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Young Adult Services | YARP: Young Adult Reading Program | 2012-2013 Reading List: Annotated

2012-2013 Reading List: Annotated

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Brain Jack
Brian Falkner

Sam Wilson isn't out of high school yet, but he's on his way to becoming the most wanted hacker in the world—first for crashing the international computer grid (well, he didn't mean to), then for subverting the White House security system (OK, that was on purpose). But when he escapes from federal custody, he learns that his country needs him: Terrorists prowl the Internet, and Sam's skills may be the last defense from a neuro-virus wiping out humanity.

Grade level: 7 & up
Publisher: Random House Children's Books


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Coming of the Dragon
Rebecca Barnhouse

When he was a baby, Rune washed up onshore in a boat, along with a sword and a pendant bearing the runes that gave him his nickname. Some people thought he was a sacrifice to the gods and wanted to send him right back to the sea. Luckily for Rune, King Beowulf disagreed. He lifted the boy from the boat and gave him to Amma, a wisewoman living on a farm far removed from the king's hall, to raise as she saw fit.

Sixteen years later, Rune spends his summers laboring on the farm. And at King Beowulf's request, he comes to the hall each winter for weapons training. But somehow he never quite fits in. Many people still fear he will bring a curse on the kingdom. Then a terrible thing happens. On a lonely crag on a mountain that belongs to the giants, someone awakens a dragon. It is time for Rune to find the warrior inside himself and prove to the doubters once and for all that he is a true hero.

Grade level: 6 & up
Publisher: Random House Children's Books


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Girl, Stolen
April Henry

Sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, blinded in an accident that killed her mother three years earlier, has pneumonia. As she sleeps in the back of her stepmother's car, Griffin steals it, inadvertently kidnapping her. Once Griffin's car-thief father learns she's wealthy, he decides to demand ransom. When the hapless Griffin realizes his dad and cronies will kill the girl to protect their identities, he tries to protect her.

Grade level: 7 & up
Publisher: Square Fish


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Grimm Legacy
Polly Shulman

Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library—a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That's where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White's stepmother’s sinister mirror that talks in riddles.

When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime—or captured by the thief.

Grade level: 6-9
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group


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How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
Georgia Bragg

Over the course of history men and women have lived and died. In fact, getting sick and dying can be a big, ugly mess—especially before the modern medical care that we all enjoy today. How They Croaked relays all the gory details of how nineteen world figures gave up the ghost. For example: It is believed that Henry VIII's remains exploded within his coffin while lying in state. Doctors "treated" George Washington by draining almost 80 ounces of blood before he finally kicked the bucket. Right before Beethoven wrote his last notes, doctors drilled a hole in his stomach without any pain medication. Readers will be interested well past the final curtain, and feel lucky to live in a world with painkillers, X-rays, soap, and 911.

Grade level: 6-9
Publisher: Walker & Company


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Kick
Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman

Thirteen year old Kevin Johnson's soccer team is competing for the State Championship. Luckily, Kevin will still be able to play, despite the fact that he was recently arrested and is facing charges that include auto theft and kidnapping. Kevin has never before been in trouble but he is suspiciously silent about the circumstances involving the night of his arrest. Sergeant Brown befriends Kevin in an attempt to learn what really happened and what Kevin may be hiding. Kevin is facing tough competition on the soccer field and even tougher personal turmoil as he tries to protect himself and keep a dark secret.

Grade level: 6-9
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers


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Matched
Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Grade level: 8 & up
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated


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Okay For Now
Gary Schmidt

As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. As Doug struggles to be more than the "skinny thug: that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer—a fiery young lady who "smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain." In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.

Grade level: 6-9
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


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Payback Time
Carl Deuker

A reporter's job is to find the missing pieces, and the high school journalist Mitch True is on the verge of uncovering those pieces and nailing his first real story. If only he can get the cornerback Angel Marichal to talk. Or Coach McNulty to explain why he never allows Angel's obvious talent—his speed and strength—to shine on the field. What is Angel's secret? And who profits from keeping the truth hidden?

Grade level: 7 & up
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


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The Properties of Water
Hannah Roberts McKinnon

When Lace's older sister, Marni, falls victim to a summer swimming accident, it paralyzes Lace in time. For Lace, there is only a before—can there be an after? But as the summer surges on, she learns that she must return to the water, the very thing that tore her family apart.

Grade level: 6-8
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux


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Small as an Elephant
Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Ever since Jack can remember, his mom has been unpredictable, sometimes loving and fun, other times caught in a whirlwind of energy and "spinning" wildly until it's over. But Jack never thought his mom would take off during the night and leave him at a campground in Acadia National Park, with no way to reach her and barely enough money for food. Any other kid would report his mom gone, but Jack knows by now that he needs to figure things out for himself — starting with how to get from the backwoods of Maine to his home in Boston before DSS catches on. With nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company, Jack begins the long journey south, a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties - and his trust that he may be part of a larger herd after all.

Grade level: 6-8
Publisher: Candlewick Press


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The Summer Before Boys
Nora Raleigh Baskin

Julia and Eliza are best friends, spending the summer together. Julia's mother is serving in the National Guard and Julia spends all of her time trying not to think about what could happen. So the girls lose themselves in their summer, hanging out at the resort where Eliza's father works. But when they meet a new boy, neither one of them is prepared for what it does to their friendship…

Grade level: 6-8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers


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Trapped
Michael Northrop

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive…

Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision…

Grade level: 7-9
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.


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Wild Life
Cynthia DeFelice

Erik is preparing for his first-ever hunting trip when he learns that his parents are being deployed to Iraq. A few days later, Erik is shipped off to North Dakota to live with Big Darrell and Oma, grandparents he barely knows. When Erik rescues a dog that's been stuck by a porcupine, Big Darrell says Erik can't keep him. But Erik has already named her Quill and can't bear to give her up. He decides to run away, taking the dog and a shotgun, certain that they can make it on their own out on the prairie.

Grade level: 6-8
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux


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Wonderstruck
Brian Selznick

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories—Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures—weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry.

Grade level: 6-8
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.


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Z
Michael Thomas Ford

Fifteen years after a vaccine was developed against the zombie flu, the hungry undead are a thing of the past, relegated to bad memories and virtual games, such as the one Josh and his friend Firecracker play, despite their parents' disapproval. A rising star online, Josh is thrilled when Charlie, another skilled player, invites him to join an underground group of live-action zombie-killer role-players. Even as Josh bonds with Charlie and her team, he begins to suspect something's not right with Clatter, the enigmatic brains behind the operation. Worse still, the game itself is proving more dangerous than he expected, leading to a desperate struggle for survival when things inevitably turn sour.

Grade level: 7 & up
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers



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Permission: Book jacket covers displayed through an affiliate contract with Barnes & Noble.com Web Link to bn.com.

Each year the Young Adult Reading Program (YARP) Committee of the South Dakota Library Association publishes a list to promote quality literature and to help South Dakota teachers and librarians in selecting and promoting books for adolescents. The books are selected from among the many young adult and adult books that have received positive reviews by national reviewing periodicals.



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Jasmine Rockwell EMAIL
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605-773-3131, Option 5, 1

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