Summer reading for teensSummer is almost here, and so is the Summer Reading Program at the Astoria Public Library. This year's program includes readers of all ages and teens ages 13 to 18 are especially encouraged to join in. They can keep track of what they've read and participate in weekly drawings for great prizes. These prizes include certificates for free smoothies or coffee drinks, free pizza, a free CD of their choice and more. Those interested can register at the Jump into Summer event from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 15 at the Astoria Aquatic Center or at the Astoria Public Library.

What's new for young adults?Teens and librarians have nominated their favorite books for the 2003 Pacific Northwest Library Association's Young Readers Choice Awards. Here is a list of the most popular that make up the 2003 ballot for the Middle and Senior Divisions. Voting will be in April 2003.

Middle division nominees (Grade 7 through 9)Dr. Mary Malone builds a magnificent amber spyglass as an assassin hunts her down. Lord Asriel and his troops of shining angels fight a mighty rebellion with strange allies and shocking sacrifice. And all are dependent on two children, an armored bear and two Gallivespian spies who must journey to a gray world where no one has ever gone. Find out what happens in "The Amber Spyglass," by Philip Pullman.

• • •Edmond is accused of being a counterfeiter. As he fearfully awaits the grim punishment, he is unexpectedly rescued by a knight. The knight then compels Edmond to join Richard Lionheart's forces in the Holy Lands. Amidst the savagery of the 12th century Crusades, Edmond learns courage and compassion. Author Michael Cadnum wrote "The Book of the Lion," a story rich in historical adventure

• • •Thirteen-year-old Koly is getting married, which isn't unusual for girls her age in India. But the boy chosen her by her parents is sickly and has wicked parents she would be forced to live with. Koly wants to flee, but tradition tells her she has no choice. Unexpectedly, her life is changed. She finds herself alone in a strange city. Koly decides to change her name and forge her own future in a time and place where such things are forbidden. "Homeless Bird" is written by Gloria Whelan.

• • •She's strange, magical and mysterious. She arrived at Mica High in a burst of color and sound that evoked awed whispers in the halls. Everyone was enchanted with Stargirl - at first - then they turned on her. Her boyfriend Leo Borlock urged her desperately to become what they all wanted. Normal. "Stargirl" is by Jerry Spinelli.

• • •Melly and Anny Beth were both very old and ready to die when they were selected to participate in Project Turnabout. They were given an injection that miraculously made them grow younger. When they reached their teen-age years, they were to be given another injection to stop the unaging process, but they refused. Others who received this injection died. Who will take care of them when they grow too young? "Turnabout" is by Margaret • • •Thirteen-year-old Sophie is on The Wanderer. Along with her three uncles and two cousins, she is thrilled with the promise of discovery and adventure as their ship journeys across the Atlantic to England. Follow the action as it is recorded in Sophie's log and the log of her cousin Cody in "The Wanderer," by Sharon Creech.

Senior division nominees (Grade 9 through 12)Andi figures that given everything she's had to put up with at home, West Point will be a breeze. But nothing could have prepared her for her first six weeks of cadet training. Upper class cadets participate by creating experiences designed to break new recruits and make them into soldiers. Andi is one of only two girls, but anything is better than home. Find out why in "Battle Dress," by Amy Efaw.

• • •Caitlin spends her days in a half-sleeping dream-like state. She is alert only for Rogerson. What is it about Rogerson Biscoe ... and why can't she leave him? Follow her dream in "Dreamland," by Sarah Dessen.

• • •Hope is an impressive waitress. She's been impressing hungry people all over the country. With Aunt Addie, diner cook extraordinaire, Hope has moved a lot. This latest move lands her in a diner in rural Wisconsin where she finds herself unexpectedly involved with local politics. "Hope Was Here" is by Joan Bauer.

• • •Ben is not who he wants to be. He wants to be a guy who can talk to girls without making a fool of himself. He wants to be a jock, but just can't cut it. He is tired of being ridiculed by Claude whose viciousness is escalating. Anger and frustration seem to grow in him each day. Then he gets a visit from Great-aunt Frieda. From her Ben learns how she and members of her community dealt with the Men of Stone - Stalin's agents in Russia. And from her he learns who he is and what he must do. Read "Men of Stone," by Gayle Friesen.

• • •The Sterkarms plundered the border between Scotland and England for generations. That is until Elves from the 21st century used time travel and met the Sterkarms in their 16th century homeland. A bloody war ensued and Andrea, an Elf-May, must choose sides when faced with the injury of her Sterkarm boyfriend Per. Learn what happens in "The Sterkarm Handshake," by Susan Price.

- Patty Skinner, senior library assistant, Astoria Public Library

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