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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Touchstones of American History

The Museum of Extraordinary Things

A new novel by Alice Hoffman is always cause for celebration. The Museum of Extraordinary Things conjures up the sights and sounds of early 20th century, Gilded Age Coney Island and New York City. Hoffman’s many teen readers will appreciate the magical love-at-first-sight between her two young protagonists, and fans of The Night Circus will [...]

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 [...]

Women at War

I Shall Be Near to You

Two highly recommended historical novels today. I Shall Be Near to You is, at its heart, a compelling love story. It features a strong heroine, so in love with her husband that she disguises herself as a man to accompany him into the horrors of the Civil War. I’m afraid its cover art may limit the [...]

Family, for Better or Worse

Mother, Mother

Today we review three very different novels about families, none of them easy. The families, that is! Koren Zailckas is well-known for her memoir Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood (Viking, 2005). Mother, Mother is her first novel, and it introduces a doozy of a family dynamic. The story includes elements of suspense, psychological thriller and [...]

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: Setting

The Fever Tree

We write a lot about genre and the types of books that teens enjoy reading. But what about setting? Do teen readers care about sinking into the setting of a book? This is an element that teens rarely mention when they share what they enjoy reading, or how much they liked a particular book. But [...]

Weekly Reviews: Historical Fiction & Reviewer Spotlight

Orphan Train

Today we highlight three recent historical novels set in a variety of time periods and locations. I also thought it would be fun to highlight one of our AB4T reviewers, Connie Williams, who has been reviewing historical fiction since the blog began. First, a brief introduction to the reviews. Orphan Train moves between contemporary Maine and [...]

Weekly Reviews: Literary Fiction

A Tale for the Time Being

Today’s reviewed novels are most likely to appeal to strong, mature teen readers looking for a challenge. Yet each includes a teen character, an authentic teen voice, that will keep the adventurous reading. The starred review belongs to A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. This novel is difficult to categorize. It begins [...]

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 [...]

Weekly Reviews: Historical Fiction

My One Square Inch of Alaska

Some of you might think I’m stretching the definition of historical fiction with the first book up today. But if we consider historical fiction as works in which historical backdrop plays a strong role in the story, I think this qualifies. In any case, I am excited to introduce My One Square Inch of Alaska, a traditional [...]