These booklists have been developed by our Youth Services Librarians.
Click on the link to see at which branch you can get a copy or reserve. We will be adding more booklists each month.
February 2018: Environment
January 2018: Discrimination
December 2017: Families
November 2017: Gender Equality
The Sandcastle Empire / Kayla Olson
Summary: Before the war, Eden’s life was easy. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed. Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. And even though Eden has lost everything to them, she refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island, and she is desperate to escape to its shores. Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves. But the solace is short-lived when one of Eden’s new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected. This island might be deadlier than the world Eden left behind, but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.
The Silent Invasion / James Bradley
Summary: It's 2027 and the human race is dying. Plants, animals and humans have been infected by spores from space and become part of a vast alien intelligence. When 16-year-old Callie discovers her little sister Gracie has been infected, she flees with Gracie to the Zone to avoid termination by the ruthless officers of Quarantine. What Callie finds in the Zone will alter her irrevocably, and send her on a journey to the stars and beyond. The first book in a heart-stopping and suspenseful YA trilogy from award-winning author James Bradley.
Breathe / Sarah Crossan
Summary: When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Be left breathless by this gripping dystopian thriller.
Watership Down / Richard Adams
Summary: Sandleford Warren is in danger. Hazel's younger brother Fiver is convinced that a great evil is about to befall the land, but no one will listen. And why would they when it is spring and the grass is fat and succulent? So together Hazel, Fiver and a few other brave rabbits secretly leave behind the safety and strictures of the warren and hop tentatively out into a vast and strange world. Chased by their former friends, hunted by dogs and foxes avoiding farms and other human threats, but making new friends, Hazel and his fellow rabbits’ dream of a new life in the emerald embrace of Watership Down.
Green Valentine / Lili Wilkinson
Summary: Astrid Katy Smythe is beautiful, smart and popular. She's a straight-A student and a committed environmental activist. She's basically perfect...Hiro is the opposite of perfect. He's slouchy, rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn't see the point of school...But when Astrid meets Hiro at the shopping centre where he's wrangling shopping trolleys, he doesn't recognise her because she's in disguise - as a lobster. And she doesn't set him straight...Astrid wants to change the world, Hiro wants to survive it. But ultimately both believe that the world needs to be saved from itself. Can they find enough in common to right all the wrongs between them?
Atmospheric: the Burning Story of Climate Change / Carole Wilkinson
Summary: Talking about the weather used to be small talk, now it's the hottest topic on Earth. For billions of years our atmosphere has supported life on Earth, from primitive algae to the human race. But something is happening. Slowly but surely, what we are doing to our atmosphere is changing Earth's climate. Atmospheric cuts through the many voices raised around climate change to tell the story of our atmosphere, what is putting our climate at risk and what we can do about it.
Wonder / R.J. Palacio
Summary: Auggie Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?
Every day / David Levithan
Summary: Every morning A wakes in a different person's body, in a different person's life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.
For readers age 15+
Will Grayson, Will Grayson / John Green & David Levithan
Summary: When two teens, one gay and one straight, meet accidentally and discover that they share the same name, their lives become intertwined as one begins dating the other's best friend, who produces a play revealing his relationship with them both.
For readers age 15+
Does my head look big in this? / Randa Abdel-Fattah
Summary: The slide opened and I heard a gentle, kind voice: What is your confession, my child? I was stuffed. The Priest would declare me a heretic; my parents would call me a traitor... The Priest asked me again: What is your confession, my child? I'm Muslim, I whispered. Welcome to my world. I'm Amal Abdel-Hakim, a seventeen year-old Australian-Palestinian-Muslim still trying to come to grips with my various identity hyphens. It's hard enough being cool as a teenager when being one issue behind the latest Cosmo is enough to disqualify you from the in-group. Try wearing a veil on your head and practising the bum's-up position at lunchtime and you know you're in for a tough time at school.
The hate u give / Angie Thomas
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
Mosquitoland / David Arnold
Summary: When she learns that her mother is sick in Ohio, Mim confronts her demons on a thousand-mile odyssey from Mississippi that redefines her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
For readers 15+
Sisters / Raina Telgemeier
Summary: Raina cannot wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things are not quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she is also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship does not improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something does not seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.
Words in Deep Blue / Cath Crowley
Summary: Second-hand bookshops are full of mysteries. This is a love story. It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets. It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea. Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She's looking for the future in the books people love, and the words that they leave behind. Sometimes you need the poets.
Looking for Alibrandi / Melina Marchetta
Summary: Josephine Alibrandi is 17, and in her final year of school. Dealing with her mum and the ways of her Nonna are daunting enough as she prepares for her exams. But Josie is about to discover real life gets in the way of her carefully-made plans. She suddenly has to deal with having her father around for the first time in her life, falling in love and uncovering her family's secret background. Despite all the turmoil, this is the year Josie discovers that emancipation doesn't mean escaping from your past. Sometimes you need to face up to who you are in order to set yourself free.
It’s Not the End of the World / Judy Blume
Summary: When her parents divorce, a sixth grader struggles to understand that sometimes people are unable to live together.
Tomboy: a graphic memoir / Liz Prince
Summary: Eschewing female stereotypes throughout her early years and failing to gain acceptance on the boys' baseball team, Liz learns to embrace her own views on gender as she comes of age, in an anecdotal graphic novel memoir.
Alanna: the first adventure (Song of the Lioness #1) / Tamora Pierce
Summary: And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) / Suzanne Collins
Summary: In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
Smile / Raina Telgemeier
Summary: From sixth grade through tenth, Raina copes with a variety of dental problems that affect her appearance and how she feels about herself.
The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks / E. Lockhart
Summary: Frankie Landau-Banks: No longer the kind of girl to take 'no' for an answer. Especially when 'no' means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society. Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places. Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them. When she knows Matthew's lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done. Frankie Landau-Banks at age 16: Possibly a criminal mastermind. This is the story of how she got that way.
Journey to the River Sea/ Eva Ibbotson
It is 1910 and Maia, tragically orphaned at thirteen, has been sent from England to start a new life with distant relatives in Manaus, hundreds of miles up the Amazon. She is accompanied by an eccentric and mysterious governess who has secret reasons of her own for making the journey.
Has your child moved on from readers but isn't quite ready for chapter books? Check out our list of Stepping Stones Chapter Books - perfect for transitioning to longer chapter books.
Download Stepping Stones book list. (PDF, 112KB)