Best Books for Teens for Summer Reading 2017

teenbooksWe wanted to compile a list for parents (because we’re not naive to presume that this blog is quite hip enough to be frequented by teens, yet…) to consider for their cache of potential titles to read through July and August.




For teens participating this year:
Accumulated time spent reading brings them the chance to win prizes from our Summer Reading sponsors (Taco Bell, Chipotle) or other treats like ice cream, a free book, or a fidget widget!

For information on Summer Reading Programs, Events, Activities (and Prizes), stop in at the Kids Corner at Ferndale Library, or follow our Youth Programming online via Facebook. 

Here’s a list of personal recommendations of outstanding titles for teens, curated by our Circulation Services Intern, Janelle Manuel!


Everything Everything 
by Yoon
The instant #1 New York Times bestseller–soon to be a major motion picture! In theaters May 19, it stars Amandla Stenberg as Maddy and Nick Robinson as Olly.

What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything , Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken.

Everything, Everything will make you laugh, cry, and feel everything in between. It’s an innovative, inspiring, and heartbreakingly romantic debut novel that unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more.


Hoop City Detroit – by Sam Moussavi
Isaiah is a hot-shot freshman, talented and hard-working enough to be on the varsity basketball team at one of the top private high schools in Detroit. The problem is, his family is breaking apart and he is losing street-cred with his new suburban address. Will Isaiah be able to rise above the taunts from teammates and opponents-real or imagined? Will he be able to overcome the deconstruction of his family?

Detroit is a book from Hoop City, an EPIC Press six set series.


Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian  – 
by Sherman Alexie
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.


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American Girls – by Allison Umminger
Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she’s had it with her life at home. So Anna “borrows” her stepmom’s credit card and runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn’t quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined. As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls–and although the violence in her own life isn’t the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.

In Anna’s singular voice, we glimpse not only a picture of life on the B-list in LA, but also a clear-eyed reflection on being young, vulnerable, lost, and female in America–in short, on the B-list of life. Alison Umminger writes about girls, violence, and which people society deems worthy of caring about, which ones it doesn’t, in a way not often seen in teen fiction.

American Girls is:
An ALA Booklist Top 10 First Novel
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
A Barnes & Noble Best YA Book of the Year
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best of 2016
A Bustle Best YA Book of the Year
YALSA ‘s Best Fiction for Young Adults


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fter Tupac & D Foster – by Jacqueline Woodson
D Foster showed up a few months before Tupac got shot that first time and left us the summer before he died. The day D Foster enters Neeka and her best friend’s lives, the world opens up for them. D comes from a world vastly different from their safe Queens neighborhood, and through her, the girls see another side of life that includes loss, foster families and an amount of freedom that makes the girls envious. Although all of them are crazy about Tupac Shakur’s rap music, D is the one who truly understands the place where he’s coming from, and through knowing D, Tupac’s lyrics become more personal for all of them.

The girls are thirteen when D’s mom swoops in to reclaim D–and as magically as she appeared, she now disappears from their lives. Tupac is gone, too, after another shooting; this time fatal. As the narrator looks back, she sees lives suspended in time, and realizes that even all-too-brief connections can touch deeply.


index (3)Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina – by Misty Copeland

Determination meets dance in this middle grade adaptation of the New York Times bestselling memoir by the first African-American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre history, Misty Copeland.  As the first African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has been breaking down all kinds of barriers in the world of dance. But when she first started dancing–at the late age of thirteen–no one would have guessed the shy, underprivileged girl would one day make history in her field.

Her road to excellence was not easy–a chaotic home life, with several siblings and a single mother, was a stark contrast to the control and comfort she found on stage. And when her home life and incredible dance promise begin to clash, Misty had to learn to stand up for herself and navigate a complex relationship with her mother, while pursuing her ballet dreams.


1231097_656827291029797_1374133706_nYou can find all of these books, plus several MORE titles for young-adults through our online catalog. 




Join us Saturday, June 24, at Garbutt Park for the kick-off of Summer Reading, 2017. Reading Events run June 24 – Aug 5, and you can sign up anytime during library hours at the librarian’s desk in the Kids Corner.

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