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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

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 [...]

Fairy Tales


Adaptations of the fairy tales collected by the Grimm brothers are among my great pleasures in life. They account for one of my favorite picture books, Trina Schart Hyman outrageously gorgeous (and even more outrageously out-of-print) version of “Snow White” (Little, Brown, 1974); one of my favorite YA novels, Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels (Knopf, 2008), [...]

Why a Classic Is a Classic

The Rime of the Modern Mariner

A starred review today, from our graphic novel guest blogger, Francisca Goldsmith: Sequential art has been the go-to format for creators and adaptors, bowdlerizers and clever clogs who rework, or try to rework, classics. Disney-sponsored Scrooge McDuck, Posy Simmonds’ Gemma Bovery, published-for-classroom Manga Shakespeare, and Will Eisner’s repurposing of Moby Dick give only the beginning [...]

Runaway Girl

Runaway Girl

Watching her book trailer, it’s easy to see why Carissa Phelps is a successful motivational speaker and youth advocate. She has an incredible story and a caring, charismatic determination to help others. Phelps also created a documentary short about her life, Carissa (2008), which was produced by Davis Guggenheim, director of An Inconvenient Truth. PHELPS, [...]

Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea

Ruby Red Heart in a Cold Blue Sea

Morgan Callan Rogers has written a coming-of-age novel with a sympathetic yet tough young protagonist, enticing small-town coastal Maine setting, and a mystery. What happened to Florine’s mother?  Even more to the point, will Florine do alright without her? To tell the truth, we almost missed this one. This January title has flown under the radar [...]



Jessica Maria Tuccelli’s family saga incorporates both Native American and African American history and lore, and even some hints of the supernatural. The southern Appalachia setting is an important element of the book, so it is interesting to read the author’s description of how she found the setting for her story. You might also enjoy [...]