Plenty to read if a young adult

In The Stacks

Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003

Young-adult books have a wide range of appeal, and, while some middle-schoolers will find some of our titles right up their alley, the target audience is the high-school and adult reader. Typically, young-adult books contain more mature themes and more complex plots than juvenile chapter books. We shelve our young-adult books in with the adult fiction, and mark them with a fluorescent green spine label to make them easy to spot. If they are brand-new titles, as these selections are, you'll find them on the new-book shelves.

"Aimee," by Mary Miller In this emotional roller coaster of a story, 17-year-old Zoe has been accused of assisting her best friend Aimee's suicide. The book, itself, is the journal that Zoe keeps at the request of the psychiatrist who is helping her through the trial. The narrative jumps back and forth in time to tell a heartwrenching and thoughtprovoking tale of sex, love, abuse and friendship.

"The Named," by Marianne Curley "The Named" is an intense fantasy story and first of a trilogy involving Ethan, who is a Guardian of time, a master of illusion and who has known for hundreds of years that he was different than others. He is joined by his new apprentice, Isabel, who thought she was normal until a cut on her finger healed when she commanded it. Isabel's training is urgent, as the Order of Chaos begins altering the course of history.

"Kensuke's Kingdom," by Michael Morpurgo When Michael's parents both lost their jobs, his father goes off and buys a sailboat big enough to live on. The family then heads off across the ocean with plenty of baked beans, sardines and textbooks for Michael. They also take Stella, Michael's dog, and when, several months into the voyage, Michael tries to coax Stella back below deck, both are washed overboard. How they survive on a small, nearly uninhabited island, is a fascinating and moving story.

"Bloody Jack," by L.A. Meyer Jacky Faber takes a spot on a warship as a ship's boy in order to escape the poverty of 18th-century London - but there's a problem: Jacky is a girl. Young enough and starved enough to pass for a boy in nearly every situation, she fears being thrown overboard should anyone discover her secret. In the end, her secret is discovered, but not before she has many adventures and near-escapes, finds romance and earns her share of pirate prize money.

"Things Not Seen," by Andrew Clements The author of "Frindle" strikes another just-right note with his latest offering. Bobby Phillips is an ordinary teenager until the morning he goes invisible - really invisible. His mom is distressed; his dad, a scientist, is intrigued. Afraid to let anyone know what's happened (wouldn't it be a great military weapon?!) Bobby gets to stay home until he's visible again. But when the school notifies authorities that he's been gone for three weeks, he and his parents have to scramble to cover their tracks and the search for a cure becomes desperate.

"The Great God Pan," by Donna Jo Napoli Once again, Napoli takes a traditional tale and creates something new and fresh. The Greek demi-god Pan is the god of nature, and he revels in his role. Though Aphrodite, the goddess of love, has cursed him so that he is half-god, half-goat and thus forever unlovable, Pan doesn't think that he is cursed: He has never loved and therefore doesn't feel unloved. Until, that is, he meets Iphigenia, the daughter of Helen of Troy.

"Period Pieces," edited by Erzsi Deak and Kristin Embry Litchman Thirteen writers remember what it was like to get their first period in this collection of 12 short stories and one poem. Funny stories, sad stories and strong stories make a compelling and readable mix for adolescents, teens, and adults.

"Son of the Mob," by Gordon Korman Korman's legendary humor is in good form in this story about a boy whose father is the head of a powerful crime organization. Vince wants to be a normal guy, taking advantage of his father's position only in dire need (like when he needs a grade changed). But when Vince's heart is stolen by Kendra and he discovers that her father not only works for the FBI, but that he is in charge of bringing down Vince's dad, he gets a chance to prove to his father that nice guys don't always finish last.

It's time for the end-of-summer spiff-up of the downtown library's bookshelves. Anyone 11-years old and up is welcome to come downtown on Friday, Sept. 12 for pizza and shelf reading from 5:30-7 p.m. Please call 586-5249 or 586-0446 to sign up so we know how much pizza and pop to order.

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