Kelly on November 9, These books are important not only to know but to read and to share. All titles below were published between and today, and all descriptions come from WorldCat. With his new public access radio show gaining in popularity, Gabe struggles with romance, friendships, and parents—all while trying to come out as transgendered.
An audition for a station in Minneapolis looks like his ticket to a better life in the big city. When she is a sophomore in high school, Molly gets rid of her good-girl image but ends up becoming pregnant and having to make some difficult decisions.
Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez: Crossing Lines by Paul Volponi: High school senior Adonis struggles to do the right thing when his fellow football players escalate their bullying of a new classmate, Alan, who is transgendered. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma: Hooked by Catherine Greenman: After their relationship survives Will going to college, their love is tested again when Thea realizes she is pregnant. How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr: I am J by Cris Beam: J, who feels like a boy mistakenly born as a girl, runs away from his best friend who has rejected him and the parents he thinks do not understand him when he finally decides that it is time to be who he really is.
In Too Deep by Amanda Grace: Trying to make her best friend Nick jealous, high school senior Sam becomes involved in a terrible lie that spirals out of control. Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman: Shapely seventeen-year-old Angel Cassonetti, who lives with her younger siblings and single mother in a house at the Jersey Shore, finds it hard to stay away from ex-boyfriend Joey Sardone. Kiss It by Erin Downing: Small-town Minnesotan Chastity Chaz Bryan wants nothing more than to get some sexual experience before she graduates from high school and moves away, but when she meets an intriguing boy visiting from North Carolina over Christmas break, her tough-girl facade slowly breaks down.
Love Drugged by James Klise: Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser: Four teenagers from two families—sisters Katie and Julie and brothers Alex and Kyle—meet every summer at a lakeside community in upstate New York, where they escape their everyday lives and hide disturbing secrets. Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan: Purity by Jackson Pearce: Convinced that she has nine lives after cheating death twice as a child, sixteen-year-old Dani tries to forfeit her remaining lives in hopes of saving her twin sister, Jena, whose leukemia is consuming their family.
Brainy Tess Smith is the younger sibling of the beautiful, popular, volleyball-scholarship-bound Kristina. Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic: Seventeen-year-old Austin, aware that life is short, asks his best friend and secret love, Kaylee, to take him to visit people and places in and around Tacoma, Washington, so that he can try to make a difference in the time he has left. Radiate by Marley Gibson: Just after making the varsity cheerleading squad the summer before her senior year of high school in Maxwell, Alabama, Hayley Matthews learns she has an aggressive form of cancer in her leg, and she turns to her family, her cheerleading, and her Christian faith to sustain her through her treatment.
Superstitious before being diagnosed with leukemia, high school senior Mia becomes irrationally dependent on horoscopes, good luck charms, and the like when her life shifts from cheerleading and parties to chemotherapy and platelets, while her parents obsess and lifelong friend Gyver worries. Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.
Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.
Skinny by Donna Cooner: After undergoing gastric-bypass surgery, a self-loathing, obese teenaged girl loses weight and makes the brave decision to start participating in high school life, including pursuing her dream of becoming a singer and finding love. Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price: Zoe goes to a facility to help cure her anorexia as she comes to terms with the loss of her friend and her own identity. The Stone Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel: Bullying Butter by Erin Jade Lange also fits under weight issues: Unable to control his binge eating, a morbidly obese teenager nicknamed Butter decides to make live webcast of his last meal as he attempts to eat himself to death.
Cracked by KM Walton: When Bull Mastrick and Victor Konig wind up in the same psychiatric ward at age sixteen, each recalls and relates in group therapy the bullying relationship they have had since kindergarten, but also facts about themselves and their families that reveal they have much in common. Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti: Bullied at school and neglected by her poor, self-absorbed, single mother at home, high school junior Noelle finally reaches the breaking point after a classmate commits suicide.
Leverage by Joshua Cohen: High school sophomore Danny excels at gymnastics but is bullied, like the rest of the gymnasts, by members of the football team, until an emotionally and physically scarred new student joins the football team and forms an unlikely friendship with Danny. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers: Regina, a high school senior in the popular—and feared—crowd, suddenly falls out of favor and becomes the object of the same sort of vicious bullying that she used to inflict on others, until she finds solace with one of her former victims.
Unlocked by Ryan G Van Cleave: While trying to impress a beautiful, unattainable classmate, fourteen-year-old Andy discovers that a fellow social outcast may be planning an act of school violence. Speechless by Hannah Harrington: After her behavior causes her to lose her popular friends and results in one person being hospitalized, Chelsea takes a vow of silence. Bitter End by Jennifer Brown: When seventeen-year-old Alex starts dating Cole, a new boy at her high school, her two closest friends increasingly mistrust him as the relationship grows more serious.
Exposed by Kimberly Marcus: Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams: Living with their mother who earns money as a prostitute, two sisters take care of each other and when the older one attempts suicide, the younger one tries to uncover the reason. LIE by Caroline Bock: Live Through This by Mindi Scott: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney: When Alex, a junior at an elite preparatory school, realizes that she may have been the victim of date rape, she confides in her roommates and sister who convince her to seek help from a secret society, the Mockingbirds.
Shine by Lauren Myracle: When her best friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover the culprits in her small North Carolina town. Split by Swati Avasthi: A teenaged boy thrown out of his house by his abusive father goes to live with his older brother, who ran away from home years ago to escape the abuse.
Trafficked by Kim Purcell: A seventeen-year-old Moldovan girl whose parents have been killed is brought to the United States to work as a slave for a family in Los Angeles.
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton: Stay by Deb Caletti: In a remote corner of Washington State where she and her father have gone to escape her obsessive boyfriend, Clara meets two brothers who captain a sailboat, a lighthouse keeper with a secret, and an old friend of her father who knows his secrets.
Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe: Poised to lead his high school soccer team to its third straight state championship, seventeen-year-old star player Jake Martin struggles to keep hidden his nearly debilitating obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Crazy by Amy Reed: Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J Bick: An emotionally damaged sixteen-year-old girl begins a relationship with a deeply troubled older man. A troubled sixteen-year-old girl attending a wilderness school in the Idaho mountains must finally face the consequences of her complicated friendships with two of the other girls at the school. Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly: Life is But a Dream by Brian James: When fifteen-year-old Sabrina meets Alec at the Wellness Center where she is being treated for schizophrenia, he tries to persuade her that it is the world that is crazy, not them, and she should defy her doctors rather than lose what makes her creative and special.
The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab: Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller: When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and car, and he has nightmares of his best friend getting killed but when he runs into Harper, a girl who has despised him since middle school, life actually starts looking up.
A young girl uses crystal meth to escape the pain of losing her mother and grandmother in Hurricane Katrina, and then struggles to get over her addiction. Clean by Amy Reed: A group of teens in a Seattle-area rehabilitation center form an unlikely friendship as they begin to focus less on their own problems with drugs and alcohol by reaching out to help a new member, who seems to have even deeper issues to resolve.
Narc by Crissa-Jean Chappell: When his little sister is caught with a bag of weed, seventeen-year-old Aaron Foster takes the fall. Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos: Recovery Road by Blake Nelson: While she is in a rehabilitation facility for drug and alcohol abuse, seventeen-year-old Maddie meets Stewart, who is also in treatment, and they begin a relationship, which they try to maintain after they both get out.
The Rivals by Daisy Whitney: Two on Technology and Two on Suicide Note: I plan on writing a lengthy booklist on grief titles in the future. Going Underground by Susan Vaught: Saving June by Hannah Harrington: The summer Ryan is released from a mental hospital following his suicide attempt, he meets Nicki, who gets him to share his darkest secrets while hiding secrets of her own.