Teens recommend…TCC book selections from February

Here are the picks from February’s Teen Collection Connection (TCC) meeting! Check out the reviews, and find the recommended TCC books in our catalog

Aarnav J. recommends:

"Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You" by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

“Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Great book which gives insight to modern things from a view of the past. Written in a way which makes you never want to stop reading it. Shows how racism still exists today and why it still exists today. It shows as to how it was created and revolutionized to be so lethal. Overall, amazing book.

Annabelle G. recommends:

“The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert
Rating: 4.2/5 stars

I love this book because it takes a different approach to fairy tales. In this novel, Alice Prosperine and her mother always seem to be traveling to stay away from the creatures created by her grandmother’s fairy tale book. As Alice begins to discover more about her late grandmother with the help of a classmate, as well as trying to find her missing mother, she begins to find out more about the not so fictional world her grandmother created.

“Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys
Rating: 4.8/5 stars

We have all learned about the atrocities faced by many groups during World War 2. The novel is about what happened to the Baltic region of Europe after Stalin’s takeover. Sepetys conducted a lot of research to bring readers a historical fiction novel about a young Lithuanian girl and her experience in the Gulag. I would definitely recommend this novel to people who enjoy history.


Emma S. recommends:

“Ignite Me” by Tahereh Mafi
Rating: 5/5 stars

Throughout this series we have followed Juliette. There are other books in this series but this is the last one from Juliette´s perspective. I enjoyed this book and it was a great wrap up for the series. Overall I would recommend this book series.

“Life As We Knew It” by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Rating: 5/5 stars

I enjoyed this book very much. It was a very well written book. It is very surreal, relating to what is happening present day. In this book the author writes as if she is writing in her diary. This is a 4 book series. In this book the character and her family as well as everyone else in the world go through a huge change as an asteroid hits the moon and changes life on earth.


Isa B. recommends:

“Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan
Rating: 5/5 stars

I would give this book 5 stars. It is an amazing and intricate book that I would probably recommend people above the age of 10 to read. This book really gives insight into different cultures and even smaller differences with people who were born in different countries but kind of grew up to have  similar aspirations.

“Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You”  by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Rating: 5/5 stars

I would rate this 5 stars. It is the history not talked about. Beautifully written and engaging, these authors have truly read between the lines to bring forth history neglected in regular history classes.


Lilah A. recommends:

“Fish in a Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Rating: 5/5 stars

Fish in a Tree is about a girl named Ally who struggles with dyslexia, bullies, and no friends. When her old teacher leaves, she awaits a new one. Her new teacher is different, he understands her. Though her troubles don’t end there. Shay and Jessica, two girls who have hearts of stone, also come along to make her life challenging. Can Ally make friends, learn to read, and overcome her fears to stand up to Shay and Jessica?

“Roll With It” by Jamie Sumner
Rating: 5/5 stars

Ellie has Cerebral Palsy and has a passion for baking. As she struggles to fit in, she focuses on an upcoming pie contest. Can she win the contest, help her grandpa and fit in before summer?

Maddi S. recommends:

“Legacy” by Shannon Messenger
Rating : 4.7/5 stars 

This is the 8th book in the series, but it’s still as thrilling and well written as the first. It follows Sophie Foster and her friends. Without spoiling too much, it’s a shocking rollercoaster read that continues on the story of Sophie being a very special and unique elf, and how her and her friends must try to save the world. 

“The Unexpected Everything” by Morgan Matson
Rating 7/5 stars

I adore this book, it’s so good. It’s a realistic fiction about Andie and how her perfectly planned summer turns upside down, becomes the best thing that happened to her. Romance, Friendship, Dogs, and Drama, This book has its all. As well as being one of my favorite books, it’s well written and tugs at your heartstrings, with a bittersweet undertone. I really recommend reading it as soon as possible.

“Wolf 359” by Kinda Evil Genius Productions (podcast)
Rating : 1000/5 stars 

Forewarning I got very invested  and emotionally attracted to the characters. Its a Sci-Fi fiction podcast about the crew of the hephaestus station that orbits the star Wolf 359, 7 lightyears from Earth. Following the comms officer Doug Eiffel’s logs and recordings about daily life and events aboard the station, and the drama between the crewmates. Such a good listen and highly recommend.

Robert S. recommends:

“Chasing Redbird” by Sharon Creech
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Chasing Redbird” is a beautiful book about independence and acceptance. It follows Zinnia Taylor, who is part of a big family, and who wants to finally have her own life. Zinnia discovers a trail in her backyard, and takes up the task of clearing it. The story portrays determination in such a great way and, if anybody has read “Walk Two Moons” also by Sharon Creech, this book subtly and gorgeously mentions characters from that book.

“The Swiss Family Robinson” by Johann David Wyss
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

The Swiss Family Robinson” can be a little bit confusing at times, (of course, it’s a classic) but the way that the author shows the family’s creativity and ingenuity is so refreshing and different. I would definitely recommend this book to anybody a little tired of stereotypical and cliche stories.

RJ recommends:

“The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: 5/5

Unlike anything I’ve ever read, The Scorpio Races captures a world of bloodthirsty water horses and eerie islands within a world of broken families and slow saccharine romance. The atmosphere in this book is somehow chilling and comforting at once, and the whole time I was reading this book, I felt like I was on a completely other world. This read is beautiful and uncomplicated; a must read for anyone who loves worlds not quite like our own.

“Persepolis: The Story of  Childhood” by Marjane Satrapi
Rating: 5/5

This graphic novel took me on the epic journey of Marjane Satrapi’s childhood in Iran, and her experience in her country as she grew up. This book is easily digestible as a graphic novel, but the topics in it are dense, serious, and important. This is a crucial read for anyone looking for humanity, family, and life amidst war and persecution. Overall, a seriously great read.

“Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell
Rating: 5/5

Carry On is the story of one boy wizard and his talented best friend, prissy girlfriend, and (somewhat handsome) irritating school rival. It’s a book for Harry Potter lovers but for young adults with true romance, topics relevant to young people, and properly addressed trauma. This book is precious to me and I’ve read it many times over. Magic, betrayal, and romance galore!

Sanjita B. recommends:

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


I would rate it 4.5 stars because personally I don’t like memoirs but I actually really enjoyed this book. She wrote it really well with a lot of details and I learned a lot of things that I had no idea about before. It talked about the rollercoaster journey of Michelle Obama from her childhood to her experiences with racism and politics. She went from being a lawyer to the First Lady for 8 years. 

“Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas
Rating : 4.8/5 Stars

This is a fantasy and romance book with a really captivating storyline but there are some very detailed almost like rated R scenes that made me a little uncomfortable so I would probably recommend this for ages 13+. The book is about a human named Feyere who gets taken to this magical land of these creatures known as Faeries. She stays with a Faerie named Tamlin who she eventually falls in love with. However, their love depends on if she can break an ancient curse that is slowly destroying the Faerie lands.

“Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul” by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Mitch Claspy
Rating: 5/5 Stars


You may have heard of the series Chicken Soup for the Soul, well this book is very similar but it is for teens. The book has put together several stories from teens on their experiences with relationships, failures, hardships. Some of these will be happy while others will be sad but I can guarantee that you would really enjoy these stories. Overall it just shows you that you are not alone and that you can overcome anything.

Sarah G. recommends:

“The Real Grey’s Anatomy: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Real Lives of Surgical Residents” by Andrew Holtz
Rating: 4/5 stars

This book is really informative for anyone looking to go into the medical field and a really fun read for Grey’s Anatomy fans. The author takes quotes from the show and incorporates them into every chapter. The chapters are short and follow the real lives of residents. I really enjoy how the book is easy to read and very revealing about the processes of becoming a surgeon.

“Dead Until Dark” by Charlaine Harris
Rating: 5/5 stars

This is the first book of my favorite series. This book has the perfect blend of vampires, romance, and mystery. It’s about a small-town waitress who meets a vampire and her life becomes more interesting. This book has mature themes and mature language so I would recommend it for older teens. If readers like this book they should read the entire series.

“I Care A Lot” – Netflix
Rating: 4/5 stars

I watched this movie the first day it came out. I really enjoy it. It’s about a woman who is a court-appointed guardian who takes advantage of her elderly patients. The first part of the movie mainly focuses on this woman and her life, but in the second half, the movie takes a dark turn when she takes advantage of the wrong person. This movie has many twists and I really like it. The same actress who plays Amy Dunne in Gone Girl plays the main character in I Care A Lot and I think she does a great job.

Suntali D. recommends:

“The Summer Dragon” by Todd Lockwood
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

This is the first book in the Evertide series. It’s an entertaining and whimsical read and checks all the bullet points for fantasy book lovers in my opinion. The book is action-packed and full of interesting lore that keeps your attention and makes you eager to read the next book. Unfortunately, book 2 has not been released, and it may never be, so read with caution! Or you may be disappointed to find that it ends with a heartwrenching cliffhanger. Other than that, the book introduces a unique world full of dragons and a corrupt kingdom that will all provoke fear, anticipation, and excitement! 

“Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Rating: 4.8/5

This was an amazing read that brought up essential topics about equality and human rights. Becoming an antiracist is a conscious and important decision we make every day with the actions we take and the words we speak.  Stamped From the Beginning by X. Kendi. inspired the creation of Stamped, and it gives a more in-depth look into the roots of racism. 

What is the TCC? TCC is a volunteer group of teens that love to read and discuss books, movies, and music. Every month they get together to pick books for our teen collection and write short book reviews. Want to join? Then apply today!

– Contributed by Renée, Librarian – Teen Services

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