It is important to relay to maturing teens that, while finding oneself can be difficult, being proud of oneself is imperative. TEACHERS: Have students keep private reading journals while reading one or more of these books. Encourage them to talk about their observations, feelings, or reactions to the stories, if they are comfortable doing so.



Crossing Lines

by Paul Volponi
Ages 12 and up | Grades 7 and up

Adonis is a super jock and could not be more different than new kid Alan who wears lipstick and joins the fashion club. Adonis is more than happy to stay far away from Alan but when his teammates from the football team come up with a dangerous plan to humiliate Alan must decide if he wants to be a bystander or do what he thinks is right.


Freak Show

by James St. James
Ages 14 & up | Grades 8 & up

Meet Billy Bloom, new student at the ultra-white, ultra-rich, ultra-conservative Dwight D. Eisenhower Academy, and drag queen extraordinaire. Actually, "drag queen" does not begin to describe Billy and his fabulousness. Any way you slice it, Billy is not a typical seventeen-year-old, and he takes a stand for outcasts and underdogs everywhere.



My Most Excellent Year

by Steve Kluger
Ages 12 & up | Grades 6 & up

Best friends and unofficial brothers since they were six, ninth-graders T.C. and Augie have got the world figured out, but that all changes when both friends fall in love for the first time. T.C. falls hard for Alé while Augie realizes that he's got a crush on a boy. It's not so clear to him, but to his family and friends, it's totally obvious!



Out of the Pocket

by Bill Konigsberg
Ages 14 & up | Grades 8 & up

Star quarterback Bobby Framingham, one of the most talented high school football players in California, thinks of his teammates as brothers. But they don't know that Bobby is gay. When he's outed against his will by a student reporter, Bobby must find a way to earn back his teammates' trust and accept that his path to success might be more public, and more difficult, than he'd hoped.



The Vast Fields of Ordinary

by Nick Burd
Ages 14 & up | Grades 8 & up

It's Dade's last summer at home and college is a shining beacon of possibility keeping him afloat. Then he meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid, and falls in love for the first time. But just when true happiness has set in, tragedy shatters the dreamy curtain of summer.



Will Grayson, Will Grayson

by John Green and David Levithan
Ages 12 up | Grades 6 up

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens-both named Will Grayson-are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most fabulous high school musical.