Jessica, a 16-years-old star on the school’s track team, lives to run and is hoping for a track scholarship for college. But when the team bus is involved in an accident, Jessica’s leg is crushed along with her plans for the future. Jessica struggles to deal with being an amputee, missed schoolwork, self-worth, and her prosthetic leg. While there is a special type of prosthetic leg made for running, she knows her family cannot afford the enormous expense, so she gives up dreams of running again and throws herself into catching up on her schoolwork with the help of Rosa, a student with her own problems.
Pax – Sara Pennypacker – Friendship (FollettShelf)
Pax, a young fox, was adopted by Peter, a boy whose mother has died. When Peter’s father volunteers for the military because a war is coming, Peter must go live with his grandfather. He cannot take Pax, so Peter must set Pax free in the woods on the way to his grandfather’s. Pax is confused and must learn to live on his own in the wild. Peter, 300 miles away, is angry that he was forced to give up Pax and sets out on his own to find his friend. An injury hinders Peter. Pax eventually makes friends with the local foxes. Life is full of struggles and adventures as both slowly make their way toward a reunion.
This tender story of loyalty is available as an ebook on the library’s FollettShelf.
Raymie Nightingale – Kate DiCamillo – Family, Friendship, Realistic
Raymie Clarke’s father has left town with the dental hygienist. But Raymie has a plan to bring him back. All she needs to do is win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire title. When her dad sees her picture in the paper, he will come running back to her – maybe. Raymie needs a talent to enter the competition so she signs up for baton twirling lessons. Here she meets two competitors – Louisiana, an orphan with a show business background who needs the money to survive, and stubborn Beverly, a girl who plans to sabotage the competition. An unlikely friendship develops among the three girls as all have experienced loss. The lesson learned is that even when life seems out of control, persistence pays off.
,Something in Between – Melissa De La Cruz – Realistic, Friendship
Jasmine’s senior year is going great. She is class valedictorian, a national scholarship winner, and captain of an award-winning cheerleading squad. While her Filipino family is very close, her parents have a secret. They, along with their children, are undocumented immigrants. This means Jasmine does not qualify for her college scholarships, her only hope of going to college. Add to this that her boyfriend is Royce Blakely, son of Congressman Blakely, who is sponsoring an anti-immigration bill in Washington, DC. Suddenly, Jasmine’s future is very uncertain as the bill seeks to send all undocumented immigrants back to their country of origin. Jasmine does not remember that country. She doesn’t know the language. Will she really have to leave the US and the American Dream? Will she ever be able to go to college?
This is a timely novel as our government deals with the issues of undocumented immigrants and their children who may be citizens of the US.
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy – Kate Hattemer – Realistic, Friendship
A reality TV show, For Arts Sake, is being filmed at the prestigious high school, Selwyn Arts Academy. The 20 talented student contestants compete each week with the usual one contestant being eliminated. But Ethan and his three friends smell a rat! Inspired by the study of controversial poet, Ezra Pound, the group decides to take down the show by writing a vigilante long poem, which they anonymously distribute in stages to the student body. When Luke, one of the four friends, jumps ship and becomes a contestant, the remaining three dig for the dirt on the school’s leadership and their favorite teacher in order to save the school. Readers who appreciate sarcasm and some sophisticated vocabulary will likely enjoy this novel.