Really Good Books for Teens

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					Really Good Books for Teens
Selected by C.J. Bott & Don Gallo Do Over by Christine Hurley Deriso. Delacorte/Random House, 2006. After her mom dies suddenly, Elsa and her dad move back to her grand-mother’s house in the middle of seventh grade. Her mom makes a special visit and gives her a “Do Over” necklace to help deal with all the changes. (M) Poison Ivy by Amy Goldman Koss. Roaring Brook Press, 2006. Ms. Gold had her government classes conduct a mock trial on an issue present in their school, the harassment of Ivy by three alleged tormentors: Ann, Sophie, and Benita. The jury of adolescents brings in what they believe is their only possible verdict. (M) Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet by Kashmira Sheth. Hyperion, 2006. Set in Mumbai, India, Jeeta is the darkest, youngest, and least traditional of three sisters. While her mother worries Jeeta will be hard to marry off, Jeeta looks toward college. (M/H)
Sold by Patricia McCormick. Hyperion, 2006. Thirteen-year-old Lakshmi is sold by her desperately poor parents in Nepal to what she believes will be work as a maid in a rich people’s home, but instead she finds herself imprisoned in a brothel run by a manipulative, cruel woman and has little hope of escaping. (M/H) Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos. Atheneum, 2006. The lives of ninthgrader Nadira Hossain and her family, immigrants from Bangladesh who have overstayed their visa, are put in turmoil after 9/11 when the government cracks down on Muslims in the U.S. (M/H) Born to Rock by Gordon Korman. Hyperion, 2006. President of the Young Republicans club and straight-A student Leo Caraway is all set to attend Harvard after graduation until he is accused of cheating on a test and he discovers that his biological father may be Marion X. McMurphy, the notorious King Maggot, lead singer of Purge, the most destructive punk rock band of the 1980s. (M/H)

The Geography of Girlhood by Kristen Smith. Little Brown, 2006. Told in verse, this is Penny’s story from age 14 to 18 as she struggles through family and life changes. (H) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Knopf, 2006. The character of Death tells the heart-wrenching story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl in a poor foster family in a small town outside Munich, Germany, during Hitler’s

reign, who finds comfort in stealing and reading books as she develops a close relationship with a Jewish man hiding in the basement. (H) The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyle. David Flickling Books/ Random House, 2006. In 1942, nine-year-old Bruno moves with his family to “OutWith” where his father is the new commandant, but no one explains to Bruno about the wire fence outside his bedroom window or the hundreds of people on the other side all shrinking away and wearing striped pajamas. (M/H)
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima. Hyperion, 2006. After leading a normal life in contemporary Ohio, 16-year-old Jack learns he has magical powers and has been chosen as a warrior to fight an unnamed opponent to the death in a tournament run by wizards that is hundreds of years old. (M/H) Firestorm: The Caretaker Trilogy: Book 1 by David Klass. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006. At the age of 18, Jack Danielson suddenly learns that he’s not the normal guy he thought he was, but rather someone from the distant future sent to the present to reverse the ecological demise of Earth. (M/H) Slide or Die (DriftX # 1) by Todd Strasser. Simon Pulse, 2006. This first book in a trilogy about street racing cars by sliding—i.e., drifting--around curves in the road is packed with action, romance, and racial tension in and around Las Vegas. (M/H)

Between Mom and Jo by Julie Anne Peters. Little Brown, 2006. Fourteenyear-old Nick introduces himself in memories that tell the story of his life with his two lesbian moms: Erin, his biological mother, and Jo, his heart’s mother. (M/H) Getting It by Alex Sanchez. Simon & Schuster, 2006. Carlos Amoroso doesn’t have the confidence to talk to Roxy Rodriguez, but he notices Sal, the gay guy at school, has no trouble talking to girls. Inspired by TVs Queer Eye, Carlos asks Sal for some help. (H) Good Girls by Larua Ruby. Wendy Lamb Book/Random House, 2006. When Audrey realizes Luke DeSalvo is not good for her, she decides to end their relationship with some “good-by” oral sex. She doesn’t know someone opens the door and takes a photo until it shows up on everyone’s cell phones and her parents’ email. (H)

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin. Dial, 2006. Told retrospectively as a very long letter to his young sister, an 18-year-old boy describes the efforts he and his other sister make to protect their baby sister from their beautiful but seriously deranged mother throughout his teen years. (H) Street Love by Walter Dean Myers. Amistad, 2006. In free verse and rap, Myers tells the story of a successful, college-bound teen from a solid family who falls hopelessly in love with a poor girl from a troubled family. (H) The Winter Road by Terry Hokenson. Front Street, 2006. While attempting to deliver a load of cargo in her uncle’s plane, 17-year-old Willa must use her wits and training to survive the bitter cold after the plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness in the middle of winter. (M/H)

Knights of the Hill Country by Tim Tharp. Knopf, 2006. In their senior year with a chance for a fifth consecutive undefeated year in football, nice guy Hampton and football maniac Blaine see that dream fall apart and nearly lose their friendship. (H) Trigger by Susan Vaught. Bloomsbury, 2006. Jersey Hatch has spent the last year in the hospital after shooting himself in the head, but he doesn’t have any memory of the event. Slowly he puts together the pieces of his old life while struggling with his new disabilities. (H) Endgame by Nancy Garden. Harcourt, 2006. Told in flashbacks through interviews with his lawyer, fifteen-year-old Gray Wilton, accused school shooter, reveals the bullying he suffered at school by the football heroes and the tension at home that contributed to his taking the gun to school. (H)
Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs. HarperCollins, (April) 2006. Leaving his poor family in Mexico, Victor Flores travels north to seek work in the U.S., dealing with one challenge after another in a desperate effort to cross the border without papers or money. (M/H) Raiders Night by Robert Lipsyte. HarperCollins, 2006. Football co-captain Matt Rydeck, struggling with a demanding father, hot girls, and steroids, is forced to face his problems after a rookie teammate is raped by the other co-captain. (H) What Happened to Cass McBride? by Gail Giles. Little, Brown, 2006. After his brother David kills himself, Kyle kidnaps Cass McBride, blaming her, and buries her alive in a coffin-like box. (H)

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