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Jonathan Friesen
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Jonathan Friesen
Jonathan Friesen is an author, speaker, and youth writing coach from Mora, Minnesota. His first young adult novel, Jerk, California, received the ALA Schneider Award. When he's not writing, speaking at schools, or teaching, Jonathan loves to travel and hang out with his wife and three kids.
Aquifer
Zondervan, August 6, 2013
ISBN 978-0310731825

In 2250, water is scarce, and those who control it control everything. And they'll do anything to maintain their power—deceiving, dividing families, banning love—even killing those who oppose them. But above all, they seek to control knowledge and communication—ensuring the truth that will bring their downfall will never be known. But one person verges on discovering it all. Sixteen-year-old Paki becomes the Deliverer, the only one allowed to contact the people called 'Water Rats,' who mine the essential water deep underground and bring it to the 'Toppers' who desperately need it above. But when he meets a Water Rat who captures his heart and leads him to secrets—secrets about a vast conspiracy, and about himself—the net tightens. Paki and those around him must uncover and share the truth needed to overthrow tyranny—even as they fight for their lives.

  Aquifer
Rush
Penguin/Speak, 2010
ISBN 978-0142412589

Eighteen-year-old Jake’s latest stunt got him kicked out of school, but that’s small potatoes to a kid who scales bare mountain rock in the pouring rain and dives off treacherous waterfalls without blinking. It’s all for the rush, which erases the itching numbness of normal life; when free-falling, he thinks: “I’m Jake King, small and stupid and reeling with a glorious panic.”

Though he has avoided the firefighting life of his father and older brother—and much of their town—now it seems like the only way to salvage his troubled life. Just like that, he is hired on to a hotshot heli-rappeling crew alongside men who debate dinner choices while beating back blazes. Quickly Jake clashes with Mox, the leader of an elite group called the Immortals, as well as a secret society called the Rush Club—a grim brotherhood of daredevils that Jake is simultaneously attracted to and repelled by.

Awards and Recognition
Read On Wisconsin selection

  Rush
Jerk, California
Penguin/Speak, 2008
ISBN 978-0142412039

Sam Carrier is one confused kid. The high-school senior has Tourette's Syndrome messing with his body, Naomi Archer messing with his heart, and a dead dad messing with his mind.

Sam takes off on a road-trip to California looking for some peace. Each stop brings Sam and Naomi (yep, she comes along) closer to a truth Sam doesn't want to face, but can't run from anymore. It's the adventure of a lifetime, and his last chance to find out whose he really is.

Teacher's Guide

Awards and Recognition
ALA 2009 Schneider Family Book Award, Read On Wisconsin selection, Library Media Connection's Editors Choice Award

  Jerk, California
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