Books for Boys in High School


The Vindico

by Wesley King
Ages 12 up | Grades 7 up

The Vindico are a group of supervillains who have been fighting the League of Heroes for as long as anyone can remember. Realizing they're not as young as they used to be, they devise a plan to kidnap a group of teenagers to take over for them when they retire--after all, how hard can it be to teach a bunch of angsty teens to be evil?

Held captive in a remote mansion, five teens train with their mentors and receive superpowers beyond their wildest dreams. Struggling to uncover the motives of the Vindico, the teens have to trust each other to plot their escape. But they quickly learn that the differences between good and evil are not as black and white as they seem, and they are left wondering whose side they should be fighting on after all...

With fast-paced action, punchy dialogue, and sarcastic humor, this high-stakes adventure from a talented new YA voice pulls you in from the first page.

For similar titles, visit the Young Adult book listing.



The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green
Ages 14up | Grades 9up

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

For discussion questions and activities for this book and other books by John Green download the discussion guide.



Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher
Ages 12+ | Grades 7+

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

For more discussion questions and prompts, download a free printable discussion guide here.




Tales of the Madman Underground

by Jonathan Barnes
Ages 14+ | Grades 9+

2010 Michael L. Printz Honor Book

September 1973: The beginning of Karl Shoemaker's senior year in stifling Lightsburg, Ohio. For years, Karl's been part of "the Madman Underground"-kids forced to attend group therapy during school. Karl has decided that he is going to get out of the Madman Underground for good. He is going to act-and be-Normal. But Normal, of course, is relative. Karl has two after-school jobs, one dead father, one seriously unhinged drunk mother...and a huge attitude. Welcome to a gritty, uncensored roller-coaster ride, narrated by the singular Karl Shoemaker.

For more discussion questions and prompts, download a free printable discussion guide here.




Black and White

by Paul Volponi
Ages 13 up | Grades 7 up

Marcus and Eddie are best friends who found the strength to break through the racial barrier. Marcus is black; Eddie is white. Stars of their school basketball team, they are true leaders who look past the stereotypes and come out on top. They are inseparable, watching each other's backs, both on and off the basketball court. But one night—and one wrong decision—will change their lives forever. Will their mistake cost them their friendship...and their future.

Discuss as a group the idea that there are important moments when a single decision can change everything. What might have happened if Marcus and Eddie had done something different on that important night? How might things have turned out differently?

For more discussion questions and prompts, download a free printable discussion guide with bookmarks here.



Will Grayson, Will Grayson

by John Green and David Levithan
Ages 12 up | Grades 7 up

In the suburbs of Chicago, two teens named Will Grayson—one gay, one straight—have lived their lives completely unaware of the other's existence. But that changes one fateful night when their worlds collide. Their lives begin to intertwine and each Will Grayson begins to question who he really is. Their discoveries take them in unexpected directions, building towards romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of an oh-so-fabulous high school musical.

Have your group compare the two different Will Graysons. In what ways are their lives similar? How are they different? How does the style of the odd vs even chapters work to help us understand both characters as individuals? Does one has a significantly easier life? Have everyone make a list of the things that each character learns over the course of the book and discuss the importance of each of those things as a group.

For more discussion questions and prompts, download a free printable discussion guide here.



Twisted

by Laurie Halse Anderson
Ages 12 up | Grades 7 up

High-school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background-average student, average looks, average dysfunctional family. Then he was busted for vandalizing school property, and the hard body he gets from doing hard labor over the summer gets him noticed bigtime and changes his life for the better-sort of, at least for a while.

At Tyler's high school there is a clear distinction between the popular crowd and everyone else. Why does this matter so much? In what ways does the status he holds define what people think about him? How do people's perceptions of Tyler and their reactions to him change as a result of what he has done and the changes that he has gone through?

For more discussion questions and prompts, download a free printable discussion guide here [link to Twisted discussion guide (in courtney's B4B website folder under MARCH BOOK CLUB UPDATES]

To get other ideas of great young adult fiction titles, click here



Something Rotten

by Alan M. Gratz
Ages 12 & up | Grades 6 & up

The smell of Denmark, Tennessee, hits Horatio Wilkes the moment he pulls into town to visit his best friend, Hamilton Prince. And it's not just the paper plant and the polluted river that's stinking up Denmark: Hamilton's father has been poisoned and the killer is still at large. Horatio and Hamilton need to find the killer, but it seems like everyone in Denmark is a suspect.

Discussion: Mysteries. This is a mystery story similar to many detective novels, but is also based on Shakespeare's Hamlet. Ask your group to identify what makes this a detective story and talk about the things that help Horatio to solve the mystery. You can also talk about pollution, love, and class differences that come up throughout the novel. Check out the author's website and discussion guides at www.alangratz.com.


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