This book will keep you glued to its pages, barely breathing. It’s told in two voices, each recounting the murder of a 13-year-old and the disappearance of her 19-year-old sister. One voice is that of Sadie, the older teen. The alternating voice is a podcast, trying to fit clues together and answer all the unanswered questions. Summers doles out the jigsaw pieces slowly, agonizingly for us readers. But the story is alarmingly relevant, and Sadie is a passionately determined, grievously damaged heroine for the ages.
The teens couldn’t be more different: Haruko, Japanese American, is outgoing, popular, and compliant; Margot, German American, is reclusive, mistrustful, and analytical. But what they have in common is more important: they’re very bright, observant members of families in turmoil, and in 1944 they’re living in an internment camp for “enemy aliens.” A secret and unlikely friendship becomes a lifeline for both of them. Like Hesse’s Girl in the Blue Coat, this riveting novel takes readers where we’ve never imagined going, with twists, turns, and startling intensity. The book is mesmerizing, empathetic, and incredibly timely in its treatment of injustice and fear of “the other.”
Free-verse historical fiction? I wasn't so sure. And then I got swept into this magnificent telling of the bravery, grit, and indomitability of real-life Clara Lemlich, an unstoppable force in the fight for workers' rights in the early 20th century. The obstacles she overcame would have discouraged anyone else: strenuous family objections, being fired and blacklisted by many employers, rampant sexism, and horrific beatings, all of which she endured to be a relentless warrior on behalf of sweatshop workers. An afterword gives us more of her inspiring story through the real-life voices of her children and grandchildren. Magnificent!
A new generation wants to speak out and take action in challenging times- so where to start? Thoughtful reflections come from diverse voices such as Dylan Marron, Libba Bray and Jason Reynolds. This collection of over 20 conversations, essays, illustrations and poems speak directly to young people who are looking for ways to make a difference in the world. Open this book anywhere and be moved by the power of "activism and hope."
This debut novel couldn’t be timelier or more powerful. Lolly is mourning the loss of his older brother to gun violence while trying to deal with his parents’ divorce, his too-often absent father, and his mother’s new partner, Yvonne. Mr. Ali, a counselor at his Harlem after-school program, and Lolly’s close friend Vega help him navigate, but it’s Yvonne’s gift of Legos, retrieved from her job as a toy store security guard, that frees him to explore his creative impulses and work through his grief and confusion. The book, its narrator, and the neighborhood will stay in your heart long after the last page.
If you’re under 18, you’re under attack from the very people who are supposed to keep you from harm. Adults in the small town of Creek’s Cause have been infected with a parasite and turned into inhuman creatures that drag children to unimaginable horrors for mysterious purposes. Chance Rain and his older brother Patrick- soon to be 18- join a small group of children who attempt to save themselves before the teenagers in their ranks become infected. Hurwitz displays his considerable talent for suspense in this horrific yet surprisingly sensitive story. The non-stop action will keep you turning pages until the very end!
Gerta survived the Holocaust, just barely. But now what? She’s 17. Her parents are dead. She suspects her stepmother was responsible for her and her father’s arrest. Her father’s viola enabled her to survive, but the vocal career for which she trained seems unattainable. She lives in Bergen-Belsen, once a concentration camp and now a camp for displaced persons; her prospects are few and grim. Perhaps Palestine – if she can get there? If she remains in Europe, where? How will she live? The lives of survivors in the aftermath of the Holocaust are rarely examined, even more rarely in such depth and with such compassion. And never before, to my knowledge, so generously and beautifully illustrated.
It’s too awful; you have to look away. It’s too compelling; you have to look, to pay attention. That describes the shooting of unarmed people by police officers, and it most certainly describes Thomas’s debut novel. This book should be read by anyone who wants to understand the Black Lives Matter movement – and especially by anyone who doesn’t. Starr, our 16-year-old narrator, uneasily navigates two worlds, her mostly black and poor neighborhood and her mostly white private school. When her childhood best friend is shot and killed in her presence by a police officer, the tenuous balance she’s been able to achieve crumbles. Please, please read this excellent, important book.
Teddy has too much on his plate for a 17-year-old: a dead father, a largely absent mother, a swirl of unanswered questions, and providing care for a grandfather distraught at losing his memories to Alzheimer’s. Corinna has a plateful, too: Guatemalan by birth and adopted by two clueless white ex-hippies, betrayed by a boyfriend, scorned by former friends, and burning with musical talent and ambition. To help the grandfather reconnect with memories of his late wife, the three decide to drive from Santa Monica to Ithaca, NY. As several characters say, “Everybody respects the road trip.” This is one you definitely want to go on.
Even if you aren’t friends with someone anymore, you still help them when they ask. That’s what sends Wylie on a wild goose chase to find her former bff, Cassie, with Jasper, Cassie’s boyfriend and the last person Wylie trusts. As the events unfold and Cassie gives them more clues, the truth hits closer to home than Wylie would have liked. Secrets become deadly and the past comes back to haunt them. The Outliers is a thrilling ride that will leave you begging for more!
You’ve read Anne Frank’s diary; you think you know what Amsterdam was like in 1943. You don’t. This historical novel has a sense of immediacy that makes it impossible to put down – and it will haunt you long after you finish it. Hanneke, 18, leads a complicated life: secretary to a mortician, finder/deliverer of black market goods, dutiful daughter who’s her parents’ sole support. When she’s asked by one of her clients to locate a Jewish girl who disappeared from her hiding place, Hanneke gets drawn into the resistance against her better judgment. How much is she willing to risk? Her parents’ lives? But how can she refuse? This sharply focused, well-researched look at daily life in Nazi-occupied Holland is also a masterful suspenseful story.
For Riley, a smart, witty narrator of considerable depth, gender identification isn’t a switch, it’s a dial. Some mornings Riley wakes up feeling “girl”; other days, it’s more “boy.” But that’s not the only issue Riley faces. Add a new school (Riley left a parochial school after persistent bullying and a suicide attempt), parents who don’t have much idea of what’s going on, and a father who’s a Congressman in the midst a close reelection campaign. Riley’s therapist advises writing a blog; when it goes viral, it creates both challenges and opportunities. Riley is a thoroughly engaging, believable character whose emerging self-awareness and confidence we’re delighted and privileged to witness.
When a narrator tells you right of the bat she’s an accomplished liar, you know you’re in for a bumpy ride. But you can’t imagine how bumpy until you’ve become immersed in the world of Kate, a scholarship student with a complicated, murky past at an elite prep school, and Olivia, the ultimate alpha girl with an equally complicated past. As they warily and calculatedly form an intense friendship, a charismatic, Brad-Pitt-handsome administrator charmingly threatens their friendship – as well as other students and staff members. Who is he, really? And, for that matter, who are Kate and Olivia, really? An edge-of-your-seat nail-biter with loop-the-loop shockers right up to the very end.
Fantasy fans looking for a fierce, ambitious female narrator need look no further. Princess Maya, scorned in her own kingdom due to a dark horoscope, is rescued from certain death by a hastily arranged marriage to the mysterious Amar, King of Naraka. On their fantastical journey to his kingdom Maya realizes that Naraka is a nebulous land that maintains balance between the Otherworld and humans. Before she can truly become Queen, she must navigate the dangers and lies that threaten not only Naraka and her growing feelings for Aman but her childhood land as well. Chokshi’s exciting debut novel draws on her Indian and Filipino heritage to weave an exotic and unique fantasy world that is intricately plotted and lushly described.
Left in the care of a family friend when her father is taken away by the Gestapo, and then turned out by that friend, 7-year-old Anna must fend for herself. A tall, thin stranger who can talk to birds takes her under his wing. Together they walk all over Poland for several years, learning what they need to do to survive. The Swallow Man teaches Anna a language he calls “Road,” which helps her interpret their ever-changing reality.This amazing book somehow manages to be both realistic and allegorical; it will sweep you along on a compelling, deeply moving journey.
Almond’s lilting, lyrical prose reproduces the magical, transporting music of the Orpheus myth. In this retelling, set in contemporary England, our narrator Claire shares with us the story of Ella, her lifelong, deeply loved best friend. Their lives are much like those of other teens until Claire, on holiday with some friends, encounters Orpheus, an ethereal young man who makes astonishing and enveloping music with his voice and his lyre. Claire uses a cell phone to share the sound with Ella, who falls passionately in love with the music and the musician. The intense love story doesn’t sidestep the inevitable tragedy; the soaring joy and devastating grief of young love ring as true today as they did thousands of years ago.
Vanishing Girls follows the story of Nick and Dara, two sisters who were inseparable until the car accident that severed their relationship. Nick wants only one thing this summer: to bridge the gap between her and Dara; however, Dara mysteriously disappears before Nick has a chance to mend their relationship. But Dara is not the only girl who has gone missing this summer. Nine-year-old Madeline Snow has vanished as well, and Nick is convinced that the two disappearances are somehow related. Vanishing Girls is an intense and emotional thriller about the connection between sisters, with a twist ending that readers will be left thinking about for days.
This must-read book packs a one-two punch. One storyline is a brilliant kid’s persistence (despite 192 letters of rejection) in creating an inexpensive early-detection test for one of the world’s deadliest cancers, and winning – at 15 – the country’s most prestigious science award. The other story is that of a middle schooler’s growing awareness that he’s gay and overcoming vicious bullying. Each story is remarkable, and in this compulsively readable book the whole is even greater than the sum of its parts.
What if you were given the opportunity to go back and change the past? Would you take it? On one fateful night, four former friends are given a second chance at friendship. For years, Joy, Luce, Zoe, and Tali spent every summer together at Camp Okahatchee; however, since graduating two years ago, the four girls have gone their separate ways. That is, until reunion night, when they are magically transported back in time to their last week of summer camp. As the four girls struggle to find their way back to the present, they uncover secrets that will forever change them. But most importantly, they discover who they truly are and what friendship really means.
Born in Sierra Leone to loving parents who valued education, DePrince got off to a good start. But civil war intervened, leaving her in an orphanage at age 4. By chance she saw a ballerina on the cover of an old magazine; becoming one herself became her dream. She was adopted by an American couple who were as determined as she was to make that happen. Overcoming many obstacles, including racism in the world of classical ballet, she’s now a soloist with the Dutch National Ballet. An amazing story, amazingly well told.- Banna
Yeah, Shane Burcaw’s like any other kid: he loves sports, video games, hanging out with friends. He’s hilarious in an irreverent, smart-alecky way. At the same time he couldn’t be more different: he was born with a life-threatening, profoundly limiting neuromuscular disorder, which means he can do virtually nothing without help from a family member, friend, or aide. Yes, it’s inspiring. But mostly it’s outrageously funny and breathtakingly candid.- Banna
How could a party go so wrong? Just some fun with friends, and suddenly Tana finds herself frantically fleeing a bloody massacre with a bitten boyfriend, and a stranger named Gavriel, the two other survivors of the surprise vampire attack. The only possible sanctuary from the vamps now pursuing them is Coldtown.
Coldtown. A secretive city of dubious reputation, where welcomes are warm, and visits are memorable. Once inside its guarded walls, almost everyone stays. Forever. So Tana will need to make a decision. Who is more dangerous? The killers behind them or the ones ahead?- Deborah
In the recent flood of books about bullying, this one is a stand-out. Cheerleader, musician, top student, and pageant-winner Rawl has been HIV positive from birth. Telling her middle-school best friend set in motion a torrent of bigotry and abuse. Her mother was unfailingly supportive, but for a long time every adult who should have stepped up to help turned a deaf ear, or worse, to her plight. But Rawl, an extraordinary young woman, prevails. This excellent book should be required reading for all middle-school and high school students, parents, administrators, and counselors.- Banna
This eye-opening book introduces the segregated Lousiana of the sixties to contemporary readers. The close friendship of a black boy and white brother-and-sister twins raises eyebrows in a community already unsettled by the early days of integration. The boys’ prowess at football makes it easier for the community to accept their friendship, but as a romantic relationship develops between the white girl and the twins’ black friend, things get exponentially more complicated. A riveting story, and a nuanced portrait of a challenging period.- Banna
The year is 1918. The Great War is winding down, though soldiers continue to become casualties. A worldwide flu epidemic claims countless victims. Not coincidentally, séances and “spirit photography,” the creation of bogus images of the spirits of the deceased, are on the rise. In this vivid historical novel a brave, bright, quirky young woman is determined to solve a mystery that involves all these elements – despite life-threatening risks. Here’s a “young adult” novel that will enthrall adults, too.- Banna
Just as Mila and her father prepare to go from London to Upstate New York to visit her father’s oldest friend, they learn that the friend has disappeared without a trace. They go anyway, hoping to find the missing man by combining clues from his wife with Mila’s extraordinary powers of observation and analysis. The story is compelling, Mila’s a wonderful character, and it’s fascinating to look at Upstate New York through the eyes of a young Londoner. A great read for ages 11 through adult!- Banna
Now a Major Motion Picture
TODAY Book Club pick
TIME magazine’s #1 Fiction Book of 2012
"The greatest romance story of this decade." —Entertainment Weekly
-Millions of copies sold-
#1 New York Times Bestseller
#1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller
Love The Hunger Games? Action-adventure thrillers with a dystopian twist? BZRK (Berserk) by Michael Grant, New York Times best-selling author of the GONE series, ramps up the action and suspense to a whole new level of excitement.