This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

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Tyler tells his father he is going back to school after dropping out for a semester to “set things right”. No one thought that meant he was going to shoot up the school. Told from four points of view, This Is Where It Ends also utilizes blog posts, text messages and social media posts to bring in other characters. Shocking and visceral, this is a quick and very disturbing read with no easy answers to ties things up at the end.

 

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon AKA Never Underestimate Chemistry

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Read this book immediately! A Jamaican science geek about to be deported and a Korean American poet in a feud with his overbearing father meet cute and fall in love. They have one day together and the clever repartee, the romance and the clash of cultures made me not want this book to end!

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Love this video about the making of the cover art by Dominique Falla.

Character, Driven by David Lubar

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Charming male protagonists are hard to come by in YA fiction. Cliff Sparks is charming, witty and full of puns.

“… by accident of birth, I am well named for this story. Think about it.

Cliff.

Precipice.

Edge.

There you have it. I’m Cliff. Cliff Sparks.”

Cliff plans on going to college, but his unemployed and angry father keeps dipping into his college fund, most of which was earned by Cliff, who works two jobs AND goes to high school. So he will probably end up taking a course or two at the community college while continuing to work. Cliff wants to “come of age” aka lose his virginity and becomes smitten with the beautiful and artistic new girl at his school. This poignant coming of age story is written in a no-holds barred teen boy’s voice. Expect talk of breasts, farts and other parts of the anatomy. Also expect clever plays on words, fantasies and a big secret.  Cliff’s a keeper; I don’t regret a single moment I spent with him!

NAFO Makerspace

Makerspace: any place where students can make things. Increasingly school library media centers are incorporating them into their space and programs. Makerspaces stimulate creativity and inquiry, giving the student a chance to develop problem solving skills, all while having fun!  After reading and thinking about makerspaces for what seemed like forever, I finally took the plunge after coming across a comforting article by the inimitable Gywneth Jones, aka The Daring Librarian. My takeaway:

KEEP CALM AND MAKE ON

Students can use the makerspace before school, during lunches and flex time, and after they have finished their class work. A seldom used office space has been repurposed into our makerspace. Following the Daring Librarian’s lead, I bought spring loaded shower rods to organize our duct tape on old bookcarts. I also invested in Legos and adult coloring books. My student teacher assistants are helping organize the space and advising me on how to expand. See her post for a shopping list for a $350 makerspace starter kit, which I modified somewhat for our high school. 

So, with no further ado, I present the newly minted NaFo Makerspace, currently offering:

 Duct Tape Crafts

Coloring Corner

Lego Creations

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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Simon Snow is the Chosen One in the world of mages. He and his nemesis roommate, Baz, are in their last year at the elite magical school of Watford. Simon was an orphan living among the “Normals” until the Mage made him his heir and brought him to Watford. The mage world is being threatened by the Insidious Humdrum, who looks exactly like Simon did at 11. Humdrum is damaging the magical community by creating dead spots where magic won’t work. Simon, along with his best friend, Penelope, his former girlfriend, Agatha and Baz, are crazily trying to figure out how to stop the Humdrum. Sound vaguely Potteresque? It is intended to be!  Carry On is supposed to be the last book in the fan fiction series Cath, the lead character in Fangirl, writes about Simon Snow and his world. So Carry On is a real novel based on fan fiction in a book of fiction that is basically HP fan fiction. got it