Childrens book reviews by StorySnoops, judge a book by more than its cover, serving fresh scoops of new books for you every day
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Archive for the ‘Books for Teens’ Category

StorySnoops Summer Reading–(Teen) Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

School is almost out, and your daughter may be itching to get at her “to be read” pile, full of all kinds of books her English teacher would never approve of, or she may be in need of some direction to keep her reading muscles in shape over vacation. Either way, we have all kinds of suggestions that will appeal whether she likes fantasy, romance, dystopian, sci-fi, humor, sports or otherwise.  If you’ve missed our other lists, we just posted great summer reads for boys and tween girls too. Enjoy!

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And this is just the start! Click here to see the entire list for teen girls :-)

Happy Reading!

-The Snoops

“Boy oh Boy” the StorySnoops Summer Reading Lists are here!

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

School is almost out for summer!  When hear your first, “Mo-om, I’m bored,” don’t panic.  We have just the thing for you. You’re guaranteed to find something on this list to keep your son engaged, whether he likes fantasy, action, humor, sci-fi, or sports, we have something for everyone.  We’ve got both tween and teen boys covered on this list, and check our upcoming blogs to get the scoop for tween girls and teen gals.

Books for Tween Boys

Books for Teen Guys

Be sure to click on the covers to get the scoop on each book and check out our full list of Summer Reading for tween boys and teen guys.

Earth Day and Books

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Am I mistaken, or was Earth Day even a thing back when I was a kid?  I kind of think not.  I guess I was a kid a really long time ago though :-) I did a little checking on it, and it turns out that it was first celebrated in San Francisco (named after St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology) on March 21st, 1970. It is now celebrated in over 175 countries around the world, with the intention of increasing awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment and resources. I give a big thumbs up for anything that gives our younger generation an opportunity to think about what the Earth has to offer, and how to make it last for generations yet-to-come. So in the spirit of Earth Day this week, StorySnoops has created a list of books for teens and tweens that have environmental themes or environmentally conscious characters—just a little something to reinforce what they’ll be hearing about in school this week. Enjoy!

-Eden, StorySnoop

What StorySnoops and the New York Times Have in Common

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Even though we review a lot of children’s books, in moments of weakness, we sometimes wonder if we get it right.  Will the books that we think are absolutely wonderful actually appeal to their intended audience?  With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to check this week’s New York Times Best Seller list for Young Adult Fiction.  And, lo and behold, the 10 Best Sellers are some of our all-time favorite and most frequently recommended books, both old and new!  So here are this week’s top 10 selling YA books, in order from left to right, starting with #1.  You can click on the covers to get the scoop.  Each one of these titles is an excellent addition to any teen or adult reader’s personal library.  We Snoops adore each and every one.

Happy reading!

- Jen, StorySnoop

Super Scoop — Legend and Prodigy, by Marie Lu

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

The Legend trilogy, by Marie Lu, is my latest dystopian obsession. I recently finished the second installment, Prodigy, which may be even slightly better than the first.

In Legend, two very different fifteen-year-olds have grown up in the Republic, a plague-ridden nation that is unceasingly at war with the Colonies and led by the Elector Primo, who is in his eleventh four-year term as president. At the age of ten, each citizen must take the Trial, a test that determines the path of the rest of their life. June is the only person who has ever received a perfect Trial score and has spent the past five years being trained as an elite military leader. Day failed the test and, rather than face the labor camps, has spent the past five years living on the streets, waging his own private rebellion against the Republic. During a desperate attempt to protect his family from the plague, Day breaks into a hospital lab and June’s older brother Metias is murdered. Now June will stop at nothing to track down the infamous Day and avenge her brother’s death. But when their paths finally cross, the two begin to realize that they are not as different as they once believed. In fact, they may even share a common enemy.

In Prodigy, June and Day, the Republic’s two most wanted fugitives arrive in Vegas in search of the Patriots. This group of rebels is more than happy to repair Day’s injured leg and rescue his brother. But in return, Day and June must help assassinate the new Elector Primo, Anden, who just came into power after the unexpected death of his father. The plan is a good one but lots could go wrong, especially for June, who has to turn herself in and get close to Anden. When she does, she realizes that this new Elector wants to make changes that will actually help the Republic. Now June must decide where her loyalties lie and, ultimately, what is best for her country.

These two books are sure to captivate both teen boys and girls, especially those who are already fans of the dystopian genre. In both cases, chapters alternate between June’s and Day’s perspectives, adding tension to the story. An unlikely team–one a military prodigy and one a fugitive rebel–the two find themselves allied romantically and by their principles. Readers will root for these intelligent, capable, and extremely likable characters as they fight for their beliefs. The combination of action, suspense, and romance give this series broad appeal. It would also be a good choice for tweens who like to “read up” as the content is not overly mature. A surprising revelation at the end of the Prodigy will leave readers eager to get their hands on the final installment in the trilogy, and disappointed that they have a long wait ahead.
Happy reading!
- Jen, StorySnoop

Super Scoop–Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Monday, January 21st, 2013

One day that changes the course of your life. Paris. Romance. Self-discovery. Adventure.

I could not put Just One Day by Gayle Forman down, and now I want to go to Paris. And re-read some Shakespeare. And go back in time and be 18 again. Sigh…

This compelling and engaging story is a true quality read. Teen girls may see plenty of themselves in main character, Allyson, though even if they are nothing like her, they will certainly enjoy her story. Sheltered by her extremely controlling, “helicopter” mother, and always the quintessential “good girl,” Allyson shakes things up on a whim while on her high school graduation trip in Europe.

She meets free-spirited, adventurous and handsome Shakespearean actor, Willem, in London and spontaneously decides to leave her tour and go with him to Paris. Completely out of character for her, and out of her comfort zone, she becomes a different person with Willem, and falls in love with him over the course of their whirlwind, perfect day. When he disappears, her heart is broken, and she spends the next year depressed, floundering in school, trying to figure out who she is and how to re-capture how she felt in Paris.

I loved this story for the journey, both the physical one, and the internal one that Allyson experiences. She finally comes into her own, figures out what she loves, who she wants to be, and learns how to speak up for herself. Supporting characters are equally as fabulous.

I was dreading reaching the end of the book, and was delighted to see that there will be a sequel, which cannot be published soon enough for me! Until then, I might have to give this one a re-read. Put this one in the hands of the teen girls in your lives, or pick it up to read on your own. Be ready to yearn for adventure and youth and macarons.

-Tiffany, StorySnoop

Super Scoop — The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Crown of Embers, by Rae Carson

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

I seem to have a knack for picking up books that turn out to be the first installment in a series. After spending lots of time reading children’s books, this talent is not something I am particularly happy about.  When a series is good, there is nothing like longing to get your hands on the next book because you can’t wait to find out what happens or reunite with beloved characters. But when a series isn’t so good, well, the next book is often accompanied by dread!

In this case, picking up The Girl of Fire and Thorns was a happy accident because I enjoyed the second installment in the series, The Crown of Embers, even more than the first!

In The Girl of  Fire and Thorns (winner of YALSA’s Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults Award), we meet Elisa.  She, as bearer of the godstone, is the one person selected during the century whose destiny is to perform an act of great service. But as the younger of two princesses, Elisa doesn’t feel particularly worthy of her destiny. Her sixteenth birthday is also her wedding day, after which she leaves her home with the handsome young king she has never met to become the queen of his troubled desert country. Elisa may not feel useful, but a group of rebels thinks that, as bearer of the godstone, she could be their salvation.

Picking up where The Girl of Fire and Thorns left off, The Crown of Embers finds Elisa buoyed by her victory over her enemy, but struggling to overcome her inexperience as a ruler. The only way to bring stability to her ailing country is to harness the power of a mysterious magical force called the zafira. But first she must find it. To do so, she’ll have to elude many more enemies, even one from within her own court. She may return to lead as a stronger queen, but not without a price.

This series is a good choice for teen girls who enjoy a mix of fantasy, adventure, and romance. Much of the enjoyment comes from main character Elisa’s transformation. Initially, she has very little confidence, but as the story progresses, she evolves from a pampered princess into a strong, self-sufficient strategist and leader. She is loyal to her friends and family, and strives live up to the honor of the godstone. Elisa’s evolution continues in the second book, where she learns valuable lessons about relying on the power that is already within her and being guided by her own moral compass.

Each of these books also features an endearing love interest.  Romance, combined with an imperfect but likable heroine, a bit of suspense, and royal intrigue make these books a safe bet for teen girls.  And there’s a third book in the trilogy to look forward to.

Happy reading!

-Jen, StorySnoop

A Junior Snoop’s Reading Pile

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Sometimes, you want a book recommendation from someone besides an adult.  You want to hear it from an actual kid–one in the trenches who is reading all of this stuff, and can give you an honest thumbs up or thumbs down, or even a few comments so you can judge whether your own kid will like a book.  For this reason, I ventured into my daughter’s room to check out her reading pile and asked her to tell me a bit about each book.

Her reading pile looks like this (you should see the rest of her room!):

Note that the book on the bottom of the pile is one I recommended long ago but keeps getting set aside.  I just know that Freak the Mighty is one of those books that she will love once she finally tries it.  Actually, she has read all of the books piled on top of it. A male friend recommended The Kill Order to her and they both loved it, so we can put that one on the list of crowd pleasers for both teen boys and girls. It’s the prequel to The Maze Runner series, and my daughter liked it even better than the other books. Interesting.

The Outsiders is also peeking out of the pile. Yeah, I made her read my old copy when she was starving for a book.  She “really liked it” but didn’t “love it.” Ahem. I guess we don’t have to see eye to eye on everything.

Monument 14 is a new dystopian novel with a very interesting premise. Six kids are trapped in a superstore during a kind of end-of-the-world apocalypse. Sort of reads like Lord of the Flies in a Target – she says it is her favorite that she has read in months.

Where Things Comes Back is another one I put in the pile. I loved this book, and it won so many awards last year. She liked it, and I think appreciated it for the quality book that it is. She said she’d recommend to “girl good readers.”

Yesterday. Now we are talking. She loved this dystopian thriller by C.K. Kelly Martin and would recommend it boys and girls.

Finally, she just bought the Ann Aguirre’s new novel, Outpost, and in her excitement to read it, is rereading the first book in the series, Enclave.  This should occupy her for about a week, if I’m lucky. To all of the YA lovers out there, let me know in the comments section what books I should add to the top of the pile!

-Shannon, StorySnoop

Holiday book help found here!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The shopping season is upon us, and let’s admit it, even the most prepared shopper can use a little bit of help sometimes :-) We’ve already posted our Holiday Gift Guide, which includes many of our favorites from this year. But there are so many books to choose from. Maybe you are looking for an award-winner, or something named on a “Best of 2012″ list by a major book review publication–or how about those few books that fit into all three of those categories? Here are a few other sources that may provide just the inspiration you need to choose a book gift for a young reader in your life.

These immensely readable books have all been School Library Journal Best Books of the Year.

Love a good mystery? The books have either been nominated for, or won the Edgar Award for kids and young adults.

The Schneider Family Book Award is given to books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

Kirkus Reviews has just added their favorite children’s books for 2012 to this list.

Perhaps you’d like a book for a tween reader featuring families worth reading about.

These YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults may not be 2012 releases, but they’ve got wide appeal!

How about a book for a teen guy who is a reluctant reader?

The William C. Morris Award winners and finalists are all celebrated first-time authors.

If you know a budding young chef, here are great books with a cooking theme for teens and tweens.

Celebrate baseball! Books about either playing or simply loving the game.

And after all that shopping, here’s a little something for you too: books for teens that will appeal to adults :-)

Happy Holidays!

-The Snoops

Black Friday Book Bonanza!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

It’s hard to believe the holidays are upon us!  Is it just us or does it seem like the holiday paraphernalia gets displayed earlier each year?  Do we really need to be able to purchase our holiday gift wrap before Halloween? But now that it’s Thanksgiving, we Snoops are getting in the holiday spirit. And to make your lives easier should you choose to jump into your shopping in a post-turkey-induced coma, we have pulled together our picks that are sure to be a hit with the tween and teen readers on your list, and even a few adults.

Books for Tween Boys

Books for Tween Girls

Books for Teen Guys

Books for Teen Gals

To see our full Holiday Gift Guide, click here for tween boys, tween girls, teen guys, and teen gals. And be sure to check out our list of books for teens adults might enjoy.

Happy reading!

-The Snoops