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Staff Favorites of 2012: Teens

The staff of the County of Los Angeles Public Library read some great books this year. Here are some of our favorites!

Find more Teen reading suggestions at Books & More.

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The Diviners by Libba Bray, 2012

Evie's little parlor trick of telling people's secrets from their belongings has gotten her into hot water. Now she's off to NYC to stay with her uncle. Little does she know she will be soon be caught up in a supernatural murder investigation.

Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Recommended by Sarah from A C Bilbrew Library

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Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, 2012

A harrowing World War II tale of spies, danger, and courage, but, most important of all, friendship. The intricate narrative and sparkling characters make this novel one you will never forget.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Recommended by Kristi from Library Headquarters

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, 2012

A cancer support group is not a likely place to meet a guy, but that is just where Hazel meets Augustus Waters. Katherine from Paramount Library says, "This book is funny, thought-provoking, and, yes, tear-jerking," and also recommends the audiobook, which has great narration and a bonus interview with John Green. Elizabeth from Sorensen Library also thinks it is funny and beautifully written. It turned out to be her favorite 2012 book.

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Audiobook

Recommended by Katherine & Elizabeth R from Paramount Library & Sorensen Library

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Beautiful Music For Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills, 2012

High school senior Elizabeth is ready for a change. He has always known that he was a guy, Gabe, and with graduation behind him he can start being himself. He starts DJing a new, late night radio show and as its popularity grows so do his problems.

Genre: Fiction

Recommended by Sarah from A C Bilbrew Library

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After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, editors, 2012

This book illustrates the best and worst of what comes "after". Whether it's after an invasion, a cure or the dissolution of order, these nineteen short stories paint a vivid representation of society through the eyes of young adults or teenagers.

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Popular Culture

Recommended by Amy L from Norwalk Library

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, 2011

This is a beautifully written story about a 13 year old boy named Conor O'Malley who experiences anger, fear, grief and loss as his mother is battling cancer. The book is exceptionally written, and emotional. I highly recommend it.

Genre: Fiction

Recommended by Esther from Los Nietos Library

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Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, 2011

Teen beauty queens crash on a desert island... Go! The satire was awesome and hilarious and I loved Libba Bray's voices.

Genre: Adventure, Humor, Audiobook

Recommended by Sarah from A C Bilbrew Library

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Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin, 2012

A riveting accounting of the development of the atomic bomb, this cinematic style thriller is a real winner for middle or high school readers with an interest in history, spy stories, or technology and a good read for adults as well.

Genre: Nonfiction - History & Current Events

Recommended by Margo from Hacienda Heights Library

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Pure by Julianna Baggott, 2012

This post-apocalyptic horror novel was riveting. Detonations have killed millions and caused survivors to be burned and fused to whatever objects were nearby...unless they were among the lucky few protected under the Dome. Doll-fisted Pressia teams up with other Wretches to escape a terrible fate....

Genre: Horror

Recommended by Cathy from Library Headquarters

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Divergent by Veronica Roth, 2011

Divergent is a dystopian tale. Characters choose a faction. Choices are: Abnegation (selflessness), Amity (getting along with everyone), Candor (honest to a fault), Dauntless (bravery), and Erudite (intelligence). This novel is a compelling read.

Genre: Science Fiction

Recommended by Brenda from View Park Library

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How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg, 2011

This is a fascinating book about how famous people died. We learn how a simple tooth infection killed George Washington, how Edgar Allen Poe probably died of rabies, and much more. This book is funny, gross, and educational.

Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

Recommended by Victoria from Quartz Hill Library

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio, 2012

Two staff members enjoyed this title. Elizabeth from Library Headquarters says, "Told in alternating voices, Wonder is the beautiful story of a boy named August, who has severe facial deformities, going to school and making friends for the first time in the fifth grade." Jose from El Camino Real Library adds that this is a "must-read book" that examines bullying, friendship, courage, love, and the challenges of trying to fit when you are different.

Genre: Fiction

Recommended by Jose & Elizabeth T from El Camino Real Library & Library Headquarters

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Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, 2004

Fast-moving adventure set in an alternate past when zeppelins rule the sky and voyage to lands as yet undiscovered. The full cast audio version is so immersive and compelling, I wanted to keep driving so I could hear more! (first in a series)

Genre: Fantasy, Audiobook

Recommended by Darcy from North Regional Office