Saturday, August 04, 2012
I have a reading confession to make… I read promiscuously
. I just can not limit myself to one genre, one style, one writer, one age level or even one format. I read cereal boxes and I read articles from the New York Times. I read books about social psychology and I read blog posts of all sorts. I listen to books in the car and I read them on my nook©
in bed. Heck, I even “read” TV shows and movies because I am hearing impaired and use closed captioning. Reading has kept me awake all night, it has made me late to work and it has always been one of my favorite escapes when life gets rough. One of the great pleasures of being a librarian (for me) is getting to introduce people to new authors or genres that they have never before tried. It may not lead to a long-term reading relationship but it could spark some flirting with different styles.
Adults, allow me to introduce you to Young Adult Fiction. You may dismiss this section of the library as being beneath your adult tastes… but you will also be missing some great stuff! Young adult fiction is a booming category these days, especially with the recent blockbuster print and film successes of Twilight and The Hunger Games. Here are a few suggestions for testing the waters:
Books by Laurie Halse Anderson, especially Speak, Twisted and Wintergirls. These books set in contemporary times are powerful tales dealing with serious topics. Her portrayal of teens is sympathetic and realistic without being overly dramatic or exaggerated. Try Anderson if you like Jodi Picoult, Anita Shreve or Chris Bohjalian.
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Young Billy Jo’s harsh life in dust bowl Oklahoma during the Depression is told in poetic form. Readers who liked Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time should definitely seek this one out.
The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy—Graceling, Fire and Bitterblue—by Kristin Cashore. This trilogy packs a punch with action and strong female protagonists who use both physical strength and supernatural powers in battle. The trilogy is set in a well-crafted fantasy world rich with political intrigue and a bit of romance. Fans of George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Orson Scott Card or Ursula LeGuin should give these a try or look for books by Garth Nix (Abhorsen series), Tamora Pierce (Beka Cooper series) and Catherine Fisher (Incarceron series).
Other great teen books for adults to try:
So, go on... have a book fling with a younger book. I promise not to tell your regular books.