Teen Book List 2017

TheList2017banner40 of the best new books for your collection for secondary schools.

The Teenage Book list is selected annually by librarians from the Schools Library Service and secondary schools, and is a list of recommended fiction to buy for your school library.

The teen list represents a selection of the best new fiction first published in paperback within the last year, and aims to cover as diverse a range of subjects, genres, authors and interests as possible.

Titles from the Teen and Primary lists will be chosen for the Tower Hamlets Book Award short list in July. Remember to let us know if you want to participate in this event!

Posters and bookmarks will be sent to subscribing secondary schools.

Please contact the library for more information on the Teen List or to request additional posters or bookmarks (subscribing schools only).

View the full list
Authors Title Synopsis
Bessora; Barroux Alpha: Abidjan – Gare du Nord Alpha Coulibaly is just one of millions of refugees on the move and at the mercy of people traffickers, endlessly frustrated, endangered and exploited as he attempts to rejoin his family who are already in Europe
Lawrence, Patrice Orangeboy Sixteen-year-old Marlon has made his mum a promise – he’ll never take his life down the wrong path. So far, it’s been easy, but then the consequences of his brothers’ actions catch up with him…
Alexander, Kwame Booked Football, family, love and friendship take centre stage as Nick tries to figure out how to navigate his parents’ break-up, stand up to bullies and impress the girl of his dreams.
Bedford, Martyn Twenty questions for Gloria Gloria is bored with her life, so when the mysterious, rule-breaking boy walks into school, she believes he’s the one she’s been waiting for to take her away from everything…. But is he?
Benjamin, Ali The thing about jellyfish Suzy, silent and mourning the death through drowning of her best friend, refuses to believe the explaination that “bad things just happen”. Her determination to find the truth will mean travelling to the other side of the world. Alone.
Blackman, Malorie Peace maker Michela lives in a society where violent thoughts are prevented by the wearing of ‘peace maker’ devices. But when a hostile starship attacks her people, Michela discovers that violence is sometimes necessary…
Brooks, Kevin Five hundred miles For brothers Cole and Ruben it’s another rainy morning in the badlands of East London, selling dodgy paperwork for even dodgier motors. But what they find in a grimy pub – their latest errand – knocks their entire day off course.
Cassidy, Cathy Looking glass girl Alice has spent two years watching herself grow apart from her friends. An invitation to a sleepover seemed like a chance to fit in again, but an accident plunges her into an unconscious world of dreams and broken memories. Can Alice find her way back?
Clammer, James Why I went back Aiden needs his bike to stop the bad things from getting worse – like delivering the mail that his postman Dad’s been hoarding. When it’s stolen, Aiden follows the thieves and finds not just his bike, but a prisoner chained to the floor…but what business is it of his?
Cotterill, Jo A library of lemons Calypso has shut herself away in books and stories since her mother’s death. So has her father who has been growing ever more distant and needing more care than Calypso can give. When she discovers the sad secret hidden in his library, she knows that there is something wrong. Perhaps her new friend, Mae, and her family hold the key to fixing both their lives.
Curham, Siobhan The moonlight dreamers After chance encounters with Maali, Sky and Rose, Amber recruits the three girls to the Moonlight Dreamers -people who crave excitement and adventure! It’s high time they started pursuing their dreams, and how better than with the support of friends?
Foster, Stewart The bubble boy Joe has spent his entire life in hospital, trapped. He shares his frustrations with another ‘bubble boy’, dreaming of a day when they can venture outside. When the possibly mad Amir turns up, it looks as though Joe’s wish might come true (after all, a hospital wouldn’t let a crazy person in).
Fraillon, Zana The bone sparrow Born in a refugee camp, all Subhi knows of the world is that he’s at least 19 fence diamonds high, the nice Jackets (guards) never stay long, and at night he dreams that the sea finds its way to his tent, bringing with it unusual treasures.
Gamble, Paul The ministry of strange, unusual and impossible things The Ministry of SUITs is hidden away in the far reaches of the Ulster Museum in Belfast. It deals with all the things we don’t want to have to think about or deal with as perfectly-normal-thank-you-very-much people – such as aliens, monsters, pirates and much more…..
Hamill, Christine The best medicine Philip’s happy-go-lucky life is disrupted when his mother gets breast cancer. Through it all, he’s writing letters to his hero, the comedian Harry Hill, looking for advice.
Hesse, Monica The girl in the blue coat Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods. One day she’s asked to find something – a person – a young Jew who has vanished from a secret room.
Hitchcock, Fleur Bus stop baby On her way home from school, 13-year-old Amy finds a newborn baby abandoned at the village bus stop. It’s wrong, just like when Mum walked out on Amy and her sister ten years ago – so she tries to fix it
Johnson, Catherine Blade and bone Ezra, a young surgeon, is on his way to France to find his missing friends, despite the danger that an Englishman faces in revolutionary Paris. In the city he finds Renaud, another ‘surgeon’ making the most of the work of the guillotine to further his research into reanimation…
Keil, Melissa The incredible adventures of Cinnamon Girl Alba is facing one of the most important summers of her life. School is over and while her friends want to escape their sleepy hometown, she just wants to stay put. But when a viral video about the end of the world announces that Eden Valley is the only safe place to be, thousands of people descend on the town.
Landman, Tanya Hell and high water Devon, 1752 – Caleb is left alone when his father is arrested and transported to the Colonies. Then a body washes up on the nearby beach. As Caleb tries to clear his father’s name, he is caught up in a terrifying net of lies and intrigue.
Levez, Olivia The island Frances is alone. Cast away on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, she has to find water, food and shelter. But survival is hard, especially when she is haunted by memories of the things that she did before, the things that made her a monster.
Lingstrom, Eric Not if I see you first Parker Grant doesn’t need perfect vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances, as Scott is finding out.
Mayo, Simon Blame Ant and her family find themselves locked away in a new kind of prison. None of the inmates are themselves criminals, but wider society wants them to do time for the unpunished crimes of their parents.
McCombie, Karen The OMG blog In the first weeks of secondary school, four girls are thrown together in a blogging project. The one thing they have in common? Their frustrations with their mothers.
McNiff, Dawn How not to be weird Woody is forever worried about being different. He thinks himself weird and a bit of a wuss, and the bullies make sure he doesn’t forget that. It doesn’t help that his mum dresses up as a sheep for a living. Now he’s got until the start of new school to un-weird himself.
Nadin, Joanna White lies, black dare Having to move back to Peckham with her ill mother – ambitions of private school shattered – Asha knows that she has to fit in. But that means playing Angel’s dangerous games…
Nielsen, Susin The reluctant journal of Henry K. Larsen Henry used to have a normal life until ‘IT’ happened. Now he’s moved away with his father. New home, new city, new nosy neighbours. Henry wants to keep under the radar, but secrets have a habit of coming out…
Polonsky, Ami Gracefully Grayson Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: ‘he’ is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection or worse.
Reeve, Philip Rail head The Network Empire. A star-spanning web of rails traversed by sentient trains, ruled by rival families. Just the place for a lowlife thief like Zen Starling to meet his destiny…
Russo, Meredith If I was your girl Amanda is 18, pretty and popular. But she hasn’t always been Amanda. When she was born, she was named Andrew. Now, at her new school, she finally feels like herself. But does she owe her new friends the truth about her past?
Sepetys, Ruta Salt to the sea It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across Germany, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories.
Sheinmel, Alyssa B. Faceless When Maisie is struck by lightning, her face is partially destroyed. She’s lucky enough to get a face transplant, but how do you live your life when you can’t even recognize yourself any more?
Smith, Dan Boy X Kidnapped and drugged, Ash wakes up on a remote tropical island. His mum – a genetic scientist – has been imprisoned and infected with a deadly virus. Where is he? And what must he do to survive?
Stead, Rebecca Goodbye stranger Bridge has always been a bit of an oddball, but since her serious accident she’s found fitting in with her friends increasingly hard. It’s getting harder to keep their promise of no fights, especially when they start keeping secrets from each other.
Wheatle, Alex Crongton knights Since his Mum died, McKay’s life on the South Crongton estate has been tougher. He hardly sees his Dad who’s been working all hours and his brother’s out tempting trouble. Now McKay’s strayed off his turf and he’s in for one night of danger…
Millard, Glenda The stars at Oktober Bend Alice doesn’t speak well since the assault, so she leaves her poems around the town, expressing what she can no longer say. Manny was a child soldier, who hasn’t stopped running from a past he wants to forget.
Hitchcock, bonnie Sue The smell of other people’s Houses Ruth wants to be remembered by her grieving mother. Dora wishes she was invisible to her abusive father. Alyce is staying at home to please her parents. Hank is running away for the sake of his brothers. Four very different lives are about to become entangled. Because if we don’t save each other, how can we begin to save ourselves?
Roy, Nilaijana The Wildings Prowling, hunting and fighting amidst the crumbling ruins of one of Delhi’s oldest neighbourhoods, are the proud Wildings. These feral cats fear no one, go where they want and do as they please – but change is in the air…
Dawson, Juno Margot and Me Fliss’s mum needs peace and quiet to recuperate from a long illness, so they both move to the countryside to live with Margot, Fliss’s stern and bullying grandmother. Life on the farm is tough and life at school is even tougher, so when Fliss unearths Margot’s wartime diary, she sees an opportunity to get her own back.
Chopra, Zuni The House that spoke Fourteen-year-old Zoon Razdan is witty, intelligent and deeply perceptive. She also has a deep connection with magic. She was born into it. The house that she lives in is fantastical – life thrums through its wooden walls – and she can talk to everything in it.
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