These titles have been selected by a committee of Teen Services Librarians in Monroe County (NY).  Selections were based upon the excellent quality of the writing as well as popular appeal.  These and other fine books for teenagers are available through your local library.  May 2008.

Mary Jane Auch.  Wing Nut
When twelve-year-old Grady and his mother relocate yet again, they find work taking care of an elderly man, who teaches Grady about cars, birds, and what it means to have a home.

Joan Bauer.   Best Foot Forward
Between school and Al-Anon meetings, Jenna helps Mrs. Gladstone cope with escalating problems that result from the merger of Gladstone Shoes with Shoe Warehouse Corporation, while managing a new employee with a shoplifting record. (Sequel to Rules of the Road)

Alyssa Brugman.   Being Bindy
Australian teenager Bindy finds it hard to cope when her best friend of many years suddenly finds other friends and interests and her divorced parents present her with choices that could change everything about her way of life.

Eve Bunting.  The Lambkins

After being kidnapped by the lonely widow of a brilliant geneticist, Kyle finds himself shrunk to doll-size and living with three other children in a dollhouse from which there seems to be no escape.

Eoin Colfer.  Artemis Fowl Series

Artemis Fowl, Book One:  When a twelve-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology, and a particularly nasty troll.

Cornelia Funke.   Thief Lord
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.”  (Also try Dragonrider, Inkheart, Inkspell.)

Jack Gantos.  Joey Pigza Series
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, Book One:
To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention and controlling his mood swings when his prescription meds wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.

Jenny Han.  Shug
Twelve-year-old Annemarie is not happy about her life. While she’d love to change everything about herself, her friendships are changing in all the wrong ways. Not to mention her family. All these changes make for an interesting first year of junior high.

Carl Hiaasen.  Flush
With their father jailed for sinking a riverboat, Noah Underwood and his younger sister Abbey must gather evidence that the owner of this floating casino is emptying his bilge tanks into the protected waters around their Florida Keys home.
(Also try Hoot.)

Jennifer Holm.  Penny from Heaven
As she turns twelve during the summer of 1953, Penny gains new insights into herself and her family while also learning a secret about her father’s death.

Kadohata, Cynthia.  Weedflower
After twelve-year-old Sumiko and her Japanese-American family are relocated from their flower farm in southern California to an internment camp on a Mojave Indian reservation in Arizona, she helps her family and neighbors, becomes friends with a local Indian boy, and tries to hold on to her dream of owning a flower shop.

Gordon Korman.  Schooled
Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. But when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.

Derek Landy.  Skulduggery Pleasant

When twelve-year-old Stephanie inherits her weird uncle’s estate, she must join forces with Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton mage, to save the world from the Faceless Ones.

Ann Martin.  A Corner of the Universe
The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie’s small town.

Gary Paulsen.  The Amazing life of Birds

As twelve-year-old Duane endures the confusing and humiliating aspects of puberty, he watches a newborn bird in a nest on his windowsill begin to grow and become more independent, all of which he records in his journal.

Reeve, Phillip.  Larklight, or, The Revenge of the White Spiders!
In an alternate Victorian England, young Arthur and his sister Myrtle, residents of Larklight, a floating house in one of Her Majesty’s outer space territories, uncover a spidery plot to destroy the solar system.  (Also try Starcross.)

Rick Riordan.  Percy Jackson & the Olympians Series
Lightning Thief, Book One:
Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea.  His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.

Angie Sage.  Septimus Heap Series
Magyk, Book One: After learning that she is the Princess, Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard, those she always believed were her father and brother, and a young guard known only as Boy 412.

Gary Schmidt.  The Wednesday Wars

During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker’s classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.

Jerry Spinelli.  Stargirl
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.
(Sequel: Love, Stargirl)

Lauren Tarshis.  Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree
A quirky and utterly logical seventh-grade girl named Emma-Jean Lazarus discovers some interesting results when she gets involved in the messy everyday problems of her peers.

Terry Trueman.  Hurricane
A fictional account of one of the worst storms to hit the Caribbean–Hurricane Mitch in 1998–told from the perspective of a thirteen-year-old boy living in a small village in Honduras.

Vivian Vande Velde.  Remembering Raquel
Various people recall aspects of the life of Raquel Falcone, an unpopular, overweight freshman at Quail Run High School, including classmates, her parents, and the driver who struck and killed her as she was walking home from an animated film festival.