When Bella reluctantly moves to the dark and dreary city of Forks, Washington to live with her father, she is not expecting much out of life. A few precious days of sunshine at most. But fate brings something to her that’s far more dear and far more deadly. At first Edward Cullen seems repulsed by her presence– and for no reason at all. Gradually he softens toward her, but still remains aloof though alluring. But once Bella learns his secret, and the war it causes inside him, she begins to understand. He is a vampire, and she has already fallen in love with him.
If you are a parent of a teen and have escaped the Twilight craze and the Harry Potter boom, you are probably in the minority. This week, and for many weeks past, vampires dominate the young adult bestseller lists, as Harry Potter did before them. Also not long ago, the Newberry Award was given to Neil Gaiman for his middle grade novel The Graveyard Book, a story about a young boy on the run from a killer, raised by ghosts and other beings in a graveyard. Is this bad news for Believers?
Some say no. After all, we read the Narnia chronicles, which have many connections to Greek mythology. Tolkein’s Gandalf is a wizard. Is that so different from Rowling’s characters?
Go Ask Alice is a haunting story of a young girl’s descent into drug addiction and her desperate attempt to break free again. Her journal entries detail the highs and lows she experiences as she falls deeper under the spell her addiction to LSD. Through Alice’s eyes the reader sees her family’s desperate struggle to reach her, and the seductive power of the chemicals that pull her away from them.
First printed in 1971, Go Ask Alice still remains one of the most popular works about teen drug addiction.
It’s definitely a dated tale, but I think one of the reasons it survives is how … Continue reading →
In CRANK, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the … Continue reading →
Two cousins share a world of made up stories, dreams and long summer days until one, the perfect, beautiful one, chooses the unthinkable: to end her life. In the wake of that loss, the one left behind, Miles, must find her own way through her first summer without Laura. Friends and family rally around her to try to draw her out of her deepening isolation and depression, but their efforts often fall short and they are unable to touch the gaping wound inside of her. Miles’s story is a powerful, emotive tale of … Continue reading →
On her way home from the Shadowside, Oriannon’s shuttle is hijacked and forced to land on a small way station where a mysterious Owling risks his life to give her a strange stone for safekeeping. Soothed by his allegiance to Jesmet, but still puzzled over the whole thing, Oriannon agrees to keep the stone hidden. When she finally reaches home, things only continue getting more strange. Rumors of earthquakes and warped reports of what is happening to the Owling people, who live in the Shadowside, make Oriannon more and more nervous. But a bright star shines out of the dark. A new voice with an offer … Continue reading →