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    Host Book & Movie forums Katelynn Scott's Avatar

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    Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    People ask me for book recommendations for their teenagers all the time (I teach 7th grade English). I'm not sure if I've really posted much about books since the Naznet crash, so this thread is intended to introduce or recommend readers to several books or series. I can give more in-depth reviews of some of these later. Being pregnant, keeping up with grading and looking to buy a house has made my participation on NazNet this school year a bit lax. Take the following list as you wish!


    INDIVIDUAL FICTION BOOKS:

    "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon - the main character is an autistic teenager who lives with his dad and tries to solve a neighborhood murder mystery. I've heard from several experts that it's a pretty legitimate portrayal of what it is like to live with autism. High school level.

    "Mockingbird" by Kathryn Erskine - similar to Dog in the Night-time, but more of a middle school level book. The main character has autism and has just lost her older brother in a school shooting and must try to understand the world of loss and feelings, which are very difficult for her.

    "A Mango Shaped Space" by Wendy Mass - also middle school level. The main character is a girl with synesthesia (a disorder in which your senses become "crossed" - for some, when there is a loud noise, they see colors). No one knows that she is different and when she finally tries to tell her parents why she is struggling in school, no one believes her. A lovely coming-of-age story with interesting connections to the medical community.

    "The Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCamillo (favorite author!) - a little mouse is trying to win the heart of a princess and doesn't seem to care that they aren't even the same species. Elementary age or low middle school.

    "13 Little Blue Envelopes" by Maureen Johnson - a girl is sent on a journey by an aunt who has passed away. Her aunt left her messages in envelopes before she died and the main character must follow the instructions to find herself. High school level but really interesting reading - you feel like you're traveling the world with her!

    "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak - a fictional account told by death, during WWII and the Holocaust. A young Jewish girl is attempting to hide with a rough-around-the-edges German family. Really beautifully written and appropriate for high school readers.

    "I'm Being Stalked by a Moonshadow" by Doug MacLeod - the hilarious story of an Australian boy who falls in love with a girl (her father HAPPENS to be the boy's arch enemy)... sort of a Romeo and Juliet tale. I literally laughed out loud while reading at some of the events and silliness that the boy and his dad experience. Middle school level.

    "Sold" by Patricia McCormick - deals with the issue of girls being sold into the sex trade in the middle east. There is a happy ending, but there is darkness to get through before getting there. For mature middle school readers or high school students.

    "The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks" by E. Lockhart - a high school girl attends a prep school in New Hampshire and becomes aware of an exclusive "boys club." She attempts to infiltrate their group to prove that she's just as smart (if not smarter) than them. The way that gender roles is dealt with in the book isn't exactly resolved at the end, but there is some interesting points to think about. High school level.

    "Rules" by Cynthia Lord - I LOVE THIS BOOK. A girl has an autistic younger brother and she creates a list of rules to help him survive in the every-day world (example: "toys don't belong in the fish tank"). There comes a point when she has to choose between fitting in with her friends and doing right by her family/brother. It is a fantastically written story, very positive message and appropriate for middle school readers or even high elementary school with adult guidance.

    "The Great Wide Sea" by M. H. Herlong - three boys lose their mother in an accident and their father decides to sell the family house, buy a boat, and make them all cruise around the world for a year. It is the father's way of getting over his wife's death, but none of them are really grieving properly. This book is extremely engaging in that you're dealing with the emotions and grief of this family, while they are trying to survive the "high seas" as well. A bit of survival, a bit of coming-of-age, a bit of family bonding. Middle or high school level.

    "Bruiser" by Neal Shusterman - a boy named Brewster has an impossible ability (entirely fictional) that makes forming relationships with people extremely difficult. I refuse to say more (you'll have to amazon book review it or google it) because I don't want to accidentally give away plot twists. VERY thought-provoking. Mature middle school or high school readers.

    "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs - recommended to me by a friend. This is a very quirky book (science fiction? fantasy? there's time traveling and circus side-show freak people) but I loved it. Children with strange abilities (one boy has bees living inside of him... another is invisible) live at a special home with a lady named Miss Peregrine. A young man whose grandfather was always talking about Ms. Peregrine goes on a search to find her and thus learn more about his grandpa. Delightful reading ensues. Enjoy! Middle school or higher.

    FICTION SERIES:
    "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" by Alan Bradley - the first in the Flavia de Luce series. Flavia is an 11 year old sleuth in the same vein as Nancy Drew (only much more brilliant and without the side-kick friends). These mysteries are really delightful and encourage female genius. Middle school level.

    "Life as We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer - the first in a "series" of three loosely connected books (they're more companion books than a series) about the plight of the world when the moon is knocked out of its orbit by a meteorite. The tides swell, New York City (and most of the coastal areas) disappear, millions die... it's really uplifting! ;o ) I loved this survival series and as a side note: they deal with the idea of life/death/religion a lot. Middle school level.

    "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld - first in a series in which we're in the future in the United States and people have the option to have a surgery at the age of 13 to make them "pretty and perfect." When our young protagonist decides she's not quite sure if she wants to give up her identity, she runs away from conventional society to find others with similar mindsets. Very fast reads (my mom and sisters loved them). Middle school level.

    "The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan - the Percy Jackson series has been around for a while now and are extremely popular with adolescent boys. They are based on Greek mythology - set in today's society - and the main characters are demi-gods.

    "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore - the first book in a series of two (so far). In a fictional kingdom, some people are born with special gifts (or "graces"). Due to the nature of these graces, they often have to hide from the leaders of the land because their powers can be manipulated to the will of a King or dictator. The main character goes on a quest to find her own identity and there is LOTS of very interesting action. High school level (some mature romantic involvement).

    "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins - see existing thread.

    "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" by Carrie Ryan - at some point, a sickness started overtaking people, basically turning them into zombies (called "Mudo" in this series). To protect themselves, cities started building walls around their boundaries and trying to rid themselves of the undead. Of course, in any good zombie tale, the Mudo have still been able to infiltrate certain areas. The main character is trying to figure out what life was like before this whole infection, who her mother really was, why the nuns of the church which holds their community together are so strict about not crossing the fences and gates, and what she should do when forced to flee her home. I really enjoyed this book and I have NEVER read or liked zombie tales before. Mature middle school or high school level.

    "Eragon," "Eldest," "Brisinger" and "Inheritance" by Christopher Paolini - these have also been around for a while. A young man finds a dragon egg and raises the dragon, despite being chased and hunted by the evil overlord of the land seeking to consolidate power by holding all of the dragons in his grip. Each book is nice and fat so if you like fantasy reading, these will last you a while. Middle school and up.

    "Matched" by Ally Condie - in an attempt to make a perfect society, the government controls who marries who. Certain people are allowed to live longer than others and jobs are dictated as well. When a glitch occurs, the main characters must decide if they are going to follow their prescribed path or break out on their own to pursue an individual life. Middle school level.
    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33

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    Senior Member Linda Bechtold's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Thanks for posting this Katelynn. Are you on Goodreads?

    After reading "Hunger Games" my 16 and 13 year old boys have become avid readers. I appreciate your suggestions.

    We all read "Matched" but the reviews of "Crossed" have been so bad we haven't read that one. I am waiting on "Graceling" right now on my Kindle.

    My 16 year old really liked "Divergent".
    Thanks Katelynn Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Host Book & Movie forums Katelynn Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    I am on goodreads - here is the link to my profile: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1119524-katelynn

    I haven't heard of "Divergent" - I'll add it to my list! I read "Crossed" and thought it was interesting, but in a different way than "Matched" - new characters and a bit slower moving.
    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    I too liked Matched. I didn't think I would but it was a nice surprise.
    Thanks Katelynn Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Yes thank you Katelynn for posting. Guys we really miss our public libraries. Take advantage of what you have available!

    I am steering my daughter into reading some classics. You guys have good solid suggestions for a 16 yro. Books that are important for literary background that she is not being exposed to here in the Philippines? I picked up some Dickens , Doestevsky and Hemmingway. Stinebeck should be there -huh ?
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    Senior Member Marsha Lynn's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Moseley View Post
    Yes thank you Katelynn for posting. Guys we really miss our public libraries. Take advantage of what you have available!

    I am steering my daughter into reading some classics. You guys have good solid suggestions for a 16 yro. Books that are important for literary background that she is not being exposed to here in the Philippines? I picked up some Dickens , Doestevsky and Hemmingway. Stinebeck should be there -huh ?
    Personal opinion here: Steinbeck is for adults. It deals with adult issues in a way best suited for adults. I haven't read enough Doestevsky or Hemmingway to make the same judgment for those authors, but I would think they would also be better suited for adults. Dickens is more suitable for younger readers than the others.

    I think we push young people into adult literature too soon. There is way too much worthwhile classic literature more suitable for young people to skip past it in a hurry to reach the adult world. Don't skip Huckleberry Finn to get to David Copperfield. Don't skip authors such as Katherine Paterson (Jacob Have I Loved and others), Patricia MacLachlan (Sarah Plain and Tall and others), Cynthia Voigt (The Tillerman cycle), Avi, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, and the Brontë sisters. Avi is also good for boys, as is Gary Paulsen and Robert Louis Stevenson. If they must read more miserable books, let them at least start with Orwell's 1984 or maybe Gulliver's Travels. Send them to the Swiss Family Robinson or Robinson Crusoe for more in-depth "adult" reading. There's an entire lifetime to read Willa Cather, Steinbeck, and other authors of human misery and broken relationships but only one childhood.

    My face drops when "my" library children first start looking curiously around in the adult fiction section. As I lead them to John Grisham I tell them I'll miss them and hope they come visit me often, reminding them that (even though I'm the library director, not a children's librarian) children's literature is still my focus in reading. I was thrilled when my 25-year-old daughter stopped past the library for something recently and said, "What is this! A new book of Shel Silverstein poems? How is it that I don't know about this!"

    I don't keep up with all the latest popular series being discussed here, but I find plenty in good quality children's/young adult literature to keep me reading.

    If you are still determined to expose your daughter to Steinbeck and such, there are many recommended reading lists on the internet for college-bound young people. Here's a list for "teens" that doesn't look too bad: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2...ooks_for_Teens

    Marsha
    Last edited by Marsha Lynn; May 9th, 2012 at 08:00 PM.
    A significant contribution to salvation that is made by Jesus' crucifixion is his invitation to be courageous enough to create. And to pay the price. And to believe that the many crucifixions involved do not add up to even one resurrection. -- Matthew Fox, Original Blessing

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    Thanks Scott Moseley, Katelynn Scott, Nate Pruitt - "thanks" for this post

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    Multi-Forum Host Kevin Rector's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Moseley View Post
    Yes thank you Katelynn for posting. Guys we really miss our public libraries. Take advantage of what you have available!

    I am steering my daughter into reading some classics. You guys have good solid suggestions for a 16 yro. Books that are important for literary background that she is not being exposed to here in the Philippines? I picked up some Dickens , Doestevsky and Hemmingway. Stinebeck should be there -huh ?
    I would definitely recommend at the top of the list The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. It's brilliant and deals with issues of justice, revenge, mercy, etc. It's a really great book and one that is totally appropriate for a 16 year old.

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    Senior Member Lucas Finch's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Folk singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson has been writing a young adult fantasy series over the last several years called the Wingfeather Saga. So far, he has released three books, with at least one more to go. The first book is called On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. They are pretty silly (at least the first book; the overall story gets less and less "silly" as it develops), but they are still wonderful reads. I highly recommend them. If anyone is interested in learning more, here is the website: http://wingfeathersaga.com/?page_id=236
    If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
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    So when the gospel is diminished to a question of whether or not a person will “get into heaven,” that reduces the good news to a ticket, a way to get past the bouncer and into the club. The good news is better than that.
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    Host Book & Movie forums Katelynn Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    oh Marsha, you are wonderful! I could not agree with her sentiments more. I see my 7th graders trying to read Moby Dick, just because it's the largest book they can find at the library and ending up completely miserable and confused. Life is too short for bad books. Many classics have a time and place, but let's face it, some are just dry and terrible. I couldn't agree more with her suggestions Scott. Marsha's list is very compatible with what many middle and early high school students here in the states would be reading.

    I have to say that some of MY favorites when I was 16 were "Lord of the Flies," some of Shakespeare's more common plays ("Romeo and Juliet," "Hamlet") although I would highly recommend looking for the "No Fear Shakespeare" versions with old English on one page and a modern-day translation on the adjacent page. Increases comprehension tenfold!! Back to the list: "The Westing Game," "Night" (Elie Wiesel), "Frankenstein," "To Kill a Mockingbird," and "The Great Gatsby" (you MUST read this one aloud though - so much better than reading in your head).

    Hope this helps!
    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33
    Thanks Marsha Lynn, Scott Sherwood - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    I always liked a Wrinkle in Time by L'engle. I think it is part of a series of books.
    Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 John 4:18a


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    Multi-Forum Host Kevin Rector's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Katelynn Scott View Post
    I have to say that some of MY favorites when I was 16 were...
    So, that's an interesting thought, what was I reading at 16. It's been a while since I was 16, so I thought I'd think about this a bit.

    When I was 15 my family took a motor home trip across the USA and I took Victor Hugo's Les Misérables (unabridged) with me. That was a slog. I would recommend a teenager read an abridged version as there are a ton of rabbit trails in the full version that practically indecipherable to a teenager (and many adults too). I didn't finish the unabridged version, but later that summer got an abridged version and loved it. I was absolutely captivated by Emile Bayard's cover picture of Cosette, and for years after secretly wanted to name a daughter Cosette in memory of her. The story of the bishop redeeming the thief Valjean at the beginning of the story is one of the greatest depictions of grace in all of literature. For the record I did go back as an adult and re-read the full unabridged version and found that if I were to re-read it again I would get out the abridged version.

    It was in my teen years that I read the full Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series which still stand in my mind as the funniest books of all time. They are irreverent at times (Douglas Adams was a pretty adamant athiest and liked to make fun of religion), but seriously brilliant comedy.

    I first read Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four when I was 9 in 1983. I didn't understand it much then, so I re-read it as a teen. This should be everyone's first dystopian novel because it's the gold standard of dystopia. I went through a dystopian period as a teen and also read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Anthem by Ayn Rand and William Golding's Lord of the Flies.

    It was also in my teen years that I basically read everything ever written by J.R.R. Tolkien. You can't hardly do better that The Lord of the Rings.

    I read a bunch of Steinbeck starting as a teen and continuing on into my college years. He's, in my estimation, probably in the top 5 writers of all time. I was forced to read The Grapes of Wrath in High School and pretty much hated it (re-reading it as an adult I recognize that it is brilliant literature I just hated it as a teen). Contrary to what everyone in the world thinks, I don't think it's his best work. I loved Cannery Row the most and also really appreciated Of Mice and Men. I will agree with Marsha that Steinbeck can get pretty heavy and would only be appropriate for a mature teen with a strong sense of self-identity.

    Finally, I read a lot of Mark Twain as a teen. He's an absolutely brilliant story teller. My favorite that I read as a teen was A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I'm actually re-reading this right now.

    I read a lot more as a teen, but these are the ones that stand out in my memory as being the ones I liked the best.

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    Senior Member Marsha Lynn's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rector View Post
    Finally, I read a lot of Mark Twain as a teen. He's an absolutely brilliant story teller. My favorite that I read as a teen was A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I'm actually re-reading this right now.
    I also read a lot of Mark Twain as a teenager and gave my daughters a collection of his short stories as an introduction into the classics. I also introduced them to the Hitchhiker's Guide. Good humor in both cases. (I guess it's humour on the part of the latter. ) And maybe a similar view of religion.

    Speaking of more inspirational writing, both my daughters read Philip Yancey's Soul Survivor in their teens and went on from there to explore Annie Dillard, G. K. Chesterton, Doestevsky, and more. That book is an excellent introduction to some awesome writers, as well as general mover/shakers such as Ghandi and MLKjr. It has profoundly influenced the direction all three of us have taken in our reading choices and, through those choices, where we're going spiritually.

    Marsha
    A significant contribution to salvation that is made by Jesus' crucifixion is his invitation to be courageous enough to create. And to pay the price. And to believe that the many crucifixions involved do not add up to even one resurrection. -- Matthew Fox, Original Blessing

    personal blog: www.marshalyn.blogspot.com Sunday School blog: www.ocnya.blogspot.com
    Thanks Nate Pruitt - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Marsha Lynn's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rector View Post
    When I was 15 my family took a motor home trip across the USA and I took Victor Hugo's Les Misérables (unabridged) with me. That was a slog. I would recommend a teenager read an abridged version as there are a ton of rabbit trails in the full version that practically indecipherable to a teenager (and many adults too). I didn't finish the unabridged version, but later that summer got an abridged version and loved it. I was absolutely captivated by Emile Bayard's cover picture of Cosette, and for years after secretly wanted to name a daughter Cosette in memory of her. The story of the bishop redeeming the thief Valjean at the beginning of the story is one of the greatest depictions of grace in all of literature. For the record I did go back as an adult and re-read the full unabridged version and found that if I were to re-read it again I would get out the abridged version.
    I had the opposite experience (as an adult) with another French classic -- The Three Musketeers. Brought it on a road trip, noticed some huge gaps in the plot, and wondered how it became a classic. At a stop in a book store, I discovered the edition there was much thicker. Even though the book I was reading boasted on the cover that it was "complete and unabridged," it was far from it. Started over and found the story much more enjoyable.

    I first read Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four when I was 9 in 1983. I didn't understand it much then, so I re-read it as a teen.
    I have a bookmark template I pull out annually at the library of New Year's resolutions for readers. One is to reread a book you didn't get at 19. So I reread The Great Gatsby. I think I've actually read it three times now, the first time for a college lit class. It's still on every list I see of great reads. And I still don't get it.

    Maybe when I'm older.

    A significant contribution to salvation that is made by Jesus' crucifixion is his invitation to be courageous enough to create. And to pay the price. And to believe that the many crucifixions involved do not add up to even one resurrection. -- Matthew Fox, Original Blessing

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    Thanks Katelynn Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsha Lynn View Post
    So I reread The Great Gatsby. I think I've actually read it three times now, the first time for a college lit class. It's still on every list I see of great reads. And I still don't get it.
    Now I am wondering if I missed something. I liked the book and thought it was a good, fascinating read. Kind of like a soap opera for the radio age.
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    Senior Member Marsha Lynn's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Unger View Post
    Now I am wondering if I missed something. I liked the book and thought it was a good, fascinating read. Kind of like a soap opera for the radio age.
    No, I don't think you're missing anything. Obviously, many, many people think it's a good, fascinating read. (That's why it makes all the lists of "must read" classics.) I'm the one who isn't perceptive enough to properly appreciate it.

    At the risk of further exposing my obtuse thinking and failure to get the point, I'll confess that A Streetcar Named Desire strikes me the same way. A bunch of shallow people do a bunch of shallow things. OK. So, why are we here again?
    A significant contribution to salvation that is made by Jesus' crucifixion is his invitation to be courageous enough to create. And to pay the price. And to believe that the many crucifixions involved do not add up to even one resurrection. -- Matthew Fox, Original Blessing

    personal blog: www.marshalyn.blogspot.com Sunday School blog: www.ocnya.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsha Lynn View Post
    No, I don't think you're missing anything. Obviously, many, many people think it's a good, fascinating read. (That's why it makes all the lists of "must read" classics.) I'm the one who isn't perceptive enough to properly appreciate it.

    At the risk of further exposing my obtuse thinking and failure to get the point, I'll confess that A Streetcar Named Desire strikes me the same way. A bunch of shallow people do a bunch of shallow things. OK. So, why are we here again?
    I'm with you on Streetcar. I found that horribly shallow. Maybe I found Gatsby more stylishly shallow? Or maybe since I had had to read it at the same time as my friend Nancey did for Senior English, that I found my book more sane in comparison to what she read, which was Absalom, O Absalom. That might be it.
    Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 John 4:18a


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    Host Book & Movie forums Katelynn Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Oh Streetcar, how I hated thee as well. I did hear a hilarious bit on NPR a little while ago now about the annual "Stella" screaming contest. I guess a bunch of Streetcar movie lovers get together and hold a contest to see who can best shout "STELLA" like Marlon Brando. The winner gets to be dubbed "Stella of the year" or something bogus like this. It was a hilarious story!

    I was very fascinated by the Holocaust - never could wrap my head around how the whole thing could have happened - and read a fair number of books (beyond the standard Diary of Ann Frank) including Corrie ten Boom's "The Hiding Place." Another non-fiction book I found fascinating was "Jackie, Ethel, Joan" by Taraborrelli. I just enjoyed reading about the JFK era, but there were some accounts of intimate things that I would not suggest to most early high school students. Maybe a senior or early college student?

    I wish I had read Tolkien sooner. I didn't discover it until college and I loved them so much that I felt cheated out of enjoying something sooner.
    Last edited by Katelynn Scott; May 11th, 2012 at 09:35 PM.
    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33
    Thanks Susan Unger, Marsha Lynn - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Hans Deventer's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rector View Post
    I first read Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four when I was 9 in 1983. I didn't understand it much then, so I re-read it as a teen.
    Started reading it when I was 15. Couldn't get through it, but that was because of my level of reading in English. Started over 2 years later and appreciated it a lot. Still think it's a classic, along with Animal Farm, which could be read at a younger age.

    For French we started reading Sartre's Huis Clos (No Exit) in the same year, at age 15. I would not recommend reading this play that early, in whatever language. Two, three years later it think it's an important read.

    I remember reading Nevill Shute's On the Beach and among the 15 books I had to read for English I liked this one the best.
    Love the sinner, hate the sin? Love the sinner and hate your own sin! - Tony Campolo

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    Senior Member Linda Bechtold's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    As a teenager my family drove every summer from Texas to Maine. I always took a stack of books with me as that was really all we had to do in that day. I loved L.M. Montgomery, Jane Austin, Tolkien, and L' Engle . It was during one of those epic trips that I read all of the C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy. My favorite was Little Women. I will never forget my soon to be sister in-law looking over at me, seeing I had tears streaming down my face and saying, "Beth died, huh?"
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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Moby Dick = Cool Cover / Dreadfully boring
    Gullivers Travels Ditto

    Picked up Tom Sawyer for my kids to read at the Bookstore and I couldn't put it down. I just really got Twain more now as an adult than when I read it in High School. Next up Huck and Yankee

    My School mates thought I was odd actually enjoying Grapes of Wrath in Hs. I read it 20 years ago and loved it even more. I think because the times speak much about my grand parents era and locale. Also had a great English Teacher in 10th grade who really brought it to life.
    Still hve memories of her reading portions aloud. Dad told me that in his day. Grapes was banned and he had to sneak read it .

    Good suggestions everyone. Keep em coming.
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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Thought i would bump this thread up the list with note. I shared the book Unbroken ( already reviewed here on Naznet) with my 13 YO son. He couldn't put it down. the true life story had adventure and great lessons to be learned.

    any more suggestions for younger / Teen readers?
    "And as we pass the collection plate, please give as if the person next to you was watching."
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    Senior Member Nate Pruitt's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsha Lynn View Post
    No, I don't think you're missing anything. Obviously, many, many people think it's a good, fascinating read. (That's why it makes all the lists of "must read" classics.) I'm the one who isn't perceptive enough to properly appreciate it.

    At the risk of further exposing my obtuse thinking and failure to get the point, I'll confess that A Streetcar Named Desire strikes me the same way. A bunch of shallow people do a bunch of shallow things. OK. So, why are we here again?
    Another book I recall being encouraged to read often as a teen was Catcher in the Rye so I finally read it during a break in college. I hated it. Holden Caulfield was a less insightful, less sarcastic, less edgy, vastly dim-witted lead character that paled in comparison to the thinking I engaged every day in my mind and in interactions with my friends. Psh, some rebel main character.

    I do recall reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller around 16. That probably wasn't age appropriate at all, but I found it absolutely riveting. At least those characters made sense to me.
    Seeking to participate in the recreation of that which was called "good" and is being renewed. natepruitt.com My author page on Amazon.
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    Senior Member Nate Pruitt's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a more recent release (Newberry Honor 2010) that seems to be a very good one from what my wife said. She reads most of the fiction in our household, I read almost exclusively non-fiction at this point. Maybe my mistake was trying to read "adult fiction" and finding most of it trivial and pointlessly gratuitous in unneeded ways. I already provide counseling that exposes me to more graphic details than I'd often like to hear.

    Avi was mentioned earlier by Marsha, though, and I've read almost his entire catalog. For younger teens/preteens I'd recommend a few books by Jerry Spinelli including Maniac Magee, Stargirl & Wringer. Lewis' "Space Trilogy" is good for teens, especially if they previously enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia.
    Seeking to participate in the recreation of that which was called "good" and is being renewed. natepruitt.com My author page on Amazon.
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    Senior Member Steven Burton's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Let's see I would recommend something from this list.
    "Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek."
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    Host Book & Movie forums Katelynn Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Okay, so it's summer time again - which means this public school teacher actually has some time to sit down and post thoughts on NazNet! I guess that makes me a seasonal poster? Anyway, I've read a few more great YA/juvenile books this past year and wanted to add a few more ideas to the list!

    Earlier on this thread, someone recommended Divergent by Veronica Roth, and I said "never heard of it - I'll add it to my list." NOW I wish I had dropped everything right then and there and read it that minute because I loved it soooooo much. My new favorite to replace Hunger Games (which replaced Twilight, which replaced Harry Potter...) - just kidding, I love all of those. Divergent and its sequel Insurgent will be joined by a third book, Allegient out later this year. They're all probably 8th grade or higher in terms of content and maturity. I just love dystopian literature and this stuff is some of the best! I have recommended this book to 6 or 7 of my co-workers and many students. None of them could put them down either!

    Next, I loved Legend and then Prodigy by Marie Lu. Also dystopia - very male, action oriented and suitable for any middle school or higher reader. Good discussion about how to behave when your government is telling you to do something that goes against your personal beliefs about right and wrong. Another dystopian genre book series.

    UnWholly by Neil Shusterman is a bit intense and the idea is bizarre. If parents don't like the way their kids are turning out, they can have them "unwound" by a certain age. This basically means total organ transplants for every part of the body - the kid ceases to exist as a whole, but their parts live on in others. In this book, if part of the mind is transplanted to someone else, that person does gain the original memories and experiences of the original owner. Weird and creepy, and I'm glad this doesn't really happen. Just sort of a freaky fun read. Dystopian for sure, but for more mature readers as some of it implies graphic things.

    I liked The Roar and The Whisper by Emma Clayton enough to mention them here. The idea is that kids who have been treated essentially like slaves and pariahs their entire life can rise up for good and find a way around a broken world. Dystopia, again. Are you seeing a trend? Probably 6th grade and higher - 3.5 out of 5 stars.

    SOOO for some things that are completely different... I LOVE LOVE LOVED Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt. Our school actually chose this book as the summer reading selection for every single student. It is SO SO SOOOOO good. Did I say it's so good? This is the author who won the Newbury Award for The Wednesday Wars (which I also LOVE LOVE LOVED). Both books take place during the Vietnam War and deal with all kinds of great family, friend, social issues in a funny and heartwarming way. I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful these books are. Get them - today! Now! Go!

    I read the first book in a series by Roland Smith called I.Q.: Independence Hall. There are others, but I'm still waiting for them from the library. It's about two bright kids who essentially become spies. Jolly good fun with gadgets and twists - action and mystery. A fun series, so far.

    Finally, I'll close with the series that is most appropriate for even 4th or 5th grade readers - the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins. This author wrote these books BEFORE The Hunger Games, and I've had all five of them sitting on my shelf in my classroom for two years now. I just hadn't ever picked them up. The series follows a boy named Gregor into an underland below New York City where prophecies from hundreds of years before called for him to save races of creatures below. He encounters giant ants, rats, bats, beetles, humans with purple eyes, etc... They're fun adventure stories that kept me turning page after page. Even describing them out loud makes them sound so stupid - why do I like these books? - but I promise, there's something wonderful about them!
    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Wish I had seen this before I made my daughter's 8th grade reading list. You can find my list on goodreads at
    http://www.goodreads.com/review/list...elf=mattie-8th

    I don't think I've reviewed all these books there but I have notes I wrote to help her decide what she might want to read, so if you have a question about a particular book or how i rated it, let me know.

    Don't worry, I'm not expecting her to read 30 books this year; I just wanted to give her a lot to choose from. 2 books a month is our plan. Oh, we also have a lot of historical fiction because she is not taking a history class this year.

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Katelyn, check out Cinder by Marissa Meyer if you haven't.

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    Host Book & Movie forums Katelynn Scott's Avatar

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    Ooo, I've seen Cinder in my Scholastic catalogues all year and just haven't purchased it. Is it good? I love twists on the traditional Cinderella tale (I do a whole Cinderella unit actually with some of the over 900 versions that exist world-wide). Thanks for the comment!
    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33

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    Host Book & Movie forums Katelynn Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    I clicked on your goodreads shelf - a nice mix of classics and historical fiction. Some of the others I'd not heard of, but a few of my favorites on there too. I actually just read the two sequels to "The Adoration of Jenna Fox" series this summer. I enjoyed them both - especially the third book! Fun! Is your daughter home schooled?
    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33

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    Senior Member Marsha Lynn's Avatar

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Katelynn Scott View Post
    Finally, I'll close with the series that is most appropriate for even 4th or 5th grade readers - the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins. This author wrote these books BEFORE The Hunger Games, and I've had all five of them sitting on my shelf in my classroom for two years now. I just hadn't ever picked them up. The series follows a boy named Gregor into an underland below New York City where prophecies from hundreds of years before called for him to save races of creatures below. He encounters giant ants, rats, bats, beetles, humans with purple eyes, etc... They're fun adventure stories that kept me turning page after page. Even describing them out loud makes them sound so stupid - why do I like these books? - but I promise, there's something wonderful about them!
    I just finished listening to the second of this series and made sure I had the third downloaded and ready to go. There is indeed something wonderful about them and I think that something is the spiritual undertone through the whole thing: the giving up life in order to save it; sacrificing one's own safety for the greater good, making the right choice even when it is hard, placing value on those scorned by others, loyalty, compassion.

    As I said, I've been listening to them, but I brought home the print versions today thinking I may pull an illustration out of them for Sunday School tomorrow morning. I'll be general in order to not make this a spoiler, but one of the points made is that something dies within us when we make evil choices. Fortunately, Gregor - as one would expect for the heroes of children's books - consistently makes good choices, and is rewarded for them in unexpected ways.

    I'm pretty sure you are the one who led me to these, either here or on Goodreads. Thank you. They are definitely children's literature, but of the best kind -- well-written and interesting while teaching excellent life lessons.

    Marsha
    A significant contribution to salvation that is made by Jesus' crucifixion is his invitation to be courageous enough to create. And to pay the price. And to believe that the many crucifixions involved do not add up to even one resurrection. -- Matthew Fox, Original Blessing

    personal blog: www.marshalyn.blogspot.com Sunday School blog: www.ocnya.blogspot.com
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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Katelynn Scott View Post
    Is your daughter home schooled?
    Yes, this will be our second year to homeschool and last year I felt that one thing she lacked was reading (other than textbooks.) This year we are trying to make up for that.
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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Katelynn Scott View Post
    Ooo, I've seen Cinder in my Scholastic catalogues all year and just haven't purchased it. Is it good? I love twists on the traditional Cinderella tale (I do a whole Cinderella unit actually with some of the over 900 versions that exist world-wide). Thanks for the comment!

    I didn't think I would like it since Cinder is a cyborg and I always assume I won't like anything remotely sci-fi. But it came highly recommended by my older daughter and her lit teacher (she took literature in a homeschool co-op because I felt so unqualified to teach literature to my high schooler).

    I will try to do a proper review below but I really loved the character development and the twists on the classic story.
    Thanks Katelynn Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Referring again to this thread since we just finished the Mother-Daughter book Club series and were looking for something else to read together. Lots to choose from here. Uglies, Gregor the Overlander, Graceling... Decisions decisions!
    Thanks Katelynn Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: Young Adult/Adolescent Book Recommendations

    Is anyone familiar with the Maximum Ride series by Patterson? The first one is The Angel Experiment and it's about 400 pages. My daughter wants to read this for school and I'm not sure how long it will take. She has 3-4 hours/week to devote to reading.

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