Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallfower”…

is a 1999 novel narrated by a teenager who describes various scenes in his life by writing letters to an anonymous person. The story takes place in a Pittsburgh suburb during the early 1990s, when Charlie, the narrator, is a high school freshman. Charlie is the story’s wallflower, for he is an unpopular individual who doesn’t participate in school events, as well as an unconventional thinker. Ranking third on the American Literary Association’s list of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2009 for reasons including the book’s treatment of drugs, homosexuality, sex and suicide, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” doesn’t shy away from exploring controversial themes. After his friend commits suicide, the misfit Charlie is trying to learn to restructure his life by befriending a group of older kids who introduce him to partying. This coming-of-age story, which has been compared to “The Catcher in the Rye,” explores the complicated issues of growing up in a unique, engaging fashion.

“Sunday at Tiffany’s,”…

a romance novel by the bestselling author James Patterson, depicts a lonely young protagonist named Jane, whose childhood loneliness was cured by a handsome, kind boy named Michael. Nearly 20 years after Michael departs, Jane, the successful yet still lonely playwright, spies the familiar face from her childhood, and the possibility of a happily ever after with her true love becomes a reality. A sweet, refreshing romance novel told with simple language and an interesting premise, “Sunday at Tiffany’s” is a recommended easy read.

Ellen Raskin’s 1979 Newbery Medal winning novel, “The Westing Game,”…

focuses on the adventures of Sam Westing’s 16 heirs as they attempt to unfold the secret behind his death. The 16 heirs are mysteriously chosen to live in the Sunset Towers apartment building to hear the millionaire Westing’s will. The will divides the heirs into eight pairs, giving each pair a different set of clues and challenging them to figure out who murdered Westing. Whoever solves the mystery will inherit Westing’s $200 million fortune and his Westing Paper Products Company. The 16 engaging characters, as well as the underlying mystery and the clues provided to the heirs from the song “America the Beautiful,” make “The Westing Game” a fun, interesting read for young adults and college students.

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