Franklin teens give Cinder 4 stars

Franklin Pizza and Pages


This week at Pizza & Pages, the Franklin teens discussed Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Their average review was 4 stars out of 5. Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles, featuring a main character who is a cyborg and a mechanic. Its sci-fi element is sure to make this Cinderella-ish tale more appealing to guy readers–as well as gals–than the traditional fairy tale. Each book in the Lunar Chronicles will feature a different fairy tale character. Book two is already out and is titled Scarlet — any guesses on who our main character represents in this book?

For information on future Franklin Pizza & Pages book discussions, or at one of our other DMPL locations, see our events calendar!


Teen Read: Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan by Rick Bowers

Did you know that Superman was created by two teenagers? Did you know that the KKK used to wield serious power in the U.S? This book tells the story of how the entertainment industry used the Adventures of Superman radio show to combat the pervasive influence of the KKK in the 1946 “Clan of the Fiery Cross” episodes.

Bowers provides a brief but insightful history of the KKK, its beginning after the Civil War, and cycle of influence in the U.S. Alternating chapters discuss the modest beginnings of Superman and his rise from comic book to radio show to T.V. and the silver screen.

South Side teens read the book for our March book discussion and were surprised by the long history and real power the KKK exercised. They also enjoyed the chapters about Superman and how a couple of teenagers were responsible for his creation. In book discussion, we listened to the first episode of the “Clan of the Fiery Cross” (below) and laughed at the Kellogg’s cereal commercials as well as the out-of-date insults used by the teens. They found it hard to believe that millions of kids tuned into this show just because it sounds so cheesy to us today.

Who would enjoy this book? South Side teens said: Anyone really interested in Superman or general U.S. history. Check out a a copy from DMPL!

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

When it was first published in 2007, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher quickly picked up steam as being the “it” book to read. It has since won over a dozen awards, recently winning the Iowa High School Book Award for 2011-2012. It is also set to be released as a movie starring Selena Gomez in 2013.

Clay Jensen’s life changes when he discovers a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his front porch. Inside are cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list. 

Interested in talking about the book? Come to the Pizza and Pages Teen Book Discussion at the South Side Library on Tuesday, May 29 at 3:00 PM. We’ll eat pizza and discuss the book!

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

If you only read one book this year, let it be this one. Let that sink in for a minute…yes, it’s THAT good! It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, teenager or adult, this book will take you on an unforgettable journey. Since its debut on the NYT Best Sellers list,  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green has consistently stayed in the number one slot for the past seven weeks. It’s received five starred reviews – you heard right, five!! And to the delight of all his fans, John Green has also recently closed a deal with Fox 2000 to make TFIOS into a movie.

The adventure unfolds with Hazel, a sixteen-year-old girl with terminal cancer, meeting Augustus Waters at Cancer Kid Support Group. It’s an incredible story of life and love, a story that will keep tugging at you way beyond the last page.

For all things John Green, make sure to check out his website:

Sarah Dessen

We all have our favorites – favorite foods, favorite colors, favorite subjects – the list goes on and on. As you can imagine, there’s one thing librarians are really good at talking about: their favorite authors. For me, I can still remember when I picked up my first book written by Sarah Dessen. I was amazed at how real the characters were, as if they were old friends.

To say that I get excited when she publishes a new book is an understatement. I was absolutely thrilled last week when her highly anticipated 10th novel was released, What Happened to Goodbye. If you are a fan of realistic fiction and are looking for some good reads this summer, check out what Sarah Dessen has to offer. I guarantee you will not be disappointed!  You can also check out her website at

Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia

Try getting through these halls without elbows, backpacks, attitude, a lot of running, and now dancing. There are thirty-five hundred students in this school . . . from period three to period eight you have the weight of the world marching in this cereal box.

Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia is about girl-on-girl violence that takes place from “zero” period to the end of the day at 2:45. It is told from three teenagers’ points of view: Leticia, Trina, and Dominique. All three girls have very distinct personalities, and perspectives of the world, which collide in Jumped.

Nothing is going right for Dominique. She loves basketball more than anything else, but she’s been benched for the season because of her low grades. She is upset by her situation and everything feels out of her control. She says, “The grades I get. The classes on my schedule. When I come and go. I don’t control none of that. All of that’s controlling me. Boxing me in.” ‘Nique is mad and she wants to prove it.

Trina, on the other hand, is having a perfect day. She feels complete in her hot pink jump suit that says, “Hot Chick.” She’s just finished viewing her artwork on display in the ‘C’ Corridor for African History Month, and she is pleased with her accomplishments. Life couldn’t be better . . . until she unknowingly crosses paths with Dominique.

Leticia is the character that many readers will find themselves relating to the most. She witnesses the interaction between Dominique and Trina between zero and first period. She knows that Trina is going to be jumped at 2:45, yet it’s not a clear-cut decision for her to alert anyone to the looming violence. Leticia’s character forces readers to think about what they would do in a similar situation. What is ethical and what is minding your own business?

Jumped is a quick book to read because of the changing points of view and the fact that it’s only 169 pages. The language and some scenes are gritty. Rita Williams-Garcia spent time observing classes and hallway interactions to get the characters right. The Des Moines Public Library has Jumped both in print and electronic format. Click here to reserve a copy.

Trapped by Michael Northrop

I don’t know about you, but I am getting pretty tired of winter. How many more gray, wet days can we take? I realize this comes with the territory, living in the Midwest, but I don’t think I’m the only one who is eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring.

Those of us that live in the northern regions know how to brace ourselves for winter. But in Trapped by Michael Northrop, no one could even imagine the epic blizzard they were in for. No one knew the snow wasn’t going to stop for a week. No one knew they were about to experience the blizzard of the century. Talk about one for the record books.

For seven teens at Tattawa High School in rural New England, this storm is about to change their lives. Of course, students cheer when they hear the early dismissal announcement. However, seven teens are kept waiting for their rides to pick them up…rides that never come. They are…TRAPPED.