Books to Read During Black History Month

Here are some recommendations of books to read– especially during Black History Month!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1)

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. 

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam

Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, because of a biased system he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated. Then, one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. “Boys just being boys” turns out to be true only when those boys are white.

Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night. Who killed Korey Fields?

Before there was a dead body, Enchanted’s dreams had turned into a nightmare. Because behind Korey’s charm and star power was a controlling dark side. Now he’s dead, the police are at the door, and all signs point to Enchanted.

Calling My Name by Liara Tamani

This unforgettable novel tells a universal coming-of-age story about Taja Brown, a young African American girl growing up in Houston, Texas, and deftly and beautifully explores the universal struggles of growing up, battling family expectations, discovering a sense of self, and finding a unique voice and purpose.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

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—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And 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.

Note: All book summaries are the summaries found on the back cover of each respective book.

*Denotes that the book is part of a series.

^Denotes that the book has a tv show or movie adaptation.

YA Book Recommendations

Here’s a list of YA books to read if you liked “One of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus!

If you liked…

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1)

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

    Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

    Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

    Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

    Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

    And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Then you’ll also enjoy…

People Like Us by Dana Mele

People Like Us

Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened.

Losing Brave by Bailee Madison & Stefne Miller

Losing Brave

Amid the turmoil of her sister’s disappearance, Payton feels lost as the one left behind. Her mental state wrought and reckless, she tumbles from the graces of popularity to the outskirts of high school society, where she attracts a rag-tag group of friends—and a troubling romance with her sister’s boyfriend, Cole.

Though Payton remembers nothing of the day Dylan disappeared, she must pry into her own mind when another missing girl’s body is recovered from a nearby lake, the victim’s features eerily similar to Dylan’s. The further Payton presses into the recesses of her memory, the more danger surrounds her. The darkness around her sister’s disappearance grows and the truth becomes more and more unbearable. What she finds might just cost Payton her life.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

Note: All book summaries are the summaries found on the back cover of each respective book.

*Denotes that the book is part of a series.

^Denotes that the book has a tv show or movie adaptation.

Books BookTok Just Can’t Get Enough Of

Here’s some recommendations that have been trending on book side of Tik Tok!

The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon

A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.

Queen Sarban the Ninth must conceive a daughter in order to protect her world from destruction. Assassins, though, creep ever closer to her doorstep.

Ead Duryn is loyal to the hidden society of mages. While acting as a lady-in-waiting, she protects Queen Sarban using forbidden magic.

Tané has been a dragon rider her whole life, but must make a decision that will alter her life.

The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

There is a library between life and death, and within it lies the chance to see the endless possibilities of your life. Along with the book of your life, there are other stories discovering what your life could’ve been like if only you made a single different decision.  

Lore – Alexandra Bracken

Every seven years, the Agon begins, a form of punishment for a past rebellion of nine Greek gods who must walk the earth while being hunted by ancient bloodlines. Long ago, Lore Perseous fled after a rival bloodline killed her family. 

As the next Agon emerges, Lore is seeked out by two participants: a childhood friend long-thought dead and an injured Athena. Athena offers an alliance against the murderer of Lore’s family and a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind for good. But Lore’s decision to rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost. 

If We Were Villains – M.L Rio

What if a role was taken too far? 

Oliver Marks and his friends play the same roles both on and off stage. But when the  casting is changed, one of the plays comes to life and a student is found dead. Everyone now must face their greatest performance yet:  convincing the police, and themselves, that they are completely innocent.

Wilder Girls – Rory Power

The Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine after the Tox hit. First the teachers died one by one. Then the students, their bodies becoming disfigured and strange. Now, after eighteen months of confinement, the girls don’t dare to travel out of school grounds, into the woods, where the Tox is most dangerous. But then Hetty’s best friend, Byett, goes missing, forcing her to face the horrors of the Tox and the hidden truths of the past.

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab

Kell is one of the last Antari– magicians with the rare power to travel between the realms of London: Red, Grey, White, and, long ago, Black. 

While Kell works officially as an ambassador for the Maresh Empire, she also works as an unofficial smuggler– giving those willing to pay a glimpse of the other worlds. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London where she runs into Delilah Bard, a pickpocketer with lofty goals. Together must stay alive and protect their worlds as dangerous magic and treachery set afoot. 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab

What if you were granted immortality but cursed to be forgotten by everyone you meet? Welcome to the life of Addie LaRue. Her life has spanned through centuries and continents, history and art. After nearly 300 years, though, everything changes. Addie stumbles into a young man and he remembers her name. 

Fantasy Books

Here’s a list of recommendations!

An Affair of Poisons – Addie Thorley

Alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin is forced into her mother’s Shadow Society (a group of murderers) after helping her poison King Louis XIV. (based on true events)

The Wrath and the Dawn – Renée Ahdieh

Eighteen year old King Khalid marries a new lady every night but executes her at dawn. Sixteen year old Shahrzad volunteers to marry him seeking vengeance for her best friend, who was once his wife. (also has a Webtoon!)

Half Bad – Sally Green

Both White and Black witch, Nathan must escape his incarceration before his seventeenth birthday. Three gifts await from his deadly father, to receive them, Nathan must first find him.

Squire – Tamora Pierce

Keladry dreams of becoming a lady knight. After passing the final exams, she continues to pursue her goal while facing people who patronize her.

The Reader – Traci Chee

Sefia and her aunt flee into the wild after her father is murdered. When her aunt disappears, she finds a mysterious object, the first book she’s ever seen. Sefia then explores her destiny during the journey of finding out why her father was killed.

Happy reading!

Upcoming Events

Here’s a wide range of upcoming virtual events! Registration is needed.

Online Coding Club

Learn Java programming.  We’ll hear about women in tech and then work on coding projects.  For beginning to intermediate coders. Meeting every other Tuesday January 11 through May 18, it’s encouraged but not required to attend every session.

Date: Tuesday, January 26th, 5:00 – 6:30 pm

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/7309525

Teen Otaku Club

Welcome to the Teen Otaku Club! ”Otaku” is Japanese for someone who likes anime and manga. In this club, teens participate in discussions about their favorite anime and manga! Register below to receive the Zoom invite code. Invite codes will be sent out 30 minutes before the program start time.

Date: Tuesday, January 26th, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/7308149

Yoga

Jennifer Eubank combines breathing, poses, mindfulness and meditation in this session. An invitation to join this virtual class will be emailed 1-2 days prior to the start time. 

Date: Wednesday, January 27th, 10:00 – 11:00 am

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/7337997

Hooked on Crochet

Want to learn a new skill? One that is fun, cute, colorful, and versatile? Get Hooked on Crochet!

This beginner program will introduce the elements of crocheting, the tools you need, and get you started on your first project! See examples of what you can do with this new skill and share your own creations!

Materials needed: a crochet hook (any size), yarn (any color)

An invitation will be emailed to registrants 24 hours before the program begins.

Next meeting: Wednesday, January 27th, 11:00 – 12:00 pm

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/7271017

Introduction to Basic Quranic Grammer

The Holy Quran is known for its beautiful language and people from all faiths appreciate it for its literary value. We are offering an ongoing Basic Quranic Grammar class which is essential to understand and enjoy the text. While the ability to speak Arabic is not required, the ability to read it is a prerequisite.

A Zoom invitation will be emailed to registrants on the same day of the event. 

Date: Wednesday, January 27th, 11:30 – 12:30 pm

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/7385750

Where are the Time Travelers?

We can’t travel easily right now but just imagine if we could travel through time! Einstein’s theory of relativity suggests that time travel might be possible. Dr. Ehrlich, professor of physics at George Mason University, invites you to consider why this is true, and explore how one might build a time machine. The paradoxes involved with time travel and how they might be resolved will also be considered.

Perfect for those interested in STEM!

This program will take place via zoom. An email with login information will be sent to registrants a day before the event.

Date: Thursday, February 4th, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/7406221

Hope you enjoy these events!

TAB Meeting Reminder

TAB Meeting

Next meeting we’ll have a guest speaker, Doctor Sarah Sheard, a PhD in systems engineering. Dr. Sheard has been a systems engineer for many years so she’s experienced changes within the field. She also ran her own business for seven years, and, though retired, is still active in systems engineering organizations.

We’ll be able to ask questions about her work and lifestyle so come prepared! Send your questions to the TAB coordinator via email at restonlibtab@gmail.com by February 1st.

Meeting date: Thursday, February 11th from 7:00 – 8:00 pm

See you there!

Crafts to do at home!

With everything going on, there are many stress factors. So here are some calming and enjoyable crafts you can do at home!

All of the following materials can be bought online!

Perler Bead Designs

You can create designs to your liking by placing the perler beads on a plastic template. Next, iron the design using ironing paper. The beads will melt and weld together from the iron’s heat, creating the finished product!

Materials:

  • Perler beads (come in mixed or organized by color sets)
  • Plastic templates (come in different sizes)
  • Ironing paper
  • An iron
  • Masking tape
Aquarius (from Fairy Tail) design
Aang (from ATLA) design

Tips!

  • When ironing your design, be sure to use the Masking Tape method! Otherwise you’ll melt the plastic template.
  • Set the iron to medium heat so you can learn how to melt the beads efficiently first. Also, move the iron in circular motions to distribute the heat evenly throughout the design.

Knitting

There are countless helpful websites that teach knitting through simple instructions. Sheep and Stitch has plenty of easy, short videos that help with knitting! Here’s the link to the site: https://sheepandstitch.com It’s not as hard as it seems!

Materials:

  • Yarn (varies from texture to thickness)
  • Knitting needles (varies with length and material)

Crochet

With crochet, you can create soft designs using stuffing. There are also plenty of resources online that can teach you.

Materials:

  • Crochet hook
  • Polyfiber stuffing
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Stitch marker (not always required)

Hope you enjoy these crafts!

Thriller Books for YA

If you enjoy the feeling of thrill and suspense, these books are for you!

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson

A girl is determined to find the real killer of a closed case with no definite answer.

House of Salt and Sorrows – Erin A. Craig

Annaleigh is rushing to reveal a darkness that has overcome her family before she’s next. Her encounters with a stranger intensify throughout this dark, magical story.

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

The seemingly perfect Sinclair family go on their yearly trip to their private island, oblivious to the deadly path ahead.

Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson

A triple murder case has been grueling Stevie for years. A homicide at her academy hasn’t occurred for years until her classmate is murdered.

You Owe Me a Murder – Eileen Cook

Kim is dragged into a murder in the middle of a school trip with a charismatic woman, Nicki.

Happy reading!

Virtual Events for Teens

Looking for fun events? Here’s a list of virtual events happening throughout Fairfax County!

Teen Otaku Club

Welcome to the Teen Otaku Club! ”Otaku” is Japanese for someone who likes anime and manga. In this club, teens participate in discussions about their favorite anime and manga! Every meeting will include an activity. Meetings are virtually hosted by Pohick regional Library.

Next meeting: Tuesday, January 12th 2021, 5:00 – 6:00pm

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/7308857

LGBTQA+ Book Club

Join us for a virtual discussion of a book with LGBTQA+ themes. This month’s title is All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell. The book is available as a book and an ebook. Grades 9-12. A link to the event will be emailed to those registered prior to the event.

Next meeting: Wednesday, January 13th, 2021, 4:00 – 5:00pm

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/7306181

Herndon Teen Book Club – Online Zoom Event

Talk about books with other teens.  We will review “The Fountains of Silence”.  We have a few books set aside for book club members.  Please call the Herndon Library during the Curbside Pickup times to have staff check out and set aside your copy or visit the Herndon branch.  A Zoom invitation will be emailed to registrants one day before the event. To use Zoom you will need a computer or smart phone and an internet connection, or join by telephone. Log in to the meeting up to 15 minutes before the start time. Ages 12-18. 

Next meeting: Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, 6:30 – 7:30pm

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/7128133

Teen Gamers: Among Us

Join the Dolley Madison teen librarians to play the popular mobile game Among Us. Veteran and beginner players welcome. We will use Zoom to chat while we play the game. A link to the zoom meeting will be emailed to registered participants in the morning of January 25. Game is played either on a smart phone or tablet. Among Us can be downloaded for free from either the App store or the Google Play Store. Registration opens at 4:30pm, Monday, January 2021.

Next meeting: Monday, January 25th, 2021, 4:30 – 5:30pm

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/7389232

Reston Teen Advisory Board

Join TAB to gain leadership and volunteer experience and share your ideas about how to make the library a wonderful place for teens! Volunteer hours granted. Register to receive a link to join this virtual event. Ages 13-18.

Next meeting: Thursday, January 14th, 2021, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Register here: https://librarycalendar.fairfaxcounty.gov/event/6890303