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It’s coming.

You can’t stop it.

It’s inevitable.

Summer is going to end and school is going to start again.  The return date is fast approaching and trying to stop it is futile.

Some of you reading this will be excited by this! A new school year is a fresh start, a chance to start over and redefine yourself (or get back into the swing of things after a break if you’re happy with how things are going)! New classes, new friends, and maybe even a new school!

Of course some of you are trying to stretch summer out and avoid going back until the last possible minute

We here at CCPL know that holding in your excitement (or dread) can be a challenge, so we found eight great books that take place in schools to get you excited for (or help you cope with) the upcoming year. If you aren’t thrilled about the idea of going back to school yet, maybe the drama, challenges, and adventures in these titles will give you hope that your upcoming year will be just as exciting! Come pick up one of these titles from your local CCPL branch and get ready for the new year ahead!

All title descriptions taken from publisher’s promotional materials.

They Wish They Were Us by Jessican Goodman

In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems.

Freshman year Jill’s best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on.

Now, it’s Jill’s senior year and she’s determined to make it her best yet. After all, she’s a senior and a Player–a member of Gold Coast Prep’s exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill’s year. She’s sure of it.

But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham’s innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn’t kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

First drink. First prank. First friend. First love. Last words.   

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words – and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet François Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps”. Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young, who will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.   

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A modern classic, this stunning debut marked number one best-selling author John Green’s arrival as a groundbreaking new voice in contemporary fiction.

Night School by CJ Daugherty

Allie Sheridan’s world is falling apart. Her brother’s run away from home. Her parents ignore her. And she’s just been arrested. Again.

This time, her parents have had enough. They send Allie to Cimmeria Academy – far away from her London friends. The school is beautiful – filled with gorgeous, ultra-wealthy teens who travel by private jet and were raised by nannies.

Allie has never felt more of an outsider.

Instead of hating boarding school though, Allie begins to feel happy. She’s slowly making friends. And there’s Carter, a brooding loner with whom she feels an instant connection.

But when she is attacked late one night, the school suddenly begins to feel like a very dangerous place. Allie finds out that nothing at Cimmeria is what it seems.

And that she is not who she thought she was.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

After a traffic stop turns violent at the hands of the police, a young Black teen grapples with racism – and what it means for his future. Critically acclaimed author Nic Stone boldly tackles America’s troubled history with race relations in her gripping debut novel.

Justyce is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend – but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs without cause.

When faced with injustice, Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce and a friend spark the fury of an off-duty cop. Words fly, shots are fired, and the boys get caught in the crosshairs. But in the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here–it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school — that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies.

Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist” — but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Killing November by Adriana Mather

November is as good as dead. She just doesn’t know it yet.

At the Academy Absconditi, there’s no electricity, no internet, and an archaic eye-for-an-eye punishment system. Classes range from knife throwing and poisons to the art of deception. And the students? Silver-spoon descendants of the world’s most elite strategists–all training to become assassins, spies, and master impersonators.

One is a virtuoso of accents–and never to be trusted. Another is a vicious fighter determined to exploit November’s weaknesses. And then there’s the boy with the mesmerizing eyes and a secret agenda. November doesn’t know how an ordinary girl like her fits into the school’s complicated legacy. But when a student is murdered, she’ll need to separate her enemies from her allies before the crime gets pinned or her…or she becomes the killer’s next victim.