Collection Part 2

Amelia Lost

Between Shades of Gray

Blue is for Nightmares

Breathe My Name

The Chocolate War


Daughter of Deep Silence

Eleanor and Park

The Forest of Hands and Teeth


Jane Eyre

Me Before You

The Pregnancy Project

Some Girls Are

Throne of Glass

Weetzie Bat

World War Z


Adult Crossover: Me Before You


Bibliographical Information:

Title- Me Before You

Author- Jojo Moyes


Publisher- Viking Books

Copyright- 2012

Genre(s): Fiction, Romance, Adult

Interest Age: 16 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Louisa Clark has a boring life, but yearns for something more. She then finds a job as a care taker of Will Traynor, who changes her life she could have never imagined.

Plot Summary:

Will Traynor was on top of the world, and was constantly active. In a freak accident, Will is left a quadriplegic. He loses everything. His successful career, his girlfriend, and his ability to adventure. His mother hires Louisa Clark as a care taker. Louisa is bubbly and carefree, but Will seems to hate her. She begins to “defrost” Will and he begins to show signs that he loves her. Louisa finds out thar Will plans to go to a facility to commit suicide, and that his parents hired her to try and get him to change his mind. She quits. After a few weeks away, Louisa decides to change his mind and gets the approval of his parents. After finding out the difficulty in planning activities while disabled, Louisa takes will on some trip and finally confesses her feelings for him in their final trip. He tells Louisa that he still plans to commit suicide, and asks her to come with him. Louisa refuses and goes home separately from him. She eventually meets back with him, and stands by his side as he dies. She travels to Paris to honor Will.

Critical Evaluation:

I really enjoyed this book. I think the topic is something that hasn’t really been done before, and I think that Jojo Moyes does a great job at creating likable characters and a realistic setting. The writing is clear, and will be easy for teens to read and understand. Overall, this is a book that was written for adults but it can also be enjoyed by teens as well.

Author Bio/Information:

“Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes’ novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children” (“Jojo Moyes,” n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

Should assisted suicide be legal?

Challenging Issues:

Some may challenge the idea of assisted suicide, but I will explain to parents that the topic may be sensitive but it also is positive in that the book talks about enjoying life and never taking it for advantage. I don’t foresee any other big issues except for language, but that is very minimal.

Novel: Eleanor & Park


Bibliographical Information:

Title- Eleanor & Park

Author- Rainbow Rowell

ISBN- 1250012570

Publisher- St. Martin’s Press

Copyright- 2013

Genre(s): YA, Romance, Contemporary

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Two misfits, Eleanor & Park, find solace in each other at their high school in 1980’s Omaha.

Plot Summary:

Park is half-asian and begins by letting us know that he has lost someone. He feels like an outsider, in his very white town of Omaha. He sees Eleanor, who has bright red hair and dresses in men’s clothing. He offers her a spot on the bus, and they silently sit next to each other for weeks. Eleanor is poor, and has an abusive step-dad and Park feels like an outsider at school and in his own home with his sports obsessed dad. Eleanor and Park begin to hang out more and more and eventually fall for each other. Eleanor grows fearful of her step-dad and decides to leave. Park decides to drive her to Minnesota, where she does not contact him for 6 months. The book ends with her sending him a postcard.

Critical Evaluation:

Rainbow Rowell writes with an incredibly realistic voice, and allows her readers to connect very well with her characters. I really liked the relationship between Park and Eleanor. I did not always like the decisions that Eleanor makes within the book, but that just shows we have different personalities. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I think teens will too.

Author Bio/Information:

“Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.
When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.
She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons” (“Rainbow Rowell”, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

How does Eleanor’s Mom’s relationship effect her relationship with Park?

Challenging Issues:

I would say the only issue that might come up is Eleanor’s step-dad and his abuse, but I will explain to parents that it is a realistic portrayal of some teen’s home lives and can benefit them by allowing them to see that they are not alone.

Non-Fiction: The Pregnancy Project


Bibliographical Information:

Title- The Pregnancy Project

Author- Gaby Rodriguez and Jenna Glatzer

ISBN- 1442446226

Publisher- Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Copyright- 2012

Genre(s): Non-Fiction, YA, Memoir

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Gaby Rodriguez writes about her senior project, in which she faked a pregnancy, and learns more about life, love, and the stuff in between.

Plot Summary:

Gaby Rodriguez has been around teen mom’s her whole life. Her mom was a teen mom, her sister, and even her brothers became fathers as teens. As a latina in a lower class area, it was expected Gaby would be the next in line. But Gaby had higher hopes and dreams, but she found herself in need of a senior year project. She decided to see the effects regular teen moms must go through, so she decided to fake a pregnancy for 6 months to see what teen moms go through. Gaby faces judgement, and learns from her experience that there is always more than meets the eye in any situation.

Critical Evaluation:

I enjoyed this book. I’m not usually a reader of non-fiction but I really felt like I walked away from this book having learned about others and myself. We all deal with rumors in high school, but there is nothing like becoming pregnant as a teen, and no one really know’s that experience unless they were a teen mom. Gaby takes this brave step to figure out how to help those in these situations.

Author Bio/Information:

“Gaby Rodriguez was repeatedly told she would end up a teen mom like her mother. As a high school project, she faked her own pregnancy to find out how her community would react. What she learned changed her life, and made international headlines in the process” (“Gaby Rodriguez”, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: Social relationships

Booktalking Ideas:

Would you choose to do a project like this?

What do you think YOU learned form Gaby’s project?

Challenging Issues:

I do see some issues coming up with the topic of teen pregnancy and sex, but I will explain that the purpose of the book is to educate teens on the realities of teen pregnancy not promote it.


Gaby Rodriguez. (n.d.) Goodreads. Retrieved from

Audiobook/Adult Crossover: World War Z

world war z.jpg

Bibliographical Information:

Title- Wold War Z

Author- Max Brooks

Publisher- Random House Audio

Length- 12 hours and 8 minutes


Genre(s): Horror, Zombies, War

Interest Age: 16 and up

Reader’s Annotation: An interviewer is hired to write about the zombie apocalypse, he interviews various people involved in the zombie wars.

Plot Summary:

An man hired to write about the zombie outbreak that had occurred, and interviews various people from around the world about their roles during the outbreak. It begins in China, and spread around the world. Many countries did not believe the zombie apocalypse was starting so they didn’t do anything to protect themselves or to try and stop it. By the time they realized the importance of protecting themselves, the zombies had taken over. Those that are being interviewed explain how the apocalypse was eventually stopped.

Critical Evaluation:

I really enjoyed this audio book! The story itself is really good but I do think the audio book really captures the story. The interviews are told by various different people, and the audio book has an ensemble cast. This allows the reader to hear the stories told in various perspectives and different voices. I think teens will like this book although it is considered adult because it is interesting and features zombies!

Author Bio/ Information:

“Max Brooks is The New York Times bestselling author of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z. He has been called ‘the Studs Terkel of zombie journalism.’

Brooks is the son of director Mel Brooks and the late actress Anne Bancroft. He is a 1994 graduate of Pitzer College. His wife, Michelle, is a screenwriter, and the couple have a son, Henry” (“Max Brooks”, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

How should the government have prepared when they first heard of the zombie outbreak?

Challenging Issues:

I don’t see any major challenge issues with this book. It does feature zombies and violence, but it is not over the top. It also features strong language, and I will explain that it is an adult book that can be read by teens.

Adult Crossover: Jane Eyre


Bibliographical Information:

Title- Jane Eyre

Author- Charlotte Bronte

ISBN- 0142437204

Publisher- Penguin


Genre(s): Fiction, Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Jane is followed through life at her Aunt Reed all the way up to working as the governess at Thornfield.

Plot Summary:

At the beginning Jane is an orphan living with her evil Aunt Reed. Who lets her cousin bully Jane, and locks her in the room that her uncle died in. Jane has a panic attack thinking that she is seeing ghosts. Her Aunt sends her to a boarding school. Which is run by another evil character Mr. Brocklehurst. She encounters a tough life at Lowood, and when she is 18 she takes a job as a governess at Thornfield. At Thornfield she works with Mrs. Fairfax, but Thornfield is owned by Mr. Rochester. Jane begins to experience some weird happenings, and begins to fall for Mr. Rochester despite his rough exterior. He asks her to marry him and on their wedding day she finds out that he is already married. Mr. Rochester explains that his wife is crazy, and he was forced into the marriage by his father. He asks Jane to come with him to Paris to live as his wife, but Jane refuses. She runs away and finds 3 of her cousins and inherits some money. She is proposed to by her cousin. She  declines and goes back to Thornfield to check on it, and finds that Mr. Rochester had sent everyone away and his wife had set the house on fire and killed herself. Jane and Rochester marry, and he begins to recover from his injuries sustained in the fire.

Critical Evaluation:

This is one of my favorite novels, and I think that everyone should read this book. I think this is rightfully a classic novel, and is typically associated with adults but I think teens can gain a lot from it as well. Jane is an independent strong character, and can be seen as a role model figure for teens.

Author Bio/ Information:

“Charlotte Brontë was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, England, the third of six children, to Patrick Brontë (formerly “Patrick Brunty”), an Irish Anglican clergyman, and his wife, Maria Branwell. In April 1820 the family moved a few miles to Haworth, a remote town on the Yorkshire moors, where Patrick had been appointed Perpetual Curate. This is where the Brontë children would spend most of their lives. Maria Branwell Brontë died from what was thought to be cancer on 15 September 1821, leaving five daughters and a son to the care of her spinster sister Elizabeth Branwell, who moved to Yorkshire to help the family” (“Charlotte Bronte,” n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: Historical

Booktalking Ideas:

Is Jane Eyre a feminist character?

Challenging Issues: I do not see any challenging issues with this novel.

Classic Novel: The Chocolate War


Bibliographical Information:

Title- The Chocolate War

Author- Robert Cormier

ISBN- 0375829873

Publisher- Ember

Copyright- 1974

Genre (s): YA

Interest Age: 14 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Jerry Renault refuses to sell chocolate in his school’s annual fund-raiser. In doing so, he disrupts the order of things and in turn gains the wrath of The Vigils.

Plot Summary:

Jerry Renault is tasked with the assignment by The Vigils, a school gang, to refuse to sell chocolates in the school’s annual fundraiser. He goes along with the assignment, much to Brother Leon’s dismay. He is then told by The Vigils that he must begin to sell chocolates after 10 days. When Brother Leon calls his name, Jerry says “no” meaning he will not sell the chocolate. The Vigils call Jerry to meet, and tell him that he is to begin selling chocolates the next day. Jerry still refuses to sell the chocolates. The Vigils, and their leader Archie, decide to make life hell for Jerry. They do just that, and more by getting other students involved. Archie plans a rally for the students, and has students write moves for either Jerry or another student named Janza to make against each other in a boxing match. Jerry ends up with a broken jaw and a few other injuries, and no hope for the future.

Critical Evaluation:

I liked this book. I typically do not like darker novels, but I found that I connected very well with the characters. I had never heard of this book before this course, but I am glad I was able to get a glimpse into some classic YA literature, including The Chocolate War. I think I like this novel mostly because it was out of the norm that I usually read, and I liked it.

Author Bio/Information:

“Robert Edmund Cormier (January 17, 1925–November 2, 2000) was an American author, columnist and reporter, known for his deeply pessimistic, downbeat literature. His most popular works include I Am the Cheese, After the First Death, We All Fall Down and The Chocolate War, all of which have won awards. The Chocolate War was challenged in multiple libraries. His books often are concerned with themes such as abuse, mental illness, violence, revenge, betrayal and conspiracy. In most of his novels, the protagonists do not win” (“Robert Cormier,” n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

Would you “dare to disturb the universe?”

Challenging Issues:

This book has been challenged a number of times because of it’s language, not exactly positive message, and violence. I would explain to anyone challenging this book that it can be realistic to what people, especially teens, go through even today.


Robert Cormier. (n.d.) Goodreads. Retrieved from

Game: Clue


Bibliographical Information:

Name- Clue

Maker- Hasbro

Interest Age: 13 and up

Average game time:  15 to 60 minutes

Annotation: Clue is a classic mystery game in which players must find out who the murderer is, what weapon they used, and where the murder occurred.

How to play:

There are 6 different characters, Mr. Green, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, and Mrs. White. There are 6 weapons, a rope, a dagger, a wrench a pistol, a candlestick and a lead pipe. There are also 9 locations, the courtyard, game room, study, dining room, garage, living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. Each player chooses a character and places them in locations along with places the weapons in locations around the board. The players then sorts all the clue cards into separate decks and take the top card off of each deck to put on the murder envelope. These are the final answers to the murder mystery.

Each player then gets a pile of the clue cards , and check them while checking off who or what they see on their cards on their evidence sheets. Each player rolls and must move the amount on the dice on the board. Once they are in a room, the player may make a suggestion on who they think did, where they did, and how. Then the player to their left must show them if they have a card with one of the suggestions the player left. It continues to the left if the first one does not have any of the suggestions. The players continue to keep track on their evidence sheets, and when someone believes they have an idea of what is in the envelope, they can make an accusation when they get in any room. If they are right, they win! If they are wrong, they are out and the others can still win.

Critical Evaluation:

I really enjoy this game! This is one I regularly play with my family. I think teens will enjoy this game at the library because they are able to write down clues, make guesses, and it is a game with thinking and strategies involved. The board is colorful and features various paintings of the rooms. I think it is a well crafted game, and keeps the players on their toes.

Challenging Issues:

There may be some issues with the game with it featuring murders but it is the point of the game, and does not feature any graphic details.



Novel: Blue is for Nightmares


Bibliographical Information:

Title- Blue is for Nightmares

Author- Laurie Faria Stolarz

ISBN- 0738703915

Publisher- Llewellyn Publications


Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Mystery

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Stacey begins to have her nightmares again, and last time she ignored them a little girl died. Now her nightmares are about her best friend.

Plot Summary:

Stacey Brown is in boarding school and begins to have nightmares about her best friend Drea being killed. Everything that occurs in Stacey’s dreams begin to start happening in real life. This has happened to Stacey before, but she ignored them, and it resulted in the death of a little girl. Drea begins to get weird phone calls and emails from someone. Stacey is determined to get to the bottom of it and stop Drea from getting hurt. When another girl at their school is found murdered, Stacey decides to do some more research. Drea comes up missing and Stacey finds herself in the wood and runs into another student named Donovan. She becomes suspicious of him and follows him. She has to use the restroom and finds Drea, but they also run into Donovan who threatens them. Donovan ends up getting arrested, and Stacey goes back to school.

Critical Evaluation:

I’ve read this book a few times, and it was one of the first series I completed as a young adult. I recently re-read this book. I think the author does a great job of capturing teens and their feelings. I really connected with Stacey, and I thought the story line was believable with some paranormal aspects added to it. I think that

Author Bio/Information:

“Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston.

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.

Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance, as well as a companion graphic novel, Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz is also the author of the Touch series (Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, and Deadly Little Lessons), as well as Bleed and Project 17. With more than two million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been named on various awards list” (“Laurie Faria Stolarz”, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units:N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

How does Stacey connect her nightmares to the future, and what does that mean for her future?

Challenging Issues:

There are some instances of stalking and talking of murders. I would explain to anyone who challenged this novel that it is critical to the story line. Overall, I think this book is enjoyable for teens.

Non-Fiction Novel: Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart


Bibliographical Information:

Title- Amelia Lost: The Life and Disapperance of Amelia Earhart

Author- Candace Fleming

ISBN- 0375841989

Publisher- Schwartz & Wade

Copyright- 2011

Genre(s): YA, Biography, Non-Fiction

Interest Age: 14 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Follow the life of Amelia Earhart with pictures, maps, and notes from Amelia.

Plot Summary:

This is a telling of Amelia’s life and even a behind the scenes look into personal relationships. It goes back and forth between when she was “lost” and her life before. A lot of little facts bring together this biography on the famous pilot’s life. Including pictures and quotes we get the closest look into Amelia Earhart’s life that is available.

Critical Evaluation:

I really liked reading this book. I learned a lot about Amelia I had never known before. All I knew before reading this book was that she was famous, a pilot and that she had gone missing. Fleming doesn’t let her personal views on Amelia into the story and fills us with facts in a way appropriate for all age groups to read.

Author Bio/Information:

“I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale… After graduation, I got married and had children. I read to them a lot, and that’s when I discovered the joy and music of children’s books. I simply couldn’t get enough of them. With my two sons in tow, I made endless trips to the library. I read stacks of books. I found myself begging, “Just one more, pleeeeease!” while my boys begged for lights-out and sleep. Then it struck me. Why not write children’s books? It seemed the perfect way to combine all the things I loved: stories, musical language, history, and reading. I couldn’t wait to get started” (“Biography”, n.d.).

Booktalking Ideas:

What do you know about Amelia Earhart?

What do you think happened to Amelia?

Ties to Curriculum Units: History

Challenging Issues: None