Monday, August 25, 2014

Teen Book Club Hits and Misses

I've been running a teen book club at my local library for a little over two years. I recently asked the teens what their favorite books were that we read in the group and which ones missed the mark. 

If you'd like to see all the books we've read as a group, you can check them out on the TBC shelf on my Goodreads profile.  


1984 by George Orwell showed up on the favorites list of all the teens, and quite frankly I was shocked. One teen explained, "I enjoy books that have depth and complexity, and that say things, and preferably expand my mind by reading them. I also enjoy classics, which have stood the test of time, for some reason or another . . . I love exploring them, and discussing them after!"

I wasn't sure if the teens would "get" this book, and they did. We read it right after Animal Farm so we could compare the two books. I also explained what inspired Orwell to write the two stories and they were fascinated by the history behind it.

Farewell to Manzanar was one I was hoping the teens would like, and most of them did! Since the autobiography of Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston focuses on Japanese interment camps (something you never hear about in school), I was really hoping the teens would be interested in learning something new and discussing it. This book gave us one of the best discussions we've ever had. 

The Book Thief is one of the most recommended books I've ever come across and it definitely lives up to the expectations. Again, most of my teens recommended this book too. It still gives me "the feels" when I think about it. 

Honorable Mentions:

    The Hobbit                                        Nation                                 The Time Machine


The Obsidian Blade, well actually the whole series, wasn't a big hit among the teens. It wasn't that it was a terrible book, but as one teen stated, it lacked literary style and seemed to have no meaning. I enjoyed the first book and the different events that Hautman took you to, but I have to agree, by the third book everything was so muddled it was too hard to keep track and just wasn't enjoyable. 

Okay so here is the thing about Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, it's your typical teenage love story. If you liked Twilight, you'll probably love this book, but the Teens and I aren't typical teenage love story fans. This book fell flat because it seemed like it was going to go somewhere but just didn't seem to go anywhere.