Top 10 Best Books for Teens in 2005
All books are listed in alphabetical order by author. Click here to see if a book is in!
The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green
by Joshua Braff
It is Jacob Green, our narrator, whose unthinkable thoughts serve as the underpinnings of this tale. Against the backdrop of the Sex Pistols, est seminars, and Farrah Fawcett hairdos, Jacob's fantastic, funny, and unfiltered inner monologue keeps rolling. He idolizes his rebellious older brother, who is talented enough to get himself suspended from Hebrew school for drawing a rabbi in a compromising position with a lobster and a pig. He dreams about his babysitter and wonders if her taking off her shirt and bra and asking for a back rub means anything. And he reckons with his father, whose demand for perfection is overwhelming and whose constant need for love is almost unbearable.
Bucking the Sarge
by Christopher Paul Curtis
Deeply involved in his cold and manipulative mother's, a.k.a. the Sarge, shady business dealings in Flint, Michigan, fourteen-year-old Luther keeps a sense of humor while running the Happy Neighbor Group Home For Men, all the while scheming of busting out of his predicament.
Sparky's, Luther's best friend, escape plans involve a pit bull named Poofy and the world's scariest rat. Oh, and Luther. Add to the mix Chester X., Luther's mysterious roommate; Dontay Gaddy, a lawyer whose phone number is 1-800-SUE'M ALL; and Darnell Dixon, the Sarge's go-to guy who knows how to break all the rules.
The Race to Save the Lord God Bird
by Phillip M. Hoose
The tragedy of extinction is explained through the dramatic story of a legendary bird, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and of those who tried to possess it, paint it, shoot it, sell it, and, in a last-ditch effort, save it.
A powerful saga that sweeps through two hundred years of history, it introduces artists like John James Audubon, bird collectors like William Brewster, and finally a new breed of scientist in Cornell's Arthur A. "Doc" Allen and his young ornithology student, James Tanner, whose quest to save the Ivory-bill culminates in one of the first great conservation showdowns in U.S. history, an early round in what is now a worldwide effort to save species.
As hope for the Ivory-bill fades in the United States, the bird is last spotted in Cuba in 1987, and Cuban scientists join in the race to save the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.
The Realm of Possibility
by David Levithan
"Here’s what I know about the realm of possibility - it is always expanding, it is never what you think it is. Everything around us was once deemed impossible. From the airplane overhead to the phones in our pockets to the choir girl putting her arm around the metalhead."
"As hard as it is for us to see sometimes, we all exist within the realm of possibility. Most of the limits are of our own world's devising. And yet, every day we each do so many things that were once impossible to us."
Follow the story several of students at the same high school as they describe their ideas, experiences, and relationships in a series of interconnected free verse stories. So, enter their lives and prepare to welcome the realm of possibility open to us all.
by Melina Marchetta
Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian's, a boys' school that's pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.
Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca - until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and - hardest of all - herself.
by Michael Mopurgo
As he stands watch through a sleepless night, seventeen-year-old Pvt. Thomas (Tommo) Peaceful recalls how he and his beloved older brother Charlie came to be soldiers in a war they do not understand.
Tommo's memories introduce their close-knit family, cruel landlords, and Molly, the girl loved by both brothers. We learn that Charlie left his post to care for his injured brother, a fateful decision in the British Army, where soldiers were routinely killed for lesser offenses.
As the young soldier counts the minutes to dawn, it is clear this is not going to end well...
Under the Wolf, Under the Dog
by Adam Rapp
Steve Nugent is in a facility called Burnstone Grove. It's a place for kids who are addicts, like Shannon Lynch, who can stick $1.87 in change up his nose, or for kids who have tried to commit suicide, like Silent Starla, whom Steve is getting a crush on. But Steve doesn't really fit in either group. He used to go to a gifted school. So why is he being held at Burnstone Grove?
Keeping a journal, in which he recalls his confused and violent past, Steve is left to figure out who he is by examining who he was.
by Kenneth Oppel
Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt's always wanted; convinced he's lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship.
One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter that he realizes that the man's ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.
Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood
by Benjamin Alire Saenz
As a Chicano boy living in the unglamorous town of Hollywood, New Mexico, and a member of the graduating class of 1969, Sammy Santos faces the challenges of "gringo" racism, unpopular dress codes, the Vietnam War, the draft, barrio violence, drugs, sex and poverty.
As he comes to grips with the death of Juliana, his first love, and the increasingly complex demands and needs of his remaining friends, as well as of his family and neighbors, Sammy holds on to his hopes and plans for a better life, beyond the hold of Hollywood.
So B. It
by Sarah Weeks
You couldn′t really tell about Mama′s brain just from looking at her, but it was obvious as soon as she spoke. She had a high voice, like a little girl′s, and she only knew 23 words. I know this for a fact, because we kept a list of the things Mama said tacked to the inside of the kitchen cabinet. Most of the words were common ones, like good and more and hot, but there was one word only my mother said: soof.
Although she lives an unconventional lifestyle with her mentally disabled mother and their doting neighbour, Bernadette, Heidi has a lucky streak that has a way of pointing her in the right direction. When a mysterious word in her mother′s vocabulary begins to haunt her, Heidi′s thirst for the truth leads her on a cross-country journey in search of the secrets of her past.
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