New at Peter White Public Library

Teen books, also known as YA or Young Adult books, come in the form of novels, nonfiction, graphic novels or combinations of all three. New teen titles can be found on the first bookshelf to the left when you come in from the parking lot. Check them out.

“THE OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS” by Justin Reynolds opens with a glimpse of Jack’s life, which revolves around his lifelong best friends, Jillian and Franny, and his new love interest, Kate. Unfortunately, Kate has sickle cell anemia and dies shortly after they meet. Jack’s story evolves into a time loop beginning on the day Jack meets Kate. He tries to find ways to save her, while gambling with information from the future and meddling in family affairs he shouldn’t — then starting the scenario all over again. He even refers to the movie “Groundhog Day,” in which actor Bill Murray wakes up every morning and tries to redo his routine, until he learns valuable life lessons. Essentially, Jack finds himself doing the same thing — in a new, fresh setting for teens.

“THE MUSIC OF WHAT HAPPENS” by Bill Konigsberg explores a new world of social acceptance for a same-sex relationship, while, at the same time, dealing with secrets that could destroy the romance before it has a chance to materialize. Max meets Jordan at his deceased father’s food truck. Jordan’s mom has been extremely depressed and can’t cope with the demands of a job. Worse than that, she’s been gambling and their house is in jeopardy of being repossessed. Max steps in and works with Jordan to make the food truck profitable. His secret is more difficult for him to reveal, but has a great message for high school students who are dating.

“A HEART IN A BODY IN THE WORLD” by Deb Caletti begins when Annabelle Agnelli, ready to graduate from high school, sees an incident at a restaurant that sends her running down the road to the next town. This would seem extreme, except that she’s already a long distance runner, and has been trying to run her problems away since last year when she experienced a traumatic event. Against the objections of her very protective mother, and with the assistance of her Italian grandfather who loves to drive his RV around the country, she embarks on a 2,719 mile journey from Seattle to the nation’s capital. During each leg of the journey, Annabelle re-lives the events leading up to last year’s trauma — filling in the back story for readers. Caletti tackles some timely issues that affect teens growing up in the 21st century.

“DON’T CALL ME CRAZY: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health” edited by Kelly Jensen is a focused anthology of personal essays from people who experience mental health issues every day of their lives. Five chapters begin with a definition of “What’s Crazy?” and then works through several topics before reaching equilibrium with “To Be Okay.” Adam Silvera and Shawn David Hutchinson, both authors of young adult fiction, suffer from forms of depression and incorporate some of those feelings and experiences into their own writing. The dynamic Resources section includes books, films, and websites for further exploration

“HEY, KIDDO: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction” by Jarrett J. Krosoczka is Jarrett’s own story of growing up in a non-traditional family. Some kids with difficult childhoods are saved by music or books or caring for animals. Jarrett was saved by drawing, which could explain why his autobiography is also a graphic novel. Jarrett was born to a single mom with a drug problem that led to stealing, dealing, and an inability to hold down a job. Within a few years, it became apparent that the grandparents needed to take custody of Jarrett. While his mother popped in and out of his life, his grandparents were always there for him, encouraging his ambitions with art classes and good schools. Jarrett’s artwork effectively conveys his emotional journey through the first 18 years of his life. Readers may be interested to know that Krosoczka grew up to become a famous graphic novelist, creator of the Star Wars: Jedi Academy books and the Lunch Lady series.

By Lynette Suckow

Reference Department


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