Great Stories Club

Second Chances Theme

We all wish we had a second chance to redo certain events or moments in our lives. While we cannot change our past, when we use our past as an opportunity to challenge ourselves to learn and grow in new ways, second chances often arise. These stories are about teens who find second chances in unlikely places and make the most of them.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown (2010 Best Books for Young Adults)
Valerie thought the list she and her boyfriend Nick kept of all the people who tormented and bullied them was just a way to deal with the stress of high school, but Nick had other ideas. Valerie survived his murderous rampage, but others did not. Now she has to find a way to try to understand what happened and make peace with what’s left behind in her life.

Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers (2010 Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers)
Lil J is hiding from the police after a drug bust gone bad when he meets a mysterious stranger who offers him a chance to revisit some moments in his past while also giving him possible glimpses at his future. It all leads up to Lil J facing one pivotal question: “If you could do it all over again and change something, what would it be?”

The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees (2009 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults)
Frankie has always respected his older brother Steve, and he can’t quite understand why Steve craves the respect of the local tough-guy cholos. Once Steve takes Frankie under his wing, Frankie gets a first-hand look at how being loyal and trying to earn respect can have dangerous consequences.

The theme and titles were selected by YALSA’s Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Committee.


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