Reluctant Reader Awards

2002 Top 10 Quick Picks for Young Adults 

Draper, Sharon M. Darkness Before Dawn YA Draper, SGr. 8-12
It's been a hard summer for Keisha Montgomery. She is still recovering from the recent suicide of her ex-boyfriend, Andy, though she finds comfort in her tight circle of good friends and supportive family. Then handsome new track coach (and the principal's son) Jonathan Hardaway notices Keisha and sweeps her off her feet with his smooth manner. When a dinner date with Jonathan turns into attempted rape, Keisha successfully fights him off, but the incident leaves her depressed and shaken. This third title in Draper's books about Hazelwood High will draw readers anxious to follow the personable characters from Tears of a Tiger (1994) and Forged by Fire (1997). However, the teen phone conversations, so well handled in those titles, become awkward here when used to relate plot developments, and the frequently didactic tone of the characters is contrived. What's more, so many problem issues are raised--date rape, anorexia, depression, mental illness, suicide, and grief, to name a few--that the focus blurs. Yet the graduation scene, in which class president Keisha gives the closing speech, is moving and triumphant, showing Draper and her vibrant characters at their best. 

Galvez, Jose. Vatos YA 799 GAL
One evening, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jos Galvez heard Luis Alberto Urrea read "Hymn to Vatos Who Will Never Be in a Poem" with its chant-like repetitions and its evocation of Chicano manhood. As Luis read each line, an image clicked in Jos's memory, and he knew that he had already taken that photograph. The result of that experience is this remarkable book. 
Vatos is street slang for dude, guy, pal, brother. It sprang from the highly stylized language of the Pachucos (los chukotes) in the '50s. It's a Chicano term derived from the once-common friendly insult chivato, or goat. It had a slightly unacceptable air to it, which the Locos and Weesas of the Chuco world enjoyed. They were able to take the sting out of racism by calling themselves a bunch of names assimilated "good Mexicans" didn't like. 

Hart, Christopher. Manga Mania: How to Draw Japanese Comics YA 741.5 HAR  Gr. 9-12
Japanese-style comics, characterized by big-eyed, dynamically posed characters, are in vogue among today's American teens. Hart's colorful book goes beyond drawing suggestions and model sketches to provide a rich interpretation of what the stylistic elements--from gestures to costuming--actually mean and how they differ from what's usually seen in U.S. comics. In a sense, this book is about understanding cultural attitudes. The writing is chatty and casual; sexism is a part of the mix, with chapters on drawing «bad boys» and «babes» as well as ones about poses and genres. Despite an interview with a publisher that reads like advertising copy, the bulk of this book is a success: manga enthusiasts will have a field day recognizing the symbolism they've begun to intuit from their reading, and the artistically inclined will find solid guidance.

Hip Hop Divas. illus.
From "Vibe" magazine--in the tradition of their successful "Tupac Shakur"--comes a thoughtful, provocative, and entertaining look at the cool, charismatic women who have become the biggest stars on today's hip-hop scene. 40 photos.

Koertge, Ron. The Brimstone Journals   Gr. 7-12
«He wants to be stopped.» The teenage voices in this story sound like those interviewed on the nightly news about the latest high-school shootings. Fifteen students in a suburban high school speak in short poetic monologues, which are very easy to read. They are all troubled; some have a suppressed rage that could explode. Tran feels boxed in by his immigrant father's dreams; Kelli is trying to break with her macho boyfriend, Damon; Allison, who is being sexually abused by her stepdad, is «ready to kill»; David retreats and watches violent videos; Joseph is sick of his parents' passivity; Lester is always the bully's victim. At the center is Boyd, violent, racist, desperate, encouraged by an adult to join the «Brotherhood» and build an arsenal of guns and chemicals. Boyd makes a list of «everybody who ever blew me off, flipped me off, or pissed me off.» The students hear about the list. The power is in the feeling of violence brewing. Who will be drawn in? Boyd even warns his favorite people to stay home first period on Tuesday. That's when someone realizes that «Boyd wants you to stop him.» Will someone tell the authorities before it's too late? The ending is too hopeful; too many problems are solved. But Koertge avoids simplistic therapy, and the dramatic monologues are spare, poetic, and immediate, great for readers' theater and opening group discussion. See the Read-alikes on the opposite page for books about outsiders and violence in contemporary high schools. 

The Mad Gross Book. Ed. by Nick Meglin and John Ficarra
This is Mad at its best(or worst) earning laughs with fart jokes, mucsus jokes, pee jokes (you get the idea).

Shaw, Tucker and Fiona Gibb. This Book is About Sex  Gr. 8-10.
Tucker and Fiona are the sex experts at, a teen Web site. In nine chapters, they answer the basic questions teens have about the first time, sexually transmitted diseases, masturbation, pregnancy, "same-sex stuff," and protection. Each question offers both the male's point of view (Shaw), and the female's (Gibb). The jazzy, two-color layout includes line drawings, boxed survey results from the site, and a running footer of quips and quotes. Plainspoken and smart, Tucker and Fiona repeat their mantras: it's your body, you decide when you are ready; respect yourself; always use protection; tell the truth. They don't address the mechanics of sex or pleasure, but they do include straightforward descriptions of how to employ various means of contraception and what happens when you have an abortion. While the language may date quickly, the advice will not.

Sones, Sonya What My Mother Doesn't Know YA Sones, S.
Sophie's mother doesn't know about the boy who is pressing Sophie to go further than she wants. Or about the boy she chats with online who wants to meet her. And she certainly can't tell her mother about the homeliest guy in school who she wonders about. These sharp, funny, and tragic poems tell of Sophie's sometimes painful but always passionate journey of self-discovery
Thrasher: Insane Terrain. YA 796.22 THR
Includes "stories, interviews and editorials from the pages of Thrasher magazine...condensed and edited or updated..."—

Tiernan, Cate. Sweep Series 
v. 1: Book of Shadows 
Morgan thinks witchcraft is laughable when her best friend Bree drags her to a meeting of the Cirrus Coven. But during a cermony led by Cal, Morgan's long-time crush, Morgan feels a shock. Suddenly everything looks brighter, clearer. Morgan doesn't want to get involved with witchcraft-but she feels like witchcraft is choosing her.
v. 2: The Coven 
Morgan's powers are stronger than she ever imagined. She has visions, she lights fires with her mind, and her spells work miracles. When her boyfriend Cal, a member of the same coven, insists that witchcraft is in her blood, Morgan is confused. Her parents definitely aren't witches. They do seem to be keeping something secret, though-something about Morgan's past.
v. 3: Blood Witch 
This is the third book in a groundbreaking and suspenseful new series for teens. Sixteen-year-old Morgan has never heard of Wicca-modern witchcraft-until she meets Cal. Then everything changes-almost overnight.
v. 4: Dark Magick
Morgan inherited a talent for witchcraft from her parents, and now she is the holder of her mother's Wiccan tools: a green silk robe, an ivory-handled knife, silver bowls, a cauldron, and a long carved wand. The tools are awesome in their power, and Morgan's boyfriend Cal wants to see them, perhaps to seize power for himself. "We are muirn beatha dans, and we will always be together," he reminds Morgan, and she wonders if this is really true. Loyalty to Cal has led her to use her powers in ways that feel wrong. Is Cal the one she is destined to be with? Does she have a choice? Hunter, a member of the Wiccan High Council, says she does. But what is Hunter after? Who should Morgan believe?
v. 5: Awakening 
Witchcraft is part of Morgan in a way she can't explain; it's a part of who she is. She thought her boyfriend Cal was, too, that they were destined to be together. But Cal betrayed her in the worst way imaginable, by trying to give her up to the dark side. 
Now, Morgan is learning all she can about magick so she can protect herself. She is studying with a witch named Hunter, who helped her fight Cal. Hunter and Morgan set off sparks when they are together, and Morgan realizes that what she had with Cal might not have been real. But there is still dark magick at work around them, and Hunter believes a friend of Morgan is to blame.


Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia. Shattered Mirror.
Gr. 6-10. Teens who prefer their vampire fiction unencumbered by complex emotion or logical plotting will feed greedily on teenage Atwater-Rhodes' third novel, a bloody, action-packed thriller, replete with teenage angst. Vampire hunter Sarah Tigress Vida moves to a new high school, only to find two vampires in her class--one of whom, Christopher, starts sending her roses and poems. Against her better judgment, she becomes involved with Christopher and also with his twin brother, Nikolas, a powerful, clever vampire who prefers turning his prey into «blood bonded» slaves rather than corpses. Picking her way through a small town positively strewn with supernatural creatures, Sarah survives several encounters with Nikolas on her way to the shocking discovery that vampires are as capable as mortals of love and loyalty. Next to Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate (1997), this «sucks,» but Atwater-Rhodes owns a readable prose style and a vivid imagination; polish will come with practice. Fans of TV's Buffy and Angel will clamor for more.

Bird, Isobel. Circle of Three Series. 
v. 1: So Mote It Be
In the first volume of this new series about modern-day witches, there's nothing about February that Kate likes -- the only bright spot is Valentine's Day, and even that looks dreary with no likely prospects in sight. Little does Kate know that her impulsive decision to cast a love spell will have consequences -- both good and bad -- far beyond what she intended.
v. 2: Merry Meet
Joined by an uneasy bond, Kate, Cooper, and Annie are resolved to explore their newfound fascination with witchcraft. The three different girls attend an open pagan ritual, and while each is drawn to the power of the witches, it becomes apparent that they must come together as three before they begin to learn the ways of Wicca.
v. 3: Second Sight
As Annie, Cooper, and Kate begin to learn the Craft, a girl in their town goes missing. Cooper has what she thinks are nightmares about it -- until it becomes clear that she is having visions about what really happened to the girl. Cooper knows what she must do, but is terrified it will mean revealing the secret she and her friends have kept until now.
v. 4: What the Cards Said 
Annie's fascination with Tarot spirals beyond her control when her readings become reality. As if cursed, Annie faces friends Cooper and Kate with the newfound power--a power that threatens the very strength of their Wiccan bond.
v. 5: In the Dreaming 
Midsummer's Eve finds Kate, Annie, and Cooper celebrating the most joyous sabbat with nature--and with a few not unwelcome strangers. On a night when identities and emotions become tangled and confused under the strange solstice sky, one will be led astray.
v. 6: Ring of Light
Disillusioned, Cooper abandons the Wiccan circle, and Kate and Annie are left without her. But when illness threatens someone who is close to one of them, Cooper returns. Can the circle, once broken, be restored?
v. 7: Blue Moon. 
Kate, Annie, and Cooper follow the path of modern-day witches, or Wicca. During the blue moon, the second full moon of the month, powers are heightened. When Annie attempts the channeling practice called aspecting, she changes into someone Cooper and Kate hardly recognize. Can their combined strength restore Annie's spirit?

Black, Jonah. The Black Book (Diary of a Teenage Stud) series.
v.1: Girls, Girls, Girls 
Through his journals, Jonah Black (who's listed as the official author) narrates this engaging, if offbeat, first installment, chronicling his return to Pompano Beach, Fla., after he's booted out of his Pennsylvania boarding school. He's forced to repeat his junior year, listen to his mother, a self-appointed "sexpert" host a shallow radio call-in show, and watch the best friend he's crushing on fall in love with a worthless womanizer. These often painful doses of reality are overlaid with surreal sexual fantasies, the majority of which involve the girlfriend he left behind.
v.2: Stop, Don't Stop 
Unfortunately, this second volume of Jonah's diary is mostly a teen soap opera, lacking the depth of the first title. Some of Jonah's secrets are unveiled. We learn why he was expelled from the boarding school in Pennsylvania and the true nature of his relationship with the mysterious Sophie O'Brien. Jonah finally tells his longtime friend and surfer goddess Posie Hoff that he loves her, and he discovers that she loves him, too, though a series of comic events prevent them from consummating their relationship.

Cabot, Meg. Princess in the Spotlight: Princess Diaries volume II. YA Cabot, M. 
Mia, now the Princess of Genovia, can't believe her indomitable "grandmre" scheduled a national television interview for Mia, or that her mother is having Mia's algebra teacher's baby! Just in time for the July, 2001, release of Disney's film version of "The Princess Diaries".

Carroll, Jenny. The Mediator Series
v. 1: Shadowland 
Sixteen-year-old Susannah helps wayward spirits move onto the next world--and faces evil specters--with the help of a guiding priest and a handsome hunk. Now she must deal with an angry girl ghost hanging out at her new high school.
v. 2: Ninth Key 
California newcomer Susannah Simon is having fun, meeting new people at all the fab pool parties. But that changes when a dead woman's ghost appears at her bedside, begging Susannah to let her killer know she doesn't hold him responsible for her death. Susannah obliges, but tracking down a murderer isn't easy -- especially when clues lead to the father of Tad Beaumont, the first boy to ever ask Suze out!

Chandler, Elizabeth. Dark Secrets: Don't Tell. YA Mystery Chandler, E.
Eight years after her mother's mysterious drowning, Lauren returns to her hometown to visit her family, but the strange events that follow lead her to believe her mother may be trying to communicate with her. Now, after finding herself the victim of a number of cruel tricks, Lauren suspects there was more to her mother's death than she knows--and it looks like she may be the next target!

David, Peter. Spyboy: the Deadly Gourmet Affair
What if you were an international super spy? What if you had the latest technology at your fingertips? What if you had martial-arts training to hone your mind and body into the perfect living weapon? What if you didn`t know it? But what if others did? High school student Alex Fleming`s life is the standard teenage mix of homework, dating anxiety, and getting his face shoved in the toilet by school bullies until one day when his dormant abilities begin to surface as he is drawn into a hidden world of mystery, intrigue, and bizarre villainy. Everybody`s out to get SpyBoy...but Alex Fleming doesn`t know why! 

Draper, Sharon M.. Darkness Before Dawn YA Draper, S.
In this final book of Draper's "Hazelwood High" trilogy, Keisha is still recovering from the suicide of her ex-boyfriend and seeks comfort in her friends. When the new track coach sweeps Keisha into an adult world, and attempts to rape her after a dinner at his apartment, Keisha struggles to put her world back into perspective, and realizes the power of friendships.

Eberhardt, Thom. Rat Boys: a Dating Experiment YA Eberhardt, T.  Gr. 6-8.
 Marci and Summer are cute and popular. Jennifer Martin is perfect. Then puberty hits, turning Jennifer into Junior Miss Indiana, and Marci and Summer into normal, awkward, orthodontically challenged 14-year-olds. When Jennifer insults Marci and Summer, Marci blurts out that she and Summer have dates for the Spring Fling dance. With the help of an eccentric store owner and a magic ring, the girls turn two pet rats into dates, but with unanticipated results. Mix-ups and lessons ensue, and when life eventually returns to normal, Marci and Summer are a little more accepting of themselves and others. The story isn't particularly credible. Rat-boys aside, it's hard, for example, to believe that young teens would discuss their menstrual cycle as explicitly as Eberhardt's characters do, and repeated use of phrases such as «I'm like, 'huh'» wears one's patience after a while. Still, it's lighthearted stuff, and the end is refreshingly realistic: obnoxious Jennifer just keeps on being obnoxious.

Flinn, Alex. Breathing Underwater YA Flinn, A.
Nick is one of the chosen few at his high school: intelligent, popular, and wealthy. While everyone thinks Nick has it easy, he has never told anyone of his father's violent temper. When Nick meets Caitlin, she's all he's ever wanted. But then everything changes. 

Griffin, Adele. Amandine YA Griffin, A. 
Amadine is a confident and charming artist, actor, and dancer. Delia is insecure, overweight, and the new girl in school who is grateful to have Amandine as her friend. But Amandine lives in a world of her own imagination, and Delia is drawn into her friend's role-playing games, outrageous costumes, and implausible but compelling stories. Only when Delia tries to break away does she realize just how dangerous Amandine's games can be.

Groening, Matt. Simpsons Comics Royale.
illus. All-new stories (featuring the whole Simpson family, as well as Itchy and Scratchy, Krusty the clown, Bartman, and Radioactive Man), combined with old favorites never-before collected, make this colorful treasury a must for every Simpsons devotee. Full-color illustrations throughout.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Among the Impostors YA Haddix, M.
In this sequel to "Among the Hidden", Luke Gardner is enrolled under a fake identity at Hendricks School for Boys, and there's nowhere to hide. Luke feels lost and terrified until he discovers an unlocked door to the outside. Can he conquer his fear of being identified to find out the truth?

Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker YA Horowitz, A. 
In this sequel to "Among the Hidden", Luke Gardner is enrolled under a fake identity at Hendricks School for Boys, and there's nowhere to hide. Luke feels lost and terrified until he discovers an unlocked door to the outside. Can he conquer his fear of being identified to find out the truth?

Jemas, Bill and Brian Michael Bendis. Ultimate Spider-Man: Power and Responsibility 
YA Graphic Novel 741.5 JEM
"Ultimate Spider-Man" is the reinterpretation of Spider-Man's origin, updated for today's teens. Starting over at the beginning, the story of how a tortured teen is imbued with startling powers has been completely reimagined to appeal to the high-tech, media savvy youth of today. Full color.

Lester, Julius. When Dad Killed Mom YA Lester, J.
Though his subject matter may be sensational, Lester (Pharaoh's Daughter) penetrates the minds of two children left motherless by their father's murder of her, to spin a taut psychological mystery. "My mother is dead. Dad killed her," opens the novel. Through the alternating viewpoints of Jeremy and his older sister, eighth-grader Jenna, readers glean clues to the psychologist father's motive for killing his wife, Rachel. Information that Jeremy uncovers in his mother's diary also sheds light on possible scenarios: inappropriate behavior both professionally and personally on their father's part comes to the fore. The author smoothly balances the children's individual struggles to deal with the aftermath of Rachel's death (their challenges at school, their inability to communicate with each other, their divergent reactions to their father) alongside their attempts to reconcile the facts surrounding her death and their father's subsequent imprisonment. The courtroom scene at the father's trial gives way to melodrama and undermines somewhat the admirable restraint in the preceding chapters. But Lester's exploration of the children's complicated mix of feelings especially Jenna's awakening sense of sexuality in the midst of sorting out her parents problems is subtly and credibly done. Ages 12-up.

Love & Sex: Ten Stories of Truth. Ed. by Michael Cart
Ten writers contribute stories about love and sex and how it affects today's teenagers.

MacDougal, Scarlett. Have a Nice Life series
v.1: (Start Here) 
Underneath its glitzy veneer of Brazilian bikini waxes, semicasual sex and brand-name fetishism, book one of the Have a Nice Life series is actually a conventional prom-date romance jazzed up with a supernatural plot twist. Clarence Terence, an intergalactic angel who's a dead ringer for rocker Lenny Kravitz, arrives in Madison, Wisc., to fulfill a mission he describes as "It's a Wonderful Life meets Terminator II.... I'm here to show four high school seniors their futures so they can fulfill their karmic destinies and I can finally redeem my sixth incarnation." Zola, Olivia, Min and Sally, lifelong best friends, each has her own personal version of boy trouble. As if it weren't enough to travel briefly into the future with one's own hipster guardian angel (who calls himself a "fairy godmother"), this adventure coincides with the momentous night of the senior prom. Can the high schoolers avoid their largely unpleasant futures by changing their behavior in the present day? Only the series' upcoming volumes will tell (including the simultaneously published book two, Play).
v.2: (Play) 
Min loves Tobias. But Tobias loves his dog Ozzy. And unless Min does something about it, she'll be playing second fiddle to that yapping Yorkie for the rest of her life. Somehow, she's got to find a way to get rid of Ozzy. But how?
v.3: (Popover) 
For Zola, changing her life means getting her ex-boyfriend Evan back-and getting revenge on her arch-nemesis Claudia Choney. But everything Zola tries seems to push Evan and Claudia closer together. Will she ever find a way to get even-and get Evan?
v.4: (Score) 
Thanks to their fairy godmother, Clarence Terence, Zola, Olivia, Sally, and Min know that they need to change their futures. The only question is: how? Every time the girls think they've got it figured out, Clarence shows them that they're going about it all wrong. They're about ready to give up when a rival fairy godmother appears. He tells the girls exactly what they want to hear and encourages them to do whatever they want to do. But does he really have their best interests in mind? Or is he leading the girls closer to their doomed destinies?

Metz, Melinda. Fingerprints Series
v. 1: Gifted Touch YA Metz, M.
When Rae touches someone's fingerprints, she knows their thoughts, causing her world to come crashing down. She must begin again, but that won't be easy since everyone is afraid of her--everyone except for one boy, and someone else who is trying to kill her. First title in a new mystery series.
v. 2: Haunted YA Metz, M.
Someone is watching Rae--where she goes, what she does, and whom she's with. It's a game of cat-and-mouse, and Rae's the mouse. But who is the cat?
v. 3: Trust Me YA Metz, M.
Rae wants to thank Anthony for all he's done for her by doing something for him. But little does he know that the one thing she can do for him will destroy the fragile bond between them and open old wounds in herself that she thought had healed.
v. 4: Secrets YA Metz, M.
Rae Voight struggles to unravel where the thoughts running through her mind are coming from, to unlock the terrifying secrets of her past, including the truth about her mother's death--and to find out who wants her dead. As Anthony gets closer to Rae's ex-best friends, Rae feels betrayed by the one person who has stuck with her from the beginning. 

Millar, Mark. Ultimate X-Men: the Tomorrow People YA Graphic Novel 741.5 MIL
The place is a world very much like ours. The time is now. The phenomenon is genetic mutation. It is a time of change. Humanity now faces mutants, a mysterious sub-species that is gifted with strange and frightening powers. Hidden among the population. they are feared and hated by their human cousins. As rumors and urban myths about their existence spread across the world, the US government creates its own initiative to deal with this threat: the Sentinel Project. Meanwhile two men wage a secret war for the hearts and minds of young mutants everywhere. Charles Xavier has recruited a cadre of students including Cyclops, Jean Grey and Beast, that call themselves the X-Men. But there are others out there, living in fear, struggling to deal with what they are: Ororo Munroe, Bobby Drake and another, more dangerous mutant named Logan. Simultaneously, the terrorist known only as Magneto has assembled The Brotherhood, a militant group dedicated to the overthrow of human authority. A war is on the horizon and these amazing young men and women will decide the future of all humanity!

Rennison, Louise. On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God REN
This sequel to "Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging" finds Georgia's little sister, Libby, leaving sticky surprises in her bed; her cat Angus spending all his time with a good-looking feline next door; and Georgia dating the Sex God (aka Robbie). But then her parents announce the family is moving to New Zealand. Life is officially over!

Scott, Jerry and Jim Borgman. Are We an "Us"?: A Zits Collection Sketchbook #4 YA Graphic Novel 741.5 SCO
This collection of strips from the popular comic strip captures the angst of 15-year-old Jeremy, a teenager dealing with his parents, high school, and adolescence.

Smith, Roland. Zach's Lie
Zach Granger has to tell many lies; for one, his name is really Jack Osborne, and for another his parents aren't divorced rather, his father, a pilot, is in prison for transporting drugs for a ruthless cartel. When his father agrees to cooperate with the DEA, his family goes into a witness protection program, with new names and a new home in Elko, Nev. Will they be safe from the cartel? Smith (Thunder Cave; Jaguar) paints a realistic picture of Zach's complicated emotions: he misses his father and his old life, he's nervous about making a mistake and he is uncomfortable lying, especially to his new girlfriend, Catalin. He also takes to his new surroundings, especially Catalin's grandfather's sheep camp in the mountains, and the friendly hotel that's home to Sam, the warm and wise custodian of Zach's school. Smith keeps the tensions high: readers will suspect right away that the detailed journals Zach keeps are going to lead to trouble, and will understand the hero's anxiety when lines from it begin to appear on his classroom's chalkboard.

Sones, Sonya. What My Mother Doesn't Know YA Sones, S.
Sophie's mother doesn't know about the boy who is pressing Sophie to go further than she wants. Or about the boy she chats with online who wants to meet her. And she certainly can't tell her mother about the homeliest guy in school who she wonders about. These sharp, funny, and tragic poems tell of Sophie's sometimes painful but always passionate journey of self-discovery.

Spears, Britney and Lynne Spears. A Mother's Gift YA Spears, B.
A stirring and heartfelt novel about the special bond between one mother and daughter, "A Mother's Gift" follows 14-year-old Holly Faye Lovell, a rising young singer. Now that Holly's off with her posh new friends and new life, she's ashamed to find herself embarrassed by her mom and their humble background. Meanwhile, her mother finds herself wanting to reveal a long-hidden secret that could destroy their bond forever.

Zindel, Paul. Night of the Bat YA Zindel, P.   Gr. 6-9.
Against his father's wishes, Jake and his bat-sensing contraption Gizmo, arrive in the Amazon to join his dad's research team. Jake has fun studying vampire bats atop beautiful jungle canopies, until he makes a terrifying discovery: two horribly disfigured bodies of missing members of the research team. Things get much worse before they get better, as a huge, cunning bat picks off the research team one by one. After Jake's father is injured by the sociopathic bat, the boy has to take on the beast alone. Like Raptor (1998) and Zindel's other horror novels, this one has sufficient gore and moves quickly enough to balance some weakness in the plot. Even the reluctant readers will find this a quick read.


Angst! Teen Verses from the Edge
From, a web site for teen girls, comes this collection of 75 offbeat poems posted online by teen authors. Also includes a poetry writing primer, complete with tips on rhyming, technique, and even a few fill-in-the-blank poems for those just getting started. Full-color illustrations.
Beatty, Scott. Batman: the Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight YA Graphic Novel 741.5 BEA
Specially commissioned artwork reveals the secret workings of Batman's installations and equipment. Crucial events and characters are illustrated with drawings from the original DC comic books for a visually-driven, in-depth approach to Batman's crimefighting career. Full-color illustrations.

blink-182 with Anne Hoppus. blink-182: Tales From Beneath Your Mom
Full of never-before-published photos and exclusive firsthand accounts, this is an exclusive and deliciously irreverent autobiographical roadtrip with the multi-platinum-selling boys of Blink-182. Full color and b&w photos throughout.

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Letters: Letters of Life, Love, and Learning. Ed. by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Kimberly Kirberger YA 158.1 CHI
Since 1997, the Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul series has reached millions of teens around the world with inspirational stories about the teen experience. These true tales have shown that other teenagers share your worries and fears; that teens can make a difference in the world; and that the teenage years can be among the best -- yet most difficult -- of your life.
Throughout this time, teenagers like you have been sending us letters about the Chicken Soup stories that made them laugh or gave them hope.If you've ever rejoiced or cried over a Chicken Soup story, read these letters written from the heart. Find out how real teens and their loved ones have been changed forever by a Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul story. You, too, will learn the power of Chicken Soup to open the heart and rekindle the spirit. 

Devito, Basil V., Jr with Joe Layden. WWF Wrestlemania YA 796.812 DEV
From Hulk Hogan and Mr. T to Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and Vince McMahon, "WrestleMania" provides an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the most exciting moments in the "Super Bowl of the World Wrestling Federation". Bundled with an exclusive DVD of great WrestleMania moments, "WrestleMania" is destined to be the ultimate collectible for dedicated fans. 300 full-color photos.

Eminem. Angry Blonde
Today's hottest rapper, the enigmatic Eminem, delivers a provocative collection of his uncensored lyrics, complete with personal commentary on each controversial song.

Fishbein, Amy. The Truth About Girlfriends
Seventeen The Truth About Girlfriends is the all-you-need, totally honest guide to making and keeping friends. It's packed with real questions from real teens about jealousy, peer pressure, trust, and just being a good gal pal. Plus quizzes to test your friendship compatibility, cool activities, and hip, funny survival tips for friendships that last forever. Book jacket.

Galvez, Jose. Vatos YA 799 GAL
One evening, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jos Galvez heard Luis Alberto Urrea read "Hymn to Vatos Who Will Never Be in a Poem" with its chant-like repetitions and its evocation of Chicano manhood. As Luis read each line, an image clicked in Jos's memory, and he knew that he had already taken that photograph. The result of that experience is this remarkable book. 
Vatos is street slang for dude, guy, pal, brother. It sprang from the highly stylized language of the Pachucos (los chukotes) in the '50s. It's a Chicano term derived from the once-common friendly insult chivato, or goat. It had a slightly unacceptable air to it, which the Locos and Weesas of the Chuco world enjoyed. They were able to take the sting out of racism by calling themselves a bunch of names assimilated "good Mexicans" didn't like. 

Genat, Robert. Funny Cars YA 629.228 GEN
Nitro-fed blown hemis stuffed into a short wheelbase chassis, blasting out flames and a wall of noise that defies description, screaming to more than 300 miles per hour in less than five seconds ... all in a quarter mile. That's what Funny Cars are all about.Funny Cars came to be in the 1960s, when altered-wheelbase factory experimental cars evolved into tube-chassis drag cars with flip-top fiberglass bodies. Over the years, as the engines got bigger, the tires wider, and the bodies more radical ... the Funny Car class became a show stopper.In Funny Cars, author Robert Genat traces that history, then takes you inside a modern Funny Car racing effort with a detailed look at the blown 6,000-horsepower engines, the light but incredibly strong tubular chassis, and the sleek, lightweight carbon-fiber bodies. Top drivers like John Force, Tony Pedregon, and Ron Capps describe what driving a Funny Car is like. As a finale, there's a blow-by-blow, millisecond-by-millisecond description of a full-on Funny Car pass down the quarter-mile.

Genat, Robert. Lowriders
In the last decade, lowriders have roared out of the West Coast and Southwest, popping up on commercials, movies, music videos and hobby store shelves in the form of model kits. Long associated with Hispanic culture, these amazing customs are quickly gaining acceptance among car enthusiasts and the general public. Divided into chapters examining the major types of lowriders-traditional, bombs, trucks, Euros and new age-this all-color, bilingual title features stunning examples of each, emphasizing the painstaking artistic and mechanical ingenuity that goes into the cars. In addition, there's a chapter discussing lowriders overseas, and sidebars examining the phenomenon of lowrider bicycles and the mechanics of hydraulic suspensions.

Gottesman, Jane. Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like?
To be launched with an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, this extraordinary collection of photos and rich personal stories documents the huge impact the growth of female sports is having on society and on women of all ages
Gravelle, Karen. 5 Ways to Know About You  Gr 5-10
Astrology, palm reading, numerology, Chinese horoscopes, and handwriting analysis are explained in enough detail in separate chapters to give a good idea of basic tenets. Charts, graphs, and examples help to reveal the complexity of the systems. Simple black-and-white spot drawings add whimsical touches. Flashier works such as Sylvia Funston's The Book of You (HarperTrophy, 2000) and Jane Burns and Dale Gottlieb's Wise Gal Tarot (Crown, 2000) list just a few words or phrases to describe personality traits associated with numerology or astrology. Gravelle's descriptions are rich and lengthy. The appendix lists from three to five titles (the oldest was published in 1986) on each topic and can lead readers to the full exploration the author recommends. More than just a taste, this is a satisfying first course.-

Hart, Christopher. Manga Mania: How to Draw Japanese Comics YA 741.5 HAR
Learn to draw fantasy robots, diabolical monsters, mythical animals and other exciting characters that are part of the "Manga" genre of comic book art. This book is the first instructional guide on this wildly popular form. 300 illustrations, 200 in color
Hip Hop Divas
From "Vibe" magazine--in the tradition of their successful "Tupac Shakur"--comes a thoughtful, provocative, and entertaining look at the cool, charismatic women who have become the biggest stars on today's hip-hop scene. 40 photos.

Jackman, Ian. TRL: the Ultimate Fan Guide
Packed with stories, anecdotes, color shots of the show, and a record of videos premiered, retired, and aired, this is the essential companion for any TRL fanatic. It's totally TRL.

Jeter, Derek. Game Day: My Life On and Off the Field
Game Day goes beyond the roped-off sections of the stadiums and gives fans a perfect picture of what it ’s like to be baseball ’s most popular rising star.

Koertge, Ron. The Brimstone Journals
The Branston High School Class of 2001 seems familiar enough on the surface: there's the smart one, the fat kid, the bad girl, the good girl, the jock, the anorexic, the rich kid, the stud. Then there's Boyd, the angry young man who has just made a dangerous friend. Now he's making a list. A unique novel that provides an opportunity for young adults to discuss violence in schools.128 pp.

Laurer, Joanie. Chyna: If They Only Knew 921 CHYNA, Lau 
Part feminist, part superhero, Chyna has blazed a trail where no woman has gone before. She has gained the respect of the men inside the World Wrestling Federation, and of the world at large. She was the first woman to wear the Intercontinental Championship belt, yet these were not her most significant battles.She has battled her entire life: against a controlling mother; against a scheming father; and against a world with a predetermined view of what beauty and success should be. She has battled and won her entire life.If They Only Knew offers a rare glimpse behind the scenes of the World Wrestling Federation, and a rarer glimpse of what it takes just to get there -- the hurdles that must be overcome ... and the broken hearts and broken body parts that are suffered along the way.
Chyna -- a.k.a. Joanie Laurer -- lets us in on what it's like to live your dream and overcome your nightmares. Complete with insights from other WWF Superstars, this is a must read for any fan of the WWF and for anyone who wants to see how a real-life hero overcame adversity. Book jacket.

Locker, Sari. Sari Says: the Real Dirt on Everything from Sex to School
Sari Locker, teen advice expert, is here with answers to the most urgent questions teens ask her in letters and e-mails--and person-to-person. From how to plant the perfect kiss to dealing with snooping parents to coping with peer pressure, Sari can make life a little easier.

The Mad Gross Book. Ed. by Nick Meglin and John Ficarra.
This is Mad at its best(or worst) earning laughs with fart jokes, mucsus jokes, pee jokes (you get the idea).

Masoff, Joy. Oh, Yuck!: the Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty
It's everything you ever wanted to know about the yucky side of life. 

McFarlane, Evelyn and James Saywell.
If..Questions for Teens
YA 305.235 MCF
With the same imaginative zeal that has made the "If" series so popular, McFarlane and Saywell tailor their newest collection of questions to the audience that wants it most: teenagers.

MTV Uncensored. Ed. by Jacob Hoye
Culled from hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews and never-before-seen photos, "MTV: Uncensored" uncovers the channel's most shocking moments over the past 20 years. Full-color photos throughout.

Myers, Walter Dean. The Greatest: Muhammed Ali YA 921 ALI, Mye  Gr 7 Up-
An introduction to Ali's life from his childhood to the present day, focusing on his career and the controversies surrounding him. Both his talent in the boxing ring and his showmanship earned him international fame, while his refusal to accept the stereotypical role of a black athletic star in the 1960s and his membership in the Nation of Islam brought him notoriety. Myers interweaves fight sequences with the boxer's life story and the political events and issues of the day. He doesn't shy away from reporting on the brutality of the sport and documents the toll it has taken on its many stars. Ample black-and-white photographs of the subject in and out of the ring illustrate the book. Covering Ali is a daunting task, especially since dozens of books and hundreds of articles have been written about him in the last 40 years. Fortunately, young adults have their own award-winning author, one with the perspective of being a young African American in Harlem during the height of the boxer's fame, to tell his story. Myers's writing flows while describing the boxing action and the legend's larger-than-life story.

O'Donnell, Kerri. Inhalants and Your Nasal Passages: the Incredibly Disgusting Story
Inhalants are so common that they can even be found under the kitchen sink. This book outlines the harrowing effects "huffing" and "bagging it" have on your body-including everything from fainting to choking to death. Also included is information on how to spot a potential huffer as well as useful web sites and related associations where concerned teens can get help.

Piven, Joshua and David Borgenicht. The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel
The team that produced "The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook" now helps readers navigate the perils of travel, from plane crashes and UFO abductions to high-rise hotel fires and volcanic eruptions. Two-color throughout.

Shaw, Tucker. Who Do You Think You Are: 12 Methods for Analyzing the True You
When it comes to teens, there's nothing that they want to know more about than themselves. Now, AlloyBooks gives them the perfect tool to explore that topic in depth. Filled with a wealth of information and featuring a wide range of methods for analysis-from astrology to numerology, palm reading to personality typing, Chakras to Chinese Horoscopes, and more-this simple-to-use handbook will provide insight for every teen. Lively questions, quizzes, charts, and diagrams add to the fun of finding out who you really are.

Shaw, Tucker and Fiona Gibb. This Book is About Sex
Tucker and Fiona are the sex experts at, a teen Web site.

Smith, Charles R. Jr.. Short Takes
A poetry book for basketball lovers.

Stine, Megan. Seventeen Trauma-Rama: Life's Most Embarrassing Moments…and How to Deal
YA 395.133 STI
Life can be very embarrassing. Especially if you're a teenager. "Seventeen, "the authority on all things teen, is here to help you! From saying the wrong thing to your "crush" to faux pas with your friends, family, and teachers, "Seventeen" is here with expert advice on all the social trauma in a teen's life and quizzes to assess your embarrassment quotient.

Teen People: Real Life Diaries: Inspiring True Stories from Celebrities and Real Teens Ed. by Linda Friedman and Dana White YA 305.235 REA
Some of today's hottest and most popular young celebrities, such as Carson Daly, Aaron Carter, Tyrese, Beverley Mitchell, and Moby, along with real teens, share inspirational true stories of how they have faced life's greatest challenges.

Teen People: Sex Files
Sex Everybody's talking about it. But does everybody have the facts straight? Teen People's Sex Files spells it all out for you. Real teens share their experiences -- from why they choose abstinence, to how they make decisions about birth control, to how they cope with STDs -- and singing sensation Jessica Simpson tells why she thinks virginity is cool. Plus your top twenty questions about sex answered by the teen experts at Sex, ect., your very own sex encyclopedia, and more! 

Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writings by Teenage Girls  Gr. 7-12. 
Franco's You Hear Me? Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys [BKL O 1 00] was frank and beautiful. Now she's collected the voices of a wide range of girls in poetry and immediate prose that speak with power and uncertainty, about body image, seduction and betrayal, courage and failure, shame and pride. 

Thrasher: Insane Terrain YA 796.22 THR
Filled with hundreds of the most intense skating images ever printed, all culled from Thrasher's unparalleled photo archives, Insane Terrain is necessary for skaters worldwide.