Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Alex Award Watch: Sneaking into the Adult Section

Rachel has a former life as an adult reference librarian, because of that, we're picking her brain for books that are perfect for teens who like to see what the "adults" are reading.

There are high school graduations galore this time of year! For those of you heading off into the wild, wonderful world of adulthood (and for those still on their way), here’s a sampling of what you’ve got to look forward to in adult literature. Tell us what you all think!

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley – The first novel in a quirky mystery series starring Flavia de Luce, a precocious eleven year old who uses her scientific knowledge to solve the mystery surrounding the dead man she discovered in her family’s cucumber patch in 1950s England.

Exley by Brock Clarke – Meet two extremely unreliable narrators: nine year old Miller Le Ray who refuses to believe that his father joined the army and went to Iraq, and his therapist, Dr. Pahnee, who struggles to treat his patient when his vision is clouded with dreams of love for Miller’s mother. A funny and poignant look at the toll of war within the microcosm of a normal family.

Room by Emma Donoghue – Told from the viewpoint of a five year old who has lived his entire life in one room, this is a story about his mother, a young woman who was abducted and held captive for years before finally planning their escape.

Sweeping up Glass by Carolyn Wall – Set in the mountains of Kentucky during the Great Depression, Olivia Harker Cross must care for her orphaned grandson while trying to scrabble together a living in segregated and poverty-stricken Pop e County. A wonderful story about racism, struggle, and redemption that has been likened to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald – Henry House is a 1950s “practice baby”—that is, an orphaned infant who was used on a college campus for women students to try their hand at motherhood (yes, they really used to do this). As he grows older, Henry discovers he has an uncanny knack for attracting women—girlfriends and mother figures alike—but is it because of his strange upbringing? And will he ever learn to trust anyone enough to stay?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – A bet between two old magicians is made and a circus like no other comes into being years later. It is only open at night. It comes and goes without warning. And it is the setting for a life and death battle between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who find themselves inconveniently falling in love with each other.

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