Book List for Adolescents EDU 350

HOB Pedagogy Literature Notebook LinkLiterature Notebook Genre Directory

Author Publication Date Title My Comments My Rating
Adele Griffin
Where I Want to Be
Two teen sisters Jane and Lily drift apart, but death brings them together. This powerful story of Jane, with mental illness, and its grip on her family is told in alternating voices from two very different sisters who try to bring light to each other. The mixing of voices blurs the line between imagination and reality, life and death, grief and guilt, hanging on and letting go. No Rating
Alice Hoffman
Green Angel
Green loses her family at fifteen and retreats into her ruined garden. she struggles to survive emotinally and physically.
Imagery from 9-11 or the journey through adolescence to finding yourself as an adult. Creative and thought provoking.
Five Stars
Ann Rinaldi
The Color of Fire
Fast paced action laden Phoebe s best friend is charged with setting fire to buildings and starting an uprising. Threatened to be burnt at the stake unless he identifies the leader, Phoebe is plunged into this outcry of fear and mob brutality desiring a scapegoat needing to decide to do what is right or seek her own freedom. No Rating
Ariel Dorfman and Joaquin Dorfman
Burning City
Simmering summer of 2001 in New York City. Heller is the youngest employee of a messenger delivery service that delivers bad news orally. He is the best deliverer of bad news and is allowed to deliver by bike instead of rollerblades. He is drawn into a wildly diverse cast of characters and learns to relate to people in a whole new way. No Rating
Barker, Clive
Abarat: Days of Magic Nights of War
Candy Quackenbush quest in Abarat continues as she makes a startling realization as to who she is, and the forces of night plan for war. Imagination, characters, plot, setting, story, writing, use of art... Everything in this book is creative. After reading the first I thought it was a bit off the wall. Reading the second puts it on the wall and everywhere else. I can t wait to see and read the third and discover the latest in Candy s quest. Small edited sample: Otto Houlihan (Criss-Cross Man), Lazaru, Baby Pink-Eye (reptilian claws and demented infant face) playing Knock the Devil Down, the Lord of Midnight (Christopher Carrion) talks to Toda about the slow progress of his army of stichlings (sewn together by Carrion s mother). Carrion(has a high transparent collar around his head with nightmares swimming hungrily within wanting a meal of fear). Todo unsuccessfully pleads for mercy as Carrion turns to Houlihan who reports that Candy and Malingo (a geshrat) escaped him in Ninnyhammer and again at Soma Plume. You must apprehend her, I want to understand her, capture her and bring her to me alive. As the nightmares feed on Todo s fears in the background. Okay, I did select probably the most graphic, but what s a quest without danger? Trust me it all comes together in a great story. I think the use of art in the book may make these pieces a landmark in the history of children s literature. Four Stars
Ben Jeapes
The New World Order
Instead of the European invasion of the Americas in the sixteenth century how about an alien invasion of England. What a turn around when a superior civilization comes through a gate with a modern invasion force. Oliver Cromwell and the King Charles of England must deal with this invasion in this turn about adventure. Within the story Dhon Do s son, Daniel, comes of age within the story of political intrigue. I don t know what sixteenth century politics was like, but the story line includes interesting possibilities that suggest how behind the scenes negotiations, deal making, and dasterdly deads might have changed history. Great story. There is some discussion of different kinds of sex acts as cultural descriptions to set a tone of reality not gratuitous in nature. Three Stars
Carol Plum- Ucci
What Happened to Lani Garver
Claire unable to face her fears about a recurrence of her leukemia, her eating disorder, her need to hang with the crowd on Hackett Island, and her mother s alcoholism is helped by Lani Garver who risks his life to save her. Five Stars
Christine Morton-Shaw
The Riddles of Epstion
Fourteen year old Jess moves to a remote island with her parents and attempts to dispel an ancient curse if she can befriend a supernatural being, Epsilon, and solve riddles. No Rating
Cornelia Funke
The Thief Lord
Two brothers orphaned go underground in order to avoid being seperated. They are taken in by a gang living in an abandoned movie theater that is lead by the Lord Theif. A story set in present day Venice, Italy of adolescents struggle for survival and where one s loyalties lie and how strong they should be for: family, gang members, friends, society, others? Four Stars
E. L. Konigsburg
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
Margaret Rose Kane is sent to summer Camp Talequa by her parents as they head off to Peru. Margret would rather have stayed with her Uncles Alex and Morris Rose. Unknow to her there reason to seemingly reject her was their concern for her as they didn t want her present as their towers were being demolished. Great story of family, free will, persistence in maintaining ones values, creative expression, use of words, particularly clever play on words, and social activism. Other people s response from this book agree it s - fantastic Konigsburg know how to write a story. Five Stars
Edward Bloor
Story Time
After getting in trouble and being sent to a new school the main character discovers that the school has gone mad with desire to have all students do well on achievement tests. A madcap adventure lampooning the standards testing movement in schools in the style of the best madcap satyre movie comedies. Maybe more interesting for teachers than students. No Rating
Eoin Colfer
The Supernaturalist
14 year old Cosmo Hill unwanted by parents sent to Satellite City Clarissa Frayne Instutute for Parentally Challenged Boys. Put to work by the state. Escape or die. Supernaturalists parasites...
Part Blade Runner part Dickens; Midnight Rider, Ghost Busters, Men in Black, War of the Worlds...
Four Stars
Gaiman, Neil
Coraline finds a door with a brick wall or door way into a parallel disturbing world of people with black button eyes. Let the games begin. Scarry movies, supernatural adventure, witch craft, romps through a dungeon, missing parents, mystery and suspense; masterfully written this story will enthrall all readers. Five Stars
Gary D. Schmidt
Lizzie Bright and The Buckminster Boy
HIstorical fiction about race relations and injustice resulting from prejudice in a 20th century small Maine town. The main character struggles to deal with several conflicts beyond the obvious prejudical ones as he grows to manhood. Black and white relations, minister s son and trying to fit into an adolescent culture, male and female, family responsibilites and personsl desires, good and bad.. The author s use of language makes a powerful story even more powerful with numerous insightful descriptions:
...seemed about as surprised at each other as new hope drying a last tear.
Books can be fire. Books can ignite fires in your mind, because they carry ideas for kindling, and art for matches..
Should a minister s son be reading this? Who better.
... everything in the world rejoices in the touch, and everything in the world laments in the losing. And with his hand still on the whale he..
Five Stars
Graham McNamee
In addition to the usual struggles of a young adolescent Jacob is plunged into a deeper struggle with his inner fears and uncertainties after not being able to rescue a drowning girl. Exciled to the concrete underworld of Toronto s Transit system where he has plenty of time to drown in his self pity he thinks he finds clues of a mass murderer. Will he be able to save his life in time to stop more death? Compelling story and masterful use of language to set the story realistically in the present. Four Stars
James Patterson
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
Mutant Erasers abduct the youngest members of their group. In pursuit of their abductors they find themselves struggling to find out their own origins and purpose.
The book starts with a warning and again in the first paragraph: Yes, you, standing there leafing through these pages. Do not put this book down. I m dead serious - your life could depend on it. Genetic mutants? Author of adult murder mysteries Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls.
No Rating
Jane Yolen
Sword of the Rightful King: A Novel of King Arthur
Jane Yolen writes this story between fantasy interpretations of Arthur and historical interpretations of Arthur. Could be related to English literature, history, and the political scene for all types of governments. Four Stars
Jerry Spinelli
Creative, giving Stargirl is accepted and rejected by students at school and loved by Leo who can t deal with rejection. The adolescent struggle with friendship, love, acceptance and all the pressures they bring. A story that every adult can relate to and every adolescent needs to know. Five Stars
L. S. Matthews
Powerful story of a family that seeks to escape from a civil war in Africa. The author delves into human nature and the struggle of survival under a cloud of mistrust and fear of persecution and death. Is survival possible without trusting someone? If not, how do we decide who and when to trust someone not only with our life, but the life of our family members? Four Stars
Meg Rosoff
How I Live Now
Daisy (15) tells the story of how she is sent to England by her father and pregnant step mother. While in Englland a war breaks out while her Aunt is away on business forcing her and her cousins to fend for themselves. Embedded within this survival story are stories about adolescent trying to find themselves while growing up. Recognition of an eating disorder, and adolescent sex - emotional description not physical being two. Many opportunities for powerful student discussions on adolescent issues. Includes an Epilogue six years later. Four Stars
Nancy Farmer
The House of the Scorpion
Action adventure, drug king El Patron and Matt a young adolescent has known as long as he can remember that he has a mysterious relationship to El Patron. Sometimes it is great and others it is worse than being an animal on the ranch. When Matt finally discovers El Patron s true intentions he acts to thwart his plans. However, circumstances put Matt s life in danger and he has no choice but to run. Where does one run and hide from a drug lord? Is it possible that Matt can escape with his life? And if he does how long can he live before be is discovered and returned to El Patron? Five Stars
Peter Abrahams
Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls mystery
Ingrid, an eighth student, is challenged from a variety of directions. Her algebra teacher, soccer coaches, brother, parents, friends, desire to be an actress, are making life more complicated everyday. How can she deal with all of them when an even greater concern is what the sheriff might know about her and her shoes being at a murder scene. Will she be able to save herself with the use of her intellect, as her idol Sherlock Holmes did?
This is the best children s murder mystery I ve ever read. If you like adventure movies like the Goonies, Ferris Bueller s Day Off, and Home Alone (without the slapstick) you ll find this story compelling.
Five Stars
Peterson Haddix, Margaret
Among the Brave
Men in grey coats, people being killed, people being led off in handcuffs, secret rooms, riots, population police, and being a third child is some of what Luke has to deal with at the beginning of this story. WIll he survive? If so how and will there ever be a time when the population police are not in control and people will be free to make personal decision? Four Stars
Ron Koertge
Arizona Kid
16 year old Billy, from MO, spends summer with his cool gay uncle Wes in Tucson and works at a race track; where he meets an outspoken horse exerciser Cara Mae. Billy discovers that gaining stature and manhood come from places you least expect.
Wes is a strong character and positive role model.
Four Stars
Ron Koertge
Stoner and Spaz
A compelling story about Benjamin, a troubled youth with CP, who struggles toward self-acceptance with the help of a drug-addicted young women. This story has everything that reality TV on MTV and VH1 has, and maybe more detail.
Five Stars
Russell Freedman
The Voice That Challenged A Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
Aren't all Russell Freedman books top notch? No Rating
Sara Nickerson
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found
With a swimming medal, key to a mansion, and a comic book about a half-man/half rat as her only clues, a 12 year old girl seeks the true story of her father s mysterious death four years earlier near an island in the Pacific Northwest. Four Stars
Terence Blacker
The Angel Factory
Set in London, England
Who has the right to be human? What is human. Adventure of alien intrigue and survival War of the Worlds without the explosions and Earth ripping actions.
Four Stars
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin tells a tale of contrasts between worlds and people. Set in a fantasy world where families compete to create unions for security to pass their gifts through generations. By telling tales within tales she helps the reader understand how the characters are caught in their feudal history and the lineage of the parents. The story of Orrec, the main character, is of a boy coming of age and his struggle to find his place within his family and his responsibilities. Only Le Guin could create such an intricate thought provoking tale set in fantasy with themes recognized through all time and all worlds within 274 pages, powerful. Four Stars
Walter Dean Myers
The Dream Bearer
A story about a family that centers on a father son relationship and finding ones place in the world that balances family and cultural histories with the realities that a yoiung adolescent faces in his present world to create his own life. Five Stars
William Sleator
The Last Universe
Fourteen year old Susan s brother insists to be taken into the mysterious backyard garden that was designed by their quantum physicist great uncle. Each twist and turn of the garden maze creates unpredictable results of fortune and misfortune. What is the key? Is there one or are they doomed to the same fate as their strange uncle. Four Stars

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©