The Best 10 Young Adult Books of 2013

Young Adult novels are not just for teens anymore. YA fiction is, in my opinion, the most popular trend in fiction right now, and it will continue to draw readers of all ages – at least until all of our favorite series are finished!

Here are my choices for the Top 10 Young Adult Books of 2013. I chose my favorites and what I thought were the most popular 10 books. They are then rated by how many times each book was checked out by you!

What is your #1 book of 2013? Do you agree with my choices? Sound off in the comments!

1. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Book #2 in The Lunar Chronicles.

2. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi. Book #2 in the Shatter Me series.

3. Prodigy by Marie Lu. Book #2 in the Legend series

4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell 

5. Dare You To by Katie McGarry

6. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

8. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

9. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

10. Rogue by Gina Damico

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)Prodigy (Legend, #2)Eleanor & ParkDare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Image of itemImage of itemThe Moon and More

Click on the covers to find a link to each book in the library catalog – from there you can see where the books are on library shelves, put yourself on hold for one, or even check out an ebook copy.

skull icon.jpgFor fans of Gina Damico’s Croak series or teens who love reading we have a special event coming up! On Wednesday, December 4th at 5:30 p.m. Erlanger’s teen book club, Beyond the Book, will have a discussion of the series and live video chat with Gina Damico! She’ll talk about the series, answer your questions, and hopefully tell us a little bit about her forthcoming novels. You can find more info and register on our calendar or by going to Facebook!


This blog post was written by Eden Rassette, the Young Adult Programmer at KCPL Erlanger. You can find her at The Cosplaying Librarian.

Top 10 Sanity Savers for Your Next Family Road Trip

This is a must-read before travelling for the holidays!

Kenton County Public Library

Top 10 Sanity Savers for Your Next Family Road Trip

My husband and I always debate on who gets to drive.  Yes, who gets to drive.  Normally neither one of us is a big fan of driving, but on a long road trip the driver gets a break while the co-pilot serves a cabin full of cranky travelers.  So, since I usually end up as co-pilot I’ve created a quick list of sanity savers.

1.  eBooks  & Traditional Print Books (read-a-loud from Blio)

Of course I always start with books!  I bring a wide selection of traditional and ebooks.  Lift-the-flap books are always great for young children.  I have a lot of the Little People Lift the Flap books and they were a hit with my son and now my daughter loves them.

If you have a tablet you should definitely download the Blio app and use our website to…

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The Day Before Christmas Giveaway

Jack-Frost-and-Santa-for-websiteThere is a flurry of activity at the North Pole. Santa and Mrs. Claus, the elves, the reindeer, the forest animals and even the toys themselves prepare for the biggest night of the year! It takes a lot of planning and hard work to get a sleigh off the ground and deliver toys to children around the world, but Santa’s team is ready and willing. Or at least they think they are before a tricky Jack Frost decides to try to stop the Christmas Festivities with a little comical chaos and calamity.

This story: The Day Before Christmas by Ken Jones will come to life at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati at the Taft Theatre on December 6, 7, 8 and 14. The play is recommended for ages 4 and up and runs about 55 minutes. Ticket prices range from $11-$30. But I have a voucher for four tickets to giveaway to one lucky winner!


The Giveaway!

A voucher from the Children’s Theatre for four free tickets to The Day Before Christmas that are good for Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. or Saturday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. The voucher must be redeemed one hour before showtime or contact the box office to make a reservation. All tickets subject to availabilty. The voucher is not for resale.

You have three chances to win! Be sure to comment separately for each one so that you get each chance. A winner will be chosen randomly through The winner will be announced on Facebook and receive an email. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. You have until Wed., Nov. 27 at noon to enter. Good luck!

1. Comment here saying why you want the tickets and who you would take (required to enter).

2. Become a follower of the blog and comment here that you did (will verify).

3. Share this post on Facebook and tag the Kenton County Public Library or Twitter  and make it @kentonlibrary.

Seasons Readings

All the children in my life know I will give them books every year for Christmas. Here are a few of my favorite books from 2013 that I would be proud to give any child. I know that for my own children, books are the gifts that keep on giving as we pass them down and reread treasured favorites for years.  Can’t afford all of these gems? Click on the covers and you can borrow them from the library. Season’s readings!  ~Amy Schardein

Image of itemBattle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett.  Simon & Schuster for Young Readers, 2013.  $14.99

When Alex receives a sentimental birthday bunny book he turns it into a book he might actually enjoy using his pencil and formidable imagination.  A hysterical, empowering choice for young readers (and writers) ages 5-9.




Image of itemThe Real Boy by Anne Ursu. Walden Pond, 2013. $16.99

Oscar, an orphaned shop boy, spends his days helping Caleb, the last magician in the city.  When the children around him fall ill Oscar must leave his small world so save the greater one. This is beautifully written magical storytelling for ages 8-12.



Image of itemFortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Skottie Young.  HarperCollins, 2013.  $14.99

Father leaves to get milk and takes him ever so long to return. Why? Aliens, time travel dinosaurs and adventure are all part of a hilarious, witty story sure to be enjoyed by readers ages 8-12.

Image of itemFlora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo and K. G. Campbell.  Candlewick, 2013. $17.99

Master storyteller Kate DiCamillo will win your heart again with the story of Flora and the newly super-empowered squirrel Ulysses. Ages 7-11

Image of itemJourney by Aaron Becker. Candlewick, 2013. $15.99

This wordless picture book tale of a magical journey to friendship is told in stunning, luminous illustrations. Readers of all ages will be lost in this beautiful world.

Image of item The Tortoise & the Hare by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown & Co, 2013.  $18.00

This wordless version of the classic fable teaches the same timeless lesson while giving readers of all ages intricately detailed illustrations to explore and enjoy.

Image of itemMr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown. Little Brown & Co, 2013. $18.00

Mr. Tiger is tired of being prim and proper – so he goes wild! What will happen when he’s tired of going wild?  Children yearning to be wild will find a kindred spirit (and a compromise) with the charming Mr. Tiger. Ages 3-6

Image of item

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson. Greenwillow, 2013.  $15.99

Children tap, shake and even blow kisses to help a tree through the seasons in this cleverly interactive book that will leave children asking “again!” Ages 3-7.

Image of itemDeneux, Xavier. Opposites. Chronicle, 2013. $14.99

Ingeniously nested pages use both texture and color to illustrate opposites for the youngest of readers in this boldly designed concept book that will please parents as much as it will please babies.  Ages 0-3.

Professional Baseball in Covington: They built it but they did not come.

Remember the film Field of Dreams? Kevin Costner’s character builds a baseball field in the middle of his corn field because a voice told him to do it. In 1913 here in Covington, KY baseball enthusiasts and businessmen wanted to bring a professional baseball team to the city. Baseball was viewed as a great way to advertise the city. Those working to bring a club here believed the city would be placed on the map after they landed a team. Can you imagine having two different teams to root for like they have in Chicago and New York, it almost happened but it did not last long.

At the end of the 1912 season the Blue Grass League lost two teams. The Blue Grass League was a Class D Minor League which had teams in cities throughout Kentucky. In order to fill the two vacant spots the organization set its sights on the river towns of Covington and Newport in Northern Kentucky. The attempt to establish teams in Newport and Covington by the Blue Grass league was blocked by the Cincinnati Reds. As a member of a major league (the National League) the Reds had jurisdiction covering a five mile radius that forced smaller leagues like the Blue Grass League to seek permission from establishing clubs in their surrounding area. Newport and Covington both fell under this five mile radius and Garry Herrman of the Reds refused to let the teams establish on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.   Covington almost missed out on bringing a professional baseball club to the city, but the Federal League was forming in Indianapolis and was looking to establish a team in Cincinnati or Covington. The Reds had no jurisdiction of this league as it was not a member of organized baseball and considered an outlaw league. After some hoopla over where the team would play Covington was awarded the franchise and immediately set out to build a ball park. The club was named the Covington Blue Sox to memorialize a team that had once played in the city thirty years prior in the late 1870s. Club organizers after incorporating under the Covington Amusement Company selected a small lot at 2nd and Scott Streets to build a ballpark due to its close proximity to the suspension bridge. Opening Day in Covington was scheduled for May 9th 1913. Construction on the park continued ‘round the clock to complete the new park by the home opener.

Grand stands41

Work on Federal Park began on April 16th 1913. Crews had only a few weeks to build the park in time for Opening Day on May 9th 1913.

The park by all comparisons was tiny with the distance from home plate to right field being 197 feet, and 267 to center field and 218 to left field. Club owners promised a good brand of baseball despite the size of the park. With the park under construction club owners set out to build their team. The club had several managerial candidates including the Detroit Tiger great Ty Cobb. Cobb was in the middle of a contract negotiation and the Covington club promoters tried to bring him here to manage. Cobb did not accept the offer. With Cobb out of the picture the club hired Sam Leever and he quickly went to work putting a team together of players from all parts of the country.

Schoolmaster Leever

Nicknamed the “Schoolmaster” from Goshen, Ohio, former Pittsburgh Pirate Sam Leever was tapped to lead the Blue Sox to the inaugural Federal League Pennant.

They held tryouts and practices at Crowe’s Park in Hyde Park while the home park was being built. The team played a few exhibition games against a team of assembled professionals, the West Baden, Indiana Sprudels and a team from Kokomo, Indiana. The Blue Sox played in the inaugural Federal League game at Cleveland. The two teams battled through a ten inning 6 to 6 tie. The umpire called the game due to darkness.

The Blue Sox held their Opening Day on May 9th 1913. Covington Mayor George “Pat” Phillips had declared a half holiday for the city with city offices closing at noon and encouraging businesses to close to support the team. It was a festive day with a parade, bands and decorations across the city. One can only imagine and wonder how it would have stacked up against a modern Reds Opening Day Parade. The dedication ceremonies on the field were just as vibrant as the parade, with the mayor tossing out a golden ball for the ceremonial first pitch, messenger pigeons being released to spread the news of the opening to each city on the Federal League circuit as well as one going to President Woodrow Wilson.

mayor phillips tosses first pitch

Part of the ceremonies for Opening Day, Covington Mayor George “Pat” Phillips throws out the ceremonial first pitch. Standing next to him Alice Coleman, holding a bouquet of American Beauty roses waits to release a number of messenger pigeons to announce the opening of Federal Park in Covington to the cities on the Federal League circuit and President Woodrow Wilson.


A photograph of the entire team from Opening Day May 9 1913. It may very well be the only photograph of the team.

In front of a crowd of over 6,000 the Blue Sox shut out the visiting St. Louis team 4-0. It seemed as if the new club was a hit and would be long lasting. The club would go on to play some decent baseball. Blue Sox second baseman James Emery even smacked an inside the park home run during a game in May. Despite a stint as league leaders the support for the club never reached the large crowds that Opening Day had brought. The team experienced several rain outs and a lengthy road trip during the month of June that did little to keep the team on the minds of the locals. Rumors began swirling that the club was in trouble and may be forfeited, but were denied adamantly by club officials.

19 Jun 1913 4 Games28

Ads like this appeared almost daily in the local newspapers. Take note of the announcement of Ladies Day Friday, the club tried numerous promotions such as this to generate support.

The June 19-22 home series against St. Louis would prove to be the final home stand of the Blue Sox. On June 25th several local newspapers announced the franchise had been forfeited. The Federal League chose Kansas City to be the new home of the club. Covington club officials cited poor attendance to be the primary culprit behind the ventures failure. By 1914 the Federal League had become a third major league and rivaled the American and National League’s. Many players from the National and American League joined clubs in the Federal League. The Federal League became a Major League from 1914 and 1915. before it disbanded at the end of the 1915 season.

If you have any more information about this team that you would like share, including photographs and memorabilia please contact Luke Groeschen at

This blog was written by Luke Groeschen in the Local History and Genealogy Department in Covington

Thanksgiving Preparation

thanksgiving dinner table

So the whole family is coming for dinner and you want things to be perfect – the food, the music, the decor… everything. Where to begin? Don’t worry, the Kenton County Public Library has you covered!

1. The Menu!

You should finalize your Thanksgiving menu about one week in advance. So shoot for a final menu on Thursday, Nov. 21. My thanksgiving bookThanksgiving menu is set with traditional items like turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner rolls and stuffing followed by pumpkin and apple pie. But I like to liven things up a bit each year by picking a new stuffing or cranberry sauce recipe or even something new all together from one of the thousands of cookbooks that can be found at the library.

This year I will glance through Thanksgiving: how to cook it well by Sam Sifton, 2012, The pioneer woman cooks : a year of holidays : 140 step-by-step recipes for simple sumptuous celebrations by Ree Drummond, 2013 and Fine Cooking Thanksgiving cookbook: recipes for turkey and all the trimmings by editors of Fine cooking magazine, 2012 for new ideas.

2. The Online Entertainment!

You don’t want your guests bored prior to dinner, dozing off after dinner or dreaming about Black Friday shopping so liven the place up with free music and movies. Freegal and Hoopla are always available on the library’s website, even when the library is closed. They don’t have waiting lists or holds either! All you need is an Internet connection and a Kenton County Public Library Card.

You can download three free songs per week from Freegal so start stocking up now! Your music doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving themed. Just something fun and upbeat. The top downloaded songs at the Library are currently Walk Off the Earth – Royals, Daughtry – Waiting for Superman and Sara Bareilles – Brave. The top three albums include Justin Timberlake – 20/20 Experience, Carrie Underwood – Blown Away and Miranda Lambert – Four the Record. Another great thing about Freegal is you get to keep the songs forever!

Hoopla allows you to check out books and movies, with a total of eight items a month. Katy Perry – Prism, Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt and Luke Bryan – Crash My party are three of the hottest albums on Hoopla right now. You are able to keept he item for one week. And if you need to entertain the kids at your dinner party, break out Tale of Despereaux, Lego Movie: The Adventures of Clutch Powers or Ivan the Incredible. All three are available on Hoopla and have no wait!

3. The Traditional Entertainment!

Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Winnie the Pooh:
Seasons of Giving or Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin’s Thanksgiving Celebration. The library carries all three, which you can put on hold. Some good books to have lying around for the kids include I Spy Thanksgiving by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick, Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen, Over the River and Through the Wood: The New England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day by Lydia Maria Child and Sarah Gives Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday by Mike Allegra. These items can also be put on hold at the website.

4. The Decor!

Marthafall fruits has you covered in “Good things for easy entertaining” from the editors of Martha Stewart living. We also have some super cute ideas on our Thanksgiving Pinterest page. My biggest advice is to think outside of turkey and pumpkins, unless you want to go that route. I like to think fall in general. I’d like to go with an orange, red and brown color pattern. I might wrap a nice candle in cinnamon sticks. It will add a nice fall smell and be pretty to look at. Let the kids contribute by decorating with crafts they make.

You can create a great centerpiece with fall flowers or by dressing up fall fruits.


5. Celebrate Family!

The holidays are a great time to connect with family members and start writing down your family history. Take a few minutes during on Thanksgiving to ask your family about your history and write it down. Should you or anyone else in your family want to get started tracing your family heritage, having this information will make the initial search much easier. Be sure to take lots of photos at family gatherings so you have something to always remember them by.

thanksgiving dinner

This photo was found in our Faces & Places database.

Take a few minutes to research the Library’s Faces and Places database before your big dinner. You might find photos of your own family there.

6. Enjoy your day and if you still need ideas, visit our Pinterest Page!

This post was written by Gina Holt, public relations coordinator