My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger Boston teens T.C. and Augie are such close friends that their families refer to them as brothers. Alejandra moves to Boston from Washington D.C. Throughout the book the three of them document their freshman year of high school—where they learn a lot about who they are and who they want to be. They tell their story through essays for class, journal entries, and other forms of communication.
Playing with Matches by Brian Katcher Leon is a self-described geek who plays Dungeons and Dragons, tells lame jokes, and watches old Monty Python movies. He’s in love with the most perfect girl at his school, Amy Green. Amy doesn’t know he exists. When he meets a fellow nobody named Melody, he learns that looks aren’t everything. Leon faces a dilemma when Amy finally starts to show some interest in him. Will he go for looks or personality?
Girlfriend Material by Melissa Kantor Kate’s dreams of a perfect summer are dashed when her mother announces plans to stay with an old friend in Cape Cod and her daughter Sarah. While Kate’s mother is trying to cope with her divorce, Kate meets new friends, gets a job teaching tennis, and falls for Sarah’s friend Adam.
You Don’t Know Me by David Klass About John: He’s an outcast at school. He’s named after a toilet. His father left when John was four. His mother works double shifts in a factory and is never home. The man his mother is dating—and maybe marrying—physically abuses John. He may or may not have a girlfriend, depending on if she checks the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ box on the letter he sent Gloria to ask her out. He wonders if anyone even really knows who he is.
Schooled by Gordon Korman Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television. He’s never tasted pizza. He’s never even heard of a wedgie. Cap has been raised and homeschooled on a hippie commune. When one day Cap is forced to attend the local public middle school, he quickly becomes a target for the students at Claverage Middle School. When his classmates nominate Cap for class president, he’s not sure if he’s about to become the greatest president in the school’s history or just the laughing-stock of the entire school.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver We get vaccines for chicken pox, measles, and meningitis, but what if you could get vaccinated against falling in love? In Lena Haloway’s government-controlled society, every citizen must be vaccinated against the disease called Amor Deliria Nervosa, commonly known as ‘love.’ Lena is 95 days away from her vaccination, where her mate will also be decided for her by the government, when she meets Alex, a mysterious young man who makes her feel things she has never felt before. Suddenly, everything she’s believed gets turned upside down.
Reality Check by Peter Abrahams In, Reality Check, Colorado football star, Cody Laredo, is having a bad year: his girlfriend, Clea, is transferred to a boarding school in Vermont, Cody tears his ACL and is out for the rest of the season, and he becomes so depressed that he decides to drop out of school. When Clea goes missing, he travels to Vermont to investigate what might have happened to her. The story is suspenseful and fast-paced. Peter Abrahams is Stephen King’s “favorite American suspense novelist.”
Bad Girls don’t Die by Katie Alender Alexis thought her life was typically dysfunctional: She’s the class bad girl, rebellious and unmotivated. Her overachieving mom has alienated Alexis’ laid back dad. Kasey, Alexis’ 13-year-old sister, has a weird obsession with dolls. But then her sister begins morphing into a green-eyed, evil child plotting against other kids in their town. Doors mysteriously open and close in her house, and water begins to boil in the tea kettle when the stove isn’t even turned on. Alexis must set out to find the history behind her town and her house to figure out why these mysterious things are happening. This book is great for readers of mysteries and scary stories.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson Lia suffers from anorexia and an addiction to cutting herself. When Lia’s friend, Cassie, is found dead in a motel room—after leaving Lia thirty-three voicemails which she didn’t listen to until it was too late—Lia spirals further and further into her addictions. Lia’s stream-of-consciousness gives us a realistic look at what living with the all-encompassing anorexic mentality is like. The graphic details of Lia’s descent into anorexia are not pretty, but they are realistic. Ultimately Lia must realize that she will live only if she finds the desire and fight to survive.
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork Marcelo is on the very high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. He hears music in his head that no one else hears, and he loves animals, but he has trouble interacting with other people. He’s always attended a special school, but his father wants him to try out public school for a change. His father makes a deal with him: If Marcelo will work in his father’s law office for the summer, Marcelo can choose to go to his old school or public school for the rest of high school. Working at his father’s law office, Marcelo realizes that maybe he’s not as different from everyone else as he thought.
Chains by Laurie HalseAnderson In 1776, at the start of the Revolutionary War, Isabel and her sister Ruth are sold to wealthy British Loyalists in Manhattan. When Isabel is running errands one day, she is approached by rebels who promise her freedom if she agrees to spy on the Loyalists. Isabel learns that neither the Rebels and Loyalists really have her or her fellow slaves’ interests in mind. She realizes she must rely on herself if she wants her freedom.
Trapped by Michael Northrop Scotty, Pete, and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up from school on the day of a blizzard, when they realize no one is coming for them and they’re trapped at the school. At first this sounds great, but then they lose power and heat, the pipes start to freeze and the roof starts caving in. The seven students realize they’ll have to make some tough decisions in order to survive…
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes When Bryn was four years old, a werewolf brutally murdered her parents. As an orphan she was taken in by Callum, the leader of a werewolf pack. Bryn has been raised as a human in a pack of wolves. When Bryn is out exploring one day, she comes across Chase, a teenage werewolf locked in a cage. Now, Bryn’s love for the werewolf pack is called in to question, and she must figure out what the pack is hiding from her.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi In future America, all fossil fuels have been used up, social classes are divided, and the seas have risen to drowned the coastal cities. Seventeen-year-old Nailer scavenges for scrap metal on washed up ships in order to survive. Nailer comes across a shipwreck that could make him rich with all the scrap metal he finds. But, when Nailer discovers a rich girl that has survived the wreck, he must decide to make a fortune on the ship or reuinte the girl with her family. This is a fast-paced thriller full of action.
Compound by S.A. Boden Ever since their world was destroyed by a nuclear attack, 15-year-old Eli and his family have lived in the Compound—a state-of-the-art bomb shelter built by his billionaire father. Eli is haunted by the fact that his twin and his grandmother were left behind. He also begins to question his father’s sanity when his dad comes up with a corrupt plan to ‘enhance their food supply.’ Eli’s worst suspicions are confirmed when he discovers a live Internet signal using an old laptop. This has Eli wondering: Did the world really end six years ago? Why else would Eli’s father want to keep his family underground?
Peeled by Joan Bauer Banesville, New York is known as the Happiest Town in the Happy Apple Valley. But when rumors of a ghost surface and a death occurs near an abandoned house, the town starts to get hysterical. When the local newspaper takes advantage of the town’s fear, Hildy, a reporter for her high school’s newspaper, is determined to find out what’s really going on.
Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin People say 12-year-old Jason Blake is weird. He blinks his eyes oddly and flaps his hands, his fingers jerking "like insects stuck on a string." Jason is autistic. He hates art class and PE, where there's too much space and unorganized time, but he feels at home on his computer, writing stories on the Storyboard website. When he meets a fellow writer named Rebecca online and has the chance to meet her in person at a Storyboard conference, he panics. What will happen to their comfortable online relationship when she meets him?
Hate List by Jennifer Brown Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Valerie ended up saving the life of one of her classmates, but she was also implicated in the shootings because of the hate list she helped Nick create. The same list Nick used to pick his targets. Now that Val is returning to school for her senior year, she’ll have to confront her classmates, former friends, and the emotions she hasn’t dealt with.
The Black Sheep by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout Kendra Bishop is tired of her overly protective parents and their ridiculous rules. She decides to apply The Black Sheep , a reality show where two kids switch families. Kendra ends up with a family in California that is the complete opposite of her family: hippy parents, five kids, and a pet ferret. Things get complicated when Kendra starts to fall for her new family’s son, Mitch. Now, Kendra’s not quite sure how to handle her new love interest, stardom, and a very pushy TV producer.
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor Addie lives with her mother in a trailer on a busy street in Schenectady, New York. Her two sisters and father live in upstate New York because her mom has lost custody of Addie’s little sisters because of neglect. As her mother’s actions become more and more neglectful—she’s gone for days at a time with her new boyfriend—Addie realizes she’s going to have to fend for herself and stand on her own two feet.
If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney First Jack Fountain’s mother dies of cancer after postponing treatment so her baby, Tris, could be born. Then is father is run over after two-year-old Tris accidentally moves the parking brake. Jack’s sisters bail on him and move away. Jack must stay home and watch over Tris because their Aunt is not all that reliable. When their Aunt sells their tragic story as a reality show, Jack knows him and his sisters have to unite to save their baby brother and their family.
As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins On his way to summer camp in Montana, 15-year-old Ry opens a letter to discover that the camp has gone out of business. When he hops off the train to try to call his grandfather, the train leaves without him, stranding him in the middle of nowhere. A lot happens in the novel: parents, grandparents, even dogs go missing in action. A stranger named Del offers to get Ry home to Wisconsin, but through a series of catastrophes, the two end up in the Carribean. Full of funny twists and turns.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart Frankie Landau-Banks, a sophomore at the prestigious boarding school Alabaster, is tired of being taken for granted. Her dad calls her “bunny rabbit” and her family and friends see her as harmless and slightly geeky. When she suddenly finds herself the girlfriend of Matthew, the hottest senior on campus, Frankie learns about the school’s secret all-male society, the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Frankie infiltrates the society and sets up school-wide pranks that the boys carry out. After the administration gets involved, Frankie starts to wonder if she’s gone too far…
If I stay by Gayle Forman (sequel is Where She Went) Mia, her brother, and her parents are driving to the bookstore when a collision with another car leaves Mia’s parents dead. The story revolves around Mia’s transport to the hospital and the doctors’ efforts to save her life. The story is told in flashbacks, flash-forwards, out-of-body reports, and first-person narrative. Mia struggles to come to terms with what happened and what is happening with her as she drifts in and out of a coma. Ultimately, Mia has to decide if she wants to live with the grief of losing her parents or join them in death.
Payback Time by Carl Deuker Mitch doesn’t think much of his new assignment as a sports reporter for the school paper, but when he sees how Coach McNulty keeps Angel—the quiet new student who shows star-quality abilities in practice—benched until late in each game, Mitch’s suspicions are aroused. Thrilled to think that he has caught an actual cheating scandal, Mitch digs into Angel’s past. What he discovers stirs up far more trouble than he has bargained for and puts Mitch into a series of terrifying situations.
Shug by Jenny Han Tall, freckled, gawky seventh-grader Annemarie Wilcox (nicknamed Shug) has a beautiful, popular older sister; a gorgeous, alcoholic mother who doesn’t fit in their small Georgia town; and a father who is always away on business. She also has a huge crush on Mark, the neighborhood boy who has always been her best friend. As the school year starts, Shug must deal with Mark’s rejection, her parents’ fighting, and losing her closest friend.
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks Nina, a forever fifteen-year-old vampire, attends a support group for vampires committed to not ‘fanging’ humans. A member of the group strays from its rules, getting himself staked and endangering the entire group. This is not your typical vampire story. There’s comedy, problems, murder, and mystery. Perfect for anyone looking to branch out from the usual vampire tale.
Stolen Children by Peg Kerhart After graduating from a babysitting course, 14-year-old Amy is filling in for a wealthy family’s nanny when she and the three-year-old she is babysitting are kidnapped. The two kidnappers plan to take the little girl, send daily messages to her parents, and collect a large ransom when they return her unharmed. They didn’t plan for Amy to be there, and they must take her along. They head to a secluded cabin, where they weigh their options for several days. Amy must come up with an escape attempt to save Kendra and herself.
Romiette and Julio by Sharon Draper When RomietteCapelle and Julio Montague meet in a chat room online, neither of them has any idea they both go to the same Cincinnati high school. When they meet in person, Romiette and Julio know they are fated to be together. Just like Shakespeare’s classic, Romeo and Juliet, they are torn apart by a local gang, the Devildogs, that is set on keeping Romiette away from Julio.
Annexed by Sharon Dogar If you’ve read The Diary of Anne Frank, then you know Peter van Pels. But you’ve only heard about Peter from Anne’s perspective. In this novel, Dogar tells the story of living in an Amsterdam attic from Peter’s point of view. You’ll get a different view of Anne and Peter, and you’ll see how their relationship blossomed from the boy’s perspective. Although this is fiction, it’s easy to imagine Anne and Peter’s situation through reading this account.
The Cardturnerby Louis Sachar The summer after junior year of high school looks bleak for Alton Richards. His girlfriend has dumped him to hook up with his best friend. He has no money and no job. When his parents insist that Alton drive his very old great-uncle, Lester, to his bridge club, Alton knows they are only making him do it so they will win some of Lester’s inheritance when he dies. Surprisingly, Lester ends up learning a good deal about life and about himself. He starts to grasp the difference between reality and perception, and realizes his life might not be as it seems.
Boot Camp by Todd Strasser In the middle of the night Garrett is taken from his home to Harmony Lake, a boot camp for troubled teens. Maybe some kids deserve to be sent there, but Garrett knows he doesn't. Subjected to brutal physical and psychological abuse, he tries to fight back, but the battle is futile. He won't be allowed to leave until he's admitted his "mistakes" and conformed to Harmony Lake's standards of behavior. And there's no way to fake it. Beaten, humiliated, and stripped of his pride, Garrett's spirit is slowly ebbing away. Then he hears whispers of an escape plot. It's incredibly risky -- if he's caught, the consequences will be unthinkable -- but it may be his only way out.
Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans Years ago, a medical equipment accident killed dozens of newborns and left 17 of them with different ‘powers.’ Michael Vey was one of the 17, and now he can create electricity whenever he wants. A mysterious organization kidnaps Taylor, Michael’s crush (who also happens to have a special power), Michael and his best friend must set out to rescue them. Michael must rely on his powers and his best friend to rescue Taylor and his mother and protect himself before it’s too late.
Perfect by Natasha Friend 13-year-old Isabelle has a gaping hole in her life: her father died several years ago, and she’s never expressed her emotions about the tragedy. She fills the void by binging on junk food, then forcing herself to throw up all those calories. She also finds a new friend, Ashley, a beauty and the most popular girl in their middle school, when the two meet in a group therapy session for girls with eating disorders. Ashley has progressed much further into bulimia, and convinces Isabelle to leave her own friends and join the popular crowd. Soon Isabelle begins to discover that maybe Ashley isn’t as perfect as she thought…
Dirt Road Home by Watt Key Hal Mitchell did some pretty bad things. Now he’s in the Hellenweiler Boys’ Home, where the state sends the hard cases to live until they turn 18 and become legal adults. If he can stay out of trouble, and his dad can stop drinking, then the two can be reunited. However, it becomes clear that keeping out of trouble is not going to be easy for Hal. The other guys in Hellenweiler are divided between two warring gangs that fight violently and often. Neither side wants to see Hal stay out of trouble, which only distracts Hal from his goal of staying clean.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen Mclean is used to moving around ever since her parents got divorced and she decided to live with her father. With each different school she attends, Mclean tries on a different personality—anything but being herself. In Lakeview, however, Mclean feels like she can be herself—not a cheerleader, a drama geek, or a student council president. Mclean actually feels like she might belong in this town; she makes friends and even falls for the boy next door. But Mclean knows better than to get too attached…
Matched by Ally Condie Cassia lives in a world where the Society calculates every aspect of her and her fellow citizens existence: what she eats, where she works, how long she’ll live, and who she marries. When her grandfather is about to pass away, he hands her a note and tells her not to show anyone. Then, during her marriage match, where the government decides who she will marry, Cassia sees two very different boys flash across the screen. Cassia starts to wonder if the Society really has their best interest in mind. Should she settle for a safe, predictable life with the one match, or risk breaking free of the Society with the other.