ALA Best of Lists
November Teen Board Question
With Thanksgiving (and turkey, stuffing and that post-meal nap) on the brain, we at Teenreads are feeling particularly thankful for our favorite books. Throughout the year, tons of authors have given us incredible gifts in the form of realistic fiction, laugh out loud rom-coms, dramatic fantasies and way more! Now we're inviting our Teen Board members to join us at the figurative Thanksgiving table and tell us which book(s), series, author, or genre they’re most thankful for this holiday season. Click here to check out their answers!
Esfir Manevich is a young Jewish girl who lives in the Polish town of Kobrin in 1936. Facing anti-Semitism in public school, Esfir moves in with her charming aunt who runs a boardinghouse in the bustling city of Brest. Esfir struggles to find a place in her new life, all the while worrying about her diminishing role in the family she left behind. As the years pass, Esfir experiences the bombing of her hometown during the German invasion of 1939. When the Russians overtake the area, Esfir sees many of her socialist relatives and friends become disillusioned by the harsh restrictions. During the German occupation, Esfir and her family are enclosed in a ghetto where they develop heartbreaking methods of survival.
Starting senior year at a new high school and fitting into the family that shut him out is a challenge. And it's all that John can do to keep from turning back to bad habits. Lacrosse training helps him focus. As does Emily, the girl next door. She's sweet and smart, and makes him think his heart may finally be healing. Maybe he's ready to trust again. But tragedy has a way of finding John, and he must decide between saving his family or saving himself.
Seventeen-year-old Aussie Che Taylor loves his younger sister, Rosa. But he’s also certain that she’s a psychopath --- clinically, threateningly, dangerously. Recently Rosa has been making trouble, hurting things. Che is the only one who knows; he’s the only one his sister trusts. Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and very good at hiding what she is and the manipulation she’s capable of.
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire --- a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden. When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought --- and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more. But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly.
Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan, her disabled brother, is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy. Then there’s Camero. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself, except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant. And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together.
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen. Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.
Just 75 years ago, the American government did something that most would consider unthinkable today: it rounded up over 100,000 of its own citizens based on nothing more than their ancestry and, suspicious of their loyalty, kept them in concentration camps for the better part of four years. How could this have happened? UPROOTED takes a close look at the history of racism in America and carefully follows the treacherous path that led one of our nation’s most beloved presidents to make this decision. Meanwhile, it also illuminates the history of Japan and its own struggles with racism and xenophobia, which led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, ultimately tying the two countries together.
Picking up where TASTING THE SKY left off, BALCONY ON THE MOON follows Ibtisam Barakat through her childhood and adolescence in Palestine from 1972-1981 and chronicles her desire to be a writer. This memoir is a touching, at times funny, and enlightening look at the not often depicted daily life in a politically tumultuous area.
Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has never had room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection is derailed when her boyfriend leaks secret pictures of her to the entire school --- pictures no one was ever meant to see. Making matters worse, her parents might be getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Vivi feels like a complete and utter failure. Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new circle of friends who know nothing about her past. For the first time in her life, Vivi realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that?
When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his unhappy marriage in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, he has little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt. Unwittingly, he finds himself at its center, tapped by the British to report back on the Bolsheviks even as he becomes dangerously, romantically entangled with Trotsky's personal secretary. Both sides seek to use Arthur to gather and relay information for their own purposes...and both grow to suspect him of being a double agent.
Before her older sister, Ginny, died, Carrie was a science nerd, obsessively tracking her beloved Vira comet. But now that Ginny is gone, sixteen-year-old Carrie finds herself within the orbit of Ginny’s friends, a close-knit group of seniors who skip school, obsess over bands and party hard. Fed up with Carrie’s behavior, her father enrolls her in a summer work camp at a local state park. And when she meets Dean, a guy who likes the real Carrie, she starts to get to the heart of who she is and who she wants to be.
In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever. His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin. Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now marked for termination. He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground --- a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable. Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive.
Ever since she used the Firebird, her parent’s invention, to cross through alternate dimensions, Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud. Now she has learned that the evil Triad Corporation plans to destroy hundreds of universes, using their ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite who is wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead. Even though her boyfriend Paul has always been at Marguerite’s side, the Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man, and he may never be the same again. Marguerite alone must stop Triad and prevent the destruction of the multiverse. It’s a battle of the Marguerites...and only one can win.
Twin Peaks meets Pretty Little Liars in acclaimed author Maggie Thrash’s new Strange Truth series. Halfway through Friday night’s football game, beautiful cheerleader Brittany Montague --- dressed as the giant Winship Wildcat mascot --- hurls herself off a bridge into Atlanta’s surging Chattahoochee River. Just like that, she’s gone. Eight days later, Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds will be the only ones who know why.
Growing up across the street from each other, Scott and Cath have been best friends for most of their lives. Now they've graduated high school, and Cath is off to college while Scott stays at home trying to get his band off the ground. Neither of them realized that their first year after high school would be so hard. Fortunately, Scott and Cath still have each other, and it's through their letters that they survive heartache, annoying roommates, family dramas, and the pressure of figuring out what to do with the rest of their lives.