The Bulletin of

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of the Center for Children's Books

The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based booklist available as an online-only Bulletin feature. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.

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Down and Dumped:  A Heartbroken Dozen

--selected by Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor

So it’s almost Valentine’s Day and you’ve just been dumped. What’s a hopeless romantic like yourself to do? Find yourself a pint of ice cream, a comfy couch, and curl up with these fellow heartbroken protagonists. After all, misery loves company…and a good book.

DIY dozen
Benway, Robin.  Audrey, Wait!  Razorbill.  Gr. 9-12 
When Audrey dumps her boyfriend, he turns their breakup into a hit song, making Audrey into a pop-culture phenomenon and her life into a roller-coaster ride in this witty and knowing comedy. (BCCB 04/08)

Collins, Yvonne Love Inc.; written by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout. Hyperion, 2011. Gr. 7-10
Sharing the same cheating boyfriend gives three girls a brilliant business plan, and soon Love Inc., is booming with business from spurned lovers and their desire for payback in this fun and frothy novel perfect for the recently broken-hearted. (BCCB 2/11)

Graham, Rosemary. Stalker Girl. Viking, 2010. Gr. 8-12
A friendly, conversational tone leavens this at times cringe-inducing account of one girl’s transformation from healthy, self-possessed teen into a needy, almost Fatal Attraction-worthy protagonist after she gets dumped by her musician boyfriend. (BCCB 09/10)

Green, John. An Abundance of Katherines. Dutton, 2006. Gr. 7-12
With his characteristic witty prose, Green tells the tale of Colin Singleton, boy genius, and his efforts to find a mathematical formula to predict relationship outcomes after being dumped for nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine. (BCCB 10/06)

Griffin, Paul. Stay With Me. Dial, 2011. Gr. 9-12
This tender portrayal of the doomed romance between CeCe, a shy, hardworking A-student and Mack, a high school dropout with a special gift with animals, will have readers reaching for their hankies. (BCCB 11/11)

Handler, Daniel. Why We Broke Up; illus. by Maira Kalman. Little, Brown, 2012. Gr. 9-12
Like the perfect break-up song, this searing look at the perils of first love through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Min as she writes her ex-boyfriend one final letter transforms the pain of heartbreak into a cathartic work of art. (BCCB 1/12)

Hoffmann, Kerry Cohen. It’s Not You, It’s Me: A Novel. Delacorte, 2009. Gr. 7-10
Unable to face the fact that her boyfriend of six months no longer wants to be with her, sixteen-year-old Zoe engages in a month-long battle to either get Henry back or sabotage his romantic life completely. (BCCB 09/09)

Lockhart. E. The Boyfriend List: (15 guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Ruby Oliver). Delacorte, 2005. Gr. 7-10
The titular Ruby reassesses her romantic life through a series of therapy sessions that have her compiling “all the boyfriends, kind-of boyfriends, almost-boyfriends, rumored boyfriends, and wished-he-were boyfriends I’ve ever had” in an effort to curb her growing panic attacks. (BCCB 03/05)

Luper, Eric. Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto. Balzer+Bray, 2010. Gr. 7-10
After his girlfriend breaks up with him and he sees his father out with another woman, high school senior Seth Baumgartner starts a podcast from his basement dedicated to the failures of love. (BCCB 9/10)

Martin, C.K. Kelly. I Know It’s Over. Random House, 2008. Gr. 9-12
Focusing on the oft-overlooked perspective of the male dumpee, this poignant tale is narrated by Nick, a sixteen-year-old boy whose break-up with his girlfriend is complicated by his recent discovery that she is pregnant. (BCCB 10/08)

Rosenthal, Lorraine Zago Other Words for Love. Delacorte, 2011. Gr. 9-12
Seventeen-year-old Ari must pick up the pieces after the demise of her romantic relationship with Blake in this moving tale that will speak strongly to the recently heartbroken. (BCCB 2/11)

Spinelli, Jerry. Love, Stargirl. Knopf, 2007. Gr. 6-9
A fling with a minor juvenile delinquent convinces Stargirl that her heart still belongs to her ex-boyfriend, Leo, and she decides to write him the wrold’s longest letter documenting her life without him. (BCCB 11/07)

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This page was last updated on February 1, 2012.