Little Brother by Corey Doctorow
Marcus, a.k.a "w1n5t0n," is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works-and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school's intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.
But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they're mercilessly interrogated for days. When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.
Realistic Fiction, Science Fiction genre
Stuffed by Eric Walters
When Ian and his classmates watch a documentary about the health concerns of eating fast food, Ian decides to start a boycott and stop everyone he can from eating at Frankie's, a huge fast-food chain with a questionable menu. The boycott takes off and Frankie's gets concerned. The company's lawyers threaten Ian and his friends and try to force them to stop the boycott. Ian must convince others that the boycott is a good idea. Can Ian stand up for what he believes in? Can you take on a corporate behemoth and win?
General Fiction genre
JUVENILE READER (5th grade and up)
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck--which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family in this winner of the National Book Award by Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata. Summer knows that kouun means "good luck" in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan--right before harvest season. Summer and her little brother are left in the care of their grandparents -- Obaachan and Jiichan -- who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills. The thing about Obaachan and Jiichan is that they are old-fashioned and demanding, and between helping Obaachan cook for the workers, covering for her when her back pain worsens, and worrying about her lonely little brother, Summer just barely has time to notice the attentions of their boss's cute son. But notice she does, and what begins as a welcome distraction from the hard work soon turns into a mess of its own. Having thoroughly disappointed her grandmother, Summer figures the bad luck must be finished--but then it gets worse. And when that happens, Summer has to figure out how to change it herself, even if it means further displeasing Obaachan. Because it might be the only way to save her family. Cynthia Kadohata's ode to the breadbasket of America has received numerous "best of" lists for 2013.
Realistic Fiction genre
Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson and illustrated by Mary Azarian
“Summer is all about abundance: fruit stands beside the road, fields full of pick-your-own produce, and farmers markets — not to mention the bounty of backyard gardens. Lucky the child who lives near open land. But many children, accustomed only to the weekly slog though the aisles of an air-conditioned supermarket, may be unaware of the invisible army of people whose efforts made those mounds of melons, bins of beans and jars of honey appear in their shopping carts. From truck drivers to migrant workers to fishermen, Pat Brisson’s gently cadenced rhyming text pays grateful homage to all those who contribute their work along the way. ‘As we sit around this table/ let’s give thanks as we are able/ to all the folks we’ll never meet/ who helped provide this food we eat.’
Caldecott Medal-winner Mary Azarian’s hand-colored woodblock prints, as straightforward and sturdy as hooked rugs or pieced quilts, form the perfect accompaniment to this secular grace. Varying from homey interiors to the restless shimmer of a vast, nearly empty sea lapping against the sides of a lobster boat, the bold black outlines and rich colors form an irresistible tapestry of sights, smells and sounds…”
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard. The Washington Post. August 12, 2014