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 a 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.

Dogar, Sharon. Annexed. 2010. 9th Grade
A retelling of the story of Anne Frank imagines life in the secret annex from the perspective of Peter, who overcomes an initial loathing for the precocious young diarist before falling in love with her and questioning his faith in light of frightening persecutions.
Ties in with: 9th Grade English and Social Studies

Harris, Carrie. Bad Taste in Boys. 2011. 8th Grade
Future physician Kate Grable is horrified when her high school’s football coach gives team members steroids, but the drugs turn players into zombies and Kate must find an antidote before the flesh-eating monsters get to her or her friends.
Ties in with: 8th Grade English, Science

Hartman, Rachel. Seraphina. 2012. 11th Grade
In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.
Ties in with: 11th Grade English
Of interest to: anyone who loves reading about dragons

Kostova, Elizabeth. The Historian. 2005. 12th Grade
A young woman discovers an ancient book and a cache of old letters in her father’s library, and thus begins her adventurous quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, a search that will span continents and generations, and a confrontation with the darkest powers of evil.
Ties in with: 12th Grade English, Social Studies, AP European History

LaFevers, R.L. Grave Mercy: his fair assassin. 2012. 10th Grade
In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Brittany, seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where she learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts – and a violent destiny.
Ties in with: 10th Grade English, Social Studies, AP European History – first in a trilogy
Of interest to anyone: who can quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail, loves medieval art

McDonald, Ian. Planesrunner. 2011. 10th Grade
When fourteen-year-old Everett Singh’s scientist father is kidnapped from the streets of London, he leaves a mysterious app on Everett’s computer giving him access to the Infundibulum – a map of parallel earths – which is being sought by technologically advanced dark powers that Everett must somehow elude while he tries to rescue his father.
Ties in with: 10th Grade English, Science, Computer Science

Roach, Mary. Gulp: adventures on the alimentary canal. 2013. 12th Grade
Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of – or has the courage to ask. Mary Roach takes us to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.
Ties in with: SCIENCE! Human biology, biochemistry.
Warning: don’t read this while eating. Really. Trust me on this.