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Topic: Advice needed

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Subject: Advice needed
Date Posted: 2/13/2015 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 603
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I am responsible for collecting books that we give to our high school students free to encourage literacy.  Most come from very poor families so books are not a priority.  I have plenty of credits, but I do NOT KNOW what historical fiction would appeal to or be appropriate for 14 to 19 year olds!  Help!!  Any suggestions for books that I may order for our students?  Some sex and language are unavoidable in most books, but as long as I stay away from Fifty Shades types, it is OK.  Suggestions, please???

Date Posted: 2/13/2015 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,718
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Hi Linda!

I work in a public library, and it has been my experience that you need books that will grab a teen's attention right away, especially if reading isn't a priority.  

I would recommend anything by Robin McKinley; she writes historical and fantasy. She also re-works fairy tales, which is popular. 

Laurie Halse Anderson has Fever 1793, and Chains.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, and the Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  Also Code Breakers by Joseph Bruchac is good.

Caroline Cooney did a series of four time travel novels that would probably appeal more to girls, but they were fun reads.  The titles are Both Sides of Time, Out of Time, Prisoner of Time and For All Time.  I think they have also been printed in a single volume, or perhaps two volumes. Those titles may vary, just FYI.

Alan Bradley's series about Flavia de Luce would be great!  There are now six of them, but you may be able to find the early ones. The first book is Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

I'll keep thinking...wink


Date Posted: 2/13/2015 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,718
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Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

A Northern Light, and Revolution, both by Jennifer Donnelly

Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle (twin brothers go back in time to Noah's Ark era...oops)

If you can find anything by Graham Salisbury, he's good.  I know of Eyes of the Emperor and Under the Blood-Red Sun.


Date Posted: 2/13/2015 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 603
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Thank you for the great suggestions!!

Date Posted: 2/14/2015 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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When I was that age I loved Mary Stewart's Merlin books Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment. 

Date Posted: 2/14/2015 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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Two that I read recently and enjoyed:

Between Shades of Gray by Ruth Sepetys (not to be confused at all by the other book with a similar name!)

Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

Last Edited on: 2/14/15 6:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1