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Good Reads for Teens from the Naperville Public Library

Ravi knows what books teens like to read!

Ravi knows what books teens like to read!

Between Shades of Gray
By Ruta Sepetys
The author writes in the epilogue: “In 1939 The Soviet union occupied the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Shortly thereafter, the Kremlin drafted lists of people considered anti-Soviet who would be murdered, sent to prison, and deported into slavery in Siberia.” This novel is about the experiences of 15-year-old Lina, who was rounded up by the Soviet secret police, and along with her mother, younger brother and other deportees, confined in cattle cars bound for a gulag in Siberia. It is six weeks before they have their first shower. Lina contrives to writes messages and draw pictures to send to her father, a university provost, who was being sent to a death camp. Later she buries this record in a jar so that one day the world would know what they had been through. Teens who love dystopian (world gone wrong) fiction, will appreciate this gritty novel about survival in a real life dystopia based on the true accounts of survivors of Stalin’s genocide of Lithuanians, a genocide that was somewhat dwarfed by the bigger atrocities of World War II.
Reading Level: Grades 8 and Up Ravi S.

A Monster Calls
By Patrick Ness. Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd.
13-year-old Conor has been having nightmares, and the yew tree outside his window appears like a monster calling his name. Ever since his mother’s illness, he has had to make his own breakfast and put the dishes in the dishwasher before going to school. At school, he has to run the gauntlet of bullies. Six years ago his Dad moved out with his new wife. The monster promises to tell the reluctant Conor three stories. In return, Conor will have to tell the fourth story, the one in which he will tell the complete truth. Ness shows Conor’s struggles and fears as he deals with his mother’s terminal illness and moves from despair to acceptance. This is a wise and deep book. The black and white illustrations by Jim Kay enhance the somber mood.
Reading Level: Grades 7 and Up Ravi S.

These titles and more are available at the Naperville Public Library. Check out our website,, or visit one of our three buildings, Nichols Library, Naper Boulevard or 95th Street Library. Driving Directions

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