Dear Friend,

Reading is a critical tool in our teens’ education and in their lives. Unfortunately, in an age where video games, television and computer programs increasingly dominate our teens’ lives, it’s easy to forget the power of imagination and reading. That’s why I am strongly encouraging teens to participate in the annual Teen Read Week.

This year’s Teen Read Week is from Oct. 18-24 and the theme is Read Beyond Reality. Teens are encouraged to read science fiction and fantasy books. Inside this brochure, you will find a galactic list of suggested reading material that goes along with the 2009 theme.

Any individual – not just libraries – can participate by registering. Participants determine their own Teen Read Week program and any reward system they deem appropriate. To register or to find ideas for activities, visit

Supporting libraries and literacy is vital to the future of our children. That’s why I fought to preserve $10.58 million in library aid and $79,000 to the Talking Book and Braille Library in this year’s state budget.

Reading is an engaging and leisurely activity that improves spelling, vocabulary and pronunciation skills. I urge all teens to take part in Teen Read Week.

José Rivera
Member of Assembly

One Fordham Plaza, Suite 1008
Bronx, NY 10458

Teen Read Week - Read Beyond Reality
“Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible.” – Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone
Science fiction – Grades 6-8
The White Mountains by John Christopher
Long ago, the Tripods – huge, three-legged machines – descended upon Earth and took control. People unquestioningly accept the Tripods’ power and become slaves after their childhoods are over. Will still has time to escape. Can he do it before his childhood ends?
Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl
Elana, a member of an interstellar civilization, is on a mission to a medieval planet and becomes the key to a dangerous plan to turn back an invasion. How can she help the Andrecians without revealing her own alien powers? At the same time, Georyn, the son of an Andrecian woodcutter, knows only that there is a dragon in the enchanted forest, and he must defeat it. He sees Elana as an enchantress from the stars who came to test him.
Warchild by Karin Lowachee
Eight-year-old Jos Musey’s childhood ends when his parents’ merchant ship falls prey to pirates and slavers. Destined to be the personal slave of his captors, Jos escapes only to find himself a prisoner of the Strits, an alien race at war with humanity. Trained as a spy by his captors, Jos is released to become a human weapon, but the war he fights is a war to achieve his own destiny.
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
Fourteen-year-old Alex discovers that his uncle was not the bank vice-president he purported to be, but rather a spy for the British government. Now the government wants Alex to take over his uncle’s mission: investigating Sayle Enterprises, the makers of a revolutionary computer called Stormbreaker. Posing as a teenage computer whiz who’s won a Stormbreaker promotional contest, Alex enters the factory with futuristic gadgets and immediately finds clues from his uncle. Will Alex find his uncle’s killer or be killed himself?
Jumping off the Planet by David Gerrold
A dizzying orbital elevator system running on magnetic induction called the Beanstalk brings Earth dwellers to the moon, planets and stars. Journey the increasingly civilized galaxy with 13-year-old Charles, whose father kidnapped him and his brothers after their parents’ messy divorce, using the Beanstalk as their escape vehicle. As the brothers ride the Beanstalk between the festering Earth, teeming with crazies and plagues, and the burgeoning new off-world societies, Charles learns about life and about himself.
Virtual War by Gloria Skurzynski
Fourteen-year-old Corgan was genetically engineered to be the fastest player on any electronic playing field. Every second counts, too, because Corgan is preparing for the big war: a bloodless, electronic battle to be waged against other doomed worlds. On the eve of the battle, he decides to break the Council’s rules for the first time. Do the Council members really know what’s best for Earth? Corgan needs to determine what’s right and wrong himself, because everyone on the planet will be affected by his decisions.
Science fiction – Grades 9-12
Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess
Post-apocalyptic London is populated by half-men that are slave-composites of people and animals, achieved through genetic engineering, and humans that are prejudiced, power-hungry rulers, crippled by economic depression. Two warring human gangs have dominated the city for years and now attempt to unite by marrying 14-year-old Signy to King Conor of the opposing crew. Treachery ensues, and innocent Signy soon becomes a vengeful deceiver.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag lives in the future and is a book-burning fireman. His wife spends all day with her TV “family.” Their dull, empty life sharply contrasts with that of his next-door neighbor Clarisse, a young girl thrilled by the ideas in books and is more interested in what she can see in the world around her than in the mindless chatter of the television. When Clarisse disappears mysteriously, Guy is moved to make some drastic changes in his life and in the society where he lives.
The Winds of Mars by H.M. Hoover
As one of many children of the president of Mars, Annalyn has been raised to take her place among the ruling class. But Annalyn gradually becomes aware that Mars’s commoners are unfairly treated and that her own father will kill anyone – including her – who threatens his interests. Annalyn then becomes entrenched in a battle for control of Mars between her fellow citizens and her vicious relatives.
Star Split by Kathryn Lasky
It is the year 3028. Thirteen-year-old Darci lives in a society where gene research has reached such heights that terminal diseases no longer exist and celebrated scientists and artists are chosen for “umbellation,” or cloning, so that their great brains can live on forever. Darci’s life takes an unexpected turn, however, when she runs into a clone of herself, living evidence that her parents must have committed the capital crime of “duplication,” and leaving her to ponder the meaning behind a long-extinct word: soul.
Shade’s Children by Garth Nix
In this brutal world, your 14th birthday is your last. Malevolent Overlords rule the earth, directing hideous, humanoid creatures to harvest the brains and muscles of teens for use in engineering foul beasts to fight senseless wars. Young Gold-Eye escapes this horrific fate, fleeing the dormitories before his morbid birthday. He finds refuge on an abandoned submarine working for Shade, a strange, computer-generated adult with other child escapees. Soon, Gold-Eye and his new friends decide to set out and destroy the Overlords.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Arthur Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway. Join Arthur and his fearless friend Ford Prefect as they travel the galaxy, getting into horrible messes and wreaking hilarious havoc.
Fantasy – Grades 6-8
Devil’s Race by Avi
Sixteen-year-old John Proud discovers a dark secret while researching his family’s history for a school project. He finds that his ancestral namesake was hanged in 1854 after admitting to being a demon. John finds himself battling his ancestor who is trying to use him for an evil purpose. He will soon find out that he must be careful what he wishes for because such wishes can become reality. To defeat this demon, however, John must first face the evil within himself.
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. She leads a normal, boring life until the night she is kidnapped by a Hillfolk king named Corlath. Harry doesn’t know the Hillfolk language or even why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. She is to be trained in the art of war until she is no match for any foe. Will she accept her fate?
The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O’Shea
Set in the west of Ireland, this fantastic tale tells of the coming of a great queen who is bent on bringing chaos and destruction to the world. Only Pidge and Brigit can stop her and their task seems impossible as they’re constantly trailed by the queen’s hounds. But they’re aided in their quest by a host of willing helpers. Will Pidge and Brigit finally bring peace to this crumbling world?
The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
Twelve-year-old Addie admires her older sister Meryl, who aspires to rid the kingdom of Bamarre from gryphons, specters and ogres. Addie, on the other hand, is fearful of even the tinniest of spiders and depends on Meryl for protection. When Meryl falls ill with the Gray Death, Addie must gather all her might and courage to set out on a quest – alone – to find a cure for her dying sister.
The Storyteller’s Daughter by Cameron Dokey
When betrayed by his queen, Shahrayar’s heart turns coldly to stone. He vows to take a new wife once each month, at the full moon, but to keep her only one night, killing her in the morning. Shahrazad, the 17-year-old blind daughter of the king’s vizier, and Maju, a blind storyteller, concoct a plan to reach the king’s heart. Shahrazad will begin a story each night that will not be finished in the morning. Will their plan lead to a happy ending?
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Alanna knows she isn’t meant to become a proper lady cloistered in a convent. Instead, she wants to be a great female knight. But in the land of Tortall, women aren’t allowed to train as warriors. So Alanna switches places with her twin, Thom, and takes his place as a knight in training at the palace of King Roald. Disguising herself as a boy, Alanna begins her training as a page in the royal court. Can Alanna fulfill her destiny while keeping her gender a secret?
Fantasy – Grades 9-12
The China Garden by Liz Berry
Seventeen-year-old Clare relaxes at Ravensmere, an old English country estate before she enters university. Clare makes friends and enemies, sees ghostly visions, learns of past Ravensmere women and discovers her strange, supernatural role in preserving its future.
Look for me by Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn
Sixteen-year-old Cynda has trepidations about moving in with her estranged father and his much younger wife at the Maine inn that they run even before she hears that it’s haunted, ostensibly by the ghost of a young woman murdered some 60 years ago. Soon after her arrival, Victor Morthanos checks in for a month-long stay. Cynda’s five-year-old half-brother, Todd, hates him instantly, but Cynda just as quickly falls in love. By the time Cynda figures out that Victor is a vampire and the murderer of the ghostly girl, she and Todd are well on the way to becoming ghosts themselves.
Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
One quiet afternoon a wise storyteller named Wolf appears on a quiet farm and tells Garion that he and his aunt must leave the only home they have ever known. They are thrown into a dark and unfamiliar land, embarking on an extraordinary quest to stop a reawakened evil from devouring all that is good.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Sparrowhawk is a reckless and awkward boy. However, he transforms into a brave and gallant young man when he discovers his true name. Great challenges await Sparrowhawk, including an almost deadly battle with a sinister creature, a monster that may be his own shadow.
Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
To the nobles who live in Ruatha, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. The time has come, however, for Lessa to shed her disguise and take back her stolen birthright. But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will protect them when Lessa’s world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Now, brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save the world from destruction.
The Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey
Tarma witnessed her clan’s murder and swearing vengeance, became a master warrior. Kethry fleed her forced marriage and became a skilled wizard. When Kethry obtains a magical sword which draws her to others in need, the two vow to avenge the wrongs done to womanhood. Bound by oath to each other and to their goddess, Tarma and Kethry begin a joint career as mercenaries in the constant struggle for justice in a land where demons come in human – and not-so-human – forms.