All Info About Teen Reading

A companion blog to All Info About Teen Reading

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Book Review - Gossip Girl

Dive into the fabulous high-class world of New York's most elite teenagers in this popular series. The Gossip Girl books are practically the definition of a guilty pleasure, but I still love them. I do feel, however, that the series has dragged on a bit past its prime in the most recent installments. That still hasn't stopped me from reading them, though.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

LoveToKnow Teens

In my freelance writing work, I've been involved with the LoveToKnow family of sites for around a year. One of the newest channels is LoveToKnow Teens. You can find helpful advice on the latest fashions, making new friends, and finding time for homework. As a wiki, it's an interactive site, so you can add your own comments and suggestions to any article. I hope you find the site interesting and useful!

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Book Review - Seven Daughters and Seven Sons

Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy is a novel about one young woman's quest for acceptance in the historic Middle East. It is a good book that has never gotten much attention, as far as I am aware. I picked it up after attending a session at a social studies conference on incorporating more information about the Middle East in the classroom. It's interesting in its own right, but it would also make a great cross-curricular piece in conjunction with a study of the history and cultures of the Middle East. I find I tend to think about this book in teacher terms because I first learned about it in an educational context, but from a pure reader standpoint, I thought it was a good coming-of-age tale if you're interested in historical fiction.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Ultimate Teen Reading List has compiled the Ultimate Teen Reading List. On this alphabetical list, you can find everything from 1776 to You, Maybe, and it includes a great mix of adult, classic, teen, and non-fiction literature. The editors at say, "Our dream is that schools will use this list to help them make their own for summer reading, or even better, suggest that students just read what they want from this list." It's also a great place to start in creating your own "must-read" list.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Author Profile - The Poetry of Sonya Sones

When you think of poetry, what do you normally think of? Do you think of it telling a story? Probably not. While much of the poetry we come across concerns itself with creating a single image or communicating a specific feeling, there are authors out there who use their skill with poetic verse to create a larger story.

Sonya Sones is one of these talented authors who have perfected the art of creating a novel out of poetry. Give her a try, even if you think you don't normally enjoy poetry.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Something for the Younger Teens

Middle School: How To Deal by Sarah Miller, Alex Stikeleather, Sara Borden, Maria Valladares and Miriam Yelton
Learn the ins and outs of middle school with five girls who have lived through it, and lived to tell the tale.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Author Profile - The Books of Gordon Korman

From This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall to Son of the Mob, Gordon Korman has been making me laugh for years. I also always enjoyed the fact that he was first published when he was a teenager. Read more about Gordan Korman's books at All Info About Teen Reading.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Just a few links to share today.

First, I found an interview with Katherine Paterson. Bridge to Terabithia is a bit young for most teen readers, but it's most likely a novel they remember fondly from their elementary school days; the movie adaptation is currently playing in theaters. The interview was conducted by a Catholic magazine, but it's a fairly general interview about her work and the upcoming movie, with a bit of talk about the religious content in Bridge to Terabithia.

I also found the AS IF! Authors Support Intellectual Freedom blog. The blog offers commentary on current censorship battles, which all too often involve young adult literature.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Paying It Forward

The All Info About Teen Reading blog was plugged in today's edition of Pay It Forward Tuesday at Deb Ng's Freelance Writing Jobs. The idea behind paying it forward is that you help someone out with the understanding that he or she will help someone else out, and hopefully the chain continues with tons of good deeds accomplished in the end. So in keeping with the spirit of paying it forward, here are two sites I would like to promote:

I just discovered Young Adult Creative Writing Workshops when Patrizia left a comment. The interview with author Linda Gerber first caught my eye, providing an interesting look at the creative process and the YA market. The most recent post also mentions a great fiction-writing contest from Highlights, open to writers 16 and older. But you'd better hurry because the deadline is February 28th!

From the All Info About Network, All Info About Reading Education offers great resources for teachers, parents, and tutors. Find everything from sight word lists to Adult Literacy Resources.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Resources for Parents

All Info About Teen Reading offers the following resources for parents:

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Resources for Teachers

All Info About Teen Reading offers the following resources for teachers:

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Paperback Swap

Read my review of the service.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Email Teen Book Club

Looking for a little daily reading? The book club will email you a bit of a book every morning - they aim for five minutes of reading. After you've read two or three chapters of the book, they move on to another title, and you can choose to leave the first book behind or seek it out at your local library or bookstore. You can sign up for the teen edition here. It looks like a great way to sample new books. They're currently reading Tangerine, a book I personally love. You can also share your thoughts on what you're reading in the site's forums, and some libraries also offer discussions and programs connected to the book club.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Whatever Happened to Samurai Girl?

Over the course of six books, I found Samurai Girl to be an entertaining and action-packed series. And then it just stopped. Searching for information on the series is difficult because searches for "Samurai Girl" bring up numerous pages for Samurai Girl:Real Bout High School, an anime and manga series. I did see a rumor once that the author was involved in a contract dispute with the publisher, but like most online rumors, it's difficult to say how much truth there is to it. Maybe no one else liked it as much as I did, and it wasn't a big seller? I still recommend the series, but you should go into it realizing you will probably never find out how it all ends and just enjoy the ride while it lasts.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Book Review - Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen is the newest book from popular young adult author Sarah Dessen. When Annabel falls from the top of the high school social order, a surprising new friend helps her put her life back together and emerge stronger than ever. I highly recommend this book, along with the rest of Dessen's work.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Why do I bother?

So why does someone who is well past her teen years devote her time to a site on teen reading? Read more about the inspiration for my interest in young adult literature.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Teen Trend Magazine

I came across a link to Teen Trend Magazine's subscription drive recently. It's a small magazine that's trying to gain the attention of major advertisers by boosting its subscription base. Through this offer, you can enjoy a year's subscription for only $1. Now, I've never read the magazine, so I can't personally vouch for it, but I'm interested in its status as an alternative to mainstream teen magazines. And you really can't beat the price. You can read about the magazine's purpose/mission here.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Book Review - Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances

Miyazawa is the perfect student, popular and adored by her classmates, and first in everything. At least she was. Until Arima came to her school. Are these two destined for rivalry or romance? Find out in Kare Kano.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Teen Book Clubs

Are you interested in starting a teen book club or discussion group? They can be a great way to enjoy books by discussing them with your peers in a casual setting. Check out my article on Starting a Teen Book Club and Starting a Teen Book Study Group by Rachel Paxton.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Author Interview - Nadja Halilbegovich

Witness the horror of war through the eyes of a young teen with My Childhood Under Fire: A Sarajevo Diary, and then learn more in my interview with the author, Nadja Halilbegovich.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Award-Winning Teen Books

Are you interested in learning about the best the world of young adult literature has to offer? Visit All Info About Teen Reading's Award-Winning Reading links. I like that the American Library Association offers such a wide variety of awards and lists, so both the "literary" and the "popular" can be recognized. The 2007 award winners were just announced last month, so this is your chance to catch up on the cream of the teen book crop.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Book Review - Sisters/Hermanas

Sisters/Hermanas, written by Gary Paulsen and translated by Gloria de Aragón Andújar, is a bilingual story about the suprising link between an illegal immigrant and a teen beauty queen. Now I don't know about everyone else, but when I think of Gary Paulsen, I think of Hatchet and similar stories, but this is something completely different. It's a book that I don't think gets nearly enough attention, and I hope someone else tries it out because of my recommendation.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Interested in manga?

One of my favorite sources for quick reviews of new manga is Anime News Network's Right Turn Only column. You can find the most recent edition here. The site has also upped its number of longer manga reviews recently with the hiring of additional reviewers. Look to the right-hand side column for the latest additions, or search the site for a particular title.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Book Review - The Wave

By creating a new school movement, a history teacher tries to help his students understand the kind of thinking that could lead average Germans to follow Hitler in World War II. Based on a true story, The Wave presents a disturbing look at how seductive a sense of belonging and comradeship can be and how quickly a mob mentality can spiral out of control. While I found the story a bit dated, I still think it has an interesting message to offer, and I can see it having cross-curricular possibilities.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Random Thoughts

Just a few thoughts I originally posted on a discontinued Teen Reading site...

When you start to think about the sheer number of books written especially for teens, it can be both exciting and daunting. The possibilities are exciting - lively new characters, page-turning adventures, heart-wrenching drama, breathtaking fantasy. It's the potential dilemmas that come from trying to find the right book for the right reader at the right age that can be daunting.

One common problem with teen books is the potential for inappropriate material. When a "teen" can be anywhere from 13 to 19, you're going to get a wide range of material targeting the teen demographic. And a book that would be wonderful for a 17-year-old senior might be inappropriate for his 14-year-old brother. Of course, maturity also comes into play so some 13-year-olds will be ready to read about situations that would disturb many 15-year-olds. If you think your teen is reading something inappropriate, the best reaction to such a situation is a thoughtful and considered reaction. Think about how you would deal with inappropriate content in a book before it becomes an issue.

Whether they're reading complex science-fiction or the latest Oprah pick, many teens gravitate towards books classified as adult fiction or non-fiction. Some students devour the classics as preparation for college or AP English exams. While I never picked up a Stephen King book until I was out of college, I've seen many a seventh-grader pick up Pet Sematary. There's nothing inherently wrong in this, but they could be missing out on some great books that relate directly to their lives. If a teen is used to delving into the classics, a young adult book can be a refreshing change of pace. You should be proud of your teen's reading ability, but encourage him not to discount books written especially for teens.

What happens when a favorite series is released over the course of several years? Harry Potter is perhaps the most notable example of this phenomenon. Just try and keep an older teen away from book six in the series she's been reading since she was ten. But what about A Series of Unfortunate Events? This series, while popular, has less "all-ages" appeal. The first book was written in 1999, and the final book in the series was released in late 2006. Will the high school student who first picked up the series in fourth grade be willing to carry a copy of The Penultimate Peril into homeroom? You should encourage your teen to read whatever interests her. Don't dismiss these books just because they might seem "young." In fact, you might want to give them a try for yourself.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Best Teen Books

I wrote an article on the Best Teen Books for LoveToKnow Best. What do you think of my picks?

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Saturday, February 03, 2007


I've also started an All Info About Teen Reading lens at Squidoo. Check out Encourage Teens to Read!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Harry Potter is coming!

We've known for a while that the title of the long-anticipated seventh and final Harry Potter book will be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But now we know when it's coming – J.K. Rowling has revealed that the book will be released on July 21. Reserve your copy today at or

On a side note, I found something interesting while looking up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on and In the UK, they release "children's" and "adult" versions of the Harry Potter books. They have the same content, but different covers. I know I've never worried about carrying around a book with a cover that's obviously designed for kids or teens, but I wonder if the lack of cartoony drawings on the cover makes the book appeal to even more older readers? I think when it comes to Harry Potter, though, it doesn't matter too much. It's such a widespread phenomenon there's no shame in carrying around a "kids' book."

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Orson Scott Card, author of the popular teen science fiction novel Ender's Game, gave the book Speak his seal of approval in a recent review column. It's always good to see someone else get behind one of my all-time favorite books. Interested in learning more about Speak? Read the AIA Teen Reading profile of author Laurie Halse Anderson.

In related news, I got an advanced copy of Anderson's next book in the mail today, and I can't wait to check it out!

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Welcome to the companion blog to All Info About Teen Reading, a part of the All Info About Network. In this blog, I hope to include information on articles I post to AIA Teen Reading, as well as quick reviews and commentary that don't make it on to the site. I hope you enjoy this look at some of the best teen books on the market. Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to see from AIA Teen Reading or this blog. 

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