Leaving Fishers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Leaving Fishers Dorry didn’t just wake up one day and find herself somehow changed into a religious fanatic. She got that way through the insidious and careful coaxing of a group called Fishers of Men. The Fishers are a radical Christian cult that lure new-kid Dorry into their midst with bright smiles, accepting arms, and best of all–a sense of belonging in a new and bewildering high school. Dorry loves being a part of the Fishers–at first. Then she starts to notice how much the Fishers are really asking of her. She is constantly hounded to convert new members, to follow a rigid caste system within the group, even blow off homework to attend numerous Fisher meetings. Suddenly, Dorry’s not sure if she’s a devoted believer or a crazed fanatic. When Dorry is fired from her babysitting job for scaring the kids with stories of hell, she re-thinks the whole Fisher thing and decides she’ll take spirituality on her own terms–not someone else’s. An excellent read with a timely warning–that you can’t always judge a cult by its cover.

Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville

Armageddon Summer Marina and Jed are at the top of a mountain waiting for the end of the world. Sounds kinda romantic, doesn’t it? It would be if it wasn’t for the fact that their families are part of a religious group that believes the end is near and has sequestered all “true believers” on top of Mount Weeupcut to wait…and wait…and wait. Along with stirrings of interest in each other, Jed and Marina are also staring to feel stirrings of doubt that the world is actually going to end like their fearless leader, Rev. Beelson, has predicted. And Marina REALLY starts to feel uneasy when she notices that the camp supplies include guns–lots of them. Even though Jed has never totally been sure that the world is going to crash and burn, he is starting to feel like he’d rather be somewhere else if it does. But before either of them realize it, the eve of Armageddon is upon them and they have fallen in love. Who will live? Who will die? And will the world REALLY end? Find out in this two-cool thriller co-authored by teen lit. laureates Jane Yolen (Marina’s voice) and Bruce Coville (Jed’s voice).

Seventeen Ways to Eat a Mango by Joshua Kadison

Seventeen Ways to Eat a Mango A gentle and fun intro. to Buddhist principles, Mango claims to be the “recently discovered” journal of “J.”, an aimless young botanist who has been sent by The Man to scout out an island paradise for the purpose of building a fruit packing plant on it. But instead, J. falls in the love with the beautiful island of Sakahara and its inhabitants, especially the village wiseman, Katchumo. Katchumo’s teachings turn J.’s capitalist sensibilities into introspective musings, and J. decides to damn The Man and seek life’s answers for himself. Call it kinda a Jonathan Livingston Seagull for the 90’s.