Must Read Books

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The Impossible Knife of Memory
Laurie Halse Anderson

Hayley is in a normal school for the first time in years, after spending most of her teen years traveling with her father, an Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD.  Hayley has her own painful memories that she's avoiding as well, and her dad's PTSD just keeps getting worse.

This is Hayley's chance at a "normal" life, but is that even possible for her?  Or will terrible memories push her over the edge?

Compelling and impossible to put down.

Jan 16, 2014
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Two Boys Kissing
David Levithan

Harry and Craig are two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record. Their kiss becomes a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with long-term relationships, coming out, gender identity, and gay hookup sites.

This is all narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. It sounds kind of bizarre (morbid?  sentimental?) but New York Times bestselling author David Levithan makes it work.  This is a beautiful story with complex and well-developed characters.

Oct 2, 2013
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Monument 14
Emmy Laybourne

Who hasn't fantasized about being locked in a superstore, mall, or other retail emporium?

For 14 kids in Monument, Colorado, this dream has become reality.  It's not all looting the electronics department and building a fantastic new wardrobe, though.  Their school bus crashed into the store during a hailstorm and now they are holed up, hiding from a dangerous chemical spill, while the world outside falls apart.

Sep 11, 2013
The Diviners
Libba Bray

Libba Bray has already proven herself with smart and funny teen lit.  With The Diviners, she begins another series that pulls you in and makes you anxious for the next release.  Evie is 17 and comes from Ohio to live with her uncle, curator for The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, in 1926 New York City for the summer.  When several murders with occult overtones start occurring, Evie and her uncle get deeply involved in the investigation.

Jul 10, 2013
Maggot Moon
Sally Gardner

This isn't just another dystopian adventure story.  We have enough of those.  Set in a future Nazi-like world, Standish Treadwell lives with his grandfather on one of the only streets not completely bombed out.  They are under the control of the ruthless regime known as The Motherland.  The Motherland is determined to win the space race and be the first country to reach the moon, proving their superiority over all other nations.  Standish, along with his grandfather and friends, get caught up in The Motherlands objective and are forced to make some huge sacrifices.   

May 6, 2013
Cory Doctorow

This sequel to Little Brother follows Marcus once again bravely taking on politics and government in order to defend our civil rights.  Instead of terrorism, Marcus now gets caught up in a Wikileaks type predicament when he is given a thumbdrive containing tons and tons of documents proving corporate and government corruption.  As with Little Brother, Homeland is fast paced and heavy handed with the messages.  Doctorow also continues to educate teens to the newest cutting edge technologies.

Apr 7, 2013
Janie Face to Face
Caroline B. Cooney

All Janie Johnson/Jennie Spring wants is to live a normal life of anonymity.  Being the "face on the milk carton" has determined all of her relationships.  She is now a college student when her family and friends receive letters from a famous crime writer who wants to write a book but more from the perspective of the kidnapper.  Can Janie have the life and true love she really wants or will the kidnapping and kidnapper always be out there waiting?

Mar 2, 2013
Marie Lu

Prodigy picks up where Legend ended with June and Day on the run.  The two have been recruited to undertake a special mission for the Patriots.  Both June and Day are struggling with their loyalties to the mission, the Republic and to each other.  Can they find that elusive future they both want?

Feb 26, 2013
Veronica Roth

In a dytopian future, all 16 year olds must decide what faction they want to dedicate their lives to after taking a test that tells them what they are most suited to. Beatrice Prior’s must choose between Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) .  She was born in Abnegation and her test gives her an unusual result: she is divergent. This means she could fit into more than one faction which she learns is considered a dangerous thing she should not share with anyone.  Beatrice chooses Dauntless and begins investigating why being divergent is such a problem.

Jan 24, 2013
Lexapros and Cons
Aaron Karo

Chuck Taylor has OCD.  He's gotten use to it, but now his obsessions and compulsions have gotten to the point where they're intruding on his life.  They are getting in the way of Chuck's ability to maintain relationships with Steve, his best friend, and Amy, the girl he likes.  Nearing graduation, Chuck finally attempts to do battle with the rituals and habits that have run his life.  Lexapros and Cons is a hilarious take on teenagers dealing with a mental disorder.  

Jan 9, 2013

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