Junior is a teenage American Indian who decides to carve a future for himself by leaving his school on the Spokane reservation for a public one that is predominantly white. He chronicles his new experiences in a diary complete with personalized cartoons. His journey is both parts hysterically funny and heartbreaking, as he deals with relationships, race, and self-identity. Recommended by Melissa N.
Four years, four months, and fifteen days ago, Natalie Gordon's mother walked out mid-sentence, before she finished what she was going to say. Now Natalie is traveling twenty-four hours on a bus to Florida to find her mother, to find herself, to find out something about love. Along the way, Natalie struggles to understand her relationship with Adam, a boy she pines for with near-obsession, and to her surprise, she meets people with stories like her own, stories about giving love and getting lost in the desire to be wanted. This is a story about secrets held and secrets shared, about having the courage to uncover all we know and don't know about love, whether it be family love, friendship, or romantic love. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Unsettling. Violent. Relevant. These words portray Mary's life as detailed in this terrific novel; Mary was 9 years old when she was convicted of murdering a white baby that she and her mother were caring for. Mary is now 16 and living in a group home. She has a secret boyfriend and becomes pregnant. Since Mary wants to keep her baby, she decides to tell the truth--allegedly--about what really happened on the night she is supposed to have killed baby Alyssa. This is a stunning book and I wasn't sure what was going to happen until the very last page. Recommended by Sue-Ellen J., Old Town Library
Author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodou culture. On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?
This is an excellent mix of magical realism and social commentary. This gripping story kept me glued until the end! Recommended by Kindra
"Sáenez writes toward the end of the novel that “to be careful with people and words was a rare and beautiful thing.” And that’s exactly what Sáenez does—he treats his characters carefully, giving them space and time to find their place in the world, and to find each other...those struggling with their own sexuality may find it to be a thought-provoking read." (Booklist) Recommended by Kristen D.
Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before. Recommended by Anne S., Harmony Library
The fearsome witch of Russian folklore mentors a brave teen who draws on her grandmother's wisdom to pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her child-eating host. Recommended by Nicole B. Teen Services Librarian, Old Town Library
When Rider realizes he is witnessing the suicide of a teenage boy named Dan, he is shocked and amazed, until he also realizes that somehow he is also melding with Dan's life as it moves backwards, day by day. Rider realizes that maybe, just maybe, he can swing the hand of fate and prevent the tragedy that befalls Dan. A unique and thought-provoking read! Diane, Teen Services Librarian
In Japan in 1853, at the time of U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry's visit to Japan, Yoshi, a young Japanese boy who dreams of becoming a samurai one day, learns about America from Majiro and has adventures with Jack, a young cabin boy aboard one of the U.S. ships. Includes historical notes and glossary. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Gabe has a secret. He is really Liz. Born a female, he is cautiously beginning his transition to male. Only his parents and his lifelong best friend, Paige, know. But when a girl at school, where he is callously called “that lesbo chick,” discovers the truth and outs Gabe, things become difficult, if not downright dangerous. In the meantime, Gabe is a part-time DJ on the local community radio station, where his show, “Beautiful Music for Ugly Children,” is fast becoming an underground hit. Will his fans reject him when they, too, discover the truth? What, as Gabe thinks in difficult circumstances, would Elvis do? Recommended by Kristen D.
When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island's other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition. (Provided by publisher) Recommended by Melissa N.
Gr 9 Up-In the aftermath of global environmental shifts and a series of devastating Water Wars, a handful of the wealthiest people retreats to an exclusive island paradise where everything from the surrounding waters to the air quality is controlled. In Demense, soulless human clones replicated from the recently deceased serve the elite. Though told that they do not feel and despite being programmed to serve via imbedded data chips, the clones, inevitably, do experience feelings and rebel. Elysia is the first teenage clone-a Beta. Desperate to prove her worth and remain with her family, she represses her burgeoning feelings until she falls in love with another Beta masquerading as a human. Before long, the two begin to plot their escape to freedom on the Mainland. Because Elysia is a clone with a data chip (albeit a censored one) but no experience, her first-person narration gives a rather limited perspective on the whole sci-fi world Cohn has created. It allows for a complex setting without the need for much explanation or strict world-defining parameters. Still, the easy reading level but mature subject matter gives the book appeal to older teens with lower comprehension skills. The action-packed conclusion-thrilling if plausible only within the science-fiction genre-sets the stage for a sequel.-Nicole Politi, The Ocean County Library, Lavallette, NJ Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
I knew that I was in for a tough experience when I started this book by Jennifer Brown, the author of the hard-hitting Hate List. I mean, I can read the end covers, right? That in no way prepared me for how devastated I would be by the end of this book. Alex has a few memories of her mother but her emotionally-absent father won’t talk about her mother except to say that Alex’s mother was mentally ill. Alex knows that her mother was on her way to see something in Colorado; she has an old dream-catcher necklace that she always wears—the only possession of her mother’s that she owns. She and her best friends, Bethany and Zack, have been planning a post-senior class trip that’s part road trip/part pilgrimage since elementary school. Alex is a tutor after school and one day a transfer student named Cole is assigned to her. He’s gorgeous, he’s smart, he’s kind and nurturing—at least until the first time he casually hits Alex so hard that he nearly breaks her wrist. Alex is a forgiving person who believes that Cole is her soul mate. Sometimes your life may depend on your ability to decide when enough is enough. Bitter End could so easily be preachy but it isn’t but I promise that it will make you think. Sue-Ellen, Teen Services Librarian
Blink is a teenaged runaway just trying to feed himself. That's why he is on the 16th floor of an upscale hotel in Toronto. He's searching for breakfast leftovers on room service trays in the hallway. Unfortunately, he is in the wrong place at the wrong time, because he witnesses a fake kidnapping. Since the "kidnappers" who set up the "crime" accidentally leave the room key behind, Blink enters the room, finds that a wallet full of money, and a cell phone. He thinks it is his lucky day, but he gets way more than he bargained for when people are convinced the crime really happened. Caution is another runaway. While escaping from her abusive drug dealing boyfriend she meets Blink at the train station. Even though robbing him is easy, she returns the money because somehow, she likes him. When Blink confides in her about what happened at the hotel, Caution joins him on a dangerous quest to find out the truth. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
In a distant future, eighteen-year-old Lugh is mysteriously kidnapped. His twin sister Saba promises him that she will find him somehow as he is taken away by four men on horseback. While Saba and their nine-year-old sister Emmi are trailing him across bleak Sandsea they are captured, too, and taken to brutal Hopetown, where Saba is forced to be a cage fighter until new friends help plan an escape and lead them on a dangerous quest to find their brother. If you like dystopian novels, you won't want to miss this thrilling book, the first in the Dustlands series. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Finn knows that Roza was kidnapped. He saw it happen. But no one believes him. They think that Roza simply left Bone Gap - left his brother - as quickly and as mysteriously as she arrived. That's just the way things are in Bone Gap, where people and things often seem to slip through cracks in the very universe itself. But Finn knows she's out there somewhere, and probably needs his help, if only he could figure out how to find her. Bone Gap takes readers along a path that's anything but straight. It's full of heartache, but never loses hope. It's the kind of book that you can't stop thinking and talking about once you're done reading it - but it's also the kind of book that you don't want to spoil for everyone else. Clearly the only solution is to read this book, and then get all your friends to read it as well. Recommended by Jenny, Teen Services Librarian
Born on the day the last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was published, seventeen-year-old Calvin, a schizophrenic, sees and has conversations with the tiger, Hobbes, and believes that if he can persuade the strip's creator, Bill Watterson, to do one more strip, he will make Calvin well.
A great read for anyone who likes Calvin and Hobbes! Recommended by Emily
"Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen. That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right. Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here -- it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up." Recommended by Melissa and Tova.
A brilliant but troubled high school boy pretends to engage in sports activities and uses his artistic talents to document his voyage to the world's most southern point while his friends observe his increasingly unbalanced behavior, leading to a diagnosis of schizophrenia. This is the story of his deep challenge to get a normal life back. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
"Chasing Shadows is a searing look at the impact of one random act of violence. Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit-- fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner's jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftop to rooftop. But acting like a superhero doesn't make you bulletproof. After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she's chasing Corey's killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly's just running wild-- and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crisis. But can you hold on too tight? Too long? In this intense novel, told in two voices, and incorporating comic-style art sections, Swati Avasthi creates a gripping portrait of two girls teetering on the edge of grief and insanity. Two girls who will find out just how many ways there are to lose a friend-- and how many ways to be lost" -- from publisher's web site. I really liked the characters and the format, which makes the sad yet compelling story come alive. The book is a hybrid--part text, part graphic novel, and it really works to present it in this way. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Do you like quirky books with interesting language and characters? Do you like books that are somewhat creepy with unusual supernatuarl creatures? Do you enjoy romance that is not what meets the eye? Then you will love Chime! It's the early twentieth century in Swampsea, where strange creatures lurk and try to prevent humans from pumping their life-giving water from the marshlands. Most people cannot see these spirits, but seventeen-year-old Briony can. She is convinced she is a witch not only because of this power, but because she feels responsible for her twin sister's horrible injury and her beloved Stepmother's death. But things are not what they seem. When a young man named Eldric enters her life, he helps Briony learn the incredible truth about herself. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
In 1889 London young women are turning up dead, and Evaline Stoker, relative of Bram, and Mina Holmes, niece of Sherlock, are summoned to investigate the clue of the not-so-ancient Egyptian scarabs--but where does a time traveler fit in? Readers who enjoy "steampunk" novels with enjoy and appreciate the Victorian age, alternative world sleuthing in this interesting and exciting tale. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
This is the perfect book for those who love faeries, secrets, magic, and love. This is the first book in the series, and I recommend it on the basis that you will need to read the first book in order to have your mind blown by the second. Nothing is what it appears to be... Recommended by Jessie, Council Tree Library
Do you enjoy science fiction, fairy tales, or romance? Then look no further than Marissa Meyer's "Lunar Chronicles" series. "Cress" is book number three, and continues in the series' tradition of loosely basing its plots on fairy tales. "Cress," the titular character in this installment, is an avatar of Rapunzel, only her tower is a lonely satellite in orbit around earth, and her wicked witch is a ruthless Lunar official. What crime might she have committed to deserve such a fate? Very simply, Cress is a shell, a Lunar born without the power to control earthly humans. Lucky to be alive at all, her task is eavesdrop on Earthen communication, then report back her Lunar contact. Cress's story interweaves seamlessly with those of Cinder and Scarlet, as all three girls attempt to save humanity from the brutal and deadly ambition of the Lunar queen. Start with "Cinder." Laurel, Harmony Library
In 1812 Regency London, Lady Helen Wrexhall has just turned 18 and is preparing for her debut at the court of George III. Lady Helen and her brother are orphans; their parents died in mysterious, even scandalous circumstances, and their mother was said to be a traitor as well as a female with too much interest in high adventure. Lady Helen shows signs of the same maternal temperament and intellectual interests, characteristics that her misogynistic, aristocratic uncle seems determined to crush. Then two things happen: one of the maids in the household goes missing and Lady Helen develops new powers such as acute hearing and unusual strength. She begins to observe a blue life-force around people.
Enter the scandal-tainted Lord Carlston, a man suspected of murdering his wife. Lady Helen learns that she is a Reclaimer like her mother, a being who can intercede with the demonic beings slowly invading society at all levels. Then Lady Helen receives a letter from her dead mother. Her mother warns her not to trust the other Reclaimers who are currently mentoring her. She leaves Helen a way to destroy her supernatural abilities and return to a normal life. The problem is that it may destroy others who are trying to battle evil. Alison Goodman is an accomplished Aussie writer who wrote two brilliant fantasy novels, Eon and Eona, based on the Chinese Zodiac. Readers who enjoy Libba Bray and Cassandra Clare will enjoy this book. Lady Helen is a shrewd, strong character while Lord Carlston is an ambivalent, smoky-eyed anti-hero whose motives are highly suspect. Irresistible. Recommended by Sue-Ellen, Old Town Library
Veronica Roth's Divergent is yet another dystopian teen novel. That said, it is an enjoyable addition to the plethora of books finding success in this genre. But this is not a "Hunger Games" knockoff. It is better written, has better character development, and has more likable characters than Suzanne Collins' series. Even better, our protagonist is not involved in a love triangle. In this coming-of-age story Beatrice, our relatable and likable protagonist must choose between the five factions in her society. They inhabit a post-apocalyptic Manhattan Island on which one's faction is even more important than one's family. If Beatrice fails to choose a faction, or doesn't make it through her chosen faction's initiation, she will become one of the "factionless," a terrible fate. Readers of "The Hunger Games" and Ally Condie's "Matched" trilogy will like this book. Readers who are looking for the same amount of action, but with higher quality writing, will adore it. Laurel, Harmony Library
A dystopian novel with the intriguing premise that society is divided into 5 factions based on the values they admire most - honesty, intelligence, bravery, selflessness and peacefulness. Raised in your parents’ faction, once you turn 16 you have the choice of which faction you will devote the rest of your life to… For some their original faction was a perfect fit, but for others this begs the question: do you deny who you are to stay with your family and friends, or should you be true to yourself and switch, and in doing so leave everything you’ve ever known? That is the question Beatrice has to ask herself, and sets her off on a great journey in this book, the first in a new series. Recommended by Drew, Council Tree Library
Cameron is used to moving at a moment's notice because he and his mother are always running away from his supposedly violent father, but he is disturbed by their latest refuge, a creepy, deserted farmhouse, haunted by bloodthirsty dogs--and when he sees a boy hiding in the barn, and finds an old picture of the same boy, he starts wondering about the possibility of human ghosts. Recommended by Nicole B., Teen Services Library, Old Town Library
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. The characters are so well drawn and real, you feel that you know them. The plot is strong and the setting is vivid. I think you will love this story as much as I do--it is one of my favorite books! Diane, Teen Services Librarian
When sheltered, seventeen-year-old Emmy's childhood best friend, Oliver, reappears after suddenly being kidnapped by his father ten years ago, they reconnect as friends, confidants, and fall in love. But love is not easy when you harbor secrets and secret feelings about a past that was not your fault, and Emmy & Oliver must learn through tough times and tougher choices how to find themselves as they move forward in their lives. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Sophie is not happy to be back in the Congo for the summer, but when she rescues an abused baby bonobo named Otto she becomes more involved in her mother's sanctuary--and when fighting breaks out and the sanctuary is attacked, it is up to Sophie to rescue the apes and somehow survive in the jungle. This is one of my favorite books. The setting, the plot, the characters will all keep you on the edges of your seat as Sophie's story unfolds. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
In an alternate England of 1851 full of vampires and werewolves, spirited fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is surprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage. A fast-paced adventure with lots of wry humor. Recommended by Tova
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston Hermione Winters and her best friend Polly Oliver have their senior year all planned out. As co-captains of the cheerleading squad for their rural school, a squad that wins more competitions than the teams they cheer for, how could their last year of high school be anything but great? But before the year even begins, Hermione is drugged and assaulted, and left with no memory of the attack. In a small town like theirs, this isn't the kind of news that can be kept quiet. Yet all Hermione wants is to have the senior year she expected to have. It's feels wrong to say that a book that focuses on sexual assault is comforting and hopeful, but that's the most accurate way I can think of to describe this book. It's not a book about how things should be - because "should" doesn't include the kinds of things that happened to Polly. But it is a story in which the majority of the people around Polly are supportive and helpful and are focused above all on making sure she has what she needs, which is how it should be, but all too often isn't. Recommended by Jenny, Teen Services Librarian
It is the year 2049, and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Tania Deeley has always been told that she's a rarity: a human child in a world where most children are sophisticated androids manufactured by Oxted Corporation. But then she finds out the truth: that when she reaches age 18 she will not be celebrating her birthday, but instead her expiration day... Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
"Michael is a skilled internet gamer in a world advanced technology. When a cyber-terrorist begins to threaten players, Michael is called upon to seek him and his secret's out"-- Provided by publisher. This is a creepy, edge-of-your-seat read that makes you think and keeps you turning pages until you get to the surprising conclusion! Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian, Harmony Library
At the age of 16 Princess Nalia finds out that she is not a princess at all, but the substitute for the true princess. A prophecy of danger 16 years earlier had the King and Queen send the real princess away to be raised in a convent, while they brought up a fake princess as their own. When the prophecy does not come true they bring the real princess to the palace and send Nalia off to her aunt, all that remains of a family she has never known. Thrust into a life that courtly manners and skills never prepared her for, she will discover an aptitude for magic, the difference between false and true friends, and that the girl who now lives at the palace in her place is also not the real princess, but another pawn in a generations long plot for revenge on the royal family. Full of twists, this is this fairytale will keep you guessing until the very end. Recommended by Drew, Council Tree Library
Cath's number-one passion in life is writing fan-fiction. But during her first year of college, she finds herself having to focus on things other than fan-fiction- things such as her twin sister, a not-so-secret admirer, an erratic roommate, and her helpless father. Recommended by Melissa N.
Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life. "What a great book!" Kathie Young de Herrera, Council Tree Library
After sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, accepts her terminal diagnosis, she meets Augustus, a boy at her cancer support group, who helps her change her perspective on her illness, but more importantly on what life really means. A powerful, bittersweet story that will keep you turning pages until the surprising ending. Oh, and keep a tissue box handy even though you will be smiling while using them. This is an amazing book! Diane, Teen Services Librarian
In the final book of The Skychasers Trilogy, Waverly, Kieran, and Seth struggle to survive on board the ship New Horizon and overcome their enemies before it's too late. This amazing space adventure starts with Glow, proceeds to Spark, and culminates with Flame. If you like true science fiction adventure, try this series! Diane, Teen Services Librarian
If you loved Divergent, and especially if you loved Four, don't miss this collection. The author writes scenes from his perspective, and you won't want to miss it. Expect lots of backstory and character insight. Laurel, Harmony Library
From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He's a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong? why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?
In Freakboy's razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan's relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons. Recommended by Kristen, Digital Literacy Librarian
17-year old Charlie (Charlotte) Davis, an artist and also a serious cutter, goes from homelessness to a rehab center in Minnesota to a new life in Arizona. But with little money, hiding terrible physical scars from self-harm, and no one to turn to except a friend who lives there, it's tough. Yet Charlie manages to take herself from a girl in pieces to a girl pieced back together by learning the hard way to stand on her own two feet.
Charlie is one of the strongest, most courageous, and memorable characters I have met in YA lit. Glasgow tells her disturbing yet ultimately hopeful no-holds-barred story in realistic, raw language that makes you root for her, want to stop her when she makes bad decisions, and cheer for her when she is finally on the road to figuring it all out--and acting on what's right for her. The plot unravels bit by bit as Charlie tries hard, falters, tries again, and keeps trying until she gets it right. The story is unforgettable. Teens who relate to Charlie's battles with homelessness, addiction, cutting, and lack of self-esteem will come away from this book knowing more about themselves and personal survival. Teens who have not experienced these things personally will come away with compassion and understanding for friends and others whom they see battling the same problems and demons. This is powerful teen literature that can be appreciated on several levels. Fans of Ellen Hopkins will want to read this too. Diane T., Teen Services Librarian, Harmony Library
As her high school graduation draws near, Glory O'Brien begins having powerful and terrifying visions of the future as she struggles with her long-buried grief over her mother's suicide. This is a unique story of one girl's struggle to come to grips with loss, the ups and downs of friendship, and figuring out where her life if leading her. Fans of A.S. King (Please Ignore Vera Deitz; Reality Boy; etc.) will not want to miss this addition to her outstanding list of titles for teens! Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most. (Provided by publisher) Recommended by Melissa N.
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart? ~Goodreads Recommended by Laurel
Rapunzel believes she is the luckiest person in Tyme, because Witch tells her so, but when Jack climbs into her tower to steal an enchanted rose, he hints that Witch is not telling the whole truth and Rapunzel, driven by her anger and fear, descends to the ground for the first time. Recommended by Meg, Council Tree Library
When Wes and his best friend Corey go to jazz camp for the summer, they meet the unpredictable Ash and soon find themselves ditching camp for road trips and music gigs. Full of twists and turns, this story is incredibly funny, awkward, and delightful. Recommended by Melissa N.
A solid teen thriller with a touch of romance, "Heist Society" is the story of Katerina, a teenager who wants out of the family business. But her family isn't in any normal business, or any legal one. She cons her way into a prestigious boarding school, hoping to have a normal life, but her glamorous and dangerous past won't leave her alone. An evil mobster makes her an offer she can't refuse, and soon she's back on the job, robbing one of the world's most secure art museums. In order to save her family, she'll have to do this job, and do it right. Recommended for high school on up. Laurel, Harmony Library
What did you do on your summer vacation? Chloe is 17 and takes a work trip/vacation to Greece where she and her best friend Angie are working in a hostel. Chloe and Angie quarrel and the next morning Chloe takes a trip to an isolated temple that she wants to visit. Suddenly she is bound and gagged and stuffed into a vehicle. Her terror increases dramatically when her captors disguise her with a wig and different clothes and bundle her onto an airplane. For most of the next three months, Chloe is held as a hostage in a complicated prisoner exchange negotiation. Much to her surprise, her captor seems to be an educated, literate man in his early 20s who is interested in her comfort (to a point). Chloe begins to succumb to what seems to be a mutual attraction but the reader always knows that things can only end badly—from someone’s standpoint. A riveting, tautly-written quick read. Sue-Ellen, Teen Services Librarian
Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.
As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way. (Provided by publisher). Recommended by Melissa N.
Think about being a vampire but not really a vampire. Pretend you are really a human living among vampires and doing your best to make them think you are a vampire. But then, wait...you are human...and they are really vampires. This exciting story is told from a human/vampire named Gene and a story you won't want to put down! Recommended by Amy, Old Town Library
High school sophomore Nora has always been very cautious in her relationships, but when Patch, who has a dark side she can sense, enrolls at her school, she is mysteriously and strongly drawn to him, despite warnings from her best friend, the school counselor, and her own instincts. Recommended by Linda
This is a heartwarming, inspirational book that will appeal to adults as well as teens. Caitlin's teacher gave her class an assignment to write to a pen pal. Caitlin was attracted to the country Zimbabwe and started to write to Martin Ganda. Martin's large family was so large and impoverished that they lived in half of a room meant for two people; he could barely afford postage for his letters but he promised that he would always write back. Then a wonderful thing happened: Caitlin and her family dedicated themselves to helping Martin and his family. A terrific read! Sue-Ellen, Old Town Library
Seventeen-year-old Kidd runs away from the group home where he was recuperating from a tough family and personal life to live on the beach. There, he is befriended and hired by Mr. Red, an old surfer with a maintenance shop. Plagued by emotional and mental challenges, Kidd makes friends with a group of teens, including Olivia, a blond beauty whose ski cap hides part of her face at all times and with whom he thinks he is falling in love. When Kidd's former best friend, Devon, who is nothing but trouble, threatens to destroy Kidd's peaceful new life, Kidd tries to fight back. But who is Kidd, really? Is he actually guilty of a terrible crime, or is he just trying to survive? The story twists and turns until you discover nothing is what it seems in this compelling psychological page-turner. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Amanda Hardy only wants to fit in at her new school, but she is keeping a big secret. When she falls for Grant, and he for her, Amanda finds herself yearning to share with him everything about herself—including her previous life as Andrew. Tough, poignant, and beautifully written, this story brings to life the challenges and emotional turmoil of a transgender teen. Diane T., Teen Services Librarian, Harmony Library
During a forbidden party, Chloe's impossibly gorgeous older half-sister, Ruby, sends her swimming across a local reservoir beneath which the creepy town of Olive is submerged. While she struggles to keep from drowning, Chloe find an expected lifesaver--a wayward rowboat containing the body of London, a classmate from school. After this troubling ordeal, Chloe is sent away to live with her father, but two years later, Ruby returns for her. Once she gets her sister back, instead of being friendly and fun like she had before, Ruby begins to act strange and controlling. And then London shows up--alive once again. But how can that be? Walk the fragile line between life and death and explore the ghostly truth with these surreal sisters. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Emma and Charlie Ryan forever age 7, in love and immortal. In 1913, they and all their family members were tricked by a huckster into drinking a tea-like potion concocted from the plants and waters of the elusive “fountain of youth,” believing they were receiving a potential vaccine against polio instead. When the fanatical leader of the local cultish Church of Light realizes that no one in either family is aging, even Emma’s toddler brother, he declares them evil and burns their buildings to the ground—the only way immortals can die, by killing them. Only Emma and Charlie escape and split up for safety. They elude resolute “Church” descendants through the decades until the present, always hoping against hope to find each other again before the cult kills them. Told in third person with chapters alternating through decades past and present, the story holds convincing characters and there’s a captivating plot with some twists. Diane T., Teen Services Librarian, Harmony Library
In small-town Australia, teens Jasper and Charlie form an unlikely friendship when outcast Jasper asks Charlie to help him cover up the murder of Laura, the girl he loves, until they can prove who is responsible. Jasper is sure that he will be accused of the crime and locked away for life. Charlie just wants to be a normal teenager who dodges bullies, hangs out with best friend Jeffrey, and gets the girl he likes to like him back. But now he constantly has the guilt and shame of what he and Jasper have done to hide Laura's body. This book will keep you guessing until the very end when the terrible truth is revealed and it will be up to you to decide if the right person gets his or her due punishment. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Princess Lia can't stand the idea of being sold in royal marriage, so she runs away, only to find life is much more complicated than she thought.
Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, 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. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love. Recommended by Laurel
In the good old days, magic was indispensable—it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic. ~Goodreads Recommended by Laurel
With everyone in his family gone, Pancho arrives at St. Anthony's Home for Boys expecting his stay will be short. If his plans succeed, he'll soon be arrested for the murder of his sister's killer. But then he's assigned to be a companion to another boy, D. Q., whose brain cancer has slowed neither his spirit nor his mouth. D. Q. tells Pancho all about his "Death Warrior's Manifesto," which will help him live out his last days fully, and hopefully with the love of beautiful Marisol. As Pancho tracks down his sister's murderer, he finds himself falling under the positive influence of D. Q. and even Marisol, who is everything D. Q. said she would be. But now he has to make a decision: to avenge his sister’s death, or to embrace the way of the Death Warrior and choose life. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
In a future North America which has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a long-sought renegade, and brilliant soldier June, who is hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy. They also discover that things in their world are not what they seem--and that they are falling in love. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically engineered beasts. A steampunk adventure with non-stop action and characters you want to root for. Recommended by Tova
On the Hill of Dust, in the remote mountains of Mexico, an eleven-year-old Mixtec boy called Teo lives with his family and the animals that he has healed, but one day a Romany caravan rolls into town with a young girl who calls herself Esma, the Gypsy Queen of Lightning--it is the beginning of a life-long friendship that will change both their lives.
A wonderful local author and one of my favorites for children and teen literature! We are very lucky to have Laura in Fort Collins. Recommended by Amy, Old Town Library
After an earthquake destroys California and a tsunami wrecks the luxury cruise ship where he is a summer employee, high schooler Shy confronts another deadly surprise. This book has everything--adventure, survival, romance, and suspense. It is a unique thriller that will keep you guessing and quickly flipping pages until the end. Also read the sequel, The Hunted. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian, Harmony Library
From the author of Iron & Silk comes a charming and frequently uproarious account of an American adolescence in the age of Bruce Lee, Ozzy Osborne, and Kung Fu. As Salzman recalls coming of age with one foot in Connecticut and the other in China (he wanted to become a wandering Zen monk), he tells the story of a teenager trying to attain enlightenment before he's learned to drive. Recommended by Amy, Old Town Library
After a devastating earthquake destroys the West Coast, causing seventeen-year-old Penelope to lose her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother, she navigates a dark world, holding hope and love in her hands and refusing to be defeated. Recommended by Erik R.
Emily Bird is an African American high school senior in Washington D.C., member of a privileged medical family, on the verge of college and the edge of the drug culture--then one day she wakes up in the hospital with no memory of what happened and in the midst of a pandemic world-wide rogue virus. A great mix of romance, science adventure, and medical mystery. Recommended by Erin L.
Book one of a graphic novel trilogy.
"March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement."--Back cover flap. Recommended by Kristen D.
Some of Jacob Portman’s earliest memories are his grandfathers’ stories of children with peculiar abilities like levitating or unusual physical characteristics like the girl with two mouths. His Jewish grandfather lost his entire family to concentration camps in Germany and it isn’t until he is sent to a children’s home on a remote island just off the coast of Wales that he feels completely safe from the monsters that threaten his and his friends’ world. Jacob is on the cusp of his 16th birthday and has decided that his grandfather’s tales are completely imaginary. But Jacob experiences a complete before and an after divide in his own life when he sees his grandfather torn apart by a monster eerily similar to the ones his grandfather told him about. Jacob decides to investigate the island in Wales for himself and learns that the line between reality and fantasy blurs all too easily. The eerie, suspenseful mood of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is artfully enhanced by period photographs that may keep you up at night. Expect a sequel! Sue-Ellen, Teen Services Librarian
Fifteen-year-old half-Inuit Nick and his white brother, Ryan, meet and share an adventure on the Firth River in the Canadian Arctic, facing white water, wild animals, and fierce weather as Ryan documents the effects of climate change on caribou for National Geographic magazine. Little do they know that they will face freezing temperatures, wolves, and other dangers--including the deadly grolar bear, which is half polar bear, half grizzly. A great survival-in-the wilderness story! Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Are you looking for a light, fluffy, romantic read with plenty of humor? Look no further than "Of Poseidon."
Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance. Recommended by Laurel C., Harmony Library
“The Dump” is what 14-year-old Doug Sweiteck calls his new house in his new home town—stupid, boring Marysville, New York, where he goes to stupid Washington Irving Junior High School. It is the summer of 1968. The Apollo space missions are underway, Joe Peppitone is slugging for the NY Yankees, and the Vietnam War is raging. At home, Doug has a mean, troubled dad; a brother accused of robbery; another brother who returns home from Vietnam with his eyesight gone and his legs missing; and a sweet mother caught in the middle of it all. Doug doesn’t know how he can cope, until he gets a job delivering groceries; he meets a new friend, Lil Spicer, who might also be his first love; he discovers the amazing plates of original Audubon bird drawings at the local library, and gets the guidance of the artist librarian to draw the birds and learn to be a “young artist” himself. Did you ever read a book with a main character who, by the end, seemed like someone you wished could be your best friend? Then read Okay for Now, and get to know Doug Sweiteck. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he'll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice. This is a beautifully written, heartbreaking story of love and loss. Be sure to have a box of tissues handy! Recommended by Diane T., Teen Services Librarian
Dolssa de Stigata is an unconventional, passionately religious girl living in Provence in the middle 1200s. She sees visions of her beloved, Jesus, but she comes to the attention of the Inquisition. They burn her mother but Dolssa makes a miraculous escape. Botille, a young matchmaker, finds Dolssa dying and nurses her back to health. Dolssa works a series of miracles and her renown once again attracts the attention of the inquisitors and puts the entire village at risk. This is an award-winning teen novel but the subject and quality of the historical fiction writing will grip adult readers. Recommended by Sue-Ellen
Eighteen-year-old Lena Mattacascar sets out for Scree, a wild and weird place inhabited by Peculiars--people with strange physical variations--seeking the father who left when she was young. On the way she meets young novice librarian Jimson Quiggley and handsome marshall Thomas Saltre, who complicate and confuse her plans. As time goes by and Lena gets closer to Scree, things begin to get rather...peculiar...and Lena learns some new things about herself, her world, and her future that she never expected. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
There is an ancient treaty between humans and the beautiful, intelligent flying creatures called pegasi, so every royal child in Balsinland is "bound" to a pegasus on his or her 12th birthday. This happens during a special ceremony that cements the friendship between the two. The only problem is that humans and pegasi—even those to which they are bound—cannot speak to one another without the help of specially trained magicians. Or at least, they are not supposed to…When Princess Sylviianel comes to her big day, she is nervous about the binding...until, in the middle of the ceremony, she suddenly discovers that she can mind-speak to Ebon, her new pegasus—and he can mind-speak back! Such a thing has never happened before, so Sylvi and Ebon keep it a secret, especially from the magicians. They also keep secret something else that is absolutely forbidden—a human riding on the back of her pegasus. Because soon, Sylvi and Ebon discover the wondrous pleasure of taking nighttime flying excursions together, and as they do, their friendship builds, stronger and deeper. When a few royal magicians who want to be in control of human-pegasi relationships find out the truth and fear losing their power, they demand that Sylvi and her beloved new friend are kept apart, and you’ll be on the edge of your seat wondering if they actually succeed, in Pegasus. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
A haunting coming of age novel told in a series of letters to an unknown correspondent reveals the life of Charlie, a freshman in high school who is a wallflower, shy and introspective, and very intelligent, it's a story of what it's like to grow up in high school, tracing a course through uncharted territory in the world of first dates, family dramas and new friends. Recommended by Melissa N.
Matt has been sleepwalking through life while seeking answers about his brother T.J.'s death in Iraq, but after discovering that he may not have known his brother as well as he thought he did, Matt is able to stand up to his father, honor T.J.'s memory, and take charge of his own life. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
I am always inspired by anything Resau writes. This is such a beautiful, well cared for and crafted story about a "indígena" native of Ecuador and her strength to overcome and rise above great adversity. The author and Maria Virginia met right here in Ft. Collins! What could be better? Amy, Old Town Library
Thanks to a bully in gym class, unpopular Nate suffers a broken finger--the middle one, splinted to flip off the world. It won't be the last time a middle finger is raised on this day. Dreamer Claire envisions herself sitting in an artsy café, filling a journal, but fate has other plans. One cheerleader dates a closeted basketball star; another questions just how, as a "big girl," she fits in. A group of boys scam drivers for beer money without remorse--or so it seems. Over the course of a single day, these voices and others speak loud and clear about the complex dance that is life in a small town. They resonate in a gritty and unflinching portrayal of a day like any other, with ordinary traumas, heartbreak, and revenge. But on any given day, the line where presentation and perception meet is a tenuous one, so hard to discern. Unless, of course, one looks a little closer--and reads between the lines. Recommended by Kristen
A variety of students at the same high school describe their ideas, experiences, and relationships in a series of interconnected free verse stories.
I don't even like poetry, but this is a fascinating work of intertwining narratives. Each poem is written from a different high schooler's viewpoint, and they don't always make direct references to each other. How many connections can you spot? Recommended by Gurujoti K.
Have we, as readers, ever looked for a book that is the perfect mix between Cinderella and Gladiator? I'm not sure we have, but author Victoria Aveyard's debut novel, "Red Queen" makes it clear that we should have looking for this unlikely pairing all along. In this post-apocalyptic story, Mare, our heroine, is stuck on the wrong side of a classically repressive dystopian society. She's got the hatred and sense of injustice to prove it. But soon she'll met a boy who will change her life forever, and not necessarily in a good way. After discovering that she has an ability to control electricity, an ability that someone as lowly as her shouldn't have, Mare is be whisked away to begin a new life as a princess. She'll have everything she wants, they say, but Mare wants none of it. All she wants is freedom and equality for herself and her people. She refuses to let her newfound feelings for a prince interfere. It's not going to be easy.
Fans of "The Hunger Games," "Cinder," and "Graceling" might want to give this book a try. It's a page-turner full of suspense, action, and romance. Recommended by Laurel C., Harmony Library
"Sixteen-year-old Gwyneth discovers that she, rather than her well-prepared cousin, carries a time-travel gene, and soon she is journeying with Gideon, who shares the gift, through historical London trying to discover whom they can trust." Ruby Red is fun, fast paced with humor and romance. If you like Gail Carriger's Finishing School series, you will really enjoy the Ruby Red trilogy. Recommended by Tova
Garth Nix's "Sabriel" is the high fantasy tale of a young girl, fresh out of school, who must take up her father's mantel and defend her world from hoards of living dead. In Sabriel's world, there are two kingdoms, the Old and the New. In the Old Kingdom, magic abounds, but the royal family has been wiped out by the undead and the people live in fear. In the New Kingdom, magic is much less prominent, and instead we see technology roughly equivalent to Europe during World War I. Between them lies the Wall. Sabriel, having just finished school in the New Kingdom, sets off across this wall in a dangerous and magical journey to save her father, herself, and both kingdoms. Aided by friends she meets along the way, her journey is one of self-discovery, bravery, and first love. Both teeh and adult fans of high fantasy and paranormal fiction will enjoy this novel, first in Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy. Fans of military history will also get a treat in the well-written descriptions of garrison life in the New Kingdom. This is a book that I was supposed to love, and I didn't. It was good, but it wasn't amazing. That is probably because I'm not a fan of high fantasy. Since I base my ratings mostly on my personal enjoyment of the book, it gets three stars, but don't let that deter you. If high fantasy or paranormal fantasy are your thing, you'll love this book. Fans of military history and fiction will also enjoy the descriptions of life in the garrisons of the New Kingdom. Laurel, Harmony Library
Sydney's charismatic older brother, Peyton, has always been the center of attention in the family but when he is sent to jail, Sydney struggles to find her place at home and the world until she meets the Chathams, including gentle, protective Mac, who makes her feel seen for the first time, and his sister, her new best friend, Layla. Another powerful story from popular author Sarah Dessen, I think her best since Just Listen. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
After Jack becomes apprenticed to a Druid bard, he and his little sister Lucy are captured by Viking Berserkers and taken to the home of King Ivar the Boneless and his half-troll queen, leading Jack to undertake a vital quest to Jotunheim, home of the trolls. This is just the first in a rollicking, gripping, unique fantasy series which concludes with The Land of the Silver Apples and The Island of the Blessed, all written by the author of the classic book, House of the Scorpion. All recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Fifteen-year-old James lies about himself to be considered "cool" when he gets into an exclusive boarding school, but soon unnaturally vivid dreams of being a demon-hunting warrior lead to self-destructive acts while he is awake. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
I'll be the first to admit I did not expect to like this book much. And boy was I proved wrong. For some reason, The Selection, and its combination of romance, friendship, court life, and fashion was exactly what I needed. Kiera Cass' novel is escapism at its best, with plenty of romance and even its fair share of danger. Set in a dystopian future, we find the U.S. long gone and monarchy founded in its place. Occupation is determined by birth, and many struggle to make ends meet. America Signer, whose terrible name will be forgiven here, is a musician who is chosen as a candidate to marry the prince and become the future queen. But America has problems of her own, including a boyfriend from a lower caste and a firm desire NOT to be the next queen. But all this changes when she leaves her family, travels to the palace, meets Prince Maxon, and is introduced to the wonders, and dangers, of her world. Fans of teen romance, dystopian fiction, and fashion will enjoy this sweet, surprisingly fun read. Caution is given to those who are annoyed by love triangles. The "Gossip Girl" style intrigue is thankfully kept to a minimum, a trend I hope the author continues in the next book. Laurel, Harmony Library
Looking for a different kind of superhero book? Give "Shatter Me" a try. This uniquely-written page-turner won't disappoint.
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. Recommended by Laurel C., Harmony Library
If I could pick a book that needs to come with a soundtrack then this would be the one! 16-year-old Esme is the high-spirited wordsmith for an all-girl hip-hop group direct from the mostly-white suburb of Holyhill (not too far from the bad streets of Minneapolis). Esme is Jewish and lesbian, a combination that doesn’t sit too well with the conservative Christian clique at her high school. Rounding out her group of friends and fellow members of Sister Mischief are Rowie (who changes boys like she changes clothes), Tess, a broad-minded Christian trying to bridge the gaps between her church friends and her friends from Sister Mischief, and Rowie, another free-spirited lyricist whose strict Indian parents are themselves community anomalies. This book will encourage you to explore hip-hop and open your eyes to all kinds of issues like freedom of speech, narrow life views, and alternative sexual lifestyles. Sister Mischief is twisted and funny—and utterly captivating and original. Sue-Ellen, Teen Services Librarian
Just announced: There is a movie coming, based on this book!
When her vivacious and beautiful sister Bailey dies unexpectedly, Lennie must learn to cope. But that is easier said than done when she feels as if she is falling apart. Lennie is a quiet band musician who adores Wuthering Heights and who has no idea how to deal with her grief. Especially confusing is the sudden passionate feelings she has toward her dead sister's fiancé at the same time she is falling in love with a new student at school, a handsome talented musician. Lennie must sort out her romantic feelings, learn to face complicated family issues, and most of all ultimately come to accept the loss of her precious sibling. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
A descendant of the inspiration for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, sixteen-year-old Alyssa Gardner fears she is mentally ill like her mother 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. This is an unusual and engrossing fantasy with odd characters, settings, and events that all tie together and that will make you wonder...until the next two books that follow it! Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian, Harmony Library
The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are seeking a supposedly-dead princess to place her on the throne and end political turmoil, but girls who look like the princess are being murdered and Johanna Von Arlo, forced to work for Lord Rafael DeSilva after her father's suspicious death, is a dead-ringer. Recommended by Meg, Council Tree Library
Holmes. Watson. Moriarty. This is a trio of familiar and beloved names to those who relish analytical crime fiction. In Brittany Cavallaro’s debut novel, the first of a planned trilogy, the reader is introduced to an entirely new generation of detectives and criminals. The game is afoot when a very discontented Jamie Watson learns that he has won a rugby scholarship and must attend a posh Connecticut prep school instead of staying in his London home. His new school is located about an hour away from his estranged father’s home, a man Jamie has determinedly avoided seeing for several years. Then he learns that Charlotte Holmes, Sherlock Holmes’s great-great-great-grandaughter, also attends Sherringford prep school. Charlotte possesses the legendary Holmes keen intellect and also a propensity for drugs and drama. Jamie thinks he is better off avoiding her altogether. Since the school, James and Charlotte inevitably meet and the sparks fly—but not in a good way.
Then a student is murdered and James is framed for the murder in a very familiar way: it’s as though the murderer has re-enacted The Scarlet Band and Charlotte becomes involved in investigating the murder in an attempt to clear both their names. Then the Moriarty family becomes involved…Breakneck pacing, finely tuned characters, and an original plot make this novel a great alternative for fans of Laurie King’s Mary Russell series and Andrew Lane’s novels about Sherlock Holmes as a teen. Recommended by Sue-Ellen, Old Town Library
Fourteen-year-old Dylan travels alone to West Texas to meet his uncle and his cousin Rio for a boat trip down the Rio Grande. To his great surprise, Dylan learns his uncle had to leave for Alaska, so he and Rio decide to make the trip on their own. Dylan is learning to deal with scorpions and rattlesnakes when heavy tropical storm rain engulfs the region, making navigation extremely difficult. Even worse than that, they run into a cruel Mexican kidnapper who holds them at gunpoint so they will take him and a boy he holds captive downriver. Dylan and Rio must outsmart both the evil kidnapper and the dangerous river. If you like Hobbs’ adventure and survival stories, you won’t want to miss this one! Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Luc is an orphan, living in debt slavery in Gabon, until he meets a Professor who claims to be studying chimpanzees, and they head off into the jungle--but when the Professor disappears, Luc has to fend for himself and join forces with the chimps to save their forest. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
After she has served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, Crown Prince Dorian offers eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Recommended by Meg, Council Tree Library
This book is Game of Thrones meets the Hunger Games if Katniss had to compete with grown men twice her size. I couldn't put it down! Recommended by Jessie, Council Tree Library
These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout webcomic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page. Recommended by Nicole B., Teen Services Librarian, Old Town Library
Somehow the love letters that Lara Jean wrote to all her crushes - letters that were never supposed to leave her precious hat box, much less her room - have been mailed and are finding their way to all the boys she's ever loved. Including Josh, her sister, Margot's, ex-boyfriend. Who Margot broke up with only because she's headed to college in Scotland in a few days. To All the Boys I've Loved Before is sweet and funny, with lots of small surprises and lovely moments between Lara Jean, her crushes, and her family. Recommended by Jenny, Teen Services Librarian
When fourteen-year-old Viola is sent from her beloved Brooklyn to boarding school in Indiana for ninth grade, she overcomes her initial reservations as she makes friends with her roommates, goes on a real date, and uses the unsettling ghost she keeps seeing as the subject of a short film--her first. Recommended by Kathie, Council Tree Library
An enthralling debut novel about a teenage girl who finds refuge--but perhaps not--in an 1840s Shaker community. In this exquisite, transporting debut, 15-year-old Polly Kimball sets fire to the family farm, killing her abusive father. She and her young brother find shelter in a Massachusetts Shaker community called The City of Hope. It is the Era of Manifestations, when young girls in Shaker enclaves all across the Northeast are experiencing extraordinary mystical visions, earning them the honorific of "Visionist" and bringing renown to their settlements. The City of Hope has not yet been blessed with a Visionist, but that changes when Polly arrives and is unexpectedly exalted. As she struggles to keep her dark secrets concealed in the face of increasing scrutiny, Polly finds herself in a life-changing friendship with a young Shaker sister named Charity, a girl who will stake everything--including her faith--on Polly's honesty and purity. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian
Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.
One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.
Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.
As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before. ~Goodreads Recommended by Laurel
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans. Recommended by Kristen D.
An aristocratic girl who is a member of a warmongering and enslaving empire purchases a slave, an act that sets in motion a rebellion that might overthrow her world as well as her heart. Recommended by Laurel, Harmony Library
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.
When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can't bring herself to hate him as much as she'd like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband's strange world is what it seems. ~ Goodreads Recommended by Laurel, Harmony Library
No, this is not another book about werewolves! Sixteen-year-old KJ Carson lives in a small town outside Yellowstone National Park with her widowed father. When KJ takes Journalism at her high school, she meets new-student Virgil who introduces her to his mother, a biologist studying wolf packs. With Virgil's help, KJ writes a column in the school newspaper about the reintroduced wolves in the park. KJ is amazed when she realizes she has stirred up the conflicting attitudes between the environmentalists and the local ranchers regarding wolves. Soon, violence erupts and KJ and Virgil must make a stand. You’ll find romance and adventure in this book, but most of all it will make you think about the importance of our world’s ecological balance. Diane, Teen Services Librarian
A fantastic reimagining of One Thousand and One Nights with a main character, Shahrzad, who isn't afraid to take on anyone or anything, even the king of kings. An intense story of revenge, secrets, loyalty, friendship, and love. Recommended by Jenny, Children/Teen Services Librarian
Told from separate viewpoints, teens Scam, Crash, Flicker, Anonymous, Bellwether, and Kelsie, all born in the year 2000 and living in Cambria, California, have superhuman abilities that give them interesting but not heroic lives until they must work as a community to respond to an exexpected crisis. Filled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening installment of a thrilling new series. Recommended by Diane, Teen Services Librarian