Young Adult Fiction! discussion

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The Classroom-(gen. discussion) > books of teens' struggles

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message 1: by Angela (new)

Angela Avery | 3 comments I am looking to compile a list of books about teenagers struggling or overcoming issues. Topics may include drugs and alcohol, depression, family issues, parents' divorce, homelessness, eating disorders, bullying, dating, sex, relationships, etc.

I am a guidance counselor, and I find it helps kids to read books they can relate to.

Know of any books that may be useful here?


message 2: by Alexandra (last edited Mar 05, 2008 05:15PM) (new)

Alexandra I tend to not read realistic fiction, especially of this type. The only book I can think off off hand (although not really any of the struggles you mentioned) is Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, which you'ver probably already thought of.

But I AM interested also to hear of books others hopefully will suggest - since I don't know of many books of this type. I'd particularly be interested in any books regarding living in areas with gangs, family members in gangs, etc.


message 3: by Trina (new)

Trina (trieb) | 7 comments That's a somewhat vague request. If you (or your library) have access to Novelist (an online database of books), you can enter any subject you're looking for and you'll get suggestions. I have access to it through my public library and I found it helpful.

But Bullyville by Francine Prose is supposedly very good. As is Ned Vizzini's It's Kind Of A Funny Story.

For gangs, I might recommend The Freedom Writer's Diary, Romiette and Julio, or Buried Onions.





message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

All the books that I've read that are by Deb Caletti are great.
The Nature of Jade is about a girl who has panic attacks and finds comfort watching the elephants at the zoo. One day she sees a boy in a red jacket and he has a baby. She starts to wonder about him. I won't say anymore because I'll ruin it. But it is a fabulous book!


message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim | 35 comments This is the type of book I write :-) I'll give you my favorites that I've used as both a college advisor and high school teacher.

You Remind Me of You by Eireann Corrigan (she's amazing - Ordinary Ghosts is also good)
The Tribes of Palos Verdes - Joy Nicholson
I was a Teenage Fairy - Francesca Lia Bloch
Not as Crazy as I Seem - George Harrar
What Happened to Lani Garver? - Carol Plum-Ucci
My book is Songs for a Teenage Nomad if you want to check it out:-)
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Girl, Interrupted







message 6: by Edi (new)

Edi (crazyquilts) Honestly, just about every YA novel has to do with overcoming something. I would suggest you work with the librarian at your school to know what books are in the library and what themes they each have.


message 7: by elissa (last edited Mar 07, 2008 11:41AM) (new)

elissa (librarianbodyworkerelissa) | 16 comments At DC Public Library we put together a list of recommended "issue" books a few years ago. It was part of a set of lists that won an award from ALA. Here's a link to the books on our "Literature of Desolation" list:

http://citycat.dclibrary.org/uhtbin/cgisirsi.exe/x/ML-KING/x/1/1197/X

Hopefully this link will work to get to the booklists for teens, and then you click on "Literature of Desolation".

There are many more, and ones that came out too recently to be included, but those are a start for some issues. I also have a mental_illnesses shelf in my goodreads shelves. It has some of the same books as the DCPL list and some that are different.




message 8: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments L. H. Anderson's Speak and her latest Twisted
Lynch's Inexcusable
Werlin's The Rules of Survival
Reinhardt's Harmless
Volponi's Black & White and Rucker Park Setup
Beast - WD Myers
Mackler's The Earth, My Butt & Other Big Round Things
Wallace's Wrestling Sturbridge and Ricochet
Garden's Endgame
Any Sonya Sones book
Alex Flinn books
Crank and Glass by Ellen Hopkins
This Lullaby- Sarah Dessen
Runner - Carl Deuker
Dark Angel- David Klass
Loveesick - Jake Coburn
Any Gail Giles book
Soner & Spaz- R. Koertge
Any Sharon Draper books
Tyrell- Coe Booth
Street Pharm
King of the Lost & Found - J. Lekich



message 9: by Cat (new)

Cat | 5 comments I write them, too:) HARLEY, LIKE A PERSON and HARLEY'S NINTH, published by Knopf. Forgive me for tooting my own horn, but it seems that since I live in Italy, people think I've fallen off the face off the earth. The kids can find me easily on Facebook and MySpace, but we need a few grownups, too!

Cat

"Cat Bauer's powerful first novel of a defiant adolescent girl's search for identity, both creative and personal, will ring true for teenagers everywhere. She hits on all the hot topics: identity, family relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, school achievement, domestic and emotional violence, friendship, sex, and love.
---Emilie Coulter""

Awards & Recognitions for HARLEY, LIKE A PERSON

*Booklist Top Ten Youth First Novel *ALA YALSA Best Book for Young Adults *ALA YALSA Quick Pick *ALA TWO TIME WINNER YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults *New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age *BookSense 76 Pick *Bookreporter Top Ten Teen First Novel *Book of the Year - First Place YA Fiction - ForeWord Magazine *Oregon Young Adult Network Book Rave *teenreads.com Top 10 *CosmoGirl Book Club Selection *Teen People Book Club Selection *Winner - SCBWI Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work


message 10: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments I couldn't access your literature of desolation on your library web site - I tried all of the headings and there was nothing that popped up under issues or Literature of desolation- can you tell me what I am doing wrong.


message 11: by elissa (last edited Mar 07, 2008 11:41AM) (new)

elissa (librarianbodyworkerelissa) | 16 comments bj~I noticed that the link wasn't working when this came up on my daily digest for the group. I tried changing the link to our whole list of teen lists. Once you get to that page, then you just click on the "Literature of Desolation" link. Hopefully it'll work now!

http://citycat.dclibrary.org/uhtbin/cgisirsi.exe/x/ML-KING/x/1/1197/X



message 12: by Kim (new)

Kim | 35 comments Hey Cat, no forgiveness needed for tooting that horn - you have a lot to be proud of. Congrats!


message 13: by William (new)

William (williamc) A beautiful book on the repercussions of teen suicide as it affects both teachers and students is T.M. McNally's " Until Your Heart Stops."


message 14: by Angela (new)

Angela Avery | 3 comments Thank you for your suggestions! I appreciate it. I have read Speak and that is probably one of the best young adult books I've read lately. I, too, would be interested in books about being in gangs. We have those definitely at the high school level in the town I work in, and creeping into our middle school where I work with kids! Having books these teens can relate to number one makes them feel understood, and number two gets them to read!


message 15: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) Angela, I just joined the group. Here are some YA Books I have read.

Keeping You a Secret- Julie Anne Peters
Luna- Julie Anne Peters
Far From Xanadu- Julie Anne Peters
Between Mom and Jo-Julie Anne Peters
Define Normal- Julie Anne Peters
Rainbow Boys-Alex Sanchez
Rainbow High-Alex Sanchez
Rainbow Road-Alex Sanchez
Leftovers- Laura Weiss
An Egg on Three Sticks-Jackie Fischer


Note-The first four books I listed ,and the three Rainbow Books(which is a trilogy), are gay and lesbian YA.


message 16: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Awesome! Thanks so much- I took a look at some of the other teen categories and will come back to them!


message 17: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments I am a grownup and on Facebook too (I also have a facebook with my school club)--I will ask you to be my friend---I am a grade 10-12 librarian in a suburban high school with 2500 students and I do lots of book talks, love to read and I have your latest Harley book to review for PSLA--I haven't read the others before---does that matter?
BJ


message 18: by Cat (new)

Cat | 5 comments If you have the actual HARLEY'S NINTH hardcover book, and not the ARC, then I would I would love for you to review it without reading HARLEY, LIKE A PERSON. It would be most appreciated.

Thank you,
Cat


message 19: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Biederman | 4 comments My co-authored YA novel, UNRAVELING (Random HOuse, July 2008) is all about teen struggles. 15 yr old Amanda struggles with a toxic mother-daughter relationship and how this affects some of the choices she must make. A high school senior offers her a date to a big dance but it's in exchange for her virginity. This could fix all her problems...or not.
For more info, see my good reads page or site www.lynnbiederman.com
Thanks,
Lynn


message 20: by Anna (new)

Anna Hardesty (annerszz101) Best books involving drugs and other sorts.
Anything by Sarah Dessen (not really dealing with drugs, just overcoming something)

Crank, Impulse, etc. by Ellen Hopkins.
best ones.


message 21: by Mahina (last edited Sep 05, 2008 10:37AM) (new)

Mahina ditto on Sarah Dessen. Just Listen is fantastic book (I just read it) and deals with rape, eating disorders, navigating friendships. Go Ask Alice is a biggie; Ellen Hopkins, L.H. Anderson...

However, I agree with Edi. Work with your HS librarian or your local public library's Teen Librarian - they will know your kids the best and can help you choose books they will actually read. I'm a teen librarian and I've worked in different cities and different neighborhoods within those cities so I can attest to the fact that while some books may be universal there are many more that will work better with different groups of teens, i.e. books that appeal to kids that live in Redmond, WA may not appeal to kids of the same age in Phoenix, AZ.
(sorry so long!)



message 22: by Mir (new)

Mir | 3 comments It is a bit older, but the Dicey series by Cynthia Voight is good.


message 23: by Katiek (new)

Katiek adver123 | 1 comments The Shape of Water by Anne Spollen comes to mind. It's unique in that its theme is a teen overcoming grief and it's written in a way that will pull the kids in. It also deals with remarriage and attempted suicide, plus, I found out about it here on goodreads.

If you need other topics, go to Amazon and look at tags. That's one way to find your subject. Good luck!!


message 24: by Beckie (new)

Beckie | 12 comments I just finished IDENTICAL by Ellen Hopkins. It's beautifully written and deals with incest, bulimia, drug abuse all because of a death in the family. It does show intervention and hope at the end. But realistic and not just your happy ever after ending.


message 25: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Nancy Werlin books, Wittlinger books, E.R. Frank books, John Green books, Chris Crutcher packs a punch too!


message 26: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Mahina- I agree with everyhting you have said above ----I have a white boxer, Layla--see my picture! I would like to be your friend, I am a HS librarian (who loved reading, booktalking and working with teens) but I can't answer your question---sorry!


message 27: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a very honest book about the issues that led to a teenage girls suicide. It is a very raw and emotional read. The story follows her classmate Jay as he listens to cassette tapes recorded by Hannah listing her reasons for ending her life. None of the reasons are earth-shattering but they all accumulate and connect to one another. Asher is a talented story-teller and, though not always easy to keep going, this book is worth the read.


message 28: by Beth (new)

Beth | 3 comments Angela wrote: "I am looking to compile a list of books about teenagers struggling or overcoming issues. Topics may include drugs and alcohol, depression, family issues, parents' divorce, homelessness, eating diso..."

I'd be happy to share some of my lists with you. I teach YA at San Jose State University in the Library and Information Science School.



message 29: by Swati (new)

Swati HI Angela,
I Know you have a lot of books on the list. I would like to add three:
1) Blackbox by Julie Schumacher which is about a girl whose sister struggles with depression. It is a very quick read and was a ALA pick for reluctant readers.
2) Looking for Alaska by John Green (Drunk Driving, and won many well-deserved awards. Good book for boys and girls and...
3) Split by Swati Avasthi (me). It is about a 16 year old boy, Jace Witherspoon, who shows up on his brother's doorstep with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father), $3.84, and a secret. It's about what happens after -- after you've said enough, after you've run, after you've made the split. Though a tad tasteless, I'm pimping my own book because I feel strongly about the issue of abuse.


message 30: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Swati, I really like what Blackbox and your book Split, sound like, I am going to get them asap. Thanks for the suggestions~


message 31: by Swati (new)

Swati Thanks!! Hope you like them! Split is only available for pre-order right now. (Sigh) It's coming out on audio book from Random House on 1/12/10 and in hardcover on 3/9/10. (Grin). I should have mentioned that!
Best,
Swati


message 32: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Well, our school only orders once a year so that might work, although I would love to get ahold of it SOON, but I guess I will just have to wait. I order from Follett, will they have pre-orders?


message 33: by Swati (new)

Swati I'm looking into it, talking to the publisher. Currently, Follett does not have it available for pre-order. We'll see what we can do.
Thanks,
sa


message 34: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Great, Thanks Swati, any info you can find out will be very helpful!


message 35: by Swati (new)

Swati Okay, great. It can be pre-ordered from Follett. It's on tidalwave (their site?)
So, that's great.


message 36: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Swat,I am so glad, I will order it ASAP, thanks!


message 37: by Swati (new)

Swati Also, I'm happy to do a skype author visit, if you have the capability for any of your school's classes. Or, if you happen to be in the Twin Cities or in Albuquerque, or in Denver (going in April) I'm happy to come in.



message 38: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (ellennancy) Hi,
I'm an older woman who has returned to school for my teaching certification, secondary school, English content area. I have my M.A. in comparative literature and finished all the coursework for a Ph.D., English, many years ago.
I just started a YAL class, and the genre is new to me.
I want to teach in a diverse urban school.
Can someone suggest some books written for minority students, or by a minority author?


message 39: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Swati wrote: "Also, I'm happy to do a skype author visit, if you have the capability for any of your school's classes. Or, if you happen to be in the Twin Cities or in Albuquerque, or in Denver (going in April)..."Thanks so much Swati, I will keep that in mind.




message 40: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Ellen wrote: "Hi,
I'm an older woman who has returned to school for my teaching certification, secondary school, English content area. I have my M.A. in comparative literature and finished all the coursework fo..."
Ellen you should read books by Sharon Draper, Dream Jordan, Paul Volponi, Coe Booth, Alison van diepen,Dana Davidson and any of the Bluford Series
books.




message 41: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (ellennancy) bj,
I googled all those authors, and they are exactly what I was looking for. I see a term paper here. Thanks!






message 42: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Thanks so much Swati and I will be back to you after I read the book! BJ


message 43: by Tim (new)

Tim Lane | 2 comments Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but would like to mention my book, “Flight on Fire Mountain”. The main character is a teen whose parents are going though a divorce. It’s an action adventure book and is also a quick read (less than a 100 pages). I have been told by teachers and librarians that this type of “high low” book is appealing to the challenged readers who might be intimated by longer novels.




message 44: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Keong | 2 comments I just finished Perfect by Natasha Friend. It's about two girls who have bulimia. I thought it was done really well. Perfect by Natasha Friend


message 45: by Megan (new)

Megan Mweemba (meganlovesbooks) | 5 comments I'm sure that someone must have said these already, but I very highly recommend Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Thirteen Reasons Why. Those are both amazing.

Haha, I also have written a book about teen struggles... But I won't recommend it. That'd be silly.


message 46: by Megan (new)

Megan Mweemba (meganlovesbooks) | 5 comments Oh I forgot to mention that Thirteen Reasons Why is by Jay Asher.


message 47: by Tim (new)

Tim Lane | 2 comments My book, “Flight on Fire Mountain” is basically an action adventure novel about a teenager who is forced to make a paraglider flight to escape a forest fire. The main character is also dealing with the problems of his parents going through a divorce and having to deal with a new step family. The emphasis of the book however is primarily on the flight over the fire.


message 48: by Megan (new)

Megan Mweemba (meganlovesbooks) | 5 comments Also Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. About anorexia/bulemia.


message 49: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 1 comments Ellen wrote: "Hi,
I'm an older woman who has returned to school for my teaching certification, secondary school, English content area. I have my M.A. in comparative literature and finished all the coursework fo..."

I would definitely suggest 'The Freedom Writers Diary'. I thought it was fabulous, and so eye opening. Kids who were completely overlooked, yet capable of so much.

And also, I agree with those who have suggested Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Amazing Book.


message 50: by Autumn Skye (new)

Autumn Skye (cuddlebot) | 17 comments Mod
Cat wrote: "I write them, too:) HARLEY, LIKE A PERSON and HARLEY'S NINTH, published by Knopf. Forgive me for tooting my own horn, but it seems that since I live in Italy, people think I've fallen off the face ..."

i read that book. i really enjoyed it. Well done. :)


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