The library summer Reading Great Books For Young Adults

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Summer Reading - Great Books For Young Adults

The books, recommended for ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens.

The list comprises a wide range of genres and styles, including contemporary realistic fiction, fantasy, horror and science fiction as well as non-fiction. It is not meant to be viewed as a definitive selection.

There is a separate list for Irish authors.

All are available in the St. Andrew’s College Library.

Abdel-Fattah, Randa Does My Head Look Big In This? Scholastic, 2007 ISBN 9780439919470

Outspoken and funny 16 year old Amal, who loves shopping and television, decides to wear the hijab full time and perseveres despite resistance from classmates, townspeople and relatives.

Anderson, M T. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing. Vols. 1 and 2. Walker Books, 2007 and 2008; ISBN9780763653767 and 9780763646264

Young Octavian is being raised by a group of rational philosophers known only by numbers – but it is only after he opens a forbidden door that learns the hideous nature of their experiments, and his own chilling role in them. Set in Revolutionary Boston, the novels take place at a time when Patriots battled to win liberty while African slaves were asked to risk their lives for a freedom they would never claim.

Avi. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Harper Trophy, 1990; ISBN 978032903507X

The story takes place during the crossing of a ship from England to America in the 19th century. The book chronicles Charlotte’s experiences as she is pushed outside her sheltered, naive existence and learns about life aboard the ship. She learns a valuable lesson about not judging people based on first impressions or positions of authority.

Bacigalupi, Paola. Ship Breaker. ATOM. 2011 ISBN 9781907411106

This novel portrays a futuristic world destroyed by global warming. Nailer, a 17 year old ship breaker, must scavenge among ancient oil tankers looking for copper and other treasures to sell. Paolo Bacigalupi has created an award winning novel that invites teens to explore environmental issues, and to think about how their choices today can affect future generations

Bray, Libba. The Diviners. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 9780316126113.

New age, old magic.

Burgess, Melvin. The Hit. Chicken House, 2013; ISBN 9781908435330

A new drug is going around – Death. It gives you a huge rush for a week, then kills you. Adam’s life is rubbish, so why not take it? This novel would be suitable for senior students only.

Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2004. ISBN 978-0439692373

Life gets interesting for Moose Flanagan and his family when they become residents of the famous prison island, Alcatraz.

Dessen, Sarah. The Truth About Forever. Viking, 2004: ISBN 0670036390

Macy Queen believes that keeping her life organized and predictable will help her deal with her father’s death. However, when her safe boyfriend breaks up with her, she decides to start taking chances beginning with an impulsive decision to get a summer job with a small catering company. With a cast of quirky and endearing characters this is a great story about love and the power to heal.

Farmer, Nancy. A Girl Named Disaster, Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 978-0545356626

Nhamo is an unloved, unwanted orphan. Rather than face a hateful marriage she decides to flee her Mozambique village. Her transition from half-starved wild child to a strong, independent young woman with a place in the modern world gives a tender, moving and warmhearted quality to an extraordinary adventure story.

Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-0747594802

When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing his entire family, who would have thought he would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. Will Bod survive to be a man?

Gantos, Jack. Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key. Yearling, 2000. ISBN 978-0440864332

Joey is a good kid, but his teachers never know what he's going to do next. He sharpens his finger in the pencil-sharpener and swallows his house key. He can't sit still for more than a minute - Joey is buzzing! This is an exceptionally funny story about a boy with severe attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Gardner, Sally. Maggot Moon, Hot Key, 2012; ISBN 9781471400049

A boy with one green eye and one blue eye has no chance of staying out of trouble in a world where conformity is paramount – but there is more originality in Standish that just his eyes.

Gaughen, A. C. Scarlet. Walker & Co., 2012; ISBN 9780802723468.

Scarlet, a spunky lady-thief, has made a home in Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood and his band of thieves, but a face from the past may put her forest life and people she loves in jeopardy.

Grant, Michael. BZRK. Egmont, 2012; ISBN 9781606843123.

A war is raging in the nano…where biots and nanobots battle in the brain for control of the human race. For the soldiers of BZRK and AFCG it may be victory or madness.

Grant, Michael and Katherine Applegate. Eve & Adam. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780312583514.

What if you could design the perfect boy? Eve is given the chance; but what are the consequences of playing god?

Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. Penguin/Dutton Juvenile, 2012; ISBN 9780525478812.

Hazel and Gus are both Cancer Kids with very different prognoses when they meet and bond over what they share outside of their disease. Funny, poignant, honest and powerful.

Hartman, Rachel. Seraphina. Random House, 2012; ISBN 9780375866562.

Intriguingly, in this world, dragons can transform at will into the body of a human. Part human, part dragon, Seraphina must hide her heritage as the tenuous peace her country has with dragons seems likely to slip away as unknown elements are stirring up trouble that even Seraphina’s music can’t assuage.

Hiaasen, Carl. Chomp. Alfred A. Knopf, 2012; ISBN 9780375868429.

Wahoo lives with a bunch of animals, including his father. When they get contacted to provide animals for the show Expedition Survival they agree- but can they live through it?

Hooper, Mary. The Disgrace of Kitty Grey, Bloomsbury, 2013; ISBN 9781408827611

Set in Regency England. Sent on an errand to London, Kitty takes the opportunity to search for her missing sweetheart. Out of her depth in the city she is at the mercy of criminals and the justice system.

Johnson, Catherine. Sawbones, Walker, 2013; ISBN 9781406340570

It’s 1792 and the illegal trade in corpses to doctors and dissection tables has never been more lucrative, but are corpses piling up a little too regularly?

Jonasson, Jonas. The One-Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of His Window And Disappeared. Hesperus Press, 2013 ISBN 9781843913726

It’s Allan Karlsson’s 100th birthday and he’s sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home waiting for the party he-never-wanted to begin. Suddenly, Allan decides to escape. And so begins his picaresque adventures involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. We learn about his earlier life in which he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the 20th Century. If you liked ‘Forest Gump’, you’ll love this!!

Kagawa, Julie. The Immortal Rules. Harlequin/Harlequin Teen, 2012; ISBN 9780373210510.

Allison lives in a society that requires humans to register as blood donors for the ruling class of vampires. Instead of surrendering to their demands, she survives on the fringes of the city by scavenging for food and banding together with other runaways. However, the situation changes drastically when she finds herself at the top of the food chain.

Kindl, Patrice. Keeping the Castle: A Tale of Romance, Riches and Real Estate. Penguin/Viking, 2012; ISBN 9780670014385.

The only way Althea can hope to keep the family home, Crawley Castle, is to marry a rich man. She must vie for the affections of too few men with her older step-sisters and the mysterious Miss Vincy.

Krakauer, Jon. Into The Wild. Anchor Books, 1997; ISBN 032913261X

The true story of Christopher McCandless, an idealistic young man who hiked on his own into the frozen Alaskan wilderness, with deadly consequences.

LaFevers, Robin. Grave Mercy. Houghton Mifflin, 2012; ISBN 9780547628349.

Ismae, a daughter of death and trained by the convent as an assassin, is assigned to assist Duval, the illegitimate brother of her ruler in this alternate medieval history novel.

Lake, Nick. In Darkness. Bloomsbury, 2012; ISBN 9781599907437.

Trapped on Haiti hundreds of years apart, the lives of gangster Shorty and slave rebellion leader Toussaint l'Ouverture are intertwined as Shorty tries to survive the 2010 earthquake.

Lane, Andrew. Death Cloud. Macmillan, 2010; ISBN 9780330511988

Young Sherlock Holmes takes on his first case. Fourteen year old Holmes and his American tutor, Amyus Crowe, work together to discover if the mysterious deaths of two neighbours were caused by a vicious plague or if indeed it was…murder.

Lerangis, Peter and Harry Mazer. Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 9781416938958.

Ben Bright makes the decision to enlist in the Army. His deployment to the Middle East stresses his relationships with his friends and family, but nothing can prepare them for the way he returns home.

Levithan, David. Every Day. Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, 2012; ISBN 9780307931187.

How can love survive if each day you wake up as a different person?

Lockhart, E. We Were Liars. Hot Key Books, 2014. ISBN 9781471403989

We are the Liars - beautiful, privileged and living a life of carefree luxury. We are cracked and broken. A story of love and romance. A tale of tragedy. Which are lies? Which is truth?

Lore, Pittacus I Am Number Four. Penguin. 2010; ISBN 9780141330860

Action and adventure are non-stop in this science fiction novel.  Nine teens from the planet Lorien come to Earth to train and develop their powers in order to reclaim their planet from the destructive Morgadorians.  A quick read that’s exciting and easy to follow.

Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Harper Collins, 2008; ISBN 978-0007263516

Jonas, a sensitive twelve-year-old boy, had never thought there was anything wrong with his Community, until the day he is selected as the Receiver of Memory at The Ceremony.

Lu, Marilyn Legend Putnam, 2011; ISBN 9780399256752

Meet slum-born Day and elite-born June as they fight to save to save their lives and world. First in a trilogy, it will appeal to ‘The Hunger Games’ fans.

Maas, Sarah. Throne of Glass. Bloomsbury, 2012; ISBN 9781599906959.

Left for dead in a notorious prison work camp, Celaena is given a second chance at freedom by the Crown Prince. However, this freedom must be won in a cut-throat tournament of assassins, and some of her competitors are not playing by the rules.

Mackall, Dandi. The Silence of Murder. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011; ISBN 9780375968969.

An 18- year old, autistic boy has been put on trial for murder. Only one person thinks he’s innocent. Did he do it? What really happened that night?

Marchetta, Melina. Froi of the Exiles: The Lumatere Chronicles. Candlewick Press, 2011; ISBN 9780763647599.

Three years after Finnikin of the Rock completed his journey back to Lumatere, young Froi is sent away from Lumatere on a journey of his own.

McCormick, Patricia. Never Fall Down. Harper Collins/Balzar + Bray, 2012; ISBN 9780061730931.

Arn is taken from his home by the Khmer Rouge and forced to become a child soldier. What will he do to survive?

McKenzie, Sophie. Missing Me. Simon & Schuster, 2012; ISBN 9780857077264

Madison and Lauren set out to find their biological father. Is he all he seems?

Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. Macmillian/Feiwel & Friends, 2012; ISBN 9780312641894.

Cyborg Cinder, a mechanic in the chaotic street market of New Beijing, threatened by disease and aliens, meets Prince Kai when he brings a beloved robot in for repair.

Mieville, China. Railsea. Random House/Del Ray, 2012; ISBN 9780345524522.

Sham Yes ap Soorap, a doctor’s assistant aboard the Medes, has been given a dream to look at but may never see. The unending space of where the railsea ends and where angels may roam, is a legend, and it's the place Sham wants to go. Captain Naphi, however, has other plans. She is after the great white moldywarpe, Mocker-Jocker, and will stop at nothing to capture it.

Nielsen, Jennifer. The False Prince. Scholastic, 2012; ISBN 9780545284134.

The ambitious Conner hand-picks four orphans with the intention of selecting one to pose as the lost Prince Jaron, heir to the throne of Carthya, then taking the kingship for himself.

O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins. Puffin, 1996. ISBN 978-0140302684

Twelve-year-old Karana escapes death at the hands of treacherous hunters, only to find herself totally alone on a harsh desolate island. How does she survive in the face of all sorts of dangers?

Oppel, Kenneth. Such Wicked Intent. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 9781442403185.

Try as he might, Victor cannot avoid the two great temptations in his life: the power over life and death offered by the Dark Sciences, and his love for his brother's fiancé.

Palacio, R J Wonder, Alfred A Knopf, 2012 ISBN 9780375869020

August Pullman, born with a cleft-palate is about to start mainstream school after being home-schooled by his parents. He desperately wants to be accepted, but can he convince his classmates that he’s just like them?

Patterson, James Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, Little Brown, 2011 ISBN 9780316101875

Rafe’s plan to break every rule in the school is soon out of control. This book would appeal to reluctant readers.

Paterson, Katherine. Jacob Have I Loved. Harper Trophy, 1990. ISBN 978-0064403689

The lonely Louise reflects on her unhappy years as the second best twin in a poor family

Paulsen, Gary. Hatchet. Macmillan Children’s Books, 2005. ISBN 978-0330439725

Brian is a city boy, not used to living rough. His plane crash-lands in the Canadian wilderness. All he has is a hatchet - and a desperate will to survive. Now Brian must learn to live the hard way - or die.

Pratchett, Terry. Dodger. HarperCollins, 2012; ISBN 9780062009494.

Dodger is the canniest lad in London, scheming with Dickens, glad-handing Disraeli, and even getting the upper hand over Sweeney Todd in his quest to protect an anonymous girl.

Saenz, Benjamin Alire. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Simon & Schuster/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 9781442408920.

Aristotle and Dante could scarcely be more different, but through the years of growing up, they become more to each other than they ever imagined.

Schrefer, Eliot. Endangered. Scholastic, 2012; ISBN 9780545165761.

A book of friendship that endures through hardship. A book of human cruelty and human compassion. A book that crosses cultures and species, to connect us with one another.

Shulman, Polly The Grimm Legacy Putnam, 2010 ISBN 9780399250965

When Elizabeth begins working in the New York Circulating Material Repository she learns that some of the objects and people aren’t as normal as they appear.

Stiefvater, Maggie. The Raven Boys. Scholastic, 2012; ISBN 9780545424929.

Blue Sargent has been told her entire life that she will kill her true love. She stays away from boys, but when one boy's ghost shows up on the corpse road, which is a promise of death within a year, Blue understands that she can no longer avoid the Raven Boys. When she teams up with them to search for ley lines and lost kings, she knows that something has started and that her life will never be the same.

Stockett, Kathryn. The Help. Penguin, 2010: ISBN9780141039282

Racial tensions in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s are revealed in this story of African-American maids and the privileged white women for whom they work.

Tegelmeier, Raina Drama Graphix, 2012 ISBN 9780545326988

Hilarious graphic novel about a school theatre production. Her other graphic novels are available in the School Library. They’re great fun too!!

TenNapel, Doug Bad Island, Graphix, 2011 ISBN 9780545314794

Lyle, Karen, Janie and Reese must find a way off an island while they dodge weird and dangerous creatures (graphic novel)

Wein, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity. Disney/Hyperion, 2012; ISBN 9781423152194.

Verity and Maddie are friends working in the war effort. When the Gestapo captures Verity, she trades information for freedom. Meanwhile, Maddie tries to free her.

Williams-Garcia, Rita One Crazy Summer, Amistad, 2010 ISBN 9780060760885

Three girls spend an unforgettable summer with their mother in 1960s America and learn about Black Power, revolution and forgiveness.

Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. Alfred A Knopf, 2005; ISBN 9780375831002

This is a novel narrated by death. It tells the story of a young girl living in Nazi Germany, who goes to live with a foster family, and learns to read, and falls in love with books.



Updated 11th May 2015

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