Surviving High School

The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian

The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian

The Gospel According to Larry, by Janet Tashjian, is the story of what happens when anti-commercialism meets the world of blogging. Josh Swensen is a nature-loving, hyperactive, slightly ingenious seventeen-year-old boy who spends most of his time avoiding his classmates. Josh only has one friend, Beth, a young feminist in the making. The two have been friends since they were in elementary school.

Recently, Josh and Beth have been spending a lot of time following an anti-commercialism, semi-evangelistic blog by an unknown person with a code name of Larry. Larry is against the widespread commercialism that targets everyone, especially teenagers. He only has seventy-five possessions, which he photographs periodically to show his fans. He does this in order to show his lack of attachment to material goods. Larry sends out sermons that primarily target the faults of big-business marketing schemes.

If you like Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

This readalike is in response to a patron's Book Match request. Interested in your own personalized reading  recommendations from our librarians? Then, fill out the Request a Book Match form, and one of our librarians will send you an email with hand-picked  titles. See more Book Matches!

Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

In September 1973, as the school year begins in his depressed Ohio town, high-school senior Kurt Shoemaker determines to be "normal," despite his chaotic home life with his volatile, alcoholic mother and the deep loyalty and affection he has for his friends in the therapy group dubbed the Madman Underground.

If you like Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes, you might like these books:

Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Going Bovine
by Libba Bray
Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen year-old who, after being diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob's (aka mad cow) disease, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital, in an attempt to find a cure. 


 

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Looking for Alaska
by John Green
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash. 

 



The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. The only friend he had killed himself, forcing him to face high school alone. But then seniors Patrick and his beautiful stepsister Sam take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love, until a repressed secret from his past threatens to destroy his newfound happiness. 

 

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Please Ignore Vera Dietz
by A.S. King
When her best friend, whom she secretly loves, betrays her and then dies under mysterious circumstances, high school senior Vera Dietz struggles with secrets that could help clear his name. 

 

The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss

The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss

The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss takes a look into the lives of middle-school girls and the cliques that can rule their relationships. This novel uncovers the world of bullying by presenting a first-person view from each of the five girls involved in the lost friendship. Throughout the text Koss digs deep into the workings of bullying and also gives hope to those that might experience bullying themselves.

Maya, Rene, Breanna, Darcy, and Candace have promised to be friends forever. But this all changes one day when Candace decides that Maya is no longer welcome to hang out with the girls. Maya is unaware of the girls’ change of heart. She calls to invite her friends to go to an amusement park with her, but for some reason none of the girls wants to go. She soon finds out that the others are having a party, and no one even thought to invite her. This wouldn't be such a big problem except for the fact that the five of them usually do everything together.

If you like Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. She leaves her animated, affectionate family in South Bend, Indiana, at least in part because of the boarding school’s glossy brochure, in which boys in sweaters chat in front of old brick buildings, girls in kilts hold lacrosse sticks on pristinely mown athletic fields, and everyone sings hymns in chapel. As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of–and, ultimately, a participant in–their rituals and mores.

If you like Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld you might like:

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
If You Come Softly

by Jacqueline Woodson
After meeting at their private school in New York, fifteen-year-old Jeremiah, who is black and whose parents are  separated, and Ellie, who is white and whose mother has twice abandoned her, fall in love and then try to cope with people's reactions. 


Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
This is the story of fifteen year old Colie. She is spending the summer with her eccentric Aunt Mira while her mother travels. Formerly chubby and still insecure, Colie has built a shell around herself. But her summer with her aunt, her aung's tenant Norman, and her friends at the Last Chance Diner teach her some important lessons about friendship and learning to love yourself.

 


Looking for Alaska by John Green
Looking for Alaska by John Green
This is the story of sixteen year old Miles and his first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama. He shares good times and great pranks with friends. But the year is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.

 


Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
A wonderful book about an angry, grieving seventeen year old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school. She travels to Paris with her father when her mother is deemed unable to care for her. She uncovers a diary of a young actress during the French revolution and her adventure begins. Who would have expected that uncovering the past could help her deal with her future?
 

If You Like Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

If You Like Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. See our other Book Matches.

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
Longing to be part of the in-crowd at her exclusive London school, orphaned, sixteen-year-old Scarlett, a trained gymnast, eagerly accepts an invitation to a party whose disastrous outcome changes her life forever.


If you like Kiss Me Kill Me, then be sure to check out the sequel, Kisses and Lies:

Kisses and Lies
Orphaned British teenager Scarlett Wakefield postpones her romance with the handsome son of the school groundskeeper in order to travel to Scotland with her American sidekick, Taylor, in search of clues to the murder of a boy ...

 

 

Try these books too:

And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman
And Then Everything Unraveled
by Jennifer Sturman
Delia Truesdale has no idea her life's about to change forever. She's too busy enjoying the California summer. Her internet tycoon mother, T.K. Truesdale, is out of town, and that means Delia can spend all her time at the beach, surfing. That is, until everything unravels. Her mother suddenly goes missing, and everyone thinks she's dead ...



Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci
Boy Proof
by Cecil Castellucci
Feeling alienated from everyone around her, Los Angeles high school senior and cinephile Victoria Denton hides behind the identity of a favorite movie character until an interesting new boy arrives at school and helps her realize that there is more to life than just the movies.


 

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
Girl, Stolen
by April Henry
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.

 

 

Friday Book Flick: Envy (an Empty Coffin novel) by Gregg Olsen

Envy (an Empty Coffin novel) by Gregg Olsen

Coming soon ... Envy (an Empty Coffin novel) by Gregg Olsen: Fifteen-year-old twins Hayley and Taylor Ryan of Port Gamble, WA, known as "Empty Coffin" because of a local legend, investigate a former friend's Christmas suicide and, along the way, discover a secret from their own past.

Place your hold now!

You Wish by Amanda Hubbard

You Wish by Amanda Hubbard

Kayla McHenry turned sixteen, and her Mom threw her a huge birthday party. That is what Kayla's mom does for a living --she puts together parties for people.  The only problem is that Kayla's mom never asked her what kind of party she wanted or if she even wanted one at all.  She didn't.  Besides all that, her best friend Nicole has become cute and popular and she is dating the guy Kayla is madly in love with ...Ben McKenzie.  In the book You Wish, by Amanda Hubbard, Kayla McHenry is 16 and miserable.  After the disappointing birthday party (the one that her best friend completely missed because she was on a date with her boyfriend), Kayla reminisces on the day and cavalierly wishes that all of her birthday wishes that she has ever made would come true. The next morning there is a bright pink pony in her yard. The next day her bedroom is full of gumballs.  After that her Raggedy Ann doll comes to life and wants to go everywhere with her, even to school. But wait there is more.  Did I mention that Ken shows up to take her out on a date? This brings to mind the phrase "be careful what you wish for."

If you like The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
The summer following her father's death, Macy plans to work at the library and wait for her brainy boyfriend to return from camp, but instead she goes to work at a catering business where she makes new friends and finally faces her grief.

If you like The Truth About Forever you might like these books: 

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
The Boyfriend List
by E. Lockhart
A Seattle fifteen-year-old explains some of the reasons for her recent panic attacks, including breaking up with her boyfriend, losing all her girlfriends, tensions between her performance-artist mother and her father, and more. Read the sequel, The Boy Book, too!

 


The Earth, My Butt, and Other, Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
The Earth, My Butt, and Other, Big Round Things
by Carolyn Mackler
Feeling like she does not fit in with the other members of her family, who are all thin, brilliant, and good-looking, fifteen-year-old Virginia tries to deal with her self-image, her first physical relationship, and her disillusionment with some of the people closest to her.


 

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
How I Live Now
by Meg Rosoff
To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land.

Friday Book Flick: Blood on My Hands by Todd Strasser

Blood on My Hands by Todd Strasser

If you liked Wish You Were Dead  check out Todd Strasser's newest page-turner mystery, Blood on My Hands: Callie is on the run since being photographed by the body of her murdered best friend holding the murder weapon. Can she discover who the murderer is and prove her innocence?

If you like Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. See our other Book Matches.

Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
As a Chicano boy living in the unglamorous town of Hollywood, New Mexico, and a member of the graduating class of 1969, Sammy Santos faces the challenges of "gringo" racism, unpopular dress codes, the Vietnam War, barrio violence, and poverty.
 

Here are some titles that either touch on gang life, Latino youth, or a women's point of view from a different culture.

An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio by Judith Ortiz Cofer
An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio
by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Twelve stories about young people caught between their Puerto Rican heritage and their American surroundings.

 

 

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Does My Head Look Big in This?
by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Year Eleven at an exclusive prep school in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, would be tough enough, but it is further complicated for Amal when she decides to wear the hijab, the Muslim head scarf, full-time as a badge of her faith--without losing her identity or sense of style.


 

How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
How the García Girls Lost Their Accents
by Julia Alvarez
Captures the vivid lives of the García sisters, four privileged and rebellious Dominican girls adapting to their new lives in America.