Identical (Ellen Hopkins)

Do twins begin in the womb? Or in a better place? Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin. For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex. Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?

Living Dead Girl (Elizabeth Scott)

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Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared. Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.
Once upon a time, I didn't know how lucky I was. family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over. Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her. This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

Three Little Words (Ashley Rhodes-Courter)

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"Sunshine, you're my baby and I'm your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she's not your mama." Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system. Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative, humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed - and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice.

Lessons from a Dead Girl (Jo Knowles)


Leah Greene is dead. For Laine, knowing what really happened and the awful feeling that she is, in some way, responsible set her on a journey of painful self-discovery. Yes, she wished for this. She hated Leah that much. Hated her for all the times in the closet, when Leah made her do those things. They were just practicing, Leah said. But why did Leah choose her? Was she special, or just easy to control? And why didn’t Laine make it stop sooner? In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laine is left to explore the devastating lessons Leah taught her, find some meaning in them, and decide whether she can forgive Leah and, ultimately, herself.

Glimpse (Carol Lynch-Williams)


In one moment it is over. In one moment it is gone. The morning grows thin, grey and our lives- how they were have vanished. Our lives have changed when I walk in on Lizzie my sister holding a shotgun. Twelve year old girl Hope's life is turned upside down when her older sister Lizzie becomes an elective mute and is institutionalized after trying to kill herself. Ever since their dad died Hope and Lizzie have relied on each other from a young age. Their mother is a reluctant and unreliable parent at best, who turns tricks to support the family. Throughout the course of this lyrical and heartbreaking narrative readers and Hope discover that the mother is prostituting Lizzie and it's up to Hope to bring the truth to light to save her sister. With raw and haunting writing reminiscent of Ellen Hopkins and Elizabeth Scott, Carol Lynch Williams is a promising new YA voice.

Gym Candy (Carl Deuker)

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"Look, Mick,” he said, you're going to find out from somebody in the gym, so you might as well find out from me. Those supplements you're taking? They might get you a little bigger, but just a little. If you're after serious results, there's other stuff that produces better results much faster, stuff that a lot of guys in the gym use.” "What other stuff?” "You know what I'm talking about: gym candy.”Runningback Mick Johnson has dreams: dreams of cutting back, finding the hole, breaking into the open, and running free with nothing but green grass ahead. He has dreams of winning and of being the best. But football is a cruel sport. It requires power, grace, speed, quickness, and knowledge of the game. It takes luck, too. One crazy bounce can turn a likely victory into sudden defeat. What elite athlete wouldn't look for an edge? A way to make him bigger, stronger, faster? This novel explores the dark corners of the heart of a young football player as he struggles for success under the always glaring and often unforgiving stadium lights.

Leverage (Joshua Cohen)


The football field is a battlefield. There's an extraordinary price for victory at Oregrove High. It is paid on-and off-the football field. And it claims its victims without mercy-including the most innocent bystanders. When a violent, steroid-infused, ever-escalating prank war has devastating consequences, an unlikely friendship between a talented but emotionally damaged fullback and a promising gymnast might hold the key to a school's salvation. Told in alternating voices and with unapologetic truth, Leverage illuminates the fierce loyalty, flawed justice, and hard-won optimism of two young athletes.

Boy 21 (Matthew Quick)

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You can lose yourself in repetition-quiet your thoughts; I learned the value of this at a very young age. Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in gray, broken Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish Mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, he takes care of his disabled grandfather, and at school he's called "White Rabbit," the only white kid on the varsity basketball team. He's always dreamed of getting out somehow with his girlfriend, Erin. But until then, when he puts on his number 21, everything seems to make sense. Russ has just moved to the neighborhood. A former teen basketball phenom from a privileged home, his life has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he now answers only to the name Boy21--his former jersey number--and has an unusual obsession with outer space. As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, "Boy21" may turn out to be the answer they both need.

In Ecstasy (Kate McCaffrey)


Mia and Sophie have been best friends forever - but that's all about to change. Experimenting with alcohol, flirting with boys and dabbling in drugs, things quickly spiral out of control. Sophie, after a particularly nasty experience, reigns herself in, but Mia seems bent on self-destruction. Rejecting her old life, she embraces the new and exciting world that opens up for her with drugs. Almost lost, Mia finally claws her way back with the help of her family, and, finally, her renewed friendship with Sophie.

Black and White (Paul Volponi)

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Two star high school basketball players, one black and one white, experience the justice system differently after committing a crime together and getting caught.
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults.