On the Radar: New J/Teen Books Coming in November

It’s time again for On the Radar! Check out the titles below for some of the new Juvenile and Teen books coming to shelves in November.

Serena Says by Tanita S. Davis

Published by Katherine Tegen Books

Expected on November 3, 2020

Genres: Realistic, Contemporary

Juvenile Fiction

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Published by Feiwel & Friends

Expected on November 3, 2020

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Teen Fiction

A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

Published by Silver Wing Press

Expected on November 6, 2020

Genres: Fantasy, Romance

Teen Fiction

This is Your Time by Ruby Bridges

Published by Delacorte Press

Expected on November 10, 2020

Genres: Biography

Juvenile NonFiction

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Expected on November 10, 2020

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Teen Fiction

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Expected on November 17, 2020

Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Retelling

Teen Fiction

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Expected on November 17, 2020

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Teen Fiction

Ruinsong by Julia Ember

Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Expected on November 24, 2020

Genres: Fantasy, Romance

Teen Fiction

Are any of these titles on your TBR?

Let us know what upcoming J/Teen books you’re excited for in the comments below!

Unforgettable Teen Fantasy from Margaret Rogerson

What can we recommend for the passionate serial reader? Books and more
books! For those who love reading young adult fantasy, there is no better
thrill than the discovery that your favorite author has published another book, and it’s an even greater thrill when you find the next book as good as, or even better than the first.

Margaret Rogerson is such an author; her writing is fresh, vivid, and smart
without an abundance of tired metaphors and conceits. The magic and
supernatural elements and beings in her worlds are rendered in dark, rich
tones that encourage vivid imaginings without crossing the line into the
horrifying. Her characters, especially her protagonists, are as bright as their
enemies are dark, and the delicate balance between them never wavers.

In Rogerson’s Sorcery of Thorns, an orphan, Elizabeth, is taken in by the Wardens of a magical library of living grimoires. Each book has a voice and personality unlike any other, and each pose a unique threat to the safety and sanity of their readers. Elizabeth, as an apprentice warden, soon discovers that some of the most powerful grimoires are being stolen and plundered for their secrets, and she must stop this thievery before the balance of power in her world shifts irrevocably.

Yet as compelling as her second novel is for the dedicated reader, so is her first!

In An Enchantment of Ravens, which is set in a different world and is a
standalone novel, we have the story of a talented painter, Isobel, whose artistry contains a thread of magic and a dash of the supernatural. In this world of fairy folk and mortals, Isobel is commissioned to paint the portrait of the Fae Autumn Prince, Rook, but makes the deadly mistake of painting him true to life: for unknown to many of the fairy world, Rook has sorrow, and has known regret, maybe even love. She is taken in custody and must strategize to save her life.

As standalone novels, Rogerson offers readers a break from the endless trilogies and quintets of other authors, which, amazing as they can be, are also tiring for the serial reader, as subsequent novels often return to the same situations and characters and conflicts as the first novels. Rogerson offers a satisfying change in that each novel is a separate story, but each is just as compelling and unforgettable as the other.

You Won’t Believe Your Ears! – Spooky Books to Listen To During the Fall

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”

Bram Stoker, Dracula

It’s the spookiest time of year!  Bring on the fall sweaters, gloomy weather, and warm apple cider.  Bring out all your fall and Halloween decorations!  Bake some fun treats! And, cozy up with a book!  Preferably (if you love Halloween and want to celebrate), something a little bit scary.  However, I realize that sometimes it’s not feasible to just sit down for hours and read.  Even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic, lives are still very busy- between working with your kids on schoolwork, going to work, taking care of pets, and whatever else life throws your way.  However, if you are looking to enjoy something beastly or ghastly during your daily commute, while you’re cooking in the kitchen, or if you’re allowed to listen to something in the office, might I suggest listening to some audiobooks?  While audiobooks offer a different sort of engagement than holding and reading a book does, I find that if there is an excellent narrator, it is extremely easy to listen along and enjoy the ride, so to speak.  And if it’s a spooky story, there is an added level of terror, as you can only listen on in horror.  You can’t really skip ahead to see if the main character gets out of the eerie situation in an audiobook, and that just adds to the suspense, and captures your attention.  So if you’re looking for a change of pace from podcasts and streaming, here are some spooky stories with terrific narrators, all available via Overdrive (just a few clicks away).  Happy Spooky Season!

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Cooking on a Budget – Culinary Literacy Corner

Cooking can be stressful all on its own, but when you add in tight budgets, it can seem like an insurmountable task.

I’ve included some tips and tricks, as well as some articles and links to free printables like meal planning guides, to help give you some doable advice to get you started cooking on a budget. It’s tough! I know I personally do not enjoy sitting down and doing the legwork, but at the end of the month, my stomach and my bank account thanks me!


The first thing I recommend is to sit down with yourself and really think about what you value in your household, what your resources are, and most importantly how you most want to utilize your limited time and money.

It is important to really have a good handle on what your household’s day to day needs are, the sorts of things that might help (for instance maybe batch cooking on Sunday will help alleviate stress during the busy week) and what might not be as useful.

Some of these tips will work better for you than others, and that’s okay! At this point in our lives, I think most of us are interested in solutions that work for our own unique selves and families rather than trying to add things to our routines that will make them harder, more expensive, or simply consume more of our valuable time in unproductive ways. So, prioritize! When you see a step that doesn’t fit, skip it! Many of us love the idea of saving all our vegetable scraps and chicken bones to make homemade stock, but the reality for me, at least, is that I use so much stock, and have so little room in my valuable freezer space, that this becomes unfeasible for me to do on the regular, and it’s fine by me.


If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to make one. You cannot save money if you have no idea where your money is going, or in the case of some of us, how much you even have to begin with.

I love an Excel sheet with a formula that I can just plug my numbers into. I do a monthly household budget, but some people have very, very detailed budgets that give them an overview of their whole year. Do what works best for you.

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Currently #6

Check out what the Lorain Public Library System staff are currently doing in their free time. Whether it’s books, movies, TV shows, music, and more, we want to share what has caught our attention.

Currently Reading

Brittney, South Branch Librarian: Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds

Julie, North Ridgeville Branch Public Services Professional: The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz & The Woman at the Light by Joanna Brady

Chelsea, North Ridgeville Branch Public Services Professional: The Changeling Sea, Alphabet of Thorn, & The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip & Deathless by Catherynne Valente

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National Novel Writing Month is Coming

November is nearly here and that means National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo is about to begin. If you haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo, it’s a pretty simple concept. Write 50,000 words in 30 days! There’s so much more to it though with a bustling, supportive community and tons of resources and inspiration.

NaNoWriMo is great for new writers and old hats. It’s all about getting the story on the page, not worrying about editing or if its any good. You can jump in with no planning whatsoever, flying by the seat of your pants or take an idea you’ve been plotting for years and finally put pen to paper. From your very own personal account so you can keep track of your projects, words, and stats to plenty of resources including printables, pep talks, and virtual events, NaNoWriMo’s website is a great place to start.

Personally I’ve participated in over 8 NaNos since 2010 and completed 6 of them and I don’t even consider myself a writer. I see it as a fun challenge as well as a practice in consistency. If you write at least 1,667 words a day, for 30 days you’ll win! Even though I haven’t written in recent years, I often think of the novels I worked on and possibly rehashing those ideas or tackling a sequel.

If you’re thinking of taking on NaNoWriMo in 2020, here are a couple of their resources to get you ready: download the full #NaNoPrep 101 Workshop as a printable PDF, or use a smaller exercise like their Pre-NaNoWriMo checklist, these four exercises to develop a plot idea, or these character questionnaires! (Find more on the NaNo Prep page.)

Lorain Public Library System is hosting virtual write-ins throughout November for NaNoWriMo where you can join us in getting to 50,000 words. We are also hosting our annual Writers Conference during the month in a virtual series of speakers. All of these events can be found HERE and you’ll need to register ahead of time to get the Zoom links.

So, have you heard of NaNoWriMo before? Written a novel during the month of November? Are you thinking of participating this year? What other writing resources would you like to see here at LPLS Recommends?

Let us know in the comments below!

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

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

Published by Tor Books on October 6, 2020

Genres: Fantasy, Historical

Adult Fiction

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

I will never truly be able to find the right words to encapsulate and explain the transformative power of V.E. Schwab’s writing and the brilliance of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue but nevertheless I am here to try. The scope of this novel is extraordinary as it spans over 300 years and delves deep into a long list of emotionally heavy topics.

The premise of girl makes a Faustian bargain drew me in but it was the atmospheric and lush storytelling that kept me turning the pages. V.E. Schwab excels at writing characters that will resonate and I think this is her finest work to date. Some readers might struggle with the early pacing or how the story ends but honestly it was perfection.

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Spooky Middle School Reads

Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn’t you like to see something strange?

Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween

This is Halloween, music and lyrics by Danny Elfman

Now it’s the time of year when the wind is chilly and Halloween is just around the corner, and all the fun to be had comes crawling on eight legs, or staggering and shuffling for brains, or donning a cape to save the world from injustice. Fall is a great time for scary movies and outdoor fun, but autumn is also a great time for tucking in with a good book?  So grab your hot cocoa and favorite blanket, and check out these spooky middle schools reads for some special thrills and chills you can experience in the comfort of your favorite reading space!

First up is Where the Woods End by Charlotte Salter.  If you like monsters and deep, dark woods, this book is for you.  Kestrel, a young huntress, lives is wide, deep, endless forest.  Under the sooty twilight of the trees, and in the shadows of the canopy, dwell the Grabbers. Hungry beasts that stalk you to snatch you should you venture near.  There is no shortage of spooks in this compelling story suited for readers in grades 5 through nine, or any reader looking for a fast, heart thumping read about shadows, glistening teeth and a brave, brave girl who dares to face them.  A must read!

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Make Your Own Fun: Code Games for Free Using Your Web Browser

Lots of kids love playing games (or watching people play games) online. If you are interested in fostering that interest while challenging your child’s skills and creativity, this post is for you! Our library system typically offers Coding or Tech Clubs at a some of our branches specifically for this reason. While we are unable to meet in person for the time being, I want to share with you some of the quality platforms where budding coders or game enthusiasts can build their own games online. As an adult with an interest but no formal training in coding, I have found these resources to be fun and challenging for me as well.

A few notes before I begin:

• While there are many popular coding programs for kids that offer free trials for users (or free packages for educators), I am going to focus on three experiences that do not have a subscription cost and offer activities specific to game design.

Scratch Cat, the Scratch mascot, wants you to have fun coding!

• This will not be an exhaustive list, as the options are ever-changing and will depend on the coder’s learning style, interests, and familiarity with programming.

• ~~Finally, if you want a more guided or communal experience, we are offering a Zoom program called “Teen Coding in Scratch: Animated Greeting Cards” on October 22 at 6:30. Details and registration instructions can be found here. Check it out!~~

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YA Witches: 10 Books for Teens

Halloween is my all time favorite holiday and to celebrate I always try to read atmospheric and witchy books during the Autumn months. There’s a ton of books out there featuring magic and witches so today I’m just highlighting ten teen titles!

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft edited by Tess Sharpe & Jessica Spotswood

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

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