PROFESSIONAL READING

The Reader's Advisory Guide to Teen Literature

176p. index. ALA Editions. Jun. 2018. pap. $54.99. ISBN 9780838917268.
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RedReviewStarThis guide to YA literature by Carstensen, longtime school librarian and former editor of SLJ's "Adult Books 4 Teens" blog, is aimed at those specializing in teen services, but library staff who work with adolescents more incidentally will also find it valuable. Introductory chapters explain how to maximize teen exposure to books, and dole out concrete tips on best practices including flexibility and staying "positive and interested, but not pushy." Carstensen offers plenty of resources for keeping up with YA literature but emphasizes that the best way to stay current is to talk to teens. Chapter by chapter, she explores genres such as sci-fi and historical fiction, describing teen appeal and literary elements including tone and pacing. Lists of YA and appropriate adult titles and classic and contemporary movies and television shows follow. Along with tried-and-true topics, there are unexpected categories. Under realistic fiction, for instance, readers will find not only coming-of-age and romance but also "pursuing passions" and "teens on the edge."
VERDICT The succinct book summaries alone make this a worthy purchase, but the additional resources and suggestions result in an essential addition to professional collections.

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