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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 that week’s books.

Class 1—first class, overview of adolescent literature

  • How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Class 2—windows and mirrors

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Read one of these two books:
    Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
    A Step from Heaven by An Na

Class 3—the past made present

  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Read one of these two books:
    Bomb: the Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steven Shenkin
    No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
  • Spend 1 hour browsing one of  these two information books :
    Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose
    Marching For Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge

Class 4—beyond the world we know

  • Feed by M. T. Anderson
  • Read one these two books:
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    The Giver by Lois Lowry

Class 5—pictures 

  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan
  • The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sís
  • Read one of these two graphic novels:
    American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
    Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke

Class 6—last class

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


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.



  1. Thanks a million!

  2. Joan Abraham says:

    I love your list and like that I have read (or just purchased) many of the books. I am a high school librarian in only my second year at this level. I had to really read and catch up on books for YA readers. My 23 year old daughter is reading The Fault in Our Stars right now and keeps coming to me with parts of the book that blow her mind.

    I love finding books for my students. I watch what they read and if there are more by that author or like that particular book, I let them know. I love the way they look at me when I tell them I have found something that they might like. It is one of the greatest parts of my job!

    Can’t wait to learn about more of the great books out there.

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