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July 31, 2014

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Detective Fiction Round-Up

Detective Fiction Round-Up

Despite their obvious differences–fifth book in an ongoing series; first book in a projected series, based on a TV show and movie; standalone by a master of horror–the three books under review today share something more in common than their detective fiction trappings. All three should take little to no prodding to fly off your [...]

A New Look at Peter Pan

A New Look at Peter Pan

For such a big fan of fairy tales, you would think that I’d have a healthy appreciation for one of the 20th Century’s preeminent fairy tale creations, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. But in truth, I’ve never much cared for the little imp, even now that my 4-year-old son is obsessed with him and has me [...]

A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip

A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip

I mentioned in our Best Books of the Year so far post that “If I’d had a week longer, I would have been able to list a tremendous memoir which we’ll be featuring here shortly.” Well, it’s been shortly, and here it is: Keven Brockmeier’s A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip. As a mention below, [...]

Q & A with Matthew Quick, Author of ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Matthew Quick-headshot

SLJ catches up with Matthew Quick, author of the page-to-screen hit The Silver Linings Playbook and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.

New Books from Alex Award Winners

New Books from Alex Award Winners

Last year around this time I looked at a far-from-complete list of new books by Alex Award winners to see which ones we had reviewed and might be reviewing. Today, I show my compulsive side by trying to put together a complete list of every 2014 book by a former Alex winner. Altogether, I found [...]

Harrowing Memoirs, Part 2

Harrowing Memoirs, Part 2

Back in January, we looked at a pair of memoirs about young lives stolen through abuse and disease, and today we have two more memoirs touching on the same themes, along with a third which looks at the threat of the law. Unlike Elizabeth Smart’s somewhat older story, the tale of the captivity and dramatic [...]

A Morning with John Searles

A Morning with John Searles

Last Sunday in Las Vegas, on a ridiculously hot morning which eventually made it up to 108° F, I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 Alex Award Program. Ordinarily–as say, last year–at least 3 or 4 of the winning authors manage to make it to the program, but this year, after a brief introduction [...]

Best Books of the Year so far, 2014

Best Books of the Year so far, 2014

Presenting the best adult books for teens that were published between January and June 2014. Science fiction and historical fiction made a big splash in this list created by reviewers of the AB4T blog.

Adam

Adam

Another post in June, another starred review–hopefully, we’re filling up your to-read pile quickly. Today’s starred review is Ariel Schrag’s debut novel Adam, a book which seems pretty much tailor-made for our blog. Schrag is a long-time graphic novelist and comic artist who is already beloved of teens. And her novel is a classic coming-of-age [...]

Brutal Youth

Brutal Youth

“A violently active, dominating, intrepid, brutal youth–that is what I am after. Youth must be all those things. It must be indifferent to pain. There must be no weakness or tenderness in it. . . . I will have no intellectual training. Knowledge is ruin to my young men.” – Adolf Hitler, quoted by Hermann [...]

A Fabulous New Novel From Megan Abbott

The Fever

As promised, today we have a review of Megan Abbott’s new novel, The Fever. When last we saw Abbott she was wowing us with Dare Me, which got her a starred review and a place on our list of 2012′s Best Adult Books 4 Teens. The Fever has gotten her another starred review, and (spoiler [...]

A New Take on Sleeping Beauty (No, Not *That* One)

A New Take on Sleeping Beauty (No, Not *That* One)

You all know how much I love fairy tales. Indeed, it almost physically hurt me to assign Elizabeth Blackwell’s While Beauty Slept to another reviewer, but I just didn’t have time in my reading schedule to get to it. Now that I’ve read our review, I’m going to make time. Blackwell’s entry-point is a character [...]

The Ongoing Saga of The Southern Reach

The Ongoing Saga of The Southern Reach

Today we look at Authority, the second book in Jeff VanderMeer’s extraordinary Southern Reach trilogy.  Since I raved about Annihilation in February, it has only grown in my estimation, and Authority lives up to the high standard set by the first novel, while wisely strikes out in an utterly different direction. As I mentioned in my [...]

National Poetry Month – A Month Late

National Poetry Month – A Month Late

I usually try to get up at least a post or two about poetry during April, which is National Poetry Month. But somehow it completely slipped my mind this year. So, here we have, a month late (or four months late, considering they were both published in January), reviews of two wonderful new poetry collections [...]

Two Books That Probe the Darkness Beneath

Two Books That Probe the Darkness Beneath

Today we look at two books that take very different looks at the dark secrets we keep. In Bittersweet, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore’s plays up the skeletons in the closets of the wealthy Winslow family for fun and entertainment: as a young college student begins to uncover the secrets of her new roommate’s family, the tone turns [...]

More News on The Griots of Oakland

Last week, I posted our review of The Griots of Oakland, edited by Angela Zusman, lamenting that the book hasn’t gotten more attention, and hey, what do you know, it’s gotten some more attention!  It has now been nominated for YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list.* I also wanted to point out that the [...]

Books for Lovers of Indiana Jones

Books for Lovers of Indiana Jones

Today we have two books that prompted our reviewer to invoke the name of Indiana Jones–and for good reason. Anne Fortier’s The Lost Sisterhood and James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell’s Innocent Blood are both rollicking adventure stories, starring University professors, and laden with religious and mythological overtones–precisely the elements that make Steven Spielberg’s archaeologist-adventurer so [...]

An Exciting New Way to Understand Einstein

An Exciting New Way to Understand Einstein

“Jeffrey Bennett’s What is Relativity? is certainly one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read this year: a fast-paced, highly readable account of one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time,” writes Mark Flowers on the blog Adult Books 4 Teens.

An Oral History of African American Youth

The Griots of Oakland has been out in bookstores for almost six months now, but as far as I can tell, today’s review will represent its first appearance in a library review journal. Which is a coup for us, but a shame for the other journals, and also strangely fitting the subject matter: the invisibility [...]

The Problem with Stories about Amnesia (Solved by Robert Glancy and Jason Bourne)

The Problem with Stories about Amnesia (Solved by Robert Glancy and Jason Bourne)

Anyone who cares about narrative, movies, or both should be reading Matt Bird’s Cockeyed Caravan blog. He spends most of his time there deconstructing the narrative structure of Hollywood movies and explaining how and why movies do (and don’t) work. But while he only discusses movies (and usually big-budget Hollywood ones at that), his insights [...]