ON THE SHELF: Teen-Tober takes flight

Published 8:00 am Sunday, October 2, 2022

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week we begin our celebration of Teen-tober at the library, so here are a few Young Adult books you may have missed.

Author Tomi Adeyemi follows her sequel to the best-selling book “Children of Blood and Bone” with her latest “Children of Virtue and Vengeance.” Zelie and Amari have succeeded in bringing back magic to their land after a seemingly impossible battle. The ritual they used, however, was more powerful than anyone could have imagined. It not only ignited the power of the maji, but also those nobles who have magical ancestry. Zelie is now struggling to unite the maji in a world where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. Then, the monarchy and the military unite to keep hold over the people and Zelie scrambles to secure Amari’s right to the throne. The alliance of the monarchy and the military comes for the maji and civil war looms on the horizon and Zelie now finds herself at a breaking point that could tear her apart as well.

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“Red Hood” is a dark, intriguing, blood-soaked tale of the threats that come with female empowerment by Elana K. Arnold. Bisou Martel was only four when her grandmother became her caretaker. They have lived a quiet life in a small house in Seattle. Bisou keeps to herself and considers herself a good person. When homecoming rolls around, however, she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees in the wood as a furious beast with razor claws and teeth chases her. A wolf attacks and she fights back. As the new moon rises, so do a number of questions about the blood in Bisou’s past, and on her hands as she stumbles home. There are also questions about broken boys and vicious wolves and about girls lost in the woods — frightened, but not alone.

“The King of Crows” is the fourth book in the “Diviners” series by fantasy novelist Libba Bray. After a horrific explosion that killed one of their own, the Diviners find themselves wanted by the U.S. government and on the brink of war with the King of Crows. Memphis and Isaiah find themselves on the run from the mysterious Shadow Men when Isaiah has a vision of a girl named Sarah Beth Olson who could shift the balance of power in their struggle for peace. Elsewhere, Jericho has returned after his escape from Jake Marlowe’s estate where he has learned the shocking truth behind the King of Crow’s plans. The Diviners must travel to Bountiful, Nebraska to join forces with Sarah Beth in hopes of stopping the King of Crows and his army of the dead forever. But there are whispers of whole towns becoming deserted overnight and the dead developing unprecedented powers. All hope seems to be lost. The Diviners will be forced to confront their greatest fears and learn to rely on each other if they are to save their nation and the rest of the world.

“Pet” by Akwaeke Emezi is a genre-defying novel that explores the themes of identity and justice. Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look? The children of the city of Lucille are taught that there are no more monsters. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with that lesson their whole lives, but when Jam meets Pet, she must reconsider what she was told. You see, Pet is a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood. It seems that there is a shadow of something grim lurking in Redemption’s house and Pet has come to hunt the monster. Jam will have to fight to save her best friend, but also to uncover the truth and answer an important question — How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

The final book in the “Monster” trilogy by Michael Grant is called “Hero.” After the fall of Perdido Beach dome, a new set of humans have developed mutant powers from the alien virus-infected rock. They are known as the Rockborn Gang: Dekka, Shade, Cruz, Malik, Armo and Francis. They have used their superpowers to defend the earth from other rockborn who used their powers for evil, like Dillon Poe. A new enemy — Bob Markovic — arises with horrifying and nearly unstoppable abilities when another rock carrying the virus strikes New York. Markovic had unending ambition and no moral compass before the virus. Now he is a swarm of plague-ridden insects with the power and means to take over a city — and maybe even the world. As the Rockborn Gang try to defeat their latest villain, they will find themselves on morally ambiguous ground and must make the tough decision of whether they want to save the world or not. They will also answer the question: What does it take to be a hero?

“Deeplight” by Frances Hardinge is another genre-bending tale. The gods are dead. Fifty years ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart and no one knows why. Now, even small scraps of dead god are worth a fortune because of the unusual powers they are said to possess. Few people, however, are brave enough to dive and search for them. Fifteen-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of one of these deities. He’ll risk everything to keep it from smugglers, scientists, and cults who are all willing to kill for the power it possesses. But Hark needs the heart to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. The power of the gods is not meant for human hands and Jelt begins to eerily transform once he had the heart. Will Hark remain loyal to his friend or will he have to sacrifice even more to save him?