"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Summer 2009 Top Fifteen Books for Teen Readers

At the beginning of each school year I create a display with the favorite books that I read over the summer. I rank the books 1-15 and try to generate interest in them through my descriptions and their prominent placement in the library. Here is a ranked list of my top 15 YA picks (or adult books that I think teens will like):

1. Tamar: a Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal by Mal Peet
2. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
3. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
4. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
6. Rebel Angel by Libba Bray
7. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
8. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
9. Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
10. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
11. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohen and David Levithan
12. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthey
13. The Killer’s Cousin by Nancy Werlin
14. Impossible by Nancy Werlin
15. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson

*The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery was my favorite read of the summer but it didn’t make this list because the vocabulary would be too challenging for the average teen reader. Another book that should have made the list was Shakespeare: World as Stage by Bill Bryson. I left it off because I do not have a copy of it in my library.


  1. I don't know that the Hedgehog was my favorite read of the summer, but it was certainly the one that opened my eyes and changed my life the most. (but it was hard going in places, which I think many teen readers would find tedious) It was fun to have coffee with you Friday; we'll have to do that again!

  2. It is hard to step outside myself sometimes when I create these lists because I have to think of my readers who are teenagers. If I were to rework the list with adults in mind the list would be quite different, though I would include several of the YA titles, such as Tamar, because they were that good.

    I agree with you on Hedgehog. It would be a very difficult read for all but the strongest readers. I still loved it, even though it was difficult to read. I recommended it to our French teacher. I'll let you know what she thinks.

  3. I agree with number 3 and 4, both very great books.

  4. I know this is going to sound like I am bragging...OK, I am bragging...all but two of the 15 books have been checked out (some repeatedly) since the beginning of the school year two weeks ago. And one of those books, Rebel Angels, is the second book in the series and all my copies of the 1st book in the series, A Great and Terrible Beauty, have been checked out. Nothing excites a librarian more than getting good books into young people's hands. Yay!


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