Teen Read Week - Read Beyond Reality
“Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible.”
– Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone
Science fiction – Grades 6-8
The White Mountains by John Christopher
Long ago, the Tripods – huge, three-legged machines – descended upon Earth and took
control. People unquestioningly accept the Tripods’ power and become slaves after their
childhoods are over. Will still has time to escape. Can he do it before his childhood ends?
Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl
Elana, a member of an interstellar civilization, is on a mission to a medieval planet and
becomes the key to a dangerous plan to turn back an invasion. How can she help the
Andrecians without revealing her own alien powers? At the same time, Georyn, the son of an
Andrecian woodcutter, knows only that there is a dragon in the enchanted forest, and he must
defeat it. He sees Elana as an enchantress from the stars who came to test him.
Warchild by Karin Lowachee
Eight-year-old Jos Musey’s childhood ends when his parents’ merchant ship falls prey to
pirates and slavers. Destined to be the personal slave of his captors, Jos escapes only to
find himself a prisoner of the Strits, an alien race at war with humanity. Trained as a spy
by his captors, Jos is released to become a human weapon, but the war he fights is a war to
achieve his own destiny.
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
Fourteen-year-old Alex discovers that his uncle was not the bank vice-president he
purported to be, but rather a spy for the British government. Now the government wants
Alex to take over his uncle’s mission: investigating Sayle Enterprises, the makers of a
revolutionary computer called Stormbreaker. Posing as a teenage computer whiz who’s won a
Stormbreaker promotional contest, Alex enters the factory with futuristic gadgets and
immediately finds clues from his uncle. Will Alex find his uncle’s killer or be killed
Jumping off the Planet by David Gerrold
A dizzying orbital elevator system running on magnetic induction called the Beanstalk
brings Earth dwellers to the moon, planets and stars. Journey the increasingly civilized
galaxy with 13-year-old Charles, whose father kidnapped him and his brothers after their
parents’ messy divorce, using the Beanstalk as their escape vehicle. As the brothers ride
the Beanstalk between the festering Earth, teeming with crazies and plagues, and the
burgeoning new off-world societies, Charles learns about life and about himself.
Virtual War by Gloria Skurzynski
Fourteen-year-old Corgan was genetically engineered to be the fastest player on any
electronic playing field. Every second counts, too, because Corgan is preparing for the big
war: a bloodless, electronic battle to be waged against other doomed worlds. On the eve of
the battle, he decides to break the Council’s rules for the first time. Do the Council
members really know what’s best for Earth? Corgan needs to determine what’s right and wrong
himself, because everyone on the planet will be affected by his decisions.
Science fiction – Grades 9-12
Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess
Post-apocalyptic London is populated by half-men that are slave-composites of people and
animals, achieved through genetic engineering, and humans that are prejudiced, power-hungry
rulers, crippled by economic depression. Two warring human gangs have dominated the city for
years and now attempt to unite by marrying 14-year-old Signy to King Conor of the opposing crew.
Treachery ensues, and innocent Signy soon becomes a vengeful deceiver.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag lives in the future and is a book-burning fireman. His wife spends all day with her
TV “family.” Their dull, empty life sharply contrasts with that of his next-door neighbor
Clarisse, a young girl thrilled by the ideas in books and is more interested in what she can
see in the world around her than in the mindless chatter of the television. When Clarisse
disappears mysteriously, Guy is moved to make some drastic changes in his life and in the
society where he lives.
The Winds of Mars by H.M. Hoover
As one of many children of the president of Mars, Annalyn has been raised to take her place
among the ruling class. But Annalyn gradually becomes aware that Mars’s commoners are unfairly
treated and that her own father will kill anyone – including her – who threatens his interests.
Annalyn then becomes entrenched in a battle for control of Mars between her fellow citizens and
her vicious relatives.
Star Split by Kathryn Lasky
It is the year 3028. Thirteen-year-old Darci lives in a society where gene research has reached
such heights that terminal diseases no longer exist and celebrated scientists and artists are
chosen for “umbellation,” or cloning, so that their great brains can live on forever. Darci’s
life takes an unexpected turn, however, when she runs into a clone of herself, living evidence
that her parents must have committed the capital crime of “duplication,” and leaving her to
ponder the meaning behind a long-extinct word: soul.
Shade’s Children by Garth Nix
In this brutal world, your 14th birthday is your last. Malevolent Overlords rule the earth,
directing hideous, humanoid creatures to harvest the brains and muscles of teens for use in
engineering foul beasts to fight senseless wars. Young Gold-Eye escapes this horrific fate,
fleeing the dormitories before his morbid birthday. He finds refuge on an abandoned submarine
working for Shade, a strange, computer-generated adult with other child escapees. Soon,
Gold-Eye and his new friends decide to set out and destroy the Overlords.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Arthur Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the
planet to build a freeway. Join Arthur and his fearless friend Ford Prefect as they travel the
galaxy, getting into horrible messes and wreaking hilarious havoc.
Fantasy – Grades 6-8
Devil’s Race by Avi
Sixteen-year-old John Proud discovers a dark secret while researching his family’s history for
a school project. He finds that his ancestral namesake was hanged in 1854 after admitting to
being a demon. John finds himself battling his ancestor who is trying to use him for an evil
purpose. He will soon find out that he must be careful what he wishes for because such wishes
can become reality. To defeat this demon, however, John must first face the evil within himself.
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the
Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. She leads a normal, boring life until the
night she is kidnapped by a Hillfolk king named Corlath. Harry doesn’t know the Hillfolk
language or even why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. She is to be trained in the art
of war until she is no match for any foe. Will she accept her fate?
The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O’Shea
Set in the west of Ireland, this fantastic tale tells of the coming of a great queen who is
bent on bringing chaos and destruction to the world. Only Pidge and Brigit can stop her and
their task seems impossible as they’re constantly trailed by the queen’s hounds. But they’re
aided in their quest by a host of willing helpers. Will Pidge and Brigit finally bring peace to
this crumbling world?
The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
Twelve-year-old Addie admires her older sister Meryl, who aspires to rid the kingdom of Bamarre
from gryphons, specters and ogres. Addie, on the other hand, is fearful of even the tinniest of
spiders and depends on Meryl for protection. When Meryl falls ill with the Gray Death, Addie
must gather all her might and courage to set out on a quest – alone – to find a cure for her
The Storyteller’s Daughter by Cameron Dokey
When betrayed by his queen, Shahrayar’s heart turns coldly to stone. He vows to take a new wife
once each month, at the full moon, but to keep her only one night, killing her in the morning.
Shahrazad, the 17-year-old blind daughter of the king’s vizier, and Maju, a blind storyteller,
concoct a plan to reach the king’s heart. Shahrazad will begin a story each night that will not
be finished in the morning. Will their plan lead to a happy ending?
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Alanna knows she isn’t meant to become a proper lady cloistered in a convent. Instead, she
wants to be a great female knight. But in the land of Tortall, women aren’t allowed to train as
warriors. So Alanna switches places with her twin, Thom, and takes his place as a knight in
training at the palace of King Roald. Disguising herself as a boy, Alanna begins her training
as a page in the royal court. Can Alanna fulfill her destiny while keeping her gender a secret?
Fantasy – Grades 9-12
The China Garden by Liz Berry
Seventeen-year-old Clare relaxes at Ravensmere, an old English country estate before she
enters university. Clare makes friends and enemies, sees ghostly visions, learns of past
Ravensmere women and discovers her strange, supernatural role in preserving its future.
Look for me by Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn
Sixteen-year-old Cynda has trepidations about moving in with her estranged father and his much
younger wife at the Maine inn that they run even before she hears that it’s haunted, ostensibly
by the ghost of a young woman murdered some 60 years ago. Soon after her arrival, Victor
Morthanos checks in for a month-long stay. Cynda’s five-year-old half-brother, Todd, hates him
instantly, but Cynda just as quickly falls in love. By the time Cynda figures out that Victor
is a vampire and the murderer of the ghostly girl, she and Todd are well on the way to becoming
Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
One quiet afternoon a wise storyteller named Wolf appears on a quiet farm and tells Garion that
he and his aunt must leave the only home they have ever known. They are thrown into a dark and
unfamiliar land, embarking on an extraordinary quest to stop a reawakened evil from devouring
all that is good.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Sparrowhawk is a reckless and awkward boy. However, he transforms into a brave and gallant young
man when he discovers his true name. Great challenges await Sparrowhawk, including an almost
deadly battle with a sinister creature, a monster that may be his own shadow.
Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
To the nobles who live in Ruatha, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her
life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. The time
has come, however, for Lessa to shed her disguise and take back her stolen birthright. But
everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will protect them when
Lessa’s world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys
everything it touches. Now, brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon,
to save the world from destruction.
The Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey
Tarma witnessed her clan’s murder and swearing vengeance, became a master warrior. Kethry fleed
her forced marriage and became a skilled wizard. When Kethry obtains a magical sword which draws
her to others in need, the two vow to avenge the wrongs done to womanhood. Bound by oath to each
other and to their goddess, Tarma and Kethry begin a joint career as mercenaries in the constant
struggle for justice in a land where demons come in human – and not-so-human – forms.