made you decide to come?

I'm excited too! I love to travel, and I've never been to Charleston I was like, 'Cool, people who like books? Rhett Butler's hometown (I know, I know, such a book nerd)? I'M IN!' I was honored to be invited.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Author Interview: Diana Peterfreund

Author Interview: Diana Peterfreund

Diana Peterfreund has been a costume designer, cover model, and food critic. She's traveled from the cloud forests of Costa Rica to the caverns of New Zealand (and she’s just getting started!).

She graduated from Yale University with degrees in literature and geology, which her family claimed would only come in handy if she wrote books about rocks. Instead, she writes books that rock!

Her first teen novels, Rampant and sequel Ascendant, are adventure fantasies about killer unicorns and the virgin descendants of Alexander the Great who hunt them. Check them out before meeting her at YALLFest! First read our interview here:

We’re all excited that you're coming to Charleston for YALLFest! What made you decide to come?

I was promised pie. ;-)

Seriously, though, I'm so excited to be a part of this festival. It's the first one I've been to away from home since my baby was born, and I can't think of a better way to start meeting up with readers again. A lot of my writer friends are going to be there, and I'm looking forward to meeting some of my favorite writers who I only know online (like Saundra Mitchell).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Author Interview: Andrea Cremer

Author Interview: Andrea Cremer

Andrea Cremer has always loved writing. But she only recently plunged into the deep end of the pool that is professional novel writing. And how well she's done!

When she’s not writing, Andrea is a professor of history at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. We want to know if she's as awesomely strong-willed as her main character, the werewolf leader Calla.

Check out her new release, Wolfsbane, and read our interview below before meeting her at YALLFest!

What inspired you to write Nightshade, your debut novel?

Nightshade was inspired by Calla's character -- who I knew was a girl and a wolf, but I don't like traditional werewolf mythology because I find wolves to be beautiful, graceful, and intelligent. Most werewolf stories feature lycanthropy as a disease or curse. I wanted to create a new mythology where shifting was a gift and something the characters reveled in, not wanted to be rid of. I also drew on my interest in the history of witchcraft -- an area that I teach in my work as a historian.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Author Interview: Ellen Hopkins!!!!!

Author Interview: Ellen Hopkins

Imagine that you're adopted, love your adoptive parents, and then meet your birth mother -- only to find that she's written poetry her whole life. Just like you! That really happened to Ellen Hopkins, an amazingly gifted poet writing for teens (and adults) today.

Ellen has written five New York Times bestsellers, all in verse. Her poetry, written as full-length novels, tackles such real-life struggles as addiction and abuse. Suffice it say that here at CCPL, her books are HUGELY popular. Check out a few (click on the titles) and meet this amazing writer at YALLFest! But first, read our interview with her:

We’re all so excited that you're coming to Charleston for YALLFest! What made you decide to come?

I love Charleston! Was just there a couple of weeks ago, in fact, so am looking forward to a return visit. Your food rocks! And so do my Charleston readers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Author Interview: Michelle Hodkin

Author Interview: Michelle Hodkin

At 16, Michelle Hodkin sadly lost the rights to her soul in a poker game with pirates just south of Natchez. Shortly thereafter, she joined an acting troupe and traveled the world performing feats of wonder and mischief. (She also grew up in Florida, went to college in New York, and studied law in Michigan.)

She just released her debut novel to the applause of YA author superstar Cassandra Clare, among others who loved the book. Read it yourself and then come meet Michelle at YALLFest!

What inspired you to write The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, your debut novel?

The short answer is that it was inspired by true events, and on May 15, 2009, I had the idea to turn them into a book. The long answer will be posted on

Author Interview: Adele Griffin

Author Interview: Adele Griffin

Adele Griffin, two-time National Book Award finalist, likes writing YA stories set during summer vacation, a time (as she recalls it) of bad jobs, new friends, and sometimes an intriguing stranger. But as a kid, nothing tempted her more than ghost stories and mysteries. She also loved books about new girls — probably because her own family moved around a lot. What's that advice about writing what you know?!?

These days, Adele only writes at a certain desk! Must be a pretty charmed place because she's written many great books for teens and younger children. Check out our interview with her below and then come meet her at YALLFest!

We’re all excited that you're coming to Charleston for YALLFest! What made you decide to come?

I'm really excited, too! I'm looking forward to seeing my Picture the Dead partner in collaboration crime, Lisa Brown. And there are so many cool authors there, people I know from Goodreads or twitter or joint-promotion stuff. I'm excited to for-real meet them.
                                                                  Picture The Dead
Okay, and I'm also excited for Southern desserts. Brown-sugar walnut ice-cream! Coconut cake! Pecan pie! Bring it!

What got you into writing books for teens?

I landed my first job out of college working as an editorial assistant for Macmillan Children's Books. It was two blocks away from my first NYC mouse-infested apartment. Which I loved. And I was deathly afraid of the subway — I wanted to walk to work. Luckily I loved the job. So that was how I came into it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Author Interview: Beth Revis

Author Inverview: Beth Revis

Beth Revis' debut novel about a girl cryogenically frozen aboard a spaceship, Across the Universe has become a bestseller. Beth loves to blog about writing, grammar, and publishing at Writing it Out. She also founded the dystopian blog the League of Extraordinary Writers. And, yes, she does believe that space is the final frontier. Learn all about her before YALLFest!

We’re all excited that you’ll be at YALLFest! What made you decide to come?

I was invited! I LOVE Charleston, and I didn't have to think twice about coming. In fact, I took my honeymoon there, so I'm even more excited about coming back!

Meet Author Kimberly Derting!

Author Interview: Kimberly Derting

Kimberly Derting lives in the Pacific Northwest, an ideal place to be writing anything dark or creepy—just what you'll find aplenty in her books (hint: morbid abilities, dead people, haunting interpersonal connections, etc.).

Her writing gig started when she chose journalism as a 7th-grade elective. It was supposed to be an easy A. Instead, she fell in love with writing. The rest is...well, you know.

Get to know Kimberly through our interview with her below. Then, check out her books before meeting her at YALLFest on Nov. 11 and 12! (Click on any book title to place a library hold on it.)

We’re all excited that you’ll be at YALLFest! What made you decide to come?

I'm SO excited to be coming to YALLFest, it’s such an amazing opportunity to connect with readers! And to be perfectly honest, I may or may not have highlighted a few of my own favorite authors to stalk while I'm there. If you’re curious as to who they are, just be on the lookout for the authors giving me very awkward half-hugs. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Check Out These Hot New Books

New Books, New Books!!

From Brian Selznick to Ellen Hopkins, here at CCPL we've just received tons of new books from your favorite YA authors...and from some amazing debut writers. Be first to check them out! Click on any title to reserve it:

By Brian Selznick

Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, 12-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City. There, he meets Rose, who's also longing for something missing from her life. Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures.

From the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Author Interview: Saundra Mitchell

Author Interview: Saundra Mitchell

This Carolina neighbor writes haunting books and short stories. But did you know she's also a longtime screenwriter? For all you aspiring writers, Saundra is especially passionate about helping teens tap their own creative writing talents.

Check out her books: Shadowed Summer, The Vespertine, and The Springsweet (due out in 2012). Then, come meet Saundra at YALLFest in November! We have a sneak introduction because she kindly agreed to answer a few questions for us:

We’re all excited that you’ll be at YALLFest! What made you decide to come?

A book festival in an incredibly historic U.S. city, packed to the gills with my favorite YA writers and pie? When Kami and Margie (authors of Beautiful Creatures) invited me, I couldn't say no. And if they hadn't invited me, I can't say that I wouldn't have crashed the party. It's just too much awesome in one place!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

That Reminds Me of a...Hurricane

Welcome to That Reminds Me of a Book, a regular feature where we link current events and pop-culture happenings with YA books.

Storm day!

Happy day off school thanks to Hurricane Irene! (Too bad you have to make it up later.) Still, why not spend today hiding from the rain with a great book? Try these titles about two of America's most horrific storms.

Hurricane Song
By Paul Volponi

When Miles's mother remarries, Miles decides to move to New Orleans to be with his father. But he and his father are so different. Miles's dad lives for jazz. Miles's loves football. Then, Hurricane Katrina hits, and the two seek refuge in the Superdome. The safe haven becomes a nightmare when the power fails and gangs take over. When his father decides to rebel, Miles faces a choice that will alter their relationship -- and their lives -- forever.


Dark Water Rising
By Marion Hale

Seth's family has just moved to Galveston, Texas, and the 17-year-old is unhappy. Yet, his uncle finds him a summer job, he meets a girl he likes, and Galveston is a fun place to live. But Sept. 8, 1900, changes everything. The town is obliterated by a storm that kills nearly all of its 8,000 residents. Through Seth's eyes, relive one of the worst storms in U.S. history.

Click on the titles to reserve them at a CCPL branch!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

YALLFest brings top YA authors to town

Updated with YALLFest schedule and YA Smackdown info! 

YA Superstars Descend on Charleston

Here at the library, our hearts are beating super fast. Why? We've learned which bestselling YA authors are coming to Charleston in November for YALLFest 2011! Thanks to Beautiful Creatures authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the list includes such megastars as Ellen Hopkins, David Levithan, Heather Brewer, and Melissa de la Cruz.

Major thanks to Jonathan Sanchez of Blue Bicycle Books, who is hosting the event!

CCPL is thrilled to be a partner...check out the FULL SCHEDULE HERE!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet Author Katie Crouch

Author Katie Crouch Pens New YA Book

Katie Crouch, bestselling author of the adult books Men and Dogs and Girls in Trucks, has just released a new teen book set in Savannah. Check out Magnolia League now (click on the title)!

In it, 16-year-old Alexandria Lee must move in with a wealthy grandmother she's never known who lives in Savannah. By birth, Alex is a rightful (if unwilling) member of the Magnolia League -- Savannah's long-standing debutante society.

White gloves and silk gowns are a far cry from the vintage t-shirts and torn jeans shorts she's used to. Yet, even as Alex questions the Magnolia League's intentions, she becomes entangled in their seductive world.

(Watch for Crouch's sequel later...)

What inspired you to write Magnolia League?

When I was growing up, my babysitter often spoke of Hoodoo. I think she might have practiced it. Salt by the door, burying the hair left in the comb, grave decoration -- that sort of thing. It caused me to get interested in the Gullah culture of the Sea Islands. I wrote my thesis on it in college. I also love writing about high school, so when it came to creating this series, the peanut butter sort of went with the jelly, you might say.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Spoken Word

New Teen Books on CD

We've just received a TON of new teen books on CD. So, if you'd rather listen to words, or if you're facing a long car trip, check out these titles. (Click on titles to reserve them. We'll ship the CDs to the CCPL branch closest to you!)

Mockingjay [compact disc]
By Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen has survived the fight-to-the-death Hunger Games. But now she faces her toughest challenge yet. With the Capitol and President Snow blaming her for the uprising in District 12, will she sacrifice herself to protect her loved ones?

Sequel to: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire

Fallen [compact disc]
By Lauren Kate

Suspected in the death of her boyfriend, 17-year-old Luce is sent to reform school in Savannah where she meets two intriguing boys -- and learns the truth about the frightening shadows that haunt her.

Sequel: Torment

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New School Year, New You

Books For a Better You

A new school year is the perfect time for self-improvement! Whether you need to brush up on style, diet, stress management, study habits, body changes, friend drama, dating, whatever -- we have a book for you. (Click on any title to reserve a copy at a CCPL branch.)

Lauren Conrad Style
By Lauren Conrad

Hit the halls of school knowing how to get your red lips just right, when to buy cheap jewelry, and how to decode invitations so you know what to wear. This book is full of fashion and make-up tips from Lauren Conrad, star of the MTV hit The Hills and author of L.A. Candy and Sweet Little Lies.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Are Mermaids the New Vampires?

The Mermaid's Tales

Mermaids might be the hottest thing in new releases, but don't expect a bunch of Disney-type tales about Ariel losing her voice. Most are serious stories about identity and belonging. Who needs a tail to relate to that?

Lost Voices
By Sarah Porter

In this new release, 14-year-old Luce is assaulted and left on the cliffs outside of her grim Alaskan fishing village by her abusive, alcoholic uncle. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waters below. Instead, she transforms into a mermaid -- and is faced with struggles and choices she could never have imagined.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Books Need Buddies, Too!

Duets: When One Book Isn't Enough

When are two related books better than one? How about when you want to get another character's perspective. Or to find out what happens next. Or to tie up all those loose plot threads. People aren't the only ones who like to pair up. Some books need buddies, too! Here are a few that prove it:

(Click on any title to reserve it at a CCPL branch.)

In If I Stay, 17-year-old Mia's parents and brother are killed in a car wreck that leaves her in a coma. Should she fight to survive for her boyfriend, Adam, and the rest of the living? Or, should she let go to be with her family? Three years later in Where She Went, Adam is a rising rock star who reconnects with an old friend after the horrific events tore them apart.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What You (and Your Friends) Are Reading

Here's What You Have to Say....

Thanks to all who've entered our summer reading contest! So, what's everyone reading? Tons of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and the Hunger Games. But what else? Here's what you recommend -- in your own words!

(Keep the entries coming…we have lots more prizes to give away.
Click on titles below to put the books on hold.)

City of Bones
By Cassandra Clare

"Clary is thrown into a world where fairies, vampires, werewolves, and demons are real. Then she finds out that her mother is a Shadowhunter, a group of humans who have angel blood and kill demons. But her father is Valentine -- the evil Shadowhunter trying to destroy all the other Shadowhunters."

(Read City of Ashes next!)

Rating: Excellent

-- 8th grader, Laing Middle School

City of Glass
By Cassandra Clare

"Clary sneaks into the City of Glass and is immediately caught up in a life-and-death battle as the werewolves, vampires, and faerie gather for a war that will 'rend the heavens.'" (Next read the new sequel City of Fallen Angels!)

Rating: Excellent

-- 12th grader, Charleston County School of the Arts

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hottest Summer Reads

Escape the Dog Days of Summer

Summer is time for fun and adventure! Right? Unless, of course, you're facing a 14-hour drive to Aunt Nellie's. Or a flight with two layovers and a storm delay. Or maybe you get can't even get out of town because the gas funds dried up. Hey, they're all good reasons to escape into these great summer reads.

Click on titles to reserve them at your favorite CCPL branch. If it says "on order," place a hold on the book. You'll be one of the first to get it once we do!

We'll Always Have Summer
By Jenny Han

The summer after her first year of college, Isobel "Belly" Conklin is faced with a choice between Jeremiah and Conrad Fisher -- the brothers she has always loved -- when Jeremiah proposes marriage and Conrad confesses that he still loves her.

This is the brand new sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty and It's Not Summer Without You.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Take a Trip Back in Time

Updated with new books at the top!

History's Intrigue

Clandestine meetings, killings and torture, romance, scandal, betrayal, adventures on the high seas...who says history is boring? Meet some of history's feisty women and courageous guys by taking a trip back in time. 
(Click on any title to put it on hold!)

Between Shades of Gray
By Ruta Sepetys

It's 1941 when Lina, her mother, and her  brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet secret police and sent to a freezing work camp in Siberia. Her father is taken away and sentenced to death. Lina clings to the drawings she hopes will find their way to him, if he's still alive--and if she can survive the horrors.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book-O-Scope: Your Summer Reading Forecast

Wondering what to read next?
Find answers in the stars!

May 21 -- June 21

You’ve been feeling confused lately. Yet, the answers are all there for you to find -- if you look. Read Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams, and find out if John decides to stay with his girlfriend, Cilla, or to take a chance with Destiny.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Take a Picture, Win a Camera

Click here for Stacy Pearsall's blog about the winners!

(Then, come see the fantastic pictures
on display in the Main library's lobby.)

Here I Am

Where exactly are you this summer? First, think literally. Are you going on a trip? Hanging out at the beach? Where do you wish you were going? Now, think in the abstract. Where are you inside your head? Where do you feel most like you?

Now, pick up a camera to illustrate your idea. Envision lighting, angles, and space. Take the picture. Try again. Perfect it. Then, send us your favorite. You might be one of three lucky winners to receive a brand new Nikon digital camera!

Many thanks to the Charleston Center for Photography, which is sponsoring the contest! Check out the center's site -- the photography will inspire you. (Director Stacy Pearsall served three tours in Iraq until she was wounded and received the Bronze Star Medal and Commendation with Valor for heroic actions under fire.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

S.C. Young Adult Book Award


From bloody wars and school violence to bullies and cults, there's something for every teen among the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award nominees for 2011-2012. (If you've read any of the books, leave your opinions in the comments section below!) Then, check out some new titles:

Before I Fall
By Lauren Oliver

Samantha Kingston has worked her way up the popularity ladder. Now a senior, she and her friends rule their school. But after she dies in a car crash, Samantha finds herself reliving the day of her death over and over and over again. 

Angry Management
By Chris Crutcher

Chris Crutcher fanatics rejoice! Your favorite characters are back. Mr. Nak from Ironman is holding Angry Management classes with other characters from the Crutcher archives. After a brief intro, each of the three stand-alone stories is preceded by Mr. Nak's file notes on the teen subjects.

Friday, April 29, 2011

South Carolina Junior Book Awards

Updated with Goliath, new Skeleton Creek books!

What Should I Read Now?

From silly humor to chilling war stories, check out these South Carolina Junior Book Award nominees for 2011-2012. (They're great for middle schoolers --and might appear on your school summer reading lists!) Last year's nominees included The Hunger Games. Which of this new batch will be the next Big Thing?

Anything But Typical
By Nora Raleigh Baskin

What is it like to be an autistic boy facing daily sixth-grade life, not to mention lifelong struggles, in a "neurotypical" world? Jason Blake is most comfortable in an online writing forum called Storyboard, where his stories spark an email friendship with a girl. But what would happen if he had to meet her in real life?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Books Fell on Charleston

#1:  Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Where Am I? 

In celebration of Teen Lit Day, Reading Underground dropped awesome books for teens in random places around downtown Charleston.

It was part of the Rock the Drop movement, and it gave us a great excuse to visit some of the interesting, historic and beautiful places around town that we sometimes forget to notice.

Do you recognize the locations where we left these books? Do you want to win a WHOLE BOX of FREE BOOKS (Advance Reading Copies of YA books that will be published later this spring/summer) AND a retro-tastic vintage summer reading t-shirt?!

If so, send an email to or leave a comment below telling us where you think these pictures were taken. First person to correctly identify all the locations wins! If no one gets them all, the prize goes to whoever gets the most right, so why not go ahead and guess?

Contest ends:  May 1, 2011.

The rest of the photos are after the jump...

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Books, Books Everywhere!

Find any teen books left in random spots around downtown Charleston today? If so, welcome to Rock the Drop 2011!

This is an awesome day-long event that gets teen books into the hands of people all over the world. Here in Charleston, the Reading Underground joined up with Readergirlz and Figment to "Rock the Drop" in honor of YALSA'S Support Teen Lit Day which is...yes, today. So, if you found books on park benches, beside cannons, strategically balanced in mounds of jasmine, consider them gifts from us. Leave a comment telling us where you found them!

Also, check back here tomorrow for a contest to see if you can identify Charleston landmarks where we "dropped" a few titles. Identify the most spots, and win a whole box of books! 

Check back soon...


Good luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cliques, Cats, and Bullies

Keep Your Friends Close...

If the first season of Pretty Little Liars left you hanging, where else can you get a fix of backstabbing, cattiness, and terror? Start reading, of course.

The TV show is based on Sara Shepard's books, which dish up a snarky amalgam of queen bees, fashion, beauty, crushes, and lies -- all wrapped up in a mystery.

The series begins when a mysterious person sends creepy -- and oddly personal -- texts to Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer. The girls used to be best friends until their leader, Alison, vanished a few years earlier. She'd ruled Rosewood Day, which meant they had, too. Then suddenly, the texts appear, signed simply by --A, each with threats or secrets only the girls should know. But who's sending them? And why?

The eight books in the Pretty Little Liars series are easy to spot thanks to the Barbie wannabe on each cover. (The ninth book, Twisted, comes out July 5.)

Sequels: Flawless, Perfect, Unbelievable, Wicked, Killer, Heartless, Wanted

Meanwhile, check out these other titles that feature mean girls -- some just catty, others dangerous bullies (click on any title to put it on hold):

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Wicked, It's Sexy...It's a Poem?

Warning: This Is Not Grandma's Poetry!

April is National Poetry Month -- and, sure, we love Poe and Frost and Longfellow. But let's talk modern poetry, stuff written for today's teens about today's issues -- friend drama, drugs, divorce, meltdowns, crushes, exams, peer pressure and even fun, fun, fun!

In poetry, it's all fair game. Whatever you're dealing with, there's a poem just for you. Plus, writing poetry is a great way to get down -- and get out -- whatever is on your mind.

Click on any title to learn more...


Poetry is cooler than ever, whether it's Maya Angelou or W. B. Yeats, Tupac Shakur or Sylvia Plath. As proof, Slams -- spoken word poetry readings -- are taking place in cities across the country. Check out this collection edited by the Gossip Girl series' author.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Book-O-Scope: Your reading forecast for Spring 2011

Wondering what to read next?  The answer is in the stars!

Aquarius  Jan 20 - Feb 18:  You're feeling extra emotional these days.  Take a deep breath and keep your cool, but trust your feelings.  Read Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and see what happens to a society where people have been "cured" of all strong emotions, even love.

Pisces   Feb 19 - Mar 20:  You may run into a sticky situation soon, but your perceptiveness will keep things going smoothly.  Read  The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by 
Robin Benway, about a group of sisters whose extra-special perceptions save the day.  

Aries  Mar 21 - April 19:  Stop worrying about what you're going to do with your life -- your hidden talents will take you to surprising places.   Read Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, about a boy who finds his true calling as a zombie killer.

Taurus  April 20 - May 20:   Strike up a conversation with someone you've never talked with before. You may make a new friend and learn something about yourself, too.  Read Sellout by Ebony Joy Wilkins and see how Natasha's life changes when she befriends girls at a crisis center.

Gemini  May 21 - Jun 21:  A lot of pressure and expectations are piled on you right now, but stay calm and have faith in your abilities.  Read Hero by Mike Lupica and meet Zach, a remarkable teenager who, like you, has more power than he realizes.

Cancer  Jun 22 - Jul 22:  Perserverance is what you need to focus on now -- don't let anything distract you from your goals.  Read Teenie by Christopher Grant, and see how Teenie keeps it together while dealing with the drama of her BFF's online crush and her own dangerous relationship.

Leo July 21 - Aug 22:  A new person is coming into your life soon, bringing exciting changes and opportunities. read 13 to Life by Shannon Delany, where a mysterious stranger with a dangerous secret changes Jessie's life forever.

 Virgo  Aug 23 - Sep 22:  You hate to see your friends upset and are always trying to keep them from getting hurt, but maybe you're protecting them too much.  Read Bruiser by Neal Shusterman, about a boy who takes on the pain of the people he loves.
 Libra  Sep 23 - Oct 22:  Someone is underestimating you, but you are about to surprise them with an impressive accomplishment.  Read Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin and see if Phoebe has also been misunderstood - or is she really special enough to break an ancient curse and save her life? 

Scorpio Oct 23 - Nov 21:  You have two choices facing you right now:  stay silent and do nothing, or speak out and right a wrong.  Read The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney, and find out how Alex finds the courage to stand up for herself. 

Sagittarius  Nov 22 - Dec 21:  Right now, you need to be as clear as you can, even when you think your intentions are obvious.  Read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, in which two teenagers get to know each other by trading cryptic clues and challenges in a notebook they take turns hiding around NYC.

Capricorn   Dec 22 - Jan 19:  There is high drama surrounding you right now, so try to focus on your own needs and stay calm in the midst of chaos.  Read Maxine Banks is Getting Married by Lori Aurelia Williams - all the drama in Maxine's life will prepare you for dealing with your own!