Books about Leaving home to find yourself. These books were selected by the YALSA (Young Adult Library Service Association).
Popular Paperbacks for Young AdultsYALSA's Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults is presented annually after the Midwinter Meeting. The 2013 list of 90 titles is arranged by the following four topics:
Boarding Schools to Summer Camps: Leaving home to find.
Gowns, Greasepaint and Guitars: Not the same old song and dance.
I'm New Here Myself: A generation, caught between nations.
More Books that Won't Make You Blush: All of the excitement, none of the naughty.
The committee also created a top ten list, denoted here by an asterisk.
Archer, Lily. The Poison Apples. Square Fish. 2009.
At an elite Massachusetts boarding school, three fifteen-year-old girls of very different backgrounds discover a common bond and form a club to plot revenge against their evil stepmothers.
Barkley, Brad and Hepler, Heather. Dream Factory. Speak. 2009.
Alternating chapters present the view points of two teenagers who find summer employment as costumed cartoon characters at Disney World and try to resist falling in love.
Brian, Kate. Private. Simon and Schuster. 2006.
What will you give up to fit in?
Caine, Rachel. Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires). NAL. 2007.
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life. But they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.
Cashore, Kristin. Fire Firebird. 2009.
In a kingdom called the Dells, Fire is the last human-shaped monster, with unimaginable beauty and the ability to control the minds of those around her, but even with these gifts she cannot escape the strife that overcomes her world.
Cast, P.C. & Kristin Cast. Marked. St. Martin's Griffin. 2007.
The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampires have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It's tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampire Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampire friends.
Cornish, D. M. The Foundling. (Monster Blood Tattoo). Speak. 2007.
Having grown up in a home for foundlings and possessing a girl's name, Rossamünd sets out to report to his new job as a lamplighter and has several adventures along the way as he meets people and monsters who are more complicated that he previously thought. Includes glossaries and maps.
Elkeles, Simone. How to Ruin a Summer Vacation. Flux. 2006. 978-0738709611. $8.95.
When sixteen-year-old Amy, a spoiled American, goes to Israel for a three-month summer vacation with a father she barely knows, she is not prepared for his Jewish family and the changes they bring about in her life.
*Eulberg, Elizabeth. Prom and Prejudice. Point. 2012.
For Lizzie Bennett, a music scholarship student at Connecticut's exclusive, girls-only Longbourn Academy, the furor over prom is senseless, but even more puzzling is her attraction to the pompous Will Darcy, best friend of her roommate's boyfriend.
Gehrman, Jody. Babe in Boyland. Speak. 2012.
Natalie, a seventeen-year-old former drama club member who now writes a relationship column for her school newspaper, decides to go undercover as a student at an all-boys boarding school so that she can figure out what guys are really like.
Gray, Claudia. Evernight HarperTeen. 2009.
Sixteen-year-old Bianca, a new girl at the sinister Evernight boarding school, finds herself drawn to another outsider, Jared, but dark forces threaten to tear them apart and destroy Bianca's entire world.
Hale, Shannon. Princess Academy. Bloomsbury. 2010.
Miri returns to Asland and calls upon all of her knowledge of rhetoric and other useful lessons learned at the Princess Academy when she and the other girls face strong opposition while working for a new, fair charter.
Harmon, Michael. Chamber of Five Ember. 2012.
When seventeen-year-old Jason Weatherby, the son of a congressman, is invited to join the secretive Chamber of Five, an elite group of students who run Lambert School for the Gifted via a shadow government, he sees how corrupt the institution is and decides to work from the inside to take it down when things go too far.
Healey, Karen. Guardian of the Dead. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2011.
Eighteen-year-old New Zealand boarding school student Ellie Spencer must use her rusty tae kwon do skills and new-found magic to try to stop a fairy-like race of creatures from Maori myth and legend that is plotting to kill millions of humans in order to regain their lost immortality.
Hunter, C.C. Born at Midnight. St. Martin's Griffin. 2011.
Sixteen-year-old Kylie Galen thinks her misbehavior in the wake of her grandmother's death and her parents' separation are the reasons she has been sent to Shadow Falls Camp, but learns it is a training ground for vampires, werewolves, and other "freaky freaks," of which she may be one.
Ikeda, Akihisa. Rosario+Vampire, Vol . 1. Illus. Akihisa Ikeda. Viz Media. 2008.
All-around average student Tsukune transfers to Monster High, where he discovers the turf war isn't between the jocks and the nerds but the vampires and the werewolves.
*Johnson, Maureen. Name of the Star. Speak. 2012.
Rory, of Boueuxlieu, Louisiana, is spending a year at a London boarding school when she witnesses a murder by a Jack the Ripper copycat and becomes involved with the very unusual investigation.
Kim, Susan and Laurence Klavan. Brain Camp. Illus. Faith Erin Hicks. First Second. 2010. Lucas and Jenna are chosen to attend a camp that promises to turn delinquents into high achieving students, but when they arrive, they realize that the camp is not what it seems.
*Lockhart, E. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Hyperion. 2009.
Sophomore Frankie starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, but when he refuses to talk about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to, Frankie infiltrates the society in order to enliven their mediocre pranks.
Meyer, L. A. Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady. Graphia. 2005.
In 1803, after being exposed as a girl and forced to leave her ship, Jacky Faber finds herself attending school in Boston, where, instead of learning to be a lady, she battles her snobbish classmates, roams the city in search of adventure, and learns to ride a horse.
Paley, Sasha. Huge. Simon & Schuster. 2010.
When Wilhelmina and April find themselves roommates at a fat camp, both with very different goals, they find they have very little in common until they are both humiliated by the same person.
van de Ruit, John. Spud. Razorbill. 2008.
In 1990, thirteen-year-old John "Spud" Milton, a prepubescent choirboy, keeps a diary of his first year at an elite, boys-only boarding school in South Africa, as he deals with bizarre housemates, wild crushes, embarrassingly dysfunctional parents, and much more.
von Zigesar, Cecily. The It Girl. Poppy. 2005.
Having left her elite Manhattan private school to attend an equally exclusive New York State boarding school, sophomore Jenny Humphrey sets out to become the most alluring girl on campus.
Whitney, Daisy. The Mockingbirds. Little, Brown. 2012.
When Alex, a junior at an elite preparatory school, realizes that she may have been the victim of date rape, she confides in her roommates and sister who convince her to seek help from a secret society, the Mockingbirds.