Next week (October 14–20), teachers, librarians and high school students across the country will be celebrating all things literary in celebration of Teen Read Week, the American Library Association’s annual event. Here are five picks we think your teen readers can’t miss—plus a special just-for-teachers giveaway!
1. The Diviners
Written by Libba Bray. $19.99.
From a mad-cow afflicted road-tripper to a deserted island full of beauty queens, perhaps the best thing about a Libba Bray novel is that you never know what you’re going to get. Her newest brings 1920s New York City to life through the vivacious Evie O’Neill, a flapper whose unique gift always seems to get her in trouble, but may also help her to solve a supernatural string of murders. Best for grades 7 and up.
Activity to try: Have students research one of the real-life elements Bray includes in the story, such as the Harlem number runners or the American eugenics movement.
Written by Lois Lowry. $17.99.
As haunting and ambiguous as the ending of “The Giver” is, we’re so glad that Lowry brought us back to her dystopian universe in the companion novels “Gathering Blue,” “Messenger,” and now, finally “Son,” a fitting ending to our peek at this strange world and the unputdownable tale of a teenage mother whose child has been taken from her. Best for grades 7 and up.
Activity to try: Challenge students to create a visual representation—whether it’s a diorama, video or poster—of the world Lowry describes in her dystopian quartet.
3. The Raven Boys
Written by Maggie Stiefvater. $18.99.
Even if your students haven’t discovered Stiefvater’s powerful storytelling in her previous books such as “The Scorpio Races,” they’ll be drawn to the hook of this supernatural tale about a young seer who has always been told that she will kill her true love. Best for grades 7 and up.
Activity to try: Ask students to write about what they think will happen in the next book in the series, and then compare predictions as a class.
Written by Eliot Schrefer. $17.99.
Recently nominated for the National Book Award, this fast-paced adventure about a girl determined to protect a group of bonobos amidst the political strife of the Congo is sure to appeal to animal lovers and humanitarians alike. Best for grades 7 and up.
Activity to try: Invite students to learn more about the plight of the bonobos through the Bonobo Conservation Initiative.
Written by A.G. Howard. $17.95.
In this lush and imaginative tale with roots in the Alice in Wonderland series, 16-year-old Alyssa descends into a wonderland that’s darker and more dangerous than the storybook version. A descendent of Alice Liddell, the little girl for whom Lewis Carroll wrote his tales, Alyssa is on a quest to heal her family of the madness that has plagued them—and which has consigned her mother to a mental institution. Best for grades 9 and up.
Activity to try: Alice in Wonderland is still one of the most popular children’s titles available and has spawned countless spin-offs and interpretations. Have students research and collect items in popular culture and media that pertain to Alice, and find a creative way to display and compare the ways in which the original story has informed the other works.
**Giveaway** The giveaway for the special Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of Splintered, which comes out in January 2013, is now closed. Thank you for entering!
Question for you: Are you doing anything to celebrate Teen Read Week? What books are the teens in your life enjoying right now?