"Drugs, sex, and rock 'n' roll, those hallmarks of the summer of 1969, are all here, but there's so much more. In this loosely autobiographical novel, Strasser introduces 18-year-old Lucas, who is bright and sensitive but also a screw up…. The picture painted of the Woodstock music festival shows the dark side of peace and love, and the prevalence of drugs is on almost every page…The best part of the book, however, is the one that transcends eras: Lucas' introspection as he contemplates his place in the world." — Library Journal

"You would figure that in 1969 a recent high school graduate driving a VW micro- bus dubbed Odysseus would be on a journey. Lucas’s family is dysfunctional; his girlfriend, Robin, has a clear direction to her life that may not include him; and he himself doesn’t think beyond his next acid trip or the upcoming Woodstock festival. The first-person voice cleverly shifts to the third person to portray Lucas’s LSD trips as out-of- body experiences. Letters from Robin and a friend serving in Vietnam, newspaper headlines, and notices from the draft board provide ballast to Lucas’s perspective." -- Horn Book

“Taut, compact, and suspenseful, the novel raises important questions about war.” – Kirkus  Reviews.


“Strasser turns in another smoothly written, powerful novel as he engages a topic that is

especially timely for more than 240,000 American soldiers are currently involved in some 172 foreign countries. The discussion this thought-provoking book will surely engender is both welcome and imperative.” – Booklist * (starred review).


“Rather than attempting to sway the reader, it offers awareness. This title could generate a great deal of discussion as a class-wide read and is highly recommended for reluctant readers.” - VOYA



"Equal parts Moby-Dick retelling, environmental cautionary tale, and coming-of-age story, Strasser’s antastical SF epic blends disparate pieces into a harmonious whole. Filled with luscious depictions of life at sea that harken back to the golden age of science fiction, Strasser weaves an engrossing tapestry that evokes a sense of wonder and calls to the imagination." - Publisher's Weekly 

"A riveting tale that harkens back to the high-seas adventures of old, full of pirate encounters and other harrowing nautical perils.  VERDICT: A must-read maritime adventure story for a new generation." - School Library Journal

AWARD: Green Earth Book Award

"This compelling social commentary challenges stereotypes about homeless people and offers a look at homelessness from the perspective of a middle-class teen. Diverse characters, easy dialogue, realistic school and community settings, believable tension, and references to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath fuel Strasser’s well-paced, engaging narrative. Readers will be drawn into this contemporary story. - School Library Journal

"Stalwart scribe Strasser returns with this strong contemporary effort about a topic alarmingly underrepresented in modern YA: poverty. Timely and important material.-- Booklist 

Clearly meant to inspire discussion about morality in the face of today’s social and economic problems, the book also delivers an authentic look at contemporary high-school society. -  Publisher's Weekly


National Council for Social Studies Notable Book

Children's Book Council Choice

Young Hoosier Book Award

ISBN-13: 978-0763655341



“Exciting, harrowing … This is a superb entertainment …  It  thrums along with finely wrought atmosphere and gripping suspense…”



"A Must-Read Middle School Book" --  School Library Journal


"This riveting examination of things important to a boy suddenly thrust into an adult catastrophe is un-put-down-able. " -- KIRKUS [Starred review]







ISBN-13: 978-1416994435


For DeShawn, joining a gang seems like a terrible decision — why would he want to work for a pittance running drugs when the inevitable consequences are jail or an early death? A bright boy, he does well in school and tries his best to obey the grandmother who has raised him since his mother’s accidental death in gang crossfire. But as DeShawn enters adolescence, the lure of the streets becomes a stronger force, pulling him away from his seemingly meaningless academics and toward the glamour of life in the Douglass Disciples


Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the CBC.


Gateway Readers Award (nominee).


North Carolina School Library Media Association YA Book Award (nominee). 


Kentucky Bluegrass Master List (nominee).


Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Awards (nominee).

ISBN-13: 978-1416959427


In the middle of the night Garrett is taken from his home to Harmony Lake, a boot camp for troubled teens. Maybe some kids deserve to be sent there, but Garrett knows he doesn’t. Subjected to brutal physical and psychological abuse, he tries to fight back, but the battle is futile. He won’t be allowed to leave until he’s admitted his “mistakes” and conformed to Harmony Lake’s standards of behavior.



American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.


Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award.


Book for the Teen Age. New York Public Library.


Iowa High School Book Award (nominee).


2011Peach Book Award for Teen Readers.


Virginia 2010Young Readers Award (nominee).

ISBN-13: 978-0689848933

High school sophomores Gary Searle and Brendan Lawlor have had enough. Day in and day out, for more than two years, they have been harassed, beaten up, and cursed out by most of the jocks at Middleton High. It's time for revenge.


American Library Association: Popular Paperbacks For Young Adults.


Top ten Selection for Middle School/Junior High (Kansas State Reading Circle).


Minnesota: Maud Hart Lovelace Award (Master List).


New York: Washington Irving Children's Choice Book Award.


New York: Charlotte Award


Pennsylvania: Young Reader's Choice Award (Master List).


Rhode Island: Teen Book Award (winner).


Voice Of Youth Advocates: Top Shelf Fiction for Middle Schoolers.

ISBN-13: 978-0440993711


This international bestseller has been translated into more than 20 different languages and is read in classrooms all over the world. Based on actual events that took place as the result of a history class experiment in a California high school in 1969. Ben Ross, a high school history teacher, begins his usual unit on World War II with a film strip depicting the horrors in Nazi concentration camps. When his students express doubts that the Holocaust could ever happen again, Ross concocts an experiment to illustrate to his students just how this type of blind following can easily happen, even in their own school.



ISBN-13: 978-0756954994


Her street name is Maybe. Thrown out by her abusive mom, she lives with a tribe of homeless teens — runaways and throwaways, kids who have no place to go other than the cold city streets, and no family except for one another. Abused, abandoned, and forgotten, they struggle against the cold, hunger, and constant danger.


American Library Association: Best Book for Teens.


American Library Association: Quick Pick For Reluctant Readers.


American Library Association: Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.


Inter­na­tional Read­ing Association: Young Adult Choice Award.

ISBN-13: 978-0595396528

Everyone was drinking at the party. When Bobby invites Matt to go with a group up to his ski house, Matt refuses. A fatal accident ensues and Chris, who has a reputation for drinking and dealing drugs, is immediately blamed. However, Matt is convinced there is unseen aspect of the accident, and he is determined to expose it. But when he does, he’ll find himself in a political cover-up of staggering proportions.

Edgar Allan Poe (nominee). Mystery Writers of America.

Books for the Teen Age. New York Public Library.  

Pick of the Lists. American Bookseller.

ISBN-13: 978-1416975113

At 14, Jamie Gordon took some photos of a famous model’s embarrassing moment and sold them to a tabloid, which led to her own first taste of fame. Now 16 and a professional paparazzo, she’s in LA to document a week in the life of starlet Willow Twine.  A mystery and moral dilemma ensues when Jamie discovers six photos on her camera that could ruin Willow’s career.


"Strasser presents a story about a young girl who wants to find fame, but the reader can see that she is sacrificing personal relationships to do so. The message is clear, but in a thoughtful rather than preachy way, as Jamie reflects on what she has learned. This is a good read that is taken from today’s celebrity headlines; it should surely hook teens looking for a good story that they can identify with." -- Library Media