Get Real: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction as the Next Big Thing
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Teens need books that reflect their experiences (and let them experience events vicariously) and they need characters with whom they identify. The following is a list of great contemporary titles published within the last three years and some upcoming titles to watch out for. Your teens want it, they’re asking for it, now give it to them! Still not sure how to start? Check out this awesome flow chart for all your contemporary readers’ advisory needs: http://tinyurl.com/yacontemp
* Titles marked with an asterisk are books we consider to be appropriate for “tweens”.
Abrahams, Peter. Bullet Point. HarperTeen. 2010. 9780061227691. $16.99. The only thing 17-year-old Wyatt knew about his biological father was that he was serving a life sentence, but circumstances and a new girlfriend bring them together
and soon Wyatt is working to prove his father’s innocence.
Alegria, Malin. Crossing the Line. (Border Town series). Point. 2012. 9780545402408. $5.99 When Fabiola's sister Alexis joins her at Dos Rios High, she warns her away from the troublemaking superjock Dex Andrews, but Alexis does not listen, and soon it is up to Fabiola to make things right, even if it means breaking her sister's heart.
Avasthi, Swati. Split. Alfred A. Knopf. 2010. 9780375863417. $8.99. A teenaged boy who is thrown out of his house by his abusive father goes to live with his older brother, who ran away from home years ago to escape the abuse.
Ayarbe, Heidi. Compulsion. Balzer & Bray. 2011. 9780061993862. $16.99. Poised to lead his high school soccer team to its third straight state championship, seventeen-year-old star player Jake Martin struggles to keep hidden his nearly debilitating obsessive-compulsive disorder.
*Baskin, Nora Raleigh. Anything But Typical. Simon & Schuster. 2009. 9781416995005. $6.99. Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world.
*Bauer, Joan. Close to Famous. Viking Children’s Books. 2011. 9780142420171. $6.99. Twelve-year-old Foster McFee and her mother escape from her mother's abusive boyfriend and end up in the small town of Culpepper, West Virginia, where they use their strengths and challenge themselves to build a new life, with the help of the friends they make there.
Beaudoin, Sean. You Killed Wesley Payne. Little, Brown & Co. 2011. 9780316077439. $8.99.
When hard-boiled, seventeen-year-old private investigator Dalton Rev transfers to Salt River High to solve the case of a dead student, he has his hands full trying to outwit the police, negotiate the school's social hierarchy, and get paid.
Beitia, Sara. The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon. Flux. 2010. 9780738720685. $9.95. When Albert Morales becomes the main suspect in his girlfriend Lily's disappearance, he must deflect the worries of his parents, the suspicions of the police, and Lily's dangerous stepfather as he tries to find her.
*Bennett, Sophia. Sequins, Secrets, and Silver Linings. Chicken House. 2011. 9780545242424. $8.99. Three fourteen-year-old friends with very different interests befriend a twelve-yearold Ugandan refugee whose gift for design takes off in the high-fashion world of twenty-first-century London.
Benoit, Charles. Fall From Grace. HarperTeen. 2012. 9780061947070. $17.99. Inspired by an intriguing girl, Sawyer, a high school senior whose life has been mapped out by his parents makes some surprising decisions that lead him to take dangerous--but exhilarating--risks.
Bick, Ilsa J. Drowning Instinct. Carolrhoda Books. 2012. 9780761377528. $17.95. An emotionally damaged sixteen-year-old girl begins a relationship with a deeply troubled older man.
Bock, Caroline. LIE. Griffin. 2011. 9780312668327. $9.99. Told in several voices, a group of Long Island high school seniors conspire to protect eighteen-year-old Jimmy after he brutally assaults two Salvadoran immigrants, until they begin to see the moral implications of Jimmy's actions and the consequences of being loyal to a violent bully.
Bond, Katherine Grace. The Summer of No Regrets. Sourcebooks Fire. 2012. 9781402265044. $8.99.
Birgitta's best friend is convinced that Brigitta's new crush, Luke, is actually egotistical teen heartthrob Trent Yves, hiding from his fans in their tiny town, but as the two spend the summer together raising orphaned cougar cubs, Brigitta still cannotbe sure of his true identity.
Budhos, Marina. Tell Us We’re Home. Atheneum. 2010. 9781442421288. $8.99. Three immigrant girls from different parts of the world become close friends in a small New Jersey town where their mothers have found domestic work, but their relationships are tested when one girl's mother is accused of theft.
*Burg, Shana. Laugh With the Moon. 2012. 9780385734714. $16.99. Massachusetts 13-year-old Clare, still grieving her mother's recent death, reluctantly travels with her father to spend nine weeks in a remote village in Malawi, where new friends and experiences help open her mind and heart.
Clayton, Colleen. What Happens Next. Poppy. 2012. 9780316198684. $17.99. The stress of hiding a horrific incident that she can neither remember nor completely forget leads sixteen-year-old Cassidy "Sid" Murphy to become alienated from her friends, obsess about weight loss, and draw close to Corey "The Living Stoner" Livingston.
Cohen, Joshua C. Leverage. Dutton. 2011. 9780142420867. $8.99. High school sophomore Danny excels at gymnastics but is bullied, like the rest of the gymnasts, by members of the football team, until an emotionally and physically scarred new student joins the football team and forms an unlikely friendship with Danny.
Cronn-Mills, Kirstin. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. Flux. 2012. 9780738732510. $9.99. Gabe has always identified as a boy, but he was born with a girl's body. With his new public access radio show gaining in popularity, Gabe struggles with romance, friendships, and parents--all while trying to come out as transgendered. An audition for a station in Minneapolis looks like his ticket to a better life in the big city. But his entire future is threatened when several violent guys find out Gabe, the popular DJ,
is also Elizabeth from school.
Cupala, Holly. Don’t Breathe a Word. HarperTeen. 2012. 9780061766695. $8.99. Joy Delamere is suffocating from severe asthma, overprotective parents, and an emotionally-abusive boyfriend when she escapes to the streets of nearby Seattle and falls in with a "street family" that teaches her to use a strength she did not know she had.
de la Peña, Matt. I Will Save You. Delacorte. 2010. 978-0385738286. $8.99. Seventeen-year-old Kidd Ellison runs away to work for the summer at a beach campsite in California where his hard work and good looks lead to friendship and love but painful past memories surface in menacing ways.
Doller, Trish. Something Like Normal. Bloomsbury USA. 2012. 9781599908441. $16.99. When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and car, and he has nightmares of his best friend getting killed but when he runs into Harper, a girl who has despised him since middle school, life actually starts looking up.
*Dowell, Frances O’Roark. Ten Miles Past Normal. Atheneum. 2011. 9781416995869. $8.99. Because living with "modern-hippy" parents on a goat farm means Janie Gorman cannot have a normal high school life, she tries joining Jam Band, making friends, and spending time with elderly former civil rights workers.
Elkeles, Simone. Chain Reaction. Walker & Co. 2011. 978-0802720870. $17.99. When he returns to Illinois and the gang culture on the south side of Fairfield after six years in Colorado, high school senior Luis Fuentes, who dreams of becoming an astronaut, falls for a girl and enters a dark world after learning some disturbing news about his family.
Ferrer, Caridad. When the Stars Go Blue. Thomas Dunne Books. 2010. 9780312650049. $9.99. Soledad Reyes decides to dance Carmen as part of a drum and bugle corps competition, not knowing if it will help or harm her chance of becoming a professional ballet dancer but eager to pursue new options, including a romance with the boy who invited her to audition.
Fitzpatrick, Huntley. My Life Next Door. Dial. 2012. 9780803736993. $17.99. When Samantha, the seventeen-year-old daugher of a wealthy, perfectionistic, Republican state senator, falls in love with the boy next door, whose family is large, boisterous, and just making ends meet, she discovers a different way to live, but when her mother is involved in a hit-and-run accident Sam must make some difficult choices.
Ford, John C. The Morgue and Me. Viking Children’s Books. 2009. 9780670010967. $17.99. Eighteen-year-old Christopher, who plans to be a spy, learns of a murder cover-up through his summer job as a morgue assistant and teams up with Tina, a gorgeous newspaper reporter, to investigate, despite great danger.
*Frost, Helen. Hidden. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 2011. 9780374382216. $16.99. When fourteen-year-olds Wren and Darra meet at a Michigan summer camp, both are overwhelmed by memories from six years earlier when Darra's father stole a car, unaware that Wren was hiding in the back.
Garcia McCall, Guadalupe. Under the Mesquite. Lee & Low, 2011. 9781600604294. $17.95. Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry. Includes glossary of Spanish terms.
Gelbwasser, Margie. Pieces of Us. Flux. 2012. 9780738721644. $9.95. Four teenagers from two families--sisters Katie and Julie and brothers Alex and Kyle--
meet every summer at a lakeside community in upstate New York, where they escape their everyday lives and hide disturbing secrets.
*Gourlay. Candy. Tall Story. David Fickling Books. 2011. 9780385752336. $6.99. Sixteen-year-old Bernardo, who is eight feet tall and suffers from gigantism, leaves the Philippines to live with his mother's family in London, much to the delight of his thirteen-year-old half sister Andi, a passionate basketball player.
Griffin, Paul. Burning Blue. Dial. 2012. 9780803738157. $17.99. When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Griffin, Paul. Stay With Me. Dial. 2011. 9780142421727. $8.99. Fifteen-year-olds Mack, a high school drop-out but a genius with dogs, and Cece, ́ who hopes to use her intelligence to avoid a life like her mother's, meet and fall in love at the restaurant where they both work, but when Mack lands in prison he pushes Cece away and only a one-eared pit-bull can keep them together. ́
Halliday, Gemma. Deadly Cool. HarperTeen. 2011. 9780062003317. $8.99. When sixteen-year-old Hartley Featherstone finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her, she goes to his house to confront him and suddenly finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery.
Harrington, Hannah. Saving June. Harlequin Books. 2011. 9780373210244. $9.99. After her sister's suicide, Harper Scott takes off for California with her best friend Laney to scatter her sister's ashes in the Pacific Ocean.
*Holm, Jennifer L. Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick. Random House Children’s Books. 2012. 9780375868511. $15.99.
Eighth grade turns out to be an eventful year for Ginny and her family, as notes, lists, report cards, doctor bills, and other "stuff" reveal that the family moves to a big new house, Brian starts to be more than just a friend, Ginny's mother has a baby, and her stepfather loses his job.
Hoole, Elissa Janine. Kiss the Morning Star. Marshall Cavendish. 2012. 9780761462699. $17.99. The summer after high school graduation and one year after her mother's tragic death, Anna and her long-time best friend Kat set out on a road trip across the country, armed with camping supplies and a copy of Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums, determined to be open to anything that comes their way.
*House, Silas and Neela Vaswani. Same Sun Here. Candlewick Press. 2012. 9780763656843. $15.99. A twelve-year-old Indian immigrant in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner's son become pen pals, and eventually best friends, through a series of revealing letters exploring such topics as environmental activism, immigration, and racism.
Jarzab, Anna. The Opposite of Hallelujah. Delacorte Press. 2012. 9780385738361. $16.99. For eight of her 16 years, Carolina Mitchell's older sister Hannah has been a nun in a convent, almost completely out of touch with her family, so when Hannah suddenly abandons her vocation and comes home, nobody knows quite how to handle the situation or guesses what explosive secrets she is hiding.
*Jones, Traci L. Silhouetted by the Blue. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. 2011. 9780374369149. $16.99. After the death of her mother in an automobile accident, seventh-grader Serena is left to handle the day-to-day challenges of caring for herself and her younger brother when their father cannot pull himself out of his depression.
Kelly, Tara. Harmonic Feedback. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. 2010. 9780805090109. $16.99. When Drea and her mother move in with her grandmother in Bellingham,
Washington, the 16-year-old finds that she can have real friends in spite of her Asperger’s, and that even when you love someone it does not make life perfect.
Kenneally, Miranda. Catching Jordan. Sourcebooks Fire. 2011. 9781402262272. $8.99. Jordan Woods, captain and quarterback of her high school football team, seeks an athletic college scholarship, but when Ty Green joins the team and takes her position, her scholarship chances and her camaraderie with the team are threatened.
King, A.S. Ask the Passengers. Little, Brown & Co. 2012. 9780316194686. $17.99. Imagining that she is sending love to passengers in airplanes flying overhead, Astrid Jones, a teen from a small town torn by gossip and narrow-mindedness, struggles with her family's dysfunction and hides her love for another girl.
*Knowles, Jo. See You at Harry’s. Candlewick Press. 2012. 9780763654078. $16.99. Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible in her family, where grumpy eighteen-year-old Sarah is working at the family restaurant, fourteen-year-old Holden is struggling with school bullies and his emerging homosexuality, and adorable, three-year-old Charlie is always the center of attention, and when tragedy strikes, the fragile bond holding the family together is stretched almost to the breaking point.
Kokie, E. M. Personal Effects. Candlewick Press. 2012. 9780763655273 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.
Lacour, Nina. Hold Still. Dutton Children’s Books. 2009. 9780142416945. $8.99. Ingrid didn't leave a note. Three months after her best friend's suicide, Caitlin finds what she left instead: a journal, hidden under Caitlin's bed.
Lange, Erin Jade. Butter. Bloomsbury USA. 2012. 9781599907802. $16.99. Unable to control his binge eating, a morbidly obese teenager nicknamed Butter decides to make a live webcast of his last meal as he attempts to eat himself to death.
Leavitt, Martine. My Book of Life by Angel. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. 2012. 9780374351236. $17.99. Sixteen-year-old Angel struggles to free herself from the trap of prostitution and drug abuse in which she is caught.
Leonard, Niall. Crusher. Delacorte, 2012. 9780385743549. $17.99 The day Finn Maguire discovers his dad bludgeoned to death in a pool of blood, his dreary life is turned upside down. Prime suspect in his father’s murder, Finn must race against time to clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him.
Littman, Sarah Darer. Want to Go Private? Scholastic. 2011. 9780545151467. $17.99. Insecure about the changes high school brings, Abby ignores advice from her parents and her only friend to "make an effort" and, instead, withdraws from everyone but with Luke, who she met online.
Lopez, Diana. Choke. Point, 2012. 9780545418225. $17.99. Longing for freedom and popularity in the face of parental limitations and school bullies, Windy is befriended by a new girl and her friends who offer her a sense of belonging in exchange for her participation in a dangerous choking game.
Luper, Eric. Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto. Balzer & Bray. 2010.
9780061827532. $16.99. After his girlfriend breaks up with him and he sees his father out with another woman, high school senior Seth Baumgartner, who has a summer job at the country club and is preparing for a father-son golf tournament, launches a podcast in which he explores the mysteries of love.
Mackall, Dandi Daley. The Silence of Murder. Alfred A. Knopf. 2011. 9780375872938. $5.99. Sixteen-year-old Hope must defend her developmentally disabled brother (who has not spoken a word since he was 7 years old) when he is accused of murdering a beloved high school baseball coach.
McGarry, Katie. Pushing the Limits. Harlequin Teen. 2012. 9780373210497. $17.99. Rendered a subject of gossip after a traumatic night that left her with terrible scars on her arms, Echo is dumped by her boyfriend and bonds with bad-boy Noah, whose tough attitude hides an understanding nature and difficult secrets.
McLaughlin, Emma and Nicola Kraus.Over You. Harper Teen. 2012. 9780061720437. $17.99. When 17-year-old Max had her heart broken, she made it her mission to help other girls get over being dumped, but did she ever really get over her own heartbreak?
McNeil, Gretchen. Ten. Balzer & Bray. 2012. 9780062118783. $17.99. Ten teens head to a house party at a remote island mansion off the Washington coast--only for them to picked off by a killer one by one.
Morrill, Lauren. Meant to Be. Delacorte Press. 2012. 9780385741774. $17.99. During an educational trip to London, away from her friends and the boy she thinks she is fated to love, Massachussets high school junior Julia Lichtenstein is paired with her nemesis, Jason, and begins seeing many things differently.
Myers, Walter Dean. Carmen. Egmont USA. 2011. 9781606841150. $16.99. A policeman's obsessive love for a tempestuous wig factory worker ends in tragedy in this updated version of Bizet's Carmen, set in Spanish Harlem, and told in screenplay format.
Nelson, Blake. Recovery Road. Scholastic Press. 2011. 9780545107297. $17.99. While she is in a rehabilitation facility for drug and alcohol abuse, seventeen-yearold Maddie meets Stewart, who is also in treatment, and they begin a relationship, which they try to maintain after they both get out.
*Neri, G. Ghetto Cowboy. Candlewick Press. 2011. 9780763649227. $15.99. Twelve-year-old Cole's behavior causes his mother to drive him from Detroit to Philadelphia to live with a father he has never known, but who soon has Cole involved with a group of African-American "cowboys" who rescue horses and use them to steer youths away from drugs and gangs.
*Northrop, Michael. Trapped. Scholastic Press. 2011. 9780545210126. $17.99. Seven high school students are stranded at their New England high school during a week-long blizzard that shuts down the power and heat, freezes the pipes, and leaves them wondering if they will survive.
O’Connell, Mary. The Sharp Time. Delacorte Press. 2011. 9780385740487. $17.99. In the week following her mother's death in a freak accident, eighteen-year-old Sandanista Jones finds small measures of happiness even as she fantasizes about an act of revenge against an abusive teacher at her high school.
*Parry, Roseanne. Heart of a Shepherd. Random House Children’s Books. 2009. 9780375848032. $6.99. Young Ignatius "Brother" Alderman promises to help his grandparents keep the family's Oregon ranch the same while his brothers are away and his father is deployed to Iraq, but he comes to accept the inevitability of change.
Perez, Ashley Hope. What Can’t Wait. Carolrhoda Books. 2011. 9780761361558. $17.95. Marooned in a broken-down Houston neighborhood--and in a Mexican immigrant family where making ends meet matters much more than making it to college-smart, talented Marissa seeks comfort elsewhere when her home life becomes unbearable.
*Polisner, Gae. The Pull of Gravity. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 2011. 9780374371937. $16.99. When their friend Scooter dies of a rare disease, teenagers Nick Gardner and Jaycee Amato embark on a journey to deliver a first edition copy of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Mento Scooter's father, who walked out on the family when Scooter was an infant.
Price, Charlie. Dead Girl Moon. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 2012. 9780374317522. $17.99. Grace, a scheming runaway, JJ, her fostercare sister, and Mick, the son of a petty thief, become entangled in the investigation of a teen prostitute's murder in a small, corrupt Montana town.
Price, Nora. Zoe Letting Go. Razorbill. 2012. 9781595144669. $17.99. Zoe goes to a facility to help cure her anorexia as she comes to terms with the loss of her friend and her own identity.
Rapp, Adam. Children and the Wolves. Candlewick Press. 2012. 9780763653378. $16.99. Abducted by teen genius Bounce and her drifter friends Wiggins and Orange, threeyear-old Frog seems content to eat cereal and play a video game about wolves all day--a game that parallels the reality around her--until Wiggins is overcome by guilt and tension and takes action.
Reed, Amy. Clean. Simon Pulse. 2011. 9781442413450. $9.99. A group of teens in a Seattle-area rehabilitation center form an unlikely friendship as they begin to focus less on their own problems with drugs and alcohol by
reaching out to help a new member, who seems to have even deeper issues to resolve.
Reed, Amy. Crazy. Simon Pulse. 2012. 9781442413474. $16.99. Connor and Izzy, two teens who met at a summer art camp where they were counsellors, share a series of emails in which they confide in one another, eventally causing Connor to become worried about Izzy.
Restrepo, Bettina. Illegal. Katherine Tegen Books. 2011. 9780061953422. $16.99. Nora, a fifteen-year-old Mexican girl, faces the challenges of being an illegal immigrant in Texas when she and her mother cross the border in search of Nora's father.
Richter, William. Dark Eyes. Razorbill. 2012. 9781595144577. $17.99. Adopted from a Russian orphanage by a wealthy New York family then growing into a rebellious street youth, fifteen year-old Wally resolves to find the birth mother who stole a fortune from her murderous, dark-eyed father.
Rivers, Karen. The Encyclopedia of Me. Arthur A. Levine. 2012. 9780545310284. $16.99. As Tink Aaron-Martin writes an encyclopedia of her life, she also tells the story of the summer leading into her eighth-grade year.
Rosenfield, Kat. Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone. Dutton Children’s Books. 2012. 9780525423898. $17.99. Unveils the details of a horrific murder, its effects on permanent and summer residents of the small Appalachian town where the body is discovered, and especially how the related violence shakes eighteen-year-old Becca's determination to leave home as soon as possible.
*Rylander, Chris. The Fourth Stall. Walden Pond Press. 2011. 9780061994975. $6.99.
Sixth-graders Mac and Vince operate a business charging schoolmates for protection from bullies and for help to negotiate conflicts peacefully, with amazing challenges and results.
Sáenz, Benjamin Alire. Last Night I Sang to the Monster. Cinco Puntos Press. 2009. 9781935955092. $11.95. Eighteen-year-old Zach does not remember how he came to be in a treatment center for alcoholics, but through therapy and caring friends, his amnesia fades and he learns to face his past while working toward a better future.
Sanchez, Alex. Boyfriends with Girlfriends. Simon & Schuster. 2011. 9781416937753. $8.99. When Lance begins to date Sergio, who's bisexual, he's not sure that it'll work out, and when his best friend Allie, who has a boyfriend, meets Sergio's lesbian friend, she has unexpected feelings which she struggles to understand. Schmidt, Tiffany. Send Me a Sign. Walker & Co. 2012. 9780802728401. $16.99. Superstitious before being diagnosed with leukemia, high school senior Mia becomes irrationally dependent on horoscopes, good luck charms, and the like when her life shifts from cheerleading and parties to chemotherapy and platelets, while her parents obsess and lifelong friend Gyver worries.
Schroeder, Lisa. The Day Before. Simon Pulse. 2011. 9781442417441. $9.99. Sixteen-year-old Amber, hoping to spend one perfect day alone at the beach before her world is turned upside down, meets and feels a strong connection to Cade, who is looking for his own escape, for a very different reason.
Scott, Mindi. Live Through This. Simon Pulse. 2012. 9781442440609. $9.99. From the outside, fifteen-year-old Coley Sterling's life seems imperfect but normal, but for years she has buried her shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line and now that she has a chance at having a real boyfriend, Reece, the lies begin to unravel.
Smith, Andrew. Stick. Feiwel & Friends. 2011. 9780312613419. $17.99.
Thirteen-year-old Stark "Stick" McClellan's brother has always defended him against those who tease him for his thinness and facial deformity, so when Bosten, having admitted he is gay, must leave home and their abusive parents, Stick sets out to find him.
Smith, Jennifer E. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Poppy. 2012. 9780316122382. $17.99. Stuck at the airport during her father's second wedding to a stepmother she has yet to meet, 17-year-old Hadley encounters a seemingly perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area and shares a whirlwind 24-hour romance that challenges her beliefs about family and second chances.
*Smith, Roland. Storm Runners. Scholastic Press. 2011. 9780545081771. $5.99. Twelve-year-old Chase Masters travels the country with his father, a "storm runner," but he is tested in ways he never could have imagined when he and a new friend are caught in a hurricane near St. Petersburg, Florida.
*Sonnenblick, Jordan. Curveball. Scholastic Press. 2012. 9780545320696. $17.99. After an injury ends former star pitcher Peter Friedman's athletic dreams, he concentrates on photography which leads him to a girlfriend, new fame as a high school sports photographer, and a deeper relationship with the beloved grandfather who, when he realizes he is becoming senile, gives Pete all of his professional camera gear.
Stork, Francisco K. Irises. Arthur A. Levine. 2012. 9780545151351. $17.99. Kate, eighteen, and Mary, sixteen, must make some adult decisions about the course their lives should take when their loving but old-fashioned father dies suddenly, leaving them with their mother, who has been in a persistant vegetative state since an accident four years earlier.
Stork, Francisco K. The Last Summer of the Death Warriors. Arthur A. Levine. 2010. 9780545151344. $9.99. Relocated to a boys' home while plotting to kill his sister's murderer, Pancho is unexpectedly assigned to be a companion to brain-cancer patient, D.Q., who
regales Pancho with descriptions of the Death Warrior creed and the honorable example of the beautiful Marisol.
Stork, Francisco K. Marcelo in the Real World. Arthur A. Levine, 2009. 9780545056908. $8.99. Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.
Strasnick, Lauren. Nothing Like You. Simon Pulse. 2009. 9781416982654. $8.99. After her mother's death, Holly finds happiness in a secret affair with Paul, a boy she barely knows, but after becoming friends with Paul's girlfriend, Saskia, Holly worries that her best friend or Saskia will learn the truth.
*Suma, Nova Ren. Fade Out. Simon Pulse. 2012. 9781416975656. $9.99. Imaginative thirteen-year-old Dani feels trapped in her small mountain town with only film noir at the local art theater and her depressed mother for company, but while trying to solve a real mystery she learns much about herself and life.
Summers, Courtney. Some Girls Are. Griffin. 2010. 9780312573805. $9.99. Regina, a high school senior in the popular crowd, suddenly falls out of favor and becomes the object of the same sort of vicious bullying that she used to inflict on others, until she finds solace with one of her former victims.
*Telgemeier, Raina. Smile. Graphix. 2010. 9780545132060. $10.99. An autobiography in graphic novel format describes how the author lost two of her front teeth in an accident when she was twelve, and her subsequent struggles with various corrective dental techniques throughout adolescence.
Tregay, Sarah. Love & Leftovers. Katherine Tegen Books. 2011. 9780062023582. $17.99.
When her father starts dating a man, 15-year-old Marcie's depressed mother takes her to New Hampshire and just as Marcie starts falling for a great guy, her father brings her back to Iowa, where all of her relationships have become strained.
*Van Draanen, Wendelin. The Running Dream. Alfred A. Knopf. 2011. 9780375866289. $9.99. When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.
Vaught, Susan. Going Underground. Bloomsbury USA. 2011. 9781599909196. $9.99. Interest in a new girl and pressure from his parole officer cause 17-year-old Del, a gravedigger, to recall and face the "sexting" incident three years earlier that transformed him from a straight-A student and successful athlete into a social outcast and felon.
Vigilante, Danette. The Trouble with Half a Moon. Putnam. 2011. 9780399251597. $16.99. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over her brother's death and its impact on her mother, and at odds with her best friend, twelve-year-old Dellie reaches out to a neglected boy in her building in the projects and learns from a new neighbor to have faith in herself and others.
Walker, Melissa. Unbreak My Heart. Bloomsbury USA. 2012. 9781599905280. $16.99. When a crush on a best friend's boyfriend culminates in a broken heart and social ostracism, high school student Clementine embarks on a summertime sailing adventure with her parents and finds healing and renewal in a relationship with fellow sailor, James.
Walton, K.M. Cracked. Simon Pulse. 2012. 9781442429161. $16.99. When Bull Mastrick and Victor Konig wind up in the same psychiatric ward at age sixteen, each recalls and relates in group therapy the bullying relationship they have had since kindergarten, but also facts about themselves and their families that reveal they have much in common.
Whitney, Daisy. The Mockingbirds. Little, Brown & Co. 2010. 9780316090544. $8.99. When Alex, a junior at an elite preparatory school, becomes the victim of a date rape, she confides in her roommates and sister who convince her to seek help from a secret society, the Mockingbirds.
Wright, Bil. Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy. Simon & Schuster. 2011. 9781416940043. $9.99. Sixteen-year-old Carlos Duarte is on the verge of realizing his dream of becoming a famous make-up artist, but first he must face his jealous boss at a Macy's cosmetics counter, his sister's abusive boyfriend, and his crush on a punk-rocker classmate.
*Yee, Lisa. Warp Speed. Arthur A. Levine. 2011. 9780545122764. $16.99. Marley Sandelski has always felt invisible at school when he is not facing bullies, but a series of unexpected events gives him a taste of popularity and insights into some classmates, well-liked or greatly-feared.
Young, Janet Ruth. The Babysitter Murders. Atheneum. 2011. 9781416959441. $16.99. Imaginative Massachusetts seventeen-year-old Dani Solomon confesses she has been troubled by thoughts of harming Alex, the little boy she loves to babysit, triggering gossip and a media frenzy that makes "Dani Death" the target of an extremist vigilante group.
Zarr, Sara. How to Save a Life. Little, Brown & Co. 2011. 9780316036054. $8.99.
Told from their own viewpoints, seventeen-year-old Jill, in grief over the loss of her father, and Mandy, nearly nineteen, are thrown together when Jill's mother agrees to adopt Mandy's unborn child but nothing turns out as they had anticipated. Keep your eye out for these upcoming contemporary titles...
Benway, Robin. Also Known As. Walker Books for Young Readers. February 2013. 9780802733900. $16.99. As the active-duty daughter of international spies, sixteen-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver never attended high school so when she and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, Maggie is introduced to cliques, school lunches, and maybe even a boyfriend.
Blagden, Scott. Dear Life, You Suck. Harcourt. March 2013. 9780547904313. $16.99. In this emotionally powerful, funny debut, Cricket Cherpin needs to figure out what to do with his life before he turns eighteen. But life sucks--so why not just give up?
Brown, Jennifer. Thousand Words. Little, Brown & Co. May 2013. 9780316209724. $17.99. Talked into sending a nude picture of herself to her boyfriend while she was drunk, Ashleigh became the center of a sexting scandal and is now in court-ordered community service, where she finds an unlikely ally, Mack.
Bryce, Celia. Anthem for Jackson Dawes. Bloomsbury USA. April 2013. 9781599909752. $16.99. When Megan, thirteen, arrives for her first cancer treatment, she is frustrated to be on the pediatric unit where the only other teen is Jackson Dawes.
Carter, Caela. Me, Him, Them, and It. Bloomsbury USA. February 2013. 9781599909585. $16.99. Playing the "bad girl" at school to get back at her feuding parents, sixteen-year-old Evelyn becomes pregnant and faces a difficult decision.
Chen, Justina. Return to Me. Little, Brown & Co. January 2013. 9780316102551. $17.99. Always following her parents' wishes and ignoring her psychic inner voice takes eighteen-year-old Rebecca Muir from her beloved cottage and boyfriend on Puget Sound to New York City.
Coley, Liz. Pretty Girl - 13. Katherine Tegen Books. March 2013. 9780062127372. $17.99. Sixteen-year-old Angie finds herself in her neighborhood with no recollection of her abduction or the three years that have passed since, until alternate personalities start telling her their stories through letters and recordings.
Halbrook, Kristin. Nobody But Us. HarperTeen. January 2013. 9780062121264. $9.99. Told in their separate voices, eighteen-year-old Will who has aged out of foster care, and fifteen-year-old Zoe whose father beats her, set out for Las Vegas together, but their escape may prove more dangerous than what they left behind.
Hassan, Michael. Crash and Burn. Balzer & Bray. February 2013. 9780062112903. $18.99. Steven "Crash" Crashinsky relates his sordid ten-year relationship with David "Burn" Burnett, the boy he stopped from taking their high school hostage at gunpoint.
Howland, Leila. Nantucket Blue. Hyperion. May 2013. 9781423160519. $16.99. Seventeen-year-old Cricket Thompson is planning on spending a romantic summer on Nantucket Island near her long time crush, Jay--but the death of her best friend's mother, and her own sudden intense attraction to her friend's brother Zach are making this summer complicated.
Leavitt, Lindsay. Going Vintage. Bloomsbury USA. March 2013. 9781599907871. $16.99.
When sixteen-year-old Mallory learns that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with his cyber "wife," she rebels against technology by following her grandmother's list of goals from 1962, with help from her younger sister, Ginnie.
Quick, Matthew. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Little, Brown & Co. August 2013. Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol.
Smith, Jennifer E. This is What Happy Looks Like. Poppy. April 2013. 9780316212823. $17.99. Perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O'Neill meet online when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an e-mail about his pet pig, Wilbur. When the relationship goes from online to in-person, they find out whether their relationship can be the real thing.
Smith, Kirsten. Trinkets. Little, Brown & Co. March 2013. 9780316160278. $17.99. When three Lake Oswego High School girls from different social groups, good-girl Elodie, popular Tabitha, and tough Moe, meet in a rehabilitation group, they discover they have much more in common than shoplifting.
Spalding, Amy. The Reece Malcolm List. Entangled Teen. February 2013. 9781620612408. $9.99. While attending a performing arts school, making new friends, landing the lead in the musical, and falling for the attractive Sai, sixteen-year-old Devan attempts to forge a relationship with her enigmatic mother, Reece Malcolm, after her father's death. \
Whitney, Daisy. When You Were Here. Little, Brown & Co. June 2013. An American teenager travels from California to Tokyo to uncover the secrets surrounding the death of his mother, all while trying to both hold onto and let go of the girl he’s been in love with his whole life.
Zara, Sara. The Lucy Variations. Little, Brown & Co. May 2013. 9780316205016. $17.99. Sixteen-year-old San Franciscan Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. Her chance at a career has passed, and she decides to help her tenyear-old piano prodigy brother, Gus, map out his own future.