Monday, August 19, 2013

Back-to-School Books Part 1

Hi, Readers!

       I'm sure that all of you are looking forward to the upcoming school year. (Yeah, right.)  A new school year means new pencils, new paper, new backpacks, new clothes, and NEW BOOKS!  Although people's schedules start to get busy during school, make sure you squeeze in some quality time with a good book.

       One of the popular settings for Young Adult novels is school.  Books that are set in school have endless plot line possibilities, from realistic fiction to fantasy.  Characters in these novels are usually relatable to middle- or high-schoolers.  I have compiled a list of ten back-to-school books for readers of all ages that tell the stories of young adults trying to find their way in the world.  This post includes Part 1, the first five books.  Tune in on Friday for Part 2, with five more great reads.  Each title is followed by an age recommendation, genre, and short summary.  Click on a title for more information about that book on Amazon Books.

1. Marked, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Age rating: 13 and up
Genre: Fantasy
When 16 year old Zoey Redbird becomes marked as a vampyre, she is required to attend the House of Night school.  Her powers are much greater than expected, and Zoey gets initiated into the exclusive Dark Daughters group.  She must decide who to trust, as well as control her powers, in order to make it through her high school experience alive.

2. Viola in Reel Life, by Adriana Trigiani
Age rating: 9 and up
Genre: Realistic fiction
Viola Chesterton has been sent to Prefect Academy for Young Women against her will, and her pessimistic attitude doesn't make her many friends.  Luckily, her roommates instantly take a liking to her.  Viola loves filmmaking, and she begins making a film to enter in a competition.  Life seems perfect when Viola gets her first boyfriend and becomes popular at school, but underneath she is still unhappy.  Viola's realistic story of school and love is the perfect read for students who are anxious about school.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling
Age rating: 8 and up
Genre: Fantasy
The magical Harry Potter novels have been thrilling Young Adult readers since J.K. Rowling published The Sorcerer's Stone.  Harry is stuck living with his horrible aunt, uncle, and cousin, until he is swept away to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  He meets his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, as well as some enemies.  Harry discovers the real reason that his parents died, and he embarks on an adventure that will span through seven books, a movie franchise, and an amusement park.

4. Openly Straight, by Bill Konigsberg
Age rating: 15 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Rafe has gone through his entire middle- and high-school life being openly gay.  When he transfers to a private school as a junior, Rafe decides to hide his sexuality so that he can be viewed as a 'normal' boy.  He instantly becomes a jock and makes tons of new friends, but he also has to hide a part of himself.  As soon as Rafe meets a boy that he may be in love with, he has to decide whether or not he should come out again and give up his wonderfully new, straight life.

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life
5. Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life, by Rachel Renee Russell
Age rating: 8 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
The Dork Diaries series is like a girl version of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series: it is told in the form of a diary and is embellished with drawings and comics on every page.  The diary is narrated by Nikki Maxwell and describes her experiences at a new school.  She meets new friends, a new crush, and... new mean girls.  Nikki struggles with typical middle school drama that is presented in a fresh and funny way.

       Check some of these books out at your local library to be enthusiastic about the upcoming school year.  Plus, read my next blog post, Part 2 of Back-to-School Books!  In order to be alerted about Part 2 as soon as it is posted, sign up to follow Book Savvy by typing in your Email to the "Follow by Email" section on the right side of the page.

Keep up your reading,

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