Edgy Issue Books
(may contain mature content)
Anorexia Suicide Depression Racism/Prejudice Cutting Child Abuse Addiction/Drugs Homosexuality
Nonfiction. The story of seven homeless teens living on the streets of Los Angeles.
After happening upon the diary she kept when she was 11 years old, Gottlieb was moved to publish this chronicle of her struggle with anorexia nearly 20 years after she wrote it. In the late 1970s, she lived with her parents and brother in Beverly Hills, where Gottlieb's loneliness and concern about looking attractive to boys swiftly transformed into an obsession with dieting, although she had never been overweight.
Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.
At 16, Olivia Monahan is uprooted from her home when a scandal in the local church costs her father his ministry. The family retreats to the seclusion of a small Pennsylvanian town, where a host of rich characters all play part in Olivia's struggle to understand her disillusionment with Christianity and gather courage to fight the eating disorder threatening her health.
This poignant story of a vulnerable young woman, her lover, and the devastating disease that both unites and threatens to destroy them offers a raw and sentimental journey into the dark world of hunger and denial.
A high school senior is on a downward spiral into anorexia. Her willingness to admit her problem and accept help seems artificial and diminishes its severity.
When his parents decide to separate, eighth-grader Donnie watches with horror as the physical condition of his sixteen-year old sister, Karen, deteriorates due to an eating disorder.
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
Grayson Donald, seventeen years old, has just hanged himself from a basketball hoop next to a playground in Centreville, North Virginia (NoVA). The question is, Why?
Brimming with sarcasm, fifteen-year-old Jeff describes his stay in a psychiatric ward after attempting to commit suicide.
In 1966, when his father's attempted suicide causes the ostracism of the family in their small Montana community, fourteen-year-old Nate copes with his sadness and anger by trying to win the school science fair.
In the Florida projects, sixteen-year-old Jayson struggles with the harsh realities of his life which include an abusive mother, a drug-addicted father, and not fitting in at his predominately white school, and bring him to the brink of suicide.
In the wake of her cousin's suicide, overweight and introverted seventeen-year-old Miles experiences significant changes in her relationships with her mother and father, her best friend Jamal and his family, and her cousin's father, while gaining insights about herself, both positive and negative
Three teens who meet at Reno, Nevada's Aspen Springs mental hospital after each has attempted suicide connect with each other in a way they never have with their parents or anyone else in their lives.
After the suicide of her troubled teenage sister, eleven-year-old Jenny struggles to understand what actually happened.
Pitting her own aspirations against the oppressive expectations of others, Esther cannot keep the airless bell jar of depression and despair from descending over her. Sylvia Plath's extraordinary novel ("witty and disturbing," said the New York Times) ends with the hope, if not the clear promise, of recovery.
Seventeen-year-old football hero Austin, trying to understand the inexplicable depression that has drained his interest in life, thinks that he has found relief in a girl who seems very special.
Fifteen-year-old Andy, fed up with his alcoholic father and annoying older brother, leaves their northern Wisconsin cabin on his version of a walkabout, leaving his medications to combat depression, anxiety, and delusions behind.
When her father leaves for a job out of town, Mazzy is left at home to try to cope with her mother, who has been severely depressed since the death of Mazzy's baby sister.
Fifteen-year-old Sadie writes on her blog about having to move to a new high school at the beginning of sophomore year due to her parents' divorce, finding and losing a true love and a best friend, and being in therapy and taking antidepressants.
When her sixteen-year-old sister is hospitalized for depression and her parents want to keep it a secret, fourteen-year-old Elena tries to cope with her own anxiety and feelings of guilt that she is determined to conceal from outsiders.
Friendship, love, identity, and a general feeling of isolation in an all-girls private school contribute to Kim Cameron (Skim)'s growing depression.
In 1950s Tennessee, ten-year-old David's racist father refuses to let him associate with his best friend Malcolm, an African American boy.
Lebanese-Australian Jamilah, known in school as Jamie, hides her heritage from her classmates and tries to pass by dyeing her hair blonde and wearing blue-tinted contact lenses, until her conflicted feelings become too much for her to bear.
Fifteen-year-old Patty Ho, half Taiwanese and half white, feels she never fits in, but when her overly-strict mother ships her off to math camp at Stanford, instead of being miserable, Patty starts to become comfortable with her true self.
While working on a project for an after-school club, Julia, a Korean American girl, and her friend Patrick learn not just about silkworms, but also about tolerance, prejudice, friendship, patience, and more. Between the chapters are short dialogues between the author and main character about the writing of the book.
Hypocrisy and prejudice twist events in such a way as to implicate two children, one from a prominent white family and the other an Afro-American, in a murder.
Alternate interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Presented in comic book format.
Sixteen-year-old Willow, who was driving the car that killed both of her parents, copes with the pain and guilt by cutting herself, until she meets a smart and sensitive boy who is determined to help her stop.
Coping with her mother's cancer makes seventeen-year-old Kia feel out of place everywhere until she is drawn into the goth-vampire club scene, where she finds acceptance and one gorgeous, popular guy who might offer escape.
While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better
Sixteen-year-old identical twin daughters of a district court judge and a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, Kaeleigh and Raeanne Gardella desperately struggle with secrets that have already torn them and their family apart.
In Weaver Falls, New Hampshire, in 1975, seventeen-year-old Jocelyn looks for answers when her lifelong neighbor and friend, Gabe, turns up missing and she learns that, while her boyfriend has been telling everything to a priest, Gabe has been keeping terrible secrets
This haunting, emotionally gripping tale is the story of a 15-year-old girl who must defend herself against her abusive father. Suspenseful, and emotionally shattering, the novel captures a young woman's painful fight for survival--and her journey back to herself
The youngest of three siblings, fourteen-year-old Anke feels both relieved and neglected that her father abuses her brother and sister but ignores her, but when she catches him with one of her friends, she finally becomes angry enough to take action.
When she is abandoned by her alcoholic mother, high school senior Ruby winds up living with Cora, the sister she has not seen for ten years, and learns about Cora's new life, what makes a family, how to allow people to help her when she needs it, and that she too has something to offer others.
Seventeen-year-old Matthew recounts his attempts, starting at a young age, to free himself and his sisters from the grip of their emotionally and physically abusive mother.
Fourteen-year-old John creates alternative realities in his mind as he tries to deal with his mother's abusive boyfriend, his crush on a beautiful, but shallow classmate and other problems at school.
After her stepfather is arrested for child abuse, thirteen-year-old Karina's home life improves but while the severity of her older sister's injuries and the urging of her younger sister, their uncle, and a friend tempt her to testify against him, her mother and other well-meaning adults pursuade her to claim responsibility.
After five years of fighting his way past flickers of memory about the teacher who molested him and the incident that brought the crime to light, eighteen-year-old Josh gets help in coping with his molestor's release from prison when he finally tells his best friends the whole truth
After running away from their troubled homes, two English teenagers move in with a group of squatters in the port city of Bristol and try to find ways to support their growing addiction to heroin.
Matt Rydeck, co-captain of his high school football team, endures a traumatic season as he witnesses the rape of a rookie player by teammates and grapples with his own use of performance-enhancing drugs.
When Joe meets Candy, it seems like a regular boy-meets-girl scenario. They chat over coffee, she gives him her number, and he writes her a song. But then Joe is drawn into Candy's world --- a world of drugs, violence, and desperation. As the dark truth about Candy's life emerges, Joe finds himself facing real danger at every twist and turn.
Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina -- she's fearless. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: the drug crank. What begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul -- her life.
Based on the diary of a fifteen-year-old drug user chronicling her struggle to escape the pull of the drug world.
Eighteen-year-old Michael Kerrigan, writer of obituaries for the Scranton Observer and captain of the track team, is ready for the most important season of his life--until the police find four joints in his school locker, and he is faced with a choice that could change everything.
Homosexuality - Gay/Lesbian
At a Minneapolis high school, a cross-country runner tries to deny his sexual feelings for a male teammate.
Garden, Nancy. Annie On My Mind.
Liza puts aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at school, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of people.
Vincent Harris, the teenaged son of a Baptist minister, has always known he is gay and uses his faith to avoid any sinful thoughts or acts, but when his family moves to a new church in the late 1970s he meets Robert Ingle, falls in love, and begins to wonder if God is really asking him to repent and change.
Koja, Kathe. Talk.
Hoping to escape from himself for awhile, Kit auditions for a controversial school play and discovers his talent for acting while struggling with coming out.
Mac, Carrie. Crush.
During a summer in New York, Hope falls in love with another girl and must decide whether she is gay.
Moore, Perry. Hero.
Thom is keeping two very big secrets from his father--that he is a superhero in training, and that he is gay.
Myracle, Lauren. Kissing Kate.
Sixteen-year-old Lissa's relationship with her best friend changes after they kiss at a party. Lissa does not know what to do, until she gets help from an unexpected new friend.
Peters, Julie Anne. Keeping You A Secret
As she begins a very tough semester of high school, Holland finds herself puzzled about her future and intrigued by a transfer student who wants to start a Lesbigay club at school.
When openly gay Manuel transfers to Paul's high school, Paul, a born-again Christian, begins to question his own sexuality.
Follows three gay high school seniors as they struggle with issues of coming out, safe sex, homophobia, being in love, and college choices.
Coupland, Douglas. Hey Nostradamus!
In 1988, a catastrophic episode of teen violence shatters a suburban community. Hey Nostradamus! follows the aftermath in various voices across two decades.
Myers, Walter Dean. Shooter.
Written in the form of interviews, reports, and journal entries, the story of three troubled teenagers ends in a tragic school shooting.
Pierre, D.B.C. Vernon God Little.
In the town of Martirio, Texas, a fifteen-year-old Vernon Little is in trouble. His friend, Jesus, has just killed sixteen of his classmates before turning the gun on himself.
Strasser, Todd. Give a Boy a Gun.
Ripped from today's headlines comes the story of two high school students who are out for revenge. Armed with stolen rifles, they terrorize a high school dance--holding classmates and teachers hostage.
Watson, C.G. Quad.
Interweaves the stories of Muir High School's various groups of students--from the jocks to the drama queens--as they clash over everything from cheating on tests to cheating in relationships. The ultimate clash comes when one student reaches the breaking point.
Brooks, Bruce. All That Remains.
Three novellas explore the effects of death on young lives.
Crutcher, Chris. Deadline.
Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life's purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as "Hey-Soos."
Downham, Jenny. Before I Die.
A terminally ill teenaged girl makes and carries out a list of things to do before she dies.
Forman, Gayle. If I Stay.
While in a coma following a car accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.
Hurwin, Davida Wills. A Time for Dancing.
Seventeen-year-old best friends Samantha and Juliana tell their stories in alternating chapters after Juliana is diagnosed with cancer.