Young Adult Books Satisfy All Ages

Divergent book coverBelieve it or not, books labeled “young adult” or “teen” are often read by adults, too. 55 percent of young adult books are bought by adults, according to a 2012 study by Bowker Market Research.

The intensity of emotions that comes from these books brings adult readers back to a time when they felt like they were young and the world was full of possibilities. Teen characters can develop throughout a story, while many adult characters have already become the way they were meant to be. Whether you’re a young adult looking for your next read or an adult wanting to experience a little nostalgia, below are a few thrilling young adult books that you may enjoy:

Divergent by Veronica Roth – In a dystopian future-era Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she uncovers powerful secrets and truths about her identity, her family and the order of her society.

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer — Luc is an orphan, living in debt slavery in Gabon, until he meets a Professor who claims to be studying chimpanzees, and they head off into the jungle–but when the Professor disappears, Luc has to fend for himself and join forces with the chimps to save their forest.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry – In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother’s footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

City of Masks: A Cree Black Thriller by Daniel Hecht – Returning to her ancestral New Orleans home, Lila Beauforte is tormented by an insidious and violent spectre, until her brother calls in “ghostbusters” Cree Black and her partner to unlock the mystery of the historic house, contact the ghosts that haunt it, and exorcise them from the Beaufortes’ lives.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman – In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives “unwound” and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs–and, perhaps, save their own lives.

The staff at the library will be happy to help you find the book that is just right for you.

National Library Week

NLW Judy Blume Banner

Public libraries are much more than just books. They are a staple within the community, offering free and equal access to information for everyone.

Since 1958, the American Library Association has sponsored National Library Week in April, usually during the second full week of the month. This year National Library Week falls on the week of April 13 to19. It is a week dedicated to celebrating all types of libraries – public, school, academic, and special – and the wonderful contributions they give to the community.

The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) enhances the quality of life in our community by serving as a life-long educational resource and fostering the free exchange of ideas. JMRL offers a wide variety of resources to the public, including job search assistance, public computers, homework help for students, online databases, various programs for adults, teens and kids, and of course, books. JMRL patrons have access to a collection of about 472,000 books, 54,000 ebooks, 25,000 audiobooks, and 32 online databases. This collection is growing bigger every day.

While there is speculation that the internet age will render libraries obsolete, the internet is more of a compliment to the library than a replacement. Believe it or not, the internet does not have all of the information that is available throughout the world. Also, some of the information that is on the internet is not free. The library gives people free access to materials online that require a subscription account. The library pays for access to these materials so that the public does not have to pay for information.

JMRL, like many public libraries, strives to keep up with the times. For example, every library in the JMRL system has WiFi, self-checkout stations, and computers that are available for use by the public.  Last year 133,394 people used the public computers available at JMRL branches. People often use the computers to search for jobs, access online government services, type resumes and cover letters, and create and use email accounts. Additionally, JMRL offers training to keep people up-to-date on current technology.

In the spirit of National Library Week, stop by your local branch of JMRL or visit to find out more about the many programs and services that the library has to offer to the community.

Paying Homage to Poetry

The Fall of ArthurPoetry has had a special place in literature, and our hearts, for many centuries. There’s just something about a rhyme that can really stick with you. Of course, not every poem has to rhyme; poems come in all shapes and sizes. Some are long and meticulously detailed, while others are short and sweet. In 1996 the Academy of American Poets decided to dedicate the month of April to celebrate this versatile and timeless art form.

In celebration of National Poetry Month all branches of JMRL will be handing out poem scrolls on Thursday, April 24, which is known as Poem in Your Pocket Day. Poems will also be handed out in various locations in Charlottesville, at UVa and Martha Jefferson hospitals, the Senior Center, ACAC in Albemarle Square, and several businesses along the Downtown Mall. Stop by one of those locations or your local library to pick up your very own poem and read it aloud to yourself, a friend, a coworker or a family member, or just keep it in your pocket for a rainy day. You never know what you’ll get!

If you’d like to have a little poetry celebration of your own, try one of these books from the JMRL catalog:

The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien — Presents the legend of King Arthur in an epic, but unfinished, poem written in Old English alliterative meter.

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver — A selection of new and favorite poems celebrates the canine companions who have enriched the author’s world, exploring how they have accompanied her walks, inspired her work, and served as life guides.

Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins — Presents a volume of more than 50 new poems accompanied by a generous gathering from the author’s collections of the past decade, lending insight into his overall poetic achievements and his use of playful, ironic, and melodic language.

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die; Cherish, Perish: A Novel by David Rakoff — The NPR radio essayist and award-winning author of “Fraud” presents an edgy novel in verse that traverses the experiences of characters linked by acts of generosity or cruelty throughout major historical events of the 20th century.

The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness into Flowers by Alice Walker — This collection of poetry from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple features verse that pays tribute to Jimmy Carter, Gloria Steinem and the Dalai Lama and also deals with anger, forgiveness and wisdom.

The staff at the library will be happy to help you find the book that is just right for you.