Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bookish Gift Ideas for Tweens

It’s that time of the year—crunch time for those last minute gifts for the holidays. If you are anything like me, you need advice for what to get those hard to buy for teens and tweens like my tween nieces and nephews this Christmas.  Here are some great suggestions:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul By: Jeff Kinney
Series: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #9
Genre: Graphic/fiction.
For Ages: 8-12
           If you have never heard of the bestselling series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, then let me introduce you to this blockbuster-of-a-book series for tweens. This series uniquely combines fun, comic-like illustrations with text as it follows undersized sixth grader, Greg through his middle school experiences. “The Long Haul” is the ninth and most recent installment. In The Long Haul, Greg and his family takes a road trip. The trip which starts off well enough quickly takes several wrong turns-- from a fender bender to crazed seagulls--but even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure, and this is one the Heffleys will not soon forget!

Treasure Hunters By: James Patterson
Series: Treasure Hunters # 1
Genre: Adventure
For ages: 9-13
Treasure Hunters is a new adventure series that combines a lot of humor and adventure into its pages. The story follows the four Kiddos kids (the twins Bick and Beck and their two older siblings) after their treasure-seeking parents disappear in a sea storm. The children continue their parent’s treasure hunting mission as they seek to discover the truth about what really happened to their parents. On the Kiddo children’s way, they run into pirates who are looking for the same treasure they are.
This book is great for adventure seekers between the ages of 9-13 and will appeal to Diary of a Wimpy Kid readers, as Treasure Hunters includes many wonderful illustrations.

Series: The School for Good and Evil, Book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Ages: 11-13
The School for Good and Evil is a new trilogy that has created a lot of buzz. What makes this book so grand it that is similar to Harry Potter with its strong good vs evil theme and the impressively detailed world described within the pages.
The story begins with best friends Sophie and Agatha as they are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Sophie, with her devotion to good deeds, knows she'll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella. Meanwhile, Agatha, with a wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil. The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed--Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil while Agatha is at the School for Good. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are ... ?

Theodore Boone: The Activist By: John Grisham
Series: Theodore Bone: Kid Lawyer #4
Genre: Mystery
Age: 9 - 13 years
In this mystery series follow Theodore Boone, thirteen-year-old teen who has always dreamed of being a great trial lawyer someday. In this fourth and latest book, Theo’s town is divided in two by political and environmental issues. Theo takes the stand to protect his political and environmental freedoms. This book series is not only fun and exciting, it is also unique because it teaches its readers about the legal system.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
By: Chris Grabenstein
Series: N/A
Genre: Mystery
Age: 9-13
I know what you are thinking, that because I work in a library, of course, I’m going to love a book about a library. But I assure you that this book has so much more to it than a fun adventure in a library! This story is a quirky and fun read. The main character is an 11 year old class clown named Kyle. Kyle and 11 other kids are chosen to spend the night in the town’s new library. Luckily for them this library just happens to have been built by world famous game creator—Luigi Lemoncello. After a bit of fun the kids realize that they won’t be freed until they solve a series of puzzles based on famous books.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy By: Karen Foxlee
Series: n/a
Genre: Fantasy
Ages: 8-12
This book is a great choice for any fairy tale fans out there. It is full of imagination. Ophelia, a timid eleven-year-old girl who is grieving her mother, suspends her disbelief in things non-scientific when she meets a boy locked in the museum where her father is working. The boy asks her to help him complete an age-old mission. The story moves in two parallel worlds and timelines. One line is set in an unnamed place and tells the ancient story of the Snow Queen and the quest of the Boy With No Name to defeat her. That story involves wizards, a mystical sword, and magic. In the second line follows Ophelia who finds the Boy imprisoned in a museum.


Minecraft: Redstone Handbook Or
Minecraft: The Essential Handbook By: Scholastic
Series: n/a
Genre: nonfiction, how-to
Ge 8-13
Ages: 8-13
If you know a tween, you probably know someone who is obsessed with Minecraft. Minecraft is an interesting video game because it appeals equally to boys and girls.  Kids are just willing to watch it being played as well as play it themselves. Minecraft is also a fairly strategic game that takes a lot of practice and skill to master. That’s why I recommend Minecraft books as possible gifts. For a tween just getting into Minecraft, I recommend “Minecraft: the Essential Handbook”. This book completely lays out the basics of Minecraft with step by step easy to follow guide.
If, on the other hand, you have a tween who is on their way to mastering the game, I recommend “Minecraft: Redstone Handbook”. This book can give tips to even the most practiced Minecraft player. Both of these books are written for tween players/readers and will easily guide them through different levels of the game.

Scavengers By: Michael Perry
Series: n/a
Genre: Post-apocalyptic adventure
Ages: 8-12
          This middle grade novel is written by bestselling Wisconsin author Michael Perry. This story is a mixture of action-packed adventure and heartfelt family story. It is set in the near future.  A major climate change has hit our world, sending things into chaos and people into panic. The government has teamed up with corporations to build Bubble Cities. You can live InBubble or OutBubble, but once you make your choice, there are no take backs. The main character, Ford Falcon lives OutBubble with her family.  They have been able to survive by working together. But when Ford comes home one day to find her family missing, she must rescue her loved ones.

Liar & Spy By: Rebecca Stead
Series: n/a
Genre: Mystery
Ages: 10-14
Some authors can write a career’s worth of books and never quite nail the intangible element of mood. Not so with Newbery-winning author Rebecca Stead! Liar and Spy is a wonderful novel that is perfect for 5-8th graders and deals with important topics such as friendship, bullying and loss. The story begins when the main character, seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building.  He meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?

          Do these books sound like books your tweens would read? What books did I miss? Are you looking for a different list of book recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!

Kirsten Vaughan
Isanti Outreach Librarian

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Simon & Schuster eBooks and 'Buy it Now'

East Central Regional Library is excited to announce that we are now able to offer eBooks published by Simon & Schuster Inc. to our patrons.  This includes popular Minnesota authors like Vince Flynn and William Kent Krueger! 

In order to purchase Simon & Schuster titles and make them available on our OverDrive powered Digital Library website, libraries are required to offer the 
'Buy It Now' (BIN) feature.  

What is BIN?

BIN is a retail program that connects library users to a network of online booksellers to purchase a personal copy of an eBook title. When a user clicks on the 'Buy It Now' link, they will be sent to a retail website where they can purchase the title for their personal eBook collection from a WIN Affiliate Retailer (listed below).

In return, ECRL will earn a percent of proceeds from retail sales made through those online booksellers.  With those proceeds, we can buy more eBooks & eAudiobooks to add to our Digital Library.  When a user follows a ‘Buy It Now’ link, the referring library receives a content credit for the user’s entire purchase, not just eBooks!

How does this affect you?
BIN may not affect you at all, except that you can now checkout and read Simon & Schuster eBooks from ECRL's Digital Library.  ECRL does not want you to feel pressure to buy eBooks, but we weighed our options and decided providing access to such high-demand titles was our priority.  You do not have to use the 'Buy It Now' feature, we just have to offer it.  However, this option may be of interest if any of the following apply:

  • You just can't wait a second longer on the Holds List for a popular new title.
  • You read an eBook in our Digital Library that you then decide to add to your personal eBook collection.
  • You shop at these online retailers anyway, and would like to support ECRL financially while doing so.
Where will I see 'Buy It Now'?
There are two places you will see 'Buy It Now.'  The first is next to the 'Borrow' or 'Place a Hold' buttons on all titles that are available to purchase from a WIN affiliate retailer.

The second place you will see 'Buy it Now' is an image like this, located on the ECRL Digital Library homepage. 

I still have questions...

Check out these FAQ's! 

Check out the newly added William Kent Krueger, Vince Flynn, and other popular eBook titles now!

Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Forthcoming titles - October 2014

Forthcoming titles - click here to search for and place your hold on the ECRL catalog.


Title Author Pub Date
Bittersweet Albert, Susan Wittig 04/07/2015
Cat's Lair Feehan, Christine 04/28/2015
The Cavendon Women Bradford, Barbara Taylor 03/24/2015
Come The Morning Graham, Heather 02/03/2015
Dangerous Women VOL. 3 Dozois, Gardner 11/25/2014
Dangerous Women VOL. 2 Dozois, Gardner 10/28/2014
The Dead Play On Graham, Heather 03/31/2015
Death of a Liar Beaton, M. C. 02/03/2015
The Dream Lover Berg, Elizabeth 04/07/2015
Echoes of Dollanganger Andrews, V. C. 01/27/2015
Emma: A Novel McCall Smith, Alexander 04/07/2015
Every Fifteen Minutes Scottoline, Lisa 04/07/2015
Garden of Lies Quick, Amanda 04/21/2015
Host Cook, Robin 03/17/2015
Hot Pursuit Woods, Stuart 04/07/2015
Jason Hamilton, Laurell K. 12/02/2014
The King's Pleasure Graham, Heather 10/07/2014
Last One Home: A Novel Macomber, Debbie 04/21/2015
The Liar Roberts, Nora 04/14/2015
Lowball Martin, George R. R. 11/04/2014
The Melody Lingers On Clark, Mary Higgins 04/07/2015
Memory Man Baldacci, David 04/21/2015
Miracle at Augusta Patterson, James 04/06/2015
The Morcai Battalion: The Recruit Palmer, Diana 11/25/2014
Old Venus Dozois, Gardner R. 03/03/2015
Perfect Match Michaels, Fern 04/28/2015
The Sacrifice Oates, Joyce Carol 01/27/2015
War Hawk Rollins, James 04/07/2015
Where Trust Lies Oke, Janette 02/03/2015
Your Next Breath Johansen, Iris 04/28/2015


Title Author Pub Date
The 13th Disciple: A Spiritual Adventure Chopra, Deepak 03/30/2015
17 Carnations Morton, Andrew 03/10/2015
The 20/20 Diet McGraw, Phillip C. 01/06/2015
41: A Portrait of My Father Bush, George W. 11/11/2014
The 5 Love Languages for Men Chapman, Gary D. 01/01/2015
American Titan: Searching for John Wayne Eliot, Marc 11/04/2014
Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer Lucado, Max 09/30/2014
Brunch at Bobby's Flay, Bobby 03/24/2015
Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions Dalai Lama 11/11/2014
Co-Creating at Its Best Hicks, Esther 12/02/2014
Daily Readings from Break Out! Osteen, Joel 10/07/2014
Dreamers and Deceivers Beck, Glenn 10/28/2014
The Future of God Chopra, Deepak 11/11/2014
The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved Andersen, Christopher 10/28/2014
The Happy Vegan Simmons, Russell 03/10/2015
I Suck at Relationships So You Don't Have To Frankel, Bethenny 04/14/2015
In the Manger Lucado, Max 09/30/2014
INSTINCT Daily Readings Jakes, T. D. 10/07/2014
INSTINCT for Graduates Jakes, T. D. 04/07/2015
The Legacy Journey Ramsey, Dave 10/21/2014
Lying in Wait Rule, Ann 11/25/2014
On Calvary's Hill: 40 Readings for the Easter Season Lucado, Max 12/02/2014
One Vote: Make Your Voice Heard Carson, Ben 10/09/2014
Rising Above a Toxic Workplace Chapman, Gary D. 09/01/2014
Skinnygirl Cocktails Frankel, Bethenny 10/28/2014
Small Victories Lamott, Anne 11/10/2014
Stubborn Fat Gone! Cruise, Jorge 04/28/2015
Sync or Swim Chapman, Gary D. 11/01/2014
The Way I See It Grandin, Temple 10/15/2014
Your Instinct in Action Jakes, T. D. 09/23/2014
Zero Belly Diet Zinczenko, David 12/30/2014


Title Author Pub Date
Blue Labyrinth Preston, Douglas J. 11/11/2014
The City Koontz, Dean R. 03/03/2015
Death of a Liar Beaton, M. C. 02/03/2015
Emma  McCall Smith, Alexander 04/07/2015
Last One Home  Macomber, Debbie 04/21/2015
Memory Man Baldacci, David 04/21/2015
Miracle at Augusta Patterson, James 04/06/2015
The Sacrifice Oates, Joyce Carol 01/27/2015
The Sixth Extinction Rollins, James 09/02/2014
War Hawk Rollins, James 04/07/2015
Where Trust Lies Oke, Janette 02/03/2015
Winter Street Hilderbrand, Elin 10/14/2015


Title Author Pub Date
The Betrayed Graham, Heather 09/30/2014
Blue Labyrinth Preston, Douglas J. 11/11/2014
The Cavendon Women Bradford, Barbara Taylor 03/24/2015
Crash & Burn Gardner, Lisa 02/03/2015
A Deadly Web Hooper, Kay 12/30/2014
Dealer's Choice and Lily and the Sockeyes Paretsky, Sara 10/07/2014
Death of a Liar Beaton, M. C. 02/03/2015
Disconnected Weiner, Jennifer 12/02/2014
Every Fifteen Minutes Scottoline, Lisa 04/07/2015
Hot Pursuit Woods, Stuart 04/07/2015
Jason Hamilton, Laurell K. 12/02/2014
Last One Home: A Novel Macomber, Debbie 04/21/2015
Melody Lingers On Clark, Mary Higgins 04/07/2015
Memory Man Baldacci, David 04/21/2015
Miracle at Augusta Patterson, James 04/06/2015
The Mistletoe Promise Evans, Richard Paul 11/18/2014
Obsession in Death Robb, J. D. 02/10/2015
The Promise Crais, Robert 11/04/2014
The Rain on the Dead Higgins, Jack 12/30/2014
The Silent Sister Chamberlain, Diane 10/07/2014
The Stranger Coben, Harlan 03/24/2015
Twisted Innocence Blackstock, Terri 02/03/2015
War Hawk Rollins, James 04/07/2015
Wyoming Strong Palmer, Diana 10/28/2014

Marcia Ledin, Technical Services Manager