Best YA Realistic Fiction for Teen Boys: 2010

Best Young Adult Literature for Boys: 2010

Many new Young Adult realistic fiction novels hit the shelves this last year. In 2010, both veteran and novice novelists turned out books written from a teen boy’s perspective. These novels dwell on issues that are of interest to young men, such as murder, abuse, adventure and mystery. Dark and honest, these coming-of-age stories will leave the reader contemplating what it means to become a man.

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Cardturner by Louis Sachar

Not too many teenagers play Bridge these days, but that didn’t stop Louis Sachar from writing an entire novel based around the game.

Though Alton Richards has never played the game of Bridge and knows nothing about it, he is thrown in the role of card turner for his ailing, blind uncle. His intentions, and those of his weasel-ly parents, are not all together altruistic. Alton’s uncle is also very wealthy and Alton’s parents would like very much to earn a chunk of his inheritance.

As Alton learns more about his uncle, the game and an interesting young woman who also plays, he cares less about the money and more about the life lessons that Bridge has to teach him.

Published May 2010

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Woodsrunner by Gary Paulsen

Life in the countryside during the Revolutionary War was hard enough without having to fear the encroaching war. Thirteen year old Samuel learns quickly just how difficult life can become when his parents go missing after an attack by British soldiers. Samuel quickly decides to do whatever is necessary to find his parents before it is too late.

Paulsen intersperses chapters in his story to provide insight into historical events surrounding the war. The reader is able to gain full perspective on the war while living it through the eyes of Samuel.

Paperback available January 11, 2011

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Half-Brother by Kenneth Oppel

It isn’t uncommon for a teenage boy to think his little brother’s a monkey, except in Ben’s case, when his brother really is one—a chimpanzee his parents have decided to bring home and raise as part of their family. Ben’s parents are conducting a social experiment to test the intelligence of chimpanzees. Only Ben is the one who feels like the experiment. He has to adjust to all of this, along with a new town, new school and a new perspective on family.

Published September 2010

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

Murder, mystery and motive all play a role in this novel told in two voices. Seventeen-year-old Neily is trying to solve the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Carly. Audrey, Carly’s cousin, is trying to prove her father’s innocence—her father was convicted of Carly’s death. The two work together trying to untangle the strange and scary circumstances surrounding the death of a young, innocent girl.

Published January 2010

All Unquiet Things is Anna Jarzab’s debut novel.

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Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

Not much good usually comes from hacking into computer systems, unless you are seventeen-year-old Sam, who’s hacking has caused him to be noticed by the federal government. Instead of punishing him for hacking into one of the most secure systems in the United States, they give him a job. Sam is recruited to help protect invaluable information from outside threats, and also figure out what good can come from such useful skills.

Brain Jack is a good pick for a teen who spends more time in front of the computer than sleeping, eating or doing much else.

Published in September 2010

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