Charming as a Verb
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

It's summer reading time! These are the Top 6 Picks our librarians hand-selected just for Ouachita Parish teenagers. Sign up for the summer reading challenge for a chance to win amazing prizes.

The Ballad of Songbirds and SnakesThe Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The highly anticipated prequel to The Hunger Games delivers high stakes drama and adventure in the dystopian Capital.

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined -- every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

For fans of Scythe, Divergent and Enclave.

*available in print, book-on-CD, on the cloudLibrary app as an e-book and e-audiobook and on the Hoopla app as an e-audiobook


The Unbeatable Squirrel GirlThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

A comic book featuring an unlikely hero, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is packed with adventure and humor.

Wolverine, Deadpool, Doctor Doom, Thanos – there’s one hero that's beaten them all and now she's got her own ongoing series! (Not that she's bragging.) That's right, you asked for it, you got it, it's SQUIRREL GIRL! (She's also starting college this semester.) It's the start of a brand-new set of adventures starring the nuttiest and most upbeat superhero in the world.

For fans of Nimona, Lumberjanes and Marvel comics.

*available in print and on both the cloudLibrary and Hoopla apps as an e-book



The Cat I Never NamedThe Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess and Laura Sullivan

The stunning memoir of a Muslim teen struggling to survive the Bosnian genocide and the stray cat who protected her family through it all, The Cat I Never Named is an unforgettable graphic novel.

Amra was a teen in Bihac, Bosnia, when her friend said they couldn’t speak anymore because Amra was Muslim. Then refugees from other cities started arriving, fleeing Serbian persecution. When Serbian tanks rolled into Bihac, the life she knew disappeared. That’s when a stray cat followed her home. Her family didn’t have the money to keep a pet, but after the cat seemed to save her brother, how could they turn it away? Saving a life once could be a coincidence, but when it happens again Amra and her family wondered just what this cat was. This is the story of a teen who in the brutality of war, never wavered in her determination to obtain education, maintain friendships, and even find a first love. The book is also about the cat that provided comfort, and maybe even served as a guardian spirit, in the darkest of times. 

For fans of We Are All That’s Left, I Remember Beirut and Malala Yousafzai.

*available in print and on cloudLibrary as an e-book


Where Things Come BackWhere Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Hailing from a small north Louisiana town, author John Corey Whaley finds wonder in the ordinary in his novel, Where Things Come Back.

In the summer before Cullen's senior year, a nominally depressed birdwatcher thinks he spots a species of woodpecker thought to be extinct since the 1940s in Lily, Arkansas. His rediscovery of the so-called Lazarus Woodpecker sparks a flurry of press and woodpecker-mania. Soon all the kids are getting woodpecker haircuts and everyone's eating "Lazarus burgers." But as absurd as the town's carnival atmosphere has become, nothing is more startling than the realization that Cullen’s sensitive, gifted 15-year-old brother Gabriel has suddenly and inexplicably disappeared. Cullen navigates his way through a summer of finding and losing love, holding his fragile family together, and muddling his way into adulthood. Complex but truly extraordinary, tinged with melancholy and regret, comedy and absurdity, this novel finds wonder in the ordinary and emerges as ultimately hopeful.

For fans of Ellen Hopkins, Bone Gap and Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

*available in print and on the cloudLibrary app as an e-book


Charming as a VerbCharming as a Verb by Ben Philippe

This contemporary teen romance novel about a New York City dog walker is sure to charm everyone who reads it.

Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy New York City neighbors. But his easy smiles mask a burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University. There is only one person who seems immune to Henri’s charms: his intense classmate and neighbor Corinne Troy. When she uncovers Henri’s less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image at school. Henri agrees, seeing a potential upside for himself. Soon what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for. Charming as a Verb is a sharply funny and insightful novel about the countless hustles we have to keep from doing the hardest thing: being ourselves.

For fans of Again Again, Highly Illogical Behavior and Jenny Han.

*available in print and on cloudLibrary as an e-book and e-audiobook


Call Down the HawkCall Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys series spin-off, Call Down the Hawk is the perfect book for every fantasy genre lover.

The dreamers walk among us and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming. They can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives. They will sleep forever if their dreamers die. And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers to use them, trap them and kill them before their dreams destroy us all. Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality. Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it. Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer – and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person and the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed.

For fans of Laini Taylor, Half Bad and The Bone Witch.

*available in print, on the cloudLibrary app as an e-book and on the Hoopla app as an e-audiobook