Normal Public Library Teens

Epic Reads

Books over 300 pages, for when you need (or your teacher assigns) a nice long read.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Set in New England during the Civil War, this classic novel follows the adventures of the March sisters – beautiful Meg, tomboy Jo, shy, sensitive Beth, and romantic Amy – as they struggle to pursue their dreams. (M, S)

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (320 pages)

As the Revolutionary War begins, Isabel, a slave denied the freedom promised to her on the death of her owner, wages her own fight to be free at last. (M, S)

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation—Volume 1: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson (368 pages)

Raised by a group of philosophers, Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians’ fanatical studies. Only after he opens a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments–and his own chilling role in them. (S)

Crusader by Edward Bloor (390 pages)

After a violent virtual reality game arrives at the mall arcade where she works, fifteen-year-old Roberta finds the courage to search out the person who murdered her mother. (S)


 

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (416 pages)

After the suicide of her mother, Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to a boarding school in England. To make things even worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, sent to watch her. But why? (S)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (480 pages)

Taking a job as a governess in a house containing dangerous secrets and a man she finds increasingly attractive, Jane is forced to call on all her resources in order to hold fast to her beliefs. (A/YA)

Graceling by Kristin Cashore (480 pages)

Katsa can kill a man with her bare hands—she’s a Graceling, born with an extreme skill. When she meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa begins to learn a new truth about her own Grace—and a terrible secret that could destroy the world. (S)

Summerland by Michael Chabon (500 pages)

In Summerland, conditions are always ideal for playing baseball. But the small beings who keep things that way are in peril, and they need a hero—a baseball star, in fact—to vanquish their foe. (M, S)

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (496 pages)

When Clary witnesses a murder, she is unable to prove the crime because the victim disappears right in front of her eyes, and no one else can see the killers. Soon Clary is thrown into the world of Shadowhunters, humans who hunt and kill demons. (S)

Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies (560 pages)

Among the deer, there is a prophecy—one day a fawn will be born with the mark of an oak leaf upon his forehead. Thus it is that Rannoch is born, marked by destiny to be a hero. (M)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (384 pages)

Katniss lives in the poorest district of Panem. Every year, each district sends one boy and one girl to appear in a televised event called the Hunger Games—a competition in which only one participant can survive. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery for the games, Kat steps up to go in her place. (S)

The Naming by Alison Croggon (528 pages)

Maerad is a slave, stolen from her family as a child. It is only when she is discovered by the mysterious Cadvan that her true identity and magical gift unfold. Now, she and her teacher must embark on a treacherous journey to fight against the forces of darkness. (S)

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker (320 pages)

Having grown up in the shadow of his father’s failed NFL career, Mick Johnson is determined not to make the same mistakes. But when he’s tackled just short of the goal in a pivotal game, he begins buying “gym candy,” or steroids, from the trainer at his local gym. (S)

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (400 pages)

Matteo Alacrán is a clone of El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium, between the United States and the land that was once called Mexico. As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he slowly begins to learn that escape is his only chance to survive. (M, S)

The Gypsy Crown by Kate Forsyth (400 pages)

Emilia and Luka are gypsies, the only two of their band to escape when the rest are imprisoned. Now, Luka is determined to gather their Gypsy relatives across England to lay siege on the prison, while Emilia hopes to find the charms that she believes will provide good luck. (M)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (576 pages)

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.  In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything. (S)

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner (384 pages)

A mysterious gypsy boy, Yann Margoza, and his guardian, a dwarf, work for the magician Topolain in 1789. On the night of Topolain’s death, Yann’s life truly begins. That’s when he meets Sido, an heiress with a horrible father. An attachment is born that will determine both their paths. Revolution is afoot in France, and Sido is being used as a pawn. Only Yann will dare to rescue her from a fearful villain named Count Kalliovski. It will take all of Yann’s newly discovered talent to unravel the mysteries of Sido’s past and his own and to fight the devilish count.(M, S)

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman (554 pages)

Eon has been studying dragon magic for years, hoping to become a Dragoneye, the link to an energy dragon’s power.  But he has a dark secret—he is actually a girl named Eona. It’s forbidden for women to practice Dragon magic, and if discovered, Eon faces death. (S)

Stravaganza: City of Masks by Mary Hoffman (352 pages)

In modern-day London, Lucien undergoes chemotherapy treatments, but when he falls asleep clutching a mysterious book his father has given him, he is transported, or “stravagated,” to an enchanting 16th-century Venice-like city called Bellezza, in the country Talia. (M, S)

Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks (482 pages)

At seven, genius Cadel Piggott was illegally hacking into computers. Now he’s fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. But when Cadel begins to question the moral implications of his studies, is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot? (M, S)

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (416 pages)

T.C. is in love with Alé. Alé is determined not to fall in love with T.C., and Augie is surprised (though nobody else is) to discover that he’s falling in love with Andy. And all three are falling in love with a deaf six-year-old orphan with a thing for Mary Poppins. (S)

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (432 pages)

Abandoned by her mother when she was eleven, Taylor is finally being confronted with her past, while she struggles with the responsibility of being leader of her boarding school dorm. (S)

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean (384 pages)

Sym is obsessed with the Antarctic and the romantic—and long dead—figure of Captain Oates from Scott’s expedition to the South Pole. But Sym’s uncle Victor is even more obsessed—and when he takes her on a trip into the Antarctic wilderness, it turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival. (M, S)

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (496 pages)

Ever since they were infected with the Noise germ, everyone hears what everyone else thinks. But still, Todd knows that the town is hiding something from him—something so awful he’s forced to flee. Then, Todd stumbles upon a strange creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? (S)

Sabriel by Garth Nix (304 pages)

Sabriel is a student in Ancelstierre, where Magic does not work, but lives near the Border with the Old Kingdom, where it does. She and her father are skilled necromancers, fighting the dead who seek to return to Life. But when her father is trapped in Death, Sabriel must journey into the Old Kingdom to find him. (S)

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (544 pages)

Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth’s surface. (M)

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (464 pages)

Maximum Ride is the14-year-old leader of a band of kids who have escaped the lab where they were bred as 98% human and 2% bird and developed a variety of other-worldly talents. Now Max and her friends are forced to rescue one of their own from a pack of mutant wolf-humans called Erasers. (M, S)

East by Edith Pattou (516 pages)

Rose has always felt out of place, so when an enormous white bear asks her to come away with him, she readily agrees. He takes Rose to a distant castle, where in the process of solving the bear’s mystery, she finds love, discovers her purpose, and realizes her travels have only just begun. (M, S)

Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce (448 pages)

When Aly is captured and sold as a slave to an exiled royal family in the faraway Copper Islands, she must learn to make her way in a world filled with political intrigue, murderous conspiracy, and warring gods. (M, S)

Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci (432 pages)

In a New Jersey suburb, people begin dying of brain aneurysms. In Pakistan, a 16-year-old computer genius sees an influx of chatter from extremists about a substance they call Red Vinegar that will lead to many deaths. Can he warn the victims before it’s too late? (S)

Nation by Terry Pratchett (384 pages)

Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away.  Somewhere in the jungle, Daphne is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave. Together the two must confront the aftermath of catastrophe. (M, S)

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (464 pages)

When the 5000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus is summoned by Nathaniel, a young magician’s apprentice, he expects to have to do a little levitation or a few simple illusions. But Nathaniel is a precocious talent and has something more dangerous in mind: revenge. (M, S)

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (425 pages)

In Tally’s world, your 16th birthday brings an operation that turns you into a pretty and catapults you into a paradise where your only job is to have a great time. But Tally’s friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns there’s a darker side to the pretty world. Then the authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. (S)

The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White (469 pages)

Rebecca, a young nurse stationed in Vietnam during the war, must come to grips with her wartime experiences once she returns home to the United States. (S)

 
 

Grade Level Interest
M Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

 
 
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