Summer Reading List
WHA Summer Reading List 2019
Dear Parents and Students,
Every year as we grow and our perspectives change, we change our summer reading list. This year, we have made a major change. Instead of making our narrow list of books required reading for the summer, we are offering a wide selection of books that come highly recommended.
So, although we are not requiring a specific set of books this summer, we do encourage students to read far and wide. They should visit the library, go to the bookstore, download ebooks, and read as much as their hearts desire. We believe -- and know through years of research -- that students who read willingly, for pleasure, outscore all other students on every language-related standard and tests you can think of. But, beyond that, when students become good readers, whole new worlds open up for them. They may, in fact, live longer, healthier, happier, and more prosperous lives because of their reading! So, let your students read what they want. Allow them to enter that “reading zone” where they get lost in a great story!
We also ask – if you can – that you donate your summer reading books (and any other schoolappropriate books) so that we may build up our classroom libraries. During our upcoming school year, every child will be given the opportunity to read a book for at least ten minutes in every English, intervention, and reading class – every time those classes meet. So we encourage your students to get hooked on books so they will carry one around with them all the time!
Following are various lists of young adolescent (YA) books that are recommended from reputable organizations. We hope you enjoy your summer – and future – reading these great books.
The English Department at Woodland Hills Academy.
Here are some sites you might consider visiting:
Los Angeles Public Library summer reading program https://www.lapl.org/collectionsresources/blogs/lapl/tags/summer%20reading%20program
The American Library Association https://libguides.ala.org/recommended-reading/YA-teens
Modern Mrs. Darcy https://modernmrsdarcy.com/series/ya-summer-reading-list/
Oprah Magazine https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/books/g26840490/best-youngadult-books-2019/
Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/teen/50-of-our-most-anticipatedfantasy-ya-books-of-2019/
2019 Top Ten Best Fiction
Acevedo, Elizabeth. The Poet X. 2018. Harper Teen. Xiomara Batista struggles with, well, most things in her life- her mother, her twin, and her place in the Catholic church. In the past, she’s used her fists to solve problems, as well as secretly writing poetry, but now it may be time to use those poems to fight back.
Albertalli, Becky & Silvera, Adam. What if It’s Us. 2018. Harper Teen. After the universe brings Arthur and Ben together outside the post office, neither make a move and both leave wondering if they missed a chance at love. What if they were meant to be?
Black, Holly. The Cruel Prince. 2018. Little, Brown and Company. Violently taken from her human home, Jude has struggled to navigate the dark world of the Fae. Jaded from years of being viewed as inferior for being human, she publicly challenges the wicked Prince Cardan and his friends, unleashing the prince’s wrath upon her and her sisters.
Caletti, Deb. A Heart in a Body in the World. 2018. Simon Pulse. After a traumatic incident, Annabelle manages to finish her senior year with the support of her friends and family and the comfort of routine: school, work, cross-country. One night, she reaches her breaking point and she begins to run – across the US. Along the way she becomes a reluctant activist.
Ireland, Justina. Dread Nation. 2018. Balzer + Bray. In post-Civil War America where the dead have refused to stay buried, Jane has spent her entire life training in a special combat school for African American children, preparing to save the lives of the wealthy. When entire families go missing, she learns her combat skills are incredibly useful- against both the dead and the living.
Jackson, Tiffany D. Monday’s Not Coming. 2018. Katherine Tegen Books. When Claudia’s best friend Monday suddenly disappears without a trace, Claudia knows something is up and will not stop until she uncovers the possible horrifying truth.
Khorram, Adib. Darius the Great is Not Okay. 2018. Dial Books. Darius is not okay with his impossible-to-please father, his mother and sister’s shared Farsi sisterhood, and his “Fractional Persian” heritage. A family trip to his mother’s homeland means learning more about his family, himself, and the many forms love can take.
Mills, Emma. Foolish Hearts. 2017. Henry Holt & Co. When Claudia finds herself ensnared in a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she must also navigate the elaborate politics of her private girls’ school, her budding friendship with prickly Iris, and a charming, tentative romance in addition to family drama in this funny, feel-good contemporary novel.
Norton, Preston. Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe. 2018. Disney Hyperion. Aaron is the star of Happy Valley High School until he suffers a concussion after a boating accident, or receives a visit from God, depending on who you believe. God gives him a to-do list and tells him he will need the help of Cliff Hubbard (a.k.a. Neanderthal).
Plozza, Shivaun. Frankie. 2017. Flatiron Books. Frankie Vega’s half-brother suddenly presents himself, and just as she begins to get to know him, he disappears. Frankie is the only one who seems worried about his whereabouts so she sets out to find him.
2019 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
Acevedo, Elizabeth. The Poet X. HarperTEEN/ HarperCollins. 2018. $17.99. ISBN:
9780062662804. Xiomara secretly creates poetry to explore her shifting relationship with her
Dominican immigrant parents, religion, her body, and chemistry lab partner/crush Aman.
Anderson, Laurie Halse and Emily Carroll (Illustrator). Speak: The Graphic Novel. Macmillan/
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers. Illus. 2018. $19.99. ISBN: 978-0374300289.
An incident at an end-of-summer party leaves Melinda speechless, an outcast, struggling to
confront her torment while navigating the pressures of high school. A haunting and invigorating
retelling of this award-winning novel that preserves Speak's powerful message.
Greenwald, Tommy. Game Changer. ABRAMS/ Amulet Books. 2018. $16.99. ISBN: 978-
1419731433. Teddy Youngblood is one of the most talented incoming freshman football players
on the team. After an incident at practice that lands Teddy in a coma, his family must fight to
figure out what really happened.
Krosoczka, Jarrett. Hey Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family
Addiction. Scholastic Press/ Graphix. 2018. $24.99. ISBN: 978-0545902472. Beloved graphic novel
creator Jarrett Krosoczka tells the story of his childhood growing up with a mother addicted to
heroin and how his grandparents’ support of his passion for art helped him survive.
McNeil, Gretchen. #MurderTrending. Disney Book Group/ Freeform Books. 2018. $17.99. ISBN:
978-1368010023. In the near future, the prison system has been replaced with a reality TV show-
-Alcatraz 2.0--that features staged executions of convicted murderers. Dee Guerrera becomes a
sensation by accidentally killing one of the executioners--but how long can she survive?
Reynolds, Jason. Track series (Sunny [vol. 3] and Lu [vol. 4]). Simon and Schuster/ Atheneum/
Caitlin Dlouhy Books. 2018. $16.99. ISBN: 978-1481450218 (Sunny) and 978-1481450249 (Lu).
Sunny considers himself a murderer, because his mother died giving birth to him. He has been
running track to please his dad, but what he really wants is to dance. Coach has the perfect
solution. "Lightning" Lu is heading into the track championships as co-captain of his team. When
unexpected hurdles come up, he wonders if lightning can really strike twice.
Saeed, Aisha. Amal Unbound. Penguin Random House/ Nancy Paulsen Books. 2018. $17.99.
ISBN: 978-0399544682. Amal's dream of becoming a teacher in her small Pakistani village
vanishes when she is forced to become an indentured servant to the powerful Khan family to pay
off her own family's debt.
Stiefel, Chana. Animal Zombies!: And Other Blood-Sucking Beasts, Creepy Creatures, and RealLife Monsters. National Geographic/ NatGeo Kids. 2018. $14.99. ISBN: 978-1426331497. Eyepopping photographs amp up the creepy factor in this fact book of strange and dangerous
Summers, Courtney. Sadie. Macmillan/ St. Martin’s Press/ Wednesday Books. 2018. $17.99.
ISBN: 978-1250105714. After the brutal murder of her little sister Mattie, Sadie will stop at
nothing to track down the man responsible and bring him to justice.
Wang, Jen. The Prince and the Dressmaker. Macmillan/ Roaring Brook Press/ First Second. 2018.
$24.99. ISBN: 978-1626723634. Frances, a talented young dressmaker, is given the chance to be
the Prince's personal seamstress. What she doesn't expect is what type of clothing Prince
Sebastian will request.
2019 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Top Ten
Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation. By Anne Frank and Ari Folman. Illus. by David
Polonsky. 2018. Pantheon, $24.95 (9781101871799). This is the first graphic edition of Anne
Frank's diary; a young girls poignant writings during her years of hiding in Amsterdam. This
beautiful retelling is a feast for the eyes. Anne Frank's story, already so powerful and
unforgettable is brought to life in full color. Even if you have read and reread her story, you will
be drawn to this new version.
Crush. By Svetlana Chmakova. Illus. by the author. 2018. JY, $11.00 (9780316363242). Perfectly
capturing the challenges of friendship drama and the anguish of first crushes in middle school,
this is the story of Jorge Ruiz, sweet, gentle, and strong, who is crushing on Jazmine, strong, kind,
and intelligent. Jorge must navigate his friendships and romantic interests and the drama that
Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt With Family Addiction. By
Jarrett Krosoczka. Illus. by the author. 2018. Graphix, $24.99 (9780545902472). A memoir about
being raised by grandparents and finding art as a way of communicating and self-expression
while dealing with family addiction and absenteeism.
Illegal. By Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin. Illus. by Giovanni Rigano. 2018. Sourcebooks
Jabberwocky, $20.00 (9781492662143). Ebo's older sister left Ghana and now his brother has
disappeared, leaving a note saying he's taking the arduous journey to Europe to seek a better
life. Alone and refusing to be left behind, Ebo catches up with his brother so they can make the
trip together, living on the streets, negotiating with human smugglers, and struggling to survive.
My Brother’s Husband, Volume 2. By Gengoroh Tagame. Illus. by the author. 2018. Pantheon
Books, $24.95 (9781101871539). Yaichi has been struggling to fully understand and accept his
brother's husband, Mike. Spending time together during Mike's visit to Japan, Yaichi and his
daughter realize just how important he is to their family.
On a Sunbeam. By Tillie Walden. Illus. by the author. 2018. First Second, $32.99
(9781250178145). Mia becomes the newest member on a ship that travels through space
reconstructing historical ruins for new use. Though quiet and unsure of herself, she fits in with
the crew and eventually reveals her true purpose for taking the job; finding her lost love.
Royal City, Volume 2: Sonic Youth. By Jeff Lemire. Illus. by the author. 2018. Image Comics,
$16.99 (9781534305526). In volume one, the story of the Pike family is set up with older brother
Patrick Pike returning to his childhood home in the wake of his father's stroke and his brother’s
death. In this volume, the reader is taken back to the year 1993, following the then-teenaged
Pike siblings and glimpsing the last week of Tommy Pike's life.
Royal City, Volume 3: We All Float On. By Jeff Lemire. Illus. by the author. 2018. Image Comics,
$16.99 (9781534308497). The final volume of this series brings readers a thoughtful and unique
exploration of loss, grief, family, and acceptance.
Silver Spoon. By Hiromu Arakawa. Illus. by the author. 2018.Yen Press, $15.00
Yuugo Hachiken has always been a great student, but instead of going to a regular academic high
school, he decides to enroll in Ooezo Agricultural High School instead. This city boy was hoping to
coast through high school, and an agricultural school is sure to be easy, right? Wrong! Instead of
doing math problems, and reciting poetry, he's waking up at 5AM to do chores, raise piglets and
learn to ride a horse.
Speak: The Graphic Novel. By Laurie Halse Anderson. Illus. by Emily Carroll. 2018. Farrar Straus
Giroux, $19.99 (9780374300289). Melinda is shunned at school because she called the cops at a
summer party, but what everyone doesn't know is that she was sexual assaulted there. In this
beautifully illustrated graphic adaptation of the original novel, Melinda works on coming to terms
with what happened to her and learning how to speak about it.
The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees. By Don Brown. Illus. by the author. 2018.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18.99 (9781328810151). This minimalist text takes a journalistic
approach to describing the political and social implications of the Syrian refugee crisis It features
the stories of individual refugees, while also focusing on local and global trends contributing to
Biography: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story:
Alifirenka, Caitlin; Ganda, Martin; Welch, Liz. I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter
Changed Two Lives. Hachette/Little, Brown. 2016. 402pp. ISBN: 978-0316241335. Caitlin and
Martin couldn’t have been farther apart – she in Pennsylvania, he in Zimbabwe. As pen pals, the
mail became magic, and enabled a miracle to happen to them both.
*Copeland, Misty. Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. Simon and Schuster/Touchstone. 2014.
278pp. ISBN: 978-1476737997. Life in Motion is a memoir from the first African American
principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theater.
Crowder, Melanie. Audacity. Penguin/Speak. 2016. 390pp. ISBN: 978-0147512499. Clara
Lemlich struggles to overcome the second-rate working conditions in the factories in Manhattan
during the turn of the twentieth century. Based on the true story of a determined young woman,
Clara paves the way for equal rights for women in the work force.
*Grande, Reyna. The Distance Between Us: A Memoir. Simon and Schuster/Pocket
Books/Washington Square Press. 2013. 325pp. ISBN: 978-1451661781. Reyna longs for her
family to be reunited after her mother and father leave Mexico for the United States, but when
she is finally able to join them, it is not the happy reunion she expects.
Greitens, Eric. The Warrior’s Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage. Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt. 2015. 266pp. ISBN: 978-0544104815. Eric is a first-generation college student
grappling with his future prospects.
Leyson, Leon. The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible… on
Schindler’s List. Simon and Schuster/Atheneum. 2015. 231pp. ISBN: 978-1442497825. Ten-yearold Leon watched as the Nazis took over his hometown of Krakow. Forced with his family to
move to the ghetto, they were ultimately saved – on Schindler’s List.
Moore, Wes. Discovering Wes Moore. Random House/Ember. 2013. 160pp. ISBN: 978-
0385741682. Wes Moore grew up in poverty, but through his supportive family and discipline
learned in military school was able to graduate college and become a Rhodes Scholar. As an
adult, he learns of another Wes Moore whose childhood resembled his, but who ended up
serving a life sentence in prison.
Reef, Catherine. The Brontë Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt. 2015. 231pp. ISBN: 978-0544455900. Most widely known for their classic 19th
century novels Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, sisters Charlotte and Emily Bronte helped to
pioneer the literary industry for women. Reading like a fascinating novel, this biography
highlights the romance and turbulence of these beloved writers.
*Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. Random House/Pantheon Books. 2004.
153pp. ISBN: 978-0375714573. This is a beautiful, inspirational memoir of a young girl growing
up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. She is lucky in that she has parents that support her
independence and education; many others are not so lucky.
Van Wagenen, Maya. Popular: How a Geek in Pearls Discovered the Secret to Confidence.
Penguin Books/Speak. 2015. 259pp. ISBN: 978-0147512543. An 8th grade girl uses a 1950’s
popularity guide in a modern quest to become more popular.
Horror: Better Dead than Unread:
Alameda, Courtney. Shutter. Macmillan/Square Fish. 2016. 384pp. ISBN: 978-1250079961. A
modern day retelling of the Van Helsing story. The Van Helsing bloodline has survived centuries
and defeated Dracula, building an enterprise in hunting the things of nightmares. Now that a new
nightmare is on the loose, will the Van Helsing team defeat this new threat or die trying?
Barraclough, Lindsey. Long Lankin. Candlewick. 2014. 455pp. ISBN: 978-0763669379. Cora and
her sister Mimi are sent to live with their eccentric Aunt in a town harboring an unspeakable
secret. As the girls begin to unravel the mystery, they discover a creature of nightmares that
takes away small children. Will the children find a way to defeat Long Lankin before it is too late?
Blake, Kendare. Anna Dressed in Blood. Macmillan/Tor Teen. 2012. 316pp. ISBN: 978-
0765328670. Teenaged ghost hunter Cas is investigating a local legend that tells of a vengeful,
deadly spirit called Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas believes this hunt will be like any other, until he
learns about the circumstances of Anna's death and haunting.
*Bray, Libba. The Diviners. Hachette/Little, Brown and Co. 2013. 578pp. ISBN: 978-
0316126106. Evie O'Neill can tell your secrets simply by holding an object dear to you and
concentrating on it. When the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol, Evie's
Uncle Will, an occult specialist, is called to the scene. Evie realizes her gift could help catch a
Chupeco, Rin. The Girl from the Well. Sourcebooks/Sourcebooks Fire. 2015. 258pp. ISBN: 978-
1492608684. Okiku was murdered three hundred years ago. She is the girl from the well. She has
spent her afterlife hunting child murderers. She is on the trail of another murderer when she
meets Turk, a boy covered in tattoos and an aura of evil.
Garcia, Kami. Unbreakable. Hachette/Little, Brown and Co. 2014. 305pp. ISBN: 978-
0316210188. Kennedy discovers she is a member of an ancient society of hunters who protect
the world from demons.
Higson, Charlie. The Enemy. Disney/Hyperion. 2014. 440pp. ISBN: 978-1484721469. A disease
has killed everyone over the age of sixteen and turned them into the living dead. One group of
kids decides to cross London to Buckingham Palace to find safety, but the streets are full of
Hill, Joe, and Gabriel Rodriguez. Locke and Key Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft. 2009. 158pp.
ISBN: 978-1600103841. After their husband/father is murdered, a family moves back to the
family estate in Maine. The children quickly learn that the house isn't what it seems and that keys
don't always open doors.
Ishida, Sui. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1. Viz Media. 2015. 213pp. ISBN: 978-1421580364. Ken Kaneki
is just an average guy until a date with the beautiful Rize ends with Ken's transformation into a
half-ghoul, half-human hybrid.
Kagawa, Julie. The Immortal Rules. Harlequin/Harlequin Teen. 2013. 457pp. ISBN: 978-
0373210800. Vampires rule the world and humans are considered nothing more than "blood
bags." Allie, a human, is bitten by a rabid vampire and left for dead. The vampire Kanin finds her
and as an act of mercy turns her into one of his kind. Now Allie is struggling to hold on to the
humanity she has left all while trying to survive this new world.
Kurtagich, Dawn. The Dead House. Little, Brown. 2016. 407pp. ISBN: 978-0316298674. Two
decades ago, a fire destroyed Elmbridge High, killing three students. Another student, Carly,
disappears. All that is left is a diary of a girl named Kaitlyn, video footage, psychiatric reports, and
police reports. What really happened that fateful night?
WHA Summer Reading List 2019
Malerman, Josh. Bird Box. HarperCollins/Ecco. 2015. 262pp. ISBN: 978-0062259660. Something
is out there, one look at it and people become homicidal, suicidal. Malorie, alone and pregnant,
joins a band of survivors hoping to make a life in this new reality, but what lengths is she willing
to go to not see.
McKay, Kirsty. Undead. Scholastic/Chicken House. 2013. 263pp. ISBN: 978-0545381895. New
girl Bobby decides to remain on the bus when the other students go into a cafe while on a school
ski trip. Bobby and troublemaker, Smitty realize that something is very wrong when classmate
Alice runs out of the cafe screaming that everyone is dead. Unfortunately, they don't remain that
McNeil, Gretchen. Ten. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 2013. 294pp. ISBN: 978-
0062118790. When Meg and Minnie plan a party (including boys) out on Henry Island, they don't
plan on the presence of a killer. Inspired by Agatha's Christie's And Then There Were None. This
story will leave readers guessing the killer's identity.
Oppel, Kenneth. The Nest. Simon and Schuster. 2016. 244pp. ISBN: 978-1481432337. Steve
wants nothing more than to save his sick newborn baby brother and see his parents happy once
again. So when the "angels" start to visit him in his dreams, promising to fix the baby, he thinks
all his prayers have been answered. All he has to do is say yes.
Ryan, Carrie. The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Random House/Ember. 2010. 310pp. ISBN: 978-
0385736824. You must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence protects the
village from the unconsecrated, the undead, in the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Mary has spent
her life in the village, but dreams of seeing her mother's favorite place, the ocean. When the
fence is breached and the village is turned to chaos, Mary must find her way through the forest.
Shan, Darren. Lord Loss. Hachette/Little, Brown and Co. 2006. 233pp. ISBN: 978-
0316012331. Grubbs Grady's life is changed when his family is murdered by demons. He finds
himself in a game of life and death with the demon Lord Loss.
Shepherd, Megan. The Madman’s Daughter. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 2013. 420pp. ISBN:
978-0062128034. Juliet Moreau rebuilt her life after the scandalous rumors of her father's
gruesome experiments came to light. No one could prove anything, and now her father is dead.
Or so she thinks. She soon discovers that he has set up his laboratory on a secluded island and his
experimentation on animal/human hybrids continues.
Stolarz, Laurie Faria. Welcome to the Dark House. Disney Press. 2015. 357pp. ISBN: 978-
1423194729. When seven teens are chosen as winners in a contest, it leads them to a creepy
house and a decrepit, abandoned amusement park. When the contest begins to hit a little too
close to home, exploiting and preying on their worst fears, they begin to realize that not
everything is what it seems.
Stratton, Allan. The Dogs. Sourcebooks/Sourcebooks Fire. 2015. 258pp. ISBN: 978-
142621010. Cameron and his mom have been running from his psychotic father for years. When
they move into a farmhouse in rural Illinois, Cameron starts seeing ghosts, often accompanied by
the braying of dogs. As he digs deeper into the mystery surrounding the farmhouse, Cameron
starts questioning the truth and his own sanity.
Summers, Courtney. This is not a Test. Macmillan/Griffin. 2012. 326pp. ISBN: 978-
0312656744. When the zombie apocalypse happens, Sloane Price seeks shelter with five other
teens she barely knows in her high school. As the days pass, the paranoia of being trapped with
people you can't trust begins to wear her down.
Tucholke, April Genevieve, ed. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys. Penguin/Speak. 2016. 384pp.
ISBN: 978-0147514080. A collection of horrifying tales and psychological thrillers by some of
today's most popular young adult authors.
Vega, Danielle. The Merciless. Penguin Books/Razorbill. 2015. 279pp. ISBN: 978-
1595147233. Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have befriended good-girls Riley, Grace, and Alexis
on the first day of school. When Sofia finds herself helping the perfect trio "save" Brooklyn, the
goth outcast girl in their school, she didn’t realize their idea of salvation would involve exorcism.
*Yancey, Rick. The Monstrumologist. Simon and Schuster/Saga Press. 2015. 434pp. ISBN: 978-
1481425445. In 1888, twelve-year-old Will Henry, apprentice-assistant to the Monstrumologist,
Dr. Warthrop, recounts his bizarre and horrific encounters with the mythic creatures known as,
Anthropophagi, a brutal species that feed on human prey.
Young, Suzanne. Hotel for the Lost. Simon and Schuster/Simon Pulse. 2016. 281pp. ISBN: 978-
1481423014. On the long drive to their grandmother's house, Audrey and her family stop for the
night at the beautiful and mysterious Hotel Ruby. They were only supposed to stay for one night,
but at the Hotel Ruby, checking out is harder than you think.
Living Overseas: Stranger in a Strange Land:
Berry, Nina. The Notorious Pagan Jones. Harlequin/Harlequin Teen. 2016. 400pp. ISBN: 978-
0373211906. A fateful car accident turns film star Pagan Jones from America's Sweetheart into a
notorious bad girl. She gets a chance to leave juvie and restart her career with a new film--with
the catch that she has to go to West Berlin to film it.
Carter, Ally. All Fall Down. Scholastic. 2015. 310pp. ISBN: 9780545654807. Grace witnessed a
horrific event and now is being shipped off overseas to live with her grandfather in the hopes of
making Grace forget about the past.
Creech, Sharon. Bloomability. HarperCollins/HarperCollins Children’s Books. 2012. 273pp.
ISBN: 978-0064408233. Twelve-year-old Dinnie is “kidnapped” by her aunt and uncle and taken
to Switzerland to attend boarding school. Dinnie is finding it difficult to acclimate to her new life,
but eventually she is surrounded by friends, family and stability in a place where she can bloom.
*Farish, Terry. The Good Braider. Amazon Children’s Publishing/Skyscape. 2014. 221pp. ISBN:
978-1477816288. When the trauma of civil war in South Sudan becomes unbearable for Viola
and her family, they travel across Africa to become refugees and flee to America. Once in the
United States, Viola struggles to reconcile her life in America to the life she left behind.
Foley, Jessie Ann. The Carnival at Bray. Elephant Rock Productions. 2014. 254pp. ISBN: 978-
0989515597. Moving from Chicago to Ireland hasn’t been easy. Maggie particularly misses Uncle
Kevin, who shares her love of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. When tragedy falls, will Maggie’s new life
help her to survive?
*Forman, Gayle. Just One Day. Penguin Group/Speak. 2013. 369pp. ISBN: 978-
0142422953. Allyson Healey never acts on impulse. Yet, on the last day of her three-week
European trip, she meets Willem, who inspires her to be spontaneous. When he asks her to go to
Paris with him, this one daring decision transforms Allyson’s life.
Gier, Kerstin. Dream a Little Dream. Macmillan/Square Fish. 2016. 336pp. ISBN: 978-
1250073662. Liv and her sister Mia are uprooted and whisked away to London where they meet
their soon to be new step family. Liv attends school with her step brother, Grayson, and meets
his friends Arthur, Jasper, and Henry. Things get strange when Liv starts to dream of the boys and
finds herself in a dream world that may not be of her own making.
Honeyman, Kay. The Fire Horse Girl. Scholastic. 2016. 321pp. ISBN: 978-0545403115. Jade
Moon knows she doesn’t fit in as a Chinese girl in 1923 America. However, her zodiac sign is the
Fire Horse, which makes her stubborn and creative enough to invent a new life.
Hubbard, Kirsten. Wanderlove. Random House/Ember. 2013. 338pp. ISBN: 978-
0385739382. Bria Sandoval is an unlikely person to travel across the world solo until one day she
decides to prove everyone wrong, and goes backpacking through Mayan villages and remote
islands in Belize.
Lindner, April. Love, Lucy. Little, Brown/Poppy. 2016. 290pp. ISBN: 978-0316400688. If Lucy
gives up her dream of acting and agrees to major in business, her father will pay for a summer
trip to Italy. When she meets a street musician and falls in love, her promise becomes harder and
harder to keep.
Mead, Richelle. Soundless. Penguin Books/Razorbill. 2016. 272pp. ISBN: 978-1595147646. Fei
lives in a world of poverty and fear. One night, she is shocked by a sharp noise, becoming the first
of her people to be able to hear. Armed with this new skill, and the help of a handsome
revolutionary, she sets off on a quest.
Resau, Laura. Indigo Notebook. Random House/Ember. 2010. 324pp. ISBN: 978-0375845246. In
Ecuador, jet-setting Zeeta meets Wendell, a young man in search of his family roots. Zeeta’s
desire to settle down and find her own father compels her to help Wendell. While uncovering the
mystery surrounding Wendell’s family, Zeeta realizes that she must confront her own past to
seize the future she desires.
Saeed, Aisha. Written in the Stars. Penguin Books/Speak. 2016. 304pp. ISBN: 978-
0147513939. Naila is the American daughter of Pakistani immigrants, and when they catch her
breaking their rules, it’s off on a family trip to Pakistan to turn Naila back to her parents’ idea of a
good Pakistani girl (and suitable bride).
Senzai, N. H. Ticket to India. Simon and Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. 2016. 304pp. ISBN:
978-1481422598. Sisters May and Zara travel from California to Pakistan to bring their
grandmother back to California, but their grandmother refuses until they take a detour to India
to collect family treasures.
Swank, Denise Grover. One Paris Summer. HarperCollins/Blink. 2016. 272pp. ISBN: 978-
0310755166. Sophie planned to spend the summer chasing her dreams of being a pianist, but is
forced to live with her estranged father and new step-family in Paris. Despite the circumstances,
and the schemes of her step sister, she finds herself drawn to the charm and romance of Paris.
Williams, Michael. Now is the Time for Running. Hachette/Little, Brown. 2013. 233pp. ISBN:
978-0316077880. Deo and his brother are forced to flee their village in Zimbabwe after soldiers
gun down their family and friends. When they arrive in South Africa, they face new challenges in
a hostile environment where refugees are not welcome.
Wright, David, and Luc Bouchard. Away Running. 2016. 297pp. ISBN: 978-1459810464. Matt, a
privileged, white Canadian, and Free, an African-American high school student from Texas, travel
to Paris and end up playing American football for the poor, immigrant suburb of Villeneuve.
Mental Health: Invisible Wounds:
Blount, Patty. Nothing Left to Burn. Sourcebooks/Sourcebooks Fire. 2015. 357pp. ISBN: 978-
1492613299. After his brother Matt’s tragic death, Reece joins the Lakeshore Volunteer Fire
Department. Will following in his brother’s footsteps as a Junior Cadet finally earn him some
recognition from his father, or will firefighting be one more thing Reece can’t do to Lieutenant
Colbert, Brandy. Pointe. Penguin/Speak. 2016. 333pp. ISBN: 978-0147514417. Tell the truth, or
don’t tell the truth? Theo really doesn’t want to think about it, but when her best friend Donovan
finally returns home after being kidnapped for four years, she doesn’t have a choice. Can she do
the right thing without having to give up on her dream of becoming a professional ballerina?
Conaghan, Brian. When Mr. Dog Bites. Bloomsbury USA. 2016. 359pp. ISBN: 978-
1681190181. A teenage boy with Tourette’s overhears a conversation between his mother and
his doctor, discovers that he’s dying, and makes a list of things to do with his last days.
De La Pena, Matt. I Will Save You. Random House/Ember. 2011. 310pp, ISBN: 978-
0385738286. After Kidd leaves a group therapy home, he attempts to find his niche working at a
campground with a beloved mentor, but his past is never far behind.
Dunkle, Elena and Claire. Elena Vanishing. Chronicle Books. 2016. 292pp. ISBN: 978-
1452152141. Well-written and compelling, this title focuses on several mental illnesses including
OCD, in addition to Anorexia. As a memoir, there is a depth and grit only found in personal
accounts and does not gloss over how difficult it is to treat this illness.
Hand, Cynthia. The Last Time We Say Goodbye. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2016. 390pp. ISBN:
978-0062318480. Many times, the wounds we cannot see are those left after a traumatizing
incident, accident, or loss. Showcasing grief at its grittiest, this book explores loss, grief and guilt
as an extension of invisible wounds.
Kinsella, Sophie. Finding Audrey. Random House/Ember. 2016. 286pp. ISBN: 978-
0553536539. After an incident at school, Audrey avoids human contact by hiding behind dark
sunglasses and staying in her house, but therapy, her loving and hilarious family and a boy
named Linus help draw her out of hiding.
Kuehn, Stephanie. Complicit. 2016. 250pp. ISBN: 978-1250044600. Two years ago, Jamie and
Cate Henry's mother was murdered. As the only suspects they were questioned and Jamie's
sister taken away to juvenile facility. Now she is out, and Henry fears for his life.
Ness, Patrick. The Rest of Us Just Live Here. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2016. 317pp. ISBN:
9780062403179. While the indie kids fight evil forces in town, Mikey and his friends are just
waiting for graduation, but even they are drawn into the mysterious happenings in their town.
*Niven, Jennifer. All the Bright Places. Random House/Ember. 2016. 416pp. ISBN: 978-
0385755917. When Finch and Violet met, they were both on the edge. Of a bell tower, that is.
Though neither jumps, Finch has to try harder and harder to fight his bipolar disorder, as Violet
begins to learn how to live in the present moment.
*Oliver, Lauren. Vanishing Girls. HarperCollins/HarperCollins Childrens Books. 2016. 384pp.
ISBN: 978-0062224118. After a tragic car accident, Nick longs to reconnect with her sister who
was formerly her best friend.
*Patel, Sonia. Rani Patel in Full Effect. Cinco Puntos Press. 2016. 314pp. ISBN: 978-
1941026502. Aspiring rapper Rani copes with her father's betrayal and history of abuse in this
book full of beats, rhymes and the will to overcome every kind of external and internal threat.
Roskos, Evan. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2015. 310pp. ISBN:
978-0544439535. James Whitman has a serious affinity for the poet Walt Whitman, and uses
poetry to cope with depression (along with help from his imaginary giant therapist-pigeon), all
while trying to solve the mystery of why his father kicked his sister out of the house.
Shusterman, Neal and Brendan Shusterman. Challenger Deep. HarperCollins/HarperTeen.
2016. 320pp. ISBN: 978-0061134142. As his alternate reality becomes more and more difficult to
distinguish from real life, Caden Bosch is vaguely aware that he is losing his grip. A National Book
Award winner based on the true story of Brendan Shusterman and filled with his
drawings, Challenger Deep is a harrowing, beautiful story about one boy’s fight to cut through
the static of schizophrenia.
Silvera, Adam. More Happy Than Not. Soho/Soho Teen. 2016. 304pp. ISBN: 978-1616956776. A
closeted gay teen who previously attempted suicide contemplates having his memory erased
after he is rejected by his new best friend.
Smith, Hilary T. Wild Awake. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books. 2015. 375pp. ISBN: 978-
0062184696. Alone for the summer, teenage Kiri discovers that her older sister had been
murdered and throws herself headfirst into finding out the truth.
Vizzini, Ned. It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Disney/Miramax. 2007. 444pp. ISBN: 978-0786851973. A
teenage boy contemplates suicide but instead checks himself into a psychiatric hospital to learn
how to cope with his depression. The title is slightly older and there was a movie version but it
still stands out as an excellent representation of what depression is like for a teenager with great
writing and characters.
Wolitzer, Meg. Belzhar. Penguin/Speak. 2015. 266pp. ISBN: 978-0142426296. Jam Gallahue
doesn’t see herself ever moving forward after the death of her boyfriend, Reeve. Not knowing
what else to do, her parents send her to a boarding school for traumatized teens. Can a journal
assignment with a magical twist help her get her life back together, or will she end up spiraling
even further downward?