Search on SLJ.com ....
Subscribe to SLJ
Follow This Blog: RSS feed
Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

My Salinger Year

My Salinger Year

Joanna Rakoff’s wonderfully engaging memoir, My Salinger Year, shares the author’s experiences during the year she moves to New York City straight out of grad school. She sort of maybe wants to be a poet. She knows she wants to work with books. Maybe publishing? She leaves her boyfriend behind, even though he sounds like [...]

Mixed-Race Relationships

Everything I Never Told You

Today we have two stand-out novels involving race and immigration that are told from multiple points of view. Both involve the weight of parental expectations. Everything I Never Told You is Celeste Ng‘s debut novel, and our starred review joins other stars from LJ, Booklist and PW.  This is a dysfunctional family story in which [...]

Short Work

questionable practices

Neither of the books reviewed below looks much like a traditional short story collection. Eileen Gunn’s Questionable Practices includes stories as short as one page long, a poem, and a “steam-punk quartet” of stories. Novak’s collection, meanwhile, mocks the whole concept of a “short story collection”, calling itself, in the subtitle,  “Stories and Other Stories”. [...]

Longbourn

Longbourn

Jane Austen lovers are in for quite a treat. Oh wait, make that Jane Austen lovers and Downton Abbey fans. Oh yes, buy multiple copies because Longbourn has arrived at last. Imagine that among the Bennet family servants there is one just about the same age as Elizabeth. Sarah is a hard worker, solid and [...]

Community and Poverty

Men we Reaped

We review two books today, both set in very specific communities overshadowed by poverty and tragedy. Let’s start with Men We Reaped, a memoir by Jesmyn Ward. Ward’s fierce, poetic debut novel, Salvage the Bones, won the National Book Award and a 2012 Alex Award. It follows a pregnant teenage girl and her family through [...]

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: Postmodernism

teleportation

Today we look at two examples of the postmodern novel. Postmodernism has gotten a bad rap–almost from the beginning–for being purposefully obscure, denying the existence of meaning, and encouraging moral relativism.  But, while I concede that many postmodern works of art can be infuriatingly vague, for me at least the best postmodern novels (like the [...]

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

The first big breakout novel of 2013 was actually published in 2012, thanks to Oprah’s Book Club. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was originally scheduled to be published this month, but after Oprah’s big announcement, Knopf moved up the publication date. With recent reviews in the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, you name [...]

The Red Chamber

The Red Chamber

Pauline Chen’s new novel is a great recommendation for historical fiction or romance-loving teens wishing to expand their horizons. Chen retells and dramatically shortens the Chinese novel Hong Lou Meng, often translated as Dream of the Red Chamber, which includes the most famous love triangle in Chinese literature. (For more about the original, see this [...]

Perla

Perla

Carolina De Robertis has written a beautiful novel about a horrifying time in South American history. Perla is a young woman who comes of age following Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-1983). As a young adult, Perla learns that her family was involved in the fates of “the disappeared,” and must contend with that legacy. The novel [...]