Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Roller Girl_

Astrid and Nicole have been best friends forever, but their friendship hits a bumpy road during the summer before middle school.  After Astrid’s mom takes the girls to watch Portland’s roller derby team, the Rose City Rollers, play the Oregon City Rollergirls, Astrid decides she wants to sign up for Roller Derby Summer Camp with Nicole. Astrid dreams of becoming a Rose City Roller, while Nicole has no interest what so ever in roller derby. Nicole plans to attend summer dance camp.  Astrid feels abandoned by Nicole and her feelings become even more conflicted when she finds out that her enemy, mean girl Rachel, will be spending more time with Nicole at dance camp.  Astrid deceives her mom who believes that Nicole and Astrid will be attending Roller Derby Summer Camp together, and Nicole’s mom will be picking up the girls after camp. But Astrid attends roller derby camp on her own and walks home every day by herself.  Astrid finds out that Roller Derby Summer Camp is a lot of hard work especially if you don’t know how to skate.  Astrid discovers deceiving her mom is equally as hard.

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

Sunny Side Up

Sunshine Lewin, or Sunny as she is known to her family, is sent to spend the summer in Florida with her grandfather.  Sunny’s vision of trips to Disney World and hanging out with other kids at the pool changes quickly when she discovers that her grandfather lives in a retirement community.  There aren’t many kids around and the “big plans” her grandfather has for her each day include trips to the bank and the grocery store. Sunny is facing a summer of complete boredom. Through flashbacks, we learn that Sunny has been sent to her grandfather’s while her parents deal with a family issue.  As the title suggests, Sunny does her best to keep her sunny side up and enjoy her exile in Florida.

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Doll Bones_Alice, Poppy, and Zach have been friends since elementary school.  They get together every day after school to play a great game of imagination with characters they have developed over the years with each of the friends playing an imaginary character. One of the characters, an antique doll Poppy’s mother keeps locked in a glass cabinet, they call the Great Queen has always had an air of mystery surrounding it.  When Zach’s father returns to the family, he wants Zach to get more into sports, so he pressures Zach to give up the time he spends with his best friends to pursue basketball. Just as Zach’s dad takes a desperate action to end the game leaving Zach feeling he has no choice but to abandon his friends, Poppy approaches Zach with a story of a haunted china doll. Poppy needs Zach and Alice to accompany her on a quest to return the Great Queen to her final resting spot.  Has Poppy made a gruesome discovery or is this just another part of the game?

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

unwind_After the Second Civil War, known as the Heartland War, leaders of United States of America put into place a set of amendments known as “The Bill of Life.” These amendments protect human life from conception until the child reaches the age of thirteen.  From the age of thirteen until a child reaches the age of eighteen, a parent may choose to have a child unwound.  As Shusterman’s story begins, unwinding is a common practice in society.

Connor and Risa are on a bus to an unwinding center.  Lev, a tithe, is traveling by Cadillac to the center. An accident causes their paths to cross, and now they are on the run from the Juvey-cops.  If Connor, Risa, and Lev can survive until they are eighteen, they will remain whole.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily BlueMaggie Stiefvater’s Blue Lily, Lily Blue is Book III in The Raven Cycle.  Blue Sargent’s mother, Maura, is missing.  Maura’s psychic sisters, Persephone and Calla, cannot locate her. Blue, Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch and Richard Campbell Gansey III are still on a quest to find the cave that holds Glendower and perhaps the missing Maura. Others are trying to find Glendower as well. Persephone is coaching Adam to use his new found abilities and gives him this particular message: “Three in particular,” she murmured. “To be woken. Oh, no. No. Two. One should not be woken.”  It will be up to the Raven Boys and Blue to find the cave and figure out Persephone’s message.

Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

NightmaresCharlie Laird is having nightmares! Ever since his mother died, his dad remarried and moved his boys into his stepmother’s mansion, Charlie hasn’t had a good night’s sleep. Why? Because Charlie believes his stepmother, Charlotte, is a witch! She has his dad and little brother, Jack, fooled but Charlie knows better.  He is not falling for any of his stepmonster’s false sweetness and caring because she’s been invading his dreams and turning them into nightmares.  When his three best friends also start having their own nightmares and some of the characters from these nightmares show up at school, Charlie knows something is terribly wrong in Cypress Creek. Charlie needs to do something to protect his family and friends, and he’s going to need all the help he can get to face his nightmares.

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

thefalseprince

When Conner, a nobleman and regent to King Eckbert of Carthya, rounds up orphans, Sage, Roden, Tobias and Latamer from around the kingdom, the boys have no idea what he has in store for them. Conner has a plan to save the kingdom of Carthya.  He plans to pass one of these orphans off as the missing and presumed dead Prince Jaron.  Conner pits the boys against each other.  The boys have a short amount of time to learn how to act like a royal. To lose this contest means certain death; after all Conner cannot have witnesses to speak out against his treasonous plan.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Ill Give You the Sun_

Jude and Noah are twins. They share an intense empathetic connection and are very close at age thirteen.  Jude is reckless, rebellious and communicates with the ghost of Grandma Sweetwine while Noah is awkward, isolated and thinks and feels in color. Both are artistically talented, and their mother has hopes of the twins going to California School of the Arts for high school. But at sixteen, events in their lives have divided and changed them. They are not themselves and the twins barely tolerate each other.

Told with alternating narrators, each twin narrates their tale. Noah describing their lives at thirteen and Jude picking up the story three years later. I’ll Give You the Sun is the 2015 Printz Award winner for excellence in Young Adult Literature.  (mature read)

Paper Towns by John Green

papertownsWhen Quentin (Q) and Margo were nine they shared an event.  One that would bond them together. Flash forward. Now they are finishing up their senior year of high school, still living next door to each other.  They run in different circles; Q with the brains including his best friends Radar and Ben.  Q worships beautiful Margo Roth Spiegelman. He follows her every move but from afar.  Margo runs with the popular crowd. And some members of her crowd are not kind to Q and his friends.  So Q is caught completely off-guard when Margo taps on his bedroom window one night with a plan of revenge.  Q, who’s not the biggest risk taker, follows Margo out the window and embarks on a memorable night.  When Q returns to school the next day Margo is missing. Margo has left clues, and Q is
obsessed with finding Margo.

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Gacigalupi

drowned cities_The Drowned Cities is a companion novel to Ship Breaker.

Set in a future war-torn America, refugees Mahlia and Mouse have escaped the Drowned Cities where they have made a better life with Doctor Mahfouz.  Mouse rescued Mahlia from the violence of the soldier boys but not before they managed to take her right hand.  Doctor Mahfouz has healed Mahlia and she is learning how to doctor from him.  A chance encounter with Tool, the half-man introduced in Ship Breaker, sends their lives into chaos.  Mahlia, who has always made choices based on survival, will have to make decisions which pit her survival instinct against her heart.  The circumstances of war keep this book moving and provide a thrilling backdrop for Mahlia and Mouse’s story.