Reluctant Reader Awards
2006

Top Ten 

From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside, Queens. Edited by 50 Cent.  921 .50 CENT
Featuring unpublished poetry and lyrics taken directly from his journals and scrapbooks, as well as behind-the-scenes photos taken by 50 Cent himself, this is an unprecedented look into the world of one of the most talked about artists in popular music today.

Arakawa, Hiromu. Fullmetal Alchemist series YA GRAPHIC NOVEL 741.5 ARA
Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world, somewhere between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in these powers to grant their dearest wish, one of them has lost an arm and a leg...and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living iron. Now they are agents of the government, slaves of the military-alchemical complex, using their unique powers to obey their orders...even to kill. But their powers aren't unique. The world crawls with evil alchemists. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher's Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are...

Benton, Jim. It’s Happy Bunny: Life. Get One. (Graphic Novel)
Everyone's favorite bunny with attitude presents words of wisdom for all life's endeavors, like: When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice into the eyes of your enemies. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? Who cares? Learn to focus on the things that truly matter--like yourself and money. In this charming collection of ancient bunny wisdom, you'll find painfully honest twists on age-old advice as Happy Bunny shares the secrets to a happy and rewarding life. YEAH, RIGHT.

De la Pena, Matt. Ball Don’t Lie.
Seventeen-year-old Sticky lives to play basketball at school and at Lincoln Rec Center in Los Angeles and is headed for the pros, but he is unaware of the many dangers--including his own past--that threaten his dream .

Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. YA MEY & MEY
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.

Oh, Minya. Bling Bling: Hip Hop’s Crown Jewels
The artists of hip hop make it clear in numerous interviews that the acquisition of costly jewelry is a major part of becoming a star. Most of the interviews are laced with profanities and reveal little except that the artist digs bling

Perel, David. Bat Boy Lives! The Weekly World News Guide to Politics, Culture, Celebrities, Alien Abductions, and the Mutant Freaks that Shape our World.
All the news that's not fit to print! Browse through this fascinating compendium of the best of the Weekly World News and you'll never look at the world the same way again. For the dedicated follower of the fantastic, and for the uninitiated too, Bat Boy Lives! contains all these vital dispatches and much more. Because the truth...is in here.

Shan, Darren. Lord Loss. (Demonata #1)
Presumably the only witness to the horrific and bloody murder of his entire family, a teenage boy must outwit not only the mental health professionals determined to cure his delusion, but also the demonic forces only he can see.

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

Whyman, Matt. Boy Kills Man.
When Alberto gets a job as a hit man for a drug dealer, he's happy. His family won't starve. He'll be a big shot. He thinks his life has finally begun. But in this tough South American town, twelve-year-old assassins are disposable. And it won't be long before Alberto and Shorty find this out.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 2006
(the rest of the list)

NONFICTION

Cosmo Girl Quiz Book: Discover Your Personality. Edited by Cosmo Girl magazine
The cool CosmoGIRL! always wants to know all she can about guys--and how she relates to those desirable hotties. Now, by just having a great time answering these fun quizzes, she can get the full scoop and improve her "boyfriend smarts." Should she be the one to ask a boy out? How can she tell if a guy is into her? Who's her dream date--and is the man she has a "keeper"? With quizzes that help determine a gal's flirting style, to loyalty tests for two, every page will prove irresistible.

Happy Kitty Bunny Pony: A Saccharine Mouthful of Super Cute. YA 704.9 HAP
From turn-of-the-century novelties and Depression-era distraction, through wartime comfort, to Hello Kitty and Jeff Koons, cuteness has thrived in the fertile soil of American modern-age media and pop culture. What is it about fluffy bunnies with bows, baby ducks splashing in puddles, kittens snuggled in baskets, and little lambs on their way to school? Happy Kitty Bunny Pony celebrates America's "cult of the cute" in all its campy, kitschy, ironic glory.  With more than 200 images from the print and advertising archives of the Charles S. Anderson Design Company, this collection is an amazingly rich testament to America's fascination with cute things. The hilarious commentary by Mystery Science Theater 3000 host Mike Nelson, spiked with fun and curious facts, bits of sarcasm, and dry and not-so-dry wit, is as surprising and bizarre as the images themselves. So go ahead and join the fun-everyone from art students to your grandma is already shouting the cult-of-the-cute battle cry: "Happy Kitty Bunny Pony!"

Mad about the ‘90s: The Best of the Decade.
There is actually a chronological pattern to what is found within these (undersized) pages, dividing the decade into thirds.
Section One
: 1990-1993, offers 19 choice covers (e.g., Jack Davis' "Beverly Hillbillies 90210" a choice example), a great ad parody for the Blank Video Club of America, "Where's Waldo? For Complete Morons" by Sergio Aragones, and an ad for a whitetailed deer who has joined the NRA (to avoid being "the deer-ly departed"). For parodies we have "Buried with Children" and "Star Bleech: Deep Space Swine" for television and "The Oddfather Part III," "Home A-Groan," and "The Violence of the Hams" for movies (if you cannot figure out what things are being parodied then you clearly slept through the decade). The standout pieces would be "Superman R.I.P.," "A MAD Look at Jurassic Park," "MAD Raps U Shakespeare," and "The ABC's of Rock." But my favorite has to be "When Roadside Signs Overlap," using real company signs to humorous effect.
Section Two: 1994-1996 highlights are Mort Drucker's cover of "The Clintstones," the MAD mini-poster of "Washington Cross-Dressing the Delaware," another nice Norman Rockwell painting of the 90's ("Last Parking Space at the Mall"), and a couple of nice MAD Fold-Ins. "Fairest Shlump" is the one movie parody, while the tube is done in by "Eech-Files," "SickER," and "Swinefilled." But clearly the greatest fun here is with Bill Clinton and the gang, with "Books to Make Children More Politically Aware," "Only a Republican/Democrat Could Possibly Believe...," and "It's a Blunderful Life," from the Tip of the Capra Dept. Of course, if you really want to know how much things had changed back then, then check out "If James Bond Were 'Updated' for the Politically-Correct '90s."
Section Three: 1997-1999 has choice covers with Kenny from "South Park" killing Alfred who is greeted by Seinfeld with the telling line "Hellooooooooo Neuman!" There are also covers for "Martha Stewart: Dying" and "Entertain Me Weakly," the Latrell Sprewell Maneuver for pretending you are a choking "victim," and a nice Generation Crap piece on the "60's and the 90's," which spells out significant differences. On the parody front MAD does in "Star Bores: Epic Load I, The Fandumb Meganess," "Trypanic," "The Faketrix," and "The Bland Witch Project" at the movie theater, while having plenty of ammo for "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Moves to South Park," "Ally's Appeal," and "Everybody Loathes Raymond." But they could really do an entire paperback collection just for Clinton-esque pieces such as the "Starr Wars: Monicagate" movie poster, "Proposed Features of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library," "The Special Prosecutor's Official Report on Mister Rogers," and the "White House Internship - Official Application."

Seventeen Magazine’s Traumarama!: Real Girls Share their Most Embarrassing Moments.
Each month, Seventeen magazine rounds up the most hysterical bloopers from real girls' lives in its "Traumarama" column--a consistent favorite of Seventeen readers. Now the editors of Seventeen have compiled the best stories into one hilarious book. From totally un-planned wardrobe malfunctions to saying the absolute wrong thing in front of the absolute right guy, these are tales everyone can relate to. Even Atoosa Rubenstein, the editor-in-chief of Seventeen has had her moments! In every chapter, she bravely dishes about the times she's found herself red-faced. And, as if the stories themselves weren't enough for a huge laugh-fest, fantastic full-color illustrations appear throughout to capture the complete embarrassment it all it's glory!

Teen People Celebrity Beauty Guide: Star Secrets for Gorgeous Hair, Makeup, Skin and More.
YA 646.72 TEE
"Star secrets for gorgeous hair, makeup, skin and more!"

Baltin, Steve. From the Inside: Linkin Park’s Meteora.
We got a chance to talk with Phoenix from Linkin Park and their photographer, Greg Watermann, about the new book.

Buckley, James Jr. Scholastic Book of Firsts. YA 031.02 BUC
Whether it's the first automobile rolling off the assembly line or the first manned mission into outer space, the SCHOLASTIC BOOK OF FIRSTS will include the stories behind more than 500 of those starting points, touching on entertaining trivia and core-curricular topics.Kids will be fascinated with off-beat firsts like:First Sneakers: Keds have been around since 1917!The first modern zipper was created in 1913 by Gideon Sundback!A dog named Laika was the first Earth creature ever sent into space! First Successful Color Film: Flowers and Trees by Walt Disney in 1932!

Caldwell, Ben. Fantasy! Cartooning. YA 741.5 CAL
A former Marvel cartoonist and one of the most talented young artists in this very hip field, Ben Caldwell now delivers his thrilling follow-up to Action! Cartooning. Fantasy! Cartooning is ideal for all kids and adults who love the Lord of the Rings movies, anticipate the Christmas 2005 release of The Chronicles of Narnia film, or have ever read a Harry Potter book. As before, Ben does not merely teach readers how to draw a line here or a circle there; he provides much, much more. Artists will find true insider tips on how to create mind-blowing scenes, awe-inspiring monsters, bigger-than-life heroes, and really incredible, magical landscapes. And because Ben Caldwell knows the fantasy genre inside out, he explains all the complex stories and legends behind each image, too.

Caprio, Robert. Are We There Yet: Tales from the Never-Ending Travels of WWE Superstars. 796.812 CAP
Popular WWE superstars--such as The Big Show, Triple H, Lita, and Stone Cold--share crazy and hilarious road-trip stories.

Carlson, Lori. Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems in Being Young and Latino in the United States.
In Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States, Latino poets tell us, in English and in Spanish, who they are, where they are, and what their hopes are for the future.

Davis, James. Skateboarding is Not a Crime: 50 Years of Street Culture.
Skateboarding is a sport with its own philosophy and culture and these are explored in this book along with the history, and skateboarding technique instructions. Dramatic action photography throughout.

Edgar, Jim. Bad Cat YA 636.8 EDG
Jim Edgar reveals yet another facet of the ever-mesmerizing animal. Brooding, deranged, antisocial, these are kitties with attitude and borderline personality problems-ah, but what hilarious fun it is to read about them. All 244 photographed in terrifying full color in their most unflattering moments, with a quote plus vital stats: name, breed, age, and hobby. Get to know them. Then see if you can ever forget them.

Finkel, Jon. Greatest Stars of the NBA: Jason Kidd. YA 796.323 FIN
No one runs the floor like JKidd. For the NBA’s premiere point guard, sharing the love means dishing out the rock to his teammates and making clutch shots when the going gets rough. In The Greatest Stars of the NBA series, JKidd’s skills are on display in an awesome new Cine-Manga format. See the breakdown of JKidd’s signature moves and relive the greatest moments from his illustrious career.

Finkel, Jon
. Greatest Stars of the NBA: Kevin Garnett. YA 796.323 FIN
Which player has it all? When your arsenal consists of an unstoppable low post threat, a stealth jumper and fly-swatting shotblocking skills you are only one man. You are Kevin Garnett. In The Greatest Stars of the NBA series, KG's skills are on display in an awesome new Cine-Manga format. See the breakdown of KG's signature moves and relive the greatest moments from his illustrious career.

Finkel, Jon. Greatest Stars of the NBA: Shaquille O’Neal. YA 796.323 FIN
The diesel is rolling through town. He stops for no one... except a deafening jam. Shaquille "Diesel" O'Neal takes no prisoners with his thunderous dunks, sweet jump hooks and "I don't think so" shot blocking skills. In The Greatest Stars of the NBA series, Shaq's skills are on display in an awesome new Cine-Manga format. See the breakdown of Shaq's signature moves and relive the greatest moments from his illustrious career.

Finkel, Jon. Greatest Stars of the NBA: Tim Duncan. YA 796.323 FIN
Which player has it all? When your arsenal consists of an unstoppable low post threat, a stealth jumper and fly-swatting shotblocking skills you are only one man. You are Kevin Garnett. In The Greatest Stars of the NBA series, KG's skills are on display in an awesome new Cine-Manga format. See the breakdown of KG's signature moves and relive the greatest moments from his illustrious career.

Flaherty, Mike. American Chopper: At Full Throttle. YA 791.45 FLA
In addition to new details about Orange County Choppers' amazing theme-bikes, "American Chopper Full Throttle" revs up the amusing familial drama and professional triumphs that make the show so popular. Fans will devour the revealing interviews, candid photos, a background history of choppers, and a detailed tour of Orange County Choppers, the setting for the show.

Foxworthy, Jeff. Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck Dictionary: Words You Thought You Knew the Meaning of,
818 FOX
A hilarious parody of traditional pocket dictionaries is delivered by the largest-selling comedy recording artist in history, based on his mega-hit show "Blue Collar TV."

Ganz, Nicholas. Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents.
Ganz, a German graffiti artist also known as Keinom, traveled around the world to create this comprehensive survey of graffiti art. In addition to over 2000 vivid illustrations, he provides a history of the art and interviews with some of the artists. The illustrations are organized by continent and alphabetically by artist, rather than nation, in conjunction with Ganz' belief that "nationality, race and sex have no bearing on the graffiti scene."

Grandberry, Omari. O.
Former B2K star Omari Grandberry chronicles all that happened within the group, from day one until its breakup. Omari also shares with fans a more personal side, including his likes and dislikes, what's important in relationships, his spiritual foundation, and some general opinions on the world at large. Full-color photos.

Haab, Sherri. The Hip Handbag Book : 25 Easy-to-Make Totes, Purses and Bags. YA 646.4 HAA
Tweens and teens will love this guide to making 25 unique, fabulous purses-all presented with easy-to-follow steps and cool illustrations! The projects use a range of unconventional, inexpensive materials, all easily obtainable, including contact paper, felt, old blue jeans, shoelaces, and place mats. Purses are quick and easy to make, some requiring only tape and a hole punch, others a simple sewing stitch easy for this age to master. Full-color photographs of the finished projects are included.

Hart, Christopher. Manhwa Mania: How to Draw Korean Comics. YA 741.5 HAR
Manhwa—Korean for comics—is fast becoming the next big craze in Asian comics. Many fans of manga don't realize that their favorite comics, like Priest, Ragnarock, and Island, are actually manhwa, not Japanese manga. This tutorial helps artists master the differences between manga and manhwa, including less focus on big eyes and more on expressions and personality, replacing spiky hair with a more natural look, and drawing characters that don't typically possess magical powers but are instead fierce fighters made of flesh and blood. Artists learn through a step-by-step process how to draw the entire range of manhwa characters-from the extreme fighting-machine heroes and giant beasts to the sexy women, anti-heroes, and evil warlords.

Hee-Joon, Son. PHD: Phantasy Degree (Graphic Novel)
Will appeal to fans of Crescent Moon and Ragnarok *A Dungeons-&-Dragons style story with a twist... the monsters are actually the good guys! *A humorous "Lord of the Rings" style story, filled with magic, different "worlds," and a great cast of unusual beings. Sang is a fearlessly spunky young girl in search of the Demon School Hades. Fortunately for her, she comes across a group of misfit monsters that are ditching class from the Demon school. She convinces them to sneak her into the class that normally only allows monsters to attend. Mystery, intrigue and high jinks unfold as Sang finds a way to become a monster--and begins a fantastic adventure in a devilish domain!

Hess, Jared and Jerusha. Napoleon Dynamite: The Complete Quote Book. YA 791.43 HES
The quotes were taken from the final shooting script for Napoleon Dynamite.

Keys, Alicia. Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics. 782.42 KEY
I call this Tears for Water because everything I have ever written has stemmed from my tears of joy, of pain, of sorrow, of depression, even of question. Every single word has come from some form of my tears. I use them as water to nourish me, quenching the thirst for understanding myself. I don't mind drinking my tears for water. Book jacket.

Kilpatrick, Nancy. The Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined.
What you don't know about goths could fill a book! An artistic culture that revels in the Victorian romantic movement, The goth Bible brings to light the traditions and history of all that is goth. The goth culture has been one of the most controversial and maligned in media history. Presented as homicidal, suicidal and socio-pathic, in the national consciousness goths are coupled with everyone from Marilyn Mason to the murderers of Columbine. But this is not who the goths are. The goth Bible will help bridge the understanding between goths and non-goths. From their historical origins as a Germanic tribe in the sixth century who fought along side the Romans against the Huns to their current incarnation as creatures of the night, The goth Bible presents the most complete and broad perspective of this society, culled from hundreds of interviews with bands, artist, designers, and goths from all walks of life.

Kirkman, Robert. Invincible: The Ultimate Collection, Volume 1.
(Grahic Novel) Get in on the ground floor! This massive hardcover collects the first 13 issues of Robert Kirkman's Eisner-Nominated super-hero, along with all the extras from the first three trade paperback volumes and even more on top of that!

Lane, Billy. Chop Fiction: It’s Not a Motorcycle, Baby, It’s a Chopper.
Billy Lane, owner of Choppers Inc., lives, eats, and breathes choppers. Since securing a secret cache of Easyriders magazines as a young boy, Billy has equated choppers with freedom. By the time he earned an engineering degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee, he had already established himself as a promising young chopper builder. An appearance on the very first episode of Discovery Channel's Monster Garage led to a starring role in Biker Build-Off and growing fame as a chopper builder with both artistic vision and technological innovation. In this autobiography, Billy shares his life story, from running with gangsters in Miami as a younger man to becoming a celebrity chopper builder who is mobbed by fans everywhere he goes. Inside stories on his most famed bikes are included, as well as Billy's thoughts on those who inspired and helped him on the road to becoming a famed chopper artist and television star. The book is full-color, giving ample room for the reader to view Billy's incredible creations, featured in stunning photography by Michael Lichter. Billy's bikes are works of art on multiple levels, combining the fine art of sculpture with the pop art of incorporating found objects into the work. But they are also technological tours de force, featuring engineering that is nothing short of astounding. But there's more to life than just choppers, according to Billy. There are women, too. There's no doubt about it - the sexy lines of an old school chopper, its curvy hips, narrow waist, and voluptuous torso, are the same lines found on a beautiful woman. In addition to stories of his great bikes, the self-professed "Ladies' Man" of chopper builders shares behind-the-scenes stories and photos of his other true love, whether they were long-time girlfriends, strippers, other colorful characters in his life, or the fans who demand his autograph on their body parts at biker shows throughout the U.S. Billy Lane is the ultimate insider's look at the lifestyle.

Lee, Lela. Angry Little Girls.
(Graphic novel) "South Park" for girls, this hilarious collection of comics is perfect for young women everywhere. Anger has never been so funny.

Loeb, Jeph. Superman Batman :Public Enemies, Volume 1 YA GRAPHIC NOVEL 741.5 LOE
When longtime Superman nemesis Lex LuthorQnow president of the United StatesQaccuses Superman of a horrible act against mankind, an unlikely alliance is forged between two of the most popular super-heroes on the planet. The Man of Steel pairs up with the Dark Knight to defend against a top-secret team of powerhouse heroes whose mission is to bring Superman in dead or alive. NONFICTION

Miller, Steve and Baugh, Bryan Scared! How to Draw Fantastic Horror Comic Characters.
Baugh and Miller have created this guide to meet the increasing interest in the horror genre in film, comics, and graphic novels. This is the perfect book for aspiring artists.

Ohba, Tsugumi. Deathnote: Volume I: Boredom.
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and bored out of his mind! But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, and notebook dropped by a rougue shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal... or his life?

Palmer, Chris. Streetball: All the Ballers, Moves, Slams and Shine.
A celebration of the history and lore of streetball, this illustrated guide also includes an inside look at the players and moves, as well as tips to help readers improve their game.

Polhemus, Ted. Hot bodies, Cool Styles.
The first book to reflect the global wave of enthusiasm for all forms of body decoration. Ted Polhemus shows how body adornment has been natural to all peoples until the modern period, and why we are now reverting to our roots. After analyzing the various forms of decoration, he shows how we are influenced by the exotic, drawing on tribal or Far Eastern models; the naturalness of artifice and the artifice of the natural look; and how body decoration makes us masters of our own identities. The photographs, taken by the talented young team of UZi PART B, reveal key designs and creative techniques. A practical advice section, specially commissioned from Betti Marenko, includes body preparation, healing times, and safety tips, and provides a valuable guide for those acquiring a tattoo or piercing. 200 color illustrations.

Powell, Michael. Superhero Handbook. YA 741.5 POW
Are you naturally amazing? Have you been sent here from a distant dying solar system? Do you have a preoccupation with dubious rubber suits? If any of the above apply, then The Superhero Handbook is for you! Find the answers to all your questions, plus lots of advice on how to develop your superhero potential. You'll soon learn that you're not alone, that your retro hairstyling choices are perfectly normal, and that there's more to being a superhero than saving the planet, changing in phone booths, and struggling to disguise your fatal flaws.

Riley, Andy. Return of the Bunny Suicides. .
It’s the funniest, bunniest book I’ve ever read! (Elton John) Wonderfully deviant. (The Washington Post) At last, the definitive compendium on bunny depression and its aftermath. (O: The Oprah Magazine) A guilty pleasure of twisted humor in the Monty Python vein. (Chicago Tribune) Brilliantly researched—one of the most important books of the year. (Hugh Grant)

The RZA. The Wu Tang Manual.
Long awaited and much anticipated, The Wu-Tang Manual is The RZA's first written introduction to the philosophy and history of Hip-Hop's original Dynasty, the Wu-Tang Clan. The Wu-Tang Manual is divided into four books of nine chambers each, for a total of 36 chambers. All together, the book provides the breakdown of essential Wu-Tang components, from basic information about each of the nine core members of Wu-Tang Clan to deeper explorations of the key themes of the Wu-Tang universe, a dictionary-like Wu-Slang lexicon, and an entire section of lyrics with densely annotated explanations of what they mean.

Steffans, Karine. Confessions of a Video Vixen. 921 STEFFANS, K., Ste
In this expos that's part tell-all, part cautionary tale, Steffans, once "the" music video girl, reveals how she came to be the confidante of so many stars and how she found herself in Hollywood after a life characterized by physical abuse, rape, and drugs, all by the age of 26. photos. NONFICTION

AmistadSugiyama, Rika. Comics Artists-Asia: Manga Manhwa Manhua.
Comic Artists - Asia introduces the work of a dozen promising young artists who are non-professional or semi-professional in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. Each artist profile includes an interview, providing insight into how they work and how they regard their craft as well as a gallery of their breathtaking imagery. and step-by-step or idea sources how they work. A sumptuous presentation of the most cutting-edge practitioners of today’s most popular cartooning style, Comic Artists - Asia is an indispensable addition to every manga fan’s collection.

Wilson, Daniel How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion.
YA 818 WIL
Humorous and informative-Wilson drops robotics history trivia nuggets and includes brief descriptions of current robot research-this nifty little guide to surviving the inevitable robot apocalypse may have you reconsidering purchasing that "smart" (read: insidious) refrigerator.

FICTION

Adoff, Jaime. Jimi and Me. YA ADO
After his father's tragic death, twelve-year-old Keith James moves from Brooklyn to a small midwestern town where his mixed race heritage is not accepted, but he finds comfort in the music of Jimi Hendrix and the friendship of a white classmate.

Black, Holly. Valiant: a Modern Tale of Faerie.
Seventeen-year-old Valerie, who has befriended a unusually group, now is bound into service with a troll. When seventeen-year-old Valerie Russell runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system. But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends. There's the impulsive Lolli who talks of monsters in the tunnels and shoots up a strange amber-colored powder that makes the shadows around her dance. There's the severe Luis who the others claim can make deals with creatures that no one else can see. And then there's Luis's brother, timid Dave, who makes the mistake of letting Val tag along as he makes a delivery to a woman who turns out to have goat hooves instead of feet. When a bewildered Val allows Lolli to talk her into tracking down the hidden lair of the creature for whom Luis and Dave have been dealing, Val finds herself bound into service by a troll named Ravus. He is as hideous as he is honorable. And as Val grows to know him, she finds herself torn between her affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

Bradley, Alex. 24 Girls in 7 Days. YA BRA
Jack Grammar, average American senior, has no date to the prom. Or so he thinks. Percy and Natalie, Jack's so-called best friends, post an ad in the classified section of the online version of the school newspaper. They figure it couldn't hurt. After all, there's not much in this world sadder than Jack's love life. Soon Percy and Natalie have assembled a list of girls eager to go to the prom with Jack, including one mysterious girl known only as FancyPants. He has just seven days to meet and date them before he will ask one special girl to the prom.

Brown, Tracy. Criminal Minded
Brown tells the tale of the rise and fall of two young men determined to conquer the world, and the story of the women who loved them too much.

Burke, Morgan. The Party Room Trilogy. Get It Started
Grade 7 Up–A slice-of-preppie-life tale set on Manhattan's Upper East Side, with a dark twist. Kirsten and Samantha, 17, frequent the Party Room to meet friends and drink–until Sam leaves with a stranger and is murdered. Affluent teens with cell phones, fake IDs, popular classmates, boyfriends, and a penchant for lying are the foundations of this series title. Add to those elements parents in the background, predictable dialogue, and little character development. The strength of the book is in the cliff-hanger ending, which is bound to stir interest in the next book. Despite the lack of character exploration, and the sometimes stilted, if accurate, dialogue, readers will be drawn into the mystery. If you have teens who love mystery series, then you'll want to add this new offering

Burke, Morgan. The Party Room Trilogy. After Hours
Grade 9 Up-In this second volume in the trilogy, 17-year-old Kirsten Sawyer, a spoiled rich kid, parties in New York City while attempting to recover from the death of one of her best friends. Samantha Byrne was murdered by Paul Stone, a boy whom Kirsten dated briefly and whom she believes has returned to the city to kill her. Her fear leads her deeper into a life of excessive drinking and club drugs. Her suspicions are confirmed when Paul confronts her on vacation to declare his innocence and ask for her help finding the real killer. The book is reminiscent of Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" series (Little, Brown), only with a darker twist. The shallow and unlikable characters, coupled with the lack of suspense, make this disappointing for a book marketed as a thriller. While it might appeal to a small group of teens, the majority will be better served by Meg Cabot's "1-800-Where-R-U" series

Burke, Morgan. The Party Room Trilogy: Last Call
The Prep School Killer is dead. Finally Kirsten can go on and leave the nightmare of her best friend Sam's murder behind her. Kirsten's at NYU now, but she still slips back to the Party Room on the Upper East Side of Manhattan--where the horror all began. But it's quiet now. Just Kirsten and her old friends and a mojito or three. Then the killer strikes again. And again. The killer wasn't Kyle after all. Someone's looking to settle the tab. Don't be the last one when the bar closes.

Cary, Kate. Bloodline. YA CAR
In this story told primarily through journal entries, a British soldier in World War I makes the horrifying discovery that his regiment commander is descended from Count Dracula.

Castellucci, Cecil.
Boy Proof. YA CAS
Feeling alienated from everyone around her, Los Angeles high school senior and cinephile Victoria Denton hides behind the identity of a favorite movie character until an interesting new boy arrives at school and helps her realize that there is more to life than just the movies.

Clugston, Chynna. Queen Bee.
(graphic novel) Gr 6-8– Like most middle-school girls, Haley Madison is obsessed with popularity. When she transfers to a new school, she finally has a fresh start–if she can keep her pesky psychokinesis under control–no more exploding lunch trays, no more embarrassing baseball incidents. Her first day, she befriends Trini, who is nice but certainly not popular. Haley works her way up the social ladder with fake laughs and manipulation. Then, beautiful Alexa shows up. She's campaigning to be the new queen bee and she shares Haley's powers. A spectacular face-off ensues at a talent show.

Coy, John. Crackback. YA COY
Miles barely recalls when football was fun after being sidelined by a new coach, constantly criticized by his father, and pressured by his best friend to take performance-enhancing drugs.

Dean, Zoey. Blonde Ambition.
While Anna's new job as intern on the hottest television show brings her into contact with an interesting new man and helps her see how possessive Ben has become, Cammie sets her sights on Adam.

Delaney, Joseph. Revenge of the Witch: Book One: The Last Apprentice. YA DEL
Young Tom, the seventh son of a seventh son, starts work as an apprentice for the village spook, whose job is to protect ordinary folk from "ghouls, boggarts, and all manner of wicked beasties."

Deuker, Carl. Runner. YA DEU
Living with his alcoholic father on a broken-down sailboat on Puget Sound has been hard on seventeen-year-old Chance Taylor, but when his love of running leads to a high-paying job, he quickly learns that the money is not worth the risk.

Flake, Sharon. Bang! YA FLA
A teenage boy must face the harsh realities of inner city life, a disintegrating family, and destructive temptations as he struggles to find his identity as a young man.

Flanagan, John. Ranger’s Apprentice: Book One: The Ruins of Gorlan. YA FLA
When fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battleschool, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt, and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger.

Friedman, Aimee. South Beach.
SPRING BREAK. SOUTH BEACH. 'NUFF SAID. On a trip to a place where anything can happen -- and does -- two ex-best friends discover that a chance encounter can lead to the chance of a lifetime. HOLLY: Dream date or bad fate? She wants true love--and a break from her strict parents. Perhaps a spring fling will do? ALEXA: Flirting with destiny or flirting with disaster? The guy of her dreams turns out to be her friend's first love. How far is she willing to go? This year, Spring Break is going to be scandalous!

Goobie, Beth. Something Girl. YA GOO
Sophie is in a Lot of trouble. She is on probation for stealing and is doing poorly at school. Her mom doesn't really talk to her, and the other adults in her life are pressuring Sophie to talk about her bruises. Sophie worries that if she tells, she will be sent to live in a group home. Her friend Jujube is the only person who knows the truth, and now Jujube, too, wants Sophie to speak up.

Grant, Vicki. Dead-End Job. YA GRA
Grade 7 Up–Frances is hoping to save some money for art school. To do this she works the late shift at a convenience store on the edge of town. There, she meets loner/artist/new guy Devin. Unfortunately, he is severely disturbed and begins an imaginary romance with her that threatens her relationship with her boyfriend, her job, and her personal safety. This is an intense, plot-driven book that hits many familiar yet upsetting notes. The tension is meted out in a deliberate manner. The spare text makes it a strong choice for reluctant readers.

Green, John. Looking for Alaska. YA GRE
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 fatal car crash.

Hiaasen, Carl. Flush YA HIA
With their father jailed for sinking a river boat, Noah Underwood and his younger sister, Abbey, must gather evidence that the owner of this floating casino is emptying his bilge tanks into the protected waters around their Florida Keys home.

Horowitz, Anthony. Raven’s Gate. YA HOR
Sent to live in a foster home in a remote Yorkshire village, Matt, a troubled fourteen-year-old English boy, uncovers an evil plot involving witchcraft and the site of an ancient stone circle.

Horowitz, Anthony. Scorpia. YA HOR
After being told that his father was an assassin for a criminal organization, fourteen-year-old Alex goes to Italy to find out more and becomes involved in a plan to kill thousands of English schoolchildren.

Klass, David. Dark Angel. YA KLA
When his older brother is released from prison, seventeen-year-old Jeff's family secret is revealed, causing upheaval in his home, school and love life. A taut psychological thriller for teens nbsp; Seventeen-year-old Jeff thought he would never again have to deal with his older brother, a convicted murderer serving a life sentence. But after six years, Troy's sentence has been overturned on a technicality and he is released from prison. He returns to a family deeply divided about having him back home. Jeff can't forget how his life was disrupted by his brother, how his family had to move to another state and start over. Still, his parents believe things will be different now. But Troy's return makes a mess of Jeff 's life - at home, at school, and with his girlfriend. When Jeff 's rival on the soccer field turns up missing, Jeff suspects Troy is involved, and he sets out to prove it. But nothing could prepare Jeff for what happens as he gets closer to the truth.

Krovatin, Christopher. Heavy Metal and You. .
High schooler Sam begins losing himself when he falls for a preppy girl who wants him to give up getting wasted with his best friends and even his passion for heavy metal music in order to become a better person.

Lockhart, E. The Boyfriend List : 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Ruby Oliver.
Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it's unusual, but give her a break--she's had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days she: " lost her boyfriend (#13 on the list), lost her best friend (Kim), lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket), did something suspicious with a boy (#10), did something advanced with a boy (#15), had an argument with a boy (#14), drank her first beer (someone handed it to her), got caught by her mom (ag!), had a panic attack (scary), lost a lacrosse game (she's the goalie), failed a math test (she'll make it up), hurt Meghan's feelings (even though they aren't really friends), became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch) and had graffiti written about her in the girls' bathroom (who knows what was in the boys'!?!)." But don't worry--Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.

Mac, Carrie. Charmed.
Dillion, slowly seduces a young teen girl Lizzie, the high school drop out whom she has a crush on. Lizzie relationship with her mother is being interrupted by her mom's business trips. Making life even worse is `Rob the Slob' mom's pinhead boyfriend who coming between the two. Dillon's sexual and emotion seduction is like the light on the end of a tunnel for her. Lizzie runs away to live with him and ends up in the world of prostitution. She comes a prisoner in a drug dealer/pimp's, Barrel's, house. Although this is far from great writing and the plot is a little choppy, it will find it's way in teens' hands. This is part of a ORCA SOUNDING series which are very quick reads of realistic fiction.

Mayer, Melody. The Nannies.
Kiley, Lydia, and Esme, three teenagers from very different backgrounds, befriend one another while working as nannies for wealthy employers in Beverly Hills, California.

Meyer, Adam. The Last Domino. .
Vulnerable following his brother's suicide, a high school boy comes under the thrall of a darkly violent classmate and events at home and at school go chillingly out of control.

Newman, Leslea. Jailbait.
In 1971, unpopular and lonely tenth-grader Andi--teased at her Long Island high school for her large breasts and ignored at home by her distant parents--builds a fantasy romantic life around her clandestine, sexual relationship with a man in his thirties.

Olin, Sean. Killing Britney.
Johnson is the ugly duckling turned swan who has reinvented herself with dramatic results. She's slim, blonde, and beautiful and begins dating the captain of the school's ice hockey team. What's not to envy? But it looks like someone is taking envy to another level by killing off her friends and family. Olin has created an atmospheric, moody horror novel filled with vivid depictions of evisceration and gunshot wounds to the head. Readers are guided from scene to scene as though the events were unfolding across the movie screen. Gritty language and even grittier situations conjure up powerful images of death and sex. Teens will be left guessing until the very end as to who is behind the mayhem.

Patterson, James. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. YA PAT
After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "birdkids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose.

Rose, Malcolm Traces : Framed! YA ROS
A thrilling new mystery series set in a parallel world begins and introduces 16-year-old Luke Harding, the youngest person ever to qualify as a forensic investigator. Together with his right-hand robot Malc, equipped with lasers and scanners for finding clues at the toughest of crime scenes, Luke tackles some of the most bizarre mysteries.

Rose, Malcolm. Traces: Lost Bullet. YA ROS
Gr 5-8 –Luke Harding, a 16-year-old, newly qualified forensic investigator, is called in on his first murder case when fellow student Crispin Addley is found with an arrow in his heart. Malc (Mobile Aid to Law and Crime), a robot whose technological capabilities include X-ray, lasers and scanners, and an enormous database that can cross-check facts within seconds, helps Luke throughout his investigation. This futuristic novel has a thrilling plot and deadpan humor.. will enjoy following Luke's action-packed career in which solving crimes sometimes involves saving the world. Lost Bullet takes place in a future England, where London's infrastructure has been so long neglected that trees and vines have created a jungle like atmosphere amid the concrete and brick structures. Crime is rampant, and Luke narrowly escapes gunshots as a sniper shoots at him at the beginning of the novel. He picks up a clue that will help to unravel a murder investigation, again with the help of his trusty robot sidekick, Malc. Luke must infiltrate a dangerous cult called the Visionaries, whose views of medicine and use of violence to achieve their goals make them the perfect suspects. This is a suspenseful, thoughtful, and humorous addition to the series.

Ross, Margaret Traces: Roll Call. YA ROS
Luke Harding's third thrilling case involves a series of mysterious murders in which the victims seem to have only one thing in common the same name, Emily Wonder. In the bitter cold of winter, the teenage forensic investigator and his robotic assistant, Malc, investigate the three crime scenes and struggle to identify the murder weapons used, as no traces have been left behind. When a young homeless girl named Emily Wonder is reported missing, Luke and Malc rush back to the slums of London to try to save her from the murderer and from a giant tidal wave that threatens to destroy the city.

Shaw, Susan. The Boy from the Basement. YA SHA
For twelve-year-old Charlie, the basement is home. He's being punished. He doesn't mean to leave--Father wouldn't allow it--but when Charlie is accidentally thrust outside, he awakens to the alien surroundings of a world to which he's never been exposed. Though haunted by fear of the basement and his father's rage, Charlie embarks on a journey toward healing and blossoms when he becomes an unconditionally loved and loving member of the right foster family.

Shusterman, Neal. Dread Locks: Dark Fusion, Book One. YA SHU
Accustomed to a carefree existence, fifteen-year-old Parker Baer meets the girl next door and finds his life taking a menacing turn as he begins to absorb some of her terrible powers.

Shusterman, Neal. Red Rider’s Hood: Dark Fusion, Book Two. YA SHU
After learning that there are werewolves in his city, a sixteen-year-old is even more surprised to discover the identities of the hunters who drove them out decades earlier, but he soon infiltrates the Wolves gang to help destroy them for good.

Sloan, Brian. A Really Nice Prom Mess.
High school senior Cameron Hayes gets coerced into going to the prom with a girl, even though he'd rather be with his boyfriend. The evening goes from bad to worse when his fake date gets sloshed, his boyfriend slugs him when he sees Cam kissing his fake date, and Cam flees the prom in disguise with a drug dealer. Then things really spin out of control. Over the course of one harrowing and hysterical night, Cameron's life comes undone, leading to accidental revelations, criminal adventures, and an unlikely romance.

Sorrells, Walter. Fake ID: The Hunted: Book One. YA MYSTERY SOR
After a lifetime of moving and assuming new identities, sixteen-year-old Chass begins to piece together the disturbing past that haunts her and her mother and which involves a mysterious tape, a deceased popular singer, and the secrets of several people in a small Alabama town.

Standiford, Natalie. The Dating Game: Breaking Up is Really, Really Hard to do.
When three high school sophomores set up a weblog as a class project to research whether girls or boys are more sex-crazed--and to play matchmaker, their own messy love lives become even more complicated.

Stone, Jeff. The Five Ancestors: Monkey. J STO
After soldiers of the new Emperor, led by Ying, engage in a fierce battle with the warrior-monks, Malao "the monkey" and his brothers rely on the ancient arts to help set things right.

Stone, Jeff. The Five Ancestors:Tiger. J STO
Five young warrior-monk brothers survive an insurrection and must use the ancient arts to avenge their Grandmaster.

Tiernan, Cate. Balefire: A Chalice of Wind.
Separated since birth, seventeen-year-old twins Thais and Clio unexpectedly meet in New Orleans where they seem to be pursued by a coven of witches who want to harness the twins' magical powers for its own ends.

Tierman, Cate Balefire: A Circle of Ashes.
After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she’s ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible— an identical twin, Clio. Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into. Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.

Williams, Lori Aurelia Broken China YA WIL
China Cup Cameron might miss school or fall asleep in class sometimes, but she's trying hard to be a good mother to Amina, her two-year-old daughter. When tragedy befalls the small family, China must quit school and work full-time to make ends meet. But the only place in town that's willing to hire a fourteen-year-old high-school dropout is Obsidian Queens, a strip club, and China is forced to make some difficult and potentially self-destructive decisions.  Through China's harrowing, emotionally resonant story, for which Lori Aurelia Williams won the PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship while it was still a work-in-progress, the author of When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune creates a window into the all-too-real world of a teen mother faced with unthinkable choices.