Short Reads

Tired of the long books that seem to be coming out in droves lately? Try one of these. They’re all around 200 pages or less.

Boy Proof. Cecil Castellucci. 203 pages. Y Castellucci.
Feeling alienated from everyone around her, Los Angeles high school senior and cinephile Victoria Jurgen hides behind the identity of a favorite movie character until an interesting new boy arrives at school and helps her realize that there is more to life than just the movies.

Everything is Fine. Ann Dee Ellis. 154 pages. Y Ellis.
Stuck at home caring for her severely depressed mother and abandoned by her father, Mazzy has only the day-to-day dramas of her neighborhood to keep her busy. Soon, however, Mazzy has to face the fact that her mom is emotionally paralyzed by a family tragedy.

If I Stay. Gayle Forman. 100 pages. Y Forman.
While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.

Shattering Glass. Gail Giles. 215 pages. YPB Giles.
When Rob, the charismatic leader of the senior class, turns the school nerd into Prince Charming, his actions lead to unexpected violence.

Invisible. Pete Hautman. 149 pages. Y Hautman.
Doug and Andy are unlikely best friends–one a loner obsessed by his model trains, the other a popular student involved in football and theater–who grew up together and share a bond that nothing can sever. As Doug tries to keep his long-buried secrets hidden, the inner world he has carefully constructed threatens to crumble.

Torched. April Henry. 212 pages. Y Henry.
In order to save her parents from going to jail for possession of marijuana, sixteen-year-old Ellie must help the FBI uncover the intentions of a radical environmental group by going undercover.

Green Angel. Alice Hoffman. 116 pages. Y Hoffman.
Haunted by grief and by her past after losing her family in a fire, fifteen-year-old Green retreats into her ruined garden as she struggles to survive emotionally and physically on her own.

Voss: How I came to America and am hero, mostly. David Ikes. 200 pages. Y Ikes.
Through a series of letters home, fifteen-year-old Vospop “Voss” Vsklzwczdztwczky shares his experiences as he is smuggled out of Slobovia in a crate of black-market cheese puffs, tries to find a job in an American city, and foils a sinister plot.

Strays. Ron Koertge. 167 pages. Y Koertge.
Sixteen-year-old Ted O’Connor’s parents just died in a fiery car crash, and now he’s stuck with a set of psycho foster parents. He’s having pretty much the worst year of his miserable life–or so he thinks. Ted’s attempts to come to terms with both his parents’ death and his new life are aided by his ability to communicate with animals, which often serves as a source of comfort.

Way of the Warrior. Andrew Matthews. 152 pages. Y Matthews.
Jimmu is haunted by his fatheras suicide. Vowing vengeance on the man responsible, Jimmu masters the skill of the samurai and secures a position among the lordas guards. But the closer Jimmu comes to fulfilling his dark destiny, the more tangled he becomes in the truth of his fatheras death.

Cut. Patricia McCormick. 151 pages. YPB McCormick.
While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better.

Dope Sick. Walter Dean Myers. 196 pages. Y Myers.
Seeing no way out of his difficult life in Harlem, seventeen-year-old Jeremy “Lil J” Dance flees into a house after a drug deal goes awry and meets a weird man who shows different turning points in Lil J’s life when he could have made better choices.

The Black Pearl. Scott O’Dell. 96 pages. YPB O’Dell.
In claiming as his own the magnificent black pearl he finds, a sixteen-year-old youth enrages the sea devil who legend says is its owner.

Dead is the New Black. Marlene Perez. 190 pages. YPB Perez.
While dealing with her first boyfriend and suddenly being pressed into service as a substitute cheerleader, seventeen-year-old Daisy Giordano, daughter and sister of psychics but herself a “normal,” attempts to help her mother discover who is behind a series of bizarre attacks on teenage girls in their little town of Nightshade, California.

Black Box. Julie Schumacher. 168 pages. Y Schumacher.
When her sixteen-year-old sister is hospitalized for depression and her parents want to keep it a secret, fourteen-year-old Elena tries to cope with her own anxiety and feelings of guilt that she is determined to conceal from outsiders.

Living Dead Girl. Elizabeth Scott. 170 pages. Y Scott.
“When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her 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”–Jacket.

Response. Paul Volponi. 145 pages. Y Volponi.
When an African American high school student is beaten with a baseball bat in a white neighborhood, three boys are charged with a hate crime.


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