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Below are books for reluctant readers who meet the following criteria:

• AVERAGE READING ABILITY
• AVERAGE MATURITY

 


Genre: Action/Adventure | Date added: March 18, 2014
The Raft
By S.A. Bodeen

Summary:
Protagonist lives on Midway Island. Visits her aunt on Oahu, decides to head home w/o telling anyone. Plane crashes into the ocean and no one knows she's on it.

Submitted by:
Alice, Arkansas |
@akunce05
If you can put the book down after you reach page 33, then your house must be on fire. Several of my reluctant middle school readers demanded I loan the book to them after reading the first 33 pages in class. My mother hadn't been able to concentrate on a fiction book since going through chemo; she stayed up all night reading The Raft!
Animal lovers will have a teary, heartfelt moment.

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Genre: Realistic Fiction | Date added: February 27, 2014
Drive By
By Lynne Ewing

Summary:
After a boy's brother is killed in a gang-related shooting, the young brother has to deal with anger to help keep his family safe.

Submitted by:
Amy, Kansas

Very appealing to those tough boys in your class who may have family in gangs or show interest themselves.
Some violence. Nothing you wouldn't see on network TV.

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Genre: Narrative Nonfiction / Coming of Age | Date added: February 15, 2014
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
By Ishmael Beah

Summary:
Ishmael Beah and friends ran from the fighting that destroyed their families and villages in Sierra Leone, North Africa. He was eventually captured and brainwashed by army soldiers, to become a brutal, AK-47 toting child soldier in the army. His freedom was won by UNICEF, and his difficult transition back into life began.

Submitted by:
Leslie, Ontario, Canada |
@LibrarianSpecs
This is fast-moving, action-packed nonfiction that reads like novel. Written from a teen perspective with lots of dialogue about fears, frustrations and grief at loss of family, friends, and trust. Non-readers who swear they have never and will never read return and ask for another like it... and then you recommend The Deserter's Tale, by Joshua Keyes.

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Genre: Dystopian Fiction | Date added: February 15, 2014
Contaminated
By Em Garner

Summary:
Velvet lives in a different world now. People she knew are now known as Connies (Contaminateds), no longer their old selves; more like zombies prone to violent rage. Velvet is trying to keep it all together from work to providing food to keeping a roof over her and her sister's heads. Something's got to give...and then it does....

Submitted by:
Naomi, Texas |
@yabooksandmore
Em Garner writes a brilliant dystopian novel whose premise of the downfall of the United States is unique and terrifying because it is based on something that could potentially happen. She creates a future world where history from the past is repeating itself.
As a librarian, I prefer not to censor any of the novel...it's a thrilling read from first to last page.
This is a great site!! SO glad it was created. I have definitely shared it and will continue doing so :)

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Genre: Science Fiction | Date added: February 15, 2014
Unwind
By Neal Schusterman

Summary:
Imagine yourself in a world where pro-choice and pro-life supporters have come to a monumental agreement. Yes, they have agreed that every child conceived will be born, and in return, parents have the option of Unwinding their difficult teens. They all agree on this plan because then, life never has to end. Once Unwound, their precious teens will live on in a divided state for the good of humanity. And as a bonus, no one will ever have to die from disease because if he or she needs a heart, a lung, corneas, arms, anything, it will be provided to them, thanks to the parents' choice to have these difficult teens Unwound. This new agreement also cuts down on crime, because as you know, most crimes would have been committed by teens who now are Unwound before they can become criminals. Everyone is happy, and the world is a much better place. Or is it?

Submitted by:
Lynne, Michigan |
@LeskyLK
This is an amazing story that is told like all great science fiction in that you can imagine a time in the future when this idea could become a reality. Things happen in this story that are so unbelievable that it made me realize what little control we have in our chaotic existence as human beings.

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Genre: Science Fiction / Teen | Date added: February 7, 2014
Gone
By Michael Grant

Summary:
Gives teenagers what they think they want: total control over their own lives. Adults have 'disappeared'. Eat drink and be merry? Watch out & learn who your friends are!

Submitted by:
Irene, London, England |
@Bibliodd
This has one of the best hooks to catch a bored teenager. It is set in California - deals with materialist western youth - guaranteed to appeal to 12-15s gender neutral.

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Genre: Fantasy | Date added: February 5, 2014
The Lightning Thief
By Rick Riordan

Summary:
Percy Jackson, an average 12 year old boy has no friends. Or so he thinks. Actually, he is the son of Poseidon-the ancient Greek God of the sea. With the help of his friends, Grover and Annabeth, he goes on a quest to save his mom, retrieve a magical weapon, and to prove himself as Perseus Jackson, son of Poseidon.

Submitted by:
Jane E., New York City

The Lightning Thief is written to interest teen readers-and to have them relate to the main character. Riordan keeps teens entertained with this fast paced novel. Also references Greek mythology.(Perfect for social studies classes!!!)

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Genre: Historical Fiction | Date added: February 3, 2014
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
By Mildred Taylor

Summary:
A story of a black family facing racism in Mississippi during the Great Depression. The family must deal with racial discrimination as they fight to keep the land that they own.

Submitted by:
Denise, South Carolina |
@PrepareAFace
This book is told from the viewpoint of a young black girl and demonstrates the racial discrepancies faced by blacks in a particular time period in the United States. Especially good for Black History Month studies.

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Genre: Teen / Dystopian | Date added: January 19, 2014
Noughts and Crosses
By Malorie Blackman

Summary:
Meet Sephy & Callum who live in a world that is divided into the powerful and influential "Crosses" and the have nots or"Noughts". As their friendship develops it challenges their friends' and families' attitudes to codes of accepted social behaviour.
This is love across a deeply divided society - modern Romeo and Juliet.

Submitted by:
Irene, London, England |
@Bibliodd
Easy way in for teenagers as it has short and snappy chapters with alternating 'voices' that mimic a game of noughts and Crosses.
Blackman's story keeps them engaged - it is a real page turner , cleverly crafted and populated by credible characters. First book in a trilogy.
This is a teen romance that does not flinch from 'telling it like it is'. Not for younger eyes.

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Genre: Realistic Fiction | Date added: January 14, 2014
Touching Spirit Bear
By Ben Mikaelsen

Summary:
Cole, a teenage delinquent, gets sentenced to a year on a remote Alaskan island instead of going to jail. A bear attack and a year on an island change Cole in ways he could never imagine.

Submitted by:
Heather, Iowa |
@hemno1
Students relate to Cole. He is a teenager with anger management/control and family issues. Mikaelsen does a great job of writing with a strong teenage voice. Reluctant readers will be sucked in by Cole and the fast-paced action of the book.

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Genre: Adventure-Classics | Date added: January 9, 2014
Island of the Blue Dolphins
By Scott O'Dell

Summary:
The story of a young girl stranded for years on an island. It is based on a true story of Juana Maria.

Submitted by:
Deborah, Tennessee |
@Teach111
This book has enough adventure to keep the kids interest. It is an easy book to understand. They should be able to learn life lessons.

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Genre: Realistic Fiction | Date added: January 8, 2014
Misty of Chincoteague
By Marguerite Henry

Summary:
Misty of Chincoteague is one of my favorite children's stories, in which a brother and sister are bent on buying a three year old wild mare from Chincoteague - and will do whatever it takes to get her! When brother(Paul) catches her AND a newborn foal, things get tricky for the siblings, though they learn to accept change and realize that if you really love something, you need to let it go.

Submitted by:
Jane E., New York

Marguerite Henry captures the spirit of the Chincoteague people - which I find very interesting.I believe that teens would enjoy reading this story like I have, and that I have proved this novel to be worthy of a book review. (P.S: Kudos to the Reading Workout - genius!)

Additional comments about this book:
Jane- I remember reading this book as a kid- u describe it perfectly! I think kids will be blown away by this book! (Marty K., NYC)

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Genre: Gothic for Kids | Date added: January 7, 2014
A Series of Unfortunate Events
By Lemony Snickett

Summary:
Daniel Handler, in the guise of Lemony Snickett, writes in this thirteen book series about the plight of the three Baudelaire orphans. In each book, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny face adventure and misery while avoiding the clutches of the evil Count Olaf.

Submitted by:
Vicki, Louisiana |
@davisvickij
I read aloud the first few to my fourth graders, and they adored them. Many of my students rushed to the S section on library day to check out their own copies and read ahead. The plot lines tap into the tween uncertainty of becoming more independent, and the prose is engagingly targeted at children without condescending to the audience.
There is some mild violence and death in the books, but it is never graphic.

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ABOUT THIS SITE

This site is an offshoot of the books you see below. Its purpose is to get non-readers reading and to put people interested in spreading literacy in touch with books, ideas, and resources to help them achieve their goal.

This site is NOT for the teen reader—it is for TEENS WHO DON'T LIKE TO READ.

 

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