Reluctant Reader Awards

Top Ten

Bey, Dawoud. Class Pictures.
For the past 15 years, Dawoud Bey has been making striking, large-scale color portraits of students at high schools across the United States. Depicting teenagers from a wide economic, social and ethnic spectrum--and intensely attentive to their poses and gestures--he has created a highly diverse group portrait of a generation that intentionally challenges teenage stereotypes.Bey spends two to three weeks in each school, taking formal portraits of individual students, each made in a classroom during one 45-minute period. At the start of the sitting, each subject writes a brief autobiographical statement. By turns poignant, funny or harrowing, these revealing words are an integral part of the project, and the subject's statement accompanies each photograph in the book. Together, the words and images in Class Pictures offer unusually respectful and perceptive portraits that establish Dawoud Bey as one of the best portraitists at work today.

Erskine, Kathryn. Quaking. YA ERS
Don’t call her Matilda. Her name is Matt. And don’t even think about getting close to her. She doesn’t need anyone. Can’t you tell by looking at her, dressed all in black with a spider painted on her face and her ice-cold stare? But most of all, do not bully her. She has been through it all already.
But everything changes for fourteen-year-old Matt when she moves in with peaceful Quakers Sam and Jessica Fox, who are active in the movement against the war in the Middle East. Soon, conflict arises in town over the war, and suddenly, no one is safe. Matt fears for her safety and the safety of her new family. Could the boy who terrorizes her at school be behind it all? And how can she save the family she is actually growing to love when her fear always leaves her quaking?

Greenfield, Lauren. Thin. YA 616.85 GRE
Critically acclaimed for Girl Culture and Fast Forward, Lauren Greenfield continues her exploration of contemporary female culture with Thin, a groundbreaking book about eating disorders. Greenfield's photographs are paired with extensive interviews and journal entries from twenty girls and women who are suffering from various afflictions. We meet 15-year-old Brittany, who is convinced that being thin is the only way to gain acceptance among her peers; Alisa, a divorced mother of two whose hatred of her body is manifested in her relentless compulsion to purge; Shelly, who has been battling anorexia for six years and has had a feeding tube surgically implanted in her stomach; as well as many others. Alongside these personal stories are essays on the sociology and science of eating disorders by renowned researchers Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Dr. David Herzog, and Dr. Michael Strober. These intimate photographs, frank voices, and thoughtful discussions combine to make Thin not only the first book of its kind but also a portrait of profound understanding.

Grody, Steve and James Prigoff. Graffiti L.A.: Street and Art.
Long before graffiti was adopted as the visual expression of hip-hop culture in the 1980s, Chicano gang members in East Los Angeles had been developing stylized calligraphy and writing on walls. Cholo (gangster) scripts became the first distinctive letter forms to evolve in the modern vernacular tradition of graffiti writing. Today Los Angeles writers of diverse backgrounds draw from a unique confluence of cultures that has led to regionally distinctive styles.
Graffiti L.A. provides a comprehensive and visual history of graffiti in Los Angeles, as well as an in-depth examination of the myriad styles and techniques used by writers today. Complementing the main text, interviews with L.A.’s most prolific and infamous writers provide insight into the lives of these fugitive artists. Essential to the understanding of the development of the graffiti movement, this book will be an invaluable source to graffiti fans around the world.

Hopkins, Ellen. Glass. YA HOP
Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it's all the same: a monster. And once it's got hold of you, this monster will never let you go.
Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she's determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. She needs the monster to keep going, to face the pressures of day-to-day life. She needs it to feel alive.
Once again the monster takes over Kristina's life and she will do anything for it, including giving up the one person who gives her the unconditional love she craves -- her baby.
The sequel to Crank, this is the continuing story of Kristina and her descent back to hell. Told in verse, it's a harrowing and disturbing look at addiction and the damage that it inflicts.

Jamal, Joesph. Tupac Shakur Legacy.
Tupac Shakur Legacy presents the story of rap artist, political spokesman, poet, actor, writer, humanitarian and entrepreneur Tupac Shakur. From his early childhood in harlem, to his emergence as a young artist Tupac's life and legacy are recounted by a friend who knew him well, and with the cooperation of Tupac's family. In a scrapbook complete with unseen family photosgraphs, intimate stories, and removable reproductions of his handwritten song lyrics, poetry, and other personal papers, tells of an extraordinary life in a gritty, heartrending - and above all, honest - way.
Features removable reproductions, notebook pages plus a 60 minute CD featuring rare interviews with Tupac Amaru Shakur.

Shaw, Susan. Safe. YA SHA
Safe. To Tracy, safe means having Mama close by. Years after her mother’s death, Tracy still feels her presence. But the moment Tracy is forced into a car as she is walking home from school one day, safe is ripped away. In the aftermath of an unspeakable crime, thirteen-year-old Tracy must fight her way back to safety and find comfort in her mother’s memory once again.
Susan Shaw returns with a raw and moving story of a young rape victim’s journey toward healing, empowered by poetry and music, family and friends.

Shusterman, Neal. Unwind. YA SHU
In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts,
three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them
Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa
has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's
unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict
religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation,
these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey,
knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their
eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them,
from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen
seems far, far away.
In Unwind, Neal Shusterman challenges readers' ideas about life -- not just where life
begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.

Sitomer, Alan L. Homeboyz.
In this decidedly unsubtle sequel to Hip-Hop High School (Hyperion, 2006), sullen computer wiz Teddy sets out for revenge after gangbangers gun down his sister, Tina, in a drive-by shooting. After an up close encounter with the horrors of California's juvenile justice system in the wake of a failed first try, he's sentenced to a mentoring program for at-risk youth that forcibly hooks him up with hot but hard-nosed parole officer Mariana and wild, foulmouthed preteen Micah. Sitomer frequently breaks away from the story for clunky minilectures: "The lack of money, Teddy knew, kept thousands and thousands of inner-city kids like Micah from getting the educational services they needed." And Micah's instant reform is just one of several strands of blatant wish-fulfillment. Still, the tale's violent, rough-hewn plot and street-inflected language supply sufficient intensity to carry the heavy agenda. By the end, Teddy is no more likeable, but at least he's slightly more socialized.

Thalia. Thalia: Belleza!: Lessons in Lipgloss and Happiness.
She's had four number 1 hits and sold over 12 million albums worldwide. She's adored by telenovela fans in over 180 countries. She has her own ABC radio talk show. The icing on the cake? She's drop dead gorgeous. In this, her first book, Thalia delivers the ultimate guide to Latin beauty. Lavishly illustrated chapters on skin, hair, makeup, and inner beauty show Latinas how to make the most of who they are. Lush photos make techniques easy to master while dramatic before-and-after shots inspire la nueva belleza. Thalia's electric personality is stamped on every page. She reveals her personal beauty secrets; she dishes on beauty dos and don'ts; and she shares tips gleaned from working with top makeup artists and hairstylists. Thalia teaches women to use every beauty tool at their disposal be it a mascara wand or a fearless approach to life.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 2008
(the rest of the list)


Adams, Leonora. Baby Girl.
All I can say is that I never thought it would come to this. I never thought I would run away. For some reason I thought you, of all people, would see and know.
Sheree has always been a tough girl, able to take care of herself. Then she finds herself in a situation where she can't. She needs help. She needs answers. But she can't get either from the people she she turns to -- her parents, her friends, and especially, her boyfriend, who calls her Baby Girl and treats her like she's disposable.
So who can Sheree turn to? Maybe the answer lies deep within herself, and it's truly time for her to grow up.
In a voice that rings strong ant true, debut novelist Lenora Adams tells a story that is rich, complex, and achingly real.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Twisted. YA AND
After finally getting noticed by someone other than school bullies and his ever-angry father, seventeen-year-old Tyler enjoys his tough new reputation and the attentions of a popular girl, but when life starts to go bad again, he must choose between transforming himself or giving in to his destructive thoughts.

Aronson, Sarah. Head Case. YA ARO
Seventeen-year-old Frank Marder struggles to deal with the aftermath of an accident he had while driving drunk that killed two people, including his girlfriend, and left him paralyzed from the neck down.

Asher, Jay. Thirteen Reasons Why. YA ASH
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

Barnes, Jennifer Lynn. Tattoo. YA BAR
When four fifteen-year-old friends share the temporary tattoos they bought from a mysterious woman at the mall, each develops psychic powers that will help them fight the ancient being who plans to wreak havoc at their school dance.

Blank, Jessica. Almost Home. YA BLA
Why would anyone choose to live on the streets? There is Eeyore, just twelve years old when she runs away from her priveleged home, harboring a secret she's too ashamed to tell anyone. Rusty is a sensitive gay teen who winds up alone when his older boyfriend ditches him in Hollywood. Squid has gone through too many foster homes to count. There's Scabius, a delusional punk from Utah who takes the "me against the world" motto to dangerous extremes. And Critter is a heroin dealer with movie star looks and a vulnerable heart. Laura should be home studying, but she can't face another one of her mom's boyfriends. And then there's Tracy, the damaged thread that ties them all together, irrevocably changing each person's life she touches. This unlikely band of characters form their own dysfunctional family, complete with love and belonging, abuse and betrayal. Each will make their way home, wherever it may be.

Brewer, Heather. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites. YA BRE
For thirteen years, Vlad, aided by his aunt and best friend, has kept secret that he is half-vampire, but when his missing teacher is replaced by a sinister substitute, he learns that there is more to being a vampire, and to his parents' deaths, than he could have guessed.

Cast, P.C. and Kristen Cast. Marked The House of Night, book 1.
In 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres not only exist but are also tolerated by humans. Those whom the creatures "mark" as special enter the House of Night school where they will either become vampyres themselves, or, if their body rejects the change, die. To Zoey, being marked is truly a blessing, though she's scared at first. She has never fit into the human world and has always felt she is destined for something else. Her grandmother, a descendant of the Cherokee, has always supported her emotionally, and it is she who takes the girl to her new school. But even there the teen stands apart from the others. Her mark from the Goddess Nyx is a special one, showing that her powers are very strong for one so young. At the House of Night, Zoey finds true friendship, loyalty, and romance as well as mistrust and deception. She realizes that all is not right in the vampyre world and that the problems she thought she left behind exist there as well. Readers will identify with many of the characters, especially the protagonist. The story moves quickly (a little too quickly at the end) and purposely leaves many unresolved issues. A good choice for those libraries serving fans of the occult, but be aware that the book contains some suggestive language and sex.

Cast, P.C. and Kristen Cast. Betrayed The House of Night Novel, book 2.
Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night.She's come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend...or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey's old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

Castellucci, Cecil. Beige.
Now that she’s exiled from Canada to sunny Los Angeles, Katy figures she’ll bury her nose in a book and ignore the fact that she’s spending two weeks with her father — punk name: the Rat — a recovered addict and drummer for the famously infamous band Suck. Even though Katy doesn’t want to be there, even though she feels abandoned by her mom, even though the Rat’s place is a mess and he’s not like anything she’d call a father, Katy won’t make a fuss. After all, she is a nice girl, a girl who is quiet and polite, a girl who smiles, a girl who is, well, beige. Or is she? From the author of BOY PROOF and THE QUEEN OF COOL comes an edgy new L.A. novel full of humor, heart, and music.

Cooney, Caroline B. Diamonds in the Shadow. YA COO
Cooney's Connecticut church has sponsored war refugee families, and her stirring teen novel neither sensationalizes nor minimizes the brutality of their experiences. Her story unfolds through the alternating narratives of the American teens in a host family and African refugee teens, who can't forget what happened even as they adjust to their new surroundings and try to convince themselves they will eventually find a safe home. While Jared is angry that he has to share his room with Mattu and introduce the refugee at school, his younger sister tries to help Alake, who is mute and still. What horrors did Alake witness? Even in America, there's fear to be dealt with: a killer wants the uncut diamonds he forced Mattu and Alake to smuggle out for him. The climax is too neat, but tension mounts in a novel that combines thrilling suspense and a story about innocence lost.

Cross, Shauna. Derby Girl. YA CRO
Meet Bliss Cavendar, a blue haired, indie-rock loving misfit stuck in the tiny town of Bodeen, Texas.Her pageant-addicted mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Blue Bonnet crown, but Bliss would rather feast on roaches than be subjected to such rhinestone tyranny.Bliss' escape? Take up Roller Derby.When she discovers a league in nearby Austin, Bliss embarks on an epic journey full of hilarious tattooed girls, delicious boys in bands, and a few not-so-awesome realities even the most bad-assed derby chick has to learn.

Crutcher, Chris. Deadline. YA CRU
Just before his senior year, Ben Wolf is diagnosed with a rare, incurable leukemia. At 18, he has the legal right to keep the news to himself until he's ready to reveal it. With only his doctor and therapist in on his secret, Ben sets out to live an entire lifetime in a year: There are insects that pack it all into a day, he reasons. His goals are to join his brother on the football team; learn everything he can; and ask out gorgeous Dallas Suzuki. Crutcher fits far too much into this ambitious novel, which includes subplots about incest, pedophilia, manic depression, and intellectual freedom, as well as a Jesus-like character who appears in visions. And readers may feel distanced from Ben, whose first-person voice and reactions never quite feel authentic. But, as usual, Crutcher writes vivid sports action scenes, and teens' interest will be held by the story's dramatic premise, Ben's unlikely turn as a football hero, love scenes with Dallas (including some mildly explicit sex), and Ben's high-gear pursuit of life's biggest questions.

Davis, Mark, Mike Davis and Brandon Schultz. Blokhedz: Book 1 of Genesis.
This African-American novel of the streets pits its young hero, Blak, against local gangs, his brother's killers and his own inner demons. Blak must come to terms with his extraordinary gifts—a magical ability that lets him fight, lead others and rap at a high level. The plot is a bit hard to follow. It's not always clear who are Blak's friends and who are his foes, and the role of an almost-otherworldly recording studio head is never completely defined, but the book has a driving story line that keeps flowing. The color art is striking and shadowed, full of jewel tones and fantastic motion—this dystopia has a beating heart you can see and feel on the page. The characters are similarly oversized: big and angry, or big and loving, or confused in deep and tragic ways. A few of the stereotypes are a bit unfortunate, but scenes like Blak's encounter with the devil himself in the sewers feel alive and scary. At times, it's hard to tell whether the story is taking place in Blak's own personal dreamscape or in some hell on earth, but it doesn't really matter. The story brings a manga-like intensity to this inner-city quest.

de la Cruz, Melissa. Masquerade: A Blue Bloods Novel. YA DE
In this second installment of the Blue Bloods saga, preparations are underway in New York for an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhuman--a true Blue Blood affair. But it is an after-party masquerade where true danger lurks, and a young vampire's destiny is changed.

Fields, Terri. Holdup. YA FIE
Saturday nights at Burger Heaven are always busy, but this night is different from the outset. A family emergency pulls the night manager away, leaving Jordan, an overstressed overachiever, in charge. The understaffed crew of teenage workers accommodates the customers, but toward the end of the night nerves and tempers are ready to flare. Just before closing time two armed men walk in, and a foiled robbery attempt and hostage situation follow. The author has constructed an interesting story line in which the principal players are introduced separately and then woven into an intricate balance. The multiple points of view allow each character's personality to develop, which enhances the individual's role in the story. As expected from a diverse group, the teens react differently to the situation. The final part of the book takes place one year later and readers are brought up-to-date on how the traumatic event affected the teens' lives. The story is compelling and the characters are well drawn, giving the book wide appeal for a general audience.

Flinn, Alex. Beastly. YA FLI
I am a beast.
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

Fullerton. Alma. Walking on Glass. YA FUL
Your mother's suicide attempt has left her in a coma from which she's never waking up. You know that she wouldn't want to live like this, but could you really help her die? Here you are, making the hardest decision of your life and there's no one to help you: Your father has disappeared into depression. Your best friend is becoming someone you no longer want to know. There is a girl who could help, maybe, if you'd let her. But in the end, it's all up to you. A free-verse novel from debut author Alma Fullerton plunges deep inside the psyche of a young man faced with a life-and-death decision.

Gonzalez, Julie. Ricochet.. YA GON
Fifteen-year-old Conner is pressured into a game of Russian roulette. The game ends tragically when Will, the instigator and bully in the group, turns the gun on Daniel, Connor's best friend, killing him instantly. For his involvement, Connor is placed on probation, but he is much harder on himself than the court was. Connor's tight-knit family is fragmented in its reaction: one brother takes him joyriding; another ignores him. Only his little sister is able to recall the good memories that they all share about Daniel. Connor stays busy by working at a hardware store and immersing himself in his violin studies. He begins to compose a violin piece, a cathartic activity that helps him process his role in Daniel's death and move on with his life. Brief chapters jump between past and present, punctuated by Connor's symbolic and revealing dreams. The aftereffects of a senseless tragedy are clearly felt in this novel, as is the premise that though it may never be the same, life does indeed go on.

Grant, Vicki. I.D. YA GRA
High school senior Chris Bent despises everything in life--his family, his math teacher, the 'it girl' classmate who seemed to like him. But the sharpest thorn in his side is someone he's never even met. Chris happens upon a mysterious black wallet on the street one day, belonging to one Andrew Ashbury. Chris tries to return the wallet at first and is discouraged. He eventually starts spending Andrew's money freely, intending to replace it. As his home situation worsens, Chris' desire to leave (and jealousy over Andrew's comfortable lifestyle) grows stronger, and he takes matters into his own hands.

Gratz, Alan. Something Rotten: A Horatio Wilkes Mystery. YA MYSTERY GRA
Something is rotten in Denmark, Tennessee, and it is not just the polluted Copenhagen River. Hamilton Prince’s father has been murdered, according to a hidden video message. Horatio Wilkes, Hamilton’s best friend, is visiting the Prince mansion when the video turns up. The guys need to find the killer before he strikes again.
But it won’t be easy. Suspects are plentiful. Olivia Mendelssohn may be hot (and Hamilton’s ex-girlfriend), but she’s also an environmentalist determined to clean up the river that the Prince paper plant has been polluting for decades. Trudy,Hamilton’s mom, has recently married her husband’s brother, Claude, and signed over half of the plant and its profits to him. Not to mention Ford N. Branff, media mogul and Trudy’s college flame, who wants to buy the plant for himself. The question is motive, and Horatio Wilkes is just the kind of guy who can find things like that out. Doesn’t matter that he’s only a junior in high school.
A smart, hip, and funny twist on the tale of Hamlet, where one-liners crackle and mystery abounds. Think you already know the story? Think again.

Halpern, Julie. Get Well Soon.
Anna Bloom is depressed -- so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her.But wait!Being trapped in a loony bin isn't supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it? In her fiction debut, Julie Halpern finds humor in the unlikeliest of places, and presents a character whose voice - and heart-- will resonate with all of us who have ever felt just a little bit crazy.

Harazin, S. A. Blood Brothers. YA MYSTERY HAR
With his best friend on life-support after taking drugs at a party, seventeen-year-old Clay, a medical technician, recalls their long friendship, future plans, and recent disagreement, and tries to figure out who is responsible for the accidental overdose.

Harmon, Micheal. Skate. YA HAR
Ian McDermott doesn't have much going for him. He has basically raised himself and his young brother, who has fetal alcohol syndrome. Their mother is a deadbeat drug addict who makes rare appearances in their lives. At Morrison High School, things aren't much better; the administration wants him out. The thing is, Ian isn't going to take any guff from anyone. But one day, he loses his cool and ends up breaking Coach Florence's jaw. The teen knows that he and Sammy have to get away fast before the cops catch up with him. They grab some meager supplies and skate out of Spokane toward Walla Walla to search for their estranged father. Surviving on the lam in the wilderness isn't easy. They cross the state in cold rain, with barely enough provisions. At one point they end up in trouble with a sheriff but escape. The brothers have high hopes that their father will welcome them into his life, but things do not turn out as planned. The author has created a main character who is confident and tragic, but too many convenient coincidences detract from the story being completely believable. Ian's most redeeming quality is the love he has for his brother. The ending is predictable, and the novel does not have the zip that makes it extraordinary, but it does allow readers to breathe a sigh of relief for these siblings.

Harvey, Sarah N.
Bull's Eye. YA HAR
A girl's world falls apart when she discovers that the woman she believes is her mother is actually her aunt.

Henderson, J. A. Bunker 10. YA HEN
At eight o'clock in the evening, 24 December 2007, Pinewood Military Installation exploded. The blast ripped apart acres of forest and devastated the remote highland valley where the base was located. No official cause was given for the incident. Inside Pinewood were 185 male and female personnel--a mixture of scientists and soldiers. There were also seven teenagers. This is the story of their last day . . .
Bunker 10 is a high-octane thriller perfect for fans of video games, science fiction, and television shows like 24.

Hopkins, Ellen. Impulse. YA HOP
Three teens who meet at Reno, Nevada's Aspen Springs mental hospital after each has attempted suicide connect with each other in a way they never have with their parents or anyone else in their lives.

Jacobs, Deborah Lynn. Choices. YA JAC
Overcome with guilt over her brother's death, a teenaged girl shifts between multiple universes in an attempt to find one in which he is alive.

Johnston, Jeffrey W. Fragments. YA JOH
Ever since the accident, Chase feels shattered. He can't remember that night, and everyone's treating him like a broken freak. He just wants things to go back to normal. So when he starts getting flashes of memory, he's relieved. He's sure once he remembers everything, he can put the crash behind him and start over.
But when the flashes reveal another memory, Chase starts to panic. He's desperate to leave his ugly past behind. But if he wants to put the pieces together once and for all, he must face the truth about who he is . . . and what he has done.

Knowles, Jo. Lessons from a Dead Girl.
Spare and evocative prose weaves the story of Leah and Lainey's turbulent and abusive friendship. Fast friends from a young age, Leah is outgoing, "smart, so the teachers love her and . . . beautiful so the boys love her," while Lainey is plain and introspective. During the younger years of their friendship, Leah is sexually abusive to Lainey, claiming that the two are "practicing." As the girls grow older, Lainey pulls away from Leah, confused and hurt by Leah's opprobrious behavior. Lainey falls in with new friends, while Leah becomes self-destructive. Over time, Lainey comes to understand the roots of Leah's odd behavior, but by the time she comes to fully grasp it, it's too late. Clearly and concisely written, Knowles's provoking exploration of children abusing children portrays the tense and finely crafted dynamics between the two girls. Lainey's character is extremely well-developed showing her metamorphosis from hypercritical and withdrawn to self-realized with a focused and knowing clarity. A razor-sharp examination of friendship, abuse and secrets.

Koertge, Ron. Strays. YA KOE
Sixteen-year-old Ted prefers animals to humans; animals "never lie," and unlike the kids at school, he understands them. When Ted loses his parents in a car accident, he particularly identifies with strays--after all, as a foster kid, that's what he is. Ted lands in a new home, where his basic needs are met by fair but semi-dysfunctional foster parents and where he coexists with Astin, his older roommate, and C. W., who has had 19 placements in six years. Ted also starts a new school, and with Astin and C. W. at his back, he learns to express himself and to rely upon people as well as animals. Ted's two-way conversations with animals may initially surprise readers, but this magic realism effectively emphasizes his emotional withdrawal, and his outsider's observations of human nature are by turns insightful, devastatingly funny, and suffused with loneliness. Though Koertge never soft pedals the horrors experienced by some foster children, this thoughtful novel about the lost and abandoned is a hopeful one, in which some strays find a place to belong.

Lane, Dakota. The Secret Life of It Girls. YA LAN
It girl n 1. The girl that you want to be. She gets the guys AND the girls because she has something beyond money, clothes, and attitude. She's got something you either have or you don't have -- and YOU DON'T HAVE IT. (See SUPERSTAR, GODDESS, DIVA.) 2. The girl you hate and fear. She has the power to make you into a slut or outcast, or make you crawl like a loser wannabe/stalker/groupie. There's at least one of her in every school, and she's never going away, so you better figure out your place in her world, before she figures it out for you. (See BACKSTABBER, WITCH, DEMON.) 3. The girl that completely believes she's better than you -- or maybe just acts like she does. She's got all the power, but would be defenseless if left by her herd. (See PATHETIC, INSECURE, MANIPULATIVE.)
Here, in words and pictures, are the thoughts,
the secrets, the lives of It girls.
The stories are fiction, but the feelings are real.
You might think you know these girls. But look closer.
You'll be surprised by what you find.

Lubar, David. True Talents. YA LUB
Fans of Lubar's Hidden Talents (1999) will be happy to see the paranormals from Edgeview Alternative School back together in an action-packed adventure. Fifteen-year-old "Trash" tests his telekinesis in a bank by moving a stack of cash into his pocket, which sets off a dangerous chain of events, including his kidnapping by shady spooks. Meanwhile, the others in the group gravitate to Philadelphia, where they unite to stop a government conspiracy and uncover their most powerful weapon--the strength of their friendship. Brief chapters alternating among the six characters' stories are interspersed with memos, e-mails, illustrations, and notes that enhance the plot and also break up the text in a way that will draw reluctant readers. Lubar's trademark blend of humor and suspense, complete with explosions, supernatural powers, and just enough gore, will be a hit.

Lynn, Erin. Demon Envy.
Being a teenager can be hell-especially when you're friends with someone who was born there.
Kenzie Sutcliffe woke up to another normal morning-until a demon popped up in her shower. While trying to get rid of a monster zit, she dropped her acne lotion in the tub. And when fifty bucks' worth of it swirled down the drain, it freed a demon from his prison portal. A mysteriously geeky-looking demon.
So now Kenzie is saddled with a creature who looks and acts like every other guy she knows-that is, annoying. At least Levi has a job-if you can call it that. He has to stir up envy and jealousy in humans, or he starves. All he's tempting Kenzie to do is to crawl back into her bedroom and hide there forever. Because no one is going to be coveting her life after this.

Mackler, Carolyn. Guyaholic: The Story of Finding, Flirting, Forgetting…and the Boy Who Changes Everything.
Readers who know brazen, boy-crazy V from her aunt Mara's perspective (Vegan Virgin Valentine, 2004), will enjoy her first-person narration here, which reveals no inner brashness but rather a struggle for--and against--emotional distance. V is now 17, a senior, expecting faraway mother Aimee to visit for graduation. Everyone except V recognizes Aimee's flakiness; V's ever-attentive grandparents try their best to fill in, but V misses Aimee, whose history of moving V around the country following men has formed V's makeup more than she wishes to admit. V hooks up regularly with hottie Sam but steadfastly denies that their relationship is loving or serious. Desperate to stay detached, V cheats on Sam and he moves away. Driving across country to visit Aimee, V finally confronts her mother's long-term absence and how it has informed V's own boy-chasing. Eye-opening as a sequel yet solid on its own, V's narration is simple and accessible as she learns to be brave.

McClintock, Norah. Bang! YA MCL
A robbery goes terribly wrong, and Quentin finds he is left taking the blame.

McClintock, Norah. Down. YA MCL
A teenage boy Remy explores his anger after he beat a classmate up and how the rest of the gang looked at him after that.

McKayhan, Monica. Indigo Summer.
Fifteen-year-old Indigo Summer's world finally seems to be going in the right direction: She hooks up with the star linebacker on the high-school football team, gets a date for homecoming and makes the high-school dance squad all in the same week. But sometimes things are just too good to be true. After football star Quincy Rawlins abruptly dumps her for a girl who is willing to put out, Indigo's popularity and self-esteem take a nosedive. When her perfect world falls apart, Indigo turns to the one person who seems to have his head on straight--her next-door neighbor, sixteen-year-old Marcus Carter. The problem is, now that Indigo realizes what a great guy Marcus really is, so does someone else.

McNab, Andy and Robert Rigby. Avenger. YA MCN
Having proved his grandfather Fergus’ innocence, Danny Watts and his friend Elena have now been recruited by the British government for a dangerous assignment. Elena must impersonate a would-be suicide bomber to win the confidence of Black Star, the master computer hacker who is behind the rash of teenage bombings that have swept the globe.
When Black Star sends Elena to New York, Danny and Fergus come along to keep an eye on her. But Fergus knows that once this mission is over, the government will have them all eliminated. As Elena begins to fall under Black Star’s spell, it will take all of Danny’s survival training to find a way out.
Having scored smash bestsellers in Britain with Traitor and Payback, the adventure continues in Avenger with all the authentic Special Ops details that made the previous books stand out.

Mead, Richelle. Vampire Academy.
After two years on the run, best friends Rose, half-human/half-vampire, and Lissa, a mortal vampire princess, are caught and returned to St. Vladimir's Academy. Up until then, Rose had kept Lissa safe from her enemies; school, however, brings both girls additional challenges and responsibilities. How they handle peer pressure, nasty gossip, new relationships, and anonymous threats may mean life or death. Likable narrator Rose hides doubts about her friend behind a tough exterior; orphan Lissa, while coping with difficult emotional issues such as depression and survivor's guilt, uses her emerging gifts for good. Mead's absorbing, debut YA novel, the first in a new series, blends intricately detailed fantasy with a contemporary setting, teen-relevant issues, and a diverse, if sometimes sterotyped, cast of supporting characters. Occasional steamy sex and a scattering of vulgar language demand mature readers, but teens able to handle the edgy elements will speed through this vamp story and anticipate the next installment.

Myers, Walter Dean. What They Found: Love on 145th Street. YA MYE
A neighborhood beauty salon is the setting for lots of the fast, funny talk in these stirring contemporary stories, which nonetheless give a grim view of being "poor and black," whether on the streets of Harlem, in prison, or on the war front in Afghanistan. Rooted in the harsh realism of widespread unemployment, drug use, and trouble ("more brothers going to jail than going to college"), the teens' tender connections are heartbreaking. A single teenage mother loves her baby, and so does the young dad, who wishes he could support them. Some teens are college-bound, but a boy with a high-school diploma can't find work: will he get a gun? Tough gangster Burn is gentle with handicapped kids, but he cannot connect with the girl he loves. In "Mama," a kid who cares for her mom, a recovering addict, and tries to get her brother to preschool turns out to be only eight years old. There are lighter moments, too; in "Poets and Plumbers," Noee feels uncomfortable in Kyle's apartment until she shows him how to unplug his kitchen drain. Each story stands alone, but some are connected, and readers familiar with Myers' 145th Street (2000) will welcome back some characters. Hope lies in what the book title says, finding love and community.

Nance, Andrew and Polhemus, Colin, illus. Daemon Hall. YA NAN
Is winning a writing contest worth risking your life?Nothing exciting ever happens in the town of Maplewood-that is, until famous thriller writer Ian Tremblin holds a short-story writing contest with a prize that seems to be the opportunity of a lifetime: five finalists will get to spend the evening with Tremblin himself in the haunted mansion Daemon Hall, and the winner of the best short story will see publication.Wade Reilly and the other finalists could never have imagined what they find lurking in the shadows of this demonic mansion. During a suspenseful night of tale-telling, strange incidents mix the realms of the real and the supernatural. What is Tremblin really up to, and can he be trusted? What about Daemon Hall-is it alive? And, more to the point, will any of the contestants make it out of this hall of horrors to tell their story? In the tradition of Stephen King, this chilling novel will have teen readers on edge in anticipation of what's to come with the next extinguished candle.

Plummer, Louise. Finding Daddy. YA MYSTERY PLU
MIRA KENT IS nearing her 16th birthday and wants to know more about a father she doesn't remember. Her mother tells her she has all his good qualities, but isn't specific. With nothing but a photo of her father, Mira wants more. She writes him imaginary notes:
Daddy, darling, where are you? I need you in my life. Aren't you curious about me? About school? I have a boyfriend named Dylan. Mom says you both made the decision during the divorce that you wouldn't be part of my life. It was easier, she says. It hasn't been easier for me. Look for me, dearest Daddy, and I'll look for you. I'll look until I find you.

Pow, Tom. Captives. YA POW
Dividing his tale close to the exact middle, Pow contrasts public and private accounts of an American tourist family's kidnapping by Caribbean guerillas. Having reread his father's best-selling diary in the first half of the book and finding it wanting, 16-year-old Martin, who is still withdrawn and suffering from the experience, composes a third-person version from a more private and personal point of view. It is also a psychologically probing look at the events—giving the kidnappers as well as their victims human characters and histories. Like Louise Moeri's The Forty-third War (1989) and Peter Dickinson's AK (1992), this will help readers see beyond conventional views of Third World rebels as faceless terrorists; it is the fictional island's power-hungry strongman and his ally, an amoral agent of an American mining company, who are the villains here, responsible for this compelling novel's sad, violent ending.

Reinhardt, Dana. Harmless. YA REI
Freshmen Anna and Emma have been best friends since third grade. When Emma meets Mariah during rehearsals for Romeo and Juliet and becomes friendly with her, Anna grows jealous. Mariah, who is dating a senior from another school, invites them to a sleepover at her boyfriend's house while his parents are away and things change for the three of them after that night. When the girls make up a story about their whereabouts and are caught in the aftermath, the lies grow into something bigger than any of them could have imagined. The unfolding of the truth is believable and told from the girls' alternating points of view. Anna enjoys the newfound attention and rationalizes that maybe the lie wasn't so bad, even as things spiral out of control. Emma, who drank at the party and had sex for the first time, opens up slowly to a counselor. At the end of the book, Mariah is still coming to terms with her actions and regrets, noting how something can appear one way one day and be different the next. Unpredictability and suspense will keep readers turning the pages and questioning their own sensibilities. They will appreciate how well the characters are developed, and how seemingly simple lies can have far-reaching and devastating consequences.

Ryan, Darlene. Responsible. YA RYA
A girl becomes the target of a school bully and one of his gang must decide what to do.

Schreiber, Mark. Starcrossed. YA ROMANCE SCH
How can Christy Marlowe-an impulsive, wise-cracking horoscope-junkie-be in love with Ben, a well-mannered college freshman who prefers astronomy over astrology? Their fateful first meeting takes place at a plastic surgeon's office, where both hope to erase painful memories along with unwanted tattoos. Is it a bad omen that Ben has the same name as Christy's ex-boyfriend, a drug-pedaling punk in juvie for murder? It's hard for Christy to care when Ben sends her heart "racing through galaxies of bliss." Just as Ben is worried about Christy's obsessed ex who's back on the streets, Christy is troubled by the sadlurking in Ben's ice-blue eyes.
Burying the past isn't easy and this comedy of love turns upside down when Christy and Ben become ensnared in their own lies. Starcrossed or starmates, can they forgo Romeo and Juliet's tragic fate and find their way back to truth and trust?

Sewell, Earl. Keysha's Drama.
Sixteen-year-old Keysha Kendall is a judge's signature away from foster care when she's sent to live with the father she never knew. Suddenly she has her own room in his big fancy house, a high-powered stepmother and a popular half brother who can introduce her to all the right people at her new school.
But Keysha can't forget where she came from. And she won't let anyone else, either. Why should her father and his perfect family have it so easy when she and her mother had it so hard? And so Keysha hooks up with a rough crowd and does whatever she wants…until what she wants changes real fast….

Shakespeare, William, Rishard Appignasi and Sonia Leong, illus. Manga Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet.
Now presenting Manga Shakespeare—the Bard’s greatest plays in an accessible, lively format for a new generation of readers
Romeo and Juliet is ideally suited for the manga format—it has teenage heroes, scheming and villainous adults, heartbreaking tragedy, and the ultimate romantic plot about star-cross’d lovers. Romeo, a Montague, and Juliet, a Capulet, fall deeply in love—and they refuse to let their parents’ age-old feud get in their way. When Romeo is banished from their town, a series of mistakes and misunderstandings, along with their families’ mutual hatred, finally manages to end their love. An exciting introduction to the Bard for reluctant readers and manga fans alike.

Showalter, Gena. Oh My Goth. YA SHO
A fiercely individualist Goth girl wakes up to discover that the whole world has gone Goth and she's actually -- gag -- popular.
Jade Leigh is a nonconformist who values individuality above all else. She has a small group of like-minded Goth friends who wear black, dabble in the dark arts, and thrive outside the norm. They're considered the "freaks" of their high school. But when Jade's smart mouth lands her in trouble -- again -- her principal decides to teach her a lesson she'll never forget.
Taken to a remote location where she is strapped down and sedated, Jade wakes up in an alternate universe where she rules the school. But her best friends won't talk to her, and the people she used to hate are all Goth. Only Clarik, the mysterious new boy in town, operates outside all the cliques. And only Mercedes, the Barbie clone Jade loathes, believes that Jade's stuck in a virtual reality game -- because she's stuck there, too, now living the life of a "freak." Together, they realize they might never get back to reality...and that even if they do, things might never be the same.

Smith, Roland. Peak. YA SMI
Fourteen-year-old New Yorker Peak ("It could have been worse. My parents could have named me Glacier, or Abyss, or Crampon.") Marcello hones his climbing skills by scaling skyscrapers. After Peak is caught climbing the Woolworth Building, an angry judge gives him probation, with an understanding that Peak will leave New York and live with his famous mountaineer father in Thailand. Peak soon learns, however, that his father has other plans for him; he hopes that Peak will become the youngest person to climb Mt. Everest. Peak is whisked off to Tibet and finds himself in the complex world of an Everest base camp, where large amounts of money are at stake and climbing operations offer people an often-deadly shot at the summit. This is a thrilling, multifaceted adventure story. Smith includes plenty of mountaineering facts told in vivid detail (particularly creepy is his description of the frozen corpses that litter the mountain). But he also explores other issues, such as the selfishness that nearly always accompanies the intensely single-minded. A winner at every level.

Sones, Sonya.
What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know. YA SON
This sequel to What My Mother Doesn't Know (S & S, 2001) stands completely on its own. Robin's life at Cambridge High School is miserable. The arty outsider's last name becomes the pejorative slang of the school—as in, "Don't be such a Murphy." His lot improves, however, when popular Sophie becomes his girlfriend despite the detriment to her reputation. Better still, the freshman is invited to audit an art class at Harvard. It is his homecoming; for once, he is the comedian rather than the butt of jokes. One of the college freshmen even shows some romantic interest in him. Written as a novel in verse, this title is a fast-paced, page-turning romp that gives authentic voice to male youth even when it is painfully truthful.

St. James, James. Freak Show.
Teenage drag queen Billy Bloom explodes onto the conservative scene at Eisenhower Academy, where he finds love and a band of blond sadists. St. James tells the oldest story in the book, the one where an outcast seeks the homecoming crown, only this time a queen wants to be Queen. Billy's bold, bawdy narration makes Freak Show not only cohesive but also immensely entertaining. Readers will relish his conversational voice, naughty humor, celebrity put-downs, unabashed exuberance, and ALL CAPS expletives. Beneath the sequins, feathers, and foundation, Billy nurses an ardent desire for acceptance. Teens will quickly identify with his worries and needs, even as he dons lip gloss and a beehive wig. Billy shirks labels (he calls himself a "Gender Obscurist"), and this book also refuses to be defined by sexuality. Yes, Billy falls for another boy, and yes, they do kiss. Teens will find this romance fresh and fun, but they will also enjoy exploring complicated issues of empowerment, bigotry, self-esteem, and fear. Freak Show visits these difficult regions of adolescence with gracious candor and humor. More buoyant than weighty, this book flows as a fast-paced, snarky story of high school horrors. Mature readers will love St. James's playful rendition of a conventional American tale.

Stone, Jeff. Crane. J STO
Hok, a crane-style Kung Fu master, is also a master at hiding. For the past 12 years, she has hidden the fact that she is a girl. Now her rogue brother, Ying, and his army have placed a huge price on her head. Fortunately, she manages to make it to Keifeng where she finds her mother and a "round-eye" with the very funny name of Charles. Together Hok and Charles start to make some sense of the magnitude of Ying's plans.

Strasser, Todd. Boot Camp. YA STR
In this vivid and realistic novel, Strasser describes the horrifying violence and injustices experienced by teens sent to a disciplinary boot camp at the behest of their parents. Abducted by transporters in the middle of the night, 15-year-old Garrett finds himself handcuffed in the back of a car trying to make sense of why he is being sent to a facility for troubled teens. Convinced that he does not belong in Lake Harmony, he has difficulty conforming to the camp's standards. As a result, he is subjected to continuous physical and mental abuse. Drawn in by two other students, Garrett takes part in an ambitious plot to escape this never-ending "behavior modification." Throughout the story, readers are given a strong sense of the hopelessness the teen feels, especially when he realizes that he is completely isolated from anyone who can help him. The ending is both realistic and disturbing as his fate at Lake Harmony is revealed. Writing in the teen's mature and perceptive voice, Strasser creates characters who will provoke strong reactions from readers. While most teens will undoubtedly identify with the protagonist's sense of being misunderstood by his parents, many will be outraged by the manipulation, torture, and hopelessness experienced by the residents at Lake Harmony. However, all of them will certainly find themselves engrossed in this fast-paced and revealing story about the hidden side of teenage incarceration.

Sweeney, Joyce. Headlock.
Eighteen-year-old Kyle Bailey, star student and high-school gymnast, has decided to pack it all in to become a professional wrestler. He learns some high-flying moves and finds both challenge and success at the Hard Knocks wrestling school, where he meets a variety of star wrestler wannabes, including a 35-year-old ex con, a librarian, and a 21-year-old woman, who becomes a romantic interest. But his greatest tests are outside the ring as he comes to terms with his beloved French grandmother's declining health and the reappearance of his detached mother. Though entertaining, the story comes together too neatly, Kyle is too good to be true, and the trainers turn out to be father figures (Who would have guessed?). But many of the passages are dead-on depictions of teen life, including one in which Karl loses his virginity (Sweeny doesn't linger overlong on details). What's more, the intriguing descriptions of wrestling will definitely grab an audience.

Tullson, Diane. The Darwin Expedition. YA TUL
Following an accident on a remote logging road, Liam and Tej must call on all their resources to survive the elements and escape the bear that is following them.

Van Diepen, Allison. Snitch.
In a school run by gangs, staying out was harder than joining. We knew who our friends were, and were careful what we said. If people thought we were haters, it would only be a matter of time....
Lines are clearly marked at South Bay High School. It's mixed territory for the Crips and the Bloods, which means the drama never stops. Julia DiVino wants none of it. No colors, no C-Walks -- it's just not her
thing. But when Eric Valienté jumps into her life, everything changes. Lines are redrawn. And then they're crossed.

Vande Velde, Vivian. Remembering Raquel. YA VAN
Fifteen-year-old Raquel Falcone is, as one of her classmates puts it, the kind of kid who has a tendency to be invisible. That is until the night she's hit by a car and killed while walking home from the movies.
In brief, moving chapters, we hear about Raquel from her classmates, her best friend, her family--and the woman who was driving the car that struck her.
The loss of this seemingly invisible girl deeply affects her entire community, proving just how interconnected and similar we all really are.

Velez, Ivan. Dead High Yearbook.
Dead High Yearbook puts the graphic back into graphic novel in true splatter horror-movie form. This group of grisly stories is connected by an overarching tale of two zombie yearbook editors putting together this year's annual. The deaths range from in-your-face gruesome to only suggested. Even without every corpse pictured, there are plenty of splashes of blood and bloody fingerprints on the pages to satisfy even the most ghoulish readers. The book goes so far as to include pre- and post-death photos on the endpapers. Several artists contribute to the book, so readers see a variety of styles from superhero physiques to mangalike faces to scratchy indy-artistry. The stories of death are also varied, ranging from the truly weird (an exploding boy) to the supernatural (zombies and vampires, anyone?) to the mundane (car accident, love triangle gone sour), and are generally well done. There are some attempts at humor, which don't work so well, even as black humor. Overall, this is a book for readers with strong stomachs for these sorts of visuals.

Volponi, Paul. Rucker Park Setup. YA VOL
Best friends Mackey and J.R. have waited their whole lives to win the basketball tournament at Rucker Park, where their favorite pro ballers squared off against street legends. But the day of their big game, J.R. is fatally stabbed—and it’s Mackey’s fault, even though he didn’t wield the knife. Now Mackey has a score to settle, but the killer is watching his every move.

Vrettos, Adrienne Maria. Sight. YA VRE
Fifteen-year-old Dylan has horrific visions of the last moments of a child's life -- a child who has been abducted, kidnapped, or worse. Dylan gives the police valuable clues that help them to find children's bodies, but she keeps the most personal information about these young victims to herself. Dylan has become used to withholding her sight abilities -- even from her best friend, Pilar -- but the weight of that secret is becoming almost more than she can bear. Then Cate moves into Dylan's mountain town. Enthusiastic and friendly, Cate seems genuinely interested in Dylan, who begins to reveal a bit about herself. But is Cate all that she seems to be? It's not entirely clear...and it takes the disappearance of Pilar's little sister to finally open Dylan's eyes. In a race against time to save a life, and desperate to focus her abilities so that she herself can survive, Dylan is forced to see more clearly than she ever has before. Sight is a powerful and haunting story from the author of the highly acclaimed debut novel Skin. It will open the eyes of readers

Wasserman, Robin. Chasing Yesterday: Book 1, The Awakening. YA WAS
Found: One girl, age twelve. Unconscious. Unharmed. Unclaimed. Unidentified. Lost: Everything. JD (Jane Doe) may not know the truth about her past, but she can recognize a lie, and she knows she’s in danger. Someone wants whatever is locked in her mind and, just maybe, wants her dead. She won’t be safe until she figures out who she is, where she came from, and why they’re after her. She can trust no one, not even herself. Especially not herself. Because it turns out there’s one thing even more terrible than forgetting her past: remembering. A thrilling, suspenseful new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Robin Wasserman.

Watson, C.G. Quad. YA WAT
Everything led up to this moment—the point when the teasing, the cruelty, the pressure all became too much. And someone finally snapped.
Now six students, from six different cliques, are trapped in the student store while a shooter terrorizes their school. The shooter’s identity is teased out through the students’ flashbacks until the reader breathlessly reaches the final page. It’s only there that he discovers the shocking answer to the question: Who is shooting out in the quad?
This gripping thriller by educator C. G. Watson is inspired by observations made in her own high school. Quad examines in heartrending detail how even the most casual cruelties can tear people apart.

Wiess, Laura. Such A Pretty Girl. YA WIE
With her father imprisoned, 15-year-old Meredith thinks she could live out her high-school days safely, but when he is released early for good behavior, her security is shattered. A popular youth baseball coach, her father has abused Mer as well as other boys and girls. With strict orders that he not be left alone with his daughter, he is returned to the condo complex where she and her mother live. In contrast to Mer's terror, her mother is giddy with delight at his return, and together the reunited couple plans to conceive another child. Yet in the shadows and stillness, Mer's nightmare begins anew. This is a gritty, terrifying novel about a father's abuse of power and trust, and the way two different teens, Meredith and her paraplegic friend, Andy, deal with that reality. Although not explicit, the novel is honest in its telling. Admittedly sensational, Wiess' story is a page-turner that ultimately sends a startling message of empowerment that, while improbable, is extremely satisfying.

Zarr, Sara. Story of a Girl. YA ZAR
When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother's best friend - Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of "school slut," she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, The Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption.


50 Cent. 50 x 50: 50 Cent in His Own Words.
"When I look at these pictures and think about my days growing up on the south side of Queens, they're such distant memories that sometimes it feels like a movie I watched...But all those things add up to me being who I am - being 50 Cent."
50 x 50 is a provocative look inside the mind of 50 Cent.
Through candid, raw personal essays and rare family photos, this compelling book tells the story of a man who rose from a life of hardcore hustling to one of unrivaled success not just in the music industry, but in the entertainment and commercial world beyond.
Inside this full-color, illustrated autobiography, you'll find pieces of memorabilia from 50 Cent's life - handwritten song lyrics, mixtape covers, stage passes, and more - making 50 x 50 a powerful interactive experience. From the first written word to the final hook, 50 x 50 delivers all the honesty and flow you'd expect from hip-hop's most intriguing star.

Alvarado, Melissa, Hope Meng and Melissa Rannels with Matthew Carden, illus. Subversive Seamster: Transform Thrift Store Threads into Street Couture.
It's time to get subversive, again! The downtown divas of Sew Subversive are back with another happy helping of straightlaced sewing advice for stylish results every time. Transform tacky bridesmaid gowns and pleated pants into picture-perfect tops, skirts and accessories. The two Melissas and a Hope deliver 30 great projects that are achievable for even the new sewer. Subversive Seamster is your secret roadmap to the jewels of thrifting and the ins and outs of refashioning. This book has shortcuts, tips, and secrets to the wide world of inexpensive, individualized fashion. Our clothes make a statement about who we are. What better way to say, "I am an individual!" than to wear one-of-a-kind items made out of other one-of-a-kind items? We derive the most fashionable satisfaction knowing that we are reusing and recycling what already exists in this material world--and looking darn good doing it!

Aranzi, Aronzo. The Bad Book.
In the world of kawaii (Japanese cute), little kitties, pandas, bunnies and the like are standard fare, but who ever heard of The Bad Buy, The Liar, or The Thief? Aranzi Aranzo takes the notorious cuteness of Japanese crafts and takes them to the next level with The Bad Book, full of mischief and fun! Each comics vignette acts as a companion guide to creatures they will teach you to make in easy steps that require little more than thread, needle and fabric!

Ash, Russell. Firefly's World of Facts.
Who was the only person ever to win both an Oscar and a Nobel Prize? Who was the only female martyr and saint to sport a beard? Which country hosts the Cockroach Hall of Fame? Whose last words were, "I am still alive!"?
These and thousands of other questions are answered in Firefly's World of Facts.
Abundantly illustrated with color photographs, illustrations, maps and charts, every page is chock full of unexpected and astonishing lists, rankings, facts and juxtapositions.
Firefly's World of Facts covers a rich diversity of topics and is arranged by subject:
• Natural world and life sciences
• Science and technology
• World cultures, countries and beliefs
• Technological marvels
• Language, literature and education
• Art, music and entertainment... and many, many more.
Readers of all ages will be fascinated by the facts revealed in this remarkable reference.

Blakeney, Faith & Justina and Ellen Schultz. 99 Ways to Cut, Sew and Deck Out Your Denim.
How many pairs of old jeans do you have in your closet?
Everyone from the sewing novice to the fashion guru can appreciate the 99 ingenious projects that will reincarnate your denim has-beens into fashion must-haves. The techniques are simple, the supplies are easy-to-find, and every project takes ninety minutes or less, from start to finish.

Carlowicz, Michael. Moon.
As our nearest cosmic neighbor, the moon has been an object of worship; a fount of myths; the subject of countless films, books, and works of art; and the focus of our early ventures into space. It is a source of wonder for us in its many guises and phases, sizes and colors.
Full of spectacular images, The Moon explores how our celestial sister works her magic on the earth, how she has profoundly influenced our beliefs and our cultures, and how she continues to affect our oceans and our science. This is the full picture, from the moon’s fiery and violent birth four billion years ago to the near future, when we will once again stand on its dusty surface.

Chryssicas, Mary Kaye. Breathe: Yoga for Teens. YA 613.7 CHR
Featuring teenage models and their stories, the book successfully teaches self-confidence and compassion in terms that any teen with an open mind will find enlightening.

Cooper, Robbie. Alter Ego: Digital Avatars and Their Creators.
Alter Ego is a cool concept book, presenting the phenomenon of the contemporary avatar-the virtual characters gamers choose and design to engage in 3D worlds online. Portraits of gamers from the United States, Europe, China, and Japan (including leading figures of the gaming world) are paired with digital images of their alter egos, graphically dramatizing the gap between fantasy and reality.
With an introduction by one of digital culture's leading observers, and a glossary of relevant terms, each of the seventy pairs of images are accompanied by detailed gamers' profiles. Sometimes hilarious and always visually exciting, Alter Ego also serves as a guide to the new world of the avatar and is a serious contribution to the debate about the future of society in the digital age.

Dingle, Adrian with Simon Basher, illus. The Periodic Table: Elements with Style.
"The Periodic Table" introduces budding chemists to the world of the elements as it's never been seen before. Designed to resemble popular networking Web sites, the pages of this book feature "homepages" for each of the chemical elements-complete with witty and informative profiles written by the elements themselves, plus a personally chosen picture.

Editors of CosmoGirl!. Cosmogirl! Make it Yourself: 50 Fun and Funky Projects.
CosmoGIRLs know: real style is personal, individual, one-of-a-kind—not plucked ready-made from a shelf. Each person has to create it for herself…and that’s where this collection of very cool projects comes in. From a ribbon-front halter top with attitude to chic vintage-inspired necklaces, from gracefully decorated ballet flats to a warming winter body treatment, these ideas are fun, fabulous, and fast to finish. Plus, all the clothes, accessories, and beauty products allow ample room for creativity, giving young designers free rein with colors, embellishments, and other detailing, so each item becomes hers and hers alone. All the projects are labeled for level, with easy-to-follow directions and appealing photos—and everything fits a teen’s budget perfectly.

Editors of Inside Cheerleading. Cheerleading: From Tryouts to Championships.
Cheerleading has come a long way since its beginnings at a Minnesota football game in 1888. Then, all you had to do was stand and yell; today, cheerleading is one of the nation’s most popular pastimes (over 80 percent of US high schools have cheerleading squads), a challenging physical activity whose participants train at different levels on teams and camps year-round, and a competitive sport covered by ESPN. Cheerleading is the first and only book on the market that goes inside the sport itself, to tell cheerleaders (and aspiring ones) what they really need to know: How do I get started? What kind of camp should I choose? What do I need to do to make a varsity, college, or All-Star team? What are the new trends, techniques, and stunts? Written by the editors of Inside Cheerleading magazine, this book gives cheerleaders, coaches, and even mascots the inside edge not only on techniques and choreography, but also on competitions, types of squads, style and attitude. The book features contributions from inspiring role models, including Lawrence Herkimer, the father of modern cheerleading, Sarah McDaniel, three-time national champion cheerleader, and Ryan Martin, a current high-school cheerleader and star of the Lifetime reality show, “Cheerleader Nation.”

Editors of Seventeen Magazine. Seventeen Real Girl, Real Life Stories: True Crime. YA 364.1 SEV
Contents: Killed by her mother -- A rapist is caught -- Criminal nanny -- Miscarriage-or murder? -- Falsely accused -- School attack -- Killer nurse -- Abusive cult -- Lethal ride -- Bank robbers -- Killing his father (for love) -- Into thin air -- Josh's suicide -- Mother, molester -- Pushed to the edge -- Dying to get high -- A deadly fistfight.

Everhart, Mike. Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Monsters of the Deep.
Sharks and dinosaurs, dinosaurs and sharks, we find them both alien and awe-inspiring, at once utterly inhuman and somehow irresistibly compelling. But forget Jaws and Jurassic Park—nothing can prepare you for Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep, an amazing plunge into the Cretaceous oceans of 80 million years ago, a merciless realm ruled by the most ferocious animals ever to stalk the seas of planet Earth. More terrifying than anything known to humankind, it scarcely seems possible that these swift, massive underwater predators actually existed, but they did—and this is their frightening, fascinating, unforgettable story.

Gee, Joshua. Encyclopedia Horrifica. YA 001.9 GEE
ENCYCLOPEDIA HORRIFICA is the perfect book for anyone who loves the spooky, the eerie, and the downright weird. Want to know about ghosts, vampires, ESP, werewolves, or anything else even partially paranormal? Then this is definitely the book for you!
The book is broken down into four main parts: Real Nightmares, "That's the Spirit!", Every Day is Halloween, and Fearsome Fates.

Golus, Carrie. Tupac Shakur. YA 921 SHAKUR, T., Gol
Table of Contents: "How Long Wil They Mourn Me?" , A Young Talent , The Jungle, A Thug's Life, From Prison to Death Row , Tomorrow Is Not Promised , Resurrection, Glossary,
Source Notes, Selected Bibliography, Further Reading and Websites, Index.

Grahame-Smith, Seth. How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills. YA 791.43 GRA
Every month or so, a new horror movie hits #1 at the box office no wonder there are dozens of new fright films slated for release in 2007. But if you find yourself trapped in one of these movies, there's no need to be afraid. How to Survive a Horror Movie teaches readers how to cope with every kind of horror movie obstacle, from ax-wielding psychopaths to haunted Japanese VHS tapes. Chapters include:
How to Survive a Night of Babysitting
How to Convince the Skeptical Local Sheriff
How to Perform an Exorcism
How to Tell If You've Been Dead Since the Beginning of the Movie
How to Vanquish a Murderous Doll
Full of illustrated instructions on avoiding ghosts, serial killers, haunted cars, murderous pets, telekinetic prom queens, and countless other hazards, How to Survive a Horror Movie is essential reading for movie buffs of all ages!

Grandits, John. Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems. YA 811 GRA
A 15-year-old girl named Jessie voices typical and not so typical teenage concerns in this unique, hilarious collection of poems. Her musings about trying out new makeup and hairstyles, playing volleyball and cello, and dealing with her annoying younger brother are never boring or predictable. Who else do you know who designs her own clothes and writes poetry to her cat? Jessie’s a girl with strong opinions, and she isn’t shy about sharing them. Her funny, sarcastic take on high school life is revealed through concrete poetry: words, ideas, type, and design that combine to make pictures and patterns. The poems are inventive, irreverent, irresistible, and full of surprises just like Jessie and the playful layout and ingenious graphics extend the wry humor.

Handy, Roger and Karin Elsener. Found Photos: Rear Ends.
If you're looking for a tasteful book about people's posteriors then you've found it here. This hardcover tome has over one hundred photographs culled from thrift stores depicting average people's bottoms throughout the 20th century. If you're an aficionado of found objects or just a fan of butts then this book's for you.

Harrington, Jane. Extreme Pets Handbook. YA 636.08 HAR
A lizard that can lick its eyeballs...a rodent that can detach its fur...a spider that shoots sharp hairs when its upset. No, these aren't the stars of a freak show--they're Extreme Pets! If you've just GOTTA have a pet that's anything but ordinary, this book is for you! Inside you'll find a ton of info about all kinds of cool animals, from snakes to ferrets to frogs. You'll even get tips on how to persuade your parents to let you have that creepy, crawly, make-your-little-sister-jump-out-of-her-skin pet. And what could be more fun than that!
Hess, Nina. A Practical Guide to Monsters. YA 793.93 HES
The sequel to The New York Times best-selling A Practical Guide to Dragons
How do you trick a troll? Do vampires sleep? Why worry about yuan-ti? Just in time for Halloween, this lavishly illustrated guide showcases the spooky, unexpected, and always fascinating world of monsters!

Lee, John. Street Scene. YA 741.2 LEE & 741.2 LEE
Contains 28 step-by-step demonstrations in an edgy, high-impact style.
Whether you're an aspiring comic-artist or you just wanna have fun drawing ... this book shows you how to rock it out in your own gritty, graffiti-influenced style. Start with simple shapes and stick figures and build up to full, fleshed-out dudes and babes with serious attitude!
• Draw a radical cast of 18 characters step by step, including hip hop artists, rappers, graffiti artists, DJs, skatekids, BMX riders, basketball players, snowboarders, Goth girls, fashionistas, punk rockers, and other urban subculture types.
• Express your characters' style with the coolest hairstyles, clothing, shoes, bling, hats, glasses, bags, piercings, tattoos and gear.
• Let your characters kick it in ultra-cool environments, from gritty cityscapes and zany interiors to wild and abstract backgrounds.
From feet to facial expressions, you'll get lots of expert tips for awesome results. It's everything you need to create maximum-impact art that expresses your own sense of style and individuality ... Art that says, "I was here!"

Lewry, Fraser and Tom Ryan. Kittenwar. YA 636.8 RYA, the massively popular Web site that pits two photographs of adorable kittens side by side and asks the viewer to vote for a winner, has entered a new battlefield: the book. This action-packed adventure has something for every kittenwarmonger, whether a grizzled veteran or a fresh-faced recruit: more than 100 claws-to-the-walls kittenwars; expert battle analysis by the creators of; a super-accurate Kittenological Personality Tester, the most comprehensive survey into cat naming ever undertaken; a guide to getting maximum cuteness from your kitten; a history of kittens in wartime and other times of great danger; and more. Filled with ridiculously cute kittens and cleverly funny text, no one can resist this call to paws. May the cutest kitten win!

Pardes, Bronwen. Doing It Right: Making Smart, Safe and Satisfying Choices about Sex.
Grade 9 Up—As a sexuality educator at middle schools, high schools, and colleges, Pardes has had her share of the experience in the trenches, and shares some of the most commonly requested information. She is up-front and honest with her audience, not shying away from topics such as anal sex, masturbation, and readiness for a sexual relationship. She strives to give teens the information they need, without judgment, to make their own decisions. She freely discusses sex without love, reproductive anatomy, transitioning as a transsexual, and sexually transmitted diseases. Because she tries to do so much in one volume, some topics, such as STDs other than HIV, are mentioned but not covered in depth. The openness of this book will be a boon to teens looking for frank discussions of sexuality and making choices.

Pearce, Fred. Earth: Then and Now.
Earth Then and Now records the dramatic way our planet has changed over the past century. On one page is a specific part of the world as it was 5, 20, 50 or even 100 years ago. On the facing page is the same place as it looks today. Each stark visual comparison tells a compelling story -- a melting glacier, an expanding desert, an encroaching cityscape, a natural disaster.

Pearson, Felicia "Snoop" and David Ritz. Grace After Midnight: A Memoir.
While Felicia is a brilliant actor in a truly chilling role, what's most remarkable about "Snoop" is what she has overcome in her life. Snoop was born a three-pound cross-eyed crack baby in East Baltimore. Those streets are among the toughest in the world, but Snoop was tougher. The runt of the ghetto showed an early aptitude for drug slinging and violence and thrived as a baby gangsta until she landed in Jessup state penitentiary after killing a woman in self-defense. There she rebelled violently against the system, and it was only through the cosmic intervention of her mentor, Uncle Loney, that she turned her life around. A couple of years ago, Snoop was discovered in a nightclub by one of The Wire's cast members and quickly recruited to be one of television's most frightening and intriguing villians.While the story of coming up from the hood has been told by Antwone Fisher and Chris Gardner, among others, Snoop's tale goes far deeper into The Life than any previous books. And like Mary Karr's story, Snoop's is a woman's story from a fresh point of view. She defied traditional conventions of gender and sexual preference on the hardest streets in America and she continues to do so in front of millions of viewers on TV.

Rogge, Hannah and Adrian Buckmaster, illus. Save This Shirt!
Hannah Rogge faced a common quandary. She had a closetful of oversized T-shirts—leftovers from old boyfriends, charity-event giveaways, rock-concert souvenirs, gifts from relatives’ travels. She rarely wore any of them—they weren’t exactly flattering—but she wasn’t ready to throw them away.
What to do? Well, this ever-inventive industrial designer and jewelry designer, who just loves making something from nothing, decided to save those shirts by cutting them apart and stitching them back together, creating garments she might actually want to wear—a sexy lace-up tank top, a racer-back tank top, and a mini skirt—as well as useful accessories, including a belt and a tote bag. And she figured out how to complete almost all of them in less than an hour (either by hand or with a sewing machine) for just a few dollars.
Now everyone from the most craft-savvy to the craft-challenged can do the same by following Rogge’s step-by-step illustrated instructions for her most popular designs. Save This Shirt even comes with a cool large T-shirt —imprinted with the Save This Shirt logo and compressed into a tiny T-shirt-shaped block—to use for practice.

Salant, James. Leaving Dirty Jersey: A Crystal Meth Memoir.
In its first pages, this disturbing memoir sees upper middle-class New Jersey 18-year-old Salant plopped in a California drug recovery center by his parents, where he attempts "kicking heroin among strangers" some 3,000 miles from home. Before long, Salant has ditched the recovery center and embarked on a chaotic, crime-riddled year addicted to crystal meth and the whopping sex life that's part of its allure. Supported by both his well-meaning parents and by selling drugs, Salant deals with a cast of dysfunctional junkies at turns caring, comical and highly unsettling. Though he never addresses the big picture-the so-called epidemic of meth use in America-there's plenty of gory details about life as a drug addict, from a dealer shooting meth into her neck while her daughter watches TV in the next room, to an uncomfortable, drug-fueled threesome with a violent paranoiac. The tale of Salant's recovery, however, is remarkably abrupt; Savant explains he "didn't decide to turn my life around. I just stopped trying so hard to ruin it." Savant's story is a depressing, at times disgusting, and largely demoralizing tale; as such, it offers an unrelentingly bleak account of one man's encounter with America's crystal meth culture, for readers who have the stomach for it.

Shivak, Nadia. Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder. YA 616.85 SHI
"Every day, meal by meal, millions of people suffer from eating disorders. I am one of them."
Nadia Shivack was fourteen years old when she met Ed, her eating disorder. Sometimes like an alien in her body, sometimes like a lover, Ed was unpredictable and exciting, but ultimately always dangerous and destructive.
At an inpatient unit unit of a hospital where she was taken for treatment, Nadia wrote and drew on napkins after meals in order to keep the food in and calm the outrageous voices in her head. These pictures, together with others drawn on notebook paper and a variety of other surfaces, tell an unflinchingly honest story of a woman's lifelong battle with anorexia and bulimia. Raw, brave, and brilliant, Nadia's journey takes readers to the intimate corners of these misunderstood diseases. You will never think about eating disorders in the same way again.

Simonson, Louise. DC Comics Covergirls.
"DC Comics Covergirls compiles the finest ladies from DC's 70-plus years..."

Smedman, Lisa. From Boneshakers to Choppers: The Rip-Roaring History of Motorcycles.
The fastest book on two wheels explores the timeless appeal of the motorcycle.
In 1885, two German inventors strapped a motor to a bicycle, and the world's first motorcycle was born. Riders have been hooked ever since.
Climb aboard From Boneshakers to Choppers and discover how these two-wheeled wonders spawned subcultures that continue to flourish today. From early endurance contests that catapulted Harley-Davidson to fame to pulp novels featuring rugged biker heroes, you'll witness the burgeoning motorcycle image of the early 20th century.
Move on to wartime when the military pushed the motorcycle's portability by designing collapsible motorbikes to drop -- by parachute -- behind enemy lines. Then follow the motorcycle through the definitive postwar years: the birth of the Hell's Angels, the ultimate cool of biker Marion Brando in The Wild One, and the scooter-as-fashion craze of the mods. You'll also discover the world of adventurous female bikers, take to the tracks of stunt riders, and hit the road with cross-continent racers.
Brimming with an amazing collection of archival and contemporary photographs, From From Boneshakers to Choppers will take you on an unforgettable ride.

Warren, Frank. A Lifetime of Secrets: A PostSecret Book. YA 741.6 WAR
For the past three years Frank Warren has invited people of all backgrounds and nationalities to send him creatively decorated postcards bearing secrets they have never before revealed. He has shared these PostSecrets on his award-winning blog,, in an internationally traveling art exhibit, and in three electrifying books: the bestselling PostSecret, My Secret, and The Secret Lives of Men and Women.
Now, in his most extraordinary book yet, Warren again delves into our collective confessions, presenting a never-before-seen selection of provocative and moving PostSecrets. A Lifetime of Secrets lays bare our private fears, hopes, regrets, and desires, from people as young as eight and as old as eighty. From painful admissions of infidelity to breathtaking revelations and endearing sentiments, Warren's latest collection will shock and move readers of every age, revealing secrets that have haunted their creators for a lifetime.

Willet, Edward. Jimi Hendrix: Kiss the Sky.
From the American Rebels series, this biography introduces electric-guitar virtuoso Jimi Hendrix. Readers may be tempted to skim the opening pages, which explore Hendrix's family tree back to the 1800s and chronicle his chaotic childhood, but when young Jimi shells out five dollars for a guitar with one string, the narrative finds its focus. Providing telling details, Willett supplies the main facts of Hendrix's early days in various bands, his breakout festival performances, and his life leading up to his death at the age of 27. Sidebars with heads such as "A Nasty Drunk" and "LSD" comment on seamier aspects of the singer's life. A few photos illustrate the text, and a chronology, chapter notes for the many quotes, a selected discography, and short lists of books and Web sites enrich this good, basic introduction to Hendrix's life and the reasons for his enduring fame.

Yoshinaga, Masayuki. Gothic and Lolita.
Never Before Published Photographs Celebrating the Eclectic and Bizarre Street Fashion of Japan's Teens Follows the Popularity of Phaidon's Fruits and Fresh Fruits A fashion phenomenon born in the underground clubs of Tokyo and Osaka has made its way above ground. The streets of Japan are filled with teenagers clad in corsets, spikes, lacy Victorian dresses, dark eye makeup, black spandex, frilly tutus, patterned knee-highs, ruffled bows, and wigs of all lengths and styles. A mixture of high fashion and home-made ensembles, the Gothic and Lolita scene is one of the more bizarre hybrids of Japanese street fashion, boasting thousands of devotees who dedicate their lives to creating ever more flamboyant and original variations of this fused style. GOTHIC LOLITA, edited by Katsuhiko Ishikawa with photographs by Masayuki Yoshinaga, is a new and exclusive photography collection that celebrates the eclectic and bizarre Gothic street fashion of Japan's teens. Specially commissioned by Phaidon Press and based on the creative design of the bestselling Fruits and Fresh Fruits, GOTHIC LOLITA features portraits and group shots of Japanese Goths and Lolitas both at home and in the urban centers of Tokyo and Osaka. Presented in a simple format with a funky design, hundreds of teenagers posed for the camera in their imaginative and often surreal outfits and offered personal insights into the idea behind their personal fashion choices. The responses are sometimes surprising, sometimes shocking, often hilarious, and always compelling. The images combined with the text, which is presented in question and answer format, present a unique "look book" of one of the more surreal aspects of Japanese popular youth culture. GOTHIC LOLITA allows us to trespass on the streets of Japan and witness in an informative yet entertaining way this fashion phenomenon. The origin of this eccentric fashion movement traces back to Osaka in the mid 1990s when young teenagers adopted Gothic fashion in response to the clothes worn and promoted by Japanese Gothic rock bands. Influenced by Western fashion trends from the mid 1980s, young teenagers, predominately adolescent girls, dress head-to-toe in gothic costumes and late-Victorian dress. GOTHIC LOLITA charts the current trend from the clubs of Tokyo to the streets of Harajuku and Akihabara. These street fashions provide inspiration to professional and would-be fashion designers, as well as teenagers and Gothic' fans from coast to coast.