Instant ‘Love’ Display – Just Add Teens

Photo credit: Camdiluv ❤

Dream Factory by Brad Barkley

When the character actors at Disney World go on strike, the teens hired as replacements learn that it isn’t exactly the Happiest Place on Earth. Ella gets to be Cinderella, simply because the shoe fits. It should be a dream come true, but Ella no longer believes in dreams. Luke is a fur character, Dale the chipmunk. Chip is played by his girlfriend, Cassie, who is perfect in every way. Why, then, does Luke find himself more drawn to imperfect things like the theme park’s Phantom? A team-building scavenger hunt brings Luke and Ella together. As they uncover the Magic Kingdom’s treasures, they discover an undeniable magic between them.

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

While trying to score a date with her cute co-worker at the Scooper Dooper, sixteen-year-old Audrey gains unwanted fame and celebrity status when her ex-boyfriend, a rock musician, records a breakup song about her that soars to the top of the Billboard charts.

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

It’s Dade’s last summer at home. He has a crappy job at Food World, a “boyfriend” who won’t publicly acknowledge his existence (maybe because Pablo also has a girlfriend), and parents on the verge of a divorce. College is Dade’s shining beacon of possibility, a horizon to keep him from floating away.  Then he meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid. Falling in real love finally lets Dade come out of the closet and, ironically, ignites a ruthless passion in Pablo. But just when true happiness has set in, tragedy shatters the dreamy curtain of summer, and Dade will use every ounce of strength he’s gained to break from his past and start fresh with the future.

How to be Popular by Meg Cabot

After the Super Big Gulp incident, Steph Landry, now known as the town screw-up, discovers a little book called “How to Be Popular,” which propels her into a world of popularity with hilarious–and romantic–results.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

A story told in the alternating voices of Dash and Lily, two sixteen-year-olds carry on a wintry scavenger hunt at Christmastime in New York, neither knowing quite what–or who–they will find.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

High school student Nick O’Leary, member of a rock band, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to avoid his ex-sweetheart.

Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins

When three fifteen-year-old Austin, Texas, girls who met in group therapy discover that they are all dating the same boy, they first get revenge and then start a wildly successful relationship consulting business.

Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton

Dreading another tourist-laden summer in the Georgia beach town where she lives year round, Anna falls head over heels in love with a visitor from New York and embarks on a near-perfect summer that she fears will end in heartbreak when he returns home at the end of the season.

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Fed up with boys and the way they have treated her and her friends, high school junior Penny Lane–named after the Beatles song–forms a club whose members vow to stop dating, but the repercussions are surprising.Fed up with boys and the way they have treated her and her friends, high school junior Penny Lane–named after the Beatles song–forms a club whose members vow to stop dating, but the repercussions are surprising.

The View From The Top by Hillary Frank

Eighteen-year-old Anabelle’s last few months in her coastal hometown are bittersweet. Instead of the quiet precollege summer she expects, Anabelle makes some surprising discoveries about herself as she navigates romantic entanglements and changing friendships. Through shifting points of view in seven interconnected stories, we glimpse the limits of how well her friends really know Anabelle . . . and how little she grasps about the way they see her.

Stray by Stacey Goldblatt

Natalie’s mother, a veterinarian with a dogs-only practice, has the sixteen-year-old on such a short leash that, when the teenaged son of her old school friend comes to stay with them for the summer, Natalie is tempted to break her mother’s rules and follow her own instincts for a change.

Stay With Me by Paul Griffin

Fifteen-year-olds Mack, a high school drop-out but a genius with dogs, and Céce, who hopes to use her intelligence to avoid a life like her mother’s, meet and fall in love at the restaurant where they both work, but when Mack lands in prison he pushes Céce away and only a one-eared pit-bull can keep them together.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly’s never been the kind of girl that things happen to. Year after year, she’s spent her summers at the beach house with Conrad and Jeremiah. The boys never noticed Belly noticing them. And every summer she hoped it would be different. This time, it was. But the summer Belly turned pretty was the summer that changed everything. For better, and for worse.

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman

June is starting at her sixth school in four years when she meets Wes, who has just broken up with a girlfriend, and although they do not share an instant or intense connection, attraction turns to love and they wonder where it will lead.

Breathing by Cheryl Herbsman

Savannah would be happy to spend the summer in her coastal Carolina town working at the library and lying in a hammock reading her beloved romance novels. But then she meets Jackson. Once they lock eyes, she’s convinced he’s the one her true love, her soul mate, a boy different from all the rest. And at first it looks like Savannah is right. Jackson abides by her mama’s strict rules, and stays by her side during a hospitalization for severe asthma, which Savannah becomes convinced is only improving because Jackson is there. But when he’s called away to help his family and seems uncertain about returning Savannah has to learn to breathe on her own, both literally and figuratively.


A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner

As she tries to sort out her feelings of love, seventeen-year-old Cass, a spunky math genius with an introverted streak, finds a way to memorialize her dead best friend.

The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon, and me, Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart

Ruby is back at Tate Prep, and it’s her thirty-seventh week in the state of Noboyfriend. Her panic attacks are bad, her love life is even worse, and what’s more: Noel is writing her notes, Jackson is giving her frogs, Gideon is helping her cook, and Finn is making her brownies. Rumors are flying, and Ruby’s already-sucky reputation is heading downhill. Not only that, she’s also: running a bake sale, learning the secrets of heavymetal therapy, encountering some seriously smelly feet, defending the rights of pygmy goats, and bodyguarding Noel from unwanted advances.

Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto by Eric Luper

Seth Baumgartner just had the worst day of his life.  His girlfriend dumped him (at Applebee’s), he spied his father on a date with a woman who is not his mother (also at Applebee’s!), and he lost his fourth job of the year. It’s like every relationship he cares about is imploding, and he can’t figure out what’s going on.

To find answers, Seth decides to start an anonymous podcast called The Love Manifesto, exploring “what love is, why love is, and why we’re stupid enough to keep going back for more.” Things start looking up when Seth gets a job at a golf club with his hilarious and smut-minded best friend, Dimitri, and Dimitri’s sister, Audrey. With their help, Seth tracks down his father’s mystery date, hits the most infamous bogey in the history of golf, and discovers that sometimes love means eating the worst chicken-salad sandwich you can ever imagine.

The Smile by Donna Jo Napoli

Believing herself too plain to be loved, Elisabetta’s life is changed when she is noticed by the famous artist Leonardo da Vinci while on a trip to Florence, but after falling in love with a member of the Medici clan, unexpected danger and heartache soon disrupt her young life once again.

True Love, The Sphinx, and Other Unsolvable Riddles: A Comedy in Four Voices by Tyne O’Connell

Told from four different points of view, two American boys go on a field trip to Egypt where they meet two British gals who aren’t easy to please, but through a series of mistakes and miscommunication, new friendship and love finds a way of coming to the surface throughout their travels in a land of ancient culture and modern beauty.

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Chelsea Keyes, a high school basketball star whose promising career has been cut short by a terrible accident on the court, and Clint Morgan, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who gave up his sport following a game-related tragedy, meet at a Minnesota lake resort and find themselves drawn together by the losses they have suffered.



This list was created by Becca Boland, Young Adult Librarian, and Laura Bos from the Hinsdale Public Library.


Hit the Road! YA Road Trip Books

Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.

The After Life by Daniel Ehrenhaft

When Will Shephard’s estranged millionaire father dies, a bizarre clause in the will sends him on a road trip from Miami to New York with his twin half-siblings.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student, and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.

Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde

A gay teenage boy and a fragile teenage girl meet while living on the streets of New York City and eventually decide to take a road trip across America to discover whether or not the world is a beautiful place.

Car Trouble by Jeanne DuPrau

Early one August morning, seventeen-year-old computer “nerd” Duff Pringle leaves Richmond, Virginia, in a newly-acquired used car and begins an unexpectedly convoluted journey to San Jose, California, and the job that awaits him there.

Crash Into Me by Albert Borris

Four suicidal teenagers go on a “celebrity suicide road trip,” visiting the graves of famous people who have killed themselves, with the intention of ending their lives in Death Valley, California.

Drive Me Crazy by Erin Downing

Rising high school senior Kate has dreamed of the road trip with best friends Alexis and Sierra from New Jersey to Love, Wisconsin, that will reunite her with the boy she kissed the previous summer, but Alexis’ irritating cousin Adam tags along, threatening to spoil everything.

Far From You by Lisa Schroeder

A novel-in-verse about sixteen-year-old Ali’s reluctant road trip with her stepmother and new baby sister, and the terror that ensues after they end up lost in the snow-covered woods.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen year-old who, after being diagnosed with Creutzfeld Jakob’s (aka mad cow) disease, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital in an attempt to find a cure.

Guyaholic  by Carolyn Mackler

V, the queen of the meaningless hookup, has been with Sam for a pretty long time, but when she panics after graduation and messes everything up, it takes a solo driving trip from New York to visit her irresponsible mother in Texas before she learns enough about herself to know what she really wants.

Hit the Road by Caroline Cooney

Sixteen-year-old Brittany acts as chauffeur for her grandmother and three other eighty-plus-year-old women going to what is supposedly their college reunion, on a long drive that involves lies, theft, and kidnappings.

Homecoming by Cynthia Voight

Abandoned by their mother, four children begin a search for a home and an identity.

How to Be Bad by Lauren Myracle, E. Lockhart & Sarah Mlynowski

Told in alternating voices, Jesse, Vicks, and Mel, hoping to leave all their worries and woes behind, escape their small town by taking a road trip to Miami.

Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen Plagued by Tourette’s syndrome and a stepfather who despises him, Sam meets an old man in his small Minnesota town who sends him on a road trip designed to help him discover the truth about his life.

The Last Great Getaway of the Water Balloon Boys by Scott William Carter

When sixteen-year-old Charlie, an excellent student, and his former best friend Jake take off on an ill-conceived trip from Oregon to Denver in their principal’s car, the results of the choices they make while on the road have profound effects on both their futures.

Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.

Long Gone Daddy by Helen Hemphill

Young Harlan Q. Stank gets a taste of life in the fast lane when he accompanies his preacher father on a road  trip to Las Vegas to bury his grandfather and to fulfill the terms of the old man’s will.

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women’s Army Corps.

The Miles Between by Mary Pearson

Seventeen-year-old Destiny keeps a painful childhood secret all to herself until she and three classmates from her exclusive boarding school take off on an unauthorized road trip in search of “one fair day.”

My Road Trip to the Pretty Girl Capital of the World by Brian Yansky

In 1979 when his life in Mansfield, Iowa, seems to fall apart, seventeen-year-old Simon takes his father’s car and sets out for Texas, looking for his birth parents and picking up a man claiming to be Elvis, two bums, and an abused young wife along the way.

Night Road by A.M. Jenkins

Battling his own memories and fears, Cole, an extraordinarily conscientious vampire, and Sandor, a more impulsive acquaintance, spend a few months on the road, trying to train a young man who recently joined their ranks.

Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray

After their best friend Ross dies, English teenagers Blake, Kenny, and Sim plan a proper memorial by taking his ashes to Ross, Scotland, an adventure-filled journey that tests their loyalty to each other and forces them to question what friendship means.

Paper Towns by John Green

One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q’s neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.

Play Me by Laura Ruby

Disappointed when he does not get the MTV production deal he so wants, high school senior Eddy leaves his girlfriend to take a road trip to find the mother who has left him and his younger stepbrother and taken a bit part in a television show.

Red Glass by Laura Resau

Sixteen-year-old Sophie has been frail and delicate since her premature birth, but discovers her true strength during a journey through Mexico, where the six-year-old orphan her family hopes to adopt was born, and to Guatemala, where her would-be boyfriend hopes to find his mother and plans to remain.

Rose by Any Other Name by Maureen McCarthy

During a road trip with her mother from Melbourne to Fairy Point, Australia, to see her dying grandmother, nineteen-year-old Rose gains a new perspective on events of the previous year, when family problems, the end of a long-term friendship, and bad personal choices dramatically transformed her near-perfect life.

Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer

Sixteen-year-old Jenna gets a job driving the elderly owner of a chain of successful shoe stores from Chicago to Texas to confront the son who is trying to force her to retire, and along the way Jenna hones her talents as a saleswoman and finds the strength to face her alcoholic father.

Sister Slam and the Poetic Motormouth Road Trip by Linda Oatman High

In this novel told in slam verse, best friends and aspiring poets Laura and Twig embark on a road trip after graduating from high school, from Pennsylvania to New York City, to compete at slam poetry events.

Stolen Car by Patrick Jones

Fifteen-year-old Danielle desperately wants to escape life with her mother and a series of “Dad-wannabes,” so when best friends Ashley and Evan help her see that bad-boy Reid is lying and using her, Danny steals Reid’s car and takes Ashley on a road trip.

Surf Mules by Greg Neri

When a tragic accident and sudden financial woes cause recent high school graduate Logan to question plans for his future, he agrees to make a road trip with his best friend and surfing buddy, Z-boy, transporting marijuana from southern California to Orlando, Florida.

Tripping by Heather Waldorf

Escaping a dull summer, Rainey Williamson joins a school-sponsored eight-week road trip across Canada. Up for the challenge, Rainey, who has worn an artificial leg since birth, discovers that her long estranged mother is alive and well in British Columbia, directly on the road trip route, and wants to see her.

Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

Courtney must drive across country to attend college orientation with her ex-boyfriend while still fuming that he dumped her for a girl he met online, but the two of them learn valuable lessons about themselves and each other along the way.

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith

Sixteen-year-old Emma Healy has never felt that she fit in with the rest of her family, so when she discovers that she had a twin brother who died shortly after they were born, she takes off on an impulsive road trip to try to discover who she really is.

You Don’t Know About Me by Brian Meehl

Billy has spent his almost-sixteen years with four cardinal points–Mother, Christ, Bible, and Home-school–but when he sets off on a wild road trip to find the father he thought was dead, he learns much about himself and life.

Zane’s Trace by Allan Wolf

Believing he has killed his grandfather, Zane Guesswind heads for his mother’s Zanesville, Ohio, grave to kill himself, driving the 1969 Plymouth Barracuda his long-gone father left behind, and meeting along the way assorted characters who help him discover who he really is.

Zigzag by Ellen Wittlinger

A high-school junior makes a trip with her aunt and two cousins, discovering places she did not know existed and strengths she did not know she had.

The Ever Elusive High School Student

Libraries are always trying to find a way to get high school teens into the library.  In communities where the demands on high school students are so great, a different approach is needed to get them to use the library.  Unless they get a little something in return, teens aren’t going to show.  I’ve previously written about our Finals Service program.  This program has been exceptionally successful and it inspired us to look at the other times of the year that high school students were using the library and develop additional programming.

It quickly became clear that teens are indeed coming to the library throughout the summer.  They were not here to participate in the Summer Reading Program, but here to check out the titles on their required High School Summer Reading lists.  The first step was to make it easier for them to find the books from the lists that they were required to read.  A display of all of the books on the list was created so all of the titles were together in one place. Additional copies of the books were purchased along with titles the library did not own and display stickers were placed on the spines so these books would return to the Summer Reading shelf in a timely manner, making them available for the next patron.

This approach to circulating Summer Reading titles was helpful but we felt like we weren’t doing everything that could be done.  There were a lot of students waiting until the 11th hour to come and get the books.  They didn’t want to wait for a copy to come in from another library; they wanted the book in their hands at that moment.  Question:  How can the library continue to satisfy the needs of these students without breaking our budgets and using all of our shelf space?!?

Answer:  The High School.  All of the extra books that we needed were already in the community.  They were sitting unread in a dark library through the summer.  We needed more copies; they had copies that were not being used . . . perfect!  We worked with the library staff at the high school to hammer out the details of how the exchange would work.  The high school copies were picked up at the end of the school year when the school library was no longer circulating.  Our Tech Services and Circulation departments put temporary barcodes on all of the books and made sure that the circulation period was long enough to enable students ample time to finish the books, but not too much time that books couldn’t be used by several students throughout the summer.  There was a cut-off return date for all of the high school’s titles to ensure that we gave ourselves flexibility to try to track down the books that weren’t returned on time.  Teens being teens, all of the titles didn’t get back by the time they needed to be returned to the high school, so replacement copies were purchased for the high school.

Working with the high school isn’t the solution for every library.  Perhaps your high school library stays open and continues to loan through the summer.   There are other options to help teens in your community obtain the titles they need.  Can you do a book loan between libraries in your area?  Can you ask the community for donations of the titles needed?  (Donations can be either new or copies that their teens have used in summers past.)

Libraries and Young Adult Librarians are always looking for opportunities to work with high school teens without reinventing the wheel.  These are a couple of solutions but YASF and teen librarians are always looking for more.   Watch how your patrons use your library and see what you observe.  Do you have any teen program ideas?  What programs have you tried?  Were they successful?

Finals Service

YA Librarians are always trying to figure out how to get high school patrons into the library and actively participating in programming.  At Hinsdale Public Library, we decided to stop trying to develop the perfect program to bring teens into the library and instead we developed a program around the times they are already here.  It didn’t take us long to realize that the time they are in the library the most is during finals.

Finals Service didn’t happen overnight.  We started small.  Some snacks and opening the large meeting room for group study.  We got a couple hundred kids over five days.  Every semester the Finals Service program has grown a little bit.  Every time we add to the program, we get more students.  Now, we can guarantee at least 1,000 teens over five days.

These are a few things that have worked for us:

1) Make sure the whole staff is ready to pitch in!

There are going to be a lot of teens coming into your library. Most of them don’t know a Young Adult Librarian from a book cart.  They’ll ask anyone for help if they need something.  So, everyone needs to play nicely.  We made a step-by-step internal PR guide to help people know what to do if they come across a kid with a bucket of fried chicken or two teens taking a “study break” under the OPACs.  Every department monitors the Large Meeting Room, answering questions and refilling snack bowls and every department keeps track of statistics and head-counts.  To sweeten the pot, we made it worth the staff’s time.  We had snacks available in the break room and got approval from the board to wear jeans throughout finals service. Once we did something for the staff, we stopped hearing how AWFUL the teens were.

2) FOOD!

There are teens that will arrive at the library when the doors open and stay until the doors close.  They need something to eat.  We started by just buying food in bulk from a Wholesale store.   You can’t go wrong with rice krispies treats, fruit snacks, pretzels and granola bars.  Go with the small bottles of water and recycling bins so you’re not throwing away ½ full bottles of water all week long.  As the program has progressed, we’ve been able to use our teen numbers and statistics to get local sponsorship to cover almost all of the cost of snacks and water.

3) A Little Somthin’ Somethin’

For three years, we have given away a pen/highlighter combo at every Finals Service.  They’re cheap, you buy them in bulk and they’re awesome advertising and promotion for the library.   We have them printed with our logo, phone number and website.  The teens go to school with their pen, their friends ask them where they got it and we see new faces at the library the next day.  Not because they want the pens, but because talk of pens leads to talk of snacks, study rooms and who else was at the library the day before.  This year we were able to find pens that were eco-friendly so we could feel better about the thousands of pens we give away every year.


Maybe what works for us, won’t work for you.  Maybe you just have one day or one weekend.  Perhaps you team up with the local high school and do a program at the school or the staff from the high school comes and helps you at the library.  Whatever you do, try to do something.  Teens are a difficult group to grab and you wouldn’t want to let this opportunity pass you by!


Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about Finals Service or starting a program at your library.  (

Santa Want Brains – Zombie Novels to Reanimate Your Holidays

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead by Don Borchert

A modern author takes Mark Twain’s coming-of-age classic and infuses it with a taste of the macabre, as the world of Tom Sawyer becomes overrun with zombies, chief among them being the Zombie Injun Joe.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Inventor Leviticus Blue creates a machine that accidentally decimates Seattle’s banking district and uncovers a vein of Blight Gas that turns everyone who breathes it into the living dead. Sixteen years later Briar, Blue’s widow, lives in the poor neighborhood outside the wall that’s been built around the uninhabitable city. Life is tough with a ruined reputation, but she and her teenage son Ezekiel are surviving until Zeke impetuously decides that he must reclaim his father’s name from the clutches of history.

The Boy Who Couldn’t Die by William Sleator

When his best friend dies in a plane crash, sixteen-year-old Ken has a ritual performed that will make him invulnerable, but soon learns that he had good reason to be suspicious of the woman he paid to lock his soul away.

Brains for Lunch:  A Zombie Novel in Haiku?!? by K.A. Holt

At a middle school where zombies, blood-sucking chupacabras, and humans never mingle, “lifer” Siobhan and Loeb, a zombie who likes to write haiku, share an attraction. Story written entirely in haiku.

The Death Collector by Justin Richards

Three teens and a curator of unclassified artifacts at the British Museum match wits with a madman determined to use unorthodox methods to reanimate the dead, both humans and dinosaurs.

The Enemy by Charles Higson

In the wake of a devastating disease, everyone older than 16 is either dead or a decomposing, brainless creature with a ravenous appetite for flesh–teens have barricaded themselves in buildings throughout London and venture outside only when they need to scavenge for food; when a mysterious traveler offers them safe haven at Buckingham Palace, they begin a harrowing journey across London.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

When the fence that surrounds her village and protects its residents from the Forest of Hands and Teeth is breached, danger strikes the only home Mary has ever known and forces her to decide between saving everything she loves or pursuing the life she has always dreamed of having.

Generation Dead by Dan Waters

When dead teenagers who have come back to life start showing up at her high school, Phoebe, a goth girl, becomes interested in the phenomenon, and when she starts dating a “living impaired” boy, they encounter prejudice, fear, and hatred.

Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez

Hired by the owner of an all-night diner to eliminate the zombie problem that is costing her customers, werewolf Duke and vampire Earl tackle an even stickier adversary who is out to take over the diner, in an adventure involving an amorous ghost, a jailbait sorceress, and a pig-latin occult.

How to be a Zombie: The Essential Guide for Anyone Who Craves Brains by Serena Valentino

Discusses various aspects of zombie lore from popular culture, covering how to identify what type of zombie one might be, how to blend in with the living, and more, with short graphic novels based on zombie themes.

I Kissed A Zombie, and I Liked It by Adam Selzer

Living in the post-human era when the undead are part of everyday life, high schooler Alley breaks her no-dating rule when Doug catches her eye, but classmate Will demands to turn her into a vampire and her zombie boyfriend may be unable to stop him.

Infinity:  The Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

A first novel in this new series introduces Nick Gautier as a teenager: at 14, Nick thinks he knows everything about the world around him, until the night his best friends try to kill him; saved by a mysterious warrior, Nick is sucked into the realm of immortal vampire slayers called the Dark-Hunters.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies : the classic Regency romance — now with ultraviolent zombie mayhem! by Seth Grahame-Smith

A mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton–and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy.

World War Z by Max Brooks

An account of the decade-long conflict between humankind and hordes of the predatory undead is told from the perspective of dozens of survivors–soldiers, politicians, civilians, and others–who describe in their own words the epic human battle for survival.

You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay

Megan Berry, a Carol, Arkansas, high school student who can communicate with the Undead, must team up with her childhood friend Ethan to save homecoming from an army of flesh-hungry zombies.

Zombie Blondes by Brian James

Each time fifteen-year-old Hannah and her out-of-work father move she has some fears about making friends, but a classmate warns her that in Maplecrest, Vermont, the cheerleaders really are monsters.

Zombies Calling by Faith Erin Hicks

Joss’s life sucks. She’s in the middle of university exams, up to her neck in student loans, and when she’s attacked by zombies, her roommates have the nerve to think she’s making it up. But when the zombies turn out to be terrifyingly real, only Joss knows how to survive the undead invasion: by following the Rules of Zombie Movies.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks

A guide to surviving an attack by hordes of the predatory undead explains zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective weaponry and defense strategies, how to outfit one’s home for a long siege, and how to survive in any terrain.

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Justine Larbalestier & Holly Black

Twelve short stories by a variety of authors seek to answer the question of whether zombies are better than unicorns.

Realisitic and Historical YA Fiction

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
Jeff beat cancer but discovers that happily ever after isn’t quite what he expected. To get into high school, he has to pass a statewide standardized test in math, his worst subject. His best friend Tad, also a cancer survivor, is back in treatment. The only bright spot is that a cute new girl Lindsey is showing an interest in him. Now if he could just figure out how to talk to her!

Ashes by Kathryn Lasky (Historical)

In 1932 Berlin, thirteen-year-old Gaby Schramm and others living in Germany witness the beginning of Hitler’s rise to power.  Some people in town support this new power while others fear it.  Where do Gaby, her family, and their friends fit in?

Bystander by James Preller

Seventh grader Eric discovers there are consequences to not standing by and watching as the bully at his new school hurts people, but although school officials are aware of the problem, Eric may be the one with a solution.

The Great Death by John Smelcer (Historical)

In the early twentieth century, an Alaskan village’s only survivors of a sickness brought by white men, sisters Millie, aged thirteen, and Maura, ten, make their way south in hopes of finding someone else alive.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Fantasy/Realistic)

Nora had always been so careful when it came to falling in love.  She didn’t let herself.  Until she met Patch. She is mysteriously attracted to him although she senses that he has a dark side.  Is he just a bad boy or something more?

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

7th grader Oliver Watson has everyone convinced that he is extremely stupid and lazy, but he is actually a very wealthy, evil genius, and when he decides to run for class president, nothing will stand in his way.

A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell
Ever since her brother died, Cora has felt suffocated by her small town. All summer long, she’s stayed inside drawing maps and pictures of imaginary places and travels. Now she must face reality and start high school.

The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson
Destiny’s number one rule is don’t get attached. But one day, she breaks that rule, and a lot of others, when she “borrows” a car and goes on a roadtrip with three of her classmates. This day has a destiny of its own and their trip turns into a journey that none of them could have imagined.

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Sam used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. When you’re a pastor’s kid, it’s hard not to buy into the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and good in the world. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mom is in rehab after a DUI and her dad is more interested in his congregation than his family. When a member of her congregation is kidnapped, the tragedy reflects Sam’s personal one, and it makes her question her faith even more.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier (Graphic Novel)

Raina just wants to be a normal middle school kid. But one night while racing her friends, she trips and falls, seriously damaging her front teeth.  And what comes next is really tough – having braces put on and taken off, surgery, headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. PLUS there is her non-dental life to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who are less than friendly. Can’t wait to start reading?  The entire comic is available online:

Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah

At school, she’s Jamie – blonde haired, blue contacts, fashionably dressed and one of the crowd.  At home, she’s Jamilah – Lebanese, attending madrassa and dealing with a father who lives in the Stone Age. When her friends start to wonder about Jamie’s life outside of school, she is worried that her secrets might be revealed. Can Jamie figure out a way to be both Jamie and Jamilah?

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen (Historical Fiction)

From his 1776 homestead, Thirteen-year-old Samuel, who is a highly-skilled woodsman, sets out toward New York City to rescue his parents from the band of British soldiers and Indians who kidnapped them after slaughtering most of their community.

Noteable Genre Fiction

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk (Mystery/Humor)

Will Halpin is the new guy at Coaler High, but being a “round,” deaf kid doesn’t make him popular and when he starts hanging out with the only guy at Coaler less popular than he, forget about it!  Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he can read lips and is great at observing other people.  The “dork-namic duo” have the skills it takes to figure out who killed the most popular guy in school.  So, who “done it”? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the most popular girl in school ever notice him? (So, maybe Will’s interests go beyond fighting crime. . .)

Discordia:  The Eleventh Dimension by Dena K. Salmon (Science Fiction/Fantasy)

For Lance, life’s a battle and then you die. Then you “res” and start all over again. At least that’s how it is in Discordia, the online role-playing game where Lance spends all of his spare time. Lance is not fitting in at his new school, but in Discordia, he is leveling fast, learning new skills, and making friends. After TheGreatOne recruits Lance into his guild, Lance wishes he could live in the game.  But Lance will soon learn he should be careful what he wishes for . . .

Doom Machine by Mark Teague (Science Fiction)

When a spaceship lands in the small town of Vern Hollow in 1956, juvenile delinquent Jack Creedle and prim, studious Isadora Shumway form an unexpected alliance as they try to keep a group of extraterrestrials from stealing eccentric Uncle Bud’s space travel machine.

Double Eagle by Sneed B. Collard III (Mystery)
Thirteen-year old Mike and his new friend are searching for a lost treasure off the Alabama coast. As they work together to solve the mystery, they find themselves in danger not only from a hurricane threatening the island, but also from thieves who will stop at nothing to find the missing fortune!

Dragonfly by Julia Golding (Adventure/Fantasy)

When Tashi, the rigidly formal Fourth Crown Princess, is reluctantly arranged to wed roguish Prince Ramil, their religious, cultural, and personal differences threaten to end their political alliance and put both countries at the mercy of a fearsome warlord.

Dull Boy by Sarah Cross (Science Fiction)
What do you do if you’re so strong, you could snap people’s bones without trying?  If you’re fifteen-year-old Avery, you try to keep that information to yourself.  But when he makes some friends who are as extraordinary as he is, he realizes they’re more than just freaks—together, maybe they have a chance to be heroes.
Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines (Science Fiction)
Lyn has no desire to be a gladiator’s wife like her mother, but her only way of avoiding marriage to the warrior who killed her stepfather may be to face him in the arena.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Fantasy)

Katsa’s eyes show the world that she is a Graceling.  She struggles to control her Grace, the Grace of Killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (Fantasy)

Incarceron is a prison that is more than jail cells.  It is metal forests, cities, caves and wilderness.  It seems to have no beginning and no end. Finn has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from outside Incarceron, but most prisoners don’t believe there is an “outside,” which makes escape seem impossible. Then, Finn discovers a key that allows him to speak with a girl named Claudia. She says that she lives on the outside. Finn is resolved to escape the prison, and Claudia thinks she can help him.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Science Fiction)

Todd is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the men were infected with the Noise, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks.  Unfortunately, it is the same germ that has killed all the women in the town, including Todd’s mom. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but something strange is happening in the town.  Something the men are trying to hide. Something so awful Todd has to flee. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, Todd comes across a person who has no noise, someone who is completely silent.  A girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the others?

Lola:  A Ghost Story by J. Torres & Elbert Or (Graphic Novel)

Jesse sees dead people, monsters, demons, and lots of other things. Nobody else can see these things, except his ailing grandmother. When his grandmother passes away, Jesse has to fly from Canada to the Philippines for her funeral and face his demons and whatever else might be waiting for him.

Malice by Chris Wooding (Horror)

Everyone’s heard the rumors.  Call on Tall Jake and he’ll take you to Malice, a world that exists inside a horrifying comic book.  A place most kids never leave.  Seth and Kady think it’s all a silly myth.  But then their friend disappears.

Maze Runner by James Dashner (Science Fiction)

Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up in the middle of a maze with no memory and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself in order to escape.

The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street (Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone) by Rod Serling (Graphic Novel)

After seeing a meteor fall from the sky, citizens of a small town discover that they have no power or telephone service. They begin to panic and become increasingly violent as they await what they are sure is the arrival of monsters from outer space.

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (Supernatural)

Lia and Alice are twins that have just become orphans and enemies. They have discovered their roles in a prophecy that has gone on for generations and the girls find themselves entrenched in a battle that could have consequences beyond their imaginations. Lia and Alice don’t know who to trust.  All they know is that they cannot trust each other.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Fantasy)
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: in winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl; in summer, a few precious months of being human.

Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill (Supernatural/Humor)

Eunice “Bug” Smoot is on her own at eighteen after all her family members have died. She is broke, about to lose her apartment and her job delivering pizza.  That’s nothing compared to what comes next.  When he was alive, her grandfather sold his soul for a car, but when he died he was able to escape collection. Now one of the Devil’s servants, Beales, wants the car AND her grandfather’s soul and expects Bug to collect them both.  If she can’t deliver, he’ll collect her soul instead.