Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
YA Real BRANDE
Raised in a close-minded religious household, Mena’s worldview, already shaken by her churchmates’ treatment of a gay student, is further disrupted by a science unit on evolution and by a burgeoning relationship with her smart, funny, sensitive lab partner, Casey.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
YA Real CRUTCHE
Overweight outcast Eric Calhoune begins to slim down as a result of his competitive swimming, a transformation which threatens to shake his long-term friendship with troubled Sarah Byrnes, a fellow misfit covered in scars from a early childhood incident. But Eric refuses to let Sarah slip away into silence.
Charles Darwin’s most famous accomplishment--On the Origin of Species--almost remained unpublished, out of deference to his intelligent, much-loved, and deeply religious wife, Emma, who feared for his soul.
The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
YA Real FRANKLIN
Hank’s Asperger’s syndrome has always made him a little awkward around girls. But that may make him the perfect fit for Liana, who has developed a bit of a reputation for kissing too many boys and has decided to take the summer off from making out. But as the two share more of their interests with each other--music for him and astronomy for her--they begin to develop a satisfying, if unexpected, romance.
Through a series of poems told from two perspectives and in a variety of forms, a friendship turns to romance and unfolds, with trauma and joy, from there.
Teen Love: On Relationships by Kimberly Kirberger
YA 306.7 KIRGBERG
Kirberger delivers compassionate, thoughtful answers to teens letters asking questions about love and relationships--with quotes, cartoons, poems, and stories to illustrate the issues discussed.
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
YA Real LEVITHA
Paul meets Noah--the cute new boy in town--at the bookstore and the two fall in love. But Paul’s ex-boyfriend returns, and Paul gets tripped up by his complicated feelings for a boy he stills cares about and the importance of his new relationship with Noah. The sweet and deeply-felt romantic concerns unfold against a backdrop of a fantastical school where the cheerleaders ride Harleys and the quarterback--Infinite Darlene--is also the homecoming queen.
Street Love by Walter Dean Myers
YA Real MYERS
In this modern-day Romeo and Juliet story told in verse, intelligent, ambitious Damien meets strong but struggling Junice, determined to keep her little sister with her after their mother’s imprisonment.
Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet by Kashmira Sheth
YA Real SHETH
The third of three daughters, 16-year-old Jeeta watches as her mother attempts to arrange marriages for her older sisters while despairing of ever finding a husband for sharp-tongued Jeeta. But watching her two sisters’ relationships, one contented and one deeply troubled, and secretly spending time with a boy named Neel, Jeeta begins to wonder if the traditions in her hometown of Mumbai may not offer the best path to happiness.
Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
YA Real SONNENB
Steven’s a dedicated drummer, a sarcastic sort-of-nerd, a sometimes-confused best friend to fellow musician Annette, and overwhelmed brother to leukemia patient Jeffrey. As Jeffrey’s illness strains his family almost to the point of breaking, Steven finds that his friends--especially Annette--and even his distant crush, Renee, can keep a guy on his feet at the worst of times.
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
YA Real STORK
Marcelo’s father worries that Marcelo’s school for people with cognitive disabilities has not fully prepared him for the real world, which he must learn to navigate with his high-functioning autism. So Mr. Sandoval insists that Marcelo spend the summer working at his law firm, where Marcelo meets Jasmine, who enjoys his company as he is, and uncovers a mystery he feels compelled to follow to the finish.