Best of 2011 (Staff Picks) - For Teens

A Monster Calls: A Novel

By Patrick Ness

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Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill--an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.

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Akata Witch

By Okorafor

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Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer. Selected by multiple CRRL Staff members.

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Between Shades of Gray

By Ruta Sepetys

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In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author's family, includes a historical note. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

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Can I see your I.D.?: True Stories of False Identities

By Chris Barton

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Stories of ten impostors-- many of them teenagers-- push questions of identity, deception, and gullibility to the extreme.

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Chime

By Franny Billingsley

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In the early twentieth century in Swampsea, seventeen-year-old Briony, who can see the spirits that haunt the marshes around their town, feels responsible for her twin sister's horrible injury until a young man enters their lives and exposes secrets that even Briony does not know about.

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Crazy Beautiful

By Lauren Baratz-Logsted

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In this contemporary retelling of "Beauty and the Beast," a teenaged boy whose hands were amputated in an explosion and a gorgeous girl whose mother has recently died form an instant connection when they meet on their first day as new students.

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone

By Laini Taylor

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Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters--the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.

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Delirium

By Lauren Oliver

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Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, she falls in love.

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Divergent

By Veronica Roth

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In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

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Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and its Legacy

By Albert Marrin

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Provides a detailed account of the disastrous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, which claimed the lives of 146 garment workers in 1911, and examines the impact of this event on the nation's working conditions and labor laws.

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