What are some book recommendations for high school students that are cutting edge and will grab their attention?

We have a good list of titles, but are always looking for new ones.

Some that our students are reading include Things They Carried, Secret LIfe of Bees, Caramelo, Catcher in the Rye, etc.

But we're always looking for new titles that are powerful, and that a variety of readers would be interested in. Our Eng. teachers do give choice titles as well for different assignments.

Just looking for new recommendations....Please share!

Tags: books, english

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I liked it, too but thought it was too intense for 5th-6th. I have had some individuals read it.
McCarthy's The Road went over exceptionally well with my 11th graders; The Curious Dog in the Nighttime went very well with my Honors English II (they liked that the narrator had Aspberger's) ; and my lowest level students love All Quiet on the Western Front which I have paired with war poetry ("An Irish Airman Foresees his Death", "The Man He Killed", "The Soldier"). The last is an "oldie", but there are many tie-ins to today's injured soldiers and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think the "real" elements in each of these texts have made them very popular.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is amazing! Written for adults, but marketed as youth lit. in the US.

Books I love for high school:

The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Shadows on the Koyukuk by Sidney Huntington

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

I use the Reader's (and Writer's) Workshop Model in my classroom, so my students are given the opportunity to choose their own classroom novels.  These students are 16-20 (alternative high school), so their choices might not be appropriate for younger readers.  I have not read all of these books, so I can not vouch for all of them, but I only included ones recommended by my students.

Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay (Triology) by Collins

Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras (Uglies Series) by Westerfield

Cut by McCormick (spelling?)

The Road of the Dead by Brooks

The Good Thief by Tinti

Freedom Writers Diary (the actual diary entries from the real students featured in the movie)

Milkweed by Spinelli

Push by Sapphire

Tyrell by ?

Spanking Shakespeare

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

Graceling by Cashore

Fire by Cashore

Bluford High Series (various authors--low level, high interest)

A Child Called It by Pelzer

The Color Purple by Walker

The Glass Castle by Walls

The Skin I'm In by

Baby Girl by

Into the Wild by

Give a Boy a Gun by Strasser

November Blues by Draper

The Last Thing I Remember by Klaavan

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by

Night by Wiesel

Boot Camp by Strasser

The World as We Knew It by

Note From a Midnight Driver by

 

Sorry, I can't remember all of the authors.  Hope that helps.

I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy with my Honors Freshmen. It's very stark and a little disturbing, but it is also a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by a contemporary author. The students were very engaged and I couldn't keep them from posting in the forums for the book discussion on our Moodle page.

I'm not sure if anyone has recommended The Last Lecture but it is a wonderful book that sends a beautiful and encouraging message "to follow your dreams".  Here is a link to find out more: http://www.thelastlecture.com/

This past fall I was lucky enough to talk with a 10th grade teacher who was using it in her class and she told me that her students really enjoyed this book.  It said a lot because this particular group was full of students with IEP's and some emotional disorders, it meant a great deal to her to find a piece of literature that her students genuinely enjoyed. 

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