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Great Teen Reads

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Suggested by your friendly, local librarian...


Fiction | Non-Fiction


The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation:   The Pox Party

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson
Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age sixteen, as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War.

Black and White

Black and White by Paul Volponi
Two star high school basketball players, one black and one white, experience the justice system differently after committing a crime together and getting caught.

Book Thief

Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.


Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Gifted Kristina Georgia Snow takes a harrowing journey through the nightmare of drug addiction, in a book based on actual events


Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
After fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to "live."

Looking for Alaska

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 fat


Lucas by Kevin Brooks
As a 15 year old girl living with your grieving father on an island, you meet a newcomer and experience prejudice, hatred and loss.

The MInister's Daughter

The Minister’s Daughter by Julie Hearn
In 1645 in England, the daughters of the town minister successfully accuse a local healer and her granddaughter of witchcraft to conceal an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, but years later during the 1692 Salem trials their lie has unexpected repercussions.

Son of the Mob:  Hollywood Hustle

Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle by Gordon Korman
Having moved away from his mob-related family to an entirely new world at an upscale college in Los Angeles, Vince begins to breathe easy knowing that his new life can begin, but when a collection of uncles starts coming for visits to the dorm, Vince realizes that his real identity won't remain a secret for very long, in the sequel to Son of the Mob.

Swallowing Stones

Swallowing Stones by Joyce McDonald
You shoot off a rifle on the 4th of July and later learn that at the same time across town, a man is shot in his neck while repairing his roof. You are about to go to college on a scholarship. Do you go to the police and share what you know?


Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human.


Wrecked by E. R. Frank
After a car accident seriously injures her best friend and kills her brother's girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Anna tries to cope with her guilt and grief, while learning some truths about her family and herself.


Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
A mountaineer who survived a near-fatal accident by amputating his arm when it became trapped behind a boulder in Utah describes how he endured more than five days of hypothermia, dehydration, and hallucinations before managing his own rescue.

Chew on This

Chew on This by Eric Schlosser
A behind-the-scenes look at the fast food industry.

The Freedom Writers Diary

The Freedom Writers Diary: how a teacher and 150 teens used writing to change themselves and the world around them by the Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell
A true account of a teacher who confronted a room of "at-risk" students details their life-changing journey and includes diary excerpts.


Hitler Youth:  Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow

Hitler Youth: growing up in Hitler's shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Through interviews with surviving Hitler Youth members as well as those who resisted the movement, explores how Hitler gained the loyalty, trust, and passion of so many of Germany's young people that by the time he became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, 3.5 million children belonged to the Hitler Youth.


Swimming to Antarctica:  tales of a long-distance swimmer

Swimming to Antarctica: tales of a long-distance swimmer by Lynne Cox
A noted long-distance swimmer with a love for cold water describes her eventful career in the sport, from her record-breaking English Channel crossing and her 1987 swim across the Bering Strait from America to the Soviet Union to her exploits in the Straits of Magellan, Lake Baikal, and Antarctica.


We Beat the Street:  how a friendship pact helped us succeed

We Beat the Street: how a friendship pact helped us succeed by Sampson Davis
Making a pact to stick together through the rough times in their impoverished Newark neighborhood, three boys found the strength and determination to work through their difficulties in order to make their dreams come true by completing high school, getting through college, and attending medical school together.