The number of adult books I read last year was embarrassingly low. I suppose that is fairly typical among those working in the children’s literature field, but I do try to make it a point to pick up some books that I can discuss with my friends. It’s a bonus if they are good choices for teens as well. Here are a few titles from 2012 that you can recommend to teens and discuss with your adult friends.
Little Century by Anna Keesey. June 2012. 9780374192044. Gr. 11-Adult
This historical novel follows 18-year-old Esther Chambers as she heads west at the beginning of the 20th century. After her mother dies, she is in search of direction in a world that seems full of possibilities. Esther gets in contact with a distant cousin in a little frontier town in Oregon and travels from her home in Chicago to stay with him until she figures out what she wants to do next. Once there, Esther finds herself talked into homesteading and caught up in the politics of ranching in a climate where land and water are very valuable. This is all new to Esther. She is a city girl, who hadn’t even ridden a horse before, much less experienced the harsh realities of homesteading. There are definite comparisons to Hattie Big Sky here, and it’s a good choice for fans of historical fiction.
Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller. May 2012. 9780547548593. Gr. 11-Adult
All the politics, secrets, and scandals that are typical of high schools everywhere are amped up at Mariana Academy. The school has seen its share of issues over the years, and now there is an elaborate Code of Conduct to prevent bullying that a secret vigilante group enforces with blackmail. Iris Dupont is looking for a fresh start at Mariana, but she can’t resist a good mystery. Iris is determined to use her journalistic instincts to break into the secret society and expose them. The twists and turns will keep readers guessing in this complex novel.
Pure by Julianna Baggott. February 2012. 9781455503063. Gr. 11-Adult
In the post-apocalyptic world in this novel, most people are disfigured in some way after surviving the Detonations. The Pures are the ones who live inside the dome that protected them. Pressia lives a survivor’s life outside the dome, where she has it relatively good. Her disfigurement is comparatively minor, and she barely remembers what life was like before. Partridge lives inside the dome. He is safe there, but he feels unhappy with the strict rules and his distant father. Partridge is certain that his mother survived the Detonations outside the dome, and he is determined to find her. Together, Partirdge and Pressia discover secrets that affect both of their lives. The next book in the trilogy, Fuse, came out in February
Ryan blogged about Pure and other crossover titles in his post about the recently announced Alex Awards. Check it out!