Saturday, March 8, 2014

Best YA Guy Reads

Sometimes it seems like all the YA books are aimed at girls.  You have your vampires, fairies, historical girls, girl detectives, and your realistic girls dealing with all sorts of life’s issues.  But let me assure you, there are plenty of teen books for the tween to teen boys (and maybe some adult men too!) in town! 

Let me share with you our best guy reads in our YA Department

Fiction – Contemporary/Realistic

    Alexie, Sherman – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian - Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

·         Beaudoin, Sean – Wise Young Fool - A teenaged guitarist in a rock band deals with loss and anger as he relates the events that landed him in a juvenile detention center.

·         Cohen, Joshua – Leverage - High school sophomore Danny excels at gymnastics but is bullied, like the rest of the gymnasts, by members of the football team, until an emotionally and physically scarred new student joins the football team and forms an unlikely friendship with Danny.

          Emond, Stephen – HappyfaceAfter going through traumatic times, a troubled, socially awkward teenager moves to a new school where he tries to reinvent himself.

·         Korman, Gordon – Schooled -  Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. But when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.

   Athlete vs. Mathlete - When their two worlds collide in seventh grade, fraternal twins and opposites Owen and Russell find themselves in direct competition at school, on the court, and at home.
Mack, W. C. –

·         Shusterman, Neal – The Schwa was Here - A Brooklyn eighth-grader nicknamed Antsy befriends the Schwa, an "invisible-ish" boy who is tired of blending into his surroundings and going unnoticed by nearly everyone.

·         Volponi, Paul – The Final Four -  Four players at the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament struggle with the pressures of tournament play and the expectations of society at large.


·         Falkner, Brian – The Project - After discovering a terrible secret hidden in the most boring book in the world, Iowa fifteen-year-olds Luke and Tommy find out that members of a secret Nazi organization intend to use this information to rewrite history.

·         Higson, Charles – Silverfin - This prequel to the adventures of James Bond, 007, introduces us to the young James when he's just started boarding school in England and is about to become involved in his first adventure.  (book 2 is Bloodfever)

·         Horowitz, Anthony – Stormbreaker - After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.  (book 2 is Point Blank)

·         Lake, Nick – In Darkness - In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen-year-old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital, and as he grows weaker he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in the 1804.

·         Lorentz, Dayna – No Safety in Numbers - Teens Shay, Marco, Lexi, and Ryan, quarantined in a shopping mall when a biological bomb goes off in an air duct, learn that in an emergency people change, and not always for the better, as many become sick and supplies run low.  (book 2 is No Easy Way Out)

·         Muchamore, Robert – The Recruit -  James is recruited into CHERUB, a secret division of MI5 which consists of teenage spies. He successfully completes his training and goes on his first mission.  (book 2 is The Dealer)

·         Paulsen, Gary – Hatchet - After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.  (book 2 is The River)

·         Zadoff, Allen – Boy Nobody - Sixteen-year-old Boy Nobody, an assassin controlled by a shadowy government organization, The Program, considers sabotaging his latest mission because his target reminds him of the normal life he craves.


·         Berk, Josh – Guy Langman: Crime Scene Procrastinator -  Sixteen-year-old Guy Langman, his best friend Anoop, and other members of the school Forensics Club investigate a break-in and a possible murder, which could be connected to the mysterious past of Guy's recently-deceased father.

·         Brooks, Kevin – Johnny Delgado: Private Detective - When Johnny Delgado decided to become a private detective, it seemed like such a good idea at the time--gorgeous girls in need of help, wads of cash--but soon finds himself out of his depth and in big trouble.

·         Coben, Harlan – Shelter - After tragic events tear Mickey Bolitar away from his parents, he is forced to live with his estranged Uncle Myron and switch high schools, where he finds both friends and enemies, but when his new girlfriend, Ashley, vanishes, he follows her trail into a seedy underworld that reveals she is not what she seems to be.  (book 2 is Seconds Away)

·         Crutcher, Chris – Period 8 -  Period 8 has always been a safe haven and high school senior Paulie "The Bomb" Baum a constant attendee, but as Paulie, Hannah, their friends, and a sympathetic teacher try to unravel the mystery of a missing classmate, the ultimate bully takes aim at the school.

·         Feinstein, John – Last Shot -  After winning a basketball reporting contest, eighth graders Stevie and Susan are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover that a talented player is being blackmailed into throwing the final game.  (book 2 is Vanishing Act)

·         Grisham, John – Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer - With two attorneys for parents, thirteen-year-old Theodore Boone knows more about the law than most lawyers do. But when a high profile murder trial comes to his small town and Theo gets pulled into it, it's up to this amateur attorney to save the day.  (book 2 is Theodore Boone: The Abduction)

·         Lyga, Barry – I Hunt Killers -  Seventeen-year-old Jazz learned all about being a serial killer from his notorious "Dear Old Dad," but believes he has a conscience that will help fight his own urges and right some of his father's wrongs, so he secretly helps the police apprehend the town's newest murderer, "The Impressionist."  (book 2 is Game)

·         Miller, Ashley Edward – Colin Fischer - A boy with autism teams up with the high school bully to get to the bottom of a cafeteria crime.

Historical Fiction

·         Boyne, John – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called "Out-With" in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.

·         Dowswell, Paul – Sektion 20 - A nail-biting thriller about a boy who escapes East Berlin during the Cold War, but not the reach of the Stasi.

·         Ford, Michael – Fire of Ares - When slaves rebel in ancient Sparta, twelve-year-old Lysander, guarded by an heirloom amulet, the Fire of Ares, is caught between the Spartan ruling class, with whom he has been training as a warrior since his noble heritage was revealed, and those among whom he was recently laboring as a slave.

·         Hughes, Dean – Soldier Boys - Two boys, one German and one American, are eager to join their respective armies during World War II, and their paths cross at the Battle of the Bulge.

·         Kurlansky, Mark – Battle Fatigue -  Joel Bloom chronicles his life experiences during the 1960's which eventually lead him to oppose the war in Vietnam and to flee to Canada rather than be forced to kill Vietnamese.

·         Myers, Walter Dean – Invasion - Josiah Wedgewood and Marcus Perry were friends in Virginia, but now that they are both involved in the Normandy invasion, the differences in their positions is uncomfortable, for Josiah is a white infantryman and Marcus is a black transport driver, the only role the segregated army will allow him.

·         Preus, Margi – Heart of a Samurai -  In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a samurai, learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.

·         Volponi, Paul – Hurricane Song - Twelve-year-old Miles Shaw goes to live with his father, a jazz musician, in New Orleans, and together they survive the horrors of Hurricane Katrina in the Superdome, learning about each other and growing closer through their painful experiences.

Paranormal/supernatural – set in our world, but with a fantastical twist

·         Becker, Tom – Darkside - Jonathan Starling's father is in an asylum and his home has been attacked when, while running away from kidnappers, he stumbles upon Darkside, a terrifying and hidden part of London ruled by the descendants of Jack the Ripper, where Jonathan is in mortal danger if he cannot find the way out.  (book 2 is Lifeblood)

·         Black, Holly – White Cat - When Cassel Sharpe discovers that his older brothers have used him to carry out their criminal schemes and then stolen his memories, he figures out a way to turn their evil machinations against them.  (book 2 is Red Glove)

·         Blake, Kendare – Anna Dressed in Blood - For three years, seventeen-year-old Cas Lowood has carried on his father's work of dispatching the murderous dead, traveling with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat, but everything changes when he meets Anna, a girl unlike any ghost he has faced before.  (book 2 is Girl of Nightmares)

·         Brewer, Heather – Eighth Grade Bites - For thirteen years, Vlad, aided by his aunt and best friend, has kept secret that he is half-vampire, but when his missing teacher is replaced by a sinister substitute, he learns that there is more to being a vampire, and to his parents' deaths, than he could have guessed.  (book 2 is Ninth Grade Slays)

·         Gaiman, Neil – The Graveyard Book - Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.

·         Horowitz, Anthony – Raven’s Gate -  Sent to live in a foster home in a remote Yorkshire village, Matt, a troubled fourteen-year-old English boy, uncovers an evil plot involving witchcraft and the site of an ancient stone circle.  (book 2 is Evil Star)

·         Shan, Darren – A Living Nightmare - Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy who enjoys hanging out with his three best friends. Then one day they stumble across as invitation to visit the Cirque du Freak, a mysterious freak show. Only two tickets are available, so they draw straws to see who will go. As if by destiny, Darren wins one, and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires.  (book 2 is The Vampire’s Assistant)

·         Shan, Darren – Lord Loss - Presumably the only witness to the horrific and bloody murder of his entire family, a teenage boy must outwit not only the mental health professionals determined to cure his delusion, but also the demonic forces only he can see.  (book 2 is Demon Thief)

Science Fiction

·         Bodeen, S. A. – The Compound - After his parents, two sisters, and he have spent six years in a vast underground compound built by his wealthy father to protect them from a nuclear holocaust, fifteen-year-old Eli, whose twin brother and grandmother were left behind, discovers that his father has perpetrated a monstrous hoax on them all.  (book 2 is Fallout)

·         Dashner, James – The Maze Runner - Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.  (book 2 is The Scorch Trials)

·         Gill, David MacInnis – Black Hole Sun -   On the planet Mars, sixteen-year-old Durango and his crew of mercenaries are hired by the settlers of a mining community to protect their most valuable resource from a feral band of marauders.  (book 2 is Invisible Sun)

·         Grant, Michael – Gone -  In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have "The Power" and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.  (book 2 is Hunger)

·         Hirsch, Jeff – The Eleventh Plague - Twenty years after the start of the war that caused the Collapse, fifteen-year-old Stephen, his father, and grandfather travel post-Collapse America scavenging, but when his grandfather dies and his father decides to risk everything to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down.

·         Maberry, Jonathan – Rot & Ruin -  In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.  (book 2 is Dust & Decay)

·         Shan, Darren – Zom-B - When the news starts reporting a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B's father thinks it's a hoax-but even if it isn't, the two of them joke, it's only the Irish, right? That is, until zombies actually attack the school. B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors of high school, making allegiances with anyone with enough gall to fight off their pursuers. But when they come face-to-face with the ravenous, oozing corpses, all bets are off. There are no friends. No allies. Just whatever it takes to survive.  (book 2 is Zom-B: Underground)

·         Westerfeld, Scott – LeviathanIn an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.  (book 2 is Behemoth)


·         Barron, T. A. – The Lost Years of Merlin - A young boy who has no identity nor memory of his past washes ashore on the coast of Wales and finds his true name after a series of fantastic adventures.  (book 2 is The Seven Songs of Merlin)

·         Chima, Cinda Williams – The Warrior Heir -  After learning about his magical ancestry and his own warrior powers, sixteen-year-old Jack embarks on a training program to fight enemy wizards.  (book 2 is The Wizard Heir)

·         Ferris, Jean – Once Upon a Marigold - A young man with a mysterious past and a penchant for inventing things leaves the troll who raised him, meets an unhappy princess he has loved from afar, and discovers a plot against her and her father.  (book 2 is Twice Upon a Marigold)

·         Harland, Richard – Worldshaker - Sixteen-year-old Col Porpentine is being groomed as the next Commander of Worldshaker, a juggernaut where elite families live on the upper decks while the Filthies toil below, but when he meets Riff, a Filthy girl on the run, he discovers how ignorant he is of his home and its residents.  (book 2 is Liberator)

·         Nix, Garth – Mister Monday - Arthur Penhaligon is supposed to die at a young age, but is saved by a key that is shaped like the minute hand of a clock. The key causes bizarre creatures to come from another realm, bringing with them a plague. A man named Mister Monday will stop at nothing to get the key back. Arthur goes to a mysterious house that only he can see, so that he can learn the truth about himself and the key.  (book 2 is Grim Tuesday)

·         Paolini, Christopher – Eragon - In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves and monsters.  (book 2 is Eldest)

·         Pierson, D. C. – Crap KingdomTenth-grader Tom Parking's dream of being swept away to a fantasy land where he becomes a hero nearly comes true when he finds himself the Chosen One of a nameless world, the most annoying, least "cool" place in the universe.

·         Various/Short Stories – Zombies vs. Unicorns - Twelve short stories by a variety of authors seek to answer the question of whether zombies are better than unicorns.


·         YA 327.73 JAN – Janeczko, Paul – Dark Game: True Spy Stories - A brief, intriguing history of spies in the US, focusing on the role of spies and intelligence in major wars from the Revolutionary War to the Cold War, concluding with the stories of two modern traitors in the CIA and FBI, as well as some modern means of spying.

·         YA 359.9 GRE – Greitens, Eric – The Warrior’s Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage -  Shares the author's adventures as a young man that led him to a life of service as both a humanitarian and a Navy SEAL.

·         YA 359.9 RIT – Ritland, Mike – Navy SEAL Dogs: My Tale of Training Canines for Combat - From detecting explosives to eliminating the bad guys, these powerful dogs are also some of the smartest and highest skilled working animals on the planet. Mike Ritland's job is to train them.

·         YA 363.25 GAR – Gardner, Robert – Crime Lab 101: 25 Different Experiments in Crime Detection - Any budding detective with an interest in police work will be fascinated by this inside look at detection and forensic science.  A history of forensic science is included in this eye-opening look at crime detection, along with true-life tales of famous sleuths and remarkable cases.

·         YA 363.7 ALB – Albee, Sarah – Poop Happened!: A History of the World from the Bottom Up - How many toilets were in the average Egyptian pyramid?  How did a knight wearing fifty pounds of armor go to the bathroom?  Did Thomas Crapper really invent the modern toilet?  How do astronauts go in space?  History finally comes out of the water-closet in this exploration of how people's need to relieve themselves shaped human development from ancient times to the present.

·         YA 540 COE – Coelho, Alexa – Why is Milk White?: & 200 Other Curious Chemistry Questions - What makes soda so fizzy? and Why do you get cavities when you eat too much sugar? From separating food coloring into its component dyes to using easy-to-find chemicals to create "slime," Silly Putty, or bouncing balls, this handy guide is the ideal resource for the budding chemist.

·         YA 617.4 MCC – McClafferty, Carla – Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment - When the 1905 football season ended, nineteen players were dead and countless others were critically injured. The public was outraged.   Rule changes and reforms after 1905 saved the game and cleared the way for it to become America's most popular sport. But they didn't fix everything. Today, football faces a new injury crisis as dire as 1905's. With increased awareness about brain injury, reported concussions are on the rise among football players.

·         YA 621.43 JAR – Jarvis, Paul – Soda-Pop Rockets: 20 Sensational Rockets to Make from Plastic Bottles - Anyone can recycle a plastic bottle by tossing it into a bin, but it takes a bit of skill to propel it into that bin from 500 feet away. Skill, and a copy of Soda-Pop Rockets.

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