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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Inspirational Memoirs

In a Rocket Made of Ice

One of my favorite books of 2011 was Little Princes by Conor Grennan. It made that year’s AB4T best list, and Grennan is in demand around the country at schools and colleges where his book is a great Common Read choice. I say all of this to give context to the first of today’s books. [...]

Asian Identity

The Year She Left Us

The Year She Left Us concerns the search for belonging and identity, both personal and cultural. Ari was abandoned in China as a baby, taken to an orphanage, then adopted by a Chinese American woman, Charlie, who raises her in San Francisco with the help of her sister and mother. Now Ari is 18 and [...]

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 [...]