Teen Blog

Freedom Middle School Picks Their Top Teen Books

Book Cover image for Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

Fast, dark, and dangerous! That's what eighth graders at Freedom Middle School wanted during this year's Cafe Book program. The books they chose as their top picks and favorites this year reflected this, but there are still some quieter, more contemplative titles in the bunch. Here are the 2011 Cafe Book Freedom Top Teen Pick winners!
 
Top Picks:  

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
Inexplicable events start to occur when sixteen-year-old twins Tennyson and Brontë befriend a troubled and misunderstood outcast, aptly nicknamed Bruiser, and his little brother, Cody.

Malice by Chris Wooding
Malice
by Chris Wooding

Once you get into the story, there's no way out. Everyone's heard the rumors. If you gather the right things and say the right words, you'll be taken to Malice, a world that exists inside a horrifying comic book. It's a world that few kids know about ... and even fewer survive. Seth and Kady think it's all a silly myth. But then their friend, Luke, disappears and suddenly the rumors don't seem silly after all. Malice is real. Malice is deadly. And Seth and Kady are about to be trapped inside it.

Recommended Teen Book Award Winners

Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel

I am thrilled to share my first column with Caroline’s readers. Through the years, I have helped many of you find the titles Caroline recommended so I know how enthusiastically the column was embraced and will endeavor to continue her tradition of sharing great books for children of all ages. Luckily, children’s literature is in my blood. I began shelving books in the Headquarters Library children’s department while still in high school.

If you like Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree

Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree

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.

Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
Growing up in the flamboyant 1980's, Tracy Ellison is a smart and charming teenager who uses her good looks to attract any boy she wants. With a life of promiscuity as she approaches womanhood, she learns valuable lessons that impels her to examine her reckless lifestyle.

If you like Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree you might like:

Boss Lady by Omar Tyree
Boss Lady by Omar Tyree
(follows Flyy Girl)
Rescued by now successful filmmaker Tracy, Vanessa finds herself immune to Hollywood's parties and smooth-talking players. She is at the top of her game, thoroughly in charge, and taking life strictly on her own terms. She tries to persuade Tracy to film Flyy Girl, and Tracy is prepared to do anything to make sure it's done right. (Adult Fiction)

 

 The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
The Coldest Winter Ever
by Sister Souljah
Ghetto-born, Winter is the young, wealthy daughter of a prominent Brooklyn drug-dealing family. Quick-witted, sexy, businessminded, and fashionable, Winter knows no restrictions. No one can control her. She's nobody's victim. And her Pops lets her know she deserves the best. No slum jewelry, cheap shoes, or knockoff designer stuff ... Winter knows the Brooklyn streets like she knows the curves of her own body. She maneuvers skillfully, applying all she has learned to come out on top, no matter how dramatically the scenes change. But a cold Winter wind is about to blow her life in a direction she could never have expected. (Adult Fiction)

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
The First Part Last
by Angela Johnson
Sixteen-year-old Bobby and his girlfriend, Na, had planned to put their baby, Feather, up for adoption, but Feather becomes impossible to relinquish. (Young Adult Fiction)

 
 

A Girl Like Me by Ni-Ni SimoneA Girl Like Me by Ni-Ni Simone
She's got a voice like Keisha Cole, attitude to burn and is the body-rockin', Bebe-sporting girl everyone in her high school wants to be...or be with. But in real life, sixteen-year-old Elite has a crack-addicted mother, no father in sight, and is secretly raising her sister and two brothers on her own. Now a radio contest has put her up-close-and-personal with mega-hot singer Hanseef and their chemistry is too sizzling for Elite to stop pretending. And as the clock ticks down fast for this hood Cinderella, she has only one shot to save her family and make all of her dreams come true. (Young Adult Fiction)

Glitter by Babygirl Daniels
Glitter
by Babygirl Daniels
Asia Smith is still reeling from her rich father's death, but she looks forward to starting high school with her best friend, Tracey, until she loses Tracey in a fight over a boy who subsequently gets her pregnant and dumps her. (Young Adult Fiction)

 

2011 Award-Winning Teen Books

Here are the 2011 winners of the American Library Association's young adults book awards:

Michael L. Printz Award

Printz Award Home Page
The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association. The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.

Ship Breaker
2011 Winner

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi 

2011 Honors

Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick
Nothing by Janne Teller



 

If you like the Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan

Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan

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.

The Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan begins with The Vampire's Assistant:
After traveling with Mr. Crepsley, the vampire who made him into a half-vampire, Darren returns to the freak show known as the Cirque du Freak and continues to fight his need to drink human blood.

We have eleven other books in the Cirque du Freak series that you would probably enjoy. They are all written by Darren Shan. Here are some other titles you might like: 

Abarat by Clive Barker
Abarat
by Clive Barker
Candy Quackenbush of Chickentown, Minnesota, one day finds herself on the edge of a foreign world that is populated by strange creatures, and her life is forever changed.




The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos
The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs
by Jack Gantos
On an unseasonably warm Easter Sunday, a young girl named Ivy discovers a chilling secret in the basement of the Rumbaugh pharmacy across the street from the hotel where she lives with her mother.

 

 

The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
The Secret Hour
by Scott Westerfeld
Upon moving to Bixby, Oklahoma, fifteen-year-old Jessica Day learns that she is one of a group of people who have special abilities that help them fight ancient creatures living in an hour hidden at midnight; creatures that seem determined to destroy Jess.

 

 Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
Un Lun Dun
by China Mieville
What is Un Lun Dun? It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people, too - including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book. When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong.

If you like Gone by Michael Grant

Gone by Michael Grant

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.

Gone by Michael Grant
In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have "The Power" and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.

Here are some books I think you might enjoy if you like Gone and action/adventure books: 

Hunger by Michael Grant
Hunger
by Michael Grant
The sequel to Gone: Conditions worsen for the remaining young residents of a small California coastal town isolated by supernatural events when their food supplies dwindle and the Darkness underground awakens.

 
 

Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson
Adoration of Jenna Fox
by Mary Pearson
In the not-too-distant future, when biotechnological advances have made synthetic bodies and brains possible but illegal, a seventeen-year-old girl, recovering from a serious accident and suffering from memory lapses, learns a startling secret about her existence.

 
 

Feed by M. T. Anderson
Feed
by M. T. Anderson
In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.


 

 H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark Walden
H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education
by Mark Walden
Swept away to a hidden academy for training budding evil geniuses, Otto, a brilliant orphan, Wing, a sensitive warrior, Laura, a shy computer specialist, and Shelby, an infamous jewel thief, plot to beat the odds and escape the prison known as H.I.V.E. The sequel to H.I.V.E. is called The Overlord Protocol.

 

If you like The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trent Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trent Lee Stewart

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.

Mysterious Benedict Society by Trent Lee Stewart
After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

The books below give Mysterious Benedict Society a run for its money with their mystery, extraordinary powers, great characters and adventure!

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
The Girl Who Could Fly
by Victoria Forester
When home schooled farm girl Piper McCloud reveals her ability to fly, she is quickly taken to a secret government facility to be trained with other exceptional children, but she soon realizes that something is very wrong and begins working with brilliant and wealthy Conrad to escape. This is a new book– and one of my favorites! It has all the components that I think you’re looking for, plus some great plot twists.

 

H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark Walden
H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education
by Mark Walden
Swept away to a hidden academy for training budding evil geniuses, Otto, a brilliant orphan, Wing, a sensitive warrior, Laura, a shy computer specialist, and Shelby, an infamous jewel thief, plot to beat the odds and escape the prison known as H.I.V.E. This is another really popular book that I think you’ll love!

 

Kiki Strike by Kirsten Miller
Kiki Strike
by Kirsten Miller
Life becomes more interesting for Ananka Fishbein when, at the age of twelve, she discovers an underground room in the park across from her New York City apartment and meets a mysterious girl called Kiki Strike who claims that she, too, wants to explore the subterranean world.

 

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan
Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.

 

If you like Cut by Patricia McCormick

Cut by Patricia McCormick

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.

Cut by Patricia McCormick
While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better.

If you like Cut by Patricia McCormick, here are some other books you may like based on shared issues or themes:


Self-mutiliation: 

Blade Silver: Color Me Scarred by Melody Carlson
Blade Silver: Color Me Scarred
by Melody Carlson
Ruth copes with an abusive situation at home by cutting herself, until her high school counselor helps her get the treatment she needs to start a new life. (Christian fiction author)

 

 

Crosses by Shelley Stoehr
Crosses
by Shelley Stoehr
Unhappy at home, Nancy and her friend Katie adopt punk lifestyles and find relief in cutting themselves, until Nancy is forced to confront her problems.



 

Institutions/therapy/suicide attempts:

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.
 

 

The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon
The Burn Journals
by Brent Runyon
Brent Runyon was fourteen years old when he set himself on fire. In this book he describes that suicide attempt and his recovery over the following year. (autobiography)

 

If you like Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

Here are some books that deal with themes similar to Thirteen Reasons Why:

Aimee by Mary Beth Miller
Aimee
by Mary Beth Miller
After she is accused of playing a role in her best friend's death, a young woman battles depression, anger, guilt, loneliness, and the problems of her own family as well as those of the families of her old friends.

 
 

By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead
by Julie Anne Peters
High school student Daelyn Rice, who's been bullied throughout her school career and has more than once attempted suicide, again makes plans to kill herself, in spite of the persistent attempts of an unusual boy to draw her out.
 

 

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Hate List
by Jennifer Brown
Sixteen-year-old Valerie, whose boyfriend Nick committed a school shooting at the end of their junior year, struggles to cope with integrating herself back into high school life, unsure herself whether she was a hero or a villain.

 
 

Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Hold Still
by Nina LaCour
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.
 

 

If you like The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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.

The Name of the Wind
This is the tale of a magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story.
 

If you like The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss here are some other titles you might like:


The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass
(His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

  
 

Imager: The First Book of the Imager Portfolio by L.E. Modesitt
Apprentice portraitist Rhennthyl begins training as a covert operative after he discovers that he has the magical ability called Imaging. When his martial training kicks into high gear though, an unknown assassin tries to kill him.