Rad Reads for Teens

Friday, August 15, 2008


Monday, May 12, 2008

The Sisters Grimm

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman

Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman is a great book for anyone. The story is about two brothers from a broken home. The brothers go to a unique amusement park where they have to ride six rides before sunrise or they are trapped in the park forever. Each of the six rides have challenges that are unique to the weaknesses of the individual. It explores many emotions that your average teenager experiences and since all of us adults have been teens at some point it is good to revisit those feelings all of us once had. Highly recommend as a Book Talk book!

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Seance by Joan Lowery Nixon

Joan Lowery Nixon is a four-time Edgar Award winner for her suspenseful, scary stories. The Seance gets 4 out of 5 stars for suspense and creepy.

Lauren has lived in a small town in Texas with her aunt Melvamay since her mother died when she was four and her father was killed in a truck accident. Also living in the house is Sara Martin, another teen who goes to school with Lauren. Laura and Sara aren't friends. Laura has seen Sara sneaking out of the house at night and watches when strange guys drop her back off late. She envies Sara's popularity and beauty but stays away from her as much as possible. In their school, too, is a girl named Roberta who supposedly can talk to the dead. Some girls in school talk Roberta into holding a seance and both Lauren and Sara are invited.

At the seance, Roberta locks the doors, turns off the lights, lights a candle and begins. Lauren feels immediately uncomfortable, like someone is watching. Sara begins to scream. When the lights come back on fear turns to terror, however; Sara is missing. Two days later they find her body.

The police ask the girls to re-enact the seance but when another girl from the seance turns up missing, and later dead Lauren decides she must find the murderer before she is the next victim

Joan Nixon's writing makes you sit on the edge of your seat at times and provides sighs of relief at other times. Every chapter keeps you asking questions and trying to guess who dun' it. Hint: It's not who you think.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

A retelling of the Grimm Brothers' tale, Crown Princess Anidori-Kiladra of Kildenree lives in luxury but still seems to feels uncomfortable in her skin. As she works with her aunt, she learns that she can speak with and understand animals, unlike her mother who has the gift of people-speaking. Soon, however, her aunt is sent away and then Ani, herself, is sent to Bayern, a neighboring kingdom. She is meant as a bride for the crown prince, as well as a peace-offering, so the kingdoms will not go to war.

On the way there, Selia (her lady-in-waiting) and many of her guards attack Ani and her faithful guards, most of whom are killed. Ani runs and finds shelter in the Bayern forest. She takes the name Isi and bides her time as a goose girl, until she can find a way to reveal that the Princess Ani who has presented herself as the bride is really an imposter. Along the way, she finds true friends, discovers how others live and nurtures another remarkable gift - the ability to speak with the wind.

Be forewarned: There is a surprising amount of violence (including animal cruelty) in this long tale. Yet, the story, the language and the characters all lead the reader on a worthwhile journey where Ani finds that she is a real princess who can be a leader among her people.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Alphabet of Dreams by Susan Fletcher

Mitra and her 5 year-old brother, Babak, are Persian refugees living in the City of the Dead - a series of caves in the cliff that rises above the ancient city of Rhagae. Mitra, who dresses as a boy to escape notice, lives by her wits, stealing food and other necessities as they wait for word of her older brother Suren, who has gone to find out what happened to the rest of their royal family.

Babak has dreams that are often prophetic and Mitra takes advantage of this gift, trying to make their lives in the caves a little easier as well as to raise enough money to get them to Palmyra where she believes her mother is. Instead, she is eventually betrayed to a traveling Magus, Melchior, who has heard of Babak's gift and wants Babak to dream only for him. Melchior takes the two with him in his caravan that is moving westward toward signs he has read in the stars. Eventually, the group meets up with two other Magi, Gaspar and Balthazaar, who are also interested in Babak's dreams and the bright star they are trying to follow.

This interesting tale tells the Christmas story of the three Magi who have read the stars, listened to Babak's dreams and are seeking the new king being born in Bethlehem. Told from Mitra's point of view, it is a beautifully rendered coming-of-age story of a young girl who is struggling to find her family and recapture her home.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Cammie Morgan is the daughter of the Headmistress at the Gallagher Academy, a school that claims it is for genius girls. But behind it's twelve-foot, ivy-covered walls, Gallagher is really a school for training young female spies. Entering her sophomore year, Cammie and her friends are excited because this is the year that they get to enter Sub-Level 1, the underground rooms where Covert Operations is taught.

Little does Cammie know that soon she will be running the covert operation of her life as she meets Josh, a boy from town and falls for him. To him, Cammie is the child of religious zealots who are homeschooling her. As she tries to balance her two secret lives, while keeping them completely separate, Cammie soon realizes how impossible this task really is!

Filled with action, romance and quite a bit of humor, this light read is perfect, particularly after a grueling required reading assignment.