We drove to Maine this summer for vacation, so I had plenty of time to read ... on my Kindle App. I worked my way through the alphabet, focusing primarily on Young Adult fiction, and I would recommend these books to any of my students. I enjoy reading books about diverse young people because it makes me more empathetic to the challenges young people from all walks of life face every day.
by Andi Hydahl Year Published:
A surprisingly wonderful coming-of-age mystery ... an odd combination, but an engrossing story about Lucy's search for her past.
by Jenny Han Year Published:
This is the third book of the "Lara Jean" trilogy, a fun romance with a main character who is smart and funny.
by Luanne Rice Year Published:
Maia embarks on a road trip to Maine with a mysterious boy in a search to find her estranged mother.
by Amita Trasi Year Published:
Two worlds collide in India (1986) when a servant girl and her master's daughter become friends, but a cruel twist of fate sends the girls down different paths. Follow their incredible journeys that strains the bonds of friendship over time and distance and destiny. A powerful tale!
by Justina Ireland Year Published:
An imaginative historial fantasy where young black women are recruited into an elite army following the Civil War -- to kill the undead! The setting was unusual, but I was swept into the adventures of the sassy and smart main character.
by Rainbow Rowell Year Published:
Moments of humor as the relationship between Eleanor and Park unfold -- of all places -- on the school bus (!!) contrast with the sad and sometimes dark challenges that Eleanor faces. Very memorable characters and an engaging plot!
by Emma Mills Year Published:
This is another coming-of-age story, but the main character's voice totally got to me, right from page 1! Sarcastic and funny and smart!
by Kristin Hannah Year Published:
Technically writing for adult audiences, Kristin Hannah's main character is a young girl whose father relocates her troubled family to the wilds of Alaska ... and survival becomes much more challenging. A fascinating read!
by Adriana Mather Year Published:
Set in modern-day Salem, Massachusetts, a group of high school students confront the past as present-day descendants of the historic Salem Witch Trials. Part ghost-story, part mystery with a little romance sprinkled it -- a fun summer read!
by Jandy Nelson Year Published:
The narration in this story alternates between Jude and her twin brother Noah. Noah's story starts a year ago, when the twins were inseparable. Jude's story reveals how they grew apart. What can bring them back together after all the secrets? Fresh, powerful narrative voices made this a great book!
by Brandy Colbert Year Published:
The two main characters in this book, a brother and sister in a blended, mixed race family, struggle with issues of identity and love and growing up and growing apart.
by J. Ryan Stradal Year Published:
This is another title that is probably meant more for adults, but many of the characters are young adults struggling to find their way, so I think 8th-grade readers could find plenty of ways to connect to (and learn from) these characters.
by Samira Ahmed Year Published:
Maya must find her way between competing desires: wanting to please her traditional Indian parents and wanting to forge her own path as an independent young woman. In the aftermath of a horrible act, she is confronted by Islamophobic attitudes.
by Jodi Lynn Anderson Year Published:
This story spans more than a century, with backdrops of WWI, the Great Depression, and America in 2065, and the lives of three young women are surprisingly linked as they story unfolds.
by Erin Morgenstern Year Published:
A duel between young magicians is at the center of this imaginative story featuring a memorable cast of characters.
by Lorie Langdon Year Published:
I will admit, I've never read Charles Dickens, but this clever retelling of his classic novel Oliver Twist was pure pleasure. I loved the strong, smart main character and the historical world in which she lived.
by Elizabeth Acevedo Year Published:
This is another of my TOP PICKS of the summer! Told in verse, this novel follows the main character's search for identity and independence. Loved it! When I wasn't reading the book, I was thinking about the character as if she were a real person!
by Maeve Binchy Year Published:
This is probably geared toward adults, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! For over 30 years, folks in Dublin have enjoyed dining at Quentins ... and oh, the stories those walls can tell!
by Alan Gratz Year Published:
This is probably the MOST MEMORABLE book I read this summer! Follow the lives of three young people -- a boy in Nazi Germany, a girl in Cuba in the 1980s, and a boy in modern-day Syria -- as they seek refuge from the horrors in their homelands. I couldn't put it down!!
by Kwame Alexander Year Published:
Nothing seems to be going right for Blade, and when his dad ruins graduation with an unforgivable stunt, Blade takes off ... to Africa. This novel-in-verse is a compelling coming-of-age story! Loved it!
by John Green Year Published:
With her friend Daisy, the main character, Aza, seeks to solve a mystery and collect a big reward, all while dealing with OCD.
by Tahera Mahi Year Published:
A Muslim-American girl isolates herself from her peers in the years following the 9/11 attacks until she unwittingly attracts the attention of her biology lab partner. Strong characters and a compelling conflict.