****Thomas, Rob. Rats Saw God. 1996. 224 p. Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing.
Ages: Around 14 or 15 and up
Steve York starts out his senior year, at a new school, high, and failing English. An insightful guidance counselor reads Steve’s straight-A junior transcript and presents a challenge: write a 100-page essay about his life and pass English. The story flips between Steve’s difficult relationship with his astronaut dad and his first serious romance during junior year, and then coming to terms with life in his senior year. Good romance story from a boy’s point of view written by the creator of Veronica Mars before his TV career.
Parental Notes: Sex between teens, in detail. Good discussion on birth control and conversation of responsibilities between teens having sex. There’s also swearing, drinking and some drug usage—although there are consequences.