The Maze Runner - I understand why my students would enjoy it, but I really didn't. Suspenseful thrillers fill me with anxiety and dread. I do NOT enjoy that at all. I finished this book anyway and read about 40 pages of the second book in the series, The Scorch Trials, then I gave up. I'm glad to possess a copy to lend to students.
Scrawl by Mark Schulman - I LOVED this book! It's the opposite of action/adventure/thriller books like The Hunger Games. Very realistic, complex narrative, STRONG protagonist (teen bully/juvenile delinquent) voice, reminds me of John Conlan from The Pigman.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - I know I'm late to this fan table, but I still want to rave because it's a children's story about loss and tragedy but not disturbing violence. I'm not sure I care to watch the new soon-to-be released movie. Generally, I've decided to not bother with movies based on books. I don't watch many movies anyway, so why watch someone try to remake a book story that I truly enjoyed?
Resistance by Carla Jablonski - graphic novel, historical fiction about French people during the German/Nazi occupation - need I say more? The story is simple, should be easy (for 7th and 8th graders) to read as well as meaningful food for thought and discussion.
Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Graphic Novel - I read the original novel a few years ago, loved it for my own reading, but didn't think my students could follow the narrative or vocabulary. (I've been told that it's standard 11th grade classroom text in my district.) I think this graphic novel makes the story much more approachable for some 8th graders (specifically, readers who like graphic novels and/or strong readers).
I won the Scholastic book fair teacher raffle at my school - $25 worth of books, so I chose the last two books listed above! I felt SUPER lucky!!!