What will teens in your family be reading this summer?
When I was growing up–regardless of where I spent the summer months–reading was a big part of my vacation. I remember devouring every book written by specific authors like Dickens, Twain, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Chekhov, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Tolstoy, Robert Louis Stevenson…plus one offs that were must reads, like “Wuthering Heights” and “The Three Musketeers.” My reading was all over the map–sometimes guided by my mother, sometimes random and serendipitous. I was voracious.
There really wasn’t any official “young adult” literature. I seem to recall going from children’s books like “Winnie the Pooh” and then “Anne of Green Gables,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Robinson Crusoe,” to the stage where I read everything I could get my hands on by “adult” literature authors.
Today, of course, there’s a robust world of young adult literature–much of which works well for grown up readers, too. After all, good writing is good writing.
Last summer, NPR put together a list of the top 100 books for teens recommended by staff and listeners. Many titles are familiar to me from my youth, “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “The Catcher in the Rye.” Some are familiar to me from more recently, “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games,” or “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night.” But many are by writers whose books I haven’t tried but who are hitting home runs with contemporary teens.
Check out the list and let me know if there are favorites in your home that didn’t make it to the list. I’ll add your picks to our summer reading list–a list for all ages–which we’ll be putting together during a two-hour call in show on Tuesday, July 9. As always, John Ernst and Chris Robinson will co-host with me…and you. Feel free to add your suggestions here or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and after the call in, we’ll consolidate all of your summer reading picks.