Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, and John Klima. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.

2007-01-18

Request for Good Younger Teen Reads

I received the following e-mail the other day:

I read with interest your posting about Addie Swartz, as I was lamenting to my girlfriends that when I went to Barnes and Noble to buy books for my 13 year old girl, there was nothing that appealed to me or that I thought would appeal to her, an athlete with little interest in clothes, makeup and to a lesser degree, boys. When I asked the B and N staff for specific recommendations, they came up with nothing. I have never heard of the Beacon Street Girls (but will soon buy these books for my 8 year old daughter)—what books other than these can you recommend for my daughter, and for parents who do not yet want their children to read about girls having sex and other more adult topics? I just pre-read the fourth book in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, and 3 of the 4 heroines had sex by the end of the story.

Okay, my well-read friends. Please put your thinking caps on and help out your fellow Pop reader.

I recommended the following:

  • Olive's Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
  • Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbit
  • Airborn & Skybreaker, by Kenneth Oppel

The young lady in question has already read (and enjoyed, I hope) the first two, and her mom said she'd check out Airborn & Skybreaker. What else can we recommend? Please leave suggestions in the comments!

A few other titles that leap to mind:

  • Sea of Trolls, by Nancy Farmer
  • Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko
  • Hoot and Flush, by Carl Hiaasen
  • Gregor the Overlander, etc., by Suzanne Collins
  • Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman, by Eleanor Updale

Anyone out there read Ida B.? It looks like a winner, but I haven't read it.

I'd also like to take a moment to praise this mother's pre-reading of the new Sisterhood title -- good for you! And is it wrong for me to enjoy a moment of schadenfreude that the staff at B&N were not terribly helpful? Let's just call it an illustration of the difference between libraries & bookstores, and leave it at that, shall we?

Once again: suggestions in the comments!

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