1. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. I know, I've been talking about this a bit lately, but really. Everyone should read it, already. Despite a medical miracle buying her a few more years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal. But when Augustus Waters turns up in her Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's life changes in ways she'd never dreamed. Bonus? It's also available on CD, perfect for a car ride.
2. Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. I also mentioned this last week, but it's worth mentioning again. Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was initially not expected to survive. Now he is moving beyond home schooling and entering the fifth-grade in a private Manhattan middle school, which entails enduring the reactions and taunting of his classmates, even as Auggie struggles to be just another student. Also available as a playaway.
3. Divergent, by Veronica Roth. Book one in a trilogy, this follows sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior through a future version of Chicago as she attempts to discover which of five factions she belongs in--this faction will determine the course of the rest of her life. Except she finds out that she's an anomaly and doesn't fit into any single group, which leads her to question the rest of society's rules. A great choice if you're a Hunger Games fan! Available as a playaway as well.
4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman. Young Lyra, accompanied by her daemon, must travel far to the North to keep her best friend and other children from becoming the subjects of gruesome experiments. A great adventure novel for all ages. First in a series.
5. The Giver, by Lois Lowry. Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other person in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives. It was a Newberry Award winner for a reason!
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. Strongly influenced by J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, Perks is the story of Pittsburgh teen Charlie's coming of age, glimpsed through a series of letters.
7. Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld. Tally is just a few weeks away from her sixteenth birthday and the operation which will turn her, like all the other uglies, into a pretty. Then her only job will be to have a really great time in the high-tech paradise that is the pretty world. And Tally can't wait. At least until her friend Shay runs away, preferring to live on the outside as an Ugly instead of going through with the operation. Tally is then given the awful choice of finding Shay and turning her in, or never getting the chance to turn pretty at all.
8. The Book Thief, by Mark Zusak. The story of Leisl, whose book-stealing and story-telling abilities help to sustain her family and neighbors, as well as the Jewish man they are hiding during WWII.
9. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Nick O'Leary, rock band member and high schooler, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes so that he can dodge an ex. The result is an exhilirating, sleepless night spent trying to find a legendary band's super-secret show. One of the most unique love stories you're likely to read.
10. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs. After a family tragedy, Jacob finds himself drawn to an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales. There he discovers that the children once kept there, including Jacob's own grandfather, may have been dangerous, and may still be alive. A creepy little mystery that beautifully blends photography and prose.
Got any suggestions to add? Leave them in the comments!