Stick by Michael Harmon

Courtesy of Amazon.com

“Everything. This whole school. The team. Sometimes it seems like it’s all just fake. Like a pretend world. Like we’re something better than all the dregs. Isn’t that what Coach tells us? That we’re better than everybody else?”

Harmon, Michael. Stick. Alfred A. Knopf., 2015. 229 pages. Hardcover. $17.99, ISBN 978-0-385-75436-1

It all started when Brett’s (aka Stick’s) teammates dropped raw eggs on a fellow classmate. It was just a guy Stick didn’t even know but it started him thinking about a lot of things – like the football team thinking they were better than everyone else –  like his coach who was always yelling at them – like his Dad who drinks too much and only focuses on Stick’s mistakes on the field, not any of the good things he does. The team is headed for the state championship. Scouts are looking at Stick and he’s sure to get a college scholarship to play football and then eventually play in the NF. What does all this thinking do for Stick? He quits – quits the team and football – the game he has loved for so many years. Imagine his teammates reaction? Imagine his coach’s reaction? Imagine his Dad’s reaction? Now imagine an unlikely friendship with the kid who got the eggs dropped on him who also happens to be a superhero at night. You’ve got to read this book to see how it turns out? This is a story about being true to yourself. I loved it!

Link to Amazon.com.

Link to Worldcat.org.

HRS Black-Eyed Susan

Courtesy of www. public-domain-image.com

Stick is a High School nominee for the 2016-2017 Black Eyed Susan Award. For more information go to the Maryland Association of School Librarians.

Courtesy of Penguin Books

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Courtesy of Amazon.com

“‘I was used to being invisible. People rarely saw me, and if they did, they never looked close. I wasn’t shiny and charming like my brother, stunning and graceful like my mother, or smart and dynamic like my friends. That’s the thing, though. You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are.

Dessen, Sarah. Saint Anything.  Viking, 2015. 417 pages. Hardcover. $19.99, ISBN 978-0-451-47470-4

Sydney’s world has been turned upside down. Her brother, Peyton, is in prison.  Peyton hit a boy on his bike one night while driving drunk. The legal fess have been high so Sydney has decided to leave her private school and her friends to save money.  Her mother is obsessed with helping Peyton. Ames, her brother’s new best friend from Narcotics Anonymous is creepy and always around. She’s feeling guilty about the boy that her brother ran over and it bothers her that no one in her family feels the same way. Her mother, especially, is just focused on how everything affects her brother. Things are about to change. Sydney makes some new friends, gets pulled into a new family, falls for a really great guy, and avoids Ames (for the most part). But can it last? Will Sydney have to stop being invisible and stand up for who she is? This is a story about finding your own voice. Read it. I think you’ll like it. I did.
Link to Amazon.com
Link to Worldcat.org

Available in:

 

Saint Anything is a nominee for the 2016-2017 High School Black Eyed Susan Award. For more information go to the Maryland Association of School Librarians.

Want to hear more about Sarah Dessen and her writing process?

Awards

  • New York Times bestseller
  • Kids’ Indie Next List Pick (Summer 2015)
  • TIME‘s Top 10 YA Book of the Year
Courtesy of @sarahdessen

Courtesy of @sarahdessen

Sarah Dessen’s
 Website ,
Facebook,
and
Twitter Account 

 

 

Ball Don’t Lie by Matt de la Peña

Courtesy of Amazon.com

“‘If I don’t make it to the NBA I’ll kill myself. I know it don’t sound so good when I say it, Annie, but that’s how I feel. There ain’t nothin else I wanna do. Just play ball.

De la Peña, Matt. Ball Don’t Lie.  Delacorte Press, 2005. 280 pages. Hardcover. $8.99, ISBN 978-0-385-902588

Matt de la Peña is one of my new favorite authors. I did a lesson for my high schoolers introducing Matt, book talking a few of his books, and practicing writing a story from a primary source picture just like he did with Last Stop on Market Street.

I became intrigued by Matt after reading “Sometimes The ‘Tough Teen’ Is Quietly Writing Stories”

 

From School Library Journal (Courtesy of Amazon.com)

“Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–That white boy can ball….He don’t play like no regular white boy. Sticky, 17, has spent his life being abused by pimps living with his prostitute mother, bouncing from one foster home to another, and living on the street between failed placements. But he’s developed incredible hoop skills that have given him considerable social standing among his mostly black peers. And he gets a girlfriend named Anh-thu, who loves him and wants to help him reach his dreams. Sticky sees basketball as his way out of his dead-end life and is determined to make the right moves in the game to attain his goal. But he doesn’t quite know how to make the right moves in his life, until a bad decision leads him to confront dark secrets. Jumping back and forth in time, this first novel has a unique narrative voice that mixes street lingo, basketball jargon, and trash talk to tell Sticky’s sorry saga from a variety of viewpoints. Although readers who are not familiar with basketball may have trouble following some of the detailed game action, even they will be involved in the teen’s at once depressing and inspiring story. Sticky is a true original, and de la Peña has skillfully brought him to life.–Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego”

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Worldcat.org

Available in:

Ball Don’t Lie was made into a movie. Unfortunately, it’s rated R.

 

 

Want to learn more about Matt de la Pena? Click Here for an interview with Matt de la Peña.

 

Awards

  • An ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
  • An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick
Courtesy of mattdelapena.com

  Courtesy of mattdelapena.com

Matt de la Peña’s
 Website ,
Facebook,
and
Twitter Account 

 

 

Every Day by David Leviathan

Courtesy of FCPS TLC

“‘Every day I am someone else. I am myself—I know I am myself—but I am also someone else. It has always been like this.”

Levithan, David. Every Day.  Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. 322 pages. Hardcover. $17.99, ISBN 978-0-307-93188-7

What would you do if you woke up every morning in a different body? Sometime a male body, sometimes a female, sometimes a drug addict, sometimes you were gay, sometimes you were athletic, sometimes you were suicidal. You just had to make it through that one day without causing harm to the person whose body you were in. You never had a family or a home to call your own. You just floated from one body to the next until one day, you fell in love and all that mattered was being with that one person no matter whose body you were in. What would you do? How would you survive? Imagine…

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Worldcat.org

Available in:

 David Leviathan’s Website 
Facebook
and
Twitter Account 

 

 

Fight Back by Brent R. Sherrard

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Courtesy of Amazon.com

“There are two ways to handle being picked on. One is to lie down and give up. The other is to get angry and fight back. Not against my dad, because he would’ve killed me. But anyone else who ever messed with me only did it once

Sherrard, Brent. Fight Back. James Lorimer & Company Ltd., 2014. 174 pages. Paperback. $9.95, ISBN 1-4594-0858-6

Tyler has had a rough life – really rough. When he was eleven, his mother left with his sister for a drive and never came back. Tyler was left with an angry drunk father who took his anger out on the only person left – Tyler. From here, Tyler was taken in and subsequently kicked out by his grandmother. What now?  Where would Tyler go? Tyler is taken in by the Conley’s who give him something he’s never had before – a safe and loving home. He even starts boxing to help control his anger. Will this be enough? Will he be able to let go of all the anger that has been building up for years? Will he be able to trust this new family? What about his father? Read this awesome book to find out.

 

Link to Amazon.com.

Link to Worldcat.org.

Courtesy of Writers Federation of New Brunswick

Available in:

Paperback

Library Binding

 

Want to learn more about Brent R Sherrard? Click here to learn more.

One Death. Nine Stories. edited by Marc Aronson & Charles R. Smith Jr.

HRS One Death Nine StoriesThis interesting book includes nine different stories by nine different authors that all are somehow related to the suicide of one person, Kevin Nicholas. I included the School Library Journal review because I think they did a really great job of summarizing the book for you. Enjoy!

Aronson, Marc & Charles R. Smith Jr. One Death. Nine Stories. Candlewick Press, 2014. 148 pages. Hardcover. $16.99, ISBN 978-0-7636-5285-2

From School Library Journal

“Gr 9 Up—Kevin Nicholas, a popular high school football player, has committed suicide, though readers don’t know that at first. In fact, through nine stories, each told by a different author and from a different point of view, readers come to know only a little about Kevin himself. Instead, readers observe the reactions of Kevin’s sister, his best friends, people who barely knew him, even of the funeral home workers who handles his body. The death of a teenager, especially by his own hand, can be impossible to understand, but lives don’t stop just because one life did. Each chapter deals with the process of initiation, acceptance, growing up, and moving on even in the face of death. The authors included are all well-known young adult writers, such as Ellen Hopkins, Rita Williams-Garcia, and A. S. King, and it is clear that they know and understand their audience. Despite the differing perspectives and characters, the writing is remarkably consistent in tone. The vignette feel of each section may appeal to reluctant readers who can manage a narrative in small chunks without losing the arc of the story itself. More enthusiastic readers will devour it whole. Keep it in mind as bibliotherapy, should the unfortunate need arise, or as a springboard for journaling or creative writing.—Katherine Koenig, The Ellis School, PA”

Available in:

Hardcover

Kindle Edition

Audible

MP3 CD

Edge of Ready by L.B. Tillit

HRS Edge of Ready

“I should not have gone. But I did. I should not have gone in the back bedroom with Evron. But I did. It should have made me feel beautiful. But it didn’t.” 

Tilt, L. B.. Edge of Ready.  Saddleback, 2012. 192 pages. Paperback. $9.95, ISBN 978-1-61651-778-6

Dani’s mom always told her that school came first. That was until her mom needed her to miss school to watch her brother Benny –  a lot. Dani thought her best friend Ruth’s older brother was hot. That was until she found herself in a relationship with him that she didn’t like and couldn’t get out of. Dani had determination. She found a way to finish her senior year by going to a night program and she thought she could just avoid Evron but that all ended one night when Evron pulled her into his car, raped her, and threw her out on the ground. Then everything changed. The determination and drive that Dani had became overshadowed by her fear. Will she be able to overcome her fears and go back to school? What happens to Evron ? Will he go to jail? You’ll have to read to find out.

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Worldcat.org

Available in:

 HRS LB Tillit
L.B. Tillit’s Website 

 

 

The World Without Us by Robin Stevenson

HRS The World Without Us“The very first conversation I had with Jeremy was about death. It was back in September, the sky wide open and blue, the sun a hot white disk. I was sitting on the steps of the church across the street from the school, because there’s no smoking on school property – and I was reading Camus and rolling a cigarette when he sat down beside me.”

Stevenson, Robin. The World Without Us. Orca Book Publishers, 2015. 226 pages. Paperback. $12.95, ISBN 978-1-4598-0680-1

Mel, short for Melody, thought it was a joke, just for fun. Planning how they would die. Planning their suicide playlist. Deciding on their last meal. Mel didn’t realize what a dark place Jeremy was in until they were on the bridge. And then it was too late. She couldn’t stop him. Jeremy jumped. Mel wanted to live. She didn’t. Read this novel to find out the events that led up to the jump and what happened after? Can Mel live with the guilt that she should have, could have, done more?

 

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Worldcat.org

Available in:

Paperback

Kindle Edition

HRS Robin Stevenson

    Robin Stevenson’s Website 

   Twitter account  

   Goodreads  

Stupid by Kim Firmston

“I’ve been trying not to buy into the label for years. Stupid. But when everyone calls you that, it gets kind of hard to keep denying it. How can I push away the word when every test I write barely crawls above a fifty percent? When red scrawls of pen remind me to make an effort, work harder, listen in class – and that’s all I’ve been doing?

Firmston, Kim. Stupid. James Lorimer & Company Ltd., 2014. 208 pages. Paperback. $9.95, ISBN 1-4594-0611-7

Martin has trouble in school – always has. Sometimes he pays his sister to do his homework. He has been trying to find ways to do better for years. The words just seem to float off the page and get jumbled around. No one realizes that he has a learning disability – especially Martin. He starts to believe that everyone is right – that he is stupid. His real passion though, is making movies. Things start to turn around for him when he meets Stick and his parkour crew. Martin starts filming their free running. They want him to use it to enter a video contest. He uses their running to visually show what it’s like to be in his brain. Things take a turn for the worse when his dad takes his camera and his film away. Will Martin be able to piece together the video without the part his dad confiscated? Will Martin have to go away to military school? Will this video help him to get the help he needs? Read this fast paced novel to find out.

Link to Amazon.com.

Link to Worldcat.org.

HRS Kim Firmston

Available in:

Paperback

Library Binding

 

Want to learn more about Kim Firmston? Click here to check out her website.

Like to follow Kim Firmston on Twitter? Click here.

Or you can visit Kim Firmston on Facebook.

Off the Rim by Sonya Spreen Bates

“Someone’s been sending Jenna these creepy messages on Facebook,” said Amber. “What kind of creepy messages?” I said. “Threats mostly.”

Bates, Sonya Spreen. Off the Rim. Orca Book Publishers., 2015. 157 pages. Paperback. $9.95, ISBN 978-1-4598-0888-1

Dylan makes the starting lineup for his high school basketball team, the Mountainview Hunters. Life should be good, right? Wrong. His girlfriend Jenna is getting some harassing messages on Facebook, e-mail, and her cell phone. Jenna has no idea who or why. It gets worse when she and Dylan are forced off the road by a black truck. Dylan enlists the help of a teammate to find out who it is. Will they find out in time?

Link to Amazon.com.

Link to Worldcat.org.

Available in:

Paperback

Want to learn more about Sonya Spreen Bates? Click here to check out her website.

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© Chris Peeler 2013