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Girl Fight

By Faye Harnest

Recommended for: Ages 16 and Up for violence, adult language, and sexual discussion. Though there are many references to graphic novels and the main character frames much of her life as a comic book, the overall viewpoint will probably be more relatable to girls than boys.

One Word Summary: Furious.

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The Decoding of Lana Morris

By Laura & Tom McNeal

Recommended for: Ages 16 and up for frank sexual discussion and general maturity level of themes and tone. The story features a female protagonist and romantic elements, but the overall strength of writing and complexity of the characters should make this book appealing to boys as well as girls.

One Word Summary: Esoteric.

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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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Okay For Now

By Gary D. Schmidt

Recommended for: Grades 7-11 (particularly boys)

One Word Summary: Earnest.

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Don’t Stop Now

By Julie Halpern

Recommended for: Mainly girls, aged 16 and Up for tastefully handled teen sexuality and frank sexual discussions. The story is narrated by a girl and contains a love story, but she leans towards tomboyishness and the romance is neither gushy nor sentimental, so male readers shouldn’t be excluded from this one.

One Word Summary: Naturalistic.

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The Rusty Key

The Fault in Our Stars

By John Green

Recommended for: Boys and girls, ages 13 and up.

One Word Summary: Luminous.

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© Jordan B. Nielsen, 2012

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The Edumacation of Jay Baker

By Jay Clark

Recommended For: Both boys and girls aged 14 and up for moderate teenage sexuality and language.

One Word Summary: Overzealous.

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Burn for Burn

By Jenny Han and Siobahn Vivian

Recommended for: Girls, ages 15 and up for all the “parents worst nightmare” affects including underage drinking, drug use, teen sexuality, frequent adult language and rape.

One Word Summary: Soapy.

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The Tragedy Paper

By Elizabeth Laban

Recommended for:  Both boys and girls ages 12 and Up. Though the story features two male protagonists there is nothing in the plot or characters that would make this story particularly alienating to girls. And though the main characters are both seniors in high school, there is no sexuality or vulgarity to speak of, only a minimal amount of downplayed teenage drinking. 

One Word Summary: Unsound.

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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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