The Hit by Melvin Burgess began with a promising concept: a drug called Death that plagues a society in the near future. This drug provides the victim with one week of pure bliss, including anything they could ever ask for in terms of riches, power, intelligence, and romantic partners – however, after the week is up the victim dies. As the story progresses the plot becomes extremely convoluted with the addition of several seemingly unnecessary characters and a subplot of a terrorist organization that manufactures fake death. The protagonists had superficial personas, which made them unrelatable and unlikable. The fast-paced nature of the novel kept me interested in the story, but it fell short of my expectations. The idea of a world obsessed with a particularly fatal drug had the potential to be the foundation for a thought-provoking book, however Burgess should have further explored the societal and emotional effects of such a drug in order for his book to live up its potential.

- Nicolette

The book is available for check out at the Niles Public Library.


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Much like The Hunger Games and The Testing, The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean is a dystopian novel centered around the aftermath of a war. Living in a town torn apart by war, William “Billy” Dean is an enigmatic child whose unknown powers guide him into a world of mystery. This novel is an exceptional story suited for adults but is admired by young adults as well. With a well-paced plot, David Almond tells the story using Billy Dean’s illiterate stance so the reader can get a glimpse into his mind. You get to watch Billy grow and see his perceptions alter. Patient readers will enjoy this book to its fullest potential and will revel in its perplexity.

- Kristjan

The book is available for check out at the Niles Public Library.


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As a die-hard lover of young adult contemporary fiction, one of my favorite things about these books is when a character grips me so hard that I want to crawl through the book and just love him or her, and this is where I found myself with Torn Away by Jennifer Brown. While Jersey didn’t initially start out as a character with issues, it only took a few pages before she became one. I found myself so attached to her that I wanted to go to her and give her encouragement and support and just HELP HER THROUGH THIS TIME IN HER LIFE. She took over my heart while I was reading this book, you guys, because my heart was broken for her.

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We Were Liars has been talked about all summer as the new trendy YA novel, and from first glance, it’s got all the right credentials: a prominently placed quote of praise from “Mr. YA” himself, John Green, an intentionally vague plot summary on the dust jacket that speaks of a “shocking surprise ending,” and photographic cover art. After I read it, however, it turned out to be a far more old-fashioned affair. It’s a psychological thriller from YA novelist E. Lockhart that tells the story of Cadence Sinclair, a wealthy 17-year-old girl who lives an idyllic life of golden sunsets and childhood adventure on an island off the coast of Massachusetts during the summer, until a mysterious accident changes everything.

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Niles teens voted for the best summer 2014 movie!

During the month of September, 117 teens picked which summer movie was their favorite. Teens voted for their best pick with small movie poster ballots that were affixed to a wall in the Teen Underground. Out of a field of eighteen picks, there were four top choices. The largest number of votes was awarded to The Fault in Our Stars with 23 votes, Guardians of the Galaxy with 17 votes, Maleficent with 15 votes and If I Stay with 14 votes. Both The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay were adapted from Young Adult Fiction novels.

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Now that the nights will be getting longer and the temperatures will be dropping, it won’t be long before the fall festivities are in full-swing. And while we know you will be busy frolicking through crunchy red leaves in the forest and guzzling pumpkin spice lattes, we highly suggest you make some room in your hectic schedule for some of these entertaining Halloween programs that will be going on here at the Niles Public Library.

We’ve got 7 here that we know you’ll love:

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If you have ever read any of The Spiderwick Chronicles books as a kid, or you just saw The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones last summer, then step right up to the Niles Public Library to meet the famous authors behind these books on Friday, September 26th at 7 pm.

As authors of their own separately successful series, Cassandra Clare (author of The Mortal Instruments series) and Holly Black (co-author of The Spiderwick Chronicles) have teamed up to pen a new book together, Magisterium: The Iron TrialThe first in a five book series, The Iron Trial hit bookstores on September 9th. As only one of two stops in Illinois on the Magisterium US Tour, readers who attend the meeting at the Niles Library will get the chance to meet Clare and Black to discover what it’s like working together, ask questions, and get an autographed copy of their new book. Recommended for readers ages 9 and up, this event is free and open to the public.

There is no registration required for this event, but tickets will be handed out starting at 6:30 pm. Seating is limited, so make sure to arrive early to guarantee yourself a seat in the meeting room. If you’ve got copies of the authors’ books that you would like to get signed feel free to bring them. If there is a large crowd then we may limit the number of items each person can have autographed. The BookStall will also be here in the Commons area of the Library selling books at 6:15 pm.

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Read digital copies of your favorite magazines on your computer, smartphone, or tablet on our new service Flipster. Use your Niles Public Library card to access current and back issues of over 40 popular titles such as: US Weekly, Food Network Magazine, Rolling Stone, O, The Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, and Seventeen.

Flipster Features:
-Magazines are full-print, full-color duplicates of the print magazine (including ads).
-Our collection includes current and back issues of 40 popular titles.
-You can access Flipster with your computer or mobile device.
-Offline viewing is available via the Flipster app for the iPad and iPad mini.
-Download as many magazines as you’d like 24/7.
-Titles never expire so there are no overdue fines.

Access Flipster though our website at www.nileslibrary.org. Click in the Research tab under Resources.

There will be two Flipster demonstrations if you would like more information. Register here: Thursday, September 25 at 3pm or Monday, October 13 at 7pm


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Staff members of the Niles Public Library took the icy plunge this past Saturday to honor Dr. Fred Purcell, the uncle of Patron Services clerk Samantha Menard, who has been diagnosed with ALS. They also commemorated the life of Moira Steiner, a Tech Services clerk who succumbed to ALS in 2006.

Amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known in the U.S. as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a brain disease that affects the muscles that control speaking, swallowing, and breathing. There is no known cure or even a treatment to slow down the process, which usually overtakes a person in about 3 years. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a phenomenon that has swept the nation in recent months due to its viral popularity. It seeks to raise awareness about this crippling disease as well as to inspire people to raise money towards research for a cure.

The rules are simple: Film yourself getting cold water dumped over your head, donate, and challenge more people to do the same. The Niles Public Library challenged the Niles Public Library Board of Trustees, Skokie Public Library, Des Plaines Public Library, Park Ridge Public Library, and Chicago Public Library (Edgebrook and Roden Branches). Watch the chilly fun ensue here:

For more information on ALS research, visit www.alsa.org.


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