1 Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
2 Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
3 The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
4 The Boomerang Effect by Gordon Jack
5 A Taste for Monsters by Matthew Kirby
6 Starflight by Melissa Landers
7 Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
8 Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
9 The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
10 The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
In the near future there is a society that deems those that make moral or ethical mistakes as Flawed. Branded according to their crimes, the Flawed become the unworthy, the unwanted, the ignored.
Celestine North has an almost perfect life. She does well in school, is dating her best friend and believes in the Flawed system. It doesn’t hurt that the head Judge just happens to be her boyfriend’s father.
Until the day she makes a mistake and the Whistleblowers come for her. Until the day she becomes one of the Flawed herself.
With her almost perfect life now hanging in the balance Celestine befriends the mysterious boy in the cell across from her. She begins to question the Guild, the system and everything she has come to believe. Suddenly everything that she was so sure was right is wrong.
–Mary Beth Kurspahić
Teacher Librarian, Risdon Middle School
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
Back in 1890, the Pacific Northwest was dangerous frontier. Joseph Johnson, just 12 years old, is left alone in the wilderness after he loses everyone in his family. The only comfort he has left is his horse, Sarah, with whom he has a very special bond. When Sarah is swindled right out from under Joseph, and by the man with whom his desperate, dying father was forced to leave him!
Sarah is all Joseph has left in the world, and he must summon all his courage, wisdom and gumption to find out where she’s been taken. On his journey, he meets an abandoned Chinese boy – neither speak the same language but they figure out how to communicate just enough to become traveling companions. Together, they face wild animals, raging rivers, desperate outlaws and other unforeseen perils.
The adventure is nonstop! But there is depth, humor and heart intertwined with this fast-paced plot. Readers who love action, tear-jerkers and stories about friendship will fall in love with Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart, author of The Honest Truth.
Teacher Librarian, McKnight Middle School
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
Kaidu arrives in the big city to train as a soldier under his father, a general. Because the city is regularly invaded by new nations, it is called the Nameless City by natives, who know no invaders will last long. Its current occupiers, the Dao, will need more than their military strength to keep control of this ancient Asian outpost. Wandering the Nameless City, Kaidu is impressed by Rat, an orphan girl who shows him a different side of the city than recruits or conquerors usually know. Rat’s courage challenges Kaidu, and they run on the rooftops, jump in the canals, and sneak around in the dark nights. Their unlikely friendship may present the best possibility for Dao leaders to survive.
Teacher Librarian, Bishop Blanchet High School
Boomerang Effect by Gordon Jack
Being “normal” is overrated—or so Lawrence Barry learns while he tries to mentor Spencer, a socially awkward Norwegian exchange student, stop smoking pot, reconnect with his former best friend Eddie, hook up with Audrey, a LARPing Renaissance warrior maiden, and avoid getting sent to military school. Because of his past pranks, he is easily the primary suspect when someone frames him by donning the school mascot costume and systematically destroying homecoming floats. Most of the school hates him, believing that he is responsible for the damage, but he comes to find that the friends who don’t care about being “normal” are the ones he can count on the most to help him clear his name and find the true perpetrator.
Teacher Librarian, Redmond Middle School
A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby
It’s 1888 in London and one can sense the fear in the air. Someone is terrorizing the city and brutally murdering young women. Could this be the work of Jack the Ripper?
Evelyn Fallow, 17, is surprised when the hospital hires her as a maid because of her disfigured lower face…until she sees that she will be working for Joseph Merrick. Merrick gained fame as the “Elephant Man” in a freak show due to his severe facial and body deformities.
Evelyn and Joseph’s friendship blooms when the ghosts of recently murdered women appear in his room. Evelyn physically feels the ghost’s painful presence in her jaw. The ghostly visits also weaken Joseph as the same few ghosts start appearing every night in agitated states.
Evelyn starts investigating to figure out what might bring them peace for their visits have become too much for Joseph and his doctor fears his imminent death.
Can Evelyn figure out how to bring peace to these ghosts by catching their killer before the strain of their visits end the life of Joseph? Read this gripping historical fiction mystery tale to find out!
Teacher-Librarian, Nelsen Middle School
Starflight by Melissa Landers
Solara is desperate to get off Earth. With her past mistakes literally written on her hands, she has no future here. If she can get to the outer realms she’s sure she can make her way based on her wit and skills. Unfortunately for Solara it takes money to book passage on a spaceliner – money she doesn’t have. She needs someone to hire her as a servant for the voyage. With almost all the passengers aboard her last hope comes in the shape of the worst person possible, Doran Spaulding. A super rich, super popular, super jerk guy from her school. He, with great glee, agrees to take Solara as his servant just so he can humiliate her. But, the journey doesn’t go as planned for either of them. Backed into a corner, Solara makes a split second decision that lands the two of them on the spaceship Banshee, pursued by half the galaxy and with a crew full of their own secrets. Starflight is a SUPER fun space adventure!! It has secrets, double crosses, space pirates, chases, an exiled princess, a sweet little sugar glider and a bit of romance. What more could you ask for?
Teacher Librarian, Highline High School
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
Why would a mother throw her child out of a moving car? And why would the popular 90’s rap song This is How We Do It by Montell Jordan be the perfect soundtrack for this twisted tale? This debut memoir Born a Crime by Emmy Award winning comedian Trevor Noah will answer those questions and more. Born in South Africa during apartheid to an African woman and a Swiss father, even his very existence was against the law in a government where races were mandated by law to be kept separate. This true story of how he grew up on the DL will make readers of any age laugh and cry in equal parts, sometimes doing both simultaneously. Most of all this critical story shines much needed light on the history and practice of institutionalized racism and how far reaching it can be. This is a revolutionary memoir. Period.
Eastlake High School Library
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Jack isn’t a jerk, but he’s willing to look like one so people don’t know he has Prosopagnosia (face blindness). That way, when he kisses his girlfriend’s cousin, he looks like a player rather than someone who just can’t tell which one is which. Libby isn’t a victim, even though she ate so much she had to be cut out of her second story bedroom and hospitalized after her mom died. They aren’t a couple you would expect. They met when Jack’s friends dared him to do the Fat Girl Rodeo where he was supposed to hug a heavy girl until she bucked him off. In Libby’s case, she didn’t just buck him off, she laid him out. In lieu of suspension, the two are condemned to Conversation Circle where they must learn to talk about their problems without resorting to violence. The more they talk, the more they see each other and it turns out some souls are so beautiful, you can’t help but recognize their face. There are always two sides to a story, in this romance, you’ll get to hear both sides, and it’s a story you won’t forget.
Teacher Librarian, R. A. Long High School
The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
Trigger Warning: book & review contain information about suicide that can be triggering to survivors and those who have been affected.
The day after an attempted suicide, teenager Vicky finds herself very much alive in the psychiatric ward of the hospital. Her rigid and demanding father expects her to return home immediately, buck up, and get back to school before she fails her classes. But something in Vicky knows that she won’t survive at home unless she really understands what drove her to try and take her own life. Vicky, her therapist, and three other teens who are working through their own mental health crises, create a small community where they learn how to live–truly live–one moment at a time. Just when Vicky is starting to see a path forward for herself, the tiny group implodes, forcing Vicky to finally assess what is important to her, and if she will fight for it. What I loved most about this book is that the way that the characters–from all walks of life–normalize the struggle with mental health. Using the tools of mindfulness, they show readers how to move through trauma, pain, and shame and into healing and self-acceptance.
Teacher-Librarian , Scriber Lake High School
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Dill, Travis and Lydia are a strangely-matched trio. Dill is the son of a disgraced, serpent-handling pastor, Travis is a plus-sized, dragon-pendant wearing, wizard-staff-carrying fantasy fan, and Lydia has a whip-sharp tongue and fashion blog, counting down the days till she goes off to school in New York. Yet, their confirmed outsider status only bonds them closer together, especially when tragedy strikes. Dill worries about his friends leaving him behind as they fan out on their college adventures, Travis struggles with an abusive father, and Lydia sarcastically obsesses over her fashion blog. Jeff Zentner’s debut novel is a masterpiece of rawness, with every reader able to place themselves in this very realistic novel, even if one has never traveled to the deep South.
Librarian, Pacific Cascade Middle School