Teens recommend…TCC book selections from September

Here are the picks from the Septmeber Teen Collection Connection (TCC) meeting! Check out the reviews, and find the recommended TCC books in our catalog

Haddies M. recommends:

“Some Girls Bind” by Rory James 

In the book Some Girls Bind by Rory James the main protagonist Jamie struggles with gender identity through poetic devices. The entire story is told as one long poem and carefully illustrates the feeling of identity confusion, being closeted, and coming out. As Jamie struggles with their secret they explain their friends’ secrets and other struggles of life. Rory James does a wonderful job explaining the emotion and guilt that comes with new found identity and Some Girls Bind is a book that all people struggling with identity should read.

“Once & Future” by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

In the book Once & Future is a retelling of the King Arthur story with a twist. We follow Ari, an immigrant in an eerie utopian dystopian future where Earth no longer exists. The story is full of adventure, emotion, and overcoming the evil of this new world.

“Out of Salem” by Hal Schrieve

In the fantasy novel Out of Salem the author Hal Shrieve does an amazing job of using the analogy of magical discrimination and gender to illistrate the many challages of being trans and in the closet. The LGBTQ Young Adult fantasy novel that centers around the message of friendship and acceptance in the face of xenophobia. Following the main character Z and life in a world that hates them, watch the magic of courage and grief take place.

Hannah A. recommends:

“Atonement” by Ian McEwen

Rating: 4/5 stars

I absolutely love this book. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of historical drama. It is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read, and Ian McEwen is a wonderful author. The characters are dynamic and draw you in, and the story is absolutely wonderful. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful. The story is about a young man and woman, Robbie and Cecelia, living in 1920’s England. They fall in love; but a lie told by Cecelia’s sister, Briony, changes everything. The ending broke my heart and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Atonement is genuinely one of my favourites, and I definitely recommend it.

“My Story” by Marilyn Monroe, Ben Hecht, Joshua Green

Rating: 5/5 stars

An intimate look into the life and career of one of Hollywood’s most well-known stars, My Story is a telling of Marilyn Monroe’s life, documenting her struggles with money, mental health, and her sudden rise to fame. While it is a relatively short book, due to the actress’ own unfortunate passing, it is one of my personal favourites, and one can really get a sense of who Marilyn was through her own words as she wrote this book.

Isa B. recommends:

“The Magnolia Sword : A Ballad of Mulan” by Sherry Thomas

Rating: 4/5 stars

I would rate this book ⅘. This is a version of Mulan, as hinted in the title. It feels more traditional and unlike other versions, it generally follows the original plot/storyline of the movie. I really enjoyed this book because of the descriptive thoughts and scenery. I felt like this book kind of brought you into the story and used relatable descriptions to help you understand how she felt. It was a fun read and I would recommend this book for kids 10 and above.

“Black Widow“(Movie) directed by Cate Shortland

Rating: 5/5 stars

I would rate this movie 5/5, however you would need to be familiar with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This has become one of my favorite Marvel movies and it truly fits well with the previous storylines. This is a semi-violent, James Bond style film that delves deeper into the past of Black Widow/Natasha Romanov played by Scarlet Johansson. 

“A Silent Voice” (Movie) directed by Naoko Yamada

Rating: 5/5

I would rate this movie a 5/5. This is an emotionally touching movie and it highlights the importance of access to mental health resources especially for people with disabilities. I do not recommend anyone under the age of 13 watch this movie or people who could possibly be triggered by any depictions of self harm. For me I loved this movie and it was really touching. This is available on Netflix.

Jacob V. recommends:

“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” (Nintendo Switch)

Rating: 5/5 stars

 Breath of the Wild is an easy 5/5 rating. If you enjoy video games even a little, Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is the game for you. I’ve played this game for the past year and a half and I’m still finding new secrets and surprises. Its sprawling map and open world playstyle lets you, the player, choose how you want to play the game. Interested in fighting bosses, and completing a well thought out and engaging story? You can do that. Want to help out villagers and other travelers, while completing side quests? You can do that. Or maybe you just want to explore all of the world for hours on end and enjoy the game as a hunter and gatherer of sorts? Whatever you want to do, Breath of the Wild lets you. You can have pets, upgrade powers, unlock hidden treasures, and more while also enjoying the absolutely stunning graphics of the game. There’s a reason it’s become one of the best rated games of all time, and if you don’t believe me then go check it out. All in all, Breath of the Wild is an absolute must play for anyone wanting a little adventure in their lives from the comfort of their own home.

Sloane K. recommends:

“Etiquette and Espionage” by Gail Carriger

Rating: 5/5 stars

This book was kind of confusing in the beginning, but it really hooked me in. It’s in Victorian times and it was interesting to learn about that time period within the book. The main character has to go to finishing school, but it’s not quite what she expected. She learns how to properly behave in society, along with how to infiltrate a building, throw a knife, and use poisons. I really recommend this book.


What is the TCC? TCC is a volunteer group of teens that love to read and discuss books, movies, and music. Every month they get together to pick books for our teen collection and write short book reviews. Want to join? Then apply today!

– Contributed by Renée, Librarian – Teen Services

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