The Big Issues in Young Adult Literature

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I don't what they put in their festive drinks but the Young Adult Literature bloggers are on fire lately. When I posted about lists earlier in the week I was not expecting to find yet another great list of books this weekend. I was stumbling around the blogosphere looking for end of the year best of lists and reading stats when I came upon an absolutely fantastic list.

Over at Slayground there's a great list of books that deal with issues that teens may face. It covers the gauntlet from violence at schools to eating disorders to divorce to parental abuse to cultural identity. It's got it all. And if there's something that is missing you'll probably find it in the comments. An awesomely fantastic list.

One topic that really caught my was internet safety. Just after the holidays I'm sure lots of teens are finding themselves the owners of a new laptop. If you are looking for a way to open the conversation about internet safety with your teen maybe a book can pave the way. One of the two books that Slayground recommended is Dear Jo by Christina Kilbourne.

At the Literary World Charlene says that if there is only one book your child reads this year it should be Dear Jo.

When Leah vanishes, everything changes. The police start to look for all the clues they can find and when they question Max about Leah's computer, she tells them about the chats and e-mails. How could she not? When she looked at the e-mails on Leah's computer she found that even though the boy's name was different, it was obviously the same boy she had been speaking with.

Now she is left to struggle with the knowledge that it could have been her who was missing, and the guilt of being safe and of not realising something was wrong before now.

With the news that Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant teen pregnancy is all over the news. The Slayground list offers many suggestions for this topic. One of them was Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. In it Halley's best friend Scarlett finds out that she's pregnant. If this sounds at all familiar it might be because it was the inspiration for the teen flick How to Deal.

There are loads of relevant issues in Someone Like You: dealing with the hassles of a screwed-up school schedule, annoying classmates, first love, drinking and how it can alter judgment, whether or not to sleep with a boyfriend (whether he loves you or not), forgiveness, loss, and the sticky issue of pregnancy at 16. There are plenty of light and witty moments, but the book takes the characters and their issues seriously.
Bookfoolery and Babble

Slayground's list is a must read for parents, educators and anyone looking for some good YA reads.

Contributing Editor Sassymonkey blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.


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