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Great Teen Reads

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Great Reads for Teens

 For times when teenagers get a break from school assignments and extracurricular activities, here are some great reads.

 Elizabeth Honaker recommends “Fever, 1793” by Laurie Halse Anderson.  “This is a historical novel about an epidemic of yellow fever which took the lives of ten percent of Philadelphia’s population in only three months. Anderson describes life nearing the end of the 18th century in Philadelphia as a booming capital in which Washington and Jefferson were residents; however, once the outbreak of yellow fever occurs, the lives of Philadelphians are forever altered.  Anderson has an excellent eye for detail and proves as much with her historically accurate telling of the circumstances surrounding the horrific epidemic of that year.   The main character is Mattie Cook, a teenage girl who is forced to grow up quickly when she becomes separated from her mother who is suffering from yellow fever. Mattie, who had also faced and overcome yellow fever, notes the differences between the French physician who aided her back to health, and the American physician who aided her mother.  Since early medicine, we now know that some of the practices used on patients actually hindered their recovery, even resulting in death.   Aside from limited medical care, crimes such as theft had become a major problem during the outbreak. Items of any value, and especially food, were stolen. When Mattie returns home after overcoming her illness, she finds her house ransacked by thieves.  Mattie is left with the responsibility of feeding herself as well as her grandfather, with only the vegetables in their dying garden. Food sources are limited, and many Philadelphians flee to the countryside during the epidemic.   I would suggest “Fever, 1793” to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.  Laurie Halse Anderson’s account of Philadelphia in 1793 is well researched, placing the reader in the life of a teenage girl faced with overcoming a disaster left by yellow fever, in a time when even everyday life was much more difficult than today.”  

 “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks” by E. Lockhart is another great read.  Meredith Hubbard has this to say about it: “In the year since she started at Alabastor Prepatory School, one of the big ones of the New England private prep school scene, Frankie Landau-Banks changed from a skinny, freckled kid riding on her older sister’s coattails to a knockout with a mind for mischief.  When her hot senior boyfriend begins disappearing and concealing his whereabouts from her, Frankie decides to track him.  She discovers he is involved with the school’s all-male secret society, The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds.  Annoyed with the patriarchy present at her alma mater and in society at large, Frankie sets out to take over the Hounds.  This novel is an account of her experiences and misdemeanors as she rises to the rank of Alpha Dog.   Elements from the classic boarding school novel (“Tom Brown’s Schooldays”, “Harry Potter”, “Prep”) coupled with a teenage version of Harriet from Louise Fitzhugh’s “Harriet the Spy”, “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks” is a hilarious book which will leave you with an urge to challenge social norms and toilet paper your neighbor’s house.”     

 Amanda Baker recommends Mary E. Pearson’s “The Adoration of Jenna Fox”.  “Seventeen-year-old Jenna has just awakened from a year-long coma.  She has been told that her name is Jenna Fox and that she is recovering from a terrible accident.  Her parents show her home movies of what used to be her life, and she begins to remember things slowly.  When she has an accident and cuts herself, she learns that she bleeds blue.  What is she?  As she begins to remember things slowly, she starts asking questions, questions no one wants to answer, especially her father, a scientist who illegally uses the latest medical technology to help her.  She learns she could live 2 years or 200--is she a miracle?  Jenna realizes it is her parents’ love that makes them break the law to save her at any cost.  This is a fascinating science fiction story of a girl who learns about betrayal, loyalty, sacrifice, and survival.  Recommended for all tweens and teens, ages 11 and up.”    

 Teens and tweens and readers of all ages can find many interesting, exciting, and entertaining reads at the Library.  For more ideas, visit us at or call 988-2541.

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Online collection of animated, talking picture books to encourage reading in children.


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