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September 1, 2014

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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 [...]

The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling

Is The Queen of the Tearling the next Harry Potter? It is certainly one of the big debuts of the summer. The first in Erika Johansen’s fantasy trilogy releases tomorrow, but many readers are already aware of the book. This is largely thanks to movie news–Harry Potter alumni Emma Watson and David Heyman committed to [...]

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 [...]

Lives of the Rich & Famous

Lives of the Rich & Famous

We’re covering both coasts today — from a novel set in New York City high society to a memoir by a Los Angeles paparazzo. Perhaps all I need to say about The Heiresses is the name of its author, Sara Shepard. Given the success of her novels and of the television series based on them, [...]

Top Picks in Fiction, Nonfiction, & Media| Stars List, July 2014

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Ben Franklin makes a splash, Hervé Tullet mixes it up, and Mo Willems makes new friends in the July stars, offering the best of fiction, nonfiction, and multimedia.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Nightmare that Walks like a Girl

A Nightmare that Walks like a Girl

Is Melanie a monster or a prodigy? The title of this post refers to the first of our thrilling reads of the day, The Girl with all the Gifts, in which one character, Sergeant Parks, thinks of Melanie as “the nightmare-that-walks-like-a-girl.” He’d rather deal with blood-thirsty zombies than with something that walks and talks like [...]

Steal the North with Author Interview

Steal the North with Author Interview

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 [...]

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.

Bellweather Rhapsody

Bellweather Rhapsody

A mystery that takes place during a high school music festival set in an old resort hotel during a snowstorm? The Bellweather is certainly less terrifying than The Overlook of The Shining fame, but it holds its own secrets–especially room 712. In the introduction to her novel’s playlist on Largehearted Boy, Kate Racculia shares that she played the bassoon [...]

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 [...]

Mixed-Race Relationships

Mixed-Race Relationships

Today we have two stand-out novels involving race and immigration that are told from multiple points of view. Both involve the weight of parental expectations. Everything I Never Told You is Celeste Ng‘s debut novel, and our starred review joins other stars from LJ, Booklist and PW.  This is a dysfunctional family story in which [...]

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

In tribute to Maya Angelou, we offer the words of one of our reviewers who shares the way the author influenced her life, and the way that encounter shapes her work today. Amy Cheney is a librarian at Alameda County Library, CA, where she serves teens incarcerated at the Alameda Juvenile Hall. One of her primary goals [...]

Exemplary New Books, Audio, & DVDs | Stars List, June 2014

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From a dystopian adventure set in Hawaii to a surreal, graphic-novel-inspired picture book to a deep exploration of one history’s most infamous families, the June Stars offer excellent examples of the best in fiction, nonfiction, and media for children and teens.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Survival Stories

Survival Stories

We know that many teens love survival stories for their pacing, suspense and the unexpected trials the characters endure. In both of these historical novels, a young person is displaced from home, loses parents and security, makes a journey into the unknown, and overcomes obstacle after obstacle.  My Name is Resolute is quite a tome, a [...]

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 [...]