Bog Child is about Fergus, a high school senior growing up on the border of Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland in the 1980s. The Troubles, the conflict that rocked Northern Ireland between 1960 and 1998, colors the story: Fergus is being courted by the Provos*, a group that engages in terrorism, and his brother is in jail and participating in a hunger strike that will almost surely kill him. While out cutting peat with his uncle, Fergus discovers the body of a child buried in a bog. Archeologists are called, and research into the child’s origins shapes Fergus’ last summer before college. As his own life descends into chaos, he imagines how the dead girl’s life must have been.
Bog Child is a really cool story about a guy who is trying to live a normal life in the middle of a crisis. The story is well written, and Fergus has an authentic and strong voice throughout. The many elements of the plot come together as Fergus tries to find peace with the decisions he has to make. He struggles with balancing falling in love, getting the grades that will earn him a scholarship that will take him away from The Troubles, and trying to find a way to help his brother and his family.
*Provos: Provisional Irish Republican Army
If you're looking for a book to read or recommend and all that's coming to mind are "classic" youth and YA books, here are some contemporary books that you might like!
|If you like this classic...
||Try these contemporary titles!|
|The Chocolate War||Bullyville, Prep|
|Z for Zachariah||Gone, Life as We Knew It, The Dead and the Gone|
|The Witch of Blackbird Pond||The Minister's Daughter, Witch Child|
|The Cay||Hippie Chick, Overboard|
|Forever||Story of a Girl, When it Happens|
|Anne of Green Gables||Hattie Big Sky, Billie Standish was Here, Dairy Queen|
|The Dark is Rising||The Pellinor series, the Mortal Instruments series, the Keys to the Kingdom series|
|A Wrinkle in Time||The Gideon trilogy, Bunker 10, London Calling, the Caretaker trilogy|
|Charlie and the Chocolate Factory||The Gollywhopper Games|
|The Saturdays||The Penderwicks|
|The Narnia series||Magic or Madness, the Dark Materials trilogy|
|Ballet Shoes||The Year My Sister Got Lucky|
|The Babysitters' Club series||The Peaches series, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series|
|The Secret Garden||The Gemma Doyle series, Flora Segunda|
|A Little Princess||Pulling Princes, the Princess Diaries series, Finding Hattie|
|The Nancy Drew series||Bad Kitty, the Enola Holmes series, Kiss Me Kill Me, Kisses and Lies|
|Pride and Prejudice||The Luxe series, Cassandra's Sister|
|Watership Down||The Redwall series|
|Hatchet||The Killing Sea, Peak, The Winter Road|
|A Day No Pigs Would Die||Out of the Dust|
|The Hobbit||The Farsala trilogy, The Sea of Trolls, the Ranger's Apprentice series|
The first book that members of the Middle School Book Club are reading is:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
This book won the 2008 Newbery Medal!
If you would like to join the Club, please email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org. We meet on the last Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m and we serve pizza.
The Book Club is for rising 7th and 8th graders.
Tempo Change was a very good book even though it took time to read and understand. The main character has very complex thinking. It's about a high school girl name Blair Kelly and though her classmates don't know it, she's related to an indie rock icon. That icon left her mother and her when she was very young. She never played music and used the word artist as a deadly punishment instead of an admirable character. She was a musical critic for the school newspaper. She was a poet in secret and wrote amazing lyrics. She decides to form a band and gets some of the most unlikely people to join her for the ride. They make an amazing team and win their talent show and tie in a bigger contest. Then they reach the Meca of music. Coachella. Blair realizes this may be the chance she is waiting for, the chance to see the father she hasn't laid eyes on in almost 13 years.
Capricorn Anderson has never seen television, never handled money, never worn synthetic fibers or eaten pizza. Raised by his hippy grandmother Rain, on a rural commune that has slowly dwindled to a population of two, Cap can drive, do Tai Chi, and grow fruits and vegetables. When his grandmother falls and breaks her hip, homeschooled Cap is totally unprepared for life at Claverage (dubbed C-Average) Middle School.
Clearly a freak, Cap quickly becomes the butt of practical jokes, especially the longstanding tradition of electing the biggest nerd as eighth grade president. Cap, with his total inability to understand the modern world, makes an especially ripe target, since he believes everything his classmates tell him—whether it’s that bullfighting is a school sport, or that he must learn the names of everyone in school. Cap’s adventure to fit in at his new school is hilarious, as are the reactions of his classmates and teachers as they try to figure out how to deal with his unique perspective on life and the eighth grade.
Schooled is a quick read, and highly recommended for a laugh.
Come to the teen room this Thursday at 7 p.m. for this month's TAB meeting. On the agenda:
This was one of those books you simply could not put down. It’s a story of a small town American-Norwegian teenager who doesn’t know what she’s good at. Her two best friends cast a big shadow for her to stand in. While working an early morning shift in her grandmother’s coffee shop she encounters someone sleeping in the alley behind her shop. She gives the stranger pastries and a coffee. He keeps coming back and claims he must reward her. You will fall in love with the down to earth thoughts of the main character, Katrina. It’s a book that leaves you fulfilled but curious, the perfect mix.
On Wednesday, February 25 at 7 p.m., Rachel Cohn will be visiting Darien Library. Rachel is the author of You Know Where to Find Me, Pop Princess, Shrimp, and co-author of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
You Know Where to Find Me is an Oprah’s Book Club pick for teens and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which she co-authored with David Levithan, was made into a feature film starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings.
A book signing will follow the presentation, which will be held in the Community Room.
The first 30 teens to arrive will get a free copy of You Know Where to Find Me, which comes out in paperback on February 24.
The first meeting of Darien Library's TAB (Teen Advisory Board) is Thursday, February 5 at 7 pm in the teen room. If you would like to join TAB, email me! We already have lots of people signed up, and it's going to be a lot of fun. One of the major privileges of TAB is deciding what will be written on the teen room walls! You will also be planning events and helping me decide what books to buy.
What does the TAB do?
When and where does the TAB met?
Who can join?
If you would like to join the Teen Advisory Board, either leave a comment on this post or email me (the teen librarian) at email@example.com.
Zac Calahan, Katie Orem (in red), and Paige Gasparino (in green) prepared for their physics test tomorrow, Beautiful Mind-style.