Wow! I can see why this young adult novel was listed by ALA as one of the best books for 2009. Collins gripping, suspensful novel tells the story of sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen, who inadvertently becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grisly, televised survival competition where young boys and girls are forced by the Government to fight each other to the death.--Talk about Survivor on steroids! Sounds bleak, but it's a pretty exciting read.
This futuristic genre is very popular with teens- Similar titles I'd recommend is Scott Westerfeld's series: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras.
David Guterson is one of my favorite authors. I've enjoyed his Snow Falling on Cedars, and his East of the Mountains. His provocative Our Lady...tells of a pill popping teenage runaway's visions of the Virgin Mary in a Washington forest. Campers hear of her visions and soon through their texts and tweets, summon hoards of religious fanatics who see the girl as an instrument of devine grace. The young priest doesn't know what to believe. Are her visions real, or drug induced? Guterson made me wonder...
Brook's novel traces the life of an actual book: the Sarajevo Haggadah, a Jewish codex, or prayer book. This exquisitely illuminated manuscript originated in medieval Spain. A present day book conservator, Hannah Heath is summoned to Sarajevo to restore the book. In it's pages, she finds several clues to its 500 year old history: a butterfly wing, a wine stain, salt crystals, and a white hair. The reader is trasported back in time to the book surviving the Spanish inquisition, anti-semitic 17th century Venice and 19th century Vienna, and the Nazi book burnings.
This is a culturely rich saga-such a wonderful read based on a true life literary puzzle!