High School Summer Reading List (page 3)

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based on 11 ratings
May 16, 2011
Updated on Apr 2, 2014

Our 2009 High School Summer Reading Picks

Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji. Seventeen-year-old Pasha Shahed is enjoying one of his last summers at home in a middle-class neighborhood in Tehran. He is like many teens--gently spurning the worries of his overbearing mother, hanging out on the roof with his friend Ahmed, and thinking about his future. Except that it's 1973, and Iran is under the harsh reign of the Shah. Pasha's idyllic world begins to crumble when he falls in love with his next door neighbor, betrothed since birth to another man. All of a sudden he finds himself breaking centuries-old Persian traditions, and thrown into the middle of a dangerous revolution. A funny and heart-wrenching, sweet and dark, coming of age love story, set to the true-to-life backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. (Penguin Group, 2009, $10.20) 

The Compound by S. A. Bodeen. This boy-friendly thriller reads like a summer blockbuster, but has an emotional edge that gives it extra kick. When nuclear attack seems imminent, 15-year-old Eli's billionaire father rushes the family into "the compound", a lavish underground sanctuary where they are to wait out the 15 years before it's safe to come out. But while Eli, his parents, and his two sisters make it in time, Eli's grandmother and twin brother Eddy are stranded outside. Six years later, dulled by grief and the monotony of life underground, Eli encounters a horrible secret far worse than the family's dwindling food supply, as he must face hard truths about his father -- and himself -- in order to save his family. Equal parts dystopian fantasy, detective story, and family drama, this book makes up for its sometimes far-fetched conceits by delivering a rollicking ride to the very end. (Feiwel & Friends, 2008, $16.95)

Impossible by Nany Zwerlin. It isn't until Lucy Scarborough is 17 years old that she realizes the full significance of the secret letter she found on her seventh birthday. The magical past Lucy never knew she had, quickly becomes the reality that she must fight to survive. This fast-paced fairy tale inspired by the song “Scarborough Fair” is set in contemporary times, with just enough interplay between magic and realism to plunge the reader headfirst into this romantic thriller. Mature issues such as teen pregnancy, date-rape and teen marriage run throughout the twists and turns of the storyline, but above all, the story communicates a theme that teens will find deeply satisfying: no destiny is unchangeable, especially where the magic of true love is concerned. (Speak, 2009, $9.99)

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong. This teen thriller, the second book in the Darkest Powers series, is a mash-up of 1984 and Twilight. Chloe is a teenage necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her supernatural friends have discovered that they are part of an grand experiment: doctors at The Edison Group are altering their gene codes to suppress their supernatural abilities. Now, they are on the run to find someone who can help them, while Chloe begins to learn more about how to wield her own powers. The characters are realistic; each has flaws and insecurities which, when combined with their supernatural abilities, make for great drama! The pages of this suspenseful read will fly by, and your teen will be looking for the next book in the series before the summer is out. Unfortunately, she'll have to wait until "The Reckoning" is released in May of 2010. (HarperCollins Publishers, 2009, $17.99)

Genesis by Bernard Beckett. In the not-so-distant future, young Anaximander is called to undergo the grueling oral entrance exam for The Academy. Through her narrative, she relates the history of her Orwellian civilization, the last outpost of a world decimated by a plague, and guides readers through an edge-of-your-seat exploration of humans and robots, consciousness and thought, morality and the meaning of humanity. At just 150 pages long, this book offers a short dive into a deep subject that's sure to engage cerebral readers with a thought-provoking and suspenseful exploration of complex issues. Although the philosophical subject matter is heavy, the book's tightly written narrative and nail-biting backstory will have readers rushing to the final shocking plot twist. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009, $20.00)

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