VOYA’s Perfect Tens 2009
Eighteen titles reviewed during 2009 earned the prestigious Perfect Ten rating—a 5Q for literary quality and a 5P for teen appeal (see the Book Review Code)—about 2 percent of the 944 titles reviewed. Of those books, 121 earned a quality rating of 5Q and 33 received a 5P rating for teen appeal.
Anhalt, Ariela. Freefall. Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 256p. $17. 978-0-15-206567-6. VOYA October 2009. 5Q 5P J S
A page-turning freefall through the eyes of Luke, who witnessed his popular best friend Hayden push Russell, the new kid and Hayden’s rival, off a cliff.
Barnhouse, Rebecca. Book of the Maidservant. Random House Children’s Books, 2009. 240p. $16.99. 978-0-375-85856-7. PLB $19.99. 978-0-375-95856-4. VOYA October 2009. 5Q 5P M J S
A fast-paced tale of a real girl in fifteenth-century England, Johanna, embarking on a pilgrimage to Rome as a servant to Dame Margery who abandons her to the other pilgrims along the way.
Brown, Jennifer. Hate List. Little, Brown & Company, 2009. 416p. $16.99. 978-0-316-04144-7. VOYA December 2009. 5Q 5P S
Valerie returns to hatred and suspicion at her school after her boyfriend, Nick, opens fire on fellow students and a teacher before killing himself.
Chima, Cinda Williams. Demon King. Seven Realms. Disney-Hyperion, 2009. 512p. $17.99. 978-1-4231-1823-7. VOYA October 2009. 5 Q 5P M J S
The first tale in a new fantasy series about Hans, former gang leader, and Raisa, the princess heir, who live in the mountain city of Fellsmarch, where magic, political power, love, and sacrifice challenge the characters and intrigue the reader.
Cohn, Rachel. You Know Where to Find Me. Simon & Schuster, 2008. 208p. $16.99. 978-0-689-87859-6. $8.99 Trade pb. 978-0-689-87860-2. VOYA February 2009. 5Q 5P S
Miles and Laura are tightly bonded cousins until Laura kills herself and leaves Miles feeling abandoned and seeking escape, while the people around her work to keep her anchored in this world.
Fantaskey, Beth. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. 368p. $17. 978-0-15-206384-9. $8.99 Trade pb. 978-0-547-25940-6. VOYA June 2009. 5Q 5P J S
Jessica, formerly known as Anastasia, doesn’t remember her former life and is definitely not interested when Lucius Vladescu arrives to America to reclaim his betrothed vampire princess in this romantic fantasy, no matter the stakes.
Fleming, Candace. Great and Only Barnum: the Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum. Schwartz and Wade Books, 2009. 160p. $18.99. 978-0-375-84197-2. PLB $21.99. 978-0-375-94597-7. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. VOYA August 2009. 5Q 5P M J S
A riveting story of the risk-taking, hard-working showman who invented aquariums and reinvented museums and circuses.
Grant, Michael. Hunger: A Gone Novel. HarperTeen, 2009. 608p. $17.99. 978-0-06-144906-2. PLB $18.99. 978-0-06-144907-9. $9.99 Trade pb. 978-0-06-144908-6. VOYA June 2009. 5Q 5P M J S
Book two in a six book series, this entry is three months after everyone over age 18 has vanished and food has become scarce.
Griffin, Paul. Orange Houses. Dial/Penguin Young Readers Group, 2009. 160p. $16.99. 978-0-8037-3346-6. VOYA October 2009. 5Q 5P J S
In the underbelly of the Bronx ghetto, friends struggle to help each other survive as the countdown to the hanging of an 18-year-old Iraq War veteran echoes through every chapter.
Herbsman, Cheryl Renée. Breathing. Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group, 2009. 272p. $16.99. 978-0-670-01123-0. $7.99 pb. 978-0-14-241601-3. VOYA October 2009. 5Q 5P M J S A/YA
The summer Savannah Georgina Brown turns fifteen and a half, she falls in love with Jackson, an 18-year-old staying with relatives, but then he is called home and Savannah panics.
Hiaasen, Carl. Scat. Random House Children’s Books, 2009. 384p. $16.99. 978-0-375-83486-8. PLB $19.99. 978-0-375-93486-5. VOYA April 2009. 5Q 5P M J
Nick’s class goes on a field trip to the Florida Everglades, but when there is a fire and his teacher disappears, he discovers dastardly villains who have a scheme to make money at the expense of the environment in this ecological mystery.
High, Linda Oatman. Planet Pregnancy. Front Street/Boyds Mills, 2009. 64p. $16.95. 978-1-59078-584-3. $11.95 Trade pb. 978-1-59078-767-0. VOYA June 2009. 5Q 5P J S
Sahara, seventeen and pregnant, struggles with the decision to continue the pregnancy and keep the baby in a verse novel
Jacques, Brian. Sable Quean: a Tale of Redwall. Philomel, 2010. 368p. $23.99. 978-0-399-25164-1. VOYA December 2009. 5Q 5P M J
This twenty-first entry in the series continues the adventures of the creatures of Mossflower Wood, this time to defeat the efforts of the Sable Quean to take over Redwall Abbey.
Llewellyn, Sam. Lyonesse: the Well Between the Worlds. Scholastic Press, 2008. 352p. $17.99. 978-0-439-93469-5. $7.99 pb. 978-0-439-93470-1. VOYA February 2009. 5Q 5P M J S
Wellvale marks the rifts between two worlds where monsters are harvested in an alien ocean world for fuel. Sea Eagle, a cross between human and monster, plots to flood Lyonesse with the poisonous water from the wells.
Rowling, J. K. Tales of Beedle the Bard. Scholastic Press, 2008. 128p. $12.99. 978-0-545-12828-5. VOYA April 2009. 5Q 5P M J S
Beedle’s tales are to wizard children what fairy tales are to muggles and Dumbledore adds a commentary to each of the tales to add insight and history.
Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver. The Wolves of Mercy Falls. Scholastic Press, 2009. 400p. $17.99. 978-0-545-12326-6. $8.99 pb. 978-0-545-12327-3. VOYA December 2009. 5Q 5P J S
In the first of the series, Grace and Sam, who met when she was attacked and bitten by werewolves six years ago, meet again when Sam is shot and saved by Grace.
Stork, Francisco X. Marcelo in the Real World. Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic Press, 2009. 320p. $17.99. 978-0-545-05474-4. VOYA June 2009. 5Q 5P S
Marcelo, who exhibits Asperger behaviors, is offered an ultimatum by his father: complete a summer job as a mail room clerk in his father’s firm or attend a regular high school for his senior year, which means giving up a job he loves as a stable boy and facing the real world.
Stroud, Jonathan. Heroes of the Valley. Hyperion/DBG, 2009. 496p. $17.99. 978-1-4231-0966-2. $8.99 Trade pb. 978-1-4231-0967-9. VOYA February 2009. 5Q 5P M J
Fifteen-year-old Halli battles feuding clans and mythic beasts with Aud by his side in this fantasy set in a medieval valley.
VOYA booklists are reproducible without permission for library, classroom, and workshop use. Reprinting in any other medium for sale by a commercial or nonprofit entity or posting on the Internet requires written permission from the publisher.