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Teen Recommended Reads
Nancy Kington, daughter of a rich merchant, suddenly orphaned when her father dies, is sent to live on her family's plantation in Jamaica. Disgusted by the treatment of the slaves and her brother's willingness to marry her off, she and one of the slaves, Minerva, run away and join a band of pirates. For both girls the pirate life is their only chance for freedom in a society where both are treated like property, rather than individuals. Together they go in search of adventure, love, and a new life that breaks all restrictions of gender, race, and position. Told through Nancy's writings, their adventures will appeal to readers across the spectrum and around the world.
For fans of Unbroken and Ruta Sepetys.
All Ida Mae Jones wants to do is fly. Her daddy was a pilot, and years after his death she feels closest to him when she's in the air. But as a young black woman in 1940s Louisiana, she knows the sky is off limits to her, until America enters World War II, and the Army forms the WASP-Women Airforce Service Pilots. Ida has a chance to fulfill her dream if she's willing to use her light skin to pass as a white girl. She wants to fly more than anything, but Ida soon learns that denying one's self and family is a heavy burden, and ultimately it's not what you do but who you are that's most important.
Read Sherri L. Smith's posts on the Penguin Blog
The Hired Girl
Winner of the 2016 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
A 2016 Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Award Winner
Winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature
Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz brings her delicious wit and keen eye to early twentieth-century America in a moving yet comedic tour de force.
Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs, just like the heroines in her beloved novels, yearns for real life and true love. But what hope is there for adventure, beauty, or art on a hardscrabble farm in Pennsylvania where the work never ends? Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself--because maybe, just maybe, a hired girl cleaning and cooking for six dollars a week can become what a farm girl could only dream of--a woman with a future. Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz relates Joan's journey from the muck of the chicken coop to the comforts of a society household in Baltimore (Electricity! Carpet sweepers! Sending out the laundry!), taking readers on an exploration of feminism and housework; religion and literature; love and loyalty; cats, hats, and bunions.
Sunrise Over Fallujah
Robin "Birdy" Perry, a new army recruit from Harlem, isn't quite sure why he joined the army, but he's sure where he's headed: Iraq. Birdy and the others in the Civilian Affairs Battalion are supposed to help secure and stabilize the country and successfully interact with the Iraqi people. Officially, the code name for their maneuvers is Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the young men and women in the CA unit have a simpler name for it:WAR
My Lady Jane
This comical, fantastical, romantical, New York Times bestselling, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey is “an uproarious historical fantasy that’s not to be missed” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind YA fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.
At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England.
Like that could go wrong.
New York Times Bestseller * Publishers Weekly Best Young Adult Book of the Year * Bustle Best Young Adult Book of the Year * YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
And don't miss the authors' next fun read, My Plain Jane!
The Book Thief
DON’T MISS BRIDGE OF CLAY, MARKUS ZUSAK’S FIRST NOVEL SINCE THE BOOK THIEF.
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
When Death has a story to tell, you listen.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
“The kind of book that can be life-changing.” —The New York Times
“Deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.” —USA Today
Orphan Monster Spy
Her name is Sarah. She's blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish in 1939 Germany. And her act of resistance is about to change the world.
After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He's part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she'd ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she's the Nazis' worst nightmare.
The Librarian of Auschwitz
Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.
Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.
This title has Common Core connections.
Hattie Big Sky
Alone in the world, teen-aged Hattie is driven to prove up on her uncle's homesteading claim.
For years, sixteen-year-old Hattie's been shuttled between relatives. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she courageously leaves Iowa to prove up on her late uncle's homestead claim near Vida, Montana. With a stubborn stick-to-itiveness, Hattie faces frost, drought and blizzards. Despite many hardships, Hattie forges ahead, sharing her adventures with her friends--especially Charlie, fighting in France--through letters and articles for her hometown paper.
Her backbreaking quest for a home is lightened by her neighbors, the Muellers. But she feels threatened by pressure to be a "Loyal" American, forbidding friendships with folks of German descent. Despite everything, Hattie's determined to stay until a tragedy causes her to discover the true meaning of home.
Girl in the Blue Coat
The bestselling, "gripping" (Entertainment Weekly), "powerful" (Hypable), "utterly thrilling" (Paste.com) winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. Perfect for readers of Kristin Hannah and Ruta Sepetys.
Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.
On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman's frantic plea to find a person--a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.
Beautifully written, intricately plotted, and meticulously researched, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary novel about bravery, grief, and love in impossible times.
*Don't miss Monica Hesse's newest masterwork of historical fiction: The War Outside*
The Passion of Dolssa
A Printz Honor Book
"Gorgeous and evocative . . . magnificent."--The New York Times
Medieval France: Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with a secret lover and an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she's on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire, and wants Dolssa executed, too. Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town of Bajas. Their lives collide when Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and agrees to conceal her in the tavern. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers. But all of Botille's tricks, tales, and cleverness can't protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon Bajas, Dolssa's passion and Botille's good intentions could destroy the entire village.
Mary, Bloody Mary
The story of Mary Tudor's childhood is a classic fairy tale: A princess who is to
inherit the throne of England is separated from her mother; abused by an evil
stepmother who has enchanted her father; stripped of her title; and forced to
care for her baby stepsister, who inherits Mary's rights to the throne. Believe it
or not, it's all true.
Told in the voice of the young Mary, this novel explores the history and intrigue
of the dramatic rule of Henry VIII, his outrageous affair with and marriage to the
bewitching Anne Boleyn, and the consequences of that relationship for his
firstborn daughter. Carolyn Meyer has written a compassionate historical novel about love and loss, jealousy and fear--and a girl's struggle with forces far
beyond her control.
A Northern Light
Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy, " this coming-of-age novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, real, and wholly original.
It's late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of fever. Down near the docks, many have taken ill, and the fatalities are mounting. Now they include Polly, the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse. But fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook doesn't get a moment to mourn the passing of her childhood playmate. New customers have overrun her family's coffee shop, located far from the mosquito-infested river, and Mattie's concerns of fever are all but overshadowed by dreams of growing her family's small business into a thriving enterprise. But when the fever begins to strike closer to home, Mattie's struggle to build a new life must give way to a new fight-the fight to stay alive.
Between Shades of Gray
The inspiration for the major motion picture Ashes in the Snow!
"Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both." --The Washington Post
From New York Times and international bestseller and Carnegie Medal winner Ruta Sepetys, author of Salt to the Sea, comes a story of loss and of fear -- and ultimately, of survival.
A New York Times notable book
An international bestseller
A Carnegie Medal nominee
A William C. Morris Award finalist
A Golden Kite Award winner
Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life -- until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?
A moving and haunting novel perfect for readers of The Book Thief.
Praise for Between Shades of Gray:
"Superlative. A hefty emotional punch." --The New York Times Book Review
"Heart-wrenching . . . an eye-opening reimagination of a very real tragedy written with grace and heart." --The Los Angeles Times
"At once a suspenseful, drama-packed survival story, a romance, and an intricately researched work of historial fiction." --The Wall Street Journal
* "Beautifully written and deeply felt . . . An important book that deserves the widest possible readership." --Booklist, starred review
“A superlative first novel. A hefty emotional punch.”--The New York Times Book Review
“A brilliant story of love and survival.”--Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and Wintergirls
* “Beautifully written and deeply felt…an important book that deserves the widest possible readership.”--Booklist, Starred Review