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The Impossible Knife of Memory

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson book cover.
Laurie Halse Anderson

It seems as though 17-year-old Hayley may finally have a chance to settle down and lead a “normal” life after five years of homeschooling on the road with her truck-driving father. However, normalcy – and even the possibility of a romantic relationship with kind yet mysterious Finn – might be too much to hope for. Her dad’s crippling post-traumatic stress disorder (a cruel leftover from his time spent in the military overseas) and resulting addictions will push both of them to their breaking points.

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Thunder Over Kandahar

Thunder Over Kandahar by Sharon E. McKay book cover.
Sharon E. McKay

Yasmine and her parents have returned to Afghanistan so her father can teach and help his country, but the new school built by the Americans is attacked and closed. Problems such as abuse of women and children, poverty and opium addiction are all issues Yasmine encounters.  With the help of her brave friend, Tammana, the girls come through many harrowing experiences.

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Homeroom Diaries

Homeroom Diaries by James Patterson book cover.
James Patterson

This book talks about topics like cyberbullying, depression, and suicide. Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she's turning over a new leaf with her "Operation Happiness". She's determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary.

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West of the Moon

West of the Moon by Margi Preus book cover.
Margi Preus

Astri is a young Norwegian girl desperate to join her father in America. After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America. With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent goatman in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon.

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The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1)

The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) by Colleen Gleason
Colleen Gleason

The Clockwork Scarab is a wonderful mystery that includes Egyptology, time travel, secret societies, and vampire hunters. Reluctantly at first, Mina Holmes, the teenage niece of Sherlock Holmes, and Evaline Stoker, the teenage sister of Bram Stoker, combine their sleuthing and hand-to-hand combat talents to find out why society girls are turning up dead. The young ladies infiltrate opium dens, pubs, society balls, and seedy criminal lairs in pursuit of the mystery of the missing girls.  This is the first book in the Stoker & Holmes series, set in Victorian London with a steampunk twist. If you enjoy Clockwork Scarab, be sure to check out book two in the series, Spiritglass Charade.

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The Accused (Theodore Boone #3)

The Accused (Theodore Boone #3) by John Grisham book cover.
John Grisham

Theo discovers that his school locker has been burglarized and later his bike tires slashed. That night a computer store is robbed and several laptops and smart phones stolen. The following day at school, detectives come in and search his locker. They find two of the laptops. The detectives had received an anonymous tip that Theo was the thief. Along with his Uncle Ike, the two are determined to find out who has set him up.

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Black Ice (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins #3)

Black Ice (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins #3) by Andrew Lane book cover.
Andrew Lane

The year is 1868 and fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes faces his most baffling mystery yet.  Mycroft, his older brother, has been found with a knife in his hand, locked in a room with a corpse.  Only Sherlock believes that his brother is innocent. But can he prove it?

In a chase that will take him to Moscow and back, Sherlock must discover who has framed Mycroft and why . . . before Mycroft swings at the gallows.  Young Sherlock is honing his skills of observation but this story is adventure and action packed.

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How It Went Down

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon book cover.
Kekla Magoon

Many different voices tell the story of how Tariq Johnson, a black sixteen year old, was shot by Jack Franklin, a white bystander. Tariq had been in a grocery store on an errand and came out holding a Snickers candy bar in the sleeve of his hoodie. Some onlookers say he was holding a gun. The city gang, 8-5 Kings, give their take on what happened.  An important element of the book is how Tariq’s friends, family, and neighbors go on with their shattered lives.

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Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson book cover.
Jacqueline Woodson

This is an autobiography in free verse by award winning author, Jacqueline Woodson. She describes her life growing up in the outdoor sunshine of South Carolina and the hot and humid sidewalks of Brooklyn, New York. You'll read her vivid memories of friends and family as she finds her way as a writer. Jacqueline Woodson has won three Newbery Honor awards for After Tupac and D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way.

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