Looking for a book to please a teen reader?Here are some suggested hot picks that might be of interest. Take this list to a local indie book store or consider a gift certificate to these fabulous promoters of reading (Pegasus, Books Inc, Moe’s, Mrs. Dalloway’s). Independent book stores support literacy all year round and are important contributors to our cities vibrancy!
CARRY ON: THE RISE AND FALL OF SIMON SNOW, by Rainbow Rowell. 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.
CROSSOVER, by Kwame Alexander. Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
ELEANOR AND PARK, by Rainbow Rowell. Two misfits. One extraordinary love. Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds — smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, by Nicola Yoon. “My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door.”
GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES, by Isabel Quintero. Sixteen-year-old Gabi Hernandez chronicles her senior year in high school as she copes with her friend Cindy’s pregnancy, friend Sebastian’s coming out, her father’s meth habit, her own cravings for food and cute boys, and especially, the poetry that helps forge her identity.
I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, by Jandy Nelson. “Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking.”
LEMON TREE, by Sandy Tolan. The tale of a simple act of faith between two young people–one Israeli, one Palestinian–that symbolizes the hope for peace in the Middle East. In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into Israel, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out nearly twenty years earlier.
MARCH, by John Lewis. This graphic novel is a first-hand account of Congressman 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.
MAZE RUNNER SERIES, by James Dashner. All four books of the Maze Runner series, The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cureand the prequel, The Kill Order. Action-packed, edge-of-your-seat, dystopian adventures for readers young and old. A must for fans of The Hunger Games.
MARVEL; NO NORMAL, by Adrian Alphona. Kamala Khan, a Pakistani American girl from Jersey City who lives a conservative Muslim lifestyle with her family, suddenly acquires superhuman powers and, despite the pressures of school and home, tries to use her abilities to help her community
OUT OF MY MIND by Sharon Draper. “Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school–but no one knows it.”
PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, by Stephen Chbosky. A coming of age novel about Charlie, a freshman in high school who is a wallflower, shy and introspective, and very intelligent. He deals with the usual teen problems, but also with the suicide of his best friend.
SIX OF CROWS, by Leigh Bardugo. “Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction–if they don’t kill each other first”
SUNRISE OVER FALLUJAH, by Walter Dean Myers. Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.
SYMPHONY FOR THE CITY OF THE DEAD by MT Anderson. In September 1941, Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history — almost three years of bombardment and starvation that culminated in the harsh winter of 1943-1944. More than a million citizens perished. Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, their relatives having neither the means nor the strength to bury them. Residents burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm. They ate family pets and — eventually — one another to stay alive. Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogized, and commemorated his fellow citizens — the Leningrad Symphony, which came to occupy a surprising place of prominence in the eventual Allied victory.
THE LUNAR CHRONICLES, by Marissa Meyer. As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.
THE ROSE SOCIETY, by Marie Lu. Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies.
UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared–Lt. Louis Zamperini.
UNTWINE, by Edwidge Danticat. Identical twin teenagers Giselle and Isabelle Boyer have always been inseparable, and expected to stay that way even though their Haitian American parents are separating–but when when the entire family is caught in a car crash, everyone’s world is shattered forever.
Summaries provided by WorldCat