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Back to School

Some of you may have been waiting for this since the beginning of June, while others of you may still find it an unwelcome topic. No matter how you feel, it’s bound to happen: school is starting in just a few short days. We hope you’ve had a great summer full of books, relaxing, sun, and swimming, and to help you ease back into the school mindset, take some time to check out these books about high school, middle school, and the joys and woes of being a student. Here’s to a great school year!

  • Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. YA ALE. Although he feels like a sell-out for doing so, Junior decides to transfer from the high school on the Indian reservation where he lives to a rich, predominantly white school. Junior, already unpopular, now has to deal with receiving guilt from his tribe and trying to fit into a place where he can’t help but stand out.
  • Cabot, Meg. Shadowland. YA CAB. After moving from New York to California, it’s time for Suze to start her new school, make new friends, and try to avoid talking to ghosts. Literally. Suze is a mediator between the living and the dead, and just when she thought that was bad enough, she finds out her new school is run by a vengeful ghost, and her new room is inhabited by a cute ghost named Jesse.
  • Crutcher, Chris. Whale Talk. YA CRU. T.J. is an adopted, mixed-race high school senior with a positive attitude. He’s smart and athletic, but he hates organizes sports--that is, until he is asked to put together a swim team, an opportunity he uses to gather the underdogs of the school and put the school’s jocks in their place.
  • Green, John. Looking for Alaska. YA GRE. Sixteen-year-old Miles is ready for a change, ready to start leading a life full of more adventure than monotony. After he transfers to an Alabama boarding school, he meets beautiful, eccentric Alaska, who fills his life in more ways than he could have ever expected.
  • Hawkins, Rachel. Hex Hall. YA HAW. After a string of small catastrophes, Sophie is sent to Hex Hall, a boarding school full of mystery, humor, romance...and also trouble-making witches, warlocks, faeries, vampires, and shape-shifters.
  • Knowles, John. A Separate Peace. YA KNO. Fifteen years after he graduated, Gene returns to his old all-boys prep school, visiting places that conjure particularly vivid memories. He reminisces about friendships, rivals, tragedies, trust, secret societies, and growing up on the brink of WWII.
  • Korman, Gordon. Schooled. YA KOR. Thirteen-year-old Cap has been home schooled on an “alternate farm commune” by his hippie grandmother for his entire educational career. When she is hospitalized, Cap is sent to a local middle school, where he quickly realizes that learning about Zen Buddhism and produce farming have far from prepared him to navigate public school.
  • Leck, James. The Adventures of Jack Lime. YA LEC. Whenever students at Iona High have a problem, they turn to the same person: Jack Lime. High-school student Jack Lime is a new kid in town, but his private eye business and knack for detective work gets him noticed quickly.
  • Madigan, L.K. Flash Burnout. YA MAD. With Shannon and Marissa, Blake has it all: a great girlfriend and a great best friend. But when Blake photographs a homeless woman who turns out to be Marissa’s mother, Blake’s life gets a little less tidy and a lot more complicated.
  • Schmidt, Gary D. The Wednesday Wars. YA SCH. Every Wednesday at Holling’s school, all of the students are dismissed to attend either Catechism or Hebrew school...all except Holling, that is. As the only Presbyterian at the school, it’s just Holling and Mrs. Baker in the classroom, studying Shakespeare week after week during the 1967 school year. Holling comes to learn that Shakespeare may have more to teach him about middle school and life than he thinks.
  • Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl. YA SPI. In Leo’s stick-to-the-status-quo high school, it’s especially hard not to notice Stargirl, a new student who dances without music and serenades her classmates with a ukulele. When Leo realizes he’s in love with her, he has to make the tough choice  between being the brunt of cruel jokes along with Stargirl, or changing what makes her special in order to fit in.