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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

The Magician’s Land

The Magician's Land

Is there anything better than a trilogy that improves with each installment? That’s saying a lot when the first book wins an Alex Award (The Magicians) and the second (The Magician King) makes our AB4T Best of the Year list. Lev Grossman wraps up the trilogy with The Magician’s Land (releasing tomorrow) in a singularly satisfying manner. [...]

Steal the North with Author Interview

Steal the North

Every other month you can find an AB4T debut author interview in the SLJ Teen Newsletter. Last week featured an interview with Heather Brittain Bergstrom, author of Steal the North. I thought I would include some excerpts from that interview here, but it is definitely worth reading in its entirety. One of the central themes [...]

Dragons & Romance

Moth and Spark

For the last two school years, a good half of my student bookgroup meetings have devolved into chatter about The Game of Thrones. There are those who have read all of the books, those who are obsessed with the HBO series, those just getting their feet wet. And yes, there are the quiet few who [...]

Pressure to Succeed

Life in Motion

Today I’m combining two books about pursuing competitive, pressure-filled fields — dance and basketball. One is nonfiction, one fiction. Both are full of struggle, family difficulties, and the stress of expectations. Misty Copeland is a phenomenon, and her book is a gift to the many young people obsessed with ballet (or dance of any kind). [...]

Novels about the One Percent

The Last Enchantments

Today we have two very different novels that feature the lives of the uber-wealthy. I love Jamie Watson’s reference to Brideshead Revisited in her starred review of The Last Enchantments. I was completely obsessed with that novel when we read it in senior year English, and I think the fact that I never fully understood [...]

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 [...]

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: 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: Speculative Fiction

The Office of Mercy

Today we review three thrillingly original works of speculative fiction. Let’s start with a post-apocalyptic, dystopian debut novel. The Office of Mercy is being marketed as a Hunger Games readalike. (I’ve also seen comparisons to recent Alex Award winner, Pure). However, debut author Djanikian is more concerned with ethical questions than fast-paced action. The Alphas had good intentions [...]

Weekly Reviews: Tough Times

Me Before You

Whether memoir or realistic fiction, many teens respond to stories of struggle that are told from the heart. Here are three to recommend. Let’s begin with a love story. We haven’t featured many love stories here. At least, not weepy, traditional ones that earn a starred review! Many are couched in historical fiction or the [...]