- Y=Young Adult
- L=For the Librarian
- += "and up" All ages above the one listed will find the book of interest.
Note: Titles marked (OP) are out of print and may be borrowed through interlibrary loan. Many OP books are also available through online book dealers.
- Adams, Ramon.
Cowboy Lingo. Houghton Mifflin, 2000. (Y+)
- This book, originally published in 1936, is a beautiful compendium of real over-the-top cowboy slang that the author collected over many years. If a teen wants to play a rustler who’s “crooked as a snake in a cactus patch,” or just a cowboy with a way with words, this book will help him sound authentic.
- Anderson, Laurie Halse.
Speak. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999. (Y+)
- In this Michael L. Printz Honor Book, Melinda struggles to find her voice after she becomes an outcast at her high school.
- Anderson, M.T.
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation. Candlewick, 2006. (Y)
- Octavian and his mother live a strange and lavish life. But all the riches in the world make no difference once he realizes that he is a slave and an experiment and has no control.
- Arana, Marie.
The Writing Life: Writers on How They Think and Write. Public Affairs, 2003. (Y)
- Professional authors discuss why and how they go about writing.
- Armstrong, Jennifer.
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance. Crown, 1998. (Y)
- This true story of the shipwreck of the Endurance and its resourceful crew on Antarctica reads like an adventure story or a movie.
- Baron, Hayden Scott and Chris Patmore and Chi Hang Li.
Complete Guide to Anime Techniques: Creating Mesmerizing Manga-style Animation with Pencils, Paint and Pixels. Barron’s Educations Series, 2006. (Y)
- The author explains the step-by-step process for creating a finished manga-style animated movie or film, in various formats, including digital or drawn animation.
- Bartel, Julie.
From A to Zine: Building a Winning Zine Collection in Your Library. American Library Association, 2004. (L)
- This book provides information about zines and starting a zine collection at your library.
- Blackwood, Gary L.
The Year of the Hangman. Dutton, 2002. (Y)
- In an alternate world, the British stop the colonies from revolting and George Washington is captured and imprisoned. When Creighton Brown’s uncle has him kidnapped and brought to America and is captured by the American rebels, Creighton must decide who he is - an idle boy or a man of honor.
- Brazelton, Bev.
Altered Books Workshop: 18 Creative Techniques for Self-Expression. North Light, 2004. (Y-L)
- This book provides several creative approaches transforming and altering books.
- Cabot, Meg.
Avalon High. HarperCollins, 2006. (Y)
- Ellie, a high school junior, enrolls at Avalon High School, where several students may or may not be reincarnations of King Arthur and his legendary court.
- Carey, Janet Lee.
Dragon’s Keep. Harcourt, 2007. (Y)
- In 1145 A.D., as foretold by Merlin, fourteen-year-old Rosalind, who will be the twenty-first Pendragon Queen of Wilde Island, keeps a terrible secret. She was born with a dragon’s claw.
- Carey, Mike.
Re-Gifters. DC Comics, 2007. (Y-L)
- Dixie is skilled in the ancient martial art of hapkido. In fact, she’s on the verge of winning a hapkido championship until she falls for a fellow hapkido partner and confusion ensues.
- Castellucci, Cecil.
The Plain Janes. Minx, 2007. (Y+)
- Jane moves from the big city to suburbia, where she meets three other girls named Jane, who join together to form a secret art gang that commits random acts of artwork around the community.
- Chima, Cinda Williams.
The Warrior Heir. Hyperion, 2006. (Y)
- The first book in a trilogy, this is a story about a teenager named Jack, who after learning about his magical ancestry and his own warrior powers, embarks on a training program to fight enemy wizards.
- Choldenko, Gennifer.
Al Capone Does My Shirts. Putnam, 2004. (Y)
- 12-year-old Moose lives on Alcatraz with his parents and his autistic sister. With the help of Piper, the warden’s daughter, Moose is able to deal with the situation and his sister’s autism.
- Compestine, Ying Chang.
Revolution is Not a Dinner Party. Henry Holt, 2007. (Y)
- This is an intense tale of a young girl’s life during China’s Cultural Revolution.
- Cooper, Susan.
Victory. Aladdin, 2007. (I+)
- This historical fantasy weaves together the tales of 11-year-old Molly, a modern-day girl, and 11-year-old Sam, an impressed sailor on Nelson’s ship Victory in 1803.
- Cushman, Karen.
Catherine Called Birdy. Clarion, 1994. (Y)
- In her diary, 14-year-old Birdy writes about her tedious life as a member of minor nobility. Life become more interesting when her father decides it is time for her to marry. But Birdy is full of surprises that send suitors running.
- Datlow, Ellen and Terri Windling. The Faery Reel: Tales From the Twilight Realm. Viking, 2006. (Y)
- This is a collection of stories and poems about faeries in all parts of the world by a variety of authors, including Holly Black and Neil Gaiman.
- Dessen, Sarah.
The Truth About Forever. Viking, 2004. (Y)
- Sixteen-year-old Macy learns about death, forgiveness, love, and the expression of art.
- Draper, Sharon.
Copper Sun. Simon Pulse, 2008. (Y+)
- This suspenseful Coretta Scott King Award winner is the story of 15-year-old Amari, who perseveres despite the brutality she experiences as a slave in 18th century America.
- Drazen, Patrick.
Anime Explosion: The What, Why and Wow of Japanese Animation. Stone Bridge, 2002. (Y-L)
- This book provides background information and history on the world of anime.
- Eisner, Will.
Graphic Storytelling: The Definitive Guide to Composing a Visual Narrative. F & W Publications, 1996. (Y-L)
- This book provides tips on how to combine story ideas with pictures in order to create a graphic story.
- Emerson, Kathy Lynn.
The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Renaissance England. Writer’s Digest Books, 1996. (Y+)
- The Writer’s Digest Writer’s Guide series is written to help aspiring historical fiction writers include authentic period detail. This volume is a compendium of all kinds of facts about life in England during the renaissance, from how the postal service worked to how authentic Scots dialect sounded.
- Flinn, Alex.
Beastly. Harper Teen, 2007. (Y)
- Based on the fairy tale &rquo;Beauty and the Beast&lquo;, a self-absorbed teenager is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form.
- Godbersen, Anna.
The Luxe. HarperCollins, 2007. (Y+)
- Teens who can’t get enough of Gossip Girl will be clamoring to roleplay late-19th-century socialites after reading this novel set in New York in 1899.
- Gonick, Larry.
Cartoon History of the Modern World, Vol. 1. Collins, 2006. (Y+)
- This cartoon history covers the time period when Europeans arrived in America, their impact, and what happened in other cultures at the time.
- Gonick, Larry.
Cartoon History of the United States. Collins, 1991. (Y+)
- This book provides an entertaining overview that will allow readers to experience U.S. history in a whole new way.
- Gonick, Larry.
Cartoon History of the Universe, Volume 1. Main Street, 1997. (Y+)
- The first volume of this comic history series begins with the Big Bang.
- Gorman, Michele.
Getting Graphic! Using Graphic Novels to Promote Literacy with Preteens and Teens. Linworth, 2003. (L)
- Explores the use of graphic novels, including manga, in the library setting.
- Gravett, Paul.
Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics. HarperCollins, 2004. (Y+)
- The book is filled with manga artwork as well as a manga timeline, bibliography, and a list of related web resources.
- Gurstelle, William.
The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery. Chicago Review, 2004. (Y+)
- Teens can learn more about building catapults within a historical context.
- Hantman, Clea and Keva Marie.
Hey, Day! Super-Amazing, Funk-da-crazing, Ultra-glazing Things to Do, Make and Ponder Every Day of the Year. Harper Trophy, 2001. (Y-L)
- This book devotes a few of its pages to the process of making a zine, such as forming ideas, gathering stuff, and the layout for a zine. The July 14-16 calendar days are designated as “Official Zine Week”.
- Harper, Elizabeth.
Your Name in Print: A Teen’s Guide to Publishing for Fun, Profit, and Academic Success. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2005. (Y)
- This book offers advice to teens on how to write newspaper and magazine features, blogs, music and movie reviews, novels, graphic novels, short stories, and more.
- Hennessy, Alena.
Alter This!: Radical Ideas for Transforming Books into Art. Sterling/Lark, 2007. (Y-L)
- An altered books “how-to” guide geared toward a young adult audience.
- Hidier, Tanuja Desai.
Born Confused. Scholastic, 2003. (Y)
- Follow seventeen-year-old Dimple as she tries to find her place in the world.
- Hill, Brian E. and Dee Power.
The Making of a Bestseller: Success Stories from Authors and the Editors, Agents, and Booksellers Behind Them. Kaplan Business, 2005. (Y)
- This book explains how authors, publicists, and editors create a bestselling book.
- Hobbie, K.R.
The Little Giant Book of Weird and Wacky Facts. Sterling, 2007. (I+)
- This book lists strange, little-known facts about history, science, sports, and other subjects.
- Holm, Jennifer L.
Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff. Ginee Seo, 2007. (Y)
- Ginny narrates her life in middle school entirely through the compilation of notes, grocery receipts, and a vast array of other items.
- Honnold, Rosemary.
More Teen Programs that Work. Neal-Schuman, 2005. (L)
- This book describes various programs for teens, how to set them up, and how to host them. It includes a program about writing.
- Hoobler, Dorothy, and Thomas Hoobler.
In Darkness, Death. Philomel, 2004. (Y+)
- Set during Japan’s Edo period, this mystery novel, starring 14-year-old Seikei, features samurai and ninjas as well as some real historical figures, and lots of period detail.
- Imhoff, Kathleen R.T., and Ruthie Maslin.
Library Contests: A How-to-Do-It Manual. Neal-Schuman, 2007. (L)
- This is book is a guide through the step-by-step process of conducting a contest, including how to do publicity.
- Johnson, Maureen.
13 Little Blue Envelopes. HarperCollins, 2006. (Y)
- Join Ginny as she journeys on a whirlwind scavenger hunt for letters sent by her deceased aunt.
- Kurtz, Jean.
Saba: Under the Hyena’s Foot. American Girl, 2003. (Y+) (OP)
- Ethiopia in 1846 is the setting of this richly detailed historical novel about Saba, a girl who is kidnapped with her brother and must use all her wits and resources to free him and escape from the royal court with her life.
- Lammers, Wayne P.
Japanese the Manga Way: An illustrated Guide to Grammar and Structure. Stone Bridge, 2005. (Y-L)
- Teens can learn the Japanese language manga-style in this book..
- Larson, Kirby.
Hattie Big Sky. Delacorte, 2007. (Y+)
- 16-year-old Hattie must find a way to cultivate the homestead she inherited from her uncle in this detailed look at Montana in 1918.
- Llosa, Maria Vargas and Natasha Wimmer.
Letters to a Young Novelist. Picador, 2003. (Y)
- This book compares some of the great literary authors and their works and analyzes what makes the classics so amazing.
- London, Barbara and Jim Stone.
A Short Course in Photography: An Introduction to the Photographic Technique. Prentice Hall, 2008. (Y)
- The authors explain basic techniques in taking various types of photos, including digital and black and white, and how to make and finish the prints.
- Lubar, David.
Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie. Dutton, 2005. (Y)
- A ninth-grader learns lessons about life and friendship as he hones his skills as a writer.
- Lyga, Barry.
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. Houghton Mifflin, 2006. (Y)
- A fifteen-year-old comic fanatic, known as Fanboy, pours his energy into creating a great graphic novel, while encountering the girl of his dreams, Kyra, known as Goth Girl.
- Macdonald, Fiona.
How to Be an Aztec Warrior. National Geographic, 2008. (I+)
- This is more than just a manual for would-be soldiers of 14th- and 15th-century Tenochtitlan. Although it includes information about taking prisoners and moving up in the ranks, this readable title will give would-be Aztec role-players plenty of cultural information to go on.
- Malam, John.
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Roman Gladiator. Franklin Watts, 2001. (I+)
- Although the “You Wouldn’t Want to” series is written for intermediate-grade readers, the fascinating historical detail and the cartoon illustrations will appeal to teens and give them ideas for characters. This volume is perfect for people who liked the Russell Crowe movie, Gladiator, and want more facts.
- Matthiessen, Barbara.
Altered Book Collage. Sterling, 2005. (Y-L)
- This book shows a variety of techniques for altering books.
- Meyer, L.A.
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventure of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy. Harcourt, 2002. (Y)
- Mary Faber loses both parents and is forced to fend for herself along with orphans on the streets of London. She finds a way out by getting a job on a ship. The only problem is the crew believes she is a boy.
- Murphy, Jim.
An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. Clarion, 2003. (Y+)
- Yellow Fever spread through Philadelphia in 1793. The author explains how beliefs as well as mistakes made at the time help spread the fever.
- Myers, Walter Dean.
Fallen Angels. Scholastic, 1988. (Y+)
- This Coretta Scott King Award winner chronicles the Vietnam War experiences of Perry, a teenage soldier from Harlem.
- Namioka, Lensey.
Ties That Bind, Ties That Break. Delacorte, 1999. (Y)
- Ailin’s father dreams of a new China and refuses to have her feet bound. Her family despairs that no one will marry her. But Ailin’s unbound feet are able to take her farther than she or her family can imagine, all the way to America.
- Niedzviecki, Hal.
The Big Book of Pop Culture: A How-to-Guide for Young Artists. Annick, 2007. (Y-L)
- This book encourages teens to express themselves artistically.
- Orr, Alice.
No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells. Writers Digest, 2004. (Y)
- This book explains what budding authors need to do to make their manuscripts appeal to publishers and agents, and to sell them.
- Paolini, Christopher.
The Inheritance Series. Knopf, 2008. (Y+)
- This best-selling series includes the fantasy dragon books entitled Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr.
- Paterson, Anna and Nora Walsh.
Careers in Focus: Writing. J.G. Ferguson, 2002. (Y)
- This book will help teens understand careers in the writing industry such as author, publicist, or songwriter.
- Petrillo, Valerie.
A Kid’s Guide to Asian American History: More than 70 Activities. Chicago Review, 2007 (Y-L)
- This book provides multi-cultural ideas, activities, crafts, and other projects based on Asian American history.
- Pfeffer, Susan Beth.
Life As We Knew It. Harcourt, 2006. (Y+)
- Told in journal entries, this book is about a teenage girl who strives to hold on to her sanity when the prospect of an asteroid hitting the Moon becomes a reality.
- Rines, Frank M.
Landscape Drawing in Pencil. Dover, 2006. (Y)
- This book provides instructions on how to draw landscapes in lead pencil, including shading, perspective, composition, and how to draw from nature.
- Robbins, Trina.
From Girls to Grrlz: A History of Comics from Teens to Zines. Chronicle, 1999. (Y-L)
- This book provides a history of the female influence over the zine industry.
- Sandell, Lisa Ann.
Song of the Sparrow. Scholastic, 2007. (Y)
- An Arthurian tale told through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Elaine of Ascolat, the Lady of Shalott.
- Schick, Lawrence.
Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-playing Games. AK Peters, 2008. (Y+)
- RPG fans will appreciate this book about the stories of the role-playing developers, games, and gamers.
- Schlitz, Laura Amy. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village. Candlewick, 2007. (I+)
- Schlitz’s unusual picture book is a collection of monologues, intended for performance, of characters in a village near a manor in England in the year 1255. The monologues are much grittier than stories about dashing knights, and fair ladies and include accompanying historical notes and essays.
- Scott, Michael Dylan.
The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel. Delacourte, 2007. (Y)
- Fifteen-year-old twins, Sophie and Josh, find themselves caught up in a deadly struggle between two rival alchemists and their desire to possess an ancient and powerful book holding the secret formulas for alchemy and everlasting life.
- Shanteau, Pamela.
The Ultimate Airbrush Book. Watson-Guptil, 2002. (Y)
- This book discusses the history and techniques of airbrushing and its various uses such as decorative t-shirts, advertisement, or motor vehicles.
- Smith, Betty.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. HarperCollins, 2001. (Y+)
- Francie Nolan grows up in the slums of Brooklyn in the early twentieth century. She struggles with poverty and classism and aspires to go to college one day.
- Sonnenblick, Jordan.
Zen and the Art of Faking It. Scholastic, 2007. (Y)
- When thirteen-year-old San Lee moves to a new school, he makes a name for himself as a Zen master.
- Stephen, Jay.
Manga: Draw Your Own Fighters, Cuties & Card Creatures. Lark, 2008. (Y)
- This book teaches how to draw manga figurines and also includes good skill building exercises to help beginners learn to draw.
- Taylor, Mildred D.
The Land. Phyllis Fogelman, 2001. (Y)
- In this prequel to Roll of Thunder, Paul-Edward, the son of a white man and a former slave, struggles to make a life for himself in the South during Reconstruction.
- Taylor, Terry.
Altered Art: Techniques for Creating Altered Books, Boxes, Cards & More. Lark, 2004. (Y-L)
- This is an excellent guide to show older teens how to make altered books.
- Todd, Mark.
Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine?: The Art of Making Zines and Mini Comics. Graphia, 2006. (Y-L)
- Twenty-one zine producers provide advice on a variety of topics, from starting a zine to searching for new ideas.
- Trumbauer, Lisa.
Practical Guide to Dragons. Mirrorstone, 2006. (I+)
- This beautifully illustrated book is filled with facts and images of many types of dragons.
- Turtledove, Harry and Richard Dreyfuss.
The Two Georges. TOR, 1996. (Y+)
- In this alternative history, the American Revolution never happens and America remains a colony of the British empire. Days before the King-Emperor is to arrive in America, the famous painting of King George III with George Washington is stolen by a radical group called the Sons of Liberty. It is up to Royal American Mounty, Colonel Thomas to get it back.
- Turtledove, Harry.
The Guns of the South. Del Rey, 1997. (Y+)
- What would it take for the South to win the Civil War? 21st century South African White Supremacists travel through time to give General Lee the AK-47 rifle. The South wins the war but what happens next is totally unexpected.
- Ure, Susan.
The Altered Book Scrapbook. Sterling/Chapelle, 2006. (Y-L)
- This book offers a variation to the altered book concept by showing how to alter a book into a scrapbook.
- Yancey, Rick.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp. Bloomsbury, 2005. (Y)
- Through a series of dangerous mishaps, teenage loser Alfred Kropp rescues King Arthur’s legendary sword Excalibur from the forces of evil.
- Yang, Gene Luen.
American Born Chinese. First Second, 2006. (Y-L)
- In this Michael L. Printz award winner, the comic book formatted narrative alternates between three stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to assimilate in the popular culture.
- Art in the Classroom: Color Concepts. Sunburst Visual Media, 2004. (29 minutes) (Y)
- Artist Raleigh Kinney demonstrates the aspects of color such as hue, intensity, value, etc., and the proper way to blend and choose colors.
- Art in the Classroom: Composition. Teacher’s Video, 2001. (23 minutes) (Y)
- Artist Anthony Pessler shows what goes into making a good composition by focusing on the variety, balance, and unity of a composition.
- Art in the Classroom: Perspective Drawing. Sunburst Visual Media, 2004. (28 minutes) (Y)
- Artist Jasen Envoy explains the basics of one and two point perspective in drawing by examining the areas of horizon line, picture plane, and convergence.
- Brothers Grimm. Miramax, 2005. (118 minutes) (Y+)
- In this comedy adventure, famed brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm encounter a town in danger from a magical curse.
- Castle in the Sky. Disney, 2003. (125 minutes) (Y)
- Pazu is involved in an exciting adventure after Sheeta, a young girl wearing a glowing pendant, floats out of the night sky and into his life.
- Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. Disney, 2004. (89 minutes) (Y)
- In this movie based on Dyan Sheldon’s young adult novel, Lola sets her sights on the lead in the annual drama production, and finds herself in conflict with the most popular girl in school.
- Eragon. Davis Entertainment, 2006. (104 minutes) (Y)
- Based on the best-selling young adult fantasy series by Christopher Paolini, a young farm boy finds a dragon’s egg, which leads him on a magical journey.
- Freaky Friday. Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2003. (97 minutes) (Y)
- A mother and daughter’s lives are “altered” when their bodies are magically switched and they are forced to live each other’s lives for one freaky Friday.
- How to Deal. New Line Cinema, 2003. (101 minutes) (Y)
- In this movie based on Sarah Dessen’s young adult novel, That Summer and Someone Like You, Halley struggles with life’s lessons and ultimately learns “how to deal.”
- Howl’s Moving Castle. Disney, 2006. (119 minutes) (Y)
- Trouble begins as a young woman named Sophie is cursed by the Witch of the Waste and turned into an old woman, unable to tell anyone of her plight.
- Knight’s Tale. Sony, 2001. (132 minutes) (Y)
- Based on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, a young squire disguises himself as a knight in order to qualify for the jousting games.
- Legend. Universal, 1985. (89 minutes) (Y)
- A fantasy-adventure set in a mystical world filled with, elves, fairies, monsters, and more!
- Mummy. Universal, 1999. (124 minutes) (Y+)
- Stumbling upon an ancient tomb, treasure hunters awaken a mummy and danger ensues.
- Musketeer. Universal, 2001. (104 minutes) (Y)
- Follow the adventures of the dashing swashbuckler D’Artangnan as he strives to become a Musketeer.
- Path to Publication: Writing for Different Genres: Advice from Authors, Editors, and Agents. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2005. (82 minutes) (Y)
- Explore writing genres and the various techniques for writing them with authors Martin J. Smith and Adara Lara.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Disney, 2007. (168 minutes) (Y+)
- The third installment of the fantasy misadventures of the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow and his friends, Will and Elizabeth.
- Princess Mononoke. Buena Vista, 2000. (134 minutes) (Y-L)
- As a young warrior searches for a cure for a deadly curse, he becomes entangled in an intense battle between humans and the forest’s animal gods.
- Read It and Weep: Zapped Edition. Disney, 2007. (84 minutes) (Y)
- Jamie’s private electronic journal is inadvertently entered in a writing contest and becomes a best-selling book in this Disney Channel Original Movie.
- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Warner Brothers, 2005. (119 minutes) (Y)
- Based on the best-selling young adult series by Ann Brashares, four best girlfriends hatch a plan to stay connected with one another through a pair of secondhand jeans.
- Spirited Away. Buena Vista, 2003. (132 minutes) (Y)
- A young girl fights to free herself from a strange world of spirits as well as rescue her parents.
- The Princess Bride. 20th Century Fox, 1987. (98 minutes) (Y+)
- This classic fantasy tale includes giants, swordsman, love, and adventure.
- Timeline. Paramount, 2003. (116 minutes) (Y+)
- When a professor is transported back to France in 1357 in a time machine, his son must travel back to survive long enough to rescue and save his father.
- Transformers. Dreamworks, 2007. (144 minutes) (Y+)
- A war re-erupts on earth between two robotic clans that can transform themselves from common vehicles into powerful robots of destruction.
- Writers Workshop: Fiction and Nonfiction. Australian Broadcasting, 2000. (162 minutes) (Y)
- This DVD shows various authors talking about their creative process and about participating in the Adelaide Festival of the Arts in 2000. It is divided into six parts called, “So you want to write a story,” “Essentials of becoming a writer,” “How do writers go the distance,” “Crafting the story,” “Creating characters,” and “Dealing with writer’s block and rejection.”
- Writing for Students: Using the Writing Process. Schlessinger Media, 2006. (23 minutes) (Y)
- This video illustrates how the writing process varies from author to author and how individuals may develop their own writing process.