What’s Your Kid Reading (Plus cover reveal bonus!)

October 14-20 is Teen Read Week™, a national literacy initiative from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) aimed at inspiring teens to read for fun–on paper, online, on an e-reader–and to use their library to find great reading materials. I thought I’d share some recommendations for your teen (or if you’re a teen stopping by my blog today, even better *waves*). But I’m not gonna stop at teens! I’m gonna give you some suggestions for the younger kids too, b/c encouraging reading in our kids is important at every age (and some people were asking on my FB page so why not kill two birds with one stone, right? And b/c I love all books and since it’s my blog, I can share whatever I want to, muhahaha)!

*Also, in honor of Teen Read Week, I’m giving away a copy of If I Stay. Out of all the ones I listed below, it’s probably the most like my  novel, 18 Things, in the respect that it’s about 90% contemporary and 10% paranormal. Just leave a comment if you’re interested in winning a copy and I’ll randomly pick a winner on Wednesday:-)


Historical Fiction:

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. Set during the Great Depression, Abilene Tucker is sent to Manifest, Kansas, where she searches to find her father’s footprint in the town.


Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm. Turtle is sent to live with her aunt Minnie in Key West, where she and her cousins experience adventures that are both thrilling and terrifying. (set in the year 1935)

The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. A hilarious, touching, and tragic novel about the civil rights movement and its impact on one African American family.

Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff. Lily learns that true friendship is a treasure that crosses cultural boundaries in this novel set during WWII at the home front.

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson. Alone in the world, teenaged Hattie is driven to prove up on her uncle’s homesteading claim in 1917 Montana.  

Dear America series by various authors. The books are written in diary form, and each chronicles a young woman’s life during an important event or time period in American History.


Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos. Set in Norvelt, Pennsylvania, Gantos uses his own childhood experiences and his vivid imagination to create the story of 12-year-old Jack Gantos in the summer of 1962. Gantos combines appealing characters, mysteries, small town adventures, humor, history and life lessons to create a novel that will appeal to kids 10-14.

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. This novel by Thanhha Lai is based on her life, leaving Vietnam in the mid-’70s when she was 10 and the difficult adjustment to life in the United States.

Today’s Buzz-Worthy YA Novels

Divergentby Veronica Roth *voted #1 by teens in a recent online poll* In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

ThIRTEEN R3ASONS WHY by Jay Asher. Clay Jensen doesn’t want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead, he reasons. Her secrets should be buried with her. Then Hannah’s voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes–and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself–a truth he never wanted to face.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Lia knows she isn’t the prettiest girl in school. She’s not the smartest or the most athletic or the most popular. But there’s one thing she can be–the skinniest. Unless her best friend, Cassie, beats her to it.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; but in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck . . . Through real-time narration and flashbacks, readers will come to know Mia and the people in her life. More than a love story, more than a story about living or dying, it’s  a story about how we transform our lives.

Matched by Ally Condie. In the Society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow–between perfection and passion.

Impossible by Nancy Werlin. Lucy Scarborough is seventeen when she discovers that the women of her family have been cursed through the generations, forced to attempt three seemingly impossible tasks or fall into madness upon their child’s birth. Unless she can complete these tasks, Lucy will go mad, just like her mother and all the Scarborough women before  her.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love — the deliria — blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

*And now here’s a special bonus! My CQ sista, Thea Gregory, writes zombie stories and science fiction, and today I get to debut her new book cover:

Sanity Vacuum Synopsis:

Vivian Skye just finished university, and qualified for her first-choice internship. Not many would consider the distant and isolated Extra-Galactic Observatory cushy, but it’s a dream come true for Vivian. Hailing from the low-tech planet of Aurora, she studied hard for this opportunity—and to leave her old life, and planet behind.

Her assignment is simple: perform a routine upgrade for the station’s supercomputer, quIRK. Her reception isn’t a friendly one, and eccentric quIRK becomes her only friend. However, the station’s administrator, Bryce Zimmer is obsessed with quIRK—he suspects that the station’s computer may have achieved sentience, something explicitly prohibited by the ABACUS Protocol. Compounding their issues, Bryce’s traumatic and privileged past makes him distrust Vivian from the beginning. Desperate to keep control, he sabotages quIRK in order to eliminate Vivian. But, his plan threatens to consume the entire station and send them into the unknown void of intergalactic space.

Vivian must struggle to survive not only Bryce’s megalomania, but also the emerging artificial super intelligence that is quIRK. Can Vivian and quIRK learn to trust each other and work together, before it’s too late?

Author Bio:

 Thea Gregory is a farm girl from English Western Quebec, a total nerd, and she loves science fiction, zombies and physics. Between marathon cooking sessions, her clerktastic day job, and part-time studies, she manages to find time to write. Author of the Zombie Bedtime Stories, her debut sci-fi novel, Sanity Vacuum releases December 6. Thea’s blog can be found at http://nerdygnome.wordpress.com

*Hey, Thea, can I bunk with you during the zombie apocalypse? I’ll bring the coffee and cake pops! See ya’ll next week . . . if, God willing, the flesh-hungry undead don’t take over the world by then;-)

26 comments on “What’s Your Kid Reading (Plus cover reveal bonus!)

  1. Jamie… it is beyond great that you promote books for young readers. Loved the sound of Thea’s book. And oh yes, I would also recommend Call of the Wild by Jack London, and All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot 🙂

  2. look at all those awesome titles! my 12yo is reading Agatha Christie’s “and then there were none” tough read for a preteen boy! glad i’m re reading it w/him! love Christie!

    and Thea’s book sounds like a gret intricate weave!

    • Oh my, poor kid, lol! I was surprised that when reading a Sunshine State Book (Florida picks the top 15 chapter books they think the kids should reach for the 3 areas of elem, middle, and high school) with my 3rd grader tonight, the word ‘badass’ was thrown in there at the end. I mean, I can see YA, even middle, but elementary? This is why I still love reading the classics with my girls–before all innocence was lost on society.

  3. Cool cover! Sanity Vacuum looks like it’s going to be good. I’ve read a few books on that list. Enjoyed Divergent and Matched too. My kid’s, oddly, reading The Hobbit in anticipation of its debut on my anniversary, December 14th. Can’t wait to see it 😉

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