The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
skip navigation

Just for Teens: the YA Collections

In the library's Young Adult collections, you'll find a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction written for teens. Some of the books will be more interesting to younger teens, some to older teens, so look around or ask a librarian for recommendations.

For more suggestions, take a look at some of the booklists of recommended titles we publish. The annual fiction and non-fiction "Great Books for Teens" lists are available on our webpage. Ask at your library for other subject lists, like "Horror Fiction for Teens", "American Historical Fiction for Young Adults", "If You Liked Harry Potter, Try These", and more.

YA Fiction

In YA fiction, you'll find

Since the theme for Teen Read Week 2001 is, "Make Reading a Hobbit" we have chosen some recent fantasy titles from the Library's young adult fiction collections for you to try.

The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold
Francesca Lia Block
This is a recasting of traditional fairy tales into modern garb. The stories lose none of their timeless elements while dealing with such contemporary themes as emotional problems and abuse.

Timon's Tide
Charles Butler
Six years after the mysterious drowning of his brother, Timon, sixteen-year-old Daniel is part of a new, blended family. But Timon's angry ghost won't leave Daniel or the family alone. Daniel tries to discover why in this disquieting tale of a troubled family.

Aria of the Sea
Dia Calhoun
Having tragically failed to heal her mother, thirteen-year-old Cerinthe decides to follow her mother's dream of becoming a dancer. But she quickly makes an enemy of the star pupil at the royal ballet school. Cerinthe must decide between her mother's dream and her own calling as a healer.

Fire Bringer
David Clement-Davies
Young buck Rannoch, marked by an oak leaf on his brow, struggles with his destiny to save his herd from the clutches of the power-hungry Sgorr. This is a masterpiece of animal fantasy with a strong conservation message.

The Power of Un
Nancy Etchemendy
A mysterious stranger gives Gib an Unner, a magical device that will allow him to go back to undo the past. Gib tries to undo the accident in which his sister was badly hurt, but learns that every act has consequences, and that changing the future may require more from him.

Goddess of the Night
Lynn Ewing
L.A. high school students and best friends Vanessa and Catty have always had special powers: Vanessa can become invisible; Catty can time travel. When Catty is kidnapped by the evil forces of Atrox, Vanessa must join with other Daughters of the Moon to rescue her.

Before Wings: A Novel
Beth Goobie
To escape her fears and her parents' concern after her potentially fatal aneurysm, Adrian spends the summer at a camp run by her aunt. Gradually she realizes that her aunt's life is haunted, too--five little girls in the photograph on her aunt's desk may be the spirits Adrian sees out on the lake.

Margaret Peterson Haddix
In 2001, centenarians Melly and Amy took an anti-aging drug, lured by the prospect of being young forever. Now, in 2085, as teens again, they face the prospect of becoming helpless children and must count on Amy's great-great-great-granddaughter for help. Haddix deals with complex questions in a very human story.

The Grave
James Heneghan
Thirteen-year-old Tom, an abused foster child, falls through a construction hole and is transported to the potato famine in 1847 Ireland. He finds eerie connections between his own life and the past in this compelling adventure. The story was inspired by a real mass grave uncovered at an English schoolground.

Anita Horrocks
Chris and Stacie love the lakeside cabin their father has inherited, but their father isn't happy there. He had a brother, Topher, who drowned there as a child. Visions begin to haunt Stacie, and it's clear that there was something strange about Topher's death--something that may endanger them, too.

The Dark Portal: Book One of the Deptford Mice Trilogy
Robin Jarvis
A society of mice in an old house live in fear of the rats beyond the basement Grill. Yet something draws Albert Brown there. With the cryptic guidance of some prophetic bats, several young mice must try to rescue him from the rats and their evil lord, Jupiter.

Year of the Griffin
Diana Wynne Jones
Elda, one of the griffin children of the wizard Derk, is now a student at the Wizard University. She and her classmates are eager to develop their magical talents, but the university is in trouble. This sequel to Dark Lord of Derkholm is a delightfully humorous fantasy adventure.

Donna Jo Napoli
The Beast's side of the story of Beauty and the Beast is revealed in this telling of the tale, gloriously detailed with Persian myth and literature. A fairy places a curse on Orasmyn, turning him into a lion when his cockiness irritates her. It takes a beauty who can see past his beastliness to free him.

Jade Green: A Ghost Story
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Recently orphaned Judith is glad to be offered a home in her uncle's house but disobeys his order to bring nothing green there. Her action releases the ghost of Jade Green--or at least a ghostly, disembodied hand--bringing danger to them all in this very creepy tale.

The Wind Singer: An Adventure
William Nicholson
When her baby sister fails the first test that will determine her place in Amaranth's rigid society, Kestrel decides that she can't live there any longer. An old man tells her that she may be the chosen one who will free the city from its fate--if she can find the long-lost voice of the wind singer.

The White Fox Chronicles: Escape; Return; Breakout
Gary Paulsen
In a near-future world, the Confederation of Consolidated Republics controls the U.S., interning many of its citizens in camps. Fourteen-year-old Cody helps a captured rebel pilot escape and, as the now-legendary leader, the White Fox, leads a return raid to rescue the children there.

The Last Book in the Universe
W. Rodman Philbrick
In a grim world after the Big Shake, Spaz is lucky to be tolerated by one of the gang lords who rule the streets. So he cooperates when he is told to rob an old man. Ryter freely gives him all his belongings except the mysterious "book" he is writing--which, Spaz learns, may be the most valuable thing of all.

The Sterkarm Handshake
Susan Price
A twenty-first-century corporation plans to take over the assets of sixteenth-century England and Scotland. But the Sterkarm clan rules the border with unexpected cunning and ferocity. Young corporate employee Andrea has to choose between her Sterkarm betrothed and her ideals when violence erupts.

The Great Good Thing: A Novel
Roderick Townley
Sylvie and her family are characters in an old storybook. When Claire opens the book, Sylvie jumps at the chance to imagine life outside the confines of her story, living anew in Claire's dreams. This is a magical tribute to the bond that forms between reader and book.

Boots and the Seven Leaguers: A Rock-and-Troll Novel
Jane Yolen
Teen troll Gog desperately wants to see the band Boots and the Seven Leaguers. With a little trickery, he and his friend manage to get jobs as roadies in exchange for admission. But while they're toting amplifiers, someone kidnaps Gog's little brother. Can Gog rescue him and still see the show?

YA Non-fiction

In YA non-fiction, you'll find

So it's not all fantasy in the YA collection. If you want a little real-world information, try a few titles like these.

Stories for a Teen's Heart, Book 2
compiled by Alice Gray
242.63 S884t 2001 YA
If you need a little inspiration, try this anthology collected with the help of other teens.

The Real Rules for Girls
Mindy Morgenstern
305.23 H851 1999 YA
Morgenstern offers some straight and sassy advice on real-life issues for girls.

Teens on Trial: Young People Who Challenged the Law--and Changed Your Life
Thomas A. Jacobs
346.730135 J17t 2000 YA
These are the stories of twenty-one teenagers with the determination and courage to seek justice for themselves and others.

Catch the Spirit: Teen Volunteers Tell How They Made a Difference: Stories of Inspiration from 20 Remarkable Recipients of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award
Susan K. Perry
361.370973 P465 2000 YA
Anyone who doubts that teens can make a difference should read the stories of these volunteers.

School Dress Codes: A Pro/Con Issue
Barbara C. Cruz
371.8 C957 2001 YA
This is part of a series that examines both sides of several issues of current public debate.

How to Get a Job If You're a Teenager
Cindy Pervola
650.140835 qP471 2000 YA
This is a short, well-organized book that even experienced job-hunters may find helpful.

Keith Willard
797.51 qS693 2001 YA
From a historical survey of the earliest flights to explanations of techniques and equipment, Willard describes the sport of ballooning. It's a good start for those curious about the sport.

Wounded Knee
Neil Waldman
973.86 qW164 2001 YA
This book begins with a heartrending description of the 1890 massacre of the Lakota Sioux by the U.S. Army at Wounded Knee and backtracks to explore the clash of cultures that led to the incident.