One of my favorite gifts to both give and receive is books. If you are looking to share your love of books with a young adult this season, these are some books you might want to consider:
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Summary: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
The Book Thief by Mark Zusak
From the book jacket: Narrated by Death, Mark Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can’t resist—books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever they are to be found.
With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and share her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
Markus Zusak, award-winning author of I Am the Messenger, has crafted an unforgettable novel about the ability of books to feed the soul.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky
Summary: Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Now a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic.
The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
“Charlie is such a completely good, pure human being (the way we were supposed to come off the production line) that you wonder how he sprang from the imagination of an ordinary adult author…Again and again throughout the book he exhibits that pure wisdom we all like to read about and witness. And Stephen Chbosky doesn’t let us down…In the culture where adolescence is a dirty word, I hope nothing bad ever happens to this kid.”—Los Angeles Times
A #1 New York Times best seller for more than a year, American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults (2000), Best Book for Reluctant Readers (2000)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
“Powerful and unsettling. . . . As memorable an introduction to the subject as The Diary of Anne Frank.” — USA Today
Summary: Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.
But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
From the book jacket: Kristina is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. Then she meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild ride turns into a struggle for her mind, her soul—her life.
Ellen Hopkins, whom mediabistro.com has called “the bestselling living poet in the country,” exploded onto the young adult scene with her first novel, Crank, which has become a national bestseller. School Library Journal acclaims Crank as “a stunning portrayal of a teen’s loss of direction and realistically uncertain future.” Publisher Weekly raves, “[Hopkins] creates a world nearly as consuming and disturbing as the titular drug.”
Crank is a transfixing look into the tortured lives of addicts and the people who love them.