Lauren Adams

About Lauren Adams

Lauren Adams teaches English and ELL at Natick High School and adolescent literature at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Formerly a Senior Editor for The Horn Book Magazine, she regularly contributes book reviews.

Eleanor and Park

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Rainbow Rowell’s nontraditional romance novel Eleanor and Park portrays a young love that is genuine in its intimacy and awkwardness, as well as the painful realities of life that are well beyond the control of the young protagonists. What are the entry points in the story for readers whose lives are very different from those […]

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie tells Junior’s story with a lot of humor, but pulls no punches in depicting the brutal truths of alcoholism, poverty, and bigotry both on and off the reservation. Does humor have a place in a realistic novel about tragic circumstances? If you’ve had classroom […]

The Thing About Luck

The Thing About Luck

In The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata, Summer has important duties to fulfill as the daughter and granddaughter of migrant harvest workers, and she must also meet the daily demands of her traditional Japanese grandparents. Summer’s multi-generational family and their lives as agricultural workers are facets of contemporary American culture that may be unfamiliar […]

How I Live Now

How I Live Now

At the outset of Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now, Daisy and her cousins in the English countryside are blissfully removed from the threat of impending war. In some ways, the insular, adult-less world of the young people might exist in any time and place, yet their world is irrevocably changed as the story progresses.  […]

Review of The Impossible Knife of Memory

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The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson High School     Viking     371 pp. 1/14     978-0-670-01209-1     $18.99     g Hayley Kincain has spent the last five years riding shotgun in her father’s rig, discussing fractions and evolution — an on-the-road version of home schooling. Constant movement has helped keep the past at bay for […]

Books for Lauren’s adolescent lit class, fall 2013

Here’s the list of books from our most recent offering of adolescent lit. Usually Lolly and I teach these classes back-to-back, but this year we had to split them up. Next fall we hope to offer them together again. In addition to the books listed below, we assign articles, blogs, or other material related to […]

Review of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

coldest girl in coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black High School    Little, Brown    422 pp. 9/13    978-0-316-21310-3    $19.00 In an alternate here-and-now, vampires are sequestered in “Coldtowns” guarded by barbed wire and Homeland Security. Live feeds from inside the Coldtowns broadcast the glamorous Eternal Ball with its celebrity vampire hosts, attracting thrill-seekers who are welcomed inside […]

Review of Beneath a Meth Moon: An Elegy

Beneath a Meth Moon

Beneath a Meth Moon: An Elegy by Jacqueline Woodson High School    Paulsen/Penguin    182 pp. 2/12    978-0-399-25250-1    $16.99 Woodson takes us on the dark journey of addiction, mimicking the slow, hazy spell of drug use with the lull of her poetic prose. Laurel’s happy childhood on the Gulf shore ends abruptly when Hurricane Katrina destroys her […]

Review of If I Stay

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman High School     199 pp.     Dutton 4/09     978-0-525-42103-0      $16.99 What begins as the gift of a rare snow day in Portland, Oregon, turns suddenly into nightmare. Seventeen-year-old Mia drives off with her family on the unexpected holiday. A sudden explosion of metal, and Mia is looking at her dead parents […]