Top Books in my CHS Library for the past school year

Here is a list of the books that circulated the most this past school year.  I always find these sorts of lists interesting and like to compare them to other libraries.  Some of these results seem a bit skewed to me, because of course we have more copies of some of the books than others and there are other factors involved I’m sure.  However, here is the list and maybe some brief explanations if I feel them necessary:

Title Call # Circulations
1. Book Divergent– Not surprising! Roth, Veronica. FIC ROT 35
2. Book The fault in our stars– Also not surprising! Green, John, 1977- FIC GRE 31
3. Book Mockingjay Collins, Suzanne. FIC COL 31
4. Book Catching fire Collins, Suzanne. FIC COL 30
5. Book A dog’s purpose– was our Community Read last year and we have many copies Cameron, W. Bruce. FIC CAM 27
6. Book Rot & Ruin Maberry, Jonathan. FIC MAB 23
7. Book The house of Hades Riordan, Rick. FIC RIO 22
8. Book Anna Dressed in Blood Blake, Kendare. FIC BLA 21
9. Book Crank-will probably always be on this list! Hopkins, Ellen. FIC HOP 21
10. Book The Hunger Games Collins, Suzanne. FIC COL 21
11. Book Thirteen reasons why : a novel Asher, Jay. FIC ASH 21
12. Book Smoke Hopkins, Ellen. FIC HOP 20
13. Book Insurgent Roth, Veronica. FIC ROT 19
14. Book The maze runner Dashner, James, 1972- FIC DAS 19
15. Book Allegiant Roth, Veronica. FIC ROT 18
16. Book Gone girl : a novel-the movie was filmed here in Cape Girardeau, so it got a lot of buzz Flynn, Gillian, 1971- FIC FLY 18
17. Book The longest ride Sparks, Nicholas. FIC SPA 18
18. Book Perfect Hopkins, Ellen. FIC HOP 18
19. Book Perfect chemistry Elkeles, Simone. FIC ELK 18
20. Book Warm bodies : a novel Marion, Isaac, 1981- FIC MAR 18
21. Book Hush, hush Fitzpatrick, Becca. FIC FIT 17
22. Book I am number four Lore, Pittacus. FIC LOR 17
23. Book Identical Hopkins, Ellen. FIC HOP 17
24. Book City of bones Clare, Cassandra. FIC CLA 16
25. Book Columbine-was a past Community Read and a popular choice for nonfiction book reports Cullen, David, 1961- 373.788 CUL 16

So, what do you think?  Do you have a lot of these books in common at your library?


Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

Torn Away Torn Away by Jennifer Brown, released May 2014. Well, Jennifer Brown has done it again!  She is my favorite author when it comes to realistic teen fiction.  Jennifer writes about the tough stuff: school shootings, dating abuse, mental health, sexting, and losing your family.  All of these topics are addressed in a relatable and interesting way for teens.  I fly through J. Brown’s books every time I get my hands on a new one and I crave them each time I know there is a new one coming.  In Torn Away, Jersey is faced with a devastating reality after a tornado strikes her small Missouri town and destroys everything in its path.  She must learn how to go on and get past all her new fears and sadness.  As her mother says, “Family is not about blood, it’s about what’s in your heart”, so will Jersey find out what family really is, or will she be stuck with her useless father that she had never met before forced to stay with him after the tornado? As someone who has always had a fear of tornadoes, I found it interesting to read about Jersey’s thoughts and feelings after the storm hit.  It also made me think of the tornado that went through Joplin, MO a few years ago and what those people must have gone through, which is also what inspired Jennifer’s story.  While Jennifer does write about tough stuff, she is a master of wrapping up a story nicely and giving you the feel-goods.  Let’s just say that I closed the book with a smile on my face, even though it was 11:30 at night and I was dead tired.  This will definitely be another that I will be putting into the hands of as many students as possible next school year.  I can’t wait to start sharing it with them!

Who would I recommend this to?: Any of my teens, especially my reluctant readers who want a relatable story

My rating (out of 5): 5

Language: Not an issue

Sex: Also not an issue

Drugs/Alcohol:  References to alcoholism within the family, but no use of it by teens in the story

Model Undercover: Paris by Carina Axelsson


Short but sweet review:
This is a light-hearted mystery that I would be happy to recommend to my teens who like mysteries, but also are into fashion and/or fun stories. I aspire to be a low-budget fashionista myself 🙂 so I enjoyed all the aspects of the story relating to that topic. I am not a huge mystery lover though, at least not of straight-up “whodunits?”, which is what this book is. The writer did a pretty good job of keeping the story moving and holding my interest, but I did grow a bit tired of having to try to interpret all of the French pronunciations and translations that weren’t explained clearly.  The ending set the reader up nicely for the next book.  I can see it being a successful series among teenage and pre-teen girls, so I will most likely purchase it for my library.

Who would I recommend this to?: Any of my teens

My rating (out of 5): 3

Language: Not bad at all

Sex: No sexual references, there isn’t even much talk of kissing

Drugs/Alcohol:  None

Overall, a very clean, young adult friendly title!

**I received this ARC copy from NetGalley and am giving my own opinion and thoughts.  I was not paid to write this review.

Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker


While ordering books for my high school library, I came across the first title in this “series” (I say “series” because each book is the story of a different character that is also in the other books so they can be read out of order).  The first book is Ten Tiny Breaths, and I decided to go ahead and read it because I had also read that it was part of the New Adult genre, that was just then being introduced to me and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Though the title is not so appropriate for my students, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the characters and their stories.  The books are set around characters who work in a strip club in one capacity or another, so keep that in mind.  That being said, I found myself eating up the other books as they came out and was thrilled to be approved to read an Advanced Copy of this one (it comes out in June) on NetGalley.  I quickly downloaded it and got started.  This book was pretty intriguing from the beginning, telling the story of Ben (from the other titles) and Reese, a new character.  Reese is a recently divorced 21-year-old coming out of a short relationship with a husband who cheated.  She is known for being a rebel, and gets away to Mexico to recover from her failed marriage.  There, she meets Ben who is celebrating his graduation from law school and the chaos ensues.  They, of course, run into each other again and try not to get involved with one another.  The story is interesting in many ways.  Ben has your typical playboy background and doesn’t want to commit even though he truly is a good person, while Reese is damaged and wants to get revenge on her ex.  They are well developed, relatable characters and I was never bored while reading the book, though it could have moved a little more quickly at parts.  I will be following K.A. Tucker’s work in the future, though this is supposed to be the last in this series, I’m sure she will continue to write and I thoroughly enjoy her style and characters.  Even though I wouldn’t recommend this for a high school library, I would recommend it to my friends and possibly some of my more mature students to read on their own time.

Who would I recommend this to?: Mature teens, “new adults”, those who like contemporary romance.

My rating (out of 5): 4

Language: pretty offensive, but it is geared toward the new adult age so that makes a little sense

Sex: Quite a bit of explicit sexual content, lots of sexual references and discussion

Drugs/Alcohol:  Quite a bit of drinking, but no real drug discussion that I can recall

**I received this ARC copy from NetGalley and am giving my own opinion and thoughts.  I was not paid to write this review.

My Reading Challenge & The Accidental Book Club

Last year, I had a goal of reading 150 books during the year…that didn’t happen.  Around October, I changed it to 100….still didn’t happen.  I made it to 85, which is still admirable in the eyes of most, but as a librarian and book lover, I feel the need to read lots and lots of books so I can recommend them and just to enjoy them.  Granted, I was still enrolled in my Graduate school program last year (finishing up to be exact), so that could be partially to blame.  This year, I set my goal at 100 from the beginning and am currently on my 36th book since January 1, which means I am on right on track for now!  With summer coming, I can only hope I will get even more reading done and be able to get ahead of my schedule to exceed my goal…we shall see.


Sara’s goodreads challenge

Book #35:

I just finished reading The Accidental Book Club by Jennifer Scott on Sunday afternoon.  Jennifer is one of my favorite YA authors, writing under the name Jennifer Brown.  Her books deal with hard, real issues that teens have to deal with–sexting, abuse, school shootings, mental disorders, and more.  I recommend them constantly to my students, especially my more reluctant readers because they are looking for something they can connect with.  She also wrote a Women’s Fiction novel before Christmas (as Jennifer Scott) titled The Sister Season, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.  The Accidental Book Club is a story about Jean, an older woman who participates in a book club with others around her age.  She is disconnected from her adult daughter, but is quickly whisked into the problems of the daughter’s family when she discovers that Laura (daughter) is an alcoholic and has not been there for her own daughter, Bailey.  Laura’s husband has left her and neither can control Bailey, who is acting out to get attention from anyone.  Jean is asked to let Bailey come stay with her and is shocked at Bailey’s behaviors and words.  As the story progresses, Laura also comes to stay with Jean and the chaos ensues.  Throughout Jean’s struggles, we are also learning about the lives of her fellow book clubbers.  The question is: Will Jean be able to get through to Bailey instead of being afraid of her antics?  Will they bond?  The story is told in a very realistic tone and is fairly fast-paced.  It is an interesting, real-life read that almost everyone can connect with in some way.  I would recommend it as casual summer reading.

New blog!

Hello! My first blogging adventure for my high school library was not as much of a success as I had hoped it would be, so here I am again….starting fresh!  This time, I am trying WordPress to see if it’s a better fit for me.  I will be posting reviews, Young Adult book news, book-to-movie news, and whatever else catches my fancy (I’m so fancy!).

A little about me:

I am a high school librarian in Southeast Missouri at a school with approximately 1200 students in grades 9-12.  I am just about to finish up my 2nd year in this position (yay for Summer!), but have been a School Library Media Specialist for 6 years now and it is my 9th year in the teaching profession.  I previously work in an elementary school in Southeast Missouri and a charter school in St. Louis, MO with K-8 students.  I have found my perfect fit here at CHS, working with teens and recommending books to my students and colleagues.  I couldn’t be happier!  On the personal side of things, I bought a house last summer in my hometown and love being a homeowner (for the most part).  I have 3 precious fur babies–a Pomeranian named Annabelle, a Chihuahua named Violet, and a HUGE cat named Koby; which I’m sure you will see photos of if you follow me anywhere else.  Shameless plug for social media: Twitter handle is @sarakip01 and Facebook is  I love networking with my fellow librarians on social media to share as many ideas and successes as possible!  My mom branded me as a princess from birth by blessing me with the name Sara, which means Princess, so it is just part of who I am…Thanks, Mom! 🙂

What to expect:

Though I’m not sure of everything I will include on here, I do plan to share my thoughts on books I read (advanced reader copies and already released titles), share info about what kinds of things I’m doing in my library, discuss what’s happening in the Young Adult Lit world, talk about books being made into movies, and share some of the things my faculty book club will be doing (also a new adventure for me!).  I am hoping to build my PLN through my blog, so please follow my posts!

Happy Reading!