Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

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Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
by Morgan Matson

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew–just in time for Amy’s senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she’s always known toward her new life.
[spoiler title="Click for More"]Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy’s mother’s old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she is surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she is coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident.[/spoiler]

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850 Middle School 368 Adventure 2011 1416990666

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Matched

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Matched
by Ally Condie

Cassia Reyes is a model student, daughter, and citizen. How could she not be when the Society has everything planned and functioning perfectly? All of her needs are met: food, shelter, education, career training, and even her future husband are selected by officials who know what is best for each individual by studying statistical data and probable odds.
[spoiler title=”Click for More”]
She even knows when she will die, on her 80th birthday, just as the Society dictates. At her Match Banquet she is paired with Xander, her best friend and certainly her soul mate. But when a computer error shows her the face of Ky, an Aberration, instead of Xander, cracks begin to appear in the Society’s facade of perfection. A series of events also shakes her dedication to Xander and puts her future in jeopardy.[/spoiler]

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680L Middle School 400 Thriller/Suspense 2010 014241977X

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Hatchet

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The Hatchet
by Gary Paulsen

Brian Robeson, 13, is the only passenger on a small plane flying him to visit his father in the Canadian wilderness when the pilot has a heart attack and dies. The plane drifts off course and finally crashes into a small lake.

Miraculously Brian is able to swim free of the plane, arriving on a sandy tree-lined shore with only his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present.

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1060 Middle School 192 Triller/Suspense 1997 1416925082

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Stitches

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Stitches: A Memoir
by David Small

The story starts when the narrator is six years old and follows him into adulthood, with most of the story spent during his early adolescence. The youngest member of a silent and unhappy family, David is subjected to repeated x-rays to monitor sinus problems. When he develops cancer as a result of this procedure, he is operated on without being told what is wrong with him. The operation results in the loss of his voice, cutting him off even further from the world around him.

[spoiler title=”Click for More”]Small’s black and white pen and ink drawings are endlessly perceptive as they portray the layering of dream and imagination onto the real-life experiences of the young boy. Small’s intuitive morphing of images, as with the terrible post-surgery scar on the main character’s throat that becomes a dark staircase climbed by his mother, provide deep emotional echoes. Some understanding is gained as family secrets are unearthed, but for the most part David fends for himself in a family that is uncommunicative to a truly ghastly degree. [/spoiler]

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750L Middle School 329 Autobiography 2010 0393338967

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Henry & Mudge

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Henry & Mudge Collection
by Cynthia Rylant

Will this lovable duo ever run out of opportunities for good times and good feelings?

This fun series of a boy and his best friend will amaze even the youngest of readers.

This series is a perfect marriage of pictures and words.

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400 Elementary School 30 Adventure 2005 0545048087

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Kite Runner

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The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini

Amir is the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir’s father’s servant are best friends. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted.
[spoiler title=”Click for More”]Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule.[/spoiler]

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840 Middle School 32 Adventure 2004 1594480001

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If I Stay

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If I Stay
by Gayle Foreman

The last normal moment that Mia, a talented cellist, can remember is being in the car with her family. Then she is standing outside her body beside their mangled Buick and her parents’ corpses, watching herself and her little brother being tended by paramedics. As she ponders her state (Am I dead? I actually have to ask myself this), Mia is whisked away to a hospital, where, her body in a coma, she reflects on the past and tries to decide whether to fight to live. Via Mia’s thoughts and flashbacks explores her life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam.

[spoiler title=”Click for More”]Mia’s singular perspective also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope: Please don’t die. If you die, there’s going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school, prays Mia’s friend Kim. I know you’d hate that kind of thing.[/spoiler]

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830 High School 272 Drama 2010 014241543

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Nineteen Minutes

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Nineteen Minutes
by Jodi Picoult

These are the words that seventeen-year-old Peter Houghton says when he is found after a school shooting spree huddling with a gun in his hand by Detective Patrick Ducharme. An outcast who had been bullied since kindergarten, Peter kills ten, including a teacher, and injures many more.

[spoiler title=”Click for More”]At first glance, it looks like a straightforward act of revenge, but things are revealed to be more complex. One of his victims is Matt Royston, the boyfriend of his former childhood friend, Josie Cormier, and others are members of the in-crowd, but others have seemingly no relation. In the days before the trial, and in the days leading up to the shooting, we are given the backstory, told mostly from Josie’s, Peter’s, and their mothers’ viewpoint. We learn of the incessant teasing this boy received, adults’ unsuccessful attempts to help him fit in, and of the stormy relationship between Josie and Matt.

During the trial, we hear from the victims who survived and the devastation the crime has wrought on their lives. In the end, the reader may still be undecided whether Peter is primarily a victim, perpetrator, loyal friend, or all three, but that is the point. [/spoiler]

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890L Young Adult 460 Thriller/Suspense 2007 0743496736

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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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House on Mango Street

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The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Sisneros

This book is a whole story but, instead of having chapters with episodes, it contains “vignettes” which are short descriptive literary sketches. Each vignette contains an important part of the story. The whole story describes the thoughts, feelings, and memories of Esperanza, a Hispanic girl living in the poverty corner of the city, who dreams of escaping her world. As she grows up and starts to leave her childhood, she learns about the fears and dangers of the world she never knew of before.

Becoming an adult turns out to be a hard challenge.

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870 High School 160 Autobiography 2009 067943335

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