Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak is the story of a regular high school girl named Melinda. Average grades, average hair, average. She goes to a party one night and her life is changed forever after that day. This is her journey to her voice. This book was so beautiful and I personally have read it at least four times. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you grab a highlighter and say “oh that’s good”. This book will have you flipping its pages, and reaching for the nearest box of Kleenex.
Don’t You Dare Read This Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix
This next book is a good read as well. It’s told from the perspective of a 10th grade student, named Tish, given the task of keeping a journal as a long-term English project. But journals become holy purges, and the truth about Tish’s not so pretty home life starts to come out. I also recommend keeping a box of Kleenex nearby, you never know when your eyes might start to leak.
The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick
This book will throw you for quite the loop. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world and we follow an epileptic teenager named Spaz. (Clever, right?) He’s an orphan, and then everything changes when he meets that indigenous African that only spoke Zulu (shout out to Kendrick Lamar for that gem). After meeting this individual, he is inevitably thrust into conflict and sets out on a quest for truth. If you enjoy science fiction, this is the book for you.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Another great Sci-Fi novel is Unwind. Set in a dystopian world, it starts off with a bus crash. Things escalate quickly with the main character suddenly being thrown into conflict. The novel touches on pro-life vs. pro-choice arguments, and hints at the black market. If you like political thrillers, this book is for you, I promise. It had me on the edge of my seat.
Fever in The Blood by Robert Fleming
Lastly, Fever in The Blood. This is probably one of the best pieces of African American literature that I’ve ever read. The main character, Eddie Stevens, is angry. Angry about his past, angry about his present but also angry about his future. This book delves into the psyche of the black man and the touches on instances of racism, sexism and classism. It does have some violence in the book so if you’re touchy on that, this may not be the book for you, but it is a good read. I’d read it again multiple times.