Posted in Library News

Pickett’s Picks: Spring 2019 Edition!

It’s time for another round-up of Pickett’s Picks, Spring 2019 Edition! This time I’ve compiled a dozen intriguing debut novels, brand new books from favorite authors, must-read crossover releases, and at least one delectable 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!

Internment by Samira Ahmed
A sophomore effort by an author who is stepping up her already-strong game! Internment depicts a dystopian near-future United Sates where Muslim-Americans are forced into internment camps, and seventeen-year-old Layla Amin must lead a revolution against complicit silence.

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
Eighteen-year-old, mystery-loving Birdie’s new job at a historic Seattle hotel leads her and her co-worker, Daniel, to a real mystery about a reclusive writer who resides there. I love a fresh, contemporary romance with a unique setting, and this one sounds perfect!

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
Sparks fly between a K pop starlet and a tabloid reporter in this heartwarming rom-com! Maurene Goo is just as talented at writing the comedy as the romance in each of her “rom-com” novels, and I can’t wait to read her latest!

You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn
This good, ol’-fashioned love story asks: can the right song and the perfect summer on the road make two broken hearts whole? (My prediction.)

The Current by Tim Johnston
The author of Descent (one of my all-time faves) is back with another suspenseful crossover novel! When two young women leave their college campus in the dead of winter for a 700-mile drive home to Minnesota, they find themselves fighting for their lives in the icy waters of the Black Root River. One girl’s survival and the other’s death stun the citizens of their small town, thawing memories of another young woman who lost her life in the same river ten years earlier, and whose killer may yet live among them. I have no doubt that readers will be swept up in this Current!

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon
A chilling ghost story with a twist: the story of a husband and wife who don’t simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it’s too late … Yes, please, to all of the above.

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
In this daring and romantic fantasy debut perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, society wife-in-training Dani has a great awakening after being recruited by rebel spies and falling for her biggest rival. You had me at “perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale“!

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling for her. But then Kate dies. And their story should end there. But Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again: healthy, happy, and charming. If he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. When one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
The incomparable Angie Thomas is back with her second novel! On the Come Up is the story of Bri, a 16-year-old whose rap goes viral for the wrong reasons, leading to trouble for her family and an eviction notice. The Hate U Give was the novel of 2017, and early word is that On the Come Up is as good if not better!

Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale
Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s worried about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. I love a novel that portrays a transformational season in a character’s life … plus coffee and pastries!!

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
This new novel by the author of The Age of Miracles will appeal to both the horror geek and the literary nerd. It’s about a college town transformed by a strange illness that locks victims in a perpetual sleep and triggers life-altering dreams. The town descends into panic and chaos, trying to stay awake but also trying to understand: What are they dreaming about?

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Best friends Delia and Josie host a campy creature feature show called Midnite Matinee on the local cable station. But with the end of senior year quickly approaching, the girls face tough decisions about their own futures and the future of their show. As the tug-of-war between growing up and growing apart tests the bonds of their friendship, the girls start to realize that an uncertain future can be both monstrous…and momentous. Jeff Zentner excels at depicting true-to-life friendships, complete with humor and heartache, and I’ve already booked a ticket for this Midnite Matinee!

Posted in Library News

Pickett’s Picks: Fall 2018 Edition!

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!

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  • 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”!


Posted in Library News

Pickett’s Picks: Spring 2018 Edition!

If you’ve stopped by the library lately, maybe you’ve seen the Pickett’s Picks bulletin board, Spring 2018 Edition! It features 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!

  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
    In Zélie’s world, magic has disappeared and magis are targeted by a ruthless king. Seventeen year-old Zélie has always feared she would share the fate of her mother, who was assassinated by the king’s guards. With the help of her brother and the fugitive Crown Princess, Zélie sets off on a journey to restore her people’s magical abilities. Get ready for danger, magic, and star-crossed romance!
  • A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
    In this debut novel set in Saudi Arabia, where the law forbids romantic relationships outside of marriage, two teens fall in love with tragic consequences.
  • The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury
    This electrifying debut is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale: Trapper/hunter Tracy Petrikoff knows her way around the Alaskan wilderness but can’t remember what happened when she was attacked in the woods. This has been described as “the Bronte sisters meet Stephen King”; need I say more?
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
    In a world where Beauty is a commodity only a few control, one Belle will learn the dark secrets behind her powers, and rise up to change the world.
  • Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
    When Marvin Johnson’s twin brother, Tyler, is shot and killed by a police officer, Marvin must fight injustice to learn the true meaning of freedom. This one puts me in mind of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and I can’t wait to read it!
  • The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
    Anna Fox lives alone–a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine, watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors. But when Anna sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble. Twisty, ingenious, and moving.
  • Relative Strangers by Paula Garner
    A simple quest to find a baby picture for the senior yearbook leads to an earth-shattering discovery: for most of the first two years of her life, Jules lived in foster care. Reeling from feelings of betrayal and with only the flimsiest of clues, Jules sets out to learn the truth about her past. This is a poignant coming-of-age novel about making peace with missing pieces from the author of Phantom Limbs.
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
    The new novel from the beloved author of bestseller The Nightingale!
    Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. And for a family in crisis, the ultimate test of the human spirit.
  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
    At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland’s stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar: a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet. Also, it’s the Civil War plus the undead and I am so here for it!!
  • Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
    A stunning debut novel-in-verse based on the true story of the iconic painter, Artemisia Gentileschi. Enduring the subjugation of women, rape, and torture, Artemisia is buoyed by her deceased mother’s stories of strong women of the Bible.
Posted in Library News

Pickett’s Picks, Fall 2017 Edition: The Notable Nine

If you’ve stopped by the library lately, maybe you’ve seen the Pickett’s Picks, Fall 2017 Edition bulletin board! It features 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!

  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
    This is a dark and mystical reimagining of the Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress.
  • Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis
    Flora won’t admit it to anyone, but she’s in love with Elijah. When he tells her about the hippie Quaker school where he’ll be teaching next year, Flora gives up her upper east side prep school for a life on a farm, hoping to woo him. When Elijah doesn’t show up, Flora must make the most of the situation and will ultimately learn more about herself than she ever thought possible. Told in a series of letters, emails, journal entries and various ephemera, Jenny Fran Davis lays out Flora’s dramatic year for all to see!
  • The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
    A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.
  • Strange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe Hill (Ms. Pickett is obsessed)
    With this collection of short novels, the brilliantly imaginative Joe Hill delivers not one but four ingeniously wrought, chilling gems of terror!
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
    When a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths. Marie Lu has conjured an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
    This is a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. 
  • A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck
    After years of pining for the girl next door, 15-year-old Matthew Wainwright must deal with Tabby dating a popular senior just when he needs her most. This fiercely funny, heartbreaking debut novel is perfect for fans of Phantom Limbs and All the Bright Places.
  • All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
    Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars. At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. The incomparable Maggie Stiefvater gives us a masterful tale of love, fear, darkness, and redemption.
  • Artemis by Andy Weir
    The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller: a heist story set on the moon.
Posted in Library News

Pickett’s Picks, Spring 2017 Edition: A Perfect Ten!

If you’ve stopped by the library lately, maybe you’ve seen the Pickett’s Picks bulletin board, Spring 2017 Edition! It features 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 for the coming months?? Leave me a comment, or stop by the library to let me know. Happy Reading in 2017!

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney (January, 2017)
A psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity and deception. The must-read thriller of the season? Yes, please!

*Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios (June, 2017)
When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape. This is a heartfelt story about spiraling into darkness … and emerging into the light again.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber (January, 2017)
Welcome to Caraval! It’s more than just a game or a performance; it’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world … And whatever you’ve heard, it doesn’t compare to the reality. Get caught up in this sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (January, 2017)
When their worlds collide, a Montana girl named Zoe and a bounty hunter called X grapple with the ultimate sacrifice in order to be together in this cinematic, star-crossed debut.

The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins (January, 2017)
Bestselling author Ellen Hopkins has penned a new novel in verse that poses an impossible question: How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie?

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (February, 2017)
When 17-year old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past… and the present.

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia (January, 2017)
Full of twists and turns, this mesmerizing crossover novel reconstructs a year in the life of a beguiling young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to mortal danger.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs (March, 2017)
Orphan Black meets Lord of the Flies in this riveting new thriller from the co-author of the Virals series. What more needs to be said?

A List of Cages by Robin Roe (January, 2017)
Adam Blake has landed the best elective ever: serving as an aide to the school psychologist. Until she asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her. Adam discovers that the boy is Julian – the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years. Adam is determined to help Julian, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (April, 2017)
Renowned young adult author Sara Zarr returns with this deep, nuanced, and gorgeously written story about the complex relationship between two sisters from a broken home. This is an unforgettable story of breaking apart and of coming together again.

Posted in Library News

Pickett’s Picks, Fall 2016 Edition!

If you’ve stopped by the library lately, maybe you’ve seen the Pickett’s Picks bulletin board, Fall 2016 Edition! It features upcoming books from favorite authors, can’t-miss sequels, and some incredible new series-starters, too. 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 school year. What are YOUR picks for Fall?? Leave me a comment, or stop by the library to let me know.

What Light by Jay Asher
The author of the beloved Thirteen Reasons Why returns with a romance that will make you believe in love! Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon, and every year they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas, and leaving one always means missing the other. Until Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other…

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson
In an idyllic community of wealthy California families, new teacher Molly Nicoll becomes intrigued by the hidden lives of her privileged students. Unknown to Molly, a middle school tragedy in which they were all complicit continues to reverberate through a world in which every action is potentially public: postable, shareable, indelible. This captivating debut novel unleashes an unforgettable cast of characters into a realm known for its cruelty and peril: the American high school.

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. Everyone knows Jack Masselin, too. He may not be the most popular guy in school, but he’s got swagger. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret. And then, Jack meets Libby. Jennifer Niven, author of the student favorite All the Bright Places, delivers another exhilarating, heart-wrenching love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are, and seeing them right back.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a “currentgift,” a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world? This new series from the author of Divergent is sure to be a runaway hit!

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly “gleaned” by professional reapers known as scythes. Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and only one of them will be chosen as a scythe. When it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives. I cannot wait to read another novel in the vein of Unwind from Neal Shusterman!

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
This sequel to An Ember in the Ashes takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treachery of their own hearts. Yes, please!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

  • the aftermath of a war between gods and men
  • a mysterious city stripped of its name
  • a mythic hero with blood on his hands
  • a young librarian with a singular dream
  • a girl every bit as dangerous as she is in danger
  • alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage

All of which sounds amazing, but honestly I was hooked the moment I saw that beautiful cover!

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Be among the first to read the dazzling new novel from Nicola Yoon, the bestselling author of Everything, Everything!

Posted in Library News

Pickett’s Picks for 2016!

If you’ve stopped by the library lately, maybe you’ve seen the Pickett’s Picks 2016 bulletin board! It features lots of upcoming books from favorite authors and some incredible new series-starters, too. What are YOUR picks for 2016?? Leave me a comment, or stop by the library to let me know. 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 year. Happy New Year’s Reading!


Dan vs. Nature by Don Calame
From screenwriter Don Calame comes another outrageously funny  tale of teen boys whose plans go awry — this time, on a survivalist camping trip.

Front Lines by Michael Grant
Perfect for fans of The Book Thief and Code Name Verity, bestselling author Michael Grant unleashes an epic, genre-bending, and transformative new series that reimagines World War II with girl soldiers fighting on the front lines.

The Fireman by Joe Hill
From Ms. Pickett’s FAVORITE AUTHOR comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes, and a band of improbable heroes led by an enigmatic man known only as the Fireman.

The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Templeton has lived her entire life in a farming commune in the Missouri Ozarks. She and her cousin Heather are closer than sisters and share everything with each other, or so Ivy believes. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her community are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

When We Collided by Emery Lord
An emotionally compelling romance featuring a girl, a boy, and the love that has the power to save or destroy them. Through each high and low, Vivi and Jonah’s love is put to the test . . . but what happens when love simply isn’t enough?

Riders by Veronica Rossi
Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse. Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen–Conquest, Famine, and Death–are brought together by a beautiful but secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil.

Bluescreen by Dan Wells
Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online 24 hours a day, this connection presents plenty of opportunities for those who know how to manipulate it. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Marisa and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
A hilarious and heartwarming coming-of-age novel perfect for readers of All The Bright Places! Highly Illogical Behavior showcases the different ways in which we hide ourselves from the world—and the ways in which love, tragedy, and the need for connection can bring us back into the light.