Teen Issues

All books are available in Framingham's Main Library except for those marked with asterisks (*).

abuse | abuse (boyfriend/girlfriend) | aggression | bullying | cultural/ethnicity | cutting | date rape | divorce | drugs | drunk driving | eating disordersfriendship | gangs | illness | mixed-up families | peer pressure | runawaysschool shooting | sexuality | suicide | teen pregnancy & parenting

America by E. R. Frank - America is a boy who's been a lot of places... America is a boy who gets lost easy and is not worth the trouble of finding. In his short life, America, an emotionally disturbed 15-year-old of mixed race, has been abandoned and betrayed over and over again. Now housed in a residential treatment center, America is encouraged by his therapist to reflect back on his life, but that's just what he doesn't want to do-it's too painful. (Gr 10-12) Y FICTION Frank

Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Petersen Haddix - In the journal she is keeping for English class, 16 year-old Tish chronicles the changes in her life when her abusive father returns home after a two-year absence. (Gr 7 and up) Y FICTION Haddix; Y COMPACT DISC FICTION Haddix

Waiting for Christopher by Louise Hawes - When Feena, 14, sees toddler Christopher abused and abandoned by his mother in a seedy Florida amusement park, the lonely teenager rescues him and cares for him in a secret hideout, with help from Raylene, the gorgeous, popular leader of the freshman class. Both teens are grieving for their dead infant siblings, and the girls become close friends as they take turns skipping school and caring for the small boy they love. (Gr 7-10) Y FICTION Hawes

Target by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson - After being brutally raped, Grady finally goes to a new high school where he meets an outgoing African American and several other students who try to help him deal with the horrible secret that is robbing him of his life. Y FICTION Johnson

You Don't Know Me by David Klass - Fourteen-year-old John creates alternative realities in his mind as he tries to deal with his mother's abusive boyfriend, his crush on a beautiful, but shallow classmate and other problems at school. (Gr 6-9) Y FICTION Klass

Hate You by Graham McNamee - Nursing hatred for the father who choked her and damaged her voice as a child, 17 year-old Alice writes songs she feels she cannot sing and seeks to reconcile her feelings for herself and her father. (Gr 9-12) Y PB McNamee

Weeping Willow by Ruth White - Despite all the problems she faces at home, Tiny Lambert's experiences at Virginia's Black Gap High School help her begin to feel good about herself--until the day that she is raped by her stepfather. (Gr 7-10) Y PB White


Abuse (Boyfriend/Girlfriend)
*The Breakable Vow by Kathryn Anne Clarke - After 18 year-old Annie becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she marries her boyfriend, but slowly realizes that he is abusive and that she must decide what she can and will do about the relationship and to keep her daughter and herself safe. Includes information on the characteristics of abusive relationships and how to end them. (Gr 9 and up)

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen - After her older sister runs away, 16 year-old Caitlin decides that she needs to make a major change in her own life and begins an abusive relationship with a boy who is mysterious, brilliant, and dangerous. (Gr 7-12) Y FICTION Dessen

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn - Sent to counseling for hitting his girlfriend, Caitlin, and ordered to keep a journal, 16 year-old Nick recounts his relationship with Caitlin, examines his controlling behavior and anger, and describes living with his abusive father. (Gr 7-12) Y FICTION Flinn

Leslie's Journal by Allan Stratton - Leslie, 10th grade, endures a harmful relationship with an abusive boyfriend. She finds solace by writing in her journal, written for an English assignment. Leslie is completely honest; after all, Ms. Graham has promised never to read her students' work and to keep it in a locked cabinet. (Gr 8 and up) Y PB Stratton


*Alt Ed by Catherine Atkins - Susan is a painfully self-conscious sophomore who is constantly teased about her weight and has no friends. Her longtime nemesis, Kale Krasner, is a bully whom she suspects is behind the harassing phone calls she's been getting. When she meets openly gay Brendan, she makes friends with this fellow outcast, and together they surreptitiously deface Kale's pickup truck. This vandalism lands them in a new 12-week, after-school group led by the head guidance counselor and designed as an alternative to expulsion. (Gr 8 and up)

Ironman by Chris Crutcher - While training for a triathlon, 17 year-old Bo attends an anger management group at school which leads him to examine his relationship with his father. (Gr 9 and up) Y FICTION Crutcher

Who the Man by Chris Lynch - Thirteen-year-old Earl Pryor is much too big for his age and too powerful for the anger that rages within him when classmates tease him, the girl he likes disappoints him, or his parents' problems get too real. (Gr 6-9) Y PB Lynch


Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja - Justin spends time with Jinsen, the unusual and artistic new student whom the school bullies torment and call Buddha Boy, and ends up making choices that impact Jinsen, himself, and the entire school. (Gr 6-10) Y FICTION Koja

The Loser's Club by John Lekich - Having had to deal with the extortion and daily harassment by Jerry, the school bully, Alex decides to form a club of other classmates in the same situation. When The Loser's Club becomes too organized for Jerry's liking, a competition is agreed upon by both sides to settle things once and for all. (Gr 9 - 10) Y PB LeKich

Drowning Anna by Sue Mayfield - When Anna Goldsmith moves from her posh city school to a small town, everyone's gossiping. Her accent makes her stick out a mile away, while her near-perfect grades set her apart as a teacher's pet. But when the most popular girl in school, captivating and witty Hayley, befriends Anna, she couldn't be more thrilled. Then Hayley begins her cruel games. (Gr 7-10) Y FICTION Mayfield

The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum Ucci - A well-crafted mystery wrapped around a topical issue: the effect teenage intolerance can have on misfits. When class freak Chris Creed suddenly disappears, his fellow students are not so much worried but abuzz with speculation: Is he a runaway, a suicide, a crime victim? (Gr 8 and up) Y FICTION Plum-Ucci

Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser - Gunshots echo through the gym. Two heavily armed students hold their classmates hostage at a high school dance. Their targets: the football players and teachers who have tormented them. Their weapons: semiautomatic rifles stolen from a neighbor. Their motive: revenge. (Gr 6-12) Y FICTION Strasser

*Edge by Diane Tullson - When the unpopular Marlie joins a new group of friends, they start to plan a deadly scheme against the school as payback for years of bullying, and Marlie finds herself struggling to disassociate herself from the crowd. (Gr 7-10)


Cultural and Ethnic Differences
Fitting In by Anilú Bernardo - A collection of stories about young girls who as Cuban immigrants to the United States grow in confidence and spirit as they confront painful challenges, meeting them head-on. Y FICTION Bernardo

Quinceañera Means Sweet Fifteen by Veronica Chambers - Eagerly anticipating her Quinceañera, the fifteenth birthday celebration that will signify her adulthood, Marisol is troubled by a lack of money, her mother's new boyfriend, changes in her best friend, and the absence of the father she never knew. Y FICTION Chambers

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes - While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they've written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates. Y FICTION Grimes

CrashBoomLove by Juan Felipe Herrera - After his father leaves home, sixteen-year-old Cesar Garcia lives with his mother and struggles through the painful experiences of growing up as a Mexican American high school student. Y FICTION Herrera

Beacon Hill Boys by Ken Mochizuki - In 1972 in Seattle, a teenager in a Japanese American family struggles for his own identity, along with a group of three friends who share his anger and confusion. Y FICTION Mochizuki

Buried Onions by Gary Soto - When nineteen-year-old Eddie drops out of college, he struggles to find a place for himself as a Mexican American living in a violence-infested neighborhood of Fresno, California. Y PB Soto

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson - After meeting at their private school in New York, fifteen-year-old Jeremiah, who is black and whose parents are separated, and Ellie, who is white and whose mother has twice abandoned her, fall in love and then try to cope with people's reactions. Y PB Woodson


The Luckiest Girl in the World by Steven Levenkron - 15-year-old Katie is a compulsive self-mutilator, or "cutter." Katie is beautiful, poised and highly intelligent. A successful competition figure skater with a scholarship to an exclusive prep school, she's driven by her own fear of failure and by her relentlessly ambitious mother. Behind Katie's winning stage smile lurks an anxiety that she can relieve only by cutting herself until she draws blood. (Gr 6-9) Y FICTION Levenkron

Cut by Patricia McCormick - Callie doesn't speak, not even to her therapist at Sea Pines-nicknamed Sick Minds by other patients at the "residential treatment facility." Instead, she hides behind her hair, studies carpets stains, counts stripes in the wallpaper, and pulls her sleeves down over her cuts. (Gr 7-9) Y FICTION McCormick

*Crosses by Shelley Stoer - Unhappy at home, Nancy and her friend Katie adopt punk lifestyles and find relief in cutting themselves, until Nancy is forced to confront her problems. (Gr 9-12)


Date Rape
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - When Melinda's friends discover she called the police to quiet a party, they ostracize her, turning her into an outcast -- even among kids she barely knows. But even worse than the harsh conformity of high-school cliques is a secret that you have to hide. (Gr 7 and up) Y FICTION Anderson

Stand Tall by Joan Bauer - Sam is known as "Tree" because he is over 6' 3", even though he is only in 7th grade. He isn't athletic, like his older brothers, and his classmates tease him. His parents have recently divorced and Tree finds it stressful shuttling between the two households. To top it all off, his old dog is fading fast. But Tree still has some high spots in his life. He adores his grandfather, a funny, tough Vietnam vet who has just had part of his leg amputated, and finds satisfaction in helping him and in his knack for fixing and inventing things. (Gr 5-8) Y FICTION Bauer

*Losing Louisa by Judith Casely - Sixteen-year-old Lacey worries about the effect of her parents' divorce on her family, especially her mother, and about her older sister's sexual activity, which may have made her pregnant. (Gr 8-12)

Tune in Anytime by Caroline Cooney - When Sophie's father suddenly decides to divorce her mother and marry her sister, Marley's college roommate, Sophie feels like she is trapped in an endless soap opera.(Gr 7 and up) Y FICTION Cooney

Night Hoops by Carl Deuker - While trying to prove that he is good enough to be on his high school's varsity basketball team, Nick must also deal with his parents' divorce and erratic behavior of a troubled classmate who lives across the street. (Gr 7-11) Y FICTION Deuker

Separate Sisters by Nancy Springer - Thirteen-year-old Donnie is so upset over her parents' divorce that she gets into increasingly serious trouble at school and does not recognize how much her older sister is hurting as well. (Gr 5-7) J FICTION Springer

Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas - A distant relationship with his divorced father, whom he refers to as The Astronaut, combined with the betrayal of his first serious girlfriend, sends Steve running off to live with his mother. There he begins to do drugs and fail in school. The only way he'll graduate on time is to complete a 100-page paper. (Gr 9 and up) (Also Drugs) Y PB Thomas

Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger - After starting to publish a zine in which he writes his secret feelings about his lonely life and his parents' divorce, sixteen-year-old John meets an unusual girl and begins to develop a healthier personality. Y FICTION Wittlinger


Smack by Melvin Burgess - After running away from their troubled homes, two English teenagers move in with a group of squatters in the port city of Bristol and try to find ways to support their growing addiction to heroin. Y FICTION Burgess

A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich by Alice Childress - The life of a thirteen-year-old Harlem black boy on his way to becoming a confirmed heroin addict is seen from his viewpoint and from that of several people around him. Y PB Childress

Fat Kid Rules the World by K. L. Going - Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a guitar genius wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band. (Gr 8-12) Y FICTION Going, Y CASSETTE FICTION Going

*The White Horse by Cynthia Grant - In her writing for a concerned teacher, 16 year-old Raina reveals her troubles with a dysfunctional family, life on the streets, drug abuse, and finally an unplanned pregnancy. (Gr 9-12) 

Stoner & Spaz by Ron Koertge - Ben, age 16, is so embarrassed by his cerebral palsy that he spends much of his time hiding out alone in the dark of a movie theater-until he runs into a classmate, Colleen, a pale, tattooed, blunt-spoken druggie with her own demons to escape. (Also Fitting In) (Gr 9 and up) Y FICTION Koertge, Y PB Koertge

*Degrees of Guilt: Kyra's Story by Dandi Daley Mackall - When 17 year-old Kyra of Macon, Iowa, becomes overwhelmed by the stress of senior year in high school, the school play, and early admission to drama school, she begins taking prescription drugs, unaware that her twin brother will suffer the consequences. 

*Tomorrow Wendy by Shelley Stoehr - Cary would like to be regarded as being tough as nails. She's effectively estranged from her parents, into drugs and drink, sleeping with a very cool guy, and secretly in love with his twin sister. She also is frequently visited by a young man no one else sees, who speaks to her in song lyrics. As you might surmise, this is one messed-up young woman. (Gr 9 and up)

The Game by Teresa Toten - Dani had played The Game with her sister, Kelly, for as long as she could remember, but now it is a hazy memory as Dani looks up from the floor of the isolation room at Riverwood Clinic. She remembers the vodka and pills. Slowly Dani emerges from the painful effects of substance abuse, and begins to adapt to life at Riverwood, a psychiatric treatment facility for "teens with problems." (Gr 6-8) Y FICTION Toten


Drunk Driving
A Sudden Silence by Eve Bunting - When Bry is killed by a hit-and-run driver, his brother, Jesse, faces seemingly endless pain. He grieves for his brother and struggles with overwhelming guilt and unanswerable questions, because he had been walking alongside the road with Bry when the drunk driver struck him. (Gr 6-9) Y FICTION Bunting

Promise You'll Stop Me by D.L. Carey - When Rita Cullen nearly kills someone her friend while driving drunk, Yellowjacket volunteer Barina promises to stop her from ever drinking and driving again. But Rita won't stay sober, and Barina's having trouble keeping her out of the car. Y PB Carey

*Say Goodnight Gracie by Julie Reece Deaver - When her best friend Jimmy, with whom she has shared everything from childhood escapades to breaking into the professional theater scene in Chicago, is killed by a drunk driver, 17 year-old Morgan must find her own way of coping with his death. (Gr 8-10)

Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper - After a car accident kills Robert, Andy's best friend and teammate on the Hazelwood High Tigers, Andy doesn't know if he can go on. He's consumed with guilt for driving the night of the accident after a long evening of drinking and partying. (Gr 7 and up) Y PB Draper

*Binge and Binge II by Charles Ferry - When 18 year-old Weldon wakes up in a hospital, he must face the tragic consequences of a drinking spree. (Gr 6-9) 

Whirligig by Paul Fleischman - When a drunk 16 year-old, Brent, inadvertently causes the death of a young woman while driving drunk, he is sent on an unusual journey of repentance, building wind toys across the land.(Gr 6-8) Y FICTION Fleischman

God of Beer by Garret Keizer - Eighteen-year-old Kyle, Diana, and Quaker Oats are three friends who decide to challenge the beer-as-religion mindset of their high school mates in small town Vermont. (Gr 8+) Y FICTION Keizer

*Death Ride by Paul Kropp - Tim wants to get in on the action with the kids at school who drink, take drugs, and drive fast cars, but regrettably the association leads to death.

*Blizzard's Wake by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor - Set in 1941 North Dakota, Naylor brings together a number of freak occurrences. Separate narrative strands introduce Kate, a teenager still mourning the death of her mother, Ann, four years earlier, and Zeke, the drunk driver who killed Ann and who has just been released from prison a year early, for good behavior. (Gr 5-8)

The Accident by Todd Strasser - After four of his friends leave a beer party and suffer a fatal accident, 18 year-old Matt senses something peculiar about the police investigation and suspects a cover-up to hide the identity of who was really responsible for the accident. (Gr 6-9) Y FICTION Strasser

Izzy Willy Nilly by Cynthia Voigt - Izzy begins the story as a "perfect" young adult, a cheerleader, pretty, popular, and loved by her family. All that changes one night when she accepts a date with a boy she doesn't even really like. The boy drinks too much at a party, runs his car into a tree, recovers unscathed, but Izzy loses a leg. She is no longer the girl she once was and must re-learn not only how to live her life, but redefine herself and her values. (Gr 6-9) Y FICTION Voigt


Eating Disorders
Life in the Fat Lane by Cheri Bennett - Sixteen-year-old Lara, winner of beauty pageants and Homecoming Queen, is distressed and bewildered when she starts gaining weight and becomes a fat girl. (Gr 6-9) Y PB Bennett

Best Little Girl in the World by Steven Levenkron - Teenager Francesca Deitrich feels too fat, giving into the pressures of her ballet teacher and the pencil-thin models in the media, in a revealing story about a "perfect" little girl suffering from the destructive obsession of anorexia nervosa. Y FICTION Levenkron

What Happened to Lani Garver by Carol Plum-Ucci - Sixteen-year-old Claire is unable to face her fears about a recurrence of her leukemia, her eating disorder, her need to fit in with the popular crowd on Hackett Island, and her mother's alcoholism until the enigmatic Lani Garver helps her get control of her life at the risk of his own. (Gr 8-12) Y FICTION Plum-Ucci

*Body Lines by Elizabeth M. Rees - When sixteen-year-old Daly's dance school scholarship is in jeopardy, she decides to go on a dangerous diet.

Kim: Empty Inside by Beatrice Sparks - Seventeen-year-old Kim, feeling the pressure of maintaining an A average to stay on her college gymnastics team, becomes obsessive about her weight and develops anorexia. Y PB Kim

Girls Under Pressure by Jacqueline Wilson - Ellie learns to deal with her self-image as she battles anorexia.(Gr 7-10) Y FICTION Wilson


Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (and Second Summer of the Sisterhood) by Ann Brashares - A funky pair of dungarees and a strong friendship lie at the heart of this coming-of-age novel. During the first summer they'll be separated from each other, four friends share a pair of second-hand jeans and experience happiness, heartbreak, and all the complications of growing up. (Gr 7-9) Y FICTION Brashares, Y COMPACT DISC FICTION Brashares

Snail Mail No More (and P.S. Longer Letter Later) by Paula Danziger - Now that they live in different cities, 13 year-old Tara and Elizabeth use e-mail to talk about everything that is occurring in their lives and to try to maintain their closeness as they face big changes. (Gr 6-8) Y PB Danziger

*A Greater Goode by Amy Shor Ferris - Twelve-year-old Addie worries about spending a summer without her best friend, Luke, and about the fate of an unwed pregnant woman who does not seem to have anywhere to go. (Gr 6-9)

True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericks - When Jess and Sari, best friends since seventh grade, begin their freshman year of high school and Sari becomes obsessed with a senior boy, Jess wonders if their friendship will survive. Y FICTION Fredericks


Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper - An African-American girl and a Latino boy fall in love after meeting on the Internet, but they are harassed by a gang who objects to their interracial dating. (Gr 6-10) Y PB Draper, Y COMPACT DISC FICTION Draper

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton - According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. Y FICTION Hinton, CASSETTE FICTION Hinton


Asperger's Syndrome
Asparagus Dreams by Jessica Peers - Expelled from mainstream education and vaguely aware she has something called 'Asparagus' Syndrome, 12-year-old Jessica is sent away to a residential school for young people with autism. She spends the next five years trying to cope with the strict school system - fighting against misguided teacher interventions, dealing with the onset of adolescence and fitting in with the other pupils. Y FICTION Peers

Both Sides Now by Ruth Pennebaker - Fifteen-year-old Liza tries to deal with the normal everyday crises of life in a Texas high school, a process complicated by her mother's fight with breast cancer. (Gr 9-12) Y FICTION Pennebaker

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer - When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor. Y FICTION Bauer

Mental Health
*Eclipse by Kristine Franklin - When Trina's father hurts his back and then leave his job, she is aware of changes in the family-more tension, more emotional explosions. Later she learns that her 48-year-old mother is pregnant with a second child-a baby her father doesn't want. After the baby is born, her mother finally tells Trina the family secret: her father had been hospitalized with a nervous breakdown and put on an antidepressant that he has since stopped taking. (Gr 6-8)

Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser - (Obsessive-compulsive disorder) -Tara does not know how or why she lost "possession" of her thoughts, but she can trace her terrible problem to her 11th year, when the rhyme "Step on a crack, break your mother's back!" begins to run insistently and ceaselessly through her head. Propelled by a series of irrational fears, Tara counts sidewalk cracks on her way to school and then enacts other equally bizarre rituals. Her strange behavior puzzles neighbors, alienates her friends and drives her mother into nearly murderous rages. (Gr 7 and up) Y PB Hesser

Blue Mirror by Kathe Koja - Seventeen-year-old loner Maggy Klass, who frequently seeks refuge from her alcoholic mother's apartment by sitting and drawing in a local cafe, becomes involved in a destructive relationship with a charismatic homeless youth named Cole. Y FICTION Koja

*Checkers by John Marsden - A teenage girl tells about the financial and political scandal that brought down her father and led to her commitment to a psychiatric hospital. She fills us in on the other inhabitants of the adolescent ward as she looks back on the increasing media pressure that led to the crisis, and reminisces about her beloved dog Checkers, who inadvertently played a role in bringing it all to a head. (Gr 6-10)

Lisa, Bright and Dark by John Neufeld - Lisa is 16, smart, attractive--and she is losing her mind. Some days are "light," and everything is normal; during her "dark" days, she hides deep within herself, and nothing can reach her. Her teachers ignore what is happening. Her parents deny it. Lisa's friends are the only ones who are listening--and they walk with her where adults fear to tread. Y PB Neufeld

Language of Goldfish by Zibby Oneal - Thirteen-year-old Carrie, clinging to memories of her idyllic early childhood, struggles to communicate with family and classmates. (Gr 8-10) Y FICTION Oneal


Mixed-Up Families
Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer - Moving from New York City to small town Wisconsin is the latest in a long string of disappointments for Hope. Abandoned by her mother and pining for the father she has never met, Hope yearns to stay in one place, but more importantly, to belong. (Gr 7-9) Y FICTION Bauer

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher - The narrator, Tao Jones, is Black, Japanese, and White. The son of a woman who abandoned him when she got heavily into crack, he grew up as a child filled with rage. Now, thanks to the help of a good therapist and good, loving, ex-hippie adoptive parents, T. J. has turned out to a pretty decent and even-keeled human being. (Gr 10-12) Y FICTION Crutcher

Define Normal by Julie Ann Peters - Nerdy Antonia is assigned to peer-counsel Jazz, whom she assumes is hopeless. A punker, a druggie and a gang hanger. After a few agonizing sessions, Antonia begins to realize how much she needs someone to talk to. Her dad has split, her mom's so depressed she can't get out of bed and Antonia is overwhelmed with responsibility and pain. (Gr 7-9) Y FICTION Peters


Peer Pressure/Fitting In
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - From the beginning, Charlie's identity as an outsider is credibly established. It was in the spring of the previous school year that his best friend committed suicide and now that his class has gone through a summer of change, Charlie finds that he has drifted away from old friends. He finds a new and satisfying social set, however, made up of several high school seniors, bright bohemians with ego-bruising insights and, really, hearts of gold. (Gr 9 and up) Y FICTION Chbosky

*The Battle of Jericho by Sharon M. Draper - The Warriors of Distinction has been the school's most exclusive club for 50 years, so when 16-year-old Jericho is asked to pledge, he's excited--and intimidated. (Gr 7-10)

Breaking Point by Alex Flinn - Paul is new to Gate, a school whose rich students make life miserable for anyone not like them. And Paul is definitely not like them. Then, one day, Charlie, a star student and athlete, invites Paul to join his elite inner circle. All Charlie wants is a few things in return--small things that Paul does willingly. And then, one day, Charlie wants something big. Now Paul has to decide how far he'll go to be one of the gang. (Gr 7 and up) Y FICTION Flinn

Jake, Reinvented by Gordon Korman - Rick becomes friends with the popular new boy, Jake Garrett, football player and host of superlative parties, and in the process discovers the true nature of his schoolmates and uncovers the mystery of Jake's past. Y FICTION Korman

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli - In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever. Y FICTION Spinelli, Y PB S, Y COMPACT DISC FICTION Spinelli

Shattering Glass by Gail Giles - This dark and suspense-filled teen drama introduces us to Simon Glass, who is a world-class school nerd. Rob, Mr. Charisma, is out to turn Simon into Prince Charming by the end of the year. And it looks like he just might pull off the feat. (Gr 8 and up) Y FICTION Giles

True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericks - Sari is "hot." Jess is not. This difference has never mattered to the best friends, who met in seventh grade. But once they begin their freshman year at Eldridge Alternative High School, Sari's looks begin to attract negative attention from the "Prada Mafia," led by Erica, and positive attention from senior soccer star David. Jess's insightful first-person narration chronicles how the spotlight begins to affect first Sari and then their friendship. (Gr 7-9) Y FICTION Fredericks


Death Wind by William Bell - Allie has failed three of her four subjects and she might be pregnant. Her solution for avoiding a confrontation with her parents is to run away with a skateboarding friend (Razz) who is going on tour. When Razz must return home to tape an interview, Allie is uncertain whether she should go home to her parents. (Gr 9 and up) Y FICTION Bell

Ghost Boy by Iain Lawrence - Unhappy in a home seemingly devoid of love, a fourteen-year-old albino boy who thinks of himself as Harold the Ghost runs away to join the circus, where he works with the elephants and searches for a sense of who he is. Y FICTION Lawrence

Guitar Highway Rose by Brigid Lowry - Rose and Asher are two fifteen-year olds unhappy with their current status in life. The two young people find in one another inspiration to pack up their belongings, cut and dye their hair, and hitch rides across the country until they take up with two hippies and their young daughter. Y FICTION Lowry

*Lena by Jacqueline Woodson - Thirteen-year-old Lena and her younger sister Dion mourn the death of their mother as they hitchhike from Ohio to Kentucky while running away from their abusive father. (Gr 7-9)


School Shooting
Monday Redux by Robert Favole - Through time travel, a high school student has the opportunity to relive a day and stop a friend from going on a killing spree at school. Y FICTION Favole

Shooter by Walter Dean Myers - Written in the form of interviews, reports, and journal entries, the story of three troubled teenagers ends in a tragic school shooting. Y FICTION Myers

After by Francine Prose - This suspenseful story takes place in a high school after a violent shooting incident (like the one at Columbine High School) occurs in a nearby community. Tom and his friends, called the smart jocks, are the main characters, each one reacting quite believably to the changes in their school after this event. (Gr 6-10) Y FICTION Prose

*Point Blank by Mark Rempel - A senior class assignment prompts students to consider past events that have shaped their philosophies of life, leading two troubled boys to plan what will be the worst school shooting in American history.

Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser - Gunshots echo through the gym. Two heavily armed students, Gary and Brendan, hold their classmates hostage at a high school dance. Their targets: the football players and teachers who have tormented them. Their weapons: semiautomatic rifles stolen from a neighbor. Their motive: revenge. (Gr 6-12) Y FICTION Strasser


Eight Seconds by Jean Ferris - Eighteen-year-old John must confront his own sexuality when he goes to rodeo school and finds himself strangely attracted to an older boy who is smart, tough, complicated, gorgeous, and gay. Y FICTION Ferris

Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden - Liza first meets Annie at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and knows right off the bat something is different. Liza and Annie become close friends but are terrified at the implications of their homosexuality. Liza soon begins to doubt her feelings, seeing how her love for Annie hurts those around her. Y FICTION Garden

Geography Club by Brent Hartinger - A closeted gay high school sophomore narrates this realistic novel. The story starts when Russel meets a jock from his school, Kevin, in a gay chat room; their tentative decision to meet and their awkward initial conversation convincingly portray the conflict of wanting to reach out yet being afraid of being found out. (Gr 10-12) Y PB Hartinger

Deliver Us From Evie by M.E. Kerr - Sixteen-year-old Parr Burrman and his family face some difficult times when word spreads through their rural Missouri town that his older sister is a lesbian, and she leaves the family farm to live with the daughter of the town's banker. Y FICTION Kerr

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan - This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance. (Gr 7 and up) Y FICTION Levithan

Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle - Sixteen-year-old Lissa's relationship with her best friend changes after they kiss at a party and Lissa does not know what to do, until she gets help from an unexpected new friend. (Gr 9 and up) Y FICTION Myracle

Lucky by Eddie de Oliveira - Sam is attracted to both boys and girls. He doesn't know what to call himself or where he fits in. Then he meets toby, another boy who likes both boys and girls. Are they destined to be just friends, more than friends, or less than friends? And what would happen if they were attracted to the same girl? Love comes in many shapes and sizes. Y PB Oliveira

Keeping You a Secret by Julie Ann Peters - When popular high school senior Holland discovers that "the man of her dreams is a girl," she faces homophobia at school and, most painfully, at home. (Gr 9 and up) Y FICTION Peters

*Luna by Julie Anne Peters - Fifteen-year-old Regan's life, which has always revolved around keeping her older brother Liam's transsexuality a secret, changes when Liam decides to start the process of "transitioning" by first telling his family and friends that he is a girl who was born in a boy's body.

Love Rules by Marilyn Reynolds - Seventeen-year-old Lynn experiences surprise, discomfort, and a new awareness of prejudices and stereotyping when her best friend Kit comes out as a lesbian. Y FICTION Reynolds

Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez (Sequel: Rainbow High) - Three high school seniors, a jock with a girlfriend and an alcoholic father, a closeted gay, and a flamboyant gay rights advocate, struggle with family issues, gay bashers, first sex, and conflicting feelings about each other. Y FICTION Sanchez

Green Lantern: Brother's Keeper by Judd Winick - When Terry is beaten nearly to death by a gang of homophobic thugs, the Green Lantern must reconcile his role as humanity's protector with his revulsion for evil. Y GRAPHIC NOV Winick


Borderlands by Jennifer Dewey - After attempting suicide, 17 year-old Jamie is admitted to a psychiatric ward, where she must come to terms with the abusive, neglectful family relationships that have led to her situation and where she meets a young man whose problems are much worse than her own. (Gr 7-12) Y FICTION Dewey

Darkness Before Dawn by Susan Draper - Recovering from the recent suicide of her ex-boyfriend, senior class president Keisha Montgomery finds herself attracted to a dangerous, older man. Y FICTION Draper

Freewill by Chris Lynch - A teenager trying to recover from the tragic death of his father and stepmother believes himself to be responsible for the rash of teen suicides occurring in his town. (Gr 9-12) Y FICTION Lynch

Drowning Anna by Sue Mayfield - Beautiful, intelligent Anna has just attempted suicide. As she lies in a coma, her friend, Melanie, and Anna's parents try to figure out why she tried to take her own life. (Gr 8-12) Y FICTION Mayfield

Aimee by Mary Beth Miller - An intense psychological drama narrated by a troubled teen recently acquitted of murder charges. The question "Did Zoe really help best friend Aimee commit suicide?" hangs precariously between the lines of Zoe's journal, where (according to her psychologist) she is to write about her past, "what you felt, what you thought, what was important to you." (Gr 9 and up) Y FICTION Miller

*Shizuko's Daughter by Kyoko Mori - After her mother's suicide when she is 12 years old, Yuki spends years living with her distant father and his resentful new wife, cut off from her mother's family, and relying on her own inner strength to cope with the tragedy. (Gr 7 and up)


Teen Pregnancy and Parenting
The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom by Katherine Arnoldi - A story of one teen mom's fight to be a mom and get an education at the same time. (Gr 7-12) [Graphic Novel] Y GRAPHIC NOV Arnoldi

*Annie's Baby by Anonymous - When Annie discovers she's pregnant by her boyfriend, she's devastated. With no one she can talk to, she pours her heart out to her diary, confiding her feelings of panic, self-doubt, and the desperate hope that some day she can turn her life around. She decides she wants to keep her baby and dreams of loving and caring for this little person. But after the baby is born, it's in her diary that she faces the agonizing question: Can she really raise this child on her own? (Gr 7-12)

Hanging on to Max by Margaret Bechard - When his girlfriend decides to give their baby away, 17 year-old Sam is determined to keep him and raise him alone.(Gr 8-12) Y FICTION Bechard, Y PB Bechard

*Sweet Sixteen and Never... by Jeanne Betancourt - Sixteen-year-old Julie is dating Sam, who she really likes even though she is apprehensive about his reputation as a ``super stud.'' Her best friend is pregnant by a former boyfriend. Her divorced mother is dating a man Julie doesn't like. Also, through reading her mother's diary, Julie discovers that her mother had been pregnant as a teenager. (Gr 6-12)

*Stranger, You and I by Patricia Calvert - Hugh's best friend, Zee, has suddenly become a stranger to him. Zee finally tells him she's pregnant as a result of a fling. Hugh takes on the responsibility to be Zee's major support. (Gr 7-10)

*Losing Louisa by Judith Caseley - The Levine family is in shambles. Rosie and Lacey's parents just got divorced and everyone is dealing with it in different ways. The way Rosie copes results in her pregnancy. Now the Levine family must try to come together again to support Rosie. (Gr 8-12)

What Kind of Love? The Diary of a Pregnant Teenager by Sheila Cole - In a six-month excerpt from her diary, Valerie writes about her pregnancy, the choices she must make, and her ever-present dream of marrying the guy she loves. (Gr 8-10) Y FICTION Cole, Y PB Cole

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen - At the beginning of their junior year of high school, Halley's best friend's boyfriend dies in a motorcycle accident. Unaccustomed to being the strong one in their friendship, Halley nonetheless struggles to provide emotional support for Scarlett. When Scarlett discovers she is pregnant, she depends on Halley even more. At the same time as Halley works to adjust to their changing circumstances, she must also deal with the shifting relationship she has with her controlling. (Gr 7-9) Y PB Dessen

Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty - Eighteen-year-old Chris struggles to deal with two shocks that have changed his life, his meeting the mother who left him and his father when he was ten and his discovery that he has gotten his girlfriend pregnant. (Gr 7-10) Y FICTION Doherty

*He's My Baby Now by Jeanette Eyerly - Charles visits his newborn baby (that he thought was aborted) and falls in love with him. The mother intends to give the baby up for adoption, but can't without Charles' permission. Charles must decide what is best for everyone. (Gr 7 and up)

Looking for Home by Jean Ferris - When she discovers she is pregnant, Daphne decides the best thing to do is to run away and start a new life somewhere else. (Gr 7 and up) Y PB Ferris

Borrowed Light by Anna Fienberg - Callisto, named after Jupiter's largest moon, feels lost in her dysfunctional family. Her "spiritualist" mother seeks answers through séances but is physically and emotionally unavailable to her children. Her father deals in African art and barely acknowledges his family, even when he is at home. Only 5-year-old Jeremy shows unconditional love for his 16-year-old sister/surrogate mother. When Callisto discovers she's pregnant, her surfer boyfriend wants no part of fatherhood and she is torn as to whether she should try to break into her mother's shell or reach out to her absent father. (Gr 9 and up) Y FICTION Fienberg

*Effie's House by Morse Hamilton - Bizzy runs away from the stepfather that got her pregnant, and her mother who insists on an abortion. While away, Bizzy contemplates her mother and biological father and dreams about giving her baby a good life. (Gr 8 and up)

*Mr. and Mrs. Bojo Jones by Ann Head - July and Bo Jo get married when they are 16 and 17 years old because they are expecting a baby. The story follows them through their first year of marriage and all the work it takes to be a family. 

Get It While It's Hot -- Or Not by Valerie Hobbs - Megan's best friend has just revealed she's pregnant and forced into bed rest. Megan decides to help her best friend no matter what it takes: lying to her parents, questioning her beliefs, and taking on the school. (Gr 7-10) Y FICTION Hobbs, Y PB Hobbs

Dancing Naked by Shelley Hrdlitschka - Kia is a typical 16 year-old girl involved with friends at school, her youth group, and community service at a local seniors' home. When she discovers that she is pregnant after her first sexual experience, however, she immediately feels isolated. Her pregnancy ends her relationship with Derek, although he accompanies her to an abortion clinic to ensure that she erases the evidence. At the last moment, Kia realizes she cannot go through with the abortion and the rest of the book deals with the consequences of her decision. (Gr 10-12) Y PB Hrdlitschka

First Part Last by Angela Johnson - Bobby is a typical urban New York City teenager -- impulsive, eager, restless. For his 16th birthday he cuts school with his two best buddies, grabs a couple of slices at his favorite pizza joint, catches a flick at a nearby multiplex, and gets some news from his girlfriend, Nia, that changes his life forever: He's going to be a father. (Gr 8 and up) Y FICTION Johnson

*Just Like Ice Cream by Lissa Halls Johnson - After a summer romance, Julie is pregnant. The father of the baby abandons her, but the woman Julie baby-sits for replaces him as a great source of support and guidance. (Gr 6-10) 

*Someone Else's Baby by Geraldine Kaye - Terry is pregnant and doesn't know who the father is. Now she must decide whether to give the baby up like her parents demand or move in with another pregnant teen. Struggling through the pregnancy, Terry writes in her journal in hopes of figuring out her life and future. (Gr 7-10)

No More Saturday Nights by Norma Klein - Tim is going to prove everyone wrong. Even though he is just starting college, he is determined to go to school and raise his newborn child on his own. (Gr 10-12) Y FICTION Klein

Spellbound by Janet McDonald - Raven, a teenage mother and high school dropout living in a housing project, decides, with the help and sometime interference of her best friend Aisha, to study for a spelling bee which could lead to a college preparatory program and four-year scholarship. Y FICTION McDonald

*Kathleen, Please Come Home by Scott O'Dell - Alienated from her mother and enticed by her wild friend Sibyl, Kathleen runs away to Mexico. There she discovers love, pregnancy, and drugs. Kathleen's story is told through the diaries of Kathleen and her mother. 

*Don't Look and It Won't Hurt by Richard Peck - Carol has many problems: her family is poor, she's an outcast at school, and her sister Ellen is pregnant. Carol does her best to help her sister make decisions about her pregnancy, while trying to deal with her own life. (Gr 8 and up)

Don't Think Twice by Ruth Pennebaker - It's 1967, so when Anne gets pregnant she is sent away to a home for unwed mothers. While there she keeps a journal of her pregnancy and the experiences she has with the other mothers. (Gr 9-12) Y FICTION Pennebaker, Y PB Pennebaker

*The Turkey's Nest by Allison Prince - Kate decides to move in with an aunt in order to get away from the boy who fathered her child. Along with her pregnancy, Kate must adopt to a new way of life. 

Imani All Mine by Connie Porter - Tasha is 14 years old, living in inner city Buffalo, and is an unwed mother. Tasha tells her story of how she got pregnant, her daily life of loving and taking care of Imani, and her fear of the violent world she lives in. Y FICTION Porter

*Too Soon for Jeff by Marilyn Reynolds - Jeff feels betrayed. His girlfriend told him she was on the pill, but now she's pregnant and happy about it. Jeff is not. He knows a baby will completely change all his plans for the future. He rejects fatherhood completely and struggles with his situation. (Gr 8-12)

Detour for Emmy by Marilyn Reynolds - Emmy feels all alone. Her father deserted her family, her mother is an alcoholic, her brother is always in trouble, and her boyfriend denies being the father of the baby she's expecting. Despite all of this, Emmy decides the baby is the best chance at any kind of life and struggles to make a life for them. Y FICTION Reynolds

*Lucy Peale by Colby Rodowsky - When Lucy becomes pregnant, her preacher father insists that she confess her sin in front of the entire church. Instead, Lucy runs away with no one or no place to go to. (Gr 8-12)

*The Book of Phoebe by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith - When Phoebe discovers she is pregnant, she decides not to let anyone know. Instead, she drops out of school and heads to France where her best friend arranges a place for her stay with Ben, an artist. Phoebe's story is partly told through her journal and continues through the pregnancy and her return home. 

*Annie's Baby: the Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager by Beatrice Sparks (editor) - The diary of 14-year-old Annie tracks from the time she first meets Danny to after Annie has made tough decisions whether or not to keep the baby. (Gr 7 and up)

*If Not For You by Margaret Willey - Bonnie loves the romance of Linda and Ray's story. They dropped out of school and ran away. When they returned they are married and expecting a baby. Bonnie gladly volunteers to baby-sit for Linda, but learns love and marriage aren't quite what she thought they were. 

*Like Sisters on the Homefront by Rita Williams-Garcia - Fourteen-year-old Gayle is pregnant again. This time her mother sends her away from home, the inner-city, and down to Georgia. Now, on top of her pregnancy, Gayle must deal with her country family and all their "backward" ways. (Gr 7 and up)

*The Dear One by Jacqueline Woodson - Feni is not happy that her mother is making her share her room with Rebecca, the daughter of a friend of her mother's. Feni doesn't like that Rebecca is pregnant. But Rebecca's not too happy either: she doesn't like Feni or the fact that Feni's mom is gay. Eventually, Feni and Rebecca realize they can learn a lot from each other. 

My Darling, My Hamburger by Paul Zindel - Liz & Sean and Maggie & Dennis are two couples in their senior year, both experience love and all that comes with it. Liz eventually becomes pregnant which makes her relationship with Sean take a turn for the worse. Maggie tries to help Liz, but also suffers the consequences. Y FICTION Zindel, Y PB Zindel

Young Adult Department
August 2004






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