Van Draanen, W. (2011). The Running Dream. NY: Knopf Books for Young Readers .
Jessica was a star track athlete at her high school. If there was one thing she was more passionate about than anything else it was running. She would take a morning run every morning with her dog, participate heavily in her track team and was always pushing herself to new speeds. That all ended one fateful day in a car accident on the way back from a track meet when a truck slammed into the bus carrying the track team, killing a girl instantly and mangling Jessica’s foot beyond repair. Jessica’s foot gets amputated and she must now learn how to deal with life without two feet. It’s a devastating blow for Jessica, for it means she can never run again, or can she? With the help of her supportive track team and her family will Jessica find a way to continue her dream of running?
Garvin, J. (2006). Symptoms of Being Human. NY: Balzer + Bray.
Symptoms of Being Human is a heartfelt book that is also very relevant to many issues that people face today. It’s about a non-binary gender-fluid teenager named Riley who also deals with anxiety. Riley is struggling at their new school, trying to remain unseen and nondescript; however, people soon enough notice Riley’s clothing choices and start bullying Riley. Riley’s dad is also the mayor of the city and with the re-election coming up soon and schoolwork and bullying, the pressure slowly builds on Riley. Riley’s therapist suggest for Riley to start an online anonymous blog to talk to other people about the day to day problems that Riley faces. So Riley, trying to deal with the anxiety writes a post and publishes it. The post goes semi-viral and with each new post that Riley publishes, Riley’s follower base grows and grows. But Riley’s blog doesn’t solve all the problems that Riley has and soon enough Riley will have to muster the courage and strength to face it.
Reynie Muldoon is average in almost every way, except for the fact that he is incredibly smart. He lives in an orphanage and is bullied everyday by the other kids. But he has a tutor, Ms. Perumal, who helps him get through the day. Stickie Washington is a brainiac, he remembers everything he’s ever seen. Kate Wetherall is very strong and athletic, and carries a bucket wherever she goes. Finally there’s Constance who is the smallest and very stubborn. When an ad in the newspapers draws many children together to take a series of tests, these four pass all of the tests and make it to the other end. Soon they will discover a terrible truth and infiltrate a school with a leader planning a terrible plan. The four children will have to learn how to work together in order to save the world.
The Mysterious Benedict Society is an enticing novel that keeps you reading. It’s smart funny and well-written, definitely a must read.
Meloy M. (2011). The Apothecary. NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Moving to new cities can be tough, as fourteen year old girl, Janie, knows all too well. It’s 1952 and she’s just moved to London from America with her family. She soon meets a boy name Benjamin, whose father is the local Apothecary. There is something strange about Benjamin, who talks a lot about spies and such stuff. But when Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Janie finds herself getting wrapped up in a mission to save him. Benjamin and Janie must search through London, following the clues left behind. This leads the two on a magical adventure from birds, to plants, Janie must let go of everything she thinks is real and embrace the magic that keeps her and Benjamin alive. But the two must hurry, Continue reading
Stead, R. (2015). Goodbye, Stranger. NY: Wendy Lamb Books .
Bridge shouldn’t be alive. When she was young, she was scootering along the side walk with her best friend when she crossed a street without looking. She was hit by a car and by all rights, should’ve died. But she didn’t. Bridge is in seventh grade now and things are changing around her. Her friends Emily and Tabitha are changing as well. Emily’s body is developing and gaining attention and Tabitha is a supporter of women’s rights. Bridge starts wearing black cat ears to school every day and Emily starts flirting with older boys. The three friends have one rule, no fighting. But as the year goes on, and difficult situations arise, the three are finding it more and more difficult to keep their promise to themselves. As the year goes on the three friends start to drift apart and must find a way to stick together or be torn apart forever.
Goodbye Stranger is an amazing book about Continue reading
Menon, S. (2018). From Twinkle, With Love. NY: Simon Pulse.
Twinkle Mehra is a filmaker in high-school. She wants to tell her stories, and show to the world what she can do. Twinkle is in is love with the idea of becoming a well-known female director for movies, and follows all of the female directors in Hollywood. Twinkle isn’t exactly the most popular person in her school so when her best friend leaves her to hang out with the ‘cool kids’ Twinkle feels the lost all the more painfully. But when Sahil Roy, a fellow classmate approaches Twinkle with an idea of making a play based around the movie Dracula, Twinkle is dragged into a project that will truly test her directing skills. Twinkle is initially very excited for this project, not only is it a chance for the whole school to see her skills, but it’s a chance to get closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy, Sahil’s Continue reading
Draper, S. (2010). Out of My Mind. NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Melody is gifted with photographic memory. She can remember everything she’s ever seen; however she can’t walk, or talk. Melody has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects people differently. In Melody’s case, she finds it difficult to move in the same way that normal people can. Moving her legs and feet is difficult and even rolling over on the floor requires a monumental effort. But because of her condition, Melody is looked down on by most adults and fellow kids at her school. Melody refuses to live like this and wants to find a way to show to the world how incredibly smart she is and how she is way more than just her condition. And with some help from a friend and her loving parents, Melody might just find a way to show to the world that Continue reading
Mass W. (2005). A Mango-Shaped Space. NY: Little, Brown and Company.
Mia sees colours. Not just the normal colours that most people see, but colours every time she hears sounds. Colours in weird shapes and sizes that show up when she hears the meow of her cat, or the sound of a car. Each sound has their own unique colour and shape. This is synesthesia, but Mia doesn’t know it’s called that, because she’s never told anybody that she can see colours in this way, not even her best friend. But as school gets harder and harder, Mia finds it increasingly harder to keep up in math and Spanish, as her colours make it difficult for her to make those connections. Pressured from all sides about her school work, Mia finally cracks and tells her parents about what she sees. Skeptical at first, Mia’s parents take her to see all sorts of doctors, one even accusing Mia of making it up; however, they soon find out that Mia’s ability is named synesthesia.
A Mango-Shaped Space is a wonderful, heartfelt story, fantastically written and definitely worth the read.
Green J. (2017) Turtles all the Way Down. Dutton Books.
“The problem with happy endings is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And eventually you die.”
Turtles all the way Down is the newest John Green young adult book. His story follows a girl in high school named Aza Holmes. Aza struggles from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The most enjoyable part of this novel was watching how Aza and her friend, Daisy’s relationship changes, varying from so bad they crashed a car, to great and hanging out with each other all the time. Eventually, Aza needs to decide between doing the right thing and keeping a friend. I have read many books about teens suffering from OCD, but every time I read another, I learn something new. This time could see how every different person has their own personal way of dealing with their troubles. My expectations were Continue reading
Zevin G. (2007). Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. NY: Farrar Straus Giroux.
If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia.
But Naomi picked heads.
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin is a young adult book for ages twelve to eighteen and has been awarded the Best Children’s Book of the Year. This book is about a teenage girl who hits her head when she falls down the stairs, throughout the book you find out more of how she finds who she is again. She does this through breakups and losing friends. I really enjoyed how real-life this book was. The main character made good and bad decisions, unlike some novels where the main characters are the “best” version of a human being. She went through one relationship to another, just like real life. I think I would definitely want to explore amnesia more because in the book Naomi only forgot Continue reading