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Teen Read Week: Whatcha Readin’ Wednesday dreams edition

Teen Read Week Wednesday: Turn Dreams into Reality


In honor of the Teen Read Week theme “Turn Dreams into Reality”, this week’s Whatcha-Readin-Wednesday highlights books that relate in some way to dreaming, whether those dreams happen during sleep or as they relate to achieving your personal aspirations.

What are you reading?




Wake (Dream Catcher, #1)Wake by Lisa McMann (Dreamcatchers Trilogy #1)

Janie was eight the first time it happened; now she’s seventeen and her aptitude has developed, producing some dangerous consequences. You see if Janie is in close proximity to someone who is dreaming, she is sucked into their dreams. It happens during school, while working at a nursing home, and even once while driving Ethel, Janie’s new-to-her car. Janie doesn’t understand why or how she gets sucked into the dreams and so far she’s found no way to stop it. No one, not even her mother, knows about her ability but she can’t hide it forever. Imagine if your worst nightmare happened when you were awake.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Everybody Sees the AntsEverybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Lucky Linderman’s life hasn’t felt quite so lucky as of late. With a mother swims away her issues (squid) and a father who hides inside himself and his restaurant, no one seems to want to acknowledge the fact that Lucky can’t escape the crosshairs of a bully. Mom finally snaps into action after the latest run-in leaves part of Lucky’s cheek on the concrete and in its place, a scab the size of Ohio. She and Lucky hop on a plane to Arizona, hoping a few weeks away will change things. In the past, the only escape Lucky has ever had are dreams of his grandfather, who he has never really met because Granddad is a POW/MIA soldier from Vietnam. Dreams where Lucky is trying to help Granddad find his way home. Dreams Lucky awakens from, clutching an object that Granddad has given him. What is going on? Is it really possible to just run away and leave your problems behind?

Why I picked up the book: It was on a “25 YA books for Adults” list that I gave our Never Too Old book club. A few people had read it and loved it, so our group chose it.
Why I finished it: As with the other King book I’ve read (Reality Boy), I could not put it down or leave Lucky alone. I love the honesty and complexity she adds to the characters. They are real and flawed and human. She does a great job of tackling big topics (bullying, suicide, parenting, depression) without harping or preaching.
I’d give it to: fans of Chris Crutcher or Ellen Hopkins. It also reminded me of Leverage by Joshua Cohen.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


If I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman

It started out as a great day for some family bonding. The Oregon snow canceled school for Mia and Teddy as well as Dad, who is a teacher, so Mom decided to play hooky from her job too. Since the snow has already stopped falling and no one wants to waste the day, an impromptu road trip to visit family friends and have dinner with the grandparents sets the day’s events in motion. One second seventeen year old Mia is listening to Beethoven’s Cello Sonata no. 3 and practicing it in her mind, the next second she is witnessing the devastation of a horrible car wreck. Mia is the only survivor and while her body is in critical condition and her life hangs in the balance, she must make the ultimate choice. Would you want to live if your whole life was gone? Would the dreams of your future and the memories of your past be enough to keep you alive? How do you decide if you stay or if you…

Why I picked up the book: I’d heard great things about the book and I was looking for something to listen to on a car trip.
Why I finished it: From the beginning you are pulled into the story. The flashbacks allow you to form a bond with Mia and her family. I had to know what was going to happen to Mia. I didn’t want to reach my destination and turn off the CD player.
I’d give it to: fans of books like Th1rteen R3asons Why, teens who like music, and anyone who has ever wondered what if. If you have or want to see the movie, make sure to read this first!
WARNING: You may want to have a Kleenex handy while you read this one!

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Non-Fiction books about individuals who followed and achieved their dreams


Andrew Zimmern's Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Foods: An Intrepid Eater's DigestAndrew Zimmern’s Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Foods: An Intrepid Eater’s Digest by Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern is the host of the Travel Channel show “Bizarre Foods”, where he travels, documents, and eats weird, wild, wonderful, and bizarre foods from around the globe. This guide highlights 40 foods like bird’s nest soup, maggot cheese, and tarantulas as well as those we eat like crazy here in the US: circus peanuts, hot dogs, SPAM, and twinkies.

Each “food” section is only 4-6 pages long and includes a brief history of the food, along with information about how it is prepared. Then Zimmern adds fun and scientific information either with facts about the animal, food, or region, possible recipes to make it at home, and tie-ins to pop culture. The guide includes black and white photographs as well as illustrations.

Why I picked up the book: I was looking for something new to take on my middle school booktalking visits. This fit the bill as I love to share fun, exciting, and gross non-fiction that you don’t have to read cover to cover.
Why I finished it: I literally didn’t want to put it down. The only thing that would have improved the book would have been color photos.
I’d give it to: reluctant readers, especially guys. I found myself reading parts to my husband knowing he’d either laugh or think it was gross and disgusting.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of FaithGrace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith by Gabrielle Douglas

If you watched the 2012 London Olympic Games, you’ve heard of Gabrielle Douglas. She was a member of the Fierce Five, who won team gold for the USA and she became the first woman of color from any nationality to win the all around gold. But there is a lot more to know about this sixteen year old phenom. Learn about her siblings, her family struggles, and what she sacrificed in order to fulfill her Olympic dreams.

Why I picked up this book: I love reading current “celebrity” biographies and this looked like it would be appealing to teens. Gymnastics and ice skating are my favorite sports to watch in the Olympics.
Why I finished it: The book is very simple and a fast read.
I’d give it to: Gymnasts. Fans of the 2012 Olympics and those who want to know more about the “flying squirrel”. Teens looking for a fast, easy read.

While the book was good, it lacks depth that would come from an older teen/adult. It was published only five months after the London Games, and it is apparent that the book was rushed to publication.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and RedemptionKisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie J. Davis

During high school Katie was your typical teenager. Living with her family in a spacious house in a nice Tennessee neighborhood, driving a nice car (probably given to her by her parents), eating three meals a day, going shopping whenever she pleased. But something changed. She began to desire and dream about moving to a foreign country to do mission work. Her parents weren’t on board. They wanted Katie to finish high school, go to college, start a career, get married and have a family. But Katie convinces them to let her take a three week mission trip to Uganda over Christmas break of her senior year and that trip changes everything. After high school Katie moves to Uganda for what is supposed to only be a year. But what she sees there and the love that she has for God and Uganda change her life.

The book is a collection of her blog posts and journal entries as well as pictures, explaining her journey and faith. Many people don’t understand how Katie could give up her privileged life. This is her story.

Why I picked up the book: The story impressed me. As an adoptive mother, I’m always curious about what leads people to adoption. Katie adopted 14 girls and she was only 20! In our society of “me, me, me” and instant gratification, I wanted to know what would compel a teenage girl to give up her comfortable life and move to a foreign country.
Why I finished it: The book renewed my faith in the goodness of people. It also made me wonder why it is so inexpensive to feed children in under-developed countries, yet so expensive here in the US.
I’d give it to: teens and adults. Anyone who is thinking of taking a mission trip or have been on one. Anyone who has adopted. Anyone who needs to see that their faith and the little things they do in life really make a difference.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Still Lolo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family's Journey of HopeStill Lolo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family’s Journey of Hope by Lauren Scruggs

Lauren (Lo) Scruggs was a typical 23-year-old woman. She was finding her place in the world after college and beginning a career in the fashion industry, as a journalist, blogger and founder of the online LoLo Magazine. But one fateful evening in early December 2011 changed everything. On that Sunday evening, Lo was flying in a friend’s small prop plane looking at Christmas lights. She stepped out of the plane and the spinning propeller took her left hand and left eye, but not her fighting spirit.

Why I picked up the book: I hadn’t heard Lo’s story (which is weird since I read People magazine religiously). However I saw the review for this book and thought it sounded great.
Why I finished it: It has a lot of depth and is well written. I like the fact that her parents and sister also tell the story. I really liked how Lo wasn’t all “woe is me”. She didn’t let the accident take her fight and determination. Their faith was nicely blended in without being overbearing.
I’d give it to: Fans of Bethany Hamilton’s book “Soul Surfer“. Bethany wrote the foreword to this book. Teens and adults looking for an inspirational story. Lo spends a lot of time talking about the struggles of finding herself and her direction in college and after, which teens and younger adults can definitely identify with.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!

Reviews by Jenn, YA Librarian (View all my Goodreads reviews)
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