Like most avid readers, I always have a stack of books waiting in the wings. This To-Be-Read (or TBR) list might be a physical pile of books, a list of titles I’ve tagged “Want to Read” on Goodreads, pending eBook and audiobook holds in Libby or SORA, or a good ol’ handwritten list of books that caught my eye during my last bookstore visit. But sometimes, the longer my TBR list (or the taller the stack of books on my desk), the tougher the time I have choosing what to read next. Sometimes DAYS go by and I just can’t settle on a book and settle in for the read. Whenever this happens, I call on a handful of tried-and-true strategies to choose my next read. This week, I’ll share a strategy or two each day to help my fellow readers choose the right book at the right time. It’s time for a TBR reboot!
Day 1: Try an anthology. Discover new-to-you authors of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry through an anthology on a theme that interests you. Most of the authors featured in the recent run of essay and short story collections have also published their own books. Read a sampling of chapters from an anthology, select one that feels like it was written just for you, then pick a book by that writer (every collection has helpful author bios, including other books they’ve written, in the back). Not sure where to start? Here are some stand-out anthologies that have recently been added to the Ridley High School Library:
Stay tuned for another TBR Reboot tip tomorrow!
Big Library Read is the first-ever “global eBook club,” connecting people around the world who read the same eBook (or listen to the audiobook) at the same time! The new selection is The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke, who seamlessly blends history and magic in this unique novel. Coincidentally, Katherine is also scheduled to visit Ridley High School on October 4! We feel very fortunate to have the current Big Library Read author appearing at our school!Here’s a quick summary of The Girl with the Red Balloon from the publisher:
When 16-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall, but Ellie’s time travel is a mystery even to the balloon makers. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything, including her only way home, to stop the process
October 1 – 15, 2018, unlimited copies of this e-book are available for checkout through OverDrive! Just visit the new SORA app, and borrow the Big Library Read today!
Just click on the image for all of this month’s highlights and some upcoming events in the Ridley High School Library!
Read the book and join the conversation!
Ridley Park Public Library invites residents to read and discuss The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen! This debut novel, which won the 2007 James Fenimore Cooper Prize for best historical American fiction, was inspired by a real but little-known historical footnote. As WWI drew to an end, the residents of Commonwealth, Washington, made the desperate decision to quarantine their town against the deadly 1918 flu epidemic overwhelming the globe. Encounters with the outside world and tensions within the town escalate until the very survival of the community is imperiled. It’s a powerful story of morality in a time of upheaval.The purpose of the One Town, One Book program is to spark connections and conversations between neighbors, friends, and fellow community members. A community forum and celebration is planned for 7:00 p.m. on October 17, 2018, at Ridley Park Borough Hall. Copies of the book are available for loan or purchase ($10.00) from the Ridley Park Public Library, located at 107 E. Ward Street.
Ridley High School is excited to welcome authors Katherine Locke and Steve Schafer on Thursday, October 4th!
Katherine Locke is the author of The Girl with the Red Balloon and its companion novel, The Spy with the Red Balloon. In The Girl with the Red Balloon, 16-year-old Ellie Baum is on a school trip to Germany when she accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything (including her only way home) to stop the process. Katherine Locke seamlessly blends history and magic in this unique novel.
Steve Schafer is the author of The Border, which has just been released in paperback. It’s a gripping drama about four teens, forced to flee their home in Mexico after a ruthless drug cartel rips their families apart. They must now face life-threatening danger and unimaginable sacrifice as they attempt to cross the U.S. border. Timely and intense, The Border is an unforgettable novel.
Katherine and Steve will visit Ridley High School on October 4 for a presentation in the Board Room at 10:00 a.m. Following their talk, books will be available for sale and signing at 20% off the cover price! We are thrilled to host them and as always, THANK YOU to Children’s Book World in Haverford for making this event possible.
It’s time for another round-up of Pickett’s Picks, Fall 2018 Edition! Each season, I spotlight a selection of brand new books from favorite authors, intriguing debut novels, must-read crossover releases, and at least one jaw-dropping cover (can you guess which one?). Here are just a few of the books that I’m looking forward to reading and sharing with students at Ridley High School during the upcoming semester. What are YOUR picks?? Leave a comment and let me know!
- Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
Told from three viewpoints, teens Doris, Nell, and Grant find friendship and the possibility of love while working in Unclaimed Baggage, a store that sells items that went missing during airline travel. I love stories about people thrown together by a quirky summer job, and Unclaimed Baggage promises to be charming, funny, and heartfelt.
- Dream Country by Shannon Gibney
Dream Country is the story of five generations of young people caught in the dangerous spiral connecting Liberia and the United States, and how one determined young dreamer grapples for control of her destiny. This novel has been compared to Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, one of my all-time favorites!
- We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
A new novel of supernatural horror (and pop culture) from the author of Horrorstor and My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Yes, please!
- The War Outside by Monica Hesse
The War Outside is the story of two girls from very different backgrounds who meet in a Texas internment camp during WWII. Margot and Haruko find solace in their secret friendship. But in a prison that the government claims is full of spies, can they trust anyone? I adored Monica Hesse’s brilliant previous books, Girl in the Blue Coat and American Fire. If Monica Hesse writes it, I will read it!
- Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
This is the debut novel that everyone is talking about! During Darius Kellner’s sophomore year he travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor who changes his life for the better. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable book is for anyone who’s ever felt not good enough, but then met a friend who makes them feel so much better than okay.
- Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Who are the Sawkill Girls? Marion: the new girl. Zoey: the pariah. Val: the queen bee. Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires. Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight … until now.
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Every once in a while, a book comes along that just has my name on it. Where the Crawdads Sing is one of those books! In this “crossover” novel (written for adults but perfect for teen readers), author Delia Owens blends an exquisite ode to the natural world with a heartbreaking coming-of-age story and a surprising murder investigation.
- Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival. Neal Shusterman is the author of Unwind and Scythe, two of Ridley High School’s all-time most popular books. I am here for his latest!
- A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma
Teenage Bina runs away to New York City’s Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, dark secrets, and a painting that seems to be alive. As Bina’s memories become entangled with the present, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will cost for her to leave. I will drop everything for a lost-in-time house of secrets, which is what the novel promises!
- Sadie by Courtney Summers
Told from the alternating perspectives of nineteen-year-old Sadie, who has run away from her isolated Colorado town to find her younger sister’s killer, and a true crime podcast exploring Sadie’s disappearance. Sadie is a close second to Where the Crawdads Sing for the “Book with My Name On It” prize!
- Slayer by Kiersten White
From bestselling author Kiersten White comes a brand-new series set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, introducing a new Slayer as she grapples with the responsibility of managing her incredible powers. It’s true … they had me at “Buffy”!
September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month!
As students head back to school, there is one essential school supply that requires no shopping and doesn’t cost a penny – it’s a library card!
A FREE Delaware County Library System card unlocks a world of possibilities, giving instant access to books, electronic resources, databases, streaming videos, digital eBooks and audiobooks, and much more! School and public libraries empower all people to pursue their interests, discover their passions, and achieve their highest potential as learners and citizens.
This September, Ridley High School is joining with our local public library system for Library Card Sign-up Month to encourage parents, students, and staff members to obtain a free library card that will save money while also supporting academic achievement and lifetime learning. From September 17 – 28, Delaware County Library System card applications will be available in the high school library! Stop by during Raider Time to pick up an application and enter to win a small giveaway: a Wawa gift card, free book, textbook cover, or other fun back-to-school prize!
Already have your card? Help a friend or family member get one today!