Blizzard

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The Blizzard
by John Nez

Melanie Hondel is the all-American high school student. She is popular, pretty, and attracts the attention of more than a few boys. One of them is Chet, who Melanie thinks is handsome enough, but whose determined self-reliance she has always found a bit strange and hardly romantic. When Melanie refuses the advances of a classmate, Tommy, and is beaten by him, she flees into a blizzard, where she falls through the ice. Her cries for help are heard by Chet, who is able to save her.
[spoiler title="Click for More"]They find refuge in an isolated cabin, where they shed their icy clothing and huddle together for warmth…in a bed. Rescuers arrive the next day, followed closely by Melanie’s father, and there is confusion and anger. Mr. Hondel insists that Chet be arrested and refuses to accept his daughter’s explanation, thereby leaving everyone convinced that Chet is dangerous. [/spoiler]

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NA High School 188 Drama 2010 0984568069

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Accidental Adventures of India McAllister

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The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister
by Charlotte Agell

India McAllister hopes that fourth grade brings her plenty of fun and adventures in her small town in Maine. She camps out and looks for UFOs with her friend Colby, tries to catch her father’s new bird that gets loose in the house, and takes walks into the woods with her dog. India is also navigating a number of personal issues, including her parents’ divorce, confusing feelings for her father’s implied boyfriend, embarrassment over a plaster breast that hangs in the living room as a reminder that her mother survived breast cancer, and the fact that she was adopted from China.

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690 Middle School 160 Adventure 2010 0805089020

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Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger


Holden Caulfield, a seventeen year old prep school adolescent relates his lonely, life-changing twenty-four hour stay in New York City as he experiences the phoniness of the adult world while attempting to deal with the death of his younger brother, an overwhelming compulsion to lie and troubling sexual experiences.

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790L High School 288 Adventure 2001 0316769177

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Code Talker

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Code Talker
by Joseph Bruchac

Ned Begay is transplanted from his family’s home at the age of six, and sent to a boarding school to learn English and the American way of life. There he is given a new name and clothes and forbidden to speak his native language Navajo. When he is 16, he is recruited to join the Marines, and shortly afterwards he enlists and is sent to boot camp.

[spoiler title=”Click for More”] He discovers that his Navajo language, which he has been using only in secret for years, is the secret weapon that the U.S. is using in their war against the Japanese. As a Navajo code talker, Ned is able to use his native language to save countless American lives, and his experiences in the Pacific – from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima to Okinawa -change him forever. [/spoiler]

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910 Middle School 240 Historical Fiction 2005 9780439891004

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Suite Scarlett

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Suite Scarlett
by Maureen Johnson

The Hopewell Hotel, 75 years ago a stylish Upper East Side haunt, has fallen on hard times. Its proprietors, the Martin family, have let the last remaining employee go, and now it is up to the four children, Spencer, Lola, Scarlett, and Marlene, to keep things afloat. Enter one Mrs. Amy Amberson, a flamboyant, mysterious guest, back in New York after a long absence, with some clandestine motives. Mrs. Amberson is to occupy the Empire Suite, just today entrusted to Scarlett as a ‘present’ on her fifteenth birthday (a family tradition), for the entire summer, and keeping her happy will test Scarlett’s ingenious mettle.

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690L Middle School 368 Adventure 2009 0545096324

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Absolutely True Diary

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie

Arnold Spirit, a goofy-looking dork with a decent jumpshot, spends his time lamenting life on the “poor-ass” Spokane Indian reservation, drawing cartoons (which accompany, and often provide more insight than, the narrative), and, along with his aptly named pal Rowdy, laughing those laughs over anything and nothing that affix best friends so intricately together.
[spoiler title=”Click for More”]When a teacher pleads with Arnold to want more, to escape the hopelessness of the rez, Arnold switches to a rich white school and immediately becomes as much an outcast in his own community as he is a curiosity in his new one. He weathers the typical teenage indignations and triumphs like a champ but soon faces far more trying ordeals as his home life begins to crumble and decay amidst the suffocating mire of alcoholism on the reservation. [/spoiler]

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600L Middle School 288 Autobiography 2009 0316013692

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Thirteen Reasons Why

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Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher

When Clay Jensen finds a package on his front porch, he’s excited. A package, for him? With no return address? What could it possibly be? What Clay finds is a shoebox full of cassette tapes, each marked as “Cassette 1: Side A,” “Cassette 1: Side B,” etc. Of course he rushes to the old radio/cassette player in his dad’s garage to check out these mysterious tapes.And soon wishes, wholeheartedly, that he’d never picked up that stupid package from his front porch.

[spoiler title=”Click for More”]What he hears when he inserts that first tape is the voice of Hannah Baker. Hannah, the girl he’d crushed on for longer than he could remember. The girl he went to school with. The girl he worked at the movie theater with. The girl who had changed, drastically, in the last several months. Hannah Baker, the girl who committed suicide.

Clay soon realizes that these tapes aren’t just a suicide note, aren’t, really, even a clear-cut rendition of why she did what she did. Instead, these are thirteen reasons — thirteen people, to be exact — who created a snowball-effect of events that led Hannah to believe that suicide was her only option. [/spoiler]

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550L High School 304 Realistic Fiction 2008 1595141715

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Dork Diaries

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Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life
by Rachel Renee Russell

Fourteen-year-old Nikki J. Maxwell has been awarded a scholarship to a prestigious private middle school as a part of her father’s bug extermination contract. Her angst as she deals with the resident mean girl, her embarrassing parents, her crush on the hot boy, and making new friends are all recorded alongside numerous sketches of her life. Although occasionally amusing, Nikki is not a very likable character. She is shallow and self-centered and fails to show any growth in the book, even as she one-ups popular and cruel MacKenzie in the end. [spoiler title=”Click for More”]In fact, Nikki, who steals her neighbor’s hearing aid and plays pranks on her little sister, is somewhat of a mean girl herself. All the other characters are underdeveloped, including Nikki’s family and her new BFFs, Chloe and Zoey.[/spoiler]

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510L Middle School 288 Comedy 2009 1416980063

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Last Exit to Normal

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Last Exit to Normal
by Michael Harmon

Life was going along just fine for Ben Campbell until he hit fourteen. That was the year his father announced that he was gay and his mother left. His dad’s boyfriend moved in, and Ben started counseling — and also misbehaving.

Now, after three years of run-ins with the law, Ben’s dad has decided the only way to save Ben is to leave Spokane. At age seventeen, city boy Ben finds himself living in Rough Butte, Montana. Edward, who Ben calls “Momdad”, has agreed to take them back to the hometown he left when he was Ben’s age. In Rough Butte, Ben is surrounded by homophobic cowboys, Edward’s acid-tongued mother, Miss Mae, and an abusive neighbor with a strange young son.
[spoiler title=”Click for More”]
Used to doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants, quickly ends for Ben as Miss Mae schools him in acceptable country behavior. She expects respect and hard work, and she doesn’t hesitate to use her wooden spoon as a weapon to encourage it. Ben reluctantly falls in line and even finds it rewarding at times. His father and Edward seem pleased for the most part, and his improved attitude and behavior are useful in his quest to attract the attention of the beautiful girl living just four doors down the street.

There are still frustrations for Ben. Completely forgiving his father for trashing his life back in Spokane is proving harder than he expected. Rough patches between father and son keep tensions high, and to complicate matters, Ben becomes convinced that the young neighbor boy is the victim of dangerous abuse. Ben’s efforts to seek justice for the boy create a whole new set of problems.[/spoiler]

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620L Middle School 288 Drama 2009 0440239949

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Unwind

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Unwind
by Neal Shusterman

Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

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740L Middle School 352 Thriller/Suspense 2009 1416912057

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