Teen Read Week: Learning to Love YA Lit

by Amelia Zavala Vander Heide ,Senior Editor, INALJ Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virtual Work

Teen Read Week: Learning to Love YA Lit

amelia_vanderheideThis year Teen Read Week, October 12th-18th, will be celebrated in libraries across the country. You might be currently working in a public library, you might be interested in youth services and teen librarianship, or maybe you are just curious about getting to know more about YA Lit. I am here to give you a short crash course. I love working with teens and I read a lot, or maybe too much, YA Lit. Here are some titles that adults can enjoy that go beyond the biggest hits such as The Fault in Our Stars, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Eleanor & Park.

Matched by Ally Condie (Matched Series, Book 1) This series is for fans of dystopian romance, and in this series, the author merges both a love triangle and a totalitarian society seamlessly. In this world, all teenagers are “matched” with their life-partner at 17. When the main character sees a brief glitch during her match ceremony, she begins to question whether or not her society is truly perfect.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles, Book 1) This book is definitely for fans of fairy-tale retelling/reimagining. In this series, Cinderella is portrayed by a badass cyborg mechanic, who must try to save the Earth from an evil Lunar queen and a horrible plague. (Hint: This book is also really good in audio format.)

Burn for Burn by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han (Burn for Burn Trilogy, Book 1) Do you like chick-lit and revenge fiction? Then look no further. I still have yet to finish this trilogy, but I am so excited to find out how it ends. (I am on three different hold lists.) This book centers on three teenage girls who are on a tiny New England island, and they are all out for revenge on those who wronged them.

Winger by Andrew Smith One of the books nominated for the Teen Top Ten 2014, this coming of age story will stick with you. Ryan Dean West seems to live a charmed 14-year-old life. He is already a junior, on varsity rugby, and goes to a rich-kid’s boarding school. Still, he has a lot of growing-up to do. The ending of this book is a little shocking, but this definitely a book both teens and adults will enjoy.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Yes, yes, Eleanor & Park is already a New York Times bestseller, and this one probably is too, but this book is so good it has to be mentioned. In this story, twins Cath and Wren begin to drift apart when Wren defects to live in her own dorm room. Cath is crushed and begins to turn more and more inward as her freshman year at the University of Nebraska progresses. This is a great story about first love and dealing with hard family issues. This book is not as emotional as Eleanor & Park, but it is still so enjoyable that it could be an adult book. Plus, Cath writes what is essentially Harry Potter/Draco , but for copyright reasons isn’t, slash fan-fiction.

I hope this inspires you to delve deeper into YA Lit. Happy Reading.

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