the CRIMINAL ELEMENT

 

F LOC The Disruptable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. New York: Hyperion, 2008.

When Frankie entered the highly competative boarding school in 9th grade, she was what one would describe as a geek, who joined the Debate Club and her dad liked to call her Bunny Rabbit. Fast forward to her sophomore year and over the summer, Frankie suddenly blossomed, arriving back at boarding school with a knockout figure, attitude and quickly gets a totally hot senior as a boyfriend, but she soon realizes she is not cut out to be just the current cute girlfriend of a hot guy, so she starts checking around and discovers an all-male secret society on campus organized to do pranks on campus, but they are all pretty pathetic. Unable to sit by idly while they do just stupid, idiotic pranks, she decides she is going to take over, all unbeknownst to them, since she is far more clever than any of them!


F MYE Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers. New York: Harper, 2009.
Drugs and violence are interwoven in this book about Lil J and Kelly. Lil J meets Kelly on the run from the cops after a cop is killed when a drug sale goes bad. This is one surreal book with the harsh reality of drugs, and magic realism of Kelly's world.

F NOE Northrop, Michael. Gentleman.
Michael, Tommy, Mixer and Bones are misfits in high school - totally from the wrong side of the tracks. Everyone thinks they are losers except their teacher Mr. Haberman, who calls them Gentleman. Mr. H. brings in a huge barrel filled with "something" and everyone in the class tries to guess it. Then he has the guys load the mysterious contents into his trunk. That same day, their friend, Tommy, disappears and noone knows where he's gone, including his mom. The guys start to suspect Mr. H and go pay him a visit at his houlose when it all goes terribly wrong.

F VOL Volponi, Paul. Response. New York : Viking Childrens Books, 2009.
Read the first page, 2nd paragraph down to the end of the page. Noah is having some money issues, like big ones. He and his girlfriend got pregnant and have a kid. They each still live with their parents as they aren't even sure they want to get married or stay together, but Noah's trying to do the right thing and help support his son. His fast food job just isn't cutting it. He and his buddies decide they will go to the all-white neighborhood and steal a car, sell it to a chop shop and make some big bucks. Only thing is when they get there, some white boys start in on them and Noah gets his skull cracked open pretty bad. Pretty soon, the 2 neighborhoods are at each other's throats.

F HAU Hautman, Pete. All-in. New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2007.
Dean Doyle is one of those kids that it is hard to tell the age of. He seems young, but also older--he's often mistaken for 23-25, but he is only 17 and loves to play poker. He ends up winning a restaurant off a local one night, but soon has to sell it for 100,000 since it starts to fail. Now he's in Las Vegas and ready to take on some serious gambling. He meets up with a card dealer, Cat and falls in love, but soon his luck runs out and it all comes down to a winner take all $1 million jackpot at a casino that belongs to the guy he won the restaurant from. If you love Texas Hold-em poker, you will love this high-stakes book!

F MCD McDonald, Joyce. Swallowing Stones. New York : Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, [1999], c1997
The worlds of two teens are changed in ways unimaginable one summer. It was Michael's 18th birthday party and was the party of the season. Life couldn't be better. He was earning good money as a lifeguard, and was dating a gorgeous girl. But while the party was in progress he and a friend went into the woods to examine the rifle his grandfather had given him. They shoot it into the air. One mile away Jenna is outside helping her dad who is repairing a leak in the roof. As she looks up, her father tumbles off the roof with a bullet hole in his head. He dies instantly.

F CHO Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts. New York : G. P. Putnam, 2004
Moose's family moves to Alcatraz Island in the 1930's so his dad can be the maintenence man and prison guard. His sister is autistic and they hope to send her to a special school in San Francisco. Moose has to adjust to the interesting population of children living on the island, participate in a laundry scheme and realize that he could run into Al Capone any day.

F FER Ferris, Jean. Bad. New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998.
Dallas loves the rush when she and her boyfriend, Ray are "skating", their term for stealing. But one night it all becomes deadly serious and Dallas is left.

F MYE Myers, Walter Dean. Monster. New York: Harper Collins, 1999.
Steve Harmon is on trial for a crime he may or may not have committed. And by using a unique viewpoint, W.D. Myers turns you, the reader, into Steve's judge and jury. By telling Steve's story in alternating chapters of his personal journal entries and a transcript of the trial proceedings, you are presented with all the evidence of the supposed crime and allowed to come to your own conclusions by novel's end. Did Steve act a lookout in a convenience store robbing and murder, or was he just an unsuspecting witness who happened to be at the crime scene? Will Steve's dream of becoming a screenwriter be fulfilled, or will he spend the most important years of his life behind bars? Well? What do YOU think? (from the Reading Rants website)

F KOR Korman, Gordon. Son of the Mob. New York : Hyperion, 2002.
Seventeen-year-old Vince's life is constantly complicated by the fact that he is the son of a powerful Mafia boss, a relationship that threatens to destroy his romance with the daughter of an FBI agent. Very funny look at how parents can really mess up your life.

F KOR Korman, Gordon. Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle. New York : Hyperion, 2004.
Eighteen-year-old Vince Luca, son of mob boss Anthony Luca, goes away to college in southern California hoping to escape his past, but soon his brother and a series of "uncles" appear at his dorm, and before long he is caught up in criminal activity once again.

F SEB Sebold, Alice. The Lovely Bones. Boston : Little, Brown, c2002.
At the beginning of the story, 14 year old Susie Salmon is already dead. She's just been brutally murdered by a quiet serial killer in her 1970's neighborhood, and now she's in heaven watching the results of her death unfold down on earth. It's painful for her to see her younger sister become older than Susie ever will, her parent's marriage start to disintegrate as they grieve for her, and the first boy she ever kissed begin to grow up and forget her. Maybe worse is seeing Mr. Harvey, her murderer, continue to live contentedly in the house a block away from her parents, as the search for her killer tapers off and is finally closed. Susie finds that heaven doesn't mean eternal happiness. But it helps that whatever you imagine becomes part of your own personal heaven, and for Susie, that means an ornate gazebo, a high school that is all extracurricular activities and no studying, and a gazillion dogs to play with and cuddle whenever she wants. Susie is terrified that her family will forget her. But until they learn to let her go they will never be healed. And neither will Susie. (from the Reading Rants website)

F WER Werlin, Nancy. The Killer's Cousin. New York : Delacorte Press, c1998.
The plot of this book is so stuffed full of murder, mayhem, suicide, ghosts, romance and redemption that I hardly know where to start. So here goes--17 year old David, after being accused and acquited of his girlfriend's murder, moves out of his house and in with his aunt and uncle, in an attempt to forget all the crap he's been through in the past year. But its hard to deal with his own pain when his aunt and uncle are giving each other the silent treatment and his freaky little cousin Lily is giving him the evil eye. Then, to make things even worse, he starts to see a lighted form that may or may not be the ghost of his other cousin, Lily's big sister who supposedly committed suicide. In the middle of all this creepiness, David still finds time to fall in love with the artsy hippie chick who lives in the front apartment of his uncle's house. So, what's a guy to do? David starts sluething around in his family history to try and learn a little more about his cousin's death and why Lily is such a little weirdo. What he finds out will make your toes curl as this novel comes to a crashing climax. A satisfyingly scary, psychologically thrilling read. (from the Reading Rants website)

F FRE French, Albert. Billy. New York : Penguin Books, 1995.
Set in the 1930s in a small Mississippi town the story is about racism and about a ten-year-old boy who is convicted of and executed for murdering a white girl.

F DUN Duncan, Lois. Killing Mr. Griffin. Boston : Little, Brown, c1978.
There was this teacher, see, who everyone hated because he actually, like, made you earn your grades. So like, these four kids decided to pull this prank on this teacher to get back at him for all the crap he put them through. It was a great idea, see, they were going to blindfold him and tie him up so that he would think he was being kidnapped, but like, they would just scare him, then let him go. Only they didn't know Mr. Griffin had a weak heart. And that he took medication for it. So like, they were really screwed when Mr. Griffin kind of, well, died. Now four friends have a terrible secret and a body to hide. Ever tried to keep a secret in high school? It's pretty much impossible, and pretty soon, somebody's going to find out about Mr. Griffin. This nail biter was written before most of you reading this were born. But it still has the power to make your heart pound and bring your most hated teacher a bright, shiny apple. (from the Reading Rants website)

F FIT Fitch, Janet. White Oleander. Boston : Little, Brown, c1999.
When her passionate poet mother, Ingrid, is jailed for killing her ex-lover (with poison brewed partly from white oleander flowers), Astrid Magnussen navigates her way to adulthood through a series of Los Angeles foster families and juevenile homes. Astrid's strength and resilience makes this compelling novel an inspiration. (from Amazon.com)

F BRO Brooks, Kevin. Martyn Pig. New York : Scholastic, 2002.
When Martyn Pig accidentally kills his slovenly and abusive alcoholic father several days before Christmas, he decides not to call the authorities: he is afraid the police won't believe him and, besides, he doesn't want his aunt given custody of him. An avid reader of murder mysteries, he instead works with his next-door neighbor (and secret crush), the aspiring actress Alex, first to hide the death, then dispose of the body. As if the plot weren't already thick, Martyn soon discovers that his father recently inherited a handsome sum of money. (from Amazon.com)

364.1 CAP Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood. On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. A gripping true story.

F GLE Glenn, Mel. Who Killed Mr. Chippendale?: a mystery in poems. New York : Lodestar, c1996.
A murder mystery told in free verse poems, describing the reactions of students, colleagues, and others when high school teacher Mr. Chippendale, loved by some, hated by others, is shot as the school day begins.

 

Updated 09/16/2010