Best Books for Young Adults

View all Recommendations by Age > Recommendations for Young Adult book lists; This list was last updated on 2/16/2012
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release date: Jan 01, 2002
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The House of the Scorpion
Series: National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature, Newbery Honor Book, Printz Honor Book

Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested.
His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium--a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster--except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.

As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Absolute True Diary Of A Part-time Indian
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.
release date: Jan 01, 2004
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Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
'The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears' house. It looked as if it was running on its side, the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream. But the dog was not running or asleep. The dog was dead. There was a garden fork sticking out of the dog.'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.
release date: Jun 01, 1988
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Pippi Longstocking
"A rollicking story of Pippi, who lives without any grownups in a little house at the edge of the village. The matter-of-fact ways in which her absurd adventures are related is one of the chief charms of this story."
- The Horn Book
release date: Aug 01, 2002
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Ender's Game
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is.

Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.
release date: Jan 01, 2004
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Because of Winn-dixie
Kate DiCamillo's beloved, best-selling story is now one of the biggest family movie events of 2005--celebrate with this irresistible movie tie-in!
One summer day, Opal goes into a supermarket and comes out with a scraggly dog that she names Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, her preacher father finally tells her ten things about her absentee mother, and Opal makes lots of unusual friends in her quirky Florida town. And because of Winn-Dixie, Opal grows to learn that friendship -- and forgiveness -- can sneak up on you like a sudden storm. Now available in a delightful tie-in edition, here is the original Newbery Honor-winning book that inspired the major motion picture.
________
BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE film artwork copyright © 2005 by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
release date: Jan 01, 2005
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Where the Red Fern Grows
A complete guide to teaching Where the Red Fern Grows. Includes an author biography, background information, summaries, thought-provoking discussion questions, as well as creative, cross-curricular activities and reproducibles that motivate students.
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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release date: Jan 01, 2005
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Little Princess
Motherless Sara Crewe was sent home from India to school at Miss Minchin's. Her father was immensely rich and she became "show pupil" - a little princess. Then her father dies and his wealth disappears, and Sara has to learn to cope with her changed circumstances. Her strong character enables her to fight successfully against her new-found poverty and the scorn of her fellows.
release date: Jan 01, 2004
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Coraline

The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring....

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one window and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close, The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it's different....

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

Performed by Neil Gaiman
With original music by The Gothic Archies

release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Looking for Alaska
The award-winning, genre-defining debut from #1 bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
New York Times bestseller

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .

After. Nothing is ever the same.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn't look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they're great. She'd love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they're fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.
release date: Jan 01, 1987
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Hatchet
This award-winning contemporary classic is the survival story with which all others are compared—and a page-turning, heart-stopping adventure, recipient of the Newbery Honor.

LOST

Brian Robertson, sole passenger on a Cessna 406, is on his way to visit his father when the tiny bush plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. With nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present, Brian finds himself completely alone.

Challenged by his fear and despair -- and plagued with the weight of a dreadful secret he's been keeping since his parent's divorce -- brian must tame his inner demons in order to survive. It will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed.
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Phantom Tollbooth
It has been fifty years—and millions of readers—since the world was first introduced to Milo and his adventures in the Lands Beyond with Tock, the Humbug, and the captive princesses Rhyme and Reason.
Now we have a remarkable 50th anniversary edition to honor this universally adored and deeply influential novel.  This special edition will include:

   • Gorgeous packaging that features the classic original art stamped and debossed on the case with a transparent acetate jacket.
   • Brief essays from esteemed authors, educators, and artists, including Philip Pullman, Suzanne Collins, Jeanne Birdsall, Mo Willems, and several others.
   • Photos of the author and illustrator at the time of writing and today on the two-color endpapers.
   • The 35th anniversary essay by Maurice Sendak.
   • The complete text of the book.

A perfect gift for longstanding fans and lucky new readers, the 50th anniversary edition of The Phantom Tollbooth is a book to cherish.
release date: Aug 01, 2008
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The City of Ember
The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever! This stunning debut novel offers refreshingly clear writing and fascinating, original characters.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Jun 01, 1990
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Are You There God? It's Me Margaret
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. For Margaret, growing up is a fearful yet exciting prospect.
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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Inkheart
From the author of the sensational New York Times bestseller The Thief Lord comes a thrilling new adventure about magic and self-discovery.

Meggie lives a quiet life alone with her father, a bookbinder. But her father has a deep secret--he possesses an extraordinary magical power. One day a mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father's past. Who is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father's life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?

Includes an excerpt from Inkspell, the sequel to Inkheart, read by Brendan Fraser.
release date: Jan 01, 2000
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Now a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic.

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

A #1 New York Times best seller for more than a year, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults (2000) and Best Book for Reluctant Readers (2000), and with millions of copies in print, this novel for teen readers (or “wallflowers” of more-advanced age) will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps feel nostalgic for those moments when you, too, tiptoed onto the dance floor of life.
release date: Jan 01, 2004
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Fifty years ago, Roald Dahl created a world that captured the imagination of millions of readers, and a boy who captured their hearts. Now featuring an introduction by award-winning author Jon Scieszka, this special edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is perfect for longtime Roald Dahl fans, or for any reader discovering him for the very first time.
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Charlotte's Web

Some Pig

These are the words in Charlotte's web, high in the barn. Her spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, as well as the feelings of a little girl named Fern ... who loves Wilbur, too. Their love has been shared by millions of readers.

release date: Jul 01, 2002
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Artemis Fowl (new cover)
From a strikingly original voice in fiction comes the story of Artemis Fowl, a very unusual hero. Artemis combines the astuteness of Sherlock Holmes with the sangfroid of James Bond and the attitude of Attila the Hun. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories. These fairies are armed and they're dangerous. Artemis thinks he's got them just where he wants them, but then they stop playing by the rules . . .

Full of unexpected twists and turns, ARTEMIS FOWL opens up a riveting world of magic, mystery, and humor.
release date: May 01, 1999
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The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Radio Theatre)
Fully dramatized and produced with cinema-quality sound design and music, each title in Radio Theatre's Chronicles of Narnia is now available in a travel-friendly size. Hosted by Douglas Gresham, stepson of C. S. Lewis, these timeless classics have mesmerized millions around the world. Upon entering an enchanted world called Narnia, four ordinary children learn extraordinary lessons in courage, self-sacrifice, friendship, and honor. Brought to life in London by a cast of more than 100 actors, including award-winners Paul Scofield, David Suchet, and Ron Moody, the 7-part Chronicles of Narnia provides over 22 hours of exhilaring listening entertainment.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Four children in search of an adventure find themselves in the far-away land of Narnia--a world populated by talking animals, an evil White Witch, and a fearsome lion named Aslan. Over the years, countless millions have made the same journey, through C. S. Lewis' imaginative novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Now that incredible story unfolds as never before in the audio dramatization of this immortal classic-from the Peabody Award-winning Focus on the Family Radio Theatre team. Featuring talented actors, film-style sound design, and a rich musical score, this thrilling tale reminds us of the greatness of God's sacrificial love.

release date: Dec 01, 2008
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City of Ashes
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

release date: Aug 01, 2010
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The Hunger Games
The greatly anticipated final book in the New York Times bestselling Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

FORMAT: 9 CDs, Unabridged
NARRATOR: Carolyn McCormick





The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Who do they think should pay for the unrest?

Katniss Everdeen.

The final book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins will have hearts racing, pages turning, and everyone talking about one of the biggest and most talked-about books and authors in recent publishing history!!!!
release date: Jan 01, 1996
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Tuck Everlasting
Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten year old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks kidnap her and explain why living forever at one age is less than a blessing that it might seem. 'Intense and powerful, exciting and poignant, Tuck Everlasting will last forever - in the reader's imagination.' Amazon.com
release date: May 12, 1989
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The Diary of Anne Frank
A comparison of the three versions of Anne Frank's diary; Anne's original entries, including never-before-published material; the diary as she herself edited it while in hiding; and the best-known version, edited by her father.

B & W photographs throughout
release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Stargirl
She's as magical as the desert sky, and as mysterious as her own name. Nobody knows who she is or where she's from. But everyone loves her for being different. And, she captures Leo's heart with just one smile. "Stargirl" is a classic of our time that celebrates being true to ourselves and the thrill of first love. It is a life-changing read that touches souls of all ages.
release date: Apr 06, 2010
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Blood Promise
The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir's Academy was the deadliest ever in the school's history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them . . . including Dimitri.

He'd rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?
 

release date: Feb 08, 2010
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Island of the Blue Dolphins
In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind.

This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.
release date: Jan 01, 1994
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Number the Stars
3 CDs. 3.5 hours. 10 yeard old Annemarie Johansen can recall a time when there were no German soldiers in Denmark.
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