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December 2005

Librarians’ Choice 2005 · Books for Teens

Fiction

cover of Boy Proof Boy Proof
Cecil Castellucci
Sixteen-year-old Victoria Jurgen doesn’t fit in and she likes it that way. She doesn’t care that her shaved head, unusual clothing and decision to call herself “Egg” after the hero of her favorite science fiction movie makes her totally undesirable to boys. Then new guy Max shows up. Despite her best efforts, Egg can’t help but like him. He seems to like talking to her, too, at least when he isn’t spending time with popular and pretty Nelly. But Egg doesn’t really care if Max likes Nelly better, does she?

cover of Crackback Crackback
John Coy
Miles Manning is ready to win a championship. He’s the starting cornerback on his high school football team and obsessed with the sport. But things become complicated when his best friend and football buddy starts doing more than just working out to bulk up—like taking steroids and uppers.

cover of Raven’s Gate Raven’s Gate
Anthony Horowitz
Convicted of a crime he witnessed, but did not commit, Matt chooses to participate in The Leaf Project rather than serve jail time. Certain that nothing can be worse than jail, Matt agrees to spend his sentence in the rural town of Lesser Malling on Mrs. Deverill’s farm. But soon Matt discovers that jail may have been the better choice, as there are truly evil things going on in Lesser Malling.

cover of Day of Tears Day of Tears
Julius Lester
Plantation owner Pierce Butler is a card-playing gambler, and not a very good one. When his debts become too high, he is forced to sell his slaves—all of them. Based on the actual events surrounding an 1859 slave auction - the largest slave auction in United States history - the fate of individuals and families sold and separated forever is told.

cover of The Boyfriend List (15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, And Me, Ruby Oliver) The Boyfriend List (15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, And Me, Ruby Oliver)
E. Lockhart
Ruby “Roo” Oliver used to be pretty popular. But when her boyfriend breaks up with her to date her best friend, things go downhill fast. First, Roo begins to have panic attacks. Then she manages to share a kiss with her ex, much to the horror of her best friend. As a result, Roo suddenly becomes a social outcast. Enter Dr. Z, a therapist hired to help Roo deal with her problems and increasingly frequent panic attacks.

cover of Sleeping Freshman Never Lie Sleeping Freshman Never Lie
David Lubar
Being a freshman is tough. Scott Hudson decides to join the newspaper and work as the stage manager in an effort to make some new friends, avoid the seniors that keep taking his extra cash and spend time with a girl he can’t stop thinking about. None of it works out quite right. Then Scott finds out his mother is pregnant. What else could happen?

cover of Twilight Twilight
Stephanie Meyer
You can’t help who you love, discovers seventeen-year-old Bella when she moves to dreary Forks, Washington to live with her dad. Bella is immediately drawn to Edward, a stylish and distant senior at her high school. Then Bella discovers the shocking truth about Edward and his family, a secret that Bella knows should keep her from becoming involved with Edward. But her attraction is so strong, she can't seem to fight it—even if he is a vampire. For older teens.

cover of 47 47
Walter Mosley
He has no name, only a number. He has been separated from the only mother he has ever known, branded, and sent to the fields where he will know only harsh work until his dies. This is the fate of the young slave known as 47. Then 47 meets Tall John from “beyond Africa” and discovers that the fate and future of the entire universe rests on his shoulders.

cover of Ball Don’t Lie Ball Don’t Lie
Matt De La Pena
Seventeen-year-old Travis, a.k.a. Stick, has always been good at one thing: basketball. Hanging out at the Lincoln Park basketball courts, Stick perfects his hoop skills, hoping that his talents will lead him to a better life. But a dark secret may ruin Stick’s hope for a better future. For older teens.

cover of The Lightning Thief The Lightning Thief
Rick Riordan
A lot of people think Percy Jackson is a loser. Little do they know that Percy is really the son of the Greek god Poseidon. Percy’s dad has been accused of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt and the gods are preparing for war, a war that will put twelve-year-old Percy in serious danger.

cover of Uglies Uglies
Scott Westerfield
Tally can’t wait for her sixteenth birthday. That’s when she will be surgically transformed from an “ugly” (how everyone is viewed before the surgery at age sixteen) to a “pretty.” But when her friend Shay, who is also scheduled to become a “pretty.”, decides to run away and join a rebel group in order to avoid the surgery, Tally joins her. Tally doesn’t believe in what Shay is doing, but the Secret Police have forced Tally to make a terrible choice: either betray her friend or miss the opportunity to be transformed into a “pretty”.

cover of Black Storm Comin': Gallop Most Out of My Skin Black Storm Comin’: Gallop Most Out of My Skin
Diane Lee Wilson
Traveling from Missouri to California in 1860, twelve-year-old Colton Westcott and his family suffer a series of tragedies. Considered outsiders by their companions because they are a mixed-race family, the Westcott’s troubles increase when Colton’s father accidentally shoots Colton in the leg.

Nonfiction

cover of Photo by Brady: A Picture of the Civil War Photo by Brady: A Picture of the Civil War
Jennifer Armstrong
Already a well-known photographer before the Civil War, Brady mortgaged his successful business to fund photographers who would follow the troops and document the grim reality of battle. The resulting images would profoundly alter our perception of war.

cover of The Real Revolution: The Global Story of American Independence The Real Revolution: The Global Story of American Independence
Marc Aronson
The American Revolution happened hundreds of years ago, so what could it possibly have to do with life as an American today? Plenty! Aronson offers a new, fresh look at the founding of the United States.

cover of Shark Life: True Stories About Sharks & the Sea Shark Life: True Stories About Sharks & the Sea
Peter Benchley
When is it really safe to go back in the water? The author of Jaws examines the behavior of sharks, describes his own experiences with them and takes a realistic look at when, how and why sharks are agressive. Safety advice on swimming in waters that might also be home to sharks is also included.

cover of A Wreath for Emmett Till A Wreath for Emmett Till
Marilyn Nelson
In 1955, a fourteen-year-old African-American teenager visiting relatives in Mississippi was accused of whistling at a white woman. That young man from Chicago, Emmett Till, was lynched. His brutal murder and the attention it received helped launch the Civil Rights Movement. Using an unusual style of poetry (called a “heroic crown of sonnets”), Nelson offers a moving memorial to Emmett Till and reminds us of the importance of speaking out against injustice.