Almond, David– Savage (79 pages) – A boy tells about a story he wrote when dealing with his father’s death about a savage kid living in a ruined chapel in the woods – and the tale about the savage kid coming to life in the real world.
Anderson, Laurie Halse – Chains (316 pages) – After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
Anderson, M. T. – The Kingdom on the Waves (561 pages) – After escaping from a death sentence in the summer of 1775, Octavian and his tutor, Dr. Trefusis, find shelter but no safe harbor in British-occupied Boston and, on hearing of Lord Dunmore’s proclamation offering freedom to slaves who join counterrevolutionary forces, Octavian and his friends find themselves on board a British ship raiding the shores of Virginia as the Revolutionary War breaks out in full force.
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell – The Boy Who Dared (202 pages) – In October, 1942, seventeen-year-old Helmuth Hubener, imprisoned for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets, recalls his past life and how he came to dedicate himself to bring the truth about Hitler and the war to the German people.
Bell, Hilari – The Last Knight (357 pages) – In alternate chapters, eighteen-year-old Sir Michael Savenson, an anachronistic knight errant, and seventeen-year-old Fisk, his street-wise squire, tell of their noble quest to bring Lady Ceciel to justice while trying to solve her husband’s murder.
Benway, Robin – Audrey, Wait! (313 pages) – While trying to score a date with her cute co-worker at the Scooper Dooper, sixteen-year-old Audrey gains unwanted fame and celebrity status when her ex-boyfriend, a rock musician, records a breakup song about her that soars to the top of the Billboard charts.
Blundell, Judy – What I Saw and How I Lied (284 pages) – In 1947, with her jovial stepfather Joe back from the war and family life returning to normal, teenage Evie, smitten by the handsome young ex-GI who seems to have a secret hold on Joe, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome change her life and that of her family forever.
Booth, Coe – Kendra (292 pages) – High schooler Kendra longs to live with her mother who, unprepared for motherhood at age fourteen, left Kendra in the care of her grandmother.
Bradbury, Jennifer – Shift (245 pages) – When best friends Chris and Win go on a cross country bicycle trek the summer after graduating and only one returns, the FBI wants to know what happened.
Brothers, Meagan – Debbie Harry Sings in French (234 pages) – When Johnny completes an alcohol rehabilitation program, his mother sends him to live with his uncle in North Carolina. There he meets Maria, who seems to understand his fascination with the new wave band Blondie, and he learns about his deceased father’s youthful forays into “glam rock,” which gives him perspective on himself, his past, and his current life.
Bunce, Elizabeth C. – A Curse Dark as Gold (395 pages) – Upon the death of her father, seventeen-year-old Charlotte struggles to keep the family’s woolen mill running in the face of an overwhelming mortgage and what the local villagers believe is a curse, but when a man capable of spinning straw into gold appears on the scene she must decide if his help is worth the price.
Caletti, Deb – The Fortunes of Indigo Skye (298 pages) – Eighteen-year-old Indigo is looking forward to becoming a full-time waitress after high school graduation, but her life is turned upside down by a large check given to her by a customer who appreciates that she cares enough to scold him for smoking.
Cashore, Kristin – Graceling (471 pages) – In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
Colfer, Eoin – Airman (412 pages) – In the late nineteenth century, when Conor Broekhart discovers a conspiracy to overthrow the king, he is branded a traitor, imprisoned, and forced to mine for diamonds under brutal conditions while he plans a daring escape from prison by way of a flying machine that he must design, build, and, hardest of all, trust to carry him to safety.
Collins, Suzanne – The Hunger Games (374 pages) – In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.
Conner, Leslie – Waiting for Normal(290 pages) – Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother’s erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.
de la Pena, Matt – Mexican WhiteBoy (249 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being half-Mexican and half-white while spending a summer with his cousin and new friends on the baseball fields and back alleys of San Diego County, California.
Doctorow, Cory – Little Brother(380 pages) – After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, seventeen-year-old Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise at computer hacking to set things right.
Dowd, Siobhan –
- Bog Child(321 pages) – In 1981, the height of Ireland’s “Troubles,” eighteen-year-old Fergus is distracted from his upcoming A-level exams by his imprisoned brother’s hunger strike, the stress of being a courier for Sinn Fein, and dreams of a murdered girl whose body he discovered in a bog.
- The London Eye Mystery (322 pages) – When Ted and Kat’s cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together – Ted with his brain that is “wired differently” and impatient Kat – to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.
Engle, Margarita – The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom(169 pages) – Caves and hidden huts serve as secret hospitals for Rosa as she risks her life nursing the sick and wounded during three wars for Cuba’s independence from 1850-1899. Synopsis from YALSA.
Fleischman, Sid –
Fletcher, Christine – Ten Cents a Dance (356 pages) – In 1940s Chicago, fifteen-year-old Ruby hopes to escape poverty by becoming a taxi dancer in a nightclub, but the work has unforeseen dangers and hiding the truth from her family and friends becomes increasingly difficult.
Gaiman, Neil – The Graveyard Book (312 pages) – Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.
Gardner, Sally – The Red Necklace: a Story of the French Revolution (378 pages) – In the late eighteenth century, Sido, the twelve-year-old daughter of a self-indulgent marquis, and Yann, a fourteen-year-old Gypsy orphan raised to perform in a magic show, face a common enemy at the start of the French Revolution.
Geerling, Marjetta – Fancy White Trash (257 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Abby Savage hopes that her five rules for falling in love will keep her making the same mistakes as her mother and two older sisters.
George, Jessica Day – Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow(328 pages) – A girl travels east of the sun and west of the moon to free her beloved prince from a magic spell.
Green, John – Paper Towns(305 pages) – one month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Ruth Spiegelman, Q’s neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.
Harmon, Michael B. – The Last Exit to Normal (275 pages) – Yanked out of his city life and plunked down into a small Montana town with his father and his father’s boyfriend, seventeen-year-old Ben, angry and resentful about the changed circumstances of his life, begins to notice that something is not quite right with the little boy next door and determines to do something about it.
Hernandez, David – Suckerpunch(217 pages) – Shy, seventeen-year-old Marcus and his sixteen-year-old brother, Enrique, accompanied by two friends, drive from their home in southern California to Monterey to confront the abusive father who walked out a year earlier, and who now wants to return home.
Hijuelos, Oscar – Dark Dude (439 pages) – In the 1960s, Rico Fuentes, a pale-skinned Cuban American teenager, abandons drug-infested New York City for the picket fence and apple pie world of Wisconsin, only to discover that he still feels like an outsider and that violent and judgmental people can be found even in the wholesome Midwest.
Jenkins, A. M. – Night Road (362 pages) – Battling his own memories and fears, Cole, an extraordinarily conscientious vampire, and Sandor, a more impulsive acquaintance, spend a few months on the road, trying to train a young man who recently joined their ranks.
Johnson, Maureen – Suite Scarlett(353 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Scarlett Marvin is stuck in New York City for the summer working at her quirky family’s historic hotel, but her brother’s attractive new friend and a seasonal guest who offers her an intriguing and challenging writing project improve her outlook.
Juby, Susan – Another Kind of Cowboy(344 pages) – In Vancouver, two teenage dressage riders, one a spoiled rich girl and the other a closeted gay sixteen-year-old boy, come to terms with their identities and learn to accept themselves.
Katcher, Brian – Playing with Matches (294 pages) – While trying to find a girl who will date him, Missouri high school junior Leon Sanders befriends a lonely, disfigured classmate.
Kibuishi, Kazu – Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper(185 pages) – After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous.
Kuklin, Susan – No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row (212 pages) – In their own voices—raw and uncensored—inmates sentenced to death as teenagers talk about their lives in prison, and share their thoughts and feelings about how they ended up there.
Lanagan, Margo –Tender Morsels(436 pages) – A young woman who has endured unspeakable cruelties is magically granted a safe haven apart from the real world and allowed to raise her two daughters in this alternate reality, until the barrier between the two worlds begins to breakdown.
Lester, Julius – Guardian(129 pages) – In a rural southern town in 1946, a white man and his son witness the lynching of an innocent black man.
Link, Kelly – Pretty Monsters: Stories(389 pages) – Nine shorts stories ranging from science fiction to fantasy to horror.
Lockhart, E. – The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (345 pages) – Frankie is determined to bring down the all-male Loyal Order of the Bassett Hounds of Alabaster Preparatory Academy.
Marchetta, Melina – Jellicoe Road (419 pages) – Winner of the 2009 Printz Award! Abandoned by her drug-addicted mother at the age of eleven, high school student Taylor Markham struggles with her identity and family history at a boarding school in Australia.
Marillier, Juliet – Cybele’s Secret (432 pages) – Scholarly eighteen-year-old Paula and her merchant father journey from Transylvania to Istanbul to buy an ancient pagan artifact rumored to be charmed, but others, including a handsome Portuguese pirate and an envoy from the magical Wildwood, want to acquire the item as well.
Mazer, Norma Fox – The Missing Girl (284 pages) – In Mallory, New York, as five sisters, aged eleven to seventeen, deal with assorted problems, conflicts, fears, and yearnings a mysterious middle-aged man watches them, fascinated, deciding which one he likes the best.
McMullen, Margaret – When I Crossed No-Bob(209 pages) – Ten years after the Civil War’s end, twelve-year-old Addy, abandoned by her parents, is taken from the horrid town of No-Bob by schoolteacher Frank Russell and his bride, but when her father returns to claim her she must find another way to leave her past behind.
McNamee, Graham – Bonechiller (294 pages) – Four high school students face off against a soul-stealing beast that has been making young people disappear in their small Ontario town for centuries.
Meldrum, Christina – Madapple(410 pages) – A girl who has been brought up in near isolation is thrown into a twisted web of family secrets and religious fundamentalism when her mother ides and she goes to live with relatives she never knew she had.
Menzel, Peter – What the World Eats (160 pages) – A photographic collection exploring what the world eats featuring portraits of twenty-five families from twenty-one countries surrounded by a week’s worth of food.
Meyer, Stephenie – The Host(619 pages) – The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body didn’t expect her to refuse to relinquish possession of her mind.
Monninger, Joseph – Baby (173 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Baby’s last chance at foster care is with the Potters, and while she likes them and enjoys learning to race their sled dogs, she feels she should go back on the streets with her boyfriend if she cannot find the mother who has deserted her again.
Murphy, Pat – The Wild Girls (288 pages) – When thirteen-year-old Joan moves to California in 1972, she becomes friends with Sarah, who is timid at school but an imaginative leader when they play in the woods, and after winning a contest together they are recruited for an exclusive summer writing class that gives them new insights into themselves and others.
Napoli, Donna Jo – Hush: an Irish Princess’ Tale (308 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Melkorka, an Irish princess, is kidnapped by Russian slave traders and not only learns how to survive but to challenge some of the brutality of her captors, who are fascinated by her apparent muteness and the possibility that she is enchanted.
Nelson, Scott Reynolds – Ain’t Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry (64 pages) – Historian Nelson recounts how he came to discover the real John Henry, an African-American railroad worker who became a legend in the famous song.
Ness, Patrick – The Knife of Never Letting Go (479 pages) – Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across the New World searching for answers about his colony’s true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from the Old World.
Padian, Maria – Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress (279 pages) – Eight-grader Brett McCarthy—once good student and best-friend-to-Diane, now suspended and friendless—faces school and family troubles as she grapples with her redefined life.
Pearson, Mary E. – The Adoration of Jenna Fox(266 pages) – 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.
Porcellino, John – Thoreau at Walden (99 pages) – This graphic novel, narrated by Thoreau’s own words, weaves together elements from “Walden,” “Civil Disobedience,” “Walking,” and Thoreau’s journals to tell the story of his two years in the woods and of the night he spent in jail for refusing to pay a poll tax.
Pratchett, Terry – Nation (367 pages) – After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.
Reeve, Philip – Here Lies Arthur (339 pages) – When her village is attacked and burned, Gwyna seeks protection from the bard Myrddin, who uses Gwyna in his plan to transform young Arthur into the heroic King Arthur.
Reinhardt, Dana – How to Build a House (227 pages) – Seventeen-year-old Harper Evans hopes to escape the effects of her father’s divorce on her family and friendships by volunteering her summer to build a house in a small Tennessee town devastated by a tornado.
Schmidt, Gary – Trouble (297 pages) – Fourteen-year-old Henry, wishing to honor his brother Franklin’s dying wish, sets out to hike Maine’s Mount Katahdin with his best friend and dog. But fate adds another companion—the Cambodian refugee accused of fatally injuring Franklin—and reveals troubles that predate the accident.
Schumacher, Julie – Black Box (168 pages) – When her sixteen-year-old sister is hospitalized for depression and her parents want to keep it a secret, fourteen-year-old Elena tries to cope with her own anxiety and feelings of guilt that she is determined to conceal from outsiders.
Scott, Elizabeth –
- Living Dead Girl(170 pages) – Abducted at the age of ten, Alice has lived as a sex partner for Ray for 5 years until he informs her that she’s "too old" for his love. Synopsis from YALSA.
- Stealing Heaven (307 pages) – Danielle and her mother have spent years traveling from town to town, making their living by selling items stolen from upscale homes. Dani must evaluate her past and what she will do in the future when she begins to make friends in a new town.
Sheth, Kashmira – Keeping Corner(281 pages) – In India in the 1940s, twelve-year-old Leela’s happy, spoiled childhood ends when her husband since age nine, whom she barely knows, dies, leaving her a widow whose only hope of happiness could come from Mahatma Gandhi’s social and political reforms.
Shields, Charles J. – I am Scout(246 pages) – This biography tells the story of how Harper Lee struggled to become an author and created one of the most popular novels of the twentieth century.
Shusterman, Neal – Antsy Does Time (247 pages) – Fourteen-year-old Anthony “Antsy” Bonano learns about life, death, and a lot more when he tries to help a friend with a terminal illness feel hopeful about the future.
Smith, Andrew – Ghost Medicine (357 pages) – Still mourning the recent death of his mother, seventeen-year-old Troy relates the events of the previous year when he and his two closest friends try to retaliate against the sheriff’s son, who has been bullying them for years.
Smith, Roland – Elephant Run (318 pages) – Nick endures servitude, beatings, and more after his British father’s plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941, and when his father and others are taken prisoner and Nick is stranded with his friend Mya, they plan a daring escape on elephants, risking their lives to save Nick’s father and Mya’s brother from a Japanese prisoner of war camp.
Tamaki, Mariko – Skim (141 pages) – “Skim” is a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls’ school. When her classmate Kate is dumped by her boyfriend who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive.
Valentine, Jenny – Me, the Missing, and the Dead (201 pages) – When a series of chance events leave him in possession of an urn with ashes, sixteen-year-old Londoner, Lucas Swain, becomes convinced that its occupant, Violet Park, is communicating with him.
Venkatraman, Padma – Climbing the Stairs (247 pages) – In India, in 1941, when her father becomes brain-damaged in a non-violent protest march, fifteen-year-old Vidya and her family are forced to move in with her father’s extended family and become accustomed to a totally different way of life.
Voorheees, Coert – The Brothers Torres (316 pages) – Sophomore Frankie finally finds the courage to ask his long-term friend, Julianne, to the Homecoming dance, which ultimately leads to a face-off between a tough senior whose family owns most of their small, New Mexico town, and Frankie’s soccer-star older brother and his gang-member friends.
War is—Soldiers, Survivors, and Storytellers Talk about War (200 pages) – An anthology of fiction, speeches, poems, and essays about war.
Weatherford, Carole Boston – Becoming Billie Holiday (117 pages) – Jazz vocalist Billie Holiday looks back on her early years in this fictional memoir written in verse.
Werlin, Nancy – Impossible (376 pages) – When seventeen-year-old Lucy discovers her family is under an ancient curse by an evil Elfin Knight, she realizes to break the curse she must perform three impossible tasks before her daughter is born in order to save them both.
Wood, Don – Into the Volcano(174 pages) – While their parents are away doing research, brothers Duffy and Sumo Pugg go with their cousin, Mister Come-and-Go to Kokalaha Island, where they meet Aunt Lulu and become trapped in an erupting volcano.
Woodson, Jacqueline – After Tupac & D Foster (153 pages) – in the New York City borough of Queens in 1996, three girls bond over their shared love of Tupac Shakur’s music, as together they try to make sense of the unpredictable world in which they live.
Zarr, Sara – Sweethearts (217 pages) – After losing her soul mate, Cameron, when they were nine, Jennifer, now seventeen, transformed herself from the unpopular fat girl into the beautiful and popular Jenna, but Cameron’s unexpected return dredges up memories that cause both social and emotional turmoil.