Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Best Teen Books for 2012

 The State of Connecticut annually recognizes the best children's books.  I love their lists and always turn to them when I'm looking for new ideas for the kids.   Here are the best teen books for 2012.  My younger son--the big reader--loved both The Compound and The Hunger Games...haven't tried the others yet.

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
Nine-year-old Eli, his sisters, and parents move into the Compound, an expansive underground bunker built by Eli's billionaire father as a refuge from nuclear attack. Waiting for the outside environment to be safe to reenter, fifteen -year -old Eli is starting to have doubts about his father's motives, explanations, and sanity. Can Eli trust his father?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In the ruins of North America lies the nation of Panem, a capitol surrounded by twelve districts. Each year, the districts send one boy and one girl to participate in Hunger Games, a brutal fight to the death televised for Panem’s entertainment. Sixteen-year-old Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, hoping to survive the competition.
I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb
Running for seventh-grade class president looks easy to Oliver Watson. With his good looks, intelligence, and wealth, he can control his classmates, teachers, and parents. But can he control the outcome of an election? 
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up in an elevator with no memory except for his first name.  He’s arrived in “the glade,’ an area surrounded by stone walls that open to a maze every morning.  With him in the glade are about 60 boys, all searching for an escape route. And then a girl appears with a message, and things begin to change.
Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray
After their best friend Ross dies, English teenagers Blake, Kenny, and Sim plan a proper memorial by taking his ashes to Ross, Scotland, an adventure-filled journey that tests their loyalty to each other and forces them to question what friendship means.
Pop by Gordon Korman
Quarterback Marcus Jordan has a big problem: his new school isn’t interested in adding Marcus to their winning football team. Practicing in the park, Marcus meets a childlike 50-year-old by the name of Charlie with startling football abilities. Charlie’s pranks and spotty memory have Marcus wondering what Charlie’s story is.
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Galen, a soldier recently returned from the war, now works in the royal palace, where he meets 12 beautiful princesses.  As innocent as the king’s twelve daughters seem, they harbor a secret. Will Galen be the one to uncover what activity leaves their slippers in tatters, as if worn for years? Or will he, like the others, fail… and die for his trouble?
The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
The year is 1968 and the Civil Rights Movement is in full swing in Chicago, Illinois.  Teenager Sam Childs is caught between his father, who follows the non-violent path of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  and his older brother who has joined the Black Panther Party and its sometimes violent methods.   Will Sam choose the rock or the river? 
Scat by Carl Hiaasen
After mean Mrs. Starch goes missing during a class field trip to the Black Vine Swamp, two of her students, Nick and Marta, believe her disappearance is mysterious and that there is something strange about the note that she left behind.  Can Nick and Marta solve the mystery of the missing teacher?
Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani
Aspiring filmmaker 14-year-old Viola is the child of devoted documentary filmmakers, but her parents’ overseas assignment brings her to Prefect Academy, a boarding school for girls. Viola is sure that she’ll hate Prefect, but she befriends her roommates, learning that she can flourish in a new environment.

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