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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates

Considering that it is based on a police case from almost 30 years ago, it is astonishing how much currency Joyce Carol Oates’s new novel has. A black teen is found beaten and apparently raped, naming only “white cops” as the perpetrators before lapsing into silence. The ensuing polarized reactions on the parts of the […]

Ghost Stories

Two ghost stories today, both more atmospheric than scary. We begin with the first adult novel from YA phenomenon Lauren Oliver. Before I Fall is one of my go-to recommendations, and was a huge hit with my high school bookgroup a couple years ago. And of course, there’s the Delirium trilogy, so I was quite […]

The Bees

The Bees

Laline Paull‘s debut novel, The Bees is different from any I have read before. She uses the life cycle of bees and the workings of a hive for inspiration, and in doing so points out fascinating equivalents to modern society. One ordinary bee, Flora, guides the reader through the novel’s mysterious world. Flora’s story takes […]

Guaranteed Chills!


We begin with Above by Isla Morley. When I first heard about this book in a publisher pitch, it was described as very like Room by Emma Donoghue. A girl is abducted by a survivalist, held underground for years (supposedly for her own protection from the coming apocalypse), during which time she has a child. […]


Readers of this blog might be interested to know about a new short story by Madeline Miller called “Galatea.”  Miller wrote one of our favorite books of last year, The Song of Achilles.  With this story she returns to the world of Greek myth, this time to the story of Pygmalion, which many of us know […]

Damaged Young Women

I’m very excited to introduce today’s novels, all three centered on emotionally damaged young women, and two of which are debuts that earn starred reviews from us.  I read the two debuts–Panopticon and Lotería–in short succession, about a month ago, and I’m hard pressed to say which I’m more excited about–both introduce readers to ferocious new talents […]

Linguistics and Teens

In just two weeks, Manchester, UK will be hosting the 11th annual International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL), an international competition for high school students to show off their skills in linguistic puzzles. The puzzles require no knowledge of specific languages, and sometimes use invented languages.  Instead, the teens use logic and their general linguistic knowledge.  Here’s […]

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Ben Fountain was inspired to write his first novel by a television broadcast of the Thanksgiving 2004 Dallas Cowboys game (still available for viewing in a very blurry Youtube video). Destiny’s Child performed the halftime show, which featured men dressed in military attire and a prominent martial drumbeat. The strange combination struck him, and the result is […]

The Cove

The Cove

Ron Rash’s new novel is a mysterious story of forbidden love in which much of the story is told from a teen girl’s point of view. Rash once again showcases his beautiful writing and a North Carolinian, Appalachian mountain setting, earning an AB4T starred review. Rash is best known for Serena (Ecco, 2008), which was […]

The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

One of the oldest stories in the Western canon is retold from a fresh perspective in Madeline Miller’s debut novel. I interviewed the author for the SLJ Teen Newsletter a few weeks ago, and I love the way her passion for the classics is reflected in her responses. I will share just two of them […]