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Stuff for the Teen Age

Back to School: New School Year, New You!


A few years ago, I put together a list of my favorite back to school books. It was a list of fun books to read after all of the mandatory summer reading that you had to do. Over the last two years, I've read some more really great books with a common theme: transformation.

If you want to shake up your identity, there is no better time than the first day of school. Unless you did something EXTREMELY memorable (i.e., super embarrassing), chances are people's perception of you is pretty shaky so you can slip in a few new character traits under the radar, and if you are starting at a new school... well... all bets are off! When I was in middle school I was in a totally different school (and sometimes different states!) for each grade, the idea of self transformation was not lost on me and I actually loved the fact that I was starting each grade with a clean slate. The characters in the following books also had that chance, whether it worked out for them is another story!

The List by Siobhan Vivian: Hands down one of my favorite books of the year. At the beginning of every school year, a list goes up naming the prettiest and ugliest girls at Mount Washington High school. No one knows where it comes from but everyone knows that the people who make the list will be changed forever.

You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin: Seventeen year old detective Daton Rev transfers schools to solve the murder of a popular student who was found hanging from the football field's goalpost. Great for readers who love a good mystery, or really miss Veronica Mars.

Beautiful by Amy Lynn Reed: When Cassie leaves her boring tiny town for the suburbs of Seattle, she is determined to leave her "good girl" image behind. Turns out it was way easier to change than she thought and she is quickly swept away by a new crowd of kids who like to live dangerously.

Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes: As the school year begins, Kurt Shoemaker only has one goal. To be normal. But there is a lot standing in his way including an alcoholic mother, five after school jobs, and a mandatory therapy group that he’s dubbed “the Madmen.”

Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks: Maggie has been homeschooled for her entire life, but now she is following in her older brothers' footsteps and starting fresh at a public high school. She's having a hard time fitting in with the other students there, and the fact that she is being followed by a lonely ghost isn't really helping her out.

Look for these books in the YA section of your local library, and visit BiblioCommons for the complete list of great back to school books!


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