On young-adult books teens can share with their parents
Patrick Ness is an insanely beautiful writer, and A Monster Calls is a haunting novel about a surprisingly empathetic monster’s relationship with a 13-year-old boy whose mother is dying of cancer. It’s based on an idea from another young-adult novelist, Siobhan Dowd, who died of cancer before she could write it. Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind is about a young woman who can’t move and can’t talk, but she’s exceptionally intelligent and has a photographic memory. Both her physical frustration and the celebration of her life of the mind are so well drawn that you really feel as if you were living her life.
It’s not out until August, but Every Day by David Levithan is brilliant. It’s about a kid who wakes up each morning in a new body but is always in love with the same girl. And I’d strongly recommend The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation. It’s set in revolutionary America, where a young slave must choose between supporting the revolutionaries and supporting the Crown — which turns out to be an extremely complicated choice. M.T. Anderson’s book is in love with language, and it makes you rethink what the ideal outcome of that war really was, because in many ways the people who most needed the protection of the government were the ones who benefited the least from the American Revolution. It’s probably the best young-adult novel in American history, top 10 for sure.
Green’s most recent young-adult novel is The Fault in Our Stars
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