Read Proud: Fiction for Teens

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Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh engages all of our communities in literacy and learning. Check out the titles in this list and ask your local librarian for more.

Anger is a Gift

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks. Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals in their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration. When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

Elena, the first scientifically confirmed virgin birth, acquires the ability to heal by touch at age sixteen, the same year that people start disappearing in beams of light, causing her to wonder if she is bringing about the Apocalypse.

Dreadnought

Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero, falls out of the sky and dies in front of Danny Tozer. Danny is transgender but doesn’t feel ready to come out as a transgender woman. But Dreadnought’s powers allow her to be seen as her ideal self, so she’s suddenly transformed into a super-powered teenage girl. Now she has to deal with all the intricacies of coming out as well as being a new superhero with the weight of humanity on her shoulders.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Vowing to make his yearlong escapade across Europe his last hurrah before taking over the family estate, Henry “Monty” Montague and his best friend Percy find themselves in the middle of a dangerous manhunt involving pirates and highwaymen.

Let's Talk About Love

Alice’s last girlfriend, Margo, ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual. Now Alice is sure she’s done with dating and then she meets Takumi. She can’t stop thinking about him or the rom-com-grade romance feelings she did not ask for. When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library-employee badge, Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated or understood.

Mask of Shadows

The gender fluid thief Sal Leon enters a competition to become a replacement member of the Left Hand – a quartet of the Queen’s personal assassins – but must first survive the training and the contests while putting the reason for auditioning into motion – revenge.

Odd One Out

High school juniors and best friends Courtney and Jupe, and new sophomore Rae, explore their sexuality and their budding attractions for one another.

The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles)

Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby’s been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she’s thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win the coveted paid job at the end of the internship. But really, nothing this summer is going as planned. She also unwittingly becomes friends with Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro-type who wants her help finding the best burger in Los Angeles, and she’s struggling to prove to her mother–the city’s celebrity health nut–that she’s perfectly content with who she is. Just as Abby starts to feel like she’s no longer the sidekick in her own life, Jordi’s photography surprisingly puts her in the spotlight. Instead of feeling like she’s landed a starring role, Abby feels betrayed. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image others have of her?

You're Welcome, Universe

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful, but illegal, graffiti mural. Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers send her to a mainstream school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student.