Age Range: 14 and up
Reader’s Annotation: At seventeen Taylor is one of the oldest boarders and gets saddled with the job of Head of House. This means she must keep track of the younger students, make nice with the teachers and win back the territory lost by previous Heads to the neighboring Townies and Cadets.
Summary: Winner of this year’s Printz award, Jellicoe Road is a rich undertaking with a true reward for those who can stick with it. Seventeen year old Taylor Markham narrates from her boarding school in Australia as the newly crowned Head of House in a yearly summer battle with the Townies and the Cadets. As Head she must negotiate wars, skirmishes and kidnappings, all while trying to gain back ground lost by previous House Heads. While this story dominates the narrative, readers must also find their way through two other threads: the story written by Hannah (the closest thing to a parent Taylor has) which depicts the lives of 5 teens who previously lived on Jellicoe Road and the internal world of Taylor’s dreams. A slow start builds to a grand finish as Taylor and her friends finally piece together her past and her future on Jellicoe Road. Though the three narrations are different to sort at first, more skilled readers will appreciate Marcheta's style and her reasoning to tell the story as she does. Readers who fight their way through the first hundred pages will be glad they did.