Your Water Footprint by Stephen Leahy

Your Water Footprint

California is in the middle of a drought.  Hopefully you are more conscious of how you use water now and make efforts not to waste water.  Have you ever wondered how much water we use?  Stephen Leahy’s Your Water Footprint uses infographics and text to present interesting facts on how we use water from manufacturing products to daily personal use.  The book provides water-saving tips. Leahy provides his sources and references as well.  The photographs and graphics make this book visually appealing and fun to browse through.

To This Day by Shane Koyczan

To This Day_Shane Koyczan’s To This Day is powerful.  Powerful in its words against bullying and powerful in its images.  This poetry book grew out of a concept from the To This Day animated video by Shane that went viral in 2013. The illustrations in this book were created by different artists and each illustrator is credited in the book. Resources are also provided in the book and on the To This Day website. If you are interested in spoken word poetry, click on the link to navigate to the website and listen to Koyczan’s powerful performance.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer


Cinder works as a mechanic in the New Beijing market.  Her ability to fix broken androids,  tablets and other devices makes her the most sought after mechanic in the market. Her gift is also her curse.  She has developed her gift because as a cyborg she has to keep her mechanical parts in good repair.  Cyborgs are looked down upon society, and Cinder’s stepmother lets Cinder know constantly what a burden she is to the family. But it is Cinder’s stellar reputation as a mechanic that brings Prince Kai to her booth seeking repairs for his broken android which he needs fixed before the annual ball.  Cinder’s promise to repair the android for Prince Kai is put on hold when Peony, Cinder’s stepsister, is infected with the deadly plague that kills hundreds yearly. Cinder will do anything in her power to help Peony, and she will have to because her stepmother, Adri, volunteers Cinder for plague research.

Legend by Marie Lu


Day lives in the slums of Lake Sector of Los Angeles in the Republic of America where the plague is infecting people right and left.  He is desperate to obtain vaccines for his family members but this is difficult as Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. June has just finished her military training for the Republic; setting records and capturing the Republic leaders’ attention.  When her brother, Metias, is murdered, June is recruited to go undercover in the slums of Los Angeles to find Day, who is suspected of the killing, and bring him to justice.  June and Day become wrapped up in a series of suspenseful events that keep pages turning in this thrilling read.


Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

ShipBreakerNailer lives on a beach in the Gulf Coast region in the future.  Society is divided by classes: the business affluent and the laborers.  Nailer survives as a laborer.  He works on the light crew scavenging copper wire from wrecked oil tankers and ships.  Each day he works hard to bring in his quota so he can continue to work and live in dismal conditions on the beach.  After a city killer hurricane passes through the Gulf area, Nailer and his friend, Pima, discover the wreckage of clipper ship on a nearby island.  With all the swank crew dead, Pima and Nailer set out to scavenge the ship of all its valuables but as they begin to cut the rings off the fingers of a beautiful young passenger, Nailer sees her eyes move.  Pima urges Nailer to kill the dying swank, get the gold and get off the wreck. Nailer has another idea.


The Selection by Kiera Cass


The Selection by Kiera Cass is the first book in a trilogy.   America is encouraged by her boyfriend, Aspen, to enter the selection.  America and Aspen are from different castes and it is unlikely America’s parents will allow them to marry.  The future king of Illea, Prince Maxon, will choose his future queen from eligible young woman through The Selection.  All eligible and interested young ladies apply and thirty-five will be selected to travel to the palace to live for an unspecified amount of time while Prince Maxom makes his decision.  America caving to pressure from her mother and Aspen registers and, of course, is chosen as one of the thirty-five.  This fast-paced The Bachelor meets Divergent is an entertaining read.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay

Mia loves her family. She loves her boyfriend Adam.  And Mia loves music, especially the classical music she plays on her cello.  She is faced with conflicting choices that add pressure to decisions she must make for her future.  Then suddenly she is faced with just one decision and just one heartbreaking choice.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


raven boys

Blue Sargent, the only non-clairvoyant in a family of clairvoyants, sits in the isolated and abandoned churchyard with her Aunt Neeve on St. Mark’s Eve where her aunt watches the soon-t0-be dead walk by.  Then she sees a boy!  Blue Sargent, non-clairvoyant, sees a soon-to-be dead boy!  “Get his name,” Neeve commands.  Blue asks the boy his name.  “Gansy.” Why could Blue see him?  “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue. Either you’re his true love,” Neeve said, “or you killed him.”  Gansy and Blue meet.  Blue finds herself drawn to Gansy.  Gansy attends Aglionby, a local private school in Henreitta. He’s a Raven boy.  Gansy and his friends, Ronan, Adam and Noah, are on a quest.  Blue is caught up in their quest all the while knowing that within the year Gansy will be dead.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

scorpio races

Every November on the beaches of the town Thisby, crowds come to view the Scorpio Races.  Riders attempt to ride the wild and dangerous capaill uisce (water horses) for the fame and profit.  This year Puck Connelly is determined to ride her beloved horse Dove against the blood-thirsty capaill uisce and win.  Winning will mean her brother, Gabe, can stay on the island along with her and her younger brother, Finn, and they can remain a family. The capaill uisce drowned both her parents leaving Puck and her brothers to fend for themselves.  If she enters, if she is allowed; it will be the first time a female has entered the races.  It will also pit her against Sean Kendrick, the returning champion, who works for the Malvern stables. At ten, Sean witnessed a gray uisce horse kill his father while training for the Scorpio Races.  Every year at the Scorpio Races, some riders finish, some riders die and there is only one winner.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

“Verity”, a British spy in Nazi-occupied Ormaie, France, finds herself captured by the Gestapo. The Nazi interrogaters give her a choice to give them information or visit the guillotine.  Verity chooses the first option and in writing to reveal her secret mission, she weaves a story of her friendship with Maddie.  Maddie, the pilot, who flew Verity to France.  Maddie whose piloting skills kept the plane from crashing after the tailplane was hit from gun fire from the ground.  Maddie who was able to get Verity to Ormaie and keep the plane steady while Verity parchuted to the secret location. Verity, like Scheherazade, gives the Nazis a wonderful tale in the details of her secret mission which prolong her life.  But will her tale be enough to insure her survival?