Adrenaline Level 1 Grades 7-9
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack--who has already killed Bod's family. . . . Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his "New York Times" bestselling modern classic coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, the graveyard book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.
Airman by Eoin Colfer Conor Broekhart was born to fly. In fact, legend has it that he was born flying, in a hot air balloon at the Paris World's Fair. In the 1890s Conor and his family live on the sovereign Saltee Islands, off the Irish coast. Conor spends his days studying the science of flight with his tutor and exploring the castle with the king's daughter, Princess Isabella. But the boy's idyllic life changes forever the day he discovers a deadly conspiracy against the king. When Conor tries to intervene, he is branded a traitor and thrown into jail on the prison island of Little Saltee. There, he has to fight for his life, as he and the other prisoners are forced to mine for diamonds in inhumane conditions. There is only one way to escape Little Saltee, and that is to fly. So Conor passes the solitary months by scratching drawings of flying machines on the prison walls. The months turn into years; but eventually the day comes when Conor must find the courage to trust his revolutionary designs and take to the skies.
Adrenaline Level 2 Grades 10-12
Graceling by Kristin Shore • From publisher: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight--she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone." http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9780547258300?id=4513772280679
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness • From the publisher: • A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard -- and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret. Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is. http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9780763639310?id=4513772280679
Venomous by Christopher Krovatin • From the publisher: • Locke Vinetti is a high school junior, disenchanted and more than a little hostile. In fact, for years he's had a lousy social life because of a problem he has with his anger--a force he calls "the venom." Ever since he was eight years old and bit off a piece of a classmate's nose, he's been something of a loner. But all that is about to change when he goes out with his one friend, Randall, to meet some of Randall's crew hanging out at Riverside Park. Because in addition to meeting his kindred spirit, Casey--who has his own problems with his own kind of venom--Locke meets the spikey blue fairy-haircut Goth girl of his dreams. And if their relationship is going to work, he knows he has to rid himself of the venom once and for all. Interspersed with comic book adventures of the fantasy anti-hero alter-ego Locke has invented for himself, "Venomous" is a fast-paced, funny, and ferocious read about one teenage boy's struggle with his inner demons. http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781416924876?id=4513772280679
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson • From Publisher: • Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers? This fascinating novel represents a stunning new direction for acclaimed author Mary Pearson. Set in a near future America, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through questions of bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity. Mary Pearson's vividly drawn characters and masterful writing soar to a new level of sophistication. http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9780805076684?id=4513772280679
Realistic Fiction Level 1 Grades 7-9
Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banksby E. Lockhart From the Publisher Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:Debate Club.Her father's "bunny rabbit." A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:A knockout figure. A sharp tongue.A chip on her shoulder.And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.Frankie Landau-Banks. No longer the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer. Especially when "no" means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society.Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them.When she knows Matthew's lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done. Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:Possibly a criminal mastermind. This is the story of how she got that way. Book cover - http://e-lockhart.com/main/?page_id=7
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson Review by Laura Downing An historical fiction novel based during the revolutionary war set in New York city. It chronicles the life of a 13-year old slave, Isabel, and her younger sister Ruth (who is "simple" and has what seem to be epileptic "fits" at times), both of whom should have been freed when their owner died but were sold again back into slavery to a couple where the mistress of the house is cruel and demanding. When Ruth is "sold", or so Isabel is led to believe, the story revolves around everything Isabel does to find her and regain freedom for them both, including actions which result in her being branded with the letter "I" on her cheek for being Insolent. Unfortunately you have to wait for the sequel to find out if Isabel finds Ruth and if she gains her freedom after escaping New York. Book cover – www.amazon.com
Waiting For Normal by Leslie Connor From the Publisher Addie is waiting for normal. But Addie's mom has an all-or-nothing approach to life: a food fiesta or an empty pantry, jubilation or gloom, her way or no way. All or nothing never adds up to normal. All or nothing can't bring you all to home, which is exactly where Addie longs to be, with her half sisters, every day. In spite of life's twists and turns, Addie remains optimistic. Someday, maybe, she'll find normal. Leslie Connor has created an inspiring novel about one girl's giant spirit. waiting for normal is a heartwarming gem. Book cover – www.ala.org
Black Box by Julie Schumacher Book cover - http://www.julieschumacher.com/BlackBox.html Review by Laura Downing A very dark book about depression and how it affects the depressed person and their entire family. Brings about feelings of empathy for the younger sister, Elena, who feels she has to take care of Dora (her older sister who had depression)and keep Dora's secrets. It will resonate with many teens today. It was a "heavy" read but would appeal to both boys and girls.
Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd From the Publisher One inch from the wall of brown turf, he froze. 'There's something here. In the earth. A hand.' Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds something that makes his heart stop. Curled up deep in the bog is the body of a child. And it looks like she's been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him - his brother on hunger-strike in prison, his growing feelings for Cora, his mam and da arguing over the Troubles, and him in it up to the neck - a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls. Set in Ireland in the 1980s, Bog Child is a powerful novel that explores the sacrifices made in the name of peace, and the unflinching strength of the human spirit. Book cover - http://www.randomhouse.com.au/systempicts/9780385614313.jpg
Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt Book cover - http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com From the Publisher “Henry Smith’s father told him that if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you.”But Trouble comes careening down the road one night in the form of a pickup truck that strikes Henry’s older brother, Franklin. In the truck is ChayChouan, a young Cambodian from Franklin’s preparatory school, and the accident sparks racial tensions in the school—and in the well-established town where Henry’s family has lived for generations. Caught between anger and grief, Henry sets out to do the only thing he can think of: climb Mt. Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine, which he and Franklin were going to climb together. Along with Black Dog, whom Henry has rescued from drowning, and a friend, Henry leaves without his parents’ knowledge. The journey, both exhilarating and dangerous, turns into an odyssey of discovery about himself, his older sister, Louisa, his ancestry, and why one can never escape from Trouble.
Realistic Fiction Level 2 Grades 10-12
Over and Underby: Todd Tucker • “Set during the summer of 1979, Alex and Tom are best friends, they do everything together, whether it's exploring caves, shooting rifles, or sneaking out at night. Meanwhile, a labor strike is slowly ripping the small Indiana town apart, and while the two boys' fathers are on opposite sides, the two try to remain blissfully ignorant, but must accept the changes around them. Alex and Tom find themselves growing up during their last summer of innocence..” –Marisa Frantz • Realistic/Historical Fiction • Level 2 http://www.amazon.com/reader/0312379900?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=sib%5Fdp%5Fpt#reader_0312379900
City of Thieves By: David Benioff • “A writer visits his grandfather in Florida to record his account of the siege of Leningrad during WWII. His grandfather's story is much more than mere facts, it covers a boy's journey to manhood, love, war, and an unlikely friendship. Lev Beniov is a young Jew who finds a dead German paratrooper in the middle of Leningrad. He is immediately arrested by Russian soliders and thrown into jail. His cellmate, Koyla, is a charismatic soldier arrested for desertion. Instead of facing a death squad, the two are given a task to find a dozen eggs for a general. Faced with the impossible, the two men are forced to go looking in the most unlikely of places, even enemy territory.” –Marisa Frantz • Realistic/Historical Fiction • Level 2 http://www.amazon.com/reader/0452295297?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=sib%5Fdp%5Fpt#reader_0670018708
Mudbound By: Hillary Jordan “Winner of the Bellwether Prize, Mudbound is set at the end of World War II in the tormented Mississippi Delta. It depicts the story of forbidden love and betrayal situated in a time when the brutality of the Jim Crow South was still raging. Hillary Jordan's use of lyrical language to weave together the voices of the characters allows the reader to fully understand the impact the setting and social issues are having on each of the characters and encourages the reader to embrace each character's individual concerns.” –Karen Wells • Realistic/Historical Fiction • Level 2 http://www.amazon.com/reader/1565126777?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=sib%5Fdp%5Fpt#reader_1565126777
Jellicoe Road By: Melina Marchetta • “After what some would see as a slow, confusing start, this complex story of friendship and love mesmerizes the reader with its characterizations of teens living at a state-run boarding school in Australia. Marchetta's heroine, Taylor Markham searches for answers in the mystery of her past and finds hope and joy as she unravels the threads of her present relationships.” –Sandra Bailey • Realistic/Historical Fiction • Level 2 http://www.amazon.com/reader/0061431834?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=sib%5Fdp%5Fpt#reader_0061431834
Secret Story of Sonja Rodriquez By: Alan Lawrence Sitomer “Torn between immigrant stereotypes and who she wants to be, fifteen-year-old Sonia Rodriguez struggles with the burden of taking care of her demanding family while trying to graduate high school and still be a regular teenager. When her worlds collide because of her secret boyfriend and predator uncle, Sonia and her whole family are at a crossroads that will change their family's path.” –Laura Opper Hodo • Realistic/Historical Fiction • Level 2 http://www.amazon.com/reader/1423110722?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=sib%5Fdp%5Fpt#reader_1423110722
Non Fiction Level 1 Grades 7-9
Punk Rock Etiquette: The Ultimate How-To Guide For Punk, Underground, DIY, and Indie Bands By: Travis Nichols
Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild WestBy: Sid Feleishman
Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle For FreedomBy: Margarita Engle
Non Fiction Level 2 Grades 10-12
Not Quite What I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and ObscureBy: Larry Smith & Rachel Fershleiser
Graphic Novels & MangaLevel 1 Top 3 titles Johnice Dominick, Dr. Stephanie Huffman, Jonathan Nichols, Dr. Wendy Rickman
Savage by David Almond When Blue Baker wrote his magically wild and gruesome story about a boy savage, he was dealing with the death of his father and the town bully. Now, Blue’s creation has developed a life of its own, and Blue must figure out where he ends and the savage begins. --Jonathan Nichols & Johnice Dominick
Into the Volcano by Don Wood Two brothers, an erupting volcano, and trusted family guides who are hiding a secret. A two-day hike becomes a perilous and dangerous excursion. Can the boys solve the mystery and escape the volcano before it unleashes its fury? --Jonathan Nichols & Johnice Dominick
Life Sucks by Jessica Abel, Gabriel Soria, & Warren Pleece Being a vampire isn’t all glitz and glamour. You don’t always get the girl or live in a mansion. Dave works at a gas station and loves a girl who’s in love with another vampire . . . life sucks! --Jonathan Nichols & Johnice Dominick