Hot Reads

Book Discussion Kits for Teens

Teen book discussion kits feature a range of genres and literary styles, exposing readings to a variety of issues designed to promote thought and discussion.

Each kit contains a set of thirty identical books accompanied by a book discussion guide. Click on a title to find out if it is available and be sure to read the discussion questions!*

We also have Book Discussion Kits for younger kids as well as Literacy Connection Backpacks.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian



The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
By Alexie, Sherman
Illustrator Forney, Ellen
2009-04 - Little, Brown Young Readers
9780316013697 Check Our Catalog

Alexie's National Book Award winner chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live. Includes poignant drawings that reflect the character's art. …More

An Abundance of Katherines



An Abundance of Katherines
By Green, John
2008-10 - Puffin Books
9780142410707 Check Our Catalog

Colin Singleton always falls for girls named Katherine--and he's been dumped by all of them. Letting expectations go and allowing love in are part of Colin's hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere. …More

American Born Chinese



American Born Chinese
By Yang, Gene Luen
Illustrator Pien, Lark
2008-12 - Square Fish
9780312384487 Check Our Catalog

A tour-de-force by rising indie comics star Yang, "American Born Chinese" tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters whose lives and stories come together with an unexpected twist in this action-packed modern fable. …More

The Diary of a Young Girl


Browse inside




The Diary of a Young Girl
By Frank, Anne
Translator Mooyaart, B. M.
Introduction by Roosevelt, Eleanor
1993-06 - Bantam Books
9780553296983 Check Our Catalog

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short. …More

Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know about Fast Food



Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know about Fast Food
By Schlosser, Eric
Author Wilson, Charles
2007-04 - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
9780618593941 Check Our Catalog

In this "New York Times" bestseller, Schlosser ("Fast Food Nation") and Wilson unwrap the fast-food industry, offering a behind-the-scenes look at a business that both feeds and feeds off the young. This paperback edition includes a discussion guide, a new Afterword, and supplemental information with healthy eating resources for kids. …More

The First Part Last



The First Part Last
By Johnson, Angela
Author Johnson, Angela
2004-12 - Simon Pulse
9780689849237 Check Our Catalog

In this winner of the Printz Medal and Coretta Scott King Award--a companion to the Coretta Scott King Award-winning "Heaven"--Johnson probes right to the heart of the issues involved with teenage pregnancy and fatherhood with precision, grace, and keen insight.) …More

The Giver


Browse inside




The Giver
By Lowry, Lois
2006-01 - Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
9780385732550 Check Our Catalog

Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

"From the Paperback edition. …More

The Gospel According to Larry


Browse inside




The Gospel According to Larry
By Tashjian, Janet
2003-05 - Laurel Leaf Library
9780440237921 Check Our Catalog

Josh Swensen is not your average 17-year-old. At the age of two, he was figuring out algebraic equations with colored magnetic numbers. He is a prodigy who only wants to make the world a better place. Josh's wish comes true when his virtual alter ego, Larry, becomes a huge media sensation. Larry has his own Web site where he posts sermons on anti-consumerism and has a large following of adults and teens. Meanwhile, Larry's identity is a mystery to everyone. While it seems as if the whole world is trying to figure out Larry's true identity, Josh feels trapped inside his own creation. What will happen to the world, and to Larry, if he is exposed? …More

Hatchet



Hatchet
By Paulsen, Gary
2007-01 - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
9781416936473 Check Our Catalog

Paulsen's Newbery Honor Book tells the story of 13-year-old Brian Robeson, the sole survivor of a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness. This 20th anniversary commemorative edition features a fresh new look and a new reading group guide, along with new content from the author. Illustrations. …More

Holes


Browse inside




Holes
By Sachar, Louis
2000-05 - Yearling Books
9780440414803 Check Our Catalog

Winner - 1998 National Book Award for Youth
2000 Colorado Blue Spruce Award Winner

Stanley Yelnats tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment-and redemption. …More

The House on Mango Street


Browse inside




The House on Mango Street
By Cisneros, Sandra
1991-04 - Vintage Books USA
9780679734772 Check Our Catalog

Told in a series of vignettes stunning for their eloquence, The House on Mango Street is Sandra Cisneros's greatly admired novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children, their parents and grandparents, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, it has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics.
Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong--not to her rundown neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become. …More

The Hunger Games



The Hunger Games
By Collins, Suzanne
2010-07 - Scholastic Press
9780439023528 Check Our Catalog

The acclaimed author of the "New York Times"-bestselling Underland Chronicles series delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in a stunning novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to the present. …More

I Am the Messenger


Browse inside




I Am the Messenger
By Zusak, Markus
2006-05 - Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
9780375836671 Check Our Catalog

Meet Ed Kennedy--underage cabdriver, pathetic card player, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he's hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That's when the first Ace arrives. That's when Ed becomes the messenger. . . .
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?
Winner of the 2003 Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.

"From the Hardcover edition. …More

The Lightning Thief



The Lightning Thief
By Riordan, Rick
2006-03 - Miramax Books
9780786838653 Check Our Catalog

Now in paperback--the first novel of a new series that mixes classic Greek mythology with modern adventure. After learning he is a demigod, Percy Jackson is sent to a summer camp on Long Island, where he meets the father he never knew--Poseidon, god of the sea. …More

Maniac Magee



Maniac Magee
By Spinelli, Jerry
1990-03 - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316807227 Check Our Catalog

Winner - 1991 Newbery Award
Winner - 1993 Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Award
Maniac Magee comes home! Little, Brown and Company takes great pleasure and pride in announcing that, effective immediately, we will be the sole publisher of the paperback edition of Jerry Spinelli's classic Newbery Medal winner, Maniac Magee. It has been eight years since Maniac Magee won both the prestigious Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the Newbery Medal, and its popularity among young readers remains undiminished. The story of a boy who finds himself when he runs away from an intolerable situation continues to reverberate with humor and truth. …More

The Maze


Browse Inside




The Maze
By Hobbs, Will
1998-09 - HarperCollins Publishers
9780688150921 Check Our Catalog

Stowing away in the back of a pickup, 14-year-old runaway Rick Walker finds himself at a dead end in the surreal landscape of redrock spires and deep canyons called the Maze. …More

Monster


Browse Inside




Monster
By Myers, Walter Dean
Illustrator Myers, Christopher A.
2001-05 - Amistad Press
9780064407311 Check Our Catalog

Young, black, 16-year-old Steve Harmon, an amateur filmmaker, is on trial for the murder of a Harlem drugstore owner. Steve copes by writing a movie script based on his trial. But despite his efforts, reality is blurred until he can no longer tell who he is or what the truth is. Illustrations. …More

Romiette and Julio



Romiette and Julio
By Draper, Sharon M.
Illustrator Lowenbein, Adam
2001-05 - Simon Pulse
9780689842092 Check Our Catalog

Like Shakespeare's famous star-crossed lovers, Romiette Cappelle and Julio Montague face strong opposition to their budding romance. In their case, a dangerous gang's disapproval of their interracial relationship puts the two in mortal peril. …More

Running Out of Time



Running Out of Time
By Haddix, Margaret Peterson
1997-02 - Aladdin Paperbacks
9780689812361 Check Our Catalog

Believing herself to be a frontier child in 1840, Jessie is shocked when her mother reveals a secret--it's really 1996. After a diphtheria outbreak strikes the village children, Jessie must venture out into the modern world where she faces a wealth of confusing 20th century innovations and the sinister man who will stop at nothing to make sure the village residents remain locked in their 19th century world. …More

Slam!



Slam!
By Myers, Walter Dean
2008-05 - Scholastic Paperbacks
9780545055741 Check Our Catalog

Seventeen-year-old Greg "Slam" Harris can do it all on the basketball court. He's seen ballplayers come and go, and he knows he could be one of the lucky ones. Maybe he'll make it to the top. Or maybe he'll stumble along the way. Slam's grades aren't that hot. And when his teachers jam his troubles in his face, he blows up.

Slam never doubted himself on the court until he found himself going one-on-one with his own future, and he didn't have the ball.

…More

Tangerine



Tangerine
By Bloor, Edward
2006-09 - Harcourt Paperbacks
9780152057800 Check Our Catalog

THE TRUTH LIES BENEATH

Paul Fisher's older brother is a high school football star, but to Paul he's no hero. Paul's own game is soccer, which he plays even though he has to wear thick glasses because of a mysterious eye injury. When the Fishers move to Tangerine, Florida, Paul tries to make sense of things. But it's not easy. In Tangerine, underground fires burn for years and lightning strikes the same practice field every day. Strange things happen here all the time -- but nothing is stranger than the secrets Paul discovers about his brother, his new group of friends, and his own dangerous past. …More

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time



Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
By Mortenson, Greg
Author Relin, David Oliver
2007-02 - Penguin Books
9780143038252 Check Our Catalog

The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban's backyard

Anyone who despairs of the individual's power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan's treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools especially for girls that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson's quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, "Three Cups of Tea" combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit. …More

Nation


Browse Inside




Nation
By Pratchett, Terry
2009-10 - HarperCollins
9780061433030 Check Our Catalog

The author of the phenomenally successful Discworld series delivers the mesmerizing story of a boy whose journey to manhood requires the strength to defy expectations and the courage to forge new beliefs. …More

Stargirl


Browse inside




Stargirl
By Spinelli, Jerry
2004-05 - Laurel Leaf Library
9780440416777 Check Our Catalog

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of "Stargirl, Stargirl." She captures Leo Borlock's heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.
Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medallist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

"From the Hardcover edition. …More

Walk Two Moons


Browse Inside




Walk Two Moons
By Creech, Sharon
1996-09 - HarperTrophy
9780064405171 Check Our Catalog

On a long car trip from Ohio to Idaho, 13-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle regales her grandparents with a story about her friend Phoebe, who receives a message from a potential lunatic and must cope with the disappearance of her mother. Beneath Phoebe's story is Sal's own--and her search for her own mother who left for Idaho one sunny morning and never returned. 1995 Newbery Medal winner. ALA Notable Children's Book of 1995. School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, 1994. 1995 Notable Trade Books in the Language Arts. …More

The Wanderer


Browse Inside




The Wanderer
By Creech, Sharon
Illustrator Diaz, David
2002-04 - HarperTrophy
9780064410328 Check Our Catalog

Young Sophie joins a surly crew of her three uncles and two cousins on a tireless and physical and emotional journey across the Atlantic as they seek their places in the world. Illustrations. …More

 

 

Take a look at our Book Discussion Kits for younger kids as well as our Literacy Connection and Family Fun Backpacks

*This requires that Adobe Acrobat Reader be installed on your computer. You can download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Web site.