Ellen Hopkins

Ellen  Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is a poet, freelance writer, and the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction titles and eleven NY Times Bestselling young adult novels-in-verse, as well as two novels for adults. Her twelfth YA novel and third adult novel will publish in 2015. She has published hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from aviation to child abuse to winegrowing. Ellen mentors other writers through her position as a board member for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She is a regular speaker at schools, book festivals and writers conferences across the US, and now throughout the world. She has also established Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit organization helping youth-in-need into safe housing and pursuing career goals through higher education and the arts.

It was an honor to participate in the 2008 TBF. The event was well-conceived and well-planned and how truly enjoyable it was to see so many enthusiastic teen readers in one place! Invite me back any time. Ellen Hopkins

Not sure which books to read? Let our TBF authors tell you which ones they recommend! Visit our Resources page, then scroll down to "TBF One Book Recommendations". You will also find a more complete list of books by each author under TBF Book List.

Burned

Burned
Verse
Recommended for teens

It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, the kind of dream that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a religious -- yet abusive -- family, a simple dream may not be exactly a sin, but it could be the first step toward hell and eternal damnation. It's with a real boy that Pattyn gets into real trouble. After Pattyn's father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn't know.

Crank trilogy #1: Crank

Crank trilogy #1: Crank
Verse
Recommended for teens

Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina -- she's fearless. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul -- her life.

Crank trilogy #2: Glass

Crank trilogy #2: Glass
Verse
Recommended for teens

Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it's all the same: a monster. And once it's got hold of you, this monster will never let you go. Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she's determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. She needs the monster to keep going, to face the pressures of day-to-day life. She needs it to feel alive. Once again the monster takes over Kristina's life and she will do anything for it, including giving up the one person who gives her the unconditional love she craves -- her baby. (Sequel to Crank)

Crank trilogy #3: Fallout

Crank trilogy #3: Fallout
Verse
Recommended for teens

Hunter is nineteen, angry, getting by in college with a job at a radio station, a girlfriend he loves in the only way he knows how, and the occasional party. He's struggling to understand why his mother left him, when he unexpectedly meets his rapist father, and things get even more complicated. Autumn lives with her single aunt and alcoholic grandfather. When her aunt gets married, and the only family she's ever known crumbles, Autumn's compulsive habits lead her to drink. Summer doesnt know about Hunter, Autumn, or their two youngest brothers, Donald and David. To her, family is only abuse at the hands of her father's girlfriends and a slew of foster parents. As each searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together--Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.

Identical

Identical
Verse
Recommended for teens

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.

Impulse

Impulse
Verse
Recommended for teens

Three lives, three different paths to the same destination: Aspen Springs, a psychiatric hospital for those who have attempted the ultimate act -- suicide. Vanessa is beautiful and smart, but her secrets keep her answering the call of the blade. Tony, after suffering a painful childhood, can only find peace through pills. And Conner, outwardly, has the perfect life. But dig a little deeper and find a boy who is in constant battle with his parents, his life, himself. In one instant each of these young people decided enough was enough. They grabbed the blade, the bottle, the gun -- and tried to end it all. Now they have a second chance, and just maybe, with each other's help, they can find their way to a better life -- but only if they're strong and can fight the demons that brought them here in the first place.

Perfect

Perfect
Verse
Recommended for teens

Cara's parents' unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body - no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run - on the field and off - Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he'll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood. Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?

Rumble

Rumble
Verse
Recommended for teens

Matthew Turner knows it doesn't get better. His younger brother Luke was bullied mercilessly after one of Matt's friends outed Luke to the whole school, and when Luke called Matt -- on the brink of suicide -- Matt was too wrapped up in his new girlfriend to answer the phone. Now Luke is gone, and Matt's family is falling apart. No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about forgiveness, there's no way Matt's letting those he blames off the hook -- including himself. As Matt spirals further into bitterness, he risks losing Hayden, the love of his life. But when her father begins to pressure the school board into banning books because of their homosexual content, he begins to wonder if he and Hayden ever had anything in common.

Smoke

Smoke
Verse
Recommended for teens

Pattyn Von Stratten's father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life as a migrant worker on a California ranch. But is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you've known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?

Tilt

Tilt
Verse
Recommended for teens

Mikayla, almost 18, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year - and decides to keep the baby? Shane turns 16 that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister's impending death. Can he accept Alex's love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened? Harley is 14 - a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Traffick

Traffick
Verse
Recommended for teens

Five teens victimized by sex trafficking try to find their way to a new life in this riveting companion to the "New York Times "bestselling "Tricks "from Ellen Hopkins, author of "Crank." In her bestselling novel, "Tricks," Ellen Hopkins introduced us to five memorable characters tackling these enormous questions: Eden, the preacher's daughter who turns tricks in Vegas and is helped into a child prostitution rescue; Seth, the gay farm boy disowned by his father who finds himself without money or resources other than his own body; Whitney, the privileged kid coaxed into the life by a pimp and whose dreams are ruined in a heroin haze; Ginger, who runs away from home with her girlfriend and is arrested for soliciting an undercover cop; and Cody, whose gambling habit forces him into the life, but who is shot and left for dead. And now, in "Traffick," these five are faced with the toughest question of all: "Is there a way out?" How these five teenagers face the aftermath of their decisions and experiences is the soul of this story that exposes the dark, ferocious underbelly of the child trafficking trade. Heartwrenching and hopeful, "Traffick "takes us on five separate but intertwined journeys through the painful challenges of recovery, rehabilitation, and renewal to forgiveness and love. All the way home.

Tricks

Tricks
Verse
Recommended for teens

"When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival." Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons.

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When we asked our authors what they were or might have been voted in HS, Ellen answered Most Likely to Burn her Bra.

Other Fun Facts

  • I caffeinate every morning, with three cups of strong, black coffee.
  • I've raised three generations of kids, over four decades.
  • I never win raffles, but once won a hot ski pants contest.
  • I have traveled to every state and every continent except Africa, which I'll get to eventually.
  • I used to show horses: English, Western and even gymkhana and for a whole rode the number three barrel horse in California.
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