Second Genre Grab Bag

Welcome to another installment of our suggested summer reading for teens! Here is a selection of quality books. This week it’s another genre grab bag – we have historical fiction, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, even a non-fiction book that you don’t want to read while eating. Don’t let the recommended grades fool you – if you’re interested in a certain topic, you’re bound to love the book. The grade just refers to where it will fit nicely with the Common Core curriculum.

Brooks, Martha. Queen of Hearts: coming of age in a hospital bed. 2011, 2010. 8th Grade
Shortly after her first kiss but before her sixteenth birthday in December, 1941, Marie-Claire and her younger brother and sister are sent to a tuberculosis sanatorium near their Manitoba farm.
Ties in with: 8th Grade English, Social Studies, Science

Meyer, L.A. Bloody Jack: being an account of the curious adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy. 2002. 7th Grade
Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas. There’s only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life – if only she doesn’t get caught.
Ties in with: 7th Grade English and Social Studies
Great for: anyone who wanted to run away and sail the seven seas

Lanagan, Margo. The Brides of Rollrock Island. 2012. 9th Grade
Lured by the witch Misskaella, who possesses secrets for luring beautiful sea-wives from their underwater homes and transforming them out of their seal skins, the fishermen on remote Rollrock Island become the witch’s victimes when they fall desperately in love with the women she has captured for them.
Ties in with: 9th Grade English

Perkins, John. Confessions of an economic hit man. 2004. 12th Grade
A former consultant to the U.S. government reveals the inner workings of the high-stakes economic game that encourages Third World corporations like Halliburton end up getting the contracts.
Ties in with: classes on Government, Economics

Price, Lissa. Starters. 2012. 8th Grade
To support herself and her younger brother in a future Beverly Hills, sixteen-year-old Callie hires her body out to seniors who want to experience being young again, and she lives a fairy-tale life until she learns that her body will commit murder, unless her mind can stop it. You will definitely be on the edge of your seat.
Ties in with: 8th Grade English and Science

Reichs, Kathy. Virals. 2010. 8th Grade
Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage “sci-philes,” who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever. As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their new-found physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot – if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer’s scent.
Ties in with: 8th Grade English and Science
Great for: fans of the TV show “Bones.”

Roach, Mary. Stiff: the curious lives of human cadavers. 2003. 12th Grade
Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange postmortem lives of our bodies. For two thousand years, cadavers – some willingly, some unwittingly – have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They’ve tested France’s first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. In this fascinating, ennobling account, Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries – from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors’ conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.
Ties in with: Psychology, SCIENCE!, Economics

Woodson, Jacqueline. Beneath a meth moon: an elegy. 2012. 11th Grade
After losing her mother and grandmother to Hurricane Katrina, Laurel Daneau begins a new life in a new town, but when her boyfriend T-Boom introduces her to meth, her future begins to look as bleak as her past.
Ties in with: 11th Grade English, Social Studies, Science, Health

Yovanoff, Brenna. The Replacement. 2010. 9th Grade
Sixteen-year-old Mackie Doyle knows that he replaced a human child when he was just an infant, and when a friend’s sister disappears he goes against his family’s and town’s deliberate denial of the problem to confront the beings that dwell under the town, tampering with human lives.
Ties in with: 9th Grade English

Zevin, Gabrielle. All These Things I’ve Done. 2011. 10th Grade
In a future where chocolate and caffeine are contraband, teenage cell phone use is illegal, and water and paper are carefully rationed, sixteen-year-old Anya Balanchine finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight as heir apparent to an important New York City crime family. This story is so gripping, you’ll read it in one sitting.
Ties in with: 10th Grade English, Science