Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: Coming-of-Age Novels aka Bildungsromans

October 3rd, 2008 (12:07 pm)
thoughtful

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Song: Law & Order: Criminal Intent score music

I call this journal + website Bildungsroman for a reason. I think there's something special about a story that accurately captures that time when you grow up - when our perception of how the world works is irrevocably altered, for better or for worse.

In January 2007, Chasing Ray announced You Should Read This Awards 2007: Coming-of-Age. Since I love this genre with a passion, I immediately suggested a multitude of titles, which I then posted here. I've updated this booklist a few times since then and will continue to do so as time goes on.

In alphabetical order by author:

The Pursuit of Happiness by Tara Altebrando
What Happens Here by Tara Altebrando
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Queen of Everything by Deb Caletti
The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
The Alison Rules by Catherine Clark
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
Say Goodnight, Gracie by Julie Reece Deaver
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
An Egg on Three Sticks by Jackie Fischer
Friction by E.R. Frank
The True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericks
Stay With Me by Garret Freymann-Weyr
As Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley
Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes
Stained by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson
The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
Swollen by Melissa Lion
Upstream by Melissa Lion
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
Innocence by Jane Mendelsohn
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary E. Pearson
Define "Normal" by Julie Anne Peters
What Happened to Lani Garver by Carol Plum-Ucci
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Just Like That by Marsha Qualey
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Homecoming by Cynthia Voight
So B. It by Sarah Weeks

. . . and, if you like series that follow characters through childhood and adulthood:

The Anne Shirley octet by L.M. Montgomery

Wondering why I picked a certain title? Ask in the comments section below. I'll be more than happy to discuss this books further.

Comments

Posted by: jensbookpage (jensbookpage )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)

That's a lot of nominations! Definitely some great books on your list. I just picked up Speak at the bookstore a few days ago - I've been meaning to read it for ages.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)

Yes, I went a little nuts. :)

Looking forward to your thoughts on SPEAK.

Posted by: capri pants. leather sandals. pregnancy. (37piecesflair )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)

I think Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin is a fine addition to that list. :P

HAVE YOU READ THE PERCY JACKSON SERIES?!!!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)

Elsewhere is fine, good even, but everything turned out better for her than I thought it would.


I have!

Posted by: capri pants. leather sandals. pregnancy. (37piecesflair )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)

And what do you think?!! I'm so excited to read the galley of the latest book!!

And do my presentation on it!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)

You have the 3rd title? Excellent!

I liked them.

Posted by: capri pants. leather sandals. pregnancy. (37piecesflair )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)

No..but since I am doing my presentation on it, they offered me a galley, when I emailed Hyperion.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)

Rock!

Posted by: Keri (wappenshaw )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
mysterious_elizalavelle

I've been meaning to ask the girl who prolly knows (you lol)... are there any new gay teen books out lately? I tried to pick up Julie Ann Peters' new book "Between Mom and Jo" but oddly enough none of the Borders near me carry it - you have to order it. *shrug* Any others you know of? I've read the Bermudez Triangle... Empress of the World...any Peters story... I think another one I can't remember.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)

Glad that you liked Bermudez (PARKER!) and I know you loved Empress. Make sure to pre-order the sequel. Between Mom and Jo is okay - not as good as Define "Normal" or KYAS but better than Luna.

Older titles that you need to read:
What Happened to Lani Garver by Carol Plum-Ucci
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
The Realm of Possibilities by David Levithan

Newer titles:
Wide Awake by David Levithan
In the Garage by Alma Fullerton

Quick reads/younger audiences:
Totally Joe by James Howe
M or F? by Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tibbetts
So Hard to Say by Alex Sanchez

Posted by: dancingb00kw0rm (dancingb00kw0rm )
Posted at: February 2nd, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)

Hi, I am the future teacher who was asking for book suggestions to read to see what kids are reading and what i should reccomend to them. I am definately going to check some of these out. Any more recs would be great. Thanks so muc.

Megan

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: February 4th, 2007 05:08 am (UTC)

Good evening, Megan!

Some highlights for you...

To make them laugh:
http://slayground.livejournal.com/145118.html

To make them think:
http://slayground.livejournal.com/88462.html

To make them imagine:
http://slayground.livejournal.com/109328.html
and:
http://slayground.livejournal.com/85005.html

Stories that tackle big issues:
http://slayground.livejournal.com/74061.html

Stories that are comparable if not better than bestsellers:
http://slayground.livejournal.com/155195.html

Stories written in verse:
http://slayground.livejournal.com/98531.html

Stories set in school:
http://slayground.livejournal.com/78353.html

How's that? :)

Posted by: imcoolerthanu2 (imcoolerthanu2 )
Posted at: February 3rd, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)

I'm about half-way through The Pursuit of Happiness, and I'm shocked at how much it reminds me of my own grieving process after my husband died. Thanks for the recommendation -- although I have to confess that it's always a little disconcerting when I empathize so strongly with a fictional teenage character. I'm getting used to it by now, though. :) I can't get enough of those coming-of-age novels....

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: February 3rd, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)

((vibes))

Posted by: crissachappell (crissachappell )
Posted at: February 4th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)

Great list. I have a neverending pile of books to read...

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: February 4th, 2007 11:58 pm (UTC)

Thanks! :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 10th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)

is this the same genre as A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: May 10th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)

Yes, very much so.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 27th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
The Westing Game

I was looking for a bildungsroman novel to compare with another bildungsroman novel, i couldn't think of any and then i stumbled upon your site. Why would you suggest The Westing Game? I am thinking of using it but i'm afriad it would match my other novel. Have you heard of Annie John? That's the book i'm supposed to compare it too, unfortunately i can't think of why The Westing Game would be a bildungsroman.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: May 27th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
Re: The Westing Game

View the book in terms of Turtle - she grows up through the course of the story.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 27th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC)
Re: The Westing Game

I understand that, but what i'm having a problem with is HOW Turtle grows up.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: May 27th, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
Re: The Westing Game

She acts independently of her family and learns that her sister and mother in turn are not who she thought they were - and she also learns all sorts of things about loss, loyalty, murder, and the stock market.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 13th, 2007 08:21 pm (UTC)
Great list - and an addition

Great list. Another new one to add to the genre: WALDEN by Michael T. Dolan.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: September 13th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Great list - and an addition

Thank you for the suggestion.

Posted by: she's a diver (junkywinocreep )
Posted at: March 29th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
Swollen

I have a question about it.
I just finished reading it, and I didn't quite understand the end.
When Farouk said 'I love you, turtle' to the Persian girl, I didn't understand why he would say it to Sam and then her.

Help?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground )
Posted at: March 30th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)
Re: Swollen

I would think because he loved Sam then, at the time he said it.

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