Golden Key Collection

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The Summer I Turned Pretty

By Jenny Han

Recommended for: Girls, aged 13 and up. Note to parents: prepare the tranquilizer guns.

One Word Summary: Smoldering.

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It’s Not Summer Without You

By Jenny Han

Recommended for: Girls, aged 13 and up for mild teen sexuality and underage drinking.

One Word Summary: Engrossing.

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Dark Water

By Laura McNeal

Recommended for: Ages 15 and Up for mild teen sexuality. The female main character and romantic plot line will likely make this work best suited to young women.

One Word Summary: Ferocious.

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This Dark Endeavor

By Kenneth Oppel

Recommended for: Ages 13 and Up for moderate gore and general darkness of tone and themes.

One Word Summary: Outstanding.

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The Obsidian Blade

By Pete Hautman

Recommended for: Both boys and girls, ages 13 and Up for some moderate violence and general complexity of plot. Teen boys are a natural fit for this story with its male protagonist and action-driven narrative, but the story is so well executed that there is no reason why girls shouldn’t connect with it as well.

One Word Summary: Mind-Bending.

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The Tiger Rising

By Kate DiCamillo

Recommended for: EVERYONE aged 10 and Up, both boys and girls. There are some adult themes, and mild, but poignant violence, which will probably be more affecting to those over twenty than the younger set, who might not feel its full force.

One Word Summary: Radiant.

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Justin Case

By Rachel Vail

Recommended for: Particularly boys, aged 9 to 13, but the main character of this story is so relatable in his angst and turmoil that there is nothing to stop girls from loving and identifying with him just as much.

One Word Summary: Neurotic.

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One Crazy Summer

By Rita Williams-Garcia

Recommended for: Primarily girls, aged 10 and Up for some illusions to historical violence and racism and complicated family dynamics. The story is narrated by a girl, and features mainly women, but there is nothing that would particularly alienate boys.

One Word Summary: Vibrant.

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© Jordan B. Nielsen, 2012

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The Rusty Key

The Apothecary

By Maile Meloy

Recommended for: Fantasy and adventure fans of all ages and genders, colors and creeds (so long as they be over the age of 10). This one is an across the board crowd-pleaser.

One Word Summary: Intoxicating.

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By R.J. Palacio

Recommended for: Ages 9 and Up for emotionally mature subject matter. A broad range of characters and general relatability should make this book appealing to both boys and girls.

One Word Summary: Flawless.

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