The Woman Who Would Be King/ Hatshepsut's Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt

The woman who would be kingBy Cooney, Kara.

In this riveting piece of non-fiction, Cooney charts King Hatshepsut's rise to power. Don't be surprised if you have never heard of Hatshepsut. At the age of twenty, she ruled Egypt as king, despite little precedence for female rulers, especially widowed ones without male heirs. She reigned for nearly twenty years, becoming Egypt's longest-lived and most successful female monarch. Hatshepsut achieved her kingship without bloodshed, without a rebellion, and without the overt sexual manipulation we see in other ancient female leaders. In fact, Cleopatra is a household name and Cooney posits that is because she acted in a "female" way, using her sexual liaisons to gain and maintain her powerful status. Conversely, Hatshepsut quietly and strongly ruled Egypt as king (the concept of a queen was as yet unheard of), expanding its borders through conquest and embracing its many religious festivals and rituals. Cooney wonders if this is why Hatshepsut is unknown to us--because she acted as a man, in a man's place and did it more successfully than her contemporaries. Whatever the reason for her relative anonymity, this profile of the most successful female leader in the ancient world captures your attention.

View in catalog


Stories We Tell

Stories we tellBy Polley, Sarah

Director/writer/actress Sarah Polley brings us this well-reviewed documentary about her eclectic family, told in filmed interviews cleverly edited together for a continuous narrative exploring mostly her deceased mother, but revealing some long-held family secrets as their tales unfold. Polley interweaves actual home movie footage as a way of showing herself and siblings as they were growing up, often switching back and forth with a present piece of the overall story, so the viewer gets several perspectives as each remembers different details about the past. Polley's mother, Diane, was in the theatre, at one point spending months at a time. in New York. As Polley explores those time periods with her mother's friends, something totally unknown and unexpected comes up, lending both delight, intrigue and gravitas to Polley's life, but she forges ahead based on this newly revealed material, and comes to terms with her past. A mesmerizing film and highly satisfying viewing experience. Rated PG-13.

View in catalog

The Normal Heart

The normal heartBy Ruffalo, Mark

The Normal Heart tells the story of the early days of the AIDS crisis in 1980's New York City, when both the government and the medical establishment pretty much ignored the emergence of what people at first called the "gay cancer". The film is based on the play of the same title written by author/activist Larry Kramer, who founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization in 1982 and later ACT UP in 1987. In the movie, Kramer is portrayed by actor Mark Ruffalo, who successfully emobodies Kramer's confrontational, impassioned and urgent style of trying to get the attention of the media about the thousands of gay men dying of something which only a few doctors were attempting to treat (one well- played by Julia Roberts in the movie) as well as to raise the awareness of the gay community and form a hotline to help individuals cope with their drastically altered lives and those they loved. Alfred Molino, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, and Taylor Kitsch also star in the film, which was originally shown on HBO and has just recently been made available on DVD. Rated R

View in catalog

Waterfall/by Lauren Kate.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

When Maggie Stiefvater finally published the third book in the "Raven Boys Trilogy" I was so excited.  Besides having chosen it as our Teen Fantasy selection for December, I wanted to check out the audiobook too.   She did not disappoint even though I thought her first and second books were better in some ways than this one.  The relationship among the four main characters, Blue Sargent.

The Madman of Piney Woods

The madman of Piney WoodsBy Curtis, Christopher Paul

CPC has hit it out of the park again! In this companion book to Newbery Honor Book Elijah of Buxton, Curtis takes us to the year 1901 in Buxton, Ontario, 40 years after the events of Elijah of Buxton and introduces us to Red and Benji. They are a couple of mischievous boys (one of them African-Canadian and one of them Irish-Canadian) who meet and become fast friends after they find that they and their families have many similarities. Red and Benji also have had separate encounters in the woods with the mysterious and legendary Madman of Piney Woods. Who is this guy? Is he an old escaped slave or convict? Why is he living in the woods?

This is beautiful storytelling that has you laughing and sobbing, sometimes on the same page. Though The Madman of Piney Woods stands alone, it will be even more satisfying if read after Elijah of Buxton.

As a side note, the author’s note at the end states the following: “Most of my books have been written in libraries, both public and school. Why? I really can’t say. I used to think it was because when I’m sitting in the library, there’s always a wealth of research material only a few steps away, but the Internet and laptop computers have made that a moot point. Now an author can write from anywhere and have all the knowledge of the web literally at his or her fingertips. The library, however, was my spot from day one and remains my go-to place.”

So, get yourself to the library and pick up a copy of this book or any of Christopher Paul Curtis' books. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those 8-100.

View in catalog

The Birth of a Nation : How a Legendary Filmmaker and a Crusading Editor Reignited America's Civil War

The birth of a nation : how a legendary filmmaker and a crusading editor reignited America's Civil WarBy Lehr, Dick

Journalist Lehr’s well-reviewed book is a detailed, well-researched, and fascinating look at the politics and controversy that followed the debut of D. W. Griffith’s 1915 film, The Birth of a Nation, based on Thomas Dixon’s 1905 book, The Clansman. Glorifying the role of the KKK, the film caused an immediate and widespread uproar due to its demeaning depiction of black people . William Monroe Trotter, an outspoken journalist, editor of The Guardian and Harvard graduate, led the spirited fight to have the film banned before its premier in Boston, while Griffith did everything he could to promote his film, even screening it at the White House for President Woodrow Wilson. The book goes into the early days of the NAACP as well as the lives of W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington and D.W. Griffith, providing a clear portrait of the political and social climate just before the United States entered the First World War.

View in catalog

The Husband's Secret

Cecilia Fitzpatrick is living a normal, happy life in Sydney, with a wonderful husband, three daughters, and a lucrative career in Tupperware sales. Until, that is, she happens upon a letter written by her husband, to be opened only upon his death. She opens it, and her life and marriage change dramatically. Tess O’Leary, a Melbourne mom who co-owns a business with husband Will and cousin Felicity, is blindsided when Will and Felicity announce they have fallen in love. Tess takes her son Liam to Sydney to stay with her mother, and enrolls him in St.

The Martian

Astronaut Mark Watney, presumed dead by his fellow astronauts, is left behind on Mars—slightly injured, but very much alive. He has a place to live, two vehicles, and six spacesuits to choose from. But he has no way to communicate with his colleagues, who are now en route to Earth, nor anyone else on Earth. He also lacks the food he’ll need to stay alive for four years, which is when the next manned Mars landing is scheduled. Handily, though, Mark is a botanist and a mechanical engineer, with skills that turn out to be critical to his survival.

Venus in Fur

Venus in Fur is Roman Polanski's film adaptation of David Ives' Broadway play of the same name.  It is a play within a play for only two characters: the writer/director (played by Mathieu Amalric), who at the end of a frustrating day of auditions still has no one for the female lead, Vanda. He's about to leave the theatre for home when a breathless woman rushes in, pleading with him to hear her audition.


Billed as a psychological thriller, Enemy has the talented Jake Gyllenhaal play two characters, Anthony Bell (a bored young man working as a college lecturer) and Adam (who is a bit-part actor). Anthony discovers the presence of Adam (who is his exact double) while watching a movie and is so disturbed by Adam's existence that he begins to search for him. Anthony's girlfriend seems distant and troubled by Anthony's peculiar behavior; Adam's wife is six-months pregnant.  Isabella Rossellini plays the part of Anthony's mother.

Under the Skin

One of those love it or hate it films.....almost devoid of dialogue, Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer's vision of Michael Faber's 2000 novel) is a work of art; viewing it is a mesmerizing out-of-this world Kubrick-like sensory experience you won't soon forget.   Scarlett Johansson masterfully embodies her role of an seductively disguised alien presence who drives around Scotland picking up lonely, single men, leading them into a pitch-black tar-like pool in which each eventually disintegrates and is absorbed.

The Fourteenth Goldfish

 “Middle school is like one of those highway restrooms in the middle of nowhere. It’s dirty and smelly and it’s crowded with strange people.”


Cinder is a fairy tale reimagined and sci-fy wonderland, altogether a captivating novel taking place in a futuristic and high-tech China, which is now known as the Eastern Commonwealth. Linh Cinder is a mechanic and cyborg, and treated as an inferior citizen by most. Her best friend is a feisty android and all she wants more than anything is to escape from the watchful and evil eye of her stepmother Lihn Adri.

For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health

Vernacchio—Mr. V to his students—is a high school sexuality educator in Pennsylvania. His Sexuality and Society class for seniors is the basis for much of this book. Sex-negative messages from abstinence advocates do not teach teens about creating a healthy and happy sexual life, and if parents aren’t teaching them, they are likely looking for answers from Google, internet porn, and each other.

Award Winners & Bestsellers

Nobel Prize
2014 Prize in Literature
Patrick Modiano

National Book Award

2014 Prize for Fiction
by Phil Klay

2014 Prize for Nonfiction
Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
by Evan Osnos

Newbery Medal
2015 award
The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander

Caldecott Medal
2015 award
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

y Dan Santat

Printz Award

2015 award
I'll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson

New York Times Fiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
Go Set a Watchman
, by Harper Lee
, by E.L. James
The Girl on the Train
, by Paula Hawkins
, by Ernest Cline
All the Light We Cannot See
, by Anthony Doerr

New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
Between the World and Me
,  by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Boys in the Boat
, by Daniel James Brown
Down the Rabbit Hole, by Holly Madison
Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari with Eric Klinenberg
The Wright Brothers
, by David McCullough


More Award Winners & Bestsellers

Following is a list of award-winning and bestselling materials from a variety of sources. Links will take you to an external page that will open in a new window. If YDL does not have an item you are interested in, please submit a Materials Suggestion to us.

Academy Awards

American Booksellers Association National Indie Bestsellers

Billboard Top 100 songs

Caldecott Medal

Coretta Scott King Award

New York Times Bestsellers

Newbery Medal

Printz Award