Teen Picks February 2016
Great Teen Books February 2016

Intro

Okay, so I’m looking at this month’s lest of teen books and I’m thinking…. Mmmm… This might be a little on the heavy side. Two books about racism. One book about mental health issues. One young man has a father in jail. Well… yeah. A bit heavy.
The good news is, a lot of teens like the chance to look at serious issues and consider their own feelings about serious stuff. Many teens suddenly find themselves as participants in the world – having an actual role, or about to have an actual role. Understanding complicated matters with social consequences takes on a whole new meaning – almost a personal responsibility. At least that’s been my observation.

When approaching these weightier topics, it might help to start with a common interest. For example, the main character in Conviction plays baseball. Sports might be a common denominator there. In All American Boys, a main character plays basketball. Same thing, sports might connect a potential reader to a world he or she can relate to.

Another way to think about it is to connect books with what’s going on in the news or amongst friends or family. Has your family discussed the accusations of police brutality that are all over the news lately? All American Boys deals with that topic. Do you know a family member or does your teen have a friend who struggles with mental health issues? Challenger Deep might be a good suggestion for your teen.

I tend to read teen books for the sheer escapey joy and only throw in the meatier stuff once in a while (especially if it's super awesome like Salt to the Sea). If you or your teen are the same, check out The Siren, Nimona, and Shadowshaper. Romance and fantasy – aaah…. I’ll take it.

 

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

The Siren Book Cover
The Siren
by Kiera Cass
published January 26, 2016

From Kiera Cass, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Selection series, comes a captivating stand-alone fantasy romance.

Kahlen is a...READ MORE

Salt to the Sea Book Cover
Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys
published February 2, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Publishers Weekly

For readers of Between Shades of Gray and All the Light We Cannot See, international bestselling author Ruta Sepetys returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands...READ MORE

The Emperor of Any Place Book Cover
The Emperor of Any Place
by Tim Wynne-Jones
published October 13, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

The ghosts of war reverberate across the generations in a riveting, time-shifting story within a story from acclaimed thriller writer Tim Wynne-Jones.

...READ MORE

Shadowshaper Book Cover
Shadowshaper
by Daniel José Older
published June 30, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly

Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.

...READ MORE

Challenger Deep
by Neal Shusterman
illustrated by Brendan Shusterman
published April 21, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

A captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman.

...READ MORE

All American Boys Book Cover
All American Boys
by Jason Reynolds,
by Brendan Kiely
published September 29, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book.

...READ MORE

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
by Steve Sheinkin
published September 22, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

This captivating nonfiction investigation of the Pentagon Papers has captured widespread critical acclaim, including features in The Washington Post and on NPR, selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist, and selection as a finalist for the...READ MORE

Nimona Book Cover
Nimona
by Noelle Stevenson
published May 12, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Publisher's Weekly

National Book Award Finalist * New York Times Bestseller * New York Times Notable Book *Kirkus Best Book * School Library Journal Best Book * Publishers Weekly Best Book * NPR Best Book * New York Public Library Best Book * Chicago Public Library...READ MORE

Conviction Book Trailer
Conviction
by Kelly Loy Gilbert
published May 19, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews
*"Both hopeful and devastatingly real."
--Kirkus, starred review 

*"A poignant look at the messiness of love, faith, and humanity."
--School Library Journal, starred review

*"Gilbert respectfully and sensitively handles themes of faith,religion, and family [a] moving debut."
...READ MORE

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Hello there!

Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

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