Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Young at heart – best books for teens

One of the joys of having kids is introducing them to the delights of reading. All three of my offspring happily immerse themselves in a book for hours at a time (including after lights-out, using a flashlight!), and it warms my heart to see such devotion.

As they get older—my son is 13, and my daughters 12 and 10—I increasingly enjoy reading their books myself. Not because I have to, but because there’s so much quality fiction around for Young Adults. The question becomes one of what’s suitable for what age kids. I’m on the conservative side of that debate, so sometimes I hold on to books for my kids to read in a year or two’s time. Here are some that I’ve read or that are on my TBR pile.

Meg Cabot – I loved How to Be Popular, what a great read! I now have The Princess Diaries on my TBR pile (yes, I know I’m miles behind the rest of the world on this, but better late than never). I also read an excerpt of Ms. Cabot’s new book on her website a few months back, and that looked great.

Stephenie Meyer – I read Twilight, again long after the rest of the world, and thought it was an amazingly written book. Vampire stories aren’t my thing, and I feel it’s too old for my 12-y-o, but hats off to Ms. Meyer for such a compelling story.

Sarah Dessen – I read Lock & Key – a very nice read about a troubled girl who has a happy ending. I’ll probably wait until my 12-y-o turns 13 before I pass it on to her. I have The Truth about Forever on my TBR pile.

Tina Ferraro (sp?) – I gave my 12-y-o Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, and she loved it. I haven’t read it yet myself, but I plan to do so. I have another Ferraro book (blue cover, I don’t remember the title) stashed away for my daughter’s Christmas stocking.

Alyson Noel – I met Alyson as we both left a party at the San Francisco RWA conference. She seemed so nice that I went out and bought one of her books the next day, Kiss and Blog. My daughter really enjoyed it, but again, I haven’t read it yet.

Maureen Johnson – Girl at Sea. I bought this after it was highly recommended, but I haven’t read it yet.

Michael Morpurgo – what a great writer of fiction that appeals equally to boys and girls. You can’t go wrong with his books – try Kensuke’s Kingdom, War Horse, Adolphus Tips, Alone on a Wide Wide Sea, etc, etc.

Jeff Kinney – I recently bought Diary of Wimpy Kid (again, long after everyone else) and all the kids laughed their way through it (as did I). More middle grade than YA, but a lot of fun anyway.

Okay, those are my latest recommendations on the YA front. Anyone got any other ideas?
Abby