Scholastic Book Clubs

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 01 2011


Fourth on Lake Austin
No more pencils, no more books – it’s time for summer vacation! For many of you, the school year has officially come to an end. After all your hard work planning lessons, creating activities, and working to give your class the knowledge they need to succeed, you deserve some rest and relaxation! So why not sit back, put your feet up, and crack open a book?

With the success of the Harry Potter and Twilightseries, Young Adult fiction is truly on the rise. Don’t let the name fool you – these stories are anything but juvenile. A boy raised in a graveyard, vengeful Egyptian gods, and a post-zombie world – these books are guaranteed to keep you riveted from cover to cover.

Here are the top 10 Young Adult books you should treat yourself to this summer!

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity – and life against love.

Read it before you see it on the big screen, and make sure to catch the surprising and thrilling continuation in Catching Fire, and action-packed conclusion in Mockingjay.

2. I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

Oliver Watson is an evil genius—and the third richest person alive—but fools everyone around him into thinking he’s a boring, slow-witted kid. He has a butler and a secret lair, and his genius inventions make him the envy of every middle-school kid alive. Now, in an attempt to get the attention of his arch-nemesis (his uninvolved dad), he’s decided to run for class president. Oliver soon learns that ruling the world is actually easier than getting your classmates to vote for you.

Humorous photos throughout illustrate Oliver’s many evil musings and the dream-like perks of his secret life. Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, said, “If War and Peace had a baby with The Breakfast Club and then left the baby to be raised by wolves, this book would be the result of it.” This mix of outrageous comedy and spy film action is a reluctant reader’s dream novel—a sarcastic, engaging, and hilariously twisted read.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It’s just a small story really, about amongst other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, this groundbreaking novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

What’s in a name? Two of teen fiction’s premier authors team up to find out. Written in alternating chapters, the story focuses on two very different Will Graysons whose lives intersect on one fateful night. Will Grayson #1 is a regular guy who doesn’t mind being overshadowed by his best friend, Tiny Cooper, who Will describes as the “world’s largest person who is really, really gay.” The second will grayson never capitalizes his name and flies low under the radar by only socializing online. On this mixed-up and totally memorable night in downtown Chicago, the lives of the two Will Graysons intersect, changing both of them in ways neither could have ever expected. Hilarious, touching, and thought-provoking, this novel will keep you riveted till the last page.

5. Abandon by Meg Cabot

Celebrated young adult author Meg Cabot brings a new twist to a timeless Greek myth. Seventeen-year-old Pierce is starting fresh, far away from her old life. The only problem is…her old life wants her back. An even bigger problem is that her old life was in the underworld. Then there’s John, the opposite of a guardian angel, who Pierce knows she should stay away from, but instead she finds herself drawn to. It’s the story of Persephone and Hades with all the romance and angst of high school, and the epic drama of Greek mythology.

6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens, known as “Bod” to his friends, is just a normal boy—as normal as you can be when you were raised by ghosts while living in a graveyard. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard—an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, and a strange and terrible menace called the Sleer—and the world beyond is no better. If Bod leaves the graveyard, will he be attacked by Jack, the man who killed his family?

Beloved fantasy author Neil Gaiman returns with a Newbery Medal-winning novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestseller Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

7. The Kane Chronicles, Book One: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

After the death of their mother, Sadie lived with their grandparents in London, while her brother traveled the world with their father, the noted Egyptologist Julius Kane. The children are reunited at the British Museum, where their father, while performing a special ceremony, accidentally releases the five children of the Demon Days – angry, evil Egyptian gods!

The god Set banishes Julius, trapping him in a sarcophagus, setting his children on an unbelievable journey to save themselves and their family. Carter and Sadie must figure out their family’s past, in an adventure that has them traveling from England to America and beyond.

Ancient Egyptian mythology comes to life in this new series by Rick Riordan, creator of Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Don’t miss its exciting continuation in The Kane Chronicles, Book Two:  The Throne of Fire.

8. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

See the world through the eyes of blossoming poet Lennie. Abandoned by her mother as baby, she is now a quiet, happy girl living somewhat in the shadow of her amazing sister. But when her sister dies suddenly, Lennie’s life is shattered. Everyone acts strangely around her now, even her best friend. Can Lennie cope with losing her sister, her confusing attraction to both her dead sister’s boyfriend and the handsome new musician at school, and the anger she feels at her missing mother?

Each chapter begins with one of Lennie’s beautiful, honest poems, as the book winds its way gracefully through her journey of grief, love, and forgiveness. Like teens everywhere, Lennie faces confusing, complicated issues, and you’ll find yourself rooting for her along the way. Don’t miss one of the most breathtaking YA novels around!

9. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

This book is not about a zombie takeover. That’s already happened. One hundred years before the story begins, a plague ended civilization as we know it. Mary lives in a village protected by the last existing bit of technology—a chain-link fence. Beyond the fence is an endless horde of eternally hungry zombies—the forest of hands and teeth. After years of living in isolation behind the fence, living people begin to forget there is an outside. They even doubt that there was a time before.

Mary dreams of a world outside the fence, beyond the forest of hands and teeth. She wonders if there are other villages out there, other people trapped inside their own chain-link fences. She wants to know what the world was like before. Will she risk death at the hands of the terrifying undead to find the answers? Mary’s desperate belief in romance and adventure and a world outside her own grim life will both break your heart and give you hope that in the darkest and scariest of futures, it is still possible to fight for your dreams.

10. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Sam has lived two lives. In winter, his home is in the frozen woods, under the protection of the pack, in the silent company of a fearless girl. During the summer, he has a few precious months of being human…until the cold turns him back into a wolf.

For years, seventeen-year-old Grace has watched the wolves in the tranquil woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a haunting presence she can’t seem to live without.

Then Grace finds a wounded, yellow-eyed boy on her porch, the familiarity takes her breath away. He’s her wolf. Fate brings them together, but winter threatens to tear them apart. As the temperature drops, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Shiver is told from alternating points of view, and is the first in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series.

Enjoy your time off – and happy reading!

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