I am well aware that there are many wonderful and compelling books that one can read, but stay with me on this one. Monster by Walter Dean Myers is truly a masterpiece that has stayed with me for months now. I have to re-read it for a class and am looking forward to learning more about our narrator, Steve Harmon, and his story. Written as a screenplay and starring the narrator, Steve Harmon, the reader is taken through a boy’s time in jail and the court system in NYC. What moved me was the way in which Walter Dean Myers challenges your assumptions of guilt and innocence and leads you to a place without providing you all of the answers.
John Green ( -1757); Dutton Juvenile 2006
A friend recently recommended An Abundance of Katherines by John Green with a disclaimer that it celebrates nerdiness and has footnotes! Well, how could I not embrace my inner smartypants? This book is funny and endearing and I absolutely recommend it. My only caveat is that reading it on an e-reader does not do it justice. The book contains many footnotes (yes, footnotes in a fiction) and they don’t translate well in electronic form.
So… after my great experience with the quirky characters in Abundance…, I again took my friend’s advice and read Looking for Alaska, the 2006 recipient of the Printz Award. This is not a quirky happy book about teens, but instead a deeper and moving look into the life of Miles “Pudge” Halter and his friends. Set in Culver Creek, Alabama, I felt my temperature rise as the characters navigated the southern heat and life in a boarding school. I also recommend this book as it navigates the very real fears and concerns of teenagers as well as us all.