2019 Niles North Summer Reading List

By Denise Hudec

Pick up a great book, or several, from the official Niles North list for summer 2019.

  • On the Come Up

    2019 by Thomas, Angie

    When sixteen-year-old Bri, an aspiring rapper, pours her anger and frustration into her first song, she finds herself at the center of a controversy.

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  • The 57 Bus

    2017 by Slater, Dashka

    If it weren't for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, CA, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment.

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  • Far from the Tree

    2017 by Benway, Robin

    Three teenagers, biological siblings separated by adoption, explore the meaning of family in all its forms--how to find it, how to keep it, and how to love it.

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  • Dear Martin

    2017 by Stone, Nic

    Writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 17-year-old college-bound Justyce McAllister struggles to face the reality of race relations today and how they are shaping him.

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  • Seafire

    2018 by Parker, Natalie C.

    Four years ago, Caledonia Styx's family was killed as they tried to sail their ship past a vicious sea lord’s fleet of raiders. Today, Caledonia captains her family's ship, now rebuilt and renamed Mors Navis. And she sails with a ruthless crew of her own--all teen girls. Their mission? Revenge.

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  • Spill Zone

    2017 by Westerfeld, Scott

    Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone. The Spill claimed Addison's parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn't spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone's twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death--or worse. When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival. Within the Spill Zone, hell awaits--and it seems to be calling Addison's name.

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  • Dear Ijeawele, or, a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

    2017 by Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi

    A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a childhood friend, asking her how to raise her baby girl to be a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response. Compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive--these are great suggestions for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman.

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  • Carry on: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow

    2015 by Rowell, Rainbow

    Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen. That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire, but he's probably right. Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here. It's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.

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  • Little Fires Everywhere

    2017 by Ng, Celeste

    In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned--from the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will lead. No one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren, an enigmatic artist and single mother, who arrives with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past, but her obsession will come at devastating costs. This book explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood, and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

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  • Zeroboxer

    2015 by Lee, Fonda

    As 17-year-old Carr 'the Raptor' Luka rises to fame in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, he learns a devastating secret that jeopardizes not only his future in the sport, but interplanetary relations.

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  • The Way You Make Me Feel

    2018 by Goo, Maurene

    Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad's business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

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  • Game Changer

    2018 by Greenwald, Tom

    Thirteen-year-old Teddy has suffered a serious football injury and now lies in a coma fighting for his life. This unusual book consists of evidence: records of texts, newspaper clippings, and transcripts of conversations and interviews, giving you the opportunity to form your own conclusions about how it all happened

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  • Educated: A Memoir

    2018 by Westover, Tara

    Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

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  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

    2017 by Sánchez, Erika L.

    Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

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  • Secrets, Lies, and Scandals

    2016 by Morgan, Amanda

    Teens Ivy, Tyler, Kinley, Mattie, and Cade are involved in the death of their elderly teacher and must find a way to trust each other--or put the blame on one.

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  • Miles Morales: Spider-man

    2017 by Reynolds, Jason

    As a student at Brooklyn Visions Academy, Miles Morales knows he's lucky. Not all kids get this opportunity, especially not kids from his neighborhood. With his quirky best friend Ganke, this school year is gonna be a blast. Right? Wrong. Miles has a secret. He's actually Spider-Man. Well not THE Spider-Man but A Spider-Man. Pretty much the only Spider-Man in town now that Peter Parker is gone. Miles is doing his best to save every little old lady but it's getting to be too much. He's got more important stuff to worry about like homework, girls, family, the perfect Halloween costume, and girls. Did we mention girls? Well maybe just one girl. But when Miles accidentally discovers a villainous teacher's plan to turn good kids bad, he will need to come to terms with his own destiny as the new SPIDER-MAN.

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  • Two Can Keep a Secret

    2019 by McManus, Karen M.

    While true-crime afficionado Ellery and her twin brother are staying with their grandmother in a Vermont community known for murder, a new friend goes missing and Ellery may be next.

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