Branch Out!

Looking for your next new read?  Want to BRANCH OUT and try a new genre?  Try out one of these lists:

Feel free to swing by the Teen Space to grab a bookmark for each list in your favorite (or new favorite) genres!booktree

Posted in Book List

Adventure Fiction

What is Adventure Fiction? by Jennifer Brannen (NoveList Plus)

Adventure fiction is all about the adrenaline rush, the vicarious thrill. It’s also about teen characters who learn the best about themselves in the worst possible circumstances. It’s about endurance, survival, and a certain wiliness and creative problem-solving. The adventure is often physical in nature and the physical setting of the book is therefore important. Survival stories are particularly popular, especially those set in the wilderness or at sea. Not surprisingly, historical settings are common because it can be easier to set up life or death situations in eras with more wild spaces and less technology. (Don’t underestimate the power of Mother Nature to throw a monkey wrench in modern technology though.)


Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi

Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi

Ernest Shackleton was one of the last great Antarctic explorers, and led one of the most ambitious Antarctic expeditions ever undertaken. This is his story, and the story of the men who threw in their lot with him – many of whom nearly died in the journey.



Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

When her father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers–and justice.



Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae CarsonWalk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Lee Westfall, a young woman with the ability to sense the presence of gold, must flee her home to avoid people who would abuse her powers.  When her best friend Jefferson heads out across America to stake his claim, she sets out on her own journey.



Seeker by Arwen DaytonSeeker by Arwen Dayton

After years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a Seeker, Quin Kincaid, fifteen, learns that she will be using the ancient artifacts and sacred knowledge as an assassin.



The Distance From Me to You by Marina GessnerThe Distance From Me to You by Marina Gessner

McKenna and her best friend planned for over a year to defer their freshman year of college to hike the Appalachian Trail all the way from Maine to Georgia.  When her friend backs out McKenna decides to embark alone on a journey that will change her life forever.



Reawakened by Colleen HouckReawakened by Colleen Houck

A visit to an Egyptian exhibit brings teen, Lilliana Young, face-to-face with a recently awakened mummy-turned-handsome-sun-god as she gets caught up in an adventure with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.



Taken by David MasseyTaken by David Massey

Rio Cruz and a crew of young disabled veterans are teamed up to sail around the world for charity–but when they are kidnapped by an psychotic African warlord and his band of child soldiers the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare journey into the African jungle.



One Piece by Eiichiro OdaOne Piece by Eiichiro Oda

Monkey D. Luffy, who can stretch his body like rubber, is searching for a treasure called One Piece that was hidden by the pirate Gold Roger. Legend says that whoever finds it becomes the king of pirates.



The Edge by Roland SmithThe Edge by Roland Smith

Peak Marcello is invited to participate in an “International Peace Ascent” in the Hindu Kush, with a team made up of young climbers from around the world.  When the group is attacked, Peak finds himself caught up in a struggle to survive, shadowed by the Shen, a mysterious snow leopard.



Diamond Boy by Michael Williams Diamond Boy by Michael Williams

When Patson’s family moves to Marange region of Zimbabwe, he begins working in the mines, searching for blood diamonds. But then government soldiers arrive and Patson is forced to journey to South Africa in search of his missing sister and a better life.


last updated: February 2016
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Christian Fiction

What is Christian Inspirational Fiction? by Jessica Zellers (NoveList Plus)

Christian inspirational fiction books are those which deliberately promote a Christian worldview. Some Christian inspirational fiction books explicitly encourage a belief in Jesus and Christian values, while others are more allegorical. Oftentimes the genre is simply called “Inspirational” or “Inspirational Fiction” (though these alternative phrases can refer to other religions, albeit infrequently).


Waterfall by Lisa Tawn BergrenWaterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds– until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.



Cloak of the Light by Chuck BlackCloak of the Light by Chuck Black

Since the age of twelve when his father died, Drew has been mentored by one of his father’s friends from Special Forces, and he must put his skills to use a few years later when he becomes involved in a war between realms.



Chosen by Ted DekkerChosen by Ted Dekker

As the land of the Forest Dwellers is increasingly decimated by the Horde, Thomas Hunter, supreme commander of the Forest Guard, choses four sixteen-year-old recruits for a special mission–to find the seven lost Books of History that have power over the past, present, and future.



Both of Me by Jonathan FriesenBoth of Me by Jonathan Friesen

When her carry-on bag is accidentally switched with Elias’s identical pack, Clara uses the luggage tag to track down her things. At that address she discovers there is not one Elias Phinn, but two.



An Uncertain Choice by Jody HedlundAn Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

Due to her parents’ promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, she finds out her parents’ will left a second choice — if Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.



If We Survive by Andrew KlavanIf We Survive by Andrew Klavan

When revolutionaries seize control of a country in Central America where sixteen-year-old Will is serving at a mission, he and the other volunteers find themselves in a desperate race to escape the violence and return home.



The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew KlavanThe Last Thing I Remember 
by Andrew Klavan

High school student Charlie West awakens bloody and bruised in a concrete bunker, only to discover that he has lost a year of his life and remembers nothing about escaping from prison, or why he is being pursued by both the law and a group of terrorists trying to bring down the government.



MindWar by Andrew KlavanMindWar by Andrew Klavan

Star quarterback, Rick Dial, is crippled due to a terrible accident, abandoned by his father, and now his only solace is video gaming.  However, he’s approached by secret agents to save the world from cyber attacks due to his on-field quick-thinking and expert gaming experience.



House of Dark Shadows by Robert LiparuloHouse of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo

When fifteen-year-old Xander and his family move into an old, abandoned house in the middle of a dense forest outside of a small California town, they discover that not only are some of the rooms portals into other places, but that malevolent forces are at work.



Anomaly by Krista McGeeAnomaly by Krista McGee

Living in a post-apocalyptic State that has eliminated emotions, Thalli is slated for annihilation by the Scientists when her secret that she is an anomaly becomes known.  But when she becomes their test subject, she learns that she may actually be part of a Creator’s greater design.


 last updated: February 2016
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Cli-Fi & Eco Fiction

Cli-Fi (or Climate Fiction) is a branch of literary writing that deals mainly with climate change, global warming, and/or weather-related catastrophes.  Traditionally, it used to be a sub-genre of post-apocalyptic dystopian stories, however, with the issue of global warming becoming more widely discussed and debated, it has become a more established separate genre of writing.

The nature (pun intended) of Eco Fiction is more broad in scope than Climate Fiction, in that it deals mainly with relationships between organisms (animals, plants, humans) and their environments.


The Islands at the End of the World by Austin AslanThe Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan

Stranded in Honolulu when a strange cloud causes a worldwide electronics failure, sixteen-year-old Leilani and her father must make their way home to Hilo amid escalating perils, including her severe epilepsy.



H20 by Virginia BerginH2O by Virginia Bergin

When a strange rain falls bearing a fatal, contagious disease, Ruby finds herself alone with the only drinkable water quickly running out.




After the Snow by S. D. CrockettAfter the Snow by S.D. Crockett

Fifteen-year-old Willo Blake, born after the 2059 snows that ushered in a new ice age, encounters outlaws, halfmen, and an abandoned girl as he journeys in search of his family, who mysteriously disappeared from the freezing mountain that was their home.



The Ward by Jordana FrankelThe Ward by Jordana Frankel

Set in a futuristic Manhattan after a catastrophic flood called the Wash Out, sixteen-year-old Ren must race against a conspiracy to find freshwater springs and a cure for the deadly disease that has stricken her sister and many others in the Ward.



Skink No Surrender by Carl HiaasenSkink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen

With the help of an eccentric ex-governor, a teenaged boy searches for his missing cousin in the Florida wilds.




Firestorm by David Klass Firestorm by David Klass

After learning that he has been sent from the future for a special purpose, eighteen-year-old Jack receives help from an unusual dog and a shape-shifting female fighter.




The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci LloydThe Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd

In 2015, when England becomes the first nation to introduce carbon dioxide rationing in a drastic bid to combat climate change, sixteen-year-old Laura documents the first year of rationing as her family spirals out of control.



Ashfall by Mike MullinAshfall by Mike Mullin

After the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano destroys his city and its surroundings, fifteen-year-old Alex must journey from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Illinois to find his parents and sister, trying to survive in a transformed landscape and a new society in which all the old rules of living have vanished.



Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth PfefferLife as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.




Threatened by Eliot Schrefer

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer

Luc is an orphan, living in debt slavery in Gabon, until he meets a Professor who claims to be studying chimpanzees, and they head off into the jungle–but when the Professor disappears, Luc has to fend for himself and join forces with the chimps to save their forest.


last updated: February 2016
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What is Dystopian Fiction? by Jennifer Hatch (NoveList Plus)

Derived from the Greek, dystopia means “bad or hard place,” and that’s the perfect nutshell description for the all-important settings of dystopian novels. To expand, the settings are imagined, usually futuristic societies where horrific things are happening. Most often, the source of the trouble is an oppressive government, corporation, or other powerful group.

A dystopia is the antithesis of a utopia, or ideal place, and the problems that create the dystopia are usually extrapolated from issues facing contemporary society. Dystopian novels are generally considered a subgenre of science fiction, though there are crossovers with other genres.


Red Queen by Victoria AveyardRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard

In a world divided by blood–those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities-Mare, a Red, discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess.



5 to 1 by Holly Bodger5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

In a dystopian future where gender selection has led to girls outnumbering boys 5 to 1, marriage is arranged based on a series of tests. It’s Sudasa’s turn to pick a husband through this ‘fair’ method, but she’s not sure she wants to be a part of it.



The Scorpion Rules by Erin BowThe Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

The teenage princess of a future-world Canadian superpower, where royal children are held hostage to keep their countries from waging war, falls in love with an American prince who rebels against the brutal rules governing their existences.



The Darkest Minds by Alexandra BrackenThe Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Sixteen-year-old Ruby breaks out of a government-run ‘rehabilitation camp’ for teens who acquired dangerous powers after surviving a virus that wiped out most American children.





Ink and Bone by Rachel CaineInk and Bone by Rachel Caine

In a world where the Great Library of Alexandria governs the flow of information to the people, Jess discovers that those who control the Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than human life after his friend inadvertently commits heresy.



Stone Rider by David HofmeyrStone Rider by David Hofmeyr

A young man who seeks revenge and redemption from his past joins a brutal race to win a chance to escape his dying world.




Hunter by Mercedes LackeyHunter by Mercedes Lackey

A teenage girl leaves home to join the legendary Hunters, who protect the people from the terrifying monsters that have overrun their world.




Reboot by Amy TinteraReboot by Amy Tintera

Seventeen-year-old Wren rises from the dead as a Reboot and is trained as an elite crime-fighting soldier until she is given an order she refuses to follow.




Y the Last Man by Brian K. VaughanY: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan

A plague suddenly kills every mammal and cell on earth with a Y chromosome except, inexplicably, a man named Yorick. Y’s escape artist talents come in handy as various groups try to kill him, protect him, study him, or use him for purposes he cannot even imagine.



The Young World by Chris WeitzThe Young World by Chris Weitz

Jefferson, with his childhood friend Donna, leads a tribe of teenagers in New York City on a dangerous quest to find an antidote for a mysterious illness that wiped out all adults and children.


last updated: February 2016
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Fantasy Fiction

What is Fantasy? by Linda Sawyer (NoveList Plus)

Fantasy books feature fantastical creatures and persons who possess magical powers and exist in an imaginary world that cannot exist.  One of the most important aspects of fantasy is that the plot must be rooted in magic or enchantment. When fantasy authors invent imaginary yet believable worlds where their stories take place, they create this world and all the rules of it, but they must be sure to stay consistent in the presentation of this world.


Six of Crows by Leigh BardugoSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction–if they don’t kill each other first.




The Girl at Midnight by Melissa GreyThe Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

A girl who’s adopted and raised by a race of creatures with feathers for hair and magic in their veins becomes involved in an ancient war and a centuries-old love, discovering startling truths about the world she lives in.



The Story of Owen by E. K. JohnstonThe Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston

In an alternate world where industrialization has caused many species of carbon-eating dragons to thrive, Owen, a slayer being trained by his famous father and aunt, and Siobahn, his bard, face a dragon infestation near their small town in Canada.



Fairy Tail by Hiro MashimaFairy Tail by Hiro Mashima

Small-town wizard Lucy would love to join Fairy Tail, a guild for powerful wizards, but instead finds herself teaming up with Natsu, a crazy fire wizard whose best friend is a talking, flying cat named Happy.



Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose OlderShadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

When the murals painted on the walls of her Brooklyn neighborhood start to change and fade in front of her, Sierra Santiago realizes that something strange is going on–then she discovers her Puerto Rican family are shadowshapers and finds herself in a battle with an evil anthropologist for the lives of her family and friends.



Torn by Erica O'RourkeTorn by Erica O’Rourke

When Mo witnesses her best friend’s murder, she discovers Verity was hiding things she never could have guessed. To find the answers she needs and the vengeance she craves, Mo-quiet, ordinary, unmagical Mo-will have to enter a world of raw magic and shifting alliances.



The Winner's Curse by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

An aristocratic girl who is a member of a warmongering and enslaving empire purchases a slave, an act that sets in motion a rebellion that might overthrow her world as well as her heart.




The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Though she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent’s only gift seems to be that she makes other people’s talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, she discovers that he has talents of his own–and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.



The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa StrayhornThe Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn

Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert and when they participate in a ritual to trade totems as a symbol of shedding and adopting one another’s sorrows, they think it is only an exercise, but in the morning they wake to find their burdens gone and replaced with someone else’s.



SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian TamakiSuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki

SuperMutant Magic Academy is a prep-school for mutants and witches but their paranormal abilities take a back seat to everyday teen concerns. Science experiments go awry, bake sales are upstaged, and the new kid at school is a cat who will determine the course of human destiny.


last updated: February 2016
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Historical Fiction

What is Historical Fiction? by Susan Fichtelberg (NoveList Plus)

Historical fiction encompasses any novel specifically set in the past. While there is some debate about how far in the past, it is generally accepted that the story needs to take place at least 25 years prior to the date of publication. The genre includes novels where the setting is historical and the characters are all fictional, as well as those in which some of the characters are actual historical figures. Good historical fiction accurately represents the time period with authentic details, language, perceptions, and actions.


The Trouble in Me by Jack GantosThe Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos

In his family’s new rental homein sun-beaten Miami — with dog-eating alligators in the canal out back, a dangerously attractive girl across the road, and the unhinged Pagoda family next door — fourteen-year-old Jack is adrift, losing a sense of who he is and what he’s all about.



Razorhurst by Justine LarbalestierRazorhurst by Justine Larbalestier

In 1932, in Sydney’s deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, where crime and razor-wielding men rule, two girls with contrasting lives who share the ability to see ghosts meet over a dead body and find themselves on the run from mob bosses.



Under a Painted Sky by Stacey LeeUnder a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

In 1845, Sammy, a Chinese American girl, and Annamae, an African American slave girl, disguise themselves as boys and travel on the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri.




Juba! by Walter Dean MyersJuba! by Walter Dean Myers

In Five Points, New York, in the 1840s, African American teenager William Henry “Juba” Lane works hard to achieve his dream of becoming a professional dancer but his real break comes when he is invited to perform in England.



Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.



The Hired Girl by Laura Amy SchlitzThe Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself–because maybe, just maybe, a hired girl cleaning and cooking for six dollars a week can become what a farm girl could only dream of–a woman with a future.



X by Ilyasah ShabazzX: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz

X follows Malcolm Little from his tumultuous childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.



Black Butler by Yana TobosoBlack Butler by Yana Toboso

Just a stone’s throw from London lies the manor house of the illustrious Phantomhive earldom and its master, one Ciel Phantomhive. Fortunately, his loyal butler, Sebastian, is ever at his side, ready to carry out the young master’s wishes.



Paper Hearts by Meg WiviottPaper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

1944 Aushwitz, Zlatka risks death just to make  her best friend, Fania, an origami heart birthday card.  Fania knew what that heart meant, for herself and all the other girls. And she kept it hidden, through the bitter days in the camp and through the death marches.



Boxers by Gene Luen YangBoxers by Gene Luen Yang

In China in 1898 bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants. Little Bao has had enough: harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers–commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from “foreign devils.”


last updated: February 2016
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