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A Little Dark Reading

A Little Dark Reading

Brought to you by Sarah at the Gere Branch Library

Night Runner
by Max Turner [YA PB Turner]

Zack Thomson is a sane teenager living in a mental ward – and he’s pretty much okay with that. After his parents died, he developed some very strong and weird allergies and the mental ward was a place that could handle his needs. His severe allergy to sunlight means he mostly only deals with the night staff, and Nurse Ophelia does the best job with his crazy food restrictions anyway. She makes a strawberry smoothie that soothes his raging hunger and doesn’t make him feel sick. Things are running pretty smoothly until the night that the freaky guy on the motorcycle crashes through the wall into the lobby of the ward and tells him to run. Suddenly Zack has questions and lots of them!

Keeper of the Night
by Kimberly Willis Holt [j Holt]

Isabel’s mother died, and nobody is talking about it. Not her dad, who sleeps curled up on the floor next to the bed he used to share with mom, not her sister who has nightmares and wets the bed every night, and not her brother, who begins taking a knife to his room each night and carving his anger into the wall. Isabel is doing everything she knows how to do to keep the family afloat, but unless she gets some help, tragedy may strike again.

Night of the Bat
by Paul Zindel

Jake is a spoiled 15-year-old, or at least that is everyone’s opinion of him up until now. So when his dad’s expedition to study bats in the Amazon is in trouble, Jake flies down, determined to prove that he can help. But the man-eating monster they find themselves up against is something out of a nightmare, and may be beyond anyone’s ability to destroy – let alone a teenager on his own in the jungle.

Up All Night
by Abrahams, Bray, Levithan, McCormick, Weeks & Yang [j 813.08]

Six short stories about thing that keep you up all night: Babysitting your little brother and his dying pet mouse; Going out of town to a concert with your stupid friends who drink too much and having to call your dad and his new sweetheart for a place to crash; Deciding that the party is lame and bailing out to find what you REALLY want to be doing; Learning to drive secretly at night and discovering power you never knew you had; And a graphic short about a monkey without a mother – all of which may very well keep YOU up and pondering all night long!

In the Forests of the Night
by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes [YA or j Atwater]

Riska used to be a girl with a family, back in 1701. Now she’s an old vampire, forced into this unlife against her will and at a very high cost, powerful, angry and alone. There are no sparkly love stories here, just tragedy, loss and power.

A Discovery of Witches
by Deborah Harkness [Harkness]

Do you love the idea of a dusty British library reading room, a mysterious magical manuscript that disappears as soon as it’s discovered, and a forbidden love story between a witch and a vampire? This book is gothic, dark, mysterious, romantic, peopled with witches, vampires, and daemons, rich with history – and best yet…great characters and really well written!! It’ll leave you craving book #2…which is due out July 10th!!

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern [Morgenstern]

Prepare to be up all night. The setting is a unique circus that travels secretly and only opens at midnight. The author will entrance and enchant you with the descriptions of this circus that are so amazingly delicious and addictive, they will haunt your imagination forever – and that’s just the setting. The story itself, a complex, fascinating story of REAL magic, amoral competition, and accidental love will leave you breathless and cheering for the characters to beat all odds and win together.

by Gary Paulsen [j Paulsen]

A historical novel – not Paulsen’s usual fare but he’s produced a remarkable story here. Sarny is a slave girl in the 1850’s. Nightjohn is also a slave – or is he? He can read, and he’s teaching Sarny how too, despite the huge risk. When Sarny accidentally spills the secret the punishments are beyond harsh, and she’s sure that life and death are more important than learning how to read – but Nightjohn has some amazing plans in store.

by Elie Wiesel [940.53 Wie]

The most tragic and horrific story on this list, and it’s not fiction. When Elie Wiesel’s family was forcibly removed from their home and taken to a concentration camp in German-occupied Poland during WWII, Elie was 15 years old. He was a deeply religious boy, who lovingly studied his Jewish faith and dreamed of studying the even more mystical and complex cabbala. Enduring the horror of the Holocaust on the very front lines was a test not only of his will to survive, but his sanity, and his faith. He is rocked body and soul by this experience, and again by surviving it. Much later he found himself compelled to share it, and it is an important story of our history, one that has many difficult lessons to teach today’s students. This book is not an easy read, but it is a critical one.

Night Fires
by George Edward Stanley [j Stanley]

Set in Oklahoma in 1923, this is the story of a boy whose father was recently killed in a car accident. He and his mother move to Lawton, OK from Washington DC, where their loss and grief get entangled with the racial unrest happening in this small town. Woodrow just wants to fit in, and find some friends who might help him deal with his sadness. His mom is nearly too sad to get out of bed, so when his neighbor offers some fatherly support, Woodrow is drawn in. But there is a strong KKK presence in Lawton, something his own father would have been set against – and his new friends are up to their pointy white hats involved with the Klan. Woodrow has to make a stand, but how many horrible acts will he commit in the name of weakness and need before he finds his strength?

The Replacement
by Brenna Yovanoff [YA PB Yovanoff]

Mackie doesn’t remember the whole story – he was too little when it happened, but his sister does. She was four years old, awake in the night, and she watched while her little brother was stolen from his crib, and replaced with Mackie. And she loved him anyway. As did the rest of his family, even though they knew in their hearts he wasn’t quite right. They buy all plastic silverware when they realize the iron in the metal hurts him. They protect him from harm when they discover the scent of blood makes him faint. They make up allergies to explain his pallor, and excuses to explain his absence from from church – even though his dad is the minister. But when another child is replaced, and the changeling dies, Mackie steps up. He’s the only one who can go to the fae underworld to find out the truth, and the only one who can change it.

Wicked Girls
by Stephanie Hemphill [YA Hemphill]

Based on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, this novel takes us inside the circle of girls who cried “Witch”. The core group of three, Ann, Mercy and Margaret, and four other girls who come and go from the group, as the power dynamic shifts…and shift it does. It’s all about power. In this time and place, young women had little to none and this was an opportunity to seize some. The power impress, to have your parents listen to you and treat you with respect, to get back at people in the town who had harmed you or your friends, and power to control the group itself. Before long, the frenzy they’ve whipped up results in not just imprisonments for the accused, but some hangings, and the girls begin to fear that they’re in way over their heads.