Bring on the Battle of the Books!

March Madness is approaching, but why should basketball fans have all the fun? At the Tompkins Library you can help us name a Falcon YA book champion. Through a series of votes, we are narrowing our list of the 16 most popular teen books to one grand champion.

 How It Works:

1.Read the Sweet 16 books selected by the library.

2. Round 1: Vote February 23-27 for the Elite 8.

3. Round 2: Vote March 16-20 for the Final 4.

4. Round 3: Vote March 23-27 for the Final 2.

5. Final Round: Vote March 30-April 3 for the champion.

6. April 6th: Champion will be announced!

Voting information coming soon…

Using the 2015 Tayshas List, here are the 2015 book contestants!

The Impossible Knife of Memory



For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Foul Trouble



Terrell Jamerson is the #1 high school basketball player in the country. His team is poised to win State, top colleges are lining up to give him scholarships, and everyone says he could play in the NBA tomorrow. But it only takes one false step to lose everything.Danny Wilcox is Terrell’s best friend and teammate, and a top prospect himself, but these days it seems like everyone wants to get close to Terrell: the sneaker guys, the money managers, the college boosters. They show up offering fast cars, hot girls, and cold, hard cash. They say they just want to help, but their kind of help could get Terrell disqualified.Danny and Terrell better keep their eyes on the ball if they hope to last the season.

Girls Like Us



Quincy and Biddy are both graduates of their high school’s special ed program, but they couldn’t be more different: suspicious Quincy faces the world with her fists up, while gentle Biddy is frightened to step outside her front door. When they’re thrown together as roommates in their first “real world” apartment, it initially seems to be an uneasy fit. But as Biddy’s past resurfaces and Quincy faces a harrowing experience that no one should have to go through alone, the two of them realize that they might have more in common than they thought — and more important, that they might be able to help each other move forward.

Fake ID



Nick Pearson is hiding in plain sight. In fact, his name isn’t really Nick Pearson. He shouldn’t tell you his real name, his real hometown, or why his family just moved to Stepton, Virginia. And he definitely shouldn’t tell you about his friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy Eli was uncovering when he died. About how Nick had to choose between solving Eli’s murder with his hot sister, Reya, and “staying low-key” like the Program said to do.But he’s going to tell you—unless he gets caught first. . . .

Half Bad



In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and sixteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his seventeenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before



What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Going Over



It is February 1983, and Berlin is a divided city with a miles-long barricade separating east from west. But the city isn’t the only thing that is divided. Ada lives among the rebels, punkers, and immigrants of Kreuzberg in West Berlin. Stefan lives in East Berlin, in a faceless apartment bunker of Friedrichshain. Bound by love and separated by circumstance, their only chance for a life together lies in a high-risk escape. But will Stefan find the courage to leap? Or will forces beyond his control stand in his way?

Monstrous Affections


Predatory kraken that sing with — and for — their kin; band members and betrayed friends who happen to be demonic; harpies as likely to attract as repel. Welcome to a world where humans live side by side with monsters, from vampires both nostalgic and bumbling to an eight-legged alien who makes tea. Here you’ll find mercurial forms that burrow into warm fat, spectral boy toys, a Maori force of nature, a landform that claims lives, and an architect of hell on earth. Through these and a few monsters that defy categorization, some of today’s top young-adult authors explore ambition and sacrifice, loneliness and rage, love requited and avenged, and the boundless potential for connection, even across extreme borders.

We Were Liars



A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends–the Liars–whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

I’ll Give You the Sun



Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

Ketchup Clouds



Zoe has an unconventional pen pal–Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other.Hidden away in her backyard shed in the middle of the night with a jam sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other, Zoe gives a voice to her heart and her fears after months of silence. Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe’s letters, but at least somebody will know her story–somebody who knows what it’s like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.

Frida and Diego – art, love, life



Nontraditional, controversial, rebellious, and politically volatile, the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are remembered for their provocative paintings as well as for their deep love for each other. Their marriage was one of the most tumultuous and infamous in history—filled with passion, pain, betrayal, revolution, and, above all, art that helped define the twentieth century.

When I Was the Greatest



In Bed Stuy, New York, a small misunderstanding can escalate into having a price on your head—even if you’re totally clean.Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble—and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.Yeah, it’s cool…until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be…somewhere they never should’ve been—where the people aren’t so friendly, and even less forgiving.


The Scar Boys


A severely burned teenager. A guitar. Punk rock. The chords of a rock ‘n’ roll road trip in a coming-of-age novel that is a must-read story about finding your place in the world…even if you carry scars inside and out.In attempting to describe himself in his college application essay–help us to become acquainted with you beyond your courses, grades, and test scores–Harbinger (Harry) Jones goes way beyond the 250-word limit and gives a full account of his life.The first defining moment: the day the neighborhood goons tied him to a tree during a lightning storm when he was 8 years old, and the tree was struck and caught fire. Harry was badly burned and has had to live with the physical and emotional scars, reactions from strangers, bullying, and loneliness that instantly became his everyday reality.The second defining moment: the day in 8th grade when the handsome, charismatic Johnny rescued him from the bullies and then made the startling suggestion that they start a band together. Harry discovered that playing music transported him out of his nightmare of a world, and he finally had something that compelled people to look beyond his physical appearance. Harry’s description of his life in his essay is both humorous and heart-wrenching. He had a steeper road to climb than the average kid, but he ends up learning something about personal power, friendship, first love, and how to fit in the world. While he’s looking back at the moments that have shaped his life, most of this story takes place while Harry is in high school and the summer after he graduates.




Travis Coates has a good head…on someone else’s shoulders. Listen—Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.Now he’s alive again.
Simple as that.The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.


Boy Nobody


They needed the perfect assassin.Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die — of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.But when he’s assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s mission.


all book summaries: Copyright © 2015 Follett School Solutions, Inc. 

Follow me to #TeenBookCon!

In case you haven’t heard, Teen Book Con is Saturday, April 11th at Alief-Taylor HS in Houston. We will be taking a bus there again this year, so stay tuned for information on permission slips.

If you aren’t familiar with Teen Book Con, let me explain. Teen Book Con is a convention that connects teens with authors and their books. I have volunteered at the event for many years and have served on the social media committee the last two years, which is why you see so many @TeenBookCon retweets from me on Twitter! 🙂  This is such an incredible opportunity for students to listen to some of their favorite authors and ask them questions.

What the day will look like (more info to come later): We will board a bus and leave the school around 7:30am. Once we arrive at Alief-Taylor HS, we will visit some of the publishing tables, participate in a variety of fun activities, and shop for books from Blue Willow Bookshop (optional). We will listen to Gayle Forman give the keynote address and spend the rest of the day visiting author panels and hear the closing speakers, David Levithan and Ally Carter. Food trucks will be available for lunches or you can bring a sack lunch. At the end of the day, we will have the opportunity to have the authors sign books. Then we will board the bus and be back to the school around 5:30pm. It’s an all day event, but sooo worth it!!

Let’s get excited for the 2015 TeenBookCon author panels:

THE HARDEST THING panel: Gayle Forman, Kevin Emerson, Jason Reynolds, Elizabeth Wein, and Aisha Saeed.


THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE panel: David Levithan, Joy Preble, Jennifer Mathieu, Alexis Bass, and Susane Colasanti.


SECRETS THAT BIND US panel: Ally Carter, Maureen Johnson, Lindsay Cummings, Henry Turner, and Justine Larbalestier.


FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT panel: George O’Connor and Jen Wang


REALITY NEED NOT APPLY panel: Scott Westerfeld, Lydia Kang, Megan Miranda, Kristen Simmons, and Tommy Wallach.


MAGICAL MAYHEM panel: Rachel Hartman, Sarah Cross, Leslye Walton, Josephine Angelini, Joe Shine, and Gudalupe Garcia McCall.


All of these authors books are displayed in the library. Stay tuned for more information and library contests! If you have any questions about the event, please let me know. Bring on #TeenBookCon!

Follow @TeenBookCon



Successful night of celebrating READING!

Last night we celebrated reading with our 1st Falcon Read-In. The purpose of this event was to encourage students to read for fun…and it was absolutely successful! I’ve already had students ask when we are going to have another one! YAY for READING!!








My daughters even stopped by to join in the fun!


One of the fave activities of the night was creating READ posters!

A Forest Abstraction on a Foggy Day in Winter

9th Grade Transition Night

We are getting so excited to welcome our Future Falcons to Tompkins HS tonight! Stop by the library and see what we are all about! There is something for every student at the Tompkins Library!

Tagsxedo Poster

Weekend Reading

mattOne of my fave authors is coming to the Blue Willow Bookshop on Thursday, Jan. 22nd…Matt de la Pena! I can’t even tell you how excited I am! To prepare for his visit, I’m reading WE WERE HERE. Currently, I’m about half wathrough and very impressed with his ability to bring life to these characters. Miguel and his group home friends have lived through some incredibly tough situations. I’m looking forward to seeing how Matt de la Pena brings closure to their stories.

we were hereWe Were Here by Matt de la Pena

After a judge sentences Miguel to spend a year in a group home and write in a journal, he makes plans to escape the youth detention center and go to Mexico, where he can put his past behind him.

Copyright © 2015 Follett School Solutions, Inc.

What are you reading this weekend? Post it to the blog!

Join us at the Falcon Read-In, 1/21/15!


We all know that reading is important, but how many of us make time to read or discuss books just for fun? The Falcon Read-In is an event designed to encourage leisure reading. We will offer quiet reading areas throughout the library, faculty guest readers, book trailers, LOTS of book displays, posters with popular book selections, digital access demonstrations, cookies/hot chocolate, and DOOR PRIZES!!

Although the event is geared towards teens, family members (and staff members!) are welcome to attend. Stop by the Falcon Read-In and show your support for reading and the Tompkins Library!

Who: students, family members, & staff members!
When: Wed., Jan. 21st from 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Where: Tompkins Library
Cost: FREE!!!!

Schedule of Events

#ShareTheLove and SHARE this flyer for the #FalconReadIn!

New Year…New Goals…New Books!

Happy New Year

Welcome back, Falcons! The New Year allows you an opportunity to reflect on the previous year and set goals for the New Year. I hope you have given your reading goals a thought! I’m always thinking about ways that I can connect teens with literature. With that being said, here are my library goals for the New Year.

1. Do more book talks with classes.
2. Share my book reviews on the library blog.
3. Do more bookish contests in the library.

Celebrate the New Year with some New Books in the library!


Recommend a great read to your fellow Falcons!


As always, if you can’t find a YA book you are looking for, don’t hesitate to ask. I can probably find you a copy. Librarians are magical in that way. 🙂