Teen Read Week 2012: Wilmington High School, October 19-November 2, 2012
So Yesterday, by Scott Westerfeld
Hunter’s job is to spot new things that are cool, show them to his boss Mandy, and let her spread them around to the major corporation she works for. Hunter’s life is going fine—until he meets Jen, an Innovator (the step above Hunter on the cool pyramid), and Mandy is abducted by a mysterious anti-branding company. Can Hunter and Jen find Mandy before the anti-corporation finds them?
Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow
Marcus and his friends are in the wrong place at the wrong time when the Bay Bridge blows up, and they're taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security. When he's released after days of interrogation, Marcus swears revenge. He develops the Xnet, a hidden network accessed through a hack in the XBox console, and uses it to organize protests and sabotage against the DHS. It's only a matter of time until the DHS catches up to him, so he’d better make it count.
I Am The Cheese, by Robert Cormier
Adam is biking from his Massachusetts home to Rutterburg, Vermont, encountering bullies, bike thieves, and vicious dogs, to bring his father a package. Adam is desperate to reach his father—and desperate to learn about his past, which has been swallowed up like it never existed. Heigh-ho, the derry-o, The Cheese Stands Alone…
Secrets of Truth and Beauty, by Megan Frazer
Dara’s "(Re)Think Thin" documentary for class makes a statement about society’s views of obesity—and lands her in the school counselor’s office. Humiliated, her parents pull her out of school and demand she attend therapy. Instead, Dara contacts her older sister—the one she’s never met, the one her parents have tried to pretend never existed—and moves to Rachel’s goat farm for the summer, where she’ll have a chance to explore who she really is without her parents’ insistence on who she should be.
The Things a Brother Knows, by Dana Reinhardt
Three years ago, Levi's brother shocked everyone by enlisting in the Marines. Now Bo's back, but he's not the Bo who left. This one is withdrawn, never coming out of his room, barely speaking to anyone. He hasn't been back long when he takes off again, saying he’s off to hike the Appalachian Trail, but Levi knows that's not true. Just finding him will be a challenge. Unraveling who Bo has become is even harder.
Chime, by Franny Billingsley
Briony has her stepmother’s death and her sister’s developmental disabilities on her conscience: they’re both the result of her being a witch. She hides in the swamp, talking to the Old Ones and hoping no one will find out. She could hang her for her witchiness. She knows she deserves it. But then there’s Eldric, who sees everything Briony is and cares about her anyway. Maybe there’s more to Briony than even she knows.
A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray
After witnessing her mother’s murder, Gemma moves from India to a boarding school in England. There she learns more about her mother, and about the supernatural powers that Gemma herself inherited. Learning about the Order and opening the Realms to her friends is fun and makes them powerful—but they aren’t the only ones with power, and if they’re going to bind the malevolent Circe, Gemma will have to rebuild the Order.
Blood Red Road, by Moira Young
Saba is content with her life in Silverlake, but she'd be content anywhere as long as her twin brother Lugh is around. They struggle for survival near their dried-up lake, but that struggle takes a turn when a violent sandstorm blows in four riders. Riders who kill Pa and take Lugh. Saba sets off to find her brother, a journey that will take her far from the life she knew and introduce her to the hardness and anger at her core.
I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga
It’s a small town. The odds of two serial killers choosing it are slim. And yet, there’s a second one now, recreating Billy Dent’s original crimes. But Billy Dent’s been in prison for four years already. There’s one obvious person who knows as much about the crimes as Billy himself: Billy’s son, Jazz. Jazz could easily follow in his father’s footsteps, or he could turn all the information over to the cops. Killer and catcher aren’t that far apart.
Daylight Saving, by Edward Hogan
Daniel is sure that his month at Leisure World is going to suck, until he meets beautiful, smart, troubled Lexi. She won’t talk about her injuries that seem to get worse every day, until Daniel gets caught in her same time loop: two years ago, she was dragged into the woods and killed; now she lives each year in reverse until that one Daylight Saving hour, when the clocks get turned back and she relives her attack. The only thing in Daniel's future is changing Lexi's past.
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
Wade is a nobody, just another gunter in a years-long search for the easter eggs left around the OASIS—the sprawling virtual world created and programmed by a wealthy—and now dead—eccentric. Then Wade does something no one else ever has: he finds the first key. The word is out and the race is on: it’s Wade against every other game-hunter in OASIS, including some who are willing to kill him to keep him from winning.
Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler
Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a protractor, a toy truck: All part of the box of stuff Min is returning to Ed. Each a reminder of a particular moment in the rise and fall of their relationship. Each item carefully documented in a letter explaining where things went wrong. It’s a collection of moments, of small-but-valid reasons things didn’t work out, all gathered in a box and, like Ed himself, dumped.
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
Hazel and Augustus meet at a teen cancer support group and "[fall] in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once" in spite of their philosophical differences: Augustus plans to seize every opportunity, while Hazel just hopes to have an opportunity. Leaving a mark upon the world would be easier if it didn’t mean leaving a scar on the person you love.
Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip, by Jordan Sonnenblick
Pete is a promising athlete, until he blows out his elbow badly enough that he'll never pitch again. He keeps that prognosis from his best friend, and buries himself in photography instead. His new hobby brings him closer to his retired-photographer grandfather, but his grandfather’s memory is drifting further away. Pete’s trying to hang on, but there’s not much left to hang on to.
Long Lankin, by Lindsay Barraclough
Aunt Ida doesn’t want Cora and Mimi staying with her. She won’t let them so much as open a window in the giant, suffocating house; they can’t use the front door; they are never to go near the old church. Cora is desperate to take Mimi and get back to London—and that’s without even knowing the terrible things that happened the last time there were two young sisters staying in Byers Guerdon, or that it was Aunt Ida’s fault.
The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness
Prentisstown’s men were infected with the Noise germ when they colonized New World, making their every thought audible to everyone else. The women died of the infection. Todd is the last boy in town to become a man, but mere weeks before that happens, he stumbles upon a patch of silence in a swamp. It’s a girl. Todd has to confront every lie that Prentisstown has told him if he expects to get the girl—and himself—to safety.
Rotters, by Daniel Kraus
Joey Crouch had never left Chicago until after his mother's funeral, when he was sent to live with the father he'd never met. When he arrives in his father's small town, he meets a man who doesn't want to take in a teenage son, doesn't want to be a part of anyone's life. Because Harnett is a digger. A grave-digger. A grave-robber. And Joey's about to get into the family business.
All These Things I've Done, by Gabrielle Zevin
The Ballanchine name means chocolate. And since they manufacture and import it, it also means organized crime, chocolate being illegal in the year 2083. Anya tries to distance herself from her family’s reputation, but it’s hard—especially when her ex is poisoned by some tainted chocolate and Anya is accused of trying to kill him. She’ll need some help to clear her name, either from her mafia relations or her new boyfriend, the Assistant DA’s son.
Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery, by Susan Juby
Every now and then, a Harewood Tech girl gets D-listed. Her picture goes up in the bathrooms, and it’s like she doesn’t exist anymore—at least, once people get past the yelling and throwing things stage. Sherman Mack is in love with a girl he’s pretty sure is going to get D-listed, so he launches an investigation. If he’s going to stay undercover, then that photo of him in a dress and heels is NOT going to help him....
The Boyfriend List (15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Ruby Oliver), by E. Lockhart
In just ten short days, Ruby has managed to lose her boyfriend, lose all her other friends, hurt someone who wasn’t really her friend (and now never will be), become a total outcast, and become the subject of some bathroom graffiti. It’s no wonder she’s also had her first panic attack.
Teen Read Week 2011: Wilmington High School, October 17-28, 2011
Please Ignore Vera Dietz , by A.S. King
“Is it okay to hate a dead kid? Even if he was my best friend?” Vera’s asking good questions, but they’re getting all mixed up around other questions—like why she’s working full-time delivering pizzas. Or how Charlie got so mixed up with his crazy girlfriend. Or why he’s sort of haunting Vera. Or if Vera will speak up and clear Charlie’s name. Or if the town pagoda will ever get a break from witnessing all the stupid things people do.
Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray
19 contestants for Miss Teen Dream. A plane crash. A deserted island. No food or drinking water. No makeup. This is the unexfoliated heart of darkness. This satire of pageantry and reality television will keep you laughing—and introduce you to 19 young women who will change the world as easily as they change their costumes.
Hark! A Vagrant, by Kate Beaton
What do the French Revolution, the Founding Fathers, Shakespeare, and Nancy Drew all have in common? Kate Beaton has poked fun at them all in her blending of history, literature, and complete absurdity. It won’t all make sense, but since when did everything in history make sense? Sometimes the logical conclusion is totally illogical, and Beaton makes sure to show you how it might have played out.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
Jacob’s grandfather used to tell him wild stories about the orphanage he’d been in as a child, a home where the other children were invisible, or could conjure fire, or fly. Years later, in his dying breath, his grandfather begs Jacob to “find the bird. In the loop. Tell them what happened, Yakob.” Jacob travels to Wales, looking for an orphanage that was bombed in 1940 and yet somehow still exists, with a message for its headmistress who died in the bombing but is very much alive.
Endgame, by Nancy Garden
Gray Wilton starts 9thgrade telling himself “it’s gonna be better; it’s gonna be better.” He’s in a new school, in a new town, with a new start—a chance to put the past behind him and not have to deal with the jerks at his old school. But the new school turns out to not be much different—there are still guys who go out of their way to bully, humiliate, and physically injure Gray and his only friend. Then the bullies push him too far, and Gray sees only one way to make it stop—permanently.
Dreamland , by Sarah Dessen
When Caitlin meets Rogerson Biscoe, everything changes. Rogerson is smart, and charming, and compelling, and even a little dangerous. Soon Caitlin is spending all her time with him—but that’s normal when you’re in love. And it’s normal that he wants to know where she is when she’s not with him, isn’t it? She loves him, and needs him, and is willing to sacrifice anything for him. But even once Caitlin’s given up everything, he still finds more to take—and he’s all she thinks she has.
Rikers High, by Paul Volponi
At 17, Martin is arrested and thrown into jail--Rikers Island--for telling an undercover cop where to buy pot in his neighborhood. He's sure he'll be released as soon as his case is presented to the judge, but his court date keeps getting pushed back. Martin is starting to lose himself to the misery of life in jail when he's moved to a different section of Rikers--a section specifically for teens, where he'll be able to go to school. If he can get credits while he's locked up, he may still be able to graduate high school and rebuild his life.
I Am J , by Cris Beam
J was born a girl, but knows he's actually a boy. The trouble is in making everyone else understand that--his parents, his best friend, and to a certain extent even himself. Transitioning to the male body he knows he should have always had is difficult enough, and more so without the support of his friends and family.
Divergent, by Veronica Roth
Beatrice is nervous about her aptitude testing and the subsequent choosing ceremony, but she’s shocked to learn that her testing results are inconclusive. She could remain with Abnegation, the selfless, or abandon her home and family to join the Dauntless, the brave. Her Divergent traits give her an edge in the brutal Dauntless initiation that could break her. But being Divergent is dangerous, and at least one person knows what she is—and she’s being carefully monitored.
Unwind, by Neal Shusterman
Connor finds the paperwork his parents signed: he’s scheduled for unwinding, having all his parts harvested and redistributed into other people. Sure, he’ll live on in a separated state, but he has no plans to let it happen to him. Surviving to his 18th birthday will require a network of safe homes, a curbing of his impulsive behavior, and avoidance of authorities--and the other unwinds who would turn him in.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Seconds before his home (and the rest of Earth) is obliterated to make room for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent’s best friend Ford Prefect snatches him away and hitches a ride on the passing ship. Together the pair travels through space and time, meeting an unforgettable cast of characters and wreaking havoc along the way. Grab your towel—a towel is about the most useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have, after all—and the Hitchhiker’s Guide, because this book could just save your life.
Suite Scarlett, by Maureen Johnson
The Hopewell Hotel is—well, not shabby, but it’s certainly not as fancy as it once was. Scarlett grew up in it, and now that she’s 15, her parents put her in charge of the Empire Suite, a job that consists mostly of meeting the needs of the room’s occupant. The occupant, though, is the demanding Mrs. Amberson, a former actress turned traveler turned talent scout—and she’s about to turn Scarlett’s life upside down.
Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto, by Eric Luper
Immediately after getting dumped over lunch at Applebee’s, Seth looks up and sees his dad at another table—with a woman who isn’t Seth’s mom. It’s been a rough day. Seth’s upset, and pissed, and he puts it all into his podcast: The Love Manifesto, dedicated to exploring "what love is, why love is, and why we're stupid enough to keep going back for more." Between friendships, betrayals, and some truly terrible chicken salad, the worst summer of Seth’s life is at least passing quickly.
If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
Mia only remembers riding in the backseat of the family car on a snowy road. She doesn’t remember the crash, only remembers watching, distantly, as paramedics pulled her body from the wreckage. She’s the only one left of her immediate family, and she has to make a decision: let go and join her parents and brother, or fight to stay with her grandparents, her friends, and the life she’d only just started living.
Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI, by Ryan Smithson
Ryan was starting his junior year when planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11th. A year later, uncertain about college and wanting to serve his country, he enlisted in the Army Reserves, planning on putting in his one weekend a month and two weeks a year. But then the country officially went to war, and Ryan’s unit was deployed to Iraq. What follows is the details—good, bad, ugly, unforgettable details—of one young soldier’s tour of duty.
Enemy, by Charlie Higson
It's been long enough since the Disaster that the lucky ones have died. Anyone left over 14 is infected, turned in mindless, bloated animals seeking a quick meal of the living. One group of kids has been holed up in a supermarket for protection, and they know they can't stay there forever. The trek across London to the relative safety of Buckingham Palace isn't going to be as easy as it sounds—and it sounds like a bloodbath waiting to happen.
Be More Chill, by Ned Vizzini
"Being Cool is obviously the most important thing on earth . It's more important that getting a job, or having a girlfriend, or political power, or money, because all those things are predicated by Coolness." And if Coolness can be achieved by swallowing a pill-sized supercomputer, Jeremy is game to try. Soon he’s letting the squip call the shots, reaping the benefits of his newfound social standing, and not thinking about how he’s handed his life over to something implanted in his brain.
When It Happens, by Suzane Colasanti
Sara makes two goals for herself for her senior year: one, to get into NYU, and two, to find a Real relationship. This second goal is achieved with Dave, the cute, popular boy who finally calls right before school starts. Meanwhile, Tobey is just hoping that people stop asking him where he's going to college, since he’s not planning to go--and that maybe Sara will see that Dave isn't good enough for her and will go out with him instead, even though he isn't really in ambitious, overachieving-Sara's league, either.
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
Thomas remembers nothing but his name when he’s pulled into the Glade, a strange place where the only escape means finding an exit from the Maze--not easy when the walls move every night and the mechanical beasts have a thirst for blood. When a girl shows up the day after Thomas’s arrival, the Gladers are thrown into chaos: Who is she? And what’s with her warning that “everything is going to change”?
Newspaper Blackout, by Austin Kleon
The hardest part of writing poetry is finding the words. Austin Kleon’s found a secret: the words are already there. With a black Sharpie, Kleon finds the poetry hidden a pile of newspapers, just waiting for him to cross out the words he doesn’t need. Mixed into the daily journalism, “we are all schoolboys and schoolgirls staggering under the weight of dream-stomping adults.”
Teen Read Week 2010: Wilmington High School, October 18-29, 2010
Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, by David Lubar
Scott Hudson has it all--as long as "all" includes bullies, a ton of homework, too many extra-curriculars, a crush on a girl who barely notices him, and a pregnant mom. So maybe he doesn't have it all (thanks to the seniors, he doesn't even have pocket change anymore), but he does still have his sense of humor. If that doesn't help him make it through his freshman year of high school, nothing will.
Ella Minnow Pea: A Progressively Lipogrammatic Epistolary Fable, by Mark Dunn
“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” The town’s founder created this sentence, using every letter of the alphabet, and it’s plastered on his statue. Then the first letter falls off. The town officials call it a sign: if it’s not on the statue, you can’t use it. The town struggles to work around the missing letters (using "yellow sphere" for "sun" after the u falls) until they ultimately head for revolution. And a new, shorter pangram.
An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
Colin has been dumped. A lot. Nineteen times, in fact, all by girls named Katherine. Colin’s a smart guy, though, and he’s sure there’s a reason that can be expressed mathematically. His best friend, concerned for Colin’s mental health, takes him on a road trip to distract him from the heartbreak—but can Colin stop working on his Theorem long enough to appreciate love, friendship, and a statue of a dead archduke?
Geektastic: Stories From the Nerd Herd
Star Trek vs. Star Wars. Buffy. Cosplay. Quiz Bowl. Fifteen short stories, each with its own geek-topic, each by a different awesomely geeky author. Sometimes you’ll laugh, sometimes you’ll cringe, but either way, you’ll find out what it means to be Geektastic.
Candyfreak, by Steve Almond
Steve Almond loves candy. Not just loves it in the way of “oh, hey, a Snickers, I’ll eat that,” but reveres it, worships it, every aspect of candy. Whether he’s eating candy bars fresh off the production line or detailing the history of the Bit O’Honey bar, Almond’s sweet tooth is not only obvious, but infectious.
Meanwhile, by Jason Shiga
One decision—chocolate or vanilla ice cream—spirals into a chance meeting with a mad scientist and his mind-reading helmet, doomsday device, and time machine that can only go back ten minutes. Each decision to be made is YOUR decision: follow the pipes back and forth around this unusual graphic novel to Happiness and Success—or make different decisions that will lead to Doom and Disaster. The choice is yours!
Swim the Fly, by Don Calame
Each summer, Matt, Coop, and Sean set a goal, and this year’s goal is to see a naked girl. Their schemes to make it happen routinely backfire in humiliating (but hilarious) ways, but Matt has something even more challenging to accomplish: swimming the hundred-yard butterfly to impress the hot girl on his swim team, even though he’s not much of a swimmer, and the ‘fly is the hardest stroke known to god or man.
Repossessed, by AM Jenkins
Kiriel hasn't had a day off since roughly the birth of the universe. His job isn't even that interesting--the damned pretty much torture themselves; he's just there to oversee. So he walks off the job, finds an all-American slacker teenager, and takes control of Shaun's body seconds before Shaun would otherwise be hit by a truck. Now for the first time Kiriel is learning what there is to being human--the smells of dirty laundry, the taste of ketchup—and generally appreciating what life has to offer.
The White Darkness, by Geraldine McCoughrean
When Symone's Uncle Victor whisks her away to Antarctica, they aren’t going for the tourism--he's bringing Sym on his expedition to find proof that the Earth is hollow, with an entire society living just under the outer crust. As Victor's obsessive madness becomes more apparent, Sym talks over the situation with someone who understands it all: Titus Oates, the explorer who died here a century ago, whose voice lives in her head and is her confidant, her sounding board, her only friend.
Emperors of the Ice: A true story of disaster and survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13, by Richard Farr
So what did happen to Titus Oates? He was part of an ill-fated Antarctic expedition to the South Pole that never returned. Apsley Cherry-Garrard was on the team sent to replenish their supplies. An incompetent
navigator, frostbite, and the loss of a tent were just some of their problems. This is Cherry’s story of Antarctic survival, against long odds and a longer winter.
Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater
Ever since she was attacked by them as a child, Grace has always had an affinity for the wolves, particularly the one with the yellow eyes. When a shivering boy with a bullet wound appears on Grace’s doorstep while the hunters’ rifles still echo in the woods, she recognizes those eyes: this is her wolf, in human form. Grace’s feelings for Sam quickly turn to love, even though they both know that his time as a human is limited—and it’s more limited than Grace realizes.
13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
One person’s actions can cause a ripple effect, affecting many more people than just the intended target. That’s what Clay learns the night he walks around town, listening to Hannah Baker’s recorded explanations of how each of thirteen people contributed to her decision to end her life. Harassment and rumors are a big part of it. What did Clay do to be on the list?
Liar, by Justine Larbalestier
Micah is a compulsive liar. But this time, she’s going to tell you the truth: she was the last one to see her sort-of boyfriend the night he was killed. Micah teases out bits of fact from fiction, confesses to things and then admits that what she's confessed to is a lie. She's reliably unreliable in what she says her truths are, so when she gets to the major truth, the small lies have piled up until you can’t tell what's real and what's an elaborate story she's telling herself—and us.
Project 17, by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Danvers State Hospital, the mental institution, has been shuttered since 1992. On the night before the building’s demolition, six teens break in to film a movie of their overnight stay. Strange noises, unmarked graves, ghosts, bad feelings, and a ton of artifacts left by various patients through the years make for a seriously creepy night.
Going Bovine, by Libba Bray
When Cameron is admitted to the hospital following his diagnosis of Mad Cow Disease, things start to get really weird for him. With the help of his roommate, Gonzo (a neurotic, asthmatic dwarf), they escape for Cameron's final road trip. The comedy becomes more absurd as the miles click by, with the pair picking up an ancient Norse god (cursed to appear as a lawn gnome), staying at the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction and Snack 'N' Bowl, and falling in love with an angel on the way to Disney World.
Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacagalupi
Nailer works stripping copper wire from wrecked ships along the gulf coast, a dangerous job that could kill him any minute. His luck turns after a hurricane, when he finds a wrecked clipper ship full of food, silver--and a girl. Nailer’s abusive father and his band of thugs soon discover the wreck, and Nailer has a choice: hand over the girl, the luckiest of Lucky Strikes any of his crew has ever seen, or take her back to her people, where—she says—Nailer will be well-rewarded. If they can avoid the thieves and rogues actively pursuing her.
The Chosen One, by Carol Lynn Williams
Kyra has a big family: her father, her three mothers, and her 19 siblings all live in a polygamous community. Secretly, Kyra and Joshua are in love, but they can’t be together publicly: the Prophet hears the word of God tell him that, at 13, Kyra will become her 60-year-old uncle’s seventh wife. She dreams of escape, but the only way out involves violence and bravery, and will cost her everyone she loves.
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, by Paul Zindel
Tillie’s sister is crazy and vindictive; their mother is neglectful and unsupportive. Can Tillie’s science fair exhibit on mutations break her family out of these roles—or is her family just plain broken? It’s absurd, but Man-in-the-Moon marigolds might be Tillie’s key to rising above her family history.
Carter Finally Gets It, by Brent Crawford
Will Carter is attempting to navigate his first year of high school: playing football, hanging out with his friends, falling for a great girl, and—under his sister’s dire advice—trying not to be a dork. Carter tries hard and sometimes misses the mark, but freshman year is a great opportunity to figure out where the mark is.
An Off Year, by Claire Zulkey
After years of good grades and preparation, Cecily stands at the door to her freshman dorm room--and promptly turns around to go home. It’s not the right time for her to start college, she knows, but taking a year off isn't right, either. Cecily’s frustrations with her own directionlessness strain the good relationship she has with her dad, and what hope can there be for the already-hostile relationship with her sister? This year is Cecily's chance to sort things out, and hope the timing is better on the second try.
Teen Read Week 2009: Wilmington High School, October 19-23
Life As We Knew It and The Dead & the Gone, both by Susan Beth Pfeffer
An asteroid is bearing down on the moon—and the school is piling on extra assignments as a result. But then the moon gets knocked closer to the Earth. Tsunamis. Flooding. Volcanoes. Blizzards. Flu epidemics. With all the ash in the air from volcanoes, nothing is growing and outdoor game is starving. In Pennsylvania, Miranda’s family is making the best of a horrible situation. In New York City, Alex and his two little sisters are waiting for their parents to get home. And waiting. And waiting. There's literally nothing but canned and boxed goods, and when they run out, that's it.
Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Lia and Cassie were best friends, competing with each other in a contest to be the prettiest, the skinniest. They were close enough that on the night she died, Cassie called Lia 33 times. Now Lia is hearing Cassie’s voice, encouraging her to try harder to be thinner, to stay strong, to keep control, so she can join Cassie on the other side and they can be friends again. Ultimately, it will be Lia’s decision if she wants to heal herself—and whether “healing” means finally eating or reuniting with her best friend.
Paper Towns, by John Green
Just before graduation, Margo plucked Quentin from relative obscurity to help her execute a night of revenge-fueled pranks and then disappeared the next day. The pranks, the disappearance, the clues she left behind that she wants him to find, it's all part of who Margo is to Quentin. But who she is to Lacey, or Ben, or any of the others, is someone different. Everyone's got their own ideas, and in order to find her, everyone will have to put aside what they know of Margo to figure out who she actually is.
I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs By Teens Famous and Obscure
A never-ending series of marvelous misadventures.
We are banned from Wal-Mart forever.
Super powers would make everything easier.
Honestly, I hate all my friends.
What you leave out of a story can be just as fascinating as what you put in. What would your memoir say, if you only had six words to tell it?
Life at These Speeds, by Jeremy Jackson
Kevin is a mediocre half-miler for his school track team—and the only remaining member after the team bus slides off a bridge after a meet. In his grief, Kevin starts running. And winning. Despite his claims that he hates running, he finds peace in it, and genuinely misses it when he can’t compete. Kevin’s voice is just distant and distracted enough to make him as much of a mystery to the reader as he is to his family and classmates.
Burger Wuss, by MT Anderson
Anthony has always been something of a pushover. Until, that is, he finds his girlfriend Diana making out with another guy at a party. Suddenly, Anthony has A Plan for revenge—a plan that involves a fast-food job at O’Dermott’s (where girlfriend-stealing Turner is a star employee), an anarchist, and a condiment troll. Surely a plan this good can’t go wrong… right?
Desire Lines, by Jack Gantos
A high-school sophomore catches two of his female classmates secretly dating, and rather than tell them he saw them, he keeps the secret to himself—until the rest of the school, led by a creepy Preacher Kid moving in across the street, starts accusing him of being gay. Love shouldn’t have to mean courage or betrayal, but shouldn’t it at least mean acceptance?
Nation, by Terry Pratchett
Mau has just given up his boy's soul and is paddling back to the Nation, where he will be given his man's soul. That's when the wave hits, wiping out the entire Nation and killing everyone Mau knew and loved. Mau is alone on the island, but only temporarily--other refugees slowly row up to the Nation's shores. Mau feels responsible for all these new people, and has to defend the Nation from the raiders, protect the new refugees, and discover who he is without any idea of who he could have been.
Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan
Liga’s life before was not kind to her: an abusive father, hateful villagers, a handful of local boys who found her alone one night. Following the last of these abuses, Liga makes a deal with the Moon Baby to exchange her earthly life for a new life in her personal heaven, where pain and horror and ill will cannot touch her—or her two daughters. But the barrier is weakening, allowing bears and magic men to cross into Liga’s heaven and allowing Liga’s daughter to chase them back across into the real world.
I am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
Ed Kennedy is the type of guy who could accidentally stop a bank robbery—and that’s exactly what happens to him. Soon after, he starts getting playing cards in the mail. Sometimes they have addresses, sometimes names, but it’s up to Ed to make sense of them—to discover who they’re coming from, why, and most importantly, what he’s supposed to do about them.
Rag and Bone Shop, by Robert Cormier
Jason doesn’t fit in with kids his own age, and in fact his closest friend may be a classmate’s seven-year-old sister, Alicia. But when Alicia is murdered, Jason—the last person to see her alive—is hauled in for questioning by a cold, calculating detective who wants a confession. Jason is stunned, confused, and uncertain: what really did happen that day? And how much of it was Jason’s fault?
Mountain Man Dance Moves: the McSweeney’s Book of Lists
BAD NAMES FOR MURDER MYSTERIES:
It Was Me
The Butler Did It. No Joke
It Was Suicide, Actually
Think Every Agatha Christie Novel, Only With Squirrels
This is just one of the many (questionably) helpful lists you can find in Mountain Man Dance Moves: the McSweeney’s Book of Lists.
Wish You Were Dead, by Todd Strasser
When an anonymous blogger posts that she hates Lucy Cunningham and wishes she were dead, no one really takes it seriously--until a few days later, when Lucy disappears after a party. Madison Archer is particularly shaken by the disappearance, as she was the one who drove Lucy home and was the last to see her alive. Then the blogger gives another name, and a second student goes missing. And then a third. Madison needs to find her friends before it’s too late for them—and before she herself is on the list.
House of Stairs, by William Sleator
Five teenage orphans wake up to find themselves in a place without walls, floors, or ceilings—only stairs. Endless stairs, leading to landings and more stairs. On one landing is a machine that dispenses food, but only if the five do everything right—and what’s right one day isn’t necessarily what’s right the next. And sometimes, it was never right at all.
Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Every year, the government selects two tributes from each district to compete in the Hunger Games, a televised battle to the death in an enclosed stadium. Katniss has to hope that the illegal hunting she’s been doing for years to feed her family is enough training, because it’s all she’s got. And the only ally she has inside the arena is her fellow District 12 tribute, who is the only one in the games who might retain his humanity by the end.
Bloody Jack, by LA Meyer
Mary Faber has been living in the streets of London with a gang of her fellow beggars for years. When the leader of her gang, Rooster Charlie, is killed, it’s time for Mary to strike out on her own. She takes his shirt and pants, cuts off her hair, calls herself Jacky, and lands herself a spot as a Ship’s Boy on the HMS Dolphin. What follows is a series of adventures on the high seas, including storms, pirate attacks, shipwrecks, and even a touch of romance—and every adventure is another opportunity for Jacky to blow her cover.
Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson
After the death of their owner, Isabel and her sister Ruth are sold to a Loyalist couple from New York City. The Locktons are working with the British on invasion plans, and Isabel is trying to stay out of it. But some new friends want her to spy on her owners, report back to the Patriots, and help foil the invasion, and Isabel isn’t sure that’s right, either. It’s not until Mrs. Lockton takes out her rage on Ruth that Isabel’s priorities come into focus—and her priorities are not to her cruel owners.
Love Curse of the Rumbaughs, by Jack Gantos
The Love Curse is an excessive, obsessive mother-love passed down through the generations. It's a dark, gothic story, involving taxidermy, identical twin brothers, their mother (from whom they can't bear to be parted), a young girl, and her mother. How all these elements combine will keep you turning pages late into the night.
Teen Angst? Naaaah… by Ned Vizzini
This all-too-true account of Ned’s academic career is laugh-out-loud funny, from his daily schedule of Nintendo-playing in his junior-high days straight through the senior prom. You might laugh, you might cry, but you’ll almost certainly cringe in recognition!
Zombie Haiku, by Ryan Mecum
Little old ladies
Speed away in their wheelchairs,
Frightened meals on wheels.
Everything I thought
Tasted a lot like chicken
Really tastes like man.
Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains
Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains, brains, brains
Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains