Try these new and classic books
to keep your 12-year-olds and teenagers interested in reading.
After Tupac and D Foster
By Jacqueline Woodson*
The powerful and sustaining bonds of friendship, family and community are explored in this story of three 11-year-old girls living in a close-knit African-American neighborhood in Queens, New York, as they experience various changes in their lives as they move from childhood to adolescence.
Putnam, 2008. ISBN: 9780399246548
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. II: The Kingdom on the Waves
In elegant but complex sentence structure rich with eighteenth-century vocabulary, Octavian Nothing, a teenage black slave, narrates his heroic and compelling journey through the epic period of the founding of America. As he moves through the swirl of events around him and the birth of the nation, Octavian experiences the basic human struggles for independence, identity, freedom and love.
By M.T. Anderson*
Candlewick, 2008. ISBN: 9780763629502
A Curse Dark as Gold
Charlotte Miller and her sister, Rosie, have inherited the ill-fated Stirwaters Mill. The determined Charlotte refuses to give in to the constant plague of bad luck with the mill while she and her sister are further hampered by their eccentric Uncle Wheeler who mysteriously shows up after their father's death to "help the girls." A suspenseful, romantic and magical tale that keeps the reader engrossed until the end.
By Elizabeth C. Bunce*
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2008. ISBN: 9780439895767
Sam Jones loves skateboarding and Tony Hawk. When, at the age of 15, his girlfriend, Alicia, gets pregnant, his life suddenly changes and he learns to cope. Much more than a contemporary problem novel, this book combines humor, wacky characters and an unusual writing style.
By Nick Hornby
Putnam, 2007. ISBN: 9780399250484
A shark attack dampens Jane's artistic dreams. Written in prose, she struggles to accept the reactions of her friends and family.
By Kelly Bingham
Candlewick, 2007. ISBN: 9780763632076
Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial
As the world looks in on the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, teens and adults alike find their thoughts and beliefs challenged and affected by the famous "monkey trial" in this thoughtful and thought-provoking free-verse novel of an historic incident that still reverberates today.
By Jen Bryant
Knopf, 2008. ISBN: 9780375840470
You Know Where to Find Me
First cousins Laura and Miles grew up like sisters and were inseparable...until Laura blossomed into a beautiful, rich, popular girl and Miles became lost, overweight and an outcast. When Laura commits suicide, Miles is devastated and needs to learn how to live her life without Laura and to find her own inner beauty.
By Rachel Cohn
Simon & Schuster, 2008. ISBN: 9780689878596
The Patron Saint of Butterflies
Agnes and Honey are best friends, but as they grow older, they grow more and more different. They live in a tightly-knit religious community filled with Believers. But while Agnes completely buys into the lifestyle, Honey wants out. Agnes' grandmother arrives suddenly and discovers a horrible secret about the community. She plans their escape from the commune, and Agnes, her little brother and Nana begin a life-altering journey.
By Cecilia Galante
Bloomsbury, 2008. ISBN: 9781599902494
Quentin Jacobsen believes that everyone gets one miracle in life, and his is living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo Roth Spiegelman is the epitome of Quentin's dreams, and he will do anything for her. When Margo mysteriously disappears and leaves enigmatic clues for Quentin, he feels he must drop everything and find her. But will he find the Margo he thinks he knows or someone entirely different?
By John Green
Dutton, 2008. ISBN: 9780525478188
Thirteen years ago, 36 babies landed at an airport under mysterious circumstances. Now they are all teenagers who have no idea that their lives are in serious danger until two of them begin to piece together the surprising truth about their pasts.
By Margaret Peterson Haddix
Simon & Schuster, 2008. ISBN 9781416954170
Book of a Thousand Days
When Lady Saren refused to marry the man chosen for her, her father had her sealed in a tower for seven years. Her brave and clever maid tells the story of the imprisonment and of the amazing events that followed.
By Shannon Hale
Bloomsbury, 2007. ISBN: 9781599900513
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
For decades, the Loyal Order of the Bassett Hound has been the secret club of select boys at an exclusive prep school. But when Frankie finds out about it, she devises a risky plan to infiltrate and control the mysterious society, with humorous and surprising results.
By E. Lockhart
Hyperion, 2008. ISBN 9780786838189
Stephanie's uncle dies, leaving his estate to her. A storm results in the 12-year-old staying alone overnight in her uncle's empty house, where she meets and joins forces with strange skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant. Action abounds in this wacky fantasy, and there's a sequel.
By Derek Landy; illustrated by Tom Percival
HarperCollins, 2007. ISBN: 9780061231155
Pedro, a 6-year-old boy from Mexico, is the only survivor of a group who attempted to illegally cross the border into the United States. Facing severe dehydration, Pedro is hospitalized and comes to live with Sophie and her family until he is contacted from members of his extended family still living in Mexico. Pedro has to decide if he wants to go back or stay with his new family, a choice a 6-year-old should never have to face.
By Laura Resau
Random, 2007. ISBN: 9780385734660
Henry Smith lives a safe and secure life in his family home until trouble arrives one day in the form of a pickup truck that strikes and severely injures his older brother. The accident leads to racial hostility, revelations of family secrets and a dangerous journey that throws Henry together with the boy who drove the vehicle that hit his brother.
By Gary D. Schmidt
Clarion, 2008. ISBN: 9780618927661
The Wednesday Wars
For Holling Hoodhood, seventh grade in 1967 includes some highlights (meeting the Yankees and winning cross country races) and plenty of lowlights (yellow tights, a tough teacher and a very large rat) in this humorous coming-of-age novel.
By Gary D. Schmidt
Clarion, 2007. ISBN: 9780618724833
Hundreds of ingeniously crafted illustrations tell the story of a man who leaves his family to explore new lands in this innovative, wordless tale. Fantastical creatures and dramatic cityscapes are the backdrop to a universal tale about family, friendship and finding a new home.
By Shaun Tan
Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2007. ISBN: 9780439895293
Big Fat Manifesto
Full-bodied high school senior Jamie Carcaterra is looking forward to an amazing year filled with performing in the school play, writing for the school newspaper and hanging out with her friends and boyfriend. When Jamie's boyfriend decides to have gastric bypass surgery, Jamie must explore how her body is perceived by him, others and, most importantly, herself. She has to decide how to make her way into her future without forgetting her true self.
By Susan Vaught
Bloomsbury, 2007. ISBN: 9781599902067
All of a sudden, teens who have died are coming back to life. Oakvale High is one of the only high schools that allows "differently biotic" (DB) students to attend. When Phoebe, a typical high school girl, becomes attracted to a DB boy, she faces criticism and hostility from her family and peers. Can the living and the dead coexist?
By Daniel Waters
Hyperion, 2008. ISBN: 9781423109211
Make sure your teenagers are up to speed on their classics.
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, March 9, 2014
© 2014 Harpo Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.