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Select Top Teen Books & Reviews

Here are some of the Top Teen Books and Reviews (as picked by Teenmag.com):

Big Mouth & Ugly Girl
by Joyce Carol Oates

Smart and funny Matt Donaghy leads a typical high school life until one day he is pulled out of study hall by detectives in dark suits. Ursula Riggs is angry and indifferent, calling herself Ugly Girl. They live separate lives until the day that Matt is accused of threatening to bomb their high school, and Ursula comes to his defense. Although she goes against her mother's wishes to help Matt, she subsequently rebuffs his attempts at friendship. Matt is quickly cleared of all charges, but his life deteriorates anyway as his friends turns their backs on him and his family begins to receive hate mail. The situation gets worse and worse, and when Ursula again steps in, this time to prevent Matt's suicide attempt, their relationship grows stronger. Readers will relate to this picture of high school pressures and enjoy watching Matt and Ursula's friendship develop.
Harpercollins Juvenile Books, 272 pages

by Chris Lynch

In Freewill, the narrator resides inside the mind of Will, a troubled boy sent reeling by the death of his father and stepmother in what may have been a suicide and murder. Through the second-person narrator's interior dialogue, we watch a story unfold. Will is enrolled in a therapeutic woodworking class at his school, and he begins to make strange pole sculptures. When a girl from his school drowns in what mat have been a suicide, a memorial to her is created with one of Will's pole sculptures as the centerpiece. Then, another person dies, and then two more, and all the deaths are marked by Will's pieces. Soon, a sort of cult has grown up around Will and he begins to sink into total oblivion. Will anyone be able to save him?
Harpercollins Juvenile Books, 160 pages

by Jerry Spinelli

The halls of Arizona's Mica High School were pretty ordinary until the day that she arrived. With her floor-length pioneer dresses, pet rat and ukulele, Stargirl was quite a site to see, but what made her special was the way she acted. Her free-spirited, uninhibited ways shocked her fellow students at first, but soon they came to love them. The whole school begins to look forward to Stargirl's lunchtime singing, her dancing in the rain and enthusiastic cheering at sporting events. But popularity is fleeting, and soon the students begin to turn on their quirky classmate. While the general resentment towards Stargirl grows, our narrator, Leo Borlock, starts to fall in love with her. Forced to choose between a girl he adores and his friends at school, Leo grows angry that he has to make a choice at all. A realistic and funny look at suburban high school life, Stargirl examines a struggle between individuality and conformity that all teenagers can relate to.
Knopf, 192 pages

Knocked Out by My Nunga-Nungas: Further, Further Confessions of Georgia Nicholson
by Louise Rennison

In the third installment of the diaries of Georgia Nicolson, we pick up with the hilarious English teenager's life of school, friends, parents and, of course, snogging. Georgia is still going out with her Sex God boyfriend, and her cat, Angus, is still getting up to trouble. He's been chasing the neighborhood sex kitten so much that he's got an appointment at the vet to get his "chimney swept." Meanwhile, while Georgia is still thrilled to snog with the Sex God, he "red herring" ex-boyfriend Dave the Laugh is starting to look pretty good, too. In casual diary form, this book relates the misadventures of one funny and engaging teenage girl, going through the troubles almost all teenage girls do.
Avon Tempest, 192 pages

Gabriel's Story
by David Anthony Durham

In this different take on life on the American frontier, we see life through the eyes of 15-year-old Gabriel, one of a group of emancipated slaves who settle in the West. Gabriel's widowed mother takes the family West towards the promise of land ownership and equality, but Gabriel isn't fooled. In addition, he views his new stepfather, Solomon, with mistrust. Trading in his New York brownstone apartment for a cramped, moist sod house, Gabriel is miserable in his new frontier life. Soon enough, he runs away with his friend James and joins up with a group of white cowboys. The young man seeks adventure, but instead encounters racism, violence and even murder. A compelling and suspenseful novel.
Anchor Books, 304 pages

Peace Like a River
by Leif Enger

One winter when he is 11 years old, two young men break into Reuben "Rube" Land's house, and his big brother Davy shoots them with a shotgun. Soon after he is taken to jail, Davy escapes and sets out for the North Dakota Badlands to escape capture. A short while later, Rube, his poetic sister Swede and his janitor father hit the road themselves, traveling across North Dakota in search of their outlaw Davy. But they're not the only ones looking for Davy, the FBI is also hot on his trail. Set in 1962, this story is in some ways a tale of the Old West, and this idea is referred to in the poems written by Swede about a man called Sunny Sundown. A magical tale about faith and family.
Atlantic Monthly Press, 320 pages

The Wilderness Family: At Home with Africa's Wildlife
by Kobie Kruger

When Kobie Kruger moves deep into South AfricaÕs wilderness after her marriage to a game warden, she learns a lesson about just how wild wildlife can be. In this memoir, Kobie recounts some of her (mis)adventures with the animals she and her family encounter. From the python in their bed on the first night to the occasionally ill-tempered elephant, Kobie has her share of crazy encounters. The most fascinating story line involves Leo, an orphaned lion cub raised by the family. The family encounters real dangers and learns valuable lessons, and their story is as engaging as any novel.
Ballantine Books, 432 pages

Stoner & Spaz: A Love Story
by Ronald Koertge

She's a hard-core stoner who loves getting high more than anything else. He's a preppie movie buff with cerebral palsy. On the surface, Colleen and Ben couldn't be more different, but that doesn't keep them from falling in love. One night, the two outcasts run into each other at Ben's favorite hang-out, a classic film theatre called the Rialto. Ben falls for Colleen right away, maybe because she's the first girl to ever give him the time of day. Colleen takes Ben clubbing and encourages him to loosen up a little and pursue his dreams. But, when Ben turns the tables and starts challenging Colleen to stop using, she's not sure if she can do it. Will Colleen give up drugs for Ben, or will her addiction tear them both apart?
Candlewick Press, 176 pages

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