Normal Public Library Teens

New Fiction

Posted by Kristi on March 30, 2011

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow 

Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco in the 1980s, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school.  But is being a doctor what she wants?  It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent.  Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her? 

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman 

Jen and Wes do not “meet cute.” They do not fall in love at first sight. They do not swoon with scorching desire. They do not believe that they are instant soul mates destined to be together forever. This is not that kind of love story. Instead, they just hang around in each other’s orbits…until eventually they collide. And even after that happens, they’re still not sure where it will go. Especially when Jen starts to pity-date one of Wes’s friends, and Wes makes some choices that he immediately regrets.

Virgin Territory by James Lecesne 

Dylan Flack is uprooted from his cozy life in New York City by the death of his mother. He finds himself transplanted to Jupiter, Florida.  Away from everything he knows and without his mother, each day stretches darkly into a future without hope. Enter: the Virgin Club, a nomadic group of trailer kids whose parents drag them all over the country in search of sightings of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Although not looking for membership in any club, Dylan falls in love with their leader, Angela, who believes that change occurs in direct proportion to desire and the willingness to take risks. In a series of misadventures and brushes with the law in what Dylan comes to think of as “virgin territory,” she teaches Dylan to risk a future without his favorite parent.

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler 

Things in Delilah Hannaford’s life have a tendency to fall apart. She used to be a good student, but she can’t seem to keep it together anymore. Her “boyfriend” isn’t much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition. Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family’s painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel 

For thirteen years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all that changes when his parents bring home Zan – a baby chimpanzee. Ben’s father, a behavioral scientist, has uprooted the family to pursue his latest research project: a high-profile experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills. Ben’s parents tell him to treat Zan like a little brother. Ben reluctantly agrees, and it isn’t long before Ben is Zan’s favorite, and Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment. But to Ben’s father, Zan is only a specimen, no more, no less. Soon Ben is forced to make a critical choice between what he is told to believe and what he knows to be true – between obeying his father or protecting his brother from an unimaginable fate.

The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel 

Ingrid Bell and her five teenage cousins are such a close-knit group that they don’t really mind sitting at the kid table—even if they have to share it with a four-year-old. But then Brianne, the oldest cousin, lands a seat at the adult table and leaves her cousins shocked and confused. What does it take to graduate from the kid table? Over the course of five family events, Ingrid chronicles the coming-of-age of her generation. Her cousins each grapple with growing pains, but it is Ingrid who truly struggles as she considers what it means to grow up. When first love comes in the form of first betrayal (he’s Brianne’s boyfriend), Ingrid is forced to question her own personality and how she fits into her family. The cousins each take their own path toward graduating into adulthood—only to realize that maybe the kid table was where they wanted to be all along.

The Running Dream by Wendelin van Draanen 

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run? As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels both in the spotlight and invisible. People don’t know what to say or act like she’s not there. Which she could handle better if she weren’t now keenly aware that she’s done the same thing herself to a girl with cerebral palsy named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her. With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.

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