Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock
In many ways, Carrie Parker is like any other eight-year-old—playing make-believe, dreading school, dreaming of faraway places.
But even her imagination can't shut out the realities of her impoverished North Carolina home or help her protect her younger sister, Emma.
As the big sister, Carrie is determined to do anything to keep Emma safe from a life of neglect and abuse at the hands of their drunken stepfather, Richard—abuse their momma can't seem to see, let alone stop.
But after the sisters' plan to run away from home unravels, their world takes a shocking turn—and one shattering moment ultimately reveals a truth that leaves everyone reeling.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
Burn by Suzanne Phillips
"Are our schools safe?"
It's hard to turn on the news without hearing this question, and the answer is typically "no." This novel explores what happens when bullying escalates to violence, and it challenges our definition of victimization.
With thought-provoking prose, Suzanne Phillips explores the psyche of Cameron, a bullied freshman who ultimately does the unthinkable: he kills another student. As she did with Chloe Doe, Suzanne has found a way to make this seemingly dark story ultimately redemptive. But she also dares readers to look at the behavior that provokes violence as having the potential to be as dangerous as the violence itself.
Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink
In this highly-anticipated sequel to Prophecy of the Sisters, sixteen year-old orphan Lia Milthorpe continues her quest to end an age-old prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. Having now accepted the responsibilities tied to her role as the Gate, Lia journeys to the uncharted isle of Altus to continue her search for the missing pages of the Book of Chaos--the pages that could tell her how to end the prophecy. Along the way, her courage, strength, and soul are tested in ways she never could have imagined. What's also tested is her loyalty to James.
Meanwhile, twin sister Alice continues to hone her spellcasting abilities, completely ignoring the rules that govern the Otherworlds. Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim Lia's role of Gate, and that's not the only thing she wants. There's also Lia's true love, James.
The outcome of this battle between sisters could have consequences of Biblical proportion. And in the end, only one sister will be left standing.
Med Head by James Patterson
This first-person account of Cory Friedman’s intense struggles with Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive disorder—as well as depression and anxiety—is available for teen readers. Rejected by peers, misunderstood by adults, and sometimes harmful to himself, Cory has endured living hell. Confounding every doctor’s analysis, he endures countless combinations of medications that only complicate the turmoil. Cory’s determination to reverse a downward spiral and instead survive and thrive against all odds is a profoundly inspiring must-read for many ages.
Reality Check by Jen Calonita
Sixteen-year-olds Charlie, Keiran, Brooke, and Hallie live on the quiet and quaint North Fork of Long Island. It may not be glamorous, but it is real—and that’s exactly why they get signed to star on their very own reality TV show.
But cameras and interfering producers surreptitiously scripting their lives start to affect their relationships. Brooke seems to want all the screen time. Keiran is written off the show—and consequently the group’s friendship—when she doesn’t rate well. When Charlie realizes what is going on, she figures out the perfect way to give the studio and her home audience a much-needed reality check.