“Positive: A Memoir” by Paige Rawl
Paige Rawl had been HIV positive since birth. Growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. This is her story of how she overcame her bullies, one of which was her best friend, and how she became the person she is today.
“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
In all honesty, I would have never read this book if it wasn’t a requirement in my high school English class. This is about a group of ordinary boys who become shipwrecked on a desert island with no adults. While it begins that this is all fun and games, it turns into a nightmare where the boys become divided and fight for their lives not only against their surroundings, but from each other, a brutal portrayal of human nature.
“The Giver” by Lois Lowry
This is a novel set into the future where a utopia is the only answer to staying alive. Follow Jonas, the receiver of memory, as he receives the ability to see beyond what his rulers see fit. What will happen when he receives these memories and what happens when he doesn’t obey the rules?
“The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton
Yet another book I was forced to read in high school and fell in love with. When there are only two types of people in the world, “greasers” and “soc” (social), there is a great division. Similar to having two rival gangs, fights arise, a murder takes place, and guilt sets in. Read to see how this guilt sits on a person whether it is his “gang” or not.
“A Child Called ‘It’” by Dave Pelzer
An autobiography of the rough childhood endured by Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten by his alcoholic mother and enjoyed playing “games” that put his life at stake. Follow how he survives and plays into his mother’s “games” as his only way to survive.
“Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson
After calling the cops on an end-of-summer party, Melinda loses her old friends and people she doesn’t even know hates her from a distance. While she tries to just stay at a distance, her head isn’t safe either. Read about the battle Melinda faces, which is similar to what many teens in today’s world face.
“The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom
When a tragic accident at work kills Eddie, he awakens in the afterlife to find that it isn’t a destination, but an answer. There he goes through his life from young age to the age of his death, meeting someone who might have largely impacted his life or may have just been in the background of his “meaningless” life. This novel answers the question “Why was I here?” and the significance of how you can impact many others in your life.
“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
When Hazel, a cancer patient, is about to give up with her treatments, something unimaginable happens. At a support group, she meets fellow cancer patient Augustus, who she doesn’t know will have a large impact on her life. It’s not just another cancer book, it’s more than that.