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Not Your Average High School

Originally posted on Saturday, 22 August 2015 at ROPL.org.

It’s that time of year again — school’s starting soon. Before you hit the books, check one of these novels set in high schools. Some of these schools are so familiar they might seem like your own but some are, literally, out of this world. Science fiction, mystery, fantasy — you name and we’ve got it! Check out one of these titles — and if you want more? Ask a librarian!

Teen Novels Set in High School

Also Known as
By Benway, Robin
As the active-duty daughter of international spies, 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver never attended high school. When she and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, Maggie is introduced to cliques, school lunches, and maybe even a boyfriend.

The Real Real
By McLaughlin, Emma
Author Kraus, Nicola
This teen debut by the bestselling authors of ‘The Nanny Diaries’ takes a hilarious look at what happens when a regular girl is thrown into a whirlwind of reality TV as a popular television network uses her to find the ‘real’ Hampton Beach.

The Truth Commission
By Juby, Susan
Susan Juby’s ‘The Truth Commission’ knocked my socks off. You should read it Gayle Forman, best-selling author of ‘If I Stay’ Susan Juby is a marvel. Wise, witty, and full of heart, her writing draws you in and won’t let go. And just when you think it can’t get any better, it does.

Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders
By Herbach, Geoff
From ‘one of the most real, honest, and still funny male voices to come around in a while’ (‘YALSA’) comes a brand-new cast of quirky characters, pitting fat boy Gabe against the high school cheerleading team in a battle over control of the school’s soda machine. …More

Buzz Kill
By Fantaskey, Beth
In this fresh and funny mystery from the author of ‘Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, ‘ 17-year-old Millie joins forces with her classmate, gorgeous but mysterious Chase Albright, to try to find out who murdered Coach Killdare.

Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery
By Juby, Susan
Part comedy, part mystery, and with of all Juby’s trademark tongue-in-cheek humor, this new novel takes on one of the cruelest aspects of high school: how easy it is for an entire school to turn on someone–and how hard it can be to be the only one willing to fight back.

Hip-Hop High School
By Sitomer, Alan Lawrence
In this funny and inspiring hip-hop-flava’d sequel to ‘The Hoopster,’ Theresa Anderson takes on one of the baddest monsters of high school–the SAT.

By DeWoskin, Rachel
After a horrific fireworks accident on the Fourth of July leaves her blind, 14-year-old Emma eagerly starts high school the following fall as a sophomore. However, Emma finds that nearly everything in her life has changed and some of it is for the better.

The Sound of Letting Go
By Kehoe, Stasia Ward
For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution without consulting her Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad.

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak
By Katcher, Brian
Perfect for fans of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is Stonewall Award-winning author Brian Katcher’s hilarious he said/she said romance about two teens discovering themselves on an out-of-this-world accidental first date at a sci-fi convention.

By Waltman, Kevin
In Indiana, basketball is the next thing to religion. Especially for inner-city black kids like Derrick Bowen. He’s a 6’3′ freshman, lightning quick, and he can slam the rock. He wants to start at point guard for Marion High, but senior Nick Starks has that nailed down. Besides, the coach is old school. He thinks D-Bow needs to work on his game, his shot, and his attitude.

We All Looked Up
By Wallach, Tommy
Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
By Quintero, Isabel
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.

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me
By Zeitlin, Meredith
High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she’s devastated he’must’have anulterior motive.

Hate List
By Brown, Jennifer
After Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opens fire on their school cafeteria, Val is shot trying to stop him, but is implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. Now, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. A ‘School Library Journal’ Best Book of the Year.

The Vault of Dreamers
By O’Brien, Caragh M.
Rosie Sinclair attends an elite arts school where students are contestants on a high-stakes reality TV show. After she skips her sleeping pill one night, she discovers that the school is really a cover-up for the lucrative and sinister practice of dream harvesting.

Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials
By Wiseman, Rosalind
Looking for a new beginning after a terrible mean girl past, Charlie Healey realizes there’s no escaping high school drama, in this first novel for young adults by the author of ‘Queen Bees & Wannabes.’

Falling Into Place
By Zhang, Amy
One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz’s friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life. This riveting debut will appeal to fans of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, and 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.

Silent Alarm
By Banash, Jennifer
Alys’s whole world was comprised of the history project that was due, her upcoming violin audition, being held tightly in the arms of her boyfriend, Ben, and laughing with her best friend, Delilah. At least it was until she found herself on the wrong end of a shotgun in the school library.

The Walk on
By Feinstein, John
‘New York Times’-bestselling author Feinstein kicks off a new sports series. High-school freshman Alex Myers wins a spot on the varsity team as a quarterback. However, he may not play for two years since the first-string quarterback is a local heroNand the son of the corrupt head coach as well.

Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very
By Goldman, Arthur Steven
With a wickedly funny voice and a colorful cast of characters, Steven Goldman has written a novel for every reader–even those who ‘like’ high school …

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