Books the teenager has enjoyed recently

June 16, 2011 @ 8:07 pm | Filed under: Books

I think I should tackle the “what’s Jane reading these days” questions next. I’ve been asked for YA book recommendations from multiple friends and readers lately, and Jane said I could crib from her reading log. She reads way more than I do, so there’s a lot of stuff on there I haven’t read myself and am itching to—she has intriguing tastes!

A sampling:

I mentioned here that I’d ordered three new Rowan Jacobsen books—

Shadows on the Gulf (oil spill aftermath and other threats to the Gulf wetlands);

American Terroir (about distinctive regional flavors of particular American foods—how the soil, climate, etc affects flavor and cuisine); and

The Living Shore (a hunt for rare oysters leads to a deep appreciation of the magic of coastal ecology and how shorelines have helped shape human history).

They’re still on my nightstand awaiting the end of Shakespeare Club, but Jane borrowed them one by one and said they’re all fascinating. She came running out and read me a passage from American Terroir, and said, “Isn’t he just the best writer?” (His Fruitless Fall and Chocolate Unwrapped certainly captivated me.)

Let’s see, what else…she loves mysteries and has read just about all of Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy Sayers. Big fan of Josephine Tey (see my Daughter of Time review) and the Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley. (Here’s a post I wrote on the first Flavia de Luce, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.) And she is especially keen on the Case Closed series: Japanese detective manga by Gosho Aoyama.

Another big hit recently was Girl Genius, a webcomic (some of which is collected into graphic novel collections) and set of novels. We met the author at the Steampunk Convention and the look of the books caught Jane’s eye. She has since devoured the entire eight-and-a-half years’ worth of webcomic archives.

Connie Willis—The Doomsday Book; To Say Nothing of the Dog (and I myself am wild about both of these—the former moving, rich, sad, suspenseful: a female grad student time-travels to the Middle Ages; the latter screamingly funny: an endearingly inept male grad student time-travels to the Victorian era and gets in all manner of comedic scrapes with the locals).

Shannon Hale’s fantasy novels—Forest Born, River Secrets, Book of a Thousand Days, and others—are popular with both my older girls, and our copies are in nearly constant circulation with their friends.

Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson. This was mentioned in the third Penderwicks book and she recognized the author’s name as the host of the NOVA tv show. She says she’d like to read more of his work.

The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Weiner.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

You know I have to mention the Maud Hart Lovelace books. Ain’t just me: I see Jane (and friends) pulling them off the shelf on a regular basis.

The Throne of Fire, sequel to The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Jane likes the Percy Jackson books better, but Rose is partial to the Egyptian pantheon as portrayed in the Kane Chronicles.

The Diane Duane Young Wizards seriesHigh Wizardry, A Wizard Alone, Deep Wizardry to name a few.

James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small & the others in that series. (Such love!)

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Mature language, barracks humor, violence. And, as Mental Multivitamin put it, “a can’t-miss.” Jane told me recently that she can’t imagine growing up without it.

A caveat about this list: every parent I’ve ever known draws his or her “appropriate reading material” lines in different places. Mine may not be in the same place as yours. Jane is sixteen, and we don’t monitor her book choices the way we do for kids thirteen and under.

Related post: Nonfiction for Teens. Same caveat applies.

More book recommendations here.


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Comments

6 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. Wonderful list!

  2. I always look forward to your reading recommendations! Thank you!

  3. You and Jane should definitely read Connie Willis’s new books, Blackout and All Clear, if you haven’t already. The two are really one book in two volumes. Don’t read Blackout without having the second volume handy, or else you’ll be frustrated.

    http://www.semicolonblog.com/?p=13021

  4. i am not at the teen book stage (yet) but you perfectly described my 8yo who is voracious about books. i would appreciate a book list for that age. There is a lot of twaddle out there- I would like to give him some suggestions for heartier fare.

    My 5yo is so much like Rilla (they are just a few days apart, i think) He is in the read it to me again and again stage. Piggy and elephant are big around here. Have you read any books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal? We started with Little Pea,but she has several others. I think Rilla would like it as it takes something all kids can relate to (eating veggies vs. eating candy) and puts a twist on it. perfect concept for this age. keep the book lists coming! I love it!

  5. I’m going through the agonies of thinning our bookshelves. I went over to re-visit your “Daughter of Time” review — definitely one book that will still be here when they drag me off to the nursing home! I was thinking maybe I’d never read “Girl of the Limberlost” again, but a comment over there made me think maybe I need to keep it! Back to the agonies!!!

  6. A Short History of Nearly Everything is HUGE around here. I’d recommend Home, but it’s sporadically and unpredictably unsuitable, which is maddening. For Jane, however, maybe acceptable.