If you’ve got teens (or kids who will be teens before you know it), this episode is for you. We’re talking about books for teens, and why the YA/teen section of your library or bookstore is not a reading level.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • what YA is and what it isn’t
  • a few issues with YA/teen books
  • whether it’s essential for teens to read YA on the way to adulthood

Of course, I’m also going to recommend some books… because that’s what we do best around here!

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How do we help our teens navigate their reading lives?

It’s tricky for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that our kids often read faster (and more!) than we do, so we can’t pre-read or even keep up with everything they’re reading. Also, when you visit the library or bookshop and head to the teen section, you might be…

…less-than-enthused, shall we say. 😉

I need to define a few terms here at the top of our conversation so that we’re all on the same page.

We’re going to do a quick lesson on the difference between chapter books, middle grade novels, and YA novels:

Chapter Books:

These are the books your child first starts to read on their own when they are gaining reading fluency. They indeed have chapters. They’re pretty short, usually. They’re targeted toward kids about age 7-10, though if you have earlier or later readers, they’ll like these books both younger and older than just ages 7-10.

Think The Magic Treehouse, Nate the Great, Cam Jansen, the Rainbow Magic Fairy series, The Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown.

They are incredibly useful during that stage when your child is just becoming a fluent reader, in that they allow your kids to practice a lot of words without a lot of struggle. These are true chapter books. 

Middle grade novels:

I know calling them middle grade novels makes you think of middle school, but the publishing world considers a middle grade novel any novel written primarily for kids 8-12, so more like 3rd-7th grade. ish. 🙂

Middle grade novels tend to:

  • focus on themes around friendship and family
  • center around the main character’s immediate world
  • feature a main character age 10-13

As far as content restrictions, for the most part middle grade novels have no (or very limited) profanity, and no graphic violence or sexual content. That isn’t to say that middle grade novels won’t have any problematic content or something you deem inappropriate for your kids, but explicit themes are, generally speaking, not allowable in middle grade novels.

Young Adult:

YA novels (“young adult” novels) are targeted to ages 13-18.

They tend to:

  • focus on themes that we might think of as angsty teen issues
  • feature characters who are discovering the world beyond their home and immediate life and are analyzing the meaning of things
  • feature a main character age 14-18

A characteristic trait of YA— and this is something we’re going to talk more about in a moment— is the pushing of boundaries, and indeed there are very few content restrictions on what is deemed “appropriate” for YA. Profanity, graphic violence, sexual content— from a publisher’s perspective, it’s all allowable in a YA Novel.

This is a huge distinguishing point between Middle Grade and YA.

Something important to consider…

When we step from Chapter Books to Middle Grade Novels— that is, we step from Cam Jansen to Little House on the Prairie— we take a step up in reading level. MG novels contain more sophisticated language patterns, better syntax, a more rich and varied vocabulary, so reading a middle grade novel is a richer literary experience than reading a chapter book.

It makes sense to assume that the same thing happens when we move from middle grade novels to YA… that we’re taking a step up in the beauty and complexity of the language and the sophistication of the narrative but…

… that’s just not the case.

When you go from reading a MG novel to a YA book, you actually don’t taking a step UP at all.

The reading level is often very similar (sometimes the YA books are simpler, in fact, than a well-written MG novel), and you’re not getting more sophisticated language patterns or improved vocabulary or syntax with YA.

In fact, YA is not a reading level at all.

It’s tricky because YA is grouped at your library or bookstore in a “teen” section, so it feels like a level. But it’s not. 

It’s just a step into a different genre, or reading category. It’s a different KIND of story.

What makes a YA book a YA book?

It depends on who you ask, and the category itself has not been around that long, so we’re sort of figuring it out as we go. But aside from what I’ve already mentioned—YA books have a tendency to push boundaries in a few ways:

One way is simply that “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” feel that you probably bristled at a few minutes ago when I told you that YA books have very few content restrictions on them.

This, then is one of the biggest differences between Middle Grade and Young Adult. It is not the level, it’s the content. It’s PG-13, you could say. In some cases, it’s R.

(Not always, of course. There are some YA novels that aren’t edgy in this way at all.)

Another stark difference between MG and YA is how hopeful the ending is (or how hopeful it isn’t). Middle grade novels tend to end on a hopeful note, and YA novels often have less optimistic endings.

This is no small thing. All good books leave the reader seeing their world afresh—and that authors are duty bound to tell young readers the truth.

The truth is HOPE.

I have serious concerns about books leaving readers feeling depressed or bleak, and I’m doubly concerned when that reader is a teenager. There may be no worse time in life to leave a reader feeling hopeless, angsty, or depressed.

A book that leaves a reader feeling like “is this all there is?” is not a good book.

This doesn’t mean that books have to all have happy endings.

Think about Kate DiCamillo’s books — all middle grade novels, by the way— they often do not have a “happy ending” in that everything turns out peachy. (In fact I’m pretty sure they never do!)

But they always leave the reader with a sense of hope, with a feeling of “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

This is telling a reader the truth.

And this is what a good book does, always, even a book that tackles hard or weighty topics or goes to dark places: it always leaves you in the light. 

If you find yourself wandering the teen section of a bookstore or library…

… wondering why you can’t find a single thing worth handing to your teen, it might help to realize that it’s sort of like trying to find a romantic comedy in a stack of sci-fi movies.

The YA section itself is a category with teen characters, geared for teen readers, dealing with what may be considered “teen issues” with few restrictions on content or appropriateness.

I feel compelled to say that not all YA books are edgy in this way.

But once we realize that YA is not so much a reading level as it is a different kind of book… we are better suited to help our teens find good books, right?

There are several ways to navigate this. Like I said earlier, I have no intention of telling you what to do. But I do have a few ideas for how to proceed, and I’m going to offer them here:

Option 1: Stay with middle grade novels longer

This is what we do at our house. I am convinced that some of the best books ever written are middle grade novels. For example…

Middle grade does not mean “only 8-12 year olds will benefit from this.”

In fact, a lot of the books you remember having a big impact on you growing up would probably be considered middle grade.

If you’ve got my book, The Read-Aloud Family, you’ll notice my chapter of book recommendations for teens (chapter 15 for those of you following along at home) is packed with middle grade novels. 

A few middle grade novels that I recommend especially for teens:

Episode 132 Middle Grade
Because of Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

India Opal is at the grocery store when she makes a new friend -- a dog she names Winn Dixie (after the store, of course!). Winn Dixie helps Opal navigate Naomi, Florida, and find the inner courage to learn about her mom who left when she was 3.

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

This remarkable (and short) read-aloud is based on the true story of Salva, one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, who covered the African continent on foot while searching for their families and safe harbor. Harrowing and heart-wrenching, this one leaves your heart aching with hope and wonder. Your kids can meet author Linda Sue Park at her Author Access video replay in RAR Premium.

More info →
Buy from Amazon
Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy

FROM SARAH:

"It's funny how ideas are, in a lot of ways they're just like seeds. Both of them start real, real small and then... woop, zoop, sloop... before you can say Jack Robinson, they've gone and grown a lot bigger than you ever thought they could." This is one of my top recommendations for teens. An absolutely unforgettable read-aloud.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him...

More info →
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Hattie Big Sky

Hattie Big Sky

**Description from Amazon: This Newbery Honor winning, New York Times bestseller celebrates the true spirit of independence on the American frontier.For most of her life, sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks has been shuttled from one distant relative to another. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she summons the courage to lea...

More info →
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Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming

FROM SARAH:

My favorite novel in verse. This book makes me want to write poetry, but mostly it just leaves me gobsmacked with what a good story and beautiful language can do to the heart. Especially wonderful on audio.

Recommended for ages 12+.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

More info →
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Libro.fm
Buy from Bookshop
Buy from Amazon
Hattie Ever After

Hattie Ever After

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

After leaving Uncle Chester's homestead claim, orphan Hattie Brooks throws a lasso around a new dream, even bigger than the Montana sky. She wants to be a reporter, knowing full well that a few pieces published in the Arlington News will not suffice.

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
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The Wednesday Wars

The Wednesday Wars

FROM SARAH:

Meet Holling Hoodhood, a seventh-grader at Camillo Junior High who must spend Wednesday afternoons with his teacher. Mrs. Baker doesn’t like Holling—he’s sure of it. Why else would she make him read the plays of William Shakespeare outside class? This story will make you want to eat a cream puff, read a play, hug a vet, and get some yellow tights. Well okay, maybe not the yellow tights. Gary Schmidt is easily one of today's best writers for teens. Meet him in the Author Access replay inside RAR Premium.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
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The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread

A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in this award-winning tale of adventure, hope, and light. Don't miss the Author Access where Kate DiCamillo answers questions about this book in RAR Premium.

More info →
Buy from Amazon
The Tiger Rising

The Tiger Rising

**Description from Amazon: A National Book Award finalist by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo.Walking through the misty Florida woods one morning, twelve-year-old Rob Horton is stunned to encounter a tiger—a real-life, very large tiger—pacing back and forth in a cage. What’s more, on the same extraordinary day, he meets ...

More info →
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Echo

Echo

This one is best on audio, and oh, what an exquisite audio book it is! The story is told in three parts—Friedrich, a Germany boy on the wrong side of the Nazi Party during World War II; Mike and Frankie, who dream of living with a real family of their own; Ivy, an immigrant in California during the 1940s. The stories are woven together in a truly magnificent masterpiece. I've read it twice, and both times were equally moving. Highly recommended.

More info →
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Fever 1793

Fever 1793

It's summer during the late eighteenth century in Philadelphia, and Mattie Cook is caught in the middle of a plague that sweeps the city and destroys everything in its path. When her mother becomes gravely ill, Mattie and her grandfather discover the yellow fever cannot be outrun. Based on the true events of the yellow fever epidemic of 1793, this one is a page-turner.

More info →
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Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

FROM SARAH: 

Jonathan Auxier is one of my very favorite storytellers- don't miss his episode on the Read-Aloud Revival podcast. He's also a favorite WOW: Writers on Writing presenter in RAR Premium! This is my favorite of his books and also one of my all-time favorite reads. I learned so much, and my heart grew five sizes. Recomended for ages 10+. Or just read it yourself!

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived. With her wits and will, she's manage to beat deadly odds time and time again. But when Nan's Sweep disappears suddenly and then she's caught in a chimney fire, everything changes. It starts with a black piece of coal.

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
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Option 2: Navigate YA with the help of reviews

I like to peek at Common Sense Media for book reviews. They note problematic content, and I can scan the review pretty quickly to get an overall feel of a book’s appropriateness for my child.

Another place I often peek at for reviews is Redeemed Reader. They don’t have every book reviewed there, of course, but they’re pretty good at keeping up with the new and notable stuff, so you often can find books that are getting a lot of buzz.

A handy resource to have on your shelf is Honey for a Teen’s Heart. You might be familiar with Honey for a Child’s Heart, and the same authors, Gladys Hunt and Barbara Hampton, offer booklists in an assortment of categories, including descriptions of each. There are 400 recommended books here, so it’s worth owning this one.

A few YA novels that I recommend:

Episode 132 YA
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

FROM SARAH:

For fans of Lord of the RingsThe Princess Bride, and The Chronicles of Narnia. This fantastical journey is one our family's favorites. Excellent as an audio book, as well (and it's kind of long, so if that intimidates you, opt for audio!) Don't miss my interview with Andrew Peterson for Author Access in RAR Premium.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice.

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
Buy from Amazon
The Goose Girl

The Goose Girl

FROM SARAH:

A retelling of the Grimm's tale by the same name, this well-paced plot will reel in your teens right from the start—and this one isn't just for girls! There's plenty of adventure, romance, and hand-to-hand combat to keep everyone engaged. This is the first in a series by Shannon Hale. Watch her Author Access replay in RAR Premium.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life listening to her aunt's stories and learning the language of the birds, especially the swans. As she grows up, Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but she never feels quite comfortable speaking with people.

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
Buy from Amazon
Book of a Thousand Days

Book of a Thousand Days

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. But the arrival outside the tower of Saren's two suitors―one welcome, and the other decidedly less so―brings both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows.

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
Buy from Amazon
Boys of Blur

Boys of Blur

$7.99

**Description from Amazon: Fans of Jerry Spinelli's Maniac Magee and Louis Sachar's Holes will enjoy this story about a boy and the ancient secrets that hide deep in the heart of the Florida everglades near a place called Muck City.When Charlie moves to the small town of Taper, Florida, he discovers a different world. Pinned ...

More info →
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Honey for a Teen’s Heart

Honey for a Teen’s Heart

Help Your Teen Catch the Lifelong Reading Bug. Honey for a Teen’s Heart spells out how good books can help you and your teenager communicate heart-to-heart about ideas, values, and the various issues of a Christian worldview. Sharing the adventure of a book lets both of you know the same people, s...

More info →
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Piecing Me Together

Piecing Me Together

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has: every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn't really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls.

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
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The False Prince (Ascendance Trilogy Book 1)

The False Prince (Ascendance Trilogy Book 1)

FROM SARAH:

For when you need a page-turner. This one will make you ignore the laundry and all of your household duties, so don't say I didn't warn ya. 😆 Recommended for ages 12+.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince.

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
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Cinder

Cinder

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

The first book in the #1 New York Times- and USA Today-Bestselling Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer! See where the futuristic YA fairytale saga all began, with the tale of a teenage cyborg who must fight for Earth's survival against villains from outer space.

More info →
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The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler

FROM SARAH:

A graphic novel that I highly recommend… even if you don’t usually like graphic novels! This one tells the true story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's courageous stand during Hitler's rise to power. Recommended for ages 14+. 

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party is gaining strength and becoming more menacing every day. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor upset by the complacency of the German church toward the suffering around it, forms a breakaway church to speak out against the establishment.

More info →
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Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

It's 1966, and twelve-year-old Ji-li Jiang has everything a girl could want: brains, popularity, and a bright future in Communist China. But it's also the year that China's leader, Mao Ze-dong, launches the Cultural Revolution—and Ji-li's world begins to fall apart... a breathtaking true story your teens won't soon forget.

More info →
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The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963

The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963

**Description from Amazon: The Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree about the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan—from Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Bud, Not Buddy, a Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott Award Winner.Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There'...

More info →
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Something to keep in mind: if your child is reading, they are going to run into some problematic content at one point or another.

It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.”

This doesn’t need to be a reason to fret. Instead, use the opportunity as a gateway for conversation.

We are hoping to raise discerning readers, right?

Part of becoming a discerning reader is training in discernment— and you’ve got to have something to discern to get that training! 

This is another reason why having organic, frequent, casual conversations with our kids about books is really, really important. You can refer to chapters 10 and 11 of my book, The Read-Aloud Family, if you want more of the how-to on that.

For now, remind yourself that part of your job is to help your kids learn to navigate sticky situations in their life. Reading a book with an issue, worldview, language, etc that you aren’t excited about is part of that journey.

Option 3: Move on to books for adults

Remember that YA is not a level between MG and adult, so you don’t need to read YA in order to tackle adult books. Of course, you want to be cautious of content here.

Here are some adult books I’d recommend for teens:

Episode 132 Adult
The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings

The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Frodo and his pals set out on a journey to find the Ruling Ring. Will the Hobbits’ friendships be enough to keep them safe?

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
Buy from Amazon
Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency.

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
Buy from Amazon
God’s Smuggler

God’s Smuggler

The true story of a boy who lost his way and then found it working undercover, smuggling Bibles behind the borders of closed nations. A page-turner!

More info →
Buy from Amazon
A Fall of Marigolds

A Fall of Marigolds

FROM SARAH:

Susan Meissner is my very favorite adult novelist, and this is the book I recommend most often for teens who are just getting started with her work. It's also a great place for mamas! Weaves together two tales—one from 9/11 and the other from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. And in traditional Susan Meissner form, your heart will be bigger by the time you finish.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Two stories thread together: one of Clara Wood, who must sort out her world after the catastrophic Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911, and the other of Taryn Michaels, who is rebuilding her life after losing her husband in the 911 attacks. A testament to the power of the shape of history on our life in the present.

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
Buy from Amazon
Marilla of Green Gables: A Novel

Marilla of Green Gables: A Novel

FROM SARAH:

I was skeptical, if I'm honest. But this book is an utter delight! Sarah McCoy takes on Marilla Cuthbert's backstory in this novel, and it's fan fiction at its best. Recommended for you and for all of your Anne fans, ages 12+.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables . . . before Anne: A marvelously entertaining and moving historical novel, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century, that imagines the young life of spinster Marilla Cuthbert, and the choices that will open her life to the possibility...

More info →
Buy from Libro.fm
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
Buy from Amazon
Emma

Emma

**Description from Amazon: First published at the end of 1815, Jane Austen’s “Emma” is the story of Emma Woodhouse, a young girl from a good home that does not need the financial support of a husband and is determined not to marry. Emma however is not opposed to the idea of marriage for others and is determined to play ...

More info →
Buy from Amazon
Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

**Description from Amazon: Sense and Sensibility is a novel by Jane Austen, and was her first published work when it appeared in 1811 under the pseudonym "A Lady". A work of romantic fiction, better known as a comedy of manners, Sense and Sensibility is set in southwest England, London and Kent between 1792 and 1797, and port...

More info →
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The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters

**Description from Amazon: The Screwtape Letters by C.S.  Lewis is a classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strik...

More info →
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Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy (Paperback))

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy (Paperback))

**Description from Amazon: The first book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spacesh...

More info →
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Whose Waves These Are

Whose Waves These Are

FROM SARAH:

This debut novel from Amanda Dykes is a delight! Uplifting, historical, and dual timeline (I do love a dual timeline!). Hear me talk with Amanda about this novel, and our mutual love for Maine (without ever having been!) in Episode 133.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss's humble words change the...

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
Buy from Amazon
Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive

Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive

**Description from Amazon: In this captivating and lavishly illustrated young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a former Olympian's courage, cunning, and fortitude following his plane crash in enemy territory. This adaptation of Unbroken introduces a new gen...

More info →
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I would caution, however, against moving into adult books too quickly. There’s really no reason to, especially with the abundance of truly wonderful middle grade out there right now. 

There’s nothing that an adult novel can give your teen that a good middle grade novel can’t. There’s no rush.

The New York Times is written at a 10th grade reading level, and many of the popular blockbuster fiction novels for adults (think John Grisham and Tom Clancy, for example) are written at around the 7th/8th grade level (not content-wise, mind you— but as far as the complexity of the language goes).

When you move into adult books, you aren’t really taking a step UP— you are more often just widening the context.

Feel free to stay with middle grade novels longer than you expected. I think you’ll be delighted by the riches there!

I hope that you now have a clearer idea of what the YA section is, and you feel more prepared to help your teen find books after this episode.

It’s a gift to give our teens books they can fall in love with, that help them see the world afresh—that don’t leave them with a sense of “this is all there is?” but rather, “All this, and Heaven too?”

I hope you’re able to put books into the hands of the teen readers in your life that will leave them with a sense of awe, wonder, and most of all…

Hope.

Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

2:19Reading aloud with a wide range of ages
5:11Helping teens navigate their reading lives
6:06Definitions! What is YA?
8:55Language differences – syntax and patterns
11:30The importance of hope
13:34Kate DiCamillo speaks
16:27An option: stay with middle grade
18:20Great middle-grade novels for teens
20:53Option two: read YA (here’s what we like)
22:17Training in discernment
24:54Option three: move to adult books (here’s what we like for teens)
28:21Let the Kids Speak

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