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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kati, Emma and Janet Review YA Books

By Jan Pease

Inviting teens to be guest book- reviewers is part of the teen program, “Own the Night” this year at Litchfield library. It is so interesting to read what these avid young readers have to say about “their” books.


Kati, age 13, has already turned in three book reviews. She read “Withering Tights,” by Louise Rennison. Rennison is an English author who writes hilarious books that are very, well, British. She says “she lives in Brighton, the San Francisco of England (apart from the sun, Americans, the Golden Gate Bridge, and earthquakes.)” In “Withering Tights,” Tallulah, a young cousin of regular character Georgia Nicholson, attends a summer drama camp. Kati says, “It was very good and it tells about someone trying to find who she really is.” Katie gave “Withering Tights” five stars.

Kati also read “Kiss of Life,” by Daniel Waters. “Kiss of Life” is part of Waters’ “Generation Dead” series, part of the paranormal romance phenomena in young adult titles. Kati says, “It’s an amazing book that will make you to not put it down; it’s full of suspense.” She gave it five stars.

Kati’s third book was “The Teashop Girls,” by Laura Schaefer. Ms. Schaefer visited Litchfield and talked about her book and tea parties in 2010. Kati gave the book three and a half stars, and said, “I feel that way because it was good but I wanted it to be longer to make the ending better.”

Emma, age 13, read “They Never Came Back,” by Caroline B. Cooney, who is famous for writing suspense novels for young people. “They Never Came Back” centers on a young woman with a new identity living with a foster family because her wealthy parents have left the country after being accused of embezzlement. Emma gave the book four stars because “I thought that it was a very good book. The reason for 4 stars is that there are a few spots in the book that get confusing.” School Library Journal agrees with Emma, stating in a review by Jennifer Barnes (not our librarian in Grove City) “Cooney's adaptation of a complex fraud story for this age group is interesting if one can look beyond some weaknesses.”

Janet, age 12, read “My Side of the Mountain,” by Jean Craighead George. This is a classic story of adventure and survival, as a young boy lives on his own in the Catskill Mountains. Janet gave the book five stars and says, “The writing is excellent and shows instead of just telling. You get pulled in by the story of a boy running away from home and stay for the ride. A book for all ages. After you finish the book you’ll have a strong urge to go camping.”

Book reviews aren’t like a book report. They can describe what you feel about a book, and whether you would recommend the book to someone else. If you’re 12 – 18, pick up a book review form and express yourself. See you at the library!