Whats New Category: High School

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth book coer Beatrice lives in Chicago– well actually she lives in Abnegation, one of the factions of Chicago.  Everyone in Abnegation is self-less.  There are four other factions: amity (friendship/peace), dauntless (fearless), erudite (intelligence), and candor( who always speak the truth).   Beatrice is now 16, which means it’s time to figure out which faction she’ll spend the rest of her life in.  If she doesn’t chose Abnegation, this choice also means cutting herself off from her Abnegation parents.  A test, which is actually a simulation, helps decide which faction she would be best suited for, but Beatrice still has the final choice.  Beatrice’s test doesn’t offer an conclusive results, her test proctor informs her that she’s a divergent.  Being a Divergent means you are someone who doesn’t fit in any of the clearly defined factions, and is a result she must not share with anyone because the consequences could be terrible. 

Which faction does Beatrice settle on? Dauntless, and the action ramps up from that point on.  Beatrice, who now goes by Tris, finds out that even her though she has chosen Dauntless as her new faction this doesn’t mean they chose her.  Only ten initiates will be accepted in the faction and the newbies must prove themselves by performing well in intense tasks like fighting, knife throwing, shooting, and most of all confronting and overcoming their fears.  Tris seems to have the odds stacked against her  since she was an Abnegation and kind of scrawny, but her determination and some support from one of the trainers, who’s named Four, help her stay in the running for a slot.  While proving her worth to Dauntless, Tris also finds herself questioning the Dauntless and the other factions and their true motives.  Her divergent-ness starts to become more apparent to not just her but to others who are secretly observing her.  Will she be able to keep her secret and what does her divergence mean for the future of all of the factions?

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie reviewed by Lexi

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar

In Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, a boy named Scott is entering his first year at Zenger High School. While Scott is faced with troubling classes and drifting friends, he balances writing weekly sports reviews for the school paper along with a couple of other extra activities. One day, he gets news that nobody ever expected-he’s going to be a big brother! So, with knowing this, Scott writes daily entries to his microscopic brother about how to survive the beginning of high school. No experience at high school is ever complete without a little bit of drama. Scott has had his eye on a girl for a while now and tries many times to get her attention. But a freaky girl with to metal all over her face, vomit green hair, and shirts that are indescribable transfers to Zenger, and Scott found her interesting. And who knows, the two people from different worlds that face the same judgmental people five times a week just might be perfect for each other.

review submitted by Lexi

Candor by Pam Bachorz

Candor book cover “Always be courteous.”

“Academics are the key to success.”

“Studying is your top priority.”

“Healthy breakfasts make for smart minds”

What if messages like this ran through your head all day? What if while you were listening to your favorite CD you were being brainwashed at the same time?  Well, then you’d be living in Candor, otherwise known as every parent’s dream.  No one really knows about the messages, but what they do know is teenagers in Candor love to do chores, they get straight A’s, and no one is ever an outsider. 

Meet Oscar, the founder of Candor’s son. He’s handsome, smart, popular, and seemingly perfect, except he’s found a way to fight the messages: to shut his brain off to them.  He’s also found a way to make some money on the side byhelping free kids from Candor before they get sucked in by the messages, because once that happens you’ll be walking around like a programmed drone the rest of your life. 

Oscar’s latest target for business is Nia, except that Oscar finds himself completely smitten by her.  He must a make a decision to save Nia from the messages and never see her again, or keep her close and risk everything exposing everything.

Audrey Wait! by Robin Benway

Audrey Wait! book cover Audrey is a loud music lover, big word user, fashion forward, your average high school student… and followed by paparazzi, called by gossip columnists, wanted for a reality TV show, stalked by reporters, asked for autographs, analyzed on messages boards, and a trend setter. Okay maybe not your average high student anymore. 

In Audrey Wait!, Audrey tells her side of the story, a story that began when she broke up with her boyfriend Evan because it just wasn’t working.  Evan just so happened to be part of a band and Audrey breaking up with inspired him to write a song “Audrey Wait!”  He debuted the song at a local concert, that was attended by a big record label exec, zoom a couple of months forward and cue to Audrey working at Scooper Dooper the local ice cream shop.  Then on the radio she hears “Audrey Wait!” and suddenly nothing is private.  There are always cameras, people observing, people misquoting, other musicians looking for inspiration, or people just making stuff about her.  Luckily, she has her always supportive and spunky best friend Victoria, like the queen, to help her navigate. But as the fame seeps more and more into her life, the affect it’s having on her life, her friendship with Victoria, and a budding romance become more and more apparent and Audrey doesn’t want to wait, she just wants it all to STOP. 

Reviewed by Renee-Teen Outreach Librarian

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri

yummy book coverRobert Sandifer, also known as Yummy because he couldn’t be without candy and cookies, was a real boy living in Chicago.  He was also a killer, a victim, a shorty, a boy who still curled up with his teddy bear, and a gangster.  In 1994 Yummy graced the cover of Time magazine- after he shot a fourteen year old girl in his neighborhood while trying to prove himself to a local gang the Black Disciples.  Robert, the narrator, will show you how the neighborhood, the schools, the city, and the whole country reacted to the events and he’ll give a peak into Yummy’s life and how he ended up in the horrible situation he found himself in at 11 years old.  Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty  by G.Neri pulls you in right away and leaves you wondering if Yummy was a cold blooded killer or just a boy who had been led astray?