Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults for 2005
Braff, Joshua. The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green. Workman Publishing Co.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004. 1-56512-420-0. Jacob Green tries to establish his identity in his seriously dysfunctional suburban Jewish family during the late seventies/early eighties.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bucking the Sarge. Random House Children's Books: Wendy Lamb Books, 2004. 0-385-32307-7. Fifteen year-old Luther T. Farrell has come to terms with the fact that his mother is a number one scam artist, preying on the weak and powerless, including her own son. Luther's plan is to do well in school, win prizes for science projects, go away to a good college with the money his mother is putting away in his college fund. When Luther's project threatens to expose his mother's illegal dealings, Luther's plans nearly unravel.
Hoose, Phillip M. The Race to Save the Lord God Bird. Melanie Kroupa Books, 2004. 0-374-36173-8. The story of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker's demise is the centerpiece for a book about extinction and the pressures of mankind upon the Earth.
Levithan, David. The Realm of Possibility. Random House Children's Books: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 2004. 0-375-82845-1. This ambitious and romantic novel in verse presents twenty distinctive-yet-interwoven stories by twenty high school students who each share defining pieces of their lives in a variety of poetic forms.
Marchetta, Melina. Saving Francesca. Random House Children's Books: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 2004. 0-375-82982-2. Teenaged Francesca is facing her classes, her friends, and the complications that arise from being one of thirty girls in a school with 750 guys, while also groping for some key that might help lead her high-powered mother back from a breakdown.
Morpurgo, Michael. Private Peaceful. Scholastic, 2004. 0-439-63648-5. Tommy Peaceful and his older brother Charlie enlist in the British army and are sent to fight in the trenches in France after their noble landlord offers them a choice between joining up or having the family evicted from their home.
Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn. HarperCollins Children's Book Group: Eos, 2004. 0-06-053180-0. Matt Cruse is more at home in the air than anywhere on land. He pursues his dream of someday serving as captain on an airship like the Aurora, that takes passengers and cargo around the world. When the Aurora, part dirigible, part shipping vessel is forced to land on an uncharted island, Matt and fellow traveler, Kate must battle pirates and strange winged creatures in order to return their damaged ship to its voyage in the sky.
Rapp, Adam. Under the Wolf, Under the Dog. Candlewick Press, 2004. 0-7636-1818-7. Gifted and talented high school student Steve Nugent reveals how he ended up in a teen facility after his mother dies of cancer and his brother shortly thereafter kills himself.
Saenz, Benjamin Alire. Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood. Cinco Puntos Press, 2004. 0-938317-81-4. Sammy Santos dreams of getting away from the barrio to college but when Juliana Rios, the girl he loves, is tragically killed his grief nearly overwhelms him.
Weeks, Sarah. So B. It: a novel. HarperCollins Children's Books: Laura Geringer Books, 2004. 0-06-623622-3. Twelve-year-old Heidi--whose mother's severe mental disability limits her to only being able to articulate 23 words, sounds, or short phrases--embarks on a journey to discover the truth of her mom's and her own past.