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READS: CCB Fiction: Contemporary, American

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Challenges

Wonder - YA

Auggie was born with a facial difference and has been home schooled until now when , at grade 5, he is starting a prep school. He looks different but he is an ordinary kid but can he convince his schoolmates? 315 pages.

Turtles All the Way Down - YA

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there's a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her best and most fearless friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett's son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. 286 pages.

Crank

This is a story about a monster. Not a dragon or a mythological beast, but a very real, very destructive monster--crystal meth--that takes hold of seventeen-year-old Kristina Snow and transforms her into her reckless alter-ego Bree. Based on her own daughter's addiction to crystal meth, Ellen Hopkins' novel-in-verse is a vivid, transfixing look into teenage drug use. Told in Kristina's voice, it provides a realistic portrayal of the tortured logic of an addict.

From Scratch

When Cookie realizes she is going to lose her job she takes a course at a community college. There she finds out she has a lot going for her. She wants to own a bakery and promote her cookies. 112 pages.

Dark Side of Purgatory

Jaxon Slater has 'pushed the envelope' and tried to scam his way through most of his life. He's charismatic and good-looking. Many things come easy to Jaxon. Sobriety isn't one of them. He's tried staying clean numerous times but always falls into a relapse, using one more time. His long time sponsor had warned him plenty. His last use of heroin landed him dead--in Purgatory. Jaxon believes he is having a terrible nightmare until he finds an old friend and recalls how he died. Reality sets in and Jaxon begins to learn the rules of the strange land. To have a chance at saving himself, he must complete a quest: find a certain young woman and steer her away from the highway of destruction that killed him. 163 pages.

From Purgatory to Treatment

Jaxon Slater was called to Purgatory to aid an old friend's nephew. His quest: helping Austin Henderson complete his alcohol and drug treatment. If Austin fails, he will lose his girlfriend, the respect of his family, and his freedom. Austin, unaware that Jaxon and his uncle have come to help, feels he must struggle with his addiction alone. Temptations are everywhere, even in the treatment center. 251 pages.

It's All Absolutely Fine

Explore the highs and lows of modern life through the sharp, dark wit of Ruby Elliot. Ruby's simple drawings of not-so-simple issues capture the humor and melancholy of everyday life and the struggles of life with mental illness. It's All Absolutely Fine is an honest and unapologetic account of day-to-day life as a groaning, crying, laughing sentient potato being for whom things are often absolutely not fine. Through simple, humorous drawings and a few short narratives, the book encompasses everything from mood disorders, anxiety, and issues with body image through to existential conversations with dogs and some unusually articulate birds. 

Jumped In

Sixteen-year-old Rasheed is smart, tough and a survivor. In his neighborhood, he has to be. The streets are run by a gang called the E Street Locals, and they've been trying to jump him in since he was a child. So far, he's managed to escape their clutches. But the gang is not his only problem. 104 pages.

Dietland

The diet revolution is here. And it's armed. Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you're fat, to be noticed is to be judged. With her job answering fan mail for a teen magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. But when a mysterious woman in colorful tights and combat boots begins following her, Plum falls down a rabbit hole into the world of Calliope House -- an underground community of women who reject society's rules -- and is forced to confront the real costs of becoming "beautiful." At the same time, a guerilla group begins terrorizing a world that mistreats women, and Plum becomes entangled in a sinister plot.

Love & Connections

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

Two misfits. One extraordinary love. Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds -- smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try

Hot winter nights: a Bear Mountain rescue story

Hot winter nights: a Bear Mountain rescue story

Disheartened by her recent move to Montana, former city girl Allie Fairchild is just about to throw in the towel when life in Bear Mountain takes a surprisingly sexy turn. 137 pages.

Learning to Ride

Learning to Ride

Rodeo king Tanner Callen doesn't want to be tied down. When he sees Madeline Harper at a local honky-tonk and everything about her screams New York, he brings out every trick in his playbook to take her home. But soon he learns that he doesn't just want her for a night and, instead, hopes for forever. 128 pages.

Puddin'

Puddin'

When circumstances put Millie Michalchuk and Callie Reyes together over the course of a semester, the girls realize they have more in common than they ever imagined. One is the fat girl and the other is Miss Popular but they have more in common that expected. 428 pages.

Sleepless in Manhattan

Sleepless in Manhattan

Great friends. Amazing Apartment. An incredible job. Paige has ticked off every box on perfect New York life checklist. Until disaster strikes and instead of shimming further up the career ladder, Paige is packing up her desk. Her brother's best friend Jake might be the only person who can help her put her life back together. 457 pages.

The Sun Is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also a Star - YA

Two teens--Daniel, the son of Korean shopkeepers, and Natasha, whose family is here illegally from Jamaica--cross paths in New York City on an eventful day in their lives--Daniel is on his way to an interview with a Yale alum, Natasha is meeting with a lawyer to try and prevent her family's deportation to Jamaica--and fall in love. 348 pages.

When We Met

When We Met

When four girls decide to live off campus together as juniors at a college in Michigan, they expect it to be their best year yet. Little do they know, it's a year that will change the rest of their lives. 387 pages.

Windfall

Windfall - YA

Alice loves Teddy, her best friend, but has never told him. When she buys him a lottery ticket that turns out to be a winner, their lives are changed forever and their friendship is put to the ultimate test 417 pages.

Foolish Hearts - YA

When Claudia accidentally eavesdrops on the epic breakup of Paige and Iris, the it-couple at her school, she finds herself in hot water with prickly, difficult Iris. Thrown together against their will in the class production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, along with the goofiest, cutest boy Claudia has ever known, Iris and Claudia are in for an eye-opening senior year. 313 pages.

Permanent Record

An unforgettable new romance about how social media influences relationships every day. On paper, college dropout Pablo Rind doesn't have a whole lot going for him. His graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn is a struggle. Plus, he's up to his eyeballs in credit card debt. Never mind the state of his student loans. Pop juggernaut Leanna Smart has enough social media followers to populate whole continents. The brand is unstoppable. She graduated from child stardom to become an international icon and her adult life is a queasy blur of private planes, step-and-repeats, aspirational hotel rooms, and strangers screaming for her just to notice them. When Leanna and Pablo meet at 5:00 a.m. at the bodega in the dead of winter it's absurd to think they'd be A Thing. 

Diary of a Mad Bride

Impulsively accepting her boyfriend's proposal, Amy, an independent, career-minded New Yorker, finds her common-sense approach turned upside down as she becomes embroiled in the agonizing preparations for the wedding of her dreams. 294 pages.

Real Life

13  Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl - YA

Follows Lizzie, a young woman growing up in Mississauga, as she fights her way from fat to thin, but who still, even as a married adult woman, sees herself as a fat girl. 214 pages.

Bleed Like Me

Bleed Like Me - YA

Two emotionally scarred teenagers enter into a passionate, dangerous romance. 278 pages.

Holding up the Universe

Holding up the Universe

What does it mean to see someone--and love someone--for who they truly are? Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed "America's Fattest Teen." But no one's taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom's death, she's been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. And then she and Jack Strout, who is carrying his own secret problems, are tangled up in a cruel high school game--which lands them in group counseling and community service--Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. 

Holes

Holes - YA

As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself. 233 pages.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

A coming of age novel about Charlie, a freshman in high school who is a wallflower, shy and introspective, and very intelligent. He deals with the usual teen problems, but also with the suicide of his best friend. 213 pages.

Shift

Shift - YA

Chris & Win decide to bike across the US. Along the way Win disappears. Chris is questioned about why he didn't look for Win. Shift is not only a word to describe changing gears on a bike, it can also mean a shift in your life, attitude, etc. Great story by a local author. 245 pages.

Skinhead Birdy

Skinhead Birdy - YA

Expelled from high school number one, Tyler Ruiz is attending his second. Not a great record for a sophomore with anger issues. Then he meets Sara Allen. Tyler's a good-looking guy, so he figures Sara's an easy hookup. And he falls hard--for a girl who is mentally unstable. 184 pages.

This Boy's Life

This Boy's Life

This unforgettable, bestselling memoir by a gifted writer introduces the young Toby Wolff, by turns tough and vulnerable, crafty and bumbling, and ultimately winning. Set in Concrete, WA. A "New York Times" Notable Book of the Year.

On the Come Up

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri's got massive shoes to fill. But it's hard to get your come up when you're labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral . . . for all the wrong reasons. An ode to hip hop and the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn't always free.

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