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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Halloween Reading

The Supernatural enhancements

The days grow shorter. The evenings grow darker. You’re trying to figure out a costume to wear to school next Friday. In the spirit of the season, we review three new novels for those seeking a thrill this Halloween. Edgar Cantero’s first book in English, The Supernatural Enhancements, is a secret society mystery/haunted house gothic [...]

Court Intrigue

shadow queen

Whence our fascination with royalty? Back in my high school American History classes, I used to joke that ever since winning the Revolution, Americans have been trying their hardest to make the President into a king–a joke I find less and less funny as we are treated to ever-expanding executive power and a seemingly inevitable [...]

New Books from Three Popular Authors

Landline

Rainbow Rowell’s many, many teen readers are definitely not the target audience for her summer novel, Landline, but no matter. Rowell’s signature clever dialogue and snappy one-liners are in generous supply as one women tries to save her marriage. And while a failing marriage is not a favorite literary topic among teens, this novel also takes [...]

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 [...]