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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Language in Speculative Fiction

The Word Exchange

Today we review two speculative novels in which language plays an important role. The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon is all about language and the ways that technology changes words and communication. For teens who are as attached to their devices as to most of their actual body parts, this is ideally relevant literary fiction. (Slate titled [...]

A Nightmare that Walks like a Girl

The Girl with all the Gifts

Is Melanie a monster or a prodigy? The title of this post refers to the first of our thrilling reads of the day, The Girl with all the Gifts, in which one character, Sergeant Parks, thinks of Melanie as “the nightmare-that-walks-like-a-girl.” He’d rather deal with blood-thirsty zombies than with something that walks and talks like [...]

A Look at Minor League Baseball from John Feinstein

where nobody

We’re two weeks into the baseball season, the Giants are in first place in the National League West, and all is right with the world.  That must mean it’s time to start reading some baseball books, specifically John Feinstein’s Where Nobody Knows Your Name. Feinstein is a prolific sports writer, with nonfiction works on golf, [...]

Young Women in 19th Century America

The Invention of Wings

The Secret Life of Bees is a phenomenon with teen readers, especially girls. It hardly needs suggesting from us, does it? They just seem to know about it. It always comes up as a peer recommendation when I lead booktalk sessions with the 9th graders in my library. I wonder how that happens, 12 years [...]

All in the Family

blood-and-beauty

Today we look at three historical novels about very strange families.  Taking things chronologically, first up is Sarah Dunant’s Blood & Beauty, about the very real, and very twisted Borgias of Renaissance Italy. Wikipedia lists among their crimes “adultery, simony, theft, bribery, and murder (especially by arsenic poisoning).”  I quite like that parenthetical at the [...]

Weekly Reviews: Literary Mysteries

The Universe Versus Alex Woods

Gavin Extence’s debut novel earns today’s starred review. This is a unique book, which will be especially popular with the many fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and with Kurt Vonnegut readers. Every year, when I booktalk to my students, they bring up Haddon’s novel. It is still a widespread [...]

Weekly Reviews: Stranger Than Fiction

inventor-and-tycoon

A possibly insane man who was acquitted of murdering his wife’s lover because the jury found it to be justifiable homicide, and then went on to play one of the most crucial roles in the early development of motion pictures.  A teenage assassin who has been blamed (both then and now) for igniting the precipitating [...]

Weekly Reviews: Portraying the Famous (and Infamous)

Z: a novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Today we review three novels with famous people as their subjects. The first is Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. Teens continue to be fascinated by the Jazz Age and they read the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald, not only in literature classes but also for fun. (So I learned in a recent discussion with [...]

Some Kind of Fairy Tale

Some Kind of Fairy Tale

In his latest outing, Graham Joyce offers up the story of a 15 year-old girl lured away by fairies. What is so interesting about this particular fairy tale is how grounded it is in English village life and the characters involved. The effects of both Tara’s disappearance and her sudden reappearance 20 years later are [...]

Amped

Amped

Last year’s Robopocalypse was an AB4T 2011 Best of the Year and a 2011 Alex Award winner. With Amped, Daniel H. Wilson has created another dystopian world and another thriller that will have readers racing through the pages. Part of the marketing for the novel includes a blog on Facebook — Samantha Blex is a teenager [...]