From the Guide: Teen Problem Novels

revenge of a not-so-pretty girl

In his “What Makes a Good YA Urban Novel?” column, Horn Book Guide reviewer Randy Ribay discusses books about teens growing up in cities and the issues they face. On a larger scale, the problem novel can be a way for all teens, in any environment and of any background, to find their struggles explored […]

Gene Luen Yang on Boxers & Saints

boxers & saints

In the September/October 2013 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Sam Bloom asked Gene Luen Yang about the process of creating the two volumes of Boxers & Saints. Read the starred review here. Sam Bloom: Did you write both volumes at the same time, or did one come before the other? How did you decide to split […]

Review of Boxers & Saints

boxers & saints

Boxers & Saints Boxers by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     328 pp. 10/13     978-1-59643-359-5     $18.99 Saints by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     172 pp. 10/13     978-1-59643-689-3     $15.99 Boxed set […]

You are what you read

bella reading

From The Outsiders to The Perks of Being a Wallflower to the Twilight saga, teen fiction has long used protagonists’ reading taste as a characterization device. It’s a fast way to say a lot about a character with very little information (or effort, depending on the novel). For instance, avid Jane Austen fans show up […]

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 […]

Five questions for Rainbow Rowell

Photo: Augusten Burroughs

Everyone is swooning over Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction Award winner Eleanor & Park (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013), which Horn Book reviewer Cindy Ritter called “an honest, heart-wrenching portrayal of imperfect but unforgettable love.” With the acclaimed adult novel Attachments already on her CV and the much-anticipated YA book Fangirl just released, author Rainbow Rowell is […]

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie review

mortal_instruments_movie_poster

As a lover of young adult literature and a fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, I was delighted to hear that City of Bones (PG-13, Sony Pictures, August 2013) would be made into a film. I was further delighted to actually see the movie (I may or may not have been counting down the […]

Beat the heat with a wintry read

lone wolves

There’s something to be said for reading seasonal books as the year goes on, but it’s also fun to mix and match with abandon. Take, for instance, John Smelcer’s novel Lone Wolves (Leapfrog Press, September 2013), which proved an entertaining escape from the summer heat to a frozen Alaskan winter. Sixteen-year-old Deneena “Denny” Yazzie feels […]

An Interview with Robert Cormier

beyond the chocolate war

by Anita Silvey Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is being published by Knopf on April 21, 1985. This interview, conducted at Robert Cormier’s home in Leominster, Massachusetts, took place on December 20, 1984, and focuses on the new book, his methods of writing, and the influences on his work. AS: Why did you […]

Disturbing (or Not?) Young Adult Fiction

hunger games

I experienced Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games on the cusp of it becoming a must-read, a trilogy-starter, and then a film franchise. I had hurried into the bookstore, reading list in hand, and interrupted the young woman shelving books. When I asked  where to find the titles on my list, I mentioned that I taught […]