Don’t let the recommended grades fool you – if you’re interested in a certain topic, you’re bound to love the book.
Black, Holly. White Cat. 2010. 9th Grade.
Cassel Sharpe comes from a family of curse workers – people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, all by the slightest touch of their hands. Since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. Except Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider – the straight kid in a crooked family – as long as you ignore one small detail: he killed his best friend, Lila. Now he’s sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat. He also notices that his brothers are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of one huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon the conmen.
Carolson, Lori M. Moccasin thunder: American Indian stories for today. 2005. 11th Grade
Ten short stories about contemporary Native American teens by members of tribes of the United States and Canada, including Louise Erdrich, Joseph Bruchac, Cynthia Leitch Smith and Sherman Alexie.
Carter, Ally. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You. 2007, c2006. 7th Grade
To the outside world, The Gallagher Academy of Exceptional Young Women looks like a boarding school for rich young women. Except the Gallagher Girls, as they’re known, are not ordinary teenagers. For starters, it’s a spy school, and the girls can speak up to fourteen different languages, hack CIA computer codes, and know how to kill a man seven different ways. However, nothing prepares sophomore Cammie Morgan for the ultimate undercover gig: pretending to be an ordinary girl.
de la Cruz, Melissa. Blue Bloods. 2007, c2006. 10th Grade
Sophomore Schuyler Van Alen is confused about what is happening to her. Her veins are starting to turn blue, and she’s craving raw meat. Soon, her world is thrust into an intricate maze of secret societies and bitter intrigue. Schuyler has never been a part of the trendy crowd at her prestigious New York private school. All of a sudden, Jack Force, the most popular guy in school, is showing an interest in her. And when on of the popular girls is found dead, Schuyler and Jack are determined to get to the bottom of it. Schuyler wants to find out the secrets of the mysterious Blue Bloods. But is she putting herself in danger?
Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother. 2008. 10th Grade
After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, seventeen-year-old Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.
Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. 2012. 10th Grade
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has brought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Have tissues handy.
John, Antony. Five Flavors of Dumb. 2010. 10th Grade
The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig. The Deal: if she does it, Piper will become the band’s manager and get her share of the profits. The Catch: how can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she’s Deaf? Piper can’t hear Dumb’s music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb.
Lake, Nick. In Darkness. 2012. 9th Grade
In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen-year-old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital. As he grows weaker he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L’Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in 1804.
Lieb, Josh. I am a genius of unspeakable evil, and I want to be your class president. 2009. 7th Grade
Twelve-year-old Oliver Watson has everyone convinced he is extremely stupid and lazy, but he is actually a very wealthy evil genius. When he decides to run for seventh-grade class president, nothing will stand in his way. Warning: if you read this in public, expect to frequently burst out laughing.
Lyga, Barry. I Hunt Killers. 2012. 9th Grade
Seventeen-year-old Jazz learned all about being a serial killer from his notorious “Dear Old Dad.” Believing he has a conscience that will help fight his own urges and right some of his father’s wrongs, he secretly helps the police apprehend the town’s newest murderer, “The Impressionist.” In doing so, he discovers that he may have more in common with his father than he thought.