Opening Lines to Great Books of 2011

“It isn’t true what they say about my brother – that he ate those children. “ – from  Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett.

“We would have got away with it if it wasn’t for that drunken squirrel,” said Luke. “ – from The Project  by Brian Falkner.

“Pop’s leg was across the room when I came downstairs.  I didn’t ask him how it got there.” – from The Girl is Murder  by Kathryn Miller Haines.

“There is nothing more humiliating than being topless in the backseat of your boyfriend’s car when someone decides to throw an egg at the windshield. “ – from Shut Out  by Kody Keplinger

“Ashline Wilde was a human mood ring. “ –  from Wildfire  by Karsten Knight

“Benny Imura was appalled to learn that the apocalypse came with homework.” -from Dust and Decay  by Jonathan Maberry.

“The sun was faithful again that morning, rising above the farm with a shine so fresh it tasted like gazpacho.” – from  Straw House Wood House Brick House Blow  by Daniel Nayeri.

“I have three simple wishes. They’re really not too much to ask.  The first is to attend the winter formal dressed like Marie Antoinette.” – from  Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.

It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.” – from  The Scorpio Races  by Maggie Stiefvater.

“We were watching the telly when we decided to rob the dentist.” – from Under Dogs by Markus Zusak



Great First Lines . . . Get Picked Up by A Good Book! Second Edition

Another list of first lines for great young adult literature.

It’s so hard to talk when you want to kill yourself.

It’s Kind of Funny Story Ned Vizzini

A cappuccino cost me my life.

Cupcake Rachel Cohn

I admit it. I’ve been scared shitless lots of times.

Black and White Paul Volponi

The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.

Uglies Scott Westerfeld

First thing I did was, I stole a body.

Repossessed A. M. Jenkins

The woods were silent, other than the screaming.

The Game of Sunken Places M.T. Anderson

I was in my makeshift darkroom above the garage developing my umpteenth print of Peter Terris, an individual of full-orbed gorgeousness who needs absolutely no retouching, an individual oozing with classic tones and highlights who barely knew that I was alive.

Thwonk Joan Bauer

When the Dead Man got Rachel I was sitting in the back of a wrecked Mercedes wondering if the rain was going to stop.

The Road of the Dead Kevin Brooks

I am responsible for a great many things, but being put on detention for talking in history was not my fault (not technically, anyway).

Walking Naked Alyssa Brugman

Heller and his bike burst onto Sixth Avenue, and none of the cars saw him coming.

Burning City Ariel and Joaquin Dorfman

She was born Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, and she did not open her eyes for three days.

The Goose Girl Shannon Hale

Getting punched hard in the face is a singular experience.

Godless Pete Hautman

It was the stench seeping in through the car windows that bothered Tom the most.

Sign of the Raven Julie Hearn

When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it’s never good news.

Stormbreaker Anthony Horowitz

Since I’ve been pretty much treading water all day, the marquee of the Rialto Theater looks like the prow of a ship coming to save me.

Stoner & Spaz Ron Koertge

The thing about a cavity search is this: it has nothing to do with the dentist.

Born to Rock Gordan Korman

The police arrived, then the paramedics, then the police photographer, and after that Jude lost track.

Jude Kate Morgenroth

The wait of the dead was the loneliest thing Nikki could ever have imagined.

Dead Connection Charlie Price

It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dries-out bed of the old North Sea.

Mortal Engines Philip Reeve

I don’t really remember when I first met the Schwa, he was just kind of always there, like the killer potholes on Avenue U or the Afghans barking out the windows above Crawley’s restaurant.

The Schwa Was Here Neal Shusterman

I can remember what things were like before she got sick: my whole family climbed into the big hammock on the moondappled beach, wove ourselves together, and swayed as one.

Stop Pretending Sonya Sones

The airship lumbered low overhead, it’s long, lined belly a dull smear of silvery light in the fog as it reflected the gas lamps of the city beneath.

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray Chris Wooding

I never thought I would save the world – or die saving it.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp Rick Yancey

Though I tried to clear my head of the effects of the fat, resiny doobie I polished off an hour before, things were still fuzzy as I stumbled into the senior counselor Jeff DeMouy’s office.

Rats Saw God Rob Thomas

So, I got kicked out of school today, which is not so great but also not entirely unexpected, and I went back to Public Housing where I live to tell my parents all about it and my mom went visiting someone or other and probably isn’t coming back and my dad is stoned off his ass on the couch like he always is, so somehow I’m not getting the vibe that he’d really, you know, care, so I think, Here’s what I’m going to do: First I’ve got to make a plan.

Saint Iggy K.L. Going

It wasn’t a normal Thursday, but all day long it had seemed like one, so when the final bell rang, Mick Nichols did what he normally did.

Zipped Laura and Tom McNeal

Booklist created by Rose Allen

Great First Lines . . . Get Picked Up by A Good Book!

First lines of books are a great tool for reader’s advisory.  Check out these first lines of popular young adult titles.

Somehow I knew my time had come when Bambi Barnes tore her order book into little pieces, hurled it in the air like confetti, and got fired from the Rainbow Diner in Pensacola right in the middle of lunchtime rush.

Hope Was Here Joan Bauer

The worst night of my life?  My first and last date with Angela O’Bannon.

Son of the Mob Gordon Korman

Things had been getting a little better until I got a letter from my dead sister.  That more or less ruined my day.

Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters Gail Giles

It is a sad and shocking fact of my young life that my parents named me Mary Elizabeth Cep by mistake.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen Dyan Sheldon

I was the first one in the family to know when Mama started to go insane.

Or Give Me Death: A Novel of Patrick Henry’s Family Ann Rinaldi

12th Day of September.  I am commanded to write an account of my days: I am bit by fleas and plagued by family.  That is all there is to say.

Catherine, Called Birdy Karen Cushman

Once upon a time there was a pair of pants.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Ann Brashares

The reason Weetzie Bat hated high school was because no one understood.

Weetzie Bat Francesca Lia Block

Henry got up early on the day that changed his life.

Faerie Wars Herbie Brennan

It’s the first morning of high school.  I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomachache.

Speak Laurie Halse Anderson

We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.

Feed M.T. Anderson

My name is Shawn McDaniel.  My life is like one of those good news-bad news jokes.  Like, I’ve got some good news and some bad news which do you want hear first?

Stuck in Neutral Terry Trueman

I shouldn’t have come back to Miami.

Nothing to Lose Alex Flinn

I was the ghost of school corridors.  Skye was the devil.  And I was doomed from the day she spoke to me.

Playing in Traffic Gail Giles

My mother is dead.  Dad killed her.

When Dad Killed Mom Julius Lester

April used to be my sister.  She used to be nine and charming.  She used to respect the two most important laws of sisterhood:  Thou shalt not spy and Thou shalt not report thy sister’s crimes to the authorities.

Perfect Natasha Friend

I’m a sweating fat kid standing on the edge of the subway platform staring at the tracks.

Fat Kid Rules the World K.L. Going

This is a nightmare.  Working at the Toronto Transit Commission’s lost and found.  Nine to five.  Monday to Friday.  A little slice of death, one day at a time.

Acceleration Graham McNamee

When the carriage turned onto Stone Street, it was as though the house were watching.  There were two gables with a window in each, curtains slightly parted like cats’ eyes, not quite closed, spying.

Jade Green Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

When summer comes to the North Woods, time slows down.  And some days it stops altogether.

A Northern Light Jennifer Donnelly

I found him in the garage on a Sunday afternoon.

Skellig David Almond

Simon Glass was easy to hate.

Shattering Glass Gail Giles

My name is Elizabeth but no one’s ever called me that.  My father took one look at me when I was born and must have thought I had the face of someone dignified and sad, like an old-fashioned queen or dead person, but what I turned out like is plain, not much there to notice.  Even my life so far has been plain.  More Daisy than Elizabeth from the word go…Mostly everything changed because of Edmond.

How I Live Now Meg Rosoff

I was a misfit.  If you’d asked me, I’d have guessed school uniforms were a good idea.  Like camouflage.  I’d been kidding myself.

Breaking Point Alex Flinn

All I want is a maple bar; but I don’t think these kids with the guns care about what I want.

Inside Out Terry Trueman

My only brother is a veg.  Yep, a full-fledged drooling, fourteen-year-old idiot.  If you were to call him that, you’d have a big problem on your hands – namely me!

Cruise Control Terry Trueman

Booklist created by Rose Allen