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She Loves You, She Loves You Not

She Loves You, She Loves You Not

By Julie Anne Peters

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Self-Discovery, Family, Relationships/Sexuality

Grade: 10-12

 

Seventeen-year-old Alyssa thought she knew who she was. She had her family and her best friends and, most important, she had Sarah. Sarah, her girlfriend, with whom she dreamed with about the day they could move far away and live out and proud and accepted for themselves, instead of having to hide their relationship. 

Alyssa never thought she would have to make that move by herself, but disowned by her father and cut off from everyone she loves, she is forced to move hundreds of miles away to live with Carly, the biological mother she barely knows, in a town where everyone immediately dismisses her as “Carly’s girl.”

 

As Alyssa struggles to forget her past and come to terms with her future, will she be able to build a new life for herself and believe in love again? Or will she be forced to relive the mistakes that have cost her everything and everyone she cared about?

National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters has written a compelling novel about coming out, finding love, and discovering your place in the world. Alyssa’s story will speak to anyone who has known the joy and pain of first love and the struggle to start over again.

 

★ “The story of friends, family, and lovers will pull readers into the deeper themes of trust, rejection, and intimate secrets revealed.” – Booklist

 

Luna

Luna

By Julie Anne Peters

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Relationships/Sexuality, Personal Development, Prejudice, Self-Discovery, Family

Grade: 10-12

2004 National Book Award finalist 

 

Regan’s brother Liam can’t stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister’s clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam’s family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives?

 

Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen’s struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

 

★ “Groundbreaking, finely tuned realism about a transsexual teen. . . .Peters writes her characters with care and complexity.”-Kirkus Reviews

 

 

 

Keeping You a Secret

Keeping You A Secret

By Julie Anne Peters

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects:

Grade: 10-12

 

With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger. At least it seems to be. But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship? This moving love story between two girls is a worthy successor to Nancy Garden’s classic young adult coming out novel, Annie on My Mind.

 

With her characteristic humor and breezy style, Peters has captured the compelling emotions of young love.

 

★ “Anyone who has ever fallen in love will recognize themselves in the realistic characters of this captivating love story.” –VOYA

 

 

 

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Once Was Lost

Once Was Lost

By Sara Zarr

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Character Development, Family, Religion

Grade: 7 & up

 

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Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things.

 

When your father’s a pastor, it’s hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reasons to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam’s personal one, and the already worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.

 

In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed–about God, your family, and yourself–is transformed.

 

PRAISE

★ “Zarr sets a hard task for herself here: interweaving a number of strong story strands and giving them equal weight…add to the story’s depth.” — Booklist, starred review

 

★ “Riveting.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 

★ “Beyond delivering a gripping story, Zarr has a knack for exposing human weakness in the ordinary.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

Sorta Like a Rock Star

Sorta Like A Rock Star

By Matthew Quick

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Personal Development: Friendship, Loss, Individuality, Personal Development, Family, Jobs/Finances

Grade: 7-12

 

 2011 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction Finalist

 

Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom’s boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). Still, Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. But when a fatal tragedy threatens Amber’s optimism–and her way of life, can Amber continue to be the rock star of hope?

 

With an oddball cast of characters, and a heartwarming, inspiring story, this novel unveils a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope. The world is Amber’s stage, and Amber is, well…she’s sorta like a rock star. True? True.

 

★ “This book is the answer to all  those angst-ridden and painfully grim novels in  the shortcut lingo of  short attention-span theater. Hugely enjoyable.” — School Library Journal

 

 

Hate List

Hate List

By Jennifer Brown

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Teen Life: Personal Development, Cliques, Personal Development: Loss

Grade: 10-17

 

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

 

[quote]★”[A] riveting debut.” – Publishers Weekly[/quote]

 

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Fred Stays with Me

Fred Stays With Me

By Nancy Coffelt, illustrated by Tricia Tusa

Genre: Picture Book

Curriculum subjects: Divorce/Stepfamilies, Pets, Emotions

Grade: P-1

2008 Boston-Globe Horn Book Honor

 

Fred Stays with Me! is an award-winning story that follows a young girl who turns to the one constant in her life, her dog Fred, in the face of her parents’ divorce. 

In this poignant but not overly sentimental story, Coffelt’s accessible and kid-friendly language alongside Tusa’s charming artwork create a light, cheerful, and reassuring mood that will comfort any child who has two homes.

 

★ “Divorce gets a kid-empowering treatment in this congenial story.” – Horn Book (starred review)

 

 

 

 

The Year of the Dog

year of the dogThe Year of the Dog

By Grace Lin

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Family Life: Daily Life and Play, Personal Development: Friendship, Personal Development: Self-Discovery

Grade: 3-7

 

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It’s the Chinese Year of the Dog, and as Pacy celebrates with her family, she finds out that this is the year she is supposed to “find herself.” Universal themes of friendship, family, and finding one’s passion in life make this novel appealing to readers of all backgrounds. This funny and profound book is a wonderful debut novel by a prolific picture book author and illustrator and has all the makings of a classic.

 

PRAISE & ACCOLADES

“Lin does a remarkable job capturing the soul and spirit of books like those of Hayward or Maud Hart Lovelace, reimagining them through the lens of her own story, and transforming their special qualities into something new for today’s young readers.”
- Booklist, starred review

What Happened to Cass McBride?

What Happened to Cass McBride?

By Gail Giles

Genre: Realistic Fiction/Mystery

Curriculum subjects: Mystery, Empathy

Grade: 10-12

2009 Garden State Teen Book Award nominee

 

“The setting is claustrophobic, the characters are complex and the story will keep readers on the edge of their seats,” KLIATT raved of this vivid, fast-paced psychological thriller in a starred review. Kyle Kirby has planned a cruel and unusual revenge on Cass McBride, the most popular girl in school, for the death of his brother David. He digs a hole. Kidnaps Cass. Puts her in a box–underground. He buries her alive. But lying in the deepest dark, Cass finds a weapon: she uses the power of words to keep her nemesis talking–and herself breathing–during the most harrowing 48 hours of her life.

 

 

★ “[An] outstanding psychological thriller.” –VOYA (starred review)

 

 

 

 

 

The Postcard

The Postcard

By Tony Abbott

Genre: Mystery

Curriculum subjects: Adventure, Mysteries

Grade: 3-7

2009 Edgar Award nominee

 

“So how smart are you?” said a man’s voice abruptly. And loudly. “Because now… it’s starting.”
A creepy phone call. An old, yellowed postcard. A bizarre magazine story. And a strange group of funeral-goers who seem to follow their every move-all contain clues that will send Jason and Dia on an adventure to uncover extraordinary family secrets.
Award-winning author Tony Abbott weaves an intriguing and entertaining mystery of adventure, friendship and family.

 

 

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