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Books for Guys

Following are recommendations for guys who may have a hard time finding something to read that is of interest to them.  CAUTION:  There may be other books by the mentioned authors that are not listed here! 

Acito, Marc. How I paid for college: a novel of sex, theft, friendship & musical theater. [2004].  

Seventeen-year-old Edward Zanni teams up with his misfit friends to help him steal tuition money from his father when he refuses to fund Edward's acting studies at Juilliard.


Adams, Douglas. HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. 

Need some real diversion?  Then check out Douglas Adams' books.  The world is about to end (abruptly) and Arthur Dent is rescued by his friend (and alien hitchhiker) Ford Prefect who, by coincidence, is a contributing writer to the Hitchhiker's Guide, but has been stranded on Earth due to "technical" difficulties.  Thus begins a hilarious series of adventures through the Universe, meeting new life forms and experiencing bazaar phenomena.

_______.  RESTAURANT AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE. 

Arthur Dent takes a zany journey to the low-rent neighborhood of the cosmos.

_______.  LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING.  

The comic conclusion to the Hitchhiker's trilogy.

 

Almond, David.  SKELLIG.  Unhappy about his baby sister's illness and the chaos of moving into a dilapidated old house, Michael retreats to the garage and finds a mysterious stranger who is something like a bird and something like an angel.
________. KIT'S WILDERNESS.  Thirteen year old Kit goes to live with his grandfather in the decaying coal mining town of Stoneygate
, England, and finds both the old man and the town haunted by ghosts of the past.


Alphin, Elaine Marie.  COUNTERFEIT SON.  When serial killer Hank Miller is killed in a shoot-out with police, his abused son Cameron adopts the identity of one of his father's victims in order to find a better life.

 

Amsden, David. Important things that don't matter [2003].  

As a boy grows into manhood, he begins to realize just how much his father has influenced his life, and he is not sure if it is a positive influence or not.

 

(Anonymous)  JAY'S JOURNAL.  Chronicles a boy's harrowing descent into drugs, Satanism, and suicide. 

Avi
.  NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.  A ninth grader's suspension for singing "The Star Spangled Banner" during homeroom becomes a national news story.

 

Bennett, Jay.  COVERUP.  A young man risks his friendships and future by trying to find out the truth about a car accident which he only vaguely remembers after drinking too much at a party.

 

Black, Jonah.  DIARY OF A TEENAGE STUD.  Jonah Black, whose thoughts are filled with fantasies about a Pennsylvania girl named Sophie, chronicles in his journal his first six weeks back in Florida after being expelled from a Pennsylvania prep school, during which time he is forced to watch his old friend and new crush, Posie, get friendly with a womanizer.  (Vol. II - Stop, don't stop; Vol. III, Run, Jonah, run; Vol IV, Faster, faster, faster)

 

Bloor, Edward.  TANGERINE.  Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Eric, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.

 

Bradbury, Ray. Farewell summer. [2006].  Sequal to Dandelion Wine.

 

Carroll, James. Secret father. [2003].

In 1961, three teenagers from an American school in West Germany travel to Berlin to join a May Day rally, where they stumble into the middle of an international incident, forcing their parents to rescue them.

 

Chlovechok, James D.  Game Face: a novel.  Game Face is the name of a secret performance-enhancing drug.  It provices something that no other chemical can:  a mental edge.  But what if people start dropping dead?

 

Collier, James Lincoln, and Christopher Collier.  MY BROTHER SAM IS DEAD.  Tim Meeder's thoughts and emotions are divided.  His older and much admired brother Sam has joined the American Revolutionary Army but his father remains a staunch supporter of the English King.

 

Cormier, Robert.  THE CHOCOLATE WAR.  A high school freshman stands up to bullies at his school. This is a classic!
_______.  BEYOND THE CHOCOLATE WAR.  Dark deeds continue at Trinity High School, climaxing in a public demonstration of one student's homemade guillotine. Sequel to "The Chocolate War."
______.  BUMBLEBEE FLIES AWAY. 
Sixteen-year-old Barney has only fleeting memories about his past but, as a voluntary patient at the institute for experimental medicine, he knows he is different from the terminally ill patients surrounding him. His involvement with the bitter, slowly dying, Mazzo brings Barney hope, pain, and a moment of heroic glory.
______.  FADE.  Paul Moreaux, the thirteen-year-old son of French Canadian immigrants, inherits the ability to become invisible, but this power soon leads to death and destruction.

_____. 
I AM THE CHEESE.  A young boy desperately tries to unlock his past yet knows he must hide those memories if he is to remain alive.
_____.  IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.  Sixteen-year-old Denny lives in the shadow of a deadly accident which his father was connected to when he was Denny's age, a disaster for which some of the survivors still blame his father.

_____.  WE ALL FALL DOWN. 
As The Avenger searches for the teenage boys who trashed a house in his neighborhood, Buddy, one of the trashers, increases his drinking in order to cope with his parents' separation and his obsession with the daughter of the owner of the vandalized house.
_____.  AFTER THE FIRST DEATH.  A school bus is seized by a group of terrorists, and the children are held for ransom.
_____.  TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO. 
Eleven-year-old Henry escapes his family's problems by watching the woodcarving of Mr. Levine, an elderly Holocaust survivor, but when Henry is manipulated into betraying his friend he comes to know true evil.
_____.  HEROES.  After joining the army at fifteen and having his face blown away by a grenade in a battle in France, Francis returns home to Frenchtown hoping to find--and kill--the former childhood hero he feels betrayed him.

_____.  RAG AND BONE SHOP. 
Trent, an ace interrogator from Vermont, works to procure a confession from an introverted twelve-year-old accused of murdering his seven-year-old friend in Monument, Massachusetts.



Corrigan, Eireann.  Ordinary ghostsEmil's brother isn't dead - just gone.  It's his mom who's dead, and his dad who's checked out completely.  Emil's alone in a nobody-to-talk-to, nothing-to-do kind of way.  Then he finds the legendary "key" to the prep school he attends, begins sneaking in nights, and meets a girl who sneaks in for reasons of her own.



Crutcher, Chris.  CHINESE HANDCUFFS.  Still troubled by his older brother's violent suicide, 18 year old Dillon becomes involved in the terrible secret of his friend Jennifer, who feels she can tell no one what her father is doing to her.
______.  THE CRAZY HORSE ELECTRIC GAME.  A high school athlete, frustrated at being disabled after an accident runs away from home and is helped back to mental and physical health by a black benefactor and the people in the special school in which he enrolls.

_____. 
STOTAN!  A high school coach invites members of his swimming team to a memorable week of rigorous training that tests their moral fiber as well as their physical stamina.
_____.  ATHLETIC SHORTS: SIX SHORT STORIES.  A collection of short stories featuring characters from earlier books by Chris Crutcher.
(813 CRU)
_____.  RUNNING LOOSE. 
Louie, a high school senior in a small Idaho town, learns about sportsmanship, love, and death as he matures into manhood.
_____.  STAYING FAT FOR SARAH BYRNES.  Because of their "terminal uglies", Eric Calhoune and Sarah Byrnes become fast friends. But when the truth of her horrific past catches up with Sarah, it is Eric's mission to help her find a way through the pain.
_____.  WHALE TALK (2001).  Intellectually and athletically gifted, TJ, a multiracial, adopted teenager, shuns organized sports and the gung-ho athletes at his high school until he agrees to form a swimming team and recruits some of the school's less popular students.
_____.  Sledding Hill. (2005)  Billy, recently deceased, keeps an eye on his best friend, fourteen-year-old Eddie, and helps him stand up to a conservative minister and English teacher who is orchestrating a censorship challenge.

______.  Deadline. Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life's purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as "Hey-Soos."

 

Davis, Terry.  IF ROCK AND ROLL WERE A MACHINE.  High school senior Bert Bowden still lacks self-confidence because of a vindictive grade school teacher.  His emerging talent as a writer, however, helps him to overcome his fears.
VISION QUEST.  Eighteen-year-old Louden Swain pursues many interests as he strives to achieve maturity.

 

Deuker, Carl.

ON THE DEVIL'S COURT.  Struggling to deal with his feelings of inadequacy and his failure to make the basketball team in his new school, 17 year old Joe Faust finds himself willing to trade his soul for one perfect season of basketball.
NIGHT HOOPS.  While trying to prove that he is good enough to play on his high school's varsity basketball team, Nick must also deal with his parents divorce and the erratic behavior of a troubled classmate who lives across the street.

PAINTING THE BLACK. 
When star athlete Josh Daniels moves in across the street, Remy Ward doesn't realize how much his life will change during his senior year at Seattle's Crown Hill High.
HEART OF A CHAMPION.  A fast-paced sports novel that explores a boy's rite of  passage when he learns that athletes aren't perfect.

 

Doyle, Brian. Pure Spring.  [2007].  

Martin O'Boy has finally found a home with Grampa Rip and a job with the Pure Spring soft drink company, but his life is far from perfect as he tries to hide a secret from his past and help Grampa cope with the ravages of old age.

 

Duncan, Lois.

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER.  One morning, Julie James received two letters.  One is an acceptance letter to Smith College, and the other is an anonymous one with the following message:  "I know what you did last summer."  Julie painfully remembers how she and three of her friends concealed their responsibility for a hit and run accident.  Written as a mystery, the story slowly unfolds as the four teenagers relive their nightmare.
KILLING MR. GRIFFIN.  Five teenagers are frustrated by Mr. Griffin's unfair grading procedures.  They decide to kidnap and verbally abuse him in order to make him experience the same kind of anguish they all were feeling in his English class.  Unfortunately, they are unaware of his heart condition, and the negative effects a bad scare can have on him.  What started out as a practical joke turns into tragedy for these five impressionable teens to live with for the rest of their lives.

 

Flint, Eric.  PHILOSOPHICAL STRANGLER.  Greyboar, a successful professional strangler, yearns for something more in his life--but after he is exposed to the Supreme Philosophy of Life, balancing his profession and his Enlightenment proves to be ethically problematic.

Gaiman, Neil. Fragile things: short fictions and wonders [2006].  

A collection of short stories by award-winning horror fiction writer Neil Gaiman.

 

Green, John.

Looking for Alaska.  Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.
An Abundance of Katherines.  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.

Paper Towns. [2008]  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.

 

 

Griffin, Paul. Ten Mile River. [2008].

Having escaped from juvenile detention centers and foster care, two teenaged boys live on their own in an abandoned shack in a New York City park, making their way by stealing, occasionally working, and trying to keep from being arrested.

 

 

Grisham, John. A painted house. [2002].

Seven-year-old Arkansas farm boy Luke Chandler loses his innocence over the course of a contentious and strenuous cotton harvest in 1952, during which time Luke's family hires several Mexicans and an Ozark family and Luke begins keeping dangerous secrets.

 

 

_________.  Playing for pizza [2007.]

After losing an important game for his team, NFL backup quarterback Rick Dockery is fired, but his agent finds him an opportunity to play for the Panthers of Parma, and even though he has never been to Europe, he moves to Italy hoping for a second chance.

Ha, Thu-Huong.  Hail CaesarEveryone wants to be Caesar's friend and he doesn't care about anybody, until a new girl comes to town and turns his life upside down.

 

Haig, Matt. The dead fathers club. [2007].

Eleven-year-old Philip Noble finds himself with a dilemma on his hands when he is contacted by a ghost that claims to be his father and tells him he must kill his Uncle Alan--his dad's supposed killer--sometime within the next ten weeks or doom dear old dad to an eternity of unrest.

 

Halvorson, Marilyn. Bull rider. [2003].

Sixteen-year-old Layne faces a dangerous challenge when he defies his mother and enters himself in a bull riding contest--the same rodeo event in which his father was killed.

Hartinger, Brent. The Order of the Poison Oak. [2005].

Sixteen-year-old Russel decides to take a counselor job at a camp for burn victims to get away from the antagonism of his classmates, but finds ten-year-old boys have just as many problems as he does.

 


Hartnett, Sonya. PRINCES.  Twins, Indigo and Ravel Kerby, have been inseparable all their lives, but at age 23 and living in their missing parent's dilapidated mansion overrun by rats, one twin attempts to break the ties to his brother, and their insular world quickly disintegrates.

 

Higson, Charles.  SilverFin:  a James Bond adventure.  This prequel to the adventures of James Bond, 007, introduces us to the young James when he's just started boarding school in England and is about to become involved in his first adventure.

 

Hinton, S. E. 

THE OUTSIDERS.  This novel, written when the author was 17, is about the violence between two gangs, the Socials (Socs) and the Jets (Greasers).  The Socs are rich kids who live on the West side of town, and the Greasers live on the East side and are often mistaken for hoods.  Ponyboy, a Greaser, tells what life is like being an outsider.
RUMBLEFISH.  Rusty talks with his fists.  Because he never knew his mother and his father is a drunk, the values of his life are centered around his love and emulation for his older brother, Motorcycle Boy.

TEX. 
Tex is 15.  His father is away more than at home, his mother died when he was little.  Tex believes his dad is working hard at the rodeo and doesn't really mean to stay away so long without sending money home.  But Mace, Tex's older brother who is raising Tex, knows better.  The hardest thing for Tex is learning his father's secret and learning to appreciate Mace's love and concern for him.
Hawkes Harbor.  An orphan and a bastard, Jamie grew up though enough to handle almost anything.  He survived foreign prisons, smugglers, pirates, gunrunners, and shark attacks.  But what he finds in the quiet town of Hawkes Harbor is enough to drive him insane and change his life forever.



Hobbs, Will.

DOWNRIVER.  15 year old Jesse and other rebellious teenage members of a wilderness survival team, abandon their adult leader, steal his van and rafts, and run the dangerous white waters of the Grand Canyon.
RIVER THUNDER.  Five teens survive a rafting adventure on Arizona's Colorado River.  Companion to:  Downriver.
THE MAZE. 
Rick, a 14 year old foster child, escapes from a juvenile detention facility near Las Vegas and travels to Canyonlands
National Park in Utah where he meets a bird biologist working on a project to reintroduce condors to the wild.
JASON'S GOLD (2000). When news of the discovery of gold in Canada's Yukon Territory in 1897 reaches fifteen-year-old Jason, he embarks on a 10,000-mile journey to strike it rich.
DOWN THE YOUKON (2001). 
n the wake of Dawson City's Great Fire of 1899, sixteen-year-old Jason and his girlfriend Jamie canoe the Yukon River across Alaska in an epic race from Canada's Klondike to the new gold fields at Cape Nome. (Sequal to Jason's Gold)
JACKIE'S WILD SEATTLEHow do you rescue a wild coyote trapped in an elevator in a downtown Seattle office building?  How do you save an injured baby seal at the bottom of a cliff with the tide coming in?  Fourteen-year-old Shannon Young, visiting from New Jersey, is about to find out.
FAR NORTH. 
Fifteen-year-old Gabe, a Texan, enrolls in a boarding school in Canada's Northwest Territories to be near his father, whose love of the wilderness has become infectious. But Gabe gets more than he bargained for when an airplane accident leaves him and his roommate Raymond, a Dene, stranded near the fierce Nahanni River at the start of a long winter.



Hosseini, Khaled. The kite runner. [2004].  

Amir, haunted by his betrayal of Hassan, the son of his father's servant and a childhood friend, returns to Kabul as an adult after he learns Hassan has been killed, in an attempt to redeem himself by rescuing Hassan's son from a life of slavery to a Taliban official.

 

 

John, Antony. Busted: confessions of an accidental player [2008].  

High school senior Kevin Mopsely tries to remake his image by joining a crowd of popular boys who are known for treating girls badly, but when Kevin's mother, a feminist college professor, comes to campus to teach a course, his strategy backfires badly.

 

Kennen, Ally. Beast. [2006].

Seventeen-year-old Steven, who is always in trouble and is about to be kicked out of his foster home, discovers that his pet twelve-foot crocodile, that he has kept secretly hidden, has escaped.

 

Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a wimpy kid: Greg Heffley’s journal. [2007].  

Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.

 

Knowles, John. A SEPARATE PEACE.  The story of the friendship and treachery of two boys at an elite boarding school during World War II.  This is a classic!

 

Lasky, Kathryn.  THE BONE WARS.  In the mid-1870's, young teenage scout Thad Longsworth, blood brother to the Sioux visionary Black Elk, finds his destiny linked with that of three rival teams of paleontologists searching for dinosaur bones, as the Great Plains Indians prepare to go to war against the white man.

 

Lisle, Janet Taylor. Black duck. [2006].

In the spring of 1929, Ruben and his brother Jeddy find a dead body on a local beach. The boys are certain that it has something to do with smuggling  liquor, and soon they are drawn in when rival bootlegging gangs suspect them of taking something important off the dead man. Then Ruben meets the captain of the "Black Duck," the most notorious, elusive smuggling craft of them all.

 

Lowry, Lois

THE GIVER.  In this Utopian society where everything is the same and perfect, people don't want to be burdened with memories and feelings from the past.  Instead there is only one person assigned to keep all the memories, only one man who knows the truth, and he is known as the Giver. Now that Jonas has turned 12, he has been assigned to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Go along with Jonas as he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy.
The Messenger.  In this novel that unites characters from "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue," Matty, a young member of a utopian community that values honesty, conceals an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand.

 

Lubar, David.

Dunk.  Chad, hoping to work out his frustrations and his anger by taking a summer job as a dunk tank Bozo on the boardwalk at the New Jersey shore, comes to a better understanding of himself and the uses of humor as he undergoes training in the fine art of insults.
Sleeping frehsmen never die.  While navigating his first year of high school and awaiting the birth of his new baby brother, Scott loses old friends and gains some unlikely new ones as he hones his skills as a writer.
Hidden talents.  When thirteen-year-old Martin arrives at an alternative school for misfits and problem students, he falls in with a group of boys with psychic powers and discovers something surprising about himself.

 

Lynch, Chris

FREE WILL (2000).  A teenager trying to recover from the tragic death of his father and stepmother believes himself to be responsible for the rash of teen suicides occurring in his town.
ICEMAN.  Fourteen-year-old Eric, a ruthless hockey player prone to violence on the ice, tries to reconcile his own needs with those of his parents.

SLOT MACHINE. 
When overweight thirteen-year-old Elvin Bishop is sent to camp at Christian Brothers Academy Retreat Center, he and his two best friends are forced to try various sports in order to find out where they belong.
EXTREME ELVIN.  As he enters high school, fourteen-year-old Elvin continues to deal with his weight problem as he tries to find his place among his peers.
GYPSY DAVEY. 
Twelve-year-old Davey is the man of the household, taking care of his mother and older sister as best he can and avoiding them when they're either too mean or too sad.
WHITECHURCH.  Describes the stresses and strains in the triangular relationship of two aimless teenage boys and a girl living in a small town.
Inexcusable.  High school senior and football player Keir sets out to enjoy himself on graduation night, but when he attempts to comfort a friend whose date has left her stranded, things go terribly wrong.
Sins of the Fathers.   At Boston's Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, Drew, aided by a priest who is far from perfect--and on the wrong side of the Monsignor--stands by his best friends as one struggles to avoid being sent to public school and the other tries to hide serious problems.

 

MacGregor, Rob.

HAWK MOON.  Will faces a mystery involving drugs at his high school, while being framed for the disappearance and possible murder of his girlfriend.
PROPHECY ROCK.  Will Lansa visits his father, who is the tribal police chief on the Hopi reservation in northern Arizona, and learns about some sacred Hopi traditions while he helps investigate several murders.  (Note:  If you like this one, other recommended authors on this same theme include Tony Hillerman and Kathleen O'Neal Gear.)

 

 

Maltman, Thomas. The night birds. [2007].

In the summer of 1876, Asa Senger and his German immigrant family find their relationships and faith tested when a mysterious aunt arrives, carrying a devastating secret that could shatter the family.

 

Marsden, John

TOMORROW WHEN THE WAR BEGAN (1996).  Seven Australian teens return from a camping trip in the bush to discover that their country has been invaded and they must hide to stay alive.
THE DEAD OF NIGHT (1997).  Sequel to:  Tomorrow, when the war began.  Six determined Australian teens try to find their missing friends while continuing to resist the enemies who have invaded their country.

A KILLING FROST (1998). 
Sequel to:  Dead of night.  Ellie and her friends, a small band of teens trying to survive in the Australian countryside, continue to resist the enemies who have invaded their country.
DARKNESS BE MY FRIEND (1999).  Sequel to:  A Killing frost.  As survivors of an enemy invasion of their country, Ellie and her friends return to Australia as guides for soldiers from New Zealand who plan an attack on the Wirrawee airfield.
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BURNING FOR REVENGE (2000). 
Fifth in the continuing series about the teens down under fighting to free their country from foreign invaders.
THE NIGHT IS FOR HUNTING (2001).  While trying to care for a group of abandoned young children, five Australian teenagers continue their struggle for survival and their resistance against the enemy invading their homeland.
The Other side of dawn (2002).  Ellie and her friends, five Australian teenagers who survived the enemy invasion of their country, use guerrilla tactics to support a major counterattack by New Zealand troops.

 

 

Martínez, Manuel Luis. Drift. [2003].

Sixteen-year-old Robert Lomos, living with his grandmother in San Antonio since his father abandoned the family and his mother suffered a breakdown and moved with his little brother to California, struggles to earn the money to follow her and put his family back together.

 

McCarthy, Cormac

ALL THE PRETTY HORSES (1992).  The story of John Grady Cole, a 16 year old West Texan, who leaves home with a friend and heads for Mexico and a better way of life.  His modern cowboy odyssey takes him to a ranch in Mexico where he breeds horses, falls in love, and eventually ends up in prison.  He returns to Texas wiser but no more certain, with hard calluses on both his hands and his spirit.
THE CROSSING (1994).  Billy and Boyd Parham embark on a journey to return a she-wolf to the mountains of Mexico, only to find their destiny and fate.
CITIES OF THE PLAIN (1999). 
The third of a three-part saga, following the lives of John Grady Cole and Billy Parham, cowboys and friends in 1952 who must find a way to cope with their changing world.

 

 

McClintock, Norah. Snitch [2005].

After Josh is charged with beating his friend Scott with a fish club, he insists he is innocent and no one believes he is telling the truth because his fingerprints are on the club.

 

Mikaelsen, Ben

TOUCHING SPIRIT BEAR.  After his anger erupts into violence, fifteen year-old Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.
RED MIDNIGHT.  After soldiers kill his family, twelve-year-old Santiago and his four-year-old sister flee Guatemala in a kayak and try to reach the United States.



Mitchell, David.  Black swan green: a novel [2007].  

Thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor comes of age in 1982 in what is for him the sleepiest village in Worcestershire, experiencing first cigarettes, first kisses, and first deaths.

 


Morgenroth, Kate.  EchoAfter Justin witnesses his brother's accidental shooting death, he must live with the repercussions, as the same horrific day seems to happen over and over.

 

Myers, Walter Dean

MONSTER.  While on trial as an accomplice to murder, 16 year old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.
FALLEN ANGLES. 
Ritchie should never have even been in the army but he ends up in the middle of the Vietnam War.

 

Randle, Kristin D.  BREAKING RANK.  Casey is asked by her guidance counselor to tutor Baby, a member of a non-conformist society.  Baby is intelligent, but doesn't apply himself, due in part, the counselor suspects, to the influence of his older brother and other members of their "gang".  Casey finds herself attracted to Baby and they become friends, much to the dislike of Baby's brother.  This is a great book about peer pressure and how, given the right circumstances, individuals can break away from it to form their own identities.

 

Patterson, James

Maximum Ride: the angel experiement After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "birdkids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose.
Schools Out : forever.  After a short stay with an FBI agent who gives them a chance to attend school and live a normal life, the six genetically-altered, winged youths head toward Florida and Max’s ultimate destiny--to save the world, whether she wants to or not.  Folled by:  The final warning;  Saving the world and other extreme sports:  Max.

 

Paulsen, Gary.

HATCHET.  When his plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness, 13 year old Brian is the sole survivor.  Left with only his clothes and a hatchet, Brian must find his way home.  But first, he must learn to survive!
BRIAN'S RETURN.  Prequel:   River.  After having survived alone in the wilderness, Brian finds that he can no longer live in the city but must return to the place where he really belongs.
BRIAN'S WINTER. 
What if Brian hadn't been rescued, and had to survive the brutal Canadian winter alone?  Find out in this riveting story!
RIVER.  Sequel to:  Hatchet.  Because of his success surviving alone in the Canadian wilderness for fifty-four days, 15 year old Brian, profoundly changed by his time in the wild, is asked to undergo a similar experience to help scientists learn more about the psychology of survival.
VOYAGE OF THE FROG. 
When David goes out on his sailboat to scatter his recently deceased uncle's ashes to the wind, he is caught in a fierce storm and must survive many days on his own as he works out his feelings about life and his uncle.
NIGHTJOHN.  A man allows himself to be captured as a slave so he can teach the enslaved children to read.

 

 

Polisar, Lisa.  The ghost of Mary Prairie: a novel. [2007].  

In 1961 Oklahoma, fifteen-year-old Jacob Leeds sees the apparition of a girl murdered long ago in his town and sets out to learn the truth about what happened to her.

 

 

Polak, Monique. Home invasion.  [2005].  

While fifteen-year-old Josh struggles to deal with his new stepfather, a stranger in Montreal is breaking into homes and robbing them. One day Josh sees the open door o f a stranger's house and lets himself in to see how a normal family lives becoming a home invader himself. The next time he enters his friend's home through an open window, he accidentally encounters the robber and plays a role in his arrest.

 

Salinger, J. D.  THE CATCHER IN THE RYEJoin Holden Caulfield, a teenager growing up in 1950s New York, as he takes a "vacation" before heading home to his parents' inevitable wrath after being expelled from school for poor achievement once again. This book was banned in America after its first publication.

 

Shepard, Jim. Project X: a novel. [2004].

Eight-grade misfits Edwin Hanratty and his only friend, Flake, feed each other's misery and discontent until they decide the only solution is violence.

 

Shusterman, Neal.

DOWNSIDERS.  An old subway system built in 1867 under New York City is the setting for this intriguing novel about  14 year old Lindsay who meets one of the Downsiders, Talon.  This is an interesting book on several levels:  Lindsay is living with her divorced father and sister and seems to be drifting, making no connections; Talon is interested in the Topsiders world and has recently taken up watching people on the streets via a storm drain.  When the two finally meet, it opens up many new avenues for both of them, but also dangers, to both their worlds.  Lindsay's father is an engineer who is trying to construct a new building which may destroy Talon's home.  This is a good fantasy novel which has touches of reality, and I enjoyed reading it.  It kept my interest, and the author's descriptions of the underground world were fascinating.
DARK SIDE OF NOWHERE. 
Jason's normal life changes when he discovers that he, his closest friends, and their parents are aliens from a distant planet.

SCORPION SHARDS. 
Accurate portrayal of teenage phobias and the engaging, sympathetic characters combine in a haunting but ultimately reassuring novel.
DISSIDENTS.   15 year old Derek, son of the recently deceased American ambassador to the Soviet Union, decides to smuggle a Russian dissident's daughter out of Moscow, and in doing so, achieves a greater understanding of himself, his principles, and his deep-seated feelings for his father.



Simmons, Michael.

Finding Lubchenko.  Evan's father is framed for murder and bioterrorism, so high-school junior Evan, using clues from a stolen laptop, travels from Seattle to Paris with two friends to find the real culprit.
The Rise of Lubchenko.  Suspecting that his father's business partner is selling smallpox virus to terrorists, sixteen-year-old Evan Macalister travels to France with his friends, Ruben and Erika, to search for Lubchenko, the elusive spymaster whose help they need to avert a major disaster.

Vandal.   [2006].   The love-hate relationship between high school musician Will and his older brother Jason is fueled by the abuse Will suffers at Jason's hands, but a devastating accident changes everything for the boys and their family.

 

 

Sitomer, Alan Lawrence. The hoopster. [2005].  

Andre Anderson is a black teenager who loves to play basketball.  When he is viciously attacked, it calls his whole world into question--even his deadly jumpshot.

 

Soto, Gary.

BURIED ONIONS.  When 19 year old Eddie drops out of college, he tries to find a place for himself as a Mexican American in the violence infested neighborhood of Fresno, CA.
The Afterlife.  A senior at East Fresno High School lives on as a ghost after his brutal murder in the restroom of a club where he had gone to dance.

 

Taylor, Theodore.  THE BOMB.  After World War II, Sorry Rinamu tries to stop the atomic bomb test that will render his Bikini Island home uninhabitable.

 

Thomas, Rob.  RATS SAW GOD.  Steve York moves to California from Houston to live with his mother and sister and escape his astronaut father, who he feels doesn't approve of him, his friends or anything he does.  When he arrives in CA, he discovers that, due to failure from the previous year, he must re-take English in order to graduate on time.  He is sent to a guidance counselor who suggests he write a journal for his Senior English paper.  Steve does this and through the journal, expresses his feelings and reasons for moving to California.  This is a GREAT book.  Written in alternating voices, we learn of Steve's previous year in Houston, the girl he fell in love with, the experiences he had, etc.  We also see his present life, new friends, an unusual society they make up, and a new love interest developing.  This book is funny, warm, heartbreaking, in other words it has all the makings of a modern classic.  Read it, you'll be glad you did!

 

Toutonghi, Pauls. Red weather: a novel.  [2006].  

Fifteen-year-old Yuri Balodis, son of Latvian-immigrant parents, falls in love with Hannah Graham, the daughter of a prominent local socialist, and immediately becomes involved in the socialist movement creating serious consequences for himself and his family.

 

 

Trembath, Don. Lefty Carmichael has a fit.   [1999].  

Fifteen-year-old Lefty Carmichael, diagnosed with epilepsy, discovers he must not only learn to deal with the seizures, but must also find a way to handle the reactions of his family and friends to the news of his condition.

 

Twain, Mark.

THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN.  Join Huck as he floats down the Mississippi on a raft.
THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER.  Tom witnesses a murder and subsequently runs away from home.



Van de Ruit, John. Spud-- the madness continues [2008].

Spud, a scholarship student at an elite boys' boarding school in South Africa, returns for a second year in 1991 to find things even more chaotic, with new students, a house cat, girl troubles, and a questionable part in the school play.

 

 

_______.  Spud [2007]

In 1990, thirteen-year-old John "Spud" Milton, a prepubescent choirboy, keeps a diary of his first year at an elite, boys-only boarding school in South Africa, as he deals with bizarre housemates, wild crushes, embarrassingly dysfunctional parents, and much more.

 

 

 

Walker, Kate.  Peter.  An ordinary fifteen-year-old Australian kid, who enjoys riding his dirt bike and wants to be a photographer, becomes confused about his sexuality when he finds he is attracted to a gay friend of his older brother.

 

Wallace, Rich

WRESTLING STURBRIDGE.  Ben has to win the state wrestling championship... even if it means going against his best friend to do it. Ben has to get out of Sturbridge, PA. There is no way in hell he is willing to spend the rest of his life there. He needs a college scholarship. The pressure is on... if he doesn't win, he just might explode.  Robert Cormier describes the nuances here much better than I can: "In a beautifully understated first novel, Rich Wallace brings the town and the teenager achingly alive as Ben wrestles not only his high school opponents but with the big issues of life and love and the choices a teenager must make." Reluctant readers, take note: you won't be able to stop turning the pages of this one!
PLAYING WITHOUT THE BALL: A NOVEL IN FOUR QUARTERS.  Feeling abandoned by his parents, who have gone their separate ways and left him behind in a small Pennsylvania town, seventeen year old Jay finds hope for the future in a church-sponsored basketball team and a female friend.
SHOTS ON GOAL. 
While pursuing his goal of helping his soccer team win the championship in the district playoffs, fifteen-year-old Bones tries to deal with his resentment of his best friend, on whose girlfriend he has a crush.

Dunk under pressure [2006.]  Free throw specialist Cornell "Dunk" Duncan joins the YMCA summer basketball league all-star team, but after losing his confidence in an important game the seventh-grader makes some decisions about becoming an all-around player.

One good punch [2007].  Eighteen-year-old Michael Kerrigan, writer of obituaries for the Scranton Observer and captain of the track team, is ready for the most important season of his life--until the police find four joints in his school locker, and he is faced with a choice that could change everything.

Restless [2003.] Frank, a teenaged ghost who has not been able to move on to a higher realm in the afterlife, tries to connect with his younger brother Herbie, a high school senior who was eight years old when Frank died.

Dishes.  [2008].  Nineteen-year-old Danny spends an eventful summer in Maine, looking for romance, working as a "straight" dishwasher in a gay bar, and trying to reconnect with his estranged father.

 

 

Waltman, Kevin. Nowhere fast [2002].

Fifteen-year-old Gary, pulled by the conflicting influences of his father, his girlfriend, and his criminally-inclined best friend Wilson, longs for escape from his suffocating small-town life in Indiana.

 

 

Watt, Alan. Diamond dogs. [2001].

Seventeen-year-old Neil Garvin blames his abusive father for driving his mother away years earlier, and plans on leaving his small hometown after graduating high school, but when he accidentally commits a terrible crime, which his father, unasked, covers up, he finds himself unwillingly indebted to his father.

 


Werlin, Nancy
.  KILLER'S COUSIN.  After being acquitted of murder, 17 year old David goes to stay with relatives in Cambridge, MA, where he finds himself forced to face his past as he learns more about his strange young cousin Lily.

 

White, Robb.

DEATHWATCH.  Needing money for school, a college boy accepts a job as a guide on a desert hunting trip and nearly loses his life.
SURVIVOR.  The time:  World War II.  The place:  a Japanese-held island in the Pacific.  The wounded man said to himself:  I'd better not die.  Not because I'm important, but because what I know is important.

UP PERISCOPE. 
Suspended 350 feet below surface lies the Shark, engines barely idling.  Overhead a Japanese ship cruises, doggedly sounding the depths.  The sub must be found, and destroyed.

 

 

NONFICTION

 

305.23 POL

Pollack, William S and Shuster, Todd. Real boys' voices [2000].  

Boys speak out about drugs, sex, violence, bullying, sports, girls, school, parents, and so much more.  

 

305.235 NIK

Nikkah, John and Furman, Leah. Our boys speak: adolescent boys write about their inner lives. [2000].  

Presents the writings of twentieth-century American boys age twelve through eighteen, including essays, poems, diary entries, and stories on topics such as friendship, family struggles, first love, violence, homosexuality, and other concerns.

 

362.28 RUN

Runyon, Brent. The burn journals. [2004].

Presents the true story of Brent Runyon, who at fourteen set himself on fire and sustained burns over eighty percent of his body and describes the months of physical and mental rehabilitation that followed as he attempted to pull his life together.

 

362.73 PEL

Pelzer, David J. The privilege of youth: a teenager's story of longing for acceptance and friendship. [2004].  

 

621.48 SIL

Silverstein, Ken. The radioactive boy scout: the frightening true story of a whiz kid and his homemade nuclear reactor. [2005].  

Growing up in suburban Detroit, David Hahn was fascinated by science, and his basement experiments were far more ambitious than those of other boys. While working on his Atomic Energy merit badge for the Boy Scouts, David's obsessive attention turned to nuclear energy. Throwing caution to the wind, the plunged into a new project: building a model nuclear breeder reactor in his backyard garden shed. Ken Silverstein re-creates in brilliant detail the months of David's improbable nuclear quest. His unsanctioned and wholly unsupervised project finally sparked an environmental catastrophe that put his town's forty thousand residents at risk and caused the EPA to shut down his lab and bury it at a radioactive dumpsite in Utah.

 

810.8 GUY

Guys write for guys read. [2005].

There's something for every guy in this collection of stories, mini-memoirs, advice, poems, comics and drawings chosen by readers on the Guys Read web site.

 

811 CRI

Crisler, Curtis L and Cooper, Floyd. Tough boy sonatas. [2007].  

A collection of nearly forty poems that explores the struggles and joys of poor African-American boys in Gary, Indiana, reflecting the difficult circumstances they face.

 

813 EVE

Mercado, Nancy, ed and Mercado, Nancy E. Every man for himself: ten short stories about being a guy.[2005].  

An anthology of ten original short stories about such things as family problems, sexuality, and courage, written by well-known young adult authors.

 

813 HIL

Hill, Joe. 20th century ghosts. [2007].

A collection of fifteen original ghost stories by award-winning author Joe Hill, son of authors Stephen King and Tabitha King.

 

813 PER

Perrotta, Tom. Bad haircut: stories of the seventies. [1997].  

These short stories follow Buddy's boyhood and adolescent adventures trying to understand race relations, sex, and family dynamics.

 

813 RUS

Cart, Michael. Rush hour: Bad boys: a journal of contemporary voices. [2004].  

Contains seventeen stories, poems, essays, novel excerpts, and illustrations on the theme of rebellious male youth.

 

 

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