Category Archives: Teen/Young Adult

Tamar by Mal Peet

Image result for tamar book coverTamar by Mal Peet is a YA novel set in the Netherlands during WWII, and tells the story of two young Dutch men, Tamar and Dart,  who are members of the British Secret Service, sent to the Netherlands to assist the Dutch Resistance.  The narrative alternates between a female narrator in current day Britain, the granddaughter of one of the young soldiers seeking information about her now-deceased grandfather, and a male voice telling the war story in the 1940s.  Both voices are spectacular, and their two stories are gripping in their own way.  I especially enjoyed the tale of the resistance fighters, the reality of the conditions they find themselves in, and the tragic love triangle in which they become embroiled.  This audiobook was excellent, and I’m sure it is also an excellent read. (Submitted by Ginny).

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Dragon Books for All Ages

Image result for dealing with dragonsImagine having a dragon for a friend: powerful and perhaps capricious, but with your best interests at heart.  I have a favourite dragon friend book for every age.  For younger readers (maybe 8 and up) I recommend Patricia Wrede’s Dealing with Dragons series, about a Princess who decides she’d rather live with the dragons than the princes.  As a teenager, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsinger was my very favourite book.  Once I read it through twice on the same day.  Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight is one of the best dragon friend books for adults, and there are plenty of other books set in her world, Pern, to keep you busy for a while. (Submitted by Rebecca).

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Calvin by Martine Leavitt

Image result for CALVIN MARTINE LEAVITT BOOK COVER

Calvin is a brilliant 17 year old who has procrastinated much too long on his final English and biology projects. Recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, he decides to undertake an epic pilgrimage across Lake Erie along with childhood friend Susie and the hallucination of a 10 foot tiger named Hobbes to convince Bill Watterson to write one more strip of Calvin & Hobbes.  Thoughtful and heartfelt. (Submitted by Meghan W).

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Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

Image result for exit pursued by a bear book coverTalk about tough subjects for a teen novel: rape/date rape, drugs, unwanted pregnancy, and abortion. This may not be gritty enough for some readers but you don’t necessarily need gritty to talk about serious issues.

While attending a camp in Northern Ontario, Hermione Winters was drugged and raped. The repercussions range from testing the strength of families and friendships, romantic relationships – past, present and future – to the school and small town rumours that can mark and make or break the spirit of a victim.

The author admits she was angry when she first started writing this book and that it wasn’t very cohesive but she stuck with it, creating a novel I wasn’t sure I wanted to read but I’m glad I did. It makes you realize the ‘what ifs’ of your life and the decisions that you’ve made that have put you on the path you are on – at the moment. (Submitted by RZ).

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Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

In Dumplin’, we meet Willowdean, a 16-year-old girl a little on the chubbier side who lives in a small Texas town. Willowdean is confident and funny–and crushing hard on the cute jock who works at the fast food restaurant with her. Willowdean’s self image and self-confidence get skewed when she discovers that her crush likes her back. All of a sudden, she’s anxious about how people will view them as a couple. On a whim, she decides to enter the town beauty pageant run by her mother with a number of misfits from school. This young adult book was charming and engrossing. I finished it in a day. (Submitted by Meghan).

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe — Benjamin Alire Saenz

I learned about this title in a LGBTQ Teen Fiction list.  After devouring the book, I can easily say that this book is one of my all-time favourites. I loved the dynamic and sometimes-complicated relationships between all of the characters; not just main characters Aristotle and Dante, but the relationships that each boy has with his family. If you’re a fan of John Green’s work, you will love this coming-of-age tale filled with poetic symbolism and deep insight about what life is about when you’re a teenager. If you’re in the mood for a great young adult novel, or an engaging read; Aristotle, Dante and the universe’s secrets will delight and charm you from cover to cover. (Submitted by Mara.)

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Realm of the Goddess – Sabina Khan

realm of the goddess imageSurrey author Sabina Khan tells the story of seventeen-year old Callie of Seattle, a girl living a normal existence until she starts to experience grave nightmares of herself in a battlefield facing a horde of demons. Callie soon discovers that she is the avatar of the Hindu Goddess Kali and it is her destiny to vanquish Mahisha, the King of Demons. Callie embarks on a trip to India in search of the Sword of Knowledge, where she encounters death-hungry demons as well as budding romance. Fast-paced, action-packed, steeped in Hindu mythology, I enjoyed reading this teen novel that might be the first in a series. (submitted by MS)

Meet Sabina at Authors Among Us: History Writes—Inspired and Remembered at City Centre Library on Sat, May 9 at 2pm. Call 604-598-7426 to save your spot. 

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