New “Always Available” eBooks at CA Library!

Image result for sora overdriveOverdrive recently updated the eBook and audiobook collection that we access using Sora — the digital reader for students. Many of the titles are classics — 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Dracula, Pride and Prejudice — and many are appropriate for younger students. But there are some titles that would fit on our high school shelves (some we even have already!).

The difference between these and the other books in our digital collection is that these titles are always available — we can check them out to as many people as want to read them!

You can get to the Sora app via BravesLink — it’s in the HS Library folder. You can also install the app on your own connected device. This video shows you how to set up Sora for the first time — A Brief Look at Sora. Be sure to add the Pioneer Library System to your Sora account for even more eBooks and audiobooks!

In Sora, CA students and faculty will find:

  • 2,700+ eBooks
  • 550+ audiobooks

When you add the Pioneer Library System to your Sora account (no card required), you will have access to:

  • 14,500+ eBooks
  • 7,500+ audiobooks

If you want to be a power user, you can also add the New York Public Library to your Sora account (an NYPL card is required but easy to get), where you’ll find:

  • 132,000 eBooks
  • 40,000 audiobooks

You can borrow eBooks and audiobooks through the Sora app, place holds on titles that are already checked out, and read/listen right on your Chromebook or other connected device. Books you borrow are automatically returned on the due date, or you can renew them if nobody else is waiting.

Here are some of the eBooks in Sora that are always available:


90 Days of Different by Eric Walters — On the last day of high school, Sophie’s boyfriend breaks up with her. It turns out he thinks she is too predictable, too responsible, too mature…too boring. When Sophie turns to her best friend, Ella, for comfort and reassurance, Ella just confirms what her boyfriend has said, and that hurts even more. Then Ella comes up with a plan to help Sophie find her wilder side. (Realistic fiction)

Big Water by Andrea Curtis — Christina and Daniel struggle to survive when the steamship “Asia” goes down in a violent storm. (Adventure)

The Cure For Dreaming by Cat Winters — In Portland, Oregon, in 1900, seventeen-year-old Olivia Mead, a suffragist, is hypnotized by the intriguing young Henri Reverie, who is paid by her father to make her more docile and womanly but who, instead, gives her the ability to see people’s true natures, while she secretly continues fighting for women’s rights. (Historical fiction)

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee — Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code. But when her hometown comes under siege from Hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. (Supernatural adventure)

Everyday Hero by Kathleen Cherry — When a new friend challenges Alice, who has Asperger Syndrome, to step outside her comfort zone, Alice decides to revise her rules. (Realistic fiction)

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge — When Neverfell, who has no memory, arrives in Caverna, her facial expressions make her very dangerous to the people who live with blank faces or pay dearly to learn to simulate emotions. (Fantasy)

Firewall by Sean Rodman — Josh is a gamer. After his parents’ divorce and his move from Chicago to a small town where he doesn’t know anybody, he copes by staying up way too late playing Killswitch online. Then he discovers a “mod” version of the game that is an exact reproduction of his new town. Strange things start to happen in the game, and they are somehow connected with events in the real world. (Thriller)

The Haters by Jesse Andrews — A groundbreaking road trip adventure about music, love, friendship, and freedom as three young musicians follow a quest to escape the law long enough to play the amazing show they hope (but also doubt) they have in them. (Realistic fiction)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews — Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia. (Realistic fiction)

Out Of Tune by Norah McClintock — When Alicia, a talented violinist at Riley Donovan’s high school, is found bludgeoned to death in a field on the outskirts of town, suspicion immediately falls on Carrie, the teen’s musical rival. But Riley isn’t convinced of Carrie’s guilt, and even though her police-officer aunt tells her to stay out of it, Riley goes searching for the truth. (Mystery)

Set You Free by Jeff Ross – The mayor’s 6-year-old son is missing and Lauren’s brother Tom, is the main suspect. To the people of Resurrection Falls, Tom is the freak who once tried to lure a kid into the woods. If Tom is innocent, why has he vanished? Lauren is determined to uncover the truth. (Mystery)

Trial By Fire by Norah McClintock — Riley Donovan is the new kid in town. When her next-door neighbor’s barn catches on fire, with him inside it, Riley helps save him. But rather than being hailed a hero, Riley finds herself a target of harassment. When her neighbor is accused of starting the fire, Riley believes he is innocent and is determined to prove it — even it means making powerful enemies. (Mystery)


Alexander Hamilton by Teri Kanefield — Here is the story that epitomizes the American dream — a poor immigrant who made good in America. In the end, Hamilton rose from poverty through his intelligence and ability, and did more to shape our country than any of his contemporaries.

Can Your Smartphone Change The World? by Erinne Paisley — This how-to manual looks at specific ways you can create social change through the tap of a screen. Filled with examples of successful hashtag campaigns, viral videos and new socially conscious apps, Paisley provides practical advice for using your smartphone as a tool for social justice.

Careers In Computer Forensics by Terry Teague Meyer — Used as a powerful tool by both criminals and crime fighters, computers are now providing the virtual fingerprints, footprints, and smoking guns in many criminal investigations. The various kinds of jobs available at the local, state, and federal level are detailed, as are the relevant academic and professional requirements and expectations. Also covered are careers in the private sector relating to corporate security and anti-hacking efforts.

Every Falled Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea by Sungju Lee — The first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, this is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who was forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. Sungju richly recreates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, “his brothers,” to daily be hungry and to fear arrest, imprisonment, and even execution.

Financial Aid Smarts: Getting Money For School by Lisa Wade McCormick — Offers teens advice on college financial aid, how to search for financial aid, how to plan ahead, how to protect the future, and more.

Getting Paid To Manage Social Media by Don Rauf — This insightful and authoritative text shows young people how to develop a career in the nascent world of social media. Interviews and quotes with industry professionals and leaders show young people how to build their social media resumes and discover their own interests and talents within the field.

H0w To Create Digital Portfolios To Showcase Your Achievements and Interests by Anita Louise McCormick — In today’s world, creating a digital portfolio that showcases academic and personal achievements is one of the best ways for students to present their accomplishments to organizations, college administrators, and potential employers. This book will help readers learn how to select the best digital portfolio for their needs and know what to include so their accomplishments will truly stand out.

Pure Grit: How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific by Mary Cronk Farrell — In the early 1940s, young women enlisted for peacetime duty as U.S. Army nurses. But when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 blasted the United States into World War II, 101 American Army and Navy nurses serving in the Philippines were suddenly treating wounded and dying soldiers while bombs exploded all around them.

This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration by Linda Barrett Osborne — Explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups evolved throughout U.S. history, particularly between 1800 and 1965. Osborne concludes with a summary of events up to contemporary times, as immigration again becomes a hot-button issue. A 2017 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction finalist!

What Degree Do I Need To Pursue a Career in Information Technology & Information Systems? by David Kasnoff — This helpful, highly informative resource guides readers through the educational paths that can prepare them most effectively for a job in IT, weighing the pros and cons of certificate programs, two- and four-year degree programs, online degrees, and graduate degrees.

You Can Do A Graphic Novel by Barbara Slate — A guide to creating visual stories, from a single panel to a graphic novel, from a veteran in the field! Barbara Slate guides aspiring graphic storytellers through the same process she learned in her early days working for Marvel and DC Comics — a process she has simplified for the classes she teaches in schools, libraries, and colleges.

Best Fiction for Teens — Top 10!

At last month’s American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, members of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) presented the list of the Best Fiction for Young Adults for 2020 — YA fiction books published in the past 14 months that are recommended reading for teens (full list here). Here are the titles that placed in the top ten, with links to the CA Library catalog:

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe — A hilarious YA contemporary realistic novel about a witty Black French Canadian teen who moves to Austin, Texas, and experiences the joys, cliches, and awkward humiliations of the American high school experience — including falling in love. “A witty debut with whip-smart dialogue that will find much love among fans of authors like John Green and Jason Reynolds” (School Library Journal).

Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller — Camille couldn’t be having a better summer — she kills it as Ophelia in her community theater’s production of Hamlet, catches the eye of the cutest boy in the play, and nabs a spot in a prestigious theater program. But on the very night she learns she got into the program, she also finds out she’s pregnant. “This title offers realistic viewpoints on teenage pregnancy, along with what it is like to have the right to choose, wanting that right, and living knowing that you will be judged for having exercised it” (School Library Journal).

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis — A captivating and powerful exploration of the opioid crisis — the deadliest drug epidemic in American history — through the eyes of a college-bound softball star. Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a visceral and necessary novel about addiction, family, friendship, and hope. “A realistic portrayal of how easy it is to develop an opiate addiction and the very real consequences of addiction. A timely and important message for teens everywhere” (Booklist).

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian — A love letter to queerness, self-expression, and individuality (also Madonna) that never shies away from the ever-present fear within the queer community of late ’80s New York, this is a bighearted, sprawling epic about friendship and love and the revolutionary act of living life to the fullest in the face of impossible odds. “The intense and nuanced emotions evoked by the characters’ journeys help to give this powerful novel…a timeless relevance” (Publishers Weekly).

Lovely War by Julie Berry — The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. “An unforgettable romance so Olympian in scope, human at its core, and lyrical in its prose that it must be divinely inspired” (Kirkus Reviews).

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas — Sixteen-year-old Bri hopes to become a great rapper, and after her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, must decide whether to sell out or face eviction with her widowed mother. “The rawness of Bri’s narrative demonstrates Thomas’ undeniable storytelling prowess as she tells truths that are neither pretty nor necessarily universally relatable. A joyous experience awaits” (Kirkus Reviews).

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay — When seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero learns his Filipino cousin and former best friend, Jun, was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, he flies to the Philippines to learn more. “Part mystery, part elegy, part coming of age, this novel is a perfect convergence of authentic voice and an emphasis on inner dialogue around equity, purpose, and reclaiming one’s lost cultural identity” (School Library Journal).

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi — In a near-future society that claims to have gotten rid of all monstrous people, a creature emerges from a painting seventeen-year-old Jam’s mother created, a hunter from another world seeking a real-life monster. “Emez’s direct but tacit story of injustice, unconditional acceptance, and the evil perpetuated by humankind forms a compelling, nuanced tale that fans of speculative horror will quickly devour” (Publishers Weekly).

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus — Told in two voices, sixteen-year-old Audre and Mabel, both young women of color from different backgrounds, fall in love and figure out how to care for each other as one of them faces a fatal illness. “Petrus’s earnest debut successfully, touchingly combines elements of fantasy, bittersweet realism, and potent, affecting spirituality to tell the coming-of-age story of two complex, beautifully drawn young black women whose friendship and love draw them together even as one’s failing health pushes them apart” (Publishers Weekly).

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo — Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions — doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. “The novel’s three parts are introduced by recipes created and perfected by the protagonist, and hints of Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate will leave teens hungry for more” (School Library Journal).


Adapted For Young Readers: 15 Great Adaptations

A growing trend in book publishing is adaptations — popular adult titles rewritten to make them more appealing and accessible to younger readers. Sometimes the original author writes the adaptation, and sometimes it is left to collaborator. Regardless, the intent is to make the material available to a wider audience. Here are some recent YA adaptations in the CA Library collection:

1493 For Young People: From Columbus’s Voyage to Globalization by Charles C. Mann, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff — Traces the story of globalization through travel, trade, colonization, and migration from the fifteenth century to the present, documenting the historical impact of such influences as potatoes, the rubber plant, and malaria. “Stefoff abridges and simplifies Mann’s adult title 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (Knopf, 2011), objectively describing how European exploration and the resulting Columbian Exchange of plants, animals, and diseases rapidly made the world “global” in outlook and practice, with a mixed legacy of wealth and higher living standards, oppression, losses of entire populations, and environmental degradation” (School Library Journal).

Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff — This Young Reader’s Edition makes Darwin’s cornerstone of modern science accessible to readers of all ages. Meticulously curated to honor Darwin’s original text, this compelling edition also provides contemporary insight, photographs, illustrations, and more. “An ever-increasing number of science books introduce Darwin’s work to young readers. The strength of this attractive volume is that it gives them direct access to Darwin’s words on the topic of natural selection, along with informative updates and explanations” (Booklist).

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Rivalry, Adventure, and the History of the World From The Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean, adapted by Adrian Dingle and Kelsey Kennedy — Presents historical background for the periodic table and follows the elements as they play out in human history and the stories of the scientists who discovered them. “The book is divided into four parts which are further distilled into chapters, enhancing its readability. The writing style is conversational and never dry” (School Library Journal).

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones, adapted by the author — As an adult book, Sam Quinones’s Dreamland took the world by storm, winning the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction and hitting at least a dozen Best Book of the Year lists. Now, adapted for the first time for a young adult audience, this compelling reporting explains the roots of the current opiate crisis. “A scrupulously researched, well-crafted tale that sheds light on a timely topic” (Kirkus Reviews).

The Far Away Brothers: Two Teenage Immigrants Making A Life In America by Lauren Markham, adapted by the author — Identical twins Ernesto and Raul Flores, seventeen, must flee El Salvador, make a harrowing journey across the Rio Grande and the Texas desert, face capture by immigration authorities, and struggle to navigate life in America. “While the twins’ immigration story is the focal point, Markham adds nuance by including their typical teen troubles with romance and social media, plus the perspectives of their friends and family back home, in addition to that of the person who took responsibility for them in the U.S. Visceral and informative, this is a necessary read for today’s youth” (Booklist).

Hitler’s Last Days: The Death of the Nazi Regime and the World’s Most Notorious Dictator by Bill O’Reilly, adapted by the author — By early 1945, the destruction of the German Nazi State seems certain. Facing defeat, Adolf Hitler flees to a secret bunker with his new wife, Eva Braun, and his beloved dog, Blondi. It is there that all three would meet their end, thus ending the Third Reich and one of the darkest chapters of history. “Short entries at the end detail particulars, and the index and time line are thorough and useful. A helpful additional resource for social studies students and WWII buffs” (Booklist).

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States For Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, adapted by Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza — Going beyond the story of America as a country “discovered” by a few brave men in the “New World,” Indigenous human rights advocate Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz reveals the roles that settler colonialism and policies of American Indian genocide played in forming our national identity. “This adaptation … should be required reading for all middle and high schoolers—and their teachers. Dunbar-Ortiz’s scrutinous accounts of Indigenous histories are well-known among history buffs, and in this revision, the same level of detail is maintained while still accommodating a teenage audience” (Booklist).

It’s Trevor Noah: Born A Crime, Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah, adapted by the author — The host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah tells the story of growing up half black, half white in South Africa under and after apartheid in this young readers’ adaptation of his bestselling adult memoir. “A necessary purchase for readers who will appreciate and understand how a parent’s love enabled Noah to become the successful man he is now” (School Library Journal).

Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight For Justice by Bryan Stevenson, adapted by the author — In this very personal work — adapted from the original #1 bestseller, which the New York Times calls “as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so” — acclaimed lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom. “Classrooms and book groups will find plenty to discuss and debate. Compassionate and compelling, Stevenson’s narrative is also unforgettable” (Booklist).

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything American History Textbooks Get Wrong by James W. Loewen, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff — Beginning with pre-Columbian history and then covering characters and events as diverse as the first Thanksgiving, Helen Keller, the My Lai massacre, 9/11, and the Iraq War, Loewen’s lively, provocative telling of American history is a “counter-textbook that retells the story of the American past” (The Nation). “An important and necessary purchase for all secondary schools who want students to develop a love and appreciation for U.S. history while seeing it with clearer eyes” (School Library Journal).

Magellan: Over The Edge of the World, The True Story of the Terrifying First Circumnaviation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen, adapted by the author — On September 6, 1522, a battered ship manned by eighteen malnourished, scurvy-ridden sailors appeared on the horizon near a Spanish port. They were survivors of the first European expedition to circle the globe. Originally comprised of five ships and 260 sailors, the fleet’s captain and most of its crew were dead. How did Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage to circle the world–one of the largest and best-equipped expeditions ever mounted–turn into this ghost ship? The answer is provided in this thoroughly researched tale of mutiny and murder spanning the entire globe, marked equally by triumph and tragedy. “Although condensed from the original, this version remains sophisticated and will appeal most to skilled teen readers and even adults” (Booklist).

One Person, No Vote: How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally by Carol Anderson, adapted by Tonya Bolden — In her New York Times bestseller White Rage, Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. “Bolden’s adaptation will fire up a new generation of civic activists through its gripping presentation. A significant people’s history and call to action for youth” (Kirkus Reviews).

The Perfect Horse: The Daring Rescue of Horses Kidnapped by Hitler by Elizabeth Letts, adapted by the author — American soldiers, aided by an Austrian colonel who was both an Olympian and a trainer of Lipizzaners, attempt to kidnap horses that had been taken by Nazis “for the glorification of the Third Reich” and smuggle them to safety. “This account of the heroism and cooperation of unlikely people to protect these horses is spellbinding. The author’s impeccable attention to detail and exhaustive sources make this a must-read” (Booklist).

A Queer History of the United States For Young People by Michael Bronski, adapted by Richie Chevat — Chronicles the history of homosexuality in the United States from the Puritans through the twentieth century, examining the role of gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgendered individuals in shaping American culture. “This adaptation for teens of the Bronski’s 2012 Stonewall Award-winning A Queer History of the United States is doubly valuable; it serves well as a general read and fills a clear curricular need. An overall successful adaptation of an important work, rich with content relevant to all disciplines and beyond” (School Library Journal).

We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson, adapted by Tonya Bolden — Presents the argument that since the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, when African Americans make advances toward full participation in our democracy, white reaction feeds deliberate and relentless rollback of their progress. “Using this easy-to-follow informational text with a robust list of citations, readers can witness 150 years of continuous systemic racism and deeply understand the mechanism by which federal protection is given then taken away by special agency, state, or local political action. A needed resource for YA nonfiction collections” (School Library Journal).