Divergent – Veronica Roth

In a future Chicago, society is divided into five very different factions with different beliefs – Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). At the age of 16 teenagers must choose which faction they will spend the rest of their lives with. For Tris, the choice is between staying with her family and being who she really is-she can′t have both. Her choice catapults her into a world of fierce competition, physical and psychological tests of skill and bravery, new friends and romance. But Tris also has a secret – one she′s been warned to keep hidden or risk death – as the society she lives in is not perfect after all and is fast descending into conflict and chaos. Tris realizes that her secret might be what helps her save those she loves . . . or it might be what destroys her.

Overflowing heart reviews

The fault in our stars – John Green

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
A heartbreaking novel of life, death and being in love, that will make you both laugh and cry.

CBCA Tasmania blog

Life: An exploded diagram – Mal Peet

Can love survive a lifetime? When working-class Clem Ackroyd falls for Frankie Mortimer, the gorgeous daughter of a wealthy local landowner, he has no hope that it can. After all, the world teeters on the brink of nuclear war, and bombs could rain down any minute over the bleak English countryside – just as they did seventeen years ago as his mother, pregnant with him, tended her garden.
This coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of terrifying world events brings history alive while exploring relationships across three generations.

Jacket Knack

Red scarf girl : a memoir of the Cultural Revolution – Ji-li Jiang

The story opens with twelve-year old Jiang and her optimism for the future, with her absolute belief in Chairman Mao and her country, China. Soon, though, her family becomes ostracised by the regime as her grandfather used to be a landlord. Initially questioning her parents’ behaviour, Jiang even goes to the extent of trying to disassociate herself from them but she soon comes to wonder about the brutality and atrocities commited by the regime – including public beatings, bullying and murders – and ultimately questions government’s abuse of power.

Longitude

A little piece of ground – Elizabeth Laird

Life under Israeli occupation isn’t easy for twelve-year-old Palestinian Karim and his friends. They need a place of escape, so they transform a little piece of ground in Ramallah into a soccer field where they can get away from family problems and the trials of occupation. However, the escape doesn’t last long with the town put under yet another Israeli curfew, and Karim – who only dreams of a little freedom – becomes a victim of the brutality of the occupying force who poses a constant danger, even to schoolboys.

Sharp

Refugee boy – Benjamin Zephaniah

Based on the bitter conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, this story revolves around fourteen-year-old Alem who is taken to England on a ‘holiday’ by his father for protection. Left there alone, as his Ethiopian father goes back to look for his Eritrean mother, Alem is forced through the courts and the foster system with the hope of gaining political asylum. The difficulties he faces underscore the tragic circumstances which often frequent the lives of asylum seekers, and demonstrate the courage and humanity of individuals like Alem.

My school bookclub