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Flashback Friday: Revisiting Popular Teen Series Beginnings

Flashback Friday: Revisiting Popular Teen Series Beginnings

When we think of quintessential teen series, certain books tend to stand out.  Let’s take a look at some of those series and the beginnings that started it all.

The Giver
by Lois Lowry
The community where Jonas lives is supposedly idyllic; there is no conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment, or injustice but also no choice. Everyone is assigned their family unit, their partner, their job, and their lot in life. Everyone gladly accepts their role and no one questions why. At the Ceremony of Twelve, the community sends their twelve-year-old children to be chosen for their predetermined life assignment from a selection of duties. However, Jonas is assigned something special – he is sent to be instructed by a mysterious old man known only as the Giver.


by Marissa Meyer
In a kingdom of science and circuitry lives sixteen year old Cinder Linh. A gifted mechanic and cyborg, Cinder spends her days earning money for her selfish stepmother. With a deadly plague ravaging the world after the end of the fourth world war, and cyborgs being drafted as test subjects, it seems only a matter of time before she is volunteered for antidote testing. But a chance meeting with prince Kai sets a chain of events that will delve into Cinder’s past and have consequences on not just her future, but her world’s as well.


by Neal Shusterman
Set in a not too distant future where life has been deemed sacrosanct from the point of conception until the age of thirteen, at which point parents have the choice to have their children unwound. Life doesn’t necessarily end when someone is unwound, but every part of the individual is harvested and sold to the highest bidder. Connor is being sent to be unwound by his parents, Risa, as a ward of the state, is being sent due to overpopulation, and Lev is being sent as a tithe – an individual born solely for the purpose of being unwound. This is their story of escape and survival in a world that claims that life should be protected, but where they have been reduced to mere commodities.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
In his childhood, Grandpa Portman was the most fascinating person Jacob knew. He had traveled the world, fought in wars, performed in a circus, spoke at least four languages, and knew just about everything about self-defense and survival skills. Some of the best stories, however, involved an orphanage and the peculiar children that lived there. When a family tragedy sends Jacob to seeking out the orphanage, Jacob discovers that the stories may not have been just stories at all.



Red Queen
by Victoria Aveyard
In the Kingdom of Norta, the Reds are commoners, ruled by the Silver elite. The Silvers possess god-like abilities and rule with absolute power. Seventeen-year-old Mare knows that without a job or apprenticeship, she is bound for conscription by her next birthday. But when she hatches a plan to save a friend from conscription, Mare finds out she has a deadly gift of her own. The Silvers, fearful of her potential, decide to declare her a long-lost Silver princess. Now thrust into a dangerous game of intrigue, betrayal and lies, and knowing that one mistake means her death, Mare must find a way to use her new position to try to take down the regime from the inside.


City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare
When Clary Fray goes out with her friend Simon to the Pandemonium Club, she never expected that she’d to run into three strange teenagers with strange markings no one else can see.  But when her mother disappears and she finds herself hunted by demons, Clary finds herself being reluctantly taken in by the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to fighting demons. But why would demons be interested in an ordinary mundane like Clary and why can she things normal people can’t?



A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
by Holly Jackson
For her senior project, Pippa Fitz-Amobi decided to research the disappearance of Andrea Bell, a popular high school senior who was believed to have been killed by her boyfriend, Salil. After Salil is later found dead in the woods, having apparently taken his own life, everyone believed the case was closed. Pip, however, had known and liked Salil since childhood and sets out to find the truth of what happened. After interviewing Salil’s younger brother, Ravi, they set out to dig deeper into the inconsistencies in the case. But soon, they discover someone watching them, and find that searching for the truth of Salil and Andreas’s case is more dangerous than they thought.


by Christopher Paolini
While hunting one morning, Eragon, a poor farm boy, discovers a large polished blue stone in the forest. Thinking he may be able to buy some food for his family, he decides to take it.  Eragon soon discovers the stone is more than it appears, as a small dragon hatches. In a land where dragons are nearly extinct, Eragon is suddenly thrown into a world he never knew of adventure, magic, darkness and discovery. 



by Stephanie Garber
Scarlett Dragna has never left her home, the Isle of Trisda, where she and her sister Tella live with their cruel and controlling father, Governor Dragna. Now, Scarlett’s father has arranged for her to be married and all hopes of ever leaving the island seem impossible. Until the invitation to the magical show Caraval arrives. With help from a mysterious sailor, Scarlett sets course for Caraval. As soon as they arrive, however, Tella is kidnapped and hidden as part of the show. Scarlett must race to find her sister before the others, or else risk losing her forever.



Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
Sixteen-year-old Simon Spier has always tried to keep his drama limited to the school musical, but that was before one of his emails fell into the wrong hands. Now, Simon finds himself being blackmailed by his classmate, Martin Addison. If he refuses to play along, his sexual identity and the privacy of Blue, the boy he’s been emailing, will be exposed to the whole school. Simon finds himself needing to navigate these new complications without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or messing up his shot with the greatest guy he’s never met.


-Written by Alex B, Teen Central Library Assistant

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