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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

A Trio of Thrillers

after her

Three great suspenseful reads today. Joyce Maynard bases her latest on a true crime spree that took place in the 1970s, the “Trailside Killings”. Her young teen narrator and her even younger sister decide to help their detective father catch the serial killer. The father-daughter relationship is a highlight of this one. Maynard created a [...]

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 [...]

Spell It Out

spell it out

My 5-year-old daughter has been teaching herself to write. She knows all the sounds of the letters, and some of the two-letter sounds, and she just writes phonetically. It’s pretty great, and I am totally encouraging, even when what she writes bears no resemblance to an English word. But every once in a while she [...]

Nonfiction Roundup

Five Days Memorial

Our first review today is an account of the happenings at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans during the five days after Hurricane Katrina. I will let you read the review for the details, but keep in mind that not only is this a compelling survival story, it is also a model of great and exhaustive [...]

Women’s Fiction

Forever Interrupted

Am I going out on a limb to suggest that teens read what readers’ advisory librarians refer to as “women’s fiction”? I don’t think so. Whether it’s Danielle Steele, Joshilyn Jackson, Alice Hoffman, or a newcomer like Vanessa Diffenbaugh and her wonderful debut, The Language of Flowers, teen readers are curious about the lives of adults, [...]

The Different Shades of Horror

Help for the Haunted

I am writing this on the Sunday evening of a weekend during which the movie “Insidious: Chapter 2″ made $41 million dollars at the box office. Tomorrow evening “Sleepy Hollow” premieres on Fox and CBS airs the finale of the first season of “Under the Dome”. “The Walking Dead” is on the cover of this [...]

Tattoos, a Funeral Home, and a Cat Named Bob

Wear Your Dreams

Three new memoirs make the most of teen-friendly subject matter. First, a celebrity memoir by Don Ed Hardy, the man who helped bring tattoo art into the mainstream. Hardy knew from the age of 10, when he was using colored pencils to give his friends “tattoos,” what he wanted to do with his life. He [...]

Weekly Reviews: Boarding Schools & Sports

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for GIrls

Today we review two notable debut novels featuring teen protagonists who are talented at the sports they love — riding and rowing. There are a surprising number of similarities between these books. Both take place in elite boarding schools, and feature teens who are new kids among long-time classmates, less wealthy outsiders struggling for the [...]

Weekly Reviews: Graffiti

rage is back

I fully admit that this may seem strange to many readers of this blog, but one of my favorite things to do after reading a historical novel is to read up about the facts of the history the novelist used.  Similarly, if a novel I’m reading revolves around some particular subject–anthropology, math, whatever–I tend to [...]

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 [...]