Best of 2011 (Staff Picks) - For Teens

Patrick Ness

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.

Okorafor

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.

Ruta Sepetys

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.

Chris Barton

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

Franny Billingsley

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.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted

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.

Laini Taylor

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.

Lauren Oliver

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.

Veronica Roth

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.

Albert Marrin

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.

Maggie Stiefvater

A human girl and her werewolf boyfriend must fight for their love as death comes closing in.

Malinda Lo

Seventeen-year-olds Kaede and Taisin are called to go on a dangerous and unprecedented journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen, in an effort to restore the balance of nature in the human world.

Rachel Ward

Like his mother, Jem, when sixteen-year-old Adam looks in people's eyes he can see the dates of their deaths and now he sees the same date, six months in the future, in nearly everyone around him in the London of 2026.

Gary D. Schmidt

As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer--a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

Ellen Hopkins

Northern Nevada teenagers Cara, Kendra, Sean, and Andre, tell in their own voices of their very different paths toward perfection and how their goals change when tragedy strikes.

Kathryn Erskine

Fourteen-year-old Mike, whose father is a brilliant mathematician but who has no math aptitude himself, spends the summer in rural Pennsylvania with his elderly and eccentric relatives Moo and Poppy, helping the townspeople raise money to adopt a Romanian orphan. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

Mary E. Pearson

Two-hundred-sixty years after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, sixteen-year-old Locke and seventeen-year-old Kara have been brought back to life in newly bioengineered bodies, with many questions about the world they find themselves in and more than two centuries of horrible memories of being trapped in a digital netherworld wondering what would become of them.

Maggie Stiefvater

Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Rick Riordan

Carter Kane and his sister must prevent the chaos snake Apophis from breaking free in a few days' time or the world will come to an end. To have any chance of battling these Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra.

Katherine Hannigan

For most of her eleven years, Delly has been in trouble without knowing why, until her little brother, R.B., and a strange, silent new friend, Ferris, help her find a way to be good--and happy--again.

Steve Watkins

When her veterinarian father dies, sixteen-year-old Iris Wight must move from Maine to North Carolina where her Aunt Sue spends Iris's small inheritance while abusing her physically and emotionally, but the hardest to take is her mistreatment of the farm animals.

Gayle Forman

Adam, now a rising rock star, and Mia, a successful cellist, reunite in New York and reconnect after the horrific events that tore them apart when Mia almost died in a car accident three years earlier. Sequel to If I Stay.