Reading List

Minding the Gap Delve Deeper Reading List

Fiction for Younger Readers

Flinn, Alex.Breathing Underwater. HarperCollins, 2001.

Intelligent, popular, handsome, and wealthy, sixteen-year-old Nick Andreas is pretty much perfect—on the outside, at least. What no one knows—not even his best friend—is the terror and anger that Nick faces every time he is alone with his father. Then he and Caitlin fall in love, and Nick thinks his problems are over. Caitlin is the one person he can confide in, the only person who understands him. But when Nick’s anger and jealousy overtake him, things begin to spiral out of control and Nick realizes that he’s more his father’s son than he wants to be. Now Nick must confront his inner demons to stop the history of violence from repeating itself.

Harmon, Michael B.Skate. A.A. Knopf, 2006.

There’s not much keeping Ian McDermott in Spokane, but at least it’s home. He’s been raising Sammy practically on his own ever since their mom disappeared again on one of her binges. They get by, finding just enough to eat and plenty of time to skateboard. But at Morrison High, Ian is getting the distinct, chilling feeling that the administration wants him and his board and his punked hair gone. Simply gone. And when his temper finally blows–he actually takes a swing at Coach Florence and knocks him cold–Ian knows he’s got to grab Sammy and skate.

Johnson, Angela.The First Part Last. Simon and Schuster, 2003.

Bobby is your classic urban teenaged boy—impulsive, eager, restless. On his sixteenth birthday he gets some news from his girlfriend, Nia, that changes his life forever. She's pregnant. Bobby's going to be a father. Suddenly things like school and house parties and hanging with friends no longer seem important as they're replaced by visits to Nia's obstetrician and a social worker who says that the only way for Nia and Bobby to lead a normal life is to put their baby up for adoption. With powerful language and keen insight, Johnson looks at the male side of teen pregnancy as she delves into one young man's struggle to figure out what "the right thing" is and then to do it.

Moser, Elise.Lily and Taylor. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2013.

After her older sister is murdered in a horrific incident of domestic abuse, Taylor begins a new life in a new town. She meets Lily, whose open, warm manner conceals a difficult personal life of her own, coping with her brain-injured mother. The two girls embark on a tentative friendship. But just when life seems to be smoothing out, Taylor’s abusive boyfriend, Devon, arrives on the scene, and before they know it, the girls find themselves in a situation that is both scary, and incredibly dangerous.

Quintero, Isabel.Gabi, A Girl in Pieces. Cinco Puntos Press, 2014.

Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy's pregnancy, Sebastian's coming out, the cute boys, her father's meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.