The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
skip navigation

Librarians’ Choice 2002—Books for Teens


The Dungeon by Lynne Reid Banks

The Dungeon
Lynne Reid Banks
Fleeing bitter memories of a bloody feud, Scottish laird Bruce MacLennan travels to China. There, in a brief moment of compassion, he impulsively buys a young slave girl, Peony, though he treats her harshly. When he returns with her to Scotland, her friendship with a stable boy and her intervention in MacLennan’s plan for revenge lead to a grimly unexpected fate for all three.

Andrea Cheng
(also j fiction)
Though they live much like their Christian neighbors in Budapest, Marika’s family is Jewish. When Marika is young, the difference doesn’t seem to matter much. But as World War II approaches and Hungary is occupied by the Nazis, Marika must pose as a Catholic to survive. Cheng is a Cincinnati author, and her debut is based on her mother’s experiences in the 1930s and 1940s.

Dunk by David Lubar

David Lubar
“The bozo” at a New Jersey amusement park taunts passersby until they’ll pay to dunk him in a water tank. Shy Chad is fascinated by the man’s abrasively clever style and decides to become a bozo, too. There are certainly enough people he’d like to mouth off to with his life such a mess—his dad a deadbeat, his love life a joke, and his best friend dying.

Chill Wind
Janet McDonald
With no diploma, no skills, two kids, and her welfare benefits at an end, nineteen-year-old Aisha Ingram resorts to some wild and crazy solutions to her money problems. It takes some sobering results to make her realize that she is following in her alcoholic mother’s footsteps. Aisha needs some solutions as big and bold as she is to get out of this mess.

Sorceress by Celia Rees

Celia Rees
When she reads the seventeenth-century diary of Mary Newbury, Agnes Herne finds a link to herself—stories from her own Native American family tell of this white woman who settled with the Mohawks. Under the guidance of an aunt, Agnes has a vision quest that allows her to see Mary’s life of four hundred years ago. This is the sequel to Witch Child, but new readers will also enjoy it.


33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women’s History

33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women’s History: From Suffragettes to Skirt Lengths to the E.R.A
Edited by Tonya Bolden
305.40973 T447 2002
Even the most famous, successful women had to make it through their teenage years. Thirty-three women from diverse backgrounds share their advice on surviving life as a teenager and becoming a strong young woman.

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science
John Fleischman
362.197481 G133Zf 2002 (also j)
Working as a railroad construction foreman in 1848, Phineas Gage survived when an ill-planned dynamite shot a thirteen-pound iron rod through his brain. Gage lived for over a decade after the accident, and his amazing story changed brain science forever.

This Land Was Made for You and Me by Elizabeth Partridge

This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life & Songs of Woody Guthrie
Elizabeth Partridge
782.42162 G984 Zp 2002
Before Eminem, Elvis Presley or Bob Dylan, there was the original rebel of the music world—Woody Guthrie. Photographs, sketches and quotes from Guthrie make this a memorable biography of a legendary man.

911: The Book of Help
810.80358 N714 2002
This collection of twenty-five essays, stories, and poems from several teen authors, including Walter Dean Myers, Sharon Creech and Nikki Giovanni, offers a global perspective on the September 11 attacks. Many of the essays deal with anger and sadness, but the overall message is one of hope.

19 Varieties of Gazelle by Naomi Shihab Nye

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East
Naomi Shihab Nye
811.54 N994n 2002
Nye’s vivid collection of sixty poems, both old and new, celebrates her Middle Eastern heritage and her life as an Arab-American.

The Making of a Writer
Joan Lowery Nixon
813.54 N736Zn 2002
Combining stories about her life with writing advice, well-known author Joan Lowery Nixon helps readers realize that anyone can become a writer, or at least have fun reading about one.

Revenge of the Whale by Nat Philbrick

Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex
Nat Philbrick
910.9164 E78Zp2 2002
This is the story of the whaleship Essex, which sank in 1820 after being rammed by a large whale. Months later, the surviving young crewmen, starving, terrified, and sitting in a small boat with the bones of their dead companions, were rescued in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Left for Dead: A Young Man’s Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis
Peter Nelson
940.545973 I39zn 2002
Intrigued by a reference to the USS Indianapolis in the movie Jaws, eleven-year-old Hunter Scott begins a six-year research project to reveal the truth behind the terrible injustice done to the ship’s captain and crew.