It’s the summer before high school, and upon realizing that their classmates aren’t as excited by their summer reading assignment as they are, Lucy, Elena, and Michael take it upon themselves to hype To Kill a Mockingbird by “killing the mockingbird”, by hiding copies in local libraries and bookstores as well as crafting internet buzz to drive up demand for the title. Fat Bob, their recently and dearly departed teacher would be proud, they think, until the whole thing goes viral online, and the three friends (two of whom are also navigating a sweet tween romance) need to reel things in quickly, leading to a satisfying, if not quite believable ending. Sylvie Shaffer. 10-14
Frustrated and bored by the prospect of a summer at home, seventeen year old Adam spends the summer visiting his older, cooler, lesbian sister in Brooklyn and falls in love with an older girl he meets while tagging along on the Queer scene. Just your typical “boy meets girl” story, except that the girl is a lesbian, and the boy is passing as transgender. Set in 2006, the raunchy, hilarious, and downright Shakespearean story is executed brilliantly and offers a crash-course in GLBT issues and terminology. This won’t be for every teen, but the right reader will enjoy this immensely. Sylvie Shaffer. 14 and up.
Humor delivers an important message here in the guise of an illustrated catalog of bird parts and do-it-yourself instructions for a world in which the real creatures are nearly gone. With interchangeable feathers, beaks, legs and feet, bodies and tails you can recreate familiar species or create flying fantasies – as long as you follow the simple rules. Differently shaped parts serve different purposes. For readers old enough to get the joke and not be overwhelmed by its very real likelihood. Ten to Fourteen. Kathy Isaacs
When Greg’s mother insists he provide support to fellow teen Rachel, who is dying of cancer, he can no longer maintain his desired low profile at school. He recruits his best friend Earl to help with Rachel; hilarity and awkwardness ensue.