Category Archives: Books for Young Adults

This is How It Always Is by Laurel Frankel

Rosie and Penn are parents of five boys in Madison, Wisconsin.  From a young age it is clear that their youngest son, Claude, is different from the other boys.  At three years old, he tells his parents he wants to be a girl when he grows up and wants to wear dresses and bows in his hair.
Acting in the best interests of their child, Rosie and Penn are supportive of Claude’s feelings.  He begins to transform into a girl named Poppy.  Conflicts and hostilities   from their community cause them to move.  When they relocate, they decide to keep Claude’s gender a secret, which eventually causes stress and grief to the entire family.

Although the story is about a transgender child, the bigger story is how parents will always move heaven and earth for their children.  Being a parent, I could totally relate.  Both my children have such different personalities, but I love them both so much equally in their uniqueness and struggles. That’s what being a parent is all about, navigating the unpredictable territory of raising children.  It is a strong reminder that we should judge less and embrace the differences in people.  A powerful read, especially in this time period.  Request a copy.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl

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This was my end of summer book to read.  It didn’t take long at all to get through.  You would find it in the YA section of the library but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek it out as an adult reader.  It deals with a serious subject matter with great humor.  I felt that the three main characters — Greg, Earl, and Rachel — were appropriately portrayed as teenaged.  They were not as unrealistic as the characters in The Fault In Our Stars.  I also felt that the author dealt with the relationship the kids had with their parents in a very mature and realistic manner.  I also appreciated that the demise of Rachel was not a long, drawn out affair.  For anyone who might not want to read the book, there is a movie that was made.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen

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I loved this quick read YA fantasy.  It reminded me of The Hunger Games series.  This fantasy world is divided into the Silvers and the Reds (based on the color of your blood).  The Silvers are the rulers with special powers, and the Reds are the slaves working day and night to ensure the comfort of Silvers.  The story centers on Mare Barrow, a Red, and this determines her identity.  She’s a thief from a large family, trying to survive in a cruel world.  Unexpectedly she is thrown into the royal palace as a servant.  But, in an instant, her life takes a new turn.  It is discovered that Mare bleeds Red, but  possesses a very distinct superpower — one that could overthrow the crown and the hierarchies of the Silvers and Reds.  Thus starts the battle for the power of the kingdom and for loyalties. . .  I just got the sequel to start reading, and I am looking forward to the adventure continuing.