MS/HS Book Talks Samantha Hendzell, YA Librarian
Library Services to Schools • Teacher cards and loans • Classroom visits- book talks • Library Tours • Book Lists • Book Club in a bag (county) • Volunteer and service opportunities
Current trends in YA lit: • Dystopia/Post-apocalyptic…it’s not gone yet! • Book-to-movie adaptations • The John Green and TFIOS Effect! • LGBTQ characters and themes
Teen Fiction New & Notable books for teens in Grades 6-12
Let’s Get Lost by AdiAlsaid • Grades: 8 & Up • Genre: Realistic • A love-seeking mechanic, a dramatic petty thief, a disappointed planner, and a broken-hearted teen all find their lives transformed as each shares whirlwind adventures with a girl in an insanely red car.
Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan • Grades: 8 & Up • Genre: Science Fiction • When Hawaii is cut off from the rest of the world by a catastrophic technology failure that coincides with an eerie new starscape in the night sky, epileptic Leilani and her father embark on a nightmarish journey back home that tests their survival skills.
Midnight Thief by LiviaBlackburne • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Fantasy • Kyra, a highly skilled thief, joins a guild of assassins with questionable motives, while Tristam, a young knight, fights against the vicious Demon Riders that are ravaging the city.
Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff • Grades: 9 & Up • Genre: Realistic • Colliding on their bikes in the middle of the night, Lesh and Svetlana forge a bond despite their divergent interests while exploring the identities they assume in school, at home, and while participating in role-playing games.
Eye of Minds by James Dashner • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Science Fiction • A debut installment in a series set in a world of hyper-advanced technology, cyberterrorism and extreme gaming finds talented young hacker Michael enlisted by the government to stop a violent fellow hacker who is trapping hostages in nightmarish, brain-damaging virtual reality environments
Something Real by Heather Demetrios • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Realistic • Growing up famous as one of 12 children featured on a cancelled reality television show, 17-year-old Bonnie finds her hopes for a normal life shattered by the show's revival, which threatens her relationships and compels her to commit a drastic act.
Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine • Grades: 9 & Up • Genre: Science Fiction, Steampunk • Assisting her father in a ramshackle medical clinic where they attend low-wage factory workers, 16-year-old Wen is shocked when a ghost grants a brutal wish, prompting Wen to appease the ghost and bond with the oppressed laborers.
Scan by Sarah Fine & Walter Jury • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Science Fiction, Action • Struggling with his father's high expectations and his own feelings of inadequacy, Tate steals one of his father's odd tech inventions only to be targeted by mercenaries who kill his father and force Tate to protect the invention from alien adversaries.
If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Realistic, Music • Seventh-grader Lewis "Shoe" Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whitesâ€”and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.
Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Realistic • Writing a vigilante poem to protest the filming of a reality television show at their elite but corrupt arts academy, a group of friends struggles to remain loyal to their cause and each other when one of their number becomes a contestant on the show.
Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Mystery • Carl Hiaasen’s first for teens! • When their reckless cousin runs off with a guy she met online to avoid going to boarding school, long-suffering Richard and renegade Wild Skink brave storms, wildlife and violence in a swampy region of Florida to find her.
Splintered by A.G. Howard • Grades: 8 & Up • Genre: Fantasy • A descendant of the inspiration for "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," Alyssa Gardner fears she is mentally ill until she finds that Wonderland is real and, if she passes a series of tests to fix Alice's mistakes, she may save her family from their curse.
Conversion by Katherine Howe • Grades: 9 & Up • Genre: Suspense • A stressful senior year of college applications, valedictorian competitions and interpersonal dramas at St. Joan's Academy in Danvers culminates in eerie behavior by a circle of girls who disturbingly emulate historical figures from The Crucible's Salem Village.
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick • Grades: 9 & Up • Genre: Realistic • Novel in Verse • When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for a mandatory psychiatric watch. There Kenna meets other kids like herself, her roommate, Donya, who's there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour • Grades: 9 & Up • Genre: Realistic • Feeling unfulfilled in her romantic life in spite of a promising career in the L.A. film scene, talented set designer Emi discovers a mysterious letter at an estate sale that prompts her investigation into a movie icon's hidden life. • LGBTQ themes
Like No Other by UnaLaMarche • Grades: 8 & Up • Genre: Realistic, Romance • Modern re-telling of Romeo & Juliet…or as they bill it, West Side Story! • Living on opposite sides of their Brooklyn neighborhood, strict Hasidic Devorah and fun-loving nerd Jaxon forge an unexpected connection when they become trapped in an elevator during a hurricane, after which they pursue a secret romance.
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori Lee • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Fantasy • Kai, who has no memories from before she was found by Reev, whom she considers her brother, but who has the ability to slow time, and her friend Avan search for the missing Reev and become involved in a revolt against the ruler of Ninurta.
Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno • Grades: 8 & Up • Genre: Realistic • Suffering from a dissociative identity disorder that causes her to black out while a separate personality takes over, seventeen-year-old Molly discovers astonishing secrets about her alter ego, Mabel, who clings to transformative feelings of love.
September 17 by Amanda West Lewis • Grades: 6-10 • Genre: Historical • Told in Alternate POVs • Presents a fictionalized account of the sinking of the City of Benares, which was torpedoed by a German U-boat during World War II as it secretly transported ninety British children to Canada.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart • Grades: 8 & Up • Genre: Realistic • One of the BIG reads right now! • Spending the summers on her family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer.
Scorched by Mari Mancusi • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Fantasy • Great for fans of dragons • Trinity Foxx does not believe her grandfather's latest treasure is a real dragon's egg until soldiers try to steal it, a boy tells her she must help him to stop an impending war, and the dragon inside it begins telling her what to do.
Bird with the Heart of a Mountain by Barbara Mariconda • Grades: 9 & Up • Genre: Historical Fiction • Drina wants only to dance though her Gypsy mother has forbidden it, but when her mother suffers a horrible attack, Drina sets out to find the father who abandoned them, and is drawn into the world of flamenco dancers.
Convent by Maureen McCarthy • Grades: 10 & Up • Genre: Realistic Contemporary/ Historical • Aside from her broken heart, Peach has a good life. But in the summer of her nineteenth year, she takes a job at a café in what was once Abbotsford Convent and her life changes forever. She always accepted that she was adopted, but she never knew her family history was tightly bound to the convent. Four generations of mothers and daughters are brought to life in this story set in Australia between the early 1900s and the cusp of the new millennium.
Panic by Lauren Oliver • Grades: 8 & Up • Genre: Thriller • A high-stakes competition marks a summer in a small isolated community and compels graduating seniors Heather and Dodge to tap inner strengths while hiding dangerous secrets and forging unexpected alliances.
Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson • Grades: 10 & Up • Genre: Fantasy • On the morning of her wedding, Princess Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive--and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets--even as she finds herself falling in love
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher • Grades: 8 & Up • Genre: Realistic • Written in Letters • Zoe, a teenager in Bath, England, writes letters to a death-row inmate in Texas, hoping to find comfort in sharing her guilty secret over the death of a friend with someone who can never tell her family.
Fabrick by Andrew Post • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Fantasy • Clyde and a group of oddball friends embark on a quest to bring the killer of Clyde's former employer to justice, and along the way he learns about his powers as a fabrick weaver and of those like him who possess magical abilities.
Latitude Zero by Diana Renn • Grades: 6 & Up • Genre: Mystery, Thriller • Tessa, an aspiring investigative journalist, travels to Ecuador as she investigates the sudden death of young cycling superstar Juan Carlos at a charity bike ride.
I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by AmelieSarn • Grades: 8 & Up • Genre: Realistic • Portrait of two Muslim sisters, once closely bonded, but now on divergent paths as one embraces her religion and the other remains secular
Looking for Jack Kerouac by Barbara Shoup • Grades: 10 & Up • Genre: Historical • In 1964, Paul Carpetti discovers Jack Kerouac's On the Road while on a school trip to New York and begins to question the life he faces after high school. Then he meets a volatile, charismatic Kerouac devotee determined to hit the road himself. When the boys learn that Kerouac is living in St. Petersburg, Florida, they go looking for answers.
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith • Grades: 9 & Up • Genre: Action/Adventure • Perceiving his world through a sense of space rather than time, Finn Easton struggles with paranoia and heartbreak while embarking on a road trip to a prospective college, where his zany friend and he become unlikely heroes.
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay • Grades: 9 & Up • Genre: Realistic • Unexpectedly falling in love with his best friend at the end of senior year, Jamie unsuccessfully hides his affections from the giggling girls in his art class who work as matchmakers to bring the couple together.
Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton • Grades: 9 & Up • Genre: Fantasy, Romance • Born with wings into a family cursed to suffer foolish love affairs, 16-year-old Ava struggles to fit in with the outside world, being ill-prepared for and naive about the twisted motives of others, including a pious man who obsessively believes she is an angel.
Beetle Boy by Margaret Willey • Grades: 9 & Up • Genre: Realistic • Themes of mental illness • Terrible memories resurface when Charlie's girlfriend asks questions about his childhood.
Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb • Grades: 6 & Up • Topic: History-World War II • Narrative Non-fiction • In 1945, Adolf Eichmann, the head of operations for the Nazis' Final Solution, walked into the mountains of Germany and vanished from view. Sixteen years later, an elite team of spies captured him at a bus stop in Argentina and smuggled him to Israel, resulting in one of the century's most important trials -- one that cemented the Holocaust in the public imagination.
How they Choked by Georgia Bragg • Grades: 6-9 • Topic: History • Follow up to “How they Croaked” (2011) • Presents a humorous look at the flaws and foibles of some of the most famous personalities of history, including such figures as Marco Polo, George Armstrong Custer, Thomas Edison, and Amelia Earhart.
This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl • Grades: 6 & Up • Topic: Death & Dying • For any fans of The Fault in Our Stars • A collection of the journals, fiction, letters and sketches of Esther Grace Earl, a cancer patient who passed away in 2010 at age sixteen, includes photographs and essays by family and friends that help tell Esther's story. • Be prepared to cry!!!!
A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium by Rick Geary • Grades: 6 & Up • Topic: History, Murderers • Graphic Novel Format • Follow up set to release in 2015 • Presents true crime classics of the Victorian era, including "The Beast of Chicago," which relates the story of the world's first serial killer, H.H. Holmes.
Eugene Bullard by Larry Greenly • Grades: 6 & Up • Topic: Biography, World War I, World War II • Presents the life of the African American pilot who flew missions for France during World War I, experienced racial discrimination in the United States, was beaten in the Peekskill Riots of 1949, and became a member of the French Legion of Honor.
Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson • Grades: 6 & Up • Topic: History- Holocaust • Traces the story of Holocaust survivor Leon Leyson, who was the youngest child in his family and possibly the youngest of the hundreds of Jews rescued by Oskar Schindler.
Ida M. Tarbell by Emily Arnold McCully • Grades: 6 & Up • Topic: Biography • Follows the life of Ida Tarbell, the nineteenth-century author/journalist whose articles on the corrupt practices of John D. Rockeller and Standard Oil Company resulted in legislation against trusts.
Bullying Under Attack • Grades: 6 & Up • Topic: Social Issues, Bullying • A collection of stories and poems by teenage writers that looks at the subtleties of harassment, the myriad reasons victims may be chosen, and how one day, as adults, they will be able to help.
Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell • Grades: 9 & Up • Topic: History- Civil Rights • Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the Freedom Summer murders, traces the events surrounding the KKK lynching of three young civil rights activists who were trying to register African Americans for the vote.
Bad For You by Kevin C. Pyle • Grades: 8 & Up • Topic: Popular Culture • Challenges mainstream news stories with comical parodies that share reassuring facts about real risk factors associated with such pop culture favorites as Harry Potter, comic books, and texting.
Imprisoned by Martin W. Sandler • Grades: 6 & Up • Topic: History- World War II, Prejudice/Racism • Drawing from interviews and oral histories, chronicles the history of Japanese American survivors of internment camps.