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admin | Category: What Cause Ed | 24.03.2014
Teen Read Week is officially October 16th through 22nd, but here at The Hub, we’re celebrating all month long with 31 Days of Authors.
While there were sadly no straight-up contemporary titles this year (though Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall contains many contemporary elements), this has not been the case in previous years. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson is another contemporary title that targets the a€?issuea€? novel. Michael Northrop, Sarah Darer Littman, Erin Dionne, Gae Polisner, Leila Sales, Brent Crawford, and so many more. If you need a little assistance in knowing what contemporary titles are currently available, one great resource is The Contemps Blog which highlights new titles and fun ways of promoting those titles. One day I hope to see a Teens’ Top Ten List where 7 out of the 10 titles are realistic fiction. I am the author of a contemporary-ish YA memoir, and I have zero fear that the wolves-and-angels trend will pass.
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To take a trip down memory lane, I asked other book-loving moms about the stories they read as kids that hold a special place in their hearts. A few of these I've never heard of, and one if those mentioned, Tiffany something , sounds a bit concerning. My 10 year old has read Anne of Greene Gables and I agree it is an awesome book I read the entire series and loved it.
I read some of these books when I was a kid in the early 70s and I think my DD and DS have read all of them (except the "Tiffany Series". On each day in October, we’ll bring you author interviews and profiles and reflections on what YALSA-recognized books have meant to us.

Laurie Halse Anderson is a familiar face to many readers of YA because her books are downright amazing. Another resource that highlights a mixture of YA titles but with plenty of great contemporary coverage is YA Outside the Lines. Feel free to share them with the kids in your life -- or even reread them yourself!"Anne of Green Gables! We've also read all the little house books, lots of books by Dahl, and Ann of Green Gables.
They gravitate towards these books because of the great writing, the exciting adventures and the daring characters that make the stories come to life. She is a perennial favorite of teen girls and her books continually make various YALSA lists.
But, if librarians, teachers, book sellers, and YA reading adults are not doing something to promote these contemporary voices, they will never stand a chance of making it to the Teens’ Top Ten.
My alternative-school teens, and all the teens in struggling-reader classes at public high schools, are digging the Ellen Hopkins-esque. Who didn't want to run away to Canada and find a best friend after reading that?" -- Sue T., Toledo, Ohio"The Harry Potter series -- everyone should read these!
I will read them the Diary of Anne Frank but I think my kids are still a little young for that. They are great reads, present contemporary teen voices, and have that romance angle that many teens are looking for.
Lockhart is my favorite, but there is no doubt that Ellen Hopkins and John Green hold a great place on the teen reading shelves.
Sure, there are plenty of middle-class teens, but there are just as many, if not more, non-middle-classers.
We’re gonna have to work hard promoting all the great contemp that’s out there!

Sarah Dessen is an active voice in the YA author community and she her titles lead naturally to some other great contemporary YA writers like Jenny Han, Deb Caletti, Susane Colasanti, and Siobhan Vivian. Could it be that the active voters are the middle-class-voracious-readers-who-actually-get-to-the-library, whose-parents-actually-buy-them-books, and those are the voices who get counted? In many ways, these lists are a face of the times, of the fads and celebs teens love during that particular moment in time. I just hate to see great realistic fiction titles languishing on the Teens’ Top Ten when they would be a very easy way to promote other contemporary readalikes within this subgenre of YA.
Joshua Cohen’s Leverage is another intense story that is perfect for your guy readers who may be want to move in the realistic fiction genre. Realistic fiction has a place on that list and it is up to more than just publishers to promote it, up to more than just chance that teens will find it on their own. The other 2010 contemporary title is Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, an emotional and sad read if there ever was one. Janet Gurtler is a natural recommendation for Forman’s honest voice and plots that breathe emotional resonance.
Dahl’s books are fun and a little weird but all show that being true to yourself will lead to happiness. Perfect for bedtime reading together or reading on her own." -- Faith D., Saint Paul, Minnesota"I think I was around 10 when I read Are You There God?
I was too shy to ask about a lot of puberty stuff, but this helped me have an idea of what to expect. I remember laughing out loud the whole time I read the stories." -- Susan B., Ames, IowaWhat book would you add to this list?

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