K is for Keen

K is for Keen

it’s day 13 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter K Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

The word keen describes today’s two novels perfectly. I like this word keen because it has so many meanings. Some are finely sharpened, distinctive in perception, eager. These definitions apply to the characters, stories, and writing of the following multi-award winning books.

Kira-Kira

  Kira-kira by Cynthia Kadohata

This is a beautiful book about family love and struggle. Older sister Lynn Takeshima protects and nurtures younger sister Katie, helping her to see all that is kira-kira (shining) until Lynn becomes ill and Katie must step up to help her family.

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

This novel brings to mind another definition of keen: intense. In Prentisstown residents can hear the thoughts of all other townspeople. I would call that intense–never being able to enjoy the quiet or have quiet, private thoughts. Not a place for introverts, I imagine. In this setting, Todd and his dog Manchee one day stumble upon quiet, but it is a quiet filled with a dark secret. Readers may be familiar with Patrick Ness from another prize-winning young adult novel and movie called A Monster Calls.

When purchasing fiction, do you take into account whether the book has won literary prizes? What is your favorite prize-winning novel?

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

J is for Justice

Justice.

It’s day 10 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter J Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

Teens focus on the fairness of things and are quick to point out when justice has not been served. Today’s two novels explore what justice is from different angles.

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre is not a young adult book, but it is a good book for young adults. Justice is not a part of Jane’s childhood. An orphan, Jane is emotionally abused by her aunt and later by the headmaster of the school where she is publicly marked as a bad girl. It is up to Jane to defeat the forces aligned against her–both malign and benign–and find justice.

Just Listen

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Former popular It girl Annabel has been unfairly treated and betrayed by both her best friend and her best friend’s boyfriend. But Annabel lacks the courage to speak up for herself and is soon the high school pariah. In order to find justice for herself and others, Annabel must summon the strength to speak and believe that people will just listen.

What’s your favorite novel that explores justice? Have you read either of these?

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

I is for Inseparable

 

I is for Inseparable

It’s the A to Z Challenge!

And the letter I Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

I’ve noticed as I get further into this A to Z Challenge that more and more ghost novels are creeping into my selections. I hope that’s okay with you, dear readers. One thing about ghost fiction in the young adult genre, it’s not usually scary.

I Heart You, You Haunt Me

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

This book is written in blank verse from the point of view of Ava mourning her dead boyfriend. Said dead boyfriend has found a way to re-enter Ava’s life as a ghost. The question is–is it a good thing or a bad thing to be inseparable in death?

I'll Give You the Sun

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Jude and Noah are inseparable twins until a tragic event drives them apart. Noah immerses himself in his art while Jude struggles to find the way back to hers. To help her cope with this thing called life, Jude converses with her grandmother’s ghost. I’ll Give You the Sun is one of my favorite young adult novels ever.

Have you ever read a novel in blank verse? What did you think? 

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

 

H is for Homeboy

H is for Homeboy

Homeboy is not a word I use much, but it fits the two Young Adult novels for today. Homeboy means (I decided to look it up…must be the writer-researcher in me) a close friend or someone from the neighborhood and has been in use, apparently, since 1897. Here I thought homeboy came into being in the gang era of the 1980’s.

Both of today’s books are buddy books in which a friend helps the main character with a tangible problem but also provides emotional support.

The Haunting of Renegade X

The Haunting of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell

This novella is part of a series by an author I’ve never read before. So far, I’m really liking the voice, and I like how the author deftly drops in background information on a need-to-know basis. (I HATE info dumps.) Reading The Haunting of Renegade X I feel perfectly grounded even though I’ve read none of the other books in the series.

Holes

Holes by Louis Sachar

This book is on the younger side of the Young Adult genre. I often give this novel to my 6th grade students. But the writing is so powerful (it makes me jealous) that young and old alike will enjoy this book. It would make a good read-aloud book, for example. I am a sucker for buddy books, and this one does not disappoint, bringing together two boys who felt unworthy of friendship but who find and save each other. A lovely read!

What’s your favorite homeboy or homegirl book? These two happen to feature homeboys, but I love homegirl books too!