Tuesday, December 21, 2010

High School Girls

My library skews heavily towards middle grade; other middle schools have a lot of YA. It just depends on what students are reading the most. I do occasionally find myself with an 8th graders for whom everything seems too young. Here are two YA titles.

Sales, Leila. Mostly Good Girls.
Violet is struggling enough at her prestigious private school; classes are difficult, she has an unrequited crush on a boy, and her wealthy, priveleged friend Katie is just being stupid. She's dating a guy who works at Starbucks, lives in squalor, and is tatooed and unkempt, and straying further and further away from Violet. In an attempt to win her back, Violet writes a mean satire about their school with Katie and allows it to be published in the school newspaper, of which she is editor.
Strengths: This was a pleasant enough read, and good for high school libraries in need of realistic fiction
Weaknesses: Many of the topics are of little concern to middle schoolers, such as all of the emphasis on getting into college. Also, the cover really has nothing to do with the story.
Schrefer, Eliot. The Deadly Sister.
This was also a bit more for high school students BUT it was a riveting mystery, and I'm always short on mysteries for our 8th grade unit. Abby has always taken care of her younger sister, Maya, despite the fact that Maya is a complete and utter goof. She runs away from home, is constantly high, doesn't do well in school, and may have killed her tutor, a popular boy in their town. Maya finds the body, thinks her sister did it, and tries to clean up her sister's trail and keep her out of trouble. Or does she? There is a lot of drug use, none of it glamorized, some mentions of sex, but the huge twist at the end of this makes it worthwhile. This author's The School for Dangerous Girls has been popular in my library, so I will go ahead and order this one.

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