Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You
Published April 1, 2006 (Orig. published 2003)
Jeanne’s family and home are destroyed when the radical Hutu group, the Interahamwe, begin a nationwide massacre of the Rwandan Tutsi population. As Jeanne and others struggle to flee the Interahamwe soldiers and simply survive each day, a black hole yawns inside of her, a grief and rage that threaten to swallow her whole. But something else changes. She finds within herself an unyielding strength and will to survive.
It is a before-and-after story, told by Jeanne’s German adopted mother. Each chapter opens with a behind-the-scenes look at the events and the healing that unfolded … Continue reading
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published August 28, 2007 (Orig. published 2006)
When the girl who just dumped him walks into the club where Nick’s band is playing a show, he resorts to the extreme and asks the random girl standing next to him if she’ll be his girlfriend for five minutes.
Though Nick’s request at first infuriates Norah (what kind of cheap trick does he take her for?), the approach of her not-quite-friend prompts her to take some desperate measures of her own. Like yanking almost-stranger-Nick into an electrifying kiss.
The agreed on five minutes stretches into a whole night of adventure, misunderstanding, … Continue reading
Jenny B. Jones
Sweet Pea Productions
Published March 25, 2014 (Originally published 2007)
Sixteen year old Katie Parker is not too excited when she discovers she’s moving to a new foster home in In Between, Texas, home of the Chihuahuas. And to top that off, her new “dad” is the pastor of one of the local churches. Not exactly consistent with Katie’s formerly religion-less life. At her new school, she finds herself at home with the other outsiders. At least, so she thinks. When one late night stunt turns to trouble, Katie finds herself sentenced to time with her new nonGrandmother– Mad Maxine. Could things get any worse? And does the God … Continue reading
September 4, 2008
Sam Carrier can’t sit still. He jumps and blurts and twitches almost constantly. That’s the nature of the beast. Tourette’s Syndrome. The only solace he finds and the only time his limbs obey comes when he runs. But after his embarrassing graduation ceremony, everything changes. His angry step-father expects a large monthly sum for rent, and an unorthodox neighbor hires Sam, but only on the condition that he can use Sam’s real name, the name his real dad gave him. Jack.
Everything is complicated further by the recurring appearance of the beautiful Naomi, who always leaves Sam feeling like he’s not sure which way is up. … Continue reading
Published January 1, 2004
When Hunter meets a girl with a whole different way of doing her shoelaces, he has no idea the strange adventure that’s about to begin. Through her, he winds up invited to a secret meeting at which he stumbles onto a pair of amazing shoes, and the possibility that his cool-hunting boss has been kidnapped. Hunter and his new friend pursue the shoemakers, trying to discover what’s become of his boss, Mandy. Full of quirky characters and with Hunter’s off-the-wall sense of humor and irony, So Yesterday was a worthy read. Go Hunter, the Mighty Penguin!
This was such a fun story. I read and … Continue reading
The Fruit of My Lipstick
Published August 1, 2008
In Gillian Chang’s second term at upscale Spencer Academy boarding school, she feels prepared for everything. Armed with rock-solid faith, good friends and no shortage of smarts, she’s got it all covered. Doesn’t she?
When she begins to fall for Lucas Hayes, a high achieving Stanford PhD hopeful, Gillian finds herself unable to keep up and be the girlfriend he wants. With all the pressure he’s under, it’s no surprise he gets a little short-tempered. Gillian resolves to try harder, but she finds herself isolating from her friends more and more.
Then a scandal emerges, with rumors that Gillian is at the … Continue reading
Go Ask Alice
First published in 1971
Go Ask Alice is a haunting story of a young girl’s descent into drug addiction and her desperate attempt to break free again. Her journal entries detail the highs and lows she experiences as she falls deeper under the spell her addiction to LSD. Through Alice’s eyes the reader sees her family’s desperate struggle to reach her, and the seductive power of the chemicals that pull her away from them.
First printed in 1971, Go Ask Alice still remains one of the most popular works about teen drug addiction.
It’s definitely a dated tale, but I think one of the reasons it survives is how haunting … Continue reading
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published October 1, 2004
Crank is the story of Kristina Snow and the summer that changes her life, when she goes to visit her father and meets the “monster”, Crystal Meth. Based on the experiences of her own daughter, Ellen Hopkins captures the turmoil and grip of addiction in a raw, authentic manner.
The entire story is told in verse. The poems capture the scenes of the story in vivid detail. They flow from scene to scene very smoothly, capturing the raw emotion of the heroine– her desperation, heartache– and the downward spiral of her addiction to Meth. A powerful read.
You Know Where to Find Me
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published March 4, 2008
Two cousins share a world of made up stories, dreams and long summer days until one, the perfect, beautiful one, chooses the unthinkable: to end her life. In the wake of that loss, the one left behind, Miles, must find her own way through her first summer without Laura. Friends and family rally around her to try to draw her out of her deepening isolation and depression, but their efforts often fall short and they are unable to touch the gaping wound inside of her. Miles’s story is a powerful, emotive tale of a … Continue reading