Today and tomorrow I’m going to share some of my all time favorite flash booktalks, but first I’ll let you in on a secret. Every summary in each of my book reviews is intended to be used as a flash booktalk with minimal tweaking. Feel free to use any of these with your teens, but if you are going to post them online please link back to my blog.
17 and Gone by Nova Ren Suma
They come to Lauren to tell their stories, appearing out of nowhere. Girls that have vanished and now haunt her days and her dreams. All of them seventeen and all of them missing. Abby Sinclair is the first, but she’s followed by Fiona, Emily, ShyAnn, and so many more. Lauren becomes obsessed with them; letting everything else fall away as she tries to figure out what it means. Are they dead? Is she next? Can she save any of them? Can she save herself?
Poison by Bridget Zinn
Have you ever wished the girls who came complete with cute little animal sidekicks kicked just a little more butt? Would you like a fairy tale where the girl made her own poisons, glamours, and sleeping potions instead of getting beaten by magic and waiting for a prince to save her? Meet Kyra: sixteen, master potioner, fugitive, and determined to save her kingdom even if it means murdering her best friend. Sound good? Read Poison by Bridget Zinn.
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
It all starts with an email, sent by mistake. Ellie is living a quiet small town life with her mother when she receives an email meant for someone else. She writes back and over time they start share more and more about themselves, becoming close friends despite never exchanging full names or meeting in person.
She has no idea that the person on the other end is Graham Larkin, Hollywood’s latest heartthrob, until he brings the movie he’s shooting to Ellie’s small town in hopes of meeting her face to face. There’s just one problem: being with Graham would put her in the spotlight; the same spotlight her mother brought her to Maine to escape.
Teenage Love Affair by Ni Ni Simone
Zsa-Zsa has everything: hot clothes, her own ride and her smokin hot boyfriend Ameen. Then Zsa-Zsa’s first love Malachi comes back into her life and Ameen is not happy. He’s not just jealous, he’ll do anything to make sure Zsa Zsa knows she belongs to him. Will Zsa Zsa drop Ameen for Malachi? Will she get some help before Ameen goes too far? Check out Teenage Love Affair by Ni Ni Simone.
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Cullen Witter used to be pretty sure that nothing interesting would ever actually happen in his quiet hometown of Lily, Arkansas. Not anymore. His brother is missing and the whole town is more interested in the sighting of a woodpecker everyone thought was dead than in finding Gabriel.
Cabot Searcy doesn’t take college very seriously until his roommate’s suicide left him with a mysterious religious text and more questions than answers. His obsession drives away his friends, family, and even his wife. It eventually leads him to Lily, Cullen, Gabriel, and the reality of second chances.
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Min and Ed were not your typical high school couple. Ed’s a popular basketball player and Min likes old movies and hanging out in coffee shops. They shouldn’t work, and they didn’t. Now Min is returning a box of stuff to Ed, along with a letter describing each item and why it matters in explaining why they broke up.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
It is the first day of November, and so, today, someone will die. Every November the deadly water horses come close to the shore and every November the men of Thisby try to capture them as race horses.
Sean Kendrick has won the Scorpio Races four times for his employer, but he dreams of a horse and the prize to call his own. Puck Connolly enters the race almost by accident but soon learns winning is the only way to save her home.
As the two riders grow closer they fight against the men who don’t want a woman in the race, and the jealous rich boy who wants Sean’s horse for his own. Still, the biggest threat waits for them in the blood-thirsty water horses that can turn on humans at any time.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Cas kills the dead. Yes, you heard me. He goes after murdering ghosts and finishes them off, once and for all. His father died doing the same job and Cas inherited his weapon.
It’s mostly the same town after town: track, hunt, and kill. That is until Cas begins tracking a mysterious ghost named Anna Dressed in Blood, a girl murdered in 1958 and a ghost like he’s never seen before.
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanan
Jessica lives for running. She’s a star athlete on the Liberty High track team, so when she loses her leg below the knee in an accident she doesn’t know what to do.
During her recovery she is fitted for a prosthetic leg and will have to learn how to walk again, but that’s not enough. Jessica wants to run. It’s not impossible, her track coach shows her YouTube videos of athletes running with sleek carbon-graphite running blades, but her running dream comes with a price.
A leg like that costs around 20,000 dollars and Jessica’s family is still struggling with the hospital bills. However, Jessica and her new friend Rosa, a girl with cerebral palsy, are determined to overcome everything in her way. With the help of her teammates, family, and friends Jessica’s dream, and a chance to help Rosa with hers, just might be in reach.
Brooklyn Burning by Steve Brezenoff
Kid did sometimes stay at the warehouse that burned down in Greenpoint.
Kid knows the police think he had something to do with it.
Kid also sometimes crashes in the basement of Fish’s bar to avoid sleeping on the street.
Kid’s mom doesn’t know Kid’s dad kicked Kid out.
Kid isn’t over Felix, but Kid might be feeling something for Scout. Why do I keep saying Kid’s name? Because the book doesn’t tell us whether Kid is male or female. I don’t think it matters, but you can read Brooklyn Burning and see for yourself.