Fiction for Young Adults - Holiday Reading 2008

coverBog Child, Siobhan Dowd
Digging for peat in the mountain, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks like she's been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.
Bone by bone by bone, Tony Johnston
In 1950s Tennessee, ten-year-old David's racist father refuses to let him associate with his best friend Malcolm, an African American boy.
The declaration and The resistance, Gemma Malley
In The declaration, we learn that Anna Covey is a 'surplus'. She should not have been born. Like all surpluses, Anna is learning how to make amends for the selfish act her parents committed in having her. She is quietly accepting of her fate until, one day, a new inmate arrives. But is she brave enough to believe this mysterious boy?
In The resistance, Peter and Anna are now living on the Outside as Legals. Impatient to see action as an Underground agent, Peter is tasked with finding out what's going on in the Longevity programme.
coverHamlet, John Marsden
Hamlet is bored and restless. His friend Horatio can't work him out - but who can? John Marsden follows the contours of the original but powerfully re-imagines its characters and story lines, rather as Shakespeare treated his sources.
(NZ) Juno of Taris, Fleur Beale
On Taris, there are many rules governing appearance, behaviour and even pro-creation. Juno is different, her questions and her reluctance to conform have made her an outsider. When her parents decide to have another child, Juno switches the donors of her new sibling, with strange consequences. However, her other rebellions have been noticed and someone is trying to kill her. Is it because she is different, or are the elders of Taris keeping secrets?
Knife of never letting go, Patrick Ness
Imagine you're the only boy in a town of men. Imagine you can hear everything they think. Imagine you don't fit in with their plans. Todd is one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run. This is an unflinching novel about the impossible choices of growing up.
Living dead girl, Elizabeth Scott
A haunting and disturbing story of abduction and abuse. When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family and her friends. She has learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She has 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.
Lock and key, Sarah Dessen
Ruby knows the game is up. She's been living alone in the old yellow house, waiting out the months until she turns eighteen and can finally be on her own legally. It certainly wasn't in her plan to be reunited with her older sister Cora. Suddenly life is transformed a luxurious house, private school, new clothes and even the chance of a future Ruby couldn't have dreamed of. So why is she wary, unable to be grateful, incapable of letting anyone close? Her old life has been left behind, but where does she fit now?
(NZ) Magician of Hoad, Margaret Mahy
Forced from home, twelve-year old Heriot's unwilling steps lead him to Diamond, first city of the Hoadara. Forced to serve as the King's magician, Heriot is isolated within the walls of Diamond, until he finds Cayley, a wild, ambiguous rat-of-the-city. Two lonely souls forge an unlikely friendship in the shadows of the city both are forced to call home. But when children become adults, childish games become deadly serious and when incipient madness erupts in chilling violence, Heriot is forced to explore the very heart of his magic.
coverMahtab’s story, Libby Gleeson
Mahtab was empty. She felt hungry…for water, for her father, for her grandmother, her aunts and uncles, for the trees in the back yard, the cabinet on the wall, for her mountains, the jagged peaks that cut the sky. Her father was dead. She felt sure of it. She was just a speck of dirt on the floor, drifting through the gap between the boards, falling to the ground. Mahtab and her family are forced to leave their home in Herat and journey secretly through the rocky mountains to Pakistan and from there to faraway Australia.
Memoirs of a teenage amnesiac, Gabrielle Zevin
Waking up in an ambulance with amnesia, Naomi doesn’t remember her boyfriend, her best friend, her mom’s new family or her dad’s fiancée. Everything is turned upside down as Naomi struggles to remember who she once was and work out who she really is.
Once upon a time in the North, Philip Pullman
In a time before Lyra Silvertongue was born, the tough American balloonist Lee Scoresby and the great armoured bear Iorek Byrnison meet when Lee and his hare daemon Hester crash-land their trading balloon onto a port in the far Arctic North and find themselves right in the middle of a political powder keg.
Other side of the island, Allegra Goodman
Born in the eighth year of Enclosure, ten-year-old Honor lives in a highly regulated colony with her defiant parents, but when they have an illegal second child and are taken away, it is up to Honor and her friend Helix, to uncover a terrible secret about their Island and the Corporation.
coverA Rose for the ANZAC boys, Jackie French
It is 1915 and war is being fought on a horrific scale in the trenches of France, but it might as well be a world away from 16-year-old New Zealander Midge Macpherson, who is at school in England learning to be a young lady. But as the war comes closer, Midge and her friends start a canteen in France, caring for the endless flow of wounded soldiers returning from the front. Midge, recruited by the over-stretched ambulance service, is thrust into carnage and scenes of courage she could never have imagined. And when the war is over, all three girls, and their Anzac boys as well, discover that even going 'home' can be both strange and wonderful.
Rucker Park setup, Paul Volponi
While playing in a crucial basketball game on the very court where his best friend was murdered, Mackey tries to come to terms with his own part in that murder and decide whether to maintain his silence or tell J.R.'s father and the police what really happened. Gutsy, dramatic and engaging.
cover(NZ) Scorched bone, Vince Ford
On the continent of the Americas, in the early stages of modern man's development, one tribe invented the Clovis point - a stone arrowhead combined with a throwing stick that would be the equivalent of the invention of the nuclear bomb many hundreds of years later. The technology changes the balance of power within the scattered tribes and ensured that not only the fittest would be able to kill the enormous Mammoths, and avoid starvation.
(NZ) Silence of fear, Denis Martin
When Greg, Pip and Rikkers "borrow" a dinghy to go out joyriding one night, it's meant to be a bit of harmless fun. However, when they return it to the boat yard, they stumble upon a robbery in action. Convinced they haven't been seen by the criminals, the trio decide not to go to the police. But later they discover that their silence has a deadly price.
Sweethearts : a novel, Sara Zarr
As children, Jennifer and Cameron, both social outcasts, were best friends. When Cameron disappeared without warning, Jennifer thought she’d lost the only person who would ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed into popular and happy Jenna, everything "Jennifer" couldn't be. When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken.
Tender morsels, Margo Lanagan
A young woman who has endured unspeakable cruelties is magically granted a safe haven apart from the real world and allowed to raise her two daughters in this alternate reality, until the barrier between her world and the real one begins to break down.
Unwind, Neal Shusterman
In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.
Unraveling, Michelle Baldini and Lynn Biederman; poems by Gabrielle Biederman
Sharp, chatty, brutally honest, and heartbreakingly real, this debut novel is about mothers and daughters, the search for acceptance, preparing for the unexpected, and learning that, sometimes, it just can't be done.