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New Books for 2017

As a new year begins, 2017 brings us much more children’s and young adult literature to devour, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Here are just a look at some of the titles we are most excited about in 2017 (Reviews from GoodReads, Amazon, Kirkus, and original CCYAL reviews):


Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

from GoodReads: 

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. One of only two out lesbians in her small town and standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the responsible adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, her responsibilities weigh more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. 

As Ramona falls more in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift as well, and she must decide if knowing who she is is more important than figuring out who she might become. (Expected Release May, 2017)

Keeping the Old and Adding some New!

female of the speciesAs we ring in the New Year, we reflect back over some old and new initiatives at the CCYAL.  An old initiative that we’re continuing for the 2017 year is the Student Review Board.  In August, we asked students to share their thoughts on the YA and children’s books they are reading.  Below is our most recent submission by Autumn at Hardin Valley.  She’s reviewing Mosquitoland by David Arnold.  If you know of a student that would be willing to read a current (past 18 months) book and then write a book review, please email for more information.  Students who participate will receive a free book from the Center collection.  

In keeping with new resolutions, a new initiative we’re beginning this January is a monthly YA book club.  Are you a teacher, librarian, parent, young adult, or young adult "at-heart" who reads young adult (YA) literature and wants to talk about it? Then join us in a YA book club! We'll be meeting the last Thursday of each month, beginning January 26th, from 6:00-8:00pm in the Lawson McGhee Library meeting room. Light refreshments will be provided. Our first book will be The Female of the Species, by Mindy McGinnis. We will take recommendations for other books to read, set a reading calendar, and ask for volunteers to lead future book discussions at this first meeting. Please join us! Happy reading!

Check out our Facebook page for more information and to see weekly book recommendations.


Books for Holiday Gifts

Tree Book

Who wouldn't love books for the holidays?  At the Center, we know we can always look forward to more exciting children's and young adult literature to read over the holiday break and carrying us into the new year.  Here are some gift-worthy books that would be a welcome gift to readers of all ages:

The Seeds of America Trilogy by Laurie Halse Anderson

The final installment of this historical fiction trilogy was released on October and it has made us want to reread all three books.  The first book, Chains, introduces us to Isabel, a 13 year old slave during the Revolutionary War.  As the series continues, Isabel and her friend Curzon each share the tellings in Forge. Finally, in Ashes, Isabel and Curzon continue their journey and fight for freedom as their search for Isabel's little sister, Ruth.  This series is perfect for a reader who loves history! Ages 12 and up.

Hilo Graphic Novel Series by Judd Winick

HiloThis hilarious graphic novel series tells the story of Hilo, a boy who has crashed to earth and has to figure out where he came from and why he is here.  With the help of his friends DJ and Gina, he'll help save the whole world!  The second installment of this series finds Hilo adjusting to life on earth, but soon magic portals with strange creatures start popping up all over town.  DJ and Gina must help Hilo again! The third in the series is due in February, so now would be a perfect time to read the first two!  Full of hilarious antics and hijinx, this series will have readers laughing from the first panel to the last. Ages 8-12

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney

A Poem for Peter

This beautiful picture book tells the biography of Ezra Jack Keats and how he developed the idea for the much loved class, The Snowy Day.  Told in poetic verse and wonderfully illustrated, this book would be perfect for a fan of biographies, poetry, or The Snowy Day book! It's the perfect read for snuggling up on cold, snowy days.  Ages 5-10

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

the sun is also a starNatasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. She is not one to believe in destiny or fate.  Her family is near deportation when she sees Daniel.  The soon begin a whirlwind romance that the Universe itself has pushed into motion.  A National Book Award finalist and a New York Times Bestseller, The Sun is Also a Star will have readers thinking about the way we see ourself and how others see us too. Ages 14 and up.


The Crossover by Kwame Alexander


Josh and Jordan Bell are both awesome on the basketball court.  This novel focuses on how the twins "come of age" and how their relationship evolves with outside constrains, but basketball remains the glue that holds them together.  Told in verse form, to mimic Josh's "mad beats," this novel is perfect for any sports fan! Winner of the 2015 Newbery Award, the 2015 Coretta Scott King Award Winner, and a New York Times Bestseller. Ages 10 and up


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