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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

The Recent Past

Songs of Willow Frost

Three novels set in the recent past all center on adolescents betrayed or abandoned by the adults in their lives. Jamie Ford‘s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, was a hugely successful debut. At the time of publication it was recommended for teen readers, and justifiably so. More recently, it was [...]

Weekly Reviews: Great Spring Fiction

The Kings and Queens of Roam

Today we highlight three very different spring novels that all hinge on a crucial element of teen appeal — forging one’s own identity. Daniel Wallace is best known as the author of Big Fish. The Kings and Queens of Roam combines folklore and light fantasy elements with family drama, in particular that of two sisters [...]

Review: Good Kings Bad Kings

Good Kings Bad Kings

Susan Nussbaum has already won the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction for this, her first novel, Good Kings Bad Kings. The Bellwether Prize was created by Barbara Kingsolver to honor writing that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships. It is now administered by PEN America. Previous [...]

Weekly Reviews: Nonfiction

My Beloved World

This is Sonia Sotomayor’s 8th week on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list, up to #4 from #5 last week. (Sandra Day O’Connor’s book, Out of Order, debuts at #11.) I am particularly excited to write about My Beloved World this week because I recently had a chance to booktalk it to a [...]

Weekly Reviews: Crime

portlandtown

In this week’s reviews, we delve into three takes on the everlasting American obsession with crime and criminals.  We start with Rob Deborde’s Portlandtown, which injects its paranormal underpinnings (and just “what is it with all this paranormal activity occurring in the Pacific Northwest?” asks reviewer Carla Riemer) with classic tropes from Western and Crime fiction [...]

The Coldest Night

The Coldest Night

This coming of age novel begins with a forbidden romance. Henry is a junior in high school, working at a stable when he meets Mercy. Her family considers him to be from the wrong side of the tracks, but the two fall deeply in love. What begins in a romantic vein becomes a dark story [...]

The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac

Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac

Kris D’Agonstino’s debut is an example of that rare animal, the funny, smart, well-written novel about family that will even appeal to boys. There is a short piece on the ReadingGroupGuides website in which the author discusses how much of his book is autobiographical. Here is a relevant excerpt, “The wackiest and thereby most vexing period [...]

Panther Baby

Panther Baby

In this rather extraordinary memoir, Jamal Joseph recounts his journey from Black Panther to prison to professor at Columbia University. Joseph gave the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture at ALA Midwinter in Dallas last month, which was followed by this interview with American Libraries Associate Editor Pamela A. Goodes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzKLO2fdXiU Goodes begins by asking, “So many lessons [...]

Running the Rift

Running the Rift

Naomi Benaron has already won the Bellwether Prize for Running the Rift, a novel about a boy who grows up during the ethnic conflict in Rwanda and the 1994 genocide. The last two winners of the Bellwether were also first novelists whose work showed teen appeal: Hillary Jordan, 2006, for Mudbound (Algonquin Books) and Heidi [...]

When She Woke

When She Woke

“When she woke, she was red.” From the very first sentence, Hillary Jordan’s sophomore effort starts off strong and never lets up. Jordan debuted with Mudbound (Algonquin, 2008), winner of a 2009 Alex Award. When She Woke has even more teen appeal. In this case the protagonist, Hannah Payne, is barely past her teen years, [...]