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Good Reads for Teens from the Naperville Public Library

Louise loves to talk with teens about all kinds of books -- realistic or fantasy.

Louise loves to talk with teens about all kinds of books -- realistic or fantasy.

Teens are attracted to realistic fiction as well as fantasy titles. The two reviews below are about books that examine teens coping with illness and death, romance and choices.
By Francisco X. Stork
Kate and Mary are sisters who have grown up in a strict minister's household in El Paso. For the last two years, their mother's been in a permanent vegetative state following an accident. Kate dreams of fulfilling her mother's wishes by going to Stanford and becoming a doctor. Mary, four years younger, is a painter who has faith that their mother will someday awaken. When their father suddenly dies, the sisters have to somehow support themselves. Their mother's constant physical needs place a huge burden on them, and they struggle against each other as they weigh the options before them. Complicating things are the young men in their lives. Kate's boyfriend, Simon, wants her to marry him and stay in El Paso. Mary is attracted to Marcos, whose violent past is at odds with his artistic talent.

“Irises” is a poignant portrayal of two sisters struggling with faith and the secrets they hold from one another. Kate and Mary are unable to see each other's point of view, and their parallel journeys from this crossroads in their lives are laid out in alternating chapters as they move towards a joint decision regarding their mother. Stork, author of “The Last Summer of the Death Warriors”, once again tackles some of life's biggest issues in a satisfying read for teens.
Reading Level: Older Teen (Grades 9 & up) Louise B.

“The Fault in Our Stars”
By John Green
Hazel's life is anything but typical. Three years after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, she's living on borrowed time thanks to a new medicine that's keeping her lungs relatively tumor-free. At 16, she's already gotten her GED and is taking classes at a community college. At a usually boring support group meeting, she encounters one Augustus Waters, who's not only hot, but has an intelligent wit to match her own. The cancer that took his leg is in remission. With the help of a wish-granting foundation for kids with cancer, Augustus arranges a trip to Amsterdam so that Hazel can meet the author of her favorite book and finally find out what happens next to the characters. A frightening relapse nearly keeps them from making the trip, and Hazel's reluctance to hurt Augustus is almost enough to keep her from falling in love with him. The days they spend in Amsterdam are filled with unexpected disappointments and joys memorable enough for a lifetime.

Fans of John Green's “Looking for Alaska” and “An Abundance of Katherines” will find his signature style of witty dialogue, hard-won and heartbreaking romance, and richly-written characters in his latest novel.
Reading Level: Older Teen (Grades 9 & up) Louise B.

These titles and more are available at the Naperville Public Library. Check out our website, or visit one of our 3 buildings, Nichols Library, Naper Boulevard or 95th Street Library. Driving Directions

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