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Not all teen romance books are created the same. Young adult readers in grades 8 to 12 will really be able to sink their teeth into I Remember You by Cathleen Davitt Bell. The story is about a hockey player who time travels and gets to relive his relationship with the girl he let get away. With elements of science fiction, this is a romance that even guys might like.
We dare our young adult readers in grades 6-12 to read this children’s book and not absolutely love it. While The One and Only Ivan was written for younger readers in grades 3 to 6 there is something so special about the experience of this very real animal. The book is inspired by the true story of a gorilla that spent 27 years in captivity and on display in a shopping mall. Ivan’s dreams and aspirations become actualized when he meets a new inhabitant at the mall, a baby elephant named Ruby. If this all sounds a bit too juvenile for our rather mature and sophisticated readers then that is all the more reason to take our dare and read this book and tell us what you think. We will risk our reputations that you will not be disappointed.
Early Auden is referred to as the “strangest of boys” and at 13 years old he is rather special. He sees things and experiences things in a unique way that allows him to step out of the limitations of what is acceptable and “normal” behavior. Early takes his new friend Jack Baker on a fast paced adventure that will keep the reader thoroughly intrigued. Set at the end of World War II in a boarding school in Maine, the boys go on a quest of sorts traveling the land and sea looking to solve the puzzle of a mythical tale.
I love this book because it allows the reader to believe that which is unbelievable without taking the route of corny and sappy.
I recommend Navigating Early for grades 5-8.
I’m not a big fan of romances but I absolutely loved this book. It is a love story, but not a sunny one. The characters are not gorgeous, they are not perfect and they are not annoyingly rich and entitled. Without giving too much away, what I truly loved is the way the author allows you to slowly unravel the insecurities and deep dark troubles of the characters as they get to know one another. This book is in no way light hearted, yet it is full of hope for the possibilities that could unfold. Both Eleanor and Park have stayed with me long after I put down this book. I guarantee anyone who is a fan of quirky love stories will include Eleanor and Park amongst their favorites. This is a must read and is recommended for those in grades 9 and up.
Young Adult Librarian
The end of the year has arrived and it’s time to look back on our favorite books of 2012. Here are some of our favorites:
EVERY DAY by David Levithan
Every morning A wakes in a different person’s body, in a different person’s life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten
ADAPTATION by Malinda Lo
In the aftermath of a series of plane crashes caused by birds, Reese and her debate-team partner, David, receive medical treatment at a secret government facility and become tangled in a conspiracy that is, according to Reese’s friend, Julian, connected with aliens and UFOs.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT by Colleen Clayton
The stress of hiding a horrific incident that she can neither remember nor completely forget leads 16-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy to become alienated from her friends, obsess about weight loss and draw close to Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston
BEWITCHING by Alex Flinn
The witch who curses Kyle Kingsbury in the best-selling novel Beastly shares the story of her immortal existence and how she has used her powers to influence popular fairy-tale characters, including Cinderella, the Little Mermaid, and Hansel and Gretel.
THE SELECTION by by Kiera Cass
Sixteen-year-old America Singer is living in the caste-divided nation of Illea, which formed after the war that destroyed the United States. America is chosen to compete in the Selection–a contest to see which girl can win the heart of Illea’s prince–but all she really wants is a chance for a future with her secret love, Aspen, who is a caste below her
Dizzy looks forward to only one day every year: her birthday. Not because of the presents she gets, or the parties she has, but because of a letter. This letter is not a normal letter, even if it might be to someone else. This letter is from her mom, her mom that she hasn’t seen in 8 years. But this year is unusual. One day, she comes back to school and she sees a complete stranger in her house talking to her dad. The stranger also says she is her mom. Dizzy is thrilled and even happier when her mom, aka Storm, wants her to travel with her. She thinks Storm convinced her dad into traveling and sets off to the life of a hippie. While at a festival, her mom leaves Dizzy with one of her friends and goes off to her boyfriend. Storm isn’t the mom she thought she would be. But at the festival she meets Finn, who she shares a first kiss with. She also meets Mouse, a boy who is like a little brother to her. The hippie-traveler life is fun, but she does miss her other life.
This book was really interesting, so I recommend Dizzy for girls in 6th-8th grade.
W.T. Clarke Middle School
Imagine you and some classmates are trapped in a superstore during what seems like the end of the world. When a massive hailstorm diverts their schoolbuses into the local Greenway, that is exactly what happens to narrator Dean and 13 of his classmates. Trapped inside the store, the fourteen are cut off from the outside world. The hailstorm is followed by a giant earthquake and a chemical weapons spill at a nearby government facility. It is up to Dean and the other high schoolers to take charge and take care of the others – 2 middle schoolers and six “little kids”
Set in the not too distant future, Monument 14, is an unnerving realistic story about what seems like the end of the world. The students try to survive while making sense of the disasters surrounding them. Will they survive? Will they be able to get help? Will the students be able to co-exist even though they are all from different social groups?
Monument 14 is a great read for both boys and girls. I would recommend it to students grade 9 and up due to some violence and other mature situations.
Every few years, Willa Havisham and her mother, Stella Havisham, pack their bags and move, right when Willa starts to get used to the place. Willa has a few wishes: to make friends, to find true love, and her biggest wish- to find a great dad who both she and her mother will like. So far, her wishes never seem to come true.
But, when they move to Stella’s hometown, Cape Cod, all of Willa’s wishes start to come true. She befriends a girl named Tina, and adores a classmate, Joseph Francis Kennelly, and best of all, finds someone who is capable of being a perfect dad and husband. Suddenly it seems as if her wishes stop coming true! Can she reverse it so the wedding planner can plan her own wedding? Or will Willa and her mom have to take out the suitcases and move again?
The Wedding Planner’s Daughter was funny and romantic. I recommend it to 6th-8th graders.
Clarke Middle School
Sixteen year old Ryan was just released from the hospital after treatment for a suicide attempt. He has few friends, except for the friends he made while hospitalized. Along comes Nicki, a local girl who talks to him about his depression and suicide attempt as a friend rather than viewing him as the “local loser” like most of the other neighborhood kids. Nicki’s father killed himself too, a fact Ryan finds out while accompanying Nicki to local psychics in an attempt to contact her father. What are Nicki’s motives in befriending Ryan? Is she being honest with him?
Ryan spends a lot of time standing under the local waterfall in order to feel alive. Others think it is strange and his mother would probably never let him out of her sight again if she knew about it. Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard is a well written story about a teen’s mental illness and his struggle to fit back in to the world he tried to escape from.
I recommend Try Not to Breathe to teens grade 9 and up.