Songs for a Teenage Nomad


Kim Culbertson - 2007
    Fearful of putting down roots anywhere, but armed with her song journal, she moves to her own sound track through a world that bounces her between the school drama crowd, a mysterious loner, and an unlikely boy who will become her first love. But it's the troubling truth she uncovers about her father that forces Calle to face the toughest choice of her young life.

The Calculus of Change


Jessie Hilb - 2018
    She's much more focused on things like getting a solo gig at Ike's and keeping her brother from illegal herbal recreation. But when Tate walks into Calculus class wearing a yarmulke and a grin, Aden's heart is gone in an instant. The two are swept up in a tantalizingly warm friendship, complete with long drives with epic soundtracks and deep talks about life, love, and spirituality. With Tate, Aden feels closer to her mom—and her mom's faith—than she has since her mother died years ago. Everyone else—even Aden's brother and her best friend—can see their connection, but does Tate? Navigating uncertain romance and the crises of those she loves, Aden must decide how she chooses to see herself and how to honor her mom’s memory.

How to Breathe Underwater


Vicky Skinner - 2018
    But when Kate finds her dad cheating on her mom, Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down, and Kate is forced to leave home and the swim team she's been a part of her whole life.Now in a new home, new school, and faced with the prospect of starting over, Kate isn't so sure that swimming is what she wants anymore. But when she decides to quit, her whole world seems to fall apart. But when Kate gets to know Michael, the cute boy that lives across the hall, she starts to think that starting over might not be so bad. There's only one problem: Michael has a girlfriend.As the pressures of love, family, and success press down on her, can Kate keep her head above water?

The Bad Decisions Playlist


Michael Rubens - 2016
    And he’s in deep trouble now—the deepest ever. He’s talented, though. Maybe his famous father will help him turn his life around and realize his musical dream.But maybe Austin has inherited more than talent from Shane, who also does drugs, screws up, and drops out.Austin is a tour guide to his own bad decisions and their consequences as he is dragged, kicking and screaming, toward adulthood.

Who's Your Daddy?


Lynda Sandoval - 2004
    Not because of who they are, but who their guy-repellent daddies are. Lila’s dad is the chief of police; Meryl’s dad is the football coach, the driver’s ed instructor, and the dean of discipline at the high school; and Caressa’s dad is a famous musician. Boys are too terrified and intimidated by the girls’ dads to come anywhere near them.So, Lila, Meryl, and Caressa decide to take matters into their own hands. On the night of homecoming, instead of going dateless, they hold a Dumb Supper—a Celtic ritual that shows single young women who their soul mates are. The dinner doesn’t go exactly as planned, but never could they guess how much this loser’s alternative to homecoming would change their lives.

The Summer I Got a Life


Mark Fink - 2009
    His father got a new job and cancelled their dream vacation to Hawaii. Andy and his older brother, Brad, are shipped off to a farm in Wisconsin to stay with an Aunt and Uncle they hardly know. Brad has little use for Andy, except to torment him. What begins as a minor disaster turns into a life-changing experience. Andy discovers a whole new world and has his first blush with love in the person of Laura, a piano prodigy and town celebrity. Laura is a remarkable girl, who, despite having to deal with a major life trauma, is funny, resilient, full of life, and to Andy’s delight, just a little crazy.Andy’s adventure includes chasing a pig through a mall, surviving a near-death driving lesson, and coming face to face with his first dead guy. He also has a side excursion with his brother that will redefine their relationship forever.

A Dance of Sisters


Tracey Porter - 2002
    Far, far away.Twelve-year-old Delia Ferri doesn't remember her mother, or her family the way it used to be. All she knows is that her sister, Pearl, and her father are fighting more and more. Pearl is withdrawn and angry, so Delia vows not to give her father anything else to worry about.Delia loses herself to the rigorous world of ballet, and only when it has consumed her completely does she begin to understand how fiercely her sister had to fight for her own truth. Delia discovers that the bond between two sisters can't be broken -- no matter where the dance of life takes them.

A Dance for Three


Louise Plummer - 2000
    When fifteen-year-old Hannah becomes pregnant and her rich, popular boyfriendclaims he is not responsible, she is forced to face some hard facts about herlife.

Broken Strings


Maria Farrer - 2014
    Jess, a talented 17-year-old violinist, suffers from stage-fright as she auditions for a place at a prestigious music school. Her family do not have enough money for her to continue to study so when she fails, she vows not to play again. Until her wealthy grandmother - estranged from her family since Jess's mother fell pregnant - shows up at their doorstep and promises six months of tuition in exchange for Jess moving to live with her. Once ensconced in her grandmother's rich, but empty, life she starts to uncover the mystery of why her grandmother never spoke to her mother again, and the secret which tore her family apart.

The Year I Turned Sixteen


Diane Schwemm - 2010
    Rose, the oldest, feels like she has the most responsibility when her father dies, and yearns to be true to herself. Daisy wants to break free from her family, but trouble arises when she falls for a bad boy. Laurel struggles with the loss of a close relative and finds herself drawn to a boy who may actually understand. And Lily, the youngest sister, feels like nothing could be more difficult than actually being herself. These four books in one special bind-up make for a great value—and an even better read.

Imperfect Spiral


Debbie Levy - 2013
    Immediately Danielle is caught up in the machinery of tragedy: police investigations, neighborhood squabbling, and, when the driver of the car that struck Humphrey turns out to be an undocumented alien, outsiders use the accident to further a politically charged immigration debate. Wanting only to mourn Humphrey, the sweet kid she had a surprisingly strong friendship with, Danielle tries to avoid the world around her. Through a new relationship with Justin, a boy she meets at the park, she begins to work through her grief, but as details of the accident emerge, much is not as it seems. It's time for Danielle to face reality, but when the truth brings so much pain, can she find a way to do right by Humphrey's memory and forgive herself for his death?“. . . a heartfelt drama that touches on the themes of friendship, love, fear, and death. . . . Readers will find a relevant and inspiring story. . . .” —ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE) Picks“Levy’s unflinching look at pain is masterful. The narrative fluidly moves from lighter moments with Humphrey to the darkness of grief, avoiding false sentimentality.” —Kirkus Reviews“The discussion of. . . real issues is deftly woven into the story, never overshadowing the protagonist’s journey toward healing. . . . This book is sure to be a hit among teens seeking a substantive drama.”–School Library Journal“. . . a story of love and loss deepened by the protagonist’s inspiring development from someone afraid of conflict into someone who can stand up for what she believes is right.” –The Horn Book

DJ Rising


Love Maia - 2012
    The first thing I've always heard is music.Meet Marley, an unassuming high school junior who breathes in music like oxygen. In between caring for his heroin-addicted mother, and keeping his scholarship at a fancy prep school, he dreams of becoming a professional DJ.When chance lands Marley his first real DJ job, his career as "DJ Ice" suddenly skyrockets. But when heart-rending disaster at home brings Marley crashing back down to earth, he is torn between obligation and following his dreams.

The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine


April Lurie - 2008
    But when he stars in his best friend’s movie, Dylan discovers that, sometimes, life’s big shake-ups force you to take risks—and to step into the spotlight.

Fade to Us


Julia Day - 2018
    Then her new stepfather announces his daughter is moving in. Brooke has always longed for a sibling, so she’s excited about spending more time with her stepsister. But she worries, too. Natalie has Asperger’s--and Brooke’s not sure how to be the big sister that Natalie needs.After Natalie joins a musical theater program, Brooke sacrifices her job to volunteer for the backstage crew. She’s mostly there for Natalie, but Brooke soon discovers how much she enjoys being part of the show. Especially sweet is the chance to work closely with charming and fascinating Micah--the production’s stage manager. If only he wasn’t Natalie’s mentor…When summer comes to an end, will Brooke finally have the family she so desperately wants–and the love she’s only dreamed about?

Ink Is Thicker Than Water


Amy Spalding - 2013
    Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.