Teens’ Top 10 Reading Program
The Teen’s Top 10 is a teen choice list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. AAPLD is lucky to have been a nominating library since 2019! Teens’ Top 10 books are located on a cart inside the Teen Room. Feel free to grab one to read & review it for the American Library Association. There is a bookmark inside each Teens’ Top Ten book with review instructions and links. The links may also be found here:
Current Books Available for Review
The Little Mermaid: Against the Tide by J. Elle
After the death of Ariel’s mother, the queen of the sea, the seven daughters of King Triton have grown estranged at best. It’s been years since Ariel’s older sisters have visited home. But this year’s Coral Moon is fast approaching, and it’s a special one for Ariel. Finally fifteen, she will be dubbed the Protector of her very own ocean territory as is tradition, and her sisters have agreed to visit for the celebration. But the ceremony is halted when Mala, one of the most renowned daughters of Triton, is abducted. The only clue to where she might have been taken is a hastily scribbled seaweed note, which says, “What could have saved Mother could save me, too.” To rescue Mala, Ariel must work together with her siblings, traveling to various seas, outsmarting dangerous ocean creatures, and delving into forbidden waters to find the truth of what happened to their mother. But as Ariel and her sisters begin uncovering new secrets about their family and their kingdom, Ariel will have to face the loss of a mother she never had a chance to know and discover what it means to be both a good sister and a strong leader.
Saints of the Household by Ari Tison
Max and Jay have always depended on one another for their survival. Growing up with a physically abusive father, the two Bribri American brothers have learned that the only way to protect themselves and their mother is to stick to a schedule and keep their heads down. But when they hear a classmate in trouble in the woods, instinct takes over and they intervene, breaking up a fight and beating their high school’s star soccer player to a pulp. This act of violence threatens the brothers’ dreams for the future and their beliefs about who they are. As the true details of that fateful afternoon unfold over the course of the novel, Max and Jay grapple with the weight of their actions, their shifting relationship as brothers, and the realization that they may be more like their father than they thought. They’ll have to reach back to their Bribri roots to find their way forward.
Promise Boys by Nick Brooks
The Urban Promise Prep School vows to turn boys into men. As students, J.B., Ramón, and Trey are forced to follow the prestigious “program’s” strict rules. Extreme discipline, they’ve been told, is what it takes to be college bound, to avoid the fates of many men in their neighborhoods. This, the Principal Moore Method, supposedly saves lives. But when Moore ends up murdered and the cops come sniffing around, the trio emerges as the case’s prime suspects. With all three maintaining their innocence, they must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested. But is the true culprit hiding among them?
Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell by Tobias Madden
Seventeen-year-old gaymer Noah Mitchell only has one friend left: the wonderful, funny, strictly online-only MagePants69. After years playing RPGs together, they know everything about each other, except anything that would give away their real life identities. And Noah is certain that if they could just meet in person, they would be soulmates. Noah would do anything to make this happen—including finally leaving his gaming chair to join a community theater show that he’s only mostly sure MagePants69 is performing in. Noah has never done anything like theater—he can’t sing, he can’t dance, and he’s never willingly watched a musical—but he’ll have to go all in to have a chance at love. With Noah’s mum performing in the lead role, and former friends waiting in the wings to sabotage his reputation, his plan to make MagePants69 fall in love with him might be a little more difficult than originally anticipated. And the longer Noah waits to come clean, the more tangled his web of lies becomes. By opening night, he will have to decide if telling the truth is worth closing the curtain on his one shot at true love.
Last Sunrise in Eterna by Amparo Ortiz
Seventeen-year-old goth Sevim Burgos would love to spend all day watching music videos, but to help support the family she has to scavenge and sell elf corpses to a sketchy university professor. On one of her hunts, Sevim captures the elf prince, Aro, wounded in a Burger King. But it turns out that the elves have been watching Sevim too, and this chance encounter sets their revenge in motion. The Prince manages to escape her and leaves behind a ring with a message: “The Prince of Eterna is in danger. This ring will save him. Return it, and your mother lives.” With her mom missing, Sevim must enter the magical home of the elves, and find a prince whose fate might be more tied to hers than she ever suspected.
Don’t Ask If I’m Okay by Jessica Kara
A year ago, Gage survived a car accident that killed his best friend, Hunter. Without the person who always brought out the best in him, Gage doesn’t know who he is. He likes working as a fry cook and loves his small-town friends and family, but they weren’t in the wreck and he can’t tell them how much he’s still hurting. He just wants to forget all his pain and move on. So when his stepdad shows him a dream job opening in one of his idol’s restaurants, Gage knows this is his chance to convince everyone and himself that he’s fine. To try to push past his grief once and for all, Gage applies for the job, asks out a crush, and volunteers to host a memorial for Hunter. But the more Gage tries to ignore his grief, the more volatile it becomes. When his temper finally turns on the people he loves, Gage must decide what real strength is—holding in his grief until it destroys him, or asking for help and revealing his broken heart for all to see.
The Alchemy of Moonlight by David Ferraro
When Emile’s aunt declares he must marry or be disowned for being gay—he runs away to hide as a servant in Count Montoni’s mansion. In their service, Emile tends to the family who all suffer a strange affliction on the full moon. And after overhearing suspicious family arguments, he finds a body on the estate, drawing the attention of a handsome doctor as well as the count’s charismatic nephew, Henri. Before Emile can sort out his affections or unravel the growing Montoni family mystery, his identity is revealed and his aunt comes to collect him. When she arrives, Count Montoni forces everyone to depart to the remote Udolpho Castle—where there are no witnesses and no chance for escape. There, Emile realizes that he will have to risk his life to find the love he deserves—and survive the Montoni family.
The Family Fortuna by Lindsay Eager
Beaked. Feathered. Monstrous. Avita was born to be a star. Her tent sells out nightly, and every performance incites bloodcurdling screams. She’s the most lucrative circus act from Texas to Tacoma, the crown jewel of the Family Fortuna, and Avita feeds on the shrieks, the gasps, the fear. But when a handsome young artist arrives to create posters of the performers, she’s appalled by his rendering of Bird Girl. Is that all he sees? A hideous monster—all sharp beak and razor teeth, obsidian eyes and ruffled feathers? Determined to be more, Avita devises a plan to snatch freedom out from under the greased mustache of her charismatic father, the domineering proprietor and ringmaster. But will their fragile circus family survive the showdown she has in mind? By turns delightful and disturbing, bawdy and breathtaking, horrific and heartfelt, this electric and exquisitely crafted story about a family like no other challenges our every notion of what it means to be different—subject to an earful of screams—and to step out of the shadows and shine anyway.
Share Better and Stress Less by Whitney Phillips and Ryan Milner
We know that pollution damages our physical environments—but what about the digital landscape? Touching on everything from goat memes gone wrong to conflict in group chats to the sometimes unexpected side effects of online activism, this lively guide to media literacy draws on ecological, social justice, and storytelling frameworks to help readers understand how information pollution spreads and why. It also helps them make sense of the often stressful and strange online world.
A Spark in the Cinders by Jenny Elder Moke
The kingdom of Novador has had a streak of misfortunes, with drought, famine, and disease plaguing the lands. According to a prophecy, restoring an ancient magical artifact– the Protector’s Blade– is the only thing that can pull the kingdom back from the brink of destruction. With inside information from her fairy godmother, Aralyn teams up with lady knight Vee to go questing for the shattered pieces of the blade that have been scattered to the furthest reached of Novador. To win each element of the dagger, the girls must prove themselves by using their strengths to conquer their greatest fear. Aralyn uses wisdom, Vee physical prowess, and Queen Ellarose who is ruling the kingdom, uses benevolence. Together, these three powerful women fight to take their place as the rightful heirs to the kingdom.
Good As Gold by Candace Buford
Casey’s life in Langston has been charmed. She’s the queen bee of her prep school, a shoe-in for prom queen, and on her way to the Ivy League come fall. She can’t wait to leave the whole town of Langston behind her. That is until her father loses his job and she finds herself on the brink of losing her ticket out of town. The town of Langston is known for its picturesque lake and robust summer tourism. Everyone who lives in town has heard the rumors at some point– there is a treasure buried deep below the surface that no one has ever been able to find. Few people actually believe in the treasure, and even fewer have searched for it. But some have tried . . . Suddenly an outcast from her popular squad, Casey falls in with a new group of friends who are exactly the opposite of her usual crowd, but are more accepting. Together they devise a plan to find the elusive treasure, in a quest to get the money and save Casey’s family and her future. But what they find is much more complicated than just a pile of gold.
Last Canto of the Dead by Daniel Jose Older
Healer. Destroyer. Creator. Mateo Matisse and Chela Hidalgo are not just two teenagers in love–they’re powerful gods in human form. Powerful enough to have saved their Brooklyn diaspora community from the wrath of an ancient enemy and to have raised their once-sunken native island of San Madrigal from the sea. But soon they discover that their problems are far from over. On the shores of San Madrigal, two creature armies are battling for survival. And on the streets of Brooklyn, a once tight-knit community is divided, with two sides at each other’s throats. But worst of all, a heartbreaking prophecy rips these two young lovers apart, sending Mateo back to the city, where cops are now patrolling the streets, and keeping Chela tethered to the island, where chaos and death lurk around every corner. Healer. Destroyer. Creator. As gods, their powers know no limits. But as teenagers–separated, desperate, grieving–what will become of them? And what will become of their people?