Must Read Books

Blood Wounds
Susan Beth Pfeffer

Willa believes her blended family is a "happy family."  Then she finds out her biological father has committed a horrific crime which changes her whole outlook on family, love and life.

Feb 4, 2012
Parade of Shadows
Gloria Whelan

In 1907 England, 16-year-old Julia Hamilton longs for adventure.  She gets her wish when she persuades her father to let her accompany him on a trip to the Ottoman Empire.  Soon Julia's trip is filled with intrigue, secrecy, betrayal and even some romance.

Jan 4, 2012
The Future of Us
Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Here is another one of those teen novels that alternate chapters between a male and female perspective.  This is a trend that seems to be working well.  In The Future of Us, popular young adult writers, Jay Asher (Th1rteen R3asons Why) and Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things) do a fine job of giving us a coherent story told by Emma and Josh.  The setting is 1996.  Emma and Josh are both 16 years old and are best friends and neighbors.  One day, Emma gets ahold of an AOL CD-ROM to connect to the Internet by dial-up.  When she signs on, she automatically logs onto Facebook.  Only thing is that Facebook doesn't exist in 1996.  Emma is now able to see what her and her friends's lives are like 15 years in the future in the year 2011, when they are 31.  She shares this discovery with Josh and they struggle with living in the present while seeing how every decision they make alters their future lives. 

Dec 28, 2011
Blood Red Road
Moira Young

For fans of The Hunger Games, here is another post-apocalyptic dystopian young adult series to get pulled into.  It's got things like cage fighting, monsters, strong female characters and even romance.  Saba has grown up in Silverlake, basically a wasteland.  One day her twin brother Lugh is kidnapped and Saba must set out to rescue him.  Along the way, she teams up with a handsome loner named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks.  Blood Red Road may be predictable, but the action and writing style provides enough entertainment to get you hooked.  This is the first book in the planned Dustlands series.

Dec 18, 2011
Scott Westerfeld

Goliath is the finale of the Leviathan trilogy, the steampunk novels of the beginning of World War I.  Deryn Sharp is still trying to keep her identity secret but it's getting harder.  Alek is still determined to bring peace to the world.  New allies, enemies and weapons drive the story to its conclusion.

Dec 12, 2011
Rot & Ruin
Jonathan Maberry

Here is another young adult book following the trends of zombies and post-apocalypses.  In Rot & Ruin, America has become infested by zombies.  Teenagers must find a job by the age of fifteen or their rations will be cut in half.  Since Benny Imura can't keep a job, he starts training under his older brother Tom in the family business of killing zombies.  At first, Benny is reluctant and has no respect for his brother.  Seeing what Tom does and getting to know him closely, Benny learns a whole new worldview of both zombies and humans.

Nov 9, 2011
The Auslander
Paul Dowswell

Peter Bruck is sent to a Polish orphanage after his parents are killed during World War II.  He is given an opportunity to live in Germany since he is of German blood and looks like the prototype German youth.  He is sent to live with a family that is highly involved with the Nazi party organizations.  Although he may look the part, Peter's beliefs lead him toward another direction.  Deciding to help his girlfriend and her family Peter takes the biggest risk of his life. 

Oct 17, 2011
Walter Dean Myers

Ages 14 and up. Reese is a fourteen-year-old locked up in a juvenile detention facility called Prospect. Reese has potential, and that is why Mr. Cintron recommended him for a work-release program at Evergreen, a senior home. While working in the home, Reese meets an elderly patient named Mr. Hooft. Though Mr. Hooft despises African Americans, Reese discovers that the two of them have more in common than he first thought. 

Reese's life decisions have landed him on lockdown, but will his decisions from this point on set him free?

Sep 27, 2011
How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity
edited by Michael Cart

This is a collection of twelve tales of LGBTQ youth coming to understand who they are and make sense of their feelings.  How Beautiful the Ordinary ranges in form from brief narrative to short graphic.  Well-known young adult writers are included here, such as David Levithan, Francesca Lia Block, William Sleator, Julie Ann Peters, Jacqueline Woodson and Margo Lanagan.  Target audience is upper teen with much appeal to adults.  A few stories aren't even worth remembering, but the big pay-off comes in the final story by Gregory Maquire, The Silk Road Runs Through Tupperneck, N.H.

Sep 2, 2011
The Red Pyramid
Rick Riordan

Carter and Sadie Kane were split up at a young age when their mother passed away in an accident. Carter went to live with their Egyptologist father and traveled arond the world. Sadie lives in London, England with her maternal grandparents, who blame their daughter's death on Mr. Kane.

On Christmas Eve, the children are together with their father when he inadvertantly blows up the Rosetta Stone and is taken prisoner by an evil Egyptian god. Now, the world is in danger, and Carter and Sadie, siblings who barely know each other, must work together to save their father.

Aug 22, 2011