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Summer Challenge: Grade 9-12 Titles

A Madness So Discreet
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Near the turn of the nineteenth century, Dr. Thornhollow helps teenaged Grace Mae escape from the Boston asylum where she was sent after becoming pregnant by rape, and takes her to Ohio where they put her intelligence and remarkable memory to use in trying to catch murderers.

A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

An Ember in the Ashes
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.

Caraval
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett's father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year, Scarlett's long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor she has just met, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval's mastermind organizer, Legend. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Character, Driven
Character, Driven by David Lubar
In his last year of high school, seventeen-year-old Cliff Sparks has to figure out what to do with his life, including how to meet new girl Jillian and how to deal with old issues with his unemployed father.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress Sabrina Spellman finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family's past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda. Archie Comics' latest horror sensation starts here!

City of Bones
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizarre world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.

Dear My Blank: Secret Letters Never Sent
Dear My Blank: Secret Letters Never Sent by Emily Trunko
From the popular Tumblr of the same name comes a collection of heart-warming, tear-jerking, and gut-wrenching anonymous letters that people never intended--or didn't have the courage--to send.

Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory
Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory by Lydia Reeder
At the height of the Great Depression, Sam Babb, the charismatic basketball coach of tiny Oklahoma Presbyterian College, began dreaming. Like so many others, he wanted a reason to have hope. Traveling from farm to farm, he recruited talented, hardworking young women and offered them a chance at a better life: a free college education if they would come play for his basketball team, the Cardinals. Despite their fears of leaving home and the sacrifices faced by their families, the women followed Babb and his dream. He shaped the Cardinals into a formidable team, and something extraordinary began to happen: with passion for the game and heartfelt loyalty to one another and their coach, they won every game.

Ella Minnow Pea
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl’s fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere.

Every Exquisite Thing
Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
Nanette O'Hare, a star student and athlete, is given a mysterious out-of-print cult classic novel by her beloved teacher that sparks the rebel within her, but as she befriends the reclusive author and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that sometimes rebellion comes at a high price.

First & Then
First & Then by Emma Mills
Devon is a high school senior, wondering if she really wants to go to college, what to do with her cousin Foster (a freshman) who has moved in with her family in Florida, and whether she likes Ezra, the stuck-up football star at her school, or cannot stand him.

Gemina
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
On board the Jump Station Heimdall, Hanna is the captain's pampered daughter; Nik a member of a notorious crime family. While they are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two. The fate of the Hypatia-- and possibly the known universe-- is in their hands.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter, a fourth-year student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, longs to escape his hateful relatives, the Dursleys, and live as a normal fourteen-year-old wizard, but what Harry does not yet realize is that he is not a normal wizard, and in his case, different can be deadly.

Heartless
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
In this prequel to Alice in Wonderland, Cath would rather open a bakery and marry for love than accept a proposal from the King of Hearts, especially after meeting the handsome and mysterious court jester.

Homegoing
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into two different tribal villages in 18th century Ghana. Effia will be married off to an English colonial, and will live in comfort in the sprawling, palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated in England before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the Empire. Her sister, Esi, will be imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle's women's dungeon, and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, where she will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the north to the Great Migration to the streets of 20th century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi's has written a modern masterpiece, a novel that moves through histories and geographies and--with outstanding economy and force--captures the troubled spirit of our own nation.

I'll Give You the Sun
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
A story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal told from different points in time, and in separate voices, by artists Jude and her twin brother Noah.

Julia Vanishes
Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan
Possessing an ability to hide on the edge of perception, Julia conceals her talents in a city where magic is banned and poses as a grand lady's housemaid alongside an eccentric band of fellow housemates who have ties to a powerful killer.

Just One Damned Thing After Another
Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
Madeline "Max" Maxwell has stumbled on the dream of a lifetime: a career as a time-traveling historian with St. Mary's Institute of Historical Research. The researchers are under strict orders to observe only--no interaction with the locals is allowed. But from her first mission rescuing artifacts from the Great Library of Alexandria, Max realized that time travel is a dangerous activity and that history--and other historians--will go to elaborate lengths to protect themselves.

Keep Me in Mind
Keep Me in Mind by Jaime Reed
Sixteen-year-old Ellia Dawson wakes up in the hospital with retrograde amnesia, unable to remember Liam McPherson, the boyfriend who insists that they are in love--Liam is devastated, and, desperate to reawaken her memories, begins to write the story of their relationship, convinced that it will somehow recreate their relationship.

Lady Midnight
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs and her parabatai Julian Blackthorn race to stop a demonic plot that threatens Los Angeles.

Life After Juliet
Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander
Becca Hanson is a reader-a voracious reader. And with all those fictional friends, she never had time for real ones. Plus real ones come with uncontrollable quirks, like constantly filling a room with song, drawing on any available surface, and worst of all, dying. Real friends are more trouble than they're worth. Since her best-and only-real friend Charlotte's death six months before, Becca has returned to a life of books in order to distance herself from heartache and constant loneliness as her junior year at Sandstone High begins.

Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness
Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf Shenk
Drawing on seven years of his own research and the work of other esteemed Lincoln scholars, Shenk reveals how the sixteenth president harnessed depression to fuel his astonishing success.

Lirael, Daughter of the Clayr
Lirael, Daughter of the Clayr by Garth Nix
When a dangerous necromancer threatens to unleash a long-buried evil, Lirael and Prince Sameth are drawn into a battle to save the Old Kingdom and reveal their true destinies.

Nowhere But Here
Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
When a reluctant visit turns into an extended summer vacation among relatives Emily never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Pretending to be Erica
Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud
Violet has been preparing her entire life to step into the shoes of the missing heiress Erica Silverman, in order to pull off the biggest inside job in Las Vegas history. She doesn't count on having a conscience.

Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
At the turn of eighteenth-century England, spirited Elizabeth Bennet copes with the suit of the snobbish Mr. Darcy while trying to sort out the romantic entanglements of two of her sisters, sweet and beautiful Jane and scatterbrained Lydia.

Ready Player One
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut--part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner , and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars
Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt
During World War II, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate jet velocities and plot missile trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women--known as human computers--who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design and helped bring about America's first ballistic missiles. But they were never interested in developing weapons--their hearts lay in the dream of space exploration. So when JPL became part of a new agency called NASA, the computers worked on the first probes to the moon, Venus, Mars, and beyond. Later, as digital computers largely replaced human ones, JPL was unique in training and retaining its brilliant pool of women. They became the first computer programmers and engineers, and through their efforts, we launched the ships that showed us the contours of our solar system.

Saving Francesca
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Sixteen-year-old Francesca could use her outspoken mother's help with the problems of being one of a handful of girls at a parochial school that has just turned co-ed, but her mother has suddenly become severely depressed.

Scythe
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ('gleaned') by professional reapers ('scythes'). Two teens must compete with each other to become a scythe--a position neither of them wants. The one who becomes a scythe must kill the one who doesn't.

Six of Crows
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first.

Taken
Taken by Erin Bowman
In the isolated town of Claysoot, every male is mysteriously "Heisted" on his eighteenth birthday, and seventeen-year-old Gray Weathersby is determined to figure out why.

The Dead House
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Told through journal entries, a psychotherapist's notes, court records, and more, relates the tale of Carly, a teen who was institutionalized after her parents' death but released to Elmbrige High School, where she is believed to have a second personality or soul named Kaitlyn, and/or be possessed by a demon.

The Diabolic
The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator's daughter. Raised side by side, Nemesis would give her life for Sidonia-- and take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe. When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia's father is participating in a rebellion, he summons her to the Galactic court to serve as a hostage. Nemesis must become Sidonia to save her. It's a nest of vipers-- and Nemesis finds within herself a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans.

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Feeling like she does not fit in with the other members of her family, who are all thin, brilliant, and good-looking, fifteen-year-old Virginia tries to deal with her self-image, her first physical relationship, and her disillusionment with some of the people closest to her.

The Emotionary
The Emotionary by Eden Sher
All her life, Eden Sher has suffered from dyscommunicatia (n. the inability to articulate a feeling through words.). Then, one day, she decided that, whenever she had an emotion for which she had no word, she would make one up. The result of this is The Emotionary, which lives at the intersection of incredibly funny and very useful. Chock full of words you always wanted/never knew you needed, often accompanied by illustrations of hilarious and all-too-familiar situations, The Emotionary will be a cherished tool for you or the world-class feelings-haver in your life. At long last, all your complicated feelings can be put into words, so you can recognize them for what they are, speak their names aloud, and move on. Finally!

The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf
The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf
Growing up devoutly Muslim in her 1970s Indiana community, Syrian immigrant Najla Shamy and her siblings struggle to balance the cultures of America and their family, a coming-of-age challenge that the adult Najla remembers years later when she reconnects with friends from other mixed heritages.

The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

The Lies of Locke Lamora
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part "Robin Hood," one part Ocean's Eleven, and entirely enthralling.

The Little Prince
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life.

The Night Circus
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.

The Selection
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Sixteen-year-old America Singer is living in the caste-divided nation of Illéa, which formed after the war that destroyed the United States. America is chosen to compete in the Selection--a contest to see which girl can win the heart of Illéa's prince--but all she really wants is a chance for a future with her secret love, Aspen, who is a caste below her.

The Serpent King
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
The son of a Pentecostal preacher faces his personal demons as he and his two outcast friends try to make it through their senior year of high school in rural Forrestville, Tennessee without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self.

Throne of Glass
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
After she has served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, Crown Prince Dorian offers eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Uglies
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally's best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all.

Vango. Between Earth and Sky
Vango. Between Earth and Sky by Timothee de Fombelle
In a world between wars, a young man on the cusp of taking priestly vows is suddenly made a fugitive. Fleeing the accusations of police who blame him for a murder, as well as more sinister forces with darker intentions, Vango attempts to trace the secrets of his shrouded past and prove his innocence before all is lost.

Wanderlost
Wanderlost by Jen Malone
A teen girl goes out of her comfort zone to help her sister by taking her summer job--leading a tour group of seniors (and the tour company owner's handsome son) through Europe.