Tomorrow GEPL is having a Volunteer Fair! This is a great chance for anyone looking to get some hours in for Key Club or National Honors Society, or just looking to get involved and give back. There will be all kinds of organizations here wanting to sign up volunteers on the spot. And if you’re looking for some volunteering inspiration, the books listed below all feature awesome teen volunteers!
The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti – Jade hates being at the mercy of her anxiety disorder and panic attacks. So when she finds out that the elephants at the zoo have a calming effect on her, she begins watching the zoo’s live webcam, which is where she first sees Sebastian. When she starts volunteering at the zoo to get closer to her beloved elephants, she finally meets him. Jade is quickly drawn into Sebastian’s world with his son he is raising alone and his grandmother who is raising him. But Sebastian is holding something back, and Jade’s relationship with him is about to get a lot more complicated than she imagined.
Lucky T by Kate Brian – Carrie didn’t actually want to volunteer to build houses for the poor in Calcutta, India. But she had to find a way to get her lucky t-shirt back, so off to India she went. Carrie’s life was perfect – great grades, great boyfriend, great roles in the school play and on the varsity basketball team – until her mom accidentally donated her t-shirt. But as she abandons building houses and scours India for her good luck charm, Carrie finds herself actually liking kids when she starts volunteering at an orphanage, and liking Dee – another volunteer there – even more. Readers accompany Carrie as she struggles with Dee, doing good, and her own privilege.
Meeting Chance by Jennifer Lavoie – If you suffered from a debilitating fear of dogs after a brutal dog attack at age nine, what would you do? Aaron decides to face his fear – and conquer it – by volunteering at an animal shelter. While Aaron is there, Chance appears at the shelter. The pit bull is as scarred and scared as Aaron is, but that doesn’t prevent terror from stopping Aaron in his tracks when he meets Chance for the first time. The two must learn to trust each other if either of them are going to recover from their fear and trauma. As Aaron bonds with Chance and a new human friend he made at the shelter, he slowly begins to let go of his fears and come into his own.
The Language Insideby Holly Thompson – Emma misses Japan, where she was raised, all the time. But she is trapped in the US while her mother undergoes treatment for breast cancer. When Emma’s grandmother pushes her into volunteering at a long term care facility, Emma doubts it will help with her homesickness. But as she gets to know Zena, the resident she is helping to write down her poetry, and gets close to Samnang, another volunteer, Emma starts to think the US isn’t so bad. But will she stay, when the chance to return to Japan is offered? The Language Inside is told in verse, and the lyrical language beautifully illustrates Emma’s inner life and struggles.