March 27, 2017

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The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty

The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty

The title of Amanda Filipacchi‘s latest novel says it all. So many teens are so very conscious of appearances, I can only imagine that this book will incite discussion. The cover and title alone are likely to inspire certain readers to pick it up. It also fulfills that frequent request for funny books (the humor […]

Two Speculative Fiction Genre Blends

Two Speculative Fiction Genre Blends

Two books with huge teen appeal today, both by authors comfortable writing in multiple speculative fiction genres. First, a fantasy novel by Daryl Gregory. You may have heard of Afterparty, last year’s science fiction novel that created quite a buzz and ended up on a few Best lists. I read Raising Stony Mayhall back in […]

February Fever

February Fever

Despite appearances, February Fever is not the second book in Jess Lourey’s “Murder by Month” series, but the tenth. Lourey perversely started this series in May, and now has finally rolled around to February. And despite its obvious teen appeal, this is the first time this blog has gotten around to reviewing a book in […]

Erik Larson tackles World War I

Erik Larson has another best-seller on his hands, this time illuminating a sea disaster to rival the Titanic. Of course, it’s much more than that. The sinking of the Lusitania was man-made, and pushed the United States into World War I. For teens who savor the best YA nonfiction, books like Bomb and Hitler Youth, or Phillip Hoose’s […]

Q&A: Digging Deep with Debut Novelist Tom Cooper of “The Marauders”

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Tom Cooper’s debut novel about what happens to a marshy town near New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill will resonate with environment-conscious teens this upcoming Earth Day (April 22). Adult Books 4 Teens reviewer Diane Colson caught up with Cooper to discuss his writing process, inspiration, and future projects.

Falling in Love with a Prince

Falling in Love with a Prince

What must it be like to be Kate Middleton? Now, imagine that you are an American from the midwest, with no idea of the rules of etiquette or the finer points of titles and protocols. Just how much would your life change if you fell in love with Great Britain’s next king? The strength of […]

Emma: A Modern Retelling

Emma: A Modern Retelling

Last Halloween, as I was trick-or-treating with my kids, I ran into one of my teen volunteers, who was dressed like this: I didn’t immediately recognize the costume and I asked her who she was dressed as. Her reply–”Um, it’s from a movie? It’s called Clueless“–caused my wife an I to gape for two reasons: […]

Next Up for Fantasy Readers!

Next Up for Fantasy Readers!

Today we review the first in one fantasy series and the second in another. Randy Henderson’s debut novel, Finn Fancy Necromancy, is fantasy with a good dose of humor, something that can be hugely popular with teens if it hits them right. (Our reviewer notes call-outs to Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams!) The first three […]

Signal to Noise, Music & Magic

Signal to Noise, Music & Magic

I am so excited to introduce this small press title today. Signal to Noise is a perfect young adult crossover novel, full of appeal, diverse characters & setting, wonderful writing–and magic. What I love about this book is that even in the 2009 sections, when its characters are adults, Meche still has that sulky teen […]

Unexplored History

Unexplored History

Today we look at two fabulous historical fiction works exploring historical periods unfamiliar to most Americans. First up is a starred review of Michelle Moran’s Rebel Queen, which tells the story of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Specifically, it tracks the exploits of Rani Lakshmi, the queen of a smallish kingdom in northern India called […]

Driftwood

Driftwood

Somehow we managed to let this book from November of last year make it all the way till late March without a post. But don’t let that fool you: Elizabeth Dutton’s Driftwood is a fabulous novel with tons of teen appeal: rock stars, letters from beyond the grave, a road trip–this has got all the […]

Doomboy by Tony Sandoval

Doomboy by Tony Sandoval

French writer Tony Sandoval has created a tour de force of storytelling in his latest graphic novel. In France, Doomboy was an Official Selection of the 2012 Angouleme International Comics Festival and winner of the Coup de Coeur Youth Jury prize (for best comic book). Published in the States last fall, it is ideal for […]

Gretel All Grown Up

Gretel All Grown Up

At the opposite end of fairy-tale retellings from the gritty 2013 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, comes this delightful cozy mystery, the first in a prospective series starring the same Gretel, grown-up and solving crimes. Regular readers know my affection for fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, and while I haven’t read this one yet, […]

From Medieval England to the 19th-century Austro-Hungarian Empire

From Medieval England to the 19th-century Austro-Hungarian Empire

Two exciting and very different historical novels today. First, a medieval murder mystery set in 1350 England. A 17-year-old is called home to run his family’s Manor after his brothers and fathers are killed by the plague. That’s hard enough, but then a young girl is murdered. We are not the only ones singing the praises […]

A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic

V.E. Schwab is no stranger to writing for young readers. She has published The Near Witch and the Archived novels for teens and the middle grade Everyday Angel series. Last year her adult debut, Vicious, was the top fantasy pick on the RUSA Reading List. A Darker Shade of Magic made February’s Library Reads. It […]

The Nightingale

The Nightingale

I’ve written about my regard for Kristin Hannah‘s novels before. The last one I read and reviewed was Night Road, and we also reviewed Fly Away in 2013. Hannah has a way with contemporary family stories. She writes deeply emotional women’s fiction with great characters, usually facing loss or tragedy. This year she brings those […]

Adult Books 4 Teens: Titles to Galvanize a Call for Social Justice

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The following are nonfiction titles reviewed on the “Adult Books 4 Teens” blog that feature young people whose lives are adversely affected by racism, gender discrimination, or violence.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates

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 […]

Nonfiction Roundup

Nonfiction Roundup

A group of nonfiction titles that includes something for everyone. Wes Moore is an advocate for youth, education, and veterans (see the 2014 PBS series Coming Back with Wes Moore). He became well-known in library and school circles with his 2010 debut The Other Wes Moore. Now he’s back with an inspirational book of life lessons, […]

Continuing Mystery Series

Continuing Mystery Series

Today we look at two entries in continuing mystery series – both also parts on ongoing multi-media franchises. The much older of these is, of course, Sherlock Holmes. When last we talked, I mentioned Holmes’s semi-unique place as a character who has leaped the bounds of his original stories. What I didn’t know at the […]