What to read next

This is the Brookline Public Library's Teen Services blog devoted to the best book lists and recommendations for anyone looking for the next teen title to read.
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Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Science & Technology

From ALA and YALSA:

"…This list offer opportunities to discover new ideas, and provide an introduction to the fascinating variety of subjects within an academic discipline. Readers will gain an understanding of our diverse world and build a foundation to deepen their response to that world."

 ”Revised every five years, this list is intended as a tool for several audiences: students preparing for college, parents, educators, and librarians.”

Note: I had the great pleasure of serving on the 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound Committee, and I worked all year on helping to select the History & Cultures and the Science & Technology lists.  These ten titles are simply a sample of the full 25-title list for each category, and are definitely subjective: these are the titles I’m personally excited to see on the list, but there is no official top ten.

Check out all of the Outstanding Books for the College Bound here!

Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Literature and Language Arts

From ALA and YALSA:

"…This list offer opportunities to discover new ideas, and provide an introduction to the fascinating variety of subjects within an academic discipline. Readers will gain an understanding of our diverse world and build a foundation to deepen their response to that world."

 ”Revised every five years, this list is intended as a tool for several audiences: students preparing for college, parents, educators, and librarians.”

Note: I had the great pleasure of serving on the 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound Committee, and I worked all year on helping to select the History & Cultures and the Science & Technology lists.  These ten titles are simply a sample of the full 25-title list for each category, and are definitely subjective: these are the titles I’m personally excited to see on the list, but there is no official top ten.

Check out all of the Outstanding Books for the College Bound here!

Outstanding Books for the College Bound: History & Cultures

From ALA and YALSA:

"…This list offer opportunities to discover new ideas, and provide an introduction to the fascinating variety of subjects within an academic discipline. Readers will gain an understanding of our diverse world and build a foundation to deepen their response to that world."

 ”Revised every five years, this list is intended as a tool for several audiences: students preparing for college, parents, educators, and librarians.”

Note: I had the great pleasure of serving on the 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound Committee, and I worked all year on helping to select the History & Cultures and the Science & Technology lists.  These ten titles are simply a sample of the full 25-title list for each category, and are definitely subjective: these are the titles I’m personally excited to see on the list, but there is no official top ten.  In the case of this list, though, I can tell you ALL about every title!

Check out all of the Outstanding Books for the College Bound here!

Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Arts & Humanities

From ALA and YALSA:

"…This list offer opportunities to discover new ideas, and provide an introduction to the fascinating variety of subjects within an academic discipline. Readers will gain an understanding of our diverse world and build a foundation to deepen their response to that world."

 ”Revised every five years, this list is intended as a tool for several audiences: students preparing for college, parents, educators, and librarians.”

Note: I had the great pleasure of serving on the 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound Committee, and I worked all year on helping to select the History & Cultures and the Science & Technology lists.  These ten titles are simply a sample of the full 25-title list for each category, and are definitely subjective: these are the titles I’m personally excited to see on the list, but there is no official top ten.

Check out all of the Outstanding Books for the College Bound here!

Odyssey Winner 2014

Scowler by Daniel Kraus

When Ry’s abusive father escapes from prison, Ry summons The Unnamed Three from his childhood, including the hellish Scowler, in order to protect his family. In this gripping and horrific tale, Kirby Heyborne’s flawless narration features humming, clicks, and sounds that are not of this world.

Odyssey Honors 2014

Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle

Broadway wannabe Nate Foster ventures solo to the unknown territory of New York City on a quest for stardom. First-time novelist and Broadway veteran Tim Federle narrates his own work in a laugh-out-loud performance full of heart and self-discovery.

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown

In this Caldecott Honor book, Jasper Rabbit has all the carrots he wants until the creepy carrots start following him around: when he comes home from Little League, while he brushes his teeth, and even hiding in the shed, until he comes up with the perfect plan to stop their stalking. James Naughton’s narration adds an eerie atmosphere to an enticing story.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Despite coming from disparate backgrounds, two teens find they have much in common as they explore music, comics, and acceptance in this story of first love. Narrators Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra deliver poignant performances that touch the heart.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

This beloved classic stars an exceptional girl who develops extraordinary powers that she uses to triumph over nasty parents, wretched friends, and a monstrous headmistress. Dahl’s cast of vivid characters is infused with life by Oscar-winner Kate Winslet’s dynamic performance.

2014 Alex Award Winners

“The 2014 Alex Awards has a book for every teen reader. From dysfunctional families to alien-inhabited brains to a savory graphic memoir, this diverse list will not disappoint,” said Danielle Dreger-Babbitt, chair of the 2014 Alex Awards Committee.

—ala.org

Check out the full list of 2013 award nominees here

Brewster by Mark Slouka

Feeling stifled and powerless, high school friends Ray Cappicciano and Jon Mosher yearn for change and plan for freedom from their blue-collar town and dysfunctional homes, even while knowing they can never truly escape.
The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell
With their parents dead and buried in the backyard, Scottish teens Marnie and Nelly are finally free from a childhood wracked with abuse. If only the neighbor’s dog would quit digging in the garden.
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Max, an intersex teen, is confused about who he is and who he is meant to be. After one shattering night, he is faced with a choice that no boy should ever have to make.
Help for the Haunted by John Searles
Sylvie has been dealing with taunting classmates, her erratic older sister and the unsolved murder of her ghost-hunting parents. But perhaps more problematic are the cursed remnants of her parents’ work still lingering in the basement.
Lexicon by Max Barry
In this fast-paced, cutthroat story, words are weapons and poets are the ones who wield the swords. Teen prodigy Emily may be the finest poet ever until she makes the catastrophic mistake of falling in love.
Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu
Couch potato Roen Tan becomes host to the alien Tao who has lived millennia inside some of the most famous people in history. With Tao on board, Roen enters a war to save mankind.
Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas
Why did Rose run away? Did Violet really stab her little brother? Is her alcoholic father really having an affair? In this chilling novel about family dysfunction, does mother really know best?
Relish by Lucy Knisley
This poignant graphic novel is a wonderful journey of cartoonist Lucy Knisley’s transition from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, framed by the food that shaped her worldview. Through colorful vignettes she tackles complex issues with humor and unique family recipes.
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Nastya has barely survived a brutal attack. Josh has lost his entire family. The two isolated teens are drawn together as they deal with their emotional and physical damage.
The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence        
It all begins when Alex is hit in the head by a meteorite and it all ends when he is arrested trying to re-enter England with several grams of marijuana, lots of cash, and the ashes of Mr. Peterson.

2014 Margaret A. Edwards Award Winner: Markus Zusak

As the horrors of war in WWII Germany escalate, Liesel steals books in Zusak’s heart-wrenching, critically acclaimed “The Book Thief,” published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. “I Am the Messenger,” also a publication of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, features slacker Ed Kennedy who discovers the power of chances and his own potential.

“Fighting Ruben Wolfe,” and “Getting the Girl,” two compelling books published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Scholastic, introduce readers to the engaging Wolfe brothers, offering them a rare and realistic depiction of teen boys living in a loving working class family.   

“With lyrical prose, memorable characters, and authentic dialogue, Zusak’s richly nuanced stories capture and hold teens’ attention from the first word to the last,” said Edwards Committee Chair Cheryl Karp Ward.

—ala.org

To find out more about 2012 Edwards Award winner Susan Cooper, visit here.

Titles:

The Book Thief

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel—a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

I am the Messenger

Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old cab driver who doesn’t think much of his life. He inadvertently helps stop a bank robbery, and that is when his life starts to change. He begins to receive mysterious messages that instruct him to go to addresses where people need help. Ed becomes the messenger, but who is behind the messages?

Fighting Ruben Wolfe

Partly because of their family’s poor finances and partly to prove themselves, brothers Ruben and Cameron take jobs as fighters and find themselves reacting very differently in the boxing ring.

Getting the Girl

Tired of being the underdog, Cameron Wolfe hungers to become something worthwhile and finally finds a girl with whom he can share his words and feelings—his popular brother Rube’s ex-girlfriend.

2014 Nonfiction Winner

The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb

At the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader responsible for organizing the deportation and imprisonment of millions of Holocaust victims, went into hiding under an assumed identity.  Eventually he fled to Argentina where he lived and worked under a false name for 10 years.  Bascomb tells the story of Eichmann’s crimes, his years in hiding, and his eventual capture and trial with rich detail and riveting suspense.  At the same time, Bascomb introduces readers to the courageous Israeli agents, Holocaust survivors, and their families who worked together to track down, capture, and bring Eichmann to justice.

Nonfiction Finalists 2014
Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd

This innovative book offers an introduction to the history and basic concepts of graphic design from one of the most successful designers working today. Using real world examples and rich visual aids, Kidd teaches readers how effective design can communicate ideas and messages, and he suggests ways to think critically about the design elements that infuse the media around us. Kidd invites readers to experiment with design themselves by ending the book with a series of 10 design challenges and offers a venue to share their work online.

Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II  by Martin W. Sandler

After the Japanese military bombed Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, forcing the internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans. This detailed and compassionate chronicle of the internment years incorporates many first-hand accounts and photographs. Sandler skillfully provides context for the internment and also examines its lasting legacy by examining anti-Japanese sentiment in America before World War II and then the redress movement, which advocated for compensation and formal apologies for internees after the war.

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone

“What is it like to jump out of an airplane? Imagine.” From these opening sentences, Stone chronicles the courage and persistence that were the hallmarks of the Triple Nickles, the African Americans who pushed through military barriers to become the first black paratroopers. Their individual efforts, the eventual recognition of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, and the broader issues of segregation during the war period are illustrated with a with a rich collection of interviews, letters, and photos. Stone’s afterword, the timeline, and the detailed source notes offer valuable insights into her research methods. Ashley Bryan’s foreword and artwork add personal insight and extend the power of this skillfully told story.

The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy written by James L. Swanson

James Swanson takes readers back in time with a thoroughly researched and tightly written narrative of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  Beginning with a succinct introduction to Kennedy’s early life and presidential administration, Swanson sets the scene for a detailed and engaging examination of the events before, during, and after November 22, 1963, when JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald crossed paths in Dallas with tragic results.  The book brings events to life with extensive photographs, diagrams, and primary documents, and illuminates Swanson’s research and writing process with detailed source notes, an extensive bibliography, suggestions for further reading, and a comprehensive index.

2014 Nonfiction Winner

The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb

At the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader responsible for organizing the deportation and imprisonment of millions of Holocaust victims, went into hiding under an assumed identity.  Eventually he fled to Argentina where he lived and worked under a false name for 10 years.  Bascomb tells the story of Eichmann’s crimes, his years in hiding, and his eventual capture and trial with rich detail and riveting suspense.  At the same time, Bascomb introduces readers to the courageous Israeli agents, Holocaust survivors, and their families who worked together to track down, capture, and bring Eichmann to justice.

Nonfiction Finalists 2014

Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd

This innovative book offers an introduction to the history and basic concepts of graphic design from one of the most successful designers working today. Using real world examples and rich visual aids, Kidd teaches readers how effective design can communicate ideas and messages, and he suggests ways to think critically about the design elements that infuse the media around us. Kidd invites readers to experiment with design themselves by ending the book with a series of 10 design challenges and offers a venue to share their work online.

Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II  by Martin W. Sandler

After the Japanese military bombed Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, forcing the internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans. This detailed and compassionate chronicle of the internment years incorporates many first-hand accounts and photographs. Sandler skillfully provides context for the internment and also examines its lasting legacy by examining anti-Japanese sentiment in America before World War II and then the redress movement, which advocated for compensation and formal apologies for internees after the war.

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone

“What is it like to jump out of an airplane? Imagine.” From these opening sentences, Stone chronicles the courage and persistence that were the hallmarks of the Triple Nickles, the African Americans who pushed through military barriers to become the first black paratroopers. Their individual efforts, the eventual recognition of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, and the broader issues of segregation during the war period are illustrated with a with a rich collection of interviews, letters, and photos. Stone’s afterword, the timeline, and the detailed source notes offer valuable insights into her research methods. Ashley Bryan’s foreword and artwork add personal insight and extend the power of this skillfully told story.

The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy written by James L. Swanson

James Swanson takes readers back in time with a thoroughly researched and tightly written narrative of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  Beginning with a succinct introduction to Kennedy’s early life and presidential administration, Swanson sets the scene for a detailed and engaging examination of the events before, during, and after November 22, 1963, when JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald crossed paths in Dallas with tragic results.  The book brings events to life with extensive photographs, diagrams, and primary documents, and illuminates Swanson’s research and writing process with detailed source notes, an extensive bibliography, suggestions for further reading, and a comprehensive index.

2014 Morris Award Winner

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Drew, also known as “Win,” has been isolated in a New Hampshire boarding school since he was 12. Though he excels at both academics and athletics, he is concealing a horrific secret that has driven him to the brink of madness. With the help of his friends, can Win confront the beast within him before it’s too late?

Morris Finalists 2014

Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian

Evan Carter bounces from school to school—he has no friends and views girls as nothing more than a means to sexual release. When a brutal attack leaves him physically and mentally broken, Evan must evaluate what matters in his life and learn how to “accept responsibility, but not blame.”

Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

James has a lot on his plate: strained relationships, a fractured family, and an all-consuming anxiety. He deals with depression by hugging trees, “yawp”-ing at the world like his idol Walt Whitman, and conversing with his imaginary therapist—a pigeon named Dr. Bird.

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

When Maude Pichon moved to Paris, she never dreamed she would end up working for the Durandeau Agency as a “repoussoir”—a foil for society’s elite who believe a plain face alongside them makes them look more beautiful. A countess hires Maude as a companion for her daughter, Isabelle, but as the girls’ friendship grows, Maude finds herself torn between her integrity and her livelihood.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

At the height of the Spanish flu pandemic, WWI, and the Spiritualism movement, outspoken Mary Shelley Black is adrift in a fear-ravaged San Diego. While her childhood friend Stephen challenges her heart, his antagonistic spirit-photographer brother, Julius, represents everything her scientific mind abhors. When the unthinkable happens, how will Mary Shelley endure the unbearable losses, not to mention the evolution of her supernatural abilities?

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009, honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.

The award’s namesake is William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. Bill Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.

You can find out more about the Morris Award here.