While we’ve previously covered realistic, romance, and advice books for adults, this week, we’re focusing on books usually targeted towards the Young Adults in the community. Lots of what’s being written now deals with serious issues that young adults and their families face – and often, these books are great for adults and parents to read, too!
Ten Cents a Dance – Christine Fletcher
Set in the early 1940s in Chicago, Ten Cents a Dance tells about oldest daughter Ruby, and what she does to keep her family on their feet. Ruby Jacinski’s mother has rheumatoid arthritis, and that means she can’t work in the meat-packing factory anymore. Ruby has to quit school and go to work to keep the money coming in. She hates the smell of the place, and hates the work, too, so when local gangster Paulie Suelze tells her about a dance hall, she can’t help but go check it out. What follows is Ruby’s life dancing, and the lies she has to tell to keep her dream going.
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Wintergirls – Laurie Halse Anderson
Lia and her best friend Cassie, made a pact to get skinny together, by any means necessary. Even after Cassie dies (as a side effect of her bulimia), Lia keeps going, lying to and fooling her parents into thinking she’s fine. As her weight plummets, and she sees Cassie in hallucinations, her story gets more and more haunting.
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Little Brother – Cory Doctorow
We reviewed this book at the beginning of the year (see link). It’s a great modern novel about technology, books and government – from a teenage guy’s point of view.
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13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson
17-year-old Ginny finds herself on an adventure set up by her fun-loving and flighty Aunt Peg, after her graduation and her aunt’s death. Aunt Peg has left 13 little blue envelopes with people she knew and in places she loved all over the world, and she’s sent Ginny on a quest to find them – and herself.
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So Yesterday – Scott Westerfeld
While you probably know Australian author Westerfeld for his “Uglies” novels, or the Midnighters series, this standalone novel is a great read, too. Told from the point of view of Hunter, whose job it is to find the next cool thing, he accidentally finds a mystery many layers deep.
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