Guess What’s New in Reading?

By Marianne Murray-Guess

ENGLEWOOD — Unfortunately, with the virus situation, you might not get to your favorite pool or vacation spot this summer. Also, I thought with kids at home it might help if you engaged your teens with some reading.

I did some research about teenage reading and found, “When teens read more than just their classroom assignments, research clearly shows they generally do well in school. First of all, the extra reading expands their vocabularies. Plus, reading can show teens that everyone has problems in his or her life and may even help teens see solutions to their own problems.”

Here are some books your teenagers might like to read – two on the hot list and two from the all-time reading list.

Suzanne Collins: She is known as the author of the NY Times bestselling series, ‘The Underland Chronicles’ and “The Hunger Games Trilogy.” Now you can add, ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ as 18 year old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for one shot at glory that will kick-off the 10th annual Hunger Games.

The odds are against him as he starts to feel for his doomed tribute. This book is Amazon’s best book of May 2020 and went on to say, “If you read ‘The Hunger Games’ in one sitting, settle in for the long haul once more because this newest book in the series is nearly impossible to put down. It’s incredibly exciting, thought-provoking and relevant.”

Jason Reynolds: He is also a NY Times author of ‘The Track Series,’ ‘Long Way Down,’ ‘For Everyone’ and the ‘Miles Morales – Spiderman.’ He not only writes novels but poetry for young adults and earned the National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature.

His novel, ‘All American Boys,’ is about two teens – one black, one white – who grapple with repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community and, ultimately, the country divided by racial tension. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions. This is young adult fiction at its best.

Seymore Victory Reit: He has written children’s books as well as works for adults and was the creator of ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost.’ He passed away in 2001 at age 83, but his books live on. There are two I think your teenagers might like, the first being ‘Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds Civil War Spy.’

In 1861 President Linclon made a plea for volunteers. Emma cropped her hair, donned men’s clothing and enlisted in the Union Army. Emma became a cunning master of disguise risking discovery and death at every turn behind Confederate lines.

The other book is ‘Guns for George Washington: A Story of the American Revolution.’ I recommend both. Reit was a lifelong New Yorker and was given the name of Victory because he was born on Armistice Day, now our Veteran’s Day.

Anne Frank: ‘The Diary of a Young Girl,’ also known as ‘The Diary of Anne Frank,’ is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by her while she was hiding for two years with her family during World War II. The diary has since been published in more than 60 languages.

Her hiding place was in sealed-off upper rooms at the back of Otto Frank’s company in Amsterdam. In August 1944 they were discovered and departed to Nazi concentration camps. Anne was 15 years old when she died in Bergen-Belsen just a few weeks before the prisoners were liberated by British troops. This is a book that teenagers and everyone else should read.

Teenagers like books that combine fantasy and reality, especially the graphic novels relating books to movies, which excite them. There is a website, ‘Common Sense Media,’ that has practical ideas to help lure your kids back to books with a section called ‘9 Ways to Get Teens Reading.’

You might like to check that out. By the way, we are open from Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Happy teen reading, everyone!

By Marianne Murray-Guess