Books for Teens - Ages 14 and Older
Chicago Public Library recommends the following books as some of the best fiction published in 2009 for teens in high school. For more ideas of outstanding things to read, please check out Teen Volume Reads, browse the Teen Volume collection at your neighborhood library or ask your librarian for assistance. Best of the Best is part of the Kraft Great Kids Initiative. Read, Learn, Discover!
By Amy Efaw
Devon may never forgive herself for breaking one of her self-imposed rules meant to make her different than her mother, but, more importantly, will she ever forgive herself for leaving her newborn daughter in a dumpster?
Along for the Ride
By Sarah Dessen
Auden feels she’s missed out on a normal childhood so decides to change her life the summer before college by getting to know her new baby half-sister and step-mother, and in the process learns about love, loss and forgiveness.
EAudio | EResource
By Chris Crutcher
In three powerful novellas about survival, Crutcher revisits and connects his well-known characters Angus Bethune, Sarah Byrnes, Montana West and Marcus James as they struggle with insecurity and self-acceptance.
By Laura Ruby
With an evil classmate, runaway dad, wicked stepmother, and possible Prince Charming, Tola Riley’s life certainly feels like a fairy tale, but when she’s accused of having an affair with a teacher her whole world truly does turn grim.
Because I Am Furniture
By Thalia Chaltas
Anke is just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, yet as her confidence grows after making the volleyball team she’s finally able to imagine a day her voice will be loud enough to rescue everyone at home—including herself.
By Suzanne Collins
Katniss and Peeta have won the annual Hunger Games, but the Capital has plans for the unorthodox victors after their defiance sparks rebellion in this adrenaline-pumping sequel to The Hunger Games.
Audio | Large Print
By Sarwat Chadda
Being the only female member of the Knights Templar isn’t easy and when a mysterious stranger enters her life and a childhood companion returns with feelings of his own, Billi SanGreal must face a sacrifice never made before.
By Walter Dean Myers
When a drug deal with an undercover cop goes bad, Lil J needs to find a place to hide, and after stumbling into an abandoned building and meeting the mysterious Kelly, he just might get a chance to change his life for the better.
By Kristin Cashore
As the last of her kind in a time of unrest, Fire wrestles with her pivotal role in the effort to save the kingdom, with her monster father’s fearsome legacy and with the complex relationship with an old friend and lover.
By Sherri L. Smith
When women are allowed to fly non-combat missions during WWII, Ida Mae realizes she will have to pass for white and deny her heritage to fulfill her dream.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth
By Carrie Ryan
Mary’s world contains two types of people, those in her village and the undead outside the fence. When the life she has known is gone, she must venture into the unknown to search for safety and a reason to go on living.
By Libba Bray
Cameron, terminally ill with mad cow disease, sets off with a video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome on a road trip through America after receiving hope from a loopy punk angel … or maybe it was just all a hallucination.
Audio | EAudio
The Goodbye Season
By Marian Hale
16-year-old Mercy Kaplan is determined not to end up “trapped” like her Mama, but when the influenza epidemic leaves her on her own she’s forced to figure out what she really wants out of life.
By Nina LaCour
Caitlan’s guilt and grief over her best friend Ingrid’s suicide keep her emotionally detached until finding Ingrid’s journal enables her, with the help of her parents and new friends, to find the way from devastation to hope.
If I Stay
By Gayle Forman
An early February snow quickly turns tragic when 17-year-old Mia and her family are struck by an oncoming truck and, trapped in a coma, Mia struggles to decide: do I stay or do I go?
By Scott Westerfeld
Simon Pulse, 2009
After his parents are assassinated and his people turn on him in this steampunk version of events in pre-World War I Austria-Hungary, Prince Alek flees in a Clanker ship only to be forced into an alliance with an English Darwinist in disguise.
Marcelo in the Real World
By Francisco X. Stork
Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2009
Marcelo has always had a difficult time socializing with others and has lived a sheltered life because of it, until the summer his father decides it’s time for him to experience the “real world” of working in a law office mailroom.
By Tanita S. Davis
On a cross-country trip with their grandmother, Talitha and Octavia learn about Mare’s extraordinary life as a member of 6888th African American battalion of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II and come to appreciate not only their grandmother but their place in their family’s history.
The Orange Houses
By Paul Griffin
15-year-old deaf Tamika, 18-year-old homeless vet Jimmi and 16-year-old refugee Fatima each alternate telling the story of their tough neighborhood and the challenges they face to fit into a world that has rejected each of them in different ways.
By Francesca Lia Block
After the apparent suicide of her only friend, Charlotte Emerson begins to change, and while broken nails, acne, blushing and falling in love are all regular teen experiences, when you’re a 100-year-old vampire, nothing is normal.
The Prophecy of the Sisters
By Michelle Zink
Little, Brown, 2009
As an ancient prophecy pits two sisters against each other in the battle over the gate to the Beast and the Seven Plagues, they must each discover their own destiny before it is too late.
By Maggie Stiefvater
After being attacked by wolves as a child, Grace has been obsessed with the yellow-eyed one that saved her, and when she meets Sam, with the same yellow eyes, she begins to unravel the secret of the wolves and fight to keep her one true love a human.
By Abby McDonald
Tasha and Emily are pleasantly surprised and relieved to become each other’s confidants when they discover they have much more in common than they thought after trading places during their sophomore years at universities in England and America.
This Full House
By Virginia Euwer Wolff
In the final book in the Make Lemonade trilogy, LaVaughn is one step away from her longtime goal of college when sudden changes in the lives of the people she loves make her reconsider everything and begin to reconcile her perceptions with the world as it is.
Audio | EAudio
The Vast Fields of Ordinary
By Nick Burd
The months between high school and college are a confusing time for Dade—he’s falling in love with a new boyfriend just as his parent’s marriage is falling apart, and he has the house to himself all summer yet is surround by the sadness of others—so the time has definitely come for a fresh start.
By Laurie Halse Anderson
Six months after their friendship ended, Cassie is dead and Lia must confront her own ghosts to deal with her feeling of responsibility and her own eating disorder while fighting her way back to being a “real” girl.
Audio | EAudio
William C. Morris YA Debut Award
By L.K. Madigan
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
Great Kids Read, generously sponsored by The Kraft Foods Foundation, through the Chicago Public Library Foundation, is a collaboration created by the Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Park District to emphasize the importance of reading and family literacy at an early age.
Published in February 2010