2014 Popular Paperbacks
Conflicted: Life During Wartime
Shilo Pearson, subcommittee chair
Mary Anne Nichols
Abirached, Zeina. A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return. Graphic Universe. 2012. $9.95. 9781575059419. Finding a safe haven in the midst of Beirut's bombing.
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. The Boy Who Dared. Scholastic. 2008. $8.62. 9780545155052. A young German boy growing up during World War II discovers while listening to his radio that Germany is withholding important truths about the war. Risking his life, he posts fliers revealing what is really going on during the war. Based on a true story.
Boyne, John. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Random House: Ember. 2008. $8.99. 9780385751537.
A Holocaust fable told through the eyes of nine-year-old Bruno who is trying to understand why his father, a decorated and powerful military mu77op0an, is moving their family from their wealthy home in Berlin to live in a dismal, dingy home in the country. Bruno's curiosity leads him to explore beyond the wire fence surrounding his house and make friends with a boy who wears striped pajamas.
Dowswell, Paul. Eleven Eleven. Bloomsbury USA. 2012. $14.99. 9781408826232. The last twenty-four hours of World War I.
Elliott, Laura. Under A War-Torn Sky. Hyperion. 2008. $6.99. 9780786817535. Hank Forrester is a nineteen year old fighter pilot whose plane is shot down over enemy lines in France 1944. With the help of French resistance fighters, Hank journeys across Nazi-occupied France trying to get back to his unit and eventually to return home. His journey is fraught with danger, suspense, true terror, and a rethinking about some of the choices he made before he left home.
Finkel, David. The Good Soldiers. Picador. 2010. $15.00. 9780312430023. An account of the lives of the soldiers of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion during "the surge" in Iraq in 2007 and 2008.
Folman, Ari and David Polonsky. Waltz With Bashir. Metropolitan Books. 2009. $18.00. 9780805088922. Twenty years after a massacre in Beirut, Ari's memories start coming back.
Fountain, Ben. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Ecco Press. 2012. $14.99. 9780060885618. The war in Iraq, televised.
Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken. Random House Large Print. 2010. $16.87. 9780375435010. The story is that of Louie Zamperini - a track and field star of the 1930's, who participated in the Berlin olympics,was part of the US air force in WWII, was shot down over the ocean, was adrift in the Pacific for over a month, was held as a POW by the Japanese forces and finally made it back to his life and has had the courage to live it to its fullest.
Gerszak, Rafal. Beyond Bullets: A Photo Journal of Afghanistan. Annick. 2011. $15.56. 9781554512928. Photographer Gerszak spent time embedded with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, came home, and then went back to Afghanistan to take pictures of civilians. Rare and sobering look at day-to-day life of combatants and non-combatants in a war zone.
Gleitzman, Morris. Once. 2013. Square Fish. $9.99. 9780312653040. Felix, a Jewish boy in Poland in 1942, is hiding from the Nazis in a Catholic orphanage. The only problem is that he doesn't know anything about the war, and thinks he's only in the orphanage while his parents travel and try to salvage their bookselling business. And when he thinks his parents are in danger, Felix sets off to warn them--straight into the heart of Nazi-occupied Poland.
Guibert, Emmanuel. The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders. First Second. 2009. $32.99. 9781596433755. Photojournalist Didier Lefèvre joined a team of Doctors Without Borders in 1986 and followed them into Afghanistan to illustrate their efforts.
Harrison, Charles Yale. Generals Die in Bed. Annick Press. 2007. $9.95. 9781554510733. Harrison's damning indictment of a war in which generals die in bed while soldiers die in a lousy trench resonates with the impact of his experiences.
Hughes, Pat Raccio. Five 4ths of July. Speak. 2013. $8.99. 9780142421123. Revolutionary War coming-of-age story spread over the course of five 4th of Julys where young Jake Mallory, an impetuous fourteen year old boy from Connecticut, is reluctantly pulled into a war that will change the course of his life.
Jablonski, Carla and Leland Purvis. Resistance 2: Defiance. First Second. 2011. $16.99. 9781596432925. Paul longs to join the Resistance soldiers in the woods as a member of a group known as the Maquis, but he stays behind to help look after his younger sister.
Johnson, Angela. Sweet, Hereafter. Simon & Schuster. 2011. $7.99. 9780689873867. Curtis has to leave his girlfriend and ship off to Iraq.
Jordan, Hillary. Mudbound. Algonquin Books. 2009. $14.95. 9781565126770. Two celebrated soldiers of World War II return home to a small Mississippi town to help work on a the farm.
Kamara, Mariatu and Susan McLelland. The Bite of the Mango. Annick Press. 2008. $12.95. 9781554511587. Mariatu Kamara was raised in a small rural village in Sierra Leone until the age of twelve, when she was caught by rebel fighters.
King, A.S. Everybody Sees the Ants. Little Brown & Company. 2012. $9.99. 9780316129275. Fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman has trouble telling his parents that he has met his long-lost POW/MIA grandfather-in his dreams.
Lynch, Chris. Vietnam #1: I Pledge Allegiance. Scholastic. 2013. $6.99. 9780545270304. When Rudi gets drafted for Vietnam,his friends all pledge to go with him.
Mazer, Harry. Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am. Simon and Schuster. 2013. $9.99. 9781416938965. Ben lives a charmed life—effortlessly landing the lead in the high school musical, dating the prettiest girl in school. When he decides to enlist in the army after 9/11, no one thinks he’ll be in real danger. But his decision has devastating consequences.
McCormick, Patricia. Never Fall Down. Corgi Childrens. 2013. $11.35. 9780552567350. When soldiers arrive at his hometown in Cambodia, Arn is just a kid, dancing to rock 'n' roll, hustling for spare change, and selling ice cream with his brother. But after the soldiers march the entire population into the countryside, his life is changed forever. Arn is separated from his family and assigned to a labor camp: working in the rice paddies under a blazing sun, he sees the other children, weak from hunger, malaria, or sheer exhaustion, dying before his eyes.
McKay, Sharon E. and Daniel Lafrance. War Brothers: The Graphic Novel. Annick Press. 2013. $18.95. 9781554514885. The story of children abducted from their villages and homes in Uganda to serve as soldiers and slaves in Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army.
Muchamore, Robert. One Shot Kill. Hodder & Stoughton. 2012. $10.99. 9780340999189. Mission: infiltrate Hitler's bunker and crack the code.
Myers, Walter Dean. Sunrise Over Fallujah. Scholastic Press. 2009. $7.99. 9780439916257.
Robin ʺBirdyʺ Perry, a new army recruit from Harlem, isn't quite sure why he joined the army, but he's sure where he's headed: Iraq. Birdy and the others in the Civilian Affairs Battalion are supposed to help secure and stabilize the country and successfully interact with the Iraqi people.
Novgorodoff, Danica. Refresh, Refresh. First Second. 2009. $10.95. 9781596435223. Home front life for a group of teens in a town where lots of adult men are deployed overseas.
Poulsen, David A. Old Man. Dundurn Press. 2013. $12.99. 9781459705470. Nate finds himself in a pickup with a man he can't stand: his father.
Reinhardt, Dana. The Things a Brother Knows. Random House: Ember.. 2011. $8.99. 9780375844560. Levi's older brother Boaz returns from fighting with the Marines in the Middle East. He's safe. Levi's family has waited three long years for this. But Boaz is no longer the brother Levi thought he knew.
Sepetys, Ruta. Between Shades of Gray. Speak. 2012. $8.99. 9780142420591. Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life--until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives.
Schmidt, Gary D. Okay For Now. Sandpiper. 2013. $6.99. 9780544022805. In this companion novel to The Wednesday Wars, Doug struggles to be more than the "skinny thug" that some people think him to be. He finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, who gives him the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam.
Sherman, M. Zachary. Heart of War. Capstone Press. 2013. $7.95. 9781623700027. Follow the Donovan family through four generations of American wars.
Smithson, Ryan. Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-old GI. Harper Teen. 2010. $9.99. 9780061664717. One year of combat in Iraq changes Ryan's life forever.
Underdahl, S.T. No Man’s Land. Flux. 2012. $9.99. 9780738733050. When football star and all-around golden boy Brian Howard comes back home with a Purple Heart after his tour of duty in Afghanistan is cut short by injury, 16-year-old Dov quickly discovers that his brother has changed.
Wein, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity. Disney Publishing. 2013. $9.99. 9781423152880. After her plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France, "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo.
Yakin, Boaz and Joe Infurnari. Marathon. First Second. 2012. $16.99. 9781596436800. Graphic novel of the first marathon, the 153 mile run from Sparta to Athens that saved the Greeks from subjugation by the Persians.
GLBTQ: Books with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered,
Queer-questioning, Intersexed, Asexual individuals, and Their Allies.
Karen Keys, subcommittee chair
Olivia Morales Geaghan
Adams, S.J. Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie. Flux. 2011. $9.95. 9780738726762. Since sixth grade, Debbie has had a crush on her friend, Lisa. Now Lisa has a boyfriend so Debbie must confess her love for Lisa or risk losing her love and her best friend, but can she do what seems impossible?
Belge, Kathy. Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens. Zest Books. 2011. $14.99. 9780981973340. A must-have guide to help GLBTQ teens navigate homophobia, coming out, dating, and the ups and downs of teen life.
Chbosky, Stephen. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. MTV Books. 2012. $14.00. 9781451696196. Charlie battles with depression his freshman year of high school.
Cronn-Mills, Kirstin. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. Flux. 2012. $9.99. 9780738732510. When Elizabeth DJ's as Gabe, he becomes his true self: a guy.
Diemer, Sarah. The Dark Wife. Createspace. 2011. $12.99. 9781461179931. Zeus calls Hades "lord" of the dead as a joke. In truth, Hades is the goddess of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus.
Gevinson, Tavi. Rookie Yearbook One. Drawn & Quarterly. 2012. $30.00. 9781770461123. An anthology of essays, advice, pop culture, fashion, and everything a curious teen might want to know about.
Lehman, Amber. Torn. Closet Case Press. 2009. $15.00. 9780979593369. A kissing experiment between girls who are just practicing to impress the boys causes Krista to question her identity and the identity of other people. She is 'torn' between what she thought she was and what she might actually be.
Levithan, David. Every Day. Knopf. 2012. $9.99. 9780307931887. Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
Lo, Malinda. Ash. Little Brown & Company. 2009. $8.99. 9780316040105. A retelling of the Cinderella story. Ash is forced to live with her evil stepmother after her Father's death. Ash is soon attracted to Kaisha, the huntress and slowly her life starts to change.
Merey, Ilike. a + e 4ever. Lethe Press. 2012. $18.00. 9781590213902. Eulalie loves a boy named Ash who looks like a girl and wants to date boys.
Moskowitz, Hannah. Teeth. Simon Pulse. 2013. $9.99. 9781442449466. Teeth is part human, part fish. Teeth is also gay.
Parent, Dan. Kevin Keller: Welcome to Riverdale. Archie Comics. 2012. $11.99. 9781936975235. Archie's first gay character makes a splash in Riverdale.
Park, Judith. Y Square Plus. Yen Press. 2008. $10.99. 9780759529274. How can Yagate find a boyfriend when he's always surrounded by girls?
Peters, Julie Anne. Luna. Little Brown & Company. 2008. $7.99. 9780316011273. This story is told from the prospective of Regan. Regan's brother Liam/Luna is a transgender teen. Liam/Luna's journey is seen and told by Regan.
Savage, Dan. It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. Plume. 2012. $15.00. 9780452297616. A collection of moving essays and transcribed videos from the It Gets Better campaign.
Smith, Ken. Cowboys Can Fly. Lethe Press. 2010. $13.00 9781590213285. Toby is drawn to an older boy.
Tamaki, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. Skim. Groundwood Books. 2010. $12.95. 9780888999641. Kimberly Keiko Cameron, aka Skim, looks for life's answers in Wicca, tarot cards and her English teacher, Ms. Archer.
Humor Me: Funny, Fantastic and Witty Reads
Genna Sarnak, subcommittee chair
Olivia Morales Geaghan
Mary Anne Nichols
Andrews, Jesse. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Amulet Books. 2013. $7.95. 9781419705328. When a girl from his school gets leukemia, Greg’s mother makes Greg spend time with her, and as much as he doesn’t want to, he’s too afraid of his mother to say no.
Bragg. Georgia. How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous. Bloomsbury: Walker & Company. 2012. $9.99. 9780802727947. Nonfiction humorous book about the famous lives and bizarre deaths of famous people from King Tut to Albert Einstein.
Bray, Libba. Beauty Queens. Scholastic Paperbacks. 2012. $8.99. 9780439895989. The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But, sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.
Calame, Don. Swim The Fly. Candlewick. 2010. $7.99. 9780763647766. Sean's summer's bucket list: swim the 100 meter fly and see a real live naked girl!
Cline, Ernest. Ready Player One. Random House: Broadway. 2012. $11.00. 9780307887443. It's the future, the future sucks, and like most people, Wade spends his life online in virtual reality games and worlds. Until he is suddenly enmeshed in a treasure hunt, one which he is uniquely suited to undertake.
Crawford, Brent. Carter Finally Gets It. Disney Hyperion. 2010. $8.99. 9781423112471. A freshman year like no other.
Erskine, Kathryn. The Absolute Value of Mike. Puffin. 2012. $7.99. 9780142421017. Mike tries so hard to please his father, but the only language his dad seems to speak is calculus.
Eulberg, Elizabeth. Take A Bow. Scholastic Paperbacks. 2013. $9.99. 9780545334761. Kids at a performing arts high school grow and change.
Ford, Riley. Into You. Createspace. 2012. $9.99. 9781478174301. Winter finds she can read the minds of others - as long as she is kissing them.
Hayakawa, Tomoko. The Wallflower Volume 1. Kodansha Comics. 2012. $10.99. 9781612623153. Sunako is getting the ultimate makeover!
Ignatow, Amy. The Popularity Papers: Words of (Questionable) Wisdom from Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang. Harry N Abrams Inc. 2013. $8.95. 9781419705359.
After spending six months apart, best friends Julie and Lydia are reunited at last!
Kaling, Mindy. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Three Rivers Press. 2012. $14.00. 9780307886279. Mindy's funny observations about romance,shopping, and more.
Kennedy, James. The Order of Odd Fish. Random House: Laurel Leaf. 2010. $7.99. 9780440240655. Thirteen-year-old Jo Larouche lives a quiet life with her Aunt Lily, a former film star, who has tried to keep her niece sheltered from the secrets of her past. However, all that changes with the arrival of an unusual cast of characters who are part of the Order of Odd fish, a knighthood sanctioned to the finding and sharing of useless information. They need Jo Larouche's help on a bizarre quest that will take her on a wild ride where the secrets of her life are revealed and uproot her from an otherwise mundane and unadventurous life.
McBride, Lish. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. MacMillan: Henry Holt & Co/Square Fish. 2010. $9.99. 9780312674373. Supernatural peril plus plenty of banter.
Meyer, Louis. The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, on Her Way to Botany Bay. Graphia. 2012. $8.99. 9780547721941. Jacky Faber, rich from her exploits diving for Spanish gold, has purchased the Lorelei Lee to carry passengers across the Atlantic. Believing she has been absolved of past sins against the Crown, Jacky docks in London to take on her crew, but is instead arrested and sentenced to life in the newly formed penal colony in Australia. To add insult to injury, the Lorelei Lee is confiscated to carry female convicts to populateNew South Wales. Not one to give in to self-pity, Jacky rallies her sisters to “better” their position—resulting in wild escapades, brushes with danger, and much hilarity.
Moskowitz, Hannah. Gone, Gone, Gone. Simon Pulse. 2012. $9.99. 9781442407534. It's a year after 9/11. Sniper shootings throughout the D.C. area have everyone on edge and trying to make sense of these random acts of violence. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are trying to make sense of their lives.
Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Front and Center. Graphia. 2011. $8.99. 9780547403052. Star football player DJ wants a break, but her coaches, scouts and fans won't give her one.
Peck, Richard. A Season of Gifts. Penguin Group: Puffin. 2010. $6.99. 9780142417294. Beloved character Grandma Dowdel, first appearing in Richard Peck's hilarious award-winning companion books A LongWay from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, returns for another helping of wit and wisdom in A Season of Gifts. The year is 1958 and young Bob Barnhart, thepreacher's son, has just moved next door to a spunky new neighbor. Grandma Dowdel and Bob form a unique friendship involving outhouses, driving lessons, graveyards, pumpkin pies, and Elvis.
Pinkwater, Daniel. The Education of Robert Nifkin. Graphia. 2005. $12.95. 9780618552085. Robert's college application essay asks him to describe his high-school experience. Beginning with the memorable first line, "My father is a son-of-a-bitch from eastern Europe," readers will wince and chortle through Robert's misadventures at both the oppressive, authoritarian school where he begins freshman year and in the more relaxed and intellectual atmosphere of the school he transfers to.
Polisner, Gae. The Pull of Gravity. Square Fish. 2013. $9.99. 9781250019332.
Nick and Jaycee set off to find a friend's father to return a first edition of Of Mice and Men.
Rex, Adam. Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story. Balzer & Bray. 2011. $8.99. 9780061920929. Fat and fifteen forever.
Rosoff, Meg. There Is No Dog. Puffin Books. 2012. $11.35. 9780141327174. Meet God. His name is Bob, and he is a teenaged boy.
Saunders, George. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil. 2008. $11.30. 9781594481529. Border dispute between two tiny countries populated with not-very-human characters.
Standiford, Natalie. How to Say Goodbye in Robot. Scholastic. 2010. $8.99. 9780545107099. Bea keeps her emotions guarded until she meets Jonah, also known as g-g-g-g-host boy.
Strand, Jeff. A Bad Day for Voodoo. Sourcebooks: Fire. 2012. $8.99. 9781402266805. Tyler inadvertently kills his history teacher with a voodoo doll in the first several pages of this book. Then things really go off the rails. Fast and freaky, a laugh in every paragraph. Voodoo: Never not funny.
Tanen, Sloane. Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? Sourcebooks: Fire. 2011. $8.99. 9781402254611. Marooned on a desert island with a bunch of celebs! It's a real-life reality show - and it suuuucks.