Books & More from the Teen Scene

Book reviews and other reflections from one of Oregon's young adult librarians

A Poem: “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas November 23, 2012

Filed under: Classics,Poetry — hilariouslibrarian @ 3:03 pm
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Because this poem is central to the action in “Matched” by Ally Condie and because it is a rousing cry of the soul.

The Poem (source:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Want to hear the poet reading it?


“Girl, Stolen” by April Henry November 4, 2012

Filed under: Fiction,Realistic,Thriller,Young Adult — hilariouslibrarian @ 10:00 am
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Girl, Stolen cover

Images courtesy of

The Facts

213 pages; published December 2010

The Basics

It’s a fast-paced thriller about a blind girl accidentally kidnapped when her step-mother’s car is stolen. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s just been diagnosed with pneumonia. There is a lot going on in this short, exciting tale as Cheyenne develops an interesting relationship with the trying-to-be-a-tough-guy boy who stole her away.

The Booktalk

It’s a cold night. Cheyenne – sick and feverish from pneumonia – begs her step-mother to leave the car on with the heat running. Her step-mother will only be away for a minute to get medicine inside the pharmacy. But it’s a terrible minute for Cheyenne when a man steals and drives away with her inside. He doesn’t even see her there until Cheyenne starts screaming. And she can’t see him because Cheyenne is blind.

As both become panicked and confused, the thief, Griffin, – a teen little older than Cheyenne – drives her to his remote home. When Griffin’s brutal father and his henchmen make a key discovery about Cheyenne, the situation goes from bad to worse forcing Griffin the kidnapper into the role of Cheyenne’s only hope for survival.


YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011)

Fan Trailer – the end is awesome – wait for it!


“501 Things to do with a Zombie” by J.C. Richards, illustrated by Aaron Waite December 4, 2011

Filed under: Non-Fiction,Young Adult,Zombies/Undead — hilariouslibrarian @ 5:38 pm
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Richards, JC (author). Waite, Aaron (illustrator). 501 Things to do with a Zombie. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media, 2010. 222 pages. ISBN: 1440505640


Zombies like to eat brains, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun to have around. These 501 examples of zombie-driven fun range from everyday to extraordinary.


501 Things to do with a Zombie cover

Images courtesy of

With so many people focusing on the downside of the zombie apocalypse, it’s time to look past the murder, mayhem, and rotting smell to find the lighter side of these (not-so) loveable lugs. After all, today’s zombie might have been yesterday’s neighbor. Is there any reason to cut ties just because Neighbor Bob is sporting a little rotting flesh and has lost a limb or two?

In “501 Things to do with a Zombie,” you’ll see the answer is definitely no! Take a zombie outside to make a snowman, take a cooking class together, hit the town for a little karaoke, or just stay home and listen to NPR. With so many great ideas to choose from, you’re sure to find many that appeal to both you and your zombie buddy. You may even be inspired to come up with a few more ideas and make it 515 things to do with a zombie.




“The God Box” by Alex Sanchez November 7, 2011

Sanchez, Alex. The God Box. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007. 248 pp. ISBN: 1416908994


Paul is already struggling to resolve his growing passion for men with the anti-homosexual teachings of his church. When Manuel moves to town and enrolls in the local high school, Paul is confronted head-on with the idea of someone who is openly gay and a committed Christian.

(Original Animoto created by Sonja Somerville using photos from Microsoft Office.)

The God Box cover

Cover images courtesy of


Paul keeps a God Box on his desk. On the lid is the Serenity Prayer. Inside, he places his most fervent prayers, giving his problems over to the Lord.

“Please help me pass my math test tomorrow.”

“Give me strength for my cross-country race today.”

“Help my Abuelita as she goes into gallstone surgery. Don’t take her from me like you took my Mama.”

“Help my father’s sliced tendon heal. He needs to work and be strong so he won’t back to drinking.”

“Please find a job for my girlfriend’s father close to home. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

But the prayer he has made most often – the prayer that God has never answered – begs God to take away his attraction to boys, to allow his real love for Angie to grow until it includes the kind of passion Paul feels when he kisses a boy in his dreams.

Enter Manuel, new to school in their senior year. He’s a devoted Christian. He’s a nice guy. And handsome. And openly, comfortably, joyfully gay.

Paul knows being gay is wrong. His church has taught him it is unnatural and a guarantee of an eternity in hell. Yet, he can’t stay away from Manuel. Through long talks about the same Bible verses that have always told Paul to run from his feelings, he become more and more confused about what may and may not fit inside “The God Box.”

Awards/Honors (source:

  • New York Public Library 2008 “Book for the Teen Age”