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The Lightning Thief



A Child Called It --David Pelzer, victim of one of the worst child abuse cases in the history of California, tells the story of how he survived his mother's brutality and triumphed over his past. 921 Pelzer Deerfield Beach, FL: Health communications, Inc., 1995.

True Tales

921 Burch They Cage the Animals at Night by Jennings Burch.
Biography of a young man who, at the age of eight, began an odyssey through a series of asylums and foster homes intrrupted only by episdoes of life in the streets.

921 Fisher Finding Fish: a memoir by Antwone Fisher.
Antwone Fisher tells the story of his life, from his birth to a prison inmate to his success as a screenwriter in Hollywood, discussing his childhood and teen years in foster homes, his stint in the Navy, his attempts to find his mother and father, and the determination that led him to create the life of his dreams.

921 Mah Chinese Cinderella : the true story of an unwanted daughter by Adeline Yen Mah.
The author tells the story of her painful childhood in China where she lived until the age of fourteen with her father, stepmother, and siblings, all of whom considered her bad luck because her mother died shortly after giving birth to her.

921 Tarbox Katie.com : my story by Katherine Tarbox.
Katie Tarbox explains how and why she became involved, at the age of thirteen, with an Internet stalker, a middle-aged man who had told her he was a wealthy twenty-three-year-old; and shares the story of her ordeal after she realized, almost too late, that he was a sexual predator.

921 MCCOURT Angela's Ashes. by Frank McCourt. New York, NY : Scribner, c1996.
Memoir of the author's miserable childhood growing up in the perpetually damp country of Ireland, with the sterotypically long-suffering mother and drunken father whose nurtures in his son an appetite for stories.


F SAN Bait by Alex Sanchez New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2009.
Diego keeps getting into trouble because of his explosive temper until he finally finds a probation officer who helps him get to the root of his anger so that he can stop running from his past.

F ANO Go ask Alice by Anonymous.
A fifteen-year-old drug user chronicles her daily struggle to escape the pull of the drug world.

F ATK When Jeff comes home by Catherine Atkins.
Sixteen-year-old Jeff, returning home after having been kidnapped and held prisoner for three years, must face his family, friends, and school and the widespread assumption that he engaged in sexual activity with his kidnapper.

F HAD Don't you dare read this, Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
In the journal she is keeping for English class, sixteen-year-old Tish chronicles the changes in her life when her abusive father returns home after a two-year absence.

F KLA You don't know me : a novel by David Klass.
Fourteen-year-old John creates alternative realities in his mind as he tries to deal with his mother's abusive boyfriend, his crush on a beautiful, but shallow classmate and other problems at school.

F FIT White oleander : a novel by Janet Fitch.
Astrid, the only child of a single mother, struggles to find a place for herself in a world full of foster homes and impossible circumstances, after her mother is jailed for murder.

F MAZ When she was good by Norma Fox Mazer.
The death of her abusive, manipulative older sister prompts seventeen-year-old Em to remember their unpleasant life together, with their parents and then later on their own.

F NOL Born blue by Han Nolan.
Through years of feeling that she is unwanted, Janie keeps alive her dream of being a famous singer.

F KON Silent to the bone by E.L. Konigsburg.
When he is wrongly accused of gravely injuring his baby half-sister, thirteen-year-old Branwell loses his power of speech and only his friend Connor is able to reach him and uncover the truth about what really happened.

F TRU Stuck in neutral by Terry Trueman.
Fourteen-year-old Shawn McDaniel, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy and cannot function, relates his perceptions of his life, his family, and his condition, especially as he believes his father is planning to kill him.

F CRU Ironman : a novel by Chris Crutcher.
While training for a triathlon, seventeen-year-old Bo attends an anger management group at school which leads him to examine his relationship with his father.

Always Running --An involving autobiography about the author's evolution from an L.A. gang member to a community leader. 921 Rodriguez New York : Simon & Schuster, 1994, c1993.

True Tales

921 GANTOS Hole in my LIfe by Jack Gantos
The author relates how, as a young adult, he became a drug user and smuggler, was arrested, did time in prison, and eventually got out and went to college, all the while hoping to become a writer.

921 WILLIAMS Life in prison by Stanley "Tookie" Williams with Barbara Cottman Becnel.
The author, imprisoned on Death Row since 1981, describes life in prison, warning young readers not to make the mistakes he made.

364.1 VOI Voices from the streets: young gang members tell their stories.
Photographs, poems, and interviews with former gang members from different regions of the United States depict their experiences.

259 FRE Father Greg & the homeboys : the extraordinary journey of Father Greg Boyle and his work with the Latino gangs of East L.A. byCeleste Fremon.
Tells of the ministry of Catholic priest Greg Boyle among the Hispanic gangs of Los Angeles and its positive impact on the life of the community.



F EWI Party girl by Lynne Ewing.
The death of her best friend Ana in a drive-by shooting causes fifteen-year-old Kata to question her position in the Los Angeles gang life.

F MAR Parrot in the oven: mi vida. by Victor Martinez.
Manny relates his coming of age experiences as a member of a poor Mexican family in which the alcoholic father only adds to everone's struggle.

F SOT Buried onions by Gary Soto.
When nineteen-year-old Eddie drops out of college, he struggles to find a place for himself as a Mexican American living in a violence-infested neighborhood of Fresno, California.

F COB Prep by Jake Coburn.
One-time tag-artist, Nick tries to come to terms with the death of a friend, to protect the brother of his would-be girlfriend, to escape the violence of wealthy New York City prep school hoods, and to figure out who he really is.

F EWI Drive-by by Lynne Ewing.
Twelve-year-old Tito, while helping to care for his little sister, struggles to find his way during the aftermath of his brother's death in a gang-related shooting.

F BUN Someone is hiding on Alcatraz Island by Eve Bunting.
When he offends the toughest gang in his San Francisco school, Danny tries to elude them by going to Alcatraz only to find himself and a Park Service employee trapped by the gang in an old prison cell block.



Claws--Jed and Laura, two popular Minnesota high school students, find their seemingly perfect lives suddenly in chaos when they discover that each has a parent who is having an affair with the other. F WEA by Will Weaver. New York : HarperCollins, 2003.


F GIL Playing in Traffic by Gail Giles. Brookfield, Conn. : Roaring Brook Press, 2004.
Shy and unremarkable, seventeen-year-old Matt Lathrop is surprised and flattered to find himself singled out for the sexual attentions of the alluring Skye Colby, until he discovers the evil purpose behind her actions.

F GIL Shattering Glass by Gail Giles.
When Rob, the charismatic leader of the senior class, turns the school nerd into Prince Charming, his actions lead to unexpected violence.

F PLU The body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci.
Torey Adams, a high school junior with a seemingly perfect life, struggles with doubts and questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the class outcast.

F FLI Breaking point by Alex Flinn.
Fifteen-year-old Paul enters an exclusive private school and falls under the spell of a charismatic boy who may be using him.

F FLE Whirligig by Paul Fleischman.
While traveling to each corner of the country to build a whirligig in memory of the girl whose death he causes, sixteen-year-old Brian finds forgiveness and atonement.

F BRO Martyn Pig : a novel by Kevin Brooks.
Martyn Pig's life goes from bad to worse when he accidentally kills his father, and he must choose whether to tell the police the truth about what happened and be suspected of murder, or he can get rid of the body and pretend nothing ever happened.



F HAH Look for Me by Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn. New York : Clarion Books, c1995.
While staying at the remote and reputedly haunted Maine inn run by her father and pregnant stepmother, sixteen-year-old Cynda feels increasingly isolated from her father's new family and finds solace in the attentions of a charming but mysterious guest.

F KLA The Silver Kiss by Annette Klause. New York : Delacorte Press, 1990.
A mysterious teenage boy harboring a dark secret helps Zoë come to terms with her mother's terminal illness.

F KOS The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. New York : Little, Brown, 2005.
A young woman discovers an ancient book and a cache of old letters in her father's library, and thus begins her adventurous quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, a search that will span continents and generations, and a confrontation with the darkest powers of evil.

F REE Vampire High by Douglas Rees. New York : Dell Laurel-Leaf, 2005, c2003.
When his family moves from California to New Sodom, Massachusetts and Cody enters Vlad Dracul Magnet School, many things seem strange, from the dark-haired, pale-skinned, supernaturally strong students to Charon, the wolf who guides him around campus on the first day.

F SHA Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan. Boston : Little, Brown, c2002.
Two boys who are best friends visit an illegal freak show, where an encounter with a vampire and a deadly spider forces them to make life-changing choices.

F VAN . Companions of the Night by Vivian Van Velde, San Diego : Harcourt Brace, c1995.
When sixteen-year-old Kerry Nowicki helps a young man escape from a group of men who claim he is a vampire, she finds herself faced with some bizarre and dangerous choices.

F WES Peeps by Scott Westerfeld. New York : Razorbill, 2005.
Cal Thompson is a carrier of a parasite that causes vampirism, and must hunt down all of the girlfriends he has unknowingly infected.

And of course, the sequels!

F MEY New Moon by Stephanie Meyer. New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2006.
: When the Cullens, including her beloved Edward, leave Forks rather than risk revealing that they are vampires, it is almost too much for eighteen-year-old Bella to bear, but she finds solace in her friend Jacob until he is drawn into a "cult" and changes in terrible ways.

F MEY Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer. New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2007.
Bella must choose between her friendship with Jacob and her relationship with Edward, both vampires, but when Seattle is ravaged by a mysterious string of killings, the three of them need to decide whether their personal lives are more important than the well-being of an entire city.

F MEY Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer. New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2008.
Continues the story of the human Bella and the vampire Edward whose love is threatened by their difference, a werewolf named Jacob, and other outside influences.

Holes by Louis Sachar…

Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor
Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Two brothers, having run away from the aunt who plans to adopt the younger one, are sought by a detective hired by their aunt, but they have found shelter with--and protection from--Venice's "Thief Lord." Welcome to the magical world of Venice, Italy, where hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelter runaways and children with incredible secrets.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

The Maze by Will Hobbs
Rick, a fourteen-year-old foster child, escapes from a juvenile detention facility near Las Vegas and travels to Canyonlands National Park in Utah where he meets a bird biologist working on a project to reintroduce condors to the wild.

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
During the summer of 1971 in a small Texas town, thirteen-year-old Toby and his best friend Cal meet the star of a sideshow act, 600-pound Zachary, the fattest boy in the world.

The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence
Shipwrecked after a vicious storm, fourteen-year-old John Spencer attempts to save his father and himself while also dealing with an evil secret about the English coastal town where they are stranded.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee's life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.

Wringer by Jerry Spinelli
As Palmer comes of age, he must either accept the violence of being a wringer at his town's annual Pigeon Day or find the courage to oppose it.

Whirligig by Paul Fleischman
While traveling to each corner of the country to build a whirligig in memory of the girl whose death he causes, sixteen-year-old Brian finds forgiveness and atonement.

Rash by Pete Hautman
In a future society that has decided it would "rather be safe than free," sixteen-year-old Bo's anger control problems land him in a tundra jail where he survives with the help of his running skills and an artificial intelligence program named Bork.

Whale Talk by Crutcher, Chris.
Intellectually and athletically gifted, TJ, a multiracial, adopted teenager, shuns organized sports and the gung-ho athletes at his high school until he agrees to form a swimming team and recruits some of the school’s less popular students.

Bucking the Sarge by Curtis, Christopher Paul.
Deeply involved in his cold and manipulative mother’s shady business dealings in Flint, Michigan, fourteen-year-old Luther keeps a sense of humor while running the Happy Neighbor Group Home For Men, all the while dreaming of going to college and becoming a philosopher.

Monster by Myers, Walter Dean.
While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

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updated 9/19/2011