Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Exceptional Teen Novel

Marcelo in the Real World
by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo is a teen who hears music that no one else can, sleeps in a tree house, has an obsession with religion, and prefers things to have an order to them. One might say he exhibits behaviors similar to individuals with Asberger's syndrome, although he's never been officially diagnosed. He attends a "special" school called the Paterson school where he takes care of the ponies in the therapeutic riding stables. His father, a high-powered lawyer, insists that he work in the mail room of his law firm for the summer. If Marcelo is able to succeed, he will be given the choice of staying in his special school for his senior year, or being mainstreamed into the "normal" high school.

While he is there, he happens across evidence which indicates the corruption in his father's practice. Once confronted with this, Marcelo must face his reservations about the real world and decide how to handle an ethical dilemma.

This is a powerful and moving novel that teens and adults will enjoy, even more than Mark Haddon's similar title The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. The writing is beautiful. Readers of all personalities will be moved by Marcelo's struggle to relate to "normal".

Monday, May 18, 2009

Notable Teen Fantasy of the Summer

Place your hold now on these new and notable Teen Fantasy titles!

Strange Angels
Lili St. Crow
Dru Anderson has "the touch". She travels with her father from town to town hunting zombies, vampires, werewolves, you know, bad guys that haunt the earth. When her father turns into a zombie himself, she figures it's only a matter of time before she is hunted down too. But, she isn't about to let that stop her.

The Forests of Hands and Teeth
Carrie Ryan
Seven generations after The Return, and Mary lives in a city behind a chain link fence. Zombies haunt her village which is controlled by a religious order called The Sisterhood. The villagers are beginning to forget that there ever was a world before The Return. Mary and her mother believe in a world beyond the forest, where a vast body of water stretches beyond the reach of the undead.

Aprilynne Pike
Laurel is different. Very different. She realizes this when she sprouts blossom like wings on her back. And her science-minded friend David discovers that her cells are more plant than animal when he examines them under a microscope. It takes an encounter at her old home to lead her to realize who she truly is.