Geographic Theme (United States) (Teen)

Alabama 
Glines, Abbi.  Until Friday Night.  Y FIC Glines
In the small town of Lawton, Alabama, star high school quarterback West Ashby meets new girl Maggie Carlton, both battling feelings of grief and sorrow.

Lee, Harper.  To Kill a Mockingbird.  Y FIC Lee  //  FIC Lee
An adult novel about two children, Scout and Jem Finch, and their father Atticus, a Southern lawyer appointed to defend a Negro on a rape charge. It is a novel about conscience–the conscience of a small Alabama town.

Alaska
George, Jean Craighead.  Julie of the Wolves.  Y FIC George //  J PB G  (SERIES)
While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.  SEQUEL: Julie (1994).

Lawrence, Iain.  The Skeleton Tree.  Y FIC Lawrence
Chris and Frank’s sailing vessel sinks and they are stranded alone in the wilds of Alaska. They don’t like each other at all, but to survive they must build a relationship.

Appalachia
Creech, Sharon.  Absolutely Normal Chaos.  Y FIC Creech / Y PB C (SUMMER READING)
Thirteen-year-old Mary Lou grows up considerably during the summer while learning about romance, homesickness, death, and her cousin’s search for his biological father.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.  Sang Spell.  Y FIC Naylor
When his mother is killed in an automobile accident, high-schooler Josh decides to hitchhike across country, and finds himself trapped in a mysterious village somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains, among a group of people who call themselves Melungeons.

Rylant, Cynthia.  Missing May.  Y FIC Rylant
After the death of the beloved aunt who has raised her, twelve-year-old Summer and her uncle Ob leave their West Virginia trailer in search of the strength to go on living.

Arizona
Spinelli, Jerry.  Stargirl.  Y FIC Spinelli
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.

California
Choldenko, Gennifer.  Chasing Secrets.  Y FIC Choldenko
Thirteen-year-old Lizzie and her secret friend Noah, who is hiding in her house, plan to rescue Noah’s father from the quarantined Chinatown, and save everyone they love from contracting the plague that is spreading in 1900 San Francisco.

McCoy, Mary.  Dead to Me.  Y FIC McCoy
In 1948 Hollywood, a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets, sixteen-year-old Alice tries to find a young runaway who is the sole witness to a beating that put her sister, Annie, in a coma.

Soto, Gary.  Buried Onions.  Y FIC Soto
When nineteen-year-old Eddie drops out of college, he struggles to find a place for himself as a Mexican American living in a violence-infested neighborhood of Fresno, California.

Umminger, Alison.  American Girls.  Y FIC Umminger
Fifteen-year-old Anna runs away to Los Angeles where her half-sister takes her in, but after spending days on television and movie sets, she learns LA is not the glamorous escape she imagined.

Colorado, Utah
Hobbs, Will.  The Maze.  Y FIC Hobbs
Rick, a fourteen-year-old foster child, escapes from a juvenile detention facility near Las Vegas and travels to Canyonlands National Park in Utah where he meets a bird biologist working on a project to reintroduce condors to the wild.

Nixon, Joan Lowery.  High Trail to Danger.  Y FIC Nixon
In 1879 seventeen-year-old Sarah travels from Chicago to the violent town of Leadtown, Colorado, to locate her missing father, but she finds that the mention of his name brings her strange looks and an attempt on her life.

Florida
Bloor, Edward.  Tangerine.  Y FIC Bloor
Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.

Blundell, Judy.  What I Saw and How I Lied.  Y FIC Blundell
In 1947, with her jovial stepfather Joe back from the war and family life returning to normal, teenage Evie, smitten by the handsome young ex-GI who seems to have a secret hold on Joe, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome change her life and that of her family forever.

Hiaasen, Carl.  Flush.  Y FIC Hiaasen
With their father jailed for sinking a river boat, Noah Underwood and his younger sister, Abbey, must gather evidence that the owner of this floating casino is emptying his bilge tanks into the protected waters around their Florida Keys home.

Hiaasen, Carl.  Hoot.  Y FIC Hiaasen // YPB H
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

O’Dell, Scott.  Alexandra.  Y FIC O’Dell
While helping her crippled grandfather by diving for sponges from the family boat after the death of her diver father, Alexandra discovers that someone is using their sponges as a hiding-place for smuggled cocaine.

Georgia
Rinaldi, Ann.  Numbering All the Bones.  Y FIC Rinaldi
“It is 1864, the Civil War is moving toward an end. President Lincoln has proclaimed his ‘great measure,’ and Southern slaves are slowly gaining their freedom.  But for thirteen-year-old Eulinda, a house slave on a Georgia plantation, it is the most difficult time of her life…”

Hawaii
Salisbury, Graham.  Blue Skin of the Sea.  Y FIC Salisbury
Growing up in Hawaii between 1953 and 1966, Sonny tries to come to terms with his feelings for his fisherman father and the vast sea that dominates his life.

Illinois
Peck, Richard.  A Long Way From Chicago.  Y FIC Peck // YPB Peck
A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother. SEQUELSA Year Down Yonder (2000), A Season of Gifts (2009)

Indiana
Peck, Richard.  The Teachers Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts.  Y FIC Peck
In rural Indiana in 1904, fifteen-year-old Russell’s dreams of quitting school and joining a wheat threshing crew are disrupted when his older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse after mean old Myrt Arbuckle “hauls off and dies

Tarkington, Booth.  Penrod.  YPB T
A classic that tells the adventures of a 12 year old boy and his friends growing up in the early 1900’s.

Kansas
Gaeddert, LouAnn Bigge.  Friends and Enemies.  Y FIC Gaeddert
In 1941 in Kansas, as America enters World War II, fourteen-year-old William finds himself alienated from his friend Jim, a Mennonite who does not believe in fighting for any reason, as they argue about the war.

Paulsen, Gary.  The Monument.  Y FIC Paulsen
Thirteen-year-old Rocky, self-conscious about the braces on her leg, has her life changed by the remarkable artist who comes to her small Kansas town to design a war memorial.

Kentucky
Creech, Sharon.  Chasing Redbird.  Y FIC Creech / Y PB C
Thirteen-year-old Zinnia Taylor uncovers family secrets and self truths while clearing a mysterious settler trail that begins on her family’s farm in Kentucky.

Stiles, Martha Bennett.  Kate of Still Waters. Y FIC Stiles
A young girl chronicles the joys and problems of her family’s life on their farm in central Kentucky.

Whitaker, Alecia.  The Queen of Kentucky.  Y FIC Whitaker
Fourteen-year-old Ricki Jo, a Kentucky farm girl, learns that popularity is not all she hoped it would be when the huge changes she makes in her personality and style seem to do more to drive away old friends than to win new ones.

Louisiana
Holt, Kimberly Willis.  My Louisiana Sky.  Y FIC Holt
Growing up in Saitter, Louisiana, in the 1950s, twelve-year-old Tiger Ann struggles with her feelings about her stern, but loving grandmother, her mentally slow parents, and her good friend and neighbor, Jesse.

Sepetys, Ruta.  Out of the Easy.  Y FIC Sepetys
Josie, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, is striving to escape 1950 New Orleans and enroll at prestigious Smith College when she becomes entangled in a murder investigation. (For Older Teens)

Maine
Jones, Kimberly.  Sand Dollar Summer.  Y FIC Jones
When twelve-year-old Lise spends the summer on an island in Maine with her self-reliant mother and bright–but oddly mute–younger brother, her formerly safe world is complicated by an aged Indian neighbor, her mother’s childhood friend, and a hurricane.

Wolf, Elaine.  Camp.  Y FIC Wolf
In 1963 at a Maine summer camp, fourteen-year-old Amy Becker is forced to face the camp bully, Rory, family secrets revealed by her cousin Robin, and worry about having to leave her mentally challenged brother with their cold, harsh mother.

Maryland
Rinaldi, Ann.  Amelia’s War.   Y FIC Rinaldi
When a Confederate general threatens to burn Hagerstown, Maryland, unless it pays an exorbitant ransom, twelve-year-old Amelia and her friend find a way to save the town.

Massachusettes
Avi.  Blue Heron.  Y FIC Avi
While spending the month of August on the Massachusetts shore with her father, stepmother, and their new baby, almost thirteen-year-old Maggie finds beauty in and draws strength from a great blue heron, even as the family around her unravels.

Minnesota
Paulsen, Gary.  The Foxman.  Y FIC Paulsen
A town boy sent to live on a remote wilderness farm forms a friendship with an elderly, disfigured man who teaches him many things.

Qualey, Marsha.  Everybody’s Daughter.  Y FIC Qualey
Unable to decide between two attractive boys, seventeen-year-old Beamer is forced to examine how growing up in a commune in the north woods of Minnesota has shaped her personality.

Mississippi
Taylor, Mildred D.  The Road to Memphis.  Y FIC Taylor
Sadistically teased by two white boys in 1940’s rural Mississippi, a black youth severely injures one of the boys with a tire iron and enlists Cassie’s help in trying to flee the state.

Wiles, Deborah.  Revolution.  Y FIC Wiles
It’s 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Sunny’s town is being invaded by people from up north who are coming to help people register to vote. Her personal life isn’t much better, as a new stepmother, brother, and sister are crowding into her life, giving her little room to breathe.

Missouri
Nixon, Joan Lowery.  A Family Apart.   YPB N
When their mother can no longer support them, six siblings are sent by the Children’s Aid Society of New York City to live with farm families in Missouri in 1860.

Nebraska
Cather, Willa.  O Pioneers!  YPB C
This classic novel tells the story of an immigrant family’s struggle to save their Nebraska farm.

New England
Cormier, Robert.  Frenchtown Summer.  Y FIC Cormier
A series of vignettes in free verse in which the writer reminisces about his life as a twelve-year-old boy living in a small town during the hot summer of 1938.

New Hampshire
Duffy, James.  The Graveyard Gang.  Y FIC Duffy
During the summer after seventh grade, life in a small New Hampshire town improves for Amy, when new friendships help her deal with her father’s death, her mother’s emotional problems, and the accusation that she killed a local boy.

New York
Avi.  Don’t You Know There’s A War On?  Y FIC Avi
In wartime Brooklyn in 1943, eleven-year-old Howie Crispers mounts a campaign to save his favorite teacher from being fired.

Bray, Libba.  The Diviners.  Y FIC Bray
Seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.

Medina, Meg.  Burn Baby Burn.  Y FIC Medina
During the summer of 1977 when New York City is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam, seventeen-year-old Nora must also face her family’s financial woes, her father’s absence, and her brother’s growing violence.

Tromly, Stephanie.  Trouble is a Friend of Mine.  Y FIC Tromly
After her parents’ divorce, Zoe Webster moves from Brooklyn to upstate New York where she meets the weirdly compelling misfit, Philip Digby, and soon finds herself in a series of hilarious and dangerous situations as he pulls her into his investigation into the kidnapping of a local teenage girl which may be related to the disappearance of his kid sister eight years ago.

North Carolina
Dessen, Sarah.  The Moon and More.  Y FIC Dessen
During her last summer at home before leaving for college, Emaline begins a whirlwind romance with Theo, an assistant documentary filmmaker who is in town to make a movie

Taylor, Theodore.  The Weirdo.  Y FIC Taylor
Seventeen-year-old Chip Clewt fights to save the black bears in the Powhaten National Wildlife Refuge.

North Dakota
Brooke, Margaret.  Jake’s Orphan.  Y FIC Brooke
When taken from an orphanage to work on a farm in North Dakota in 1926, twelve-year-old Tree searches for a home not only for himself but also for his irrepressible younger brother.

Oklahoma
Hesse, Karen.  Out of the Dust.  Y FIC Hesse  // Y PB H  (SUMMER READING)
In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family’s wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl yearsof the Depression.

Pennsylvania
Anderson, Laurie Halse.  Fever, 1793.  Y FIC Anderson
In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

Lasky, Kathryn.  Beyond the Divide.  Y FIC Lasky
In 1849, a fourteen-year-old Amish girl defies convention by leaving her secure home in Pennsylvania to accompany her father across the continent by wagon train.

Wallace, Rich.  Playing Without the Ball.  Y FIC Wallace
Feeling abandoned by his parents, who have gone their separate ways and left him behind in a small Pennsylvania town, seventeen-year-old Jay finds hope for the future in a church-sponsored basketball team and a female friend.

Puerto Rico
Mohr, Nicholasa.  Felita.  J FIC Mohr
The everyday experiences of an eight-year-old Puerto Rican girl growing up in a close-knit, urban community.

South Caroline
McKinney-Whitaker, Courtney.  The Last Sister.  Y FIC McKinney-Whitaker
In 1759, after a band of fellow settlers fakes a Cherokee raid to conceal the murder of her family, seventeen-year-old Catriona “Catie” Blair embarks on a journey across rural South Carolina and through Cherokee territory to report the crime and bring the murderers to justice, while desperately seeking to regain her own sense of safety.

Tennessee
Kidd, Ronald.  Monkey Town: A Story of the Scopes Trial.  Y FIC Kidd
When her father hatches a plan to bring publicity to their small Tennessee town by arresting a local high school teacher for teaching about evolution, the resulting 1925 Scopes trial prompts fifteen-year-old Frances to rethink many of her beliefs about religion and truth, as well as her relationship with her father.

Texas
Holt, Kimberly Willis.  When Zachary Beaver Came to Town.  Y FIC Holt
During the summer of 1971 in a small Texas town, thirteen-year-old Toby and his best friend Cal meet the star of a sideshow act, 600-pound Zachary, the fattest boy in the world.

Nixon, Joan Lowery.  David’s Search.  Y FIC Nixon
After eleven-year-old orphan-train rider David Howard settles with a strict Texas farm family, his best friend, an ex-slave, is threatened by the growing presence of the Ku-Klux Klan.

Sachar, Louis.  Holes.  Y FIC Sachar/ Y PB S
As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Utah
Hobbs, Will.  The Maze.  Y FIC Hobbs
Rick, a fourteen-year-old foster child, escapes from a juvenile detention facility near Las Vegas and travels to Canyonlands National Park in Utah where he meets a bird biologist working on a project to reintroduce condors to the wild.

Vermont
Hurwitz, Johanna.  Faraway Summer.   J FIC Hurwitz
In the summer of 1910, Dossi, a poor Russian immigrant from the tenements of New York, spends two weeks with the Meade family on their Vermont farm, and all their lives are enriched by the experience.

West Virginia
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.  Shiloh.  J FIC Naylor / J PB N
When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog’s real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.

Rylant, Cynthia.  Missing May.  YPB R  //  Y FIC Rylant
After the death of the beloved aunt who has raised her, twelve-year-old Summer and her uncle Ob leave their West Virginia trailer in search of the strength to go on living.

Wisconsin
Brink, Carol Ryrie.  Caddie Woodlawn.  Y FIC Brink //  J PB B
The adventures of an eleven-year-old tomboy growing up on the Wisconsin frontier in the mid-nineteenth century.

Carter, Alden R.  Bull Catcher.  Y FIC Carter
Pete and Jeff continue their friendship and love of baseball as they progress from ninth grade through high school in their small Wisconsin town.

Clark, Catherine.  Wurst Case Scenario.  Y FIC Clark
Courtney, a vegetarian animal-rights activist, records in her diary the events of the beginning of her freshman year at a Wisconsin college, far away from Colorado and her boyfriend Grant, surrounded by cheese- and meat-lovers.

Wyoming
Paulsen, Gary.  The Haymeadow.  Y FIC Paulsen
Fourteen-year-old John comes of age and gains self-reliance during the summer he spends up in the Wyoming mountains tending his father’s herd of sheep.

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