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Little Willow [userpic]

Book Recommendations

March 7th, 2006 (04:25 pm)

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Song: Visits to You by Anthony Rapp

I want to post more book recommendations, so help me out here. Give me topics. Ask me for the top ten teen books for reluctant readers, or a list of authors who are like Sarah Dessen. If you need a book for a loved one, tell me you are shopping for - what age, which gender - and what type of books he or she likes. Want a book for yourself? Let me know the titles of books you have enjoyed and what genres interest you.

I'm saying this in an effort to create more lists on paper (well, pixels, my cyber pixie dust) rather than just in my head. Someday, I'd like to either add a full-out book recommendations section to Your Girl, if not make another little site altogether. I've always wanted to do so, but I have to know there would be an audience for it. I thrive on feedback.

I wish I was paid for every book I read, reviewed, and recommended. I wish that, in addition to being a published author myself, I was an editor or buyer for a publishing house. I am good friends with continuity and grammar, and I introduce them to everyone I edit pieces for, whenever I can.

I love knowing that I have a direct effect on what books adults and kids are reading, buying, and sharing. Every time a customer tells me that the book I sold him or her was perfect, that she loved the book and wants to read everything by that author right now, that his son finally read a book cover-to-cover, that her daughter stayed up all night to read a book, I know that I'm doing something right. It makes my heart happy.

Books are so important to me. Literacy. Knowledge. Understanding. Print. Truth. History. Fiction.

Communication. Everything comes back to, thrives upon, and is derived from communication.

So . . . please ask me for book lists and recs!


Posted by: M (ex_songbirds864)
Posted at: March 7th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
saw you on my friendsfriends list

How about books to read to cheer you up?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 7th, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)

Nice to meet you!

For all ages:
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll always cheers me up, as does the 1972 live-action feature film musical. So delighful.

For kids:
Judy Moody by Megan McDonald
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

For teens:
Frozen Rodeo by Catherine Clark
If This Is Love, I'll Take Spaghetti by Ellen Conford

Posted by: broken fairytale (new_toy)
Posted at: March 7th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)

Just had my first book club meeting
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. LOVED it.
Next month
Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

Any suggestions for women between 20 and 29, all church types who want clean and good stories? Not easy.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 7th, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)

Ella Minnow Pea is ADORABLE! I liked it too.

Suggestions for your book group:
Liner Notes by Emily Franklin
Good Grief by Lolly Winston
(Then read Home Away from Home by Lorna J. Cook)
An Egg on Three Sticks by Jackie Fischer

Posted by: paranoid kitten (paranoidkitten)
Posted at: March 8th, 2006 01:23 pm (UTC)

YA books set in/focussed on schools?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 8th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)

YA books set in schools that I think you specifically will like:
Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters
The True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericks
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Innocence by Jane Mendelsohn
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Looking for Alaska by John Green
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Also good and dramatic:
Swollen by Melissa Lion
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (she starts in 7th grade, is currently in 11th grade, and has prequels set in 3rd-4th-5th grade)
Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

...and that you must read, you MUST, even though it's not set at their school:
The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

Posted by: paranoid kitten (paranoidkitten)
Posted at: March 9th, 2006 02:08 am (UTC)

Thank you so much! I have read a few of these already and thoroughly enjoyed them so I'll be sure to check out the ones that I haven't. :D

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 9th, 2006 07:49 am (UTC)

You are welcome! :) Which ones have you read?

Let me know when you need more. *grin*

Posted by: paranoid kitten (paranoidkitten)
Posted at: March 9th, 2006 08:20 am (UTC)

Keeping You A Secret, The True Meaning of Cleavage, Saving Francesca, Innocence, Boy Meets Boy, Speak and Prep. Most of which I think I discovered initially via you anyway. *grin*

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 9th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC)

I'm thrilled to hear my recommendations were on the mark!

Have you read Mariah's (True Meaning) other novels?
Head Games - an unlikely friendship between a girl and a guy; involves computers, RPG, and secrecy
Crunch Time - new hardcover, four very different characters share narrative duties (boy likes girl, girl likes other boy, other girl is largely unnoticed), studying for the SATs together

Mariah's adult novel, published under Emmi Fredericks, really disappointed me. Fatal Distraction is the title. It is more of a gossipy, name-dropping story about a girl who pretty much has no life or self-worth. I prefer her dramatic tales.

Julie Anne Peters is very good. Read her other stuff too.

Since you said you liked KYAS, that means you HAVE to read Bermudez now! Maureen Johnson's lineup:

Keys to the Golden Firebird - Three teenage sisters deal with the loss of their father.
The Bermudez Triangle - Three best friends forever, all girls, two start dating without initially telling the third; and the supporting character, Parker, rules. HE ROCKS SO MUCH THAT I MUST TELL THE WORLD!
13 Little Blue Envelopes - An American teenager takes a trip through Europe, led by letters and clues from her aunt, who recently passed away. It's like What a Girl Wants meets a coming-of-age scavenger hunt.

David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy) is an amazing author. Praise, praise, praise.

If you like Prep, you will LOVE Looking for Alaska by John Green and As Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway.

More for you:
Teach Me by R.A. Nelson - student/teacher relationship
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - modern-day girl/vampire boy
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld - boy who has passed the vampire parasite on to his past girlfriends
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray - Victorian boarding school with magic! SO GOOD! Sequel: Rebel Angels. Third book in the works.

Posted by: paranoid kitten (paranoidkitten)
Posted at: March 12th, 2006 03:44 am (UTC)

I read Crunch Time, really enjoyed it. I didn't know she was writing for adults but I think I'll have to skip that one.

The Bermudez Triangle looks fantastic.

I adored Boy Meets Boy - it charmed me more than The Realms Of Possibility.

I am looking forward to reading these a lot. :D

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 12th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC)

Yes, skip Fatal Distraction, but read Head Games.

Bermudez = YAY.

BMB = favorite Levithan so far. Haven't read Marly's Ghost yet. Looking forward to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Levithan's effort with Rachel Cohn.

Posted by: Jenah (jenah)
Posted at: March 8th, 2006 02:37 pm (UTC)
btvs s4: riley's got a gun

I actually wouldn't mind having some recommendations for involving literature for 9 year old boys :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 8th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)

That's the spirit!

OutCast by Christopher Golden and Thomas Sniegoski - a four book series, starting with The Un-Magician. Everything and everyone in the world has magic . . . except for 12-year-old Timothy.
The NeverEnding Story by Michael Ende - An imaginative, amazing book! Very long, very deep, so if it's too much for him on his own, read it aloud and trade off reading duty every few pages!

Henry Huggins series by Beverly Cleary - starting with the aforementioned title
Wayside School books by Louis Sachar - starting with Sideways Stories for Wayside School
Everyone Else's Parents Said Yes by Paula Danziger - and the other books about Matthew Martin
Judy Moody by Megan McDonald - that whole series plus the book Stink the Incredible Shrinking Kid, which focuses on Judy's younger brother and is a shorter, easier book

Every single thing by John Bellairs - Start with The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt, and proceed!
Coraline by Neil Gaiman - creepy, twisted, good.
Selected titles from Goosebumps by R.L. Stine - The Girl Who Cried Monster, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, Let's Get Invisible and The Haunted Mask are recommended.
The Hardy Boys - Need I say more? YAY!

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli - I cannot recommend this book enough! It's about tolerance. It's about literacy. It's about family. It's about belonging. It's so powerful.

Anything in juvenile fiction by Matt Christopher - stories about kids playing football, baseball, basketball, soccer, extreme sports, you name it! - as well as the biographies of big-name athletes by the same author

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
White Fang by Jack London
Call of the Wild by Jack London

Please do not hesitate to ask for more titles or more details. You've hit the nail on the head here with one of my favorite age groups!

Posted by: Jenah (jenah)
Posted at: March 8th, 2006 10:50 pm (UTC)

Thanks a bunch - I ordered him some books for his birthday already, but I can keep this response for the future. Oh and he's currently reading Call of the Wild.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 8th, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC)

Woo hoo!

I hope he's liking the London.

Posted by: Jenah (jenah)
Posted at: March 8th, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC)

You and I are both up way too late! But I'm on my way to bed.
I think he is enjoying it. It's the second time that he's picked it up to read - and this time he appears to be following through. So we'll see if he'll want to read any others.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 8th, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC)

I'm watching the premiere of CONVINCTION, since I wasn't home when it aired on Friday.

There are SO many good books for that age. I really tried to keep the lists short so I wouldn't overwhelm you/him. ;-)

Posted by: Jenah (jenah)
Posted at: March 9th, 2006 10:25 am (UTC)

Thank you - I'll know where to go!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 9th, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)

Conviction. Typo.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 8th, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
Picture books

Cathy asked for picture book recommendations for her little baby. :)

Here are my favorite children's picture books of all time:
The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood
Quick as a Cricket by Don and Audrey Wood
People by Peter Spier

....and more recent releases:
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
All of the Wombat books by Charles Fuge and Vicki Churchill
I Know a Rhino by Charles Fuge
Clara and Asha by Eric Rothmann

:) :) :)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 14th, 2006 11:31 am (UTC)


Authors like Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak) -

Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
Deb Caletti (The Queen of Everything)
Andrea Siegel (Like the Red Panda)
Rachel Cohn (Gingerbread - then Shrimp)
Natasha Friend (Perfect)
Melissa Lion (Swollen, Upstream)

I'd tell you the "issue" being tackled in each of the aforementioned novels, but if I did, they'd give things away, like telling someone too much about Speak!

Novels with strong female protagonists -

Maureen Johnson's The Key to the Golden Firebird (Three sisters deal with the loss of their father)

Christopher Golden's Body of Evidence series (You may have already read these. If not, start with Body Bags. There are ten novels with Jenna Blake as the main character.)

L.M. Montgomery's Anne series (She's spunky, sassy, smart, and strong. Go Anne Shirley!)

Mary E. Pearson's A Room on Lorelai Street (A teenage girl decides to live on her own.)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 19th, 2006 08:40 am (UTC)

You are welcome. ALWAYS more where that came from.

Lucky girl!! I love Anne of GG!

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 19th, 2006 09:09 am (UTC)

Another cute story read yesterday! ENTHUSIASM by Polly Shulman.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 19th, 2006 11:30 am (UTC)
Honey, Baby Sweetheart

I read this book last night. I really enjoyed it, the writing was good and it was funny. I have an 11 year old daughter and I have been reading books that she would read. Honey, Baby Sweetheart may not be for her yet, but soon.

Wondering about your thoughts on Alice Hoffman's books for adults. I am a big fan of her books, but I had thought of them as being too racy for teens. After reading your reviews of several books I was surprised at the number where there is a pregnant teen. Do these books include "sex scenes"?

Do you recommend Fever 1792? I read it recently and thought it was very good. My daughter wants to read it, but with bird flu panic starting, I am unsure.

Another book I enjoyed was Music of the Dolphins by Karen Hesse. If you have not read it, you may give it a try.

The Clique books are so popular right now, I read the first and am into the second. They are mean-spirited - I really don't understand why they are so much the rage. Well at least nobody dies.

I am going to try several of your reviewed books.



Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 19th, 2006 12:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Honey, Baby Sweetheart

Hi Carol!

Nice to meet you. I hope you read this reply, since I don't know what your LiveJournal name is and thus cannot respond to you directly at your own journal!

I'm glad that you liked HBS. Since you enjoyed her writing style and tone, I think you'll like her other two books as well, but they are heavier in themes (murder, emotional abuse, and so on). You might try Sarah Dessen's earliest novels, That Summer and Keeping the Moon, for stories in tune with HBS and still on this side of the PG rating.

I have yet to read any of Alice Hoffman's adult novels, actually. I've read Aquamarine, Indigo, and Green Angel. I thought Aquamarine was cute but predictable. I have always loved The Little Mermaid, so even in my adulthood, I'll still read a kid pick with merfolk! I didn't care for Indigo, finding it quick and bland for my tastes, nor Green Angel. Though I appreciated what I thought to be a response to the tragedy of 9/11 in Green Angel, the story and writing just weren't for me.

I always say: Some books in the teen fiction section are appropriate for ten year olds, while others are barely appropriate for eighteen year olds. I tend to use the movie ratings system when telling parents and kids about books, especially if they have concerns about racy content like I do. If you list some books and ask me for ratings and warnings, I'll be more than happy to respond accordingly!

I don't care for racy stuff, be it on TV, in films, in adult books, whatever the medium. That's just how I always have been, and still am, even as an adult, leading a G-rated life. ;-)

I have yet to read Fever 1792. I have read all of Laurie Halse Anderson's teen novels - Speak, Catalyst, and Prom. I think Speak is her best of the three.

Thanks for the recommendation for Music of the Dolphins. I want to read that and Out of the Dust, both by Hesse.

I cannot stand The Clique. I feel they are poorly written, both technically and emotionally. They do not resonate. I read it right when it hit the shelves, hoping it would talk about acceptance and allow the main characters to realize how shallow they were. Sadly, that was not the case. As you said, they are mean-spirited. I encourage you and your daughter to read The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss instead. It is a more realistic and thoughtful look at a clique. The narration varies from chapter to chapter, with all five of the girls speaking in turn.

"I'll be quiet now."

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