Author Title Rating Reading Level
Almond, David Kit's Wilderness Very good 7 & up
Kit’s family moved to Stoneygate to care for his grandfather. Most of the men from the town worked in the now closed coal- mines. Kit is befriended by a strange young man named John Askew and is asked to be a part of his small gang. The group spends several hours playing a game they call Death in which the players select the next person to “die”. He/she is left alone in the dark mine shaft “In Stoneygate there was a wilderness. It was an empty space between the houses and the river, where the ancient pit, the mine, had been." What each person experiences in that dark place is a secret but only John and Kit truly understand each other and what lies in the deep places.
Balliatt, Blue The Calder Game Excellent 6-8
Calder Pillay, named for famed artist Alexander Calder, is as unusual as his name. He loves numbers and takes comfort in his pentaminoes that stay in his pockets at all times. When Calder travels with his father to England, they discover an Alexander Calder sculpture in a most unexpected place. The townsfolk of the small village of Woodstock seem to resent the art piece but Calder is drawn to it. But things are definitely not as they appear and when both Calders disappear on the same night, suddenly the stakes are higher than anyone can imagine.
The Danger Box Excellent 6-8
He's called Zoomy; weird name, right? He's a bit of an odd boy, actually. He is legally blind but that doesn't mean he can't see...he just doesn't see things the way that the rest of us do. One night change blows through the door like a whirlwind, leaving destruction and new opportunities in its wake. The whirlwind is Buckeye, Zoomy's long lost father and he leaves a mysterious box behind. Inside is an old, old notebook with faded writing. Zoomy, an avid notebook writer, is instantly interested and takes the book up to his room where he can bring it right up to his nose and read it. The words written there send him on a quest where he makes his very first friend. Enter Lorrol, the Firecracker of a girl who helps Zoomy with his research. What happens next is nothing short of amazing!!!
Beaufrand, Mary Jane The River Excellent 8 & up
The Santiam River, a constant voice...sometimes angry, sometimes joyful, sometimes full of sorrow. Ronnie is used to city noises, cars honking, sirens echoing among the buildings. When her father is fed up with his high-powered defense attorney position, he moves the family to a small, rural town in Oregon. She is nearly paralyzed with loneliness. Running becomes her only escape, the river a constant companion until the morning she meets Karen, a young neighbor who loves exploring and drags Ronnie along with her. On a rainy morning, she's out on her usual route when she makes a grizzly discovery; Karen is lying in the mud on the bank of the river and something in Ronnie snaps. She is determined to find the truth about what happened to Karen but that truth may turn out to be darker than she is ready for.
Bow, Erin Plain Kate Very good 6-8
What would you do to survive? Kate is a master carver. A distinction rare for one so young. Her creations are so beautiful, almost magical, that some in her village call her witch-blade. It is a dangerous time to be associated with witches. They are routinely burned or drowned for mere suspicion. When her father dies, she has no money to pay the guild fee, which would allow her to practice her art for pay. A stranger comes into town one day with a bizarre request...he wants her shadow. In return, he will give her a chance at freedom and a new life. With no other options, she makes her bargain. It isn't until much later that she finds out who he is and what he wants to do with her shadow. Somehow, she must stop him but it will take the greatest sacrifice off all.
Bowler, Tom Apoclaypse Very good 8 & up
Kit and his parents are taking one final sailing trip on their much-loved boat when things go terribly wrong. A strange fog creeps over the sea, the compasses are swirling madly, even their watches have stopped but worst of all are the eerie cries that come over the water. Suddenly, Kit spies a small carved boat floating in the choppy sea. When he reaches down to get it, he is horrified to see that it is clutched in the hand of a dead man who looks strangely like him. This is only the beginning of trouble. The boat smashes into a rock and limps to the beach of a seemingly deserted island. Once ashore, the family discovers that there are inhabitants who instantly and intensely hate Kit. They are given until morning to fix their boat but before morning, life as they know it will change for the worse and suddenly, Kit is fighting for his life and the lives of his parents.
Bruchac, Joseph Skeleton Man Very good 6-8
Molly’s parents have disappeared and left her to wonder why. From nowhere, a long lost uncle shows up to claim her. She’s never heard of or met this uncle and is immediately suspicious. He is a strange looking character and his behavior is equally strange. Each night, he locks her in her room. He always has lots of food for her to eat but she only pretends to eat it. She is afraid of him but can’t get anyone to believe that something’s wrong. When she finally does tell someone about him locking her in, they do investigate but her uncle takes the old door off and replaces it with a new one that has no lock on it so the authorities think she’s making it up. When they are gone, he simply and silently changes the door back. Molly begins to have nightmarish dreams involving a Native American story her father told her about an uncle who was to lazy to find his own food so he ends up eating his own flesh and that of his family’s. In the dream, Molly is given clues to the mystery by a rabbit. Her parents have always told her to pay attention to her dreams. As her uncle’s behavior becomes more menacing, Molly realizes that she has to do something to save herself and possibly her parents, who she believes are still alive and being held captive.
Carey, Benedict The Unknowns Very good 6-8
Small towns are most known for one thing...nothing, absolutely nothing exciting ever happens. Adjacent is a small island that, coincidentally, is adjacent to a nuclear power plant. There are beat-up trailers, run-down storefronts and an odd assortment of people. But that all changes in July, when people start disappearing. Something bad was coming, you could feel it in the heavy, humid air. Who's going to rescue a no-count place like Adjacent? The police? The FBI? No, in fact, 11-year-old Lady Di Smith and Tom Jones will. The discovered clues that lead them on a dangerous quest through tunnels, under trash heaps being pursued by all manner of ruffians trying to stop them figuring out the truth.
Cast, P. C. Marked (1) Good 9 & up
Can you imagine a world where vampyres are not only real but accepted by humans, or most of them, anyway? Well, for Zoey Redbird, the reality hits home quite unexpectedly. There are some humans who are marked and their lives change forever. When you are marked, you begin your training to become a vampyre...or, if your body rejects the change, die. Zoey has never really fit in anywhere so when she is marked, she wonders if she might finally find a place to belong. But it is not to be...even in a place where freaks abound, Zoey is different. Her mark comes from the goddess Nix and means that she is more powerful than others her age. This makes her some formidible enemies. On the upside, she also makes a few really good friends who will stick by her no matter what. It's the "no matter what", however, that may mean something really horrible.
Clements, Andrew Keepers of the School: We the Children Very good 6-7
Something weird is going on. It's not that Ben is going to be late to homeroom...that's fairly typical. It's that the crotchety school janitor has entrusted him with a secret; a secret that fits, for now, neatly in his pocket. Mr. Keane fell while cleaning the floors and injured his leg. When Ben stopped to help him, Mr. Keane told him a story about the school, it's founder and that something sinister is behind the town's decision to tear down the old school and build a 30 million dollar theme park. The secret is a large, gold coin covered in old-fashioned script: "First and always my school belongs to the children DEFEND IT Duncan Oakes 1783" Mr. Keane is taken away in an ambulance but the next day, the announcement comes that he has died...of a broken leg! That's not all, his replacement seems to be skulking about spying on Ben. Could he know about the gold coin and what it says? Why would he be interested in that? Ben enlists the help of his friend Jill and the more they seek answers, the more it seems like someone really doesn't want them found. And what did Duncan Oakes mean about the school belonging to the children? With all these questions swirling around them, Ben and Jill have their work cut out for them. But, how far are is the town and the developers willing to go to keep the theme park deal from falling through?
Cooper, Ilene I'll See You in my Dreams Good 8 & up
Dreams are usually vague, confused visions which fade upon waking. Not so for Karen. Her dreams are startlingly vivid and, often, terrifying because her dreams come true. When she was a young girl, she dreamed of the car accident that killed her father. For a while after that, the dreams stopped. Then she begins dreaming about a handsome boy she’s never met before and on the first day of school, he appears at her bus stop. After some time, it seems as though he likes her so she chalks the dreams up to girlish fantasy. But then the dreams leave Karen with a feeling of dread for the boy, Mark. Soon she begins to dream of Mark’s younger brother, Brian and the dreadful feelings intensify. Brian is in danger but she’s afraid that no one, least of all the handsome and popular Mark, will believe her.
Cormier, Robert The Rag and Bone Shop Very good 9 & up
“A seven-year-old girl is brutally murdered. A twelve-year-old boy named Jason was the last person to see her alive-except, of course, for the killer. Unless Jason is the killer.”
The police are being pressured from all directions to find the perpetrator of such a horrible crime so they bring in Trent, a detective particularly adept at getting suspects to confess. He is highly trained to read body language, voice inflection, and other visual clues to determine guilt. His first impressions of Jason are that he is innocent of the crime but personal problems in his own life begin to make him doubt himself so he keeps pushing. The police are not looking for another suspect as their entire focus is on Jason. Jason thinks he is helping with the investigation since he was the last person to see the girl alive but he is no match for the verbal and emotional skills that are Trent’s hallmark. He confesses to the crime but is he actually guilty of it?
Crewe, Megan The Way We Fall Very good 8 & up
Virus...an innocuous word until it isn't. Island life has always been wonderful for Kaelyn and her family. Her father, a microbioloist, moved them back after a short time in Toronto. She missed her friends, her family, but most of all, she missed her best friends Leo. Now, though, Leo's gone to school in New York and she didn't say good bye. There were many things left unsaid. Kaelyn writes to him daily in her journal, trying to work out what happened. Soon, however, she has much more dire things to tell him. People are getting sick. Not just sick but crazy, as well. That's how it starts. A little itch, a cough then all your inhibitions seem to disappear and mania sets in, a few days later, you are dead. When things like this happen, you expect help from the government but what they do is only to help themselves. They quarantine the island. Food and supplies are dropped in sporadically and the islanders are left to fend for themselves. Eventually, even those deliveries stop. As systems all over the island begin to break down, desperation sets in and Kaelyn joins forces with an unlikely ally and, amazingly enough, even finds a bit of romance. When the virus begins taking those she loves most, her spirit takes a beating but she just can't give up because the alternative is unthinkable.
Cross, Kady The Strange Case of Finley Jayne Excellent 9 & up
Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined out a plan to kill Queen Victoria during the Jubilee.
Crowley, Bridget Feast of Fools Very good 6-8
The life of a chorister seems like it would be an easy one but such is not the case for young John, crippled by a horrible accident that killed his father. He is brutalized by a bully and beaten for things he did not do. The only bright spot is his friendship with Hugh, another chorister. When one of the canons is murdered and Hugh disappears, everyone thinks the worst. Everyone except John. As he seeks to discover the truth, he finds himself embroiled in sinister forces at work in and around the Cathedral.
Crowley uses a deft hand to tell this chilling tale. Her characters are well-rounded and the plot twists believable and the tension palpable. A sophisticated reader might be disappointed not to have some more detail of John's back ground and how he came to be in his situation but most young adult readers will root for John and admire his bravery. This is an excellent title to add to any historical fiction collection.
Derting, Kimberly The Body Finder Very good 8 & up
She has always been able to sense them, smell and taste them even. It was like the sensation of a taste exploding in the back of her throat; something dead, killed violently. At first it was just animals killed by a predator. She'd find them and insist that they be buried properly then they would be quite and she would be at peace again. One day, however, it wasn't an animal Violet found in the woods. It was a teenage girl and Violet was only 8-years-old. No one but her family and her very best friend Jay knew about this gift she inherited from her grandmother. Jay never questioned, he was just always there and comforted her. They are teenagers now and things have changed a bit. Jay was no longer the gangly boy she grew up with. He was tall, muscular and very handsome, as evidenced by all the girls who now hung around him all the time. Violet wasn't sure how to handle the new feelings that were blossoming inside of her. At the end-of-summer party at the lake, she and Jay were riding a jet ski when that feeling hit her like a cold wave. She followed it and there, floating in the water was the bloated body of a young girl who died violently. A few weeks later, another body turns up and there's no doubt that a serial killer is on the loose. Violet is terrified but when a girl from her school, a girl she knew, disappears she decides she can't just sit by and do nothing. This decision not only brings about a major change in her relationship with Jay but it also brings her onto the radar of the killer. Will she be his next victim?
Doherty, P. C. Nightshade: A Hugh Corbet Medieval Mystery Very good 9 & up
In the early 1300s, Hugh Corbett is a most loyal and trustworthy envoy for King Edward I. One of his many tasks is to investigate crimes against the king. Lord Scrope is a not-so-loyal subject. He has a priceless artifact that he acquired during the crusades and has broken his promise to return it to the king. Worse still, and unknown to Corbett or the king, he also has items stolen during a brazen heist from the king's own hoard! Corbett is charged with the task of bringing back the artifact or Lord Scrope to stand trial. When Corbett arrives, he realizes that there's far more going on in this small hamlet than just thievery. A mysterious and dangerous archer has begin to murder people on the streets. He calls himself Nightshade and is the Medieval equivalent of a sniper. As the body count rises, Corbett finds more secrets long buried and reluctant to be unearthed. He must bring order to this place before he will be able to do the King's bidding.
Ferguson, Alane The Christopher Killer Excellent 7 & up
Cameryn Mahoney is a science prodigy, specifically forensic science. Her father is the county coroner and she is gunning for the Medical Examiner's job, when she graduates from college. She approaches her father about hiring her on as his assistant, since he's very short-staffed. He agree, much to her grandmother's dismay. Her first case is an accidental death and she found the evidence of his previous health issues, which meant that her father could sign the death certificate with C. O.D. without an autopsy. Her second case, however, was much different. The body of a young woman was found in the hills surrounding the town with her hand and feet bound with duct tape. It's clearly murder and there will have to be an autopsy. Rumors are swirling that the young girl might be the latest victim of a serial killer operating around the country, dubbed The Christopher Killer because he left St. Christopher's medals on his victims. When the victim turns out to be a friend of Cameryn's things get really tense. Cameryn must be on her best game if she's going to help catch the murderer.
The Angel of Death Excellent 7 & up
Cameryn Mahoney, seventeen-year-old, high school student, daughter and assistant coroner is now famous, having been instrumental in catching a serial killer who murdered a good friend of hers. Now, her English teacher is found murdered in his own bed. The body, once on the autopsy table, proves to be the biggest mystery of all. The cause of death cannot be determined until it is opened up and see that the body has been burned….from the inside out! The mystery instantly grabs Cameryn’s attention but then, so does the boy who found the body. Kyle O’Neil is, quite possibly, the most popular boy in school and he seems to be attracted to Cameryn. Suddenly, her focus is split between trying to solve the murder, dealing with the eminent return of her long-gone mother, her overwhelming feelings for Kyle and losing focus could come with mortal consequences.
Giles, Gail Dark Song Very good 7 & up
Ames has an enviable life. She lives in a beautiful home, goes to an exclusive private school, and has a good relationship with her family. It's perfect...maybe just a bit too perfect. Just under that flawless facade lurks a darkness that Ames isn't even aware of until the perfection shatters. When her father is fired for embezzling, not only do they lose all their possessions but her parents fights escalate, they lie to Ames and her little sister Chrissy about what's going on, and the darkness begins to sing softly. When the family moves to a low-rent house in Texas, she meets Marc. He is different from any other boy she has ever known. Very quickly and even more smoothly, he moves into her life, lavishing her with affection, protecting her from her parents' rage. Without her noticing, he isolates her, pointing out all the injustices and abuse she's suffered. He draws her into his life and that life is full of violence and...guns. As their relationship escalates, Ames' parents realize what's going on. When they find out that he's not 17 but 22, they put their own arguments aside and band together to stop the relationship. Suddenly, Ames feels trapped. Marc is unwilling to let her go but how far will he push her; how far is she willing to go?
Hahn, Mary Downing Mister Death's Blue-eyed Girls Very good 10 & up
t's the last day of school and everyone is looking forward to a summer full of parties, swimming and sun bathing. One young man isn't going to any parties. No one notices him, he is nearly invisible, unless they want to say something cruel; he is Mister Death and he has been watching, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. They think they're perfect, these two blue-eyed girls. Soon, they'll know his wrath...he and his rifle will bring the town to its knees.
Deep and Dark and Dangerous Very good 7 & up
Something bad happened a long time ago; something that's been kept secret. When Ali finds an old picture of her mother and her aunt at their cabin in Maine, she realizes that there's another girl who's been torn away leaving only her arm and a few strands of hair in the picture. When she asks her mother about it, she goes pale claiming that there wasn't anyone else in that picture. Ali presses her and one of her infamous headaches comes on and she leaves Ali wondering. Aunt Dulcie's reaction is similar. Both women are hiding something. That summer, Ali accompanies her aunt and 5-year-old cousin Emma up to that cabin so that Dulcie can paint for an art show. At first, everything is wonderful. Ali and Emma play on the beach and swim in the cold water. Then one morning it all changes with the appearance of Sissy, a very unlikable little girl who draws Emma in almost immediately. Emma begins to behave rudely, just like Sissy. She does whatever she pleases, just like Sissy. But there's something very strange about Sissy. No one in the neighborhood seems to know who she is. Even more strange are the rumors Ali hears about her mother and aunt. She becomes convinced that everything is somehow connected. As things get more out of control and frightening, Ali realizes that she has to expose whatever secrets are hidden in the deep, dark and dangerous waters just beyond the cottage.
Hartnet, Sonya What the Birds See Very good 6-8
Adrian is a fearful boy. He is afraid of quicksand, shopping centers, spontaneous combustion, and sea monsters. His greatest fear, though, is the fear of being left behind. Fear seems to run in his family. He lives with his grandmother who worries that she's too old to raise him and his uncle who lives with his own fears and never goes out. His own mother couldn't take care of him and his father couldn't be burdened. Adrian is a solitary lonely child, but that all changes when a family, with three children, move in across the street. Nicole, the eldest, is brash and fearless. She says exactly what's on her mind. Adrian is amazed and perplexed by her behavior most of the time but it's what keeps him coming to visit her. Things come to a head in Adrian's house when he overhears his grandmother, aunt and uncle talking about him. He thinks they are going to get rid of him, send him to live in a home and he is beyond terrified. He decides to take action. He goes outside to think and plan when Nicole joins him. She talks of the three missing children and she claims to know where they are. She and Adrian set off to find them but all does not go as planned and tragedy strikes.
Hartinger, Brent Grant and Humble Very good 8 & up
Two boys who couldn't be more different from each other, share a common problem. Harlan is a popular, good looking boy who is always the center of attention. Manny is a geek and the lighting coordinator for his high school's theater. They are both experiencing unexplainable, seemingly psychic visions. Harlan's in the form of premonitions that come on without warning and leave him sweating and terrified. Manny doesn't like to sleep because he has horrific nightmares that leave him worn-out and scared silly. Both sets of parents seem to be hiding something from them and it doesn't take long for the boys to figure out that their horrors are connected to their parents, in some way.
Healey, Karen The Shattering Good 8 & up
Summerton is an idyllic, seaside village that has escaped the ravages of the economic down-turn. The summers are mild and dry and the tourists continue to visit, even though its main attraction was destroyed in an earthquake a few years earlier. Keri and Janna are both desperate to get out of the small-town setting to a place where they can spread their wings and be themselves. Sione is a tourist that Janna hooked up with once while trying to get to his older brother. All three teens have one terrible thing in common...their older brothers all committed suicide. They cannot accept what the police and their families have. None of the boys left notes or displayed the typical signs of depression or anxiety seen in suicidal people. The only thing that makes sense is murder. Only how did the murderer manage to get the boys to do it and who would do such a thing? Sione is something of a computer geek and has discovered a strange pattern...a boy who is the oldest child and a teenager has killed himself every year for the last 2 decades! Other similarities in the suicides convince Keri that they are on to something. As they begin to investigate, the trail leads to people they know well and have trusted their whole lives but also to some hard-to-believe possibilities. Soon, however, they realize that someone they know is the next target and they have to move fast in order to save him.
Henry, April Girl, Stolen Very good 9 & up
Cheyenne is very sick. She has pneumonia and is sleeping the the back seat of her stepmother's car while her prescription is being filled. As she dozes, the car door slams and it starts to move...they are heading home, Cheyenne thinks until she realizes that something is different. Her stepmother doesn't drive fast or jerky! Then she hears a swear come from the driver. It's a male voice, "Who the hell are you?" Griffin has no time to think. He has to figure out what to do next, what to tell his father about the girl in the back seat of the car he's just stolen! Roy is not a nice man...he's going to freak when he sees the girl, maybe worse. Roy doesn't like surprises unless they're the kind that bring in money. Griffin knows that Cheyenne's family has money but when they see the news that evening and find out that she's the daughter of Nike's president, things change. This now becomes a kidnapping for money and the stakes for both Cheyenne and Griffin are high and very, very dangerous. The pneumonia is the least of her problems because, even if she could manage to escape, how would she able to find her way to safety...she's blind.
The Night She Disappeared Very good 9 & up
It's just a normal night. A call comes in...Drew takes a delivery order for three meat pizzas. The caller asks for the girl who drives a mini cooper, Gabie, but it's Kayla who's on duty; it's Kayla who takes the delivery and never returns; it's Kayla who is missing and presumed dead. Gabie is convinced that she's still alive, even after Kayla's family has a memorial service. It's like she can feel Kayla out there somewhere...she enlists Drew's help to find her. The police are convinced that the person who took her was someone she knew. It was a start but Kayla was pretty popular so the suspect list is long. Was it her ex-boyfriend? What about the tweeker who drives a truck similar to one seen in the area? Was it a customer? At every turn, Gabie and Drew come up empty handed. If Kayla is still alive, Gabie fears she won't be for long. Then, will he come after her?
Jaffe, Michele Rosebush Good 8 & up
Jane is a beautiful, sweet and somewhat naive teenager. Her best friends, Langley and Kate, are the powerhouses of the group. Where they lead, she is sure to follow. Her boyfriend, David, is gorgeous and a seemingly sensitive young man. Basically, Jane's life is perfect...until the day she wakes in the hospital, broken and bruised from a hit and run accident. That night is a blur. She remembers being at the party but nothing is really clear. Unable to move due to, hopefully, temporary paralysis, Jane has nothing to do but think and try to remember. Images and memories from her past begin to surface; some pleasant and others very disturbing. Slowly, as she begins to heal physically, she realizes that what happened was not an accident! Someone had purposefully tried to run her down, kill her! Worst of all, the culprit was someone close to her and that someone is still trying to finish the job.
Lee, Y. S. The Agency: A Spy in the House Very good 8 & up
The wages of thievery is death and Mary Quinn is facing the grim reaper at the tender age of twelve. At the eleventh hour, she is saved by a woman posing as the prison warden. She is taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls where she receives a proper education; lessons in manners, languages, mathematics, etc. When she is eighteen, she approaches the headmistresses with a problem. She wants more from life than a job as a governess or teacher or wife but she is unsure what, since women in the late 19th century had very few prospects outside of domestic life. What happens next both surprises and excites her. As it turns out, the school is merely a front for a secret organization called the Agency, a group of specially trained women investigators who work outside of traditional society's purview. She accepts the appointment and is assigned her first case. She will pose as a young lady's companion but will also be looking into the father's nefarious activities. Mary soon learns that the Thorold home is rife with secrets and a strong undercurrent of danger.
Lord, Gabrielle Conspiracy 365: January Very good 8 & up
It's New Year's eve and everyone is celebrating. Fireworks are flashing, revelers are stumbling and raucous. Cal is being chased down the street by a dirty, sick man who keeps yelling, "They killed your father. They'll kill you next. You must survive the next 365 days!" Suddenly, Cal's formerly normal life is ripped apart. It all starts with a mysterious boating accident which nearly kills him. Cal is on the run with a price on his head. The police want him in connection with an brutal attack on his little sister and uncle. Two different groups of powerful criminals want him for what his father, who is recently dead from an unknown virus that destroyed his brain before killing him, wrote him in letters. He no longer knows who to trust. The clock ticks with the beat of his heart but how long till both are stopped?
Mackall, Dandi The Silence of Murder Excellent 8 & up
Hope Long is terrified. Her brother, Jeremy has been accused of the brutal murder of beloved Coach Johnson but she knows with everything in her being that he could not have done it. Jeremy is a special needs boy of eighteen. He's been diagnosed with most every disorder at one time or another but one thing is for sure...he chose to stop talking when he was 9-years-old. The evidence against him is overwhelming. He was seen running away from the barn where Coach Johnson was murdered with the murder weapon, his own Louisville Slugger which was later found in his room. His "difference", while not exactly evidence, certainly works against him. The only option for the defense is to try to prove that Jeremy is not guilty by reason of insanity. When things go badly in the courtroom, Hope embarks on her own investigation complete with a growing suspect list. But, someone does not want her to dig any deeper. She receives creepy phone calls, the caller whispering to leave things alone. She sees an old white pick-up truck following her. The danger is closer than she thinks. The real murderer is someone she knows!
McClintock, Norah Taken Fair 6-8
It's been all over the news...two teenage girls disappeared, one was found buried in a shallow grave. Parents are worried and become overly protective. Steph, like many of her friends, isn't particularly concerned. She doesn't think it could happen to her. She's walking home one evening, after turning down her best friend's offer of a ride home. She stops, deciding whether to take a short cut through the meadow or go the long way around, that's safer. She's tired and hungry so she opts for the short cut. Moments after she enters the field, arms grab her up, a hand covers her mouth and a pin prick makes her world go black. It's happened to her and now, she's alone, hogtied in a cabin in the middle of the woods with only the meager survival skills she learned from her grandfather during a brief summer visit.
Masked Good 8 & up
Secrets and lies swirl around a convenience store one frightening day. Daniel is a secret shopper, going from store to store judging everything from cleanliness to service. He approaches the owner, Mr. Marelli, who eyes him warily, as he asks to use the bathroom. Rosie Marelli is planning a daring escape with her boyfriend because her dad is trying to control her life and because of the other secret that she's desperate to keep until she is well away from him. Everything is going along with both Daniel's and Rosie's plans until a masked man enters the store holding a gun. What happens in the coming minutes is both shocking and terribly sad. One life is ruined, the others are changed forever and all because of Lies and Secrets.
McMann, Lisa Wake Good 9 & up
Have you ever had a dream that seemed so real, so frightening that you just couldn't wake from it? Now imagine that it's not even your dream. That's Janie's life, at least since she was 8-years-old and fell into an old man's dream that he was giving his presentation to his colleagues in his underwear. Most dreams are innocuous...the dream of falling, playing/speaking in front of a crowd buck-naked, the usual. Sometimes, though, there are the nightmares where monsters seem real and there's no escape. Janie can't control the dreams. She can't help, even when they plead for her to. When others sleep, Janie is sucked into their dreams. This makes for a very tired girl and there's no one to help her. Her mother is barely conscious most of the time (drink), her father isn't in the picture (unknown), and no one would believe her anyway. Or would they. One night she dreams and suddenly something changes. The boy in the dream wakes, fully aware that she's seen something, something he'd rather keep hidden. She has to learn to control it before it destroys her and the only chance she might have at falling in love.
Mead, Richelle Vampire Academy (1) Very good 8 & up
Rose is half human and half vampire and is a guardian-in-training. She is assigned to Lissa, the last member of a powerful vampire family. They attend St. Vladimir's Academy, where things have gotten rather hairy lately. To protect her best friend from perceived dangers, Rose runs away with Lissa. They have managed to live safely for two years before they are caught and returned to the academy where they have to face not only the consequences of their actions but also the everyday problems of being teenagers. The dangers they ran away from are very real, however, and mean life or death to one or both girls.
Miranda, Megan Fracture Very good 9 & up
"Eleven minutes might as well be eternity under water. It only take three minutes without air for loss of consciousness. Permanent brain damage begins at four minutes. And the, when the oxygen runs out, full cardiac arrest occurs. Death is possible at five minutes. Probably at seven. Definite at ten. Decker pulled me out at eleven." What happens then is a miracle or, maybe not. Delaney is different after her near-death, her she-should-be-dead experience. She gets these weird sensations inside of her. She can't ignore them but they lead to more trouble...one by the name of Troy, a new boy who claims to "know" her. What he knows creeps her out, especially after she figures out what he's really doing at the retirement home and what he was doing in her hospital room just before she woke. Can she pull away from him and ignore the increasingly strong sensations she's getting? If not, she may pay the ultimate price...again.
Mourlevat, jean-Claude Winter's End Very good 9 & up
In the best of times, orphanages are never wonderful places. For four teenagers, theirs is more like a prison. One fateful night, they escape. Three of them make it to a safe haven where a secret resistance movement has begun. Unbeknownst to them, they they were imprisoned in the "boarding schools" because their parents had been resistance fighters before them. They discover that one voice has the power to unite a beaten down people to fight for freedom but not without loss and pain. As the movement gains momentum, the three teens must also try to save their friend who is captured and forced to compete in a deadly game for the amusement of those who rule society; those the freedom fighters are battling against. Their enemies are great in number theirs is a powerful will to win but is it enough or will they end up as their parents did...martyrs for the cause.
Mullin, Mike Ashfall Very good 7 & up
Finally, Alex has the house to himself...a hard-won battle between him and his mother. His mother's parting comment will replay in his head for a long time to come, "Why do you have to fight me on absolutely everything?" He's just settling in for some serious World of Warcraft when the internet goes out then a cracking noise, like a thousand trees splitting, and the floor tilts sending Alex sprawling across the room. He is trapped in a small space between all of his furniture. The smoke and heat coming from all around him gets him moving in a hurry. Finally outside, his neighbors, Darren and Joe, bring him into their house. It's not over yet, though...the rest of the day is a study in hell. Explosions so loud and constant that nothing else can be heard. When they can all hear again, they find out that the super-volcano in Yellowstone National Park has erupted, sending tons of ash and rock thousands of miles. This eruption make Mount St. Helens look like a baby's burp! The world around them has changed so completely that it's like being on another planet. Even the people are different, more violent and frightening. After a particularly gruesome attack by a couple of thugs looking for food and water, Alex decides that he needs to find his family so he sets off on a terrifying trek during which Alex must face his fears and be braver and stronger than he ever thought possible.
Nitz, Kristin Wolden Suspect Very good 8 & up
Jen has her whole summer planned out. She'll play basketball and volleyball with her friends and try to forget the fact that her boyfriend just broke up with her. Then, her father asks her to help out her Grandma Kay at her Victorian Bed and Breakfast. The words "Is it too much to ask, Jen" guilt her into a "Yes" answer. It won't be so bad, though. She has her uncousin, Mark, with whom she grew up. He's one of those guys you don't have to pretend around. He knows her history, the fact that her mother disappeared when she was a little girl, how she panics every time she tries to remember. Her life settles into cleaning, cooking, playing ball with the boys. All is well until Grandma Kay springs the idea behind her Mystery Weekend on the unsuspecting group. She is convinced that Jen's mom didn't just disappear. She believes she was murdered and has written a mystery script for the purpose of trying to uncover more information. The truth behind the story is well hidden within the characters and the scripted back story but those close to the family recognize the details. Characters are assigned and Jen will play two parts, that of the victim being the most difficult. Clues are uncovered and the mystery unfolds but Jen discovers something that frightens her to her very core...someone close to her is the reason her mother vanished.
Peretti, Frank Nightmare Academy Good 7 & up
The Project Veritas team is deployed, unofficially, by the President of the United States to investigate the reappearance of a young man who seems deranged and who keeps ranting about Nightmare Academy. When he is killed, the team steps up their investigation and the teenaged twins, Elijah and Elisha, pose as homeless teens hoping to find this place that so terrified the boy and for which he was killed. They meet a woman who promises them food and a warm place to sleep. The terror begins for them when they wake in a strange place not remembering how they got there and not being able to contact their parents. The twins’ faith is tested at every turn when “reality” is turned upside down and there is no right or wrong except where the group decides. “There’s no winning or losing here, no right or wrong. There’s just the game and what you make of it,” preaches one teacher. Finding a way out becomes their first priority but at what price?”
Priestley, Chris The Dead of Winter Very good 6-8
Michael Vyner is all alone in the world. His mother has just passed away and his father died when he was a baby. He died saving the life of a young officer, Sir Stephen Clarendon. Now, Clarendon is his guardian, having sworn to Michael's father that he would care for the family. The ride to his new home was miserable. Michael was angry, resentful and heartrendingly sad. Hawton Mere wasn't particularly welcoming. It was a dark stone fortress, complete with its own moat. Sir Clarendon was a strange, haunted looking man who seemed ill and not a little crazy. His sister Charlotte was a little easier to handle though she seemed a bit out of sorts with the prospect of having a young boy about. The servants, however, were very friendly and worked hard to make Michael feel welcome. Almost immediately, Michael noticed strange things about the house. He heard noises at odd hours and often felt as though someone was watching him. Late one evening he saw a woman roaming the house. She seemed pale and frantic but she disappeared almost as soon as he saw her. The following morning, Michael recognized the apparition as Mrs. Clarendon, the long-dead lady of the house and Sir Stephen's only love. Hers was not the only presence he felt. There was something dark and evil lurking about the old homestead. These restless spirits would not give Michael or, it seemed, Sir Stephen a moment's peace. What were they after? What did they want Michael to see? They say that tragedy leaves a mark on a place. The mark left on Hawton Mere seemed to be dismantling the place piece by piece but would it take everyone down with it or will uncovering the horrible truth set the innocent free?
Rodosky, Colby Clay Good 6-8
How many children are stolen each day? Each hour? Each minute? Elsie and her brother Tommy live on the run, always moving but not knowing why, not remembering a time when they were really home. Their mother came to take them for ice cream but never took them back. Ever since, she moves the family every time she feels threatened. Elsie has always obeyed her mother’s rule to stay away from people and take care of her brother. That is until Tommy gets very sick. Her mother refuses to see that he’s burning up with fever and sleeps all the time, just as she turns a blind eye to how strange Tommy behaves on a regular basis. Elsie decides that she must defy her mother and try and get help.
Schrefer, Eliot The Deadly Sister Very good 9 & up
Abby is the peacemaker in the family. When her parents fight, she tries to smooth ruffled feathers. When her sister Maya screws up (flunks classes, takes drugs, comes home late or not at all...) she covers for her. She's the big sister, it's her duty, right? Somethings, however, can't be covered up. Murder, for instance. Maya's tutor and local hottie, Jefferson Andrews, turns up dead, all evidence points directly at Maya. Abby, desperate to protect her little sister, helps her escape then launches her own investigation. She uncovers things about people she thought she knew, things she wishes she didn't know. First of all, Jefferson is not the golden boy he pretends to be. He's a drug dealer and user, and not just of drugs. He is adept at drawing people in, especially girls, using them then tossing them aside like garbage. Abby has watch this process time and time again. She warned Maya, who wouldn't listen until it was too late. Maya's conviction may be inevitable but the real shocker is yet to come.
Shaw, Susan Tunnel Vision Very good 7 & up
It was a typical day. Liza was heading home down her usual path which lead through an underpass in the park. It was more crowded than usual. She stops, waiting, hoping the group of men will move on. She notices that one of them has what look like Micky Mouse ears on...weird. Finally, it's obvious they're not going to move so she make herself as small as possible, not easy when you are 6 feet tall! She avoids their clasping hands and ignores their comments and head straight for her mother, waiting at the end of the path. There's a bang, like a car backfiring and her mother falls; there's blood, so much blood and silence or was she screaming? It's all a blur. It just can't have happened, mom can't be dead! But she is and worse, if possible, is that she wasn't their target. Liza was the one they were aiming for. Now, she and her father are on the run from a major criminal organization, but will they ever be truly safe?
Smith, Andrew In the Path of Falling Objects Very good 10 & up
Nothing has ever been easy for Jonah and Simon. Their father is in prison for drug possession, their older brother is in Vietnam fighting and their mother has just left them high and dry. They know that if the authorities find out they will be separated and lost in the foster care system so they pack up and head out to Arizona where their father will soon be out of jail. Before long, a car pulls over and offers them a ride. The man and the young girl look normal enough but Jonah has a bad feeling. Simon, however, is tired of walking and accepts the ride for them. It isn't long before the violence begins. At first is just ugly talk, then Mitch purposefully ran over a coyote but worse was to come, much worse and Jonah is no longer sure they will get out alive.
Smith, Roland I.Q. Excellent 6-8
Q (short for Quest) and Angela are now step-siblings. Their parents are the uber famous musical duo, Match and they are bound for a world tour to support their new album. Q and Angela don't know each other all that well and their first few hours together are enlightening to both. Q, 13, has "nervous hands" and always has a deck of cards or ropes with which to do magic tricks. Angela, 15, wants to work for the government...as a secret service agent, CIA or FBI. Her mother, a former Secret Service agent, was killed in the line of duty years before by a bomb set by a terrorist group. Boone, a mysterious roadie, joined the group as bus driver and babysitter but he was much more than he seemed and, in very short order, life for Q and Angela became far more exciting than either of them expected or wanted.
Snyder, Zilpha K. Spyhole Secrets Good 6-8
Misery loves company so why can’t Hallie find any? Her father was killed in a car accident which left her and her mother with very little money. As a result, they have to move into a small apartment in another town. Basically, life stinks until Hallie finds her way into the forbidden attic and a view into an apartment across the street. When things get to be too much for her, she sneaks up there to watch the family through the stained glass and makes up stories about their lives. But, there’s something strange going on in that house and Hallie is determined to find out what. There’s “Rapunzel girl”, the teenager with long, beautiful hair, and "the hairy monster", who actually turns out to be a young boy named Zachary. Zachary is very unusual. He is 9-years-old going on 35 and wants to be a psychiatrist or shaman when he grows up. As Hallie gets to know Zachary, she tries to find out more about his family and what she sees when she looks through the spyhole without actually telling him that she watches.
Sorrels, Walter First Shot Excellent 8 & up
Out on the Barrens a body is found; a woman's body. She has been murdered. It's a small town, surely someone knows something about how she ended up out there and who killed her? But no, two years pass and nothing changes. David struggles with everything. He just can't seem to please his father, the headmaster of The Arsenal, a private boarding school which David attends. He's a barely average student, he's not particularly athletic, he's not particularly popular. The one and only thing he does well, better, in fact than anyone at school, is shoot. At the start of his senior year, he discovers that someone who's a better shot than him has beaten him out of a spot on the rifle team. And it's not just anyone...it's a GIRL!!! As if things weren't bad enough. In the midst of this, mysterious clues begin to surface about his mother's death and some of them lead a little too close to home. One very dark and rainy night, David follows his father out on the Barrens and witnesses him burying something that looks very like a rifle; a rifle like the one that killed his mother.
Stewart, Trenton Lee The Mysterious Benedict Society (1) Excellent 7 & up
It all started with an advertisement in the newspaper asking for children who were looking for special opportunities. Next were the totally bizarre, mind-boggling tests. When all was said and done, only four special children succeeded in passing all the tests. Each was unique in many ways but all had one thing in common...in one way or another, they were alone in the world. Enter Mr. Benedict, the enigmatic, narcoleptic creator of the tests. He has a special, dangerous mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children can accomplish. The Challenge: They must infiltrate the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened where the only rule is contradictory rules. Each task is more difficult than the last and each child is challenged nearly to his or her breaking point. But, the mission cannot succeed without teamwork. Each must rely on the others or the mission will fail and the mysterious, evil Mr. Curtain will gain control of the world through it's youngest and most susceptible members, children.
Strasser, Todd Kill You Last Very good 9 & up
You live with someone your whole life and you think you know them, right? That's what Shelby thought but, turns out, she didn't know her father at all. Sure, he liked women and sometimes he stared a fraction of a second too long at her high school friends but, didn't most men do that? Besides, he's a successful photographer and ran his own modeling agency and life was pretty good...at least until the day that girls started disappearing. Now, her life was turned upside down and she didn't know who to trust. Things only get worse when she begins to receive threatening emails and texts claiming to know something horrible about her father. Did the stalker know about the missing girls? Was her dad responsible? Shelby is determined to find out but will her investigation put her directly in the line of fire?
Sweeny, Joyce The Guardian Very good 7 & up
A four-year-old boy is awakened by terrible noises. He sees an angel who tells him that he's going to be his guardian and that everything is going to be alright. Fast forward nine years and Hunter is on his third foster home and has just lost his foster father to a heart attack. Can things get much worse? As a matter of fact, yes. Stephanie, his foster mother who never really liked or wanted him, now forces all 4 children to work to bring in money. He has a bully on the bus who shakes him down daily for money. So, when his mysterious guardian angel makes a reappearance, helping him with these problems, who is he to complain? So what if his wings look more like the fringe on a leather jacket and he drives a really cool and really loud motorcycle? And if he roughs the bully up a bit, where's the harm in that, right?!? Things, however, are not what they seem and when the angel shows his true colors, Hunter must decide what this angel is actually guarding.
Updale, Eleanor Johnny Swanson Very good 6-8
Johnny Swanson is many things...student, son, and a criminal. His life of crime began in retaliation of being scammed by a false advertisement. To recoup the money he'd spent, he decided to scam some folks, himself. It worked better than he could have imagined and caused a good bit of trouble along the way before his criminal behavior was uncovered and ended up saving the day. One evening, Johnny and his mum, Winnie, had a HUGE row and she went off for a walk to cool off. That very night, Giles Langford, the local, recently retired doctor was murdered. Johnny's mum had been seen loitering around the house a number of times. Later, when the body was discovered, Winnie's apron was found soaked in the good doctor's blood and she was arrested. Now, both mother and son are criminals but only one of them is guilty. Follow along as clues are revealed the the killer is shockingly revealed.
Montmorency: Thief, Liar Gentleman Excellent 7 & up
The glass ceiling shatters, as does his body. He should be dead but a young, enterprising doctor saves him and reconstructs his body. He is left with a web of scars and a prison sentence. The doctor uses him as a showcase for new surgical procedures. He spends his time during these lectures, learning everything he can about this class of people and hatching a plan to become one of them. Upon his release, he sets the plan in motion and becomes two people, Scarper the thief and Montmorency, the gentleman that the thief supports. He must be so very careful because getting caught is not an option. Both of his lives would be hanging from the business end of a rope until dead.
Montmorency and the Assassins Excellent 7 & up
Having left his criminal life behind, Montmorency is now a mysterious, wealthy eccentric who solves mysteries for a living. He and George Fox-Selwyn are called in when an equally eccentric naturalist reports the theft of several rare specimens. They find themselves in Florence, Italy up to their ears in luxury and their quarry found. But, what starts out as a simple mission turns dangerous when political intrigue interferes and they are drawn into the fray to try and stop the anarchist who are intent upon spreading terror and death around the world.
Weatherly, Lee Child X Excellent 7 & up
Jules’ life is pretty typical. Marty, her best friend, and she chatter together after class and try to avoid gross guys like Adrian Benton. They stick together through teasing and crushes. They even audition for parts in a play based on their favorite book, Northern Lights (a.k.a. The Golden Compass). Then, not so suddenly, her world falls apart. Her father has left her and her mother! Sure they fight, like most parents do but this is different. Photographers appear around every corner snapping her photo and the whispering she hears all around her is maddening but no one will tell her what’s going on. It becomes apparent, one day, when she and Marty read the front page of the news paper and find answers that only lead to more questions, painful ones.
Werlin, Nancy Black Mirror Very good 8 & up
Do you know what it feels like to not belong anywhere? To be between rich and poor; Asian and Jewish; life and death? Frances is caught in just such a place. She has some Asian features, dark hair, almond shaped eyes, tiny frame, and some Caucasian family features, large chest, straight nose (her grandmother’s) and small waist. She hates to look into mirrors because of her mismatched features and for a time, she won’t have to. Her brother Daniel has died of a heroine overdose so, as is the Jewish tradition, all mirrors are covered with the black cloth of mourning while the family sits shiv-ah. Daniel used to be her best friend until they received a scholarship to attend an exclusive private school. They began to drift apart when he joined a service club called Unity. Frances had refused to join but after his death, she decided that she wanted to get to know the brother she had lost even before he died. But she soon discovers that something is not quite right about Unity and it’s young founder, Patrick Leyden. The more involved she becomes, the more danger she encounters. Did her brother really commit suicide or was it something more? The suspense is palpable and keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the last chapter when all is revealed.
Killer's Cousin Excellent 8 & up
David, recently tried and acquitted of murder, has moved to Massachusetts to start a new life. He is living with his aunt, uncle and very strange cousin who turn out to have much in common with David. Things are not comfortable or welcoming in this house. His aunt tries very hard to ignore him and his 11-year old cousin Lily is downright hostile. Very soon after his arrival, Lily’s behavior towards him begins to be more threatening. David is sure that something in this family is very wrong but who is he to talk about messed-up lives? The longer he stays, the closer he gets to the uncovering the reasons behind the mysterious behavior of Lily and the more he is forced to deal with his own issues and pain.
Locked Inside Very good 8 & up
Being the daughter of a famous singer-turned-self-help author is not the easiest occupation. You just don’t fit in anywhere and people have difficulty separating you from the fame. In Marnie’s case, the situation is made much worse by the death of her famous mother, Skye. Marnie works hard to separate herself from that fame by deliberately refusing to take part in life around her. She spends hours online playing an Internet adventure game and trying to outsmart the Elf, her main rival. This separation does not offer the kind of safety that Marnie seeks, however. She is kidnapped and locked inside a basement by a woman she had begun to trust. With this imprisonment, Marnie begins a difficult journey of self-discovery with some surprising help from the Elf, her online gaming friend and a one-time enemy from school.
Woods, Elizabeth Choker Very good 9 & up
Cara Lange's life has not been the same since her parents moved her away from her best friend, Zoe. Cara is a shy loner, unnoticed in school. The only semi-social thing she does is run track. Lunches are spent avoiding the popular girls who torture her endlessly because she choked on some food in the cafeteria and Ethan, the object of her distant affection, had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on her. From then on, Alexis and her gang called her "Choker" and made horrid choking noises whenever they saw her. One afternoon, though, everything changes. Zoe appears at her door seeking asylum from her family situation. Cara is elated and hides her in her room and, suddenly, her life make a turn for the better! With Zoe's help and support, Cara begins to come out of her shell a little. She gives Cara a makeover and it isn't long before there are parties and flirtations that Cara has never experienced. Not all is as it seems, though. Zoe ran away from something horrible and it seems as though the horrible has followed her. First, Alexis' BFF Sydney drowns at a drunken party at her house, which is just next door to Cara's. Then, Alexis herself, disappears and everyone connected to her is a suspect. Worst of all, Zoe has begun acting very strangely. Trust is essential in friendships but what do you do when the person you trust as much as you trust yourself turns into a stranger right in front of you?
Wynn-Jones, Tim The Uninvited Very good 7 & up
Mimi has issues. She had a relationship with one of her college professors and she ended it but he continues to pursue her, vigorously. When her mostly absent artist father offers her the use of a small cottage in rural Canada, she jumps at it. She and her mini Cooper find the little cottage in a small glade looking like a quaint picture postcard. It is not, however, unoccupied. There is a young, handsome musician currently in residence and he is angry, accusing her of leaving weird "gifts" for him. A snakeskin, a dead bird and a cricket sound embedded in his latest piece of music all left without a trace of the giver. Soon, both Jay and Mimi are targets for the stalker. It's a summer of mystery and discovery but will they uncover the identity of the stalker before things spiral out of control?
Young, Janet Ruth The Babysitter Murders Good 9 & up
Dani is a normal 17-year-old girl. She plays tennis, sings in a small choir at school and babysits a few evenings a week for Alex, an adorable 4-year-old boy. Without warning, strange and frightening thoughts begin to invade her mind. At first, she tries to ignore them but with each day comes more and more horrifying ideas: things like killing little Alex with a butcher knife or outing her best friend in front of the entire tennis team and choir. She even thinks of harming her own mother! Her anxiety at what she might do forces her to quit babysitting. When she confesses to an adult she trusts, things go from bad to worse. Once it's out, people begin to embellish the story and gossip turns ugly. The newspapers and tabloids carry the story and, worst of all, a vigilante group targets Dani, even though she's done nothing wrong! Through emails, newspaper articles and the gossip mill, Dani is labeled a child killer and hunted like an animal. How far are these people willing to go and is there any truth to what they think about her?