I recently finished listening to Rash by Peter Hautman. Although the language might offend some readers, the plot, story, and writing are excellent. Fast forward the calendar about 70 years and you'll see Hautman's view of the future. In this way, Rash provides a clever commentary on our present society which is preoccupied with health and safety. In addition, the manner in which Bo Marsten, the main character, handles conflicts with his family, peers, school, and government are true to life and lead to a satisfying resolution. I believe this book will appeal to boys and girls from ages to 11-15.
Copper Sun by Sharon Draper was the winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award in 2007. It is told from the perspectives of an African slave girl and an indentured girl whose lives intersect in a South Carolina rice plantation in the early 1700's. Although I found some of the story predictable, the vivid horrors of slavery and the cruelty of slave owners definitely made this book a worthwhile read. In addition, the girls' journey south to Florida and to Fort Mose was a departure from the stories of slaves escaping to the north. The girls' emotions, interactions, and the development of their friendship are portrayed well. There are several references to sexuality as the main character is bought as a 16th birthday present for the masters' son, so parents should use discernment in recommending this book for younger readers.