Young Adult Spy Novels That Adults Can Enjoy Too

spystormDo you have a young adult reader that loves detective and spy novels but has moved past The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and N.E.R.D.S.? Perhaps you love young adult fiction and a great spy novel. Well, whatever the case, here are some of the best spy and espionage books to be had in the young adult section of our library. Did I miss one of your favorites? Please mention it in the comments so that others can enjoy it as well!

1. Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, #1) by Anthony Horowitz
After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle’s dangerous work for Britain’s intelligence agency, MI6.spygallager

2. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1) by Ally Carter
As a sophomore at a secret spy school and the daughter of a former CIA operative, Cammie is sheltered from “normal teenage life” until she meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission.

3. H.I.V.E. Higher Institute of Villainous Education (H.I.V.E., #1) by Mark Walden
Swept away to a hidden academy for training budding evil geniuses, Otto, a brilliant orphan, Wing, a sensitive warrior, Laura, a shy computer specialist, and Shelby, an infamous jewel thief, plot to beat the odds and escape the prison known as H.I.V.E.

4. The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey, #1)  by Richard Paul Evans
spycell25Michael Vey, a fourteen-year old who has Tourette’s syndrome and special electric powers, finds there are others like him, and must rely on his powers to save himself and the others from a diabolical group seeking to control them.

5. Independence Hall (I, Q, #1) by Roland Smith
Teenagers Q (Quest) and Angela go on tour with married rockers Blaze and Roger and, while in Philadelphia, become submerged in a world of danger when they discover the identity of Angela’s real mother, who is a former Secret Service agent.

6. Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1) by Elizabeth Wein
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage and great courage as she relates what she must do to survive while keeping secret all that she can.

spypalaceAs always, I have trouble stopping with just a few. There are just so many great books out there. So, if you have already read the books on my short list, here are some more recommendations; Palace of Spies (Palace of Spies, #1) by Sarah Zettel, Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs, All Fall Down (Embassy Row, #1) by Ally Carter, The Lab (Agent Six of Hearts #1) by Jack Heath, The Recruit (Cherub, #1) by Robert Muchamore, Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1) by Gail Carriger, Alibi Junior High by Greg Logsted, Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy (Dukovskaya #1) by Elizabeth Kiem, Two Lies and a Spy (Two Lies and a Spy, #1) by Kat Carlton, Also Known As (Also Known As, #1) by Robin Benway, A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1) by Y.S. Lee, Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers, Sekret (Sekret, #1) by Lindsay Smith, Fledgling (Jason Steed, #1) by Mark A. Cooper, SilverFin (Young Bond, #1)  by Charlie Higson, and Spy High Mission One by A.J. Butcher.

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Guest Post: Download FREE Audiobooks May Through August!

Children’s librarian Nicole is an avid audiobook listener. Today, she’s taking to the blog to pass along a great opportunity to listen to some free audiobooks this summer!

 

For its sixth year running, AudioFile is making free downloadable audiobooks available for children, teens and adults. The program is geared towards inspiring teens to discover new books and authors, but the books themselves have great crossover appeal for adults (and some children) as well. Starting in May, two free audiobooks are available each week for downloading. The audiobook pairings are “listen-alikes” – a classic and a popular contemporary titled paired by theme.

A detailed list of the free audiobooks (along with listening clips) is available online at http://www.audiobooksync.com/. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of the titles, you can also choose to receive text prompts when new audiobooks are available by sending the text message “syncya” to 25827.

Whether you’re new to audiobooks, or you’re a long-time fan, this is definitely an annual event that you don’t want to miss out on! And if you’re new to downloading audiobooks, have no fear – staff members at Cheshire Public Library are available for personal one-on-one tutorial sessions to help you along the way. Call Cheshire Library at 203-272-2245 to make an appointment.

 

Check out the great titles that AudioFile is making available to the masses this season!

 

 

May 21-27

X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon (read by Dion Graham)

Here in Harlem by Walter Dean Myers (read by Muhammad Cunningham, et al.)

 

May 28-June 3

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz (read by Jennifer Ikeda)

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (read by Eloise Oxer & Paul English)

 

June 4-10

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty (read by Fiona Hardingham et al.)

Dracula by Bram Stoker (read by David Horovitch and a full cast)

 

June 11-17

The Living by Matt de la Pena (read by Henry Leyva)

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger (read by Richard M. Davidson)

 

June 18-24

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (read by Sasha Pick)

Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies & Alison Leslie Gold (read by Barbara Rosenblat)

 

June 25-July 1

Monster by Walter Dean Myers (read by a full cast)

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (read by William Golding)

 

July 2-July 8

Echoes of an Angel by Aquanetta Gordon & Chris Macias (read by Robin Miles)

Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja (read by Spencer Murphy and a full cast)

 

July 9-15

The Explorers Club by Neil Benjamin (read by Carson Elrod et al.)

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (read by Michael Prichard)

 

July 16-22

Crows & Cards by Joseph Helgerson (read by MacLeod Andrews)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (read by Robin Field)

 

July 23-29

March by Geraldine Brooks (read by Richard Easton)

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (read by Christina Ricci)

 

July 30-August 5

Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles by Tanya Lee Stone (read by JD Jackson)

John Ball’s In the Heat of the Night by Matt Pelfrey (adapt.) (read by Ryan Vincent Anderson et al.)

 

August 6-12

Under a War-Torn Sky by L.M. Elliot (read by Elizabeth Wiley)

The Old Brown Suitcase by Lillian Boraks-Nemetz (read by Sofia Newman)

Happy Birthday Paperback Books!

birthday

On July 30, 1935, a new technology was born that provided knowledge, stories, entertainment (with text and pictures, no less) that was convenient and cheap.  It was light enough to carry anywhere and you could tag specific areas to penguinre-read at a later date.  An early e-reader?  Nope – the paperback book!  Penquin Publishers, in England, was the first to successfully publish respectable, quality writing without a hard cover.  (There were earlier paperback books called penny dreadfuls, yellow-backs, and dime novels that generally featured lurid stories and were printed on cheap pulp paper.)

pocketPartnering with Simon & Schuster, Robert de Graff introduced the first paperbacks in America on June 19, 1939 called Pocket Books.  The first American paperback book to be printed in the United States was The Good Earth by Pearl Buck.  The cost to purchase these new books – 25 cents versus $2.75 for a hardcover.  In order to make a profit on paperbacks, de Graff had to print 100,000 copies at a time.  He couldn’t rely on bookstores to sell that many copies so he began using magazine distributors to place Pocket Books in newsstands, subway stations, drugstores and any other outlet to reach suburban and rural populations.  He designed bold, colorful, eye-catching book covers to catch people’s eyes.  By September 1944, 100 million books were sold in more than 70,000 outlets across the United States.   By the end of the 1940’s, the paperback industry began publishing original stories.  Previously, the industry only reprinted hardcover titles.  There are now more than 20 major publishers producing high quality, original and reprinted paperbacks.

 

Today, there are many sizes of paperback books and all different prices, but the two major sizes are mass-market and trade.  Authors originally wrote stories for publications in magazines, but soon shifted their attention to mass-market paperbacks.  They could write longer, more in-depth, entertaining novels that boasted beautiful, bold, color covers and were prominently displayed in all types of venues.  They were affordable and easy to carry and proved to be a huge hit.  Mass-market paperback readers have a large selection of genres of original stories to choose from, in addition to best-selling hardcovers republished in paperback form.  In the beginning, Westerns were the biggest selling genre, followed by Crime and Science Fiction.   The most popular genre for mass-market today is Romance.  Within this genre you will find many sub-genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, small town romance, and paranormal romance.  The Cheshire Library has a separate section dedicated to mass-market Romance Books located towards the front of the library, near the large windows.    Another very popular genre for mass-market paperbacks are Cozy Mysteries.  The Cheshire Library has a large selection of these interfiled among the hardcovers in the Mystery section of the library.  You can also find regular Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy paperbacks in the library’s collection.

COZY MYSTERIES

COZY MYSTERIES

Some literary authors, critics and bookstore owners turned their noses up at mass market paperbacks.  When Doubleday’s Jason Epstein was a college student, he lamented the fact that he and his fellow students couldn’t afford hardcover editions and envisioned a line of upscale paperbacks of hardcover bestsellers and classics.  By 1953, Trade paperbacks were introduced.  These were larger, more durable, with attractive covers illustrated by fine artists with an appeal to a more intellectual market.  They sold for 65 cents to $1.25.    The library’s selection of Trade paperbacks are filed among the hardcover books.  They also come in a variety of genres, with the most popular genres being erotic romance – with Fifty Shades of Grey topping the charts – and Christian-themed books.

 

There were many who thought paperbacks would kill the publishing industry, but instead, the books proved to be quite the sensation.  As recently as 2010, paperbacks outsold hardcover books.  Although the ebook has taken some of the market away from paperbacks, they still continue to be a much beloved tool for readers everywhere.  The look, feel, texture, smell, size, and portability makes the paperback book very inviting.

 

Walter Dean Myers Passes Away

WalterDeanMyers-318x500Walter Dean Myers, beloved and deeply respected children’s book author, died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness. He was 76 years old. The School Library Journal released his obituary on July 2nd.

Just about anyone that has read children’s or young adult literature in the last forty-five years will have read or at least heard of Walter Dean Myers and seen some of the over 100 books that he has written. This impressive body of work includes two Newbery Honor Books, three National Book Award Finalists, and six Coretta Scott King Award/Honor-winning books. He was also the winner of the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award, the first recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. In 2010, Walter was the United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and in 2012 he was appointed the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, serving a two-year tenure in the position. Also in 2012, Walter was recognized as an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree, an honor given by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for his substantial lifetime accomplishments and contribution to children’s literature.

If you have not read anything from Myers, I would suggest using this loss as a motivation to get reading. His work is deep and sometimes heart wrenching, telling the stories of young people that need a voice and need to be heard. Here is a small sampling of his books which you might want to start with.

1. Darius & Twig
2. Invasion
3. All the Right Stuff
4. The Dream Bearer
5. Monster
6. The Glory Field
7. Hoops
8. 145th Street: Short Stories
9. Harlem: a Poem
10. Bad Boy: A Memoir

Author Tom Clancy Dead at Age 66

Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy

Prolific writer Tom Clancy died Tuesday night, Oct 1st, at the John Hopkins Hospital in  Baltimore, Maryland.  The cause of death has not been released.

He was best known for his technically detailed espionage and military thrillers.  Several were made into movies including The Hunt for Red October, The Sum of All Fears, Patriot Games, and Clear and Present DangerThe first Net Force book was made into a television movie and the first Op-Center book was made into a mini-series.

He was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1947.  He attended Loyola College as a physics major, but switched to English in his sophomore year.  Before becoming an author, he ran an independent insurance agency.

In 1979, he began writing Patriot Games where his hero CIA agent Jack Ryan was introduced.  In 1982, he set aside that book and started The Hunt for Red October which was based on a real incident in November 1979 about a Soviet missile frigate attempting to defect.

Seventeen of his novels have appeared on the New York Times bestsellers list.  Besides his stand-alone novels, he has written several series available in paperback format.  They are:  Op-Center, Net Force, Net Force Explorers, Power Plays, Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and EndWar.

He was a part owner of a baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles, author of several non-fiction books, developed three board games, and co-founded the video game developer Red Storm Entertainment.  He is one of only three authors to sell two million copies on a first printing (other two – J.K. Rowling and John Grisham).

His newest book, Command Authority, is due out in December.